The Redolence O’ Halloween

I really can’t get enough of Halloween, and given that scents play an integral role in memories – creating and recalling – I have a deep-rooted love of fragrance, particularly the ones that center on this time of year. 

I am, however, incredibly particular.  Once upon a time I fell in love with Acqua Di Gio by Armani – when it was discontinued some 15 years after I discovered it, I was horribly distressed.  Aqua was one of the very few fragrances that managed clean floral without the oft’ cloying aroma of the market majority – for me that was the ideal situation.  When it faded into the historical, balmy tomes, I bowed out completely – I never was a perfume kind of girl, so the loss of the one I adored…singularly…was it for me.  

I was always acutely aware of life’s redolence, though, whether nature-created, or the man-made kind, filling precious glass bottles to the brim with pale, watery hues.  I still am keenly cognizant of them, though I’ve long given up purchasing any “Eau” for myself.

Still, I maintain a somewhat illimitable love of fragrance – the sense of smell is one that can (as aforementioned) move us quite deeply.  What do I wear in this case? Dragon’s Blood. Only. By a very specific brand, I should add… My red vials are sacred in their own way, as my olfactory has associated the liquid resin with parts of my being, and my Life.  It is fair to say, also, that it is MY scent – the oils and ph of our skin births a unique aroma all our own, no matter the formulation is the same.  (It might be why a fragrance you LOVE smells divine freshly uncanted…and also on a friend of yours…but perhaps not on you so much.)

Dragons Blood resin en.wikipedia.org

Dragons Blood resin en.wikipedia.org

I fell in love with Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab many moons ago – during what you might call a personal journey (from which was born profound self-discovery.)  The scent selection at the time was still rather substantial (though a meager cry from the current offerings!) and, what I loved most, highly uncommon.  I bought more imps that I could have counted – so many that I had to have a bead container labeled with the letters of the alphabet to sort them!

Another site, while I am at it, whose oils I have purchased (and happily burned to enchant the air!) is Dark Candles – another site for those in love with Samhain, or vampish, um, everything…!

In any case, I recently saw this post from Musingsofamuse and it – of course – caught my attention.  Best time of year and countless fragrances to seduce the senses (seasonally, or not!)

She posted about a brand I am unfamiliar with, Lathers & Lights – fair to say they are now on my radar. 🙂 The sheer plethora of scents – specifically allotted to October, and to Autumn itself – is MIND-blowing.  I desperately want to read through them all right now but my eyes are starting to feel strained just from typing for so long!  It really is amazing.

Musingsofamuse.com

Musingsofamuse.com

I’ll post a few screen shots below (not knowing whether they abandon ship later in the year) – it was rather a challenge to fit all of “HALLOWEEN” on my screen (huge it is!) but…I tried! You may not be able to make it out completely here, but just take in the size of the selection – if you are a lover of fragrance the way that I am (in an intensely, all-encompassing, sensorial way) and / or also enchanted by Halloween, it’s worth just knowing someone out there has an enormous offering for you.

Oh…and pumpkin scents?  There are over 30!

http://www.lathersnlights.com/scents.html (Did you notice this is only through part of the letter "C"?!)

http://www.lathersnlights.com/scents.html (Did you notice this is only through part of the letter “C”?!)

Rimmel Fresher Skin

One of the most important things about color cosmetics for me – as an athlete (and once performing athlete in dance and figure skating – is the lasting power.  I don’t wear much because fresh-faced and natural is so much more appealing to me.  But when it is required to pull myself together, I still want something that will hold up – to humidity, sweat, heat, rain…whatever.  Being a porcelain doll is lovely – but for me personally, having to worry about my face melting off is just not something I am willing to deal with.

I’m not sure this is a USA release, or whether it will be – no word of it ’round here.  But thanks to ReallyRee, I caught wind of it, and felt the need to share for those of you who have also not seen it – in store or online.  (There are other blog posts for sure, if you feel like snooping.)

