May 2010


Remembering those that have fallen… wearing Kenzo Flower Cologne today (seems appropriate being that it is based on the scentless poppy) on this much needed sunny, but windy, Monday afternoon.

I hope everyone had a great 3 day weekend. I hear that it feels like summer everywhere else in the country. We had a relaxing 3 day weekend packed with whale watching, delicious Thai food, and getting this house together. It’s still chilly, well, for June, but I know that summer is here.

-Victoria


Flower Perfume for Women Eau De Parfum Spray 3.4 Oz by Kenzo

From: BigDiscountFragrances.com

Weekly Cheap Secret:

I seriously do not know how or why I haven’t reviewed this product sooner. I guess it is one that I use so frequently that I forget about it? I really didn’t mean to take it for granted. This is a product that I really like and it retails for under $6.

Maybelline Dream Mousse Blush has a mousse texture. It blends nicely and feels weightless on the skin. It works great on my normal skin type. I love that it feels like it isn’t there at all. This texture feels much more expensive than what the product retails for. I’ve used $30 blushes that were going for this effect and couldn’t achieve it. I’m not naming names. There aren’t many colors available. There are six to be exact. However, there are a few I really like. ( I loved Whipped Strawberries but I can’t find it on the website. That was the perfect flushed pink for pale skins.) I like Pink Frosting, a pale pink shimmer that I usually use as a highlighter, and Peach Satin, a sheer pale peach. Both colors are sheer so I choose to layer them and layer them for more color. I apply this blush with my fingertips. I only use a tiny amount. I rub it on to the cheeks. There is no tugging since this product has such a smooth texture. I layer and layer until I get what I want. I’ve used deeper colors (Cloud Wine) and “one coat” was enough to get what I wanted. It doesn’t streak with extended wear. Like I said before, my skin is normal, rarely super dry or oily. When I dip my fingers into the pot, I occasionally get little clumpy Maybelline Dream Mousse bunnies. This doesn’t bother me. I’ll either wipe it on the rim of the jar or I was going to use that much cream blush anyways, so it doesn’t matter. All that matters is that it doesn’t clump or streak on my skin. It doesn’t do that. (It is gross when it gets under the nails. Sometimes I use the end of a makeup brush to dip it out onto my hand, then my finger tips so that I’m not digging in the pot.)

My complaints are that the colors are limited. Just like all drugstore makeup, they start with a few perfect colors that compete with department store brands but then get rid of them for unknown reasons. There aren’t enough colors for medium to deep skin tones.  If you are pale with normal skin this can be a perfect blush for you. It looks natural, somehow the shimmer ones look natural too. (Well, that is coming from me and I don’t mind shimmer on my complexion to give me a “plastic” look). It’s a great price at under $6. The packaging is hefty and glass. It seems like it is “more” than what it is.

It is available at most drugstores and drugstore.com.

Tonight or never…I absolutely love Annick Goutal Ce Soir ou Jamais EDP. It’s a scent for the rose lover. It covers all aspects of a rose: the greenness, the fruitiness, the gourmand qualities, the floralness, and the romantic imagery of a rose. Annick Goutal considered this one of her prize fragrances and it took her 15 years to complete (launched in 1999). It’s her top-secret formula and it is supposed to make one’s head spin. I love this fragrance, but I must say that I love rose scents. This Turkish rose based perfume is unlike any other in my collection. It is complex but somehow very simple. It changes throughout the wear, this is what I guess makes one’s head spin (in a good way). It changes with me as the seasons change. Sometimes it is more of a fruity-rose floral. Other times it is more on a “classic” rose with a rich buttery, ambery dry-down on me. But, all in all, it’s a simple rose. Sure, it claims to have at least a hundred other notes, but I get a beautiful, romantic dewy rose garden most of the time. A very mature, ripe flower garden. All of the flowers are in full bloom.

