Showing posts with label Jo Malone. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Jo Malone. Show all posts

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

On My Radar / New in Beauty


A few new items on my beauty radar this week:

Jo Malone has released the Cologne Intense Mini Collection (1) in a set for the first time this holiday. It has Tuberose Angelica, Velvet Rose and Oud, Saffron, Dark Amber and Ginger Lily and Oud and Bergamot. I was almost ready to purchase but have never smelled Saffron before. Have you? What do you think?

Edward Bess has released four new shades of Lasting Kiss Lip Stain (2). I will have swatches to share with you very soon but first impressions are they are to die for.

Tom Ford Beauty has re-released two of the Cream Color for Eyes (3) in Platinum and Spice. Those who missed out before will be happy to know you can purchase them now with the holiday collection (but take note they are limited-edition again).

L'Occitane never fails to get me with their Shea Butter Hand Cream releases (4). With the holiday season approaching, I'm excited to see what sets they will release this year. Three new ones on my radar are the Rose Heart, Vanilla Bouquet and Whipped Shea Butter.

NARS has several holiday gifting sets out this year. This Virtual Domination Cheek Palette (5) looks like it could be the perfect compact size to slip into your purse for touchups or application on-the-go.

I've been getting lots of e-mails about the new Chanel Rouge Allure Gloss (6). Chanel.com released three shades as a preview, but all the colors have finally arrived at Nordstrom in case you have been looking. I have five I'll be swatching and reviewing.

Diptyque has some amazing holiday offerings this year. The packaging on their holiday candles are breathtakingly beautiful. There will be candle sets available as well. For the first time they will have one of their photophores available for purchase outside of Diptyque Boutiques in a Limited Edition Set with a Candle Holder + Feu de Bois, 6.5 oz. (7).

Dior Holiday is also stunning. There are two limited-edition quints in Golden Shock and Golden Reflection (8). (P.S. for a limited time, Nordstrom.com has these on sale with 10% off for their price matching, check out the Sale Section on their website under Beauty to see what else is on a discount.)

What's on your beauty radar this week?

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

On My Radar / New In Beauty


Happy mid-week lovelies! A few items that popped on my beauty radar this week. Fall collections look incredibly beautiful and there are a number of new foundation formulas on the market that sound promising.

  1. Jo Malone Wood Sage and Sea Salt has arrived for fall and it sounds amazing! This will come in a Candle, Body Cream,  are the the 1 oz and 3.5 oz Cologne Spray, I can't wait to check it out this week
  2. Christian Louboutin will launch 30 new shades of nail polish at the end of the month, I have my eye on The Nudes Nail Colors (available for pre-order at Nordstrom)
  3. Clé de Peau Beauté Radiant Fluid Foundation has been on my radar for a while now, I received a sample packet (but in the wrong shade), it felt really nice on the skin, if you've tried it please let me know what you thought, I have friends that keep telling me it really is the best, but I can't bring myself to splurge just quite yet
  4. Laura Mercier Smooth Finish Foundation is another new formula on the market, I tested a couple samples I received at the store, it did feel amazingly smooth, evened out the skin and covered imperfections while looking natural, I had a hard time deciding on a shade
  5. YSL Fusion Ink Foundation is yet another new one, I've heard nothing but great things about this, it's on my list to try out
  6. Giorgio Armani Fall has arrived, the Palette Yeux Organica Palette looks absolutely amazing, it's on hold for me at my local Neiman Marcus counter and I hope to pick it up in the next few days
  7. Jin Soon Choi collaborated with designer Tess Giberson to create five new nail colors, I ordered two and will share them soon, the five shades are Heirloom, Farrago, Mélange, Pistache and Nocturne, available now at Nordstrom and Space NK
  8. Tom Ford Fall has started to trickle in stores and has been selling out at lightening speeds. Today, some items have popped up online at Neiman Marcus including the Contouring Cheek Duos in Stroked and SoftcoreBlack Cherry Nail Lacquer, and Lip Colors in Negligee and Twist of Fate.
I have the Tom Ford and a couple JINsoon polishes to review soon. I ordered the Tom Ford Fall Collection from Saks NY after calling around several stores to find they had sold out and had wait lists going. Many have been asking me to rush the review and post it stat. I took about 1/2 of the pictures to review and my camera broke (heartbreak!!) before I could do swatches, it will take 3 weeks to get repaired so I purchased another camera which is on its way. I have some other items photographed and ready to publish in the mean time. I appreciate your patience. If you're thinking about the Tom Ford, I suggest you act fast. I've been testing it and the eye quad and cheek duos are a must if you don't want to wait for online items to show up, call your closest Tom Ford Counter or Boutique to place an order.



What's on your beauty radar this week?

