Fragrances -Avon - Expressions by Reese Witherspoon: Live Without Regrets
arwynundomiel 10/28/2011 5:30:00 AM
I found this perfume purely by chance when I was browsing through Ebay in a very bad mood (NEVER a good idea!). Life wasn't going well for me, so the name of the perfume stood out in sharp relief. After looking up some info about it, I purchased the perfume for a laughably small sum and promptly forgot about it. When it arrived in the mail, the box was pretty and the bottle inside chic and classic. After carefully removing a slightly troublesome cap (the only real packaging flaw), I spritzed the perfume on my wrist. The scent immediately made me smile, reinforcing my usual positive attitude towards life and giving me an awareness of my own strength. It has a lovely fruit and flower partnership, with bergamot and black currant mingling with gardenia, magnolia and jasmine. This perfume makes me think of a sweet, fruity champagne, all effervescent, sparkling and happy. As there is a base of musk and amber, it is possible to overdo it, but applied in moderation it's suitable for any occasion. Live Without Regrets makes me want to do just that, and every time I put it on I get an amazing sense of empowerment and freedom. Whenever I feel life is just too much to handle, I just reach for this scent and bask in its glow.
Lip Gloss -Revlon - ColorBurst Lipgloss in Rose Gold
arwynundomiel 10/27/2011 8:02:00 PM
I can barely get away with this peachy pink color, but it works with my cool toned coloring if I'm wearing neutral makeup. The gold flecks add depth and interest, making the shade remind me of sunrise in the Florida Keys. The packaging design looks as luxe as Chanel, and the quality of the gloss itself is just as good. Smooth, creamy texture with rich pigmentation and it has impressive staying power. I like the fluffy paddle shaped applicator, although I wish the tip was more pointed for greater accuracy. My favorite way to wear this is layered on top of a deeper cool tone lipstick. It shifts the gloss's shade slightly enough to be more flattering on me, but I can still wear the gloss alone. A bit more than I'm used to paying for a drugstore brand, but it wears evenly without becoming sticky, something less expensive brands are prone to do. I use less of it at a time because of the rich color saturation, so the tube lasts a very long time. I plan to eventually have all the Revlon ColorBurst glosses, and will definitely buy again when this one runs out. When I went for a facial last month, the aesthetician paused before wiping off my makeup. She said, "That lipstick is absolutely gorgeous. What is it?" When I told her, she wrote down the brand and shade, delighted it could be purchased at the corner drugstore instead of a high end beauty counter like she's expected.
I might never have discovered the world of Henri Bendel if not for a generous birthday present from a friend who knew I loved all things orange blossom. I received the Orange Flower perfume, lotion and shower gel and fell in love instantly. Real orange blossoms permeated my childhood in Florida with their delicate but intense fragrance. Many perfumes purporting to smell of orange blossoms smell instead like the orange itself, rather than the distinctly flowery blossoms, tinged with spice and a dash of orange zest. While Henri Bendel's version isn't an exact replica of the real thing, it does come closer than most. This one is what I would call expensive, but it is still cheaper than the most accurate orange blossom perfume I know, Jo Malone Orange Blossom cologne, which is unbelievably costly. Thus, I can be more liberal in application which is always lots of fun. This is what I believe is called a single note perfume, in that there are no other scents combined with the orange blossom. It's a subtle fragrance that lingers pleasantly for about six hours. It whispers its presence rather than shouting it, an eminently desirable quality in a perfume. Orange flower is an innocent, feminine fragrance, graceful and sweet but never cloying. The thin bottle takes up very little space if placed sideways on a shelf, very helpful when your shelves are as full as mine. The lotion is great, but the shower gel is my favorite companion product with its delicious, rich texture and divine scent. I've used this perfume for four years now, and see absolutely no reason to stop. It smells like summer and sunshine, a perfect pick-me-up anytime I need one.
