Beautiful Manis from Emilie & Brigit

Sisterly love…. 
My daughters have been having a lot of fun with inventing fun manis lately. The last two they did were so cool they got featured on The Kit Nail Art Gallery! They are super fun and I am in awe of their skills. 

The mani above is Biddy’s. She used Sally Hansen X-Treme Wear Blue It on the base, with a partial top coap of Nicole by OPI Twist of Fate for the gold sparkles. She called it “King Tut’s Lapis” and I think the gold flecks on blue really look like lapis! She is mortified that I posted a pre-clean up photo of her nails but I knew you wouldn’t mind.

Emilie used OPI Lucky Lucky Lavender as her base with Orly Tiara for the  silvery glitter on the tips. It actually was so subtle that her nails looked practicallly neutral until you took a second glance. Trust me, they were gorgeous.

Powdery Perfumes, Beautiful & Comforting.

Powdery Perfumes, Beautiful & Comforting.

I love powdery scents. They are comforting, and harken back to simple sweet times. I always loved the scent of baby powder and wore it when I was a pre teen as a sweet “perfume”, along with my Love’s Baby Soft. I have also used J&J Baby Lotion, for its light moisturizing and soft powdery scent. My daughters use it sometimes and it takes me back to when they were babies. I recall giving them little massages with baby oil after their baths, and giving them a light dusting of baby powder to keep heat rash at bay in hot weather. So who wouldn’t associate that scent with sweetness and innocence? I still like the scent of Love’s Baby Soft, and it was the first perfume I got for both my daughters when they were old enough to spritz on their own perfume like “grown-ups”.

 

Powdery scents have been around forever and are either baby/talcum powder-y, or a little more adult and more cosmetic or “face powder” powdery. Some notes contribute to a powdery scent- floral notes like violet, iris, heliotropin and rose are often powdery, and resins like amber have a sweet powdery feel, and even white musks. Certain soapy scents can be powdery, and my favourite powdery scents are also “clean” smelling. Notes like amber can warm and sweeten a clean scent, making it less cold and detergent-y. As with any category of perfumes I review, there are usually MANY that don’t make the list. I either think of them later, or just pare it down to a few in the interest of brevity. But I also love to hear your ideas and faves, as this is the best way for me to find new and wonderful perfumes to try! Yes, we are all enablers ;)So here is my list, such as it is….



Lorenzo Villoresi Teinte de Neige The name of the Villoresi perfume means “the colour of snow”- quite poetic really. This one is a powder bomb, and is so concentrated that a little goes a long on my skin. The notes listed include jasmine, rose, tonka “powdery notes” (duh) heliotrope and musk. I am not sure what amps the powder up in this but it is magical. I really like the way Teinte de Neige is a dry powdery perfume and not overly sweet. I get baby powder but some reviewers get face powder. Perhaps they are smelling more of the floral notes than I can detect. I think the musks in this perfume can read stronger for some, meaning the florals melt into the background a little more. This is the case for me. But there is something very soothing about this perfume, giving one the sense of being pampered, bathed and powdered, making it wonderful for hot weather. Yet, it also has a warm and cozy sense which makes it a lovely shape shifter for cool weather, like a cashmere wrap. Gorgeous, and really the Grande Dame of powdery perfumes- if you like this category, this one is a must-sniff.

Il Profumi de Fireze Talco Delicato Just as the name would suggest, this one is a soft and delicate powder scent. It has the musk, vanilla of Teinte de Neiges but no floral notes, and has added some spices (just spices, nothing specific..) which give it a slightly sweeter and less “dry” feel that the Villoresi scent. The musk is sweet and innocent, and I pick out a J&J Baby Shampoo vibe- the same one I get from Jovan Musk. I think I find this a bit easier to wear than Teinte de Neige but to be fair, they are pretty different, but if you found TdN too “much” and still want a powder perfume, you really should try Talco Delicato. No violety face powder here, just soft and innocent clean fresh-out-of- the-bath powder. If you enjoy sweet simple scents and also like white musks, this one is a must try. The dry down on this just gets softer and lovelier. Very pretty.

