I don't find Blankety to be the most flattering shade on its own as it can make your skin tone look dull, dusky or ruddy, so I wouldn't dream of picking this as that "no-makeup-but-this" lipstick I roll out of bed and slap on. For me (NC25) this is definitely a dress-up lip shade that I use for specific looks. It takes a bit of work, but with a little lip primer, smoky kohl-rimmed cat eyes and not too much blush, this muted fleshy-pink creme can be devastatingly sexy. I did take 1 point off because I have lipsticks in the same color category that are more flattering on their own.
Where do I begin with this modern classic? Angel is a beastly mish-mash of cotton candy, stewed fruits, chocolate-drizzled caramel, and above all, very green, very sharp, fresh-cut grass. If you try to take it apart and focus on just one note or the other (e.g. you love cotton candy), you will be disappointed because all the other notes are equally strong. Many people find it too sweet, too rich, too unbalanced, too sharp, too strong, too everything. It's an olfactorial overload that is ground-breaking in its disregard for political correctness, and while it has many imitators, none of ever had the guts to take it this far. Don't let the rating fool you into thinking this belongs there with the rest of the "3-point-something" scents because I'll bet Angel has the most 1s and 5s of any scent on Makeupalley. To love it, you either have a taste for sharp contrasts, the right body chemistry, or a strong nonconformist streak. ------------ Suggestion for use: Decant and dab a tiny bit on instead of spraying. I find this makes the scent diffuse slower and the overall experience much more pleasant, for you and everyone around.
It took me YEARS of sniffing to finally "get" Shalimar, and I'll always have a bottle of it in my collection. It's not one I wear often although I admire its composition and originality; hence the more average 3 rating. My experience of it changes with my mood. On good days it's Sophia Loren in a bottle; sharp, sunny bergamot on a sultry, voluptuous bed of powdery, leathery smoke and vanilla. On bad days, it's too bug spray and bergamot-overdose. Shalimar is almost a sensorial overload, with so much powdery iris, tarry leather, and smoky incense that it bears little resemblance to most other orientals in the market today. Many of its notes match that of ancient perfumes created for worshippers of Aphrodite, and contrary to the name and it's love-story association, I've always found it not so much "romantic" as flat-out "raunchy". Be prepared to get noticed, but don't be surprised if reactions to it are polarized. It's not the baked-goods and fruits type of "girl-next-door" scent people are used to these days.
Lipstick -Clinique - Almost Lipstick - Black Honey
Anda 11/15/2012 2:24:00 AM
I have pale, dry, sensitive lips, and Black Honey is the way to make them feel AND look good. I’ve read about it for years and couldn't try it because it wasn't sold where I live. Then by the time it finally arrived I'd forgotten about it. Finally got hold of one on a trip to NYC. I loved it so much I wore it for almost 2 weeks straight and went back to get a backup before I left. It’s moist but not glossy, visible but not overly-dramatic. The perfect low-maintenance everyday lippie when you want to have lush, stained lips! I’m most impressed by how it NEVER goes on patchy and uneven looking, unlike many other dark, sheer lipsticks. It's just too bad this doesn't come in a bigger tube, since you can go through it so quickly. ---------------- Tip: I like to apply one light coat all over and then a little more right in the center of my top and bottom lips for a “juicy” stained look.
Fragrances -Unlisted Brand - Parlux - Jessica Simpson Fancy
Anda 11/15/2012 1:18:00 AM
Fun, sweet, warm, and cozy. This definitely has no snob-appeal, which is part of its charm. It's a comfort scent; luscious, feminine, and likeable. On skin, this develops beautifully and isn't nearly as sticky-sweet as I'd found it on a paper strip. You’ll mostly smell a sweet fruit compote at the start, and then crème brulee on drydown; an expensive one. It's buttery and infused with black dots of smoky-rich vanilla bean. The almond adds a nutty richness while the caramel, amber and woods lend a toasted-sugar edge that adds complexity and stops it from being too flat and linear. The flowers aren't all that noticeable but add some dimension. Probably an acquired taste if you're not into sweet scents because it is very rich. I do prefer this to some of the other vanilla/apricot fragrances in the market.
