I know that I’ve slacked on reviewing things. I’ve been so busy, but enough of the excuses. I’ve been really behind on commenting on new color collections. I got lost in the holiday launches. It seems like MAC comes out with a new color collection every Friday. It isn’t that they aren’t special, it’s just that I can’t keep up. Many of the colors are just renamed. The Warm and Cozy Collection doesn’t contain mind-altering colors or taboo shades. However, I am so intrigued by this collection. It’s hot stuff. I’ve craved soft fabrics in cream cashmere and apricot silk paired with copper/rose gold jewelry and shimmering complexions. This collection is that. It’s sexy in that Victoria’s Secret way: tousled hair, gilded bronze eye makeup that makes blue eyes pop, and plump lips. This complexion came out just when I was craving this. This is something different for me. I usually just rock deep lipsticks throughout the cooler months but this year I’ve done more of the bronze eye lid look with golden lips. I want candlelit shades, romance.This collection is sexy without trying too hard. The warm undertones really flatter any complexion, even my pasty PNW skin.

EYES: There are 3 simple and understated with very minimal to no shimmer Eyeshadows. The shades are Chamomile (creamy matte), Modellete (warm medium brown), and Mulled Cider (warm brown). These shades aren’t exciting but they are very versatile. Chamomile is a great shade that is a must have for doing a “vintage” look with bold lips. There are 4 shimmery Shadesticks in Cuddle, Nurture, Relaxed, and Warm & Cozy. These are all in various neutral shades with warm champagne and gold undertones. They look great alone with a few heavy coats of mascara or layered under the matte powder eyeshadows in the collection.

LIPS: There are 3 shades of Lipsticks: Siss (warm golden candlelight), Spiced Tea (warm reddish bronze shimmer), and Warm Up (gentle rosewood). Siss is my favorite. It pairs nicely with dark eye makeup. There are 4 Tinted Lip Glasses in 2N (sexy neutral pink), 3N (neutral golden brown), Feeling Dreamy (rosé wine shimmer), and Light That Fire! (rusty shimmer). I really do like all the lip glasses in this collection. They are so versatile. The Tinted Lip Conditioners have been relaunched. They’re a great product.

COMPLEXION: There are 2 Mineralize Skinfinish powders in By Candlelight (champagne shimmer) and Comfort (orangey bronze). This collection launched Care Blends Essential Oils in 2 formulas in the complexion. They are so nice. A little goes a long way and the scents are heavenly. There is Sweet Orange & Lavender and Grapefruit & Chamomile. Mineralize All OVer Body Lotion is a slightly shimmery body lotion.

Oh, there are 2 Nail Lacquers in Blissed Out (pale warm pink shimmer) and Dim The Lights (sexy chocolate truffle shimmer).

I really do think that this is a perfect late winter color collection. It’s soft and cozy and it adds much needed warmth to the complexion. I can’t pull off teal eye makeup and heavy bronzers right now. My skin hasn’t seen the sun in months. I pretty much live in the Artic Circle. This is a great complexion compromise. I get a golden glow without being too “tropical vacation”. This is a champagne by the fire place kind of collection. Love it.

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This 1949 pic of Esther is a bit grainy but she is still looking great. This gal transitions nicely from mermaid to snow bunny. This is how you get this wintery look:

FACE: Esther’s complexion is luminous even in the harsh winter air. Apply an illuminating foundation during these “dull” times. A nice one with more coverage is Clarins True Radiance Foundation. Apply an illuminating concealer under the eye area if needed. Almay Bright Eyes Concealer + Eye Base is a multi-use product that provides coverage and not just “shimmer” like most eye illuminators. Apply this product to lids as a base as well. Set makeup with a loose powder. Bare Escentuals BareMinerals Hydrating Mineral Veil is nice for dry winterized skin. Apply one of my favorite complexion pick-me-ups, Benefit High Beam. down the cheek bone. Blend. Apply MAC Blushcreme in Ladyblush to cheeks. Apply as much as you see fit and blend.

