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· Etro Gomma & Lemon Sorbet #1, Annick Goutal Eau d'Hadrien
· Etro Gomma & Lemon Sorbet
· Etro Gomma eau de cologne
· Aedes samples arrived...
· Bored with MAC
· Makeup for beginners #3
· test
· Makeup for beginners #2.1
· Makeup for beginners #2
· Makeup Look-Alikes site
· Makeup for beginners #1
· Makeup for beginners
· Aedes de Venustas
· An unexpected gift...
· Did I ever mention...
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· August 29, 2006 11:42 PM by Blogger Hot Screensaver
· August 30, 2006 2:12 AM by Blogger Colleen Shirazi

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The Lipstick Page Forums Beauty & Fashion Blog: August 2006


Etro Gomma & Lemon Sorbet #1, Annick Goutal Eau d'Hadrien
Posted by Colleen Shirazi, Thursday, August 31, 2006 7:36 PM (Eastern)

The Lemon Sorbet faded out after a while...as I had been told it would...still it did not disappear, I can still smell it close to my skin. What's funny now is that my sweater still smells a bit of last night's Gomma--and the combination, dual ghosts of Lemon Sorbet and Gomma--is intoxicating. No other word for it.

I should also mention I've been trying some Annick Goutal fragrances, because Eau d'Hadrien is another "lemon and herb" scent. Right off the bat I'd have to say the Goutal is better than Lemon Sorbet, if only because it's...better.

What's going through my mind is that Eau d'Hadrien is the female version where Lemon Sorbet is the male (although both fragrances are marketed as unisex). I tried what I'm sure is the EDT version of Eau d'Hadrien, based on descriptions from basenotes.net (scroll down, this is the review I found most helpful), hence what I got was the more cypress, less floral version of Eau d'Hadrien.

You would think this would be the more masculine of the two, given that Lemon Sorbet is bright, sweet and sparkly, and Eau d'Hadrien is not sweet at all, but rather spare and herby, but Eau d'...is entirely soothing, like comfort food. Lemon Sorbet demands attention. I rest my case.


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Etro Gomma & Lemon Sorbet
Posted by Colleen Shirazi, 11:53 AM (Eastern)

I slept on Gomma last night (literally). I've concluded that it smells a bit sour on my skin. A tiny bit bitter, but more sour than bitter, if that makes any sense.

I can see what the big deal about Etro is though. Whether you like the individual scents or not, they are, in a word, evocative. The guy is using notes that no one else seems to use, or else is combining them in such a way that they smell unique. Gomma...for some reason I kept picturing wet concrete, a sidewalk after the rain. A building that's getting old. A girl in a leather jacket waiting outside such a building. I know it sounds, well, next to insane, but there's much more here than the traditional "steak and three veg" of vanilla, woods, and pretty floral notes. These fragrances are more like miniature slices of real life.

Today, before my shower, I dabbled a bit of Lemon Sorbet on. My daughter turned me on to lemon scents by the way...I used to think...eh, lemon? Joy dish detergent, what you squeeze on fish, and so on? But lemon...is interwoven with your everyday life. Who can forget this fragment of Truman Capote's Breakfast at Tiffany's?

"She was still on the stairs, now she reached the landing, and the ragbag colors of her boy's hair, tawny streaks, strands of albino blond and yellow caught the hall light. It was a warm evening, nearly summer, and she wore a slim, cool black dress, black sandals, a pearl choker. For all her chic thinness, she had an almost breakfast-cereal air of health, a soap and lemon cleanness, a rough pink darkening in the cheeks."

As quoted by moviediva.

I've long lost my copy of this, I had to find it on the Net...I read it easily more than twenty-five years ago, but the lemon reference never left my mind.

Lemon Sorbet, so far, is almost pretty. It's very lemony, rind and all, and has a bright, sparkling feel to it. From the Etro site:

Head notes: citrus (bergamot, lemon, orange, petit grain)
Heart notes: spicy (lavender, rosemary)
Base notes: woody (sandalwood, vetiver)

I'll write more on this later on.


