Showing posts with label Fragrance. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Fragrance. Show all posts

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Maison Margiela Replica Filters in Glow and Blur

Replica Filter Blur and Glow - The Beauty Look Book

Maison Margiela recently launched two new oil-based fragrance primers designed to nourish skin and layer with the Replica Eau de Toilettes to create your own mix of scents. There is a Replica Filter Glow and Replica Filter Blur ($55 each for 50 ml/1.7 fl oz, made in France). I have been obsessed with both. These launched as an online exclusive to Sephora months ago and I waited patiently for weeks until they were released in store so I could smell in person first. With these two I would have ended up being perfectly happy ordering sight unseen as both are right up my alley. I've been wearing them alone for a more natural effect that is like a soft fragrance but one that works really well with your own skin, like you but better. They also do work well layered with the other Replica scents. Many have asked if they extend the wear of perfume as the description "primer" implies that it might. I do find they do as the oil adheres to the skin and although I have no scientific proof or studies to back up this thought I feel like it helps pull the scent from the layered perfume and extend the wear. At any rate, I find Replica fragrances last quite long on me anyways.

Replica Filter in Blur is a described as having Cotton, White Musk Accord, Gray Amber Accord. It does have a slight powder cotton like feel but it's not too powdery and the musk rounds it out. It has a Byredo Blanche kind of feel with the lightness but sometimes Blanche can feel a bit sharp on me. Replica Filter Blur is softer with a more well rounded feel. Granted it's an oil-based spray versus a full strength perfume so I don't know that I should really compare the two. I like layering the Blur one with Replica Beach Walk the most.

Replica Filter Blur - The Beauty Look Book

Replica Filter in Glow has citrus notes and neroli. This one is my favorite of the two (if I had to pick one). It sounds odd to describe this scent as sunshine but it feels like that to me. It's a bright but mellow citrus that smells like skin to me. I love this one with anything - Replica Beach Walk, Lipstick On (c/o), Flower Market (c/o) and alone. 

Replica Filter Glow - The Beauty Look Book

Both are winners and the price points aren't too bad in my opinion. I think fragrance is so personal - so many factors go into what one thinks smells good. If you ask me what kinds of scents I like I always have a hard time pointing out notes or kinds of scents so I have to simply name a few that I like to give one an idea. I like to switch things up quite frequently - I don't think I really go more than 2 days wearing the same scent while my husband sticks to 2 or 3 regular colognes in his routine.

A few past rotations by season here:

A few of my favorites below, also not shown but Flower Market is love for me - it's one of the best pure but modern florals that won't make you smell like potpourri. If you're one who thinks "I don't like straight up florals" but have always wanted to try one I think you should give it a spritz the next time you see it at Sephora or Nordstrom.

Replica Fragrances - The Beauty Look Book

Today I'm wearing Filter Glow + Flower Market and it did some serious mood shifting for me by lifting my grumpy morning mood. This morning was one of those times where I simply did not want to get out of bed and thought about staying there for the entire day. I pulled myself together and while fragrance almost always lifts the mood or gives you that finishing polished touch, I am really surprised at how much more awake yet calm I feel with this scent combination. 

As you might be able to tell from the rotations linked above there is a lot that I've explored. Out of all the scents I've tested, I feel like the Replica Filters are the ones that feel most like me. I like that they are softly nourishing on the skin too. Since they are oil-based they will feel emollient and I spray and massage in the skin like you would any other body oil. To date I haven't really experimented layering these with other perfumes. I'm having a hard time thinking about what I would else I would combine them with because the Replica perfumes are just so perfect with these.

Bottom line is that I highly recommend and I'm very pleased with both. You can find them for $55 each at Sephora and Nordstrom.

Have you tried these yet? What did you think?

Friday, September 30, 2016

Fall Fragrance Loves for Him and Her

Best fall perfumes and colognes

There are so many new scents that have launched this season. I usually find one or two new scents each season that I love but this season almost every new fragrance I've tested I've fallen in love with. I have a roundup of ones I have in rotation right now along with a men's rotation for my husband. He usually sticks to the same colognes so many of the ones you'll see here have been featured numerous times. I like to switch things up frequently so some of mine are newer ones.

Up first are my favorites along with thoughts on some others I've tested:

The three most exciting fragrance launches this season for me have been from Louis Vuitton, Louboutin and Edward Bess. I will have dedicated reviews coming soon on the launches but wanted to give you a roundup of highlights right now. Shown above:
  • Chanel N°5 L'Eau (c/o, reviewed here) is a light clean floral that dries down to a slightly powdery musk. Many of you have bought or tried this one too and mentioned that you either love or hate it. I really like it for the clean lively feel. It was a exclusive for a few weeks but you can find it now at all Chanel counters (for those wondering).
    • Notes include lemon, mandarin, orange, rose, jasmine, ylang ylang, cedar and cotton musk.
  • L'Artisan Mûre et Musc has been a long time favorite. I discovered it thanks to one of my best friends who always smells amazing. L'artisan recently redesigned all their packaging so out of curiosity I ordered one of the new ones and was relieved to find the scent is still the same. Sometimes I worry formulas change when packaging does. In this case it's the classic berry musk.
    • Notes include lemon, orange, basil, lavender, blackberry, jasmine, musk, patchouli and oakmoss. It's one of my husband's favorites on me.
  • Molton Brown Pink Pepperpod Eau de Toilette is one of my favorite Molton Brown scents, I discovered it in the hand cream and shower gel and loved it so much I bought the perfume. It's difficult to describe but it has a pink pepper, patchouli and cedarwood mix with a girly zest. They have a Discovery Set online that has 8 small spritzers of their scents you can order.
    • Pink Pepperpod notes include pink pepper, tangerine, elemi oil, nutmeg, ginger oil, patchouli and cedarwood oil.
    • This weekend their Friends and Family 20% off sale is happening through October 3 with code USFF20 at checkout. I won't have a home fragrance roundup in time before the sale ends, but their Coco and Sandalwood Candle is to die for for fall.
  • Replica Filter in Glow is a new perfume primer designed to layer with your perfume. It's an oil based spray and scented so it adheres well to the skin. I like using it alone or layering it with Replica Lipstick On afterwards. It's a soft warm citrus that feels bright but not sharp.
    • Notes citrus neroli.
  • Byredo Bal D'Afrique is one of the few sweet scents I find I can wear. It's one of the most unique fragrances I've tried and to me I smell a slight hint of apricot in it but it's not really like that at all. For me it's a bright sweet with a hint of musk, amber and cedarwood mixed in. It's floral but sweet. I find it impossible to describe. I know many of you also love this one. If you can chime in the comments how you'd describe it I would so greatly appreciate your help!
    • Notes Bergamot, lemon, neroli, African marigold, bucchu, violet, Jasmine petals, cyclamen, black amber, musk, vetiver, Moroccan cedarwood
  • Byredo Unnamed (not shown) is a new one that I tried at Barneys over the week. It was truly love at first spritz but I decided to wait on this. I cannot find the notes on this one anywhere but if Gypsy Water and Black Saffron had a baby together this would be it. It's fresh and modern like Gypsy Water and but not as sweet as Black Saffron. I'm seriously tempted.
  • Edward Bess Spanish Veil (c/o) is one of three new scents launched by Edward. I'll have a full review on all three very soon. Right now they are exclusive online to his website. I do believe you can call the Bergdorf Goodman counter to order but they should launch online very soon. Spanish Veil is one of my favorites. It has a Byredo Gypsy Water feel but is less sweet and more woodsy. For some reason I detect a hint of licorice.
    • Notes include Pure Sandalwood, Tonka and Guaiac Wood
  • Louis Vuitton Apogee is one of seven new perfumes launched. I bought the mini set and owe you a full review. For now my top two include Apogee which is lily of the valley. I normally do not gravitate towards lily of the valley scents but this one is just one of the prettiest florals I've ever smelled. It has a powdery feel so if you don't like powdery scents this may not be for you.  It's fresh and feminine.
    • Notes include lily of the valley, jasmine, magnolia, rose, guaiac wood, and sandalwood essence.
  • Louis Vuitton Matiere Noire is my second favorite and is more of an evening night scent. If you like fragrances like L'Artisan Mure et Musc, Byredo Black Saffron or any blackcurrant kinds you will like this one. It's a woodsy blackcurrant kind of scent that is more of an evening one rather than day to day. There is a floral mix in it which makes it smell rich but feminine.
    • Notes include blackcurrant, marcissus, jasmine, patchouli, Laos agarwood.
  • Louboutin Tornade Blonde (c/o) is one of the most luxurious perfumes I own. If you have a current Saks or Neimans catalog you can find a small sampler card inside one of the pages to try. All three are really amazing but I fell in love with Tornade Blonde which is exactly what I think of when I think of a perfume kind of scent. It's a very strong floral with red rose, violet and cassis along with hints of jasmine. The bottle is just incredible in the design.
    • Notes Rhubarb, Violet Leaves, Ambrette Signature, Cassis, Bulgarian Rose, Jasmin Sambac Absolut, Orange Flower Petals Firnat, Gardenia from Brazil, Ambregris, Cedarwood, Australian Sandalwood, Patchouli.
  • Elizabeth and James Nirvana Bourbon (not shown) is one of two new Nirvana additions. As you can see from my list I like soft florals but also fresh scents. Many of you prefer sweeter more gourmand fragrances and unfortunately for me my husband does not like vanilla at all. As I do not want to repulse him I do not wear it. Nirvana Bourbon is a seductive smoky vanilla. If you like vanilla scents this one is perfect for fall. You can also now find all four in this Nirvana Mini Rollerball Set for holiday which is just so cute!
    • Notes Vanilla Bourbon. Oakwood. Tuberose.
  • Viktor and Rolf BonBon (not shown) is one I had high hopes for. As a Flowerbomb fan I thought BonBon could be a great alternative. For me it has a similar vibe but is very very sweet. If you like sweet scents I suspect you might like this. For me it was too sweet, almost like a cookie or dessert.
    • Notes Tangerine, Blackcurrant, Orange, Orange Blossom, Jasmine, Peach, Guaiac Wood, Cedarwood, Caramel.
For a cologne roundup I asked him to pull his favorites for right now. Many of these you'll recognize from past roundups. For him cologne and scent picks are more a year round kind of thing. He'll pick one depending on occasion whether he's looking for an everyday kind of scent or something more dressy for going out:

Bleu de Chanel, Tom Ford, Dior Sauvage

  • Chanel Bleu de Chanel is in my husband's top three favorites. Out of all the colognes he has tried this is probably the one he's asked me to repurchase for him the most. He prefers using the Refillable Travel Spray version so he can carry it with him in his briefcase or store easily in his desk at his office. It is hard for him to describe scents but he says this is a good everyday cologne that smells clean and modern but a woodsy feel. It's strong enough without being too strong.
    • Notes are citrus and wood.
  • Tom Ford Costa Azzurra is more of a summery kind of cologne. It's a unisex kind of scent that I adore and would actually wear myself except my husband says it's too masculine for me. After spritzing it a few times I actually did have to agree it's clearly more masculine with a woodsy oak with a slight green juniper mix.
    • Notes Juniper, Herbs, Green Notes, Oak, Warm Woods.
  • Tom Ford Vert des Bois (c/o) is a new one this season part of the Vert line. This too is another unisex one but still pulls more masculine. I've worn this myself this week as my husband has been traveling and it makes me think of him. If you liked Oud Wood you will really like this one. For a more feminine option the Vert Boheme is just lovely. It's on my wishlist but given my long list for now I'm relying on my mini decant sample.
    • Notes Poplar Bud. Ouzo. Woods.
  • Viktor and Rolf Spicebomb is hands down the best hot-guy date night scent I've smelled and also is my husband's favorite. He's already gone through a few bottles. Since we were such big fans of this I picked up the Viktor and Rolf Spicebomb Fresh thinking it would be a more modern version. We both agree the original is still the best as by comparison the Fresh one almost has a feminine feel which is nice but the original is better.
    • Notes: Bergamot, Grapefruit, Cinnamon Leaf, Pink Pepper, Lavandin, Chilli, Saffron, Elemi, Vetiver, Balsam Fir, Tobacco Accord, White Leather Accord.
  • Dior Sauvage (c/o) is the third in the top three colognes for my husband. He believes most men like to stick to one or two colognes versus women who like to try lots of things. For the longest time no matter what I bought him to try he stuck with the Bleu de Chanel which works, but he did get a bit bored using the same one everyday. He says if you like the Bleu de Chanel but want something different to switch things up, the Dior Sauvage is the one to go with. This marks the one year anniversary of Dior Sauvage and they launched a larger 6.8 fl oz version. My husband owns and has already gone through a few of the smaller size. He likes the way the bottle is designed with a round sturdy glass jar and magnetic cap.
    • Notes Reggio Bergamot, Sichuan Pepper, Ambroxan.
  • Dior Sauvage Deoderant (c/o) is one I think smells amazing for a men's deodorant and matches the cologne. My husband has sensitive skin under his arms and many will make his skin peel. This one does not and lasts all day for him so it's a winner. There's a Deodorant Spray as well which I've been trying to get him to try but he's a creature of habit and uses the stick.
  • YSL L'Homme Deodorant is another winning scent for him and he says this is the best scented deoderant he's ever tried. When I bought it he had very low expectations for this because he's tried a lot and found they either didn't last or didn't smell good. The rep at Sephora swore by this one as his favorite and said "your husband won't be disappointed, I promise." So I gave it a go and I'm glad I did.
That rounds up our current scent rotation favorites for fall. I have a few others I've kept in rotation but I tried to narrow it down to my absolute favorites for right now. If I had to pick three, they would probably be Replica Filter in Glow, L'Artisan Mure et Musc and Byredo Bal D'Afrique. Out of the ones on my wishlist I'm gravitating most towards the Byredo Unnamed perfume but there are some others I still want to smell before deciding on another one.

As always I'd love to hear what you are wearing for fall. I'm also curious to hear how you buy your perfumes. I always find it overwhelming trying to decide. Do you ever buy perfume sight unseen? I try to at least test in store if I can, although sometimes I will order online after thinking about it for a while if I can't get to a store or if there are no stores that carry a specific brand. (For me no nearby stores carry Le Labo, Byredo, Frederic Malle, L'Artisan.) Let me know in the comments how you go about trying new perfumes or deciding on a new purchase!

Are there any new ones launching that you're excited about or have anything on your wishlist?

I will have dedicated reviews on the Louis Vuitton, Replica Filters and Edward Bess perfumes soon. If you want any other detailed posts let me know and I'll see what I can do to fit them in.

Press samples featured have been indicated with "c/o" next to them.