EYES: Brows are pencil perfect. Fill in perfectly shaped brows with a powdery eye pencil like Lancome Le Crayon Poudre Powder Pencil (not pictured) in your shade. Sculpt in to place with the spoolie. Eyes are very simple and it is all about flirty lashes. The base has evened out your lid. Apply a nude-to-you shadow. For Esther, this would be something like Laura Mercier Mineral Eye Powder in Gemstone, a sheer light peach. If you feel a bit more definition is needed. Apply a light brown shade to the crease. Try a shade like Maybelline ExpertWear Eyeshadow in Silken Taupe. Line top lashes with an eye liner to “thicken” lashes. I would apply a smooth liner such as Neutrogena Nourishing Eye Liner . Curl lashes and apply a lengthening and curling mascara like L’Oreal Panoramic Curl Extreme Mascara. Apply a few coats to top lashes and one coat to bottom lashes for a wide-eyed look.

LIPS: This is such a classic beauty look. Apply a rose lip liner such as Dior Crayon Contour Lip Liner in Candy Rose . Apply a satin rose lipstick like Milani Velvet Lips Lipstick in Lavish, a mulberry rose. Add some shine with a clear lip gloss with silver shimmer such as Lipstick Queen Shine in Silver Saint. If you really want to warm up in winter, apply DuWop Moon Venom. This adds a silver sparkle and lots of lip plumping “burn”.

And for a fragrance to finish this flirty mermaid-turned-snowbunny-look, I recommend Karl Lagerfield Kapsule Light EDT, a mix of juicy citrus, flowers, and winter spices.

Korres Vanilla Cinnamon Shower Gel is one of those comfort products to have around during cool weather. Like all of the other Korres Shower Gels, this one has a nice lather that doesn’t dry out the skin. It’s a very nice natural product. It doesn’t feel slimy or separate in the bottle like some natural products. A little bit of this gel goes a long way.

The scent is sweet. But, not like a gooey cinnamon roll. It reminds me more of eggnog with spicy woods. It’s more a milky vanilla base with a hint of cinnamon spice that boarders onto spicy woods. This is not a scent that I would like in the dog days of summer. It would be repulsive at this time. It is a great winter scent. It’s comforting, creamy, slightly spicy and woodsy. The scent doesn’t linger on the skin. I wouldn’t want to smell like eggnog all day anyways. It is just a “fun” product because it really scents the shower and makes it a bit of a holiday oasis but you don’t smell like that all day. It’s the perfect holiday scent of sugar and spice.

The shower gel retails for $13 for about 8 fl. oz. and is available at DERMAdoctor.

It’s that time of year again. Mandarins, satsumas, whatever you like to call them, are at market to be purchased by the boxful. Citrus is a nice treat during these cool winter months. I’ve compiled a “collage” of zesty mandarin fragrances with a variety of price points and formulas.

Budget Mandarin Scents (Under $50): Trish McVoy Mandarin & Ginger Lily EDT is a citrus floral blend that is light-wearing. It retails for $48 for .5 oz (not alot of product for the dough). Crazylibellule & The Poppies Les Garçonnes Tamara Charleston is a very interesting humid, green, mandarin blend. This solid Crazystick retails for $18 and is well worth it. My review of it is here. Lush Olive Branch Solid Perfume is a simple and refreshing unisex blend of olive oil and mandarins. I love the solid formula. tIt retails for about $8. Lancome Ô de Lancome EDT is a classic, cool feeling mandarin, floral, and rosemary scent. The 1.7 oz. bottle goes for $38.50.  Voluspa Victoria Collection Pink Fatale is an incredible flirty fruity-floral with citrus and lilies. The .5 oz. roll-on goes for $24. Oh, and I almost forgot the mandarin classic: The Body Shop Satsuma Perfume Oil. It’s all about mandarin and the .5 oil goes for $16. (not pictured)

More Expensive Mandarin Scents: Jo Malone Lime Basil & Mandarin Cologne is a zesty, herbaceous citrus blend that is unisex. It’s a great summer scent. The 3.4 oz bottle goes for $100. It’s a limited edition fragrance but it is still available: L’Artisan Parfumeur Mandarine Tout Simplement. It is what the name implies. It is a sparkling mandarin citrus blend. It is light wearing and the 8.4 oz. spray goes for $135. If you are looking for a creamier mandarin fragrance, the kind that can transition into cooler weather even though it is refreshing, try Antica Farmacista Vanilla Bourbon and Mandarin Perfume. The 1.6 oz. bottle goes for $58. Guerlain Aqua Allegoria Madarine Basilic EDT is a naturally sweet citrus blend with clementine, mandarin, and blood orange. The 1.7 oz bottle goes for $57. Here’s my review. Manuel Canovas Route Mandarine EDP is a mandarin and orange blossom mix, a citrus floral. It retails for $79 for 3.4 oz. Fresh Bergamot Citrus is a light blend of bergamot, citrus, and foresty base notes. The 3.4 oz. retails for $75. Creed Millesime Imperial is a unisex blend of crisp citrus, salt, musk, and woods. It is truly lovely and goes for $250 for 4 oz. (I just ordered one and I’m waiting anxiously for its arrival). Molinard 1849 Vervaine de Molinard is a green, crisp, fresh mandarin. Plus, the bottle is a must have. The 3.3 oz goes for $185.

