I had high hopes for this product based on the good reviews, as my skin has become sensitized to most chemical sunscreens. Right now the only sunscreen that does not cause me to break out in an itchy rash is Vanicream, which is wonderful but pretty greasy. I bought this for the matte finish, hoping that it wouldn't irritate my skin. Unfortunately after a couple of days of using it, I developed itchy bumps all over my skin where I had applied this. Bummer since it's so pricey. Not a total loss, though, because my husband (who does not have sensitive skin) loves it and is using the rest of the bottle. Rating it three stars since it does have a great matte finish, but unfortunately contains sensitizing chemicals that don't work for my skin.
I vastly prefer this to Serge Lutens's Un Lys, and here's why: I think the pure lily notes meld much better with Lys Mediterranee's green, grassy oceanic base than with the vanilla in Un Lys that makes it, at least to my nose, too cloying and overly sweet in the drydown. While Un Lys is like placing your nose directly into a lily, Lys Mediterranee is catching the wafting aroma of lilies while walking along the beach on a spring morning. I generally don't gravitate toward lily scents, but this one is quite unique and wearable. Perfect for spring and summer.
This smells very "off" on my skin, almost from the first moment of application. I think it may be the blackcurrant (or perhaps the St John's Wort?), but something smells chemically-sweet, almost similar to the scent that sunless tanning lotion leaves on your skin. If I try, I can smell just a hint of marine notes with a touch of rose behind the sunless tan smell, but those notes are so faint I might be imagining them. Unfortunately this seems to have very good lasting power, but thankfully is not overly strong. Notes from the beautyhabit site: blackcurrant leaves, water lilies, dune roses, strawflowers, St. John's Wort, vetiver, amber and white musk.
Fragrances -L'Artisan Fragrances - Fleur d'Oranger 2005
clb97p 8/21/2007 5:28:00 PM
Gorgeous orange blossom, but I agree with the reviews below that it is not distinguishable enough from Jo Malone's Orange Blossom to warrant the exorbitant cost. However, if money were no object, I would prefer this to the Jo Malone version. This is greener, and you can smell the orange blossom leaves as well as the flowers. The distinction fades within an hour, though, and the drydown on my skin is nearly identical to the Jo Malone Orange Blossom. Lovely fragrance, but not one that I will own (unless someone happens to give it to me)!
This is divine bath oil. The scent is a beautiful light rose white musk, and perfect after a bath or shower on a hot day. It is not overly oily, and leaves a very nice sheen on the skin for hours after application. I also love the big rectangular glass bottle, even though it can be a bit unwieldy when pouring into your hand. Luxurious.
Makeup Brushes -Sephora - Short Handle Flat Eyeliner Brush
clb97p 8/7/2007 11:12:00 AM
This is the best brush I have found for tightlining the eyes. It works very well with Laura Mercier's cake liner--much better than the LM flat eyeliner brush. This brush gives me a very thin line and has maintained it shape very well. If I ever need another one, I'd buy this again in a heartbeat.
Makeup Brushes -Laura Mercier - Flat Eyeliner Brush
clb97p 8/7/2007 11:07:00 AM
This brush gives a thicker line than I prefer for a natural tightlining look. I think that Sephora's flat eyeliner brush is much, much better if you want a very thin line that defines your eyes without looking like you have makeup on. I will probably keep this brush around in case I need a back-up or if I am going to a special event and want to have a thick line on top of my lashes, but for tightlining with LM cake liner, the Sephora brush beats this one, and is much cheaper.
Eyeliner -Laura Mercier - Cake Eyeliner in all shades
clb97p 8/7/2007 10:59:00 AM
This is the best eyeliner I have ever used. It makes my eyes look bigger and more defined, without looking like I have on a lot of makeup. I saw an aunt recently who told me that she's so glad to see that I'm looking so well-rested and bright-eyed. It is the LM eyeliner (I'm not more rested than when I last saw her, before I started using it). I prefer using Sephora's flat eyeliner brush to LM's because I can get a thinner line, which looks more natural. I own LM's brush but now that I have found Sephora's I never use the LM brush anymore. I now own this eyeliner in four colors (mahogany, black, bleu marine and emerald) and love each of them. Also, once you get the hang of the tightlining technique, I find it much easier and gentler than other eyeliners that cause my to tug or draw roughly on my eyelid. This goes on so smoothly and easily, and comes right off with my oil-based cleanser. It's also very easy to dress up by adding more liner above the lashes for a dressier, more made-up look. Perfect.
