caramelcollage

Caramel isn’t my everyday go to kind of fragrance note. It’s very sweet and creamy. That being said that is the reason I will go to it. Sometimes I just want something rich, sweet, and creamy. I love it when it has a burnt quality like dulce de leche. Here’s a caramel fragrance guide that I’ve thrown together, covering all price points. It’s for the gooey caramel lover and the occasionally burnt sugary caramel flirt.

Budget Caramel Scents (Under $50): French West Indies Caramel EDT is a “pure” caramel scent, sweet and lush. The 4 oz. bottle retails for $42. Demeter Cologne PMU has Caramel, a rich, gooey caramel and Dulce de Leche, a gourmand caramel. This is one that I really like for my “fix”. The 1 oz. sprays go for $20. (Neither of these are very long-lasting). Carol’s Daughter Pearls EDT is a foody blend of juicy citrus-floral with a vanilla and caramel base. The 2.5 oz spray retails for $45. Laura Mercier Creme Brulee EDT is what the name implies. It’s rich and foody. The 1.7 oz bottle retails for $50. mark Jewel EDT is a blend of fruits and florals with a caramel dry-down. This gourmand in a 1.5 oz. spray retails for $20.

More Expensive Caramel Scents: This is not to my liking but it does contain a pretty heavy dose of caramel along with other sweets and a few florals: Juicy Couture Viva La Juicy EDP. The 3.4 oz spray goes for $85 and it is a longer wearing fragrance. Dior Miss Dior Chérie EDP is a sweet gourmand that even I can like. It is more “caramelized” with strawberries, greens, and patchouli. The 3.4 bottle goes for $92. Estee Lauder Pleasures Delight EDP is a dessert with your florals kind of fragrance. It has caramel along with marshmallow and flirty florals like freesia and peony. The 3.4 oz goes for $72. Acqua di Parma Arancia de Capri EDT is a sensual citrus fragrance with a lush caramel base that isn’t overwhelming. The 2 oz. goes for $68. Comptoir Sud Pacifique Caramel Sunset EDT is a coconut and caramel blend. It’s a tropical caramel. The 1.7 oz retails for $53.

5 Other Great Caramel Items: Philosophy Creme Brulee 3-in-1 gel is rich and foody. It retails for $16 and the dessert like aroma will not linger after the shower. Slatkin & Co. Home Fragrance Oil Vanilla Caramel lingers in the home for sometime. A bottle retails for $7.50. Lush Vanilla Fountain Bath Bomb is a luxurious bath item. It is like a creme brulee for the bath. It goes for about $6. Diana B. Foaming Facial Sugar Scrub is almost creme brulee-ish in fragrance.  A tube retails for $50.

chocolatecollage

I am not a huge fan of “gourmand” or dessert like scents but sometimes I “crave” them just like I crave chocolate. This is occasionally but when I want it, I want it. Nothing beats a chocolate lavender bar or a chocolate covered fig, but I usually don’t have those treats stashed away in my house… So, that’s why I have a few chocolate fragrances in my collection. They really hit the spot when I am in one of those moods. I’ve put together a “collage” of chocolate based scents in all price points. I tried to focus on scents that are “heavy” on chocolate since it is a note used in many blends. I wanted to go for the ones where chocolate is the star. Something that as I say “makes your face fall off”, like a bite of rich, dark chocolate.

Budget Scents: If you are looking for a rich, dark chocolate based scent with a hint of heady florals, try Crazylibellule & The Poppies Les Garçonnes in Joséphine Jonquille. It’s a solid perfume “crazystick” and it goes for about $18. If you want a delicious, dessert like fragrance, try Serendipity 3 Serendipitious EDP. It retails for $37.50. It’s nice because it has a hint of blood orange making it very “juicy”. Demeter has a bunch of chocolate scents for $20 for 1 ounce: Devil’s Food Cake, Hershey’s Dark Chocolate, Hershey’s Milk Chocolate Kisses, and there are more. I do find that these smell like the real deal. Their price makes them nice for a chocolate fix and they fade quickly so you won’t smell like that all day. mark Self Sanctuary Chocolate Orchid Scent Mist is a light wearing dark chocolate floral. It’s not my favorite by a long shot but it goes for $12 and there are body products in the line. Villainess Perfume Oil Crushed (not pictured) is a fruity dark chocolate blend with ripe raspberries, so delicious. It retails for $18.

