My skin went supernova due to illness and medication, and before I knew it, I was having both cystic acne breakouts, basic acne breakouts, and some weird hybrid of the two, and all over my face. At my age this should never ever happen but there it - they- were. I have dozens of foundations, from liquid to mineral to cream, and even if I got decent coverage out of of something, it would slip off the smooth pimples and they would stand out even worse. My usual mineral makeup, Alima, provided decent enough coverage and staying power but I wanted to try something new, so I orderd MH in light. This is a really great mineral makeup. Coverage is outstanding, including two huge pimples that literally made me look like a monster, the day of my girlfriends wedding. I layered it on carefully then dusted whole face and discoloration was nearly invisible (the unborn twin dimensions, sadly, were not) As I kept using it, and with the assistance of Paulas Choice 2% liquid, my skin started to finally clear. It is not at all dry or flaky. It blurs over little lines and have very adjustable coverage. The finish is not matte, it has a glow, but like a mythical candlelight glow. It lasts all day and never mutates in color. Absolutely no breakouts my skin feels healthy and comfortable with this product. I also use the silk finishing dust which effectively airbrushes my skin completely. Super happy with this and highly recommend.
Fragrances -Jo Malone - iris and white musk intense
julieolivia 2/12/2011 11:18:00 AM
What the....??? This is a Jo Malone fragrance???? This is amazing! I am perplexed by my fascination with Jo Malone fragrances despite not liking hardly any of them. Nevetheless I have three bottles. Something about the packaging, the purity of the scents, their inattention to seduction, the liquid scented embodiment of Victoria magazine where nothing bad can ever happen to you. Then there is Iris and White Musk. Why did I buy it? Who knows. I wanted a white soapy scent and iris and/or white musk in the name usually get one there. Given the price, I assume the perfumer (Giacobatti?) may have swayed me. I expected a soft lathery soapy musk with the drift of strangeness I associate with iris. What I got was as far removed from Jo Malone as a pair of crotchless panties. The OTHER side of proper.This is my lost love Kiehls musk (pre-L'oreal, before they washed it down and made it antiseptic), in all its human warmth, clean only in the opening, drying down to lets be blunt, musk with its share of skank. It is old style Kiehls tinted a shade deeper, even, edging towards.....yes. Yes, its true. Koublai Khan. I do not get soap or shrill or sweet or fresh. No fruits, no greenery. Just awesome, amazing, true musk that just manages to cut off before it edges over into something disturbing. I liked MKK in the far drydown, this is probably similar to that, without the hilariously horrifying introduction. It lasts forever, but stays relatively close to the skin. I had remarkably positive interaction with people while wearing old Kiehls so I am curious to see if this scent reproduces that effect. It is amazing to me that this is Jo Malone. It is not what I expected nor particularly what I wanted but sometimes you get what you need, right? I dont know if this is for Jo Malone fans but then again, I am a Jo Malone fan despite it being totally contrary to my usual aesthetic. A total shock and delight. Bottle is gorgeous by the way.
I dont usually post on lipsticks, although I buy probably at least one a week, because it is a bizarre addiction, and I only buy cheap ones for this reason. However, this is one.great.lipstick. Most other reviews peg it as a brownish red, the irony, that is what I am always looking for, then decided today to stop looking for the same color over and over and bought what I thought would be a neutral plum/berry type color. On me, it is neither brownish red OR berry. It is very muted, very soft, and rich color, my lips are basically nonpigmented, but this color seems to be the exact color magazines always recommend, the color under your lips (where I finally have color!), but deeper so it definently stands out. Somehow makes lips look fuller too. Reminds me maybe of Twig. It is just dead sexy, but completely below the radar, it doesnt call attention to itself but instead pulls together my coloring in the perfect way. Smooth texture, and it leaves behind a perfectly natural colored stain. Really, really, great color and formula.