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Inside My Makeup Bag


Here is a peek at what I've had inside my makeup bag this week. The clear makeup bag is from Bobbi Brown which I found as a gift with purchase several years ago during a Neiman Marcus beauty event (for those looking for a clear makeup bag, a few other alternatives from MAC, Make Up For Ever, Sephora, Lulu).
  1. Chanel Les Beiges No. 20 for mid-day touch ups
  2. MAC Sharon Osbourne Refresh Mineralize Skinfinish Duo (still available at Macy's)
  3. Chanel Hydra Beauty Lip Balm (new for me, review soon)
  4. Jo Malone Grapefruit Cologne (mini from a gift with purchase)
  5. By Terry Ombre Blackstar in Misty Rock which I works alone on the lids, it's a medium pink shade with plum shimmer, I swipe directly from tube onto lids and then blend with the fingers
  6. Tom Ford Paradiso Lip Color Sheer (sold out most places, but still on tomford.com)
  7. Burberry Lip Glow Balm in Pink Peony
  8. MAC Brush #168SH (mini size discontinued)
  9. Marc Jacobs Overprotected Lust for Lacquer (love the tingle)
  10. YSL Kiss and Blush #3 Rose Libre still testing these out and figuring out to use these, I like them on the cheeks, for the lips, I'm still undecided
  11. Malin + Goetz Mojito Lip Balm is a staple, love the clear finish, decent price and the unique scent of this one (see Malin + Goetz Los Angeles store feature here)
  12. Guerlain Maxi Lash Waterproof Mascara I rarely touch up with mascara in the middle of the day, but I sometimes carry one with me because in the mornings I typically am running out the door and have missed a few makeup steps before I leave the house, mascara and lips are usually the last two items I apply
  13. Diptyque Geranium Odorata is such a pretty soft floral, the roller ball tip makes it easy to apply quickly, I keep it in the velvet pouch it comes with (not shown above)
  14. NARS Andromeda Dual-Intensity Eyeshadow accidentally made it into the makeup bag this week, but I'm not complaining
To see the full contents of what has been in my bag most of this week, check out the post on Styled Notes. Hope you have a great Thursday! 

Monday, June 9, 2014

Jo Malone Silk Blossom Cologne | Limited Edition


Jo Malone has released a couple new fragrances this spring-summer. There are two new florals, Silk Blossom Cologne ($65 to $120) and Tuberose Angelica Cologne Intense ($145). Both are lovely soft feminine spring-summery scents. I opted for the Silk Blossom which I found to be more spicy and well rounded with a mix of spice, florals, apricots and hint of powder undertones. When you smell Silk Blossom by itself, it seems like a basic floral, but if you spray this and compare it to the Tuberose Angelica (more floral and clearly tuberose-ish) or even Peony Blush Suede (sweeter, simpler with a more youthful feel, on me this one turns a bit rubbery), you will notice that the Silk Blossom has more spice and complexity. It's hard to detect exactly what kind of floral notes there are since there is a blend of many notes. According to Jo Malone:
  • Top notes: White Pepper. Softer than black pepper, it diffuses elegant spiciness through the top notes.
  • Heart notes: Silk Blossom. Its fruity, peachy character and subtle green accent give the fragrance its enticing silky lightness. The heart of the fragrance is further enhanced by rose and jasmine petals.
  • Base notes: The verdancy of moss cushions the base of the fragrance in earthy, woody warmth.


I know many are fans of layering Jo Malone fragrances. I've mixed and layered a few on occasion but I prefer to wear them alone as is. That being said I've mixed my Silk Blossom with samples from gifts I've accumulated, I've found it blends well with Peony and Blush Suede and Orange Blossom.




Overall a winner in my book for spring and summer florals which seem to be taking over my fragrance routine these days. I find it lasts longer on me than most Jo Malone scents do and it fades nicely on the skin as it wears throughout the day. It doesn't turn sweet or bitter like some florals can.

I'm normally not drawn to such sweet florals, but these days I'm loving Dolce by Dolce and Gabbana, Diptyque Geranium Odorata and still going through Jo Malone Wild Bluebell.

Jo Malone Silk Blossom is a limited-edition scent. It comes in three options:


I've been contemplating the candle, however it seemed significantly sweeter in the store. The pink packaging is to die for but I have some Diptyque on my wish list right now. Silk Blossom is available while supplies last at Neiman MarcusNordstrom,  SaksSelfridges and Jo Malone.

Have you tried any of the new Jo Malone fragrances this summer? What are your favorites?



Wednesday, June 4, 2014

On My Radar / New In Beauty


I hope everyone is having a good week so far. I'm still trying to get used to the fact that we are already into the month of June. For some mid-week beauty cravings, here are some highlights on items on my radar and a sneak peek of what's coming out soon. Details from top left, clockwise.

MAC Pedro Lourenço will be released in stores and counters this Thursday. Items have been posted online early though and are selling out quickly. I was able to order the Nude Eyeshadow Quad ($44). I have my eye on Gold Mirror Lipglass and Mirror Lipglass ($16.50 each). I'll be trying to track these down this Thursday.