Monday, September 12, 2016

Chanel N°5 L'Eau

Chanel N°5 L'Eau Perfume

On September 1st Chanel launched a new perfume for fall called N°5 L'EAU ($100 to $132) which is modern fresh take on the classic N°5. The new N°5 L'Eau is very different from the original, it is significantly lighter in feel with a very clean almost green zesty feel but floral with hints of musk. Notes per Chanel:

"Composed by Chanel perfumer Olivier Polge, N°5 L’EAU features dynamic, crisp top notes of Lemon, Mandarin and Orange that reveal lightheartedness and transparency. The emblematic heart of the bouquet unfolds with Rose, Jasmine and a new fraction of Ylang Ylang, more modern than ever. Behind this floral whirlwind lies an unprecedented sense of liveliness: the vibrant echo of Cedar, accompanied by soft and cottony Musk notes."

Smelling this seems to give me that fresh feel of spring but the combination of musk, ylang ylang and jasmine makes it one that I feel one can truly wear year round. Part of me wishes it was launched in the spring though because I would have worn this all season long and loved it. That being said I will wear this for the upcoming season.

Chanel N°5 L'Eau Perfume

Shown above: Les Beiges Healthy Glow Sheer Colour SPF15 in No 20, Gloss Volume, Glossimer in Beige Star (reviewed here), Le Vernis in Organdi (reviewed here), marble tray from Restoration Hardware (less expensive alternatives here and here)

Strength-wise it's in the Eau de Toilette form and it's a light scent so I can spritz generously without having to worry about overdoing it. Lasting power is not as good as an Eau de Parfum, but I can smell it from morning until about lunch time before I find it has disappeared completely. I rarely reapply perfumes mid-day even if they fade on me unless they have a travel size you can buy separately. I know there are a number of travel size spritzers and vials that you can fill with your own scent but I feel like they aren't as well packaged and tightly sealed like the ones that are made by the brands themselves.

Chanel N°5 L'Eau Perfume Styled

To date my favorite Chanel fragrance is the Les Exclusifs de Chanel in Beige. I've sampled a number of others each time I'm at a store that carries them (you can't find them at all counters). Gardenia, Jersey and No 22 have all been tempting but my heart still belongs to Beige. I sniffed Boy last month and found it interesting too, I'm undecided on it as so many fragrances have captured my attention I need to limit myself to ones I truly love. The N°5 L'Eau is a clean floral like Beige, but at the same time it's very different in overall feel and effect. N°5 L'Eau is brighter, cleaner and has a bit more of a powdery feel by comparison.

Chanel N°5 L'Eau Perfume Styled Shot with Flap Bag

On the nails above, Louboutin Miziggoo

I've always wanted a Chanel perfume in that classic bottle that came in a spray form and now I do. I had the original N°5 before (it was gifted) and it simply wasn't me so I gave it away so I cannot compare it to the newly launched L'eau version.

Chanel N°5 L'Eau Perfume with Roses

Bottom line: modern, clean and fresh that dries down to a powdery floral. As perfume is very personal and scents often shift depending on your body chemistry, I don't think there is any universal kind of scent. This one won't be for everyone and if you need something with very strong lasting power, this definitely won't be for you. I like it and will wear it frequently. You can find the Chanel N°5 L'Eau Eau de Toilette in a 50 ml for $100 and 100 ml for $132, both exclusively online at Chanel. The one I have featured in this review is the smaller size. If you've tried this I'd be curious to hear your thoughts! If not, let me know what your go-to is for this upcoming fall season. I always love reading about what my readers are wearing. 

Chanel N°5 L'Eau provided courtesy of Chanel for review.

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Tom Ford Beauty Velvet Orchid Lip Color and Orchid Soleil Eau de Parfum

I reviewed the a few items from the Tom Ford Orchid Collection last month and today I have two more to share thoughts on which includes the Velvet Orchid Lip Color ($53) and Orchid Soleil Eau de Parfum ($82 to $168). If you recall from my last post I was waiting for the pink highlighter powder in Velvet Bloom to arrive before posting this particular review. Turns out they had a mix up on the website and shipped the wrong color with my order. I went to the store to exchange and it was actually a good thing that I went in store to try it. I've read mixed reviews about pink option and the one I tested in store was very sheer with non-existent pigment. It looked chalky with a hard stiff texture and barely any color showed up as I swiped it with a finger and also a brush that was a tester at the counter. As much as I adore Tom Ford cheek products, I decided to pass.

Up first is one of the limited-edition lip colors that comes packaged in a deep violet embossed packaging. Size is the same as the regular lip colors - only the exterior is different. I opted for the lighter option which is called Velvet Orchid. It's a plum pink with silvery shimmer. It's medium to full coverage and falls somewhere in between medium to bold in color. It's not quite dramatic or deep enough to be bold but it's still not a neutral. The shimmer is visible on my lips but it's a pretty kind. 

Below it's swatched on bare lips. It pulls neutral to cool on me. With the flash the silvery shimmer shows up more than without a flash.

Swatch comparisons below:
  • Tom Ford Lip Color in So Vain (review here)
  • Tom Ford Lip Color in Negligee (review here)
  • Tom Ford Lips and Boys in Daniel and Malik (posted here)
  • Charlotte Tilbury Matte Revolution in Bond Girl (on lips here)
  • Chanel Rouge Coco in Suzanne (review here)
  • Dior Addict Hydra-Gel Core Mirror Shine in Sophisticated (on lips here)

It's a lovely color for fall that pulls mauve, plum and pink all at the same time. If you have the Lips and Boys in Daniel I do think it's similar enough that you can skip. So Vain is warmer with a bit less shimmer.

