September 2009


This is a rich and comforting fragrance that reminds me of Santa’s cookies and winter baking. It is a sweet, gourmand fragrance but I still like it. It is a blend of nutmeg, almond, orange blossom, vanilla, tonka bean, and musk. At first it is a spicy floral. You can smell the light, playful aroma of orange blossom mixed with spicy nutmeg. The orange blossom is a flirt and doesn’t hang around very long but you can tell it’s there even when it is “gone”. You soon smell the rich nuttiness of almond. I love the scent of almond. Nothing beats a nice Italian almond fragranced soap. I can smell the almond and rich, sweet creamy vanilla with a touch of “cocoa”. The almond gets sweeter, like it has been toasted in brown sugar. It smells like a delicious dessert (great vanilla almond cake recipe here) and it makes me want a strong cup of black coffee.It is a sweet fragrance. This is not an understatement. It is sugar and spice. It is the kind of scent that is too heavy/sweet for year round wear but it is perfect for cooler weather and winter, especially Christmas time. Sometimes fragrances like this are just what you need when the frost settles in.  The dry down is a comforting blend of tonka bean, musk, and vanilla.

This scent reminds me of sitting in a charming and cozy café, reading a used paperback book, holding it with cold hands as it rains outside. You order a hot latte  or a macchiato to warm yourself up. You’re wearing your favorite scarf and kind of the enjoy the cold because it is one of the first really “cold” days of the season. You look out the window to glare at the drizzle, look back down to continue reading. You hear your name, look up and to your surprise, it’s an old friend. It’s just going to be a good day.

This is a long wearing fragrance and wears for many hours. I would say that you would like this scent if you like gourmand, sweet scents that are heavy on vanilla or toasted almond, scents like Malzzolari Alessandro, Carol’s Daughter Almond Cookie, Crazylibellule & The Poppies Poule de Luxe Vanilla Macarons, LaVanila Vanilla Spice, and/or Burberry Brit EDP. The 1.7 oz. EDP retails for $95. It is available at beautyhabit.com and sarahhorowitz.com.

If you are a fan of Victoria’s Secret Garden Collection Love Spell then you should love this. This home oil totally reminds me of that loud VS blend of berries, peach, cherries, and jasmine. It’s the Secret Garden Body Spray for your home. Aromatique Citrus Plum Berry is a fruity-floral heavy on synthetic smelling stone fruits and berries with a hint of white flowers. It’s strong. I use it in my oil burner. I’m sure it is actually for refreshing potpourri but I’m not a potpourri kind of gal. A little of this oil mixed with water will make your home very fragrant for a long time. That is a great thing if you like the odor. I personally hate VS Love Spell. I’m so burnt out with it. Every girl my age used to use that stuff. It reminds me of high school girl’s locker rooms. That is a place I never want to return to, even if it is only a fragrance journey.

Like I said, if you are into the whole VS Secret Garden line or if you are a mega fan of Love Spell or you just want your home to spell like a berry heavy fruity-floral, then this is for you. It isn’t a horrible fragrance. It does smell pretty and girly, I just don’t want my home to smell this way. It is very fragrant, a little goes a long way, and it retails for about $9. I’m not wild about the bottle. It doesn’t have a dropper top and you have to use a seperate dropper that is included. I then always get Citrus Plum Berry all over my hands. This product is available at some department stores, specialty home stores, and Aromatique’s website.

This body butter is a great product for those with really dry skin. This is a super emollient and rich cream. It’s thick but easy to rub in if your skin is a little damp or just right out of the shower. It keeps skin moisturized and soft until the next day. It isn’t greasy, sticky, or icky. I like most of Korres products. They are gentle, natural, and of course, I like their smell. This Guava Body Butter has a very light scent, it’s scented but it won’t interfer with your fragrance of choice. The scent isn’t overly fruity or like a Bath and Body Works version of guava fruit. It’s a bit beachy, almost rich and coconuty with a bit of soury citrus like aroma, zesty. It isn’t straight up coconut or generic beachy piña colada. It just smells very tropical, exotic, and like it would be one delicious mixed drink if it wasn’t a lotion. I can’t really say that it smells like a real guava since there are many types of guava and I never seem to let it ripen enough. Anyways, the fragrance is nice but it doesn’t linger very long. If there was a body spray in this fragrance, I would so buy it. The 5 oz. pump bottle retails for $21 and other sizes are available. You can get it at beauty. com.