More Expensive Scents: If you want to smell like a chocolate martini, try Bvlgari Blv Notte. It goes for $82 for 2.5 ounces. (That’s an expensive chocolate martini!) A sinful chocolate blend is Montal Chocolate Greedy, largest size goes for $135. This is every chocolate product wrapped into one and a must for the chocolate gourmand scent lover. If you want a bitter chocolate, try Payard Bergamot Truffle. It is $48 and a cologne. Comptoir Sud Pacifique’s Amour de Cocao really reminds me of a cocoa puff. Hey, some people like that sort of thing! This EDT goes for $49. Parfums des Beaux Arts by DSH has Piment et Chocolat (not pictured). This is a spicy, sexy blend of dark chocolate, nutmeg, and peppers. I do love to consume spicy dark chocolate…The 1 oz. EDP goes for $135. By the same perfumer, there is Creamy Chocolate (not pictured). This is a rich, hot chocolate like scent since it has vanilla. The 1 oz. EDP goes for about $56. A nice playful gourmand to try is Vera Wang Princess, largest goes for $72. This is sweet, chocolatey and everything else too. If you want a spicy chocolate like you would experience from a gourmet chocolate bar, try L’Artisan Parfumeur Piment Brulant. The largest goes for $135. Don’t forget the most famous gourmand ever: Thierry Mugler Angel. This has chocolate and lots of other stuff. The 1. 7 ounce EDP goes for $110.

Body Products: If you seriously want to smell like something you probably shouldn’t be eating unless you like the look of a double chin, I would say to try the entire line of Dylan’s Candy Bar Chocolate Cupcake. This is sickly sweet chocolate stuff here. Need 2 vices at once? Try 100% Pure’s Dark Chocolate & Mocha line. This stuff is rich, rich, rich. If you only want to smell like chocolate for a very short time, try either or those body washes: Lush 13 Rabbits Shower Gel or Philosophy Classic Fudge. Both are sure to curb your chocolate craving. I really like the chocolate bath products because they are so short lived so I don’t have the fear that I smell like a Strawberry Shortcake doll all day.



Sud Pacifique Amour De Cacao Perfume for Women Eau De Toilette Spray 3.3 Oz by Comptoir Sud Pacifique

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

Weekly Cheap Find:

I am a fan of lip and cheek stains. In the summer these are my beauty “secrets”. I apply the same stain to both cheeks and lips and sometimes I’ll even wear mascara. It’s perfect for those icky summer days. I was skeptical of these Covergirl lip stains at first. I don’t know why. I think in my mind I thought they were too expensive for a drugstore product, about $8. This is funny. If NARS offered an $8 lip stain, I would think it was a deal. Anyways, I must confess that I am completely in love with this product despite the really poor reviews elsewhere. I love its range, application, and lasting power. And the price is right, even for a drugstore item.

First off, I have been a vandal since day one. Keep Sharpies out of sight. So, I love this marker like application. It really defines the lip line plus it is so fun. It’s like I am drawing on my lips. Avon mark made one of these lip stains years ago. It was awesome and like so many of their products discontinued in like 2 months.  Second, it comes in a wide range of colors. At first I did not get this. Well, these babies aren’t so sheer. They are sheer but they do pack more pigment than what I am used to from a lip stain. This is good, I guess. I have many friends with dark complexions that don’t do many lip stains because they don’t show. This line has a color for everyone. I just wish they would offer testers at the store (that’s the problem with all drugstore cosmetics). Third, it wears for hours and hours! I’m talking like 6 hours with no touch-ups. But, you must let it set first, just like any lip stain. The fragrance/flavor isn’t bad. It’s faintly “fruity”. And the price isn’t bad. I still haven’t been lucky enough to get them on BOGO.

