I Like My Perfume Pressed & Starched: Estee Lauder White Linen

I Like My Perfume Pressed & Starched: Estee Lauder White Linen

Sometimes I just want a simple perfume that makes me feel pretty and clean. Estee Lauder launched White Linen in 1978, way ahead of the clean perfume craze. It contains nuclear levels of aldehydes, almost at the level of Chanel No22, which it reminds me of at certain levels of the drydown, and aldehydes have the magic power to create the impression of clean breezy laundry and soap minus the industrial cleaner note. Aldehydes also make me think of breezes, or even wind. The kind that come off the water, or while driving in a convertible. You know, that breeze that feels like it is cleaning out the cobwebs in your head and making you feel invigorated.

There are a ton of flowers and leafy notes in there too. White flowers are mentioned, and I suppose I get a bit of jasmine or lily of the valley, but I smell more roses and carnations, then I gradually detect the green mossy dry down that comes much later in the development. It’s a powerhouse, and needs to applied sparingly. In wonderful Estee Lauder fashion, the eau de parfum is pretty much parfum/extrait strength and lasts hours and hours on the skin. To me it smells feminine and “pretty” and evokes clear sunny skies and warm sunshine, with perhaps some clean white linen sheets on the line drying in the soft breezes. Estee Lauder kindly offers White Linen eau de parfum in a wee purse 15ml spray size which is the one I buy. It’s as strong as parfum and the little bottle has lasted ages. I’ve never used the bath & shower gel, or the powder (which comes with a puff!) but I bet they are just gorgeous. My daughters love this one on me, and I never fail to get complimented on how good I smell when I wear it. Again- caution is advised with application. Too much doesn’t smell good to anyone.

white-linen-estee-lauder-perfume ad

White Linen perfume and ancillary products are available at Estee Lauder counters, online and wherever Estee Lauder is sold.

Clinique Even Better Eyes Dark Circle Corrector- Even Better Than Expected

Clinique Even Better Eyes Dark Circle Corrector- Even Better Than Expected

I keep an All About Eyes Serum Depuffing massage roller in my purse during allergy season because it is the one thing that helps me keep my allergic inflated eyes under control. Clinique knows and does gentle products well so I feel terrific about using them on the tender area around my eyes. I have been on the lookout for something that would moisturize and prime my under eye area before applying my beloved Lancome Effacernes and was pretty excited to see the Clinique Even Better Eyes Dark Circle Corrector at the counter.

It’s a neat hybrid product that contains a cocktail of ingredients that are safe and effective for the tender under eye area—including vitamin C and  mulberry root, which are proven skin-brighteners. It also contains a tint which provide a “sheer optics” effect to immediately disguise and counteract the grey/purple tone of under eye circles. Clinique’s website has some neat info here. I should confirm that the tint is slightly orange, because it is a corrector, NOT a concealer. The product itself has a rich and creamy serum-like texture which is quite shiny/slippery upon application. The super cool metal applicator feels amazing and soothing- almost like one of those gel eye masks you keep in the fridge. If you ever suffer from sinus irritation, you must try this- it feels therapeutic and cooling. It soothes and smooths while disguising shadows, but it is important to let it dry for a few minutes before applying make up. The wonderful thing is that once you let it dry, it works as a kind of primer, providing a smooth canvas for concealer while treating and moisturizing the skin. My Lancome Effacernes applies perfectly, stays put, and does not crease. I haven’t been using the Clinique Even Better Eyes Dark Circle Corrector long enough to see the long term benefits for reducing dark circles, but so far I love the way it feels, the way it performs, and the way it makes my eyes look bright and awake. It is also a terrific product to use at the end of a work day to prep the eye area for evening make up, or to just refresh. It is cooling and helps wake up your make up, so to speak.

Right side taken in direct sun outside, left taken inside in indirect light.

Verdict? Love. A revolutionary product with nothing even close to it in my arsenal. Think Yves St Laurent Touche Eclat meets the All About Eyes Depuffing roller meets primer. Genius.

