I was so happy to find out that this scent existed. Nowruz is hands down my favorite holiday ever. Who doesn’t love a celebration that includes good food, fresh flowers, the outdoors, clean homes, and new clothes? Who doesn’t love a holiday that celebrates the rebirth of nature? Parfums des Beaux Arts by DSH is a nice gourmand but I really don’t think it does actual Nowruz any justice. If I was to do a Nourouz fragrance (and I haven’t) it would be a green and fresh fragrance, a spring fragrance, with new green buds, hyacinth, and dew drops. It would have a top note of rosewater and a dry down that was warm and resiny to symbolize fire.  It would remind one of crisp spring picnics and exchanging laughter with one’s loved ones. But, I didn’t create this fragrance. Nowruz is the time to celebrate getting out of that winter funk. Parfums des Beaux Arts Nourouz is all about the feasting and food end of Nourouz, but not the picnicking/outdoorsy part of Nourouz. Because it has such desserty spices, it reminds me too much of a winter fragrance. (It was released in the fall of 2009). It’s heaviness and sweetness misses the entire “being” of Nowruz in my opinion. It just focuses on desserts and yumminess. Sweets are a part of Nowruz…Anyways, I should get over the whole name, Nourouz, and my personal expectations of what that word means and move on to this indulgent gourmand fragrance.

This fragrance opens up as very foody. It does smell of a spicy, sweet tamarind and pomegranate syrup. It reminds me too much of a sticky, jammy dessert. I feel on me, that the tamarind totally overthrows any floral notes. I get a bit of the rose but it once again, is very foody with the mix of tamarind. This smells like a dessert on me. It smells much more interesting than other dessert fragrances on the market. I just think that tamarind doesn’t wear nicely on me. The middle, about 45+ minutes of wear, is very sweet and smoky. I really love this smoky dry-down. The dry-down makes it a perfect fall/winter fragrance. It’s sweet, resiny, and smoky. It’s indulgent. The dry down is very nice. I pick on the tannins. It’s a bit fruity and really reminds me of the top note of black pomegranate. It’s like the fragrance went full-circle. (Which is very impressive for the entire re-birth thing of Nourouz, see I do like this fragrance). It’s a bit bitter and very sensual. I do love that I can pick up on the tannins and this note should be used more in perfumery. They are subtle and they really “round” out this fragrance. Overall this is a jam like fruity dessert gourmand fragrance. It is the perfect “fruit” fragrance for fall/winter. When I say that it is fruity and gourmand, I am not saying that this is a juvenile fragrance. It is very “grown-up” and mature. And I say that it is a sweet, fruity, gourmand but I really think it could be a unisex fragrance. It’s fruity but more in a dried fruits and wine way. The smoky tobacco notes make it very masculine. Because it is a natural/botanical oil base blend, it wears for a long time. It’s rich and robust. I really do like the scent once I get over my preconceived notions. I think I would of been more accepting of this EDP if it had another name or “inspiration”. I’m just silly like that…and this holiday is very important to me. I do really like this fragrance as a comforting and interesting winter/fall “fruity” fragrance. I really do like this fragrance, really. I find it very interesting. I just don’t like it for a spring celebration. I love it for the cooler months.

Notes listed include: black pomegranate, paprika, tamarind, Bulgarian rose, orris, osmanthus, oppoponox, red wine notes, tobacco absolute, and vanilla absolute.

The 1 ounce EDP retails for $135. Other sizes are available of this rich, botanical, natural blend. This is a limited edition fragrance that is available on Dawn Spencer Hurwitz’s site.

burgundyliners

I love burgundy or wine eyeliners for hazel, green, and brown eyes. I have blue eyes and still really love them but I do have to watch out for the undertones in the wine shade or I will look like I have wine-o eyes. When paired with a pale, nude lip, it is a sexy look. Here is a guide to a few burgundy liners ranging in formulas and in prices.

