Friday, December 16, 2011

Fragrance Friday: Keiko Mecheri Loukhoum

Loukhoum Eau De Parfum by Keiko Mecheri

Loukhoum Eau De Parfum by Keiko Mecheri (clipped to

It finally happened. I'm not fond of Loukhoum, truth be told I almost choked when I put it on. Now I was that person with a stinky perfume you can smell from a mile away. I wanted to wash it off immediately but thought since this is an experiment and I was home (not subjecting my aura of smell to the public) I left it on to see how it transformed.

Notes: Hawthorn blossom, bulgarian rose absolute, precious woods, vanilla, Comores flowers, white almond and musk.

Yikes, this one was bad from start to finish. I smelled like a baby wipe. My nostrils were assaulted by the strong powder smell and I couldn't get past it. It's all I could smell. It dried down, and I still smelled powder. If you like that type of fragrance, you will love Loukhoum. Sadly, I can't bear it and this one was retired after a few hours of wear.

Next up: Comme des Garcons Series 2: Red Carnation

Friday, December 9, 2011

Fragrance Friday: Keiko Mecheri Paradise Lost

Paradise Lost by Keiko Mecheri

Paradise Lost by Keiko Mecheri (clipped to

Paradise Found may be a better name for Keiko Mecheri's Paradise Lost. It's heaven in a bottle. This is by far my favorite of the perfumes I have sampled so far. It's heady but not burn-your-nostrils-strong. It instantly transforms once it mingles with the heat of your skin. This fragrance is a journey where you're not quite sure where it will take you next.
I often find that vanilla in perfumes is so incredibly artificial. Most of them make me nauseous. The vanilla in Paradise Lost is creamy and inviting. It actually smells of vanilla instead of a sickening substitute. It blends so well with the floral notes that it's like a walk through a sweet, humid garden.

Notes: Indian limette, bergamot, jasmine, tuberose, Bourbon vanilla, sandalwood, musk.
I know it seems that I find no fault in the scents I've reviewed. I assure you, I have become very discerning with what notes I go for and I know what I like. I fully admit I've been incredibly lucky as of yet but Paradise Lost has taken the lead. I can't wait to try more of Keiko Mecheri's fragrances.
Next up: Keiko Mecheri, Loukhoum

Friday, December 2, 2011

Fragrance Friday: Escentric Molecules, Molecule 01

Molecule o1 is an enigma, it's so very simple and yet so complex. I don't want to say it's indescribable but it's pretty close. It's "one molecule," Iso E Super. It's so soft and vaguely musky. And I mean barely there. It smells like your own skin at its best. It interacts with your own chemistry so it's a unique experience for each person.

The scent reminds you it's there throughout the day with subtle bursts of fragrance. It is never over-powering, it's not in your face or one of those fill-the-whole-room type of fragrances. It will leave everyone wondering who smells so amazing.

Notes: Iso E Super

With a cult following of celebs and us mere mortals as well, this perfume is definitely something special. I can't be precise in my description of this, I'm at a loss to describe the journey this takes once applied. It's sure to hold a key place in my scent rotation. I'll be hard pressed not to buy myself a bottle of this for Christmas.

Next up: Keiko Mecheri Paradise Lost.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Fragrance Friday: Costes

(image via Hotel Costes)

I've never been to Paris, so I've never visited the insanely cool-looking Hotel Costes. This stylish place to stay also has a signature scent which can be purchased in perfume and candle form. It's been described as sultry, dark and mysterious. How could I not want to bathe in this?

I am ultra-careful in applying scents so I don't overdo it. So I splashed a tiny bit on in the morning and it was completely gone in two hours. I don't mean it had faded to barely-there. It was gone, almost like I hadn't put perfume on at all. Outside of the short stay, I was oddly addicted to it. It has a very soapy smell and for me there is no darkness here, nor would I describe it as sultry. But mysterious is the perfect description. There is just something about Costes.

Notes: Lavender, bay tree, coriander, white pepper, rose, incense, woods and light musc.

You can't quite put your finger on the notes, you just crave it. I'm seriously hooked on this. It smells exactly like a page out of an old scratch and sniff book I had as a child. I can't keep from smelling my wrist when wearing it. It's for sure a keeper.

Next up: Escentric Molecules, Molecule 01

Happy Thanksgiving

I hope everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving with family and friends!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Fragrance Friday: HEELEY Hippie Rose

(image via

I love roses. I always have. They remind me of my childhood. We had a white picket fence in front of our house and three beautiful rose bushes along the fence line. When we moved, I dug them up and transported them to the new house, that's how much I loved them.

