Showing posts with label Chanel. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Chanel. Show all posts

Friday, April 22, 2016

My Favorite At-Home Pamper Essentials


I have a roundup of things I wanted to share that I find best for at-home pampering. I try to take care of my skin on a daily basis but try to give it extra care on the weekends - kinda like doing a DIY at home spa session for a good reset or cleanse. There are a few body products I've been meaning to write about for a while - ones I found well worth the splurge. I've included several recommendations by category - there's no one product fits all so I've tried to cover a variety of options in case you're looking for something specific whether it's to purify skin, firm the skin, etc.

Cleansers



  • Cle de Peau Beaute Synactif Soap is probably one of the most expensive face cleansing products I've ever bought. I've gone through 4 of these - I probably would have purchased more if it came with a cheaper price tag. It gives the skin a very thorough cleanse without leaving a film. It cleans out all the pores and leaves skin feeling squeaky clean. When I feel like my face is getting clogged this helps clear up the complexion. With daily use 2x a day a single bar lasts about 4 months.
  • Kate Somerville Exfolikate Cleanser has been mentioned before in my spring cleanser roundup. I really can't rave enough about this - I used mine up so I stocked up on a few more during the Sephora sale earlier this month. It cleanses the skin and helps keep it clear but gentle enough for daily use.
  • Ole Henriksen Empower Foaming Milk Cleanser (c/o) is a super gentle milk cleanser that won't leave a film. I really don't like milk cleansers because I often find them too rich for my skin type and they rarely leave my face feeling fully clean. A few of you mentioned you have really sensitive skin - this is a good one to try. It does give the face a good cleanse without drying it out. I still do a double cleanse with this one in the evenings (I remove all my makeup first with a cleansing oil or cleansing water), but in the morning it's perfect to use alone.
  • Glamglow Supercleanse Daily Clearing Cleanser is one of my favorite purifying cleansers. I've gone through several bottles and it's one I keep going to. In hot summer months I can use this daily (usually in the late afternoon or evenings, or post work out), for now I like to use it weekly to help give the skin a thorough cleanse. It helps reduce redness and irritation too.

Masks


  • Glamglow Supermud Clearing Treatment is hands down one of the most effective clearing face masks. It does have a tingle feeling when you apply it but it's not too strong and doesn't irritate the skin. It sucks out impurities and leaves the skin feeling super firm and tight.
  • Glamglow Gravitymud Firming Treatment is one of the newer masks from Glamglow. This one you leave on the face for 20-30 minutes and peel off. I normally don't like masks that require more than 15 minutes of application because I'm super impatient with skincare, but this one is worth the extra time. It is more on the gentle side for a firming mask and I feel like the effects are more immediate vs. long-term, but it does leave the skin feeling super firm and lifted.
  • Aesop Parsley Seed Mask is the best purifying mask for my sensitive skin. It dries up the gunk in your skin and leaves it feeling thoroughly clean and tight. Many have mentioned to me that their skin cannot handle the Glamglow because they find it too harsh. If that is the case and you still want a purifying mask to draw out impurities, try the Aesop.
  • Kate Somerville Eradikate is one of the most gentle acne-clearing masks. It works in a similar way to the other clarifying masks mentioned above but is super gentle and non-irritating. It won't leave the skin feeling tight. It's gentle enough to use daily - I wouldn't recommend using it every single day, but on weeks where I have some breakouts, I use this nightly for about 4-5 nights and it really helps clear up the skin.
Body

I usually don't splurge on body products. I typically keep things simple with L'Occitane or Nuxe, but I've discovered some new-to-me things that I am really excited to share with you.


