Before trying this scent I hadn't known lilacs struck such an emotional chord with me. As a flower, it seems just right - haunting, powdery, sweet, feminine and both comforting and aloof in equal measure. Not tropical like Gardenia, fecal like Jasmine, or aquatic like Mimosa. Turns out Lilacs are just right. This rendition is so lifelike the blooms jump out of the rollerball like memories from a magic wand. Staying power is medium, which I don't mind for £12, and since it's handbag sized it's easy to reapply on the go.
I was surprised by this amiable fragrance, because it has a cool spiciness to it Ė a kick Ė that is against the current trends. Reminiscent of Armani She, but swaddled in a layer of powdery, warm caramel that we have seen recently in Lancome La Vie est belle, itís both with the trend (gourmand, thickly sweet) and off the beaten track. Shows how generic the mainstream has got that a lick of spicy coolness can appear Ďoff the beaten trackí. The scent this is most like, but a dramatic improvement on (probably down to the more expensive, better quality ingredients) is Beyonceís Pulse. I liked Pulse, but in the end it turned my stomach with its cloyingly synthetic heart, though I appreciate it for daring to be a little different. I guess, then, that means Manifesto is a bit of a rip-off of a celebrity scent, but the soft, creamy, yumminess makes me forgive all. Longevity is pretty good, sillage is better than average, and the overall vibe of Manifesto is drinks with girls after work: sexing up a work outfit with shirt buttons undone to the cleavage and a slick of neon lip.
I have ĎTouch Expert Advancedí in colour #5 in Vanilla Beige, which is an apricotty, light shade. I find the numbering of the colours perplexing Ė I have no idea where this fits in their system. I have quite fair skin with yellow undertones, and all I know is that both I and the Sales Assistant felt this was a better match than #4. I didnít want anything too brightening as so often you pass people on the tube who have bright, whitish rings of highlighter under their peepers. This, I apply to the inner corners, over the darkness there, and it makes fatigue and dark circles disappear. Compared with other concealer/highlighters, itís very, very good Ė better, I feel than Touche Eclat, which I recall as thicker and pinker, in the shade I had, at least. This has a liquidy, creamy consistency that melts over the offending shadows, without settling into fine lines. Previously I was using a cheapy version by LíOreal (Touche Magique) and the famous Collection 2000 concealer (good around the nose, but not fine enough for delicate eye skin). I tried Bobby Brown and MAC, but with those, the concealer itself was too visible. This is invisible, and for that, I think itís great. I have ludicrously sensitive skin and I find Touch Expert quite soothing and very gentle (though it has the longest ingredients list Iíve seen on a product, ever).
Bodyís sillage is quite nice Ė cool, crisp orchid and soap Ė but nose-to-wrist, itís harsh and nostril-burning. What I like about it is that it mimics freshly laundered clothes, like the ĎCleaní range of scents (actually, this does remind me of the ĎFresh Laundryí scent in said line), but thatís also what doesnít work about it Ė the chemical, synthetic high-pitched buzzines. Iím surprised Burberry gave this the huge launch they did, calling it an embodiment of their brand or somesuch. I just donít see it as being a particularly innovative or stylish fragrance.
Paired with American Cream, this much-lathering gel makes my hair look fair and shiny. Looking at the ingredients, I feel like it should be exfoliating/ deep cleansing, and it does feel like it cleans quite deep down. However the one caveat is that, at least with American Cream, my hair gets heavy and feels a bit dirty after a couple of days. That's fine - the pepperminty, tingly lather makes it fun to use this regularly.
This shower gel has a pleasant, husky scent, with bitter blue florals, some savoury woodland notes and soft, sophisticated froth. Itís somewhat melancholy and poetic, and fills the bathroom with a celery-tinged floral aroma. Quite a good antidote to a hangover, because of its ability to bring some innocence to the occasion Ė but only some innocence. Thereís something corrupt about this scent, if you care to acknowledge it.
Moisturizers -Unlisted Brand - Oilatum Natural Face Repair Cream
pennypencil 6/23/2012 3:03:00 AM
This cream uses the nourishing properties of olive oil to provide moisture, and the ingredients are pretty good, even compared to high end creams. It is a medium-weight moisturiser that absorbs well and makes a great base for makeup. Itís a no-brainer cream Ė the kind of product you can count on.
