Amour


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Amour (Kenzo 2006) is a sweet, watery floral with notes that are elegant, almost spicy and  certainly romantic.  It’s a warm modern scent.

Top notes: white tea, and rice.  Middle notes: frangipani, heliotrope and cherry blossom.  Base notes: tanaka wood, incense, musk and vanilla.

Phyto, Exceptinal Mask is effective although not necessarily the extremely intensive mask it’s described as.  Honestly, coconut oil works a lot better, is less expensive and much more natural.  But, this is more convenient I suppose… All the same, I will not be purchasing this again.

Clinique, Stay-Matte, Oil-Free Makeup is even better than I remember it being.  It’s truly a nice matte foundation and the coverage and staying power are admirable.  I’m not sure I’ll purchase an actual bottle, but, then again, who knows…

Sigh.

This last weekend was both fun and depressing.  We saw more of my family, and that was great.  But we also saw more rain than I’ve ever seen in my life (I still love rain, but… maybe sunshine would be a nice change) and I realized how much I still miss St. Paul…  I’m a bit heartbroken for that place now I think actually.

Also on the plus side though is the great mellow warmth of the weather…  At least I have yet to wear a winter coat.

Jazz Club

2015-06-29 15.37.18 (2)Perfectly sweet, masculine, and urbane, Jazz Club (Maison Martin Margiela 2013) is a very modern but infinitely charming fragrance.  Meant to be an olfactory replication of a Brooklyn jazz club in 2013 the fragrance description is listed as, “Heady cocktails and cigars.”   I can indeed smell a smoky, cigar note and a note of rum absolute that is rich and elegant.  And, I can almost hear jazz music, melodious, mellow but spicy when I smell this intensely smooth, but sizzling (pink pepper) scent.  I rarely like contemporary fragrances for men but I quite like this one…

Notes: tobacco leaf, rum absolute and pink pepper. 

Today…  Oh boy.  I’ll update this section later. 🙂

Update:  Well…  My perfume entirely seems to have survived save a few scratches.   Our furniture however is in rough shape.  Some pieces were totally destroyed.  An armoire was almost entirely destroyed.  A bed was destroyed.  An antique cabinet was scratched.  A bookshelf was almost obliterated.   A chair was scuffed…  The couch was scuffed.  It was weird.

…I’m so confused in my mess of scattered stuff.  Haha.

Misia

MisiaMisia is violet (Chanel 2015).  I smell a bit of iris too, but mostly just violet…  At the opening, rich, semi-sweet aldehydes and violets are warm and delicious on the skin.  And with the note of Grasse rose and benzoin (among other notes) it reminds me a lot of my vintage fragrances.  In fact, if you combined vintage Chanel No. 22 with vintage Devon Violets it would be quite similar to Misia.  In the drydown the sweetness becomes almost like toasted sugar…  It’s a bit extraordinary in my opinion…

Top notes: litchi, and aldehydes.  Middle notes: peach, raspberry, Turkish rose, and Grasse rose.  Base notes: tonka bean, benzoin, iris, orris root, violet, vanilla, powdery notes, and vanilla.  

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Origins, Clear Improvement, Active Charcoal Mask is a pretty darn good mask…  It cleans out the pores and leaves the skin in a balanced, pleasant state.  It also seems to avoid irritating the skin.  Plus, it’s very quick to use…  I’ll likely be repurchasing this product at some point.

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Biore, Self Heating One Minute Mask is not quite as good as the one above, but it too is quick and effective.  It also has a wonderful heating sensation that is a bit relaxing.  I can’t say that I would buy this one…  But I can’t say that I wouldn’t either…

Sigh.

I honestly don’t think I can write anything personal without it being negative, melancholy, or complaining in some way right now…   Or just too damn personal.  So… I’m not going to say anything.  🙂

Until Wednesday…

Fascinator

2014-12-30 18.11.49 (2)Fascinator by Hové Parfumeur of New Orleans, Louisiana (Hové Parfumeur) is a largely green, strong, oak moss fragrance but I would guess there’s some jasmine and ylang-ylang,  bergamot and lemon as well.  It’s a bit indolic, earthy and a little sweet with what I believe to be orange blossom and what is certainly musk.   In the drydown it’s still a sharp, slightly bitter scent but there’s a hint of warmth and gentleness to balance the feisty notes,.  Perhaps those are at notes of sandalwood and patchouli.

Fascinator is a part of Hové’s luxury line of women’s fragrances.  It has excellent longevity and discreet but noticeable sillage.