This actually reminds me of a pot that L’Oreal had back in the early 90’s – I can’t remember the name of it but it felt like skincare, which totally appealed to me (even at an incredibly young, and non-makeup-wearing age.)

The Fresher Skin formula is humidity and sweat resistant, starts as water-gel, and transforms into a “refreshing cream,” a la many Japanese products before it.  It doesn’t clog pores – another HUGE point for me, absorbs shine, and doesn’t settle into lines.  It happens to look really nice on her skin – and she has other photos, so definitely check it out.

 

Appreciating Family and Fresh Food

I had the wonderful fortune to spend time with my parents, an uncle, and my sisters this past weekend.  My fiancé had not been to the island – ACK, to be clear – so it was a special treat to share a childhood haunt…and many fond memories and traditions…with him.

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A gorgeous ship in the harbor (prompting pirate accents when we saw it!)

We were there only two days and my heart really sank to leave – the combination of vivid memories from my youth, paired with having us all in one place (my brother and sister-in-law were missed!) plucked at my Empathetic heartstrings!  It is always jarring to swap realities for me, and always has been – not to the point I can’t do it, just that it takes a little adjusting (incidentally, it appears this is a common problem for folks – google it and see!) I truly, however, appreciated every moment while I was there.

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Harvested, fresh clams…er, the shells!

One of our traditions is going out to the harbor just before low tide, and taking advantage of the low water levels to snag fresh clams (in season, and within the regulations, obviously.)  I love that the restrictions are in place, lest individuals harvest with gay abandon and upset the ecosystem for their own gain.

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Fresh clams

Once we have a good bushel (or more!) we haul them back in and make two things – clams casino and clam sauce for pasta.  

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Clams casino

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Martelli pasta (the BEST!) with clam sauce

As a clean eater, I actually don’t have either dish (though, in my defense, casino contains cheese, which I – and my stomach – definitely cannot have!)  It is more important to me personally to maintain and achieve my goals, so I’m okay with abstaining.  I always have enough of my own goodies to not feel hungry (my fiance made stir fry chicken and vegetables! 🙂 and I know I will feel better later.

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Fresh candy from the local farm!

That said, I do enjoy the preparation, having all of us together…AND a few steamed clams in olive oil and green tabasco (my uncle’s favorite concoction!)  The most important part of the meal preparation, and devouring, is the time with my loved ones.

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When I reflected on our many summers together, my heart just glowed – sometimes Life goes  too quickly.  Or maybe we are young and aren’t thinking about time marching on as vehemently as it does… But since we all are at a stage where we DO have control of mindfulness, make sure to take the time to stay present (something I work on daily.)  Cherish the moments you have – they make for a mind-blowing tapestry of memories and love.

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❤ 

 

Instant Confidence Stick

So there were a couple of posts about this out there – I hadn’t really internalized that this could be potentially offensive to some, but it seems that it was.  For some, naming the product “Instant Confidence Stick” was not only not expected from Bobbi Brown (generally known to embrace our natural beauty – aging and otherwise), but also because it suggested that we need a product to give us confidence (focusing primarily on our superficial appearance, as it were.)

I didn’t take anything negative, nor controversial, from it so much – they way it reads to me is that if I am having a day that I feel I look as though I need a pick me up (my personal opinion about myself) then this might offer some help.  It doesn’t suggest to me that I am lacking in some way, no beautiful enough, or that without a product(s), I’m somehow sub-par.  

I understand – and agree – with the notion that we should love ourselves the way we are.  We should – we are fabulous, damnit!  But that doesn’t mean that if we want to pull ourselves together and present a cleaned-up version of ourselves – all the time, or occasionally – that there is anything wrong with that!

Per Bobbi’s UK site (where it is available):

Bobbi’s magic eraser—instantly blurs the look of fine lines and wrinkles for a smoother, more lineless look. The colourless, breathable and ultra-lightweight formula glides on easily and feels weightless, making it comfortable for all-day wear. Use it to prep skin for seamless makeup application, or to touch up and control shine throughout the day.