So, this is odd. Bought unsniffed, and don't regret it for a second. This is a very pretty, very golden, round and womanly scent. Inspired a Keats poem that a friend assured me is considered one of five greatest poems in existence, I think it does it justice, simply because the subject itself is humble yet sublime - autumn. The first couple lines of the poem have something to do with gathering mists and ripening fruits, and there you have this scent. I do not get much pear, per se - not like in Petit Cherie anyways - the pear would have to be the woodier, creamy scent of pear as opposed to the sweetness of pear dessert. There is a terrific salty fleshy quality to it that I love, and it smelled incredibly familiar despite the few floral type fragrances I own. It took awhile but then I realized it smells exactly like Belladonna, see my review, that I bought from etailer the body perfumery, and this is what is odd, I assumed Belladonna is NOT a dupe of anything, although it reminds me alot of NR, just a particularly inspired piece of perfumery, and now there is a Jo Malone that smells just like it. So now I figure that belladonna is a dupe and JO Malone smells like something expensive already out there. Does this matter? No. It does not. English Pear and Freesia makes me feel sort of goddess-y, who is it Ceres, or Demeter, or Pomona, some goddess who concerns herself with harvest and fruit and dresses in the early muted ripe shades of autumn, plucking fruit from the vine and enjoying the fresher yet lusher breezes after a long, sultry summer. It is simple to wear and enjoy and very calming. It lasts all day and as other reviewer mentioned, it is not at all cologne-y or masculine. Special and lovely.
Its not as bad as all that! Much in the same vein as Angel, or Aromatics Elixir - ONE spray. Seriously, I mean it. Spray it ONCE, and it is an interesting sweet salty scent. hard to describe because it smells like nothing else - despite the pink color, it is much more of a green scent, maybe a deep teal color would be more representative than pink. It is not however cool smelling. It is fresh but warm. I dont like marine scents, which I associate with Escape back in the day, more of a vomitous melon smell - Womanity is not like that at all. IF YOU SPRAY IT ONCE. Have I mentioned spraying it once? Because if you spray it twice, especially on the same spot, it will smell like everyone says below. The notes concrete and condense in a way that made me regret buying it. Then I remembered I had sprayed once - lightly - when I tried it in the store. Ever since then, one light spray in the cleavage, MAYBE a light spray between knees, and it is a fascinating and attractive scent, truly unique and makes me pretty sure Mugler is in fact an alien, it is so odd yet so right of a fragrance, it seems to take a genius a madman or an alien to have thought of it. Perhaps on his planet woman can spray it twice, but definently not here.
I mourn the loss of Kiehls Musk ,REAL Kiehls musk, not the watery thin thing that Loreal produces and thereby earned my undying enmity. I deeply regret standing at Marshalls glaring at box after box of discounted Kiehls Musk, thinking that it must have been "off" and only later, so much later, realizing those were boxes of the good stuff, discounted and sold to market to make room for that prim fake. So, I tried MKK. I gave myself one spray at Barneys and braced self and the immensely clean, attractive and charming salesperson for whatever came next. And what I got was, well, nice. Soft warm and furry, cozy, very very close to Kiehls (but still.not.right.), in a way it replaced the depth of Kiehls with density, a kind of squished up velour sensation, velour that had been left somewhere....a little ripe. But just a little! We both agreed it was attractive and while definently evocative of bodies, they were relatively clean. So I did two hearty sprays in preparation for sharing with husband. Upon offering wrist he said, and its a first - that stinks. NO, what? I smelled it, too. It took two sprays but the top of the scent was basically fresh cat poop. With a hundred fragrances to try, I had actually intentionally, with great deliberation and intent, scented myself with eau de freshly curled cat steamer. It didn't last, and it dried down to what I felt was a very rich, slightly ripe, definite body scent, but the scent of the crevices, mixing both soap and skank and heat. Still present the next am, very soft, not bad. What came next, though. Next morning, I am sleeping with hands and wrist under his chin. We wake up, chat, then the fragrance works in a way I thought they could not. The scent does something to his limbic system. It makes him anxious, edgy, out of sorts. It took us most of the morning to figure it out, and it had to be the MKK. He had dreams involving conflict and upset, and then I realized, so did I. We both woke up on vacation wondering why we felt so depleted and tense. Whatever is in this, it worked on an animal level, allrite. It actually created an invisible presence, a third person in the room, unwelcome, all night. Not dangerous, just, unwelcome, a little dirty, and unable to explain itself.