Lip Treatments -Burt's Bees - Nourishing Lip Balm with Mango Butter
arwynundomiel 10/27/2011 6:37:00 PM
As a dedicated mango lover, I was delighted to find Burt's Bees made a lip balm made with mango butter when I purchased an assorted lot on Ebay. The Pomegranate balm was my favorite, but this one could well take over the title. It's smooth and rich, thanks to the mango butter, but never greasy. The moisture really sinks deep and is remarkably long lasting. It gives my lips a natural looking glow, while never venturing into shine territory. I've been told by a very reliable source that wearing just a balm can actually be sexier than lipstick, making kissing more tempting without the threat of color going everywhere. But I digress. The scent is more of what I would term an allusion to mango, reminding me of the real thing more than smelling exactly like it. It lacks the deep sweetness and tang of the real fruit, but it is very pleasant just the same. I do wish it tasted like it smells, but the flavor is unfortunately more like wax than mango. Oh well, you can't have everything. I do like the colored caps on each type of Burt's Bees balms, which make it easy to pick out the one you want. I think I'll use the pomegranate balm during the winter and the mango balm during the summer. They're good quality, inexpensive and I'll definitely be buying more.
Lip Treatments -Burt's Bees - Rejuvenating Lip Balm with Acai Berry
arwynundomiel 10/27/2011 1:50:00 AM
I tried this variety of Burt's Bees lip balm because it was included in a lot of Pomegranate Oil balms I purchased on Ebay (12 new for the price of one at the store!). While the Pomegranate remains my favorite, I like this one too. The fruity and vaguely herbal scent is mild and inoffensive (unlike Burt's Bees honey lip balm - ugh!), and goes on clear. But for some reason this one doesn't moisturize as well as the other. The texture is a bit thicker and slightly waxy, not as smooth and soft. I have to put on a lot more to get the level of moisture I like, causing the product to build up a bit. There is little if any shine from this, but it is a balm rather than a gloss. All in all, I'm rather ambivalent about it. There's nothing really wrong with it, but nothing I dislike either. I have no problem using it, but I probably wouldn't go out of my way to buy it again. If it's included in a lot of lip balms like before, then yes, I suppose I would get it then. Not exactly a ringing endorsement, but not a stinging condemnation either.
Since I like Burt's Bees Pomegranate Oil lip balm, I thought I would try this one. Big disappointment. The texture is too waxy, not giving enough moisture. It just sits on the surface of my lips and to be honest is a bit sticky. It gives no shine whatsoever, although to be fair it is a lip balm, not a gloss. But the thing I really dislike is the scent. It's a cloying, sickly sweet parody of warm honey, which isn't just unpleasant, it's nauseating. It tastes rather like a failed chemistry experiment, which actually might explain why it makes my lips sting a bit. I'll stick to other varieties of Burt's Bees lip balms, as I'll never buy this one again. I much prefer The Naked Bee's Orange Blossom Honey lip balm.
Lip Treatments -Burt's Bees - Replenishing Lip Balm with Pomegranate Oil
arwynundomiel 10/23/2011 7:05:00 AM
This might very well be my favorite product from Burt's Bees, which I picked up on a whim last winter. I'd been sick for weeks, the kind that leaves your lips dry and chapped, and I wanted something different than my usual Vaseline. A lip balm with pomegranate oil sounded lovely, and rosemary and beeswax finalized my decision. I ripped open the little box as soon as I got home and the lip balm was just heavenly. My experience with lip balms and chapsticks had made me expect it to be either sticky or thick and waxy. This was neither, just satin smooth moisture that sank deep into my very thankful lips. I had also had some unfortunate encounters with watermelon flavored lip products in the late 80s, so I was deeply appreciative that this balm had more scent than taste. I could definitely smell the pomegranate oil, rosemary and something else I swear is some sort of mint, although I can't find it on the list of ingredients. It was just the herbal sort of scent my sore nose could appreciate, soothing and blessedly mild. Although this isn't classified as a tinted balm, it does impart a slight berry flush to the lips, as well as a touch of shine. I went through my first tube within a week because I liked it so much. I still tend to apply more than necessary and re-apply frequently. I like being lavish with it, but it lasts very well when used less. Two tubes later, I finally thought to look on Ebay where I bought 12 brand new balms for the price of one at the drugstore, which was pretty cheap to begin with. This is still my favorite lip balm, although the mango butter and acai berry varieties from Burt's Bees are also great.