Guerlain Vol de Nuit I am always afraid to throw a classic Guerlain into the mix due to the reformulation issue. So, lets just stick to current versions, and in this case, the eau de toilette. The notes include bergamot, jasmine, galbanum, woods, vanilla, iris and amber. So this would be in the face powder category, and in the most elegant and delicate of ways. It never gets too sweet and wears very softly on the skin. There are some “spices” in there, and with the woodsy notes you get an effect that could really be a masculine or feminine. This is a cool weather favourite of mine, and the sweet vanilla-amber dry down is really quite sexy. So yes, Vol de Nuit not a baby powder powdery perfume, and it has the classic Guerlinade base that makes you very happy this is not a modern fruity floral. No one does perfume like Guerlain and I am reminded of their genius every time I wear one. I’ve said that I could live happily with only Guerlain and Chanel perfumes for the rest of my days but I suppose I’m happy I don’t have to. Vol de Nuit is like a creamy velvet powder perfume, and one I often like to wear to bed. I love getting a hit of it on my sheets when I get into bed the next night as well. Beautiful. Added bonus: this Christmas, Guerlain is releasing Vol de Nuit as a softly shimmering scented powder in a teal green bottle:

I must own this. Must. Own. Swooning.

L’Artisan L’Eau d’Ambre This is my hands down favourite amber scent, and one of my faves from the L’Artisan line. There is the L’Eau and also an Extreme version (which is sort of the eau de parfum version) but neither one is actually “extreme” and it is a very soft and powdery scent. It is quite interesting, and includes notes of rose, cardamom, geranium, vanilla, sandalwood and amber. The geranium adds an interesting aspect that perhaps contributes to the dry sense of this perfume. It is a soft sweet powder that wears very close to the skin. It is dry and warm and again, easily a unisex scent. If you are an amber fan, you must try this one. In my opinion it is one of the most beautiful amber scents on the market. It melts into your skin as the day goes by and is really quite sexy. L’Artisan has Ambre scents in their home line too. I do not suggest sniffing them unless your wallet is wide open. The Ambre candles are simple the most gorgeous candles I’ve tried. You do not even have to light them to enjoy the scent, but when you do, the throw is amazing and your whole home will smell divine. And then, there are the Ambre Boules….finely carved vented terracotta balls that contain an amber scented resin (refills available) that are nothing less than swoonworthy.

They radiate amber deliciousness throughout the home and simply look gorgeous. They are, to me, the ultimate ambient perfume for the home.

Bill Blass Nude Ok this is an odd one, but a lovely one. Nude has been discontinued for years but is still available for a song online (like, under $35 kind of song) and is well worth it. Nude is a skin scent with a blast of sinus clearing aldehydes in the top notes that makes you go “SKIN SCENT? HUH?”. As soon as they disappear, which is quickly, you are soon left with a soft powdery sweet perfume that smells like pretty sweet soft skin. I would call this one Love’s Grown Up Lady Soft, as the woodsy base notes elevate this from girly to grown up in a fabulous way. The vetiver and sandalwood combination is really different. I wouldn’t call this unisex but nor is it especially “girly”. It is different, and lovely. A beautiful review for Nude by a perfumista on Basenotes described it so wonderfully. She said her family and friends always thought that she just smelled wonderful, herself, and never guessed it was her perfume they were smelling until she switched it. And the perfume was Bill Blass Nude. It was that review that convinced me to buy it, unsniffed, and I have not regretted it. Another compliment getter, Nude is easy to wear and always makes me feel pretty.

