June 2009


I am a fan of the complexion enhancer. I love shimmer and glimmer. Too Faced has released a new shimmer powder: Absolutely Invisible Candlelight Powder. It is a soft golden ivory shimmer that will warm up pale to medium skins. It comes in a compact with a glam chandelier on it. I love it because I love how Too Faced does shimmer. It retails for $25. TheBalm has released a new shimmer powder: Mary-Lou Manizer. I am not wild for the name being that I think being an “izer” of any type isn’t cool. It’s a beautiful golden ivory shimmer powder that works nicely with light to medium skins. It makes a nice eyeshadow and highlighter for face and body. It comes in a mirrored compact with an under arrest blonde pin-up type gal on it. This retails for $22.

Both powders are very similar. Both are multi-use powders that provide a “soft” shimmer. Too Faced’s contains anti-oxidants. TheBalm’s is talc and paraben free. You can pick them up from Sephora.

I picked up this limited edition L’Occitane Thé Bergamote solid fragrance because the price was right at $9. Plus, I love solid fragrances and Earl Grey tea. The fragrance itself is very, very simple. It claims to have luminous citrus from Italy and black tea leaves.” It is very heavy on the citrus, which is a bergamot. I love bergamot essence. And this is a pretty nice and simple bergamot with a tiny bit of grapefruit. The black tea leaves are there, just not as much as the citrus. This smells more of bergamot essential oil than it does Earl Grey tea leaves, even Earl Grey with double the bergamot. This scent is very fresh, citrusy, refreshing and summery. I imagine that it could be a unisex fragrance since it simple and fresh. The solid smells different than the EDT in this line. The solid is simpler.

It comes in a small yellow tin container. My top is a little too loose for my comfort since I do plan on traveling with this. The solid perfume is so smooth and not a bit waxy. Think less of a lip balm in a tin but more of a lip gloss in a tin or something along the texture lines of Rosebud Salve. It contains .33 ounces of the solid fragrance. It wears nicely, about 2 hours and then you’ll need a touch-up. But, the 1st hour it wears very nicely and smells just like the solid in the tin. I like this and it is what I want in the summer when everything feels heavy. Many of us don’t have a/c in the PNW so in the summer I am attracted to the freshest scents possible. I would say to give this a try if you like solid perfumes, citrusy fragrances, tea fragrances such as Bvlgari Green/White/Red Thé/tea, Elizabeth Arden Green Tea, L’Occitane’s other tea based scents, L’Aromarine Bergamote, CB I Hate Perfume Russian Caravan Tea, Fresh Citron de Vigne or Bergamot Citrus, Kenzo Eau de Fleur Tea, Pacifica Malibu Lemon Blossom or Egyptian Bergamot Rose, Guerlain AA Mandarine-Basilic, Caudalie Fleur de Vigne, and/or Miller Harris Tangerine Vert. I’m sure I will pick up another tin soon since they are LE and the hotness of August hasn’t hit yet.

Weekly Cheap Secret:

This is one of those great drugstore products. Basically, it is the perfect summer moisturize. It is a lightweight lotion, not greasy and not very moisturizing either but really all I need during the summer when I sunscreen up anyways 😦 But, I must add that I am used to body oil and goopy body butters. That is my disclaimer. It is faintly scented. That doesn’t stick around at all so you can wear whatever fragrance you desire without your moisturizer getting in the way. Don’t worry this does not have that Original Jergen’s scent 🙂 What I love about this lotion is the shimmer. It has tons of tiny, finely milled gold shimmers. It looks amazing on tanned skin, any complexion really, because it “warms” it up. You are supposed to wait a few minutes before dressing because the shimmer may transfer on to clothes. I find myself impatient and rushed once I get out of the shower. Sometimes I dress immediately. I have gotten this on my clothes but it was no biggie. It washed out in the laundry and did not permanently stain. I somehow leave a glitter trail no matter where I go, so this didn’t bother me. If you let this dry, it will not budge. That is great. You will be shimmery all day! Do wash your hands unless you want gilded palms! I love to use this on my legs, everywhere, it really works with my complexion. I like it so much better than Michael Kors Leg Shine, which smells great but doesn’t give me a natural glow.

It’s a bummer because I can’t find this at any of the drugstores or superstores anymore. I order it from drugstore.com and it seems that many ladies are having this problem too. I hate that just because I hope it isn’t being discontinued because it is one of the best shimmer products on the market. I also read that a reviewer mixes this with body cream. That is a great idea. This is a little costly for a drugstore product and that will stretch it and it is hard to find. (I have been known to ration this product and only wear it when I know I will be showing some skin). Also you can customize how much moisture you need. It goes for about $7.50 for 7.5 ounces. I wish they would focus on this moisturizer again and stop coming out with all of those Natural Glow products, this is all I need!

