To be honest, I think the only reason that I like this summer collection is because of the packaging. It’s a “print” that is found throughout my home decor. (Think Thomaspaul creepy sealife prints found on pillows, etc. and antique sealife prints). The motifs are the ones featured on the model’s ill-fitting swimsuit. The colors aren’t anything new. In fact, many are the same colors MAC has all year but in snazzy summer packaging.

The collection describes itself as such: “The seaside has a kind of golden, sexy alchemy we’re all drawn to. This collection encapsulates it with the most soothing, sultry shades of summertime. A safe way to bronze, beautify, and get colour that looks sun-kissed. Close your eyes, and go To The Beach!” This is true. What would a summer collection be without bronzers and golden tones?After seeing this collection on-line, I ran to the local MAC store.

EYES: There are 5 Eyeshadows. Each are packaged in an adorable avocado fruit green with a seashell “stamped” on a see-thru window. Sand & Sun is a matte peach that is perfect for making the lids of the peaches n’cream complexions appear even. Firecracker is a shimmery reddish shade that looks much better mixed with colors than worn alone. Sweet & Punchy is a lovely chartreuse shimmer. Shimmermoss is an aqua shimmer that mixes beautifully with gold. Humid is a shimmery, deep green that makes a great smoky eye or liner. All the colors are nice but I already own Shimmermoss and Humid. I was tempted by Sweet & Punchy but I can get a similar effect with Bitter. Each retail for $14.50. There are 2 Eye Kohls that have a coral motif that matches the color of the kohl. There is Rosemary & Thyme, a medium olive shimmmer, and Float On By, a deep turquoise. Both are nice but I already own similar colors. Rosemary & Thyme would look stunning on brown-eyed redheads. The pencils retail for $14.50.

LIPS: There are 4 Lipsticks in an orange case with a seashell “stamp”. Beachbound is a neutral light shimmery peach. Lazy Day is an “everyday” dusty pink. Thrills is a rose with gold shimmer. Funbathing is a California Red Plum with bronze shimmer. I love the packaging of the lipsticks but I didn’t fall in love with any of the colors. Funbathing is nice but I didn’t love it. I think it would be a nice “plum” for deeper complexions and olive complexions. Lipsticks retail for $14. There are 3 Tinted Lipglass with an orange top and an adorable seahorse “stamp”. Colors include Easy Lounger (pale pink shimmer), Flurry of Fun (neutral peach shimmer), and Splashing (blue-ish mauve with shimmer, makes teeth appear whiter). I like the packaging but didn’t fall in love with any of the colors. These retail for $14. There are 2 Lip Pencils. The packaging matches the Eye Kohl. There is Life’s A Breeze, neutral pink, and Temperature Rising, a bright orange. I see myself using something like Temperature Rising throughout the summer but I already have an orange lip liner that I love by NYX. These go for $13.

FACE: There are 2 Powder Blushes in a “super-sized” packaging that looks like the eye shadows. Hipness is a peach shimmer and Get-Away Bronze, a medium tan. Neither of these blushes did anything for me. Hipness wasn’t “bold” enough. These retail for $18.50. There’s a beautiful High-Light Powder but it lacks the adorable sea-life motif that I love about this collection. The powder is Marine Life and it is a swirl of pearl, bronze, peach and coral. There is a cute embossed sea horse on the powder. This of course disappears with a tap of a brush. It goes for $26. There are 2 Creme Bronzers (shell “stamp”) in Beach Bronze, a golden bronze, and Weekend, an “orangey” bronze. These are nice but I wouldn’t get much use out of them in the summer. I would do better by choosing a darker foundation for summer. These retail for $25. There are 2 shades of Bronzing Powder. The powder is packaged in an orange compact with a coral motif. I love this and this is the product that I almost purchased. Shades include Golden, a warm tan, and Refined Gold, a tan with gold shimmers. I didn’t buy one of these because the colors are available all year and I love my NARS Bronzer. There are 2 Lustre Drops. This pearly cream can be worn alone or mixed with otehr products for the face and body. There is Pink Rebel, a cool shimmery pink that works nicely with pale skin tones. This shade adds “light” without being the muddy bronze that many light skins can’t wear. Sun Rush is a flattering peachy bronze shimmer. These versatile “drops” retail for $18.50.