Up next is the Orchid Soleil Eau de Parfum. I bought the 30 ml version which is a Sephora exclusive (other sizes can be found at all other Tom Ford retailers). I ordered this one without testing it and I must admit the beautiful rose gold packaging was calling my name as soon as it popped up. It's a warm cashmere floral but it has notes that makes me think of licorice and root beer. Once I had those two in my head I just couldn't get them out and all I can think of is food when I wear this. I will say this one is just not really my cup of tea. I asked my husband what he thought. He usually likes Tom Ford fragrances on me. His response, "not my favorite, but I don't hate it." I feel the same.
  • Top notes: bitter orange, tuberose, cypress, peppercorns
  • Middle notes: lily, spider lily, black orchid, clove
  • Base notes: cashmeran, patchouli, vetiver, ambroxan, sylkolide, vanilla, chestnut cream

I'm still working my way through testing a few new scents that have launched this fall. I hope to review them soon for those curious. I will say that so far I'm head over heels in love with Louis Vuitton Parfums Apogée and Matiere Noire along with the Replica Filters.

Bottom line, both nice to have, but given the comparisons for the lips, I don't think Velvet Orchid is a must, especially if you own So Vain or Daniel. There are little differences that make them different enough to justify though so if it's your kind of color I'd say go for it. After all I have dozens of the same neutral pink for lips but will never stop getting excited about new ones that launch. Perfume is so personal I think Orchid Soleil is hit or miss. If you like warm florals with a bit of spice you may want to give this a spritz at the store. For me I'm glad I bought the smallest version so it wasn't as expensive of a mistake as buying the larger sizes.

I found the 30 ml Orchid Soleil at Sephora. The rest of the Orchid Collection including the Velvet Orchid Lipstick, Black Orchid Lipstick and Nightbloom Powders are available exclusively in the US at Bergdorf Goodman, Neiman Marcus and Tom Ford. At this time I believe the lipstick and powders are limited-edition.

Have you tried these yet? I will have reviews of the new Lip Contour Duos and the AW16 collection up as soon as I can! First impressions are very good and I can't wait to share them with you.

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

New from Charlotte Tilbury: Scent of a Dream, The Legendary Muse Eyeshadow Palette and Legendary Brows

Charlotte Tilbury has launched a few new items this fall including a new perfume Scent of a Dream and new look called The Dreamy Look. A few months ago she also launched a new brow gel in a few shades and I have been testing out the clear one to include in today's review. What I have a look at includes:
The Dreamy Look features a new eyeshadow palette and a few other repromoted items including the mascara, bedroom black kohl and Secret Salma Lipstick. You can buy the items individually or in the Dreamy Look Gift Box Set. While browsing the site I did not realize the featured lipstick in Secret Salma was a repromote from the Hot Lips launch until the moment I hit submit on my order. So now I have two.

Up first is the new perfume called Scent of a Dream. I received the 50 ml as a press sample for review and it is exactly what I envisioned Charlotte Tilbury to launch for a fragrance. It's a very complex kind of scent that has a rich and seductive feel. To me it's very much an evening date night kind of scent rather than everyday. Lasting power is quite strong and I was able to smell it late in the afternoon from the morning spritz. It's a dark woodsy floral but has some light notes mixed in at the same time.
  • Top notes include lemon, peach, black pepper, saffron, mandarin and bergamot.
  • Heart notes include tuberose, jasmine, frankincense, hedoine, violet, muget, orange flower, rose oil, tea rose, green ivy and magnolia.
  • Base notes include fire tree, Iso E Super, patchouli, ambroxan, precious woods, amber, castoreum, musks.
According to Charlotte Tilbury, the top notes develop after 15 minutes after warming up on the skin and heart notes develop after five hours. I do find it shifts on the skin after a few hours but still smells very much the same. Had I spritzed and tried this in store on my own I don't know that I would have bought it for myself - it's quite a bit more seductive and rich compared to what I typically wear and to this day I still feel like my best date-night scent is Viktor and Rolf Flowerbomb although Edward Bess is coming out with three fragrances next month which are incredible and Louis Vuitton launched seven new scents which are also quite amazing which might move Flowerbomb off the favorites list to a three-way tie (more details and review soon but I still have a lot of testing to do). Bottom line the Scent of a Dream is indeed dreamy and lovely, just not quite me.

Next up is a quick reswatch of Secret Salma which is a gorgeous raspberry pink color. It's the matte revolution formula which is matte but luminous at the same time. Full review and lip swatches of all the Hot Lips Lipsticks in this post here but here's another look for reference.

The Legendary Brows Brow Gel in Clear is a brow gel that comes with a very tiny brush wand. I am not a fan of clear brow gels because of two reasons. First is they rarely do anything for my brows and second they often leave that white chalky cast. I am very low maintenance when it comes to brows and I am well aware that I need to up my brow game. To date my go-to's are the Diorshow Brow Styler (review here) and the La Palette Sourcils de Chanel (review here) - they're the best no fuss impossible to overdo brow products for brow dummies. I've tried a number of brow gels in clear and tinted and try to use them but often forget to. The Charlotte Tilbury Legendary Brows Brow Gel performs well to actually hold brows in place. There's no white film or chalky look once it dries. I will say that a little goes a long way. The first time I tried it I applied way too much and it left my brows very sticky. I'm really pleased with it - it holds brows in place after combing them upwards.