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Yves Saint Laurent Fusion Ink Foundation is easily one of the best foundations I’ve ever tried.   I wasn’t expecting to like it  since I’m not a big fan of the Touche Eclat, but, Fusion Ink Foundation is lovely.  It sits on the skin but not in a bad way…   It’s more like a soft veil that covers the skin ever so gently with a dewy, natural quality.  It doesn’t seem to irritate the skin or accentuate fine lines either.  When I’m in the market for a new foundation this may well be what I pick…

And there.  I did it.  I finally posted a Monday post…   It’s been weeks since I’ve done any product reviews.  I know this week I only review one product, but I’ll get back into the swing of things…

How was your weekend?

Bright Crystal

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Versace, Bright Crystal (Versace 2006) is a burst of fruity floral crispness and then a sweet progression to the finish.  It’s strong and sharp.  There’s a faint musky sensuality to this scent too, although it lurks in the background instead of being  front and center.  It’s watery and somewhat pleasant…  Very 2000’s.

Top notes: pomegranate, yuzu and frosted accord.  Middle notes: peony, lotus and magnolia.  Base notes: amber, musk and red woods. 

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Clinique Almost Lipstick in Black Honey is intriguing.  It’s dark if you layer it, but when you first apply it it’s more like a darkish lip stain or tinted moisturizer.   I suppose that’s why it’s called “Almost Lipstick.”   But, at any rate, it’s a nice product.  It’s not as present and thick on the lips as a lipstick though, of course, so if you are indeed looking for a lipstick this isn’t the route to go.  It’s not terribly drying either…  thankfully.

Wow.   I am so tired today…  I’m sorry this post is up late.  It was a long weekend and today I have a stress headache.    It was a nice weekend, but our son was up a lot at night and we’ve just been busy…

Anyway.

Sorry if this post is not that great.  Ha!

Have a nice rest of your day, dear reader.  🙂

Déclaration L’Eau

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Fresh, clean and piney, Déclaration L’Eau (Cartier 2014) is a sanitizing scent.   With a strong burst of aromatic citrus it’s unabrasive but firm and modern.  In the drydown is bcomes almost transcendent and cooling.  For warm Summer days Déclaration L’Eau is a delightful fragrance, for men, that is all at once both wonderfully relaxed and elegant.

Notes: pink grapefruit, cedar and pink pepper.

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Living Proof Curl Defining Styling Cream leave in conditioner was alright.  My husband who has rather thick curls found that it was very easy to use too much and cause a crunchy effect.   There’s also a strong scent that’s both flowery and fruity.  Frankly, it’s not the most masculine fragrance either, so some men might find that off-putting (it smells like a sugar-bomb fragranced, high end shampoo).  But it does create lots of definition andprovide some moisture.  At any rate it’s most certainly made for thicker hair.

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Aveda Be Curly Curl Enhancer is not too bad.  Actually, we all liked this product a decent amount.  It doesn’t cause the crunchy effect of some other curl enhancers (see above), it doesn’t weigh down the hair, but it does create defined curls and decrease fizziness.  There may be better products out there, but this is certainly not a bad choice…

Whenever the Summer is at its finest I alway become a bit nostalgic and filled with a yearning to travel.  Whether that’s traveling back in time or traveling across a continent, well, it varies…

My best friend in college, and one of my best friends ever really, was as much into old movies as I am.  I remember watching some mystery movie with her that reminded me a bit of Rebecca (her name was Rebecca actually), only it wasn’t.  But whenever I think about Summer, especially warm Summer days, I think of that movie…  There were these lovely, warm but breezy moments in that film that managed to be both decadent and pensive. Sigh.  I need to figure out what movie that was…

What old films do you love?

Until Wednesday.  🙂

Dolce

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Dolce is a smooth, creamy floral (Dolce & Gabbana 2014).  With a combination of amaryllis, papaya flower and water lily it’s also a slightly sweet aquatic scent with a modern sensibility.  During the drydown it becomes powdery and a bit soft.

As a noteworthy aside, when my husband first smelled Dolce on me he liked it.  He said it was pleasant and since he usually can’t smell my perfumes that easily he thought Dolce might be promising.  However, he then smelled Dolce up close and didn’t like it…  So, perhaps Dolce has fairly strong sillage and may actually smell better from a distance then in full force.  I liked it both ways actually, but I know some perfumes actually are better when smelled from a bit of distance… Anyway, this is a pretty scent.

Top notes: papaya flower and neroli.  Middle notes: narcissus, water lily and amaryllis.  Base notes: musk and cashmeran.

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La Bella Donna Liquid Eyeliner Pen can be purchased (as you see above) at The Detox Market, a somewhat chic online store that carries popular natural brands like RMS Beauty.  I had high hopes for La Bella Donna Liquid Eyeliner Pen.  I really did…   There are two colors, brown and black.   I bought black.

