Notes from the Editors of The Lipstick Page Forums: A Dedication to the Art of Beauty and Fashion.

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Articles This Month
· Fashion Notes: making your own jewelry
· Five minute makeup tutorial from Youtube
· Beauty Notes: perfumes
· Support for the Cure Collection by nubar Nail Lacquers
· And so, goodbye.
· Exfoliating skin care video by RiceBunny
· Then and now: more 1980's
· Beauty Notes: Diptyque
· These are good...
· Giovanni Tea Tree Triple Treat Shampoo, part 3
· Couple of indie links
· Beautiful...on the inside
· Nars Jezebel Duo Eyeshadow, plus a link to some nice Nars "porn"
· Another 80's moment...
· Speaking of Christy Turlington...
· Diptyque Do Son
· Giovanni Tea Tree Triple Treat Shampoo, part 2
· Update on Annick Goutal and Diptyque
· Giovanni Tea Tree Triple Treat Shampoo
· Quick bit of indie fashion
· Nars The Multiple in Malibu
· Updates on Diptyque
· Annick Goutal Gardenia Passion
· Annick Goutal Neroli
· Annick Goutal Heure Exquise
· 1980's style: makeup
· Sephora Emeryville review
· Diptyque reviews on the way...
· 1980's style: Cyndi Lauper vs. Madonna
· Are the 80's really back?
· Update on Annick Goutal
· Trader Joe's Shea Butter Soap rules!
· Boom Boxx featuring Linda O. - Balla Da Li
· Update on Annick Goutal
· Notes on travel to tropical climes...

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· July 31, 2007 6:03 PM by Blogger Dain
· August 1, 2007 1:19 AM by Blogger Joy
· July 27, 2007 9:20 PM by Blogger cmm
· July 27, 2007 10:02 PM by Blogger Dain
· July 26, 2007 5:33 PM by Blogger Audrey_H
· July 26, 2007 11:11 PM by Blogger Colleen Shirazi
· July 26, 2007 11:57 PM by Blogger Dain
· July 26, 2007 8:09 PM by Blogger Forever Redeemed
· July 26, 2007 11:13 PM by Blogger Colleen Shirazi
· July 25, 2007 2:31 PM by Blogger Colleen Shirazi
· July 25, 2007 3:48 PM by Blogger Dain
· July 25, 2007 4:10 PM by Blogger Colleen Shirazi
· July 25, 2007 8:47 PM by Blogger cmm
· July 26, 2007 12:44 AM by Blogger Colleen Shirazi
· July 24, 2007 11:30 PM by Blogger Dain
· July 22, 2007 11:23 PM by Blogger Dain
· July 23, 2007 12:18 AM by Blogger Colleen Shirazi
· July 22, 2007 4:43 PM by Blogger Audrey_H
· July 25, 2007 4:03 PM by Blogger Colleen Shirazi
· July 23, 2007 9:58 AM by Blogger kuri
· July 25, 2007 4:06 PM by Blogger Colleen Shirazi
· July 22, 2007 1:32 AM by Blogger Dain
· July 22, 2007 2:47 AM by Blogger Colleen Shirazi
· July 19, 2007 2:41 AM by Blogger Dain
· July 19, 2007 2:08 PM by Blogger Colleen Shirazi
· July 8, 2007 11:02 PM by Blogger Dain
· July 8, 2007 2:51 AM by Blogger Dain
· July 8, 2007 12:47 PM by Blogger Colleen Shirazi
· July 7, 2007 4:16 PM by Blogger cmm
· July 7, 2007 7:29 PM by Blogger Dain
· July 7, 2007 10:06 PM by Blogger Colleen Shirazi
· July 7, 2007 11:36 PM by Blogger Dain
· July 6, 2007 10:55 PM by Blogger Dain
· July 7, 2007 12:09 AM by Blogger Colleen Shirazi
· July 6, 2007 11:05 PM by Blogger Dain
· July 6, 2007 11:57 PM by Blogger Colleen Shirazi
· July 6, 2007 3:13 AM by Blogger Dain
· July 4, 2007 12:59 AM by Blogger Dain
· July 4, 2007 1:08 AM by Blogger Colleen Shirazi
· July 4, 2007 9:08 PM by Blogger Colleen Shirazi

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The Lipstick Page Forums Beauty & Fashion Blog: July 2007

Fashion Notes: making your own jewelry
Posted by Colleen Shirazi, Tuesday, July 31, 2007 3:44 PM (Eastern)

various beadsI haven't done this for a while; every year, since I started in 2005, I've taken a few months off from making jewelry.

The short version is it's an exhausting process. Unless you have the fortune of apprenticing with someone else, it's on you to winnow the vast number of suppliers and supplies (mastering the techniques is easy relative to that).

Even something like wire...there are four kinds of goldfilled wire, generally sold at two tempers, with four widely used gauges (and more gauges than that). Wire labeled "goldfilled" is meaningless, except it means 1/20 of the wire is karat gold of some sort. Silver...could be fine silver, sterling silver, or argentium sterling silver (recommended), with the same range of tempers and gauges.

It's worth the struggle; I've never doubted that. Making something concrete, in the sense of picking up tools and raw materials, exercises a different part of your brain than that used in creating something abstract. Take software, for's largely created on paper. You can type the finished result into a text file really hard, or really softly; slowly or quickly; it's not going to affect how the program runs. It's all brain work, rather than a fusion of brain and hand.

I was rifling youtube (it's truly momentous btw), looking for an example of the "forgotten 80's." (Why 80's? perhaps it's better-documented than prior decades.) What people remember are the neon colors of clothing, makeup, shoes even; the big hair, the overall...daffiness? innocence?

Of course that's not how I remember it, exactly; the better part of the 80's for me was colored by the late 70's. And in fact this video is from a song released in 1979. But keep in mind, whatever was happening in England in 1979, took several years to percolate down to the villages in the States. lol And that's where I was, in the first half of the 80's.

Why this song? I wanted to illustrate the concept of taking nothing...raw materials...and getting up on a stage and producing something. Concerts these days (oh wait, let me get my walker), seem to have come full circle to the Big Production of the mid 70's--which is what the smaller bands rebelled against in the late 70's, and the energy of that period, imo, fueled much of what is remembered as the 80's.

"Concrete Jungle" by The Specials

Beading Blog -

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Five minute makeup tutorial from Youtube
Posted by Colleen Shirazi, 1:00 PM (Eastern)

This one employs a 24 (or Nick of Time, if you've seen it) technique: the makeup is applied in real time.

There are tons of makeup videos on youtube now, but I don't like most of them. I like AsianBeautyBlog's stuff. She lists every product used, for one thing, and the videos are well made: you can easily see her techniques. Plus, she uses a variety of products, some of which I've had in the back of my mind for years, and now can see how they look "on."

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2 comment(s)  
July 31, 2007 6:03 PM, Blogger Dain said...

That is similar to my own daily routine. I wear blush instead of highlighter, and I line my inner rim instead of the bottom lashes, but 'tis very similar, the champagne, the smoky brown, the lipgloss. I'm gonna remember that champagne eyeshadow as glowy highlight trick for red lipstick.

August 1, 2007 1:19 AM, Blogger Joy said...

Good video...but the music had me bleeding from the ears.

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Beauty Notes: perfumes
Posted by Colleen Shirazi, Monday, July 30, 2007 5:07 PM (Eastern)

Okay... I have narrowed things down a bit in my perfume search.

annick goutal eau d'hadrienGroup 1: my Nordies samples: Annick Goutal Eau d'Hadrien, Ce Soir ou Jamais and Mandragore.

Mandragore is out for me. It's not bad...a rather earthy tea scent...just not me.

Ce Soir ou Jamais is pleasant, a rose scent with enough other flowers and plants to make it "not just a rose scent."

