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.

Be My Valentine And Let’s Play With Pretty Makeup

Be My Valentine And Let’s Play With Pretty Makeup

I love pretty pink makeup. There is a shade of pink for everyone, from deep fuchsia to soft baby powder pink. There is blue pink, and coral pink. Pink is a flattering shade, as it mimics a healthy flush in the cheeks. It can be a sexy shade as well, with lips all pink and flushed from kissing. So of course, it is perfect for Valentine’s Day. To be clear, I am not talking about a “date night” Valentine look. I’m just talking about an excuse to pick through our makeup collection to look for the extra pink and red beauties. Because, sisters (and brothers) in the end, it is all about the beauty opportunities, and, having fun!

Here are some pretty pinks in my collection that I am loving:

Of course, there is Chanel! Part of Chanel’s Spring 2015 Collection nail polish trio was a deep berry shade, Desirio. It’s a funny shade. I thought it might be close to Suspicious, but it’s more purple. Then I saw the shimmer in the bottle and thought it might be close to Tentation, but again, more berry, and the shimmer doesn’t show on the finger without a microscope. I don’t have a dupe…therefore, I had to have it! There are many Chanel polishes that are perfect for Valentine’s Day, but I think the name “Desirio” sounds like “desire”, so that works, right?

Chanel Le Vernis Desirio - a little deeper in real life....

Chanel Le Vernis Desirio – a little deeper in real life….

 

Look at that gorgeous shimmer! Kinda wish I could see it on the nail, though...

Look at that gorgeous shimmer! Kinda wish I could see it on the nail, though…

Lise Watier is killing it with their Baiser Velours lip gloss/matte lipstick hybrids. Firstly, Baiser Velours means “Velvet Kiss”, which sounds pretty lovely, doesn’t it? All the colours are so rich and gorgeous! From the website: “Enjoy the coverage and intensity of a lipstick with the gestural convenience of a gloss applicator for the smooth, matte finish you’ve been wanting. The creamy formula is light yet richly pigmented. The lasting coverage will resist everything, even your longest days.” Listen – even the lipstick challenged moi managed to put this on and love it! I used my Cargo Reverse Lip Liner, as I was worried about the Miranda Sings effect, so that combined with the wand application resulted in fairly fool-proof application! It feels amazing on the lips, stays put, and has a satin matte finish vs a dry matte finish. Love it!

Lise Watier Baiser Velours dalybeauty

Lise Watier Baiser Velours dalybeauty

Lise Watier Baiser Velours in Party Kiss!

Lise Watier Baiser Velours in Party Kiss!

My new lip balm obsession is actually a lip oil obsession. Ever since using the gorgeous Hourglass Lip Treatment Oil, I’ve been hooked on the concept of oil based lip conditioners. Completely non-sticky, they absorb into the lip and leave them soft and moisturized. Clarins and YSL have released lip oils this season, and you need them. They not only feel amazing, but they taste yummy and prepare your lips for kissing! I waffled about which of these to get, then decided I needed both (Ommorphia knew I would!) and I’m glad I did. I get a wee bit more colour pay off from the YSL ( a mild stain effect, maybe?), but they both give me a pretty and plumped kisser! No swatches yet, but a full review is to come.

YSL Volupté Tint-In-Oil and Clarins Instant Light Lip Comfort Oil

YSL Volupté Tint-In-Oil and Clarins Instant Light Lip Comfort Oil

YSL Lip Oil Clarins Lip Oil dalybeauty

Can we talk about essence cosmetics? Seriously! I have seen them at the drugstore, and always thought they looked cute. Then, I saw this collection, “like an unforgettable kiss”, just in time for Valentine’s Day, and had to have it! How precious are these ice cream colours? The powder blush duos are very sheer and buildable, and not scented. I have been swirling both together for the perfect pink-coral combination.  The best part? Not one of the cosmetic items costs over $5.

essence like an unforgettable kiss dalybeauty

 

And how darling is this blush brush?

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What is your favourite Valentine’s Daly beauty look?

 

 

  * featured photo from @occhinerixo on Instagram. Her pics are always awesome.

How Perfume Boredom Led To i smell great™

How Perfume Boredom Led To i smell great™

Regular readers of my blog know that I can count the number of times I’ve written a rave review about a newly released perfume on one hand. I love perfume, and I love writing about perfume, but the only perfumes that have interested me enough to write about have either been niche, which often means expensive and/or hard to find, or vintage and vanished from the market. I hoard my vintage perfumes that will never be made again, and I resent having to pay a fortune for some niche brand that uses the same ingredients as everyone else.

