White Jasmine & Mint has become a go-to summer staple for me over the past two summers, and I just bought a second bottle after draining my first. When I originally tried this, I thought it was nothing special, but something called me back to my sample and I ended up using it all. On hot, humid days, there are few scents I find as refreshing as this one. The jasmine is fairly subtle, not oppressive, and the mint is uplifting but not overpowering either. It has a nice, light, iced tea vibe to it, and it's very pretty and subtle -- I wear it, it doesn't wear me. I like that I can spray this liberally and don't have to worry about overwhelming anyone on a hot day. I've gotten quite a few compliments on it. The lasting power is not great; that's fine with me for a summer scent. I don't usually combine Jo Malone scents, but I imagine this one would be nice with quite a few. I'll admit I don't ever reach for this unless the weather is above 80 degrees and humid, but for days like that, it's beyond perfect.
I got this as a GWP and didn't expect much since I've had a hard time finding Clinique lip colors that work with my very pale skintone. I was pleasantly surprised by this gloss. The color is a nice everyday neutral medium pink-plum-brown, and absolutely love the shine this gives me. This does contain (according to the Clinique website) golden shimmer, which concerned me because I'm not a fan of shimmer and, having cool-toned skin, gold doesn't work well on me, but the shimmer is minimal -- I can see it in the tube, but not on my lips. This does make my lips look a tiny bit plumper, but I would say look elsewhere if you are really seeking plumping effects from a gloss. (I don't feel any tingling with this gloss, BTW.) What I love is the glossy shine and the MLBB color. It also feels good on my lips, although as others have said, it is quite heavy and fairly sticky (though not nearly as bad as some glosses in the sticky department).
I bought this at CVS since the Clinique tinted sunblock that I've been using in place of foundation started breaking me out terribly. Unfortunately, Smart Shade makeup will not work in its place, even temporarily! I am very pale and the lightest shade was too dark for me, certainly did not "match" or "complement" my skintone, in fact it made me look yellow! I look very bizarre. The only reason I give this two lippies is because, if it did happen to work for your skintone, it does come out of the tube smooth and creamy and feels nice going on. If you don't get it even, though, you get streaks. Definitely wouldn't purchase this again.
Moisturizers -Clinique - Moisture Surge Extended Thirst Relief
tempest322 5/13/2010 2:16:00 PM
This is a product I'd been wanting to try for a while, but it's so expensive I hadn't until I got a sample from Clinique this past week. This feels nice going on, very cooling, but I didn't find it very moisturizing. I put it on before bed and woke up with my skin dry (I have very dry and sensitive skin, so the name of this product really appealed to me). The worst part, though, is that this product caused me to break out, not just in acne but a rash, after only two days of use. I think it's too harsh for people with sensitive skin -- I can still feel the astringency of it on my face three days after discontinuing it. Despite the name, I do think this would probably work better for those with normal skin (as opposed to very dry). I understand now from reading other reviews that this is not meant to be your sole moisturizer, but a sealant to go with another moisturizer (?). I think it's pretty expensive to use for that. I recommend H20 Plus Face Oasis for a similar product that costs about the same (and that one doesn't break me out).
Gels/Soaps -Philosophy - Pink frosted layer cake 3-in-1
tempest322 3/4/2010 3:35:00 PM
I love Philosophy 3-in-1's (my two favorites are Cinnamon Buns and Red Velvet Cake). I've found that a few of them smell plasticky and synthetic, though, and Pink Frosted Layer Cake is just on the edge of that category. The initial smell is delicious (though to me it smells more like a strawberry milkshake than a pink frosted cake -- I expected more of a "cakey" smell). But quickly it develops a synthetic edge to it, vaguely plastic. It's still a good smell, just not quite "real". So this one doesn't quite make the cut of the best Philosophy 3-in-1s for me. I'm still giving it four lippies, though, because the smell that lingers in the bathroom after a hot shower is lovely, and also I've been using it as a shampoo and it makes my hair quite shiny. Plus the packaging is so cute.
L'eau D'Hiver is yet another Jean-Claude Ellena creation I can't seem to live without (along with Bois Farine, Vetiver Tonka, Angeliques Sous La Pluie and many more). Its opening is honeyed and peppery and somewhat medicinal, almost sharp. As it dries down, it becomes gentle, slightly powdery, and tenderly milky, in that near-transparent Ellena way. When I first tried it, it reminded me of Philosophy's Baby Grace with its barely-there powdery quality, but that fragrance is more soapy, whereas there is nothing soap-like in L'eau D'Hiver. I would call L'eau D'Hiver a comfort scent, but not in the fluffy or sugary sense. It's comforting the way a gentle snowfall is comforting. As others have said, it's a cold/warm scent, not at all overpowering, with little sillage, making it fine for any season. I find that I spray it a LOT, because the lasting power is not terrific, so it ends up being pretty expensive (I can get through a 10 ml bottle pretty quickly).
When I first tried Sensuous via a sample, my initial reaction was that it was cloyingly sweet. But as it dries down, it becomes soft, rich amber and woods. I kept returning to my sample until it was gone, and I put Sensuous on my Christmas list this year. It's a smooth, cozy fragrance, and its lasting power is very good. I still much prefer the drydown to the opening (which is like super-sweet honey), but the initial sweet blast doesn't last very long, and then it becomes cozy and rich -- great for cold weather. I'm not always in the mood for it, but when I want amber, I like this very much.