At first the fragrance is well, astringent, a crisp green rose. I think this what some people refer to as “bug” spray. I don’t see that and I kind of like this “crisp” rose. It then mellows out a bit thanks to violets, not quite candied, but fresh and green dew covered violets.  It also has a very faint floral spiciness. Perhaps carnation? It’s a sweet,fresh, floral that is heavy on the roses. These other notes are there but with time it becomes a classic Turkish rose somehow sweet, green, and floral. The Turkish roses almost seem candied after some wear. I get pear, so I think. I get a fresh fruit note, perhaps a mix of pear, apple, and quince. It’s pretty, fresh, and light. It sets on the rich roses. I usually don’t like fruitiness but it works so well with this rose heavy floral. It’s a nice surprise. The scent does go back to rose, slightly powdery but much less so than others I’ve sniffed in the past. This is more of a “fresh” rose. The dry-down is still rosy but with a hint of hibiscus seed/ambrette seed. This adds a warmth, almost like amber, but not as resiny, more buttery. This keeps the rose grounded.

Notes include: Turkish rose, ambrette seed, and a blend of 140 secret essences. I have been impressed with the wear of the EDP; I have not tried the EDT. The EDP wears for about 6+ hours.

Give this one a try if you a rose lover or if you like Parfums des Rosine Un Folie de Rose EDP, Parfums des Beaux Arts by DSH Rose Vert EDP, Editions des Parfums Une Rose EDP, Maitre Parfumeur et Gantier Rose Muskissime EDP, Bvlgari Rose Essentielle EDP, Parfums de Nicolai Balkis EDP, and/or Diptyque L’Ombre Dans L’Eau EDT.

The 1.7 oz. EDP retails for $99. It’s available at luckyscent.com.

I am a lipstick gal. This is something that I wear daily. There is not a shade or a finish that I steer clear of. I was very intrigued when I heard that Tom Ford was launching a lipstick line with 12 colors (wasn’t that how many Private Blend fragrances that were initially launched?). I remember when Tom Ford did a few beauty stunts with Estee Lauder. I was in love with the packaging. The colors in Tom Ford’s own line are much better than those offered by Estee Lauder years ago. The colors range from muted vanillas to fiery 50’s corals to classic bricks. Don’t forget the red. Tom Ford describes these shades as being “re-imagined in a modern and authoritative way”. Yeah, whatever that means. I’ve seen all of these colors before and these shades have been around forever. I guess these are “authoritative” if you aren’t used to seeing your pout covered in bold pigments. The finish is satin, moist but with no sparkle. I do love the finish since it is moist enough to give lips a younger and plumper appearance. Fine lip lines look smooth. I tire of sparkle since it can be created with a gloss top coat. However, the finishes of this lipstick are not as “jelly” and lush as those pictured in his super sexy ads. Nothing in a tube alone creates a finish like that. I wish the company would let out what gooey lip gloss they are using to achieve that Guy Bourdin look. Anyways, the colors are richly pigmented. The formula is creamy with lots of pigment so it does travel. Half a tube will be on your travel mug. It isn’t long-wearing but like I said earlier, the formula is kind to the lips. Lip lines are “filled” in. I haven’t noticed any feathering but I do predict that it could happen.

They have a vanilla aroma, mild enough. It only adds to the butteriness and creaminess of these lipsticks. These are sooo creamy.The packaging is pretty but I expected more vintage charm. Oh, well. I still like it. It is deco enough for me. The ads are super sexy or vulgar depending on your take on Tom Ford. He’s a man that sells sex. He saved Gucci that way and brought YSL fragrances back into the picture.

These retail for $45 each. It’s costly but you’re a grown-up. You know what you will or won’t spend money on. I wouldn’t say this is the best lipstick I’ve ever used, but it is up in my top 5. I’d rather have one of these than 2 of Chanel’s. Currently, they are available at Nordstrom and Saks Fifth Avenue. So, what did I end up with? True Coral. However, I would love Black Orchid for the fall/winter. Ginger Fawn would make a nice “everyday” color for spring/summer. Check out the website for all of the colors. Between my love of his fragrances and these lipsticks, I’m never going to have enough money to finish my home restoration…

The Mainstream Monday: Sniffing A Popular Scent

Nanette Lepore EDP is a fruity-floral fragrance launched in 2004. I’m not trying to be harsh but I find it dull. It’s a bummer because the bottle is adorable just like Nanette Lepore’s vintage inspired clothing. It isn’t that I dislike the fragrance. It’s pleasant enough. I just think life is too short for me to wear a fragrance that I don’t absolutely love.

