April 2009


Korres  Shower Gel in Fig is OK. The scent is figgy but a bit too “fruity” for my fig tastes. It doesn’t have that woody, leafy, or milky aroma. It is very “juicy” and smells more or currants than figs. It does “calm down” into a more woodsy fig but it is very fruity at first. However, the formula is nice for a natural product. It foams but not too much. It cleans without drying out the skin. It rinses off very, very easily. The fragrance does linger on the skin longer than most shower gels. But, as you know most shower gels never linger on the skin. If you want fragrance, apply a fragrance. This is just money literally down the drain if you are wanting to “smell” all day long. This is just something that makes a boring every day task like showering a little less boring and more luxurious.  It retails for $13 for 8.45 ounces and is available on beauty.com and sephora.com .

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Weekly Cheap Secret:

Milani cosmetics are pretty high quality, especially with its drugstore price tag. I really like their lip products. They usually pack a pigment punch. Milani Lipstick Lip Color in Rose Hip is a perfect example. It is a satin cream finish hot pink. It provides full coverage and feels great on the lips. It does have a slight floral fragrance which makes it seem more expensive than it is. Plus it has that gold packaging which I love. This color reminds me a lot of the YSL Fall 2008 Tuxedo look. And it is fauceted like all those expensive brands (um, Sisley). I like to wear this shade with nude eye makeup when I want the lips to really stand out. I also like to wear it with gray and steel eye makeup, this is very YSL Tuxedo. Or I just wear this with a swipe of black liquid liner. This color makes me feel made up without trying too hard. It retails for $3.50. Can that be beat? Answer: no. It can be purchased at most drugstores and drugstore.com.

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I love a coral lip. I can’t get enough of it. I believe that anybody can wear orangey shades. They’re fun. To get this classic look which is perfect for spring/summer, I’m using L’Oreal products. Consider it a Recession friendly look.

First even out the complexion with a foundation powder such as Bare Naturale Powdered Mineral Foundation in your shade. Apply concealer if needed. Brows are combed and filled in to perfection. Apply The Brow Shaping Duet pencils in your shade. Eyes are neutral but with a tinge of green. Apply the lightest shade in the Wear Infinte Duo in Forest all the way up to the brow bone. Apply the darker shade in the crease and blend. Line eyes with a black liner on the top lid. Lashes are simple and dark. Apply something like Feather Lash Mascara in Black or a Black/Brown. Cheeks are soft and peachy. I love the True Match Super Blendable Blush in Precious Peach. It is a soft and warm matte peach. Lips are satin and coral. I love Colour Riche Lipstick. It is a clone of Lancome Rouge Absolu. Apply Volcanic, a satin coral with a hint of red. It is a friendly coral that isn’t too orange or brash. It is one of my favorite bargain shades. Finished.

Bobbi Brown Platinum is a pretty look. It’s pretty simple but it does contain platinum pink shimmer and that really does liven up most complexions. It is a bit of a funny look, considering the model is wearing a boy beater and light denim jeans with a huge ass rhinestone necklace that even puts my Granny’s pavé to shame. She’s a pretty gal but she looks a bit drag and man-ish in this. But, anyways.

FACE: There is a Platinum Pink Shimmer Block for $40. It is sooo pretty with shimmery strips of pink, silver, and “nude”. It has many functions such as blush, highlighter, and eyeshadow.

EYES: There are four new Long-Wear Cream Eyeshadow. There is Ash which is a bark brown. There is Steel which is a deeper mushroomy shade. There is Heather which a lovely springy lilac. There is Platinum which is a silvery white. These go for $22. The classic Long-Wear Gel Eyeliner have been relaunched. Geez, I love this formula. And Everything Mascara has been relaunched. (I’ve never tried it.)

LIPS: There are two new Shimmer Lip Glosses: Confetti, a shimmery pinky pale gold, and Glacier, a shimmery silver. There are two new Lip Glosses: Nougat, a nice neutral nude, and Bright Pink, like the name implies but sheer. All retail for $20.

There is a nice OTT Shimmering Body Oil. It has tons of platinum shimmer in a dry oil base. It smells of “Party” which is pretty femme and nice. It is a mix of lily of the valley, violet, and citrus. It retails for $34 for 1 ounce. Pricey, but glamorous. And it looks wonderful on legs.

Pacifica body butters are pretty nice. They are smooth and not heavy. This means that it is very easy to rub in and it acutally absorbs. It moisturizes and is fragrant. There are many fragrances to choose from (from girly lilac to foody cocoa to lusty sandalwood and everything in between). I’ve tried a few and I liked them all. Let me warn you, do sniff before buying (I did), especially if you are going by the scent of the solid perfume or fragrance spray.  The body butters can smell very different from the actual perfumes. The fragrance of the butters are more to work with fragrances. It will not be a dead on twin (I’m definately thinking of Avalon Juniper here). It will help to make the other fragrances by Pacifica last and appear more “complex” and well rounded.  These claim to contain natural ingredients and are in a shea butter, almond, and safflower oil base. Very nice. Plus, they represent the Pacific. I love the West coast. Just love it.  They retail for $18 for 8 ounces.  Sephora carries a few from this line, the entire line is available at the company’s website, www.pacificaperfume.com. I love the Fig. It can be worn with any of your favorite fig scents.