Fragrances -Guerlain - Shalimar Eau Légère - Light
Anda 11/13/2012 10:20:00 PM
Shalimar Legere (now re-released as Eau de Shalimar with clear juice, bottle and cap) is the first Guerlain I fell for. Now that I've come to enjoy the original Shalimar, I can better appreciate how Mathilde Laurent managed to take out the dusty, musty bits of Shalimar, retain its character and soul, mount it on a minimalist pedestal, and hit it with a back-light so it glows. I find Parfum Initial and L'eau to be lovely iterations in their own right, but I'll always like Legere more because it just smells less "fussy". If the new Parfum Initials are the fashionably-unkempt and openly sexual young femmes of today, Legere is Cate Blanchett; luminous, intelligent, well-groomed, laid-back, and NOT trying to look young or sexy. (I'd much rather hang out with her.)
Fragrances -Comptoir Sud Pacifique - Amour de Cacao
Anda 11/13/2012 9:45:00 PM
This should probably be named Vanille Cacao instead of Amour de Cacao. Definitely one I recommend for the hardcore vanilla-fragrance fan more than the hardcore chocolate fan. Many reviewers describe it as "cocoa puffs" and "hot chocolate", because the vanilla is too dominant for this scent to smell like the chocolate truffle scent I wanted. That said, it's a very good, buttery-rich, natural vanilla, with acceptable longevity. (Hence the 4-rating.) Most other vanilla scents smell like cheap synthetics beside CSP's. Amour de Cacao opens in an explosive, warm cloud of hot-chocolate laced with a little orange zest, but this glorious start disappears quickly. I personally feel it could be better balanced, with the orange and cocoa amped up slightly so they're not drowned out by the vanilla, but I can get around that by adding just a touch of bitter cocoa absolute to it. Definitely a simple, sweet, comfort scent but not something I wear often.
I've always considered No 5 one of the most misrepresented scents in the world. I've never been able to come to terms with it being marketed as a bombshell "sexy" scent dripping with glamor and money. I'm mostly ambivalent to it and prefer Bois des Iles, Coromandel and No 19 from the Chanel stable, BUT imagine my shock today when I asked my husband what (out of the hundreds in the past year or two) he would say was the nicest fragrance he'd smelt so far, and he said without hesitating, "Chanel No 5". Shocked, because unlike many other fragrances, he'd never made any comment about No 5 before. Strangely enough, his reason was not that it was overtly sexy or even particularly distinctive; but he specifically liked that while it was pleasant to smell, it doesn't invite comment and is a "polite, classy" scent that allows ME to take center-stage and say who I am, instead of having my fragrance say it for me.
Fragrances -Unlisted Brand - Jessica Simpson Fancy Nights
Anda 10/1/2012 2:59:00 AM
As far as "celebuscents" go, this was one of the first that truly impressed me because it smelt daringly imbalanced and flagrantly anti-mass market; almost like something a niche house might put out. If you love high-cal cupcake vanilla scents along the veins of Britney’s, you might be disappointed. Fancy Nights manages to combine a complex "earth-and-leaves" smokiness with a soft powdery sweetness which flies in the face of all the typical celeb scents out there. But the dirt-and-grass aroma of patchouli definitely dominates this fragrance, so you have to at least be able to tolerate the note. I personally find the patchouli a touch TOO strong and I have to really be in the mood for it; hence the 3-rating. As ambery patchouli-scents go, I'd actually hazard to place it closer to Chanel's Coromandel, which shares that same sappy patchouli, although I prefer Coromandel since the patchouli is better balanced with a creamy accord.
Fragrances -Lolita Lempicka - L de Lolita Lempicka
Anda 9/9/2012 2:43:00 AM
Imagine opening a luxurious box of orange-blossom flavored Turkish Delight. The bitter-sharp spiced "orange juice" in the L EDP opening has been replaced with a more refined and delicate orange blossom (neroli) note, and the creamy immortelle and vanilla come out right from the start. The scent is still sweet, but brighter and more floral, without the musky, woodiness of the original L. The addition of patchouli isn't obvious but gives a transparency and a touch of dryness to the composition. The only possible minus is that the extrait de parfum is much more linear, without the obvious transitions of the EDP. If you like the concept of L but would like to try something a little lighter in the drydown, you should definitely try the parfum. The added bonus is that the scent diffuses slower so it lasts and lasts, without being as overpowering at the start.
