Mascara -Christian Dior - Diorshow Black Out Mascara
blackberry_belle 5/31/2008 8:21:00 AM
I've found it quite interesting reading the reviews for this. After being let down by my beloved Armani Starlash, I was on the hunt for something new, with no real mascara loves. I had tried the original Diorshow many times, but have never found impressive success with it. So I decided to give this a go. The first thing I must mention is that true to its name, this is by far the blackest mascara I've used (I always found Diorshow to be a very muted black). It gives my lashes length, volume and curl, all of which keep really well throughout the day. Given that I always smudged really badly with the original Diorshow within hours of application, I've been really surprised to have no such issues with this! I'm still on the hunt for something better (but suspect this will be a life long thing, as it is for most mascara-wearers), but this will be something I continue to purchase until I find that elusive HG.
I really wanted to like this fragrance. The bottle is gorgeous, and the campaign beautiful also. But alas, after several sniffs, I'm so disappointed in the quality of this fragrance. My initial reaction was a shallow copy of Narciso Rodriguez (a dear favourite of mine). I thought this may be a good thing, as it was obviously from a fragrance family I love. But it's so alike, yet gets it wrong in so many ways. I say it's a shallow copy, because where NR is rich, deep and sensual...... this had the potential, but totally missed it. Instead the fruit notes cloud the rich ambition of the woods, creating a lolly sweetness that teenage fragrances are so often fond of, with a bitterness that doesn't soften. In between all of this is the patchouli (which I love if done right), which evokes nothing sexy, only thoughts of the nannas living across the road and their old stuffy sofas.
I recently purchased this in 001, after using YSL Touche Eclat (was nice, did a good job, but #1 was still slightly too dark for me to justify the price). I must say, I find the result I get with this very similar, only this is a slightly better colour match for me, and is a bit cheaper. With a never-ending pile of work and studies, this has done an impressive job with covering my dark circles and providing the illusion that I am well rested. I'm quite annoyed at the packaging - I bought it home, and went to use it, and after a good 10 minutes of continual twisting to release the product, nothing came out. I tried again later on, still nothing. I was ready to take it back to get another and gave it one more shot this morning, and after the first twist, product finally appeared!
Gosh....where do I begin with this? Let me begin with some of my background with this fragrance. I first smelt this a few years ago, when I abhorred all vanilla notes in fragrances. Despite that, at the time, I could appreciate the depth and richness of this vanilla fragrance, and I considered it to be unlike any other vanilla I'd come across. Fast forward to now, where I'm beginning to seek out rich vanilla notes in my fragrances, upon which I decided to try Un Bois Vanille. I dont know what happened, but what I smelt today was very, very different to what I remembered a few years ago. There was no bois, and quite frankly not a lot of vanilla in today's sniffing. Notes of creamy coconut, which I'm not ever swayed by, were apparent. But then there was something else, something I cant put my finger on, but was most certainly at the heart of the fragrance. Cough syrup? I can still smell it after washing it off my arm, and it makes me feel very queasy. I suspect that was the cherry notes, derived from some very, very cheap cherry. And then there's the burnt bitter sugar smell of the amaretto/almond. In all honesty, the dominant notes of this fragrance were the cherry, coconut and almond. Together, they are very sharp, creamy and (sickly) sweet, but the composition just does not work (and I'm a big Lutens fan), with each of these dominant notes fighting for your attention, instead of blending into some extraordinary bliss, as is usually the case with a Lutens creation. I had it on my skin for 4 hours, and through that time, the fragrance didn't develop much at all. I kept sniffing for a glimmer of vanilla or bois, but alas. As a note, I first tried it on a fragrance swatch and it smelled the same - I only spritzed it on my skin absent mindedly because of my previous memories of it. On the upside, the staying power was great (which was unfortunate for me, as I was on a long train trip home, and desperate to get it off, I'm just glad it was a cold day), even after a hot shower, I had to wash my wrist a few more times to remove all remnants of it.