First of all, it’s not black.  At least, it doesn’t really look black.  It looks more charcoal or dark gray.  Secondly, it came already almost dried out, or if it isn’t basically dried out you have to press really hard to make much of anything appear. And because of those two issues it just doesn’t look like liquid eyeliner.  It looks like a pencil and doesn’t have much definition (the photo below is as dark and bold as it gets)…   I won’t be buying it again.

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La Bella Donna Liquid Eyeliner Pen in Black

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After loving Yves Saint Laurent, Volupte Tint-In Oil, in Cherry My Cherie but not being able to find it anywhere I bought it in Pink About Me instead.  I’m not unhappy.  I like Cherry My Cherie more, honestly, but Pink About Me is charming.  It leaves behind a pretty stain after the gloss has departed and it smells fruity and a little sweet while it’s on.  I may find myself buying more than a couple of these.  I have a suspicion that they’re all fantastic…

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Volupte Tint-In Oil in Pink About Me

How has your Monday gone so far?  Well, I hope.

We’re having lovely weather here and it’s been wonderful…  Hopefully there will be time to be outside and enjoy it.

Hmmm.  I guess I don’t have much to share today.  🙂

But thank you for reading.  🙂 I appreciate it.

Live

2015-03-29 12.54.52Lacoste Live (Lacoste 2014) is sexy, sharp and very masculine.  With woody and herbal notes it has some depth too… Longevity and sillage are moderate.  Notes are listed as: watery notes, green notes, lime, licorice and Guaiac Wood. 

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Skin Medica Vitamin C & E Complex is much better than I thought it would be…  It’s one of those products that flies under the radar and isn’t in fancy packaging, but really works.  I used it primarily as an under-eye anti-aging product, but it can and should be used elsewhere too.  It lightened the darkeness around my eyes, tightened the skin and reduced my fine lines. This product is worth it…

2015-04-04 12.37.42 (3)Yves Saint Laurent Volupté Tint-In-Oil is FANTASTIC!  Wow…  I am in love with this stuff.  It really is the best of both lip gloss and lipstick.  The colors are flattering (I tried Cherry My Cherie) and perfectly rich, the consistency is dreamy and the shine is beguiling (although the shine does eventually wear off and leave just a pretty stain behind).  This is going to become a beauty staple for me.  It’s youthful but refined.  It’s fantastic.

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This weekend had it’s share of ugly moments, but it had nice ones too.   It was pleasant to see a few cousins I haven’t seen in much too long, to meet spouses of cousins who recently joined the family and to see other cousins and uncles and aunts who are all good people.  But, on the less than pleasant side, my son got into my perfume collection and broke a vintage bottle that was almost full right before we were supposed to leave for the wedding.  It shattered into pieces and the contents were all over the place.  Now, the hallway near the collection smells powdery, sweet and balsamic, and to be honest, it does actually make walking down the hall much more enjoyable.

Sigh.

I hope you’re having a nice start to your week dear reader. 🙂

Mantrap

2014-12-30 18.10.58 (2)Mantrap (Hové Parfumeur 1930’s) is a very flowery, musky, intensely vintage fragrance.  According to Hové, Mantrap is a, “…heavy oriental..” with, “heavy resinous notes…”  but I think it’s a bit more crisp and almost green than that description allows.  I also experience it as  more of a floral chypre than an oriental, but they, of course, are the experts and have the full list of notes…  I just feel like Mantrap has more of an aromatic, spicy floral complexity that is more Aromatics Elixir than Shalimar, especially at first.  However, that could just be a trick of my chemistry and relative inexperience.

In any case, it’s a very unique, beautiful perfume.  It has great sillage, and decent longevity.  I will never tire of recommending Hové Parfumeur…  Never.

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Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation has received numerous raving reviews and is quite popular.  It supposedly is a special sort of foundation that works small miracles.  I was fortunate enough to receive the above pictured sample from Sephora a while back…  And, to be blunt, I’m not impressed.  Based on my experience it doesn’t seem any better than almost any other high end foundation I’ve ever used.  Matter of fact, I can think of three companies that make foundations I like more (Clinique, Chanel and Lancôme).  So, needless to say, I will not be purchasing Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation.  Maybe it has something to do with my skin though?  Who knows…  If you’re curious, of course I recommend trying it for yourself.

2015-04-16 12.00.01Dior Diorshow Mascara is pretty fantastic.  This mascara lives up to the hype.  It thickens my lashes considerably, lengthens them and adds definition.  Essentially, this mascara is basically perfect, except it does flake the tiniest bit and that’s sort of annoying, but it’s so darn good otherwise that I almost don’t care.  It smells good too…  I might not say that it’s the best mascara ever, but it has to be one the best.  Definitely.  I may very well buy it again.  And again.

