Tag Archives: beauty

Sunshine in a Bottle: Best Perfumes For SPRING!

16 Mar


Every year, about this time, I get a MAJOR hankering for some fresh and floraly scents with the deepest hopes of quickening that bright and cheery re-emergence of spring.  Since I am generally drawn to fragrances that have notes of Jasmine or Orange Blossom, it’s with absolute certainty that I bring you a list of fabulous fragrances for just about any fellow harbinger of SPRING 🙂 .  Each one of the fragrances mentioned herein, are subtle but are also sure to evoke the sweetest memories of springs gone-by.

I once read that every woman should have ONE true fragrance… For years and years I searched for that one scent that was absolutely me… but then I just gave up; For me, this is simply impossible and I have finally accepted it.  In my humble opinion, fragrance is a personal journey (I carry bottles of the first perfume I ever wore (Love’s Baby Soft), and the one I remember my Mammaw wearing to church (Elizabeth Arden’s Red Door or Tresor by Lancome), just so I can bring back the memory with a whiff), and a trip to a local perfume department is almost like looking into a scrapbook of memories or listening to THAT song you loved during a certain time period of your life.  Here, I will give you my take on each fragrance, but urge you to take a sniff of each one the next time you’re at the mall and see what memories they conjure for you.  Treat yourself to some sunshine in a bottle!!!Screen Shot 2013-03-15 at 11.07.03 PM

1. Orange Blossom, by Jo Malone: This fragrance was introduced to me by one of my very best friends who lived in Paris for a bit… Well, she actually lived all over… I would receive post cards from exotic locals and imagine all the wonderful adventures she was having, and upon her return there was always a bit of beauty or fashion influence imperative to follow from my perspective.  As such, anytime she suggests something to me, I just know it will be luxurious!!    This scent IS the sweet and enduring scent of orange blossoms, pure and simple.  It reminds me of carefree days spent waiting for warmer weather and educational freedom so I could get out and ride my bike around the neighborhood with friends.  Being in the heart of fruit-tree country, often I could smell these blossoms on the wind… So incredibly lovely, this was my firsScreen Shot 2013-03-15 at 11.08.22 PMt Jo Malone LOVE and my first TRUE bottle of spring!

2. French Lime Blossom, by Jo Malone: This one, my Parisian loving friend wears today and it really does remind me of her, which is just lovely!  I’ve never been to Paris (yet), but I do imagine a wonderfully and effortlessly fabulous Parisian woman wearing this scent… It’s light and fresh, but has the playful floral of the lime blossoms. French Lime Blossom is slightly more sophisticated than the orange blossom scent with it’s green quality and hint of actual lime, but is it equally evoking of spring… or perhaps a spring romance!

3. White Jasmine & Mint, by Jo Malone: White Jasmine & Mint was a fragrance addition FOR ME  last year, and I plan on continuing the indulgence.  The sparkling green-ness of the mint in this blend is so lovely and adds something altogether unique.  Often, I blend this fragrance with my Orange Blossom scent to get a fragrance more complex and all my own (I should mention Jo Malone’s fragrances are designed to be worn alone or combined with others! Yipee).  This IS NOT your grandmother’s white-flower scent, so if you’re nervous about a fragrance that contains jasmine in the title, don’t be.  To me, this scent revives memories of warm spring evenings when all the night blooming jasmine starts to tell it’s secrets to the wind… mmmm, I can smell it now!

4. La Chasse aux Papillons by Le Artisan Perfumeur: If I could only have one bottle of spring for the rest of my life, this would be it.  If I had to bury a bottle of perfume for every season so that the future might know what spring smelled like in days gone by… I say again, this would be it.  The title means “chasing butterflies” and perhaps this, as much as the extremely feminine nectar cradled within is why I keep coming back to it year after year.  This fragrance hits every note I adore in a fragrance, orange blossom, lime, lemon, tuberose, laughter, sunshine, and pure woman-ness (Ok, the last three aren’t really notes, but THEY ARE TO ME!).  This is a fragrance I wear in the daytime, unless I layer it with something for night…  I picture myself out in the sun with a picnic basket or strolling an outdoor mall with friends.  This scent is pure and clean and fresh… which I think is asking a lot of a white-flower fragrance! It doesn’t give this headache prone girl any trouble!