I love a “peaches and cream” look. To get this gamine, simple look, I’m going to use Estee Lauder products.

First apply a sheer foundation if needed such as Nutritious Vita-Mineral Makeup. Apply concealer if and where needed. I like Smoothing Creme Concealer for the under eye area. If you have oily skin or fret about shine, apply a dusting of AeroMatte Pressed Powder. I personally like the sheerness and dewiness of Jane’s look. Apply a delicate sweeping of a blush such as Signature Powder Blush in Peach Nuance. This is a super sheer shade even on pale skintones, keep building until you get what you want. I recommend Deep Spice for darker skintones.

Brows are thick and well, darkened. To keep it super simple, apply a Brow Setting Gel if your brows are out of line. Eye makeup is super simple. Lightly brush a peachy beige shade such as Pure Color Eyeshadow in Peach from lashline to brows. Line eyes with a dark brown liner such as Double Wear Stay-in-Place Eye Pencil in Coffee. Line closely to top and bottom lashlines to give the illusion of fullness. Apply a no-fuss mascara such as More Than Mascara in Black/Brown. The warmth in the browns used in this look will really make the peaches and cream look stand out.

The lips are what make this look so summery, sweet, and fresh. Keep them simple. No liner is needed. Apply Tender Lip Balm in Tender Peach. I love this conditioning formula. You’re finished! Well, I do recommend a spritz of Aliage. It is a nice way to top off a laid-back vintage look.

janepeachlook

This fragrance was difficult for Guerlain. It didn’t attract the “typical” Guerlain customer, you know the person that swears by Jicky or Eau du Coq, and it didn’t attract the mainstream consumer (the person that purchases every new release at Macy’s) because it is just too “odd” for their tastes. I am in the middle ground consumer. I love all Guerlain fragrances. I wear Jicky, but I also wear fragrances like Benefit Maybe Baby.

This fragrance is like a “young old lady fragrance” if that makes any sense. (I hate describing fragrance by age groups, its just wrong just like putting age equivalents on standardized tests). It is a super powdery fragrance. It’s kind of sweet like a dusting powder but it is very powdery from orris root and something that resembles candied violets (my ultimate weakness). It has a sweet rose, like a rose lozenge or pastille. Sweet, but only foody if you are a floral food fan like myself. It’s musky and clean while being powdery and floral.Guerlain’s website states that “olfactory pyramid has been ‘deconstructed’ to reveal three faucets of INSOLENT femininity that suits everyone’s taste and mood…sparkling violets, glints of red berries, and rays of iris.” Well, maybe not suited for everyone’s taste and mood, but definitely my own. Some of my favorite memories included last summer, my 1st summer in the Northwest. I would pick berries with a Choward’s violet candy in my mouth and I wore a cheap no label Italian iris/orris root EDT in the late days of summer. It was nice, happy times. So Insolence has nailed what I’m looking for. It is much more feminine than me sweating and ignoring bloody berry scratches. This is so feminine, soft, powdery. It is an “olfactory spiral”, this is just a gimmick that means that top note, middle, and base are all together and it pretty much stays the same throughout the wear. This is somewhat true. It smells much like initial spritz even a few hours down the road. I mean it is a little different but the idea is still the same. It isn’t like violet, berries, and musk. It is more all of these things in a blender once the alcoholic top note dries down. It is a sweet fragrance with candied violet, rose, vanilla, sandalwood but note overly sweet like cotton candy fragrances. It does appear fruity, but for some reason this just doesn’t linger with me (slightly like a red currant).  It is just sweet but not too sweet to wear for summer. I find that I wear this throughout the year.

I like Insolence much better than L’Instant which I find too vanilla-y and overwhelming. It is “young”, I guess but I found that many people under 30 are completely turned off by this fragrance that many ladies over 30 find this too “young”. I was working the launch of this fragrance and you wouldn’t believe how many people were offended by this one. I just didn’t get it but I am sure many of them would find Shalimar offensive and SJP Lovely not. I don’t find this one offensive at all, if anything it is too tame and pretty. Also, the use of Hilary Swank as the “face” of the fragrance was a bad idea. You don’t realize that the public is so sensitive to that kind of stuff until you see it in action. Many people do not find her glamorous (or attractive really!); people really do use her name and “horse face” together alot. Anyways…

It wears for many hours, extremely well for an EDT. I smell it on my jackets and scarves days after wear. My husband loves this one. It just smells “girly” so I am sure it will attract the opposite sex. My husband always says that he hates vanilla in fragrance because it smells “cheap” but he seems to like it in this. It adds a sweetness and softness to the floral notes. It also helps the violet stick around (I still haven’t found a violet fragrance that loves to be with me!)