NAILS & BODY: There are 2 Nail Lacquers. I love In The Buff. This is a taupey, muddy olive. It’s a really strange shade but this is the freakish weird olive shade that I become when I tan. I wonder if they could make a foundation powder in this shade? The other colors is Scorcher. This is a coral red. It’s pretty but so many other brands offer colors just like this one, so it isn’t special like In The Buff. These polishes retail for $12. There is a nice Body Oil. It is an oil in a pump bottle that is infused with golden tan shimmers. I imagine that this product would look amazing on legs. I wanted to buy it but a little voice reminded me that I already have the NARS oil that is almost like this and the NARS smells better. This retails for $22.

So, I didn’t leave with any of these products. It isn’t that I didn’t like any of these items or the packaging. It’s just that since I’m a cosmetic addict, I already have so many colors like these. I promised myself years ago that I wouldn’t drag an item into my collection just because of packaging alone. I don’t always live up to my promise but I have matured and put my priorities in line. So, my collection does not have any To The Beach products because I’m being reasonable and I realize I already have these colors. This is the downside to owning one of everything. The colors are summery and predictable: bronze, coral, and turquoise. This isn’t anything new so it makes sense that my collection would include these summer staples. This collection is available at MAC’s website but you’ll have better luck visiting your local MAC store or counter because the website has sold out of most products. See that packaging “got” many beauty/cosmetic addicts 🙂

L’Occitane Shea Butter Hand Cream is a fairly simple product that does what it is intended to do: moisturize hands. The formula is very smooth and rubs in easily. It is a white balm that is smooth as butter.  It is smooth and spreads very easily, meaning that you don’t need too much to have soft hands. It is moisturizing and you can tell that it is on your hands. I wouldn’t call it greasy but you can tell that it is there. It isn’t sticky or slippery. The formula doesn’t get all over my steering wheel or on my paperback books. However, I do have super dry hands that go through hell in a work day. As a speech therapist, I wear latex gloves frequently and I use alcohol based hand sanitizers and I use harsh “institution” grade hand soaps so many times throughout the day. My hands are often tight feeling and ashy. I have been having a real problem with “ashiness” during the cold weather.

There is a scent but it is faint. I only smell it while I am rubbing in the cream. I would say that this scent lingers around for about 2-5 minutes on me. I get a super soft aroma of a tropical bouquet of ylang-ylang and jasmine. But, like I said, it doesn’t stay around. I do like this. I am a fragrance nut and I don’t really want my hand cream interfering with my choice of fragrance for the day. And I do love anything jasmine even it is there but only for a short amount of time. This provides a quick fragrance pick-me-up.

The packaging is cute but not very practical. I do wish that it had a flip cap so I could open and close it with one hand. It is no fun dropping that cap and having it roll under the bed.

The formula contains 20% shea butter, vitamin E, sweet almond oil extract and other nourishing ingredients.

It is a nice product but it is expensive at $26 for just over 5 ounces. I know I will buy it again but I won’t be purchasing a tube for my purse, my desk, my car, one for each bathroom, etc. I can’t afford that. Smaller sizes are available and throughout the year gift sets are offered. It is available at DERMAdoctor.

This is a decent “chapstick” styled lip balm that goes for $5.99. That’s kind of expensive in my opinion but the packaging was just too cute and that was what got me. Being from Nashville, I’m all about vintage country western. Dreaming of being country western rhinestoned darling but lacking real talent and considering that vintage country was dead many moons ago, no wonder I just fulfill my dreams with little products in cute packages.