The fragrance is fruity and slightly tart at first. I do pick up on the cranberry juice. It’s fruity but not in that typical fruity candy way. This is more like a white peach cranberry Ocean Spray product with musky blackberry. I think what makes this fragrance unlike other fruity-florals launched at the time is that it seems so musky like mûre et musc. It’s like a humid day in August. You smell overripe blackberries waiting and rotting in the sun. That berry musk is always there. Eventually I can “over sniff” it and I do get something fresher and juicier. It’s slightly floral and citrusy on the musky berries. This fades rather quickly. On me, it is more fruity than floral. I can’t really “tell” what the florals are but I pick them up. They are humid florals, greenhouse florals. Throughout the wear I mainly pick up on three things: blackberry musk, litchi, and creamy sandalwood. I think what I don’t love about this fragrance is the sweetness. If it was blackberry musk and litchi, I think I would like it if it had a strong woodsy dry-down such as a red cedar dry-down. That would be very elegant. This blend the way that it is, is very creamy sweet with very ripe fruits. I don’t think the flowers really help the blend. I really can’t pick up on the violet ( I think a candied violet would work in this). I get generic “bouquet” flowers and I swear I can smell the floral preservative. The dry-down is sweet, sweet, sweet. It’s a creamy sandalwood that I often sniff out in Victoria’s Secret perfumes.

This fruity floral is a bit more “grown up” than other fruity florals because of the muskiness. It doesn’t smell like a body spray marketed to tweens. It smells “sexier” than most fruity florals because of the heavy dose of creamy sandalwood and musks. (In college we called these type of fragrances “club”perfumes- warm, sweet, musky, “young” but not too young). I don’t think this is a bad fragrance it just isn’t a “me” fragrance. If I had a full-size bottle, I wouldn’t see myself ever picking it up. ( I see myself wearing Cacharel Amor Amor even though the bottle is uglier if I wanted a popular, “sexy” fruity floral). As far as wear, I think it wears OK for an EDP. I notice it hours after wear.

Notes listed include: moonstone rose, white peach, cranberry juice, blackcurrant, orange jasmine, lime juice, violet, amber, and Indian sandalwood.

Give this one a try if you like scents like Gucci II EDP, Cacharel Amor Amor EDP, L’Artisan Parfumeur Mûre et Musc EDP, Victoria’s Secret Supermodel EDP, Victoria’s Secret Parfum Intimes Velvet Amber EDP, Mistral Wild Blackberry EDP, Trish McEvoy #9 Blackberry & Musk EDP, Hanae Mori Eau de Collection #1 EDP, The Different Company Sublime Balkiss EDP, Givenchy Hot Couture EDT, Escada Magnetism EDP, and/or DKNY Delicious Night EDT. (See I told you that there are many fragrances like it out there!)

The 1 oz. spray retails for $38. There is also a travel roll-on for $18. This fragrance is available at Sephora. It is also available at fragrancenet.com.

I love, love, love Tom Ford Private Blend Tobacco Vanille EDP. I’m a fan of the aroma of sweet, dried tobacco and pipe tobacco scents. I’m always hunting for them. After trying Tobacco Vanille, I really do not know if I should continue my search. All these years and this is what I’ve been looking for. I’m finished searching.

It is described as such “A modern take on an old world men’s club. A smooth oriental, Tobacco Vanille opens immediately with opulent essences of tobacco leaf and aromatic spice notes. The heart unfolds with creamy tonka bean, tobacco flower, vanilla and cocoa, and finishes with a dry fruit accord, enriched with sweet wood sap.” At first this fragrance smells like sniffing grandpa’s pipe tobacco. It is sweet and dry with the perfect amount of spice. It is as simple as that: spicy, sweet dried pipe tobacco. It wears on me like this for some time. I love this stage. It is so delicious throughout the wear. The spice eventually “tames” and you get more vanilla, dried cocoa, dried figs, and very faint smoky florals.  The dry down is delicious. It is sweet and sappy. It smells like a fictional vanilla tree sap. Think an amber but much more gourmand and smooth (yes, smoother than amber). The dry-down is comforting. It reminds me of being at my grandparent’s house as a kid. Grandmother is an excellent cook. It brings back memories of her baking lush Armenian honeyed sweets. Grandpa and his friend join the kitchen. You can smell the sweet pipe tobacco smoke on their clothes from hours before. That tobacco spice is there, so faintly, like the smoke hanging on to soft fabrics. The dry down is creamy and warm like fresh baked desserts.