Budget Burgundy Liners (Under $12): Rimmel Special Eyes Precision Eye Liner Pencil in Burgundy is a wooden pencil liner in a burgundy shade. The color is pretty but I found the formula a bit waxy and that I had to use the body heat from my finger tips to soften it. It retails for about $3.50. Sephora Long Lasting Metallic Eyeliner in Aubergine (not pictured) is a long wearing metallic burgundy plum that goes for $10. mark Eyemarker Color On Line in Wine (not pictured) is a retractable and smooth wearing wine/burgundy shade that goes for about $5.50. It is my favorite out of the budget list.

More Expensive Burgundy Liners: L’Oreal Hip Kohl Liner in Burgundy is a deep burgundy shimmer powder. I really like this formula since it reminds me of Guerlain Kohl eye liner but much cheaper and in a wider variety of colors. It retails for about $13 and can be used as a shadow as well. It will create a beautiful merlot smoky eye. Bare Escentuals bareMinerals Eye Liner in Now (not pictured) is a plum burgundy mineral powder liner. It retails for $13. It is a beautiful color and the formula provides a softer, more natural finish. Kat Von D Autograph Eyeliner in Turbo Lover is a liquid liner with a plummy wine base that is warmed by bronze sparkles. This color really works well with blue eyes because the warm undertones make the eyes really pop. It retails for $16. Yves Saint Laurent Dessin du Regard Haute Tenue Long Lasting Eye Pencil in Shimmering Burgundy (not pictured) is a deep burgundy in a soft easy to use pencil. It retails for $28. Laura Mercier Liquid Eye Liner in Bordeaux is a long wearing metallic liner that goes for $22. DuWop Smoke in Plum Wine contains a burgundy cake eyeliner and a deep purple shadow to create a sexy smoky eye. It retails for $28. Make Up For Ever Flash Color in Wine (not pictured) is a highly pigmented cream that can be used a liner. Wine is a red-ish shade so watch if you have too much red in the whites of your eyes. You could end up looking monstrous. It goes for $18. MAC has a few burgundy liners. I like Liquidlast Liner in Powerplum because it is a purpley plum with red shimmer in a liquid form. I love the addition of the shimmer. It goes for $16.50. The other one is the versatile Technakohl Liner in Purple Dash which is a reddish aubergine that goes for $14.50 (both aren’t pictured).

WEELKY CHEAP SECRET:

Sometimes I will stumble across something that I would of never, ever purchased in a million years. However, I will try it (usually by accident or random sample) and find that I really, really like it. This is one of those products.

I was in the local Walgreen’s (which one? every town has like 50). I was picking up the usual necessities and drugstore faves and couldn’t wait on a drugstore.com order. The nice teenie bopper behind the counter gave me a handful of samples, which I wasn’t aware that Walgreen’s even did this. I went home and looked them over and it was this unknown Merlot brand. I had them stored in my little 50’s poodle “sample and GWP” box. I ran out of my usual favorite Clarins cream and was waiting on an online order. I grabbed a few samples out of the rainy day box. I started to use the Merlot Day Moisturizer. I was really impressed with its texture, smell, etc. Well, I ran out of Clarins and actually decided to buy a jar of this instead.

I had to look Merlot up. Don’t judge them by there looks. It looks like a mail order product but obviously it is carried in some stores (based in El Paso, TX). However, the website does offer free shipping on purchases of $50 or more: merlotskincare. com. There schtick is that everything contains red grapeseed polyphenols and claims to be a super awesome antioxidant for the skin, better than Vitamin E and C. I have read a lot about red wine and its antioxidants. I’m sure we all have, we love to hear positive health news about some of our favorite vices 🙂 I know that we would have to drink like a million gallons a day of wine to get as much of the polyphenols that we need to make our skin look youthful. But, there is some very positive studies our there about applying the grapeseed extract to skin. Many skincare brands add this to their mix, expensive or not. Anyways, Merlot appears to be an “antioxidant” skincare line to protect and preserve. I don’t know if I believe any of it, skincare in general. I mean I don’t know if we can smear some stuff topically onto our bodies for a positive effect. I just know that I want to believe in it and the power of positive thinking is great thing. Worries cause wrinkles and believing that  I’m using a great product keeps me from worrying!

