Showing posts with label Dior. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Dior. Show all posts

Monday, July 18, 2016

Nordstrom Anniversary Sale 2016 Beauty Exclusives Haul


The Nordstrom Anniversary Sale this year has quite a lot to offer for beauty exclusives. I've been a busy bee all weekend swatching and photographing my haul and today I have close ups and swatches of the palettes and sets I picked up. Early access goes through the end of 7/21 for card holders and the sale goes live for the public on 7/22. This beauty haul is quite extensive so grab a cup of tea or coffee or maybe a snack. While browsing the Beauty Exclusives section I noticed quite a few items weren't available at stores near me so I ordered a couple items sight unseen. For those who can't get to a store and need to order online I feel your pain about not being able to see things in person, I hope these swatches help! Don't forget to check out the Gift With Purchase listings too, there are some nice gifts available, I'm glad I checked for the La Mer and Hourglass gifts.

First a quick look at the Early Access Sections in store, walls of skincare from a wide range of brands. Skincare sets this year are priced at really good values/savings.


A look at some of the gift with purchase sets (full list online), there are some lines that give you options to choose from with different sets:


If you've been wanting to splurge on a Clarisonic, the sale is one of the best times to do so because they offer them at a discount. The Mia Fit is marked down to $153 from $219. The Alpha Fit for men is also marked down to $153. My husband loves his and recommended I buy another one for my brother.



Onto my haul picks. In this post I've focused primarily on the makeup and palettes. I did pick out a few hair care items and skincare sets, I'll post those in a separate post if you're interested so let me know in the comments. Bobbi Brown has several Bobbi On Trend Sets. It's been a while since I've explored her line but the options were too good to pass up.

The Sultry Bronze Eye Set has an eyeshadow palette with 6 colors (Pale Cream, Bikini Bronze Metallic, Seashell Shimmer Wash, Beach Bronze Shimmer Wash, Frappe and Smokey Brown), Perfectly Defined Gel Eyeliner in Chocolate Truffle, and Eye Opening Mascara in Black. The palette has 6 easy to use neutrals and the eyeliner is a nice alternative to black. I had low expectations for the mascara because I usually do not like mascaras in sets, but I was beyond impressed. It volumizes, thickens, defines and did not smudge all day. Thumbs up! There is a cooler-neutral toned option called Sultry Topaz which is also very pretty.

For lips there are two options Pink Lips Set and Nude Lips Set. I picked out the Nudes which has her Art Stick in Brown Berry (neutral nude peach), Sheer Lip Color in Pink Buff (perfect neutral pink) and Lip Gloss in Pink Sunset (sheer sparkling pink). I have lip swatches of all the lip items I picked out at the bottom of the post. Many of you like the lips lined up side by side for reference.



Charlotte Tilbury launched an exclusive Instant Look in a Palette called the Seductive Beauty for what she calls The Dolce Vita Look with deeper shades compared to her original. I was not impressed with the first one and found it sheer and chalky for my complexion. I am happy to report the Nordstrom Exclusive is a lot better, shows up on my skintone and is not chalky at all. The texture has the same softness for the powders but pigment is significantly better. The Nordstrom set comes with a mini mascara.
 The Nordstrom Seductive Look Palette:


Original Natural Look vs Nordstrom Seductive Look swatched side by side:


Diptyque has the cutest 5-piece set available for the sale. These are the baby sized candles you can't purchase individually in the 1.2 oz size (these are smaller than the 2.4 oz versions). This is the perfect way to try the line as it has the best Diptyque scents available. It would also make a great hostess gift.

Hourglass has launched an exclusive palette called the Ambient Luminous Light Palette which has Luminous Light, Luminous Flush and Luminous Bronze Light. I already own the shades individually but could not pass on the set because it's perfect for travel. There is a gift with purchase I took advantage of (I ordered 3 palettes, one for myself, two as gifts).