Last but not least is the new Legendary Muse Luxury Palette. This is limited-edition and has the same exterior star designed packaging as last year's Fallen Angel Eyeshadow Palette. This year's Legendary Muse texture is not like the limited-edition from last holiday but rather like her regular palettes in powder form for 3 shades and 1 glitter finish color. I last reported that the MAC Pressed Pigments were too glittery for me. The ones from Charlotte Tilbury and Tom Ford though are ones I find more wearable even though I'm very conservative for eye looks.

I have fallen head over heels for the Legendary Muse Luxury Palette. It's a warmer palette of neutrals but still very wearable. Charlotte labels them 1 thru 4 on the back for application order but I apply this one in a different order. I like applying the darkest shade first and then follow with the top two layered on top and glitter topped as the last part. Pigment is medium to full. Colors match my arm so they look a bit sheer here but they do show up well on the eyes.

Colors are a soft pinky shimmer, warm coppery gold shimmer, light gold glitter and mauve shimmer.

A quick eye look in indoor lighting, no flash. Still working on getting the right lighting for face and eye swatches and beauty looks. I would say in real life the palette isn't quite as reddish/mauve looking as the photos show below.

Comparison swatches below show that you can definitely find dupes for the palette, but the texture and combination just works so well. There are subtle differences in the shimmer and texture is soft and blendable. I bought my palette sight unseen so I did not know what to expect based on the online stock photos. I did know it would be on the warmer side and am thrilled at how it turned out.

Left to right below:
  • MAC Eyeshadow in Naked Lunch
  • Anastasia Glow Kit in Sundipped, Moonstone shade (review)
  • Anastasia Glow Kit in That Glow, Golden Bronze shade (review)
    Anastasia Eyeshadow Single in Amber (review)
  • Tom Ford Cream Powder Duo in Naked Bronze, glitter shade (review here)
  • Anastasia Glow Kit in Sundipped, Tourmaline shade (review)
  • NARS Eyeshadow Duo Kalahari (review

I really love the eyeshadow palette and think it's a great one to wear for any occasion. Although I really don't do lots of glitter makeup, the Charlotte Tilbury glitters are easy to wear and layer on top of other powder shades for a little glitz without going over the top. If you're looking for a classic raspberry pink lip, Secret Salma is a gorgeous option that I think would suit a wide range of skintones. The brow gel is a good one but as I'm not really a brow aficionado I don't think I'd call it a must-have but it is one of the few clear ones that actually hold my brows in place. The perfume is a beautiful one, but as perfume is very personal I think it's a bit bolder than my personality and I only see myself wearing it for evening.

You can find the new Charlotte Tilbury launches online at Charlotte Tilbury. Right now the eyeshadow palette and perfume are also available at Nordstrom.

Have you tried any of these new launches yet? What did you think?

Perfume and brow gel provided courtesy of Charlotte Tilbury for review. Palette and lipstick purchased by me.

Friday, August 19, 2016

Diptyque Coriandre Candle

Diptyque Coriandre ($62 for 6.5 oz) is one of those candles I've had for a while but never got around to reviewing. For the home I do tend to give Baies and Figuier the most love but there are a lot of other scents that are really good that are often under the radar. Coriandre (or coriander) is one of those I would never think to burn in the home because it smells exactly like the herb. It's described as having a slightly peppery green zest and is really unique. It smells fresh and green.

This one popped up on my radar while I was at a boutique one time. One of the associates went through half a dozen candles after I asked her what her favorites were. She pulled this one and said, "this is the best one for the kitchen to get rid of food smells" and it instantly piqued my interest. I did not buy it during that particular visit as many times I'll think about a scent before buying. This one I just couldn't get out of my mind and everytime we had food smells in our home from the kitchen after cooking I kept thinking about this. It wasn't until about six months later that I was able to go back to the store to buy it and was really happy I did.

Burning it at home I found that it did help a lot in the kitchen. In attempts to waste less food (we find it challenging to buy just the right amount of produce at the grocery store and use it before it goes bad), experiment with new recipes and eat healthier, we've been experimenting with a few recipe delivery services. Some of them call for garlic and shallots which are nice to add for flavor but often fill the entire house with the scent for hours. I can say that burning the Diptyque Coriandre does help diffuse the food and cooking scents. It won't make them disappear completely but I was really impressed with how it did somehow counteract food smells better than other candles. The effect is similar to that of Febreze which we used to use a lot because of our dogs, but eventually found we needed something stronger. The scent of a candle is longer lasting when you burn it and the scent fills the room better.