Anyways, It is carried at drugstores and does carry a drugstore price tag which is really nice when I am saving up for a down payment for a house. I got the huge 4 ouunce jar with a “travel” sized bonus for under $15. It is almost a gel cream texture. It is super lightweight, really nice for warmer weather. It absorbs very quickly but leaves my skin feeling moisturized and a bit “cool”.  Usually I would have to use a very heavy cream to get that “taken care of” feeling. But, this leaves absolutely no residue. It also contains an SPF 15 which my Clarins or my other go to, Shiseido, did not have. Another bonus for summer since that is the only time the sun shines in the Northwest. It claims to have no fragrance. I find that hard to believe. It has a slightly fresh, fruity stone fruit or “grapey” aroma. I really like the fragrance. It only “smells” when in the packaging and quickly disappears when the moisturizer absorbs. My makeup blends beautifully over it. I have younger skin so I can’t say that I’ve seen a difference using this stuff as far as wrinkles go. But, my skin does “glow” a little more and I feel my complexion isn’t so dull or blotchy. I have pretty normal-to-dry skin that gets more normal in the summer. This is the perfect warm weather moisturizer match for me. I would say that since is a good “preventive” cream. It is lightweight, contains SPF, and contains antioxidants. Perfect for the 20 to 35 age range.

The downside to this product is that it has butt ugly packaging. But, that is OK. I may be a packaging whore but I know that a product is not worth its packaging. That is the downside for the product though because if left up to me, I would of never wanted to try it because it didn’t look interesting. The cream is also a strange lilac shade in the packaging. It doesn’t tint the skin or anything. I just think it is a weird color for a face cream. But, those things are very minor and quite petty really.

I really like this line and I know that I’ll give the body products a try. I needed a lesson like this. I needed to be reminded that price (or packaging) has nothing to do with a product’s quality or effectiveness. I needed that because I feel broke going through this stupid path to home ownership process.


I have a thing for dark lipstick. It is a bit tricky and intimidating but that is why I love it. It’s dramatic. I would like to say that I wear it during the cooler months but to be honest, I like to be taboo and sport it in the warmer months as well. I love a deep, dark, berry stained pout. I love to feel vampy like Theda Bara’s image. I like to feel a bit “runway”. And frankly, I am a closet goth. This is my way of saying I’m OK with the cruel, cruel world.

Dark lipsticks and lip colors are so tricky because of skintone. However, I think that anybody can get away with it if you possess enough attitude. I don’t care if you are dark with gold undertones or ghostly pale with a visible vein road map. It works. It just takes some playing around and lots of confidence. Dark lips create a “harsh” look and you must be able to deal. It does show more imperfections. Lips must be smooth and healthy. Dark lipsticks will cling to dry spots resulting in an unattractive splotchy look. So keep lips moisturized. It is good for them anyways. I’m not going to create any other rules with the rest of the makeup when you wear darks. I like it with a perfectly matte face, sheer nude eyes with or without mascara. I like it with kohl rimmed eyes like Miss Bara’s. I like it with dewey cheeks or matte cheeks. It just doesn’t matter. Just make sure lips are moisturized.

For the Ballsy: I’m talking deep, dark, and dramatic. These colors are rarely for the meek. These are the colors for maximum drama. I’m talking you would wear black lipstick. None of this YSL glamour black gloss. I’m talking something like NYX Lipstick in Penelope, a rich angsty shock your Christian mother black. It retails for $3.50 so that you will even have enough money left to purchase black nail polish and a pentagram necklace 🙂 from Hot Topic. Lips need to be smooth. Coat this stuff on, a lip primer does help from keeping this stuff smooth. NYX also has a wonderful deep burgundy called Almost Black. It has a bit more depth than the straight up black stuff. I also like Egg Plant for a dark purple look. All retail for $3.50. MAC has a nice Lipstick in Cyber which is a black purple with a satin finish. It is a bit hard to work with because it has too much “slip”. It retails for $14. Make Up For Ever has a lovely glimmery navy lipstick in Pearly Blue Black and it retails for $19. I also like their Blueberry which is a deep berry. Revlon Super Lustrous Lipstick in Black Cherry is a deep blood wine lipstick with a bit of sheen. It retails for $7.99.