Clarins Eau Dynamisante is the kind of fragrance that nobody would purchase if they just sniffed it on a blotter card. It is the kind of fragrance that needs to be worn to really “develop” and to figure out if it works for you. It’s a unisex fragrance, so no Red Velvet cupcakes or honeysuckle blossoms here. It is citrusy and herbaceous and really lives up to its invigorating name. It kind of shocks the senses with a burst of lemon zest. Yes, the fragrance smells good enough to dip a French loaf into and smells mainly of items found in the herb cabinet or garden: lemon zest, thyme, bits of rosemary, a teeny tad of lavender. However, it is grounded by patchouli. The patchouli doesn’t take over, it still smells very green and citrusy. It is a cologne or EDT, so the lasting power isn’t so great. It lasts less than an hour. However, the fragrance isn’t even marketed by Clarins as a fragrance. Instead it is marketed as a “well-being” product. This is appropriate since the wear is short termed. It is an invigorating burst, a pick-me up. So, it would need to be sprayed a few times throughout the day to clear the mind. One “burst” doesn’t keep us going throughout the day anyways. I mean I know we all have more than our morning cup of coffee. This fragrance is very fresh, very energizing. It is perfect for summer because it isn’t heavy or offensive. It wears lightly and smells of citrus and in season herbs. The scent really shines with body heat. The warmth of the fragrance is really seen with the warmth of the body. It will begin to smell a bit more of rosemary and patchouli. It is very neutral and natural. I love it. I always have it around in the summer. It isn’t the most beautiful fragrance I own or even the most interesting. It is just so fresh and easy to wear. It’s gladiator sandals and a jersey knit dress in the summer. It’s just that easy to wear. It retails for $46 for 3.4 ounces. I really wish it came in a smaller and portable bottle so that I could haul it in my tote in the summer to spray and to sanitize mass transit 🙂 . I have chilled the bottle in the fridge for a summer shocker. It lives up to its “dynamite” name. It is available at fragrancenet.com.

So, will our budget affect our fragrance consumption? Probably so. We live in the era of the sky is the limit. Even housewives and single income homes have $300 bottles of fragrance. I admit that I spend way too much on fragrance but I can. I’m stupid and I ‘m trying to get smarter. However, if you aren’t stupid and you are wise with money there are plenty of $20 and under options for you. There are many nice items out there that don’t smell like Love’s Baby Soft. There are plenty of nice items out there. You’ll only get less. Which is fine, you’ll be able to flirt with many fragrances. But, there are some in generous sizes and many of the small ones are long wearing.

I absolutely love any of the Crazylillbellue and the Poppies fragrances that go for $18 and under. They are solid swivel sticks. The wear for a while have none of that alcohol note. All the ones that I have had experience with are blended wonderfully. They are pretty simple and actually pretty single note but they smell “expensive”. They are portable. They can be a bit waxy but just rub it in. I also can’t say enough for L’Aromarine fragrance oils and EDT sprays.  Both retail under $20. They are available at beautyhabit.com.

Another great brand of solid fragrances is by Pacifica. The solids retail for $9 and I would recommend Mediterranean Fig, French Lilac, Tahitian Gardenia, and Tuscan Blood Orange. But, really they are all nice for the price. They don’t wear very long and would probably need to be reapplied.

Many fragrance houses have responded to shrinking purses appropriately by offering smaller sizes of their items. You can try tinier amounts of fragrances that are pretty popular but not too bad such as Juicy Couture, the grandma floral made sweet,  ($16 for 1/4 ounce), Stella McCartney, the dusky rose,  ($17 for .33 ounces) Nanette Lepore, the musky floral, ($18 for .41 ounces), Carolina Herrerra, the amazing white floral with an Old Hollywood vibe ($10 for .34 ounces), or Philosophy Amazing Grace, the musky comforting floral that for some reason I am addicted to, ($15 for 1/2 ounce). All are available on sephora.com. Some others have jumped on the band-wagon like the warm and golden St. John’s ($18 for .33 ounce) available at nordstrom.com.
L’Occitane has many nice options both in small sprays ($12 to $19) or in the Fragrant Touches ($20). I am a fan of the proper Roses des 4 Reines, the exotic Eau D’Iparie, the fresh and simple blends of Mrytle and Iris, and I really like the warm Amber.

Some cheaper opitions with larger portions include some by Avon and mark. I like the lily of the valley scent Avon’s Flower by Cynthia Rowley EDT ($15 for 1 ounce). I also like Avon Tahitian Holiday, the beachy floral ($15 for 1.7 ounces) and I like Avon’s Sweet Honesty, the powdery clean floral ($12 for 1.7 ounces). Mark’s Pure Fragrance EDT is a nice clean scent ($15 for 1.5 ounces). Demeter Fragrances are always nice to and come in so many things. The cologne sprays retail for $20 for 1 ounce or you can get the 1/2 ounce cologne splashes for $6. Some of my favorites include: Beetroot, Whisky Tobacco, Leather, Fuzzy Naval, and Dirt. Yves Rocher has many nice fragrances. If you like fruity try $11 3.4 ounces bottles or the little $5 bottles of Poire, Mure, Peche, Framboise, and even Noix de Coco. The company really has a nice fragrance for the price. I love their minis. The Absolute fragrances of Rose, Amber, and Iris are very nice. The $20 4.2 ounce cologne sprays of Verbena, Chevrefueille, and Cedre Bleu are very refreshing. I also like old school favorites such as Revlon’s Jean Nate Cologne Spray ($10 for 2.25 ounces) and the wild floral fragrance of Coty Muguet des Bois ($15 for 1.8 ounces).

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