The Classic Beauty, Dior Diorella

The Classic Beauty, Dior Diorella

I remember this iconic bottle on my mum’s dresser as a little kid. That houndstooth packaging says “elegance”…

The house of Christian Dior has many beautiful perfumes that span generations. They are not all my taste- but how boring would the world be if we all liked the same perfumes, right? The iconic Diorissimo, is the worlds best known and prettiest, in my humble opinion, Lily of The Valley perfume. It was worn by many women over my lifetime and has only the sweetest memories attached. And who can forget the killer Dior Poison? Probably one of the most memorable perfumes to come out of the 80s, and how terrific is that name? For a perfume- fantastic! It can be nuclear strength if applied with abandon, but on my beautiful and elegant cousin Jean, who must just gently dab it, it smells other worldly and beautiful.

One of my most favourite masculines has always been Dior Eau Sauvage- smells both rich and quiet and adds instant elegance and panache to the man wearing it. Simple and unadorned, yet decidedly identifiable, the world would be a better place if more men wore Eau Sauvage. Just sayin’… The dry beautiful green chypre Miss Dior, which my mother wore, will always smell like grown up ladies in lipstick, with pretty silk scarves and leather handbags. Even the sweet Miss Dior Cherie (recently re-named Miss Dior…oh how they confound and confuse us with this nonsense….) while not for me, is a lovely strawberry delight that smells snuggly and delicious on my 15 year old. I can’t fault a perfume house for evolving and creating perfumes that will appeal to everyone. Snobbery in perfume is a bit tedious. We don’t all start out wearing Shalimar at ten years old…and if you did, well, you might want to open your mind a little and realize there is, indeed, a perfume for everyone.

Rene Gruau did the iconic ads for Dior perfumes. How chic is this woman?

Dior recently re-released a collection of the classics under the name “Les Créations de Monsieur Dior” and even with restrictions on things like jasmine, sandalwood and oakmoss (and who knows what else) I think they have done a lovely job of recreating the originals we loved so much. Diorella was launched in 1972 and was a departure from the heavy florals and orientals that dominated women’s perfumes in the previous decades. It is a soft floral chypre, with gentle fruity floral notes grounded by the subtle yet sexy mossy notes so well loved in 70s perfumery. Mmmmm. Love.

Rene Gruau’s ad for the sexy-clean-in-a-French-way (dirty clean) Eau Sauvage

Diorella is based on a simple cologne with the lemon, lime and basil notes but Dior added florals to give it a feminine touch. The heart notes include gentle honeysuckle, jasmine, and rose which are tempered by a yummy peach note to keep them bubbly and light. Add the base of rich oak moss, a touch of smoky vetiver and some sexy patchouli and you have a cocktail of delight on the skin. It performs as an invigorating post shower eau de cologne for day, staying close to the skin with the citrus notes so cheering and uplifting. As the day cools into evening (or in cooler weather) the sultry base notes come forward and warm on the skin, making those around you wonder who smells so damn good. All the while, the sweet floral notes keep it decidedly feminine and temper the fruity effervescent top notes and the woody, mossy smoky green basenotes. Perfection.

Topnotes are like the morning- crisp, clear & bright….
The pretty floral heart notes are warm like a sun filled field….
The mossy, smoky woody base notes warm beautifully on the skin like a cashmere wrap at night….

It does not smell anything like the average fruity floral on offer at perfume counters these days. At. All. It does not have the cloying synthetic musk note that every other perfume has these days, that makes them all smell the same and makes me want to run screaming from crowded elevators and movie theatres. One of my beloved perfumes is a discontinued Creed, Aubepine Acacia, and I do think the gorgeous Diorella can fill its shoes. And then some…

Holiday Mani Pedi Courtesy of Lippmann & Essie

“Now listen gals, holiday nails must have glitter!”
Just a quick little post to share my fun mani-pedi. The mani is the stunning navy blue Essie Bobbing For Baubles from the Holiday 2011 collection. It is a creamy almost dusty blue and I just love it. Not flashy or bizarre, just elegant. The toes…well. Inspired as always by my Lippmann Guru, Elena, I opted for Lippmann Naked on the base and Lippmann Some Enchanted Evening on top. The gorgeous perfect nude with delicate rose glitter on top is beautiful! Perfect for holidays at home, and also will work perfectly with open toe shoes and flip flops on the beach! Goodbye snow…..
Sexy Angelic Perfume For Cuddling