Its funny to me to read this described as common and generic. In my collection, it is radical. I love oriental and musk fragrances, and still, despite being disappointed again and again, maintain a sad obsession with hard to find and niche fragrances, supporting my vanity that any fragrance, to be "me", must be exclusive and/or rare. Coming around to the idea that this fragrance, which is per reviews below, pedestrian and average, is actually one of the most beautiful things I have ever smelled, has been slow and painful. Its not a niche! It isn't hard to find! It doesn't have kitsch appeal like something I found at Big Lots! It isn't vintage! It doesn't come in a black lacquer box. Everything is wrong, wrong, wrong, except that it smells divine, I spray it on and it makes me feel wonderful. The dry down is exceptional and smells like nothing I have in my collection. Is it because I rarely try fragrances at the mall? I do, and don't dislike most, but don't find them special or interesting. Coach truly is interesting AND beautiful to me. You know what it reminds me of? Diorissimo, circa 1983. Coach opens with what I assume is white florals, but white florals to me usually have the effect of white chalk on a white chalkboard, squeaking like styrofoam, fingernails digging into white flesh on the brink of turning blood red, or, so indolic or narcotic, they have the effect of being covered in syrup, attracting all the dust and animal hair of the universe, dirty. Coach opens like Diorissimo of my memory, lily of the valley, sweet and warm in the spring air, with the slightest heft at the bottom of something rich and vegetal. There is something musky that grounds this, and something vaguely carnal, a soft drumbbeat, that keeps it from being too clean, too soapy, too much harp music,but the general impression is of freshness, sweetness, and gentle warmth, again, with a drydown that turns the accord on its head, emphasizing the warmth and now the sweetness is accent. Now that the weather is warming up it is the only thing I want to wear.
I love The Body Perfumery. The website is easy to negotiate, the shipping is fast, the prices are dirt cheap, and it is just plain fun to ponder the possibilities of four hundred scents and about 20 different products to scent with them. The permutations are endless. But what about the fragrances? Well, I have one thing to say, and this is....Belladonna. Someone did a poll asking what fragrance gets you comments and someone mentioned this one, so I gave it a shot. It is gorgeous. It has a Narciso Rodriguez thing going on although it is not listed as a dupe, they have a NR dupe I haven't tried, but this is really a headturner. After recently striking out with Jo Malone, Prada and NR Intense, it is nice to return to my perfume closet and find this waiting for me. It smells very high end, it smells perfume-y, not like any particular thing, a slightly sweet smell that is sexy and a little salty, I say that with hesitation because I don't like marine or ozone notes at all, so this isn't that, but still has something like that going on. It just smells great. I have tried numerous other scents because it is cheap and fun to do so, and I also liked Alhambra (orangey spicy sweetness) and I think it was Night of the Silver Moon, also dupes of Lolita Lempicka and the original Victorias Secret fragrance were really nice. La Vie en Rose was TOO realistic, like milk. Overall alot of fun to play with and sample, but also, in the Belladonna, a surprisingly "real" fragrance amongst the more playful ones. Leaves the last three or four high end fragrances I have tried in the dust.
Fragrances -Narciso Rodriguez - Nr for Her Musc Collection
julieolivia 10/22/2009 8:32:00 PM
Boy, am I a grump tonite. But what is with the disappearing acts on scents that should be rich and wonderful? OK, this review is for the Intense, the brand new one, limited edition, and the bottle is a shiny pink purple metallic. Again, to be sure, I love the original NR, the pink one, the muskier one. To be fair, I actually love the dupe of it I get at bathed and infused, or the body perfumery. When I saw the description for the new NR, described and a heavier richer version of the original I swooned ( not for the first time this month, see my review of Prada L'eau Ambree) and once again shelled out dough unsniffed. I got it and......wow. Or rather, non-wow. I was about to write a surly review of Jo Malone Vanilla Anise, how it too is so mild and ineffectual, but that is suddenly like full fat ice cream, decadent and creamy, compared to this insanely dialed down scent. There is something in there, way down in there, that is perfectly lovely in the way original NR is lovely, it is a very compatible scent on me, but here, it is a tiny voice, far and wee, I can smell two inches from my skin but even then, the actual scent is somehow miniaturized. Sprayed on my entire body Jean Nate splash style, it might be good. But for this price? Seriously? I realize I may be anosmic to the musk in this where I am not to the other NR. But I do smell something. It is just too quiet and mumbly. You know when a radio or TV is playing just inside your range of hearing but barely? And it makes you nuts? I just want to find the volume button on this and crank it up till it shakes the house.