How many times have you sniffed a rose fragrance and found it to be a little too old smelling? For me it's been far too many. I don't like watered down rose scents, or the ones that make you smell like you've been with grandma all day (no offense to the all the grannies out there). I want something that actually smells like roses warmed by sunshine on a summer day. HEELEY Hippie Rose delivers that and more.

Notes: Bergamot, green moss, Bulgarian rose, patchouli, incense, Haitian vetiver, amber and musk.

This perfume is modern and sensual. Initially smelling solely of pure rose, it dries down to sheer perfection with each note mingling effortlessly. To call the dry-down sweet is wrong, there is something ethereal about it. It becomes part of your skin, your own natural smell. I wasn't ready for this perfume when I chose it but I knew I would adore it from the moment I put it on. Even if you're not a rose fan, I suggest you try this one. It's irresistible.

Next up: Costes

Monday, November 14, 2011

Lancome Visionnaire Advanced Skin Corrector

Lancome recently came out with a new skin serum, Visionnaire. Serums are great. Most are so incredibly light and absorb instantly, helping to get all those good-for-you ingredients into your skin. Visionnaire is labeled as a skin-correcting serum. It's supposed to help moisturize, minimize pores and fine lines, and even out skin tone.

Being that I'm pretty much the target audience for any "miracle" product, I figured I would give this a try. My skin has been in less than stellar (ok, downright terrible) condition this past year and as a result, I've been left with a few reddish marks from blemishes passed. I've also notice my worry-lines are sticking around longer these days. So of course when I heard about a serum that could multi-task for me I was already intrigued.

Sadly, I have to say as of right now this has been nothing more than a moisturizer for me. I so desperately wanted it to be a fix-it-all for my skin issues. My red marks are still visible and my fine lines are in the same condition as when I started using Visionnaire. It for sure makes my skin super soft and glowy but that's where it ends. No miracle working here.

I'm happy to use the rest of the bottle but considering the price - $84!!! - I won't be using this again. My search for skin salvation continues. Has anyone else used any corrective serums or skin care products that have had miraculous results? Do tell.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Fragrance Friday: BLOOD Concept B

Last week I reviewed BLOOD Concept's O; this week it's B. I'm enamored with the uniqueness that surrounds these perfumes. I knew I would like B as soon as I saw one of its notes is patchouli. I might be a little obsessed. But all the notes combined to create this perfect scent that I can only describe as home-y.

Notes: Apple, black cherry, artemisia, pepper, pomegranate, black tea, patchouli, teak wood and metallic notes

These scents are touted as being unisex, and while I'm not really sure I would enjoy either O or B on a man, B is decidedly more "masculine." It's spicy, a little seductive and just beautiful. It wears strong throughout the day. As it softens, a touch of sweetness comes out leaving the initial woodiness to take the backseat. The fruit notes are not sticky sweet, and the metallic notes are so subtle I barely noticed them.

I am loving this fragrance and a little sad I will be moving on tomorrow to my next one. Only time will tell if BLOOD Concept's B is the last man standing.

Next up: HEELEY Hippie Rose

Friday, November 4, 2011

Fragrance Friday: BLOOD Concept O


No floral notes here. Based on the individuality of blood types, each scent "type" has a story. BLOOD Concept O is sweet, but not overly so. There is something about it you can't quite put your finger on but can't help but love.

Notes: Thyme, Raspberry, Rose Hips, Leather, Birch, Cedar, Cyperus and Metallic Notes

The raspberry note was very prominent on me. I love the smell of raspberries. It reminds me of summer afternoons spent picking berries at my grandparents' farm. There is something magical about it. And I really love the metallic notes, it keeps the scent from being overly sweet.

Be careful though, with this one a little goes a very long way. The first application I tipped the vial over onto the sink and not wanting to waste it, I just dipped my wrist in the tiny puddle. Mistake! The metallic smell was overpowering. So apply sparingly, you want to be able to smell the other lush notes and not just metal.

Next up: BLOOD Concept B

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

The Search for a New Scent

Fragrance is deeply personal, at least to me. I feel connected to each fragrance I wear. Tons of my memories are tied to scent, so much so that a familiar smell is able to bring on feelings of deja vu instantly. I connect other people to scents as well, some good and others not so good.

I need to feel something deeper for a fragrance other than simply liking it. I used to be a one-scent gal, but these days I like to change things up from time to time but all of the scents in heavy rotation are things that I adore. I gravitate to musky, subtly sexy scents where a little goes a long way. I'm sucker for anything patchouli. And for each person it's different. The process of choosing a scent is different, the emotion it evokes, the way your choice makes you feel, all uniquely different.

Some people parade their fragrance around, allowing the world to smell it while others hold it close to themselves like a secret. I do not enjoy the overpowering, I-just-doused-myself-in-perfume-instead-of-showering, subway-clearing assault of the olfactory sense that some insist on doing. Even after you've adjusted to your perfume, trust me, the rest of the living population can still smell it. Fragrance instead should gently waft, and before you're able to put your finger on it, it's gone.

