February 2010


I love coral makeup. Corals, peaches, apricots, salmons do so much for my complexion. I know many people stray away from coral, thinking of their Italian-American great aunt with the deep olive skin paired with electric coral lipstick, sandaltoe pantyhose, and open toe “bone” colored pumps. I think great-aunt is a Sophia Loren-ish fox, but I have learned that many people dislike the look. I think coral works on the peaches and cream complexions and the deeper Floridian complexions. I many not wear MAC Morange lipstick everyday but I do wear lots of soft shades of coral/peach. It is one of the few things that can liven up my pale, pasty PNW vitamin D deficient complexion. Bobbi Brown’s Cabana Corals is a “fresh take on an old favorite”. It’s a collection of coral shades that are so everyday neutral.

FACE: There is a Nectar Shimmer Brick. This is an amazing complexion enhancing shimmer powder compact with warm peach, coral, beige shades. This is better than bronzer for my skin tone. It also looks great used as an eye shadow.  There is a Pink Quartz Shimmer Brick. This is a shimmery blend of warm pink, mauve, and sands. This one creates a soft, candlelit rosé sparkling wine look. It is very pretty. Both retail for $38. There are new shades in the Pot Rouge for Lips & Cheeks. First things first, I love this versatile product. Cabo Coral is a peachy pink/salmon that really works for me. It adds a petal softness to my complexion and looks very natural. There is Calypso Coral which is a brighter coral. This works better for medium complexions. These go for $22.

EYES: There are a few new shades of Eye Shadow. Caviar is a black brown netural that makes a perfect lining shade. Navajo is an eye opening white with a hint of pink. Both colors are great for everyday wear and retail for $20. And there is the Extreme Party Mascara that I haven’t tried. It goes for $22.

LIPS: There are a few new shades of Shimmer Lip Gloss. Coral Sand is a peachy gold shimmer. It reminds me of NARS Orgasm lip gloss. There is Golden Nectar which is a warm neutral coral shimmer. Sunset Beach is more pink than coral with shimmer. It looks great with a tan. These retail for $20.There are 3 new shades in the Metallic Lip Color. Calypso Glaze is a warm pink shimmer. It looks very nice with a bronze smoky eye. Coral Glaze is a “nude” with a hint of peach shimmer. It is a very pretty neutral that looks like it belongs with thick cat eye makeup or smoky eyes. Coral Reef is a medium pinky coral that would work wonderfully with copper eye makeup. There are 2 new Lip Colors. Cabo Coral is a warm pink coral. I also like this Cabo Coral. It looks very nice with green eye makeup. Guava is a medium “lip color” pink. It is a better than natural color. All lip colors go for $22.

I think like most Bobbi Brown colors, that these are great everyday staples. I see them working well with paler peaches and cream complexions and those with a tan. I feel many of these colors work well with charcoal smoky eyes, metallic bronze eyes, smoky green eyes, and even “boring” matte beiges. The colors are nice and will take you from spring to fall. All items are available at specific department stores and bobbibrowncosmetics.com.

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The Mainstream Monday: Sniffing A Popular Fragrance

Victoria’s Secret Very Sexy EDP is a floral oriental blend that tries very hard to be seductive. I think of it as a floral oriental for those that did not live through the 80’s to experience the heavy floral oriental genre. It is more of a “now” floriental. It’s a bit more fresh and floraly.

