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
· Double strand freshwater pearl necklace
· Beauty Notes: the ever-elusive signature scent
· Beauty Notes: Indian Rapunzels, chopstick buns, updos & wet hair
· Annick Goutal Eau du Ciel review
· Culture Notes: Random unremembered unremembereds
· More Montale perfume samples on the way...
· Beauty Notes: this 'n' that
· Beauty Notes: perfumes part 8
· The Lipstick Page Forums on MySpace!
· Day Two of Dr. Hauschka Cleansing Cream
· Fashion Notes: finding jeans that fit
· Robert Piguet Fracas part 2
· How to do a french twist
· Creed Jasmin Imperatrice Eugenie review
· Save The Lipstick Page Forums Beauty & Fashion Blog posts to del.icio.us!
· Angelina Jolie, Keira Knightley
· Prehnite and peridot earrings on Argentium sterling silver wire
· Dr. Hauschka lipstick: makeup with a conscience
· Where to get perfume samples
· Beauty Notes: Perfume recap
· RIP Anita Roddick
· Montale Crystal Flowers review
· Culture Notes: What I'm listening to
· Beauty Notes: Perfumes
· Beauty Notes: Perfume
· Robert Piguet Fracas part 1
· Montale Jasmin Full review part 2
· The best perfume ads?
· Montale Jasmin Full review part 1
· And another...
· Dr. Hauschka lipstick #09, Dolce (pics)
· Culture Notes: Youtube & perfume
· Dr. Hauschka lipstick #01, Amoroso (pics)
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· September 29, 2007 8:36 PM by Dain
· September 29, 2007 9:37 PM by Colleen Shirazi
· September 26, 2007 2:18 PM by Dain
· September 26, 2007 9:17 PM by Colleen Shirazi
· September 24, 2007 1:05 PM by Dain
· September 20, 2007 11:42 AM by Dain
· September 18, 2007 7:32 AM by Dain
· September 18, 2007 6:25 PM by Colleen Shirazi
· September 18, 2007 6:39 PM by Dain
· September 17, 2007 10:02 AM by Dain
· September 12, 2007 1:29 AM by Dain
· September 12, 2007 4:03 AM by Colleen Shirazi
· September 9, 2007 2:38 PM by Joy
· September 9, 2007 2:56 PM by Colleen Shirazi
· September 3, 2007 3:00 AM by Dain
· September 3, 2007 12:07 PM by cmm
· September 4, 2007 1:44 PM by Colleen Shirazi
· September 2, 2007 5:47 AM by Dain
· September 2, 2007 12:45 PM by Colleen Shirazi
· September 1, 2007 10:16 AM by cat who got the cream
· September 2, 2007 12:33 AM by Colleen Shirazi
Recent blog posts:
The Powder Group
Dain's Literary Attempts
Colleen's Beading Blog
Colleen's Adult Acne Blog
Eponym Blog Directory.
The Lipstick Page Forums Beauty & Fashion Blog: September 2007
Double strand freshwater pearl necklace
Posted by Colleen Shirazi, Saturday, September 29, 2007 7:30 PM (Eastern)
I wish I had a bust! Hm, that didn't come out right. :D I mean one of those fake necks you hang necklaces on. Before, I thought of fake necks as display tools, or as models to photograph necklaces, but they'd also be handy while you're working on the piece (as simple as this looks, it can be worn four different ways--two right and two wrong--not counting the fact it's reversible).
This is a stuffed panda, and the neck is too fat. When you wear the necklace, substantially more pearls show on the sides.
Beauty Notes: the ever-elusive signature scent
Posted by Colleen Shirazi, Friday, September 28, 2007 2:25 AM (Eastern)
I'm anxiously anticipating my Montale samples.
Was tempted to go ahead and request the other Montales I wanted to try, since different places carry different Montales (there are a whole bunch of them). But that would be a bit silly. Who knows, by the time I get this batch, there might be a new Montale out. So, what's the rush?
I began this perfume quest a bit over a year ago, starting with some Annick Goutal samples (Eau d'Hadrien, Mandragore and Ce Soir Ou Jamais) and some Etro (Lemon Sorbet, Sandalo, Messe de Minuit, Royal Pavillon, Shaal Nur, Heliotrope, Vicolo Fiori, Gomma).
In some ways I feel further away from having a signature scent, than I did a year ago. Not really though. I don't feel it has to be a linear path; my life has seldom been linear anyway. I've learned to start at one point and just keep on going.
I've drained some of my samples...Annick Goutal Eau d'Hadrien, Ce Soir Ou Jamais, Heure Exquise (there's one more go of Passion left). Also Diptyque Do Son, Montale Jasmin Full.
I anticipate using up more...Montale Aoud Roses Petals and Crystal Flowers, the other Diptyques (except Philosykos, which smelled terrible on me, and possibly Ofrésia, which smelled bitter at first sniff), the other Annick Goutals, maybe...I didn't like Songes (too simple and sweet, though admirably strong and long-lasting), Gardénia Passion (also too simple and sweet).
As far as Etro...most of the scents were love or hate. I anticipate using up Heliotrope (I have a full bottle of this as well), Shaal Nur, Vicolo Fiori, Royal Pavillon...that might be it.
As far as Creed, eh...I like Montale better. The two Creed scents I tried, Fleurissimo and Jasmin Imperatrice Eugenie, were both singular, more traditional perfumes, but neither were "me."
Fracas, you've got to like. It's not "me" either though.
If the perfume fairy appeared right now and granted me however many perfumes I so desired...while we're dreaming, these perfumes keep perfectly and never turn...I could easily go for several of the ones I've tried. That's the appeal of "splits" and decants, the idea of being able to own relatively many fragrances, without otherwise living in penury, or, far worse, having your perfumes go bad.
I'm not there yet though; still attached to the idea of two or three bottles.
Beauty Notes: Indian Rapunzels, chopstick buns, updos & wet hair
Posted by Colleen Shirazi, Thursday, September 27, 2007 4:56 PM (Eastern)
I can't for the life of me do anything sophisticated with my hair. I've concluded there is hairstyle dyslexia, and I have it, in spades.