5.  Grand Neroli by Atlier Cologne: This is another fragrance that was introduced to me by a fellow fragrance lover and friend.  This scent is much… hmmm.. what word should I use here… Deeper than the other fragrances.  It’s certainly one that could be worn at night as well as in the day. If you haven’t heard of this line before, you really are missing out! Their Orange Sanguine was so close in place of this one that I think it must be mentioned here as well.  For if Grand Neroli would be night, the Orange Sanguine would be day, with juicy hints of blood orange and bitter orange peel… I somehow imagine myself in Greece or Italy when I envision the obviously fabulous woman who wears either of these scents… but you can be positively marvelous right in your own backyard with a bottle of this on your nightstand!Screen Shot 2013-03-14 at 12.15.02 AM

6. Pink Jasmine by Fresh: This scent is a cross between the freshest most clean scent you can imagine (think fresh laundry or your favorite shower soap) and jasmine… Imagine walking past a warm dryer vent on a spring day.  I love to wear this to bed (yep, I even wear a touch of perfume to bed… If it worked for Marylin, Hallllllo!!) or any time I want to feel super fresh and cleeeeean.  I should mention that the like-named cream, which fetches a pretty penny, is lovely layered with any of the Jo Malone fragrances suggested here. This is probably the scent in the bunch that I wear the longest, from March through August when I need a real freshness lift! Did I say fresh enough here!!!?

There you are! I’ll note here that some of the biggest complaints with any of these fragrances is that they don’t last once sprayed.  I sort of agree and disagree.  Since I am so sensitive to fragrance, I can’t use many that are bold enough to last from dawn to dust; at least without me become immune to the scent after the first hour… And, I will also mention, that to me, part of what is so great about these scents is that they are closer to the smells I LOVE in nature, and not that strong, overpowering fragrance that is usually associated with white flowers. Do you have any favorite spring scents I should try!?  Looking for a fragrance recommendation? Hope this helps you find the perfect spring fragrance!!!


Spring 2013 Nail Polishes I ADORE!!!!!!!!!!

6 Mar

Screen Shot 2013-03-04 at 7.02.20 AM I am a self proclaimed NAIL POLISH JUNKIE! I thought I was hiding my habit from my husband, but one night he mentioned that I should never light a candle in the downstairs bathroom or the entire house would be engulfed in flames due to the sheer amount of nail polish present. I have managed to get my ‘nails’ on all except the purple color (I have an almost identical color from OPI).

All of these formulas are cheery and opaque, so they really pop on the nail! I love BUTTER LONDON’s Philosophy when it comes to chemicals, and their colors are TO DIE FOR! So far the peachy tone is my favorite, closely followed by the bubblegum pink! I have a feeling the mint color as well as the typically hard-to-wear yellow will be a mainstay in my nail repertoire from Spring through Summer! Try them out!Screen Shot 2013-03-04 at 7.02.58 AM


For those of you looking for more coverage in a BB cream!

4 Mar

For those of you looking for more coverage in a BB cream!

Many of you know how much I have LOVED the Nars Tinted Moisturizer… But, like many of you, it just didn’t provide enough coverage when I needed it. I still love my Nars lotion, but after of a week of using Diorsnow White Reveal, I may be a convert. Although it does have SPF 50, and I am not a huge believer in higher than 30, the coverage is great with the same benefits of BB creams!!! However, because of the added sunscreen, you really need to make sure you wash your face before bed!!! Try it out and let me know what you think!

Skincare Tip: The Importance of Masks!

6 Feb


So…  If you’ve read my take on The Basic Five Skincare Regime  you know  I didn’t include MASKS as part of the most basic of skincare plans.   However, this does NOT mean they aren’t important!  In fact, while taking an advanced skincare course, one of the product knowledge consultants mentioned that in their recent skincare studies the products that encouraged the most positive changes in the skin were a combination of serums and MASKS.

Serums, I wasn’t surprised by… Anyone who knows me knows how much I LOVE me a serum… Masks though, I was impressed!

I’ve been doing masks on my face ever since elementary school. Back then I used Noxzema or a thick, gloppy little number called a Mint Julep that my Mammaw bought me at the local beauty store…

Nowadays our mask selections are ENDLESS! Each one claiming a multitude of miracles; anywhere from erasing wrinkles to ending the next world war that has erupted on your face.  But it’s so difficult to wade through the hordes of promises and figure out which mask (or in my opinion MASKS) are the best for YOU, and when to use it/them.