I am sooooo sorry about this fragrance. I really, really enjoy Infusion d'Iris, wouldn't want to be without it, and despite it being a light fragrance, on me, it lasts all day and somehow manages to deepen and become richer as the day goes on(richer being relative, it is always a light layer of fragrance). I bought Ambree unsniffed based on reviews that compare it favorably to Iris, just a little heavier. For winter, this sounded like perfection. This goes on almost exactly like Iris, but the lasting power is pathetic and it fades literally to nothing within two or three hours. After it stops being Iris, in about the first fifteen minutes, it is lovely, exactly the Amber version of Iris, if Iris is to me embodied in the color green of the bottle, the Amber is a light, clear topaz, well, amber, color. How unimaginative of me, but there it is. But light, sheer, with sun in it. Then, gone. It is heartbreaking that it doesn't last because it is very pretty. A sidenote, I detest the original Prada, it was a murky heavy mess on me, I don't smell any of that in this, and actually think that is my problem, I figured a touch of it to Iris would give it a little density, but it wasn't there and this lacks even the mysterious lingering ability of the Iris. So sorry. Can't return it so I will just continue spraying myself 10 times 10 times a day till it runs out.
I have to weigh in. On the right person, this perfume is without compare. I don't care how strong it is, it isn't a matter of strength, it just has to be on the right person with the right chemistry. And that person is, anyone but me. Anyone I have ever smelled it on, it smells marvelous. Walking thru the grocery store, aaaahhh, someone has on AE. I smile and feel great smelling it. On my sister, its warm and soft. Even at a funeral, outside, I catch it on the breeze and even there, I feel comforted and happy. It isn't describable, on the right person, it is just an intensely warm, soft oriental type scent, like their chemistry wrestles the chypre into submission so it only lifts and slightly soaps up the scent. On me, it is unholy - all spurs and cartoon allergen spores, prickling green and fiercely mean into my head. Others suffer, too - at least three times, when wearing it, someone said "i smell bug spray". It was awful. So, while I am enraptured when I smell it on anyone else, anywhere else, if I won the lottery I would PAY someone to wear it around me so I could enjoy it - I absolutely cannot wear it and I have to accept it (not even the fantastic solid in the gold compact....I LOVE that thing......) Absolutely must be tried to be understood. I have exact same problem with Angel, love it absolutely when smelled on anyone and everyone else, hurts my stomach when I try to wear it.
Powder -Merle Norman - Luxiva Purely Mineral Makeup
julieolivia 7/16/2009 8:22:00 PM
Fantastic product. I have been more than satisfied with the last three MMU's I have tried, but recently ran out of Garden Botanika, remembered I had samples of the Merle Norman I never really tried, simply because it looked glittery in the little jar. But wow. First, no bismuth - I can't tolerate bismuth. Nevertheless goes on with a lovely smooth creaminess and leaves my complexions looking moist and fresh. It is not matte, it definently has a glow thing going on, but it is not shiny or unnatural, just - fresh and healthy looking. Coverage is light to medium, I can still see my freckles, but also some uneven-ness to skin up close, but it is worth the trade off for the gorgeous texture it gives my skin. The color I had was too rich for me (ML40) so I went to the local Merle Norman today and after much patience on behalf of the store clerk (lovely, lovely woman) including taking me out into the parking lot to check in natural light (!!!- last time someone did that??? Never!) and wiping me down three times, we got the right shade (I also picked up a luxiva ultra powder for when I want more coverage). I really like this foundation and the jar is huge. No learning curve for application, does not go on powdery or get into pores. I have tried them all and this one is now running neck and neck with Garden Botanika, but I note, ML is all minerals, GB not so much, so if you want minerals, nothing but the minerals, ML is your winner.