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Etro Gomma eau de cologne
Posted by Colleen Shirazi, 12:52 AM (Eastern)

Okay, I had to try at least one of them tonight. :) This is from the Etro site:

"Gomma - rubber - is bitter, spicy, and unquestionably virile."

Oops.

Head notes: Sicilian citrus fruits, artemisia
Heart notes: jasmine, spices
Base notes: amber, leather

I was fully prepared to not like this at first sniff. Why? Well I've read that a lot about Etro fragrances. And either it grows on you or it doesn't.

I can say it's not a bad fragrance even at first sniff. A bad fragrance, I run to wash off my skin. This is just a really odd scent. It's a little bit sweet...I definitely get the jasmine or something floral about it. And it's definitely leather but not sweet-leather. It smells sort of like a leather coat but sweeter. I will go so far tonight to say it's like a leather coat with some perfume in it. Kind of neat actually.

Too soon to write a review of any sort; these are just initial thoughts.


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Aedes samples arrived...
Posted by Colleen Shirazi, Wednesday, August 30, 2006 11:15 PM (Eastern)

Today I got my aedes.com samples. They were nice enough to chip in an extra sample (either that or they made a mistake in my favor). Anyhow I ordered a mess o' Etro samples...because the Etro's I have tried were so complex that it would be difficult to make a decision based upon a few sprays alone.

Here's what's in the pipe (and mind you, these are generous samples...the glass vials all look full):

Royal Pavilion
Shaal Nur
Lemon Sorbet
Sandalo
Gomma
Vicolo Fiori
Heliotrope

Messe de Minuit was my "lagniappe."

I haven't tried even one of them yet.


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Bored with MAC
Posted by Colleen Shirazi, 1:15 AM (Eastern)

There, I said it.

I've been thinking that way for quite some time actually...to pinpoint it, this feeling of disinterest began when MAC started cranking out a new collection every--what feels like--two weeks. These "collections" consist largely of limited edition shades, mixed with a few old shades, oh I suppose there are a few new permanent shades now and again but nothing outstanding.

For a beauty junkie, this practice is anathema. Why so many limited edition shades? To this veteran of beauty on the Net, it appears to be nothing better than a device to generate endless buzz about MAC--not to develop brand loyalty by creating extraordinary products.

It wasn't always like that of course. MAC used to be a superlative brand. And still some of their older shades are good. It's just that the juice is gone, the notion of finding that perfect color...the Sophisto, the Permaplum, the Angel, the Tarnish, the Teddy...or formula...Blot pressed powder, Powerpoint eyepencils, Fluidline gel liners, Paints, Veluxe Pearls.

Another gripe is the price. MAC "made their bones" by making department store makeup affordable (or as close to affordable as makeup gets). Now I see MAC has matched prices with Clinique.

In short, whatever MAC used to be...a company that responded to consumer demand (I kid you not, whatever people were complaining about on the beauty boards used to be remedied by MAC within months), with reasonably-priced, long-wearing products in a wide range of colors (most notably, for women with warmer coloring coughs), this company that produced bona fide board lemmings for years, has become...boring. Meaningless. I have no interest in the "next" MAC collection; I cannot even tell you what the "current" collection really is.

I can tell you I've bought two MAC items this year. Correction: I've bought one MAC item this year. It was Strawberry Blonde lipstick from the Catherine Deneuve collection. It's limited edition, so, no matter how much I like it, I can't replace it.

The other item was a Back to MAC (again a remnant from MAC's days of gentility, the idea of exchanging six empty plastic MAC containers for a free lipstick): Spice It Up lipstick.

There are a few things left on my MAC wish list but they're older items I never got around to buying, like Teddy Eye Kohl, Prunella, Powersurge or Buried Treasure, et cetera.

MAC...please, stop with the limited edition collections every two weeks. Go back to doing what you used to do so well: making our every little dream come true.


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Makeup for beginners #3
Posted by Colleen Shirazi, Tuesday, August 29, 2006 8:14 PM (Eastern)

Once you've gotten your base face down, the next step is blush.