Eau d'Hadrien is to die for. It's a spectacular, almost geometrical perfume; a perfect balance between lemon and herb, sweet and unsweet, light and dark...amazing.

Eau d'Hadrien goes on the short list.

etro royal pavillonGroup 2: my Etro samples: Lemon Sorbet, Gomma, Shaal Nur, Royal Pavillon, Heliotrope, Messe de Minuit, Sandalo and Vicolo Fiori.

I have a bottle of's ideal for layering. It's primarily almond and vanilla, and you're thinking, what's to layer with that...but it's not particularly sweet, rather it's dry and almost powdery. As a layer, it's a "your skin but better" scent.

Of the rest, several can be ruled out...Gomma (which had a rather dank edge on me, like the smell of an old concrete building), Sandalo (not bad, but sharper than Diptyque's Tam Dao, were I in the market for a sandalwood scent), Lemon Sorbet (again not bad, a bright sparkly lemon, yet pales compared to Eau d'Hadrien), Messe de Minuit (thanks, I lived through half the 60's and the entire 70's already).

So add to the short list:
* Shaal Nur, which manages to make patchouli soft.
* Royal Pavillon, which captures almost the exact smell of the Conservatory of Flowers in San Francisco's Golden Gate Park.
* Vicolo Fiori has a slight sharpness, but then mellows out to smell like a bar of soap from an old, dusty, obscure shop.

To come: groups 3 & 4.

images courtesy,

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Support for the Cure Collection by nubar Nail Lacquers
Posted by, 1:12 AM (Eastern)

nubar support the cure setnubar, "The Healthy Alternative for Beautiful Nails" announces the Support for the Cure Collection for 2007. A collection of four nubar nail products which are great for everyday wear. Two beautiful pink shades, Pink Cami and Je'Taime, a foundation base coat and Diamont Seal & Shine. 10% of the retail price of the Support for the Cure Collection will go towards St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, Cancer Treatment Research Foundation and the City of Hope. nubar offers products that are free of harmful ingredients such as: Toluene, Formaldehyde or DBP (Phthalate). Your purchase is a commitment to help support education, outreach, research and all of our critical programs throughout the country.

NSTC4- Support For The Cure- Suggested Retail Price: $28.00

For complete product line visit

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And so, goodbye.
Posted by Colleen Shirazi, Sunday, July 29, 2007 8:02 PM (Eastern)

mac strawberry blonde lipstick
mac strawberry blonde lipstick
mac strawberry blonde lipstick


My MAC Strawberry Blonde lipstick has finally bitten the dust. I'm using Clinique Apple Brandy now:

clinique apple brandy lipstick
clinique apple brandy lipstick

It's a nice lipstick, but it's not the same. The MAC Lustre formula is superior, most of the time anyway (the texture varies some for the different shades), to that of Clinique Butter Shine. With Apple Brandy, the color is enchanting...soft, somewhat muted, sheer pinkish red. It's flattering, easy to wear, goes with everything...

But the formula doesn't last nearly as long on, as Lustre. You need to touch up more. There's transfer, where there isn't much with Lustre. And so forth. A lipstick's formula is key, actually, easily as important as its color.

Apple Brandy will tide me over, but I'm now in the market for a new lipstick, as Strawberry Blonde was a limited edition shade. Here's what I have my eye on:

dr. hauschka lipstick
image courtesy

Dr. Hauschka lipstick! I've actually swatched some of these (Elephant Pharmacy in Berkeley carries them). #01 and #07, Amoroso and Adagio, respectively, looked fabulous on me. #09, Dolce, was kinda blah...not bad, but not enough color. #03, Giocoso, was too brown on me. It's quite brown.

Amoroso is a lovely reddish shade, I'd say it's a bit warm. Adagio is definitely pink, again a bit on the warm side (I can't wear cool lipstick shades, they look harsh on me).

But I haven't really tried them out, as in wearing them day by day, so I don't know how good the formula is. I didn't detect any perfume or flavor in them...I prefer the faint vanilla of MAC or the candied rose of Chanel, but hey, no scent/taste is better than scent/taste you don't like.

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Exfoliating skin care video by RiceBunny
Posted by Colleen Shirazi, Friday, July 27, 2007 8:53 PM (Eastern)

Thanks to our wonderful Carol (who seems to discover the most ingenious things) for this link, which demonstrates exfoliating with an inexpensive electric toothbrush:

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2 comment(s)  
July 27, 2007 9:20 PM, Blogger cmm said...

I've been doing this for a couple of weeks now. My skin looks amazing! I don't even use any of the products she recommends. I've tried this with honey+ baking soda, Cetaphil+baking soda, generic Pro-Active cleanser and plain old Cetaphil (generic). It works crazy-good if you're using something scrubby and it also works well, albeit not AS good with just plain cleanser. The honey+bakingsoda blend is my personal favorite.

I'd been having some problems with big blemishes occurring along my jawline, using the toothbrush a couple of times a week has made that problem literally disappear. Good stuff!!

July 27, 2007 10:02 PM, Blogger Dain said...

Wow! That is such a cool idea... I gotta try it out now.

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Then and now: more 1980's
Posted by Colleen Shirazi, Thursday, July 26, 2007 4:56 PM (Eastern)

I don't recall what the trigger was, but I suddenly recalled one of the most influential movies of the 1980's: Flashdance (1983).

"Maniac" by Michael Sembello

Perhaps this movie, and this song, encapsulate something about the 80's that can't be addressed by the decade's superficialities. I actually feel funny that people now think it's all about the leg warmers. Why leg warmers? Removed from the context of movies like Flashdance, or 1980's Fame:

"Fame" by Irene Cara

...leg warmers seem like...silly knitted tubes, rather than lofty symbols of the dream within.

Fast forwarding to 2007...I came across this video:

"Real Girl" by Mutya Buena

...and couldn't resist matching up the 1980's status quo--women with infinite talent, throwing themselves, in an almost literal sense, against the restraints of the time--with our odd, modern, publish-it-yourself culture, where a woman with a Monroe :) can sing, "I'm not a little girl...I know exactly who I am," against the strains of Lenny Kravitz's "It Ain't Over 'Til It's Over."

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July 26, 2007 5:33 PM, Blogger Audrey_H said...

... and Lenny's song is SO much better than this one :)

July 26, 2007 11:11 PM, Blogger Colleen Shirazi said...

I can admit I have a weakness for remakes, or songs that use samples. Off the top of my head...loved P.Diddy's "I'll Be Missing You," Alanis Morisette's covers of "Crazy" and "My Humps" (the latter is funnier than Weird Al), Mariah Carey's "Fantasy" where she sampled the Tom Tom Club...going back to Fun Boy Three's "Our Lips Are Sealed," John Lennon's covers of 1950's songs. I just like it when you're expecting the song to sound a certain way, and then someone does something entirely new with it.

July 26, 2007 11:57 PM, Blogger Dain said...

I guess people think leg warmers because they're iconic. I mean, it doesn't strike me that people will want to wear them again, except as a costume, so it's an easy and safe thing to identify as "80s".

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Beauty Notes: Diptyque
Posted by Colleen Shirazi, 2:06 PM (Eastern)

diptyque shop
google street view of the Diptyque shop on Maiden Lane

I'm slowly wending my way through my Diptyque samples. It's a different experience from, say, going to Nordstrom and spraying a few perfumes on your hands (trying to fit about three scents per hand). It's a much more leisurely process.

I compared Olène to Do Son the other day. They're quite similar to my nose; both intense, complex, brilliant florals.

For that matter, I compared them both to my remaining sample of Givenchy Ange ou Démon, since I finally got around to writing a review for it. Ange ou Démon, in comparison with these two exquisitely delicate florals, is a workhorse of a perfume: dab it on, it'll last until you shower it off, and cling to your clothing an extra day beyond that. If it's strength you're seeking however, may I recommend Givenchy Organza. It's all that and still yummy, without hitting you over the head.

