Lately perfumers seem to be especially productive in creating numerous fragrances that cover every existing taste and preference. I sampled a few newbies, and it turns out that sweet floral blends are dominating perfume counters this season.
Versace Vanitas ($95-$125)
This long-awaited scent from Versace is their first couture offering. “A rich and voluptuous tiare flower sublimated by lime and freesia, enveloped by sensual accents of cedar wood and tonka bean.” Its bold, in-your-face freesia center note noticeably overshadows the bouquet of other ingredients. I call it a no-nonsense floral that is light, but long-lasting enough to get you through a whole day.
I haven’t made up my mind completely whether I like this fragrance or not: it’s a nice scent for spring, but I find it a little boring, lacking the ‘wow’ factor.
Chloe ‘Love, Chloe’ ($85-$110)
Chloe’s ‘Love, Chloe’ powdery, light and sensual floral bouquet smells a bit more complicated than Vanitas.
Topnotes – Orange Blossom, Pink Pepper
Midnotes – Iris, Lilac, Hyacinth, Wisteria Blossom
Basenotes – Powdery Musks, Talc and Rice Powder
I wasn’t feeling much love for this perfume for the first couple of hours, but the dry down notes converted me into a fan. To me it smells like a toned down mixture of musky flowers, topped with a sprinkle of citrus notes. It’s a fresh, light, thoroughly thought-through fragrance, with a touch of powdery incense. ‘Love, Chloe’ is also pretty concentrated, just a couple of spritzes is quite enough to make it last until your next shower.
Thierry Mugler Womanity ($58-$98)
Sweet and savory Womanity fragrance is truly one-of-a-kind. “An engaging, mysterious and unique scent, full of contrast is built around the theme of the fig fruit, a powerful symbol of femininity, with an exceptional fig and caviar accord.”
This is the first perfume from Thierry Mugler that I developed a strong attachment to. The fragrance is build around juicy fig notes, and they definitely take center stage through all the phases of the fragrance development. The scent is long-lasting, chic and captivating. I don’t feel any described “caviar accord”, but subtle and sophisticated blend of fruity and floral ingredients smells unique and very interesting. The bottle looks different and catches the eye right away. Although I dislike its name, this is by far my favorite scent out of the new perfume bunch.
Ladies, here’s a new product for your consideration, courtesy of Reviva Labs: Collagen Fibre Skin Brightener Pads ($13). You get two 3”x4” pads that you can cut into needed size pieces to cover as many areas as you wish to treat. The claim is that this product “brightens, lightens dark spots or uneven pigmentation after each treatment”, and you experience immediate results. ” The Ultra lightening Alpha-Arbutin ingredient infused into the Collagen Fibre is supported by licorice extract and citric acid. A powerful lightening/brightening trio.”
To use Brightener Pads, you just need to cut them into desired size, then cleanse your skin, moisten the dark spots you hate with water, and place a piece of Pad on top. Then, using a wet cotton ball or a Q-tip, pat the Brightener Pad with it, molding it into skin. Leave it for 15-20 minutes and then discard.
I was using those Pads every other day for 30 minutes, and I’m quite satisfied with the results. I had a couple of dark spots on the back of my hand, that are practically undetectable now. I still have some discoloration left from the sun spot on my cheek, but it appears much lighter in color. I keep treating it, and hope that with time I’ll be able to rid myself of it completely.
I was surprised that Pads worked almost right away, which motivated me to keep applying them until I’m completely done with my discolorations. They seem to work better and faster on my hands, but I still have enough product left to treat the stubborn face spots.
The verdict: Skin Brightener Pads work, you just need to be patient and consistent with your treatment. They are non-irritating, easy to use, natural and inexpensive, in other words – a good way to deal with unwanted pigmentation.
CHANEL Ombres Perlees De CHANEL ($65)
I got this eye shadow palette earlier this week and can’t take my hands off of it ever since. It’s the best new thing that is sold at the Chanel counter at the moment, according to me, and it also happens to be limited edition (why do they always do that with the best stuff?). The palette is from Chanel’s spring collection and is kind of pricey, but in its defense, the quality is exquisite.
I haven’t seen a product with the same texture before: it’s a very creamy, velvety fine powder, intensely pigmented and blends like a charm. The shadows create a multi-dimensional effect, beautiful pearly finish, and look equally nice in any light. The more I pile them on, the richer and more striking the colors appear. I fell in love with the grayish green the most, believe it or not it complements my green eyes like no other shade.
The application technique is key here. To keep the color intensity, it’s best to pat these shadows on the lids either with fingers, a very stiff, short-bristled liner brush or a little sponge applicator, then blend away. I also tried to apply with a shadow brush, which gave my lids a sheer wash of color with a subtle shine that looks perfect for day time.
What I like the most is that the shadows are shiny, but not frosty or glittery, you end up with a glowing shimmer effect that looks very pretty. I haven’t experienced any creasing or flaking, they melt into skin and stay put until you decide to take your makeup off.
