Simplify Your Skincare Routine: Rodan + Fields Redefine

Simplify Your Skincare Routine: Rodan + Fields Redefine

I have no shortage of skincare stuffs in my stash. I try lots and lots of products (so you don’t have to) and some I love, some I learn to love, some give me zits, some give me a rash, some make my skin peel. When a new Rodan+Fields regimen came across my beauty desk, I thought it might worth a try. The first Rodan+Fields product I ever used is Proactiv. I still use Proactiv from time to time, as do my daughters. My oily acne prone skin benefits from their cleanser and lotion when it’s feeling particularly oily or zitty. So Proactiv is always in my skincare cupboard. It’s simple no-nonsense skincare, and it’s easy to use. I like that. I like it even more now that I can buy it from a retail shop as well.

Rodan + Fields Redefine Regime

Rodan + Fields Redefine Regime

The Rodan+Fields Refine regime is simple and easy, and makes some pretty reasonable claims. The Refine Kit I have includes a clay cleanser/exfoliant, a refining/exfoliant toner, a daytime moisturizer with full spectrum SPF 30 protection, and a night cream that restores. From the Rodan+Fields website:

Redefine Daily Cleansing Mask:

Creamy, kaolin clay-based cleansing mask dries in two minutes, drawing impurities from pores without robbing skin of essential moisture. Fine dimethicone microbeads gently exfoliate to smoothe the skin without disrupting skin’s delicate moisture barrier.

Redefine Pore Minimizing Toner:

Exclusive combination of pore-clarifying ingredients minimizes the appearance of enlarged pores in this fast-acting, alcohol-free liquid vehicle. Gentle polyhydroxy acids exfoliate pore clogging dead skin cells while natural oligosaccharides help reduce the appearance of pores and prepares skin for the treatments that follow.

Redefine Overnight Restorative Cream:

An ultra-hydrating cream which replenishes skin’s natural moisturizing factors (NMFs) while you sleep for visibly firmer, less-lined skin in the morning. Moisture recycling complex of hyaluronic acid and glycerin prevent moisture loss while 12-hour, time-released antioxidants A, C and E replenish vital skin nutrients.

Triple Defense Treatment Broad Spectrum SPF30:

A moisturizing treatment with photostable broad spectrum SPF 30 protection. It contains a clinically proven concentration of powerful peptides to reduce the appearance of lines and wrinkles and visibly firm skin. SHIELDrf provides effective broad spectrum UVA/UVB protection and visibly decelerates the signs of photoaging that appear over time.

I love the Cleanser – it is a gentle exfoliating cleanser that my oily and sensitive skin loves. My skin feels fresh when I use it – not scrubbed. It says you can use it daily, however I use it a couple times a week which is perfect for me. I use the toner in the evening, and it makes my skin feels fresh as a daisy for the Overnight Restorative Cream. It feels terrific on the skin, and I do wake up with a glow. I will sometimes use it under my Garnier Miracle Sleep Cream, for extra moisture and radiance.

I use Dove Soap in the morning, then the Triple Defense Treatment Broad Spectrum SPF30. It feels moisturizing and my skin drinks it up. It works beautifully under makeup as well. If I need a little more moisture, or if I’m tired and dehydrated, I use my latest Vichy love – LiftActif Supreme (review to come).

I’ve been using Rodan+Fields Refine for a little over a month, and each product does what it promises. My skin is smooth and radiant, with no signs of irritation or breakouts, which is saying a lot! My skin feels smooth and fresh, and fine lines are less visible, which is probably a combination of the exfoliating and moisturizing properties of the products. There is a slight scent to all the products, but it’s soft and clean smelling and doesn’t last on the skin. I love all the products and would recommend them to anyone looking for a smoother glowing complexion!

vintage beauty ad skincare

All four products can be purchased on the Rodan +Fields website for $193 USD.