Sexy Angelic Perfume For Cuddling

Yes, Sexy Angelic is actually the name of the perfume by the natural perfume house, Honoré des Pres and not the latest vile concoction that Victoria’s Secret likes to call perfume. Honoré des Pres is headed up by the perfumer Olivia Giacobetti, best known for her soft and ethereal perfumes at L’Artisan Parfumeur and Diptyque, notably their hugely popular fig scents (Premier Figuier & Philosykos respectively) which were among the first perfumes to feature a fig note and they reached cult status before becoming true classics in the perfume world. But clear and gentle scents are her hallmark, and she continues to please & deliver with Sexy Angelic.

Immortality, Henri Fantin-Latour

Sexy Angelic is a bit of a twist on the name of one of the ingredients, angelica, which is a leafy green plant with poufy blossoms prized for their scent. It is a an odd scent, often compared to musk or juniper, and even a slight anise accord. Not everyone smells the anise note- I feel like the angelica takes on a musk shape shifty quality meaning everyone smells their own special scent with this….There are also notes of hemlock flowers. Now, everything I have read about hemlock flowers implies they are the same plant as angelica so perhaps they are just mentioning different parts of the same plant they use. At any rate, there is also almond and “freshly baked calisson ( a sweet buttery french candy like marzipan) accord”. The almond note makes me think of an expensive French almond soap and reminds me a wee bit of the divine L’Occitane Shea Butter Hand Cream (deserves a post of its own…coming soon…) so if you can imagine sweet and soft with a clean but not too clean scent, then you know what I mean.

Angelica seeds….

So this perfume is sweet and foody but in the gentlest way. It is all natural and quite soft so getting Angelic from angelica is not a stretch at all. Is it sexy? Well….the soft musk note is sweet and dries down to a yummy skin scent that makes you want to lean in and smell more, maybe even taste it. So yes- sexy. It is a simple scent and dries down nicely. You will not offend anyone in a crowded elevator with this one, and it is perfect for those that like their perfumes gentle and quiet. It is elegant in its understated way and has become a favourite in my rotation. I love to wear it to bed, and also when I don’t want to think too hard about my perfume. I love it and it has earned a permanent place in my collection.

Good clean & sweet fun….

Honoré des Pres is not the easiest to track down but this should help narrow it down.

Holiday Beauty Round Up

Oh how I love reading beauty blogs leading up to the holidays! Every blogger has their favourite goodies & gift ideas and its so fun finding things I’ve never heard about. They usually become my new obsession. Here is some tempting & delicious holiday reading & some music to go with – enjoy!

I adore Zooey Deschanel & her She & Him Christmas album is so fun….
For holiday manicure ideas, mosey on over to The Beauty School Dropouts and check out the mind blowing manis- from gingerbread & penguins to edgy, I love them all. Their post on the gorgeous Lana Del Rey nail art from her new video is about as hot as it gets! LOVE.
The Non Blonde shares her experiences with Worth Je Reviens perfume. I love pretty and feminine perfumes during the holiday and party season and share her passion for scenting linens with perfume. Just lovely.
Best Things In Beauty is on her second bottle of what John Masters Organics calls “the gentlest cleanser ever” – and it’s organic and cruelty free. I really need to explore this line!

Still struggling for gift ideas? Beauty Editor has, count ’em, FIFTEEN awesome gift sets for the ultimate in one-stop-shopping.

BeautyGeeks shows us a quick & pretty party look you will love. I wore it last night & felt festive but not overdone! Love!

Do you have a lover of all things natural on your list? EauMG has a beautiful selection of gift ideas for the natural beauties in your life.

The Glitter Geek has an amazing gift guide with the best in face & body care– I love everything!

Lipstick Rules posted a beautifully festive yet neutral pink lip courtesy of Chanel….I plan to recreate this look for myself. So. Pretty.

I posted some beautiful holiday home scents & candles over at The Kit– the Slatkin candles from Bath & Body Works are so fantastic, you must search them out. Don’t forget to get The Kit App! So fun.

Holiday Party Nails!

