Friday, June 28, 2013

Fragrance Friday

Whew, it's been a while since I've done one of these! I've been wearing perfume, I just haven't felt like talking about it...but here's a barrage to make up for it :-)

Diptyque Voile Satin Oil for Body and Hair (jasmine, ylang-ylang, saffron): I got a sample of this in my last Aedes order (not sure if they've added those with the increased price, or if it's because they were out of 3 of my fragrance choices, or if it's because it took them 3 weeks to ship my order, but regardless, it was a nice touch) and decided to try it out for kicks. It smells divine, floral and tropical and warm and subtle, and it glides on so nicely, but something in it gave me hives one time I wore it (but not since, which is weird). It's very much a luxury product, at $58 for 3.4 oz, and I think I'll try mixing up my own version using essential oils from Eden Botanicals, but if you have the cash and want something moisturizing and unobtrusively summery, this is definitely worth checking out.

L'Artisan Ananas Fizz (Floral Fruity: grapefruit, woods, pineapple): This discontinued scent is back as an LE summer perfume, so I figured I should try it while it's available. It's very summery and fruity, as expected, with pineapple being the dominant note. It's pretty and fun, though fleeting, and while it's not really my kind of scent (I tend to gravitate towards citrus or big florals in the summer), it's a well done fruity perfume that actually smells like fruit, not chemicals.

The Requisite Goodbye Reader Post

Alright, you've probably all heard about how Google Reader is dying on July 1 (that's Monday, and HOW IS IT ALREADY JULY). So many of my feeds have posted about its imminent demise, but I figured I should mention it, just in case one of you has managed to avoid all prior notices. If you don't use Google Reader, 1) how do you keep up with your websites?!, and 2) disregard this post.

You've probably already decided on a Reader alternative, and there are tons of posts out there that give the options, but my personal favorite is Feedly. It's cross-platform and works equally well on my computer, iPad, and Android phone; you can customize how it looks and works; it has its own cloud and can connect to a lot of other services; and the user interface is really, really nice. Bloglovin' apparently also has a full feed service, as does The Old Reader. If you only read feeds on a mobile device, Flipboard was my former favorite, but Feedly can be customized to be quite similar. There's others I'm forgetting (such as Reeder, for Apple, which costs money and which I don't like as much as Feedly anyways), and what works for me might drive you batty. Stupid Google discontinuing Reader (she says on her Google-run blog). Oh well...

Do you use a feed reader? What's your favorite Reader alternative? 

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Chanel Aqualumière Savage Grace Review and Swatches

This was the other lip gloss I picked up from Nordstrom, having heard good things about the Aqualumiere formula and falling in love with the way it looked in the tube and "needing" a fuchsia lip gloss.
Before I go further, I want to point out something very important: THE SHIMMERS ARE DUOCHROME. I was not at all able to capture it on film, but they shift from orange to red to purple, though it's not really noticeable on the lips. It makes playing with the tube really fun, which is...probably something normal people don't do, but I have never claimed to be normal.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013


WHOOPS. Here, have some holo.

I did a swap with Amanda a few weeks ago, since she had an extra set of Color Club Halo Hues that I wanted, but between the end of the term and planning for my trip (post on that coming soon!), I didn't have the chance to paint my nails. But I finally did this weekend, starting with the blue Over the Moon.

Formula was great, nearly a one coater, though I fear my thickish coats contributed to the bubbling I saw on a few nails. Bad Amy. Dried fast, quite shiny without topcoat, and SO HOLOGRAPHIC. It's amazing. Even in indirect sunlight, usually a holo-killer, you can still see some rainbows, but under direct light (either sun or lightbulb), they really pop (though I was less than successful at getting pictures to turn out right, so I resorted to using the flash). Sigh. I love holos. Especially when they have this kind of formula! Only one nail had chipped after 3 days, and that was entirely due to part of the nail falling off (I failed miserably at keeping my nails in anything resembling good shape towards the end of the term, and they're still recovering). Great stuff. I'm looking forward to wearing the rest of the shades! Have to get in my holo fix before going without polish for a few weeks (*sob*).

Have you tried any of the CC holos? Do you like holo polish?

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Sunscreen Saturday: Shiseido Ultimate Sun Protection Cream+ Broad Spectrum SPF 50+ For Face Review

After my success with Josie Maran, I turned my attention to one I hadn't heard anything about, Lancôme Bienfait Multi-Vital SPF 30 Cream. Fast-absorbing, lightweight, but even the sample packaging is insanely bulky, so I decided not to find out if the increased blemishes were a fluke or not and instead testdrive one with sleeker packaging. And so, let me tell you about Shiseido's Ultimate Sun Protection Cream+ Broad Spectrum SPF 50+! Herewith called "this sunscreen", because that name is just absurd.
via Sephora

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Giorgio Armani Flash Lacquer 608 Review and Swatches

Hi, guys! I apologize for my unintentional absence from here and online in general; the term was truly miserable, crowned by finals last week which finished eating my life, and then after those got done I had to recuperate and start finalizing plans for my trip! And now I am at the beach with my mother, inhaling salty air and battling beach hair. I have lots of things to show you, though, so let me just dive right in.