Look Wide Awake Without Trying: The Only Concealer You Will Ever Need, And A Perfect Eyelid Primer

Look Wide Awake Without Trying: The Only Concealer You Will Ever Need, And A Perfect Eyelid Primer

It is not often that I use a beauty product that blows my mind. Yes, I fall in love with many beauty items, and they often fall into the pile of All The Beauty Products Like This That I Love And Already Own. I also have holy grail items that become the favourite, the one thing I fall back on, even if I have other similar items that I love. If you read this blog you know that Lancôme Effacernes Waterproof UnderEye Concealer has been my go-to for doing exactly what it says it does for around twenty years. I’m not sure what made me try something different. I read a review somewhere for a Tarte concealer. I bought it, and while I like it well enough, it is very thick, and despite the fact it’s called “creaseless”, it is not. Thick as in “concentrated” is one thing, but thick as in “goopy and hard to blend” is another. The review I’d read mentioned a “glow”, and I did not get that.

So, hours days a month or so later, I’d read everything I could find on concealers. I read blog reviews of expert opinions I trust (vs editorial content that is the same on every blog because they are all being paid/given product to write a good review), I read Make Up Alley, I read Sephora customer reviews.

At Armani Beauty Counter - thank you Jolanta!

At Armani Beauty Counter – thank you Jolanta!

After much comparing and analysis, I narrowed it down to one- Giorgio Armani High Precision Retouch Concealer ($39 USD). Anyone who uses this is probably gently nodding their head right now, saying “Yes, this is The One you were looking for, Grasshopper”. I popped over to the Neiman Marcus Armani Beauty Counter where I met Jolanta, the Armani MUA.  A love woman, Jolanta is Polish (her lovely accent was easy to spot!), smart, funny and gorgeous. She was so lovely! She sat me down and said “Let me treat you!”*. First, she busted out the Crema Nera Reviving Eye Cream, which she said adds radiance. It sure felt good, and it did look pretty amazing on it’s own, but for $170 USD, I was not immediately sold.

Anyways, she went on to test out different shades of the Armani High Precision concealer until she found the one she thought best. One was actually a perfect match for my skin, so it looked invisible, and one was a tad lighter, which always freaks me out because I remember the 80s. I would have gone for the exact match, if left to my own devices. But, she insisted it would be better to go with the lighter one. I looked in her mirror right away and was like WUT.

Natural makeup look,  using Armani concealer + Dior primer, with Blinc mascara

Natural makeup look, using Armani concealer + Dior primer, with Blinc mascara. Look how it glows under my eyes! Outside in shade.

From the Armani Beauty website:

A high precision concealer which blurs imperfections, treats dark circles, and highlights the complexion. Contains light reflecting pearls, which diffuse light for radiant skin. Vitamin E and moisturizers pamper the delicate eye area. High definition applicator. All skin types.
- conceals imperfections and blurs dark circles
- adds radiance
- rich, moisturizing formula
- high-definition applicator

Those “light reflecting pearls” are so subtle they are not really visible to the naked eye. This swatch on my hand looks matte. It is only when I stand back and look in the mirror that see a visible glow! I could not stop staring at myself.

Giorgio Armani High Precision Retouch Concealer

Armani High Precision Retouch Concealer swatched in indirect natural light, applied on left, blended on right

Armani High Precision Retouch Concealer Dior Backstage Eye Prime

Armani High Precision Retouch Concealer Dior Backstage Eye Prime

 

 

Inside, with natural light

Inside, with natural light

Armani High Precision Retouch Concealer is amazing. The tiny brush allows you to put a tiny drop anywhere you want. I use a tiny amount under my eyes, and on the inside of my eyes, around my nose, on lines, and on blemishes. It blends seamlessly, and wears on and on. I did yoga (regular, not hot) while wearing it, watched a few animal videos on Facebook that made me cry, and STILL it looked incredible. I used the Dior Backstage Eye Prime on my lids – it is my new obsession for a no-makeup-makeup look, and stays put all day. Protip: a paler shade on the eyelids adds a youthful look. A light dusting of Jane Iredale Pure Pressed Base and touch of Dior Rosy Glow Healthy Glow blush, which is a lovely petal pink blush.