Powder -Garden Botanika - She's a Natural Mineral Foundation
julieolivia 3/15/2009 9:39:00 AM
Up until now, my favorites have been Aromaleigh (great coverage, no breakouts, finish like washed silk) and Alima ( lighter coverage, terrific color match, matte finish). Bismuth is bad for me and so is too much shimmer, so you get an idea of what I look for, light acne scarring and now some some lines around eyes, uneven pigmentation on cheeks, skin normal-dry. This foundation is heaven. It is pressed and so convenient with zero mess. The brush is whisper soft and feels great on my skin, just two quick swipes across the compact and the coverage is amazing, melds into my skin, and gives a real skin finish, my skin looks moist and healthy, not shiny. Does not look powdery and doesn't accentuate lines or scars, optical effect seems to work (for once) as I sat in wicked sidelight at hairdressers and actually liked the way my skin looked. Butter is more yellow and light than I usually use but it melds in and looks completely natural. Lasts all day. I look forward to putting it on the morning, so fast, effortless and effective. Great product.
Lipstick -Avon - Anew Youth Awakening Lipstick- ALL COLORS
julieolivia 3/14/2009 10:46:00 AM
This is my first review of a lipstick. Next to soap and then perfume, lipstick is my favorite income waster. I usually buy a lipstick of some sort nearly everytime I go to the grocery or drug store, and every now and then splurge on a nice MAC or Fresh lipstick.I don't like to spend too much because every lipstick - you get it home, you either think WOW or EH, if WOW you want to run out and get 50 of them, if EH it goes in a drawer for maybe later, or not. The WOW one, after three or four wearings, loses its thrill and I am again looking for "MY" color. I don't pay too much attention anymore, its now just a habit to buy them and dislike them (which is why I stick to cheap - very cheap). Then, I tried this lipstick. First, Sunset Pink - sort of padparadsha sapphire color, warm pink with some coral, a flowery color, soft and glossy. It wears off to a gorgeous medium warm pink stain. BUT- IT MAKES MY LIPS BETTER. I am not sure exactly how. It smooths them out, and fills them in, and definently makes them fuller. I feel sensations when I apply it, like its working on a deep level. I wore it two days in a row and by that night, the difference was unmistakable. So, I bought two more colors - Perfectly Natural - which is actually a deeper color, the color the magazines tell me to get, the color of the inside of my lip, but deeper so it is a perfect rich flush of color, and the Plum - which is interesting - sliiiightly too bright for me, I think it will grow on me, because its blackberry rich color makes my complexion (fair) and eyes (blue) absolutely pop. These last two are much more opaque and creamier than the Sunset Pink. They have the same effect as the Pink, although its hard to tell because I wore the Pink every day and until I got them and my lips have been consistently fuller and smoother. This is an amazing product, much more than just another lipstick, and a keeper. They need more colors though, and definently a clear one to wear to bed or gardening or whatever.
This review is for a decant received from immaculately reputable e-tailer. This is a recklessly expensive fragrance, I think 350 for about a quarter ounce? Once you start thinking about that, you wind up in getting pretty philosophical about scent, why and what it is, why we pay for it. Why we would pay so much for it. The same morning I received this in the mail, the temperature went above freezing and started to melt the layers of ice and snow, I live near a lake and it started to thaw a little, and the smell of the air when I opened the door was arrestingly beautiful - and free. Homage also is quite beautiful. Definently worth the 8 bucks I spent to get a tiny little sample - but definently not worth three figures. It is very, very rich and according to a friend who would know, extremely authentic Middle Eastern perfume. It is outstandingly rose to my nose, and its true, just a tiny drop will last all day and give off very cozy sillage. I wore it to bed and felt like a Queen, my bed should be a canopy the size of a boat, draped in embroidered white silks. It is the scent of ten thousand roses, layers and layers and layers of the best quality rose, just when you don't think there could be more, there is, another thick silky dimension. Which brings up problem number two. Who am I, to wear ten thousand roses? I like roses on the bush, alive and pulsing. Dead roses in a box are antithematic to romance. Their fragrance was taken from them, stolen. This perfume reminds me of those roses, too - except ten thousand of them, dead roses sacrificed to my vanity. I couldn't bear it. If someone told me this was headspace, and not sacrifice, I would feel better. But even then, too much to smell like rose. Underneath the rose is frankincense, a slight herbal edge, and then lemon to balance out the narcotic burgundy wine depth of the rose. It is lovely and worth sampling. On the far drydown is the most ironic twist of all. A fragrance that provokes musing on life, death, economics and roses, such a serious and provocative concept as well as fragrance, and it dries down to, and I mean this sincerely - it dries down to Realities. Liz Clairborne Realities.