SNOW IN LOVE is one of Yankee Candles four new Christmas 2012 fragrances and is officially described as being "creamy, comforting woods and wintry powder freshness." I'd describe it as clean minty air, tart cherries and as having some fresher wood, probably pine, mixed in with a touch of patchouli and creamier sandalwood. I think of the fragrance as being a mix of Yankee's Cherries In The Snow and Sparkling Snow fragrances, so if you like those you'll be pleased with this too. I love the fragrance as it manages to be a perfect balance between sweet and fresh, plus it's a bit festive, but yet it's not something I think of as being overly Christmassy; it is more of a everyday fragrance for autumn/winter, so you can use it now and on into the new year. As with all Yankee candles, the entirety of the wax is perfumed; I've used some candles where the fragrance burns up before the candle does, but that is not the case here. The fragrance lasts as long as the candle does and is strong enough to travel over the house. I even catch occasional wafts of the perfume whilst the candle is unlit.
The pear is the strongest fruit note on me - well, I say strongest, but it is still pretty soft and doesn't leave me with a lasting impression. There is soft vanilla present through all of the fragrance too, with adds a creamy sweetness and warmth to the fragrance. The patchouli is also quick to develop, so whilst everything is sweet, it's not cloyingly so. The floral notes used are powdery and just provide a background for the iris. It's quite startling how, after around two hours, the fragrance suddenly changes from a soft gourmand to present the wearer with a rich iris note. I don't have much experience with iris in perfumes, so LA VIE EST BELLE is unique to me. After another few hours the fragrance turns slightly nutty and even creamier as the rest of the base notes develop. Whilst the iris note dies down, the combined powderiness of the floral notes remain and softly fade away with the base notes after around nine hours on my skin. Official scent notes: Iris, orange blossoms, jasmine, black currant, pear, tonka bean, praline, patchouli and vanilla
MIDNIGHT HEAT opens with a dark and rich plum note and, whilst I know it's meant to be star fruit, what smells to me like raspberry. There is also some fig, too. The plum note is much stronger then the other fruits and carries down to the perfume's heart and base. I'm not able to separate any floral notes apart from the peony from the powdered jumble, as the patchouli develops quickly and lasts for the entire 'life' of the perfume. The mix of earthy patchouli, powdery florals and rich fruits is very curious; the structure of everything here doesn't really go together, but it works somehow. There is no strong indication between the heart notes and the base, thanks to the constant presence of plum and patchouli. The sandalwood and amber are mingled closely together so it is a warm and creamy mix. Official scent notes: plum, star fruit, Orchid, black tulips, purple peony, warm amber, sandalwood and patchouli. I haven't been impressed by the regular Heat range [Heat Ultimate Elixir is great], so only came across this as my sister loves it. But I think I'm going to have to buy myself a bottle, as the clashing scent notes make this perfume addictive, as I keep grabbing testers everywhere I go, to get the feel of the different notes repelling each other. This also has better staying power then the earlier releases; a five hour average on me. It's still not great, but at least we're getting some improvement, unlike other Coty ranges [I'm looking at you Kylie].
