A very nostalgic, evocative fragrance. I've just been to the beach, and Beach smells exactly the way I did every day on that vacation: freshly slathered Coppertone, sea water, sand, and flowers in my hair. I loved the scent as soon as I sniffed it but did find it rather pricey for the small size and plain bottle (gosh, couldn't they have made the packaging a bit more fun and glam?). A lippie off for that, but otherwise Bobbi's best scent.
Blush -Mally Beauty - Mally Beauty Shimmer Shape Glow Face Defining System
therese108 7/29/2005 2:26:00 PM
As a big fan of Mally Roncal, I had to try this. I'm an AAB with NC35 skin, so I tried the lighter kit, Life is Lighter. Now I'm wondering whether Love is Deeper would have been better. The blush is a shimmery gold-peach, a less pigmented, more golden version of NARS Orgasm, for reference. It's pretty and does give you a lit-from-within look, but even after dusting a generous amount on my cheeks I still felt a bit pale. True to the compact's name, first you apply the shimmer on the cheekbone with the enclosed white brush. Then you shape with a matte fleshy brown in the hollow of the cheeks with the other end of the white brush. Last comes the blush, which comes with its own pink-metal-handled brush. The effect was a bit too shimmery, IMO, highlighting pores and blemishes, so good skin is a must. Though Scott Barnes pretty much innovated it, I love the idea of a blush compact that contains different complementary shades to contour and give the appearance of cheekbones-- like having your own personal makeup artist at hand. The packaging is also girly and fun, a velvety pink polyester pouch that holds both the pink brushed-metal compact (same shade as the pink mini iPod) and the two brushes, the heads of which are thoughtfully encased in plastic sleeves. I had no idea the kit came with brushes, so I was pleasantly surprised when it arrived. (No wonder it was so bloody expensive!). Aside from the price, my other minor quibble is the compact size, which is even bigger than Scott Barnes's Chic Palette. It's therefore not very portable nor easy to store. I doubt if I would repurchase this, though I'd definitely be interested in testing the Love is Deeper palette.
After how much I loved the Star Struck palette, I had to have this as soon as it came out. Like Charma, all I can say is, WOW! This is even better than Star Struck, but for different reasons. Starstruck is great for its wearable, basic colors, great for daytime and officewear, with one evening look. Sunswept is pure glamour all the way. The colors are beach goddess more than beach bunny: eyeshadows in purples, pinks, and browns (from bronze to tan to a deep reddish brown for lining); a hot pink blush and cream bronzer. As per usual, Mally Roncal has devised two looks that are now printed on the box (not on a paper insert that's easy to lose), the Islander and the Poolsider. The instructions are rather complicated this time around. Each look requires at least 3 eyeshadow colors and a bit of cheek contouring using both blush and bronzer. But the results are astonishing. I wore the Poolsider look to a dinner party and someone asked me, "Who does your makeup? You look like a movie star." Thank you, Mally, for sharing "that thing you do" for your celeb clients with us mere mortals! Sunswept leaves every other "beachy" palette in the dust, including Bobbi Brown's Beach Beauty palette ("beauty," shuh, right!). While BeneFit's Hoola Hues is good for day, by all means buy Sunswept for night. You, too, can look like a movie star.
This is a LOVE fragrance for me, and I bought it unsniffed before the stampede of pikake fragrances began. I'd never sniffed anything like it before, but it immediately smelled like home. Child must smell very different on different chemistries for it to smell like suntan lotion on others. On me it's a pure pikake with a lovely, complex, sweet drydown that reminds me of clean babies and wedding bouquets simultaneously -- innocent yet sexy. Other wannabe perfume oils like Ebba's Miss Danielle or Fresh Scents by Terri's Oh Baby don't come close to its complexity. Found it expensive at first, but now with other cult scents clocking in at $100 and over for less than 1/3 oz, I find Child a bargain. A total HG for me.
This scent is actually called Apothia .If. Apothia (the beauty arm of Fred Segal) carries the best, most coveted (and priciest) cult scents around. They're the ones who launched Child and popularized Kai, and in the vein of those two scents, they developed If in conjunction with a team of celebrities, men and women. Like Child (a pikake scent) and Kai (gardenia), If is predominantly floral, with a twist. While the top notes are a bracing Japanese yuzu, it's a whiteflower composition softened and given body by a musk base. When I first sampled this, I liked it a lot, but perhaps not enough to buy at that point. Then my Child supply started to dwindle and my thoughts started turning to Apothia again, but this time I decided to splurge on If. Was I glad I did! I don't know if my sample got less fresh over time, but rolling on If fresh from a new bottle is a heavenly experience. The flowers smell so fresh, the musk so incredibly creamy -- it envelops you in a heavenly cloud that people comment on. Compared to what other perfumers are charging for their oils ($150 for 6ml!), Apothia If seems like a steal in comparison. If you like white flowers or musk, you must try this.
A gardenia that blooms very green at first, with the smell of freshly cut stems and even a hint of ylang-ylang, to my nose. Then the tea and musks take over, and it mellows to a lovely creamy vanillic base that lingers for hours. My husband liked it enough to ask what I was wearing. It would be wonderful and unusual enough to add to any gardenia collection; the only reservation being, of course, the very steep $150 price.
Fragrances -Comptoir Sud Pacifique - Vanille Orange
therese108 7/26/2005 8:12:00 AM
I have a number of vanilla CSPs like Abricot and Cannelle, so I was very pleasantly surprised by Vanille Orange. I expected a very sweet, foody vanilla, but VO is actually the least sweet CSP vanille I've tried, and the orange is pure and crystalline. Together they make a wonderful gourmand yet non-foody scent. When it morphed on my skin it actually reminded me of another great scent, Frederic Malle's Lipstick Rose! Very, very sophisticated. Staying power isn't great, about 2 hours max on me, but this is definitely an HG fragrance for an orange-lover like me. I do wish they would keep it in their permanent collection!