I’ll just put this statement out there for all of you to read and judge: I don’t like Valentine’s Day. There, I said it, and already feel relieved. I guess I also need to explain why. There’s no particular reason really, I just don’t see the point of doing all the nice things for your partner under the pressure of one particular holiday, that’s all. It feels forced to me, like you HAVE to do nice things on THIS very day and then, when it’s all over, you can relax and don’t bother until next year.
Initially I didn’t plan to be a party pooper here and spoil everybody else’s excitement, so I came up with a few gift ideas to somehow rehabilitate myself in your eyes:
I Heart Sephora Bling Brush Set ($25) – 5 conveniently red brushes in a sparkly silver case. They are travel size, good value, and almost everything you need to create the look you want. I see two ways to get this brush kit for Valentine’s Day: either ask specifically for it or go get it yourselves and ask for jewelry instead.
NARS Follow The Boys Lip Gloss Set includes 4 glosses for 40 bucks: Moon Fleet (clear with silver and gold flecks), Easy Lover (sheer hot pink), Turkish Delight (pink sorbet), and Sweet Revenge (sheer pink grapefruit). The colors are great and versatile, the thin texture feels weightless on the lips, and all glosses are shiny and not sticky.
Although the bottle is not red, Philosophy ‘Falling in Love’ body lotion‘s name suits the occasion nicely ($34). Rich and creamy, with a nice soft smell – what’s not to love?
Jo Malone Red Roses Bath Oil ($65) is for those who plan to spend a good portion of Valentine’s Day in a bathtub with champagne flute in one hand and a heart-shaped chocolate in the other. This bath oil doesn’t feel oily at all, smells divine and happens to be quite moisturizing.
Happy upcoming Valentine’s everybody! Wish you all the love in the world!
Did you hear about Wal-Mart’s new cosmetics line? The name is GeoGirl, and it’s targeted for – get this – 8 to 12 year old girls. The size of the products is small enough to fit comfortably in the little hands. The ingredients are said to be all natural: green tea, pomegranate, lavender and white willow bark. Some of them are considered to be good antioxidants and exfoliants, which is exactly what little girls need, right?
The manufacturer promises that the application is “super sheer and see through to give her skin a healthy natural glow”. Whaaat? I personally haven’t met any girl under the age of 12 with dull, parched or unhealthy-looking skin. I’m not even sure if they have any knowledge of proper makeup application. Granted, I was painting my own face at that age all colors of the rainbow with my mother’s makeup. But I was strictly banned to show my face like that outside of the house. So it’s hard for me to imagine an 8 year old having a beauty routine in the morning before catching a school bus.
Is catering beauty products to little girls a disturbing new trend? Depends on whom you ask. It’s always up to parents whether to buy their daughters makeup or not. I personally think that they should still be playing kids’ games at this age, instead of training themselves to have a steady hand while swiping their little mascara on or trying to achieve a dewy complexion. Anybody with me?
Is it green? Is it silver? Blue or purple? It’s all those colors. Not Like The Movies nail polish is from Katy Perry’s collection for OPI, and it’s a color chameleon, it changes shades when you look at it at different angles. The initial color is sultry silver, but it constantly changes into a different shade. It appeared green on the store shelf, silver-gray in the evening, purple-gray in the sun, and acquired blue undertones shortly after lunch time.
To tell the truth, I didn’t think I would ever like a color like that, but what do you know, it happened.
The lacquer has a very sheer texture, it took 3 coats (plus base and top) to get the color just right, with nice opaque undertones. It contains a good amount of micro glitter, but it’s not overwhelming, which makes it suitable for both day and night.
Not Like The Movies, as all other OPI polishes, is pretty long lasting: it stays about 2-3 weeks on toes, and a little over a week on finger nails. It costs $9 and can be found at Ulta stores.
My admiration for Escada perfumes started a long time ago, with their launching of Jardin De Soleil. Since then I’ve been a loyal buyer of Sexy Graffiti, Magnetism, Ibiza Hippie and Rockin Rio. What attracted me to those fragrances was their hard-to-resist bouquets of fruity-floral notes that I unsurprisingly still keep in my memory.
This winter the company came out with the new perfume again – Escada Taj Sunset ($40-70), a “scent of tropical sensuality”, as they call it. Notes: Alphonso Mango, Blood Orange, Sweet Primrose, Watery Blossom, Coconut Cream, Raspberry, Musk and Sandalwood.
It’s a vibrant, sweet and happy summer scent, perfect for those who prefer fruity notes in their perfume. According to its description, the fragrance opens up with the burst of Blood Orange and Alphonso Mango, then Sweet Primrose, Watery Blossom and Raspberry join in, and it dries down with Coconut Cream, Musk and Sandalwood.
Well, I happened to have a different experience with this scent. I smelled mango the second I spritzed perfume on myself, after about an hour – still mango, couple of hours later – guess what? mango. Not that I don’t like the fruit, I’m a big fan of it, but my nose failed to detect any other notes of the fragrance. It’s quite a pleasant scent, just a little too fruity for my taste. And it’s not really long-lasting, fades away rather quickly. But if you love mango and don’t mind reapplying your perfume couple of times a day, you may find Taj Sunset a delicious spirit-lifter for the upcoming sunny summer days.