*side note: sometimes, when you feel down, tired or just bleh, there is something about having someone touch you gently and just pamper you. I remember when my father was very sick, near the end of his life, and I felt like I was living in the palliative care unit. I went to see my girlfriend who was with La Mer. She had an aesthetician at the counter that day and she said, “You look tired. Let me give you a hand treatement”. She went on to wash, scrub and massage my hands, while I turned to jelly in her chair. So much tension left me, I may even have had a little cry. But there was something so wonderful about trusting someone else and letting them take care of me. I feel like this when an awesome MUA is working on my face. Heaven.

Banish Oil & Pores With Shu Uemura Under-Base Pore Eraser Mousse SPF 35

Banish Oil & Pores With Shu Uemura Under-Base Pore Eraser Mousse SPF 35

Shu Uemura Pore Eraser Under Base is a mousse formula skin primer that is the sheerest beige ever- almost invisible on skin but it does give enough of a glow to make it better than bare skin. It also works as a primer which means it makes a nice surface for other make up like powder, blush and bronzer. Plus, it has SPF35, which is perfect. Unlike many primers on the market, it does not contain silicone. This is not an issue for everyone, but if your skin is silicone sensitive, this is key, as breakouts are not an issue for me with this beauty.

I imagine you could layer foundation over it if you were so inclined but I find adding a bit of powder and concealer is all the coverage I need. Under Base has witch hazel for minimizing pores and some kind of magic potion that makes skin glow without shining. Sort of what I wanted MAC Strobe cream to be without making me look like I was going to a rave or had at least been sweating at one all night. Yikes.

Same Under Base in Beige (what I use) now called Pore Eraser

Same Under Base in Beige (what I use) Pore Eraser

I like to keep as few layers of stuff on my face as possible. As I say ad nauseum, my skin is oily, sensitive and prone to breakouts, and certain sunscreens can be problematic. When one first applies Under Base there is a bit of a white cast on the skin, which initially terrified me – but, of course that is the sunscreen. Not to worry, it blends and dissipates leaving only a dewy yet matte surface. As far as colour or tint goes, Under Base has a pretty perfect and light “presence” on the skin and stays matte for hours. It has a neat semi- sticky consistency when first applied, which I swear just grabs the make up you apply and holds onto it for dear life, making it last even longer. Love it. I apply only this to my face before heading out to spend a day in the sunshine and have yet to get a sunburn.

This is around 4 hours after applying some powder/concealer & blush over Under Base. It is 30C with 60% humidity. No. Shine.

This is around 4 hours after applying some powder/concealer & blush over Under Base. It is 30C with 60% humidity. No. Shine #nofilter

Shu Uemura has gone into very limited distribution in North America but we are lucky that Holt Renfrew in Canada carries the line and indeed this product – I paid around $45 CAN. I don’t know if Shu Uemura is even sold in the USA anymore….It sells out quickly in Canada and I usually buy 2 cans at a time. But they do last me 6 mos+, keeping in mind I am an “under applier” and go easy on my make up application, and I also don’t wear it in cold, dry weather. There is a reason this stuff is a cult fave. Have you tried it? Thoughts?

 shu uemura

 

 

(Ingredient list: OCTINOXATE 4.9% , TITANIUM DIOXIDE 1.9% , , COSMETIC INGREDIENTS , WATER , SYNTHETIC FLUORPHLOGOPITE , SEA WATER , CALCIUM CARBONATE , BUTANE , BUTYLENE GLYCOL , PROPANE , ISOBUTANE , DIPOTASSIUM GLYCYRRHIZATE , HAMAMELIS VIRGINIANA (WITCH HAZEL) EXTRACT , HDI/TRIMETHYLOL HEXYLLACTONE CROSSPOLYMER , PEG-10 DIMETHICONE , STEARETH-10 , CETEARYL ALCOHOL , CAPRYLYL GLYCOL , POLYSORBATE 60 , POLYSORBATE 20 , CETYL ALCOHOL , METHICONE , HYDROGENATED EGG OIL , PROPYLENE GLYCOL , TOCOPHERYL ACETATE , PENTANE , C9-15 FLUOROALCOHOL PHOSPHATES , ETHANE , HEXYLENE GLYCOL , SILICA , ALUMINUM HYDROXIDE , CHLORPHENESIN , PHENOXYETHANOL , METHYLPARABEN , HYDROXYISOHEXYL 3-CYCLOHEXENE CARBOXALDEHYDE , BUTYLPHENYL METHYLPROPIONAL , CITRONELLOL , FRAGRANCE)

Escentric Molecules – Molecule 01- Proof That Science Makes Perfume Sexy

Escentric Molecules – Molecule 01- Proof That Science Makes Perfume Sexy

Normally when I review a perfume, I have to edit myself, as I could literally go on and on, and on, and on, etc. I am going to reign myself in right now, and keep it simple. Molecule 01 demands it.