Time to round ’em up, boys…it’s basic and not greasy. It doesn’t leave a shine on the lips, very natural looking. It contains SPF 18 which did not burn the heck out of my lips like most SPF lip products. The formula was pretty smooth until the last 15%-20% left. It then became a bit gritty, uneven, and too much would be distributed to my lips. I did have to reapply frequently but I’m a big mouth that is always sipping coffee or tea, so I have to reapply everything frequently. The fragrance was slightly sweet, not honeysuckle in my opinion, more honey with a bit of orange juice. But, the fragrance was very,very faint and didn’t taste gross/metallic/anything like that.

So, it’s a decent product. I’m not sad that I purchased it. I did use it up. Will I puchase again? Most likely no. I’m a flirt anyways and I didn’t fall in love with this product. Like most Blue Q products, it is all about the novelity, the cuteness, the packaging. It’s an OK product housed in Dale Evans-ish cuteness. I guess it just depends on what is important to you in a product. It can be purchased at www.blueq.com.

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

Weekly Cheap Secret:

I bought this strange thing. OK, it has a name eos which stands for Evolution of Smooth. I was attracted to this product because it is 95% USDA organic and 100% natural with ingredients like shea butter and olive oil, even has honeysuckle flower extract! I needed a lip balm and thought I would try something new. (OK maybe not needed…) I’m not tired of my Rose Bud Salve, I love that stuff. I  just wanted something less glossy. I need a “balm”. I ordered this from drugstore.com for $3.99. I couldn’t really judge scale or anything from it because I have never seen this product in person before. I guess it is sold at Target and at Safeway here in the PNW.  I was tempted by the “honeysuckle” flavor claim. I wanted it to take me back to my childhood when sucking the nectar out of honeysuckle blossoms was the best treat ever. Well, this is the “smooth sphere” so what I got was a strange melon green sphere thing the size of a small chicken or quail egg with a twist off top. Unfortunately mine looks dirty because it rolled around and got grimy in the drugstore.com box. Inside is a lip balm, like the size of a small quail egg. It’s huge and you just apply it like you would a tube lip balm. I have a big mouth and one swipe and I’m done. It reminds me of those old school and huge Lip Smackers. One swipe of those and I was done too. I think when it gets flat, I can just use my fingers to get it out. I don’t know yet. The fragrance is more honeydew melon and not honeysuckle.  It’s a fresh and very sweet honeydew melon that doesn’t smell “fake” like a Lip Smackers 🙂 Really the odor is very faint and not offensive, I just wish it was more floral. However, the flavor is sweet like honeysuckle. Not the type of floral sweet found in honeysuckle but more like the sweet “honey”/nectar found in a honeysuckle. I really don’t “smell” it but I taste it. The balm is smooth, not sticky. I like the way it feels. It is a good lip balm, not too thick or waxy but not too thin or overly slippery. Unfortunately it doesn’t wear very long and I find that I have to reapply very, very frequently. It’s not a bad product, my only complaint is the lasting power. . Mainly I like the strange shape which reminds me of a Kinder Egg with a lip balmy surprise. The sphere also comes in Summer Fruit and Sweet Mint. eos also sells from their website. They also sell a shaving cream and lip balm in a stick form.

The Mainstream Monday: Sniffing A Popular Fragrance

Elizabeth Arden explains this fragrance as a “radiant woody floral and a modern expression of sparkling radiance“. I would definitely say that this fits into that category of “modern woody floral”. It is woody but not in a super masculine way. At first it comes on as a bit fruity with hints of citrus and stone fruits such as plum. This lasts a very short time on me. It then smells of spicy wood, like a mix of sandalwood and dry cedar. But, it floral in an “aquatic” fragrance sense of the word. It is floral with the hissy notes of “orchid” and “wisteria”. But, it is all blended together so if it is very difficult to go “oh, there is the wisteria and here is the sandalwood”. It is all blended together and this wears on me for a long time. At times I’ll sniff and smell the woods and then again I’ll sniff and pick up a certain floral sharpness that makes this smell almost soapy fresh. Eventually, all I smell is warm sun-baked woods with generic “clean” musk. It isn’t a horrible fragrance it just doesn’t have a lasting impression on me. I find it boring for a “Mediterranean” fragrance but find it interesting for a “sea” scent if this makes sense. I think this fragrance could of really benefited from a fig hint and herbs, but then again, I can find that elsewhere because that already exists. But for a “sea” scent,  I can appreciate that this scent is clean and fresh without being “aquatic” and overly hissy.  Overall the fragrance is a very clean “wood” scent that can be worn all year round. It’s “easy” to wear and it is a nice fragrance if you can’t stand the thought of wearing something sweet, foody, or overly floral. ( I have to love it for that).