  • Chanel Fresh Body Cream is something I'm beyond obsessed with. It's one of the most expensive body products I've ever bought and it's a bit hard to find (you can't find it at all counters). You can basically find this at any store or counter that sells the Exclusifs Fragrances. It's a super gentle body cream that smells really fresh but won't interfere with perfumes. I like to use this at night before bed because I have a sensitive nose and scents sometimes prevent me from falling asleep. This one is soothing enough that it doesn't interfere with my sleep. It's hydrating and non-greasy. I will keep repurchasing this one for as long as they make it.
  • Byredo Bal D'Afrique Body Cream is another pricey splurge but I adore the Bal D'Afrique scent I had to try it in the body cream. This one is super emollient and has a body butter feel which is super lush. A little goes a long way and the moisture lingers for an emollient feel. You can definitely feel the moisture after you apply but it's not greasy. That being said if you need a body product to have a dry-down you may find this too rich.
  • L'Occitane Shea Butter Extra Gentle Lotion for Hands and Body is another favorite. I've featured this a few times in past years. It has all the moisturizing and soothing qualities of items from the regular Shea line but it's lightweight and absorbs into the skin quickly. Anytime I have irritation or flare ups - I use this and skin is instantly soothed. I love that it's non greasy, gentle, but effective.
  • NARS Monoii Body Glow II is the ultimate scented tiare body oil that makes you feel like you're on a tropical vacation. It lifts the mood instantly and absorbs quickly into the skin. There's no greasy feel or residue after it's absorbed into the skin. I'm about 99% happy with this one - if it came with a pump dispenser it would be perfect.
Home Fragrance


  • Lumira Travel Candles (c/o) are super compact and cute, I love having a few scattered around the house to burn. To date I don't think I've brought a candle with me while I travel but there are times when I have traveled that I wish I had one with me. I'm trying my best to save the mini ones for my next trip. My favorite from their line is the Tahitian Coconut.
  • Lumira Mini Destinations Box Set (c/o) launched over the holiday a boxed trio of the most popular scents from the line in Tuscan Fig, Cuban Tobacco, Persian Rose. I just finally started burning Tuscan Fig today - it's amazing and smells of sweet figs (Diptyque's Figuier by comparison is greener). Top notes are fig leaves and fig tree, middle notes are blackcurrant and cedarwood, base is iris and musk.
  • Diptyque Gingembre Room Spray (c/o) was reviewed a month ago (I can't believe an entire month has gone by). I won't repeat the review but it's a really nice bright and cheery kind of home scent.
  • Diptyque Colored Candle in Baies (c/o) is a classic. The larger size gives this one a stronger throw compared to the smaller ones. Don't forget if you have any Diptyque on your wishlist you can save online at Space NK US by using my special promo code through May 1st.

Lips

I have very sensitive lips when it comes to lip treatments. There are quite a few very popular options that make my lips go numb (Kiehl's, CO Bigelow, Chapstick etc.) so that may give you an idea of just how sensitive they are. The ones below are Beauty Look Book approved. Of course it's not a list of all the ones I've tested or like, but ones I like most for right now.


  • Malin + Goetz Mojito Lip Balm is a great lip treatments that is also affordable. It's emollient and I love the simple classic squeeze tube packaging.
  • Bite Beauty Agave Lip Mask in Smashed is my current favorite for the most moisturizing lip treatment to help with dry or cracked lips (swatched in this post here and here).
  • AmorePacific Moisture Bound Lip Treatment is one I just used up (review from winter in this post here), it's the best scent and taste-free lip treatment I've tried. Most others have some kind of scent or flavor. If you're really sensitive to any scent, I'd recommend you try this one.
  • By Terry Baume de Rose Nutri-Couleur in Coral Stellar is one of the prettiest tinted lip treatments I've tried. Review + swatches here. It's worth the splurge.
  • Chanel Hydra Beauty Nourishing Lip Care is a good lip treatment but I do think it's overpriced for what you get. That being said I've never regretted buying this one and if you're willing to splurge it's a good gentle one that always soothes my lips. (More on this compared to others in this post here.)
If you're looking for something to help reset the skin, calm the complexion or give your body an extra boost of moisture, I hope you found this roundup helpful! I have super sensitive skin and there are some body lotions and creams that cause an immediate allergic reaction (I always do a patch test first). If a good purifying mask is what you have been looking for but want something suitable for sensitive skin I hope the recs above help you find something gentle enough for your skin type!

What are your favorite at-home pampering products? I really love hearing about your favorites. So many of you have recommended some great things for me to try. I'm pretty set on masks but I do have my eye on a few sheet masks. I'm intrigued by mainly the two from La Mer - if you've tried them should I go for the Brightening Facial Masks or Hydrating Sheet Masks? Or should I wait for the Eve Lom Brightening Sheet Mask to launch in the US?

