Everything Is Coming Up Roses…In My Living Room

I love the smell of roses. On my skin, on my hands and in my house. Crabtree & Evelyn Rosewater Home Fragrance is a gorgeous and delicate way to make your environment smell like a fresh bouquet of roses. I would say it smells like how I imagine a pink rose smells like. A red rose would be headier and heavier, and a white rose perhaps wouldn’t smell as sweet. Crabtree & Evelyn Rosewater Home spray comes about as close to smelling like true rosewater as I’ve found. The main thing I love about this home spray is that it doesn’t smell like chemicals (Glade…Febreeze…) or cheap (Glade…Febreeze…) or plastic (…well, you know). The Crabtree and Evelyn Rosewater spray smells gentle and natural and a little goes a long way.
They also have a lovely candle which I may go back and get.  Oh, and of course, rosewater scented drawer liners. Don’t they sound lovely? Bringing the scent of gorgeous scented rose petals into all the rooms of your house? It’s like it’s spring already….wonderful.

Available from Crabtree & Evelyn shops for around $20. The website has a lovely little set of mini room sprays with Iris, Lily, Rosewater and Lavender for $28, which would be a neat way to try them all! 

Despite The Name, This Cream is Udderly Wonderful

Udderly Smooth Cream has been on the shelves for years. I never ever tried it because I find the name so off-putting. Yes, I have Bag Balm and love it for cuts & scraps and deep moisturizing of hands & feet in the dead of winter. But it at least has a cute and charming kitschy tin and some old fashioned farm-y appeal. Not the case with Udderly Smooth. I judged it for trying to cash in on the cow-moisturizer-for-humans trend, and found it’s spotted cow hide styled packaging derivative. Silly me.

I’m not sure what made me try the original Udderly Smooth Cream when I was shopping last week, but I did. Maybe it was the under $3 price for a big 4oz tube. Maybe it was that I’d heard it had a lovely scent (which I didn’t believe but anyways…). So- it actually does smell really nice- very soft, kind of old fashioned, like a gentle skin scent. I say old fashioned because it reminds me of something but I can’t put my finger on it. The scent disappears within minutes which is too bad really, because I really like it. The cream itself soaks right into the skin beautifully, leaving zero residue behind, so if you really dislike a greasy feel on your hands, you will love this. It has a thick creamy texture but really melts away, leaving nothing behind. I now want the big container to use head to toe.

Verdict? I still kind of hate the name, but I adore the cream. Shopping info for the US here, and Canada here.

Benefit Ultra Plush Makes Your Lips Ultra Lush…ious

Benefit has just released the most amazing line of gorgeous glosses based on their gorgeous blushes. Great idea, right? I love the idea of the matching shades, especially if you have a Benefit Blush you adore (ahem, Dandelion, anyone?). And the Benefit Ultra Plush Lip Glosses do just that! I got Bella Bamba, Coralista, Sugarbomb (MY FAVE) and Dandelion. They are quite sheer and moisturizing, which makes them easy to use and rather addictive. These are the least sticky glosses I have ever used which is a relief, as having my hair stick to my lips is not a good look for me. They have a subtle mango- fruity taste/scent that is reminiscent of a lip gloss from my youth. If you try them & recognize the scent, let me know!

Swatches in same ascending order as gloss tubes above… in daylight.
If you are looking for huge colour pay off, then you may be frustrated with these. However, if you are looking for a nice soft lip gloss to match your cheeks, then you will love them! I love the idea of matchy matchy gloss and blush, it just makes for a polished and elegant look. And with the softness of the Benefit blushes, these lip glosses make for the perfect combination! My daughter loves Coralista for the coral orange tone, which is so very hot right now, very Pantone Tangerine Tango, if you will. I adore Dandelion, which is as soft and gentle as the Dandelion blush which I adore and reviewed here. But for some reason, Sugarbomb made me really fall in love. It has that sort of purple-taupe look I am loving these days, and even though it shows as super frosty in the swatch, that does not translate to the lips. Just shine. For the record, Bella Bamba and Coralista are sheer and jelly like with no shimmer, and Dandelion and Sugarbomb have a wee bit of frost. Verdict? Love.
Available wherever Benefit is sold, & on counters in May for $18