I do find the bottle pretty for a mainstream fragrance. It has smooth cerulean blue glass. The glass feels heavy and it feels expensive. The cap is a hammered silver-ish something. To be honest, I can’t remember if it was metal or plastic. So, if it is plastic, then it did a good job of tricking me. It really looks like a pretty piece of resort wear jewelry and I have to give Elizabeth Arden props for this one.

I would say that you may like this if you like Michael Kors Island, Estee Lauder Sensuous, Avon U by Ungaro, Versace Versense, Demeter Laundromat, Pucci Vivara, and/or Dolce and Gabbana Sicily or Feminine.

The 1.7 ounce retails for $47.50 and the 3.3 ounce retails for $57.50. And there are extras like a shimmery body powder (very cool), body cream, and body lotion. A good time to pick this up is when Elizabeth Arden offers one of their GWP specials.

Again, I have fallen for a Guerlain color collection. This is of no surprise for this happens quite frequently. I love the Summer Splash collection, it is so beachy without being overly “tan” and “bronzed”. The packaging is beautiful and glamorous. The company describes this collection as “a mermaid basking under the sun.” I like the sound of that.

EYES: I have found a new favorite. I absolutely love The Loose Powder Kohl in Lagoon Blue. This is a shimmery sea blue with a hint of gold. It is a “warm” blue. It really works with my complexion. If you think you can’t wear blue, I bet you can wear this. I am light with warm undertones with blue eyes, I imagine that this would also work well with medium complexions with brown eyes. It goes for $34 and I think it is worth every penny. I mean just look at the packaging! There is an awesome eyeshadow quad, Ombre Éclat. It comes in a nice rose gold shaded compact with 4 shimmery shadows: white, rose gold, tan, and aqua. Once again, this is a very kind color combo for my complexion. I think natural redheads, dyed redheads could pull this one off too. It goes for $58. I think it is worth it. The formula is so smooth. The Le 2 Guerlain Waterproof Mascara is out at $35. It’s even available in a teal blue! I haven’t tried this. I’m trying to spend less on things like mascara. The single shadows, Ombre Éclat are available in special shades: Pearly White, a white gold shimmer, and Pearly Brown, a nice sandy brown shimmer. These go for $34.

LIPS: There is the Kiss Kiss Stick Gloss in 3 shades. This is a great formula that provides shiney, sheer color in a stick. There is Corail des Mers, a glossy coral, Grenades Des Iles, a brownish/coppery rose, and Rose Des Sables, a warm rose. These go for $30 and are in the pretty summer packaging.

FACE: It isn’t my little pearls of perfection, but it is so nice. I am in love with Illuminating Powder in Poudre des Sables. This is a pressed shimmer powder housed in a mother of pearl like packaging. The print resembles a shell and it is a mix of gold, rose, sable, tan. It is a flattering shade even for paler gals. It goes for $65. The Blush 4 Éclats Sculpting Blush has been relaunched. This is a great formula available in a variety of shades with a nice, soft fragrance. It goes for $48 and provides a nice glow. There is also an Illuminating Pressed Powder relaunch. These are like pressed, super shimmery Météorites. It is lovely with pearly shades of beige and pink. It reminds me of seashells and goes for $65. These are both great complexion enhancers.

Overall, as you can tell, I love this collection. I know I am biased because it really works for my complexion! Hey, we all get lucky sometime, right? This collection is available at most venues that carry Guerlain such as Nordstrom and other department stores in your area.

guerlainsummercollection