Abdul Kareem Baby Powder Oil From the sublime to the ridiculous- that’s just how I roll. As much as I love the fabulous artistic Italian perfumers takes on powder, sometimes I just want to smell like, well, baby powder. AK has managed to recreate the scent of J&J Baby Powder perfectly in their Baby Powder Oil perfume. It lasts for hours and hours on the skin, and smells perfectly powdery and pretty. I wear this one to bed a lot, and also layer it with floral and woody perfumes for a sweet powdery foil. It is low on the sillage scale and is one of my huggable perfumes, ie one has to get close to smell it. It is simple and pure and every powder lover should own it. I have heard it is being discontinued so get it now while you can. At around $15 for a 15ml bottle its worth it- very concentrated, and a little goes a long way.

Tiger Beat magazine ad from the 70s. How was this ever ok? Oy.
Smell Sexy & Beautiful

Smell Sexy & Beautiful

Just dabbing a bit of perfume on before bed…what? Of course I wear my fur to bed, silly!

This is a tough category, as we all have our own ways to feel sexy and beautiful, and the scent we choose is no exception to that individuality. I do think there are seasonal sexy scents, some work better in warmer weather, some in cooler weather, and there are different kinds of sexy. Fall is coming though, with soft cozy sweaters and wind whispering through the leaves as they fall to the ground. This puts me in mind of warmer skin scents, the kind you like to wear to cuddle up. These are a few I really enjoy wearing. They make me feel beautiful and cooler weather is perfect snuggling weather.

Etro Heliotrope Heliotrope is a neat perfume note,  simple and soft, from the flower of the same name. It is said that the flower smells like cherry pie, and there is also an almond note. So you can imagine it drifts off into gentle marzipan territory, and even a bit of Play-Doh. My daughters love this one, and my younger one Brigit perks up her ears if I say “oh this perfume has that Play Doh note” as she loves.  Etro Heliotrope is full of many notes like  orange blossom, almond, jasmine, heliotrope, rose, tonka bean, musk, and vanilla, but the heliotrope is the star here. This perfume is soft & wears very close to the skin. Longevity is so-so but that is to be expected from a soft perfume. This perfume is comforting, cozy, and pretty but also unusual and unexpected- always a compliment getter. I wrote about Etro Heliotrope here.

Chanel Bois des Iles What can I say about Bois des Iles that I didn’t say here? This is a gorgeous stunning perfume that is always right. The sandalwood & jasmine combined with the sparkling aldehydes make Bois des Iles perfect, especially in cooler weather. Wear this perfume and watch them melt in your wake. Perfection. Since it’s re-release as part of the Chanel Exclusif collection it was only available as an edt in 200ml bottles aka jugs. I am happy to report it can be had in 75ml bottles now. They show up on Chanel’s website, but you will have to check your local Chanel boutiques for further shopping info.

 

Guerlain Mistouko Mitsouko was created in 1919 so lets get right to the reformulated versions that are available to the average human today. Yes, you could scour the interwebs for vintage Mitsouko, it is divine etc etc. However, I own the current version in eau de parfum concentration and find it absolutely beautiful. It is a fruity chypre, with peach being the dominant fruit with a drydown to a divinely rich & complex base grounded by oakmoss. It is the Guerlain magic that happens in the middle that is so hypnotic & gorgeous. It also features bergamot, jasmine, may rose, cinnamon, vetiver, and woods and they are woven together so seamlessly it is a challenge to pick them out. The warm vanillic Guerlinade makes this perfume perfect for cool days. It is so different from what you smell on the market these days, and never fails to elicit an “Oh my gosh, what is that gorgeous perfume?” when I give someone a hug.

 

Ungaro Diva Ok so this perfume is a diva for sure, but it really is the way you wear it. Spray Ungaro Diva from head to toe? God, no. A few subtle spritzes on pulse points or a gentle mist before getting dressed? Drop dead sexy. This is an 80s chypre that makes no apologies for being all woman, and for roaring it from the rooftops. Yet I find in the eau de toilette formula (the lightest) and worn lightly, Diva becomes as soft as suede and melts into the skin beautifully. It is a veritable kitchen sink list of notes so I won’t even get into them all, but you can read them here. The ones that stand out to me as sexy, cozy and gorgeous though, and I just love them.  The multiple citrus notes on the top soften the multiple floral notes before softening to a gorgeous base of oakmoss, honeyed sandalwood and vanilla. It even tends to a slightly soapy feel, but not detergent soapy, more like expensive French soap soapy. Diva is not for the timid, but you can keep her voice to a whisper if you like.