NARS is coming out with 12 new shades and formula of eyeshadow called Dual-Intensity Eyeshadow ($29 each) which have a unique wet or dry application formula. The colors range from delicate peach pink to fierce black orchid. These will be available for sale beginning July 1 at NARS boutiques and on narscosmetics.com along with a new eyeshadow brush. In the meantime NARS has created two videos for a preview. (For full color listing, check out The Non-Blonde.)
Burberry Summer Showers has arrived online at Burberry with three new colors of Nail Polish in Orange Poppy 221, Pink Peony 222, Pink Azalea 223 ($21 each). There are corresponding Lip Glow Balms and Fresh Glow Blushes as well to match each shade. These look like beautiful brights perfect for summer weather.

Jo Malone has a new Cologne Intense in Tuberose Angelica ($145). Being a huge fan of the other Cologne Intense fragrances, I'm eager to try this one out. My Jo Malone rep said it has already arrived in store, perfect timing for Neiman Marcus's Camp Gorgeous Event (June 5 through 15 or while supplies last, gift with purchases online and in stores).

Estee Lauder has a new mini collection out called Crystal Baby. There is a new Crystal Baby Nail Lacquer ($21), Crystal Baby Illuminating Powder Gelee ($40), Crystal Baby Pure Color Gloss ($24) and four shades of Crystal Lipstick ($26 each) in Crystal Baby, Crystal Blush, Crystal Doll and Crystal Innocence. I have three items to show you soon.

Fresh Sugar Tinted Lip Balm in Sugar Rose is one of the classic pinks ($22.50 each). A new shade in Sugar Tulip has just been released. Sephora.com has an exclusive early release preview for purchase for those who are VIB Members. I ordered this last week and it just arrived. I can't wait to try it as it looks like a fresh pink.

What's on your radar this week? Did you order the MAC items when they went live online? Any other new or recent discoveries?


Wednesday, April 16, 2014

The Beauty Look Book Essentials | Face and Cheek Brushes


By popular request, I've gone through all my face and cheek brushes and picked out my favorites. I've been testing a number of brushes over many years (over a decade from my college days) and built my collection slowly over time. My experience with face brushes has been similar to that of my eye brushes. I started with a small handful of tools from Stila, Trish McEvoy and MAC. For many years I only had 4 face brushes and to this day I still think most can accomplish most of what you need for face makeup with a powder, blush, foundation and bronzing brush.

I've learned through makeovers, artist tips and a number of other blogs that there are a number of brushes with different materials, shapes, lengths and densities to help you apply your makeup better. I see face brushes like art tools - you probably need a few, but there are so many different kinds out there, they are fun to play with and experiment with.


The brushes I've picked are from more mainstream brands that are easily accessible. There are a number of makeup artist brushes that look and sound amazing from other blogs but I haven't ventured into the artist brands. I've broken down my favorites into three categories. Face powder, blush and contour, and creams.
For all over face powders, whether it's loose, pressed or powder foundation, I look for dense but soft brushes that will pick up product well and apply it evenly over the face. A more fluffy brush will give a sheerer application. I like larger ones that will cover your entire face with a few brush strokes.


  • MAC #134 ($53) is a brush that is currently only available at MAC stores/online but it has been released and re-released at other MAC counters numerous times, this is my favorite large flat powder brush, it's dense, soft and perfectly rounded tip for easy powder application.
  • MAC #129 ($35) is the ultimate multi-taskers, it can be used for powder, blush or contour, for those who prefer a smaller brush for more precise control or someone who wants one brush that can do multiple things, this is your best option.
  • Chanel Powder Brush #1 ($65) is a well-designed brush with a domed tip, the bristles are slightly stiffer than MAC but the Chanel is still very soft and picks up powder well, I like this also with pressed powders such as Les Beiges and Dolce & Gabbana's powder foundation because it applies powder evenly on the face.
  • Tom Ford Bronzer 05 ($115) is one that will break the bank but Tom Ford brushes are extremely well made, designed and deliver flawless makeup application. I purchased this as part of a brush set a couple holidays ago when they had a gift card event. This is the largest densest bronzer brush I've ever seen it feels like a soft kitten. If you look up reviews on this brush you will see it is well loved by many others (ie Café Makeup, RaeViewer, Temptalia)
  • Burberry Beauty Brush ($52) is my favorite short kabuki brush although a number of other brands are very similar in shape, size, material and feel. I purchased mine from Nordstrom although they don't stock it online at the moment. You can still find it at Burberry. I like this for powder or bronzer. The reason I prefer this one is the handle is square while most other brands are round. This fits perfectly in my hand and I find it easier to hold. (MAC and Chanel are very similar in how they perform.)
Many cheek brushes are multi-purpose and can be used for both cream or powder. I don't tend to use these for creams but I've had artists use these on me before for cream. I'm listing a number of brushes here that I love.