Infused with a powerful peptide, the formula helps to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles as soon as you apply. A unique triple suspension complex creates an effective yet breathable blurring layer that helps to smooth and perfect skin’s texture. Plus, it works over time to absorb excess oil and control shine.

So it smooths out those pesky lines I sometimes focus too much on (yes, I’m sure they ONLY bother ME.)  AND it helps over time to tame shine…which also sometimes aggravates me.  I rather appreciate that there’s a lil’ easy-to-use stick out there that might assist me in achieving those things since – let’s be honest – I DON’T always wake up flawless.

In my opinion it is totally okay to recruit a little help because it will make me feel a bit better on the days something to perk me up.  And trust me, my confidence hasn’t taken a dive, nor my spirt been wounded, by the name…or the offering.  

Summer 2016 – L’Oreal Masks

I’m a little bit nutty about taking care of my skin – it’s one of those things that you have to be incredibly proactive about (as in, start early in life!)  It will make a difference if you start to baby your skin early on in life – not only because it becomes an engrained habit, but because you have protected it so well from nature’s aggressors over time.

I’ve always like L’Oreal as a brand – not so much because it is an absolute monster of a company, but because that as a giant in the industry, it has the resources to do solid research and testing – great R&D results in products that actually DO what they say they will…and all the L’Oreal products I have tried, have delivered.  

Their L’Oreal drugstore line is on the moderate to higher end where pricing is concerned, but it also won’t break the bank (La Mer, anyone) so it makes loving your skin less damaging to your wallet.

The newest items, coming this Summer, include a variety of masks – always a fun way to de-stress, and pamper your epidermis.  There will be three formulations available:

  • Exfoliate & Refine Pores  3 Pure Clays + Red Algae
  • Purify & Mattify –  3 Pure Clays + Eucalyptus
  • Detox & Brighten –  3 Pure Clays + Charcoal

 

Per BudgetBeautyBlog, one of the few places posting the news, these creamy , 10 minute masks combine:
  1. Kaolinite (to cleanse & exfoliate)
  2. Montmorillonite (absorb oil)
  3. Rhassoul (rich in minerals to condition & hydrate)
I’m kind of excited to see these.  I don’t really need another mask, but I always get excited about new products. 🙂  Are you looking forward to checking these out?  

Cover FX Custom Blot Drops

Sign. Me. Up!

I can’t STAND shine.  Summer is that time of year when grateful-for-a-glow turns to slick-skin misery!  Sometimes it is only perspiration.  But mostly I feel like I have a harder time staying generally mattified in the hot, summer sun and increasingly humid conditions…even when I’m not breaking a sweat, so to speak. Ugh.  No thanks!

Sephora.com photo

Sephora.com photo

So…I LOVE the idea of a drop formulation designed to help tackle the slippery slope that is summer skin!  Enter Cover FX with a new breed of Custom Drops (they have been rather successful with their liquid pigment Cover Drops, and other items of the ilk, such as skin-loving Infusions, over time so why not expand further?!)

Custom Blot Drops  give you an instantly matte complexion by balancing skin (especially the troublesome kind!) with oil-control ingredients AND acne-attacking salicylic acid.  Cucumber, papaya and chamomile tea up to hydrate and soothe skin, while the former few keep you clear and shine-free.  

The product can be used on its own or paired with any of your liquid makeup or skin care.  It is This product is “free of mineral oil, gluten, talc, formaldehyde, formaldehyde resin, toluene, DBP (dibutyl phthlate), and camphor,” just in case you’re wondering! 😉

I kind of feel like it is about time for this kind of item – mattifying moisturizers and shine solutions just haven’t made enough of an impact in the past (for me, at least.)  The one thing that has is a good ol’ blotting sheet…but I’d love to eliminate those while I’m at it. 

Ideal Soleil In Shower After Sun by Vichy

Taking a cue from the many in-shower moisturizers and self tanners, Vichy is introducing a new after-sun product designed for use as you rinse off after spending time outside on a sunny day.