Fragrances -Lolita Lempicka - L de Lolita Lempicka
Anda 8/30/2012 2:47:00 AM
L opens with a burst of citrus-splashed spice and sweetness. Then as the fragrance reaches its heart notes, you get the warm, enveloping scent of expensive orange buttercream as the vanilla comes in with a slight hint of savoriness. The scent switches from musky oriental to gourmand, and is simultaneously syrupy and fresh. I don't like it so much in balmy heat, as the vanilla and spice can overpower the more delicate citrus tones. In cool weather, it's perfect. It does occasionally remind me of a cross between Pink Sugar and Pink Sugar Sensual. If you've worn sweet citrus-laced scents like Beyonce Pulse or Hidden Fantasy but want a more sophisticated version with more body and lasting power in the drydown, this is it. Plus, the price is extremely reasonable online. One minus? I'm not a huge fan of the bottle and the juice has a tendency to go brown very fast, which kinda ruins the intended visual effect.
Un Bois Vanille is the scent that first got me interested in the Serge Lutens line. I've been intrigued by its treacly-rich coconut-caramel feel for years, and finally bought a bottle almost 10 years after I first smelt it. Un Bois Vanille is a vanilla-coconut bomb for me. It's very morish; maybe just a tad TOO heavy for the hot climate where I reside, since it's so linear and tenacious. If the "Bois" (Wood) part of the fragrance was more prominent, I would gladly wear it on its own. As things go though, I only use it for layering with other scents to add creaminess and warmth. (Try this under Bvlgari Black!) Just be careful to apply a minimal amount when layering because Un Bois Vanille is like an Angelfish; oh-so-pretty and harmless-looking, until it obliterates everything else. On the flip side, the sillage and longevity is incredible. This has no problem holding its own in a marathon against Thierry Mugler's Angel. If you are on the market for a dark, rich, boozy, gourmand vanilla which is going to stay vanillic from the start to the end, this beats most others I've tried.
Omnia opens warm and spicy, with a ginger-cinnamon accord. Then after awhile, that dies down and the scent shifts from dry, aromatic Assam tea to a milkier iced Chai Latte, as the white chocolate and almond come in discreetly. The watery flowers are not apparent but they help retain a sense of translucence and airiness throughout. Despite being spice-laden, Omnia is not a spice-bomb. This is a very unique and beautiful composition, but on my dry skin it diffuses in a dense, flavorful cloud within 15 minutes, then spends the next few hours sticking to my skin. The staying power is not bad since it's an EDP, but don't be surprised if most people don't smell you unless they hug you. (On the bright side, it's very hard to overdose on Omnia so just bring a decant out and refresh as needed.) The only other criticism I have is for the rather gimicky and cheap-feeling "New Age" plastic bottle used to house a scent that's, to me, quite exotic and Old World. I'd have loved to see this in heavy glass with the juice colored a rich tea-brown. Omnia has (sadly) been discontinued so stock up if you love it.
Fragrances -Prada - Prada Amber pour Homme (Prada Man)
Anda 8/15/2012 2:06:00 AM
[Also posted on Fragrantica] Clean, beautiful scent. I initially got this for myself thinking it would make a great unisex fragrance (and it would). It sits and simmers quietly like fresh laundry in the sun. For something so soft and light, it does project and last very well. People who dislike it tend to slam it with the rather unsophisticated and overly-copied phrase "smells like soap" but those who appreciate it know it's so much more than that, and I'm sorry for those who are too anosmic to pick up anything other than that. Contrary to others, this does not remind me of a more "feminine", "sensitive" type of man. What it DOES remind me of is the type of man who doesn't care enough to fuss with choosing and buying his own bath products, so he uses whatever the woman in his life chooses to place in the bathroom. When he comes out of the shower, his slightly damp skin carries that lovely mixture of masculine and feminine smells, from a powdery-creamy body wash, to a fresh-floral shampoo, to a herbal-fresh masculine face wash. And that's kinda sexy.
Eye Shadow -Coastal Scents - Hot Pot HP187 Bungalow Gold
Anda 8/1/2012 11:06:00 AM
Beautiful bronze metallic shimmer that reminds me of MAC Patina, but with a deeper sheen and without the copper-red duochrome. Unlike many bronze shades, this is not too yellow, too bright, too brown or too grey; one of those easy-to-wear shades that you can just buff on as a wash without worrying about application techniques or having to blend it with other colors to make it work. It's also creamy-smooth to apply with minimal fallout. I purchased this in pan form (no casing) for $1.99 on Coastal Scents so it's fantastic value since it matches the size and quality of my higher-end shadows. Fits any 26mm pan.