I have three but my goal is to have them all because I am a lip stain freak. The first two I did not try. I was looking for a red and plum lipstain, something that looked berry kissed. I bought 425 Plum Pout. To my surprise this had lots of pigment. It looks very sheer when blotted. However, I am used to a bold lip. I like it’s reddish plum stain. It seriously looks like the inside of a plum. The other is 440 Wild Berry Wink. This is a pretty bold pure cherry red. It is sexy. I don’t mean to sound gross but it is a bloodstain red. So, it’s a “fresh” goth and vampire look. Both colors are pretty bold in comparison to my skin tone. I like them but they are a bit bright. I love the application and formula but wanted something a bit “my lips but better”. I purchased 420 Sassy Mauve. This is it. It’s a perfect mauve lipstain. It’s a perfect blend of pink and brown. It’s super natural flush of the lips. Well, at least for me.

OK, so to the complaints. Many people say that the results are not consistent with this product. I agree. It does fade with time. It’s the applicator. To be honest, there is not much product in the pen. If you want a lip stain for a bargain, you should probably purchase something larger and more liquidy. It will be from the department store but you should consider the cost per use. This Covergirl product is “portable” unlike Benetint so you are getting less product to fit into the portable pen. People do not like the finish. This is a stain. It will not provide shine or moisture. This being said lips must be healthy and not chapped. I really think Covergirl should put that as a “warning”. This product will clump on flakey lips and look awful like that makeup on that chick in Sweeny Todd. Any lip stain will do this on battered lips. Even that Avon mark one had a warning on it. I don’t remember the verbiage exactly but it was like “product will bleed if applied to chapped lips. Do not apply to peeling lips.” I have not tried this product with gloss because I find the purpose of lip stain is to look “natural” and I love its matte finish. I’m sure gloss could be added but from my makeup artist experience with lip stain, just try a balm. If you want shine, wear lip gloss and not lip stain. You can’t have it all.Words like long-wearing, moisturizing, and glossy do not go together. It is an unspoken rule.

I say this is a product to love or to hate. It all depends on expectations. If you are a lip stain fan, you may like this but these carry more pigment than what you may be used to so go a shade lighter than what you desire. If you like hyper-glossy lips then stay away from this. If you want a “base” to wear under your retro gal red lipsticks, then this stuff is perfect. It “holds” matte lipsticks. Anyways, I like it and I’m going to have to pick a few more up before this product gets discontinued. I predict it won’t be around too much longer because of the awful reviews and it’s an expensive product for Covergirl.

The Mainstream Monday: Sniffing A Popular Fragrance

Vera Wang Princess is one of those fragrances obviously marketed to a younger crowd. The closest it gets to senior is senior in high school. It doesn’t mean that you have to be a teen to like it, it is just obvious this is who the company was banking on. The fragrance is a sweet oriental blend and very different from the other Vera Wang fragrances. It’s pretty light and light wearing. Not overwhelming. It isn’t horrible but I just don’t like it. Of course, I’m older and I’m not wild about sweet fragrances; it’s a personal thing.

What really stands out to me the most in Princess is the dark chocolate note. When I wear this is this the overwhelming note. It isn’t bad, just not what I want. It wears like a teenage version of Mugler’s Angel. It’s chocolaty and woodsy with sweet powdery hints of vanilla and amber. Did I mention the hints of sugary frosting as well? I can tell that the fragrance contains everything including fruits and flowers but on me, I just get all the sweet notes. The bottom line is that this is a sweet fragrance. My sisters are teenagers and love this scent. They like it because it isn’t too fruity or floraly. And for them and their lack of exposure to other “grown-up” scents, they think this is heavy and sexy because of the wood and amber base. So the product is genius in that aspect. It’s a sexy and sophisticated scent in their eyes even though it isn’t heavy. So moms, don’t worry, you won’t be gagging when you are dropping your daughters and their friends off at the movie theater when you are stuck in the SVU with 4 teenage girls wearing this.