Ideal Soleil is made from men and women, and created to soothe, soften, and hydrate skin for up to 48 hours with a combination of shea oil and a several of vegetable oils (apricot kernel, coriander seed , blackcurrant seed and echium), all all rich in fatty acids. 

The product is easy to apply, and absorbs quickly into the skin.  You can (for dry skin) apply it and leave it on.  Or…(for wet skin), hop in the shower and wash with your usual soap or gel, apply the after-sun, and then rinse.  

Ideal Soleil is free from parabens, hypoallergenic, and tested on sensitive skin – all wonderful attributes! 🙂  I love that suncare is being amped up all the time – it is HUGELY important, and something we all could be more mindful of (our epidermis will thank us!) 

Giorgio Armani Maestro Glow Nourishing Fusion

The name is quite the mouthful but it seems to be worthy of whatever length Armani chooses, based on the word of mouth!  Giorgio Armani Maestro Glow Nourishing Fusion Makeup Bi-Phase Elixir SPF30 is the newest to the Armani foundations, and will be launching in February, 2016 online.

Many thanks to ReallyRee for sharing more information about it, as well as her review, since there isn’t as much out there yet!  The benefits of this newbie – gorgeous glow aside – includes:

  • Nourishing bi-phase formula
  • Super light texture
  • Perfecting buildable coverage
  • Like original Maestro it is free from water
  • High concentration of nourishing oils
  • 3 oils released over time and composed like notes of a fragrance
  • Non-oily effect
  • NASA technology enables the absorption of excess oils
  • Leaves skin feeling supple
  • SPF30 for daily protection
  • 9 shades

Given the incredible, global success of the other formulations – AND their always-gracing-It-Lists status, I’d say this is worth checking out.  They aren’t inexpensive but a little does go a long way.  I haven’t tried them myself simply because I am active every day – while they are purportedly divine, I’d feel badly sweating it off so quickly…or getting it all over someone else’s gi!

Smashbox Photo Finish Primer Oil

I’m positively delighted that oils have gotten such generous praise over the last few years – gone are the days where those with troubled skin are destined to shy away from the nutrient-rich, hydrating and calming properties of oils! 

It’s a wonderful thing, because there are countless benefits, not least of all that healthy, dewy glow many oils can give the skin (not in a sit-on-on-top-and-clog-my-precious-pores, greasy way- a legitimate, dew-kissed freshness that comes with youth…and absorbent, delectable oils!)

Using oils as primer before makeup is also nothing new – they’ve been doing it backstage at Runway shows for a long time.  But the general public may not have had many options in the past…in addition to harboring fears of makeup slipping and sliding off within minutes!  Jumping on board the benefits-of-oil train, Smashbox has just released a new primer oil.  

Photo Finish Primer Oil is a “fast-absorbing, hero blend of 15 essential and lipid-rich plant oils,” designed to hydrate, soften, and glow-ify your skin.

Per Smashbox:

WHY IT’S UNIQUE
…This signature blend is the perfect fusion of 15 oils like jojoba, Arabica and Argan—all handpicked for their known skin benefits. To de-stress your morning routine, calming chamomile and lavender oils sooth senses while the light veil reduces the appearance of dry, fine lines and makes you glow. Add a drop to our Studio Skin foundation for a natural, second-skin look without sacrificing any coverage. 

BRAGGING RIGHTS (I LOVE that terminology! 🙂 ) 
• Softens complexion to make foundation look like skin 
• Instantly absorbs and adds radiance  
• 15 essential and lipid-rich plant oils including moisturizing jojoba and calming chamomile
• Morning and evening application adds increased moisture in just 4 weeks
• Apply a few drops to split-ends, cuticles, elbows and clavicle for a dewy, youthful sheen.

I would say that if you are oily, you would want to try this on a day where it won’t matter much if it doesn’t work…or steer clear all together.  There ARE oils out there that can help to mattify, remarkably, as well as to tone acne-prone or troubled skin – so if this specific product doesn’t work for you, not to worry!  

