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…

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.

Ylang-ylang is a note that I have learned to love. It’s tenacity always turned me off. I never felt like I could pull-off such a heady, floral note. As I’ve “matured” to put it nicely, I’ve realized that I can pull-off ylang-ylang. If you can pull-off jasmine than you can do ylang-ylang. It’s a special fragrance, very exotic for me since I’ve shunned it for so many years. Here is a very brief ylang-ylang fragrance guide with varying price points.

Budget Ylang-Ylang Scents: Lush Flower Market Perfume is an old-fashioned blend of ylang-ylang, carnation, and violets. I like the scent but I get so overwhelmed in Lush markets that I can’t pull this apart. So, I assume that I really like this natural blend. The 1.3 oz goes for about $40. Cacharel Anaïs Anaïs EDT is a floral blend with ylang-ylang, jasmine, rose, and lilies. It’s a nice scent that unfortunately now is seen as old-fashioned. The 1.7 oz. spray goes for under $50. Demeter PMU in Ylang Ylang is a pure, tropical, short-wearing soliflore. The 1 oz spray goes for $20. Demter PMUs also make nice linen/room sprays. Nuts Cream Perfume in Ylang Ylang d’Amore (not pictured)  is a nourishing cream perfume that is heavy on this tropical, romantic floral in a moisturizing solid form. It goes for $12. Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab Ars Amatoria Suspiro is a intoxicating white floral blend with exotic white blossoms and dainty lilies. Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab Excolo Skuld is a sweet and sticky ylang-ylang with honey and resins. (Both are not pictured and retail for $15 for .5 oz oil).

Moe Expensive Ylang-Ylang Scents: Estee Lauder Private Collection Amber Ylang-Ylang EDP is a warm, rich, sexy ylang-ylang based scent. It’s a nice modern oriental. The 2.5 oz spray goes for $135. There is a pure parfum with a breathtaking bottle that costs much more and I haven’t had the opportunity to sample it. Tom Ford Private Blends Musk Pure EDP goes for $180 for 1.7 oz. Imagine a ylang-ylang, tonka, and musk and you have this. I like it for a floral musk scent. The ylang-ylang feels almost powdery against the musk. A more floral ylang-ylang based scent is Henry Dunay Sabi EDP. It has floral notes of ylang-ylang, rose, and jasmine. It retails for $110 for 1.7 oz. Annick Goutal Songes EDT is a tropical floral blend of ylang-ylang, frangipani, jasmine with a dry-down of vanilla. The 1.7 oz retails for $80.

As I went to the local MAC store with the intent to purchase everything in the Style Black collection for my goth self, I was more smitten by the Fall/Winter 09 Trends collection. I’ll be sure to share all of that soon. I came across this limited edition Asphalt Flower fragrance roll-on. I loved both of the limited edition honey fragrances this past summer and to my surprise, I am now in love with another MAC fragrance. They have really been stepping up their game with these limited edition, low price point fragrances.

If you are a violet lover, then give this one a try. I absolutely adore violet fragrances. I live off of Choward’s Violet Mints. I love “green” morning dew violet scents but I really, really love those “candied” ones because I am such a fan of candied violets. Asphalt Flower reminds me of a glammed up interpretation of the bottom of my huge Hobo International messenger bag. The top notes remind me of the runaway Choward’s Violet Mints that hang around in their gang in the bottom of my purse abyss. They get crushed up weekly into a fine, sugary dust and get all over my wallet. It’s leather and candied violets. Asphalt Flower’s top notes are a sugary sweet violet with rainy, tsunami drenched tropical flowers like soft and humid ylang-ylang and powdery heliotrope. This is grounded by old-fashioned iris. I love this phase it wears this way for about an hour. It reminds me of being in an Industrial Revolution era green house, in the midst of lovely white and purple flowers drenched in mist, outside the coal clouds swarm in winter rain. It’s so pretty, powdery, feminine, and old-fashioned. It’s sweet with a bit of gloomy, rainy humidity mixed with oil. It’s very gothic with an Edwardian flair. The complete dry-down is very moody and extremely sexy with Tom Ford White Patchouli type of patchouli, that synthetic “clean” patchouli that works so well with these modern blends, smoky olbanum, and lots and lots of that MAC vanilla that is used in their other blends. I’m usually not a fan of vanilla but it really works in this mix. It adds a certain sexiness. It’s not a candy or vanilla bean vanilla but more of a dirty, musky, leathery vanilla. MAC describes this fragrance as “a deep, dark erotic fragrance that takes place in our Trend F/W ’09 Collection as the aromatic complement to this alt-fashion look.” It is a very “alt-fashion” fragrance. The entire collection strikes me as my personal fashion color collection dream come true. It is dark, rich and sooo Edwardian, turn of the century goth, that look that unfortunately Tim Burton brought mainstream. This fragrance is so dark, gloomy, intoxicating with a hint of the old-fashioned. It seriously reminds me of the Industrial Revolution. It’s romantic with violet and iris but a bit animalic and sooty. It’s that time because it is urban, industrial with artistic Romanticism, upper class stuffiness, lower class rawness mixed with a  desire for the occult. I find it very “me” and exactly what I wanted for the fall/winter rainy season in Seattle. This is great because the roll-on retails for $20. The bummer is that it is a limited edition. And if I want to replace it I am going to have to get something like Tom Ford Private Blends Black Violet. I will be picking up another one of these roll-ons. Also, this fragrance is very long-wearing. It lasts at the same intensity on my skin for 8+ hours. There may only be .2 fl.oz. in this roll-on but this container will last much longer than MAC’s spray on fragrances.

