It was very hot here in Washington about a month ago. This was freakish. But, what everybody forgets or refuses to recognize is that it gets hot and dry here every summer. Many homes and businesses do not have A/C. It’s torture but it only lasts about 2 weeks. We survive and then forget about it during the rainy season and then get shocked when we feel 90-100 degree heat again. It’s silly but it seems to be how it goes here. We haven’t invested in A/C because we only need it for a short time and it is very costly. Fans and being lazy do the trick.

Well, this past month we were in record breaking highs and I had to move all of my stuff to a storage unit during this freakish hot time. I’m telling you it felt so good to use this product, Korres Yoghurt Cooling Gel. I did not have a sunburn but just had a fever like feeling from too much heat. I had body aches and was hot to the touch. It’s strange what heat can do to the body. This cooling gel is marketed for excessive sun exposure and is supposed to relieve those negative side effects and provide some comfort. It is a lightweight cream gel formula. It cools and this sensation lasts for sometime. It cooled my skin to the touch but provided moisture. It felt like I used a lotion but it wasn’t greasy. Unlike other gel products it applied evenly and did not feel sticky or make my skin feel even drier. I really like the formula and it made me feel a bit more comfortable. However, the scent is strange. It is like a blend between sweet almond oil and Bengay. This is not what I want to smell like and it does linger and interfere with any other fragrances you may wear. The smell is awful in my opinion, but maybe when I get overheated I get grumpy and nothing seems right. However, it did provide instant relief and the next day the strange heat rash all over my body was gone. I don’t know if I’ll repurchase. It retails for $23.50 for a little over 5 ounces. This is costly and I would only see myself using this if the heat soared over 100 again just because I like the feel but hate the offensive odor. It is available at DERMAdoctor.

Things have been so crazy and unpredictable in my life lately. I’ll refrain from ranting but let me just say that it has included a mortgage that has been in the process of closing for over 90 days, having to move out of my current rented residence because I will not sign a year lease since I am purchasing my first home, I have nowhere to live as of tomorrow, and the temps here in Washington have been super hot and unbearable. Anyways, if you want to read more about my so called life please refer to my home blog, www. tudorks.wordpress.com. And it is OK if you don’t. I’ll attempt to post blogs for your beauty fix daily. However, I am without internet for at least a few days, so I am leaving you guys with a few new ones to last throughout the weekend. I have not disappeared or decided to neglect this blog! Have a great weekend and wear berry lip gloss and a dab of decadent chypre perfume for me since I am now packing light and only with cheekstain and a Crazystick. It will all work out, it usually does.

cucumbercollage

Cucumber is a great scent for summer. It is light, fresh, slightly green and fruity with a watery and faint melon like odor. I crave cucumbers in the summer. Everything from little tea sandwiches of cucumber, dill, and cream cheese to my water pitchers of cucumber, lemon, and mint. Cucumbers are refreshing. I’ve put together a “collage” of cucumber scents that I think would be perfect for summer. And as always if you have any more to add, please do.

Budget Scents: This isn’t a “true” cucumber since it is a fresh, fruity floral but it dose have a healthy dose of cucumber: Carol’s Daughter Ocean. It retails for $27 and is nice for summer. This is light-wearing but awesome for summer: Tocca Aqua Amalfi Body Mist. It reminds me of a my favorite summer beverage which is water with cucumber, lemon, and mint. It retails for $30. Now, this product is very light wearing too but it is nice for a mid-day pick-up: Dove Go Fresh Body Mist in Cucumber & Green Tea. It retails for $4.50. It’s a “fresh” scent. I love the “pureness” of Kiehl’s Rollerball Essence Oil. It retails for $25 and has a great lasting power. I really do love everything about it. You can layer it with whatever you want. I think it would wear nicely with white florals or lemon/citrus oils. Demeter Cucumber is a garden fresh cucumber scent that goes for $20. It smells great but also has a light staying power. There is an entire genre of “Cucumber Melon” products from brands like Bath and Body Works, Avon, Body Fantasies. These are usually body sprays that are more on the melon side than cucumber.

More Expensive Scents: You get a lot of cologne splash for $68 with Marc Jacob Cucumber. This is a crisp and refreshing blend. This is a flirty floral cucumber scent: Yosh U4EAHHH!. It retails for $130 and I love its staying power and freshness. It is so pretty. Tocca Cleopatra is more of a citrus scent(grapefruit) but it has cucumber and it makes it refreshing. The EDP spray retails for $68. It’s a nice “heavier” summer kind of cucumber. Like the evening wear of cucumber. Jalaine Cucumber is a long-wearing fragrance that comes in a beautiful bottle. It is a blend of cucumber and Egyptian musk. It’s simple but heavenly and goes for $150. Fresh Index line has Cucumber Bale. It is a perfect summer scent with lots of cucumber, fruit, and blackberry musk. It goes for $75 (not pictured). But, I am not wild about its staying power.