 

Jo Malone Pomegranate Noir I’ve written about Pomegranate Noir here. I love it, and it is a classic beauty for cooler weather. There are fruity top notes of pomegranate and raspberry, but it is the woody, spicy and resin-y base that makes this one sing. It smells rich, and I have even had people tell me it smells “expensive”. There is something oddly compelling about this one, and in case you think fruity means for kids, it’s not. As far as Jo Malone goes, this is one of the “stronger” perfumes. The patchouli note grounds this and makes it a Grown Up Perfume. A great evening perfume.


Houbigant Quelques Fleurs Quelques Fleurs is a floral perfume, as the name suggests, and I like to think of it as velvety. It is rich and creamy, and another one with an endless list of notes. This one was also launched at the beginning of the 20th century so it is a given that the notes have changed from then. I wear and love the currently available version. The flowers come off as so soft and feminine yet manage to be rich thanks to being propped up by a base full of woods, tonka, amber and musks. It is the amber and musk that really define this one for me. Amber to me is soft, warm and powdery, and always perfect for cooler weather. The musk they use is sweet sexy and quiet, so while neither of these notes jump out, their sweetness blend perfectly with the flowers. If you love gentle sweet florals with a grown up twist, Quelques Fleurs is a must try. It is another one that smells expensive- this perfume always makes me feel polished and womanly. The sweet and sexy in this are a dichotomy but somehow work. Pop culture connection- Quelques Fleurs is one of Nicole Ritchie’s signature scents. I love her boho style and find it kind of neat that she wears such a womanly grown up scent.

 

Creed Fleurs de Bulgarie Another floral scent, Fleurs de Bulgarie is another one that I prefer in cooler weather. It is really all about rose, but not a powdery simple rose. Nor is it the dark rose scent that is ubiquitous these days, with the Stellas & Juliette Has A Gun types. Nor is the sexy rose chypre like Diva or L’Arte di Gucci.  It is chock full of one of Creed’s beloved ingredients, ambergris, along with amber and musks, and these ingredients really set it apart. It is an odd one, and perhaps a love it or hate it perfume. I was discussing with some perfumistas yesterday how I actually hated Fleurs de Bulgarie on first sniff and couldn’t stash that sample fast enough. But the ambergris stayed with me, and when I finally tried it again, it nearly set my mouth watering. Soapy, yet not clean, and quite sexy in my opinion.

What are YOUR favourite sexy perfumes, or sexy perfume notes?

Clean Your Face with Jeune d’Åge Organics

Blue green algae…. 
Jojoba seeds…
Jeune d’Age Première Cleanser is quickly becoming a favourite of mine. It is a non foaming cream cleanser with a gentle exfoliating action. It contains gentle ingredients like jojoba oil for moisturizing and Rooibus Tea for it’s antioxidants and healing properties. With my oily skin I don’t tend to be a fan of cream based cleansers. They are terrific at removing make up and dirt, but I find they usually leave an oily residue behind. Not the Jeune d’Age Première Cleanser- I could tell the first time I used it that this was different from most cleansers I’d used. Did you know that jojoba oil is very close to human sebum, which makes it a lovely oil to use on the skin. The cleanser spreads smoothly on the skin and has almost no scent at all.  It was the rinsing off that impressed me though. It rinsed away so clean, leaving nothing but fresh clean skin. My skin felt clean and fresh, without feeling dry or tight. 


The Marin Toner is the next step and is a lovely luxurious step in my routine. It has all kinds of stuff to treat your skin beautifully. Tea tree oil, aloe vera, sea kelp, blue green algae, willowbark and more give your skin an arsenal of beautifying ingredients. They hyaluronan plumps the skin as well, and I am all for this. Mine is in a jar with cotton exfoliating pads but it comes as a mister as well, which I also think would be lovely. I really enjoy a luxe skin mist and the Marin Toner would just be amazing misted on. There is a noticeable difference in the appearance and texture of my skin since using these two products. Sometimes I swipe some toner on my face as soon as I roll out of bed, just because it gives my face such a lovely moist glow. If I can get that before my morning coffee, I’m a happy camper!