However, if you have the dexterity and the locks, there is an abundance of hairstyle how-to's on Youtube.
Long Hair Bun - Indian Rapunzels
This is from a site which touts itself as "the long hair site of India." Here we have astoundingly long, lush hair, fashioned into a neat bun.
How to: use hair chopsticks
This looks a bit more my speed. Fellow hair klutzes will appreciate the detailed step-by-step instructions our hostess has written up on the Youtube site.
The single chopstick version. My hair is not long enough to do this, I just thought it looked cool. (You'll note the first step is the same as in video #1, only with a different length of hair involved.)
How to make the latest updo hairstyles
This is from Nexxus; they have several how-to videos up. It's not exactly what I'd call an updo, but it is a nice evening hairstyle for a young girl.
From Wet Hair to Done Hair in 5 Min
Finally, Pursebuzz demonstrates some of my favorite hair concepts: what to do with wet hair (other than blowdrying it of course); how to achieve fullness with no, or very minimal, teasing; specific product recs (always a bonus); and getting out of the house quickly, yet in style.
Annick Goutal Eau du Ciel review
Posted by Colleen Shirazi, 2:38 PM (Eastern)
From the Annick Goutal site:
Aerial, Fresh, Soft, Tender, Natural
A melody of tender scents: Brazilian rosewood, violet, Florentin iris and lime blossom. A subtle interpretation of innocence, a gentle fragrance as delicate as the shiver of an angel's wing...
Unlike the usual hyperbolic perfume description, this describes Eau du Ciel to a T. It is a superbly delicate, youthful scent, perhaps the opposite of sophistication.
That would appear a rarity these days, given mainstream perfumes seem to be pressed from the same fruity-floral mold (I suspect they're produced in the same factory), and niche scents targeted towards an older audience.
I'm not sure I can pick apart these notes; they're blended perfectly, like other Annick Goutal scents (Heure Exquise, Passion, Nuits d'Hadrien, Ce Soir Ou Jamais, Eau d'Hadrien, of the ones I've tried). I want to say Eau du Ciel smells like hay. Having spent the majority of my childhood summers at an organic farm, I have fond memories of the scent of hay (even though it is poky in reality). Soft, sweetish hay, with a little freshly mown grass, and just something pleasant, summery, lazy, like that part of my grandparents' garden where they had planted tall flowers (when you're young and short, tall flowers tower majestically) and my sister, cousins and I played hide and seek.
It smells more sunshiny than dusky, more warm than cool. I'm not exactly sure what rosewood smells like, but there is something predominantly woody here. I'm getting only a soft edge of violets...this is not a strongly violetty scent...with more iris, like a bearded iris in the sun. A faint edge of something citrusy, which could be the lime blossom blended with iris (irises smell a tiny bit citrusy to me).
All in all, a terrific scent for a young woman. I'm thinking later teens or early twenties. Actually I kind of like it myself. There's something calming about it.
image courtesy aedes.com
Culture Notes: Random unremembered unremembereds
Posted by Colleen Shirazi, Wednesday, September 26, 2007 3:51 PM (Eastern)
Perhaps a quote from Donald Rumsfeld is in order.
"Reports that say that something hasn't happened are always interesting to me, because as we know, there are known knowns; there are things we know we know. We also know there are known unknowns; that is to say we know there are some things we do not know. But there are also unknown unknowns -- the ones we don't know we don't know."
On the basis of that quote alone, it would appear Mr. Rumsfeld would have made a far better computer programmer than, say, a Secretary of Defense or some such thing. It makes perfect sense to me.
I've been experiencing a similar phenomenon lately, only it's unremembered unremembereds rather than unknown unknowns. Unremembered unremembereds are things you don't remember you don't remember, and only upon recalling them, do you recall you'd forgotten them in the first place.
Take Urgh! A Music War. Urgh! was a movie released in 1981, when I was sixteen. It featured various punk and new wave acts, some of which went on to greater fame, some of which became even less visible after the film was shown, if that were possible.
How I stumbled upon this unremembered unremembered...I was looking for a video for Oingo Boingo's "Weird Science." It's not a very good song, has even been described as the band's least favorite as it was a rush production. Oingo Boingo was a terrific band...not my favorite of the era, yet an interesting blend of their roots as a performance art group, the odd things Danny Elfman did with his voice, and the fact that much of their hit songs were woven into films. They were intrinsically theatrical, and very Los Angeles (if you can imagine anything more exotic to a native Virginian).
My favorite Oingo Boingo song is probably Stay, or even Just Another Day. Visually though, it's hard to beat "Dead Man's Party":
Oingo Boingo Dead Man's Party
Once I delved into the Oingo Boingo "thread" (what do they call that Google thing in Youtube, where they read your mind?), I glimpsed their song on Urgh!: Ain't This the Life?
Urgh! had some wonderful songs. Take "Total Eclipse," the late Klaus Nomi's part-cabaret, part-opera, all-entertaining song about a nuclear attack:
Klaus Nomi - Total Eclipse (live)
(I had seen Nomi prior to that on Saturday Night Live with David Bowie and a gentleman in a red dress.)
In the same prevailing Cold War groove, Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark:
OMD - Enola Gay (live)
For every Pere Ubu (I'm not linking to that; even by the standards of the day, it was odd), there were The Go-Go's, Devo, Steel Pulse, UB40...oh, let's let The Police roll through the lineup:
the Police - outro 'So Lonely'
I haven't heard many of these songs easily in twenty years, or at least since I stopped playing them (I had the record). Funny to go back eh?
More Montale perfume samples on the way...
Posted by Colleen Shirazi, 2:09 PM (Eastern)
It took me a few days to compile a list; samples aren't cheap. Moreover, Montale is one of those lines that doesn't have tons of online reviews, or, more accurately, it does not have tons of useful reviews. The notes they use are different, the overall smell is not conventional.