Last week, while forcing my husband (who’s skin was parched from all the flying he does) to smear an Aloe Gel Mask on(From Bloom, which I also love and has a small price tag), I noticed he was concerned that it wasn’t DRYING.  Let me say here, right now, most masks of today aren’t meant to dry (mind blowing I know), unless it’s of the deeply purifying variety, which is meant to draw out impurities (mostly reserved for me occasionally AND teens).

The next thing I am going to say MIGHT sound excessive, and for some it will be, but for me, and I am a serious beauty aficionado and hopeful preventer of skincare problems and Imageaging, this wisdom is invaluable and in the end money saving (since you won’t keep buying this or that and never knowing how to use or when to use them!)… Here it is: Most of us need 3 masks in our beauty arsenal. 

Let me explain…

I rarely EVER see a skin that is ALWAYS in revolt or ALWAYS dry.  I would venture to say that 95% of the skin I see is in varying degrees of dryness, dehydration, and/or other problems such as acne.

That said, my three-mask belief can be easily explained and perfectly executed.

First, you need an EXFOLIATING MASK.  This is generally in the form of an enzyme or fruit acid (AHA, BHA) which will help the second mask you put on be more effective.  The reason for this is simple, exfoliation helps to slough off dead skin cells that might be clogging your pores and/or causing dryness, thus allowing anything you follow up with, like a mask to better treat the fresher skin below. Oh yeah, and this mask, this is the one that is going to help decrease the appearance of large pores and fine lines, soGET ONE OF THESE! (Use this mask at least once a week)

1. REN Glycol Lactic Radiance Mask: One of my FAVORITES!

2. FRESH: Sugar Face Polish: This is so luxurious and leaves your face feeling the same way your body does after a good scrub!

One of the other 2 masks should be one that you can turn to when you’re experiencing breakouts, or skin that needs EXTRA DETOXIFICATION.  These often include clays, tee tree oils, or other inflammation fighting ingredients.  Even if you aren’t acne prone, there are always times when you need extra purifying.  Whether it’s after a long trip or a stressful week, this is the mask for you!

1. PTR: Therapeutic Sulfur Masque: You REALLY feel this one! It’s great to use as a spot treatment, or when you have some MAJOR breakouts! Not for everyone!

2. Eminence: Clear Skin Probiotic Masque: This is the one I have in my shower ALL THE TIME.  It’s my go to detox mask because it doesn’t dehydrate!

3. BOSCIA: Luminizing Black Mask: Maybe this “Luminizes” because it peels off all your hair, lol, but I LOVED it! It did make my eyes water a bit, maybe that’s why I was glowing too…Image

In contrast, your third mask should be the one you turn to when you need a HYDRATION BOOST and a fabulous GLOW! This is usually a gel-type mask that will contain ingredients that should refresh the skin and infuse it with vitamins and boosters.

1. Eminence: Pink Grapefruit Vitality Masque: Also a GO-TO for me! Perfect for that hydration and glowing skin! Good for everyone, even my acne prone skin!

2. FRESH: Rose Face Mask: Nothing says lux like Rose to me, and this one pairs really well with the sugar scrub for a super hydrated glow! LOVE!

3. Eminence: Bright Skin Masque: This is a great line for targeting very specific issues, which means when you run out, you can try another hydrating treatment mask! This one helps brighten you up!


Sometimes I use all three in one sitting depending on what’s going on with my skin, but I ALWAYS use the exfoliating mask first (if I’m using the EXFOLIATING mask and at least one of the other types), followed by the detox and then the hydration mask if I’m using all three.

Some tips: Obviously not everyone has the time it takes to do something like this once a week, and actually most of us could use a treatment mask (Detox or HYDRATING) 2-3 times a week.  How then, can one accomplish this with everything else there is to do in a day, in a week!? The way I have accomplished this feat is by keeping my masks in the shower.  I wash my face first when I hop in, and then put the mask or masks on and leave them on for 2-5 (7-10 is better) minutes each while I’m cleaning all the other bits.  This is a great way to get your mask on, and change your skin for the better!

I’ve included some of my favorite masks in this blog so you have an idea of exactly what to get! As a general rule though, the masks don’t have to be expensive either, if you’re buying from a drugstore, keep in mind the tips presented herein… Exfoliating formulas will have enzymes or acids, Detox versions will contain clays, muds, or acne fighters, and Hydrating masks will be in the form of a clear gel or a cream!

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