Tuesday, 2 September 2014

Jo Malone Wood Sage & Sea Salt

Although I've worked my way through an impressive number of Jo Malone fragrance samples, until now I've never before owned a full-sized product. But when I first saw sneak peak reviews of the new scent Wood Sage & Sea Salt pop up on various British beauty blogs early in the summer, I knew I needed this! As the months went on, reviewer after reviewer raved about this scent. As soon as it popped up on JoMalone.com in mid-August, I pulled the trigger!

Wood Sage & Sea Salt Cologne features notes of sage and sea salt (duh) and amber. Many a blogger has described it as woody, yet fresh--and almost everyone has noted that it evokes thoughts of the British seaside. Being quite partial to the British seaside myself, I assumed I would love this fragrance and want to douse myself in it throughout the fall months!

So what went wrong? I cannot say exactly: I think Wood Sage & Sea Salt is perfectly fine. It's not a bad or offensive scent, but I simply do not understand what all the fuss is about. If I smelled this in a shop, I doubt I would ever give it a second thought. Chemistry was always my least favourite subject at school, so I admit to not really knowing if there is any merit to what I'm about to say, but I think something in my body chemistry doesn't work with Wood Sage & Sea Salt in the same way as others. I seem to have a similar problem with the cult favourite fragrance Escentric Molecule 01, another woody scent. But whereas Escentric Molecule 01 actually smells like urine on my skin, Wood Sage & Sea Salt is merely unremarkable.

In short, many have raved about Wood Sage & Sea Salt and its description does make it sound like the perfect fall fragrance! So, if you've been wanting to give it a try, don't let me stop you. My only advice (which applies to all fragrances, really) is that if you can't try it out before you buy it, order it from somewhere with a good return policy, such as the Jo Malone website or Nordstrom.

Have you tried Wood Sage & Sea Salt yet? What other Jo Malone scents do you love? Let me know below and head to BloglovinInstagram, and Twitter to follow me!

Sunday, 31 August 2014

Blogsale Update!

Ladies and Gents: I've yet again updated my blogsale. I'm moving in a matter of days/weeks, so I'm trying to sell as many unused/unloved items as possible (Pssst...I've put Chanel Notorious and Dior Amber Diamond, amongst many other things, up for sale). Click HERE or click the Blogsale link in the sidebar to see what's new!

July & August Favorites

I went a bit crazy on the makeup shopping during the month of July (I documented much of this on Instagram) and I ended up finding a lot of products that I really, really like! And then came August, when I got exceptionally busy with real life matters and completely neglected this blog and much of my makeup collection...but these are the products that continued to stand out for me! Thus, without further ado, here is what made my cut for my July & August Favourites: 

Givenchy Le Rouge Intense in 206 Rose d'Exception: Rose d'Exception has quickly become my all-time favorite rosey nude shade. I wore it in this post and I just can't get enough of it! It goes with any look and is so easy to apply and wear. It feels great on the lips and has excellent pigmentation. Plus, the packaging on this one is extra stunning! Givenchy offers a matching nail polish, which I might pick up so that I can be extra matchy-matchy. Available at Sephora for $36.

The Masters Brush Cleaner: For the past few years I've used Dr. Bronner's Liquid Soap to clean my makeup brushes. Lately, though, I'd become a bit frustrated with the fact that it wasn't cleaning some of my foundation brushes as well as I would like. I was going to pick up the Beauty Blender Solid Cleanser when someone recommended that I look into the Masters Brush Cleaner. It is a solid soap that artists have used for years to clean their brushes. It's also a fraction of the price of the Beauty Blender Solid Cleanser. It's sold at Michael's Craft Stores and is normally $10, but they always have coupons so I got mine for $5. I would say that my liquid Dr. Bronner's seems better for more tapered brushes (like my MAC 217), but for synthetic brushes or anything with a deep stain to it, the Masters Brush Cleaner cannot be beat!

YSL Le Teint Touche Éclat Foundation: I was pretty certain that I would never find a foundation I liked more than the Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation...until I tried the YSL Le Teint Touche Éclat Foundation. I only tried this foundation in the first place after a YSL makeup artist used it on me. The shade range is fantastic for these and the coverage is beautiful--I would say it offers a medium to full coverage, but it looks very natural on the skin and has great lasting power. It is very similar to the Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk in that it gives your skin a beautiful glow. Oily skin gals (like me) need not be afraid of trying this foundation out! Available at Nordstrom for $57.

Lipstick Queen Endless Summer Lipstick in Aloha: I already posted about my love for this lipstick here, so if you read that post it should be no surprise that this made it into my monthly favorites! It is the perfect sheer reddish pink. Available at Ulta for $22.

Daniel Sandler Watercolour Blush in Cherub: The first time I wore Cherub, which I posted about here, I knew that it would make my monthly faves. But it has already one-upped that: it's easily one of my favorite blushes of all time! I honestly cannot rave about this enough--it is so flattering, both in color and texture, and much easier to apply than I imagined a liquid blush would be. Available at LookFantastic for about $25.

Bite Beauty High Pigment Pencil in Madeira: For years I avoided 'nude' lipsticks like the plague, as I couldn't seem to find one that made me look like death. Lately, though, I've hit the jackpot and found quite a few. Madeira is described as a nude pink and I think it is the slight hint of pink in this shade that makes it so wearable on my mauvey lips. I got this as part of a set of 4 High Pigment Pencils--these sets by Bite (I believe they release a set each autumn) are a great way to try out several shades for less $$--but, Madeira is also available in full size at Sephora for $24!