Escentric-Molecules-Molecule-01

Escentric Molecules is a simple perfume line, but not simple in a boring way. You can read more about the concept of the creator and artist behind Escentric Molecules, Geza Schoen, here. But, in the spirit of this simple line, I will share Mr Schoen’s perfect analogy: Molecule is to perfume as Bauhaus is to Baroque. In the perfume I am reviewing today, Molecule 01, Geza Schoen used one single ingredient - Iso E Super, which is a trademarked aromachemical owned by IFF (International Fragrance & Flavours) known as  7-acetyl, 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8-octahydro-1,1,6,7-tetramethyl naphthalene. IFF describes it as:

Smooth, woody, amber with unique aspects giving a ”velvet” like sensation. Used to impart fullness and subtle strength to fragrances. Superb floralizer found in the majority of newer fine fragrances and also useful in soaps. Richer in the desirable gamma isomer than isocyclemone e.

Iso_E_Super_structure.svg

It is very hard to describe a scent molecule in words. It’s deceptive, because you think – oh it is an ingredient, aka a note. It’s not really a note, per se, but more of an evolving scent-sensual sensation, if that makes sense. Molecule 01 has taken Iso E Super and made it magical. It is often used to boost other notes in a perfume, or to ground them. It diffuses and adds longevity to woodsy, warm and floral perfumes. Many perfumistas, in fact, claim that if given some actual Iso E Super (available from perfume suppliers online) they could create their own Molecule 01. This is where my respect for the artist comes in. I have tried two homemade versions and sorry – no thanks. Geza Schoen isn’t recreating The Emperor’s New Clothes with his Escentric Molecules, or just tossing together some crap in bottles hoping suckers will come along and throw money at him. He is an exacting artist, and that is why Molecule 01 is still one of the best selling fragrances at LA’s Lucky Scent, perfume ground zero for the USA’s west coast.

What’s funny is that I don’t like the perfumes that use Iso E Super in copious amounts. Even though it adds a velvety smooth accord, when it’s used with too many other notes, it makes me feel nauseated and suffocated. Ormonde Jayne is one of them, and after 15 minutes in one of her perfumes, I have to hose myself off. Or, use my special method of unsavoury scent neutralization. Don’t get me wrong – Ormonde Jayne perfumes are lovely, beautifully composed and elegant. Jean Claude Ellena loves Iso E Super and uses it in some of his gorgeous and elegant compositions for Hermes, which to my nose are like nails on a blackboard. I said gorgeous and elegant, and I recognize gorgeous perfumes when they happen, even if I can’t stand them on my own skin. Seriously people, with perfume, as well as any art, there is no accounting for taste.

Skin Musk Ad dalybeauty

So. Molecule 01 – what does it smell like? Sexy, warm skin that is clean, but not in a sterile way. Clean in a way that perhaps there were two of you (or more) in that shower. Woodsy is a word that comes to mind, but also musk – musk in the 1970s model of musks. Sexy yet clean. It wafts in and out all day long, and some have said that Molecule 01 has pheromonic-like effect. Do pheromones in perfume really work, or actually make one sexually or sensually more attractive? All I know is that I find it addictive in that “I can’t stop smelling this” kind of way, and if I smell it on someone else, I want to get closer to them.

Skin Musk series 70s dalybeauty

I’d say it is probably the most masculine of my perfumes, which is odd for me, as pretty pretty florals are my signature. Yet I love it. And,  I think it is perfect for the man who simply wants to smell wonderful, but not perfumed. One of Molecule 01’s biggest tricks is how it disappears for hours and seamlessly blends with one’s own chemistry, only to reappear hours later, like a phantom. Hands down, Molecule 01 is the single biggest compliment getter in my collection. You have to wear it to get it. I have friends who wouldn’t believe the hype, then I’ve sprayed them. The next day, they are trying to find out where they can buy it. Molecule 01 is a perfume I wear when I can’t decide what perfume to wear.

