When I was in high school, I once purchased a beautiful Amber oil at an imports store. It was a tiny dark bottle in a purple paper box, made in India; very hippie chic. Even today, on an old Tshirt from high school or an old hemp necklace I find in the attic, a hint of the resinous sweetness lingers. After finishing the bottle (14 years ago! I'm old!), I never forgot about that scent. This fall, being pregnant, I have been feeling grossed out by my usual fall scents; all expensive, all synthetic (even Clive Christian, Creed, Bond No.9). My nose can tell! So, I thought I'd go back to something more natural, and I started researching amber oils on makeupalley. I came across the reviews for Amber Paste last night, and I went to Whole Foods today. Let it be known, ladies; this stuff does not disappoint. It's fabulous, and just like the sweet, resinous authentic product I had all those years ago. I paid $9.99 plus tax at Whole Foods, and I agree with the folks below who say this blows Serge Leutens Amber Sultan out of the water! To personalize the Amber Paste scent, it also layers beautifully with any of the Kuumba Made musk fragrances; I tried it on one arm mixed with Water Goddess, on the other arm with Egyptian Musk, and both smell great! The search for the perfect perfume so often sends us fruitlessly seeking after remembered scents from the past; in this one example, I've actually found it again. My nose couldn't be happier!
GAG!!! I tried the shampoo, conditioner, and oil treatment stuff. Yeah, my hair looks great, but results are similar to what I get with Fresh Meadowfoam conditioner or even Pantene, for heaven's sake (it's just the silicones coating the hair and making it shiny). But can we please talk about the scent for a second? One of the gals below says it reminds her of feminine spray; I don't know what that smells like, but to me it smells identical to le male cologne. If you don't know what that smells like, picture that scent mixed with B.O. in the back of a NYC taxi cab, because like every cabbie and doorman in the city wears it. Along with my cheesy euro ex-boyfriend, who I would be very happy to forget. And the stuff REEKS to high heaven--I can smell it constantly! If you at ALL sensitive to smell, I would seriously skip this one. The scent is gross--it's musky and dirty, and it is not the thing that I want to smell when I go for a refreshing shower after a workout. Disgusting.
OMG!!!! I HAVE BEEN LOOKING FOR THIS FRAGRANCE FOR LITERALLY **YEARS**!!!!!!!!! There was something amazing and sexy that my glamorous aunt used to wear in the '70s--she looked just like Farrah Fawcett, with the luxurious blonde hair and perfect tight jeans. I have tried everything, and I mean EVERYTHING--even what she told me she used to wear (Chanel no. 22 or EL White Linen), but I tried both of these and neither was the smell I remembered. So over the years I have sought the perfect sexy skin smell--nothing less, nothing more--to no avail; my favorite frags became Chanel Bois des Iles (soft sandalwood) and Cacharel Nemo (a men's frag now discontinued, soft and spicy and warm), but still this smell was "on the tip of my nose"--I couldn't get it out of my mind. I go to perfume shops and smell things obsessively, trying to find that scent I remember. And I mean, I work at Sephora and live in NYC, and go to Bergdorf's and Barney's and Aedes and Saks and everyplace under the sun looking. And then today I walked into the CVS by my house and it was the hand of God, I swear, that moved me to pick up this bottle. One sniff and I just knew. Calmly, I made my purchase and came home. I took a shower. I had sprayed some on the back of my hand at the store, and I kept lifting my hand to my nose throughout the shower. Yes, that was it. The soft, sexy, warm smell that I have sought endlessly for all these years. That was really it!!! I don't know if this makes sense to anyone else, but all of the sudden all the other scents I have liked and even loved just slipped into the background--now that I have found it, there is just this and only this. Like Maria and Tony in West Side Story, seeing each other from across the room--everything else just fades to black--we are together, we are finally together, me and my true signature scent. We will never be apart again!!! HOLY GRAIL!!!!!!
Lipstick -Korres - Mango Butter Lipstick - Peach 18
Alicina 4/9/2009 11:09:00 PM
This color is beautiful! I have fair/olive skin with dark brown hair and brown eyes (Bare Escentuals shade Medium Beige) and it is the perfect pick-me-up for me. Whenever I wear it, I pair it with Korres blush 18, a luminous coral peach that is the perfect compliment. I kid you not--whenever I wear these colors together, men on the street cannot stop flirting with me. Not kidding! And a lady in the elevator told me I looked so stylish even though I had just rolled out of bed and was walking my dogs in my pajamas. Not kidding. So if you have my coloring, run and grab these asap! The blush looks great on anyone, by the way. Only thing I would change: wish it lasted a little bit longer or left more of a stain! But the sheer level of pigment is perfect--leaves a moist glossy tint that doesn't look sticky/gooey--and the effect is youthful and flirty rather than femme fatale. I wouldn't recommend this formula for anyone who has deep lip wrinkles or feathering issues because it would probably bleed on them.