Jeune d’Age Première Cleanser and Marin Toner are available on the Jeune d’Age website.


Thann Shiso Mask for Amazingly Beautiful & Silky Hair

I was at one of my favourite beauty/lifestyle/spa boutiques the other day- it is called Thann. If you are not familiar with this stunning boutique, Thann is a boutique that features a range of all-natural hair, skin, and body care, for women and men, formulated from botanicals and essential oils by combining the art of natural therapy with modern science. All products are dermatologically tested, paraben free suitable for even the most sensitive of skin types, and they use recycled packaging, support human rights, oppose child labour and all kind of wonderful things. You can read more on Thann’s website.
We are quite lucky to have a Thann boutique here in Ottawa, as they are an Asian based company with only one shop in North America, the rest are in Asia and Europe and Australia. You can shop online though, which you will definitely want to do. The Canadian site ships anywhere in the US as well. Especially if you have hair that is coarse, dry, colour treated, or suffering from a summer spent in the sunshine.
They do resemble mint leaves….
Thann Shiso Hair Mask is part of their famous Shiso line. Shiso is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, alpha-linolenic acid which has anti-inflammatory properties and is an anti-oxidant. Shiso is a valuable ingredient widely used in medical, food, and cosmetic industries worldwide. It also has a fresh smell, almost like a green tea/mint combination, that I adore. There is an entire Shiso skincare line that is definitely worth exploring.
The owner of our beautiful Thann Boutique, Fadi, saw my long thick coarse hair and recommended the Shiso Mask. A quick skim of the ingredients told me it did not have silicone. This appealed to me immediately, as I am OVER having my hair coated with grease. This only offers the illusion of silky hair, and that illusion does not last. He explained the benefits of the proteins, shiso and other ingredients, and I was sold. I was out of Joico K-Pak, which has been my go-to protein treatment forever, and was willing to try something new. And I’m so glad I did! My hair was literally transformed. Smooth, silky and shiny, my hair would just slip out of my hands. The coarse dry ends were eliminated. But- the scent! Oh wow does this stuff smell divine! And the scent lingers in my hair for days. Not strong, but if I get a bit warm or my hair goes in front of my face, I get a hint of that lovely fresh oddly floral tea. My hair is impenetrable by anything other than uber effective product. I have tried so many “deep conditioners” that do nothing for my hair, and some leave it impossible to get a comb through. So for a product to work, and to work so well, is almost miraculous.
Not a dry strand to be found- this is bouncin’ & behavin’ hair!
Verdict: Thann Shiso Hair Mask has earned a permanent place in my hair arsenal for sure. I got my Thann Shiso Hair Mask at Thann Boutique in Ottawa, 100ml tube for $33. I have very thick hair that is halfway down my back so my usage will be different than for someone with different type of hair.

Beautiful Fall Hair Freshen Up

After driving my cabrio all summer, and just being out in the sun, my summer highlights were completely bleached out. I wasn’t ready to re-do the highlights but needed to refresh my ‘do. Time for a toner! I go lighter than my roots but a wee bit darker than my highlights. Toners also smooth the hair cuticle so my hair feels soft silky and smooth. Not to mention shiny! Check it out!

Biotherm Lip Butter Makes Me Love My Lips!