I’d say to give this one a try if you are fan of candied violets, the closest I can compare it to include: Tom Ford Private Blends Black Violet, Tokyo Milk Parfum Le Petit or Dead Sexy, Nanette Lepore Nanette, Guerlain Insolence, Penghalion’s Ellenisia, Serge Lutens Bois de Violette, Borsari Violetta di Parma, and/or Armani Pierre de Lune.

September 1943 classichollywoodbios.com

Who doesn’t want to look like a totally hot babe actress and totally hot babe scientist? Seriously.

FACE: While you are working on your canvas, apply a nourishing lip balm like Yu-Be Lip Balm. This is important because this is a matte lip look and lips need to be moist and chap-free. Hedy’s complexion is matte and flawless. First even out complexion with a matte foundation such as YSL Matt Touch Foundation. Apply concealer where needed. Estee Lauder Smoothing Creme Concealer is great for under the eyes. I wouldn’t wear powder with this look since a matte foundation was used. But, if you are oily, do dust lightly with a translucent powder to set the makeup. Take a big fluffy brush and apply a coral pink blush to cheeks. A color like Benefit Coralista will really brighten the complexion without being brash. It really is a great coral blush for pale skins.

EYES: Heidy’s brows are penciled. We all can’t do that. However, the brows should be nicely manicured. If necessary fill in the brows with a pencil such as Tarte EmphasEyes High Definition Brow Pencil. This is a thin pencil with a spoolie on one end. Eyes are very neutral and it is all about the lashes. Apply a nude matte shadow from lash line to brows. For a complexion like Hedy’s this would be Revlon Matte Eyeshadow in Vintage Lace. Apply a sheer light brown shade from lash line to crease. A color like Bare Escentuals Eyeshadow in Bisque. If you have a bronzer this will do too. Apply it like an eyeshadow. In the crease apply a light steel color like Dr.Hauschka Eyeshadow Solo in #4, a smoky gray brown. Also apply this gray closely to the bottom lash line to give the illusion of fuller bottom lashes. Line eyes closely with a gel eyeliner like Shu Uemura Painting Gel Eyeliner in M Black. I think false lashes are a must for this look but mascara will do to. Apply what you want.

LIPS: Lips are matte and pretty bold. Wipe off lip balm. Apply foundation to the lips to create a blank canvas. Apply Lipstick Queen Lip Liner in Rust. Apply a matte rust lipstick like Sue Devitt Balanced Matte Lipstick in Phuket, a perfectly matte rusty red. If you must have a glossier lip, more satin because you are not used to matte lipsticks, try Lipstick Queen Saint Lipstick in Rust. It’s a rusty shade with a bit more sheen.

It’s really difficult to decide what fragrance a beauty like Hedy would wear. But, I would have to go with something modern, woodsy but femme like Tom Ford Private Blend Black Violet. Now if you will excuse me, I need to go dye my hair to a nice raven shade. I am loving this look for fall.

hedylook

I always find stuff when I am broke or well, buying my first house. How badly I want this little box of Tom Ford fragrances! It contains 12 private blend fragrances that Tom Ford describes as, ” My own scent laboratory; it’s where I have the ability to create very special, original fragrances that are unconstrained by the conventions of mainstream scent-making. Private Blend is designed with the true fragrance connoisseur in mind.” Haha. “This line isn’t about pleasing the mainstream to make tons of money but by marketing a few million fragrances as “original” so that I can sell them to fragrance whores for $180 to $450 a pop and since big department stores carry them as well I’ll get the people that like “mainstream” fragrance because I am a “mainstream” man!” Brilliant really, Mr. Ford. Anyways, I still want it. It wasn’t that I was or wasn’t blown away by any of the Private Blends when I played with them in store, it was just that I didn’t want to pay a minimum of $180 for something that I just liked or didn’t have the time to experience. I am a fragrance flirt so I want to have as many fragrances as possible. This kit contains 12 .05 fl.oz EDPs (I think that’s the size, I had to zoom in on the product and the number got blurry): Noir de Noir, Amber Absolute, Black Violet, Velvet Gardenia, Tobacco Vanilla, Oud Wood, Moss Breches, Bois Rouge, Purple Patchouli, Tuscan Leather, Neroli Portofino, and Japan Noir. Many of these are pretty nice blends since I have a thing for leather and mossy scents. And a few of them I really did want to spend more time with. They come in a little brown, almost cigar box. I love the entire vibe of this. It is very turn of the century Belle Epoque apothecary. (That is what Tom Ford’s Private Blend has done best, the whole antique apothecary vibe. Even thought the $180 range bottles are boring and all the same to save money, I like the apothecary look.) It’s a wardrobe of fragrance and something very fun to sniff when cuddled up in the chair by the window on a rainy, dreary day. I would so rather spend a few evenings doing this than anything else. And if I fall madly in love with one of the blends, then I will make the smallest available bottle my very own. I wish more companies would offer these kind of coffrets. It seems that everybody “niche” or not launches like a million fragrances at once, all in the same bottle, and it’s much too difficult to keep them separate. We addicts can’t afford to purchase them all and we forget about half of them because there are at least 30 launches a month and our lists keep expanding. Sometimes we simply forget. This coffret goes for $180 and is available at neimanmarcus.com.

What I really wish it was in.

What I really wish it was in.