By now everyone knows about i smell great™, the perfume brand created by Randi Shinder and myself. Randi created and launched three beauty brands that were so groundbreaking they formed new categories in fragrance and skin care. And, we are both perfume junkies, in the truest sense of the word. We eat, sleep and breathe perfume. We obsess about scents and flavours all. The. Time. Stimulate our sense of smell or taste, and we are already dreaming about how this or that would work in perfume. Both of us have been obsessive “noses” since we can remember. Scents haunt us, and they haunted us until we captured them and bottled them, like perfume ghosts.

Randi and I would often get so excited about a scent we would hear about. Then, we’d try it and find it was pretty much exactly the same as many many perfumes before it. Cue the sad trombones. Newsflash: the industry is full of imitation. If one perfume has commercial success, wait for every other designer to release a perfume that smells “similar”. They copy the successful one, maybe tweak it a tiny bit (and maybe not) and then call it something else. Just wander around any perfume department and smell all the top sellers. A well developed nose will be able to find the sameness in everything.

The names are often ridiculous and have nothing to do with what the perfume smells like. Reveal, Downtown, Encounter and how about 18 different editions of Eternity for women and another 14 Eternity versions for men? Oy. Sorry, Calvin, but you aren’t even trying anymore. Talk about phoning it in.

Then there is this business of “notes” in perfume. It used to mean a lot more, and still does with some niche and artisanal perfumers. But for most mainstream perfumes, that cacophony of  top, middle and base notes aren’t really telling us what the perfume smells like. It’s ad copy. It’s a romantic idea of the scent. Yes, yes, some of those synthetic molecules are meant to smell like certain things, but that doesn’t mean assembling them together as if you are Jacques Guerlain (SPOILER ALERT: YOU ARE NOT) is going to create another Shalimar. It’s like a habit that the consumer thinks they need to know. Do you? I know I don’t care. I want to know if it smells good, and those vague and random recipes and notes rarely tell me anything about the scent.

So. Why not make perfumes for the masses, why not make perfumes for those who really just want to wear an uncomplicated scent that just smells great? Why not make perfumes that don’t cause headaches, perfumes that don’t choke everyone around you with chemical scent enhancers that elevate perfume projection to nuclear levels? Yes, lady who bathes in Angel before getting on that elevator, I’m looking at YOU. Stop. Now.

I can’t wait to share how Randi and I came to create our perfumes. How the things we loved became perfumes. How the scented products that accompany the perfumes have bases that were just as important as the perfumes. I challenge you to spray your hands with i smell great™ Wellness Water Fragrance Mist. The luxurious base of purified water and skin-healthy ingredients means you can rub it in and it will feel great as well as smell great. Go ahead and try that with a mainstream body mist. Be careful though, it will probably dissolve your nail polish.

Stay tuned for more of our story!

Lovefresh Cream Deodorant – Elegant & Gentle Skincare That Works

Lovefresh Cream Deodorant – Elegant & Gentle Skincare That Works

I am always dubious about the efficacy of certain “all natural” products. Deodorants are one of them. I have tried many, as like most women, my precious underarm’s are super delicate. To date, I get the best results with Dove, Elizabeth Arden cream deodorants (Blue Grass & Green Tea), and Alyssa Ashley Musk cream roll on deodorants. Smell is important as well, and I love the scent of these deos. They are gentle and effective. But I have not given up on gentle and natural.

So when I saw that Lovefresh, a company I know and love for their luxe, natural and effective skincare, had released a natural cream deodorant, I was intrigued. Ok, so a jar? Hm, stick my fingers in and apply it? Weird! Well, actually not weird at all as I do that with a ton of different products all over my face and body every day, so why not on my underarm skin? Duh.

moroccan_rose_deodorant

Here is what Lovefresh says, and what is in it:

This all-natural & very effective deodorant will keep you smelling fresh all day long, we promise! By using this wonderful deodorant you will feel comfortable that you are not putting any harsh chemicals under a very *vulnerable* part of your body. It really, really works.

Ingredients: Fair Trade Shea Butter, Coconut Oil, Assortment of organic Clays & botanicals and natural organic essential oil. That’s it.

Sounds pretty good, no? And a 2oz jar is $15, and I can already tell this will last me ages. It is rich, soft and easy to apply. It feels like a treat for your skin vs a harsh coating to odour away. I love it! The Moroccan Rose is what I am using, and my daughter has used it, too, and she loves it. Now I want to try the Sweet Orange Patchouli and Lavender Tea Tree!

deodorant at party

No one wants to be left alone.