  • Tom Ford Cheek Brush 06 ($78) is a luxuriously soft blush brush, it picks up just the right amount of powder to apply color to the cheeks. As The Non-Blonde noted, this one is as plush as it gets. I find it perfect for Tom Ford blushes but works well with other brands. I personally don't like it with super pigmented matte blushes because it will pick up too much color (like some NARS or MAC mattes/brights). For most everything else this one is perfect.
  • Chanel Blush Brush #4 ($54) is one my smallest blush brushes. It's shaped and tapered in a way to layer blush easily. It's a softer less dense brush so it works for a lighter application. If you're one who likes to go easy on the blush but still wants to be able to control how much color goes on the face this is the best option.
  • MAC Duo Fibre Brush #187 ($42) is a classic must-have for highlighters. It's the perfect brush for those Mineralized Skinfinishes to swipe a light blend of shimmer over the cheeks. I've had artists use this with foundation and cream products as well. It's versatile and works well with any kind of highlighter whether it's pressed, loose, or cream.
  • MAC Brush #168 ($35) is a classic contouring brush. It's a good sturdy white hair brush with an angled tip. I find it medium-sized which makes it good for being able to control where you place the powder. It's also a good brush for blending around the face.
  • NARS Contour Brush #21 ($42) is a new brush from NARS, you can read my detailed review here, I usually don't like angled brushes because I am more comfortable with more traditional brushes, this one makes contouring easy especially for those who aren't pros at contouring (like myself).
  • MAC Brush Tapered Face Brush #138 ($53) is another harder-to-find brush, it's made a re-appearance on limited-edition collections at counters, you can still find directly from MAC. For me this is the ultimate contouring brush because it's shaped to place product right along the sides of the face where you want contour. It's specially designed to streamline and enhance the makeup technique of sculpting and shaping. Per MAC, "use the chiselled side for contour shaping of facial planes; the pointed tip for applying and blending powder blush, highlighter or face powder." It's another multi-functional brush that works well as a powder brush.

  • Tom Ford Cream Foundation Brush 06 ($72) is the ultimate blending brush for creams. If you ever try this at the Tom Ford counter they will demonstrate how it works with their foundation stick and blends the product on the face to perfection. With most brushes you will see some kind of streaks and still need blending with fingers or a sponge, the Tom Ford applies cream product (foundation or highlighter) streak-free.
  • Tom Ford Foundation Brush 01 ($72) is another cream brush designed to apply makeup streak-free. In my mind you don't need both 01 and 06 (although the Tom Ford counter convinced me otherwise). They both perform the same for either liquid or cream foundations. If you're trying to decide between one or the other, I would recommend 06 because it's more unique in shape. If you want a standard foundation brush you can find many cheaper options. I find it a staple in my weekly makeup routine. It cleans easily - I use Bobbi Brown's Brush spray cleaner after each use to lightly wipe it down but do a thorough washing after 2-3 uses.
  • Chanel Foundation Brush #6 ($45) is a classic foundation brush that is soft and applies foundation quite well. In my mind most foundation brushes are almost identical (i.e. MAC, Chanel, Prescriptives etc) in the bristles. The main difference is in the handle size. I like Chanel because it's shorter and easier to travel with. I still get streaks no matter what brush I use (with the exception of Tom Ford) but this one works very well.
  • MAC Duo Fibre Brush #187 ($42) is repeated from above, I like this for cream highlighters because it will cover a large area with fewer swipes. It also works well for blending harsh lines or edges.
For face brush storage, I love Muji Acrylic Holders but they aren't easy accessible for me and are often sold out online. I've used recycled candles from Jo Malone, Diptyque and Henri Bendel as alternatives. I also found clear jars from Crate and Barrel to be good for shorter brushes, tools or pencils. Stila and NARS Paint cans are also good for storing brushes if you are able to find them. Click on the Diptyque tag below for more storage ideas.


I usually use Neutrogena Body Wash to clean my brushes as the most economical method. I buy the large size at Costco which I use as a regular body wash anyways. I know many recommend baby shampoo but I always find it leaves a film on my brushes from the conditioning properties (might just be me). For those brushes that need extra work, I have three go-to's for cleaning brushes which include MAC Brush Cleanser, Bobbi Brown Brush Cleaning Spray and Brush Cleanser (review here). These tend to be on the pricey side so frequent usage of these cleansers isn't an option for me.

I realize this is a rather large and extensive list of brushes. You definitely do not need as many as I have collected over the years. I've been testing brushes for over a decade now (not to date/age myself) and have acquired them over time. Brush sets can be your most economical way to buy many at one time at a good price but those deal sets tend to be of lesser quality than individual brushes.