Clinique Even Better Eyes Dark Circle Corrector is available on their site and at Clinique counters for around $48.

Guerlain Mon Precieux Nectar Perfume – Divine

My last visit to the Guerlain Mothership Boutique in Montreal was as wonderful as I’d hoped. The sales associates are always delightful, and full of delicious Guerlain product knowledge. Imagine their happy surprise when I sit back in a comfy chair and basically beg them to lay it all on me. Every tidbit, every ounce of Guerlain goodness. I had to get a bottle of my beloved Guerlain Apres L’Ondee as mine was getting dangerously low. I was thrilled that the unicorn of the current Guerlain collection, Mon Precious Nectar, previously only available as a very limited run of 35 500ml crystal fountain bottles, the “Fontaine Imperiale”, available for $9,000 each, was now available in the Parisienne Bee Bottle collection. They offered me a very generous sample of this, indeed, very precious nectar, which was more than enough to try. It is quite concentrated to my hypernosmic nose, although I know there are some out there that find it soft. Yikes- not me. It is cushy, delicious and divine, but feels like parfum or extrait to me. It does dry down much softer than the top notes start out, but it needs about an hour to reach that gentle level of preciousness.

So. The scent. It is a floral gourmand, which basically means lots of delicious jasmine, orange blossoms, neroli, sweet and delicious orange and petitgrain essence, layered all over the cushy vanilla amber and sandalwood base that only Guerlain can do so masterfully. It is like jasmine floating in a brandied honey mixture, maybe with a pastry on the side. I would wear this for very special occasions, and I would wear it sparingly. It is gorgeous and beautiful, with a sweet pureness not often encountered in perfume. Some say there is a soapy note in the dry down. I suppose I get a bit of that, but it is mostly sweet flowers to my nose. If you enjoy the Guerlain Aqua Allegoria scent, Jasminora, then you simply try Mon Precieux Nectar. The jasmine notes are very similar, with Mon Precieux Nectar being more complex and richer. Conversely, if you prefer a lighter less gourmande jasmine, try Jasminora!



This is the perfect perfume to go with Coco Chanel’s quote “Wear perfume where you want to be kissed”. Or in this case, devoured. Wear with caution.

Verdict? Love.


Guerlain Mon Precieux Nectar is available exclusively from Guerlain Boutiques and select Guerlain counters. Neiman Marcus in the US carries it. A 125ml Parisienne bottle is around $270. 

Chanel Le Vernis in Frenzy Is Gorgeous!

Chanel Le Vernis in Frenzy Is Gorgeous!

I couldn’t really think of any other title for this post because Chanel Le Vernis Frenzy from their Fall 2012 collection is beyond beautiful. Just gorgeous! It is the perfect grey-ish nude, with a gentle lilac tone that keeps it from being too pasty or chalky. I feel like it could work with many skintones, as it is warm and cool at the same time. Genius tone, as only Chanel can do. I wanted to post when I had photos of two coats, but this manicure from last Friday is only NOW showing tip wear. I used one coat of Witchcraft as a base coat (my poor nails have been peeling like cray) and one coat of Deborah Lippmann Addicted To Speed as a top coat. Plus time at the cottage and washing dishes at home (my dishwasher broke) and at the cottage. Seriously- I am amazed at the longevity of this. So I will do another post when I do two coats, and perhaps a pedi to go with, as I could not resist the stunning magenta Chanel Le Vernis Suspicious, which is also from the Fall 2012 Collection. Ahhhh….love. I looked at the dark colour from the collection, Vertigo, which is a charcoal grey with invisible shimmer. Sort of like Paradoxal without the shimmer. Not sure if I need it….

This is outside in overcast light


Taken inside in direct natural light

2 coats of Chanel Le Vernis Frenzy in my house, diffused light

Chanel Frenzy is ready to party!