I absolutely LOVE, LOVE, LOOOVVVEE Naturefusion smooth vitality!! I have the whole line: shampoo, conditioner, and smoothing cream. Here is why I love it: I love natural products. I want to go natural, but I also want to keep my very long hair healthy. The problem with other natural shampoo/conditioners I've tried (Jason, Giovanni, John Masters Organics, Aubrey Organics, and David Babaii) is that they dry my hair out and leave my ends frizzy, snaggy, and tangly, so that my hair snaps when I brush or comb it out. I decided to try Naturefusion when I read that it has cassia in it. Cassia is an ingredient that is commonly sold in health food stores as "clear henna;" it strengthens, glosses, and thickens the hair. There is a lot of cassia extract in these products; I think it's the 2nd or 3rd ingredient in both the conditioner and styling cream. So rest assured that these products are actually doing more for your hair over time than even regular mainstream Pantene products are doing. This is the 3rd or 4th time I've used the conditioner, and my hair is getting better and shinier each time. I am thrilled that I have such beautiful hair for something like $4.99 a bottle at CVS; my hair only looks like this when I use Aveda, which costs me $24.99. And Aveda doesn't have cassia, which is pretty darn cool stuff. So I am loving this!! Only drawback: I think Proctor & Gamble does animal testing. Also, I am not sure if these products are vegetarian. They also contain fragrance which could be synthetic. I feel guilty about all of these things, but I have tried so many other things from natural brands for my hair and just nothing else seems to work! So I am not going to beat myself up over this.
Conditioner -Pantene - Nature Fusion Smooth Vitality Conditioner
Alicina 3/18/2009 11:00:00 PM
I LOVE this stuff! One of the natural ingredients in this line is cassia. Cassia is actually what is sold in health food stores as "clear henna," and if you read up on this ingredient you will see that women say it adds shine, thickness, and strength to the hair. Doing a cassia treatment at home involves a messy paste, but the people at Proctor & Gamble figured out how to take a derivative of the cassia plant and put it in the Nature Fusion line. I tried this conditioner tonight along with the leave-in treatment, and my hair is extremely shiny and silky. So I'm very happy.
Styling Products -Unlisted Brand - David Babaii for WildAid Hair Polish
Alicina 3/14/2009 11:29:00 PM
This is a total HG haircare product for me. Here's why: 1. It works as an utterly weightless shine serum on wet or dry hair. It doesn't build up or weigh hair down. 2. It's creamy like a leave-in conditioner, not slippery and silicone laden. So it doesn't make your hands greasy. 3. It's loaded with conditioning ingredients like shea butter. That makes it a leave-in treatment, heat styling protector, and shine product in one. 4. The bottle is small and leak-proof, so it's super handy; you can even keep it in your purse. This is key for me because I have very long hair that is dry at the ends, and it tangles easily. This quickly gets the tangles out and doesn't leave my hands greasy, so I don't have to wash them after applying. 5. The smell is so light it's practically unscented. I have absolutely no idea how David Babaii managed to achieve all of these things in one product, but he really did. If I was going on vacation and could only bring one styling product, it would be this. It is the biggest multi-tasker ever for all of the above reasons. The only thing it doesn't do is add any hold. But in my opinion, that's a good thing, because it means this product is also never sticky (unlike my usual fave Potion 9, which can feel sticky on the hands, and has a leaky tube!) I LOVE DAVID BABAII!! See my reviews for hydrating shamp and cond as well. I hope that his line stays around forever--it is so wonderful to find natural products that are healthy for you AND donate money to help save endangered species. LOVE!!! Pretty hair and good karma! :)
Shampoo -Unlisted Brand - David Babaii for WildAid - hydrating shampoo
Alicina 3/14/2009 11:22:00 PM
Finally, a natural product that doesn't make me sacrifice luxury for conscientiousness!! David Babaii understands that just because I care about the environment, animal welfare, and natural beauty products doesn't mean I want to look and smell like I just got back from touring with the Grateful Dead (i.e. I don't need my hair to be all tangled up in a knotty mess!). Thankfully, these products just deliver smooth, silky, SHINY, moisturized hair. With the added benefits of being healthy, natural, and best of all AFFORDABLE. The hydrating shampoo lathers pretty well for a sulfate-free product (key for me because sulfates really dry out my scalp), and the conditioner has the same rich texture as Fresh Meadowfoam Cream Conditioner at a fraction of the cost (I think I paid about $11 a bottle at a NYC Duane Reade, and everything costs more in NYC). I also like the simple, stylish bottles; they look great in my shower and the creamy, coconut smell makes using the products feel luxurious. I am SO happy I found these. And I've tried it all--from Kerastase, Carita, Aveda, Redken, Fekkai, Ojon, John Masters Organics, Aubrey Organics, Giovanni, Oscar Blandi, Furterer, Phyto...... yes, really.