It would be redundant imo to own both Do Son and Olène, unless you're one of those floral fanatics. For me, Do Son narrowly edged out Olène. There's just this extra shot of yum there, that makes this a bit more insanely addictive than Olène.

You are giving up some of the strength and lasting qualities of the older-style perfumes...which is why I layer btw. I layer a stronger, longer-lasting scent, with a more ephemeral one. It's not that I'm not happy with either, and I don't layer them one upon the other, rather I place the longer lasting scent lower down (back of knees sort of thing) and the lighter one higher up.

Here is what Do Son brought to Yup--it's that good.

"Falling in Love Again," Marlene Dietrich, from 1929's The Blue Angel

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July 26, 2007 8:09 PM, Blogger Forever Redeemed said...

Great use of Google Street View!

July 26, 2007 11:13 PM, Blogger Colleen Shirazi said...

Thanks! I was surprised there were so many views of Maiden Lane. I've got pics of it from either end (it's a very short street).

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These are good...
Posted by Colleen Shirazi, Wednesday, July 25, 2007 11:56 PM (Eastern)

turquoise and goldfilled wire earrings
American turquoise, Bali vermeil and goldfilled wire earrings

The virtue here is something you don't see: it's the weight. Something about this design is next to weightless. You can wear these all day without feeling them, and the design is wide rather than long and narrow; i.e., it looks like more, without the extra weight.

American turquoise is just that, turquoise mined here. Typically it's undyed, although it's usually treated to make it more durable. The turquoise in these earrings is pretty good; I've been wearing them over the months, and the color hasn't faded (a tendency even in undyed turquoise).

Bali vermeil is what it sounds like, sterling silver plated in 24KT gold, made in Bali. The durability of the plating varies, but then the beads do too; part of the charm is the individual look of each bead.

Goldfilled consists of a base metal core, wrapped in a solid layer of karat gold. Unless otherwise stated, the karat gold layer is 1/20 of the total metal in the piece. There is also a 1/10 type of goldfilled. The karat gold layer is usually 14KT or 12KT gold.


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Giovanni Tea Tree Triple Treat Shampoo, part 3
Posted by Colleen Shirazi, 2:21 PM (Eastern)

Come to mama!

giovanni shampoo and conditioner

Guess I'll get to try the conditioner as well. Found this little gem of a three-pack at Costco; each bottle is 25 oz. The works was about $18.

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Posted by Carol, 9:40 AM (Eastern)

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Colleen Shirazi continues to blog here: Life of Colleen
5 comment(s)  
July 25, 2007 2:31 PM, Blogger Colleen Shirazi said...

Hello...anybody hooooome???

July 25, 2007 3:48 PM, Blogger Dain said...


July 25, 2007 4:10 PM, Blogger Colleen Shirazi said...

I was gonna say "Avon calling!" but I don't know if Avon ladies still do that?

July 25, 2007 8:47 PM, Blogger cmm said...

oh fer cryin' out loud!
THATS where that picture posted to!! LOL!
I'm sorry.
I was trying to get it uploaded to my personal blog and I have no freakin' clue how or why it posted here. Gees.

Please feel free to delete it or just leave it up, it is kinda funny!!

July 26, 2007 12:44 AM, Blogger Colleen Shirazi said...

Thanks...I'm for keeping it.

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Couple of indie links
Posted by Colleen Shirazi, Tuesday, July 24, 2007 6:09 PM (Eastern)

Fragrant Fripperies Fragrance Decant & Sample service

I haven't tried them; however, if you're looking for perfume samples, might be the way to go.

Sweetpeacurli's Silly Little Site

I realize I linked to this earlier, when it was still called Sweetpeacali's Haircare Guide. As the name has changed, I'm linking to it again. Still one of the most comprehensive listings of sulfate-free shampoos and silicone-free conditioners.

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July 24, 2007 11:30 PM, Blogger Dain said...

Ooo... that's great, the perfume sampling site. They have pretty much everything you'd ever want to sample.

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Beautiful...on the inside
Posted by Colleen Shirazi, 1:46 AM (Eastern)

Expecting a sermon on the evils of cosmetic products, and the virtues of virtues? Keep dreaming. This is The Lipstick Page Forums Beauty & Fashion Blog; our mission is to keep you looking, feeling and smelling simply gorgeous all the way.

This is just a quick reminder for you to eat right. The USDA has adjusted their Food Pyramid to address the importance of whole grains:

usda food pyramid

Unless you make a special effort to eat whole grains, all of the grains you eat are going to be refined. It's cheaper to produce foods using refined grains, since removing the "germ" keeps the grains from spoiling, much much longer.

Furthermore, white flour and white rice have been symbols of elevated social status since forever. Rich folks ate white bread and white sugar. Poor folks didn't.

But that was then. People in those days did not have the sheer mass of food choices we do now.

Refined grains won't make you fat per se, but they don't have much fiber, and everyone needs it. Fruits and vegetables contain fiber, but it's hard to beat whole grains for this.

weetabixWeetabix is really good, and the Queen of England eats it too. I didn't try it for years, since I had the impression it was basically a more expensive form of shredded wheat. But it's a flaky whole wheat biscuit thing. You need not eat it solo; you may combine it with other cereals to add a painless boost of fiber.

Weetabix "insiders tip": place the biscuit on top of your other cereals, otherwise it'll get soggy as hell.

Raisin Bran remains a superb source of fiber, even though today's versions tend to have too many raisins--never thought I'd say that, as the old ones didn't have enough!

There are many brands of Raisin Bran to choose from, and each store has their own brand, even Trader Joe's.
raisin bran

This is more along the lines of soluble fiber, which is important in its own right, but the reason I included it here is that it's crunchy, round and fun. Everyone loves Cheerios, and there are many kinds of Cheerios, and Cheerios's important to integrate something crisp, sweet and light-hearted into your routine.

In matter how many beauty products you use throughout the day, do begin your day with something whole grain and healthy.


images courtesy,,,, Wikimedia Commons


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Nars Jezebel Duo Eyeshadow, plus a link to some nice Nars "porn"
Posted by Colleen Shirazi, Sunday, July 22, 2007 11:01 PM (Eastern)

nars jezebel duo eyeshadow

Isn't it perfect?

Some nice Nars "porn"

It's in Japanese...nice pics!


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2 comment(s)  
July 22, 2007 11:23 PM, Blogger Dain said...

I've always wanted Jezebel, but always convinced myself otherwise because I know I don't use browns. If only one could customize!

July 23, 2007 12:18 AM, Blogger Colleen Shirazi said...

Normally I don't do browns. At least not often. I like bronzes, maybe "brown and"...brown cut with gold, something like that.

But this is a brilliant brown. It's purplish. I swatched it at Sephora and got purple...and copper...a little bit o' taupe. The purple is what attracted me. I was swatching Stage Beauty too, even had it in my was the purple in both shades of Jezebel that sold it to me.

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Another 80's moment...
Posted by Colleen Shirazi, 2:33 PM (Eastern)

I couldn't find a non-lip-synched version of this song, more's the pity. This video would be laugh-out-loud funny, actually, if it weren't for that perfect voice.

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July 22, 2007 4:43 PM, Blogger Audrey_H said...

Aaaaaah. Wham. They had the key! (and the moves! haha)

George Michael is wonderful. I saw him last October. I've never ever heard him sing out of tune. What a voice!

July 25, 2007 4:03 PM, Blogger Colleen Shirazi said...

I'm definitely jealous. George Michael is one of my favorite singers, it's hard to believe he started out as a "bubblegum singer." :)

They don't play his music much's insane. I don't think he did anything wrong. Maybe people will discover him through Youtube though.