Nice shot of Frenzy in daylight, 2 coats. Teaser shot of Chanel Le Vernis Suspicious on toes…more magenta in real life…

Chanel Le Vernis Frenzy is available at most Chanel counters in North America, although not all have the Fall 2012 Collection in stock yet. It was not available on their website at the time this was published.

Dupe Alert! Chanel Rouge Coco Shine vs L’Oreal Color Riche Balm

Dupe Alert! Chanel Rouge Coco Shine vs L’Oreal Color Riche Balm

I had a funny feeling the other day while I was sharing my love for the L’Oreal Color Riche Balms to the the world aka via Twitter. I have been meaning to do a post on the L’Oreal Rose Elixir shade but haven’t managed to take photos of the swatches yet- bad beauty blogger!. I have, however, recommended it to friends. Everyone who tries it loves it and is obviously thrilled with a gorgeous conditioning lip balm with a touch of colour for under $10. The Color Riche Balms smooth and moisturize the lips, have SPF15, and really add a subtle yet brightening pop of colour. Rose Elixir really adds a just bitten glow to the lips. I also love Pink Satin for more of a baby pink lip.
However. I had a creeping suspicion the other day as I was playing around with the Chanel Rouge Coco Shines at the Chanel counter that they reminded me of something. Yep – you got it. The L’Oreal Color Riche Balm. They have an almost identical luxe balm feel, impart a  Your Lips But Better tint that sticks around for a little while, and leave a wee stain effect behind. Seriously? A drugstore cheapie vs a $38 department store luxe product. I actually did a little running between the pharmacy and the Chanel counter to be sure I wasn’t cray. Ok well, that I wasn’t “completely” cray. I wish I had been able to photograph swatches but the comparisons were on the fly with only my iPhone and crappy mall lighting. Plus as usual I was running late. For something. Even thought this was a lippy emergency.
Chanel Rouge Coco Shine Boy = A cross between L’Oreal Color Riche Balm in Heavenly Berry and Rose Elixir. Depending on your natural lip tone, one reads a little bluer than the other so play with the testers to see which is best. Or, buy both. And a treat from Starbucks, you will still have money left over with what you would have paid for the Chanel.
Chanel Rouge Coco Shine in Bel Ami = this lovely grape tone which is So Perfect for fall is basically the same L’Oreal Color Riche Balm in Plush Plum on me. Swatched on my arm, Bel Ami is a teensy touch redder, with Plush Plum being slightly more on the, well, plum end of the spectrum. But on my lips (fairly pigmented) it is hardly noticeable.
Chanel Rouge Coco Shine in Chance = this pale and sheer baby pink that I have been tempted to buy is so close to L’Oreal Color Riche Balm in Pink Satin that I won’t bother now may buy it later when I’ve forgotten and get all impulse-y at the Chanel counter. Pink Satin has been a summer go-to staple for me this year. So beachy and casual. It’s a pale pink with a blue tone that is sheer enough that I don’t look washed out, and it goes beautifully to night with a smoky eye. I’d even say that Pink Satin is close to Chanel Rouge Coco Shine in Royallieu, just slightly pinker vs nude.
Now, one would think that with such glaring similarities that I would be discouraged from buying any more high end lippies. But one would be wrong, because I LOVE THEM ALL!
Do you have any high-low dupes to share? I’d love the scoop!
Chanel Rouge Coco Shine Royallieu Is The Perfect Nude Lip

Chanel Rouge Coco Shine Royallieu Is The Perfect Nude Lip

The best part of Chanel Rouge Coco Shine lipsticks is the balm aspect. No other lipstick feels as soft, silky and conditioning as the Rouge Coco Shine line thanks to the built in balm. I adore them, and am grateful for an elegant and sheer lipstick that has a case as beautiful as what is inside. I’m a sucker for that Chanel packaging, I admit it.