All of that said, here's what I came up with:
Montale Powder Flowers
Montale Patchouli Leaves
Montale Sweet Oriental Dream
Montale Velvet Flowers
Montale White Aoud
Montale Chypre - Fruit
Serge Lutens Fleurs d'Oranger
Why Fleurs d'Oranger? Serge Lutens has a cult following, which usually means it's good, but I can admit, after perusing many a review and description of Lutens scents, I haven't been tempted to try them.
Fleurs d'Oranger caught my eye because I'm still on for a neroli scent, after ultimately being disappointed in Annick Goutal's Néroli. Néroli smells divine, can't fault that, but its lasting power is...it doesn't have any.
Powder Flowers, Patchouli Leaves and Sweet Oriental Dream made the list because they weren't available at the other place I was thinking of getting Montale from. Patchouli Leaves has been widely described as a scent for people who hate patchouli, while Powder Flowers has been compared to Chanel No. 5 (which is one of my favorites, and to which I am drearily allergic). Sweet Oriental Dream, I dunno, I've been kicking it around in the back of my mind even though "it sounds like something I wouldn't like." What the hey...
The other three just sounded interesting.
Beauty Notes: this 'n' that
Posted by Colleen Shirazi, Monday, September 24, 2007 2:30 AM (Eastern)
I'm putting together which Montale perfumes to try. There are a lot of them; it would be expensive to try them all...and I don't actually want to try them all. I don't think it's necessary. I do think it's possible to cobble together what the perfume smells like, by gathering a few reliable sources for descriptions, and then sort of triangulating them.
Luckyscent's perfume descriptions are overly long and flowery, too...I dunno, enthusiastic? While Aedes' descriptions tend toward the too-short and spare. Put the two together...so far I've got:
My trial of Dr. Hauschka Cleansing Cream is going well. It truly is a gentle exfoliant (at least to my skin it is; I don't have particularly sensitive skin). What I like best is the slightly "oily" feeling it leaves after rinsing. I know that sounds counterintuitive, since I have naturally oily skin, but that odd moist feeling does not translate into an oily face; quite the contrary.
My skin is already smoother and softer; seem to be fewer and smaller clogged pores. It's not a miraculous transformation by any means, but I'm suspicious of quick results when you're talking about skin. Most of the products I've tried that ended up working over the long run, worked gradually rather than right away.
I have a theory--that skincare is similar to weight loss. You don't gain the weight overnight (even though it feels that way); you gain it over time, which is why gradual weight loss works in the long run. Quick dramatic weight loss tends to work at first, but then stop working.
Your face doesn't get cruddy overnight either (even though it feels that way!), which is why mild, gradual treatments tend to work best in the long run.
Beauty Notes: perfumes part 8
Posted by Colleen Shirazi, Friday, September 21, 2007 3:45 AM (Eastern)
Elvis Costello - Peace Love And Understanding (2004)
There are several music videos I've had in draft mode, probably since part 7 of my perfume odyssey. There's this, the original video The Police did for "Roxanne," and Power Station's "Some Like It Hot."
Ultimately, Elvis Costello won out. This is a Nick Lowe song, and Costello kind of ruined it, but in a good way. He de-countrified it...you can almost grasp how Lowe would have done it, all cowboy boots, grits 'n' ham gravy. Oh wait, here it is:
Nick Lowe What's So Funny 'Bout Peace, Love & Understandin'
Costello is the superior singer, the Whitney Houston to Lowe's Dolly Parton, but I like both versions. looks sheepish
I am a bit closer to finding my perfume nirvana than I was a year ago.
I have discovered my grail house. It is Montale. I "got" Montale, the way you "get" your favorite brand of chocolate the first time you taste it. It just feels right in your mouth; it's what your eyes seek in the shop, no matter how many other kinds of chocolate fill the shelves.
Still, which Montale? There's a dizzying array of scents. I've tried reading reviews, to narrow down even a list of samples. But the reviews of the three Montale scents I've tried (Aoud Roses Petals, Crystal Flowers and Jasmin Full) don't match how they smell. Perfume-Smellin' Things Perfume Blog did justice to Aoud Roses Petals and Jasmin Full (couldn't find a review of Crystal Flowers there), and there is always Basenotes.
I suspect I'm doomed to try them all, slowly.
Along the way, I do have favorites from the other houses I've tried, most notably Annick Goutal's Passion (okay I have a small bunch of favorites). I've also considered buying other forms of perfume (usually something like shower gel works out well, and lotion doesn't). I've never felt you need have everything "match"; scents are components, just as they are themselves made of components; there's no reason you can't use them exactly where and how you please.
The Lipstick Page Forums on MySpace!
Posted by Colleen Shirazi, Thursday, September 20, 2007 7:07 PM (Eastern)
We have a MySpace! (Also permanently linked to from the left-hand side menu.)
Day Two of Dr. Hauschka Cleansing Cream
Posted by Colleen Shirazi, 2:30 AM (Eastern)
I suppose I should preface this by saying I've never really been into skincare.
Part, if not most, of my disinterest stems from having gotten adult acne at age twenty-nine. (Before I got adult acne, I had literally perfect skin, which itself made me uninterested in skincare.) As adult acne sufferers know, the finer points of skincare get lost in the shuffle as the sufferer tries everything within grasp to attain normal, reasonably clear skin.
My experience with adult acne taught me a couple of things:
For some time now, I've had it in mind to...exfoliate. When you have real acne, that's out of the question. But now, I don't have pimples, but I could do with some sort of a scrubby thing.
Dr. Hauschka Cleansing Cream isn't exactly what it sounds like. It's a cleanser, but also an exfoliant, thanks to its star ingredient, sweet almond meal. From the Dr. Hauschka website:
Almond meal is a blend of whole ground almonds, including shell and nut. The meal mixes readily with water to form a natural emulsion that is highly absorbent of water and oil. In Cleansing Cream it absorbs oils, dirt and perspiration from the skin. The soothing, calming properties of almond make it gentle enough for even the most sensitive skin. Almond meal has been used traditionally for its cleansing and purifying effect on the skin. In ancient India and Egypt ground almonds were pressed into bars for cleansing the body.