I hope you had a great week! Enjoy the weekend :)

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

New Chanel Stylo Fresh Effect Eyeshadows and La Palette Sourcils de Chanel Brow Powder Duos


Chanel launched some new shades of their Stylo Eyeshadows ($34 each) and two new brow palettes called La Palette Sourcils de Chanel ($50 each) both part of the Eyes Speak Volumes Collection which focuses on adding some color and definition to the eyes in an almost minimal way. I ordered three of the five Stylo Eyeshadow Fresh Effect Shadow Sticks in Brun Châtain, Beige Doré, Rose Pétale (all limited-edition, all shimmery) and Chanel sent the two Brow Powder Duos in Naturel and Brun for me to try out.


Up first are the two new La Palette Sourcils de Chanel. I've never tried the brow compacts from Chanel before or actually any brow compact in general. I'm more of a pencil or tinted brow gel kind of girl and when it comes to grooming or technique my brow game is super weak. I usually brush them with the By Terry Brow Mascara or use the Diorshow Brow Styler because even a brow novice like myself can't mess them up. I have tested a number of brow powders, pencils, waxes - so many artists have shown me how to use them and even though I try at home, I keep going back to my two basics. I have dark hair which is almost black but does have quite a bit of natural red undertone. My brows are a lot lighter in color so powders often either look too grey, too red or too black.

When the new Brow Powder Duos arrived for me to play with I did not know what to expect but was pleasantly surprised. There are two options Naturel 40 is the lighter version and Brun 50 is the deeper duo. Each one comes cased in the lacquered black mirrored compact with the most adorable tools I have ever seen. They are miniature and very tiny but not so tiny they slip out of the hands. 


Both duos come with a lighter color and one slightly deeper to customize the color. The texture of the powders is very hard and stiff so you need a stiff dense brush for application. The tiny one that comes in the compact is one of the stiffest brushes I have ever tried and it worked quite well to pick up product and apply to the brows. I tested both duos - Naturel 40 is better for me for everyday but lighter brow colors often don't show up well on camera. Brun 50 is the deeper option and matches my hair more closely but I found it a bit too deep. I think I could have gone with either one - it's just a matter of preference that I prefer more natural brows.

The powder adhered really well to the brows and stayed put all day. The whole compact is perfect for quick and easy application for a natural look to add noticeable but soft definition. The tools are tiny and while they aren't the same as a full-sized angled brush or regular set of tweezers, perform well enough for quick fixes and grooming.



Up next are three Stylo Eyeshadows in Brun Châtain, Beige Doré, Rose Pétale. I ordered these sight unseen and picked out the shades I thought I would reach for the most. I've been a fan of the Fresh Effect Eyeshadow Sticks in other colors. They offer a really pretty shimmer and have a unique smooth cooling effect when you apply them to the lids. I also find they stay on for a long time.

Brun Châtain is a shimmering neutral-cool brown. Beige Doré is a pale shimmering yellow gold. When I saw this one I thought it would be too yellow but it's actually my favorite of the three. It's pale enough to add a bit of highlight on the lids with the perfect mix of yellow/gold/white shimmers to give the eyes a natural glow. Rose Pétale is such a pretty pale pink in the tube, unfortunately, like many Chanel pinks, it gives me the pink-eye kind of look when worn alone. It is workable if mixed with other colors, but had I seen or tested it first I probably would have skipped.


Quick eye swatches, these were taken with a flash to show the sheen/shimmer. As a result the colors are a bit washed out and I don't know if you can even tell there is brow product, but hopefully this will give you an idea of what they look like.



The Brow Duos exceeded my expecations. As one who is really timid when it comes to applying product on my brows both duos are great for the person who wants definition in a natural soft kind of way. The colors are easy to apply and also easy to build and impossible to overdo. If you like a strong brow you may find these are too soft for you, but I give them a thumbs up. For the Stylo Eyeshadows I think Beige Dore is the best color out of the ones I tried. Brun Chatain is a nice neutral that I thought I would really love - I do think it's a great everyday kind of color but feel previously launched colors like Caroube were a bit more special.

The Stylo Eyeshadows and La Palette Sourcils de Chanel are both available at Chanel.com and all Chanel retailers. As of right now the eyeshadow sticks are all listed as limited-edition shades.

Have you tried anything from this collection yet? If not what's your favorite brow product?