I have been working my way through a huge bottle of this in the brunette/red formula. It's taken me a long time to connect the weirdness going on with my hair to this shampoo (I can be a little slow). While I like the shine it gives to my hair, it also seems to leave my hair a bit greasy and limp, something that is not usually a problem for me. It's almost as though it doesn't totally clean my hair, or doesn't completely wash out. I had a similar problem with John Frieda Brilliant Brunette, so I wonder if it's something to do with the formula in these shampoos for brunette hair? I do think it does nice things, color-wise, for my brown hair with red highlights, but even though it's extremely cheap, I won't repurchase this. Alberto VO5, which costs around a dollar at my CVS, makes my hair feel much cleaner and bouncier than this.
Fragrances -Crazylibellule and The Poppies - chere louise
tempest322 10/24/2009 3:41:00 PM
Chere Louise is a lovely, distinctive solid perfume that starts off soft and floral, slightly powdery and very feminine -- it smells rather old-fashioned, in a very good way, at this stage -- and transitions into a kind of cozy, vaguely spicy woods. There is something just vaguely edible in the drydown too, but I wouldn't say this is a gourmand scent. It's kind of sophisticated and retro, suiting its inspiration, Louise Brooks. The packaging is way cute, and it's only $18, but worth three times that in my opinion. For a solid perfume, it has decent sillage -- I wore it out the other day and could smell it on myself in Starbucks and as I walked down the street.
Fragrances -Crazylibellule and The Poppies - Vanilla Macarons
tempest322 10/24/2009 3:29:00 PM
Vanille Macarons is a lovely comfort scent which I've been very much enjoying -- in fact, craving -- this fall. It's actually much less sweet than the name would lead you to believe, and, on me at least, not very vanilla. To me it smells like amaretto, almond, and quite a bit of cedar, and I do get some pistachio (which is not listed in the notes but it does say "Vanilla-Pistachio" on the box as the reviewer below mentioned). It's just slightly gourmand but definitely not "foody". As with many solid perfumes, there is not a lot of sillage, but that's not a bad thing -- sometimes I feel like wearing something that only I or my significant other will smell. This is a cozy, woody fragrance that I'm sure I'll enjoy through the winter as well. And how can you go wrong when it's only $18 and the packaging is adorable?
Even though I'm probably a good 20-25 years older than the target demographic for this fragrance, I tried this at Kohl's last week and ended up buying a small bottle when I went back. This is indeed fruity, which can be a real turn-off for me, especially when it's marketed toward teens. But the nice thing about Black Star is that it is not a sugary scent -- it is not screaming cotton-candied strawberries. The main fruit note I get from this is plum (synthetic-smelling but nice) and the dark chocolate note, as mentioned below, is quite subtle, but there, and I like it. The sillage is minimal -- you will not be invading others' space with this, so you can spray it liberally (the lasting power is average). Black Star is not very interesting, but it's a pretty, enjoyable everyday scent, can be worn by pretty much anyone, and is especially nice if you appreciate a very subtle chocolate note (as in SJP's Covet, although the chocolate in Black Star may be even more subtle than that). The bottle is fun too.
I bought this on a whim because I spotted a terrific deal on it. Since I love the drink, I figured it couldn't be too bad. Actually, I really like it -- it's perfect for the humid summer days we've been having -- light, crisp, refreshing -- I've worn it every day this week. It smells pretty true to its name, except that it's a tiny bit sweeter and more citrusy than the drink, perhaps. The staying power is not great, but I don't care -- I've been enjoying reapplying it. Also, because there is minimal sillage, I was able to wear this out with a perfume-sensitive friend and she wasn't bothered by it at all. Only downside is it causes me to crave an actual Gin & Tonic.
I recently rediscovered a sample I have of this, and had to come here to review it because I find it a beautiful, feminine scent. The blood orange note is luscious and stunning. That said, this is a rather heavy, heady scent -- probably more suitable to fall or winter -- and it seems rather linear. On me, at least, it doesn't develop much from start to finish, and because of the lack of development, I do get a bit bored with it after a while (the lasting power, BTW, is very good). But there is something sophisticated and old-world romantic about Stella, and for those days when I just want to smell very pretty, and at the same time like a grown-up and not like I took a bath in sugared fruit, this is really perfect.
I'm surprised that I like Pleasures Delight very much. I did not expect to like it based on the list of notes (sounded way too sweet for my taste), but what I enjoy here is the contrast of the sweet, syrupy opening (I get strawberry + marshmallowy sugar) with the definite hit of patchouli as it dries down. This is a clean rather than a dirty patchouli, but it is very evident, and, I think, very nice. It keeps Pleasures Delight firmly in the "adult" category, as opposed to the sugary stuff marketed to more of a teen audience. It would say it is definitely more of a gourmand scent than a fruity floral. It is comparable to Miss Dior Cherie -- I like both of them -- but there is a sharpness to MDC that is missing here -- I would say Pleasures Delight is a smoother scent.
Lip Gloss -Sally Hansen - Inspired by Carmindy Natural Shine Lip Gloss
tempest322 4/22/2009 9:44:00 PM
I'm quite picky about lip gloss and am quite impressed by this gloss. I was on the hunt for a gloss that would give me some glazy shine but look natural as well, close to the shade of my lips, not "made up" at all. I got this in two colors, Moonlit Mauve and Sugar Plum. The Sugar Plum is kind of a pink-red-brown, but there's a little too much red in it for what I was looking for. This is supposed to be a "shimmering" lip gloss, and the shimmer is apparent in Sugar Plum, but not in the Moonlit Mauve, which has proved to be perfect for my "natural look" -- it's a medium pink color (it appears more mauve in the tube, but not on my lips) -- quite similar to my natural lip color, and one coat gives me a nice shine, two coats deepen my natural color. I love this gloss because 1) it's not sticky, so I enjoy wearing it, and 2) The brush applicator works very well and allows you to be precise in applying it and also does not create a gloppy mess around the top of the tube. It smells nice too! Will repurchase.