My last trip to the Chanel counter had me trying Royallieu. I really need to replace the Boy that my youngest daughter swiped but I always end up getting distracted….Chanel Royallieu is a dusty taupe pink, and a perfect your lips but better shade, with some added shine. It has some wee tiny micro shimmer, but like the magic shimmer in Chanel Le Vernis nail polishes, it doesn’t show on the lip as shimmer. If you click on the photo of the tube of lipstick at the top of the post, you can see the shimmery bits on the lipstick. But, not on my lips. Like most Rouge Coco Shines, it can be applied without a mirror, which I love. It feels like a balm, and smooths on like buttah. And, it is The Perfect Nude Lip.

Right – Chanel Glossimer Amour 166 Left – Chanel Rouge Coco Shine Royallieu

I read a review of Chanel Glossimer in Amour 166, and decided I Had To Have It. Turns out the two go perfectly together! The Glossimers are lovely glosses, not too sticky and not overly pigmented, with better than average lasting power. Pretty pink lips are just that easy. 1-2 and go!


Next Chanel review coming is the new Le Vernis for Fall 2012, Frenzy, which is the Most Beautiful Nude I have evah seen….

Chanel Rouge Coco Shine and Glossimers are available on their website and at Chanel cosmetic counters.

Sweet Sexy Tuberose: Heely Bubblegum Chic vs Estee Lauder Private Collection Tuberose Gardenia

Sweet Sexy Tuberose: Heely Bubblegum Chic vs Estee Lauder Private Collection Tuberose Gardenia


Every time I spritzed on Heeley’s Bubblegum Chic, the intense heady top notes reminded me of another perfume I knew I had in my collection. No, not the ass-kicking-take-no-prisoners tuberose of Fracas. It was definitely something more velvety and smooth. Bubblegum Chic is sold as a jasmine perfume, but I have to say the jasmine takes a back seat to the tuberose. Not surprising, as tuberose rarely takes a back seat to any other note in perfume. Such a diva, that flower.

Almost as soon as I took the cap off my Estee Lauder Private Collection Tuberose Gardenia I knew this was the one. Gorgeous, creamy and bewitching, ELPC Tuberose Gardenia is my favourite tuberose perfume. It just sings on the skin, wafts gently all day long, weaving slowly in and out of tuberose and then gardenia notes. It is a mostly green scent, I’d say. I read a review awhile back that said EL PC Tuberose Gardenia was more about the “perfume of a flower” vs “a flower” – could not have said it better myself. It is like the heady air around the flowers – heavy, moist and sweet. The gardenia note takes the floral aspect and makes it headier and greener, but the sweet tuberose is always there. In true Estee Lauder perfume fashion, the concentration of perfume, even in the eau de parfum, is high, and the lasting power incredible. The parfum is divine, as are all the parfums/extraits in her Private Collection series. Seriously, smell them all if you can.

Estee Lauder diva who would LOVE Private Collection Tuberose Gardenia

These perfumes start out quite similarly, but the heart and drydown is where the differences start to show. Something to love in both of them…

Frenchy blowing a sweet bubble….

Heeley Bubblegum Chic Extrait de Parfum takes that initial heady blast of sweet tuberose and takes in a different direction with sweet, watery fruity notes. I don’t get bubblegum exactly, although if you said it was Strawberry Bubblicious, or maybe Watermelon Bubblicious, then I would say yes! This fruity candy is a perfectly complimentary note to the tuberose. It makes the tuberose ethereal and fairy like – like a tuberose dream rather than a garden overflowing with the perfume of ripe tuberose flowers. I say strawberry because I do detect that note, but I also get a melon note, albeit a sweet watery melon. The jasmine note gently whispers thoughout the drydown and it’s progression is soft and dreamy. The perfume is softer than the Estee Lauder, and wears closer to the skin, while still being a sexy whisper of tuberose. I’d say this is the perfect tuberose scent for the tuberose phobic, as the soft yummy fruity notes make this a lovely and wearable scent. “Chic” is an appropriate name as well. As is the case with all Heeley perfumes, this perfume is elegant and refined, even with the word “Bubblegum” alongside it. Not surprising from the company that makes the most heavenly and ethereal incense perfume I’ve ever sniffed, Cardinal.