The bottle is OK. It’s a bit chunky and the plastic top is a bit oversized. The 1 ounce bottle goes for $55. It is getting harder and harder to find! Please don’t tell me that it is being discontinued like I predicted it would be since it’s launch. I still have a 3.4 ounce bottle left and maybe I need to get my hands on another.

MAColdgold

The picture on maccosmetics.com does not do this product justice at all. It is described as “frosted tarnished gold”, the picture online looks like an antiqued gold, something on an heirloom locket. It looks tame and like it would wear nicely on anyone. It looks like a perfect super shimmery neutral and like the perfect “with a tan” shade. Above the pigment is smeared on my hand dry. It is a really vivid metallic. I wouldn’t describe it as a gold at all. It is more of a melange of rust, gold, blue, green, teal pigment particles. It only looks “gold” under bright light and then it isn’t an antique or tarnished gold but a 24K flake spray paint gold. I like this color. It wears nicely with blues, greens, and orange. It is very metallic and looks good even alone worn as a wash (applied like this, it looks very green on my skin). It is just that this color doesn’t fit the description, so buyer beware if you are purchasing online or sight unseen.

I love MAC pigments, they can be worn anywhere mixed into a gel or cream base, applied wet or dry. I do find that if I apply this like a traditional shade like with an eyeshadow brush worn with other powder shadows, it does crease. This often happens with super shimmery products. After a day’s wear it is creasing big time even with an industrial strength base 🙂 I haven’t mixed this one into a gloss/gel base because I think it has too much green and blue to look OK on the lips or cheeks. I have been using this on the eyes only.

It retails for $19.50 and comes in a generous sized container. I am sure I will be throwing this out before I can use it all up.

This fragrance claims to be “An ode to everlasting beauty under cover of night’s rich plumage”. Um, OK. If that wasn’t a good enough description then maybe this will help you more:

A phoenix, the mythical bird of legend burns at the height of its splendour before emerging triumphant, reborn from the ashes in a choreography of flame, conjuring the shapes of yesterday in a dance of ashes. The swirls of oriental grey enrich the twilight with depth and intensity while windswept memories hint at the beauty of transformation

Oh, now I get it! As with any Serge Lutens fragrance, we have a wonderful marketing campaign that strives for weirdness and exoticism. This fragrance has many “haters”, read Kevin’s review on Now Smell This blog. Ouch, but a very entertaining read and why I got my hands on a sample vial to begin with. I find this fragrance odd but not horrible. Actually, I find it quite intriguing. The dry down isn’t as odd as initial spritz, actually it is very “pretty” and very “Serge”, think a woodsy-amber scent (heavy on dry cedar) but with a hint of dental office anesthesia. That can be pretty, right? Well, I like it.

The top notes are what are so strange if I had to blame it on one thing. It is “citrusy” but more like a Listerine or a citrusy mouthwash, kind of a medicinal odor mixed with lemon zest. That is odd. Smelling like you just gargled is weird. It is heavy on cinnamon, almost makes me sneeze, it has a Christmas potpourri fragrance. Not quite, your spice cabinet cinnamon or a foody cinnamon. The cedar is what takes over on me. It smells like a cedar hope chest in a stale, mildewy basement or attic. Hell, the odor of the Pacific Northwest: mildew and evergreens! After the medicinal cedar begins to wear down, you pick up half-rounded bits of resiny amber. This adds some beauty to this strange scent. But, I am a fan of amber, that’s why I like Serge Lutens fragrances. The cedar still is there. So think cedar with amber with a strange medicinal vibe. Seriously, it reminds me of having my teeth cleaned by a nice hygienist that wears a resinous fragrance. It smells “clean” and “uncomfortable”, alot like having your teeth cleaned. Yep, it feels good, getting all the gunk out but it hurts and there is always the sound of drilling going on in the background even if your experience is pleasant. That is how I would describe Serge Noir, not like a mythical Phoenix bathing in ashes or whatever. I think going to a dentist’s office in early summer. Why early summer? Because the fragrance is “cool” in a synthetic way but still “warm”, it smells like there is a hint of mildew there like from the initial blast of an air conditioner that hasn’t been used in some time. And you feel like you are on goofy gas trying to break this fragrance apart.

I know this fragrance isn’t for everyone. It is weird and there is that little fact that a bottle goes for $140. So, before you buy you better try. Strangely, I have recieved compliments on this fragrance. But, where I am at you get complimented on the strangest things…

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