Moisturizers -Ren - Frankincense and Boswellia Serrata Repair Cream
blackberry_belle 4/13/2008 2:56:00 AM
This moisturiser has definitely become a HG product for me. It moisturises and soothes my sensitive, and sometimes dry, skin, without being heavy or greasy. I find the formulation quite light, and in spite of this, I'm constantly impressed with how moisturised my skin feels after using it. I've also come to really like the fragrance, which is fresh and herb-y, but not overpowering. As with all the Ren products I've tried thus far, despite my skin's sensitivities (particularly to plant based products), I've had no reactions whatsoever. In short, whenever I use this, I wake with soothed, hydrated and soft skin.
I love how Diptyque fragrances are very true to what they are portraying. But alas, this is one of the few which has missed the mark. I adore the scent of fresh freesias, and despite being the dominant note of this fragrance, I didn’t even get half a whiff of freesia. The smell itself I didn’t love, but I didn’t hate. To be truthful, on my skin it was a dead set knock off (albeit, slightly sharper) of Serge Lutens’ 1995 Fleurs D'Oranger, which I count as a favourite. I gave it time to evolve – all day – hoping that some minute element of freesia would emerge, but the dry down failed to give me a hint of freesia. I must say, despite what a lot of other reviewers experienced, the fragrance had excellent staying power on me, and also remained constant throughout wear (which is a big bonus). I love the packaging, as I do all Diptyque products, but from what I got when I smelled this both from the bottle and after spritzing on my skin, this would be far more aptly named after the orange flower blossom, than the freesia.
Firstly, the only reason I wont be repurchasing this product is due to the colour range that retails here in Australia. I need aa, which we no longer get, as a is too dark on me. I'm quite surprised to see people describing this product as greasy. Apart from the colour range, the biggest downside for this concealer for me is that it was too dry on me. It does feel a little shiny to touch, but when applied, it did often create the look of dry patches if my skin wasnt primed properly. Under eyes, I liked this stuff. Whilst finishing my degree, this effectively created the illusion that I had actually slept. I also think it's a reasonable sized package and lasts for ages.
Fragrances -Narciso Rodriguez - Narciso Rodriguez for her
blackberry_belle 11/19/2007 8:18:00 PM
I first tried this fragrance when it first came out. I really loved it, but a friend dissuaded me from it, reminding me that I've never liked musky fragrances. And it was true, I never have. Since that time, when I was fragrance shopping, I'd always think of this, tempted, but fearful I'd regret it and that it would be too overpowering, cloying and sweet on me. Very recently, I've been struggling to find new fragrances I loved, that wowed me. Dont get me wrong, there have been a plethora of new ones on the market, and I found some nice, pleasant. But none I could say were remarkable. So I decided to try this on my skin (I had previously only tried it on the fragrance cards). And I was convinced. I snapped it up straight away, and have been wearing it since. On me, on first spritz, it smells of honey and white flowers, with musky undertones. But I really want to emphasise that it doesnt smell "sweet" - I abhor sweet fragrances. Instead, it develops into the most beautiful fragrance carried by the musk notes. What I perhaps find most impressive is that rather than dissolving into a sweet mess, the fragrance remains clean and fresh, almost crisp at times, but with a softness. Buying this as we approach summer, I was a bit worried about how the fragrance would handle the hot weather. I was concerned that it may be cloying and overly heady. But I've thus far found that even on hot days, it remains fresh and clean. Another plus is the lasting power. A "half spritz" - instead of spraying the nozzle right down, I only go half way, spraying less fragrance (I decided to do this to test it out in warmer weather) - lasts me all day and night. Absolutely beautiful.