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Speaking of Christy Turlington...
Posted by Colleen Shirazi, 2:07 PM (Eastern)

Have you seen this? It was common as dirt when it came out, in fact I hated it, it was played incessantly on MTV at the time. Now I can appreciate its beauty.

I wish he'd put the same effort into the video for "Fastlove" btw. The song is superior, really one of the best George Michael songs ever, but the's a rough song, it should have a refined video. Oh well.

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July 23, 2007 9:58 AM, Blogger kuri said...

I don't think I'd ever seen that video in its entirety, but they look stunning. Today's top models certainly pale in comparison.

July 25, 2007 4:06 PM, Blogger Colleen Shirazi said...

Hi and thanks for dropping in!

I'm showing my age, but I've seen that video 9,000 times by now. It is nice to see the models though, it was nicely made.

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Diptyque Do Son
Posted by Colleen Shirazi, Saturday, July 21, 2007 2:24 PM (Eastern)

tuberoseSince I wouldn't know a tuberose if it fell into my soup, I did some brief google image searching to get a firmer concept of this lovely bloom.

I retried my Diptyque Do Son eau de toilette yesterday, and it was intoxicating. That's the scent I want. I kept smelling it on myself throughout the day (it seems to be stronger than some of their other EDT's), and it recalled the first time I wore it, when I revisited Muir Woods (which I highly recommend btw), and wasn't sure the entire time how much of that fresh, sweet smell was something growing in the woods, and how much of it was me.

Why had I thought Do Son had a bitter edge? It really doesn't. There is a slight feel of hyacinth in there somewhere, but the overall sensation is of heavy, enchanting sweetness; yet it's fresh, not cloying.

Do Son mirrors Diptyque's Philosykos in a way, in being a singular scent, with a heavy emotional factor. Fig groves don't do it for me...sure, we had fig trees in the Virginia of my childhood, but not groves.

We did however exist in an almost tropical heat and humidity at times, and the flowers corresponded to that. Blooms in dry climates don't smell nearly as much. You could place a single gardenia in a bowl of water, and it would scent the entire room. There were numerous flowers--I never knew their names--that would waft a heavenly cloud of scent your way, should the wind blow. Sure, everyone griped about the heat and moisture, but people who grow in these climes, form an attachment to the intense perfumes of these flowers.

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July 22, 2007 1:32 AM, Blogger Dain said...

I've never tried Do Son, so I don't know how it compares to other tuberoses, but here are some others:

Serge Lutens Tubereuse Criminelle
Parfumerie Generale Tubereuse Couture
Caron Tubereuse
L'Artisan Parfumeur La Chasse aux Papillons
Frederic Malle Carnal Flower
Creed Tubereuse Indiana
Robert Piguet Fracas
Michael Kors

That's all I can remember off the top of my head. I love tuberose, so I kept a list of them memorized.

July 22, 2007 2:47 AM, Blogger Colleen Shirazi said...

You might like Do Son. Actually I'm not quite sure why I like it. It's...different.

I was looking around on the Net some, for more about Diptyque. They have a shop in San Francisco, it turns out...I took some screenshots of the Google Street Views of it for the reviews section (I dunno, better than the same old pics of bottles). :)

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Giovanni Tea Tree Triple Treat Shampoo, part 2
Posted by Colleen Shirazi, Friday, July 20, 2007 7:25 PM (Eastern)

Okay I tried this again (see my previous endeavor), the day after coloring my hair.

It's much much better. Yesterday the shampoo felt almost burning on my scalp...likely from the peppermint oil in it, but tea tree oil is also quite strong. Today it was more like "mouthwash for your hair," more on the tingly side, not burning.

I'm still using trusty L'Oreal Feria deep conditioner (the kind you can buy a la carte at beauty supply stores), which works fantastically to "de-straw" newly colored hair.

As with all hair conditioners, it's far better for my hair than it is for my scalp. With my daily conditioner, I never put it near my scalp. When I deep condition, post-coloring, I use the Feria all over my hair the first day, and less of it over the several following days, then I stop using it until I color again.

My point being, it's too soon to say whether the Giovanni shampoo, with its belt o' tea tree oil, is going to make my scalp less itchy and irritated. Even without the Feria factor, I would still give it at least a week to judge either way, based on my prior experience with shampoos.

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Update on Annick Goutal and Diptyque
Posted by Colleen Shirazi, 6:41 PM (Eastern)

diptyque tam daoI'm trying to be more organized about my recent Annick Goutal and Diptyque sample vials. (For that matter, I'll likely revisit my previous Etro ones as well.) I tend to be lazy. If I get an even slightly negative first impression of a scent, when I have so many others to play with, I tend to not try it again, and that's not truly fair.

Today I sorted the AG's and Diptyque's into two categories, to whit:

Too awful on me to even bother trying again.

Diptyque Philosykos. This ended up smelling almost like Youth Dew on me; it just did not agree with my body chemistry.

Annick Goutal Passion. This didn't agree with me either. It wasn't as sweet as its description on the Annick Goutal site: "Tuberose and jasmine from Grasse blend with vanilla to create the warm and heady scent of a sensual and captivating woman." Tuberose, jasmine and vanilla sounded almost too sweet and heady to me, but this...I don't know. It's not bad, just not what I expected.

Annick Goutal Les Nuits d'Hadrien EDT. If memory serves, the EDP smells yummy, but the EDT is too faint to bother with imo.

Everything else, except Annick Goutal Gardenia Passion and Rose Absolue.

Gardenia Passion and Rose Absolue both smell good, don't get me wrong, but they're both soliflore scents, and I don't see myself buying them. You'd have to be a complete gardenia or rose fan, respectively, and I'm not enough of a fan of either to buy.

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Giovanni Tea Tree Triple Treat Shampoo
Posted by Colleen Shirazi, Thursday, July 19, 2007 2:54 PM (Eastern)

giovanni tea tree triple treat shampooI freely confess to being a shampoo whore. Even though I can settle down with a single daily conditioner, for years, I always like to try different shampoos.

That said, I have repurchased the same shampoo (most recently, the twin Alba Botanica Hawaiian shampoos in Honeydew and Plumeria). If I like it well enough, I will repurchase it. The idea of trying the Giovanni one has to do with itchy scalp.

I don't regard myself as having sensitive skin, particularly, and usually, switching shampoos for a while is enough to get rid of any scalp itchiness. But lately, no matter which shampoo I use, I've had this annoying slight itchiness on my head. Nothing wads of hair falling out, no flakes, nothing actually moving there (sorry so gross, I'm just saying)...just this sort of minor, persistent itch.

So, I decided to try a tea tree oil shampoo. I have used pure tea tree oil before, as an acne treatment. I'll have to say there is something to is antibacterial...but I maintain that acne is a creature best treated from within...what you eat, primarily, and vitamins. Plus, pure tea tree oil has a strong, medicinal smell that's not very pleasant.

What attracted me to the Giovanni shampoo was not the packaging (it's pretty crappy), or even the name (there's been a rumor circulating for months that Trader Joe's Nourish shampoo is the same as Giovanni's, only way cheaper). It was partly that the Nature's Gate Organics tea tree oil shampoo I was going to check out wasn't on the shelf, and partly from reading Giovanni's impressive ingredients list (tea tree oil is #2 on the list, and no sulfates). And Giovanni was clever enough to dose the shampoo with peppermint oil (#3 on the list), to drown out the medicinal scent of the tea tree oil.

This baby is expensive for how little shampoo there is; I paid $7.95 for 8.5 oz. (it's cheaper online of course). But if it works, it's a good price.