Banish Future Blemishes & Hide The Ones You Have With Vichy

I am recent lover of Vichy skincare. After Vichy proEVEN pretty much changed my life and my life and my skin, I have a lot of faith in what Vichy can do for me. Since using Vichy proEVEN my skin tone has changed to the point where my poor concealer collection is gathering dust.  I used to have spots left behind from blemishes that seemed to last forever. I was covering up all the time. Vichy proEVEN has made that unnecessary. I can say honestly as well, that every woman I have recommended proEVEN to have told me the same thing. Usually within the first week of use, they see a dramatic difference.
I do love to use a mask and scrub for my pores still, however. I like a deep cleansing mud-type mask, and I like a scrub that is not too abrasive. Enter Vichy Normaderm Tri-Activ Mask. The website says “a triple action mask that cleanses, exfoliates and mattifies. A formula associating a high concentration of clay, ”peeling” ingredients and a soothing agent.”. And it’s true. I don’t get irritated or red from using it, and my skin feels baby soft. I like to put it on before the shower and let it dry, then use gentle circular scrubbing motions to rinse it off 10 minutes later in the shower. Use it as a cleanser to thoroughly yet gently eliminate sebum/impurities without drying skin. It also unclogs pores to help reduce blackheads/whiteheads and evens out skin tone. Use it as a mask, and it draws out impurities, as it is enriched with 25% natural clay to remove excess sebum to clarify complexion
The emphasis on this product, besides the efficacy of it, is the gentle formulation. It’s hypoallergenic, soap & paraben-free, and made with the famous Vichy thermal spa water. I love it now, but I know I’m going to love it even more in the summer. 
The only concealer I use is one under my eyes, and one to cover the occasional evil zit that decides to set up shop on my face. And the one I am using for that is, big surprise, Vichy Normaderm Anti-Imperfection Stick. My friend uses it and told me she loves it’s mattifying qualities as well the fact it is medicated to help up those zits. It’s in a nifty twist-up pencil format, which makes it perfect for the purse. The colour is supposed to be universal, which is a bit of a stretch. It’s on the darker side, yet not dark enough for a dark complexion. It works for me, and I can dab a little powder on top to lighten it. If I am using self tanner or in the summer, the colour is perfect. It actually helps dry up the little zits without drying out the skin. Most medicated concealers contain so much stuff they dry out the skin, and non-medicated ones can clog pores. Vichy Normaderm Stick is just right. My 16 year old uses on her acne as well and really likes it.
Vichy is available at Canadian drugstores: the Tri-Activ Mask is around $20 for 125ml and the stick is around $15. Vichy Tri-Activ Mask will be available in the US August 2012.
Gorgeous For Earth Day With Live Clean And Weleda

Gorgeous For Earth Day With Live Clean And Weleda

Its not hard to find things make you look and feel beautiful, are gentle and natural and are good for the planet. Two of my fave lines fit this criteria perfectly. Live Clean is one of my favourite hair & skin care lines, everything is gentle, effective, softly scented and there is something for every need- you can read about Live Clean here. Weleda has long been respected as having quality products and a respect for the earth around them- you can read their philosophy & mission here.
My latest Live Clean discovery is one specially designed for dry, colour treated hair, their Professional Damage Therapy Collection. This amazing collection l uses a unique combination of essential vitamins and nutrients that seals damaged cuticles, improves hair strength and texture and mends split ends. The unique formulation “enhances moisture retention with no heavy buildup and increases resistance to breakage”. Their Professional Damage Therapy Split End Cream, which is like a deep conditioner, is bloody miraculous and you notice immediately that your hair looks and feels softer, smoother and bouncier. That product along with the gorgeous Restoring Spray, a leave in conditioner, make every day a Breck Girl day. The leave in conditioner smells so incredible! I also got these products for my 16 year old daughter who has the same hair as I do- super thick and wavy with a slightly coarse texture that tends to have dryness at the ends. We have been known to snap combs and brushes in our hair. The Split End Cream + the Restoring Spray is like a hair miracle. All without silicones!
Best part? Smells like heaven. It has a rich, creamy scent, perhaps sort of woodsy? Its a clean scent without being soapy or floral. I even use the Restoring Spray to refresh my waves/style on dry hair. Softens and conditions without weighing hair down. Love it!