Fragrances -Yosh - Yosh Signature Collection - La Contessa
therese108 7/25/2005 8:51:00 AM
I am a total fan of Yosh's darker compositions, like Ginger Ciao, Omniscent and this one. La Contessa blew me away at first whiff. While I don't have the "dog nose" to detect individual notes like the cucumber and night queen, this oil strikes me as the most rich, opulent sandalwood scent ever. It may not be as multi-layered, dark or fierce as Omniscent or Heart is Deceitful, but it wears beautifully from start to finish (and who am I to complain?). Like most folks, I don't have hundreds of dollars to throw around on all of Yosh's covetable yet oh-so-pricey oils, so if I just had $130 to spend, I would spend it on La Contessa. And if I were ever faithful enough to have a signature scent, this would definitely be IT.
Tarte honestly has the best cheek stains around. For an AAB like me with warm, NC35 skin, I've found Tickled to be the most flattering. Contrary to what others say, it is the warmest and peachiest of all the Tarte blushes. Flushed is a cooler red, while Blushing Bride is a cool mauve. One swipe on each cheek is enough and once applied, Tickled literally stays on all day, at the same intensity! I was pleasantly shocked to come home after a hard day at work and still find myself flushed and glowing in the bathroom mirror. Even when you're tired and feeling haggard, Tickled makes you look just the opposite -- one of the best reasons for buying this blush, not to mention one purchase will last you a lifetime. Note: the mini versions are also fantastic for travel. I bring Tickled for day and Flushed for night.
This is my first NARS multiple and I'm very impressed. The color is beautiful, a soft coral with golden shimmer that is the cream equivalent of NARS Orgasm on the cheeks, except it shows up better because it's more pigmented (yay!). Though I agree with other gals that the shade is too light and drying for the lips, and a bit too reddish for the eyes, in a pinch I would have no problem using it all over the face. It has a nice, whisper-light, creamy consistency and you can almost see it melting into your skin while blending for a healthy, almost supernatural glow. Highly recommended for warm-skinned gals. I only wish I had this with me on my last beach trip. It would have made my makeup bag so much lighter.
I totally agree with Nemea. Am an AAB, NC35 with yellow undertones. Bought #3 first, which looked all right under store lighting. Then when I got home, the color had developed into a dark orangey tone that made my undereye circles look darker, not lighter! So I swap for #2, thinking it will be perfect. But no, #2 looks white and ashy on me! So now I'll have to mix both to get the right shade-- a real pain. This is the big flaw of the Touche Eclat line. I had tried it before but didn't like it because the color was too light for my complexion. Now they have darker shades for darker skin, but what about medium shades for medium skin? There's no in between -- no 2.5 shade that would suit us gals who fall between the cracks. If I have to purchase both to get the right shade, then I definitely won't repurchase at all.
Concealers -Yves Saint Laurent - Touche Eclat No 2
therese108 7/14/2005 6:50:00 AM
This shade is too light and appears a bit ashy on me, an AAB NC35 with yellow undertones. I wouldn't buy it just as a highlighter--it's too expensive for that. This can and must be used as a concealer. It has subtle illuminators that hide imperfections well and give a nice glow. You can use it for dark circles, to erase redness around the nose and mouth, on the inner corners of the eye and on the browbone. Two clicks dispense enough product to do the whole face, practically. I love the pen dispenser: it's great for travel and it's a lot easier to click than twist the cap (like on those old Stila lip glazes). My only complaint is that because it's moist, a lot of bacteria accumulates on the brush and makes it smell bad after just a couple uses! You have to clean the brush every few days. Also, I have a major quibble with the color range. I bought #3 and it was too dark and orangey on me, so I bought #2, thinking it would be perfect. Instead I got light and ashy. I'll have to blend the two to get the shade I want-- kind of a pain. I thought the great Terry de Gunzburg would have a better shade range than that. Otherwise, a stellar product and a must-have.
Lip Gloss -Delux Beauty - Norris Lipgloss [DISCONTINUED]
therese108 7/2/2005 6:39:00 AM
This looked a lot darker in the tube than in magazine pictures. After the initial surprise, I have to admit this true red (which suits all complexions) with gold shimmer is very flattering on my AAB, NC35 medium yellow-toned skin. It looks like Laura Mercier's Sexy Lips pumped up with Venom Flash--a very pretty combo. I'm on a lighter-lip jag right now, so I'm not sure I would repurchase, but I'd love to try more of Delux's glosses--maybe something in coral.
After Venom Flash, you'll never go back to plain clear lip gloss again. This is amazing for amping up any lipcolor and giving you a porn-star pout--not just glossy but wet, sexy and ready for anything. It doesn't really plump up my lips, but I love cinnamon so I love the scent and flavor of this gloss, even if the tingly sensation is a bit Altoids (curiously strong). The tingling prevents me from reapplying often, so even if the tube is somewhat petite it's going to last a long, long time. Time to swap all my boring old clear glosses.
Highlighters -Shu Uemura - Color Mousse in Air White
therese108 7/2/2005 2:53:00 AM
At first I was baffled by this product. Was this mousse for the face or the hair? Then I find out that Shu's summer 2005 range of Face Color Mousses are mainly air-light blushes meant to be layered for a sheer or more intense effect. This one in Air White I can only surmise is to be used as a highlighter for browbones, cheekbones, bridge of nose and wherever else you want a subtle pearly shimmer. It's packaged in a little 7g./0.2 oz pot that you dip into with a finger. The consistency is very high-tech and out of this world: it's light as meringue and watery cool on the skin -- perfect for summer. Superior in all ways except for the rather steep price.