Other “Cool” Products: Yes To Cucumbers Completely Cooling Body Butter is really awesome for summer. It’s moisturizing, cooling, and refreshing. Keep it in the fridge, its’ great for overheated skin. Kiehl’s Deluxe Body Lotion in Cucumber has such a fresh scent and a lightweight moisturizer. Origins Eye Doctor Moisture Care For Skin Around Eyes is cooling, lightly moisturizing, and has a fresh cucumber scent. It is great “beginner” eye cream. Estee Lauder Sparkling Clean Purifying Mud Foam Cleanser has a nice citrus and cucumber aroma. It’s a cleanser for oily skins. I also like Mario Dadescu Cucumber Cleansing Lotion. Once again this is a product recommended for oily skin. Many cucumber scented items are recommended for oily skin. I have normal to dry skin but sometimes in the summer I will reach for the normal to oily products because I get a bit greasy, especially when I lived in the humid Southeast. So it’s a nice match between product and scent.

And since I usually wear cucumber scents during the summer, I keep them stashed in the fridge, especially the all-over splashes and sprays. It is so refreshing and great for when you can’t take the heat.

I kind of like this collection because at least Lancome is trying to be edgy with their new Spring 2009 Color Story. It is bold but it is pink which every makeup collection has offered this spring. But, at least this is trying to have some “attitude”. It is inspired by the Piha Volcanic beaches of New Zealand, doesn’t look very Xena to me. Pink Irreverence is supposed to “push the boundaries of beauty”. I don’t know about that since this look as been done a million times before. It is very Deborah Harry and it is very every fashion magazine in the early 80’s. Pushing boundaries,  I think not. Pretty while being bold, yes.

EYES: There are two new Color Design Eyeshadow Quads in Irreverent Madame and Mademoiselle Sass. Irreverent Madame looks so much like the singles that Lancome already produces. It has a pale white shimmer, pale pink shimmer, bold magenta, and a sparkling glittery black. All of these are already offered by Lancome. In fact I have a GWP mini eyeshadow quad that looks identical to this. Mademoiselle Sass is the nice warm tone look with a honey shimmer, champagne shimmer, bronze shimmer, and a chocolate brown. These retail for $42. Will the prices ever stop going up! I remember when these were $30. There are two Color Design Pro Cooling Gel Illuminator for Eyes and Face that retail for $20. Think a more expensive and less expansive version of Maybelline Cool Effects. There is High Expectations and Hard To Get. Both are shimmery and pretty neutral gold/bronzes. There are two Laque Liner Long-Lasting Eyeliners that retail for $25. I like Artliner better but these are OK. There is Pure Black and Pure Sparkle, a glittery liner. There are 5 Le Crayon Khol Waterproof Eyeliner that go for $23.50. The quality is pretty nice and wears for a long time. There is Irreverent Brown (dark brown), Rebellious Berry (a medium cranberry that a dyed redhead like myself could rock), Blanc Audacity (eye opening white), and Confidence Noir (a pitch black).

FACE: Two sheer Blush Subtil blushes have been featured. There is High Maintenance for cool skintones and looks and Extravagance for warm skintones and looks. Both retail for $29.50.

LIPS & NAILS: There are three Color Fever Lipsticks in Mademoiselle, Forget Me Not, and Pink Attitude that retail for $25. All are shimmery and sheer to be worn with bold eyes. There are four La Laque Fever Lipcolors that are really nice. They are shiny and shimmery and long wearing.  They go for $26. I love Electric Pink which is a bright Barbie pink shimmer. There are Optical Rose (pale pink shimmer), Lucent Nude (light warm bronze) and Iridescent (pinkish brown shimmer). There are four Color Fever Plumper Lip Gloss that retail for $29. There is Fuschia Flaunt (shimmery berry), City Mauve (shimmery neutral), Downtown Pink (rosey shimmer), and Rose Punk (pale pink shimmer). There is the awesome Color Fever Lip Gloss in Piha Black which is a sheer volcanic ash black shimmer that looks great alone or worn over other colors to deepen them. Retails for $25. There are two cool Le Vernis Nail Colors in Sassiness which is a super pale posh pink and Piha Black which is a silvery shimmering black. Both retail for $18.

Overall the collection is fun and contains a few nice things. I can’t get over how much Lancome’s prices have went up. I like this look but I am kind of sick of it at the same time. I did wear this look out a few years ago so it just doesn’t feel “new”. I also feel it only would look good on blondes and really dark hair. No mousey browns or redheads allowed.