This is a HG fragrance for me. And I think the only way to describe it is as the queen of gardenia fragrances. As I described in my review of the Kai Body Lotion, this fragrance captures the essence of gardenias exactly as they are in my garden. The Kai EDP has remained pure and true to the gorgeously rich gardenia bloom. But aside from that, the reason I give this fragrance such a high rating is that it has depth. As the fragrance unfolds, there are hints of other rich white flowers, but without being heady, instead evoking a softness. Consisting of white florals, there's also the very real risk of this fragrance becoming overly heady and cloying. But it luckily it doesn't fall victim to the fate of other white floral fragrances before it, remaining fresh as the day goes on. And as a side note, it has wonderful staying power - with one spritz lasting a whole day, without loosing the essence of what is found in the initial spritz. A superbly beautiful fragrance.
As has been mentioned by some, this fragrance is not worthy of the Hermes label. It had great lasting power on me, but frankly that it's only plus. Actually, to be truthful its lasting power is a downside given the actual fragrance - I just wanted it to disappear. So what did it smell like? Dishwashing detergent. Think Palmolive and Morning Fresh when you're working them into a bubbly lather to wash away the remnants of tonight's dinner.
I've been trying this fragrance for the last 4 years every time I got a chance. I really, really wanted to like it. On paper, it's notes are everything I love in fragrances. The packaging is simple but gorgeous. It has great staying power also. But every time I spray it - be it on a tester card, or my skin - all I get is a powdery, stale, grandma fragrance. I feel ripped off by everything that I read about Fracas, because I feel like there should be more to what I smell of it. But alas, after so many years, I'm officially giving up and declaring that I dont like it. Apart from the actual smell of this fragrance, I find the notes and the end result bland and one-dimensional, lacking any depth.
I really, really loved this mascara. It was by far my HG. It gave me beautiful length, lift and curl. I got so many compliments about how amazing my lashes looked when I wore it. And what I liked most, was that it wasn't dry, and it didn't make my lashes look "fake". Unfortunately, it wasn't meant to be. I write this all in past tense. The last tube I bought disappointed me dearly. It dried up in a matter weeks. Because of the price, I'm weary of trying Star Lash once again, which is why I won't re-purchase. But despite that, I have only nice things to say of my time with this mascara.
I bought the Soft Lash at the beginning of this week. I have dark, average length lashes, but they've got a good natural curl. I was just after something that would define them and give them some length, with a natural finish for day wear. The finish of this stuff is most certainly natural. It did nothing to my lashes, other than give them a smokey coal coloured coating. No extra curl, no length, no volume. Oooh, it did give a little clumping, a little dryness. My lashes did feel soft to touch, but this also resulted in a little smudging (I've had worse though, so if the result was good, I could tolerate it). This was on the first day of using it. Day 3 of use, it became more and more dry. I ended up returning yesterday. In terms of the colour, as I mentioned before, it's not a "pure" black. It's more of a smokey, coal sort of colour. It's not bad, I think it would be a nice coloured mascara for smokey eyes. But for everyday, I like a pure, glossy black.
Scrubs -Ren - Jojoba Microbead Purifying Facial Scrub
blackberry_belle 5/24/2007 8:47:00 PM
I'm another person who left Dermalogica (microfoliant) for this product, and I haven't looked back! I have sensitive skin, but this is really gentle, so it doesnt irritate my skin. It isn't messy and quite fuss free to use. I also love the fragrance - really fresh and clean, sort of reminds me of fresh geraniums. I've been using this for a month now, and it hasnt broke me out or caused any irritations, so its definitely a keeper for me.
I've been using this mask for about a month now, and it's been great for my skin. I have sensitive skin, but this has been lovely and really gentle. It leaves my skin glowing, super smooth, and feeling so very soft. My biggest issue with it is the fragrance and texture. It smells like apricot jam, which is fine other than the fact that I hate apricots. But in saying that, I'm so happy with the results of it on my skin, that I can overlook that (which is huge for me, because no matter how good a product is, if it has a strong fragrance, I usually won't use it!). As for the texture, the best way to describe it is gooey slime. It's incredibly thick, so you dont need a lot, but I really dislike touching it.