You can buy Lovefresh right from their website and retail buying for Lovefresh is here.

Get Lupita Nyong’o’s Favourite Lippie – Clarins Lip Balm With Rosewax

Get Lupita Nyong’o’s Favourite Lippie – Clarins Lip Balm With Rosewax

According the a Clarins press release, Clarins Lip Balm just about sold out everywhere ever since the oscar winning actress, Lupita Nyong’o, sang it’s praises.
Who doesn't want to look as gorgeous as this amazing woman?

Who doesn’t want to look as gorgeous as this amazing woman?

My friend Tara has always sworn by Clarins Lip Balm with Rose Wax. Doesn’t rosewax sound like a lovely thing to put on your lips? I thought so. The next time I passed a Clarins counter I got it. Bingo! It is fantastic. It’s in a tube with a slanted top making it easy to apply and hygienic. It has a barely there subtle and soft rose scent and if there is a taste, I haven’t noticed it. The consistency is thick without being gloppy. It is smooth and glides beautifully across the lips. It slowly sinks in and becomes barely noticeable. There is not a lot of shine, and no frost or reflecting agents, yet it really compliments the lip nicely and makes them feel plump and moist. The most amazing thing for me is how long it lasts. I haven’t timed it but I only have to apply a few times a day. I even notice a slight reduction in the minor (very minor!) vertical lines above the lip while I wear the Clarins balm.

red roses

Lips like a dewy red rose…

The Clarins balm contains hyaluronic acid, which is a natural skin component capable of retaining  moisture and helps to give a plump moist look to skin and lips. Rose wax, for which it is named, is a product collected from the surface of rose petals, and which forms a silky, soothing protective and moisturizing barrier on the lips. Wow! A few drops of the fantastic Benetint rubbed into my lips and the Clarins Balm on top is a perfect every-day lip.

Clarins Lip Balm with Rose Wax is available at Sephora and Clarins counters.

Bobbi Brown Uber Pink Collection Is Also Uber Pretty

Bobbi Brown Uber Pink Collection Is Also Uber Pretty

We all love Bobbi Brown cosmetics because she knows what flatters. She isn’t breaking ground with crazy colours, which I love too, but instead she is simply grounding. Find what flatters you, and have fun with it. And of course, pink is a universally flattering colour that, in the right shade, makes everyone looks amazing. So her Uber Pink Collection was really a natural progression. From Bobbi Brown:

Want to look and feel pretty in seconds? Try a pop of pink—it’s all you need. “From light to neutral, bright to bold, there’s a shade of pink to suit all skin tones,” Bobbi says. Featuring options for kissable lips to flirty tips, the Uber Pink collection is a totally modern monochromatic mix that can go sweet and subtle or deep and dramatic. The effect is instantly lifting, flattering and gorgeous.

be pretty be bold

I took a shine to the Be Pretty collection, which has the softer shades of nude-pink. Antigua Illuminating Bronzer has been a staple in my collection forever, and is the perfect sheer pink bronze blush. It’s an unusual bronzer-blush hybrid that I feel for immediately and cannot imagine not having handy. It’s perfect, buildable, and doesn’t irritate my sensitive skin.

bobbi brown pink kiss lipstick baby pink lip gloss

top: Baby Pink lip gloss & bottom: Pink Kiss lipstick, both swatched in daylight

top: Baby Pink lip gloss & bottom: Pink Kiss lipstick, both swatched in daylight

The real surprise in this collection for me was the lipstick. I don’t really wear lipstick, per se, but prefer sheer balm-type of lip products. But her lipstick in Pink Kiss won me over immediately – lipstick love! The perfect nude pink lip, without washing me out or looking weird and cakey on my lips, this velvety smooth semi-matte colour is da bomb.

Bobbi Brown Pink Kiss lipstick and Antigua Illuminating Bronzer in daylight

Bobbi Brown Pink Kiss lipstick and Antigua Illuminating Bronzer in daylight

 

Top it off with the pretty pretty Baby Pink Lip Gloss (which also looks lovely on it’s own) and you have a softly glam pink lip with some shine and depth.

Baby Pink Lip Gloss on Pink Kiss Lipstick in daylight

Baby Pink Lip Gloss on Pink Kiss Lipstick in daylight

 

Finally! A real grown-up lipstick I actually like and will wear. Leave it to Bobbi Brown to create a gorgeous and flattering colour that even a colour-phobe like me will wear!