Fragrances -Elizabeth Arden - Fantasy Twist EDP by Britney Spears
MalibuMands 9/27/2012 9:31:00 AM
The Britney Spears range of fragrances currently stands at ten different perfume releases so far, and number eleven is here. Technically the latest edition - FANTASY TWIST- isn't actually a new fragrance; it is actually a clever bottle design that houses two of the bestselling Britney Spears perfumes - Fantasy and Midnight Fantasy... FANTASY opens with fruity scents of lychee, quince and kiwi. Sweet, but not sickly sweet. The fruit isn't anywhere near as prominent as it is in Midnight Fantasy, so there is a definitely different structure between the two perfumes. The key note of vanilla cupcake lingers from the heart to the base, giving FANTASY a lovely warmth that whispers "come closer" to passers by - making this perfect for people who work in public based settings as you'll seem even more approachable. Of cause; FANTASY is also superb for when you're feeling flirty ;) Scent notes: lychee, quince, kiwi, vanilla cupcake, jasmine, white chocolate, creamy musk, orris root, and woods. MIDNIGHT FANTASY is strong on the fruit notes. The notes of plum & cherries stayed with me all the way through the floral hearts notes. The result was that I couldn't separate any of the floral notes, apart from a hint of iris. The vanilla in the base was also very subtle; I could pick out the musky tones. I’d have thought the base would be sweet, but it’s not. MIDNIGHT FANTASY is all about the fruity notes. Personally I love plums and cherries so I do adore MIDNIGHT FANTASY, though I have to caution that it can be sickly in warm weather. I’d definitely stick to autumn/winter for this. Scent notes: Black cherries, framboise, plum, orchid, freesia, iris, musk, amber and vanilla. Call me sad, but I was really excited about this release and can't wait until payday: I've seen FANTASY TWIST in 30ml [two 15ml halves] and in 50ml [two 25ml halves] combinations. There is also meant to be a 100ml combo in production, but I haven't seen it yet. The two-in-one bottle is a clever concept - and it uses two of my favourite 'casual wear' perfumes, which I've happily been wearing since my teens. The Britney Spears perfumes have all been well made - I've found a few to be "meh", but even though they haven't been to my taste, the overall quality of them was impressive.
Candles -Unlisted Brand - For Every Body - Coffee and Vanilla
MalibuMands 9/26/2012 5:24:00 AM
For Every Body's COFFEE AND VANILLA candle is scented like, surprise, coffee beans and vanilla. This is so warming after a long day, it's like relaxing in a cozy coffee bar. The only downside for this fragrance is that it is only suitable for autumn/winter, as the fragrance is too strong in warmer weather. The main selling point for the brand is that the entirety of the candle wax is perfumed, so the fragrance lasts as long as the candle does [and they seem to last forever - I'd guess at around 90 hours]. The fragrance throws well and I can catch occasional wafts of the perfume whilst the candle is unlit too. The other huge plus with this brand is the price. In-store at TK Maxx I pay £5.99 for a 15oz jar, which is so cheap, compared to other brands. My favourite candle brand is Yankee Candle as their fragrances are a bit stronger, but, for every day use, For Every Body Candles does offer better value for money. In the UK you can buy the jar ones in TK Maxx [homeware section, not with the tin candles in the beauty section]. Amazon UK also stocks a selection of them. The official website is www.foreverybody.com.
I've used Schwarzkopf Live hair dyes for years; mainly I stick to the XXL Live range as the purple shades are my favourite, but I've also used the Live Luminance and Live Salon Style ranges. I sometimes try another brand when I fancy something 'sensible', but I always return to Schwarzkopf Live as I find them to be the most reliable for good results - the colour swathes on the boxes are the most reliable out of popular DIY har dye brands, such as Schwarskopf, L'Oreal, Garnier and Clarol. In my ongoing hair colour journey only XXL Live Real Red has disappointed me, as though the colour turned out like the box's model, it faded very quickly. Yes, I know that red dyes are the fastest to fade, but Real Red still fades quicker then is usual for red; within a week my hair had dulled to a murky copper tone. The Live Luminance [Ultra Violet] shade I tried was underwhelming; not bad, but not great either - more pink/red, then violet. "Meh" results aside, I have had much more hits then misses with Live; XXL Live's Max Blonde, Red Passion, Mystic Violet, Hypnotic Red, Glam Rock Black, Cyber Purple and Live Salon Style in Dark Violet are the shades I have fond memories off. They're all permanent shades, that haven't damaged my hair and all have left my hair shiny. The non-red shades all have minimal fade, in fact I often don't even need to bother with a colour protecting shampoo or conditioner, as the colour fade is so unnoticeable! There is not much else to say; Schwarzkopf dyes are affordable when they're full priced, and there are often BOGOF or other money saving offers on them in Boots, Superdrug or Asda.