I don't know what this smells like, but I kinda want to.

I don’t know what this smells like, but I kinda want to.

I got my Molecule 01 at Etiket Boutique in Montreal. I’m sure it’s sold somewhere in Toronto, but I don’t know where. It’s sold at Barneys, as well as Lucky Scent – of course! The value of the CAN dollar has probably caused an increase in CAN pricing. I don’t recall paying $170 for my bottle, but perhaps I blocked that part out.

Smith & Cult Is The Nail Polish For True Beauty Junkies

Smith & Cult Is The Nail Polish For True Beauty Junkies

 Did you wear Hard Candy in the nineties? I remember when it launched – nail polish in funky shades was almost unheard of. Painting your nails in shades of blue, purple or green? That was for weirdos and outliers. Well, apparently it wasn’t, and the brilliant founder of Hard Candy, Dineh Mohajer, was way ahead of the curve.

Dineh Mohajer

Dineh Mohajer – stunning

 

From the Smith & Cult website:

Smith & Cult represents the duality we all inhabit throughout our lives and our individual expressions of beauty, which reflect who we’ve been, are and aspire to become. Each shade is inspired by and representative of the experiences depicted in the diary entries of our beauty addicted heroine who sees her world through a lens of color.

Smith & Cult was created by beauty veteran Dineh Mohajer, the voice of our beauty junkie, who revolutionized the color cosmetics industry when she launched Hard Candy. Several years and creative collaborations later, Mohajer is bringing about the next evolution of beauty with Smith & Cult.

Smith and Cult’s Nailed Lacquer consistently delivers both flawlessly smooth coverage and brilliant shine. While custom tailored to provide high performance, the exclusive 5-Free formula is formulated without Dibutyl, Phthalate, Toluene, Formaldehyde, Formaldehyde Resin and Camphor.

Do yourself a favour and explore the Smith & Cult website. It is one of the most gorgeous and dynamic sites I’ve seen. The Smith & Cult bottles are like little works of art – heavy glass bottles with gorgeous sculptural caps. These bottles want to sit out where everyone can see them. Love!

I stumbled upon this gorgeous line during a recent visit to Gee Beauty Bal Harbour. I can always depend on the Gee sisters to dig up the latest, greatest and coolest in beauty. They kind of blew my mind with Smith & Cult. PS- I think I have to go back for more Smith & Cult, because Gay Ponies Dancing In The Snow is calling to me. I bought Bitter Buddist,  described as an “opaque celadon green”, and I love it. Actually, I noticed many things in my wardrobe match it almost perfectly. Seeing a theme here…

Smith & Cult Bitter Buddhist dalybeauty

 

Smith & Cult Bitter Buddhist dalybeauty

Two perfect coats of Bitter Buddhist with Essie Out The Door quick dry topcoat in sunlight. Gorgeous!

The formula is gorgeous – self levelling, not thick, yet I got perfect coverage in two easy coats. It lasted, lasted and lasted. Probably one of the best wearing polishes I have. Even just writing this makes me want to go get more. If you want me, I’m on my way to Gee Beauty in Bal Harbour. I can pick you up on the way, ok?

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Smith & Cult nail polishes retail at $18 USD an are available online, and at select boutiques.

Report From The Rabbit Hole: I Got 2 New Gorgeous Chanel Nail Polishes

Report From The Rabbit Hole: I Got 2 New Gorgeous Chanel Nail Polishes

Chanel, how do you do that magic you do? Because you do it so well! Coco help me, but I cannot resist a delicious Chanel nail polish. They are my nail polish Kryptonite. This spring, they released a trio of gorgeous shades, which including Tenderly, a perfect dusty mauve-rose, that is reviewed here. And, a gorgeous fuchsia, Désirio, which I haven’t reviewed yet. The one I am obsessing over presently is Chanel Paradiso – a super soft and pale green, with a silvery shimmer. I get compliments like crazy when I wear it. It is a flattering shade, and would compliment most skin tones. Gorgeous. I use two coats, which still allows for some visible nail line, which I don’t mind. But a third coat would take care of that.