Sounds a tad scratchy, doesn't it? There's another reason I've been reluctant to try exfoliants: I've had these visions of scratchy bits of nut shell, scraping away at my face (I'd prefer to have dead skin, thanks).
You are to use a "press and roll" application method for this, rather than outright scrubbing.
I've used this three times now (and am planning to give it another go tonight). The almond meal particles are quite small, thank goodness. They don't scratch.
Like just about all "premium"-ish products, a little goes a long way. A glob the size of a large pea is enough to cleanse your face.
I didn't actually "press and roll" all that much, but then I don't have sensitive skin. Light massaging does the job for me.
This smells pleasant, of faint real roses and some other natural stuff.
I was a bit surprised it left the surface of my face feeling almost oily. Mind you I've been putting jojoba products on my face for years; "oily" doesn't freak me out. After I'd dried my face though, it felt not oily at all, in fact it felt somehow...not dry on the surface, but dry inside. Kinda weird but not unpleasant.
It hasn't as of yet exfoliated perfectly. My skin feels smoother, less flaky, but I still detect some rough spots. My gut tells me that's actually a good thing, due to #2 above...that continued use might produce perfect results, rather than having perfect results right away.
In any case, I'll update this later on.
image courtesy www.drhauschka.com
Fashion Notes: finding jeans that fit
Posted by Colleen Shirazi, Tuesday, September 18, 2007 1:35 AM (Eastern)
Find perfect jeans for your body type
Basically a plug for zafu.com, a site that will help you find jeans to fit your body type via a short questionnaire.
The video features three "ordinary" women (read: not models) along with the jeans recommended to them by the zafu site.
Mind you I've never tried using zafu myself. Playing around with it, I was intrigued to pull up 86 matches, including brands I'd never heard of, in a wide price range. It returned the exact models, and where to buy.
zafu also had a new "find my bra" feature, but I was less impressed with the results. What made "find my jeans" nifty was the range of jeans returned...different prices and styles; some of them looked like something I would be interested in.
"Find my bra" was more limited in brands, styles and price range. Frankly, nothing in the results caught my eye. Still it seems like a promising feature. It may be well to check back on it after a while and see if more refinements have been made.
Robert Piguet Fracas part 2
Posted by Colleen Shirazi, Monday, September 17, 2007 9:40 PM (Eastern)
(see part 1)
Told ya there would be a part 2. :)
I tried this out again today, after having felt a bit ill over the past couple of days, due to changing weather. Something about Fracas seemed soothing; a scent you could wear even when others would make you feel off.
Today I got more of an orange-blossom vibe from this...tuberose and orange blossom. Orange blossom is not listed as a note (although "orange" is), but somehow there is a sweet and waxy white orange blossom here.
Overall, I've begun to question how long it's going to take me to find "my" perfumes. I feel this is individual; others may figure this out a whole lot sooner. For me, it's a bit more than the classical "love at first sniff"; I'm starting to feel now that time itself is a factor, that my scents have to evolve over time.
I mean it sounds kinda crazy but even though I've been wearing my Montale's and Fracas lately, to the exclusion of all else, I do not feel my first actual bottle of perfume in ages need be any of these. (Although I am dying to try more Montale.)
How to do a french twist
Posted by Colleen Shirazi, Sunday, September 16, 2007 9:32 PM (Eastern)
I haven't tried this yet...my hair isn't as long, although it is longer than it has been in years. What I liked was her idea of using two smaller "claw" barrettes to hold the twist. Regular french twist combs have never worked for me...I have all the slipperiness of Asian hair, without the thickness (mumbles)... The closest I've come to a genuine french twist involved tonloads of supersized bobby pins.
There are lots of "how to" hair tutorials on youtube btw.
Creed Jasmin Imperatrice Eugenie review
Posted by Colleen Shirazi, 2:09 AM (Eastern)
I tried a bit of this out today. From the Parfums Raffy site:
Creed Jasmin Imperatrice Eugenie is based on the formula of a fragrance originally created in the 19th century for the Empress Eugenie of France. Creed Jasmin Imperatrice Eugenie is an aristocratic blend of citrus top notes over a rich heart of Italian jasmine and Bulgarian rose and a warm powdery base of sandalwood and super absolute of vanilla.
I couldn't pass up the chance to try a scent of that description.
First impressions: for being based on such a venerable formula, I got a distinct 80's (1980's that is) vibe from this juice. Giorgio, but nicer, with a dash of Samsara.
The vanilla was prominent...not today's subtle, dry, or ethereal vanilla, but rather, a strong smudge of vanilla blended seamlessly with sandalwood. I didn't get much of the citrus top notes...I could buy there might be rose in this (it was subtle on my skin), but the jasmine was much more to the fore.
About an hour later, it began to remind me of...old house. Old Southern house. I definitely lived in a house that had that odd, almost musty smell, although I can't place exactly which house, or when.
It's not an unpleasant smell by any means...and it's not the same as the "dank concrete building" I got from Etro Gomma (an otherwise gorgeous scent), nor the (wonderful) "musty wet riverbank" I got from Chanel Coco Mademoiselle. This was almost plain Southern house, the kind that had apple green walls, wood paneling, that sort of thing.
The old house phase lasted probably a good hour or two, then Jasmin Imperatrice Eugenie mellowed further...less old house, more of just an old-style perfume along the lines of the aforementioned Samsara.
Now...ten hours later...I can still smell it on my skin, albeit faintly. The citrus seems to have finally peeked out, and there remains a touch of the vanilla-sandalwood duality.
All in all...perhaps it's a bit like the other Creed scent I sampled, Fleurissimo. It's not bad, but it's not "me."
Yet there is something a bit tempting about it...its sheer strength and lasting power are impressive. If you liked it, a little would go a long way.
Conclusion: sample first, do not buy "unsniffed." I read the notes before deciding on the sample, but this is little like a modern interpretation of those notes.
If you like Giorgio, Samsara, or even Obsession...this doesn't remind me of Obsession exactly, more the idea of an assertive, definitely "there" fragrance...you might want to check this out.
If this is the kind of thing you are violently against, you may decide to choose another scent to sample.
image courtesy Wikimedia Commons
Save The Lipstick Page Forums Beauty & Fashion Blog posts to del.icio.us!