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Yves Saint Laurent Touche Eclat was a total disappointment.  It caused breakouts and didn’t do a thing to “highlight” my skin the way it is supposed to.  I also tried using it as concealer and that wasn’t terrible, but again, it caused my skin to erupt in tiny pimples – not pretty.  I know a lot of people love this product, but I would never recommend it, especially if you have skin that still has the occasional pimple.  I think that the attached brush is part of the problem because unless you remember to clean it with your other brushes it just keeps getting more grimy every time you use it (of course).  Ugh.

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This week I’m looking forward to a visit from my in-laws.  I’ll be making a linguini with white clam sauce, my husband will make fresh bread and we’ll have blueberry pie for dessert.  And, on Sunday I’ll be attending a family wedding.  I’m already planning what to wear…  I’m thinking a vintage lavender dress with sandals, and a matching Schiaparelli rainbow tourmaline crystal bracelet and necklace would be best.  We’ll see.

At any rate, I don’t have much to say today that’s of a personal nature, but again, and as always, thank you for reading…  🙂

Bottega Veneta

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Bottega Veneta, Bottega Veneta (Bottega Veneta 2011) is a sweet, watery floral bouquet. It’s a bit spicy too.  Actually, it’s quite spicy…  Pink Pepper is very especially detectable at first, and patchouli emerges as a strong note in the drydown.

Longevity is weak to moderate and sillage is also weak to moderate (at least on me).  This is not a cold weather fragrance. Unless you project your perfume very easily I would suggest wearing this on a warmer day.

Top notes: pink pepper, bergamot.  Middle notes: jasmine.  Base notes: leather, oakmoss, and patchouli.

And ode to mineral oil…

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The often demonized mineral oil, and other petroleum by-products, found in cosmetics are hard to avoid.  However, being a person who tries, defiantly at times, to avoid “bad” ingredients in almost any and everything I’ve managed fairly well to abstain.  This past winter though I broke down.  I read one too many articles written about the safety of certain products due to the high level of processing they put their petroleum by-products through.  And it was so cold, and so dry and Vaseline started looking tempting…  After doing research on ewg.org and reading Paula Begoun’s take on it, I bought some.  Ever since then I have less of a black and white view of mineral oil and try to assess products containing petroleum by-products on more of a case by case basis.

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Vaseline Original is simply fantastic.  I use it to coat my eyelashes before going to sleep (my lashes are actually thicker and longer – no joke).  I slather some on my lips before sleeping too, and in between hair cuts I mix it with coconut oil to deep condition the ends of my hair.  And it lasts forever, and works!  I mean, sure, it’s not actually moisturizing, but it’s a great emollient.  So, when combined with a moisturizing product it helps the other product work overtime.  It also prevents the skin from drying out even if it doesn’t actually moisturize (on my lips at night).  And, you can use it for soo soo many things (baby bottoms, cuticle cream, lip gloss, etc.).  This stuff is irreplaceable.  Just make sure you buy the actual Vaseline brand because they supposedly have strict standards for their petroleum by-products and other companies might not be as safe.

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Ok, so I might not recommend Carmex Original Lip Balm based on ingredients, but man, it works…  I try mot to use this classic lip care product too often, but when my lips are really dry or I just feel like having super soft lips this product comes in handy.  Within a relatively short amount of time my lips are basically transformed.  Perhaps limited use combined with “safer” lip products is a reasonable option.  So, basically, use Carmex to treat the lips and then follow up with something more benign (i.e. Burt’s Bees).  And really, even the packaging of this product recommends limited daily use…

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Smith’s Rosebud Salve is still being made in the same way it was since the late 1890’s.  It’s a classic.  It smells like rosebud petals, is smooth, slightly tinted with a pretty pink hue, and is free from parabens and phthalates.  It does, however, have petroleum by-products…  And frankly, I just don’t care.  I’m guessing that they’re the safe variety, and even if they aren’t it’s so darn safe in other ways that I feel it “evens out” so to speak.

This stuff is fabulous. It can be used as a very slighty tinted lip moisturizer (my favorite use), hair smoother (in a pinch), or a moisturizer for your hands or cuticles.  And really, it’s just so darn cute in its pretty little tin.  It’s one of my new go to products (even though it’s been popular for quite some time).

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I can’t believe it’s already almost June.  But, I’m glad…  I’m ready for summer.

What are you looking forward to this summer?  I’m looking forward to being outside as much as possible.  For whatever reason, I’ve been craving nature lately…

At any rate, I hope your week is starting well. 🙂