For the Closet Goth: For a deep lip with a bit of color, try YSL Rouge Volupte Silky Sensual Lipstick in Forbidden Burgundy, a rich deep berry. Plus, the packaging will make you feel like a queen. As it should with its $34 price tag. One of my favorites is MAC Viva Glam III which is a matte deep plum. It is dark but it looks “classic” and not a bit like a purple crushed velvet cape. It retails for $14. Another one that is nice is the new Revlon Matte Collection Lipstick in Wine Not. It is a deep, classic matte wine that retails for $7.99. Max Factor Lipfinity 3D Maxwear Lipcolor in Violet Vamp is a nice medium wine with a purple shimmer topcoat that retails for $8.99 (no longer available in the US). Lipstick Queen Wine Sinner Lipstick is one of my favorite blackberry wine shades. It retails for $18. Also I love Chanel Creme Lipstick in Vamp which retails for $28.

For the Wusses: Go for something dark but really sheer. It makes you feel edgy without getting strange stares from your co-workers. I like Urban Decay Apocalypse which is a sheer blackberry in killer packaging. It has a soft vanilla fragrance and retails for $22. One of the best for this category is Clinique Almost Lipstick in Black Honey. It’s so popular for its edge but wearable factor. It feels great on the lips and retails for $14. Black Radiance has a sheer deep-red  brown Radiant Lip Gloss in Mocha Madness. It retails for $2.99 and looks great over other colors to “deepen” them. A lip stain is always a way to get color without harshness. Try something like Urban Decay Lip Envy in Greedy which retails for $17. Lipstick Queen Big Bang Theory Lip Gloss in Black Hole is a lovely deep wine shimmer. It is buildable for more or less drama. It retails for $20. Or for the daring, wouldn’t you love to bust out a black lipstick during a board meeting or something? Try Lipstick Queen Black Tie Optional Lipstick for $18. It is super sheer, and yes black. It just adds a tiny bit of darkness.

Weekly Cheap Secret:

I am really impressed with Revlon’s Matte Collection. Matte cosmetics seem to come and go as fads. Many companies do not offer matte products at all. You have to expand out to MAC, Urban Decay, Make Up For Ever, and some actual theatrical brands. Don’t get me wrong, I love shimmer. But I think matte cosmetics really add some depth to shimmery looks. I don’t like a completely matte face, too airbrushed senior picture. But, I do like a deep, matte eggplant used in the crease with a shimmery gold shadow. Or silver glitzy eyes with really matte red lips. Revlon has offered a pretty decent selection of matte cosmetics for a good price. Since these are drugstore cosmetics I haven’t been able to play in all of them. Out of what I have tried, I like.

EYES: The Matte Eyeshadows are very nice and come in a range from super neutral to really bright. This a nice budget friendly alternative to Urban Decay Matte Eyeshadows. There are nine: Vintage Lace (soft off white), Peach Sorbet (pale peachy nude), Pink Innocence (pale pink), Luscious Lime (vivid lime), Venetian Blue (bright electric blue, move on over MAC Electric Eel!), Tempting Teal (deep blue-ish forest green, think Douglas Fir Tree needles, would be amazing mixed with silver or baby blue), Rich Sable (warm deep brown), Riveria Blue (deep midnight sea blue), and Aubergine (dusty, deep eggplant purple, so luxe). I can’t complain about any of the shades. The lighter shades are must have bases for light complexions. The bright colors are so fun. The deep ones will make great smoky eyes or liners. They retail for $4.99 and you get more than what is in a MAC pan. There are 5 Kohl Eyeliners: Pure White (eye opening white), Black Truffle (a deep and mysterious black), Rich Mink (deep chocolate), Midnight Blue (deep navy), and Very Violet (a vivid and electric medium purple). The eyeliners feel nice and soft. They create that “mysterious” eye. They are easy to blend. They go for under $10.