5 Other Great Mandarin Products: Mistral Black Tea Mandarin Soap is a great scent for cooler weather. A bar goes for under $8. Ahava Body Sorbet in Madarin & Cedarwood is a refreshing and very moisturizing blend. The cedarwood really adds a special something. I love it for cooler weather. It is very foresty. A tub goes for $26. Lush The Big Tease Styling Gel is a hair gel with an orange blossom, mandarin, and lemon scent. It smells heavenly. It goes for under $17. Diptyque Oyedo Candle is a refreshing blend of grapefruit and mandarin. The candle retails for $60. A rich and lush mandarin fragrance for the home is Alora Ambiance Tre Reed Diffuser which goes for $58.

Parfums des Beaux Arts by DSH Gingembre is a perfect cool weather fragrance. I live in Washington, not just anywhere, around the Puguet Sound: Western Washington. We are known for our massive amounts of gloom and rain. For a closet goth and a mushroom hunter, this is paradise. I love the cooler, foggy,  seaside days. The rain is here just like clockwork starting on October 1st. It’s a bit chilly (50’s), cloudy, and rainy. If you’ve ever visited this area during the rainy season, then you know why we love our coffee. It is the only thing that warms you up and gives you energy during this season (even though many of us are into our tea). Today I am wearing Gingembre. It is my comforting travel mug of steaming dark roast and cashmere blended hoodie on this cool, rainy, classic PNW day.

Gingembre is spicy and comforting. If you love gingerbread or ginger snaps then you should love this. At first it feels and smells like the steam off of a masala coffee or chai. It’s spicy with nutmeg, allspice, anise, and clove. The ginger comes in, more of a dried powder, Indian market ginger. This scent then becomes my spice cabinet. You can smell the gourmand spices mixed with ginger powder. It has a bit of beeswax which adds so much to this fall/winter spice blend. It gets a little sweeter but not super sweet like a spice cake with cream cheese icing. This is more like a chai with a sugar or honey. If you pay close attention you can get a bit of a floral, like a honeyed, dried rose. It’s so beautiful. The great thing about the PNW is that this time of year you crave fall baked goods heavy with ginger and cloves, hot beverages, you smell the ground which is soaked, mossy, mushroomy. But, it isn’t “dying”. There are many evergreens and roses are late. We get roses up until November. It just delights me that this perfect fall/winter fragrance has rose. The dry down is delicious like a handsome man wearing a cologne heavy on patchouli and resins while sipping suavely on spiced rum in front of a blazing fireplace.

This one is a keeper for me. I thought my favorite ginger scent was Serge Lutens Five O’Clock au Gingembre, but  right now I love this one more. Five O’Clock is more of the aroma of a moist, baking gingerbread cookie ready to come out of the oven. This one is more of a crispy gingersnap and a cup of comforting chai. This being said, I think this is a nice unisex scent. It’s sexy on either a man or a woman.

I would say that you would like this if you are looking for a fall/winter ginger scent (not a tropical or fresh ginger), something  like Serge Lutens Five O’Clock au Gingembre , Jo Malone Nutmeg & Ginger Cologne, Laura Mercier Minuit Enchanté, L’Artisan Parfumeur Navegar, Armani Prive Ambre Soie, Perfumerie Generale Un Crime Exotique, Mark Buxton Sounds & Visions, and/or Bois 1920 Sushi Imperiale.

This fragrance is made from 94.5% botanical ingriedients. It’s long-wearing, very realistic and natural. The 1 oz. spray goes for $70 and other sizes are available. It is available on the fragrance house’s website.