Chanel Le Vernis Paradiso swatch dalybeauty

 

The other beauty that came home with me is Chanel Sweet Star. It was released last November for Vogue’s Fashion Night Out, in Australia. The more I could not find it anywhere, the more I wanted it. I was shopping for my beautiful Chanel Misia at Saks and saw Sweet Star on their counter. I died! Then I bought it. It’s a crazy butterfly colour, the kind that changes depending on the lighting. It appears silver head on, but turns blue-purple, and then a gun metal shade. It also has a gorgeous multi colour micro glitter that blows my mind.

Chanel Le Vernis Sweet Star nail polish dalybeauty

 

Chanel Le Vernis Sweet Star nail polish dalybeauty

 

Chanel Le Vernis Sweet Star nail polish dalybeauty

 

 

I got both of these at department store Chanel counters. I am pretty sure that Sweet Star is not available in Canada, however. That could change though!

Nails Inc Almost White Nails Are Really The New White

Nails Inc Almost White Nails Are Really The New White

I’ve been loving the bright white opaque nails that have been popping up all over social media lately. I was perusing the Nails Inc display at Sephora recently and the Nails Inc New White collection caught my eye. It distracted me from the Victoria Beckham Nails Inc collex, which I had gone in for, as I was comparing the New Whites to her Limited Edition Bamboo White. Are they similar? Sure looks like it. Do I still want hers? Sadly, yes, along with that gorgeous orange-red. Anyways I digress.

I walked out of Sephora with Whitehall – PAUSE. Nails Inc did a magnetic shade called Whitehall, that is a metallic teal shade, which was quite confusing when I tried to search for swatches of their NEW Whitehall. Come on, guys.

Anyways, I love the new Nails Inc Whitehall, and everywhere I had a hand out, I got complimented and asked what shade I was wearing. It’s a perfectly executed white-pink shade combined with that Nails Inc signature shine that ensures you never get into that chalky look. I know it’s kind of hot right now, but it’s not me. I LOVE this shade! Their website calls Whitehall a barely there peach, but I find it’s a petal pink.

Nails Inc New Whites Whitehall swatch dalybeauty

 

This winter weather is wreaking havoc on my nails! So I’m taking good care of them and using my beloved Nail Butter, and my Perfect Formula Nail Essentials Duo with their amazing Pink Gel Coat & Clear Gel Coat. I got their handy little travel set of both on my last Sephora trip.

Nail Butter Pink Gel Coat dalybeauty

 

I’m also back to taking these – the last time I did, my nails grew like crazy and were extra strong. Trying them again. Have you ever taken a supplement for your nails and/or hair?

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Nails Inc are available online on their website and Sephora, online and in-store for $14 USD.

 

Once Upon A Time, MiN New York Created Scent Stories Perfumes….

Once Upon A Time, MiN New York Created Scent Stories Perfumes….

If you are what we like to call a “perfumista”, and/or live in New York you have likely heard of MiN New York. Known for it’s incredible curated selection of fragrances, apothecary, a “men’s den“, etc, MiN New York is one of the several centres in the perfume universe. They celebrate beautiful things, and share their finds with their clients, often hosting exclusive parties for creators and “noses” and serving cocktails, with live music and magic. What else would you expect from a business that has an “Art of Living” tab on their website? With everything from the classical eau de toilettes used for decades in European barber shops, to the most exclusive modern perfumes, MiN has it all.

min_new_york_scent_stories_momento_edp_75ml

So it was no surprise and happy news to all when they announced the launch of their perfume project, MiN New York Scent Stories. I say project as this so much more than just smelly liquid in bottles.

MiN NEW YORK SCENT STORIES, VOLUME ONE:

An exclusive olfactory art project by Chad Murawczyk and Mindy Yang featuring eleven fragrant chapters, this collection aims to transcend space and time. Each potion is designed to create emotions, bring back memories, and inspire people to think differently about perfumes. As luxury collectibles that celebrate the Art of Living, they are limited editions with only 1,000 bottles coming from a single batch each year. Each edition is hand signed and numbered.