LIPS: The Matte Lipstick is hot. All I really need is a matte nude, matte red, and a matte milky pink. All are offered! There is Nude Attitude which is a really pale nude. It reminds me of MAC Fleshpot or MAC Freckletone. This shade looks amazing with dark eyes. There is Pink Pout which is a white-ish 60’s pink. This looks much like my all time favorite shade, MAC Snob, my wedding day shade. Wear with gray shadow and it is beautiful. There is a lovely every day mauve, Mauve It Over. Pink About It and Strawberry Suede are both bright summer pink. I love both reds. They are classic. There is Really Red which is a bright warm red and In The Red which is a cooler red. I love Really Red, it is almost orange. There is Cocoa Craving and Fabulous Fig both are pretty ho-hum neutrals. There is a beautiful gothic deep wine, Wine Not. I wish I knew about this one this past fall and winter. These go for under $7.

FACE: There are four matte powder blushes. There is a light pink, Rose Rapture. There is a medium hued berry, Blushing Berry. There is a sweet pale peach, Perfectly Peach. And there is the must needed neutral, Barely Buff. These are nice because sometimes you just don’t feel like having glittery cheeks. These go for under $10.

There are many fun colors and everyday colors in this collection. The prices are pretty nice. And since they are drusgstore cosmetics there are always coupons, deals such as BOGO, or on clearance.

I know that I am one of the few people on the planet that really loves this product. I also know that I am a fool for paying $22 for a lip balm so maybe that is one of the many reasons why people dislike this. I love this lip balm mainly for its smell. It smellsl like cheap wine, that’s it. That is why I dish out $22 for this stuff. I like the fermented fragrance. It has a nice cheap rosé odor. I like it, in a sick weird, maybe I am a wine-o or maybe a trashy lady of leisure way. One fo the main ingredients is wine. So,the taste of wine can be on my lips constantly. This stuff really repairs my abused and dry lips. I hate the cold! Burning, chapped lips are the worst. It exfoiliates and moisturizes them, leaving my lips as soft as they were when I was a baby. It doesn’t leave a sheen or a gloss, which is nice. It is really difficult to find a truly matte, shine free balm. I like that look sometimes, you know? This balm was created in 1828 and you know how I love antiquities and vintage crap.

Got to love dark lips...

OK, so I am cheating. This pic has been photo rouged but I love the look anyways. You can’t go wrong with a deep matte lip. It just proclaims Old Hollywood glamor. To get this look apply foundation and concealer if and where needed. This look is all about matte skin, so try something like L’Oreal Quick Stick Instant Foundation and Lola Cosmetics Creme Concealer. Lightly dust face with a large brush with CornSilk Shineless Natural Matte Powder. Pencil in brows or make them appear fuller with a brow pencil such as Benefit Cosmetics Instant Brow Pencil. I’m going to recommend MAC Eye Shadow for the eyes. Brush Bamboo, a nude matte beige, from lashline to brow. Next you’ll be creating a chocolatey smoky eye using Handwritten which is a dark matte brown. Brush it from lashline to just above the crease. Blend in an half circle motion for a halo effect. The shape is round, not almond. Lightly brush this shade under the bottom lashline too. Line eyes with MAC Eye Pencil in Coffee, a rich brown. This is to create thickness near the lashline. Apply false eyelashes or tons of mascara such as MAC Zoomlash in Zoomblack. Coat bottom lashes too. Lightly dust cheeks with a powder blush such as L’Oreal True Match Super Blendable Blush in Soft Sun. Line lips in MAC Lip Pencil in Burgundy. Apply a rich matte lipstick such as Lipstick Queen Lipstick in Wine Sinner. That’s the look and you are ready to go. Apply a rich fragrance such as Guerlain L’Heure Bleue which I really need to buy some more of.