This sweet and powdery floral perfume is inoffensive, but hasn't become a real favorite of mine. Red Door seems somewhat generic, and, I hesitate to even say it, a little cheap. I find this impression odd based on the perfume's composition. It is made with many individual notes I love, like rose, lily, orchid, jasmine, freesia, lily of the valley, anise, peach, plum, orange blossom and honey. Maybe the problem is there are just too many scents in it, including rather potent base notes of sandalwood, cedar, amber and musk. The whole effect is very 1980s, a bit exaggerated and meant to inspire luxury and elegance. I find it to be heavily floral and sticky sweet, with an overpowering powdery finish. I really wanted to like Red Door, but perhaps it would better suit someone from a previous generation. It has a slight old lady feel to it, which isn't necessarily a bad thing, but it definitely doesn't work for me. I hate being overly harsh on this perfume, as I really love other Elizabeth Arden scents like 5th Avenue and Mediterranean. But in all honesty, I wouldn't buy Red Door again and have no idea what to do with the one I already have. However, if someone else was wearing it my first thought would not be, "Ugh, what a dreadful perfume." So not horrible, just not for me personally.
This is an undeniably happy fragrance. It's light, airy and smells like what a field of sunflowers make you feel. There are splashes of lemon, orange blossom, melon, peach, rose and jasmine, along with a host of others. When I wear this, I see white linens drying on clotheslines, sandy beaches in the Hamptons, sun on green grass and a Nantucket blue and white striped lighthouse in the distance. Sunflowers is not a strong perfume, but melts into a soft scent that invites you to breathe a little deeper. Now to be honest, I don't want to live every day in Cape Cod, so this isn't a perfume I reach for regularly. It's sweet and pretty, but it just isn't interesting enough for me. I like a perfume that makes me need to buy it, rather than just be inclined to. But all that is personal preference and we all know opinions about scents are highly subjective. I do like Sunflowers, especially when I've gone very preppy with my outfit, and will probably buy it again. It's not horrendously expensive, especially when shopping on Ebay, which I may or may not do with alarming regularity.
Lip Gloss -Revlon - ColorBurst lip gloss in Bordeaux
arwynundomiel 10/22/2011 3:50:00 AM
Thanks to Irish ancestry, I have extremely fair, cool toned skin with dark hair and eyes, and burgundy has always been a go to color for me. For this reason, Bordeaux was the first ColorBurst lip gloss I tried, and it definitely wasn't the last. In the tube, it's a deep burgundy with subtle gold glitter. On me, it's more of a plummy wine, definitely more sheer than expected while still having superb, saturated pigmentation. The color looks almost exactly like a grape juice stain, not the most elegant of comparisons but accurate nonetheless. The only place the glitter shows up is on my blotting tissue - I can't really see it on my lips, so the shimmer must be very subtle. I love the kind of flattened applicator, which at first I thought was damaged. Now I understand the thought behind the paddle shape, although I wish the tip was more pointed for accuracy with such a dramatic color. Worn alone, this particular ColorBurst gloss doesn't last as long as other shades. I would need to reapply every couple of hours, but if I blot a few times initially it acts more like a stain and lasts longer. My favorite way to wear this is over a plum colored lipstick, which seems to give the gloss an anchor as well as great depth. It's also the perfect way to rescue a lipstick that just isn't quite the shade I'm after. The ColorBurst glosses aren't precisely cheap by drugstore standards, but I will still definitely buy again sometime in the distant future when mine finally run out. They have amazing quality and longevity, and look as luxe as any high end brand.
I lost my favorite red liquid lipstick when my bathroom decided it would be fun to burn to cinders, so when I saw Revlon's ColorBurst gloss had a gorgeous red entitled 'Fire', I figured the universe was telling me something. I was right, because I actually like this one better than the ghost of lipstick past. It's a classic cool tone red, with more depth than fire engine. It works with my extremely fair skin and dark hair, being undeniably scarlet but in a refined sort of way. It looks very Old Hollywood, vampy but never trashy, with a pretty sheen that has nothing to do with glitter. The pictures of lips posted here make it look much lighter and more pink than it is, so the shade in the tube is more accurate. I certainly don't wear a shade this dramatic every day, but when only a femme fatale red will do, this is perfection. I love the soft, paddle-shaped brush, which allows for quick but very precise application. The formula has admirable staying power, acting like a stain but staying kissably moisturized. It's richly pigmented, making lipstick underneath totally unnecessary. The skinny tube fits nicely in a small purse and looks as luxe as Chanel. I think this gloss performs better than really high end products, costing only a tiny fraction of the price. I have nothing but superlatives to say about Fire, and there is no question I will buy it again.