Posted by Colleen Shirazi, Thursday, September 13, 2007 2:38 PM (Eastern)
Now you can save your favorite LPF blog posts to del.icio.us! They don't actually have this feature in Blogger.com (at least not for the FTP accounts, not sure about BlogSpot), so I had to slap together a few variables, but it seems to work. :)
Angelina Jolie, Keira Knightley
Posted by Colleen Shirazi, 1:22 PM (Eastern)
Angelina Jolie ad for Shiseido
Again with the utterly colorless background and dress, making her sublime blue-green eyes jump out at you.
You'll note how simple her makeup is here. Just a little eyeliner and neutral shadows, nude lipstick, and mascara.
Pub coco mademoiselle
I'm less crazy about the Keira Knightley ad for Chanel's Coco Mademoiselle perfume. I actually like Keira Knightley, thought she made a bold and brilliant debut in her films. What I find disturbing, is this trend toward 1970's-style anorexic thinness. It didn't work in the 70's. What's up with bringing it back?
Prehnite and peridot earrings on Argentium sterling silver wire
Posted by Colleen Shirazi, 12:21 PM (Eastern)
I'm getting more into silver now, thanks to the Argentium alloy. Before this, I would have had only a few choices:
This is the first time I've used prehnite; it's a lovely, light green stone (not as yellowish as peridot). It was something of an impulse buy; when I saw it at the bead store, the inner beauty junkie murmured, "Wouldn't these just make green eyes pop?" lol
I bought two small pieces of grossular garnet as well, and had it in mind to make some instant-gratification earrings, just the garnets and the prehnite, wrapped in a little wire. (Grossular garnet runs from muted green to earthy brown, and has a little sparkle in it.) But then I thought, eh, I can always make those earrings. Why not try something new?
I love the Indian style of earring, yet I often find them heavy. Here the metal construction is all wire, which is lighter than standard metal components.
Premade chandelier components have become quite common; I prefer the handmade ones to the mass-produced variety. They should look a tiny bit rough (it doesn't show much in the pic, but these are chased as well as hammered). The little peridot droplets on the bottom, I've had for months. I've been stringing them into this and that, but they're much nicer wrapped. They're so tiny, they're next to weightless.
Dr. Hauschka lipstick: makeup with a conscience
Posted by Colleen Shirazi, Wednesday, September 12, 2007 1:47 PM (Eastern)
I've been wearing these lipsticks for a couple of weeks now (#01 Amoroso, #09 Dolce, #11 Effetuoso, and Lipstick Novum #04 Sand Dune).
They are, without a doubt, good lipsticks. I hope that doesn't sound tepid. To a lipstick junkie, "good lipstick" is what "good programmer" is to other programmers, someone who can solve any code problem, no matter how mind-boggling (or how appalling the original code), while all others hoist the white flag.
A good lipstick...is something you put on your mouth, day after day, month after month, year after year. It is important, as it defines your entire look.
Aside from appearance, formula is key...how it smells, how it tastes, whether it needs constant touching up, whether it smears all over everything, how comfortable your lips feel...in short, it is a bit synonymous with...underwear. It has to be perfectly comfortable as well as functional, because you're going to wear it the better part of your life.
So, the conscience... This is easily the most painless example of ethically-sourced consumption I've heard of in a long time. The quality and price are comparable to that of Chanel, home of my "holy grail" lipstick (Hydrabase formula). There is a smaller shade selection, but these colors are impressively wearable. (#01, #09 and Novum #04 are particularly suited to warmer coloring, where #11 is cooler and highly pigmented.)
The "edible" factor--natural ingredients--is also desirable, for the obvious reason that you wear this on your lips. Dr. Hauschka's lipsticks taste rather edible too, in a sort of herbal, aroma-therapeutic fashion.
I do wish to emphasize: there is no need to feel as if you're not wearing your favorite brands of lipstick, or that you'd rather be wearing something else and have chosen Dr. Hauschka from a sort of moral obligation, or from a health concern.
The name of this site is The Lipstick Page Forums, spun-off from the original Lipstick Page, which I discovered in 1998 when I was searching (not googling, Google wasn't nearly as big back then) for lipstick. I am a lifelong lipstick junkie; it's my favorite cosmetic. We may no longer "put on our hat" before getting out of the house, but we do put on our lipstick--it should be a happy, positive small event in everyday life, and your lipstick has to measure up.
I have dubbed Dr. Hauschka #01, #09 and Novum #04--all three--my go-to lipsticks these days. (#11 is really quite pigmented, a deep matte plum color; I'll have to play around with it more.)
image courtesy www.nationsonline.org
Where to get perfume samples
Posted by Colleen Shirazi, 12:11 PM (Eastern)
Aedes de Venustas
The Perfume Shoppe (Canadian)
Aus Liebe zum Duft (German)
Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
The Perfumed Court
You Smell Marvelous
I've tried only the first two, but from all I've read, they are reputable.
Beauty Notes: Perfume recap
Posted by Colleen Shirazi, Tuesday, September 11, 2007 2:14 PM (Eastern)
It all started with an Etro sample...about a year ago.
I still haven't bought a bottle of perfume. Still contemplating. I had considered buying Annick Goutal's Passion, a beautiful dusky tuberose, almost a "skin scent," then I started getting into Montale. And I still haven't decided.
At first I was sure one scent would jump out of the sea of samples, screaming, "Buy me in full size!" but that's a bit silly and old-fashioned. That happens only if you buy perfume from a department store. Because most of the scents there have to have an immediate effect, otherwise you wouldn't buy them.
With the samples, you get something like Etro or Montale, something that takes an inordinate amount of time to either grow on you (Etro) or develop in the first place (Montale). It's rather the opposite of everything else in modern living--it's actually become a slower process.
Anyhow, here is my current virtual perfume stash (the only real one is Heliotrope):
This doesn't include all the fragrances I like, by any means. It's just the narrowest interpretation of what I might begin to consider buying.