Parfums des Beaux Arts by DSH The Color Orange is a fragrance based on the color orange used in Rothko’s no.12. Appropriately it is heavy on citrus. Oranges are orange. At first spritz it is a juicy but rugged citrus. It smells like fresh, hand squeezed oranges. It’s a mix of the juice and the peel. It’s a bounty of mid-winter ripe citrus: juicy blood oranges, mandarins, and grapefruit. These are listed as the top notes and you can really smell them. Citrus crops are one of the few things that I enjoy about winter. Who doesn’t love the feel of a blood orange awakening the senses in the dead of winter? I can smell the lushness of blood oranges, the tartness of little mandarins, and the rugged sweetness of grapefruit. It is like an olfactory vitamin C bomb. It’s bold and refreshing, tart and only sweet in the way that a pink grapefruit or blood orange can be. Surprisingly, The Color Orange becomes “lighter” and flirtier. It has a whimsy blend of neroli/orange blossom. It’s still “citrus” but with a breeze of neroli/orange blossom. It becomes much more feminine, smooth, and less rugged. It’s just flirty, coy. It blends smooth like the oil paints used in a Rothko painting, seamless but with definition. I love the base. This flirty, coy citrus-floral turns in to a moody, Medieval animalic citrus pomander. The dry-down is spicy and rich with wintery myrrh, ambrette seed, and sensual musks. This isn’t a Christmas time craft project type pomander, heavy on cinnamon, stuffing an orange peel with cloves. This is how I imagine a Middle Ages pomander, animalic heavy on ambergris, rich resins, and orange rinds, all carried from distant, warm lands. Something to outweigh the less than perfect wintery weather of the land where you reside. This is a reminder of warmth, sunshine, and bountiful groves. Not the rain, cold, frost, snow, grayness of December.

I really like this fragrance for winter. It is refreshing, warm, and very much like the citrus in season. I would say that you would like this if you like “rugged” citrus, something “orange”, winter citrus blends, Diptyque L’eau de Tarocco, Keiko Mecheri Sanguine, Red Flower Organic Ambrette, Pacifica Tuscan Blood Orange, and/or Fresh Bergamot Citrus. Oh, or Bliss Blood Orange & White Pepper body cream. The fragrance wears for about 4 hours.

A few sizes of this EDP are available. A 1 oz spray goes for $65. It can be purchased at DSH Perfumes website.

Rothkos no.12

Rothko's no.12

greennailcolors

I am totally craving dark green nails for the cooler months. (It all started with Butter London’s British Racing Green.) I have been searching for the perfect, mysterious, deep, dark green. I want something the color of a Douglas fir tree. I think an evergreen makes a great winter shade. Here is a list of dark green nail colors that I have stumbled across.

Budget green colors (Under $5): NYX Nail Polish in Las Vegas (not pictured) is a shimmery green with envy deep money green. It’s a nice formula and a good price at $4. Sally Hansen Insta-Dry Fast Dry Nail Color in Jumpin’ Jade Frost is a perfect for winter, shimmery, rich peacock green shade. I really do love this formula because it does dry quickly and you never have to worry about smudges. It retails for about $4. Rimmel 60 Seconds Nail Polish in Green With Envy is a jade-ish green shimmer. It takes a few coats to get it darker. It has a nice price at about $3. It isn’t my favorite out of this list but it is what you pay for and nice if you don’t plan on wearing this color very frequently.

More Expensive green colors (Over $5): I’m totally obsessed with Butter London Nail Lacquer in British Racing Green. “British racing green” is one of my favorite colors anyways. I’ve always wanted a vintage Triumph in this shade. It’s snazzy. This shade is dead on that “racy” color. The formula is great and it’s a Seattle based company so I have to love them. It’s pricey at $14. OPI for Sephora Nail Coulour has Dark Room. This is a satin shimmer free deep, almost black green. I wanted to love this color but when I saw it in person, I found it to be less than “film-noir” inspired like the claim but more mucky and boring. It is still a nice alternative to black though. It retails for $9. Lippman Collection Nail Color in Don’t Tell Mama is a super shimmery, metallic deep green with a dash of blue. It’s enchanting, very festive. It goes for $16. OPI Nail Color in Here Today…Aragon Tomorrow (not pictured) is a rich, moody emerald. It’s a beautiful shade that goes for about $8. Illamasqua Nail Varnish (not pictured) in Rampage is a nice dark forest green that looks like what I am looking for; however, I have never tried this formula. It retails for $14.