This is really the perfect grapefruit scent. You can't get better than this. I love it, and I get frequent compliments on it too. Just writing about it now makes me want to go put it on (and also kind of makes me thirsty for grapefruit juice. Weird.) It's a softer, sweeter grapefruit, and has a surprisingly nice drydown too--never sour or acidic, just soft. Ideal for hot weather.
Fragrances -Dawn Spencer Hurwitz - Un Robe de Zibeline
clb97p 12/13/2005 1:15:00 AM
I tried this fragrance hoping that it could substitute for the much pricier Regina Harris original fragrance oil. While I do detect the similarities, Regina Harris is richer and more enjoyable on my skin than Un Robe de Zibeline. The aldehydes in this are one of the main differences, as well as the lack of much incense or rose in the drydown. This is a pleasant enough fragrance, but not one that I would purchase, and sadly won't be able to take the place of the elusive Regina Harris.
The ginger is mellow and sweet, and the pomegranate is very fresh and juicy. Unfortunately the combination on my skin tends to become overly sweet, somewhat buttery, and a bit sharp as it dries down.
Fragrances -Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab - Anne Bonny
clb97p 12/11/2005 10:00:00 PM
I can appreciate that Anne Bonny is a well-blended scent, and also that it's a fragrance many people enjoy. "Indonesian red patchouli, red sandalwood and frankincense" are the notes listed on the website. I was hoping for more frankincense than what came out on my skin, and overall Anne Bonny is just too sweet for me. It's not a "sweet scent" per se, but for an incense scent the sweetness was a bit too much for my tastes. I can smell the saltiness throughout the drydown, and just a bit of wood, so I think that what dominates on my skin is the red patchouli (which is also probably the source of the sweetness). It's interesting, long-lasting and well-blended, but not something I enjoy.
Fragrances -Unlisted Brand - People of the Labyrinths Luctor et Emergo
clb97p 12/8/2005 12:30:00 PM
I haven't reviewed this product for quite some time, partly because this scent took awhile to grow on me. I think I tested it close to five times before I found myself completely smitten. This fragrance is unlike any other that I've ever sniffed. It's got incense, grasses, some vanilla and cherry. It's not really a gourmand fragrance, even though it can smell delicious at times. It's contemplative. Addictive. Unique and beautiful. Some days I find myself craving it, even.
When I finally fell for this fragrance, I was fairly certain it wouldn't be one that would get me compliments, because it is so different. I just wear it for me. However, I've been surprised to find that in fact, others do indeed notice it and like it. I don't have my very own full bottle yet, and as of now I'm using decants and the glorious body cream. One day I'd like to own a full bottle. Magical stuff, this is.
I've waivered a bit on Fifi. Ultimately, I'm not sold. It's a nice enough fragrance, but it smells similar to a few other fragrances that I already own. Fifi starts off with an amber note that reminds me a bit of POTL. That fades rather quickly, while a really gorgeous vanilla citrus comes out, intermingling with the amber and creating this really great vanilla-citrus-spice mix. Then I can detect the cedar. The vanilla starts to fade, and on the final drydown this smells like a woodsier version of La Perla Eclix, or a bit like SuL Cashmere with some extra spice and cedar. It's nice, don't get me wrong. I like it. But since the price is somewhat prohibitive, and there are so many similarities to other scents that I already own and love, there's no need for me to purchase.
This started off quite citrusy, with the myrrh notes only as a backdrop. It smelled like a men's cologne, or possibly aftershave after several minutes. Then a very strange thing occurred. Curry. Yep. This smells so strongly of curry in the drydown, I had to remind myself that I hadn't just come back from my favorite Indian restaurant. It's not straight curry at the end--it still keeps a bit of the resinous spiciness from before, and the citrus is not completely gone (just barely there). But the curry is unmistakable on my skin. Since I like curry to eat, but not to wear, I won't be seeking out any more of this. Which is good, since it seems to be nearly impossible to find anyway.