My verdict is that this scent is definitely not for me. I find it generic and boring, too sweet and foody. It smells like a chocolate cupcake with vanilla frosting was smeared on me while I was wearing a generic amber, woods, and musk based fragrance. I love the dry-down of the base notes after a few hours. It’s woodsy and amber-ish. It’s very pretty but I can get that from other scents without the sweetness. Since it is a sweet fragrance, I would recommend it for cooler weather wear. I don’t like this but I can see how others can. If you like sweet, gourmand oriental fragrances then you’ll most likely like this one. Sweet, gourmand orientals aren’t my favorite but they do have a time and a place and I know some people love them.

The bottle is really cute, the epitome of cute things. They should just put a pic of a fuzzy, white kitten on it and be done. Once again, this is what my sisters rave about. They love having it out on their dresser in their lilac painted room. The bottle feels heavy and sturdy. And I have to admit that even I think it is cute.

I would say you would like this if you are a teen, haha, if you like chocolate based or dessert sweet fragrances or if you like Carolina Herrera 212 Sexy, Aquolina Pink Sugar, Ralph Lauren Ralph Hot, Fresh Canabis Santal, Mugler Angel and/or mark Jewel. The 1 ounce goes for $45, 1.7 ounce for $57, 3.4 ounce for $72. There is a body butter, body polish, and bubble bath available. Sephora has a cute roll-on of this, the other end is a lip gloss. It makes a nice gift. *Currently available at fragrancenet.com.

Dont worry I found an ad with a fluffy white kitten! (Oh, and a hunk too).

Don't worry I found an ad with a fluffy white kitten! (Oh, and a hunky prince charming too!)


Vera Wang Princess Perfume for Women Eau De Toilette Spray 1.7 Oz by Vera Wang

From: BigDiscountFragrances.com

pineapplecollage

I am not a huge mega fan of fruity scents but I do like them. I  have a few favorites. Sometimes in summer I want to smell like a pineapple or a piña colada. It’s fun and makes me feel like I am on vacation. There are many pineapple inspired scents on the market ranging in price and even formulas from oils, solids, to sprays. If I had to pick my top 2 that you can still buy it’s Crazylibellule & The Poppies Shanghaïjava Ananas Imperial and L’Artisan Parfumeur Ananas Fizz. Here are some more:

Budget Pineapple Scents: Crazylibellue & The Poppies Shanghaïjava Ananas Imperial is a nice fruity blend that is heavy on the pineapple. It retails for about $16 and the cute little Crazystick goes everywhere you go. Lucy B. Australian Jasmine Perfume Roll-On is heavy on jasmine but the pineapple ads a nice tropical touch making this a a nice fruity-floral fragrance. Plus, it is a deal at $24 and the spray is $48. I actually prefer the roller ball. Harajuku Lovers Lil’Angel is one of those tropical fruit and citrus florals. It’s pretty sweet but it does have pineapple. The smallest bottle goes for $25. Have I mentioned that I love this lines bottles? Demeter Fragrances Pineapple is a “pure” pineapple, sweet and juicy. The 1 oz. goes for $20. The line also has a pretty decent Piña Colada for the same price. My all time favorite pineapple scent was one by Yves Rocher. It was dirt cheap, long-wearing, and well, perfect. It isn’t available anymore and I’ve had to replace it with the Ananas Imperial solid.

More Expensive Pineapple Scents: If you are looking for a sweet, tropical, and creamy pineapple fragrance, give Comptoir Sud Pacifique Vanille Pineapple a try. It is a blend of pineapple, vanilla, and coconut milk. It goes for about $53 and smells good enough to eat. Sometimes in the summer I just crave L’Artisan Parfumeur Ananas Fizz. It is fruity, sweet, citrus pineapple blend. It’s a very playful scent. The 3.4 oz bottle goes for $135. Safi Parfum Oil is a long wearing tropical fruit and floral blend with pineapple, freesia, and lilies. I know it isn’t for everyone, lychee and pineapple can smell a bit “pissy” but I really like this one, .28 oz. of oil goes for $60 and the 1.7 EDP spray for $78. Momoberry Perfume Oil is a nice tropical floral and yes, Hello Kitty is on the bottle. It is a blend of pineapple, jasmine, and coconut. It was created by the genius that came up with Monyette Paris, it’s a great tropical scent. It goes for $45 for .33 oz. I seriously think I could drink Hilde Soliani Sipario. It’s a true piña colado fragrance of rum, coconut, and pineapple. It goes for $175 and I can buy a few piña coladas for that.