Why????? Why not jump forward to eye makeup? The thing is this. If your skin is in its best shape, you actually don't need makeup. From this point forward, you are simply adding, from the most important piece to the least.

I suppose this runs contrary to conventional thinking, and I go without blush as much as the next gal. But I do own blush. And, when the occasion arises that I have to look good, or even fantabulous, or am looking for a job, or have to sit for a photo, or...et cetera, fill in your own "I gotta look good" events...I know the ten seconds it takes me to whip out my blush and apply it will be well spent.

Here is Dain's original post on this subject: How to pick and choose your blush. (We had the misfortune of moving this blog at one point, from lp/ to lipstickpage/, and for some reason, much of what shows up in Blogger's Blog Search tends to be from the previous subdirectory. grumbles...)

Aside from that, kindly allow me to chip in my own two cents...I don't recommend too many drugstore blushes. The colors can be good but the lasting power usually isn't. I'd say L'Oreal blushes lasted the longest on me, followed closely by Neutrogena, but then these brands can be almost as expensive as MAC, which lasts better.

Nars to me is the king of blush. I know that sounds strange...but I feel that Nars managed to do something new with blush. Long-term cosmeti-holics know that "something new" with a cosmetic is akin to Mythbusters actually confirming an urban legend. It happens, but rarely.

A close second would be Lancome. Oh, I hate Lancome for discontinuing their sublime "Rose Charmant" Blush Subtil (and this dates back to Signy for those who remember the old LP), but I feel they still deserve a mention.

MAC is my choice for price and quality.

How about a blush brush? Here I recommend the Sonia Kashuk one. Do not be fooled by the low price tag. It's good.

How to put the stuff on? The short answer is to smile. :) Smile broadly and place a little blush on your "apples" (don't get it too high). Blend up and out.

You can always add more, so start with a small amount. Here's a tip I got from the Jane Cosmetics site: add blush until you look better. Don't add it until you can see the blush! That's too much blush.


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test
Posted by TheLipstickPageForums.com, 2:51 PM (Eastern)

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Makeup for beginners #2.1
Posted by Colleen Shirazi, Monday, August 28, 2006 7:53 PM (Eastern)

It's actually not that easy to recommend base face products to a general audience, I'm seeing that. I can certainly recommend MAC Blot pressed powder. But then powder is easy.

The MAC colors tend to run light...my "Medium" shade is more medium-to-fair, and if I get much of a tan in the summer, it would be too light. The idea of Blot anyway is to have it disappear on you; it's not supposed to have much coverage (hence, if you are looking for a powder with coverage, this is not it).

Blot can work for any skin but on oily skin it is spectacular.

It's expensive relative to drugstore powders ($18 US last time I bought it; $19.50 on the MAC site now). For me, the compact lasts one year and it can be used for Back to MAC. YMMV but to me it's still a good deal if you tend to be oily.

Laura Mercier tinted moisturizer SPF 20 is pretty good; I just tried some out. It has more coverage than I'd expected. To me it is more like a medium-coverage foundation than a sheer one. Still, it has good features such as no scent, no greasiness (in fact, to me it's not moisturizing at all), a pleasantly airy feeling on the skin, easy to blend, nice color. I tried "Nude" which is a tad too light on me, it would be too dark for your PPP (Pale Porcelain Princess :D), so think of a neutral lightish beige with yellow undertones. It's again expensive relative to drugstore foundations: $40 for a tube...I'll say that tube would last you a long time though. Unlike liquid foundations in bottles, you squeeze out only what you need; there's no waste (and no annoying foundation under your fingernail to boot).

I make my own tinted sunscreen and, I'll have to say I prefer it to the LM that I tried. I know that sounds cocky but because I'm making it for myself, I have it exactly at the strength I want. Here I took some sunscreen (All Terrain TerraSport) and mixed it with liquid foundation (Zia liquid in Mica). Because I can add as much or as little foundation as I like, I didn't add much. The idea was to be able to apply a fair amount of it (being a sunscreen) without overdoing the coverage. (If you're feeling nostalgic, check out my original recipe for this.)