Palette swatched next to the individual colors I own to show that the colors in the palette are indeed the same color, pigment and quality as the individual ones:


NARS has quite a few options for the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale including Survival Kit 1, Survival Kit 2, Nordstrom's Best Cheek Kit and the Cult Survival Kit. All the sets are seriously good - it as really hard to narrow down my pick given all options. I picked out the Survival Kit 1 which has Naiad Eyeshadow, Kalahari II Eyeshadow, Off Limits Blush, Mata Hari Blush, a mini Lip Gloss in Party Girl and a mini Audacious Mascara. This set is the most neutral and easy to wear option. Outer Limits Blush looked very shimmery upon first swipe on my face, but adding the matte Mata Hari on top softened the frost in a nice way.



YSL Rebel Nudes has three lip products in a black zip pouch. I actually already own all three items in the set but a friend asked me to pick it up for her as she was worried it would be sold out by the time the public sale started. I swatched the colors from my own stash, I think this set is a really good one. It has Glossy Stain in 200 Plump Up (clear which does plump and tingle), Glossy Stain 07 Corail Aquatique which pulls a brighter peach on my lips, and Rouge Volupte Shine Oil in Stick 47 Beige Blouse which is one of my favorite pink nudes for everyday.


Nordstrom has an exclusive Dior Anniversary Collection that seems to be more spring-like rather than summer or fall. The offerings are still really pretty. I picked up three of the Flash Luminizer Radiance Booster Pens in 003 Apricot (my match) and two of the shimmers in 500 Pearly Vanilla (gold) and 800 Pearly Pink (shimmering opal). These take about 40 clicks to get product going the first round (just as an FYI). I have only tested for a few days so I can't say yet if I think they are worth the splurge. I do like 003 under eyes as a medium coverage brightening under eye concealer. The shimmers help add radiance anywhere you want a soft glowy shimmer.

There is a new Addict Hydra-Gel Core Mirror Shine Lipstick which is the first time I've tried the new formula. Baby Dior is a sheer peachy pink in the tube but applies a sheer pale cool pink on my lips. It's hydrating and smooth with a glossy finish.

There are also two nail colors in the collection in Ruban and Steel Grey. I was hoping to swatch these on the nail for you but I just broke three of my nails so arm swatches will have to do for now.


Last but not least are two options from MAC. First is the C'est Chic Eyeshadow Palette which I am seriously tempted to buy for myself. The one I have shown below is a gift for a friend (her birthday is this month) and it has all mattes in neutral to warms and plums. She saw this and asked for it specifically. The one MAC set I picked up for myself is the Look in a Box Sunblessed Kit which has a full sized Frost Eyeshadow in Deception (plum taupe), Fluidline in Blacktrack, False Lashes Mascara and Cremesheen in Sunblessed (peachy nude). I think all four items in the set are excellent, the mascara doesn't really give me a false lash look, but it's a good defining deepening mascara that adds a bit of volume and doesn't smudge. I believe the eyeshadow and lipstick are exclusive to the set.

Lip swatches:


That wraps it up for my massive Nordstrom Anniversary Sale Beauty Haul! I hope you found the swatches and detailed photos helpful to help with your shopping decisions. Definitely browse the options online first, especially the gift with purchase options. I think I missed out on a few because I didn't realize there was a Bobbi Brown GWP available and my sales associate did not know either. There is a lot to choose from and these sets and savings are offered only once each year.

I'm really impressed with the offerings this year and am pleased with all my purchases. Out of all the color options for makeup, I think you really can't go wrong with anything. Lots of value sets to pick from. My top 3 favorite items I hauled include the Charlotte Tilbury Instant Look in a Palette Set, Bobbi Brown on Trend Nude Lip Set and Hourglass Ambient Luminous Light Palette. If I did not already own all the lip items in the YSL set, the Rebel Nudes set would also be added to my favorites list.

Have you shopped the sale for early access yet? What did you haul? Or are you waiting for the public sale on the 22nd? Let me know in the comments!



Many thanks to Nordstrom for sponsoring this post. As always all opinions my own. All items selected and purchased by me.


Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Summer Date Night Beauty Favorites and Clutch Essentials


Summer is in full swing and I thought I'd put together a roundup of some date night beauty favorites for the season. I like to keep things on the makeup side soft and shimmery - pretty much the same as everyday kind of colors but add more on the eyes. A good neutral lip can give a nice polished look and will go with every color of outfit. A good classic red, coral or bright pink lip can add more oomph to your look - if you like a good bright classic, I think the best color and formula right now are from the Charlotte Tilbury Hot Lips and Chanel Rouge Coco Stylo lines. If you're a neutral lip lover, read on for my top picks.

First a note on clutches and pouches. Finding a good classic flat zip clutch is harder than you would think. For as long as I can remember I've been into the simple classic streamlined zip pouch, but being petite at 5'3" it's hard for me to find one that isn't too large. I'm forever looking for good classic options. The envelope style is pretty chic (one affordable option featured in this post here also eyeing this nude blush one here) but for some reason my heart belong to the flat zip ones.

My two most-used clutches are the Clare V Leopard Clutch (8" H x 11" W) and Truffle Privacy Clutch (6 1/2" H x 10 1/2" W). Small compact coin purses or card cases are also essentials for me. Any kind of textured leather makes wallets more sturdy and last longer, the Chanel classic quilted caviar is one of my favorites. The Tory Burch Robinson Coin Case is actually more like card case but also works as a more affordable option but still extremely well made and sturdy.


The best date night fragrances for me, some come in the tiny roller ball or small spritzer version to fit inside a clutch:
  • Diptyque L'Ombre Dans L'Eau which comes in a limited-edition travel size for summer. It's the fragrance version of Baies candle which I was surprised works well as perfume and has a mix of blackcurrant leaves and rose.
  • Viktor and Rolf Flowerbomb is the ultimate date night fragrance (travel spray was taken with me on my summer trip). For daytime I feel like it's more of a fall/winter fragrance, but I think it's amazing for summer nights. It's a hard one to describe but the notes are bergamot, tea, freesia, jasmine, orange blossom, orchid, rose, patchouli.
  • Chloé Eau de Parfume is another favorite, I have a small bottle, but you can find it in a travel size as well, it's another classic floral with notes of Pink Peony, Freesia, Lychee, Magnolia Flower, Lily of the Valley, Rose, Cedarwood, Amber, Honey.
  • For those who want something more unique, Byredo is always a good option. I bought the Discovery Set over the holiday which has a sampler mix of scents. It's been discontinued but the current version is the Floral Discovery 6 Piece Set which has Blanche, La Tulipe, Bal D'Afrique, Inflorescence, Flowerhead and Rose Of No Man's Land. I highly recommend the travel/discovery sets. It's a great way to try out different ones without having to splurge on the full size bottle. Another option is the Nécessaire de Voyage Eau de Parfum Travel Set which has Black Saffron and Blanche with a case.


For eyes I like shadow sticks because they're easy to apply and blend with the fingers. They're great for touch ups or if you're on the go and compact enough to carry in a clutch if you don't have time to go back home to fix your makeup for date.


I like a good shimmer for the eyes because it dresses them up a bit whether it's to add highlight or deepen with a golden smokey shade. Favorites shown and swatched below include:


For lips, I'm all about the soft pink and peachy shades. Current favorites shown below to mix and match or layer:


Shown above but not swatched:
Swatched below:


For pressed powders, the two I've been reaching for the most include the Chanel Les Beiges Healthy Glow Powder in No. 20 and Clinique Stay Matte Sheer Pressed Powder in Stay Neutral. I've been on the hunt for a good retractable brush that's flat but not too small and I finally found one from Hakuhodo which is the H611 Portable Brush. It's soft and fluffy and super compact. If you don't need a powder to touch up, but want a good blotting paper to carry to absorb shine, the Tatcha Blotting Papers are the best ones I've tried (details on why they're the best in this review here).


That rounds up my summer date night beauty favorites! As always I'd love to hear what you love to wear and/or carry with you. If you have any favorite clutches or zip pouches - please share! One last note, shoes featured are from Ann Taylor.