On first application the fragrance is sugary sweet thanks to the berries. I can't detect any bergamot, so I find the first five to ten minutes of MUSIC BOX to be far too sweet and cloying. A touch of the fruit carries down into the heart, so there always remains a sweet undertone to everything. I'm not overjoyed by the floral notes; they are clean and airy, but they never seem to develop fully. In fact the only floral note I can place with any certainty is the watery rose, which gets lost in the jumble fairly quickly. As other reviewers have noted, the clean and airy floral mix is reminiscent of laundry detergent. The base is the biggest letdown for me; Coty/Kylie have flogged whole musk/sandalwood/amber base to death and beyond. Can we have something a little bit different please? Everyone repeat after me; as this is a Kylie/Coty collaboration it's no surprise that the staying power is poor, even for a mass market release. After only two or three hours, I struggle to get more then a brief whiff of sandalwood. Official scent notes: strawberry, raspberry, bergamot, rose, freesia and orange blossom, sandalwood, amber and white musk. I used to love Kylie, so I make a point of sampling every single Kylie perfume [sometimes even blind buying online]. Unfortunately I've been disappointed every time and MUSIC BOX is sadly no different. It's not awful, but it is obviously cheap and boring. I'm actually surprised that Coty are still releasing Kylie Minogue branded perfumes to be honest; most stores only stock the latest releases by her. And that is only for a few months, then they are reduced to clear and vanish. They really need to step up their game, if they want the line to survive.
Candles -Unlisted Brand - For Every Body - Spiced Pumpkin
MalibuMands 9/10/2012 9:40:00 AM
For Every Body's SPICED PUMPKIN candle is scented like, umm, pumpkin and sweet spices. The pumpkin is creamy, whilst the cinnamon and nutmeg is mixed with brown sugar and powdered vanilla. This is my favorite room warmer for autumn as I adore the smell of pumpkins - it's such a shame that pumpkin fragrances aren't common in the UK :( The main selling point for the brand is that the entirety of the candle wax is perfumed, so the fragrance lasts as long as the candle does [and they seem to last forever - I'd guess at around 90 hours]. The fragrance throws well and I can catch occasional wafts of the perfume whilst the candle is unlit too. The other huge plus with this brand is the price. In-store at TK Maxx I pay £5.99 for a 15oz jar, which is so cheap, compared to other brands. My favourite candle brand is Yankee Candle, but For Every Body does offer better value for money. In the UK you can buy the jar ones in TK Maxx [homeware section, not with the tin candles in the beauty section]. Amazon UK also stocks a selection of them. The official website is www.foreverybody.com.
FOR EVERY BODY candles are a resent discovery for me, but as we come to autumn/fall my obsession with scented candles is rearing its head again. In the UK you can buy the jar ones in TK Maxx [homeware section, not with the tin candles in the beauty section]. Amazon UK also stocks a selection of them. The main selling point is that the entirety of the candle wax is perfumed, so the fragrance lasts as long as the candle does [and they seem to last forever - I'd guess at around 90 hours]. The fragrance throws well and I can catch occasional wafts of the perfume whilst the candle is unlit too. The other huge plus with this brand is the price. In-store at TK Maxx I pay £5.99 for a 15oz jar, which is so cheap, compared to other brands. My favourite candle brand is Yankee Candle, but FOR EVERY BODY offers better value for money.
ROUSE is a bright baby pink, if that makes sense; it is icy pale, but has a bit of warmth to it. A single coat gives a more natural polished look to my lips, however layering it gives a milkier look that is great for pairing with strong eyes. The formula is classed as a sheer finish, but has excellent pigmentation, so the colour payoff is fantastic. Illamasqua is becoming my favourite brand for lip-glosses as the wear outlasts the likes of MAC and NARS, but the gloss never feels sticky.