Brow Duos sent courtesy of Chanel for review consideration. Eyeshadows purchased by me from Nordstrom.

Monday, March 21, 2016

Chanel Le Vernis Longwear Nail Colours in Ballerina, Organdi, Monochrome, Garçonne, Vamp and Rouge Noir - New Formula


As most of you now know, Chanel reformulated their Le Vernis Nail Colour ($28 each) earlier this year into a new and improved formula with longer wear. Most of the shades have been discontinued and pulled from counters and most places online (at the time of this post old colors are still showing up online at Saks.com). The new formula has been launched in 15 shades, 5 of which are re-promoted shades of classic colors (just in the new formula). After reviewing three shades Camélia 506, Gitane 510 and Roubachka 514 (review, swatches, old vs. new bottle and brush shots all posted here) I received an overwhelming amount of requests to review additional shades and the Chanel team kindly sent some of the most requested shades for me to review and swatch for you.

There are six that I've swatched and tested. Formulas of all shades offer smooth streak-free coverage and were easy to apply. Pigment in general of the new formula does seem to be on the more opaque side (think along the lines of the old Dragon formula) with a few exceptions of colors that have a sheer or jelly finish. As far as I can tell from a quick peek most of the shades are non shimmers with the exception of Vamp and Chaine Or (the gold seems to be only available at Saks). Some readers asked if I had any bubbling issues with the new formula. I personally did not see any bubbles. In terms of lasting power - I tested Ballerina (on the fingers) and Vamp (on the toes) for a full week each and both lasted 7 days without any signs of tip wear or chipping with the Le Top Coat.

Shown above from left to right:
  • Ballerina is a super sheer baby pink, the original version was almost impossible to see on the nail with two coats, the new version is an improved version in terms of pigment but I still find it extremely sheer and it was the only one that I needed 3 coats (and it's still sheer)
  • Monochrome is a cool light grey, formula covers the nail entirely with two coats
  • Garçonne is a medium grey shade, it has a bit of warmth to it, coverage is rich and opaque
  • Organdi is a nude pink that falls in the neutral-cool category, it's a full coverage color
  • Vamp is a deep wine color with a bit of red and purple shimmer mixed in, I've found the color is identical to the original, but the formula has improved with better pigment and shine
  • Rouge Noir appears to be exclusive to Chanel.com and the color is identical to what I have in the old formula, this is a jelly finish color but still covers the nail entirely with two coats, it's a deep blackened red shade
Swatches, all have 2 coats with the exception of Ballerina which has 3 coats shown, also all swatches have the Le Top Coat applied on top:







Some swatch comparisons to some shades in the old formula, I thought I had the old Ballerina, but in searching my collection I found that I no longer have it:



Out of all the shades I've tested, I'm personally drawn to the brighter shades Camelia and Gitane that I reviewed back in February. I've used both on several pedicures since the initial post and find the colors are bright and cheerful. This second review batch has a mix of light and dark shades. I like Organdi as an everyday conservative neutral - the formula and coverage is excellent and I think on deeper more tan skintones it will look like a stunning lighter nude pink while on me it almost matches my skin undertone. I'm happy that Vamp and Rouge Noir have joined the new formula color family, if I had to pick between the two I would say Vamp has a special touch because of the subtle shimmer it has in it. For the grey shades I prefer Monochrome over Garçonne - both perform really well in terms of smooth streak-free coverage with very good pigment. On my skintone darker greys can make the skin look a little lack-luster. 

Overall I give the formula a thumbs up. The polish perform well and there is a wide range of colors to choose from in the non-shimmer finish that offer a nicely polished classic look. All shades are listed as permanent, available for $28 each at Chanel.com and all other Chanel retailers. As of right now it appears that Rouge Noir is the only shade exclusive to Chanel.com (at least in the US) but if you've spotted it in stores please share in the comments.

Have you tried any of the new shades/formula yet? What did you think?

Polishes provided courtesy of Chanel for review consideration.

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Inside My Bag


February flew by so quickly, I cannot believe it's March but I'm excited for spring. I've been working my way through swatching all of the Bite Beauty Amuse Bouche Lipsticks and hope to have the post up by the end of the week (fingers crossed my lips can handle the swatching). A few of you have asked for a review of my Celine mini belt bags (seen here and here) - I haven't really done purse or accessory reviews but will definitely do one on both in the upcoming weeks so stay tuned!