If I had to narrow my list down to my top picks these are what I'd narrow down my absolute essentials to: Chanel Blush #4, MAC Duo Fibre #187, MAC #134 or MAC #129, Tom Ford Cream Foundation 06, NARS Contour Powder #21.


I hope you found this brush guide helpful. The options can be overwhelming with all the shapes, sizes, materials and brands. To simplify your choices try thinking about what makeup products you gravitate towards in categories and whether it's a powder, cream or liquid. Pick one for each main category to start.

While tools can be used for multiple areas, having more than one brush helps keep your makeup application cleaner and easier. For example while a powder brush can also double as a bronzer brush, having one brush for each product will prevent you from mixing products and accidentally brushing bronzer all over the face from left over product if you dip it into powder and bronzer (I've done it before and my entire face was several shades darker than the rest of my body).


What are your must-have face brushes? I would really love to hear what your tried and true are, new discoveries or staples. Also if you want to share how you store your face brushes I'm all ears. Do you store them upright in containers or put them in a brush roll?



Saturday, December 14, 2013

Winter Skin and Hair Savers


It's that time of the year where my skin and hair is in desperate need of that extra boost of moisture to fight dry patches. Finding lightweight moisturizing products can be a bit of a challenge for my sensitive skin. My nose is particularly sensitive so light-fragranced items are a must. My go-to fixes and staples this season right now:
  • Aerin Rose Hand and Body Cream $40 is a lovely light-scented hand treatment, it's a bit pricey for me to justify using on the body, but it's a nice moisturizing cream for the hands. It smells like candied roses which is really nice (coming from a person who doesn't really like strong rose florals).
  • Estee Lauder Re-Nutriv Intensive Smoothing Hand Cream $55 is probably the priciest hand cream I own, I was lucky to get this as a gift with purchase one year. It smells like a spa treatment. It's a bit heavier than most hand creams I use but it dries down to a soft silky finish. It helps diminish those dry lines in the hands upon application. Read the reviews on Nordstrom.com and you'll see this is well worth the price.
  • L'Occitane Extra-Gentle Lotion for Hands and Body $20 is the perfect body lotion for me. I've gone through five bottles already and keep one at work and one at home. I'm a huge fan of L'occitane's Shea Butter line. They have several different options of moisturizing intensity depending on your skin needs. I like this one because it melts into the skin and makes any itchy dryness disappear without being too greasy. I love the lightweight scent - it's very soothing and comforting. It's neutral enough to be unisex. My husband and male co-workers always borrow mine.
  • Caudalie Divine Oil $49 is relatively new to me. I've written about the mini size that I've tried which is perfect for the purse. I loved it so much I bought the full size in the trio set. I spray it on the legs and elbows. It smells fresh and light and feels nice on the skin. It's also designed for the face and hair - I've only tried it on the ends of my hair to add a bit of shine (although I prefer other hair treatments).
  • Jo Malone Vitamin E Lip Conditioner $25 is one of my favorite lip treatments. Review here. It's soft, moisturizing and you can feel the results instantly.
  • Jo Malone Vitamin E Vitamin E' Body Treatment Scrub $90 is the ultimate luxury body scrub. It's a spa in a tub and smells like a luscious honey dessert. It's strongly scented and extremely moisturizing - if you visit your local Jo Malone store or counter they should be able to make a small sample for you to try. It's really REALLY amazing.
  • Deborah Lippmann Cuticle Oil $20 is one of the first cuticle oils I've tried. In the past I've tried substituting baby oil but found it hasn't really helped my dry cuticles. This one is made of pure white jojoba oil, vitamin E and coconut oil (it smells like coconuts). It works well on my cuticles and a little goes a long way. Be careful to keep application to the cuticles as it can feel a bit sticky on the finger tips. The texture is perfect to actually stay on the cuticles (versus some oils that are so liquid/fluid they roll off quickly).
  • By Terry Baume de Rose $60 review here. My holy grail lip treatment, but still a three way tie with the Jo Malone and Hourglass.
  • Drybar The Chaser Shine Pomade $28 is the hair cream of all hair creams. It adds shine without being too heavy or greasy looking on the hair. I find it lasts all day long. I've used it a couple of ways. One is right after I shower on towel-dried damp hair. This is the only thing I've tried that lets my hair air dry perfectly without any frizz. It makes the perfect pre-heat treatment as well (whether it's blow drying or straightening). I also find it makes a great finishing product to add a bit of texture and shine. Bonus is that my husband likes it on his hair as a pomade (even though it's really a cream). The smell is incredible too.
What are you winter skin and hair savers? I'm all ears to hear what your favorites are!