Weekly Cheap Secret:

OK, so I don’t think this is a secret. For my entire life I kept hearing how awesome this stuff was. It was always winning consumer awards and being recommended by dermatologists. I never gave it a try because I was too busy trying every other expensive thing on the market. As I grew up and grew wise, I realized that a cleanser should do one thing: clean. It needs to prep the face for treatments. It isn’t a product that stays on skin. It doesn’t do anything, we wipe it off. So why spend $35 on something like that? I just want something simple and non-drying. This is it. I can use it twice a day without being irritated. (I have normal skin). The formula is thin but mixed with a little bit of water, it foams and foams. It has a fragrance, a light floral. It doesn’t sting the eyes. I try to use it to remove eye makeup like the product recommends. My eye makeup is too stubborn or I just wear too much. I still have to use an eye makeup remover to get it all off. But, it does get the rest of my makeup off very easily, including lip and cheek stains. I like the convenient pump. I just keep it in the shower.

The product is oil-free and 100% soap free. It’s a pretty good price at about $6 for 6 oz. I thought it would last a while but my husband has been using it twice daily and we are really going through this stuff. I guess I should learn that these “cult” products are worth a try and to just get over my negative Maybelline Great Lash experience. It is available at drugstore.com and DERMAdoctor.

Françoise Hardy has it all. Talent, brains, beauty. That’s why she is one of my favorite style icons. When I had my blunt bangs and a haircut much like this one, I used to wear heavy eye makeup like this. It was such a cool look. The eyeliner isn’t easy if you’ve never done it before. I suggest practice. Once you get it down, you can get this look in under 10 minutes from my experience. These are the products that I use to get this look:

FACE: The complexion is pretty fuss-less but it needs to be evened out. Apply concealer if and where needed. Clinique All About Eyes Concealer does great under the eyes. I like to use MAC Studio Fix Powder Foundation to even out the entire complexion. Use a bronzer as blush and apply with a fluffy brush. I like the shade and price of Rimmel Natural Bronzer in Sun Light.


EYES:
Luckily my blunt bangs covered my messy brows. Brush less than perfect brows into place with a clear brow gel like Revlon Brow Styling Gel. Apply a tinted eyeshadow base such as L’Oreal De-Crease Eyeshadow Base. This will keep your liner from budging. There are many products that you can use to get this thick liner look. I personally prefer the following: Clinique Water-Resistant Eye Liner in Natural Black (not pictured) or MAC Fluidline in Black Track. Both are very versatile items with no flaking or wandering. The Clinique one is a softer, matte black. The MAC one is a bit deeper and has a more consistent texture. First, “draw-in” your line. I line closely to the lashline and flick out like a classic cat-eye. Then under the crease I draw a desired line. I then fill it in with the liner on the brush. Everyone has a preferred liner brush. I am more comfortable with a fine point liner and not the slanted kind. It is all about what you are comfortable with. Remember to let it dry before blinking or completely opening lines. Sometimes I would take a shadow brush and apply a matte black shadow Larenim Eye Shadow in Ashes to Ashes to “set” it. You can also take the black powder shadow and line bottom lashes closely. Apply lots of black mascara like L’Oreal Voluminous Original Volume Building Mascara in Blackest Black.
LIPS: Lips are nude. If your lips have a bit of color and don’t appear washed out, just apply a slightly tinted lip balm like mark Tinted Sheenstick Lip Balm in Fanciful. If you need a bit of color use a color like Estee Lauder Signature Lipstick in Perfect Nude.

hardylook

whitemuskcollageOh, white musk…one of my favorite modern marvels! This synthetic aromachemical brings me much happiness. It’s clean, sexy, smooth, and laid-back. I’ve tried to compile a few “heavy on the white musk” ranging from the drugstore favorite Jovan White Musk to the soft blend of Serge Lutens Clair de Musc.