Here's a peek of what I have in my bag right now. I've been loving my Prada Saffiano still - I think I've had it going on 2.5+ years now and it's held it's shape remarkably well, hasn't shown any signs of wear or scratches and is extremely versatile for a number of different occasions and outfits. I've had my eye on the Saffiano Cuir Double Bag in black ever since I saw that they started carrying a small one on Extra Petite. She has a really good review and comparison (although my camel tote is a different style and has different dimensions compared to hers). It takes me months to decide on a splurge - I've been looking for a classic black leather tote for a long time, but cannot make up my mind because size and structure is really important to me.

Inside my Saffiano Tote this week:
What's in your bag this week? Any new beauty discoveries from the weekend?

Press samples featured include the Tatcha beauty papers and Truffle clutch+case.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Chanel Rouge Coco Stylo Complete Care Lipshine


There's a new lipstick formula from Chanel called the Rouge Coco Stylo ($37 each for 2 g/0.07 oz) which comes in a slim twist-up tube that's described as having "the intensity of a lipstick, the shine of a lipgloss and comfort of a lip balm." It truly is a three-in-one kind of lipstick. These have medium to full pigment - coverage is a lot better than the Rouge Coco Shines and just as much pigment as the Rouge Coco Lipsticks. Out of all the Chanel lipstick formulas I've tried the new Rouge Coco Stylos are definitely the most creamy in texture and most hydrating in feel. There is a soft floral scent to these similar to the Rouge Coco lipsticks. The formula is quite amazing and all the colors are knock out beautiful. There's a tiny bit of shimmer in the tubes, but on the lips it's very subtle. You mostly see color and shine.


There are neutral and bright colors in the mix, there are eight shades total:
  • Conte 202 is a baby pink with golden shimmer
  • Article 204 is a bright warm tangerine with a vibrant finish
  • Histoire 206 is a bright coral shade, on me it pulls red
  • Roman 208 is bright fuchsia pink
  • Recit 212 is a plum shade with gold flecks
  • Message 214 is a warm watermelon pink
  • Lettre 216 is a medium soft rose pink
  • Script 218 is a beige nude pink-brown





Lip swatches with the Rouge Coco Stylos alone on bare lips (no liner or other added colors, I have naturally pigmented lips so sometimes the lip shows through around the edges):



In terms of lasting power I found they lasted a lot longer than the Rouge Coco Shines, about the same amount of time as Rouge Allures or Rouge Cocos. They stay put on the lips and adhere well for a glossy finish lip product. Colors will fade or transfer with snacks or drinks, but as long as you don't touch the lips to any food, straws or cups they stay on long. I give the formula an overwhelmingly positive thumbs up. The only downside I see is the price seems high given the amount of product in each tube, but the formula performs well, looks good, makes the lips look and feel well hydrated and healthy. Bottom line is you need at least one.

You can find the Rouge Coco Stylos for $37 each now at Chanel.com. I also spotted them in store and online at Nordstrom but they should be arriving at all Chanel counters now.

Three shades provided courtesy of Chanel, the remaining five purchased by me.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Chanel Le Vernis Longwear Nail Color and Le Gel Coat Longwear Top Coat - New Formulas


Chanel has reformulated all of their nail colors into a newer longer lasting formula called Le Vernis Longwear Nail Colour ($28 each for 13 ml/0.4 fl oz, made in France). There are 15 shades in this new launch, there are a few from the original line that have been re-launched in Particuliere, Ballerina, Pirate, Vamp, and Rouge Noir. I haven't yet had the chance to check out the new ones in person yet to compare the original to new shades, so I'm not sure if the new vs old colors are identical (if you have let me know!). The Chanel team sent 3 colors for me to try out along with the new Le Gel Coat Longwear Top Coat ($28 for 13 ml/0.4 fl oz), I've been putting these to the test for almost two weeks now. The formula is definitely a huge improvement in terms of lasting power.