Friday, August 2, 2013

Hourglass N° 28 Lip Treatment Oil and Jo Malone Vitamin E Lip Conditioner


My two favorite lip treatments right now are Hourglass N° 28 Lip Treatment Oil ($42 for 0.25 oz) and Jo Malone Vitamin E Lip Conditioner ($25 for 0.52 oz.). When it comes to trying new lip balms I tend to get a little nervous. I have sensitive lips and some lip treatments cause either numbing or allergic reactions (such as Kiehls and many of the drugstore brands). The ones with a plumping factor are usually a no-go for me. Some make my lips feel more dried out than moisturized (like La Mer) I also prefer lip treatments that are in squeeze tubes rather than pots or twist up sticks.  


Hourglass N° 28 Lip Treatment Oil was sent as a press sample. I was actually able to try it in store before I received my sample. The finish and texture is smooth and shiny. The lip treatment is infused with 14 different oils: Bois De Rose, Lavender, Geranium, Petitgrain, Lemon, Rosemary, Vanilla, Clove, Amyris, Orange, Ylang Ylang, Eucalyptus, Cedar, and Rose Geranium. It also contains lipid-rich plant oils that include Hazelnut, Kukui Nut, Rose Hip, Borage, Olive, Green Tea, Cherry Pit, Sweet Almond, Jojoba, and Evening Primrose, and is fortified with vitamins A, B5, C, and E.

The product is designed to provide deep hydration while reducing the appearance of depth in wrinkles. I did notice it smoothed out the lips but the look result was like most other clear lip glosses and lip balms. The shine and moisture smoothed out the wrinkles. There is a soft soothing herbal scent to the Hourglass Lip Treatment Oil. It's a like a spa for the lips. My favorite part is the texture. It's a medium-thick texture which adheres well to the lips. There's not too much slip that it feels greasy like some lip balms do, but it's not too thick. I've been using this one to two times per week, usually in the evenings to help hydrate the lips. The packaging is quite unique. There is a beveled gold-plated tip that dispenses the product easily without any mess. The tube is compact enough to store in your makeup bag and easy to travel with. (Full ingredient list on Sephora.com)


above on the nails, YSL Prune Minimale No. 07
______________ 

Jo Malone Vitamin E Lip Conditioner is a tried and true staple. This has a smooth texture that makes the lips feel well moisturized and soft. There is a soft scent to it which is hard to describe but it's very gentle and soft, almost honey-like but not quite. It has a calming quality and a very luxurious feel. The black sleek tube has a cap that twists on well so it doesn't leak. I can't rave enough about this one. I've gone through many tubes. (Full ingredient list below.)



 on the nails Chanel Paradoxal

If you have sensitive lips and are looking for something luxurious and soothing for normal to dry lips, I'd recommend both of these. I personally prefer the Jo Malone for the scent and price, but the Hourglass is nice as a weekly treatment.


Hourglass Cosmetics can be found at Barneys New York, Bergdorf Goodman, Sephora, Space NK and Hourglasscosmetics.com. I purchased my Jo Malone can be found at Nordstrom.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Weekend Pampering - The Extras


I've been to spas on a few occasions in the past and each occasion was beyond amazing (four visits to be exact, La Costa Resort and a few Four Seasons locations). However they can be extremely pricey and take up an entire day, so they are a luxury I cannot justify splurging for on a regular basis ($ or time wise). While nothing at home can replicate a resort spa, there are a few simple things I consider to be pampering extras. Bubble baths, luxurious face masks, beautiful candles and moisturizing lotions. It's my simplified version of a DIY spa treatment. Do note I have sensitive skin so I'm careful when it comes to trying shower gels, bath soaks and facial treatments. While I'd like to do this every day, I usually have a pampering night once every other week to once a month. I do try to use the face masks more frequently. My favorites:
  • Moisturizing Face Masks - Koh Gen Do is becoming one of my top picks for skincare. Their Macro Vintage Face Mask ($110 for 6 sheets) is the best I've ever tried. Most face masks did not do anything for my skin. This one by Koh Gen Do (reviewed here) left my skin feeling hydrated and soft like baby's skin. I split my pack of 6 with 3 friends to try, all confirmed that it was beyond amazing.
  • Clarifying Face Masks - Koh Gen Do's Brightening Moisture Mask ($75 for 3.53 oz. / 100g) is equally amazing. It's called a moisturizing mask, but to me it feels more like a clarifying mask. It is a clay mask that contains "6 botanical extracts in the mask will heal your tired skin, helping your skin to calm and reduce inflammation and redness." MAC's Volcanic Ash Thermal Mask was one of my favorite masks for clarifying and removing impurities. I was so sad that it was limited edition. Koh Gen Do's Brightening Face Mask is the closest thing I've found in terms of effect/benefits on my skin (minus the heating element on the skin). I highly recommend you visit their website to learn more. They have helpful diagrams and often have promotions/specials on their website.
  • Bubble Baths - L'Occitane makes some of my favorite bath and body products that are suitable for sensitive skin. I am currently loving the L'Occitane Shea Foaming Cream Bath ($32 for 16.8 fl.oz). The scent is very subtle and soothing. It bubbles up in a way that is very relaxing. It doesn't dry out the skin or leave any residue. There are reviews on their website which I found useful.
  • Shower Oils - I'm new to bath oils and shower oils. I've tried Jo Malone in the past and love them. L'Occitane had a gift with purchase promotion recently (for those who sign up on their mailing list) to launch their new Amande Almond Line. One of the gifts was a mini Shower Oil (see the details on the full size Almond Shower Oil here). It's a softening oil that foams up when combined with water and leaves the skin feeling smooth and moisturized without having that oily feeling. The scent is soft and subtle (but still noticeable). The effect is amazing. I'm not sure I'm 100% in love with the scent although it is extremely soothing and pleasant.
  • Hand Care - Thanks to a few of my readers who recommended I try Lush's Lemony Flutter Cuticle Butter ($14.95 for 1.5 oz). I love it. The scent is a highly citrus lemon (smells a bit horrid to me) but it does fade a bit after a while. I use this more as a once a week treatment rather than everyday and it has improved the cuticle area for my hands. (For everyday I rely on L'Occitane Hand Creams they smell great and feel nice). I'm again going to refer you to the company website - I love it when brands and stores have sections with useful customer reviews. Also check out Daly Beauty's recent review (she sums it up perfectly!).
  • Candles - I love almost any scented candle Jo Malone, Diptyque, Henri Bendel, Tommy Bahama make my favorites. Occasionally you can get a free mini candle in gift with purchase events. A simple candle can add that extra oomph to the home or bath to make it feel more soothing.
What are your pampering extras?