Budget White Musk Scents (Under $50): I judge all “white musk” scents on Jovan White Musk Cologne. It seems to be the epitome of what a white musk should be. The 3.3 oz bottle goes for $23. It’s one of my favorite cheap things. The Body Shop White Musk EDP is a floral white musk scent. The 1 oz. retails for $24. An EDT spray is also available and it’s cheaper but not as long wearing. Victoria’s Secret Dream Angels Heavenly EDP is a warm, creamy white musk blend. The smallest spray goes for $39. Harajuku Lovers Baby EDT is a powdery white musk blend. It’s delicate, the name suits it, and the bottle is adorable. The 1 oz. goes for $45. It’s not my favorite white musk scent but it is cheap: Body Fantasies Fresh White Musk Body Spray. It retails for under $7 and is a white musk and floral blend. It doesn’t make a bad linen spray. I love the crispness and cleanness of Crazylibellule & The Poppies Les Divine Alcôves Presque Nue. It’s mainly white musk with a dash of romantic ylang-ylang. It’s clean and feminine. The solid perfume retails for $16 and actually wears for a long time. I’m almost out of mine and plan on picking up another.

More Expensive White Musk Scents: Annick Goutal Musc Nomade EDP is a sensual white musk blend with woods and resins. It’s a bad-gal white musk. The 3.4 oz. bottle goes for $175. Clean Original Musk EDP is a light-wearing white musk blend that wears more like an EDT. The 2.14 oz. bottle retails for $76. Philospophy Amazing Grace EDT is a hot-selling soft musk blend and I’m sure you know somebody that wears it. The largest bottle, 4 oz. retails for $60.  Montale White Musk EDP is a soft and tender blend of white musk and delicate petals. The 1.7 oz. retails for $95. Surge Lutens Clair de Musc EDP is a soft orris like musk. It is unlike other SL’s because it isn’t animalic but it has musk. And I still love it! It’s a great white musk splurge. The 1.7 oz. retails for $120. Anamor All That Matters EDP is a romantic, high quality “white musk” blend. It retails for $155 for 1 oz. Stephanie de Saint-Aignan Blanc d’Hiver EDT is an icy, light blend of juicy pear, white musk, and powdery florals. The 1.7 oz spray retails for $135. It’s light and innocent.

greennailcolors

I am totally craving dark green nails for the cooler months. (It all started with Butter London’s British Racing Green.) I have been searching for the perfect, mysterious, deep, dark green. I want something the color of a Douglas fir tree. I think an evergreen makes a great winter shade. Here is a list of dark green nail colors that I have stumbled across.

Budget green colors (Under $5): NYX Nail Polish in Las Vegas (not pictured) is a shimmery green with envy deep money green. It’s a nice formula and a good price at $4. Sally Hansen Insta-Dry Fast Dry Nail Color in Jumpin’ Jade Frost is a perfect for winter, shimmery, rich peacock green shade. I really do love this formula because it does dry quickly and you never have to worry about smudges. It retails for about $4. Rimmel 60 Seconds Nail Polish in Green With Envy is a jade-ish green shimmer. It takes a few coats to get it darker. It has a nice price at about $3. It isn’t my favorite out of this list but it is what you pay for and nice if you don’t plan on wearing this color very frequently.

More Expensive green colors (Over $5): I’m totally obsessed with Butter London Nail Lacquer in British Racing Green. “British racing green” is one of my favorite colors anyways. I’ve always wanted a vintage Triumph in this shade. It’s snazzy. This shade is dead on that “racy” color. The formula is great and it’s a Seattle based company so I have to love them. It’s pricey at $14. OPI for Sephora Nail Coulour has Dark Room. This is a satin shimmer free deep, almost black green. I wanted to love this color but when I saw it in person, I found it to be less than “film-noir” inspired like the claim but more mucky and boring. It is still a nice alternative to black though. It retails for $9. Lippman Collection Nail Color in Don’t Tell Mama is a super shimmery, metallic deep green with a dash of blue. It’s enchanting, very festive. It goes for $16. OPI Nail Color in Here Today…Aragon Tomorrow (not pictured) is a rich, moody emerald. It’s a beautiful shade that goes for about $8. Illamasqua Nail Varnish (not pictured) in Rampage is a nice dark forest green that looks like what I am looking for; however, I have never tried this formula. It retails for $14.

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