So, does one win? No way! I love them both, and both have a place in my collection. Estee Lauder Private Collection Tuberose Gardenia when I am feeling like a diva, and Heeley Bubblegum Chic when I feel more ladylike than man-eater.

Estee Lauder Private Collection Tuberose Gardenia is available online and at select Estee Lauder counters. Heeley Bubblebum Chic is available online at Heeley and online and in person from MIN New York.

Skinceuticals Blemish & Age Defense Serum Has Joined My Skincare Arsenal

Skinceuticals Blemish & Age Defense Serum Has Joined My Skincare Arsenal

I recently got my hot little hands on a sample of Skinceuticals Blemish & Age Defense after a friend told me it was recommended to her by Gee Beauty (one of my favourite shops & experts in all things Skinceuticals). We have similar skin types, and she really like this product. Well, I’m sold.

I don’t know if I can blame the planets for my zits…but I will anyways.
Skinceuticals Blemish & Age Defense is a serum chock full of ingredients that fight acne & oil, help maintain even skin tone, and to refine the surface of the skin. It decongests pores while it reduces acne bacteria. I loved it within 3 days of using every night at bedtime. Then, as is my wont, or perhaps the curse of a beauty blogger, I turned to another product. Bad idea. Almost within 24 hours my skin broke out. Distracted by many things, I just figured it was something else (Mercury Retrograde? Can it cause zits?) and went about my business, which is ADD skincare and cosmetic use. A few nights ago, the Skinceuticals B&A serum caught my eye and I thought “Hey I should use this again”. Lo and behold, it’s already working it’s magic. My pores are less noticeable, and my skin feels smoother and radiant when I wake up. If my skin feels a bit sensitive, I use it with the Skinceuticals Phyto-Corrective Gel serum, for a perfect combination and lovely skin. I am still using my Vichy proEVEN lotion during the day, and can’t imagine being without it, either.
Erin from The Waltons – squeaky clean with Sea Breeze


Skinceuticals products are available on their website or at Gee Beauty

Kiehl’s Superbly Restorative Argan Dry Oil: Contains Actual Argan Oil

Kiehl’s Superbly Restorative Argan Dry Oil: Contains Actual Argan Oil

I have a real problem with hair/skin treatments that call themselves “oils” when they are really 90%+ silicone. Bulletin: these are 90% of treatment oils on the market, for hair especially. If you like silicones, and find they work for you, well, this is good news for you. Silicones coat the hair with a smooth glassy finish and give the appearance of smooth silky hair. However, I have found, over time, silicones only mask the problem. Unless you regularly use the clarifying shampoos, silicones will also prevent hair conditioners and masks from helping your hair. In the end, silicone abuse ended up making my hair look like flat, dry straw. So- it has it’s place, if used properly, and if you use the silicones that are water soluble.

I love Kiehl’s, and I love their Midnight Recovery Concentrate, which is a superbly effective cocktail of actual oils that soothe and comfort skin, while adding radiance and moisture. I’d had a sample of Kiehl’s Superbly Restorative Dry Oil at one point, and recall using it on my legs and quite liking it. (Note: Kiehl’s is one of the most generous companies when it comes to offering samples. If you try it, you are more likely to buy it. They get it.). I was wondering about the ingredient list the other day as I pondered their dry oil, and mused about it on Twitter. Their social media manager is clearly on the ball, as they replied right away that there were no silicones in the Superbly Restorative Dry Oil. Ding-ding-ding! I ran out and bought it later that day.

I take my shiny hair seriously as you can see. Jeesh.