I'm taking you along on a personal adventure with me. I'll be testing and comparing lots of scents in hopes of finding a new smell that is just, well, perfect.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Temptu Retouch Blush

Convenience is always a key factor in beauty products, especially in the mornings. We all want to look good before walking out the door but we also want that extra 15 minutes of sleep.

I can't say I'm one of those people who wake up looking good. Actually, sometimes I might actually resemble a zombie with dark bags under my eyes, tangled up hair and a pale complexion void of a healthy, living glow. And more often than not, I'm like a tornado tearing through my apartment trying to get out the door on time. When things need to get cut out of my routine, it's time consuming beauty steps.

Blush is an absolute must for me. I usually go with powder blush since it's simple and a quick swipe with a fluffy brush and I'm good to go. Liquid blush has real staying power but it can be a bit of pain with application and blending and building up color to the desired vibrancy. Well, Temptu has taken all the work out of liquid blush.

This handy little contraption has a built-in brush for easy application and blending. Simply push the button on the bottom to dispense the color (one is enough for both cheeks). Swipe on and blend away for a sheer wash of beautiful, long-lasting, natural color. I picked up two, one in Blushing Coral (shown above) and one in Hot Pink. Sephora has these babies on sale for $15 each; you can get the same deal on Temptu's site as well. Go now!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Diptyque Patchouli Room Spray

If you've read my blog before, you know I'm a fan of Diptyque Patchouli. I wrote about their candle here. Then in August I found their Patchouli room spray. How could I resist? Seriously, I was hugging it in the store.

A lot of room sprays tend to be overpowering or smell completely artificial, to the point of nausea. When I find a good one, I stock up. I hadn't used Diptyque's room spray before, so one bottle was enough for the experimental phase. And the bottle is huge, so I wasn't concerned I would run out after a few uses.

On a particularly warm evening, my living room was smelling a little ripe so I decided to give the patchouli spray a go. I spritzed three times in different areas of the room. It took about two minutes for me to realize that was a mistake. Way too much! I had to hide out in the bedroom and wait for it to dissipate. Fortunately, I learned a very valuable and cost effective lesson: with Diptyque, one spritz is enough for a whole room.

After I learned to control my over-zealous spraying, I found this is quite possibly the best room spray. It lasts FOREVER and smells amazing. It fills an entire room (again one spray only). It's certainly not cheap, but it's so high-quality and will last an incredibly long time. If you like home sprays, I suggest you try Diptyque.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Nails Inc. Holographic Glitter

Nails Inc. has had quite a fan-base for some time now. Just recently, we were lucky enough to have the company hit the States. Sephora is the exclusive carrier of the polishes. The line boasts a wide array of colors, glitters, and top coats.

Everyone I've spoken to has already fallen in love with Nails Inc. Not to mention they now have magnetic polish (can't wait to try these)! I spotted the holographic glitter top coat the second I walked in: just look at the box, you can't miss it.

I put two coats over a dark, forest green and while it's not really holographic it does sparkle something fierce. The glitter pieces are extremely fine and go on smoothly. This top coat will be perfect come the holidays! I highly recommend trying it if you like a little sparkle.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Living Proof has Restored my faith in hair care

There is no shortage of high-end hair care products out there. With simple shampoos and conditioner prices climbing well into the double digits, and some even reaching astronomical heights hovering around $100, where do you plunk down your hard-earned cash?

I've always felt the need to try the slightly pricier shampoos, conditioners and masks because I grew up using Pert (the shampoo/conditioner combo). Once I hit middle school I scraped together my allowance to get Aussie and Salon Selectives products. Still, I was only in the drugstore realm. Then I was introduced to lines like Bumble and Bumble and Moroccanoil. I justified the expense with the fact that my hair was being taken care of. Was it really? What was my shampoo and conditioner doing to protect my hair from the daily torture sessions I made it endure?

Living Proof has come out with some pretty great products. Not to mention they were created by a team of MIT scientists. And when they released their Restore line, I knew it would be in my bathroom in no time. I did want to try it first, and typically LP has mini-bottles of their products. No such luck this time. I took a risk and purchased the big bottles of both the shampoo and conditioner. No cheap feat. But how can you put a price tag on gorgeous, healthy hair?

I've done everything to my poor strands from blow-drying to flat ironing to coloring. And I've been doing these unspeakable horrors to my hair for years....years! I figured that if these products didn't work it would be a bit of an expensive mistake... but if they did work... well, then they probably could have charged me double and I wouldn't blink an eye.