 

 

 

Scrub Away Your Troubles, And Wash That Dull Skin Away

Scrub Away Your Troubles, And Wash That Dull Skin Away

I’m a mad exfoliator. My skin is oily and acne-prone, as in painful cystic hormonal acne, along with blocked pores. However, as is often the case with acne prone types, my skin is also sensitive. Part of keeping oil and blocked pores at bay is exfoliation. When you exfoliate dead skin, your skin doesn’t just glow, but all the expensive products we use on our faces can do their work a lot better without dead skin cells in the way.

I’ve been trying some new stuff that I just had to share, because I love them so much.

Peter Thomas Roth Glycolic Acid 3 Facial Wash

Peter Thomas Roth Glycolic Acid 3% Facial Wash (250ml, $37) I got this at Sephora, after a stunningly beautiful recommended the line to me. I’m not sure why I haven’t ever explored Peter Thomas Roth skincare, but I sure will now. After a week of using this cleanser, my skin is softer, smoother and clearer. I’ve gazed deeply into my pores and they look pretty darn good! Love this, and will definitely repurchase. Has anyone ever tried the Peter Thomas Roth acne line?  Now I’m curious.

Skinceuticals Micro Exfoliating Scrub

Skinceuticals Micro-Exfoliating Scrub (150ml, around $30) One of the things that I hate about a lot of scrubs is giant exfoliating granules. They feel scratchy and awful, and you just know they are damaging your skin. Skinceuticals Micro Exfoliating scrub is just that – a micro, aka really tiny, exfoliant. It feels gentle on the skin, and leaves your skin silky smooth and ready for any serum, cream or lotion you may want to use. Love it.

Fresh Rose Floral Toner

After all that exfoliating and scrubbing, it is a good idea to offer something soothing and moisturizing before applying your lotions and potions. I use rosewater, and lately I’ve fallen hard for Fresh Rose Floral Toner. At $38 for 250ml it may seem expensive, but considering Jurlique is $42 for just under 100ml. I have used Jurlique Rose Water, but lately the alcohol in it has been irritating my skin. Fresh Rose Toner is alcohol free, smells softly of rose, and feels wonderful on my skin. I love the spritzer, and just close my eyes while I spritz my face and neck. I wait for that to sink in, and then wait another five to ten minutes for my skin to dry completely. This is important as wet, moist or damp skin absorbs product very quickly, and this can cause irritation.

What is making you glow right now?

 

 

Get Roses In Your Cheeks With These Perfect Blushes

Get Roses In Your Cheeks With These Perfect Blushes

I am always in search of the perfect rose blush. I love powder blushes for their sheer beauty, but sometimes a powder alone can look dry. Especially in cold weather, and if you have dry skin. A cream blush is usually perfect for getting that glow on, but I have to be careful – some formulas make me break out *stares at Nars Multiple* or slide off my cheeks after an hour or two.

stila convertible color peony

It is not this brown.

My current blush nirvana is a perfect combo of powder and cream. Stila Convertible Color in Peony came my way as a Sephora VIB beauty perk, and I’m so glad it did. It looks browner/peachier in the pan than anything I would normally try, so if left to my own devices I never would have found it. Peony actually mimics a lovely summer sunshine-y glow, and because of it’s creamy formula, never leaves you looking dry or crepey. I apply my powder on top to set it.

chanel joue contraste rose initiale

Not quite this pink

For a little extra glow, I add some powder blush. The gorgeous Chanel Joues Contraste Rose Initiale had me at first swatch. It balances perfectly between peach and rose, making it easy for most skin tones to pull off. In typical Chanel fashion, this powder blush is so finely milled – at least double, maybe even triple milled. This super fine powder makes blending easy as it is super build-able. Love!

Do you like cream blushes? Or powder? Do you ever wear both?

chanel stila blush

Slathering Myself In Rose Jam While I Shower…Thanks, LUSH

Slathering Myself In Rose Jam While I Shower…Thanks, LUSH

Mmmm, boy, oh, boy, LUSH does a beautiful job with rose scented products. Their Rose Jam Shower Gel is one of my favourite LUSH rose products, and it’s back for Christmas! LUSH Rose Jam is a sweet and creamy rose – with yummy vanilla and berry to add an edible-ness I adore. There is almost a chocolatey note that makes me think of delicious Big Turk chocolate bars. Mmmmmm. It softens and moisturizes skin, as do all their lovely rose products. Get it now while you can!

Lush Rose Jam

LUSH even has an adorable Rosy Christmas gift set with Rose Jam shower gel and the amazing LUSH Ro’s Argan Body Conditioner for $16! What a deal and perfect for anyone who wants softly scented creamy soft skin for the holidays.

lush rosy christmas