I found the Etro scents overall masculine. Even Vicolo Fiori, which in my department-store days I would have considered...is almost purely floral, smells like a good quality soap from an obscure shop, yet still has a masculine edge. Hard to describe, but you know it immediately when you smell it.
I found Annick Goutal overall feminine. Even Eau d'Hadrien, which is unisex, smelled distinctly feminine to me in its spare, almost mathematical construction. Néroli got bumped off the list for its lack of staying power.
Diptyque...is a weird house. None of the scents lasted well on me, save Eau de Lierre. I put Do Son up for its sheer luscious authentic reconstruction of a garden, complete with sunshine and running water.
Fracas is something I'm pondering as a layering scent. It's lovely as is, don't get me wrong, but I think it's more versatile than that.
Montale is the obvious choice for me. Of the houses I've tried, it's easily the closest to what I'm looking for.
Nope, I haven't tried the bazillion other houses out there. I suppose I could. I'm not persuaded it's necessary.
I suppose it's more of a philosophy. When I find something I like, I tend to stick with it. I realize it's something of an anachronism now, since we have that many more choices, but I've always been like that. I don't feel I need to continuously "upgrade" or be off in search of the newest and latest, except as a sort of experimental phase.
As much as I don't actually espouse retail therapy as a way of life, I do think women around the world should have their bit of fun, at least before settling down. :) It doesn't have to be a wallet-draining experience; it can be a creative one.
If I really wanted to sit down and make another collage, it would be of the following:
images courtesy parfumsraffy.com, aedes.com, parfums-montale.com, Wikimedia Commons
RIP Anita Roddick
Posted by Colleen Shirazi, 3:07 AM (Eastern)
Dame Anita Roddick dies aged 64
Anita Roddick founded The Body Shop in 1976. There is quite a bit of information in the BBC article linked above, including a short film, on Roddick's commitment to fair trade, helping women in business, recycling, and other aspects of running a successful large business in an ethical manner.
Labels: the body shop
Montale Crystal Flowers review
Posted by Colleen Shirazi, 1:45 AM (Eastern)
I'm almost embarrassed to admit this, but I like this one too. From the Parfums Raffy website:
...Roses from the Dades Valley and refreshing italian mandarins combined with lilly of the valley, white musk and ambergris in a very sweet and sensual oriental flowers.
Normally the "very sweet" would make me cautious, and indeed I had requested this based largely on other people's recommendations. Now that I have it on though, it's quite beautiful.
Where is Dades Valley? This description has been widely syndicated on the Net:
"An oasis in the Dades Valley is responsible for the area's alternative name: the Valley of the Roses. El Kelaa des M'Gouna - the only town of any note in the area - acts as Morocco's rose capital, a vast distilling plant there producing the litres of scented rose-water so popular in the nation's cooking and perfumery.
Although El Kelaa smells divine all year round, the best time to visit is in late May, when the rose farmers from the surrounding hills gather to celebrate the year's harvest. With ten tons of petals required to produce a few litres of precious oil, the harvest is understandably a labour of love, and the culminating festivities are all the livelier for it."
So this is the essence of Morocco's rose capital? It's fantastic. All along, I've thought of myself as "not a rose person." But these roses are different. They're not tinny and modern; rather, they smell old, exquisite, crimson to deep red.
When I first applied Crystal Flowers, the rose sprang out and I thought, eh, another rose scent. Pleasant, but possibly doomed to remain in sample form.
After about an hour, the lily-of-the-valley emerged. At first it smelled remarkably similar to the ivy in Diptyque's Eau de Lierre, a sort of bland, almost creamy, mellow greenness.
Once it smoothed out though, it began to recall the rose-and-lily-of-the-valley heart of another perfume I own, GF Ferré Lei. It's better than Lei in that the rose is stronger, clearly defined instead of diffuse, but if you like the one, you're sure to like the other.
I'm not getting much in the way of mandarins as a discrete note, what I'm getting is a skillful blend of roses that smell like oranges. (Even as a child I observed that good oranges smell like roses and vice versa.) In short it's not exactly "fruity," in the now-generic sense of the word, but there is a twist of orange, whether of the fruit or of roses that smell like it.
The scent is softened by musk...my nose is still not sure what ambergris smells like. I have read it has a marine quality (being a substance found in a sperm whale's intestine, you'd kind of expect that). I'm not getting anything remotely oceanic here though. (I grew up near an ocean, so I suspect it's simply subtle here.)
Sillage: good, even with my cowardly application of only a small quantity from the vial. Lasting power: great. I put this on almost nine hours ago and the rose keeps on going. So far the lasting power seems comparable to their Aoud Roses Petals.
images courtesy Wikimedia Commons, www.flickr.com/photos/peterkaminski, http://www.flickr.com/photos/rosino
Culture Notes: What I'm listening to
Posted by Colleen Shirazi, Sunday, September 09, 2007 9:30 PM (Eastern)
I loved this the first time I saw it. Sure it's a bit dated, but I found it overwhelmingly positive. Always kinda dug Nancy Kwan, don't know why people used to rag on her. To the best of my knowledge, she never did the subservient thing. She was always pretty boss in her movies.
I Enjoy Being a Girl Nancy Kwan Flower Drum Song 61
This, I have no real explanation for. It's Sean Lennon and a French guy known as -M-; French version of "Parachute."
Sean Lennon et M - L'eclipse (duo) clip
Some random comedy...was looking for an episode of The Goon Show to post; unfortunately there aren't many of them up. There's a series of the last Goon Show made, but I wanted one from the original run.
From there I started checking out Spike Milligan's material. There was a reference to Dave Allen in one of the films (Spike Milligan - First Irish Rocket To The Moon).
From there, this sketch. Dave Allen was better known for monologues, told from a distinctly Irish point of view, so maybe I'll put some of those up later on (or you can check 'em out yourself, there's lots of them on Youtube).
Dave Allen - James Bond
Beauty Notes: Perfumes
Posted by Colleen Shirazi, 2:42 PM (Eastern)
Mmmm...I can still smell yesterday's Montale Jasmin Full on my clothes. What I'm going to do today, is fool around layering it with Fracas.