At first spritz, I kind of like this fragrance. I pick up a spicy mandarin. It’s refreshing and zesty. This energizing top note quickly fades. I do not smell the citrus after 5 minutes of wear. I then get something that I am not wild about. It is a powdery floral blend that is sweet and has a generic “vanilla musk” vibe. I take it that the powderiness comes from the “mimosa” listed but it doesn’t smell like the mimosa I love found in Guerlain Champs-Elysées or L’Artisan Parfumeur Mimosa Pour Moi EDT. It isn’t a light and fluffy mimosa. It’s a strong floral with a forced powderiness. The powder does go away or perhaps I can ignore it more. It then has a coolness and it almost reminds me of a rosey magnolia. I guess this is the camellia note. I haven’t had the chance to experience a “real” fragrant camellia. All of the ones that I have encountered were more about color and hardiness than aroma. Hydrangea is also listed as a fragrant note. My hydrangeas smell awful! Anyways, back to this fragrance. This strong, cool floral stage lasts and lasts. Imagine the green notes from a rose intensified. There is a faint vanilla like sweetness but still very floral. It is definitely more like a vanilla orchid than a vanilla bean. I do pick up lots of rose. It reminds me of a fragrance interpretation of somewhere floral and Southern, like the Garden District in New Orleans. The dry-down , is slightly woodsy. It manages to be a “clean” woodsy dry down. It is soft. If you like white musk then you should like this base. It’s woodsy but is is still very floral to its core. I know that this fragrance claims to be “sexy” but I’m just not getting it. I see it more of a nice, prim, and proper floral blend. I guess if your usual stand-by is something fruity like Ralph Lauren Ralph EDT or DKNY Be Delicious EDP, than this could be interpreted as a “sexy” and “seductive” fragrance.

Notes listed include: capucine, pepper, cactus flower, clementine, camellia, hydrangea, mimosa, vanilla orchid, musk, soft woods, blackberry, and white amber.

This isn’t a bad fragrance, it just isn’t something that I would see myself wearing very frequently. A teeny tiny bottle is more than enough for me. I love florals but I find that I am more of a fan of white floral blends. This is more of a cool and watery floral with a sweet dry-down. I’m just not a fan of humid florals. They don’t wear nicely on me but I can appreciate them from a distance. I would say to give this one a try if you like Bath and Body Works Enchanted Orchid EDT, Love & Toast Pomme Poivre EDP, Harajuku Lovers Love EDT, Estee Lauder Dazzling Silver EDP, Antica Farmacista Magnolia, Orchid, and Mimosa EDP, Tokyomilk Parfum Gin & Rosewater EDP, and/or Voluspa Victoria Collection Vanity EDP.

Three sizes are available and the largest, 3.4 oz., retails for $59. It is available at Victoria’s Secret.


Very Sexy Perfume for Women Eau De Parfum Spray 3.4 Oz by Victoria’s Secret

From: BigDiscountFragrances.com

Yves Rocher Yria is a floral oriental blend. It isn’t the most exciting that I have ever sniffed in this genre but it isn’t the worst either. It’s a very basic oriental floral, pretty true to the genre. It’s resiny with lush petals and a base of sandalwood. It’s a pretty scent and the price is right. Most oriental blends may be too overwhelming and overpowering for “day” wear. I think of Yria as a lighter oriental that could work at anytime. You can’t say that for most of the blends in this family and that is coming from me and I love strong fragrances. And this is coming from me, so maybe it is too heavy for the average person… hmm…Yria hits me as a pretty floral blend at first. For a very short moment, you get bergamot/orange blossom like citrus. These then melts into a rose and jasmine fragrance. I pick up  much more of the rose than I do the jasmine. In fact, I like to apply a jasmine solid perfume under this to really emphasize the jasmine. It’s floral but in a classic floriental way. It has lots of “warmth” grounding it. For a long time it wears on me as a rose/amber blend with the slightest warmth of amber. After some time, the sandalwood shows up and keeps the blend grounded. It’s a warm floral fragrance with classic powdery softness. The dry-down is a rich, warm, close wearing sandalwood. It does wear nicely on me and the lasting power is about 4+ hours. Because of the rich oriental notes, I do think of this EDP as being more appropriate for fall and winter wear. Worn during these times, it doesn’t appear to be so “heavy”. I could see this one as really “heavy” if worn in the middle of summer, like most floral oriental blends.