I've tried it the once: holy peppermint, Batman! It is very strongly pepperminty. If you have a sensitive scalp, I'm not sure this would work for you. I had just colored my hair, so it could have been that too, but at first blush, this thing almost burns on the scalp...then it gets better...then it fades out. Hm, interesting.

The packaging really sucks! I found it difficult to open, then more shampoo came out than I'd expected. I suppose the flat bottle shape would be handy for fitting into small shower spaces.

So is interesting. I have a teeny bit of itch, but by now, I should have a genuine one. As I say, I just colored my hair, and I use L'Oreal Feria deep conditioner afterwards, over the following several days. The Feria is the best thing ever for freshly colored hair; you don't get "straw hair," but it is a bit irritating to my scalp.

I'll post more about this shampoo as I use it.

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Quick bit of indie fashion
Posted by Colleen Shirazi, Wednesday, July 18, 2007 8:02 PM (Eastern)

I doubt I could describe myself as a fashion doyenne, but I'll throw my hat into the ring. My prediction for American fashion is simply that it will move more away from mainstream designers, and more toward independent ones.

Why? Because mainstream designers suffer from the same globalization we all do these days. I suppose a few have kept a tight lid on their production, but, it seems to me, more and more clothing is being produced in the same factories...there is a sameness, which runs counter to the very concept of style.

Enter the independent fashion houses. (Or do they? Some of them are pretty good.) I found out about this one by "word of Net": Smashing Darling

Check out this cool dress by twospace (Niagara Dress, $117.00). The dress is comprised of a skull print, which makes it up to date, yet the skulls are arranged so nicely it doesn't scream "skull print"! Made from rayon jersey.

I also liked this skirt by Mergirl: Fancy Mesh Skirt, $125.00

The art lies in the sheer layer, paired with the diagonal line of the upper layer. If you put this on, and you were young, and had fabulous would be sexier than a miniskirt.

You would have to wear it with an utterly plain top imo, or else risk looking like a pastiche of really odd clothes, but keep the rest of the look plain and simple, and this piece will be memorable to all who see you in it.

Here is a nice tee shirt: Che Baby Tee - Gold, $25.00 by Che Woo Design.

The sort of...funny head pattern...makes this top stand out. You need only find a pair of jeans or khaki pants to have an instant complete look.

Another nice one: Style# 0001 Funhouse Pinup Girl Tank, $20.00 by Nancy Wells.

The detail on the front image is extraordinary. The style of the shirt itself is a bit punky, so it should fit in with our current 1980's motif. All you'd need would be a leather jacket of some sort (or vegan jacket if you will), tight black pants, yadda yadda...

Am I the only one who doesn't rag on "skinny jeans" btw? I was getting tired of what, to me, are recycled bell bottoms or hiphuggers.

Of course you will need a bag. This may be your bag...IMAGINE, $275.00 by Anne De Pasquale...or it may not be...but I can guarantee you, you will never have to search for your handbag at the handbag table, should you decide to go with this design.

Thanks for indulging in indie fashion with me!

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July 19, 2007 2:41 AM, Blogger Dain said...

Wow, what a great site!

July 19, 2007 2:08 PM, Blogger Colleen Shirazi said...

The indie sites are getting better... I do think there is a viable future for independent designers and companies. Our system supports it. Just as there is no protection for American workers, so there is also nothing standing in their way. (I think it is more difficult to do a start-up in more restricted economies.)

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Nars The Multiple in Malibu
Posted by Colleen Shirazi, Tuesday, July 17, 2007 9:07 PM (Eastern)

nars the multiple in malibuFinally got around to taking a picture of this. waves to Arabella

It's gorgeous, and I'm not sure this pic does it justice. It's the perfect blend of rose and bronze, more rose than bronze. It doesn't look shimmery on, at least not that I can detect (it's a bit shimmery in the tube). It's fine for my acne prone skin, blends like a dream, and lasts well on.

It's a bit warm-toned, and I hope this pic captures that, but it's not truly orange here.

Normally I hate bronzers, to me it's a hassle and an extra step.

Likewise, though I like blush, I'm also lazy about using it every day. I have blushes, and a spandy nice blush brush, and these tend to sit quietly in my makeup drawer, taken out only for special occasions.

Enter The Multiple...there are different Multiples, some of them more akin to highlighters. This is one of the blushy ones, and it's good.

Since it's a stick, it's easy to fit in between your foundation product (I use tinted sunscreen) and your powder. It's there, you're there, you've already got foundation on your fingers so you have to wash your hands anyway; let's use it!


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Updates on Diptyque
Posted by Colleen Shirazi, Sunday, July 15, 2007 9:45 PM (Eastern)

diptyque do sonI've been a bit busy as of late, so I've been trying out my Diptyque vials slowly.

Philosykos. I suspect this is one of those scents you love or hate. I'm a bit more in the latter category, although I could imagine this smelling quite good on someone else. On my skin, it started out promising, a bit airy and sweet...pure, fresh figs.

Later on though, the sweet edge seemed to dissipate, and the scent began to remind me of...Estee Lauder Youth Dew. I'm serious. It's not as heavy as Youth Dew; it's still sweeter and lighter, but there is that odd, Youth Dewiness about it.

Conversely, if you like Youth Dew, you might want to check this out. (Youth Dew and I never got along, but that shouldn't influence you.) Philosykos lasted quite well on me, I'd say the full eight hours, and the sillage was pretty good.

Do Son. This is closer to what I like; it's basically floral, with a slight bitter edge. For whatever reason, I got hyacinth out of this, although it's not listed as one of the notes:

Tuberose, Orange tree leaves, Berries, Iris

I found this elegant, although I'd like to try it out more before judging too much either way.

Olène. My favorite so far. As Dain pinpointed, perhaps the reason I like it so much, is that it smells similar to me to the floral notes in Givenchy Organza, a perfume I wore for some years (and still like, don't get me wrong).

Olène has that intense, bright, flowery goodness:

This water evokes a deep and mysterious twilight of white, slender and starry flowers...

It's more complex than Organza imo, more exotic, for not being an exotic scent. There's something about the intensity that's attractive to me.

I saw on several sites that Olène was a wisteria scent, but it doesn't evoke wisteria to me, particularly. I expected a deluge of wisteria...there was a fence around a friend of mine's house, back in Virginia, that was saturated with purple wisteria in the summer. The thick cloud of scent would hypnotize you from half a block away. That's what I was hoping for, but all of that said, Olène still rocks.

Lasting power...let's give it six hours. I tried it layered over some Annick Goutal Heure Exquise, and that worked well, both the meld of scents and the, erm, "stretching" aspect.

Ofrésia. Since this is listed on the Diptyque site as a freesia scent, and the name...well...

Peppery white freesia, on a woody note: the fresh scent of a dewy garden...

...I was surprised to find a slightly salty (which must be the "woody"), then slightly bitter edge to this. It's not your mama's freesia scent; in fact, it is genuinely unisex, seemingly neither feminine nor masculine. Perhaps a bit more of the latter.

Nor is it unpleasant. I will have to try it more to form a firmer opinion; this is just a first impression, that if you were picturing the exact scent you get from a freesia blossom, this isn't really it.

Eau de Lierre. Wearing this today. First impression: carrots. Fresh carrots. It then mellows out into something quite green and meadowy.

Ivy leaves, cyclamen, geranium, green pepper, ambergris, palisander wood, musks

All in all, I like it. The closest perfume it smells like to me is L'eau d'Issey, only more masculine...less of that breath of sweet floweriness, more green and fresh.

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Annick Goutal Gardenia Passion
Posted by Colleen Shirazi, Sunday, July 08, 2007 10:27 PM (Eastern)

billie holidayThis is quite the soliflore, or single flower, scent. It's pure gardenia.