You can do the same if you like...take your favorite sunscreen or moisturizer and tint it with your favorite foundation. It takes a bit of practice to get the proportions how you like them.

There are many foundation options...what I've heard the most recent raves for is mineral foundation such as Jane Ireland.

Along with the Blot powder, a final rec would be unpowdered blotting tissues. Yes, I have seen in many places that you can use paper toilet seat covers to blot your face, however I would not do this, and I'm tremendously cheap. I think you're worth the purchase of a package of blotting tissues to keep in your purse. Back in the day I used the Clean 'n' Clear ones...these were funny little rubbery sheets that had amazing drawing power and sucked the oil right out of your skin, all without adding another layer of makeup.

Finally...don't forget your daily multi-vitamin. The surface of my skin feels noticeably drier when I remember to take this faithfully.


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August 29, 2006 11:42 PM, Blogger Hot Screensaver said...

If you could include some pictures, that would better illustrate your points :)

Thanks for the tips anyway.

 
August 30, 2006 2:12 AM, Blogger Colleen Shirazi said...

You've got a point...this is more of a "what to buy" than a "how to" at this point, but I will try to rustle up some pics.

 
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Makeup for beginners #2
Posted by Colleen Shirazi, Saturday, August 26, 2006 1:54 AM (Eastern)

Okay...so you've gotten your skin into its best shape and you have some clue as to where you fall here in overall coloring:

warm
neutral to warm
neutral
neutral to cool
cool

The next step should be foundation products. That does not mean you need to wear foundation. In fact I find it a bit insulting if anyone still thinks, "You're a woman, therefore you need to wear foundation." Why? If your skin is good, why would you need foundation? You should scale the amount of foundation product coverage, to what you actually need.

It's my humble opinion that whatever foundation product(s) you decide on, should include, or incorporate, sunscreen. The short version is that, if what I put on my face every day has sunscreen in it, I can protect my face without actually having to think about it. It's done.

So...figure out how good your skin is. You may need only sunscreen. If you tend to get oily or shiny during the day, add powder and/or blotting tissues to your routine. If you have dark circles or blemishes, add concealer (although I've always stressed prevention over concealment--it's less work and looks better).

If your skin isn't that good, add on a tinted SPF moisturizer or tinted sunscreen and skip the sunscreen layer. (I know, purists will disagree with that, but realistically, some SPF on your face is better than more SPF that never gets applied. Do two layers if you're conscientious enough.)

If you need more coverage, use instead a regular foundation.

So the first thing to do is analysis. Figure out what you really need and what you don't.

It reminds me of something...a long time ago, my husband was comparing two magazine pictures. One, I'm quite sure of this, was a closeup of the model Carre Otis, wearing little or no makeup (I remember her freckles showing). The other was one of those Chanel-type ads that invariably appear on the back of the magazine, with the utterly flawless closeup of the model...not a freckle, line or bump in sight; everything, in a word, perfect.

He asked me which one was better. I felt confused. I mean I remember this quite clearly because no one had ever asked me anything remotely like that, and I'd always thought the flawless look was what I should strive for, not that natural look.

Finally he pointed out that, to a men's point of view, Carre Otis was better. Aha! (Yep it was one of those "aha moments.") I had an epiphany that the totally flawless look was not something that attracted men nearly as much as it attracted women. In fact it was designed to attract women, not men. Ah....

I'm not knocking it for what it is, mind you. To me it is still beautiful, and it does attract me. But from that point on, I decided it was better in real life, to merely obscure your flaws, rather than trying to blot them all out.

The next installment will have some specific product recommendations.

Image courtesy Yahoo! Model of the Month


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Makeup Look-Alikes site
Posted by Colleen Shirazi, Friday, August 25, 2006 4:36 PM (Eastern)

Got this from another board, check it out: Makeup Knockoffs


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Makeup for beginners #1
Posted by Colleen Shirazi, 1:51 AM (Eastern)

How can you tell if you're "warm," "neutral," or "cool"?

I revisited this eternal question recently and realized afresh how not simple it is to determine what you are.