 

I’ve been really liking my Weleda One Step Cleanser & Toner- you can read my review here. But they also have a terrific Refining Toner. Now, while the One Step product doesn’t require a toner, per say, the refining toner is more than just a simple skin refresher. I just put a little on a cotton pad to use before I spritz a little rosewater on and then moisturize. It helps to purify the skin and refine the pores after cleaning. An astringent rose leaf helps to clarify the skin, and vitamin C, which has skin brightening properties, refines the skin. It feels like it gives you that little bit extra, especially if you are like me and your skin tends to oil and shine. It has a fresh spa-like scent that only Weleda can do, and I love the way it smells and makes my skin feel. Of course, it’s in the gorgeous cobalt blue glass bottle that has looks and feels elegant. Another love!So there are two little Earth Day suggestions from me. What are your fave planet friendly prodz?
Doesn’t this just make you want to hug a tree? And have a Coke? Ok, a Diet Coke…
 
From Wickipedia: Gaia  /ˈɡ.ə/ or /ˈɡ.ə/; from Ancient Greek Γαῖα, a poetical form of Γῆ, “land” or “earth”;[1] also Gaea, or Ge) was the goddess or personification of Earth in ancient Greek religion,[2] one of the Greek primordial deities. Gaia was the great mother of all: the heavenly gods, the Titans and the Giants were born from her union withUranus (the sky), while the sea-gods were born from her union with Pontus (the sea).
Baby Soft Lips- Overnight!

Baby Soft Lips- Overnight!

I’m a huge fan of La Roche Posay products. Cicaplast is actually miraculous at healing skin issues of any kind, and even though I used it on my lips, it really isn’t heavy enough. So while standing in front of the wall of delicious La Roche Posay beauty products, I spied Ceralip. I whipped out my iPhone and used my handy dandy Make Up Alley product reviews app and wouldn’t you know- Ceralip had a great rating. Do you have the free Make Up Alley app? Or, if you don’t have the app, do you read reviews there? They are amazing and I don’t go shopping without reading there first.

I can’t really find any scientific explanation as to what it does and how other than it has “considerable lipid replenishing powers”. It is recommended for people on Accutane or retinoids, which can cause extreme dryness and peeling, and apparently its designed to stop the peeling. I have been using it at night and LOVE it. My lips are definitely smoother and amazingly, the product is still noticeable on my lips in the morning. It is fragrance and paraben free, so perfect for sensitive skin as well. This will be amazing after a day in the sun this summer.

I got my La Roche Posay at the drugstore for around $15.

Video! A Perfume Lesson, Pretty Spring Perfumes, Sheer Red Lippy & Glitter!

Video! A Perfume Lesson, Pretty Spring Perfumes, Sheer Red Lippy & Glitter!

In which I discuss one of my pet peeves with the perfume industry. It’s not earth shattering or groundbreaking news, but I think it’s important to be able to distinguish fact from fun in the cosmetic industry. Right?

Links:

The 2 perfumes I mention are Houbigant Quelques Fleurs and Guerlain Jardins de Bagatelle.

The sheer red lippy I now love is Clinique Almost Lipstick in Luscious Honey. Noticed after the fact I refer to it as simply Luscious in the video, but it is Luscious Honey.