The three shades I have to share are Camélia 506, Gitane 510 and Roubachka 514. These are all creams with insanely rich pigment. Camélia and Gitane are one-coat wonders, one coat offers full coverage, although I still prefer two for an ultra rich, ultra glossy, slightly cushiony look. These seem to be similar in texture compared to the more pigmented Chanel creams like Dragon. They glide on smoothly and easily. Camélia is a rich deep peony pink kind of color, it's got a cool-toned base but has a bright undertone which adds warmth. Gitane is an electric warm red. Roubachka is definitely a two-coater, the formula in this one is almost like a pigmented jelly. It's a deep purple color but looks almost black on the nails. It's what I wanted Tom Ford Viper to be (which I've tested in store many times but found the formula just too sheer and streaky).

Above left to right is Gitane, Camelia, Roubachka and the Le Gel Coat. They've changed the packaging a bit this launch. The names are no longer printed on the front of the bottles. Names are now on the back for the colors. The formula remains 5-free.


Another change they've made is to the brush. I was a huge huge fan of the original brush. It was thin and dense which allowed for precise application. The newer brush is a bit thicker and fans out the slightest bit at the edges. Length of brush is about the same. Initially the fanning out worried me because I thought it would be harder to control and paint the nails evenly along the cuticles. I found no issue with application. At this time I still prefer the original brush - but when you have something that you fall in love with, getting used to something different can just take time. Here's a look at the brushes for the new formula.


For comparison, here's a look at Gitane vs Coquelicot, packaging size is identical in product amount and bottle size. Brushes are the same length, there's just a slight difference in the shape:



Onto the swatches, all of these have 2 coats of the Le Vernis applied with one coat of the Le Gel Coat on top:







A few quick thoughts on the Le Gel Coat is that it's amazing. When Chanel discontinued the Laque Brilliance Extreme I was heartbroken. I found the new Le Top Coat Quick Dry top coat to be decent, but nowhere near as good as the original top coat. The Le Top Coat was very thin and runny and I found I had to load up the brush to get enough product on it to apply to the nail, but often loaded up either too little or too much.

The new Le Gel Coat is a thicker glossy kind of top coat. It has a wider brush compared to the other top coats. I tested this over Essie Barefoot and Topless because no matter what kind of top coat I use on Essie, I get tipwear the very same day I apply it. I know many others like the formula, I think it's one of the worst that I've tried in terms of lasting power. I figured if the new Chanel Top Coat could make Essie polish last, then it gets my approval. The Chanel Le Gel Coat made the manicure last until Day 5 with no signs of tip wear or chipping. I only took it off so I could test other colors.

The Le Gel Coat is described as, "Specially created to enhance the new nail colour, LE GEL COAT Longwear Top Coat extends the wear for up to seven days. Activated by natural light, the innovative, clear top coat bonds to LE VERNIS for flexibility, strength and unprecedented wear. The result: an ultra-glossy, gel-like look without the UV lamp."

It did indeed make one of the manicures last very long. In addition to the Essie, I tested Chanel Camelia with the new Le Gel Coat Top Coat and saw no signs of chipping or tip wear by Day 8. It has a cushiony glossy look. The formula is on the thicker side, but still fluid enough compared to other gel top coats so it feels like it won't dry out or thicken like other brands. I give this a thumbs up.

A look at the original, vs Le Top vs Le Gel:



First impressions are very good from my end. The new reformulation has definitely improved the lasting power of the polish although I've always had good experiences with the formula in general since I've started collecting Chanel nail polishes. The reformulation reminds me somewhat of when Dior reformulated and relaunched their polish - they changed the packaging, changed the brush, improved the formula and pigment and also launched colors primarily in the classic/safe zone to start with a couple of more edgy shades.

I haven't had a chance to pull comparisons or look at the other shades in the new formula, with the exception of the one above with Gitane vs Coquelicot - they look identical to me with Gitane being the slightest bit warmer. Camélia is a classic deep but bright cool pink shade, it's deeper than colors like Fracas, Rose Exhuberant or Pulsion. It has a similar vibe to April, but Camelia is a lot brighter and not muted like April. It's bright but deep. If I were to compare the effect of Roubachka to another shade I would say it's similar to Tom Ford Black Cherry. I am sad to see the other shades go, but to date I've only used up a couple polish colors and the shades I do have last a very long time (some I have are 5+ years old and the formula is still good).

You can find the new Chanel Le Vernis formula online at Chanel.com. I've spotted the colors online and in store at Nordstrom and Neiman Marcus although neither of them have Rouge Noir (at least not yet).