I don’t know about you, but the idea of wearing a perfume that is rare speaks to me. I’m so tired of common and boring – the same old perfume, rebottled and renamed. I love a perfume that has beauty and has heart. My first impression upon diving into MiN New York Scent Stories was that someone put their heart into these creations, that someone sat down and looked deep within themselves and put poetry in bottles. Scent Stories manage to feel like a throwback to the perfumes of the fifties, sixties and seventies, when so many of my favourite perfumes were created, not copied. Chad and Mindy have somehow managed to do this, while keeping these perfumes modern and fresh.

The perfumes evolve on the skin like living things. I made the “mistake” of trying several of the Scent Stories on different parts of my arm at once, and was haunted for hours, trying to figure out which beautiful note I was experiencing at any given time. Each perfume so clearly morphs from top, to heart to it’s base that in the end, you’d swear you are wearing a different perfume from the one you think you spritzed on. I can honestly say I have never smelled anything like any of the Scent Stories I’ve worn. With names like Moon Dust (smells like space – really), Long Board (best sexy surf fragrance ever), Barrel (dark spirits and wine), Dune Road (woodsy, grassy, sandy and breezy) these are not your run of the mill department store, or even high end luxury boutique, perfumes. These are something different….

There are so many different types of scents in Scent Stories that there is something for everyone. I have my favourites:

MIN New York Scent Stories Shaman

Scent Stories Chapter Four, Shaman is indeed, otherworldly. It does smell like it’s description, but you really need to experience it on your skin to understand how every descriptor that MiN New York uses is true. The first smoky notes threw me, as smoke is not my favourite note at all. But they pass and turn into the warm, sweet smoke of tranquil incense with the cool magical forest fragrance of violet leaves. The patchouli is sophisticated and warm, and all of the notes just circle around each other like tendrils of incense smoke. Soft, gentle and calming, Shaman is a perfume that must be worn to be believed. If you are seeking a calming meditative scent, you must try this. On first sniff I’d call this a masculine, but that’s just because I favour sweet girly florals. Shaman is for everyone.

MIN New York Scent Stories Magic Circus

Scent Stories Chapter Seven, Magic Circus smells even better than the description. Don’t be fooled by the candied notes – this is no Pink Sugar (not that there is anything wrong with Pink Sugar….) or some Victoria’s Secret confection (again, if that’s your thang….). This is an enchanted circus, the kind that travels at dusk, the blue hour, and it smells as magical as it sounds. All those warm and woodsy resinous notes ground the sweetness. Don’t get me wrong, there is a yummy aspect to this one, and I did get an urge to lick my wrist. But it never overpowers, and just feels like a velvet cape of warm sweetness.

MIN New York Scent Stories The Botanist

Scent Stories Chapter Three, The Botanist will change everything you have come to believe about fruity perfumes. An apple perfume that doesn’t smell like Jolly Ranchers (if you like that kind of thing, that’s ok….).  It smells like a warm day in an orchard – close your eyes and smell apple blossoms, green leaves and soft grasses and woods warmed by the sun. The breezes are picking up the scents of the wild roses, peonies and earthy scents from the forest floor and they mingle with the sweet fruits and magic happens.

MIN New York Scent Stories Momento

Scent Stories Chapter Five, Momento is my absolute favourite of all the Scent Stories. It took me several times to figure this out because I kept wearing more than one to figure out which one was making me drool. “This is the scent of love and happiness” – that is true. It must be the aldehydes that add the sparkling and slightly powdery aspect to Momento. Absinth and lavender in perfume are a magical combination, simultaneously intoxicating and comforting. The floral, woodsy and resinous notes are beautifully blended to take you on a “scentimental” journey from first spritz until the deep drydown. Momento is addictive and beautiful.

MIN New York Scent Stories

MiN New York Scent Stories are available in limited quantities on their website. A 75ml bottle costs $240 USD, with free shipping in the USA.

