Chanel Coco Noir Eau de Parfum ($98, $130)
The day has come, ladies, Coco Noir is available for purchase now. It smells somewhat reminiscent of both Coco and Coco Mademoiselle, but with its own twist and charm.
Top notes: grapefruit, bergamot, orange
Heart: jasmine, rose, geranium, patchouli
Base: tonka bean, white musk, incense, vanilla, sandalwood
To me Coco Noir feels warm, seductive and captivating. Its lush bouquet is perfectly balanced: deep notes of patchouli, sandalwood and musk add sensual and enigmatic personality to the fragrance, and never feel thick or heavy. The perfume is definitely not for summer, it’s too heady and velvety to wear in the heat. I really like its almost intoxicating brew of citrus-flavored florals and musky base notes. The fragrance doesn’t seem too romantic or elegant, I’d describe it as chic, mysterious and sexy. I’d wear it for nights out, cocktail parties and candle-lit dinners. It doesn’t fade or weaken on my skin for more than 12 hours, and is very concentrated – a couple of spritzes is enough for everybody to notice. Love!
This is what I’ve been obsessed with lately – dark and juicy cherry lips from Gucci runways. If you look closer, you can see red color applied on top of cherry. All you need to do to recreate those ‘come hither’ lips is apply creamy dark cherry lipstick first, and then spread a dollop of red gloss in the middle of the lower lip. As a result of this technique, you get two-tone, 3-D, sultry, full pout in a new, standout kind of way. Now this is the two-tone lip effect that is possible to pull off in real life.
It’s that time of the year when we face the consequences of summer’s carefree skincare (too much sun, anyone?) or the lack thereof. Damaged skin, clogged pores, redness, peeling, sun spots are the usual signs of too much fun in the sun. That’s why now is the perfect time to recoup, regroup and refocus, ’cause you know, fall’s weather always makes everything worse.
I got some at-home remedies to share with you, simple and reliable recipes to get our skin back on track. They all include natural, highly effective ingredients, to nourish and smooth damaged skin. They also contain a great amount of vitamins to restore skin back to normal. Done once or twice a week, these facial masks really do make a difference.
1 medium cucumber
1 teaspoon (tsp) sour cream
Chop up fresh cucumber, mix with a tsp of sour cream. Apply for 15-20 minutes, then rinse with warm water. Follow with your moisturizer.
1 tsp olive oil
1/2 ripe banana
1/2 ripe avocado
2 tablespoons (tbsp) plain yogurt
2 tbsp milk
Mash banana and avocado together first, then add everything else and mix well. Apply to your face and leave for 20-30 minutes. Rinse with warm water.
1 tbsp almond paste
1 tbsp honey
1 egg yolk
1/2 tsp almond oil
1 tbsp plain yogurt
Take your time to mix all ingredients together until well blended. Apply to your face, leave on for 30 minutes, then rinse with warm water.
Gucci ‘Flora by Gucci Gracious Tuberose’ Eau de Toilette ($70, $100)
I usually try to stay away from overly floral fragrances, they feel way too sweet and romantic for my taste. But not this one. Part of Gucci Garden Collection, Gracious Tuberose, with its cocktail of green and floral notes, is lovely and charismatic, and most importantly, not sweet at all.
Top Notes: peach, orange flower
Heart Notes: rose, tuberose
Base Notes: white cedarwood, citrus
The star of the fragrance is tuberose, but it doesn’t come out as too domineering. Orange flower and citrus change the accord of the floral fragrance into citrusy and sparkly. I also feel airy aquatic notes, but I have no idea where they are coming from. White cedarwood balances floral notes and gives the fragrance charming spicy undertones. Gracious Tuberose is light, lovely and sensual, very nicely developed spring/summer fragrance. It stays with me for about 5-6 hours, but it doesn’t completely disappear, it leaves a slight whiff of clean freshness on my skin. The perfume is very breezy and sheer, it oozes subtle elegance and makes me want to come back to it again and again.
Soooo, have you heard about this nail polish with 267-carat beautiful crushed black diamonds in it for the rich eyes’ pleasure? The price tag for the bottle is a whopping $250,000! Why, you may ask, would anybody pay so much for the nail polish that they’ll have to take off with (oh, no!) an uninspiring, cheap and stinky nail polish remover in a week or so? I have no answer to that, ladies.
The most expensive polish in the world was created by Azature, a California-based fine jewelry company. They also decided to limit the production to only one bottle of the brilliant nail polish. Hope its shelf life is long enough to wait until some very rich woman makes up her mind to buy it. And as for the rest of us – don’t worry, we’ve been taken care of too. The budget 25 dollar version of Black Diamond polish is coming to Fred Segal stores this month:
AZATURE BLACK DIAMOND NAIL POLISH, $25
Honestly, I’m more interested in the photo of the blingy one, couldn’t find it anywhere. But on the other hand, what’s the point anyway.
Lancome La Vie Est Belle Eau de Parfum ($55-$95)
La Vie Est Belle (French for “life is beautiful”) is a new perfume from Lancome that comes in a pretty, shiny, understated bottle. Lancome calls it a “modern interpretation of an oriental fragrance with a twist of gourmand”. It’s a sweet, slightly powdery, woody-floral scent, both elegant and complex.
Top notes: blackcurrant, pear
Middle notes: iris, jasmine, orange blossom
Base notes: tonka bean, vanilla, praline, patchouli
When I first tried it, it immediately reminded me of Love Chloe perfume. No wonder, because they contain notes of iris and orange blossom, which are big standouts in both bouquets. La Vie Est Belle opens up with fruity accents of pear and blackcurrant, then they mix up with sweetness of florals, freshness of orange blossom, warmth of patchouli, and comfort of vanilla. I was a little concerned about how base notes would behave together, whether they’d become heavy and overwhelming or soft and comfortable. The presence of patchouli is not over the top or loud, it’s pleasant and quiet instead. The scent turned out cozy, sensual, and easy to wear. It works well as an every day fragrance for spring, summer, and early fall. La Vie Est Belle is conveniently long-lasting, you won’t be thinking about reapplication. Give it a try, you may find yourself falling for it.
Sonia Kashuk Hidden Agenda Concealer ($10.49)
Sonia Kashuk Hidden Agenda concealer seems like a good bang for your buck: you get 1 neutralizer (greenish shade on bottom left), 2 shades of concealer (both upper colors) and 1 finishing powder (bottom right). Hidden Agenda promises to “minimize the appearance of dark circles, fine lines and skin imperfections while offering an overall smooth and polished finish”. And you can custom blend the colors to match your skin tone. Sounds perfect, but does it work? Not exactly.
- Creamy, smooth and easy to blend
- Neutralizer helps cover blemishes by taking care of redness
- Mix and match quality
- Convenient packaging
- Cakes and settles into lines
- Doesn’t work on under eye circles
- Dries out skin and causes flakes
- Customizing the right color takes time
- Hard to take off
- Setting powder is drying and doesn’t work for all skin tones
- Heavy texture
- Palette is available in only one shade
I find Hidden Agenda concealer better suited for occasional touch ups on-the-go, rather than for an actual covering of imperfections. In other words, it does only half the job it’s supposed to do: hides blemishes, but not all kinds of them; gives decent coverage, but without staying power; easy to apply, but hard to take off. Works, but not exactly. Good price though.