Sure, there are several methods...one is to examine the veins in your inner wrist. Supposedly, if the majority of the veins are greenish in tone, you are "warm." If the majority are blue not greenish, you're "cool." If it's about 50-50, you're "neutral."

Mine are sort of greenish, but I feel that's inconclusive. Some lipsticks do turn orangey on me and I can wear some cooler colors.

Another is the red shirt method. You are to take two red shirts (or red pieces of cloth): one a cool, blue-toned red, the other a warm, orange-toned red. You are to hold one shirt or cloth up near your face and then the other. Whichever one looks better with your face, determines your "coolness" or "warmth."

Fair enough, I prefer warmer-toned red shirts. As much as I like cool red shirts, I never buy them because I know they won't get worn.

Another is the Wet 'n' Wild method. You are to buy some really inexpensive color cosmetics in both warm and cool shades and just play around with them and see which tones look best on you.

I have done something similar back in the day...and discovered that almost no drugstore red lipsticks work for warmer coloring. Ninety-nine percent of them turn fuchsia once applied.

A fourth method is to hit a MAC counter and get yourself "typed." i.e. the person at the MAC counter can tell you what shade of foundation you would wear in MAC. They have some codes for it...NW or NC for example. NC stands for Neutral Cool and it means the opposite...actually it means the makeup is neutral cool, meaning you have yellow undertones. NW, likewise, is Neutral Warm and means your skin has pink undertones. If I'm butchering all this, use the comment box. I was always too lazy to get typed by MAC, but it is a legitimate method.

Anyhow...snapping out of it. I realized that all of these methods could narrow it down somewhat, but not entirely. For a long time I considered myself "warm" but it's only relatively recently that I saw that three categories don't work...if you're not warm-warm or cool-cool or utterly neutral...if you fall between any two categories. Hence for a start, I think of five categories as follows:

warm
neutral to warm
neutral
neutral to cool
cool

And I realized that a benchmark or two would be easier than any of the above methods. (Not a new concept, it's been done on beauty boards since there were beauty boards.) So I came up with a short list of MAC lipsticks (which can be widely tested) that have worked for me (a confirmed neutral-to-warm):

MAC Sophisto
MAC Viva Glam V
MAC Spice It Up
MAC Fresh Moroccan

The idea is that if the above lipsticks turn orangey on you, you're cool or neutral to cool. If they turn ashy, harsh or purple on you, you're warm. If they look stupendous on you, you're neutral to warm or neutral.

Hope it helps some...


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Makeup for beginners
Posted by Colleen Shirazi, Thursday, August 24, 2006 11:10 PM (Eastern)

Let me preface this post with a casual observation: I have noticed recently that younger women in San Francisco seem to be eschewing makeup. I don't mean this as a criticism, nor as a revelation...makeup should be a choice, not a mask; and, in the later 60's through the early 70's, there was another makeup-less trend among younger women.

All of that said, I feel that makeup skill is the same as any other craft. It tends to be difficult at first (unless it is a craft with which you grew up and learned from an early age), even intimidating, and it can be expensive when you don't know what you're doing. Stick with it though, and you get good at it, perhaps to the point that it ascends into an art.

Where to begin...not with color cosmetics. Those should be last. I know, it sounds strange, but someone called Dain turned me on to this concept years ago...almost eight years ago I do believe. Like any other sheer genius, it's all obvious once someone else has figured it out for you.

Dain always espoused skin, skin, skin. Mind you I never became a skincare ho myself (I fancy myself a lipstick ho, thanks) but I got the message. Skin is the foundation of the house, and if you have cracks in the foundation, well, your house will require far too much maintenance and expense. Fix the foundation first.

To me skincare is almost wholly an internal thing. To be fair I've had adult acne since 1995, to the point that I have my own blog about it. Acne is not something that occurs from the outside in; it is just the opposite. But I think anyone's skin can benefit enormously from a reasonably healthy diet, a good daily multi-vitamin, less soda pop, less hormones from meat and dairy, a good daily sunscreen, and so forth.