And my glittery nails are courtesy of Deborah Lippmann Candy Store. And, here is an amazing how-to post on how to get that tricky glitter polish off your nails by The Beauty School Dropouts.

 

That Violet Perfume Is So Purple-y

That Violet Perfume Is So Purple-y

I love violet perfumes. The “love at first sight” flower…fitting. They are soft, simple and innocent. Why innocent? Hm, I’m not sure. Somehow I associate violet with babies or grandmothers, or candy, and all of those things are pretty darn sweet & innocent. They is an airy and fresh feel to violet perfumes that to my thinking makes them perfect for spring, as well as the intense heat of summer. Years ago I got a simple violet eau de toilette on summer holidays at the beach in St Jean de Luz in France, so perhaps that wonderful scent memory of hot sunny days sipping white wine while listening to the waves crash will forever cement the perfect summer day with the scent of violets for me. I just feel clean and fresh when I wear violet.

Annick Goutal La Violette: It smells like sweet violet candies- soft and soapy, and stays close to the skin. The violet is somehow a “cool” flower so violet scents tend to be cooling and perfect for warm weather. They have a simple old fashioned feel to them and there is a rainy fresh garden feel that I just love.  I get decent longevity from almost all perfumes so while some complain that this does not last on them, on me it lasts a few hours. It is a simple soliflore but somehow so perfect and light.

L’Artisan Parfumeur Verte Violette: This one is a bright purple violet. It’s sparkling and vivid, like a handful of violettes covered in dew. The “Verte” in this (French for green) refers the green notes, which are supposed to be the leaves and stems. The neat thing about violet leaf is it is often used in men’s fragrances, and it adds a unisex twist to the violet, which can often be very feminine smelling.  As well, L’Artisan added a touch of iris to this mix, which adds an earthy richness. Both sexes could easily wear this one and they would smell amazing. Love it. One of my favourite L’Artisans.

Guerlain Les Meteorites: Brace yourself for the sad panda- this gorgeous little gem is discontinued. Sorry. I don’t usually like to write about products that are nearly impossible to find but I just can’t talk about violets without mentioning this. Named after Guerlain’s famous cosmetic powder of the same name, Les Meteorites is the scent of those gorgeous little powder balls we love so much. The neat thing about this violet scent is the warmth behind the flower. The yummy sweet Guerlinade makes up the base for the violet. Please read Monsieur Guerlain’s perfect description of Guerlinade. He says it better than I ever could. Violet is a cool and fresh flower so adding the sweet sultry Guerlain magic recipe makes it a slightly sexy violet. Only Guerlain…

Officially Hooked On Glitter: I Blame Deborah Lippmann

Glitter nail polish is something I love in the bottle, like a gorgeous piece of sparkly jewellery. But I always tend to balk at wearing them. Not sure why. I’ve had a bottle of the beautiful Deborah Lippmann Candy Shop for awhile, sitting unworn in my collection. I decide I’m going to wear it, then chicken out and put on a sheer pink.
Candy Shop in sunlight plus some fun with my iPhone…
Well yesterday I finally cracked open the bottle to wear it. And I love it. I should have known this would happen, as the exact same thing happened with Lippmann Boom Boom Pow. At first I think “holy crap I am way too old for so much sparkle what was I thinking I need to take this off” but then it becomes “omg this is the neatest stuff ever and I love it so much I want to wear it every day”. Lippmann’s glitters are like that- they somehow manage to look elegant- which is the word I would use to describe her whole line, if I had to choose only one. Fun, playful, gorgeous and luxe and elegant. Candy Shop is the sweetest milky pink jelly base chock full of different shaped mulicoloured glitter. This is two coats of Candy Shop with Lippmann Rehydrating Base Coat under neath and Addicted To Speed quick dry top coat. 
Verdict? Love. I never want to take it off.