Well, it’s that time of year again. (For the rest of the country it has been that time of the year again). It’s the time of the year when all of the cosmetic companies offer a new summer fragrance that is supposed to coat our tan beach bodies or at least trick us into thinking we are having a vacation. It’s a time when many companies can water down a best-selling juice hoping that the fragrance fans will purchase it. Netherless, it’s a time that I love. These are my ten recommendations for this year so far (and ok not all of them are special edition):

1. Estee Lauder Bronze Goddess : This was my first purchase of the season and it sold out fast. I bought it the day it hit the streets and by the time I decided I wanted the body lotion, I couldn’t find it anywhere. Not even online. The company describes it as “A sensuous, sun-drenched blend of Bergamot and Mandarin, cooled with Tahitian Gardenia Petals and Coconut, warmed with Amber, Sandalwood and Vetiver.” Of course, there is a ton of other notes listed, but in the long run it just smells “beachy”. It seriously smells like salt water and sand drying on a warm monoi oil body. I bought the body oil and it is to die for. This line is very similar to last year’s Tom Ford inspired, Azuree Soleil.

2. Guerlain Aqua Allegoria Figue-Iris: I’ve already posted a review of this fragrance. I bought it the day it came out, unsniffed, which is typically a stupid thing to do. It wasn’t a stupid thing to do this time. I love this floraly fig fragrance. Some of the notes listed on Sephora’s site include fig, vanilla, iris, vetiver, bergamot and pink grapefruit. It is still available and is $50 for 2.5 ounces.

3. Prescriptives Calyx Shimmering Fragrance Mist: OK, so this is available all year long but it is so refreshing for the summer. The website describes this classic citrus floral as ” The top note is a profusion of grapefruit and mandarin with a tropical blend of passion fruit, mango, papaya and guava. The refreshing middle note is a bouquet of freesia, muguet, neroli, rose, lily, jasmin and marigold. The deep sensual base note is a luscious weaving of oakmoss, orris, sandalwood and vetiver.” Plus, the shimmer is lots of fun. It is $45 for 1.7 ounces.

4. Burberry Summer: This is a limited edition, meaning that you can only purchase it during the summer, but so far it keeps coming back evreytime it heats up. I really like the original and I like this summer take on the original. It is a citrusy-floral with enough wood to keep it from getting too cool. It contains citrus, green apple, water lily, freesia, rose, woods, white musk and moss. It costs $47 for 1.7 ounces.

5. Elizabeth Arden Mediterranean Breeze: I remember when the original came out and what a hit it was for Elizabeth Arden. The new one has a beautiful bottle that is very Georgia O’Keiffe. The website describes it as “Sparkling. Warm. Captivating. Sweet, sparkling fruits and delicate florals unique to the Mediterranean combine with sensual woods and addictive musks to create a scent reminiscent of a warm breeze on a summer day.” Personally, I haven’t had this experience to compare this fragrance to, I just know it smells nice. It is $47.50 for 1.7 ounces.

6. Kenzo FlowerbyKenzo Summer: I love this woody summer fragrance. Many summer fragrances want to be aquatic and citrusy. This one does a great job being very true to itself. It contains ylang-ylang, parma violet, ginger, mandarin, litchi sorbet, incense, and musk. It retails for $52 for 1.7 ounces.

7. Avon Tahitian Holiday: This one was just launched and I really like it for the price. It is a great alternative to Bronze Goddess for the money. It is a tropical floral with Tahitian tiare flower, musk and coconut. Currently it is $9.99 for 1.7 ounces but it will be $15. There is a hair refresher, shimmery body lotion and a body oil available too.

8. L’Occitane Green Tea with Mint: This unisex, herbaceous fragrance is available all year but is so refreshing when it is humid. It contains bitter orange, spearmint, cedar, and thyme. It retails for $44 for 3.4 ounces.

9. Demeter Fuzzy Naval: Demeter has tons of fragrances that are great for summer. It just depends on what summer means for you. Personally, I love Fuzzy Naval. It is my summer fruity guilty pleasure (in more than one way). It is orange and peach and smells just like the real thing. The humongous minis cost $5 for .5 ounces. The .5 spray is $12.50 and the full-size 1 ounce spray is $20.

10. Yves Rocher Pur Desir de Fleur d’Oranger, Orange Blossom: This is a nice refreshing citrus that reminds me of those cool Arab drinks. It smells like its namesake. It is usually $19.50 for 2.0 ounces but is on sale all the time. Currently it is $11. It also has a deodorant stick, lotion and shower gel available with this fragrance.

There are many more. But, these are my favs. It’s finally getting warm enough here to think about these things. Yesterday, we were bombarded by 85 degree weather in the house and my lipsticks started to melt and we thought something was wrong with the central air, then we found out there is no central air here. Nobody has it. It was 90 degrees and nobody has air. So we had to go out and buy lots of fans. Everyone was buying lots of fans. It was so weird.knit bikini This is the kind of bikini you have to wear in cold Pacific Northwest ocean water.