I’ve never sniffed an old world men’s club, so I don’t know about that comparison. I would think of a men’s club as boozier and more rugged. This is just comforting for me and nostalgic (is that the old world feel?). I have sniffed pipe tobacco and this is dead on. It is “tobacco” throughout in such a perfect way. This fragrance is incredibly long wearing. I would say 12+ hours. That’s 12+ hours of me unable to stop smelling myself. It’s worth the price in my opinion. Yes, it’s a unisex fragrance. I find that it smells wonderful on men and women. It’s sexy but in a very approachable way.

Give this one a try if you want a sweet pipe tobacco fragrance or if you like scents like Parfums des Beaux Arts by DSH Mahjoun EDP, Demeter Pipe Tobacco, Whiskey Tobacco or Humidor Cologne, Santa Maria Novella Tobacco Toscano Cologne, Costamor Tabacca EDP, Odori Tobacco EDP, Serge Lutens Chergui EDP, and/or Miller Harris Feuilles de Tabac EDP.

The 1.7 retails for $180 and the 8.4 for $450. There is a 3.4 oz in there too. It is available at Nordstrom.

Weekly Cheap Secret:

OK, so I purchased this because Ellen DeGeneres is the face for this product line. Well, that was one reason. The other: I have been looking for a concealer to love. Currently, I have been using MAC Studio Finish Concealer with SPF 35. I have not been impressed with the MAC concealer to cover dark circles. It’s too thick and I have to mix it with Clarins Instant Smooth Perfecting Touch to make the MAC concealer smoother and more manageable. (I miss Prescriptives.) Anyways, I thought I would give this Covergirl concealer a try. Ellen made me buy it.

Here’s what I’m looking for: a creamy, easy to smooth concealer to use under my eyes to cover up both redness and darkness. I’m in my mid-20’s, no real lines yet, and I am light with yellow/jaundice undertones.

The consistency of this product is so smooth. I purchased the Corrector to use as a  concealer since my complexion is exactly this color. The others available were all wrong. I think this is supposed to be a 2-in-1 product but I don’t get it. It isn’t a substitute for eye cream. It really is a “swirled” product with Olay added?  In the pot the texture is very nice, it looks dewy and the color is perfect. On my skin, the formula looks less dewy, too dry for my tastes. Since the color is perfect for me, it does cover up discolorations well. I feel this stuff shows more “lines” on me. It isn’t that it settles in the lines. It is that it doesn’t. It settles around them, leaving me with little blue-ish fine lines. That is annoying.  At first I thought I was using too much. I don’t think I am. I think it is doing that line thing after hours of wear. It’s a shame because I do find it a nice consistency and color. I just wish it was dewier and wore longer.

I’m still using this stuff so it isn’t terrible. I’m using it because my eye area looks better with it than without it. It just isn’t fitting my needs. I think I may be too picky when it comes to concealer. I think I can find something wrong with any formula by any brand. I do like this much better than using the MAC concealer alone. The MAC stuff makes my under eye area look terrible (and adds years)  if used alone. I also don’t love the MAC when mixed with the Clarins. So for now, I am using this Covergirl product until I find something I like better. I may use the entire jar. I may not. I just don’t think I will repurchase. Also, I need to state that I am using the Corrector. Does it even feel the same as the Concealers in the line? And maybe I’m getting the lines because I’m not using a concealer over it?

Retails for about $10.99. That isn’t super cheap for a drugstore product. But, it is cheaper than department stores. The MAC I used was about $16.50 + I was using the Clarins product. The Covergirl tub is quite generous, much larger than the MAC pot. Plus, if you shop around you’ll find coupons or BOGO. So, yeah, it doesn’t do what it claims to do, but it isn’t awful. I’ve used worse. It is available at drugstore.com.

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