After three days of using the Restore set, my hair is noticeably smoother and more manageable. I can let it air-dry without it becoming a frizzy, broken-hair-free-for-all. Whether or not it can turn back the clocks to its original, pre-messed-with state is yet to be seen. But for now, it's definitely putting my hair into the best shape it's been in years. That's saying something.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Mary Kay Concealer

Some days are a little rougher around the edges than others and on those days we need a little bit of help. I like to have concealer handy for these types of days. And since you never know when a pesky little blemish is going to pop up.

I've found that concealer is particularly hard to get right. Often the color is way too light or dark, and blemishes or dark spots are made more noticeable. If you manage to find a color that is close to your skin tone, sometimes the formula can be cakey and flakey.

I stumbled upon Mary Kay's concealer in Ivory 2. It's a perfect match to my fair complexion and covers imperfections seamlessly. It's not too runny and does not flake during the day. It's quite possibly the best concealer I've ever used. And at $10 it's a bargain. I can't recommend this enough.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Smooth as a baby's....

Lips! Smooth as a baby's lips people. Take your minds off bottoms. This is a beauty blog and I'm not in the business of showing off derrieres. However, like all of us my lips are on show daily and sometimes especially during the cooler months they can look less than stellar. Once the dry, arctic temps roll in so do dry, cracked lips. Not cute.

Luckily, I happened upon Maybelline's newest lippie, Baby Lips. Once I got past the cutesy name I realized this balm is jam-packed full of good-for-your-lips ingredients. All of which are aimed at helping restore lip's moisture along with repairing fine lines and coloration resulting in lips as smooth as a, er, baby.

I picked one up in Quench (a clear balm). It smells faintly of Fruity Pebbles and tastes nice as well. The slick balm comes in another clear choice with a peppermint flavor, and four colors. I wouldn't say the moisturizing power is a full 8 hours as it states but it did last significantly longer than other balms I've used and it hydrates immediately.

I don't typically like a lot of color from balms, so I'll probably only try the other clear one, but these are definitely worth checking out. Check out how Maybelline makeup artist Charlotte Willer used Baby Lips on the runway here.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Oribe Dry Texturizing Spray

As you know from my last post, I love the sleek look of straight hair. Let's be honest, we all love it. But even with straightened strands I need to have volume and texture. I don't want my hair to look flat and limp. I also like to get several days out of my straight style. So what's a girl to do? Second-day-hair is great for adding texture but tends to make my hair flat on top and without washing it can get a little icky.

Oribe's Dry Texturizing Spray is perhaps the best styling product I've come across in a while. It's like dry shampoo and hair spray had a perfect styling baby. This hybrid is not really a dry shampoo or a hair spray but has all the benefits of both and none of the drawbacks. The polymers take away any oil like a dry shampoo would but this is not powdery at all, leaving no tell-tale white patches. And it adds texture and volume like a hair spray would but without stickiness or crunchiness. And it gives a bit of hold and tons of movement.

How could this possibly get any better? The smell is ridiculously good and lasts well into the next day so it's perfect for after-work cocktails. It's a little pricey but just a small amount of this fine mist goes a loooong way.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Living Proof helps you play it straight

It's been well over a decade that I've been fighting my natural curls and waves. With the years, my methods have grown with the technology offered. Gone are my days of dragging a clamped curling iron over my hair to flatten it, as are the days of using an actual iron (hello fire hazard). Now I have sleek flat irons and a multitude of creams, lotions and potions to transform me from curly to straight.

Admittedly, I should not be so hell-bent on forcing my curls into pin-straight perfection but the grass is always greener, right? And when a shiny, new product is sitting right in the display as I enter the store, what am I going to do? I have to at least check it out.

I enjoy the Living Proof line. I have used their wave/curl shaping cream-which is awesome and doesn't make your hair crunchy. Recently, they introduced their Straight Spray. It called out to me instantly. I wasn't ready to commit to the gigantic bottle, so luckily they have a mini (not so mini price though) that I could try out. I wanted to love this spray but I'm only in like with it.

It for sure protects from heat damage which is a mega-bonus for someone like me that tortures my poor strands with volcanic temperatures. It also does help to extend your heat styling, and works on both wet and dry hair. But is it just me, or should straight spray help to, um, straighten your hair? This is did not do. At least not for me. To be fair, I have really high, almost unattainable expectations when it comes to straightening products. I want something that does all the work for me and unfortunately outside of getting all formaldehyde-y, technology is not there yet.

Application is crazy easy but I highly recommend spraying in a well-ventilated area to avoid tasting the spray for the next 10 minutes. The smell is amazing and even better the next day when it's reactivated with heat tools. Overall, I really like this so I will continue to use it until someone makes a spray that's quite simply straight hair in a can.