Nails Inc Gel Effect Polish in Mayfair Lane: I've mentioned this before, but the Nails Inc Gel Effect polishes are by far the longest lasting polishes I've ever tried. My nails are quite weak at the tips (they are constantly peeling), but somehow the Nails Inc Gel Effect polishes can last up to a week with virtually no chipping. Mayfair Lane was a new shade added to their collection earlier in the summer (even more shades have been released recently!!) and it is a gorgeous, chic light pink shade. I often opt for bolder shades on my nails, but when I want something more sophisticated (or work appropriate), this is a great choice. Get it at Sephora for $14.

YSL Babydoll Eyeliner in 18 Bleu Patine: This is easily the most beautiful eyeliner I have ever encountered. I'm not a liquid eyeliner fan, but as soon as a YSL makeup artist used this on me, I knew I had to have it. In fact, Bleu Patine is probably my favorite part of YSL's Fall 2014 Cuirs Fétiches collection. It is a beautiful and complex blue/teal shade. And even though it has a brush applicator, I've found it much easier to use than many other liquid eyeliners I've tried in the past. I've been wearing this with bronze, copper, and brown shades and am absolutely addicted! Available at Nordstrom for $34.

Whew! That seems like enough favorites for the time being. What have you been loving over the past month(s)? Let me know below!

And head toBloglovinInstagram, and Twitter to follow me!

Friday, 1 August 2014

Givenchy Extravagancia Fall/Winter 2014 Collection

I recently picked up two items from Givenchy's Fall 2014 Collection: a Le Rouge Intense in 315 Framboise Velours and the Blush Mémoire de Forme Pop Up Jelly Blush in Rose Extravagant. All of the Givenchy Fall Collection, including these two items, are limited edition--so get thee to ordering, if you're interested. I purchased mine through Sephora. Barney's also carries Givenchy Beauty, but none of the fall collection is available on their website at the moment.

Wearing 315 Framboise Velours
Given my well-documented love of the Le Rouge lipsticks, I knew I was going to pick up one of the two shades released for fall. I decided on Framboise Velours because I have a deep love for any and all raspberry shades! I'm quite glad I chose Framboise Velours, because the other new shade (207 Rose Plumetis) is apparently very similar to 105 Brun Vintage, which thanks to this post by the beautiful Izzie (in which she is wearing Brun Vintage) is next on my 'to-buy' list.

Givenchy Le Rouge Intense in 315 Framboise Velours
As I have come to expect of Givenchy, the pigmentation and packaging of Framboise Velours is stunning. The formula itself is by far the creamiest of the four Le Rouges I own (I have two from the standard Le Rouge line and two from the Le Rouge Intense line). It verges on almost being too creamy in the sense that it is more difficult than I would like to get a precise line with this lipstick. Considering it is such a deep shade, a precise lip line is vital and I believe I am going to have to find a lip liner to make this bad boy more wearable.

L to R: Givenchy Framboise Velours, Bite Beauty Framboise
I am happy to find a lip liner to make this work as this shade is gorgeous! I've swatched it above next to the Bite Beauty Matte Crème Lip Crayon in Framboise, which I recently reviewed here. The Givenchy is a deeper shade with a stronger purple undertone, but unlike many deep berries (which I find can drain the color out of the face) this has enough pink in it to keep it bright and wearable. I haven't tried it blotted down as a stain yet, but I imagine it would be excellent worn that way, as well!

The second product I picked up from the Givenchy Fall Collection is the exhaustingly long-named Blush Memoire de Forme Pop Up Jelly Blush in the shade Rose Extravagant. At the moment this is the only shade available in this formula, but perhaps Givenchy will release more in the future! A huge part of the reason that I wanted this blush was the texture. Based on promo pictures, I assumed the Pop Up Jelly Blush would be quite similar to the Josie Maran Coconut Watercolor Cheek Gelées, which I talked about here. But rather than being firm and truly jelly-like as the Josie Maran Gelées are, the Pop Up Jelly Blush seems to be closer to a gel/mousse hybrid. It is much more liquidy and is soft to the touch. You could easily get away with using your fingers to apply the Givenchy blush, but I've been using my trusty stippling blush.
Givenchy Blush Memoire de Forme Pop Up Jelly Blush in Rose Extravagant: swatched heavily on the left, blended out on the right
A little goes a long way with this blush, which I learned the hard way when I first applied it. I ended up with enough blush to cover my entire face, rather than just my cheeks. The blush has good pigmentation, but the formula is semi-sheer. I am a bit surprised that this was released as part of a fall collection, as the color and formula scream spring/summer to me, rather than fall/winter. It has a light floral fragrance, but I honestly didn't even notice this the first few times I wore the blush. It was only once I read that it had a fragrance and deliberately sniffed the pot that I noticed the scent. If scented products are an absolute deal breaker for you, this is not for you. But it's not overpowering at all, so those who can handle subtle scents might quite enjoy this.

There is no shimmer or glitter in this blush at all, but the sheer formulation allows your skin's natural radiance to come through. I quite like the fresh and natural look that this blush gives, but for me it isn't an absolute 'must have'. The color and texture aren't hugely unique, so you may already have something similar in your collection. But Givenchy devotees such as myself may want to grab it, especially as it is limited edition.

The beautiful and all-around amazing Louise at Lilting Grace has reviewed the Givenchy Harmonie Extravagancia Lip and Eye Palette that was released as part of the fall collection. Head over there to see her review and the gorgeous look she created with it (along with her other kick ass posts!)

The Le Rouge Intense Lipstick in Framboise Velours is available for $36 at Sephora. The Blush Memoire de Forme Pop Up Jelly Blush is available for $37, also at Sephora.

Do you think you'll be picking up anything from the Givenchy Fall Collection? Which fall collections are you waiting for?

Head to BloglovinInstagram, and Twitter to follow me for more beauty/cat-related madness!