Sunscreen tends to be the bugger here. I use All Terrain TerraSport SPF 30+ but no one else seems to. I've seen raves for Clinique City Block and the Neutrogena Dry Touch sunscreen...um...I'm sure there are more, it's just that for whatever odd reason, it is not that easy to find a good facial sunscreen in the U.S. I prefer physical sunscreens (zinc oxide and titanium oxide), these should be micronized so you don't look like a ghost, I don't like moisturizing sunscreens, and I don't want to break the bank over it. So far only the TerraSport has satisfied all of these factors for me.

Anyhow...once you've improved your nutrition, and protect your skin from the sun, most of the work has been done. You'll need a basic cleanser. I use Johnson & Johnson Head to Toe Baby Wash myself (have for years); it was a rec I got from the original Lipstick Page Hang-Out. Some like Cetaphil, some like Eucerin, some like Purpose (same thing as the J & J though, a tad less scented), some like the fancy stuff, whatever...get your cleanser in order.

Do you need a toner? I don't tone. I toned enough in the 1970's to last me the rest of my life. But you can get a toner if you like it well enough.

Do you need a moisturizer? I think even oily skin can do with a moisturizing treatment at night. In the daytime, oily skin can skip the moisturizer. At least that's how I've been doing it. Find your moisturizer. I use pure jojoba butter...yep, butter...by Heather Loraine. Before that I used liquid jojoba oil.

This is great for oily to normal skin; I don't think it would be moisturizing enough for dry skin (just guessing here). In fact I'll go further to say that the drier your skin, the more interest you will have in moisturizers altogether. Since I don't need much moisture, this works perfectly for me.

Do you need eye cream? If you're old, sure. I mean if you actually need eye cream, that's when you should start to use eye cream. Unless you have an SPF eye cream, I can't see how using one prematurely will help you.

Do you need to exfoliate? I don't. To me it's like the toner...it's optional. Nice if you like it.

Do you need masks? Again, like toner...if you like to mask, by all means mask.

That's about it, isn't it? If you need a separate makeup remover, then go for that too (I don't use one but then I don't wear mascara).

Is it that hard? Well, yeah, it is, if you're ever stepped into a drugstore, health food store, or department store, faced aisles or counters laden with thousands and thousands of beauty products, and felt suddenly dizzy. But that's what indie beauty sites are for. We have forums and there are other forums around. Ours is good...I may post on other forums to give advice, but I always post on ours if I need advice.

Once you've got your skin in good shape (and this can take time, be patient), the majority of the work is done. Surprise! You won't actually need to apply that much color cosmetics.

(To be continued...)


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Aedes de Venustas
Posted by Colleen Shirazi, Wednesday, August 23, 2006 6:49 PM (Eastern)

I suppose it's well-known on the perfume boards (much as Firefox users know Control+T will open a new tab for you), but Aedes de Venustas, at www.aedes.com, will sell you seven perfume samples for $15, shipping and handling included.

So what? you say. I can get free perfume samples any time I want to, at any decent department store. The thing is this. Aedes carries some of the harder to find perfumes, and sometimes it's not easy to get to a department store that carries such.

I thought I'd try it out. The sole nerve-racking part was figuring out to use the comment box on the order form to type in the perfumes I wanted samples of. As far as what to try, that was easy.

I'll post here when I get the samples...


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An unexpected gift...
Posted by Colleen Shirazi, Monday, August 21, 2006 5:32 PM (Eastern)

"The key to a woman's heart is an unexpected gift at an unexpected time."

--Finding Forrester, 2000, as quoted in imdb.com


I've been pondering the concept of gift-giving recently, the significance of certain kinds of gifts; why some mean more at different times in one's life, why some come to mean less.

It's no small question. There is an entire forum dedicated to gift ideas (okay, I'm too embarrassed to link to it; take my word for it). I went there a couple of times and felt dizzy. Should it be formidable to the point of justifying its own forum?

The key to discovering the key...the unexpected gift...is the intimacy of your knowledge of the recipient. It is easy to spend money. It is harder to tap into someone else's desires.