Have you checked out the new formula yet? What do you think?

Le Vernis polishes featured above provided courtesy of Chanel for review.

Friday, February 12, 2016

Spring Fragrance Rotation for Him and Her


When it comes to fragrance, I feel like it takes me forever to pick something new and also forever to use one up. I have a few go-to's but love trying new things and if you're like me you will take a long time to build up a fragrance collection. If you're looking for a new fragrance for spring, here's what I have in rotation right now. I also have some of my husband's favorites if you're looking for gift ideas for any of the special men in your life.


My go-to spring scents are Byredo Black Saffron and Chanel Beige. Even though we have mild somewhat warm weather year round here in Southern California, I still think some fragrances are seasonal. It's finally that time of year when I feel like I can wear the sweeter florals. Most of these last pretty long on my skin, at least until early afternoon. I do have an extremely sensitive nose though, so what smells strong to me might be non-existent to others. Out of the ones below I would say Byredo, Tom Ford and Creed have the longest lasting power on my skin.
  • Byredo Black Saffron is a mix of berry and musk, I've had this one for like forever, it's one of the few berry scents I can wear because it's not too sweet yet not too musky
    • Top notes: pomelo, saffron, juniper berry
    • Middle notes: black violet, accord cuir, cristal rose
    • Base notes: blonde woods, raspberry, vetiver
  • Byredo Bal D'Afrique is something I am beyond obsessed with, I have this in the single mini from the holiday Discovery Set, it's a sweeter scent to me it smells kinda peachy and floral all at the same time, I also have it in the oil rollerball version, if you're debating between the oil or spray, get the traditional spray version, it has better lasting power
    • Top notes: bergamot, lemon, neroli, African marigold, bucchu
    • Middle notes: violet, jasmine petals, cyclamen
    • Base notes: black amber, musk, vetiver, Moroccan cedarwood
  • Tom Ford Soleil Blanc is one of the latest fragrance launches from Tom Ford, it's a clean white floral that has a summery beachy feel, there's a hint of amber in it to prevent it from feeling too powdery or too floral (review here)
  • Chloe Eau de Parfum is one of the most popular fragrances on Sephora's website, it's been on my radar for a long time, it's very soft and girly, for something this strong a floral I'm surprised that I liked it, I decided on the 10th time of trying it in store after spritzing samples on myself to just go ahead and go for it
    • Notes: Pink Peony, Freesia, Lychee, Magnolia Flower, Lily of the Valley, Rose, Cedarwood, Amber, Honey
  • Chanel Beige Exclusifs is one of my all time favorites, it's one of the only Chanel fragrances I've liked enough to splurge on, it's a clean white and warm floral mix that smells very natural and fresh
    • Notes: Hawthorn, freesia, frangipani, honey
  • L'Artisan Mure et Musc is one of the fragrances I've used for the longest period of time, I discovered this line from one of my long-time friends from college, it's a blackberry musk described as having notes of lemon, basil, blackberry and musk, I feel like this one is my no-fail everyday, every season kind of fragrance
  • Maison Martin Margiela Replica Lipstick On is my newest discovery, it's a soft feminine blush floral kind of scent that smells like makeup, it's a floral and has powdery notes, so it surprised me how much I like it because powdery scents typically make me gag, there is a very slight hint of vanilla in it which makes it feel warm and well rounded
    • Notes: Bergamot Oil, Heliotrope Accord, Neroli Oil, Orange Flower Absolute, Iris Concrete, Galbanum Oil, Tonka Bean Absolute, Vanilla Bourbon Extract, Patchouli Oil
  • Maison Martin Margiela Replica Beach Walk in the rollerball is the prettiest relaxing soothing beachy scents I've ever tried, if you've smelled the Henri Bendel Beach Candle, this is similar in fragrance form that's wearable, it smells like a fresh mix of musk and coconut with peppery notes, it's a beachy scent without the floral notes many others have
    • Notes: Bergamot, Pink Pepper, Lemon, Ylang Ylang, Coconut Milk, Heliotrope, Musk, Cedarwood, Benzoin
  • Creed Royal Princess Oud is the most exquisite and most expensive perfume I have ever owned, the Creed team kindly sent me a sample to try - I love Oud fragrances but my husband always says they are too masculine for me (even though I disagree and think they are unisex), this one has a distinct feminine touch to it, this is a lovely mix of violet, iris and sandalwood, lasting power is extremely good, one of the longest lasting fragrances I've ever tried