Hence, how you feel about this perfume will hinge directly on how you feel about gardenias. Are you crazy about gardenias? Do you dream about them? Do you envision yourself "...up to your boobies in white satin, with gardenias in your hair and no sugar cane for miles..."? (Sorry, couldn't resist...yes, I read Lady Sings the Blues, and found it inspiring).

As lovely as this smells...unlike other gardenia scents I've tried, it smells natural rather than harsh, bitter or chemical...and its sweetness is also natural, rather than cloyingly the end of the day, I'm no Lady Day. To me, a pure gardenia scent is akin to a pure rose scent. I like them both, but don't generally buy them, because I'm not as emotionally attached to gardenias or roses as I am to other flowers (see Annick Goutal Neroli).

Gardenia Passion lasts respectably well, somewhere between the all-day-ness of their Heure Exquise and the aforementioned Neroli. It stays strong around six hours or so, then gently fades out to a teeny drop of gardenia. Gardenia Passion also layers well with Heure Exquise.

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July 8, 2007 11:02 PM, Blogger Dain said...

I used to listen to a lot of Billie Holiday in high school--she still beats them all

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Annick Goutal Neroli
Posted by Colleen Shirazi, 10:17 PM (Eastern)

This is my second favorite of my Annick Goutal samples, perhaps as much from a sentimental attachment to orange blossoms, as from the composition itself.

Neroli is fresh, flowery, sweet (not sugary) orange blossoms, with a little acidic scent of orange fruit. If you don't like citrus scents, this may not be your cup of tea, unless you're also head over heels for orange blossoms. It is a natural, gentle, honeyed scent, with no synthetic or chemical undertones (undernotes?).

Not as strong nor quite as long-lasting as my Heure Exquise. If you're looking to spritz on in the morning and keep going until midnight, ah, you will need to reapply this, but probably just the once.

Neroli in fact layers well with Heure Exquise. My two favorite scents smell even better together.

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Annick Goutal Heure Exquise
Posted by Colleen Shirazi, 9:59 PM (Eastern)

I've recently acquired some vials of Diptyque eau de toilettes, so I think it's time to sum up my Annick Goutal perfumes before journeying onward to Diptyque.

My favorite of my samples is Heure Exquise. Here is the description from the Annick Goutal site:

Powdery, delicate, sophisticated

A sophisticated trail of Turkish rose, a gentle powdery base of iris from Florence and Mysore sandalwood. This fragrance recreates the atmosphere of a rose garden that blossoms with the passing of each exquisite hour.

Pretty accurate, at the end of the day, although this fragrance is so well balanced and well blended, that my nose does not detect discrete notes. It's all just a wall of yum; a sweet, yet not overly so, complex, powdery scent, like taking a shower with the world's best-smelling soap and dabbing on a little perfume afterward.

Heure Exquise lasts relatively well (I'm thinking of investing in the eau de parfum form rather than this eau de toilette).

It also blends well with other perfumes, for women who like to layer their scents.

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1980's style: makeup
Posted by Colleen Shirazi, Saturday, July 07, 2007 11:34 PM (Eastern)

brooke shields
image courtesy

Here is how people remember 80's makeup: flawless skin, with nary a freckle, wrinkle, circle or bag; lots of mascara and liner; eyeshadow that ranged from "smoky" to "jewel toned," but always definitely "there"; clear pink or fuchsia blush; strong lips, typically red, pink or fuchsia.

In perhaps a more typical implementation, we have "Trillian" (Sandra Dickinson, from the television series The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy):

image courtesy

At the same time, there was a softer, pastel version, with gently tanned skin, soft pearly eyeshadows, mascara (fer sure), and shimmery pink lips, that was the California version of the 80's (and I was jealous of it; they looked so perfect):

valley girl
image courtesy

Unlike among the famous beauties of today, there wasn't much diversity back then. The majority of models were white. MTV, which still showed music videos at the time, was dominated by white singers and groups. One of the few exceptions was Whitney Houston:

whitney houston
image courtesy

And 80's video (I didn't embed Houston's video; I felt a still would show her 80's makeup better):

Okay I have no idea when this was filmed, but the song is from 1984.

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July 8, 2007 2:51 AM, Blogger Dain said...

Looking at the current cover of W with Gisele, and the cover of Time with Brooke Shields, similar but different. Big, windblown hair? Check. Strong eyes? Check. Strong lips? Check. Strong face? Check.

But it's different. For one thing, skin is treated entirely differently. Gisele's bronze all over, and her skin is dewy. There's a naked effect to the skin, though there's a bit of sculpting. Brooke Shields' skin is anything but naked: thick foundation that obliterates and recreates texture, with plenty of powder to set, and clear, bright blush. It has none of the translucence that Gisele's makeup has, perhaps a reflection of the products themselves. The new 80s makeup is bold but not quite so heavy--more a veil than a mask.

July 8, 2007 12:47 PM, Blogger Colleen Shirazi said...

Yeah, I can agree with that. The main difference is the foundation. Which is good.

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Sephora Emeryville review
Posted by Colleen Shirazi, 10:19 PM (Eastern)

It's already open! It's at the Bay Street mall, near the (also quite new) H & M.

I ducked in there wasn't the first time I'd been to a Sephora, but it was the first time I'd been able to spend an appreciable amount of time in one.

First impressions: yup, every brand you ever thought of even thinking of. Vincent Longo, Urban Decay, Nars of course, wall o' perfumes, wall o' skincare, yadda yadda...everything quite neat and inviting.

Service: friendly staff, no hard sell.

Me: spent most of the time in the Nars section. They don't have everything 100% in stock yet, so they didn't have the Urban Decay "Bourbon" 24/7 eyepencil I was going to check out. They did have UD "Lucky" eyepencil, which was an interesting deep coppery shade, but it wasn't dark enough for what I needed.

Nars: they didn't have "Rebecca" duo eyeshadow, or "Habanera." In the Habanera slot, they had what appeared to be half the "Bohemian Gold" duo.

Still, who cares. They are open, and I did get a couple of things. :D

First up, an eyeshadow duo. As tempting as the singles looked, the duos are a better deal for me, as long as both shades are useful to me. I don't use tons of eyeshadow at a pop; I've barely dented the three Nars duos I own (Babylon, Ireland and Island Fever), after three years of happy ownership.

I almost got the "Stage Beauty" was in my basket. It's quite pretty: a soft, creamy shade, paired with a deeper, brown-coppery shade tinged with rose. I knew it would flatter my green folks are always drawn toward shades with a form of red in them.

But with Nars, I tend to not use them for neutrals. If you're heavily into neutrals, I can see it..."Surabaya," for example, struck me favorably, and of course there is the classical "All About Eve."

What to get? Swatched "Blade Runner"...but realistically, as with "Surabaya," two deep shades might not cut it for me. I much prefer the dichotomy of a lid shade and a crease shade (I don't highlight, since I have small lids and too much browbone).

And, I don't use eyeshadow as liner; I'm far too lazy. I have a perfectly good eyeliner brush from Ecco Bella, that I haven't used in...years.

"Caravaggio" and "Divine" popped out...strong rose, magenta tones...both too young for me (throw "Mediteranee" in there too).

Finally..."Jezebel" beckoned to me, more and more. I have no idea yet if this is going to work on me; it all hinges on the soft lavender shade. This is the kind of shade which tends to disappear quickly; I'm hoping the Nars version lasts.

Jezebel comes with a deep brown shade, cut with purple, perhaps a more purply version of the deep coppery rose shade in Stage Beauty.

Since I couldn't try Urban Decay "Bourbon" eyepencil, and I no longer own a deep brown eyepencil, I swatched some of the Nars pencils.

I'd heard the Nars eyepencils tended to be hard in texture. The Urban Decay 24/7 pencils I swatched were silkier, certainly, comparable to my MAC Powerpoints and Eye Kohls. Still, the Nars pencils I swatched weren't what I'd call hard or draggy, just not super soft. I'll report back later on how well they wear, because some eyepencils turn hard after a while.