At this point in my life, I loathe any practical gift (unless it's cash of course). My life has embodied the practical; it has become interwoven with, indistinguishable from, the everyday tasks necessary to keep a family going.

Only when you're young and single, without responsibility, yet without anything else, does the practical gift become "something you can use." I recall quite clearly how I could have used, say, shoes, when I was younger.

Now I would just be annoyed. Yes, I can use shoes. It's not that. It's that the better gift for me now would consist entirely of escapism. It need not be expensive escapism, nor should it consume an entire day of shopping. It need only be something...unreal.

Men can't comprehend this (and hence invariably end up asking you what you want rather than delving into the topic), I think because it's easier for men to attain what they want anyway. They don't have to wait ten years the way that mothers do to simply pursue the career they want. Men can understand the value of a gift but I think the significance of it eludes them.

Lately I've been homing in on a few perfumes. Again, it's difficult...back in the day, it would have been a matter of me jumping on the BART or Muni, etc. Now I have to plan weeks in advance. I think...perfume makes the perfect gift...it's less a matter of smelling pretty (at least to me now) than it is of breathing in something from the outside that isn't the scent of Safeway or Costco.


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Did I ever mention...
Posted by Colleen Shirazi, Sunday, August 20, 2006 10:27 PM (Eastern)

...that The Lipstick Page Forums got a mention in the Glamour Magazine's Beauty Insider Blog? It's a good blog btw.



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Longs Drugs-cum-Elephant Pharmacy?
Posted by Colleen Shirazi, Saturday, August 19, 2006 4:45 PM (Eastern)

A bit of a shock...I'd ducked into the local Longs Drugs to kill some time, fully expecting the usual "three aisles of Revlon, L'Oreal & Max Factor." But stepping into that store now more closely evokes Berkeley's Elephant Pharmacy (that hall o' Zents, Dr. Hauschka & Kiss My Face) than it does, say, Walgreens.

Longs had moved the entire bath and beauty section to the front of the store and added on a sort of natural beauty products island at its heart. They had Avalon Organics, Alba, Kiss My Face, Jason, etc., all under the watchful eye of Scarlett Johansson (who has a signature collection at L'Oreal now, I was dying to see it, but it was Longs Drugs after all, there was next to nothing left in the Scarlett rack).

Yep, the same Almay, Cover Girl, and other mainstream brands ringed this isle of a natural beauty aisle; still it was intriguing...how much are we, as a society, changing tastes? This...Jason satin body wash...I would have had to shlep all the way to Berkeley to find before--okay, there is a local health food store that has a small but respectable bath and body section, and there is Trader Joe's of course, but these are both specialty shops.


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Heh heh...
Posted by Colleen Shirazi, Saturday, August 12, 2006 1:45 AM (Eastern)

Annick Goutal Eau d'Hadrien and Les Nuits d'Hadrien pop up regularly on favorites lists on the Perfumery. drools

Then I always seem to choose the oddball scent in the house? I've never known another Givenchy Organza addict.


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A list of sulfate-free and silicone-free hair products
Posted by Colleen Shirazi, Friday, August 11, 2006 12:50 PM (Eastern)

Got this link from another site:

Sweetpeacali's Haircare Guide

Here are links to the product lists:

Sulfate, protein, and silicone free products

Silicone-free conditioners


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Closing in...
Posted by Colleen Shirazi, Thursday, August 10, 2006 5:59 PM (Eastern)

I've been having the odd thought of trying a new perfume or two. It's not an emergency...I have two-thirds of a bottle of Armani Code at the ready, plus the odds and ends of Givenchy Organza and GF Ferre Lei/Her. And I can borrow Alien by Thierry Mugler (which is funkiness defined) if need be.

Still and all, I'd like to try something new. I've been pondering both Etro and Annick Goutal. Unfortunately, neither of these is widely testable around here. The closest b & m distributor I could find is the Neiman Marcus in downtown San Francisco...so I drove by it today. Didn't have time to stop (read: park) and smell the perfumes, but I did drive by, if only to cement its position inside my mind (park on Mission, go up Fourth, etc.).