Other Great Pineapple Products: 100% Pure Juicy Pineapple bath product line is just what the name implies: juicy. Jacqua Piña Colada Hand Creme isn’t as good as the real thing but you can get away using this at work. It retails for $8. mark Juice Gems Lip Gloss comes in Juicy Pineapple. It is a lovely 24K gold shimmer with a great flavor. It’s a deal at $6. Alba Botanica Enzyme Pineapple skincare line smells nice and is great for skin feeling “dull” or “ashy”. Prices in the line are under $15. My friends with fine, oily hair, total opposite of me, rave about Lush I Love Juicy Shampoo. It’s fruity with pineapple. I wish I could use it.

Recipe for this (pic below) pineapple shake from Sunset, a nice summer treat.

So first things first. I am not a fan of aquatic fragrances. I find them too synthetic, fake, and they “burn” my senses. I can handle a “saltwater” accord here and there but I typically despise scents that are souly aquatic. For some reason I have all the products available in Sea Island Cotton from Bath and Body Works. I don’t know why, oh, stupid gifts that I couldn’t return. I use them anyways. I hate to waste.

This scent is described as “ a clean scent, inspired by pure white cotton flowing in fresh ocean air”. That is quite strange. Didn’t Bath and Body Works think about how odd that sounds? Don’t they understand that beach real estate is far too expensive for cotton plantations these days? Or is the cotton supposed to be like lava? I don’t get it. Anyways, this scent is slightly aquatic in a wet detergent way and it is “fresh” in a Downy fabric softener way. Plus lots of floral notes and clean, white musks. It isn’t an offensive fragrance. I just don’t love it enough to go out and purchase it myself but I don’t mind using it.

It is strange how each product in the line smells different. I suppose they all “work” together since B&BW is all about the excessive layering of products to sell more and more to ladies.

The body cream is very laundry powders. It smells like warm linens, but not in a good way. More like somebody added baby powder to the wash. It is strange, warm, and just straight up washing powders and baby powder. It is my least favorite “scent” in the collection. It is too baby-ish and powdery.  At least the lotion is very moisturizing and absorbs quickly.The scent from the lotion doesn’t hang around too long and is pretty faint all day.

The body spray is better than the body cream. It does present a sense of freshness that isn’t the type of freshness like a room spray that is meant to cover something stinky up. It all the laundry detergent and ocean accords but with a bit more “fresh” flowers. It is a hint of freesia and other hissy florals. The dry down is classic white musk. It isn’t very special but to be honest I do like it better than most of the fragrances Clean has to offer (and those are much more expensive). This fragrance only lasts like 10 minutes since it is a body spray.

The creamy body wash lathers nicely and a little goes a long way. It smells much more “clean cotton” than the body cream or spray. It is warm, cuddly and very fresh towels just out of the dryer. It is comforting and clean. I kind of like it because it reminds me of a cheap but discontinued brand Smell This in Fresh Towels. I wish the entire collection smelled like the creamy body wash.  But, it is a soap and maybe I expect for a soap to well, smell like detergent. It is a nice product but I know I won’t purchase it again unless it is on sale. It is hard to pay for a shower gel that costs $10.50 just to get that low-brow Downy fresh fragrance. However, it has an excellent lather.

I could see people liking this if they are a fan of the “detergent”/clean fragrances such as mark Pure, Demeter Laundromat, Clean fragrances such as Fresh Laundry, even Philosophy Amazing Grace/Pure Grace, J.Lo Glow, Marc Jacobs Cotton, GAP Washed Cotton, or if you like white/clean musk fragrances. Suprisingly, this fragrance appears “heavier” than others like it on the market. It isn’t so hissy, it is more “warm” but still “aquatic”.