"Kyoto" looked pretty...deep soft olive green, probably better for hazel or brown eyes. "Patmos" was very green. They had only part of the collection out..."Parrot Cay" was an interestingly different, light green.

It was "Mambo" I got...deep brown, but tinged with enough red to make it different.

I passed on the lipsticks altogether; thinking of trying lipsticks more toward the "health food store" or natural variety.

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Diptyque reviews on the way...
Posted by Colleen Shirazi, 3:49 PM (Eastern)

I just got hold of a mess of vials of these. :)

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1980's style: Cyndi Lauper vs. Madonna
Posted by Colleen Shirazi, 2:05 PM (Eastern)

True Colors by Cyndi Lauper (1986)

Madonna - "Get Into the Groove" Music Video

Madonna eclipsed Lauper at one point; it could be argued it was a matter of style over substance, as Lauper was the (tremendously) better singer of the two.

However, Madonna deserves credit for her sheer creativity--a quality which must not be left out of our mid-2007 resurrection of the 80's. Madonna was never about spending money. She was, in her own way, as much a working class hero as Lauper. (In my memory of the period, the two are more twined together than opposed.)

Fashion historians, note Lauper's iconic, flamboyantly dyed orange hair, which has been sprayed and teased to form the ginormous hair (or "big hair") of the day.

Madonna's style contributions are many and varied, from the "wall of bracelets" (she was the first to do this that I know of), to thrift-store chic (perfectly captured in Desperately Seeking Susan)...she borrowed from punk in her all-black ensembles, wore lingerie as if it were outerwear...I remember quite clearly, as I'd thought for years that something as beautiful as lingerie should be seen, somehow... Madonna can't be credited with making inch-long dark roots fashionable, exactly, since Debbie Harry did that in the mid 1970's, but she went a long way toward making DIY a positive thing.

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July 7, 2007 4:16 PM, Blogger cmm said...

oh, now you're gettin me all teary-eyed and nostalgic!!
off to search Youtube for more videos. Its been awhile since I've heard "Papa Don't Preach"......

July 7, 2007 7:29 PM, Blogger Dain said...

Madonna is such a pop maverick. I think it's been only recently that she's gotten tasteless; she's always been a tastemaker. Imo, it was when she copied Angelina Jolie and adopted a kid. It may have been a generous gesture, but it was so transparently a publicity gesture, and I don't know... it's ok in showbiz to pretend to be bad because people do it all the time, but somehow, I resent the appearance of virtue. And I think the public does, too.

July 7, 2007 10:06 PM, Blogger Colleen Shirazi said...

Carol: Youtube is nothing short of amazing. There are videos for very nearly everything, stuff you thought you'd never see again, ever. Plus stuff from around the world.

Dain: Madonna...she had guts. She was one of those people who actually went to New York City to make it...and she used to eat popcorn, because she couldn't afford to eat properly (popcorn fills you up).

She was a lousy singer, no doubt about it, but she worked very hard to become a good singer. Anyone else would have taken the money and run.

It is different when you "knew" famous people when they were young, when you were young... It's like...Chuck Berry. To me he was always kind of, not an old man, but an older gentleman. But the people who grew up listening to his music, were fanatical about him.

July 7, 2007 11:36 PM, Blogger Dain said...

Madonna kind of reminds me of Justin Timberlake now.

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Are the 80's really back?
Posted by Colleen Shirazi, Friday, July 06, 2007 10:45 PM (Eastern)

U2 - Two Hearts Beat As One 1983 The Kenny Everett Show

I want to put my bid in, if that's the case. I loved the 80's.


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July 6, 2007 10:55 PM, Blogger Dain said...

U2, along with Dave Matthews Band, I've never been able to develop a taste for--I'm not sure why, because they're musically adept. I'm sure I'm missing something, and seeing this video, where they're in their natural element, I think it must be how pop-y they've gotten, and they were pretty pop-y to begin with. But jesus, they are so young! I'm so used to seeing them as aging rock stars.

July 7, 2007 12:09 AM, Blogger Colleen Shirazi said...

If I can remember...I saw U2 in concert, the once. I think I was 17 or 18. Ugh. I checked online, but they played a few concerts around then, so I was anywhere from 17 to 19. I don't even remember the exact venue.

That's when I loved them as a group. That was 20-some years ago. They sold out...from the beginning imo. They were always into marketing, before anyone else really was. They had tons of merchandise, they would release a record with 4 songs on it, 2 of them from an album you already owned, forcing you to buy the 4-song record if you wanted the complete U2.

Still they were a great band. They seemed to burst with energy, they had The Edge after all... I remember listening to Boy, which was released in 1980. It's an incredible record.

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Update on Annick Goutal
Posted by Colleen Shirazi, 10:10 PM (Eastern)

So far...I have decided Heure Exquise is the best of the lot. Like Etro Heliotrope, it is one of those perfect "base compositions." (I should explain, I like layering perfumes these days.) It goes with just about anything, makes just about any fragrance better.

On its own, it's good, but a tiny bit bland imo.

I've tried it now with Neroli, Gardenia Passion and Rose Absolue. Of the three, Rose Absolue + Heure Exquise is heavenly. Gardenia Passion + Heure Exquise lasts longest...the meld of gardenia and powdery goodness lingers on. It is Neroli + Heure Exquise I like best though. Why? shrugs Isn't that the nature of perfume?

To be fair, I have some sentimentality about orange blossoms. I have an orange tree (this is California; you need one). The actual blossom has an intense, honeyed scent, akin to the heavily perfumed flowers of my youth (wisteria, gardenia, old roses).

I doubt I've been fair about California flowers, that they look great and don't smell. There is a period here when jasmine is ubiquitous, and honeysuckle, and lavender. Today I smelled all three blended together, in a park. That would make a nice perfume, eau de California: jasmine, honeysuckle and lavender, with a little orange and lemon blossom.

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Colleen Shirazi continues to blog here: Life of Colleen
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July 6, 2007 11:05 PM, Blogger Dain said...

If you throw in the smell of the sea, and maybe some car exhaust, you've got it. : ) I kind of get what you mean about layering, though I never do it myself, because my nose is extremely sensitive and it confuses me. But it makes sense--people mix oils together all the time, why not use more complicated elements, if they're more or less monotone? It's hard to find perfumes that are complex top down. There's a lot that are just "top", usually citrus and florals, and there's quite a few that are just "base", often gourmand. I don't know how to explain the difference, but like today, I had on one wrist Fracas, the other, BVLGARI pour Femme. They're both white florals, so you'd think they'd be created equal, but while the BVLGARI is a sweet warmhearted little bouquet (your phrase, "wall of yum" came to my mind as I sniffed), Fracas is a composition, played out over time. The difference is enormous. You wouldn't ever want to use Fracas to layer, but the BVLGARI would be ideal for it.

July 6, 2007 11:57 PM, Blogger Colleen Shirazi said...

It did cross my mind to throw in an ocean note...I went to San Clemente once, it was...unreal. There is an unreality to Southern Cal, but it's blended with hard-nosed realism. You'll be driving on the freeway, 80 miles per hour...because you have to drive so, so much. You can't drive slowly. Then you'll exit and suddenly everyone is going 15 MPH. You have to be a good driver.

I never thought of myself as a "layerer" until I did the 7 samples thing for Etro. It's...modular? It reminds me of programming, where you think in terms of components. A few Etro scents stand well alone, like Shaal Nur and Royal Pavillon (of the ones I tried anyway), but the rest seem almost like parts of a scent.