Other times I have burned it by my desk or in the evenings. It's got a green feel that I find relaxing but refreshing at the same time. By the time of this post I've already burned it to the end. It's one I will definitely repurchase in the near future. I think it's one you should check out if you have a Diptyque store or counter near you. It's not a boutique exclusive so you should be able to find it easily. Right now it only comes in the standard size. I think it's well worth the splurge. I find it one of those scents you can burn year-round. If you've tried this let me know what you thought!

You can find Diptyque Coriander at Diptyque, Nordstrom, Saks Fifth Avenue and Barneys New York.

Have you tried Coriandre? If not what's your favorite Diptyque scent? Any favs that you think are really unique or under-rated?

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Tom Ford Beauty Black Orchid Eau de Parfum + Nightbloom Powder in Black Bloom

For fall Tom Ford Beauty is launching a few mini collections, the first is the Orchid Collection which highlights two fragrances in Black Orchid and Orchid Soleil along with corresponding powders and lipsticks to match the mood of each scent. A lovely package of the Black Orchid Eau de Parfum ($120 for 50 ml) and Nightbloom Powder in Black Bloom ($80) arrived a few months ago but I decided to wait closer to fall to review these. Scent is often very seasonal for me and some perfumes I can't get in the mood for if it's not the right time of year. Now that fall is approaching I am ready to review two items from the Orchid Collection. I have also purchased the Orchid Soleil perfume and a few other pieces which I hope to review in the next couple of weeks.

Both the Nightbloom Powder and Black Orchid Eau de Parfum come in matching packaging with the embossed striped black case and gold accent. The powder compact is the same size as the small bronzing powders and cream cheek colors from summer.

Black Orchid Eau de Parfum is not a new frangrance - it's been a classic in the Tom Ford Beauty line for many years. For me this is a rich and spicy scent with a dark feel. To me it's distinctly feminine, but pulls on the masculine side. Notes include bergamot, citrus accord, mandarin, gardenia, jasmine, ylang-ylang, lotus, orchid spicy floral accord, orchid, patchouli, sandalwood, incense, vanilla. If I were to sum it up in three words it would be "dark seductive floral." Lasting power is very good - I find all Tom Ford scents to be long lasting, but this one is one of the strongest I've tried. While I am drawn to unisex scents that have notes like sandalwood and amber, Tom Ford Black Orchid is a bit darker than I would normally wear, even for date nights. It has a distinct and unique scent that feels very luxurious. I'm just not sure that it's my cup of tea - but my nose has been known to change in taste. There are a few fragrances I did not like in my mid-20's that I adore right now that I'm in my mid-30's.

The Nightbloom Powder in Black Bloom is a gold shimmery highlighter with a strong yellow sheen. It has a very soft fragrance added but it does not really smell like the Black Orchid perfume. The shimmer is visible with lovely silver and gold sparkles. It has a smooth medium to medium-full coverage for pigment and is easy to blend. Quality-wise it's excellent, doesn't emphasize pores, doesn't look overly frosted and stays put all day long without fall out or fading. Color-wise, I've mentioned numerous times before that I tend to stay away from yellowy-gold highlighters because it often clashes with my skintone. Alone on the skin it is indeed very yellow, but once I add a bronzer or blush, the yellow tones balance out a bit.

Swatch comparisons below to a few other highlighters. Tom Ford Night Bloom as the strongest yellow undertones.

Both the Black Orchid Eau de Parfum and Nightbloom Powder in Black Bloom are luxurious splurges that I was thrilled to be able to try. I'm a huge fan of Tom Ford Beauty and some of his fragrances are among my favorites (right now I'm obsessed with Soleil Blanc). Black Orchid as I suspected based on previous sniffs and spritzes at the counter is one of those scents that I distinctly seductive and beautiful, just not one I can see myself wearing on a regular basis. For me, my best date night scent is still Viktor and Rolf Flowerbomb.

The Nightbloom Powder is beyond gorgeous in every aspect from the packaging, texture, shimmer and color. However, since I tend to gravitate to peachy champagne colors for highlighters I can't call this a must-have for me but I am very grateful a sample was sent for me to test out. I have high hopes for the pink one which I just ordered so stay tuned for a review on that one soon! Quality wise both items are a solid thumbs up.

Right now the Orchid Collection appears to have certain pieces that are available at select locations. The powders, lipsticks and solid perfumes can be found only at Tom Ford, Neiman Marcus, Bergdorf Goodman (for pre-order) and Selfridges (each of the stores list the collection as exclusive). The regular spray perfumes can be found at all other Tom Ford counters and stores.

Have you tried anything from the Orchid Collection yet? What did you think?

Black Orchid and Black Bloom both provided for review consideration.

Friday, August 12, 2016

Summer Fragrance Rotation

Happy Friday everyone! This has been one of those busy weeks where I felt like I was not able to be as productive as I had hoped. I'm relieved that the weekend is almost here. I have quite a few reviews in the works. Testing is a non-stop continuous process and I have a lot of posts partially completed - stay tuned for posts on new launches from Lancôme, Dior, Chanel, Birchbox, Cle de Peau Beaute along with the roundup/routine type posts many of you have requested. Continuing another one of my routine posts you asked for, today I'm rounding up my warm weather fragrance edit. Summer is nearing it's end (I keep seeing end of summer promos everywhere!) but scents are the kind of beauty product I feel can be transitional in some cases. It takes me forever to use up a perfume and I tend to accumulate them in batches - there are a few of these I've had for a long time.