Image courtesy nomadig's San Francisco page

Which Etro, which Annick Goutal? Since it's such a shlep to actually smell the stuff, I've been looking on the Internet for clues. Both Royal Pavilion and Shaal Nur have gotten good reviews on our own Perfumery. These would be a place to start.

As far as Annick Goutal, that would appear to actually be the more obscure of the two brands. Dain on LP used to wear Petite Cherie. That's about it, that's about all I've heard about AG.

Perhaps some of the attraction (why these two particular brands?) is, in fact, the relative obscurity. I would like to...explore. A name like Annick Goutal has to be attractive, too...women make good perfumes. In fact I'm gravitating a bit more toward AG than Etro (not having smelled either). I always spend a lot of time "thinking about," rather than "buying." Well, I'm an American; if I bought everything that was in front of me, I'd be dead broke in five minutes.


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More perfume ramblings
Posted by Colleen Shirazi, Wednesday, August 09, 2006 1:17 AM (Eastern)

It's been well pointed out that scent and memory are intimately entwined...which is why I do have a signature scent (see Givenchy Organza in my previous post). I have had a signature scent since discovering Sung by Alfred Sung, way back in...erm...sometime in the early 90's I think. From there I went to Gio, and then Organza.

Organza has lasted the longest for at least one singular reason: it has good staying power. At one point I decided I would no longer pander to those yummy-smelling, yet quickly fading, scents. And there is the complexity, the versatility (I've worn it for every occasion), the bottle...it's not how the bottle looks exactly (I don't have a vanity to put it on), it's the plain fact that someone designed it. The "organza" dress has a niche for your thumb, making it sublimely easy to grasp and apply. I dunno, for a programmer that's a nifty feature.

There is also the "sweater factor" (how long a scent lingers on your sweater!), reasonably good sillage, the fact that I don't smell it often (and never did, even when it was new), et cetera.

All of that said, I seldom wear only one perfume, yet I have never owned numerous ones. I've always been fuddled by the notion of a large perfume stash. It's not that I don't understand the concept...there have been posters on LP who have owned a hundred lipsticks, or two hundred, and they who use one or two lipsticks might well find that fuddling (which I don't, not at all). Each girl has her own poison. It's just that perfumes aren't mine.

Currently I have the dregs of Organza, 2/3 a bottle of Armani Code (which is a beautiful scent but light; you need lots), GF Ferre Lei/Her (likewise), mmmm, that's it.

What should I try next? I have no idea right now. I've been doing some research though...pondering....

Oh yeah, why the mention of memory? Memory is not an entirely passive entity, or at least it shouldn't be, not at my age. There comes a point when you realize that you can create memory; you can plan it. The stitches you sew today, and tomorrow, and the next day, become the tapestry you finish years from now. In youth of course you don't fully grasp that.

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Perfume UEU
Posted by Colleen Shirazi, Tuesday, August 08, 2006 9:21 PM (Eastern)



This is the last remnant of my beloved Givenchy Organza eau de parfum spray. Here it was back in early 2004 (that or late 2003), hale and hearty and full of...well, perfume:



UEU is a term coined on our own forums btw; it stands for "use everything up."

In this case of course I am not using everything up: I am using up a single bottle of perfume. The term has evolved to mean a fairly generic cosmetic experience...how to get your money's worth out of your products by...using them up.

Organza is still one of my favorite scents. It doesn't fall under "exotic" or even "unusual" (although I have yet to smell it on anyone else), yet it is something that I want to always possess. It's rather like a gold bracelet or diamond earrings. Prosaic enough, yet always right for every occasion.

Going back to the UEU...Organza does not keep forever. The smaller bottle in the pic above, in fact, turned on me toward the end, after I'd hoarded it for some time. Hence it is well to coordinate the size of your bottle with your actual usage (and avoid hoarding). The ginormous bottle of Organza that I'm currently UEU'ing was too big...as much as I loathe to think it, much less say it...and I had to step up my application of it, foregoing other perfumes in the stash.


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