I found Fracas to be a tiny bit too sweet on me. By this I mean it is actually way sweet. What keeps it from being sick-sweet is that it is complex enough, and...floral-, rather than synthetic-, smelling. It smells really good, and the sillage lasts well (better than Jasmin Full), but wondering if Jasmin Full would knock the edge off some of the sweetness (where Fracas would extend the sillage of Jasmin Full).
I'll also need to try Crystal Flowers. It's premature to say this, but I've already found "my house." It's Montale.
Beauty Notes: Perfume
Posted by Colleen Shirazi, Saturday, September 08, 2007 12:15 PM (Eastern)
I'm wondering now how many samples you need try before you attain full-bottle nirvana.
I know that sounds vapid. It's just that I went through a fair amount of cosmetics experimentation, back in the 60's rotfl... Okay back in the late 90's and at the turn of the century. And I found it wise to pace yourself. It takes half an hour to buy a lipstick, but one year to use one up. Ten lipsticks = ten years.
Perfumes have the edge of the sample/decent phenomenon. It's been necessary: perfumes are too costly done any other way.
Here is my current list of favorites:
There's no way I could buy all of those fragrances. It isn't the cost that would bother me. It's the thought that some of them would end up sitting at the back of my closet. I believe perfumes are like jewelry--they're not happy unless you wear them. You should choose them carefully.
Here is a cool article on Etro fragrances: indieperfumes: Etro. This illustrates the layering concept, which is something I like, the idea of "tuning" perfumes by applying one to one part of the body, and another somewhere else. I don't need any one perfume to...necessarily encapsulate everything, all the time. To me, the components can be as important as the whole (and you need not combine them the same way each time).
Robert Piguet Fracas part 1
Posted by Colleen Shirazi, Friday, September 07, 2007 10:51 PM (Eastern)
(Somehow I suspect there will be a part 2.)
I'm trying this on today, from my Parfums Raffy sample. Mmmm...it isn't exactly what I'd thought it would be, although it is pretty much the way it's described on the Robert Piguet website:
"Tuberose, seductive and lush, combines with Jasmine, Jonquil, Gardenia, Lily of the Valley and White Iris in a lavish profusion of fragile white flowers. A whisper of orange with a base of Sandalwood, Vetiver, and Musk."
It's lush all right. I'm getting mostly tuberose, as you would expect, since this is purported to be the prototypical tuberose scent. The base notes ground it some, and there is something of a blend of white flowers, but the tuberose reigns.
I've had this on for some hours, and I tried putting on only a few drops. I realize it's a chicken approach, since you won't know the nature of a perfume unless you really try it on (not unlike clothing or jewelry). I suppose on some level I'm terrified of being somewhere, wearing lots of a lousy perfume, hence the cautious approach. But so far, I'm liking it.
image courtesy parfumsraffy.com
Montale Jasmin Full review part 2
Posted by Colleen Shirazi, 3:12 PM (Eastern)
(see part 1)
I knew it! It was a matter of putting more of it on, about the same as any other eau de parfum (unlike Aoud Roses Petals, which fares well on a couple of drops).
I've been wearing Jasmin Full over the past several days; don't even feel like moving on to my other samples. I've decided, albeit a bit grudgingly, I prefer this over the two Diptyque florals I'd been turning over in my mind: Do Son and Jardin Clos. Partly, admittedly, because the Diptyques don't last that well on, and don't come in a more concentrated form.
Jasmin Full is more on the level of Annick Goutal's Passion to me. (Sure, the Passion EDT doesn't last well either, but it least it comes in eau de parfum...the Annick Goutal EDP's I've tried have been decent.)
These are all essentially floral perfumes. I would like my next perfume to be more floral than anything else. I suppose if you analyze it, I'm not seeking an abstract smell--which also makes my perfume quest simpler and easier--fewer factors. I'm seeking something close to the smell of flowers in the South...in hot, humid, almost tropical weather. It is not the same, smelling flowers in dry--and, around here, temperate--California. Many of California's more spectacular blooms, such as bougainvillea, don't smell at all. The flowers that are fragrant certainly smell nice, but never seem to drench you in their perfumes.
So I am looking for that drenching, intoxicating floral experience. Second to that, would be a citrus experience...which is where Etro Shaal Nur and Annick Goutal Eau d'Hadrien might enter into it. Thirdly, would come what I think of as a more traditional perfume experience: the well-balanced, well-composed scent where the notes are blended so perfectly, no one note stands out, and you're left with this incredible wall of yum (I always think of Phil Spector right about here, at least in his old days when he created the Wall of Sound).
Of these three broad types of perfumes I like, the Wall of Sou--er, of Yum--would be the hardest to find.
It's relatively easy to find a perfume that smells almost purely of flowers, and from there, of the right flowers, and from there, a perfume that won't require a second mortgage, lasts well on, doesn't cause skin allergies, and just smells all-around divine. The art lies mainly in creating a natural smell of flowers, with enough depth to create interest (and that is where many a lesser floral scent fails).
Citrus likewise isn't all that obscure; it would need a few notes to balance it out, but it's probably better as a relatively stripped-down scent anyway.
On a side note, I've had The Ronettes' "Be My Baby" video in Blogger draft mode for days now, wondering what to do with it. It turns out that very song "...is often cited as the most perfect expression of the Wall of Sound." (Wall of Sound - Wikipedia)
As much as I generally dislike non-scent-related references to perfumes--they don't make sense to me--I might as well play The Ronettes! (It's a lovely song, and yes, they were still playing it on the radio in the 70's.)
The Ronettes - Be My Baby (1965)
Along with this, I stumbled across Eddie Money's duet with Ronnie Spector, "Take Me Home Tonight." I always liked that song, felt it didn't get the recognition it deserved...then again, Eddie Money was never really considered a Great, either, as there were tons of Springsteen-alikes floating around in those days.
Eddie Money - Take Me Home Tonight (1986)
The best perfume ads?