Up first are the scents I think are most unique. I don't mind wearing popular mainstream perfumes but sometimes it's nice to have something a little more unique.

Shown above, left to right:
  • Byredo Bal D'Afrique has been on my wishlist for ages. I have it in the small travel sized vial from a holiday discovery set I bought last year. I finally caved and bought the full size. It's a sweet warm floral that I feel smells like it has apricot but it does not. Notes include bergamot, lemon, neroli, African marigold, bucchu, violet, jasmin petals, cyclamen, black amber, musk, vetiver and Moroccan cedarwood. It also comes in other formats such as the Body Wash (just splurged), Body Cream (review here), Bath Oil and is also in the current Floral Discovery Set.
  • Lumira Paradisium (c/o) is one of my favorites and it's very unique. I feel I can wear this one year round. Full detailed review here. For a quick take, it has bergamot, grapefruit, lemon, heart of fig nectar, guava, vetiver, sea moss and cedarwood. It's one of the few scents that has fig that I can wear.
  • Diptyque Eau de Sens (c/o) is an orange blossom which I think most will think is best as a spring scent. I agree except that this is one of the very few orange blossom scents I've been able to wear so I've been spritzing it over the summer. Also reviewed in this post here.
  • Oribe Côte d'Azur (c/o) is an Oribe lover's dream come true. The signature scent that you find in most Oribe products is bottled in a perfume version and it's amazing. If you find the hair products to be strongly scented you probably can get away with just wearing the styling creams or sprays instead of buying the perfume. I personally find the hair sprays fade in scent after a few hours, the perfume definitely lasts all day long on me.

Next are two sweet options from Urban Outfitters. These are part of the Gourmand Line and are priced at $18 each. They are both on the sweet vanilla coco side - I know many of you like vanilla-based scents. I have a hard time wearing them because so many are too strong.
  • Sel Ocean is described as having honeysuckle, muguet, pink sea salt which I think is an accurate description. It's very sweet so if you don't like sweet scents, definitely try to test before buying.
  • Lait de Coco is a milky white fragrance you shake to mix the contents. Notes include bergamot, vanilla praline and creamy coconut. It's the closest scent I've found to the long discontinued Jo Malone Sweet Milk.

In my experience and opinion, the best date night fragrances are from Viktor and Rolf Flowerbomb. It has a distinct scent that is easily recognizable but smells amazing on everyone.
  • Viktor and Rolf Flowerbomb note include bergamot, tea, freesia, jasmine, orange blossom, orchid, rose, patchouli.
  • There are occasional limited-edition variations launched, the Flowerbomb La Vie en Rose is a lighter version of the original with a sparkling feel if that makes sense. Top notes are grapefruit, mandarin, pink pepper, green tea. Middle notes have jasmin, orchid and rose. Base notes have patchouli and amber.
  • Spicebomb is the cologne version for men and it's my husband's favorite. It's what I think all hot guys smell like lol. It's more of a date night fragrance but my husband find it suitable to wear everyday. He's already used up a travel size and full size bottle. I bought the Spicebomb Fresh for him because I often like the lighter/fresh versions. We both agreed it's too light and not masculine enough. It's a good one for those who like light scents but Spicebomb is better.

Last but not least, the scents that are true summer and warm weather scents that make you feel like you're on a tropical vacation somewhere on the beach.
  • NARS Monoi Body Glow II is the ultimate tropical vacation scent. It's not a perfume but rather a scented body oil which I can't get enough of. It has the most delicious monoi oil scent and has a tiare flower inside that has been soaked in refined coconut oil to capture the essence of the unique process used to make the oil. Scent lasts all day on me and gives the skin a nice glow.
  • Tom Ford Neroli Portofino Acqua (c/o) is the lightest Tom Ford fragrance launched and therefore priced at a lower price point compared to his perfumes. It's a lighter version of the Neroli Portofino which I like on others but don't really like on myself. The Neroli Aqua Portofino is a citrus beachy scent with hints of amber. Also featured in this post here.
  • Tom Ford Soleil Blanc is a white floral that has a beachy vacation like feel. Full review in this post here.
  • Urban Outfitters Gourmand Thé Matcha is one of the few I've used up entirely and am on my second bottle. It's a simple fresh fragrance that has a sweet clean green tea scent with citrus and white flowers.
My most-worn scents of the summer are the Tom Ford Neroli Portofino Acqua, Soleil Blanc and Lumira Paradisium. For evenings out or special occasions it's been either of the Viktor and Rolf fragrances. I also really like Diptyque L'Ombre Dans L'Eau (reviewed here) which wasn't featured in the roundup because I feel it's moer of a fall scent, but still nice for going out.

Do you have a favorite go-to for summer? Or do you stick with scents that you wear year round? As always I'd love to hear your favorites - for any season! There are so many scent options out there it's overwhelming to find a good scent so I rely heavily on recommendations!

Items provided courtesy for review consideration marked with a "c/o".


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