I've not been a gloss person since early college. They're generally too sticky, too migratory, too sheer, too fleeting, too smelly, too juvenile. But then I tried Lipstick Queen Big Bang gloss, which was a revelation: translucent but not particularly sheer, not sticky, pleasant gel texture, long-wearing, and pretty. Then came Burberry Mallow Pink, the most gloriously perfect pink-coral. Slightly tackier than LQ in texture, but beautifully pigmented, understated shimmer, moisturizing and beautiful wear: it has been my most-worn lippie pretty much since I got it. It's my daily choice at least twice a week, and given that I have 30+ lippies, that's high praise.

Recently, Chanel released new shades in their Aqualumiere line which, from swatches online, looked very promising, and the new Armani Flash Lacquers, described as being lightweight and comfortable, called my name. When Nordstrom had 14% cash back on Ebates for their birthday, I picked up glosses from both lines, opting for the fuchsia Savage Grace from Chanel, and the MLBB rose 608 from Armani. The latter is the focus of the post today.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Skincare Saturday: Grapeseed Oil

I've been exploring diy skincare the last couple months, and after some overly-optimistic headlong dives using a ton of ingredients at once, I've scaled back and am gradually adding things one at a time. I'll be featuring one or two ingredients per week, talking about their properties, benefits, and my experience with them.

I am not a chemist, at all. I cannot overstate that. As such, I rely on internet sources for my information; I have neither the time nor the interest to read scholarly articles on the subject, but I will try to relay reliable information. For anyone who's interested, I highly recommend Points of Interest; Susan (Swift) is incredibly knowledgeable and there's a ton of information on her site, including several extremely helpful ingredient comparisons and oodles of recipes. Wikipedia, in spite of its faults, is still a good place to start, and if you're a science-minded person, you can go straight to the research articles themselves.

First, some very basic terminology: carrier oil means an oil that can be used at high ratios in skincare formulations; as such, they are usually more affordable. With my oily, acne-prone, sensitive skin, I prefer carrier oils that are lighter and drier (such as grapeseed or safflower), whereas those with mature or dry skin might prefer heavier, richer oils (like avocado). Carrier oils serve as the base for other ingredients, such as essential oils, which are extremely concentrated, usually fragrant, and need to be diluted like whoa, and exotic oils (following Garden of Wisdom and Points of Interest), which are more expensive, often richer or higher in healthy ingredients, and which can help skin more dramatically. I'll be talking about items from each type in this series, but today my focus is on a carrier oil, grapeseed (or grape seed) oil.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Manicure Monday

I haven't been wearing new nail polish lately, preferring to stick to my tried and trues, but I got this one from Birchbox when I had 20% off and a $10 coupon (along with LMdB Framboise Crème, which I will review at some point) and figured I might as well give it a go. The polish in question: Ruby Wing Poppy.
Before. I could not get my camera to capture how bright this shade is. It's also much more pink and less red than it looks here.

The Ruby Wing polishes are color changing in sunlight, which is the coolest thing ever you guys holy balls. Poppy goes from a lovely bright, nearly neon pink (it freaked my camera out, see above) to a vampy warm burgundy; it takes about 20 seconds for the transformation to complete, and about a minute for it to return to pink once removed from the sun. It will change somewhat under cloudy skies, but they have to be that kind of glowy cloudy, not absolutely overcast. The most fun part is holding your hand such that half the nail is exposed to sun while the other half is in shade––you get awesome gradient effects.

The formula is good, though a little thick, so you have to be sure not to have too much on the brush; it has a jelly-creme finish and needs topcoat to be really shiny. From the one time I've worn it, it lasted about average, and dry time was fine. The biggest issue I have with it is the smell. It's been scented with synthetic rose, from what I can tell, and it is strong. I'm not crazy about how nail polish smells usually (who is?), but at least it goes away quickly. This lingers, for more than 24 hours, even once topcoat has been applied. It is less than ideal. By which I mean, I hate it. But the color changingness is awesome enough to make up for it, I guess. Fortunately, they make many shades (30), most of which are unscented. I think I might have to order more. They have one that's purple holographic color-changing glitter! How am I supposed to resist that?! Gah. Nail polish is the best.

Really after.

$8-10 for 0.50 oz, available from Birchbox, Ruby Wing, eBay, various nail design websites

Have you tried color changing nail polish?

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Sunscreen Saturday: Josie Maran Argan Daily Moisturizer SPF 40

I managed to snag one of Sephora's Sun Safety kits, as I knew I would be going abroad this summer and wanted portable sun protection. I'm wearing several of the included sunscreens (though not all, as I don't have time!) before I go so that I can make sure they behave well with my skin. The first one I tried was Josie Maran's Argan Daily Moisturizer SPF 40, which I shall tell you about today.
via Sephora
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