Conditioner -Unlisted Brand - David Babaii for WildAid Hydrating conditioner
Alicina 3/14/2009 11:20:00 PM
Finally, a natural product that doesn't make me sacrifice luxury for conscientiousness!! David Babaii understands that just because I care about the environment, animal welfare, and natural beauty products doesn't mean I want to look and smell like I just got back from touring with the Grateful Dead (i.e. I don't need my hair to be all tangled up in a knotty mess!). Thankfully, these products just deliver smooth, silky, SHINY, moisturized hair. With the added benefits of being healthy, natural, and best of all AFFORDABLE. This conditioner has the same rich texture as Fresh Meadowfoam Cream Conditioner at a fraction of the cost (I think I paid about $11 a bottle at a NYC Duane Reade, and everything costs more in NYC). I also like the simple, stylish bottles; they look great in my shower and the creamy, coconut smell makes using the products feel luxurious. I am SO happy I found these. And I've tried it all--from Kerastase, Carita, Aveda, Redken, Fekkai, Ojon, John Masters Organics, Aubrey Organics, Giovanni, Oscar Blandi, Furterer, Phyto...... yes, really. UPDATE: I love this product, but it's just not for me. I think it made my hair just a little bit too soft. Here's the problem: my hair is down to my bra strap; I haven't cut it in a year. So the ends are super dry, and they are starting to snag and tangle easily; I think I just need something that coats the hair a little bit more. Tonight I used my David Babaii shampoo (still love it; sulfate free, so my scalp doesn't itch), followed by Pantene Nature Fusions Smooth conditioner and leave in smoothing treatment, followed by a dab of Potion 9. Now my hair is smooth, silky, and shiny, and I'm hoping for the best.
I met a girl who was an exotic dancer, and I asked her what the secret was to having that perfectly baby soft skin that guys always talk about (for those of you who don't know, a lot of guys will tell you that strippers always have the softest skin and smell amazing). She told me her routine: when you're still dripping wet from the shower, before even touching your towel, coat your body in baby oil gel (she uses the green one, that's the one I bought). Then pat dry. Then coat yourself in nut body butter from the Body Shop. I bought the body oil gel, and I find that it works great for silkiness even without the body butter! By the way, I am a a makeup artist and in one of the professional journals I read, they profiled a famous artist's must-have products. This aloe-e J&J baby oil gel was on her list. Say what you will about mineral oil, but most make up artists I know agree that it gives an unbeatable, long lasting glossy sheen! This baby oil gel is the best! By the way, prior to buying this gel, I was coating myself in regular baby oil after my shower. The upside to that is that it soaks in more quickly; the downside is that the moisturizing/glossing effects don't last as long as they do with the gel!
I am obsessed!!! This is my go-to color this winter; just a little mascara, NARS Orgasm on cheeks, and I am literally out the door (ok, maybe some undereye concealer too). This rocks with my winter '08 style--black leather motorcycle jacket, leggings, tall boots, hoodies, fun hats and scarves--it's very playful and just straight up cool. It's perfect with the no makeup look, because it is so obvious; it's very model-y, in my opinion, very confident, kind of French, to just rock this color on its own. Go to it! I have dark brown hair and brown eyes; my skintone is light with olive undertones.
Fragrances -Unlisted Brand - Lilly Pulitzer -- Squeeze
Alicina 12/18/2008 1:33:00 PM
This is one of Lilly Pulitzer's 3 new scents--the one in the yellow bottle. All I get from this is a huge blast of mango. Mango on top of something floral, which makes it slightly cloying. This smells a lot like Benefit B Spot but without the warm Sandalwood drydown. It winds up being pretty synthetic and overwhelming. The best of the 3 Lilly scents is definitely Beachy--the one in the blue bottle--check out my review! Available in EDP, body lotion, and scented candle.
Fragrances -Unlisted Brand - Lilly Pulitzer -- Wink
Alicina 12/18/2008 1:29:00 PM
The company describes this as "a delightfully flirty floral bouquet," and it is the most heavily promoted of the 3 new Lilly fragrances (the one in the pink bottle). This is not at all what I expected--it is not flirty in the sense that a younger person would want to wear it--it is actually a pretty nondescript, old ladyish floral. This might be flirty for a 60 something Palm Beach lady, but not for me!!
Fragrances -Unlisted Brand - Lilly Pulitzer -- Beachy
Alicina 12/18/2008 1:26:00 PM
I love this scent!! Everything about it truly reminds me of taking a trip to Boca Grande, the place in Florida where I go with my family each spring. It is initially clean and oceanic, but not obnoxiously so; then it progresses to a faintly suntan lotion like smell, with a touch of coconut; finally, the drydown is like clean, fresh warm laundry. Usually marine and coconut smells make me kind of sick, but this doesn't. It was love at first whiff! This is one of three Lilly fragrances; comes in a blue bottle. Available in EDP, body lotion, and scented candle.
Conditioner -Yes To Carrots - Pampering Hair Mud Conditioner
Alicina 12/15/2008 7:37:00 PM
I bought this conditioner for two reasons: LOVE the baby powder smell--it's very light and doesn't linger--I love the light little whisper of powder, reminiscent of Clarins body serum, which I also adore. It's natural, jam packed with all kinds of nurturing oils which somehow don't weigh the hair down. My hair is bra strap length, fine but lots of it, wavy, and not color treated.