Well tis the season to be festive and, well, sparkly! My daughter is a constant manicure inspiration and my recent manis have been feeling downright dull in comparison to her works of art on tips. So I stepped out of my comfort zone and into the glitter! Deborah Lippmann has a delicious selection of glitters that attract my eye like a magpie every time I pass the counter. 
In bright daylight

In my living room stepping away from the window light….
I am a lover of all things golden so Boom Boom Pow was a natural! I’ve had this gorgeous silky YSL Gold (#139) polish kicking around since last year but never gave it a wear. Emilie busted it out for  this gorgeous manicure and suddenly it occurred to me that it would layer beautifully with Boom Boom Pow….and it did! Boom Boom Pow is a gorgeous gold glitter with flecks of actual real gold dust. Sign me up!
A quick Twitter poll helped me choose my pedi colour- even though it was a tie! Open toe shoes mean toes must also look pretty! I was torn between a vampy red and a true red and in the end, OPI Red My Fortune Cookie seemed like a natural choice. It is a gorgeous bright red with a coral undertone of sorts. Hard to explain but so beautiful in winter or summer. Love.
I don’t usually like toe shots but don’t the colours look purty together?

So now I just have to dust off the hot rollers & I’m ready to party! How about you? What is your party mani-pedi?
EDIT: This manicure went 6 days before showing even the slightest tip wear. And, after I got over my initial sparkle shock, I fell head over in heels for Lippmann glitter and decided I could wear a glittery mani anytime, anywhere. LOVE. So I promptly went out & purchased Some Enchanted Evening, which my Lippmann goddess, Elena assures me looks gorgeous over Naked. Boo-ya!

She Approves of The Mani….

I was taking some photos the other night of my Chanel Black Pearl mani. It was at night so the colour wasn’t showing up as true as it should. So I was snapping pics on my phone under various light sources in my house when – surprise! – saw Fluffy peeking at me. Just thought I’d share…

Chanel Black Pearl is one of my favourite winter mani colours. LOVE. You can see my review of the colour here.

Dermaglow Really Makes Me Glow

Now this is a glow….love it
Lately I have been using a Dermaloglow regime. I wrote about their amazing Foaming Cleanser when I first got it, as I could tell right away that it was an amazing and thorough cleanser. But the lotions needed a couple weeks to do their stuff and I wanted to give them a fair shake.


I’ve been using the Purifying Oil-Free Night Cream for a few weeks now and I love it. It contains willow bark extract, zinc and salicylic acid to help with acne, and has collagen and hyaluronic acid to help fine lines and radiance for a smoother younger appearance. What I find amazing is how gentle this is. It delivers on all points without a tingle, tinge or burn. My skin looks amazing (aside from a hormonal stress cystic bump….le sigh…it never ends…) and feels good too. None of the pain or sensitivity I get from heavy retinol products. It is pretty much scent free and has a lovely light texture that sinks right into the skin while still leaving it feel moisturized. The Dermaglow Purifying Oil-Free Cream contains no parabens, no dyes and no fragrance. I love this product! I top with my Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Concentrate and wake up with soft glowy skin. I often wake up with an oil slick on my face, even if I use a retinol product. Not so with Dermaglow.

The Dermaglow Mattifying Oil-Free Daily Lotion is also a new Holy Grail product for me. Again, the light clear texture of Dermaglow products kind of blows my mind. This product slips over the skin and sinks in with a silicone-free formula. It does mattify more than most products I’ve used although I still need to use a powder. It has anti aging properties and I most definitely feel my fine lines are under control. I cannot be without the plumping qualities of hyaluronic acid and Dermaglow delivers. My skin looks smooth and hydrated all day long. Again- scent and paraben free means it is simple and clean and does not irritate my sensitive oily skin. I’ve had no breakouts or reactions and my skin feels smoother with an even complexion.

Who doesn’t want to glow….
I love the simplicity of the Dermaglow line. Simple packaging, no scent and high quality products that deliver. It is a no nonsense line based on science and using products deliver what they promise. The packaging is simple, clean and modern, as well as practical and hygienic. They have a custom line with products for every skincare need and want. The oil free anti aging line is perfect for me! They are an expensive line if you are comparing to drugstore lines with the tubes of lotion I reviewed in the $50-70 range, but quite on par with department store brands. When a product delivers on what it promises, I will pay. Another random tidbit that makes me feel good about Dermaglow – they have been a major sponsor of Pride week in Toronto, one of the largest organize gay pride festivals in the world. Bravo, Dermaglow!
I am very excited to explore this line further. 
I get my Dermaglow at Shoppers Drug Mart in Canada but it is available in several places. It is a Canadian product but I will find out where International buyers can get this.