Monday, February 6, 2012

Fragrance Collection To Date


Photographed in one post by request: my fragrance collection. All 15 fragrances I own (minus one from Tocca which I gifted away and not including the little tiny samples I have accumulated). Where reviews are applicable I will link them. All photos were taken with my iPhone 4S Hipstamatic App.

Row 1:
Jo Malone Sakura Cherry Blossom

Row 2:

Row 3:

Row 4:

Row 5:

I rotate my fragrances more frequently than I rotate my foundations. My nose is fickle and tires quickly of the same scent when I wear them. I'll alternate depending on mood. The longest I've worn a single fragrance is 4 days in a row (Jo Malone Wild Bluebell which I consider magical b/c I use it quite liberally and have barely made a dent in usage). I find the Jo Malone fragrances to be the most simple/pure which allows for easy layering. Out of all of these, my Jo Malone Tea Fragrances are my most worn. Have I used up any yet? No ... but I'm more than 1/2 way finished with some of my limited edition Jo Malone tea fragrances.

What fragrances do you own? Or have owned/used up? I feel like my fragrance collection grew overnight and I completely blame my friend LJ along with other fragrance bloggers. Can I count some of my Jo Malones as 1/2 a fragrance because of the size? I know my L'Artisan Holiday Trio is getting used up very fast (each are in the miniature sizes which I will count as 1/3 of a full-sized one). I almost always purchase the smaller option for fragrances even though the larger sizes are often a much better buy. I'm curious to know how many fragrances do you own?

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Jo Malone Wild Bluebell


Jo Malone has introduced a new fragrance collection called Wild Bluebell available in four different pieces: cologne, body & hand wash, body creme and home candle. The collection has arrived at Neiman Marcus and I have fallen in love with every piece in the line. It's a light and fresh floral that smells like a spring garden with top notes of fresh bluebell (engineered equivalent) and clove combined with hints of lily of the valley, eglantine, jasmine, white amber and musk. The theme is more whimsical and fairy-tale like with the focus on a nymph-like character and white rabbits rather than the actual product.


My local Neimans Jo Malone rep called me the minute it arrived. I asked for her thoughts over the phone and she felt it was a nice light scent but very different for Jo Malone. Her impression was that it would be a wonderful layering piece. A few customers who came in reported they smelled watermelon before it dried down. Although some have not been thrilled with departure of recent releases (Tea Collection & Cherry Blossom) from traditional Jo Malone scents, I have been ecstatic with all recent collections this year These are lighter, fresher, less complex scents that are great for the no-perfume kind of woman like myself. To me, the recent releases feel more youthful and energizing. I love the variety and feel the new releases this year layer well with the other scents in the line.


I went with an open mind not knowing what to expect. I cannot put my nose exactly on what it is I smell except that it's refreshing and light, just like spring. It's clearly floral, but the hints of clove and musk prevent it from being overly floral. When I first sprayed it on my wrist, I smelled a slight hint of watermelon, but not in the fruity sense. At first spritz I noticed a fresh wave of fragrance similar to a fresh watermelon but this dries down to a floral. Best Things in Beauty has a wonderful detailed review and Lipglossipping has more information and beautiful preview photos from an event earlier this year. I highly recommend you read their reviews to learn more.