The company lists the following notes: bergamot, coriander, jasmine, sambac, rose, amber, tonka bean, and sandalwood. The 1.7 oz. spray goes for about $39. This is a fair price for this fragrance and Yves Rocher often runs amazing sales. I would say to give this one a try if you like Halston Women, Borghese Il Bacio, Guerlain Samsara EDT, Estee Lauder Tuscany Per Donna, Avon Candid, Lancome Attraction, Prada L’Eau Ambrée, and/or Must de Cartier.

Weekly Cheap Secret:
Ivory Simply Ivory Body Wash is a lightly fragrant body wash. Yes, it is simple. The scent is not the same as the classic bar soap. The classic Ivory soap bar is a bit lemongrass-ish. The fragrance in the wash is a bit more “perfumey”. It is perfumey like perfumes attempting to smell like clean, fresh, just-out-of-the bath skin. If you are a fan of the Clean fragrance line, Demeter Pure Soap or Laundromat, Bobbi Brown Bath EDT, Philosophy Pure Grace or even Amazing Grace, Apothia IF EDP, or other shower fresh/fresh linen type scents then you should like the fragrance in this body wash. It is fresh, lightly floral like water hyacinth and dainty lilies, slightly white/clean musk-ish. I wouldn’t waste my money on the shower gels of the fragrances listed above. This is clean, fresh, and lightly floral without costing too much. A huge bottle (24  oz.) retails for under $5. A bar of Bobbi Brown bar soap retails for $16. The scent in Ivory Simply Ivory Body Wash is “faint”, meaning that it is meant to smell soft and delicate. After bathing, the scent remains on the skin ever so faintly. It’s a clean, fresh, and feminine scent.

This formula has so many suds. This completes the “clean” experience. Just a little bit on a sponge/loofah produces excessive foam. The formula is pretty simple. It cleanses but it doesn’t really moisturize. I find it too drying for my parched winter skin. I do love this stuff for the summer. The fragrance isn’t overwhelming, the suds make me feel squeaky clean, and my skin only needs minimal moisture on most days.

This is available at most drugstores and drgustore.com.

I love 60’s cop/spy dramas. Ironside isn’t my favorite but I do love the take on 60’s San Francisco. I also love fellow Tennessean, Barbara Anderson, AKA Officer Eve Whitfield. In the show, she often sported dramatic matte white shadow and thick liner and false lashes with pearly lipstick. In this picture, she is a bit more “natural”. I did find her hairstyle a bit unfortunate for some of the show’s history, my husband refers to it as a Bald Eagle hairstyle. I do see the resemblance, especially from the side. However, I do find it fitting and quite “sporty” for a 60’s female police officer. To get this look:

FACE: If you are going to be arresting out-of-control hippies, you’ll need a long wearing foundation like Revlon Colorstay Makeup. Dust with a loose powder like Bobbi Brown Sheer Finish Loose Powder in your shade. Cheeks are natural but they do have a slight bit of color. Apply a sheer shade like Physician’s Formula Mineral Blush Talc-Free Powder Blush in Natural Glow.

EYES: Brows are natural looking but they are in place. I recommend a clear wax such as Anastasia Brow Fix Clear Wax Pencil. Apply a pale peach shadow from lash line to brows. I love the color of Revlon Matte Eye Shadow in Peach Sorbet. It adds more warmth than the usual beige shade. From lash line to crease apply a rich espresso shadow like Clinique Colour Surge Eye Shadow Super Shimmer in Black Coffee. After applying the rich brown shade, get a shimmery peach shade such as Estee Lauder Double Wear Stay-In-Place Shadow Stick in Golden Peach and apply to the inner corner of the eye, closest to the nose. Blend it in. This creates some “light”. Take a black liquid liner like MAC Liquid Eye Liner in Boot Black. Apply it half way, thickly to the top lash line. Apply false lashes or lots of thickening mascara to top and bottom lashes.

LIPS: Lips are very simple. Choose a nice apricot-ish pearly lipstick such as Revlon Super Lustrous Pearl Lipstick in Silver City Pink. If you want extra shine, dab bottom lip with a clear lip gloss like Bobbi Brown Crystal Lip Gloss.

