So in the spirit of exposing you to the best (and exposing my meager graphic design skills), here's one of my favorites, from Laura Lippman's What the Dead Know. It continues a description of a defense attorney, already described as an "alcoholic old lizard."
A brilliant instance of the "show, don't tell" mantra. From three sharp sentences ostensibly describing Bustanante's appearance, we see her entire life -- once-elegant past, decrepit present, and a fair anticipation of a future as a serious thorn in the narrator's side. Nothing's wasted. And nobody does it better.