Press samples featured include Tatcha Blotting Papers, Tom Ford Lip Color, Edward Bess Lip Definers, Truffle Clutch.

Monday, June 27, 2016

The Best Summer Nail Colors for Sandal Season


Summer is in full swing and I could not be happier that it's sandal season. Living in Southern California it feels like it can be sandal season year round but during the spring to summer time I love that's it's actually in season.Today I'm sharing my favorite nail + sandal combinations to wear right now from Nordstrom. I love adding color to the toes because it adds a fun polished feel to your entire look. I adore brights, aquas, teals and sometimes violet for the toes during the summer, but it can be challenging to coordinate some polishes with all colors of sandals or outfits. I've picked out my favorite versatile polish shades that will work with a wide range of outfits no matter what you're wearing (shoes or clothing-wise). I'm all about flats for comfort, but right now there are so many cute wedges and heels out for summer. Nordstrom has a dedicated Sandal Season section with handy filters to sort by style, heel height, color etc.

I hope you find this mini sandal + nail polish combo guide fun and helpful! Up first is the sandy nude + peachy coral combo:


Shown Above:
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Tan Brown Suede Heels + Coral Pink Nail:


Shown Above:
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Classic Black Wrap Sandals + Mauve Plum:

Shown Above:
  • Shoes: Steve Madden Werkit Sandals in Black Suede, runs true to size on me, the suede is comfortable on the feet and soft in between the toes so no breaking in required
  • Toes: Dior Mirage is one of my favorite mauve plums, in my experience, Dior polishes have the best brush for easy DIY application (they're curved to match the shape of the nail), the formula is also really good
  • Lips: Rouge Dior Brilliant Shine in Victoire and Miss
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Nude + Nude:


Shown Above:
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Summer brights:


Shown Above:
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What's your favorite summer pedicure color to wear? Do you switch things up depending on outfit or shoes? I'm forever searching for a good opaque off-white nail polish that doesn't look streaky, isn't sheer and that also doesn't look like white out on my toes. Any with medium-tan to deep skintone if you've found one please let me know! I love the way it looks on my friends but they are all at least 2-3 shades fairer than me and also have pink undertones so they can pull off white polish easier than me. If you have any sandal favorites please let me know! I live for recommendations because it makes it so much easier to narrow down styles to try on.



Many thanks to Nordstrom for sponsoring this post. As always all opinions my own.

Monday, June 6, 2016

10 Mascaras Tried and Tested


I've been playing with quite a few mascaras over the past several months - some from early January. As I've worked my way through a few tubes I've made notes on thoughts for these and kept them to photograph next to each other so you can see the brush sizes and shapes. I have really straight relatively wimpy lashes that are often barely visible unless I have mascara on. I rarely ever wear anything on the bottom lashes because most brushes are too big to catch the tiny lashes. That combined with the fact that most mascaras smudge on me is another factor for why I don't wear anything on the lower lashes.

I have tested a few lash growth serums but am still undecided - I suspect that they require months of use to see results. I received a sample tube of Rapidlash earlier this year and as of today I've hit the 71 day mark of use. I have started to see some results but they are still on the subtle side. If you have ones you've tried that worked let me know.

Onto the mascaras I've tested out. Some are repeats of classic staples. I usually like waterproof versions because they are the ones that really don't smudge on me. However there are quite a few that leave the lashes looking and feeling a bit crunchy or that turn slightly greyish when they dry so I'm really picky with formulas. The image below is interactive so you can click on the icons below to shop the mascaras:

Shown above from bottom to the top:
  • Clinique High Impact Mascara ($16.50) is one of the mascaras I've used for the longest, I discovered it years ago and it's a great basic mascara to add definition and volume, it's not the most volumizing formula but the black is a true black color and doesn't smudge, flake or clump.
  • By Terry Terrybly Growth Booster Mascara ($48) is one I received as a gift with purchase at a counter a year ago, it's a formula that is very expensive but gives a really nice lush look to the lashes, it is supposed to have a growth formula inside it, I haven't noticed any visible growth from this one but it's not one I use daily, I like this because it doesn't flake, irritate or clump, it holds the curl and adds nice volume you can layer.
  • Diorshow Iconic Overcurl Mascara ($29.50) I love Dior mascaras but often times they just don't hold the curl for me, I gave this a try in hopes of finding one that does and was thrilled to find that it did for me. There were a lot of mixed reviews online - people either love it or hate it. I found it held the curl and did not smudge. I would have liked a bit more noticeable drama for me, you can layer it but on me it was easy to over-layer where you get that slightly cakey look. The fact that it held the curl and didn't smudge moved this into my thumbs up list.
  • Burberry Bold Lash ($29) is one I used a few years ago, loved it and repurchased once. I gave it another buy and have no regrets. This is best on me with one good coat. I apply at the base of the lashes and wiggle the tube to apply - it coats lashes evenly without clumping and it does not smudge on me.
  • Stila Huge Extreme Lash Mascara ($23) is one I tried in the Birchbox Beauty in Bloom Box (review here and it's still available). It far exceeded my expectations and I proceeded to search for it in stores. I could not find it anywhere near me so I ordered online. It's my new favorite formula although it is a bit hard to remove in the evening. I like this for the most drama and definition. It holds the curl and doesn't smudge and looks like a true black.
  • Marc Jacobs Velvet Noir Major Volume Mascara ($26) is one I had high hopes for because I really love the O!Mega Lash Mascara (that one has been my most repurchased formula over the past year). The Velvet Noir has an ultra deep color. It has a unique curved brush that dips in the middle of the wand to match the curve of the eye and get the corners. Application is really easy and it looks incredible. Unfortunately for me it does not hold the curl. Smudging is minimal but still happens a tiny bit on me with this one.
  • Marc Jacobs Feather Noir Mascara ($24) is an ultra skinny mascara - one of the tiniest wands I've ever seen! It's made mascara application on lower lashes possible for me. I have super sensitive eyes so it does tickle a little when I apply this but it has such a fine wand it will catch tiny lashes without touching the skin. It did not smudge on me when I used on lower lashes. I think this is a winner if you're one who is looking for a lower lash mascara.
  • Charlotte Tilbury Legendary Lashes Mascara ($32) I love all things Charlotte Tilbury so when this launched I had high hopes. The regular mascara from her line is ok in my experience. This one is like a face lift for the lashes. I rarely notice the smell of mascara but this one smells like it has a tiny bit of perfume and it smells amazingly fresh and pretty. I have mixed feelings on this one. I've put this to the test over the last month. It gives that faux mascara look by adding incredible volume and definition - it's really impressive. It holds the curl, doesn't flake and is non irritating. However half the time it smudges. The other half of the time it does not. Even when I have an extra powdered under-eye sometimes it still smudges. If this came in a waterproof formula I think it would be 100% flawless for me. Right now it's 50/50 on the smudge factor.
  • Chanel Le Volume Mascara ($32) is a classic. I like the regular black version but try to buy the plum shades when they launch because they are often limited-edition. There are two formulas the regular Le Volume and Le Volume Waterproof. I like both but for me waterproof is the way to go especially in humid warmer months. It adds volume and doesn't smudge.
  • MustaeV Maxi Lash Volume Mascara ($18) is one of the deepest black mascaras I've tried. It has a super skinny wand so it's easy to grab all the lashes - even the ones around the edges. I was really impressed how well it stayed put - no smudging for me on all testing occasions. It's not the most volumizing for me because I have such wimpy lashes but it's a good everyday kind of mascara that never clumps on me and I love the true black color.
Another view of the mascaras, different angle:


So which one is my favorite? Right now it's a three-way tie between the Stila Huge Extreme Lash Mascara, the By Terry Terrybly Mascara and Chanel Le Volume. The Charlotte Tilbury Legendary Lashes is almost perfect - it smudges on me half the time I wear it.