Jane’s Lip Balm Obsession, Chapter 1 million, continues. And the latest I have tried is a new offering from Biotherm, Beurre de Lévres, aka Lip Butter. I love the Biotherm line, it is gentle, the products smell good, and they don’t make outrageous claims. I used a lip gloss they made a few years ago- it was a clear jelly with sunscreen and it smelled like oranges. I loved it and went through 2 tubes, but it may be discontinued as it is not showing up on any searches and I don’t recall the last time I saw it in store. Spending my summer days cruising in a convertible means I have gone the extra mile to protect my hair, skin and of course, lips. The skin is quite thin on our lips and they take a beating from the environment.
It has a creamy consistency but melts right into the lips upon application
This new Lip Butter claims to smooth and plump the lips, and it does indeed do this. Its not the electric tingly plumping, but it definitely makes the lips fuller and, dare I say, juicy. The active ingredients are the five oils used to nourish the lips are apricot, coriander, jojoba, passionflower and macadamia. There is a gentle scent of peach with a bit of lemon and rose but it is barely discernible and there is no taste to speak of. It is recommended for women or men due to wonderful fact it leaves virtually a matte finish, and it literally just melts into your lips leaving them soft and smooth. I love this! Sometimes I want a moisturized full looking lip without the gloss. It also doesn’t catch my hair as a breeze blows by as opposed to gloss which grabs on to every hair that strays by, which is fantastic. This new Biotherm Lip Butter is beautiful and has a place of honour in my bag. Which doesn’t mean it isn’t on the bottom of the bag, requiring much digging and cursing to get at, but that is a whole other issue. Verdict- love it!
I got my Biotherm Beurre de Lévres at Shoppers Drug Mart for $22.
Urban Decay Keeps Your Make Up Beautiful

Urban Decay Keeps Your Make Up Beautiful

Well, the lazy hazy days of summer are behind us & it’s time to spiff up, leave the bronze shimmer at the beach & polish up your look. Fall 2012 makeup looks call for color on the eye, either strong & bold, or a soft wash of color on the lids or as liner. With any eye make up, there is nothing worse than oily creases on the lids or looking in the mirror to find your makeup half gone- before lunch.  If you have not heard of Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion, then get thee to Sephora or Shopper’s Drug Mart STAT.

The new tube packaging is easy to use…
UDPP (to those in the know) is an indelible makeup base for your eyelids & it hugs your make up hard, until you take it off. I put a little under my lower lashes if I am lining there, and even on blemishes before applying concealer. It comes in several shades to match skintone, & even two shimmery neutrals that work perfectly as a base. A little goes a long way, & the new tube packaging makes getting the right amount easy. I use Eden, a matte nude, which is perfect for my medium-fair skin.
Swatch blended to the left of drop of product
Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion is available at Sephora and select Shopper’s Drug Marts. I am wearing OPI Tickle My Francey nail polish in the middle photo, which Katie Holmes is wearing on the cover of August’s InStyle Magazine- still an amazing neutral colour, perfect for fall.

By Kilian Sweet Redemption – The End

By Kilian Sweet Redemption – The End

I adore perfumes with orange blossom. There is a simplicity and innocence to that scent that evokes soap, babies and even sweet desserts. You can be transported to a romantic garden with intoxicating blossoms surrounding you. But therein lies the issue with this flower. We don’t always want to smell like sweet gentle babies in the garden. Leave it to By Kilian to amp up the sensuous quality of orange blossom while keeping the true to gorgeous nature of the flower.  Love & Tears, Surrender, has been a favorite of mine since first sniff, so I couldn’t wait for this latest release.

                                 

 

Sweet Redemption, The End, is the last of the L’Oeuvre Noire collection. The notes from the By Kilian website include bitter orange leaf, vanilla, orange blossom and myrrh, oppononax and incense. Where the average orange blossom scent sits prim, pretty & freshly scrubbed, Sweet Redemption melts into the skin. The vanilla wraps around the resins and warm on the skin beautifully as the scent dries down. These sweet mysterious notes add a sexy factor to orange blossom that is unexpected and seductive, making you want to lean in closer. As I wear it I’m sniffing my wrist & thinking how perfect this will be in cooler weather. Sweet Redemption may be The End of the series, but it will likely be the beginning of many other wonderful things…

…is that the end up ahead?

 

The By Killian Collection is available at Holt Renfrew in Canada.