I splurged on the cologne & candle online and the body wash instore. Over the past week I've found everything very calming and refreshing. I don't recommend ordering the candles online during the summer - the heat can be damaging as it will melt the product causing a mess. Mine, thankfully, arrived in perfect condition due to a rush shipment.

The lasting power on the cologne and shower gel is light to medium. I find most fragrances tend to fade quickly on me but I am one that prefers lighter scents that aren't overpowering. The candles are to die for and Wild Bluebell has been burning in my home the past week. I can easily see myself stocking up on a few during September's Beauty Event. I love everything about this fragrance and am testing out the body creme right now.

Neiman Marcus Beverly Hills has all the items except the candle which they expect to be receiving soon. The official release is scheduled for September and they are expecting new displays in the Wild Bluebell theme with blue ribbons and little bells for their bags. They have one of the most beautiful Jo Malone displays I've ever seen (front and in the corner of the store). If you happen to be in LA, I highly recommend you visit them. This past weekend I met the team at Neiman Marcus Beverly Hills for the first time: Navid, Bryan and Henga. All extremely knowledgeable, helpful and wonderful. I highly recommend you visit their store to experience Jo Malone first hand.

The price points and offerings for the Wild Bluebell Collection:
  • Cologne 30 ml $55
  • Cologne 100 ml $110
  • Body & Handwash 250 ml $50
  • Body Creme 175 ml $75
  • Home Candle 200g/45 hours burn time $65
PS - On an unrelated note, Edward Bess will be in-store at Neiman Marcus Beverly Hills until Wednesday!

Have you tried this? What are your thoughts? What are your favorite Jo Malone items?


Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Inside My Chanel


I tend to carry a lot with me in my purse. I accumulate things over the week so by Thursday, the purse of the week is typically chock-full of way too much. So for the woman who carries too much, what's the best way to carry the just essentials? Find a smaller purse. Today's feature will be on what's inside my Vert Fonce (Dark Green) Quilted Caviar Wallet On Chain (I believe this style/color combination is exclusive to Saks).

For those new to Chanel, the Wallet On Chain is exactly that. A larger sized wallet/clutch styled bag put on a chain to be worn over the shoulder. It has a few slots for your id and credit cards plus extra pockets and 2 zippered compartments. It's just the right size for just the essentials: keys, phone, id, money and a lipstick.

Inside mine: Edward Bess Lip Gloss, Chanel Rouge Allure Laque, mini Jo Malone purse spray (received as a GWP from previous beauty event), iPhone, keys, gum + id/cards, cash in the zippered front pocket



The little black case is a leather Jo Malone cologne holder, it came with 2 mini sprays and just so happens to be the perfect size for 1 mini cologne + 1 mini lipstick, I wish more brands did cute GWPs like this with useable cases/bags:


I don't know the last time I carried this little. Even with my pouchettes, I tend to pack them. You can check out these resources for more information on pricing, dimensions, styles, colors, seasons styling ideas here:

Green isn't really a "me" color but the moment I saw it I had to have it. That said, after having this for less than a week - I've found green is new to me for my wardrobe, I have quite a few kelly greens, no army greens yet. I will have to experiment in the upcoming weeks trying to coordinate green with the rest of my wardrobe. It matches the Khaki Vert nail polish perfectly (previously reviewed here), but as mentioned the other day, matching green nails with a green purse = too green. Overall a great going-out bag, perfect for biking on the weekends around the beach, nice for running quick errands, but for everyday - not so practical since I tend to carry a lot more than just the essentials. I'm still in love with the quilted texture.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Friday Window Shopping

I took the day off work to go to South Coast Plaza. Two-day weekends simply don't allow enough time to goof off and have fun. I just finished a series of presentations at work so I decided a day off was in order. There were so many beautiful window displays. How fun would it be to have a job in visuals? Unfortunately I didn't get pictures of all the pretty ones because my iPhone died while I was there. Most of these are from today's mini shopping trip. There are a couple that are from earlier in the year.

Miu Miu



Tiffany & Co.


Tod's


Madewell


Louis Vuitton (from earlier this year, can't believe it's already mid-May)


Jo Malone - lovely Cherry Blossom displays



Chanel Boutique {swoon}


I missed out on Dior which always has beautiful displays, but you can see Dior's reflection:



SpaceNK inside Bloomingdales (in the back corner of the beauty department) featuring Rococo Nail Apparel


Have a happy Friday! It appears Blogger is still working out a few kinks with their maintenance. I noticed a number of comments have mysteriously disappeared. If they aren't restored in the next day or two, I will restore them myself from my emails.

For those wondering, all pics in this particular post were taken with my iPhone which I believe is the very first generation of iPhones. I'm one you would call a "late adopter" of technology and rarely upgrade on new gadgets unless pushed (my regular Sony camera is after all more than 5 years old). Although, when I do, I have to say, I love to oooh and aahhh at all the fancy features and often wonder why I didn't change sooner.

Back on topic - who makes your favorite window displays?
 

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