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Trader Joe's Shea Butter Soap rules!
Posted by Colleen Shirazi, 2:23 AM (Eastern)

A quick Internet search for reviews of Trader Joe's soap produces three charming blog entries:

All The News That's Fit To Print
I want a clean as real as Ivory!
"The Time Has Come," The Walrus Said, "To Talk Of Shallow Things . . ."

I thought I'd throw in my two cents on their Shea Butter Soap, because, even among their superlative soaps--Bisous de Provence lavender (featuring little scrubby bits of real lavender), wild rose (with dried rose petals), lemon verbena and green tea--to Trader Jacques (uber thick bars of oatmeal, ginger and almond soap)--it's outstanding.

TJ's Shea Butter soap is a creamy white smooth bar of lushly, cleanly scented, moisturizing goodness. And it lasts a goooood long time. And it's what, three bucks? You've got to try it.

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July 6, 2007 3:13 AM, Blogger Dain said...

Yum! I love soap... though it's body washes that are more popular these days. I've always prefered soap. The one I'm using now is LUSH Alkmaar, which I quite discovered lying around by accident, but those TJ soaps sound luscious.

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Boom Boxx featuring Linda O. - Balla Da Li
Posted by Colleen Shirazi, Wednesday, July 04, 2007 1:48 AM (Eastern)

Europeans do cheese better than we do. Five stars.

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Update on Annick Goutal
Posted by Colleen Shirazi, 12:11 AM (Eastern)

annick goutal neroli AND annick goutal heure exquise

Okay...we have a winner: Neroli, layered with Heure Exquise. (Speaking of my samples.)

This pair creates my coveted "wall of yum," or long-lasting veil of yummy scent. Heure Exquise on its own doesn't quite do it; it's a lovely, powdery scent, yet Neroli adds an acidic quality that keeps Heure... from becoming a bit too bland.

As I've mentioned before, it doesn't bother me to layer. I've used Etro Heliotrope as a "base" for many perfumes; it mellows and sweetens them.

Passion, and Les Nuits d'Hadrien EDT, have been knocked off my list. Passion just is not "me." It doesn't smell as sweet on my skin as I'd like (conversely, it might suit you if you're looking for something "not too sweet"). Les Nuits... eau de toilette was very light on me. Having sampled the eau de parfum, I can heartily recommend that, but imo the EDT should have been stronger.

images courtesy

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July 4, 2007 12:59 AM, Blogger Dain said...

What does Heure Exquise smell like?

July 4, 2007 1:08 AM, Blogger Colleen Shirazi said...

It's basically...powdery. In a sense it's like many powdery scents I've smelled, only it is better in not being a completely generic powdery scent. I loathe generic powdery scents...sometimes a good one can stand alone, but still I prefer the combination.

July 4, 2007 9:08 PM, Blogger Colleen Shirazi said...

Ah, here is the description from the AG site:

A sophisticated trail of Turkish rose, a gentle powdery base of iris from Florence and Mysore sandalwood. This fragrance recreates the atmosphere of a rose garden that blossoms with the passing of each exquisite hour.

It doesn't smell distinctly of any one of these notes; it's quite well balanced and blended. Of the AG samples I got this time, I think I like this one, and Neroli, the best.

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Notes on travel to tropical climes...
Posted by Colleen Shirazi, Sunday, July 01, 2007 4:21 PM (Eastern)

I've been to Jamaica a few times. It's gorgeous, frankly, with the world's most magnificent coffee and rum; it is a striking place, with the resort life one way, and everything outside the resorts 180 degrees different.

It's been a bit tricky to pack for this kind of vacation. Each time I go, I learn from my mistakes, so here's a compilation thus far:
  • Clothes. Jamaica is hot and humid. Not quite as humid as the American South, perhaps more similar to the general East Coast/Midwest type of humidity. But it is as hot as the South.

    Short-sleeved tee shirts don't work. I brought a bunch the first time I went, and they sat in my suitcase. Cotton tank tops are good, or sleeveless, thin cotton or rayon tops (I have a couple East Indian ones I bought there). If you've got to do short sleeves, make your top loose-fitting and as lightweight as possible.

    Generally, you wear a bathing suit all day. The styles tend to be pretty modest, no thongs or teeny strings, just regular one- or two-piece bathing suits. Along with this, you'll need a skirt or sarong or something similar to stash in your beach bag...some restaurants don't consider you "dressed" in your bathing suit alone, you have to put a skirt over it. (Men are considered "dressed" with a shirt over their swim suit.)

    You can carry one bathing suit and just wash it out at night. No one seems to notice if you wear the same suit every day. Swim suits take up little packing space however, so throw in another if you like.

    You do need to bring a couple of long-sleeved shirts just in case. It got "chilly" last time I went, and I had to wear the same solitary long-sleeved shirt I'd brought.

    No one irons there; some wrinkles in your clothing are okay. I brought one of those travel clothing sat in the suitcase along with the tee shirts!

    Evening dress up every night. Again, it's hot, so "dress up" does not mean the same thing as it does here. Something like a pretty, sleeveless, lightweight dress, or similar top and skirt, would do it. You can switch out your tops and skirts somewhat, but try to think in terms of clothes that don't wrinkle, so's you can squash more of them into your suitcase.

  • Shoes. It's too hot generally for stockings and pumps, although you can wear them in the evening if you want to. Sandals are accepted footwear day or night; make yours lightweight sandals. Bring some water socks (in a pinch, you could buy them at the resort).

    You will need a comfortable pair of "walking sandals" for jaunts outside the resort; wear these on the plane coming and going.

  • Hair. You will need to put up your hair unless it's short enough not to hang on your neck. Bring enough hair doodads to keep you happy putting up your hair each day.

    You will need to bring a mild shampoo as you will wash your hair once or twice per day. I washed mine in the morning and evening (you could skip the morning wash, but you will need to wash your hair after going in the sea or pool). The complimentary resort shampoo ain't going to cut it.

    Likewise, bring a sufficiently rich daily conditioner.

  • Umbrellas. Some resorts have umbrellas, some don't. If yours doesn't, bring a travel-sized umbrella.

  • Makeup. During the day, forget about it. Eyeshadow instantly melts; blush is unnecessary; no one seems to wear makeup anyway. If you like, a little waterproof eyepencil or mascara and lip balm (tinted or un-).

    In the evening, you can wear eyeshadow, blush and lipstick as you please, but you won't feel like heavy or dramatic makeup.

  • Perfume. This is like the South: light scents disappear within half an hour. That's why Southerners bring on the heavy, sweet scents, stuff that might well knock you on your head in drier, cooler climates.

  • Jewelry. People don't wear the flashier, more conspicuously expensive pieces. You'll see a little gold, maybe small gemstones, but just as much "bridge" jewelry. Silver and semi-precious are fine.

Some things I'm still working see 'ums. These are tiny, biting flies or "midges." They're worse than mosquitos in the sense that the bites don't start itching insanely until a few days after you've been bitten. And the no see 'ums are tiny, unlike your big, slappable mosquitos.

From what I've read, the no see 'ums live in the sand on the beach. When the sand cools off later in the day, the no seem 'ums come out and bite you. It seems as if DEET is the choice repellent for these, but the DEET spray I'd brought last time didn't seem to discourage them much. Thinking of a higher-concentrate DEET lotion, unless there's something better around.

Of course there are the obvious things to carry: sunscreen, hat, sunglasses, et cetera. The sun isn't as strong as it is on a hot day in California, but, as soft as it feels, you'll still burn without sunscreen.

There isn't much shopping in Jamaica. They have little malls with some jewelry, clothing, of course the coffee and rum...well worth visiting, but you won't bring back bags and bags of stuff.

On the other hand, prepare to lose some weight and get more buff, as most of what you'll "do" over there is physical: swimming, "kayaking," walking on the beach, pedaling an enormous sea tricycle, scuba diving, and so forth.


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