I shampooed with my new fave ICON India Oil shampoo and conditioner, and after I combed out my hair, I applied a bit of Kiehl’s Superbly Restorative Dry Oil to the ends of my hair, before applying my styling products. It has a slightly herbal scent, perhaps a mixture of lavender with woodsy notes (patchouli?) but it really is soft, and does not linger in the hair (or on skin) at all. My hair has seen a lot of sun this summer and is a bit parched so I was hoping it would help. After styling my hair I can honestly say it feels softer and silkier than it has all summer. Less pouffy and dry, yet still bouncy and shiny. So shiny! I would advise using a tiny bit at at time as it would be easy to apply to much which would likely make ones hair look, well, oily. The photo above is the second day after shampooing and I was trying to get the daylight coming in my skylight to hit my hair so you could see how shiny it is. If you could touch my hair, I guarantee it is as soft as it is shiny. Colour me thrilled, despite my serious expression…

Want shine built in to your  hairspray? Go Gay! Vintage ads rock.

Bonus: I also used some Kiehl’s Superbly Restorative Dry Oil on my skin after the shower, and I loved the way it felt and how it made my skin feel. Again, another product that is perfect to use on bare legs when wearing shorts or skirts, to add a lovely healthy shine and banish dry, scaly or ashy skin. Win!

Kiehl’s Superbly Restorative Dry Oil with Argan is available online or at their stores for around $42 for a 125ml bottle. 

Get Dr Hauschka Lemon Bath & Use It. A Lot.

Get Dr Hauschka Lemon Bath & Use It. A Lot.

The recent passing of Nora Ephron meant lots of her quotes and segments from her writing were popping up everywhere. In one of them she mentioned a favourite beauty product of hers, how much she loved it, and how life was too short to skimp on using what you love. It’s quite a long and sad quote and I won’t reprint it all here. But, I do love to know what people I admire use and love when it comes to all things beauty related. Ms Ephron rhapsodizing about a bath oil she adored so much made me want to run out and get some. Quickly.

Part of her quote:

And that reminds me to say something about bath oil. I use this bath oil I happen to love. It’s called Dr Hauschka’s lemon bath. It costs about £15 a bottle, which is enough for about two weeks of baths if you follow the instructions. 

The instructions say one capful per bath. But a capful gets you nowhere. A capful is not enough. I have known this for a long time.

But if the events of the last few years have taught me anything, it’s that I’m going to feel like an idiot if I die tomorrow and I skimped on bath oil today. 

So I use quite a lot of bath oil. More than you could ever imagine. After I take a bath, my bathtub is as dangerous as an oil slick. But thanks to the bath oil, I’m as smooth as silk. 

I am going out to buy more, right now. Goodbye. *

I like everything about this. To use things that you have – why hoard it? What are we waiting for? We buy things we love, we consider them precious, then tuck them away in the back of the cupboard so as not to “waste” them. Imagine!

That said, I got some Dr Hauschka Lemon Bath the next day. And you know what? It’s as wonderful as you could imagine a lemony bath product could be. It is refreshing, and basically the yummiest lemon beauty product I’ve used. It reminded me of how much I used to love Love’s Fresh Lemon and Jean Nate After Bath Splash, especially in the summer. I would say it is not strictly an oil, as I tried to wear it as a body oil and it was sticky, like a soap. Awkward. It doesn’t lather enough to be a shower gel, so you have no choice but to draw a lovely bath, pour in more than a capful, and then slip in and enjoy. It refreshes and soothes, and makes you feel good. According to aromatherapy, most citrus scents are uplifting and positive so perhaps that is part of the effect. It smells amazing, and makes your whole bathroom smell like you’ve sliced open one of those big juicy Meyer Lemons. Ahhhhh… Dr Hauschka’s site alleges that it helps with cellulite, a claim that seems ambitious, but it certainly feels invigorating. It comes in a nice functional glass bottle with the simple Hauschka branding and label. Clean and unembellished.

We have many things we can thank Nora Ephron for, but right now I will thank her for encouraging me to open up my cupboard, and use the things I love and that make me feel good. Solid advice.


Dr Haushka Lemon Bath is available on their website, and where Dr Hauschka is sold for around $33 for a 5.1 oz bottle.

* Extracted from I FEEL BAD ABOUT MY NECK, by Nora Ephron