You’ll Thank Me For This Brow Tip….

You’ll Thank Me For This Brow Tip….

Can’t do a brow post without Brooke!

Obviously the Strong Brow is in this year. As my daughter observed, they’re always in style. Anytime I catch an photo of me from the 90s with thin brows I shudder. What was I thinking? When someone (often a friend) has plucked their brows into near nothingness, don’t you want to stage a brow intervention? Anyways I hope we all know now to back away from the tweezers, and let those babies grow in. Sure, keep a nice shape- there are professionals for that if you are arch-challenged- and tweeze the runaways that stray from the basic brow shape. And, if they are super fair or sparse, get a good shadow or pencil ( I love the Benefit Brow Pencil in Light) and fill them in, lightly, with little hair-like brush strokes. I say lightly to avoid Angry Man (think Bert of Sesame Street) look.

Not good.

There are alternatives- you can dye your brows. I did that at a salon- twice. See Angry Man reference above. My daughters nearly keeled over they were laughing so hard. I went back weeks later after they had grown out and asked for a lighter version. Angry Man again.

My brows circa 1982

My brows circa this month- need a better pic with shape.

I’m not sure where it came from, but for some reason I was struck with inspiration at the drug store, in the hair dye aisle. In front of the, ahem, men’s hair dye section. Stop laughing. The Touch of Grey product looked interesting because a) it came in a tiny tube and b) it is sheer and temporary. So I took the plunge and took Medium Brown home and gave it a try. I was a bit over-cautious as Medium Brown was so minimally darker than my natural brow that it hardly showed up. If there were greys though, and I was trying to match a colour, it would be dead on. So I carefully bought Dark Brown and found the perfect colour.

Soft & natural- strong brow with soft bare make up (Maybelline Spring 2012 collection)


I apply it very lightly, almost painting on top of my brows, with a toothbrush I have deigned my brow brush. It goes on around 5 minutes (or less) before I step in the shower, where I close my eyes as soon as I jump in and rinse it all out. It is the brow colour of my youth. It lasts around 4 weeks, give or take a week. My tube of Touch of Grey barely has a dent in it and I’ve had it since last March. And I would not be without. Funny, I’ll think, I’m looking tired/mousy/washed out and then I realize that my brows are disappearing into my face. A light touch up and I’m back to glowing and rested looking. One neat benefit is if you use a tiny brush, hairs along the outside of the arch that are fair come back with the dye and ta-da you have an arch!

Wide awake & bubbly vs tired & possibly ill.

Yes, there is the blonde bleached out brow trend that comes and goes. My opinion? Unless you are Gwyneth Paltrow, and even then its a stretch, the bleached out brow does absolutely nothing for your features. It makes everything else stand out even more- the nose, the crows feet, forehead lines, spots (aka zits). Blech. Do not do. You look weird.

One last shot of our Eyebrow Goddess, Brooke….



Lippmann Call Me Irresponsible, But I’m Beautiful

Ah Deborah Lippmann and your luscious polishes. Ever since I saw the Dolce & Gabbana Holiday 2011 Collection with that stunning purple, I’ve been obsessing over finding a purple polish I love. Totally forgot about Lippmann Call Me Irresponsible sitting in my collection, unloved. The reason I haven’t worn it is it has the sheer jelly finish that can drive me crazy. Jelly forumulas have less pigment that traditional polishes which makes them rather sheer. It takes at least 4 coats to get coverage and I still see a few spots that are not opaque. That might explain why the colour on my nails is so different from the colour in the bottle. The difference is not quite as dramatic as the photos show but my iPhone pulls blue when you least expect it. But I think another coat or two would have made the colour more of a blue purple. At any rate, I still love it. It is a pretty purple with that squishy juicy quality you can only get from jelly formulas. I think they give an added dimension to nail colour that one doesn’t get from a pigment rich cream formula. I included a shot of the bottle that weirdly captured the reddish purple tone that you see on my nails vs the bottle. There is not one bit of shimmer in this colour.
Daylight, no flash
I am wearing Lippmann Fashion on my toes. I am loving the neutral toes with colourful fingers. The nude tone looks perfect with the purple. But my stylist Katarina would often wear a mani-pedi combo of a bright orange-toned red (OPI Red My Fortune Cookie) with a vivid purple (OPI Funky Dunkey) and I have to say, the combination is stunning. I will totally try.
With flash

Note the weird magenta…