If you're looking for a new mascara I hope you found this roundup helpful! As always - I'd love to hear about your recommendations! At this time I don't use a base/primer or a top coat for the lashes. I know several of you have recommended the Clarins Double Fix as a way to prevent smudging. I still have yet to try it but just ordered it so will let you know how it works. I've played with a few false lashes on occasion but find them too time consuming to apply on a daily basis - I know it just takes practice to get used to but it's something I just haven't gotten into yet.

If you have any tips, tricks or advice on lash growth serums I'm all ears!

Press samples featured include the Charlotte Tilbury, MustaeV, RapidLash. Gifted item includes the By Terry Mascara.

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.

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.

Friday, January 8, 2016

Dior Addict Lip Glow Color Reviver Lip Balms in Pink, Coral and Lilac


This spring Dior has launched a new shade of their Addict Lip Glow Color Reviver Lip Balm in Lilac ($33, limited-edition). These are balms that have a transparent quality and a slight tint but once applied on the lips, the formula reacts to your lip chemistry to create a glow that is unique to you. Many of these transforming lip glow products tend to turn fuchsia on my lips. The original Pink 001 color is one of those - it turns into a lovely flushed pink within a few minutes but as time goes on it turns into a bright pink that stains my lips with an un-natural pink. I personally love the formula, texture and feel, but Coral 002 reacts better with my body chemistry (or face chemistry) to give a better natural glow. Lilac 005 is the latest addition for spring and it's absolutely perfect. It applies like a flushed soft pink that has slight cool undertones.

These will look different on everyone, but I thought I'd share swatches anyways since many of you have been curious about the new Lilac shade. Below is a look at the three lip glows, Pink 001, Coral 004 and Lilac 005. All three have the same smooth balmy feel. They are unscented and glide on the lips with a moisturizing glossy feel. The finish is semi-thick, not as thick or balmy as the Creme de Rose Lip Balm (reviewed here), but just as moisturizing in my experience.

A quick note on the pink one - I don't recommend you expose it to direct sunlight for extended periods of time. The direct sun will fade the color and remove any color transforming properties. I had to cut off the tip that was exposed because after a few minutes of being in the sun it turned clear. The other two colors seem unaffected by direct sunlight.

Below, a look at the labels/colors. I'm sure there were Lip Glows in 002 and 003 released in previous seasons, but they were never on my radar, so I'm not sure what colors they were:

Another look at the balm colors:


Swatched on my lips, along with a shot of my bare lips. All the Lip Glows were photographed after having been applied for at least 5 minutes to make sure the color transformed. Do note these will look different on everyone because they are designed to react to your own body chemistry. On one of my friends who has the same skintone as me (just slightly more pink) the Coral turns more of a bright pinky peachy on her, while on me it's distinctly coral. I didn't swatch on the arms because they pretty much look clear on the arm.



On the nails, Louboutin Miss Loubi

Dior Addict Lip Glow Coral had been my favorite one for the color until Lilac arrived. In terms of pink transforming lip tints, the Clarins Instant Light Lip Perfector in Pink 3 and IPKN Twinkle Lips in Pink Glow far surpass the Dior Addict Lip Glow in Pink in my experience - both transform my lips into a really pretty natural pink glow without making them look fuschia or stained. Also both have a thinner finish that is more weightless while the Dior is more hydrating/thicker.

I highly recommend you check out the new Lilac Lip Glow - it's limited-edition and so pretty. It's such a lovely way to add a natural tint of color to the lips.

You can find the Dior Addict Lip Glow in Pink and Coral at all Dior counters. The Lilac is listed as limited-edition for now, but in past seasons the Coral shade was a limited-edition color that sold out almost instantly and after a while they brought it back. With the whole limited-edition factor, sometimes you just never really know how long something will be around. Some items have received such a positive response brands have brought items back. In this situation I'd recommend you buy sooner than later just in case. It's that good I think it's a must-have.

The Dior Addict Lip Glow in Lilac should be available at most counters now. Online at Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus, Sephora, Macy's, Saks Fifth Avenue and Dior.com.


 

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