    • Top notes: bitter Sicilian bergamot, rose, sweet violet
    • Middle notes: jasmine, vanilla, patchouli, iris from Tuscany
    • Base: benzoin from Thailand, Mysore sandalwood, styrax
  • Viktor & Rolf Flowerbomb is a classic favorite, this one is my special occasion or date night kind of scent to wear, it's too strong to wear everyday for me, but I know many other women have told me this is their all time favorite, the notes of patchouli are dominant in this one, noticeable floral notes are rose and freesia
    • Notes: Sambac Jasmine, Centifolia Rose, Cattleya Orchid, Ballerina Freesia, Patchouli
My husband is the kind of guy who wants to use 2 colognes at most. I think he smells amazing no matter what he has on so I don't mind if he wears the same scent on a regular basis, but I've been trying to get him to explore more which is where the little mini samples come in. Every time I order something online and they have the option to pick samples I try to find men's skincare or fragrance minis. If he has a mini sitting on his counter, he will try it. He's discovered a few new loves this way. Right now here is what he has in rotation:
  • Hermes fragrances can be found at a wide range of retailers, but at the Hermes Boutiques and online they have a Pocket Fragrance Set where you can customize your own travel set of 4 fragrances. You can mix and match any ones they have available, pricing varies depend on what you select, but it's around the $125ish range, I picked four for him:
    • Voyage d'Hermes Eau de Toilette smells of citrus, musk and leather
    • Voyage d'Hermes Eau de Parfum smells of amber and citrus with a hint of floral, this is more masculine compared to the Eau de Toilette version
    • Terre d'Hermes Eau de Toilette smells like a mix of wood, bitter citrus, spice and vetiver
    • Terre d'Hermes Eau de Parfum is a more masculine, woody, stronger version of the Eau de Toilette
  • Chanel Bleu de Chanel Eau de Toilette is his favorite fragrance of all time, he's gone through at least a dozen of the travel size versions and multiples of the full size bottles, every so often they will have gift sets with aftershave or showergel travel size minis that he likes to try, this one is a clean masculine woody scent
  • Dior Sauvage is a lightweight clean masculine scent, it has notes of citrus mixed in with pepper, in terms of everyday scents, he says this is one of them, but he prefers the Chanel Bleu de Chanel, he wanted me to mention that if the man in your life likes something simple but polished and new from his everyday cologne, the Dior is a good one to try
    • Notes: Reggio Bergamot, Sichuan Pepper, Ambroxan
  • Viktor & Rolf Spicebomb comes in a limited-edition gift set trio for Valentine's Day, this is one of the most peppery fragrances I've smelled for men, I thought it might be too strong or peppery for my husband, but for some reason everything transform into an amazing kind of smell on his skin, this one according to him is more for a date night or special occasion kind of fragrance, not for everyday, you can really smell the saffron, vetiver and pink pepper notes
    • Notes: Bergamot, Grapefruit, Cinnamon Leaf, Pink Pepper, Lavandin, Chilli, Saffron, Elemi, Vetiver, Balsam Fir, Tobacco Accord, White Leather Accord
  • One last men's fragrance of special note, he also really likes Tom Ford Azure Lime which he is currently out of, I will be getting this for him for Valentine's Day, it's a clean fresh masculine scent, for something so clean and simple smelling the notes are really complex
    • Notes: bergamot, lemon, Valencia orange, Thai basil, mint, rosemary, lime tonic accord, juniper berry, fennel, iris, jasmine, neroli, orange blossom, pittosporum, bucchu leaves, violet leaves, black currant buds, cypress, oak, patchouli, sandalwood, moss, skin accord, tonka bean
I always get the best recommendations from my readers of what to try. I'm pretty set on a lot right now, but it's always nice to explore and add things to the fragrance wishlist. If you have anything you love right now please share. Also if there are any new discoveries for you or the men in your life - let me know in the comments!

Press samples include the Viktor and Rolf Flowerbomb, Spicebomb, Maison Margiela Lipstick On and Creed Royal Princess Oud.

 

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