I recently acquired this ColorBurst lipgloss in Strawberry and must admit I was a bit worried at how bright it was in the tube. It's a peachy sort of red, not fire engine or blue toned cherry, so I was skeptical about the color working with my extremely fair, cool tone skin. However, it goes on pleasantly sheer, giving a pretty wash of color that only flirts with being red. Of course, the more you apply the darker the shade becomes. I love the slightly curvy paddle brush and wish the light vanilla scent lasted more than about a minute before disappearing. The texture is rich and smooth, spreading easily and accurately, and leaves my lips feeling moisturized but not overly slick. There is a bit of shimmer to the color, not quite a frost but still a definite sparkle. I have no idea why other reviews have bashed the glitter as being grainy or sticky. The ColorBurst glosses with glitter are absolutely no different from those without, except for the visual addition of subtle shimmer. For a lipgloss, these have exceptional staying power, lasting about six hours. It doesn't exactly wear off, just fades a bit. I haven't had any problems with the glitter staying longer than the gloss, as it fades away too. While Strawberry is pretty on its own, my favorite way to wear it is layered on top of a cool brown, which gives the bright color depth. The Colorburst lipglosses do cost a bit more than most drugstore varieties, but the quality and longevity make it a worthwhile purchase.
Other descriptions online have said True Love is an Oriental scent with watery white florals. The main notes include lotus, jasmine, iris, sandalwood and musk, and I think they went a little overboard on the latter. Although the perfume is inoffensive at first whiff, it has a heaviness to it. It's definitely substantial, and if you're looking for a statement perfume, this one might work for you. I really do like it in small amounts, but too much and it invites a headache with a touch of nausea. There are two points in its favor, the first of which is the perfume lasts quite a long time. It wears off after about 12 hours, so a bottle will go a long way. Second, it's not really expensive. There are discount perfume sites all over the web now, making shopping on a budget much easier. True Love is a fairly standard perfume, not an olfactory disaster, but also nothing really unique. Elizabeth Arden may have missed the mark on this one, but there are plenty of other perfumes in the family that I absolutely love.
This classic white floral fragrance always reminds me of the equally classic cool blonde, Grace Kelly. It's lovely and innocent, but with unmistakable undertones of a femme fatale. Lily of the Valley, white jasmine and gardenia create the floral palette, with plum, mandarin and apple giving it sweetness. Amber and vanilla finishes add a dessert-like quality, making the entire scent romantic with a splash of decadence. If you're like me and have trouble deciding if you prefer florals, fruity scents or spicy sweets, this perfume is perfect as it has all three. It evokes white satin, cool breezes and soft light. When I have it on I feel sophisticated, confident and polished, and a nearly irresistible urge to wear pearls. The perfume is regrettably expensive, but it lasts forever and the bottle is exquisite. (Shhhh, don't tell anyone, but I got mine on Ebay for $8) I absolutely love it, and often wear it to bed to ensure sweet dreams.
Lipstick -Revlon - Colorburst Lipstick in Carnation
arwynundomiel 10/18/2011 8:52:00 PM
Although this isn't exactly cheap for a drugstore brand, it performs as well as high end lipsticks. Rich, smooth texture, admirable staying power, but the best quality is the super-saturated pigmentation. There is just so much color, making a little go a long way. It wears evenly, avoiding the dreaded lip outline, and blotting when applying makes it last even longer. My only complaint is the rounded, paddle shape of the lipstick. Due to the defined shape of my lips, I prefer lipsticks with a sharp point to allow for accuracy. I can work with this one, it's just not as easy to apply in a hurry. I really love the color swatch on the lid, making selecting the shade I'm after much easier than trying to read a label. This particular shade is a cotton candy hot pink. It's a little too bright for my extremely fair skin, but it is a cool toned color. It reminds me of Barbie, and unfortunately on me it looks just as fake. If I blot and tone it down from the initial shockingly pink application, I can get away with it, but barely. Probably best for daytime in the summer, on someone a lot blonder than me. However, I still give a good rating because of the product's quality and performance. This color might not be just right for me, but I love my other Colorburst lipsticks.