I have very sensitive, reactive skin that veers to the dry. Though I love the ritual of moisturising, the only moisturisers Iíve used with regularity have been Mir, something by Annick Goutal, LUSHís Celestial, rosehip seed oil and sometimes Cetaphil, though to be honest, although I like the latter, my skin just isnít as flawless when I use that as when using some other moisturisers. Itís my cheeks that get irritated. The tiniest red marks that other people might not notice. I love to have clear skin. This moisturiser gives me that. In texture, itís thick-ish and white. You can either rub a pea-sized amount into skin, or warm it in your palms and press it in, using the La Mer technique. It makes my skin feel plump and soft. Iíve been through a couple of tubes, and have a third floating around. Normally the scent is a bit like yogurt, but one tube I got was off and had a more pungent aroma. If youíre trying to decide between this and the Oilatum Natural Repair Cream, that one has olive oil instead of mineral oil, and is much lighter. With my skin, I can use either, but this one is more moisturising and leaves more of a glossy glow; the other makes a great makeup base.
Fragrances -Lolita Lempicka - Si Lolita de Lolita Lempicka
pennypencil 6/5/2012 12:38:00 PM
Sometimes you find a fragrance that isnít that well-received, but is, in your opinion, just indisputable lovely. Si Lolita is one such fragrance for me. I really like translucent, sweet orientals, and this is just that Ė uplifting, spicy, bubbly and amiable. On me, itís predominantly sugar syrup, tobacco, cranberry and pepper, and these meld together to give a playful Coca Cola accord. On my friend, Cathy, itís even better Ė creamy, poetic and soft. It really suits her. It has a warm heart. Try this if you like: Origins Ginger Essence, Jo Malone Dark Amber & Ginger Lily, Marc Jacobs Bang.
Though not a pure floral girl, this fragrance bouquet has that heart-aching, composed, lady-like quality that really stirs my affections. I think itís beautifully put together, and combines the sweetness of the lily with a grassy stem. Itís bright but creamy, lightly sweet, has good throw, and I find it haunting enough for it to linger in my mind whilst I wear it, as well as lingering on my clothes.
Gels/Soaps -The Body Shop - Strawberry Bath and Shower Gel
pennypencil 5/20/2012 6:16:00 AM
I am a fan of this childish, gooey, spun-sugar strawberry cocktail. Itís so unashamedly nostalgic, full of boiled sweets and E numbers, that it never fails to make me smile, even if like with all nostalgia trips through an adultís lens, thereís a hint of sadness to pre-teen revelry.
Fragrances -Etat Libre D'Orange - Jasmin et Cigarette
pennypencil 5/20/2012 5:53:00 AM
My friend wears this and Habinita and both smell awesome Ė chic, vintage, sassy Ė on her, where on me they have a tendency to be dense and messy around the middle. Jasmin et Cigarette is slightly cartoonish, with heaps of throw, a hint of bubblegum, a lot of tobacco and a jasmine anchor that winks at the classics. On me, it really does have an ashtray accord (bearing in mind one of my favourite scents is Tom Fordís Tobacco Vanille Iím not afraid of wet, juicy tobacco, but I donít find that here) Ė the kind of spent, dry ash that used to typify pub carpets before the smoking ban.
Clean, Girls shower gel uses the Mist You Madly scent, but itís somehow milkier and biscuitier in this form. I actually prefer this iridescent shower cream to the classic Clean on Me, the scent of which Iím rather over-exposed to, being a user of Hand Food and The Righteous Butter. The colour of this product is simply beautiful Ė a mother of pearl, glimmering pale pink. Edible, slightly masculine, and not at all drying to my normal/sensitive skin. I really like using this.
Where I work, this is a desktop staple, and since itís so readily available and has a great texture, I canít see much point in straying. My hands have improved in condition since using this buttery cream Ė they look much dewier. The scent is the classic Soap & Glory Miss Dior Cherie/ Coco Mademoiselle knock-off, and Iím cool with that.
Whilst I would use the travel size of this again, for convenience, I found it made my blond hair slightly heavier and darker than my regular shampoo. Itís strange how some products have that effect, and my hair can range from being light to dark blond as a result. My hair looks fine, using this Ė totally manageable Ė just lacks that spruce and brightness.