Posted by Colleen Shirazi, Wednesday, September 05, 2007 2:07 AM (Eastern)
Retro Enjoli commercial
No wait, not that one! :D I actually remember that ad. To give credit where it's due, it was one of the first ads I can remember featuring a professional woman, complete with suit. (Although looking at it now, the wisdom of asking someone to work two full-time jobs...eh...)
Beauty aficionados will note this also shows the favored lip shape of the 1970's: small and neat. (Full lips would not be in vogue in the U.S. until many years later.)
the best perfume commercials
This is the one I was thinking of. What's lovely is it features various brands of perfume, and actresses such as Nicole Kidman, Sophie Marceau, and my girl Scarlett Johansson.
The Nicole Kidman Chanel No. 5 (full version) is all over the Net; it's hard to resist a luminous Kidman declaring, "I'm a dancer. I love to dance!" and the whole Roman Holiday-ness of it all. But of the ads excerpted in the video, my favorite has to be the Little Red Riding Hood one:
Chanel no5 - Little Red Riding Hood
Oh, I know it's borderline sappy, yet there's enough sheer wit--today's Little Red Riding Hood, not the wolf, is clearly in charge--to make it sparkle.
Montale Jasmin Full review part 1
Posted by Colleen Shirazi, Tuesday, September 04, 2007 12:51 PM (Eastern)
I put "part 1" because, although I've worn this perfume over the past couple of days, I'm still not sure about it.
This is a gorgeous scent; no problem there. I have some first-hand jasmine experience, in fact I've had something like this in my yard:
But this is not the jasmine I smell in Jasmin Full. It's much closer to this:
The vine jasmine in the top pic, even I'll have to say doesn't smell all that great. It tends to be too sharp and thin.
But the star jasmine (bottom pic) smells warmer, fuller, rounder, softer, and stronger. There's a fair amount of it here in public parks, street medians, and so forth. When it's in bloom, you can smell it from yards away...you can roll down your car window and breathe it in. I particularly liked that pic because of the sunlight...Jasmin Full has a sunny, rather than nocturnal, feel to it.
That said, Jasmin Full is not a literal copy of star jasmine. I get the same warm, sweet, round note, but there is more, a sort of drenching feeling...as if Montale had blended in some green jasmine leaves, and dashes of other white flowers.
My sole issue with this scent is its sillage. It has the staying power; I can smell it on myself for hours and hours (not unlike their Aoud Roses Petals), but the sillage doesn't last very long, not even a good hour.
Again, I put "part 1" because I don't know if I've just been chicken. Aoud Roses Petals was so potent, a couple of drops were good to go all day, so the first time I wore Jasmin Full, I didn't put much on. The second time, I put more, but of course I'm planning to put on even more today.
Available at Parfums Raffy.
images courtesy Wikimedia Commons
Posted by Colleen Shirazi, Monday, September 03, 2007 6:10 PM (Eastern)
Dain turned me on to this, I've never even heard of Blur. (ducks)
Coffee & TV - Blur
Dr. Hauschka lipstick #09, Dolce (pics)
Posted by Colleen Shirazi, Sunday, September 02, 2007 10:53 PM (Eastern)
indoors + gratuitous earring shot :)
This is more muted and natural than Dr. Hauschka #01 Amoroso:
Where Amoroso is a coral red without shimmer, Dolce is a warm, somewhat shimmery, muted (yet not overly brown) rose color. In the outdoors shot, I applied a bit more than I'd normally wear. The indoors shot depicts it more accurately imo.
This is good for an all-around work color, like a warmer version of the berry-toned rosiness of MAC Sophisto:
Dr. Hauschka Dolce
The sort of lighter quality, slight shimmer, all-around rosiness...good for situations where you don't want people mentally saying, "LIPSTICK!" when they look at you. (Such as working in male-dominated fields, where you don't want to look too "fluffy.")
Plus it's nice and moisturizing.
Culture Notes: Youtube & perfume
Posted by Colleen Shirazi, 12:18 AM (Eastern)
There is a definite renaissance of perfumes lately (meaning the past few years I suppose). Why? Because it's one of the few beauty items that hasn't been played out? Because people now order just about anything online? I think it is caused by both, but my secret pet theory involves a complete misuse of chaos theory.
Just as the advent of cable television meant no television show, no matter how bad, could ever die, so did the advent of Youtube mean that no memory, no matter how trivial, could ever slide into the depths of oblivion.
For example, I was listening to Dain's favorite song lol "Glamorous" by Fergie:
Fergie - Glamorous (Dirty Version)
...and thinking, what does Fergie's rapping style remind me of? It's one of those edges of memory, where you have just enough of it inside your head to drive you crazy, wondering what the entire memory is.
Finally, I realized that part of it reminded me of Mick Jones' rapping in E=MC2:
Big Audio Dynamite - E = MC2
I haven't heard that song in eons; it was never my favorite song, particularly. In fact, only now do I realize all of the references in the song are to films directed by Nicholas Roeg. (Okay, I recognized The Man Who Fell to Earth, Don't Look Now, and Insignificance, at least.)
Thus, youtube has revolutionized memory itself. There are many, many, many videos on youtube of events I never (consciously) thought I'd ever see or hear again.
Now, to the really bad chaos theory analogy: don't perfumes do the same thing? When I smelled Creed's Fleurissimo, from my sample, I knew instantly I'd smelled it before. Who wore it, what decade that was...I can't place those things. If there were a Youtube for that...rolls eyes...
Is it possible the growing popularity of Youtube has somehow encouraged people to want to, or expect to, remember more?
Or is it the other way around? The resurgence of perfume is caused by people's desire to remember more, hence the growing popularity of Youtube?
Ultimately--are we going to forget how to forget?
Dr. Hauschka lipstick #01, Amoroso (pics)
Posted by Colleen Shirazi, Saturday, September 01, 2007 12:50 AM (Eastern)
I felt so inspired by this post, I felt like snapping some pics of my lipstick too!
These pics came out a tad more saturated than real life...I was standing in front of a window (basically I needed a stationary surface to put the camera on, I don't have a tripod), and even through the curtain, the California sun cast a wicked glow. The lipstick is a bit redder and less orange in reality (my hair isn't that yellow either).