You can still use some nourishing oils at Night suited for your skin – hydrating and pampering when you are home can give you that same lovely glow in the even an oil primer feels too forward!

Spring 2016 – CoverGirl

I actually saw these in store yesterday and didn’t have my camera…but the display looks identical to the one I saw (Thanks to @hhardydawson on Instagram for these images.)  The Spring products are definitely trickling in so keep your eyes peeled!

@hhardydawson on Instagram

@hhardydawson on Instagram

@hhardydawson on Instagram

@hhardydawson on Instagram

@hhardydawson on Instagram

@hhardydawson on Instagram

I also saw some TruBLEND BLUSH…which I don’t see photos of.  It was displayed with a few new primers, so those are something to look out for!

Per Procter & Gamble and CoverGirl…

Oh Sugar Lipstick:
COVERGIRL will have you saying Oh Sugar! with a fresh, new vitamin-infused lip balm that provides a pampering, sensorial experience at a better-than-fresh price. And what’s even sweeter than the citrus scent, decadent shade palette and delicious sugary taste? The price! Soft, naturally-moisturized lips never looked (or tasted) so sweet.   
FEATURES & BENEFITS
• With grapeseed oil, avocado butter & Vitamins C & E, this reparative luxe lip treatment nourishes, protects and smoothes lips so you feel naturally renewed from the inside out
• Thin oils absorb quickly into lips while a thin protective layer locks in moisture – no thick, greasy film-feel you can get from other balms
• Tinted formula glides on smooth for the perfect pop of Colorlicious payout – we dare you to compare to a $20 balm!
• 10 SKUs: Cupcake, Candy, Caramel, Taffy, Spice, Punch, Soda, Sprinkle, Jelly & Gumdrop
COVERGIRL truNAKED Shadow Palettes  and Waterproof Eyeliner Duo:

Colour has moved from the lips to the lids, with graphic liners looks, nudes, golds and shimmer dominating the Spring/Autumn Fashion Shows. Just in time to capitalize on those trends without a heavy price tag, COVERGIRL introduces truNAKED Shadow Palettes and Waterproof Eyeliner Duo

The new truNAKED Shadow Palettes deliver colour payout and shades comparable to a leading $50 eye shadow palette. Each palette includes eight intensely-pigmented, uber-blendable shadows to deliver a smooth, silky feel and prestige-worthy payout at a fraction of the cost. 

The truNAKED Waterproof eyeliner duo features two versatile eyeliner shades to deliver rich, blendable colour that shades like a prestige-double ended liner. 

FEATURES & BENEFITS
• Eyeshadow Palette shades like a leading $50 eyeshadow
• Three prestige-inspired shade palettes — Nude, Roses, Golden
•Each palette features perfectly combined pale-to deep-neutral shades to contour your eyes in endless combinations (from nude to smokey) and offers a range of textures (from matte to shimmer)
Plumpify Blast Pro:
Women want volume and are constantly trying new mascaras in search of the Holy Grail that delivers on that. Yet volume is only half the battle, COVERGIRL did the research and uncovered the best way to take volume to new heights – and it all starts with a LIFT. Insert new Plumpify Mascara by blastPRO. For lashes that seem darker, fuller and more visible, you need to lift them from the root. Our new Plumpify mascara features our biggest brush ever, with a mix of conical bristles plus specially-designed fins, exclusive to us, that physically grab and lift the lashes. This brush, in combination with our texturizing formula, help create 50x the volume. Mile-high lashes are yours for half the price! 
FEATURES & BENEFITS
• Double-action brush plumps and lifts from the base of the lash for extreme volume
• Texturing formula helps build volume and separation
• 4 Shades 3 regular (very black, black, black brown) and 1 waterproof (very black)
• Easy, Breezy Tip: Use rounded tip of brush for hard to reach lashes. Pair with truNAKED Waterproof Eyeliner Duo for a more dramatic look

Update: Swatches from BudgetBeautyBlogger!