Almond is a scent that I really enjoy in fragrance. I like the foody smell of toasted almonds and even that low-brow almond used in cheap Italian soaps and lotions. I find that almond is a very comforting scent and very versatile. Here is a guide to almond fragrances in a variety of price points.

Budget Almond Scents (Under $50 or $50): Villainess Silk & Cyanide Perfume Oil (not pictured) is a crisp almond scent. It retails for $18. Laura Mercier Eau Gourmande Almond Coconut is a sweet almondy floral with almond and coconut with flirty touches of heliotrope and jasmine. The 1.7 oz spray retails for $50. Carol’s Daughter Almond Cookie EDT is a marizapan like fragrance, very foody. The 2 oz. goes for $27. Provence Santé Almond EDT is a nice, innocent, and simple almond. It reminds me of nice Italian soap bars and wears nicely in the summer. It’s light wearing and the 3.4 oz bottle goes for under $30. I love it. Demeter PMU has Almond which is a lightly toasted almond fragrance. It’s nice and simple as well but doesn’t wear for very long. This cologne goes for $20 for 1 oz.

More Expensive Almond Scents: Aqua di Parma Mandorlo di Sicilia/Sicilian Almond EDT is a fresh but woodsy almond. It is one of my “preferred” almonds because of the cedarwood and its freshness. The 2 oz. spray retails for $68. Burberry Brit EDP definitely has a sugary, toasted almond dry-down. It has citrus and fruit notes. It is a sweet fragrance. The 1.7 oz goes for $68. Sarah Horowitz Comes From Within Joy EDP is a very wintery/Christmas-y foody, comforting almond scent with rich nutmeg and vanilla. The 1.7 oz retails for $95. Serge Lutens Louve EDP is a “white” almond scent that pairs nicely with its feminine florals of rose and jasmine; powdery and soft. The 1.7 retails for $140. Stephanie de Saint-Aignana Amamde Honorable EDT is a soft, tender almond blend with citrusy blossoms like linden. It retails for $135 for 1.7 oz. Hanae Mori Butterfly EDP is a gourmand with berries, vanilla, and almond. The 1.7 oz retails for $90. Montale Amandes Orientales is a raw almond scent with vanilla, bitter but sweet. The 1.7 oz goes for $95.

This is one of my favorite home fragrance oils ever. Aromatique The Smell of Spring does smell like spring. It is a blend of dainty, dewy lilies like snowdrops and lily of the valley paired with fragrant hyacinth and faint, powdery lilac. It is a dewy spring floral oil. It is very floral and very feminine. It does smell like concentrated spring in a bottle. I love these types of florals (especially hyacinth) so I love this. This is a home fragrance oil that I will always have around. I could see how some would find this fragrance oil to strong for their home. I don’t. I need something to help me get out of a winter funk. I like to burn this in the dead of winter as a reminder for spring. I like to burn it in spring because it is very fitting for a Nowruz celebration. I like it for summer and fall because it is such a pretty fragrance and makes my home smell fresh.

Like I’ve said before in other Aromatique reviews, I do not use this fragrance to refresh dried potpourri. I think that is what it is for. I use about 5 drops mixed with water and burn it in a home fragrance oil burner like The Body Shop oils. This makes my house so fragrant and like a dewy spring meadow. After the oil is gone (evaporated), I can still smell the home fragrance for a few days (on the floor of my home that I choose to burn it). I guess this all depends on the size of your home. But, I’m impressed with the lasting power. My only real complaint is that I don’t like the bottle. I have to use a dropper to get the oil out without making a mess. But, I am using it differently, I think.

Do give this fragrance a try if you are the type of person that likes spring floral fragrances like Coty Muguet de Bois EDT, Antica Farmacista Tuberose, Hycantih, & Lily of the Valley EDP, Strange Invisible Perfumes Urban Lily EDP, Annick Goutal Grand Amour EDT, Yardley Lily of the Valley EDT,  Tocca Giulietta EDT, and/or Jessica McClintock EDP. A bottle retails for $9. It is available on the company’s website.

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