Estee Lauder Private Collection, Perfume For The Bohemian Bourgeoisie

Estee Lauder Private Collection, Perfume For The Bohemian Bourgeoisie

Ahhh, oh how I love a gorgeous green perfume. Not the traditionally “pretty” perfumes of today that might have a touch of leaves or grassy greenery. Not a gentle herbal cologne, either. I mean a mossy, rich Green Chypre. The kind of green that mixes the gorgeous elegant grown up lady perfumes of the late sixties and early seventies, and then tosses in something naughty, something that smells almost dirty. It’s funny – a couple weeks ago I was chatting with my daughter about my parents, and their awesome generation, and how they belonged to a social group that has been called the Bohemian Bourgeois. The caftans, the parties, the European cars, the holidays, and the luxury, but still somehow anti-establishment. I love it.

talitha getty dalybeauty

Talitha Getty – the ultimate Bohemian Bourgeoisie

Right now, I’m getting my fix from Estée Lauder Private Collection – the original one released in 1973. I decided I had to have it after reading this awesome post on XOVAIN (did you know Private Collection was Tammy Wynette’s signature scent?). The best part of that post? Showing it to shocked sales associates at the Estée Lauder counter who were clearly surprised to see anyone under sixty five asking for Private Collection. No really, I said. It’s written up on a cool beauty blog – by a YOUNG PERSON. Some of them didn’t believe me until I pulled up the review on my phone. Their reactions were beautiful.

Estee Lauder Private Collection perfume dalybeauty

I get a similar vibe from my beloved Ivoire de Balmain (vintage), that sexy skin vibe that the perfumes of the seventies do so well. Maybe Estée Lauder Private Collection is closer to the original Vent Vert, but it is warmer and more casual than sharp edged VV. There is an effortless elegance to this kind of perfume. It’s the kind of perfume that takes you from dressed to dressed up without changing your clothes. Actually I’d say casually dressed is the best way to wear Private Collection, otherwise it might be a bit overdone. And overdone is not cool.

veruschka dalybeauty

Veruschka – who else?

Despite the WASPy leanings of the Estée Lauder line, and perhaps even Mme Lauder herself, this perfume is part of era that had the vibe of revolution. Women wearing men’s suits, modern design in fashion, homes and furniture, menthol cigarettes, European cars and Studio 54. I feel strong, feminine and sexy in this scent.

The origins of the perfume are kind of cool:

“Private Collection belongs in the private collection of every woman who believes she deserves the very best life has to offer.”—Estée Lauder, Founder

In her private office, Mrs. Lauder kept a collection of rare fragrance essences. She created a perfume from these precious ingredients that was deeply personal and for herself alone.

Women who admired this mysterious scent were told it was from her “private collection.” Not to be denied, they began calling department stores to request Estée Lauder’s “Private Collection.” In 1973, Mrs. Lauder bowed to popular demand and introduced her signature perfume to the world.

The notes in Private Collection, from the Estée Lauder website:

Top Notes:
Honeysuckle, Jasmine, Citrus

Middle Notes:
Orange Flower, Ylang-Ylang, Coriander

Base Notes:
Sandalwood, Patchouli

What a lovely floral mix – soapy for sure, and elegant, elegant, elegant. But, what is that I see lurking in the base notes – patchouli! It’s subtle, don’t get me wrong. This is no hippy head shop patchouli. But, it adds an unexpected bit of modernity, and even a slightly masculine note.

bianca jagger white suit dalybeauty

 

It reminds me of Bianca Jagger in her white suit – gorgeous, sexy and feminine and wearing what she wants because she can. And Rihanna in that amazing suit at the Grammys. Gorgeous, sexy and feminine – and strong. Notwithstanding Rihanna’s drugstore sugar drenched perfume offerings, I like to think she actually wears something as womanly as Estée Lauder Private Collection. Because she would rock it.

rihanna-grammys-2015-maison-margiela-double-breasted-suit-fbd52

 

 

Estee Lauder Private Collection is available online and at most Estée Lauder counters for $64 USD for a 50ml bottle. Smart money goes to Canada where, with today’s exchange, it costs the equivalent of around $52 USD. I have tried the vintage and the current, and I frankly love the current version just as much, if not more. I try to make it a point to not fall in love with impossible to find perfumes….I try….