In the bottle the formula looks medium purple with gold glitter, but it’s on your nails in that you’ll get the full effect. Once applied the duochrome finish of the polish morphs between a deep redish pink and purple, whilst the glitter shimmers with purple, pink and red - depending on how the light hits the polish. The overall effect of the polish reminds me of my old bottle of Clarins #230. I'm not saying that Color Club ULTERIOR MOTIVE is a dupe or anything like that, just that I find the pink/purple duochrome formula and the shades of the microglitter a bit reminiscent. The formula is fast drying and the glitter particles are very fine, so the formula is smooth to apply –no bumps, glitter clumps or streaks. Using my usual base and top coats [China Glaze is my usual brand] this polish will last me between two and three days with only minimal tip wear; but I’m tough on my nails (self powered wheelchair user), so it will probably last longer on other people.
TOTAL MYSTERY is a stunning royal blue shade with blue and purple micro glitter. The shade is similar to another one of my favourite blue polish shades; Avon's Splendid Blue, except the micro glitters in the two polishes are different shades. TOTAL MYSTERY is part of Color Club's Alter Ego: Keep It Undercover collection. The formula is smooth to apply and is quick to dry. As the colour is bottle-true after two coats and the formula dries quickly (within three minutes). Using my usual [China Glaze] base and top coats this polish will last me around 2/3 days with only minimal wear; but I’m tough on my nails (self powered wheelchair user), so it will probably last longer on other people.
I'm a purple polish junkie so most of my stash is purple, yet ALIAS is still unique. It's a deep purple duochrome shade [it has flashes of green and burnished gold in various light] and flecks of gold micro-glitter that looks so pretty when they catch the light. The shade becomes fully opaque with two coats. I've drooled over pictures of Hard Candy's Beetle shade and, as Hard Candy hasn't been sold in the UK for quite a few years now, have been watching Ebay in vain. But, based on pictures and YouTube footage, I'd say that ALIAS is more or less the same shade. ALIAS is smooth to apply, leaving no bubbles or streaks despite the shimmer, and I was impressed with the drying time; Five minutes after application it was touch dry and after ten minutes I was rummaging through drawers, there were no chips or smudges. I hadn't applied a top coat at that point. Using my usual [China Glaze] base and top coats this polish will last me around 2/3 days with only minimal wear; but I’m tough on my nails (self powered wheelchair user), so it will probably last longer on other people.
Yankee Candles autumn/fall limited edition fragrance Witches Brew is the perfect fragrance for Halloween; the fragrance conjures up the image of a freshly dug grave, with the perfume from nearby funeral wreaths and smoke from bonfires lingering in the air. The fragrance is best described as smelling like damp soil, with a undertone that has a kind of organic spicy/sweetness to it. The spicy tang reminds me of cloves, or aniseed. I can't pinpoint the sweeter notes, but overall the results smell vaguely like cola to me. These above notes combine to create a darker incense note, with the smokiness of burnt wood underneath everything else.
Hair Color -L'Oreal - Recital Preference in Paris 4.01
MalibuMands 8/19/2012 4:12:00 PM
I used another Recital Preference shade [Havana] on my hair a few moths ago and found that the resulting shade was nothing like the model's on the box and when it came time to touch up the roots, the colour was very uneven. However I did like the Recital Preference formula, so I picked a darker shade, took a deep breath and redyed my hair... Success! This shade does seem to be almost black at first, but slightly lightens to almost exactly the same dark, cool brown shade as that on the box's model after a week or so. From there on out, any colour fade is minimal, I can go over two months between top ups, as the formula is so fade resistant. And my roots [ash blonde/brown] dye the same shade as the rest of my hair. L'Oreal - you have redeemed yourselves. I started to go grey in my teens and this has perfectly blended them away, which is a first; I've found that dyes typically colour the grey hairs slightly lighter. Overall; I'm very impressed with the new formula.