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· January 18, 2008 4:31 PM by Dain
· January 18, 2008 4:57 PM by Colleen Shirazi
· January 18, 2008 8:54 PM by Dain
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Beauty Notes: What I've been into, lately #2
Posted by Colleen Shirazi, Friday, January 18, 2008 3:14 PM (Eastern)
I think we need a label for this, somehow...a blend of favorite things and Jack Bauer and Tony Almeida at a Drive-Thru.
Anyhow. Shall we commence?
Ava Luxe Voyage earrings
I'm not affiliated with Ava Luxe, I should mention. I just like her stuff. Here I thought this was beautiful, a binary combination of kyanite and labradorite, strung on karat gold. Sometime I will do something similarly binary...I can't wear 14KT gold earrings, but I'm hoping someone will come up with a wearable golden leverback cheaper than 18KT gold. mumbles...
Here is my own stuff. Less spectacular for sure, but keep in mind, there can be a difference between making something to wear, and making something to sell. With the emphasis on "can be."
It's been on my mind lately, because I tend to acquire less for the sake of owning something beautiful, and more for that of owning something useful. Sometimes the twain meet, oh, take this for example:
I've gotten the most mileage from Island Fever (far right). In the pan: a gorgeous shimmery sea blue shade, plus a medium shimmery iridescent grey. It should be pretty, but useless; something you bought on a whim because it looked nice. But it isn't useless by far. The blue shade, applied very lightly, is the most natural, unobtrusive shadow I own. It shouldn't work but it does.
Hence, the Ava Luxe earrings could well correspond to this concept. Bright and pretty, but potentially utile as well.
My little hoops (these are the most conservative earrings I've made thus far) would be more like this:
Nars Mambo, the unsung eyepencil. I paid $19 for you at Sephora, and momentarily felt a complete idiot; you can buy a perfectly decent deep brown eyepencil at Longs Drugs for four bucks. Then I started using you.
Mambo is deep brown, yet possesses hints of purple and red--making it subtly ideal for green or blue eyes, and making it go with everything. Thereby replacing brown, purple, and bronze pencils for me. No, you don't swatch particularly well, but on, you are a minor genius.
The Scented Salamander follows up on the Bond No. 9/Liz Zorn Perfumes story:
Trademark Questions Over The Use Of The Word "Peace" / Q & A with Laurice Rahme of Bond No.9, Liz Zorn of Liz Zorn Perfumes, & Sarah Horowitz -Thran of Creative Scentualization
Dwelling in lawyer-infested California, I suspect the entire thing was less of a shock to me. And I found some people seemed to turn it into a girl-on-girl fight--not good for business, for either party. Oh well. I see Zorn has some samples on her site; you might want to check them out.
And finally, for your perusal--Michelle Phan, aka RiceBunny, demos the aspirin mask (here with honey): RiceBunny's Xanga Site - Aspirin = Beautiful Skin
No, I'm not into this myself. I'm far too lazy. But the idea of using aspirin and honey as a mask makes perfect logical sense. You are exfoliating. Exfoliating is good.
Have a great weekend!
Ava Luxe: new blog
Posted by Colleen Shirazi, Saturday, January 12, 2008 12:26 AM (Eastern)
Fashion Notes: If I didn't make jewelry, I would buy it here.
Posted by Colleen Shirazi, Tuesday, December 11, 2007 7:19 PM (Eastern)
It takes two to three years to make jewelry, even from a non-metalsmithing perspective. Sounds like a trifling period, but you need dedication to start from nothing and continue on for upwards of three years.
After the first two years, you undergo a transformation. No longer are materials and methods an issue. You know exactly what to use--which temper and gauge of wire, where to buy it, how much to buy, what tools to use, what techniques to employ. Now it is far more a matter of what you wish to convey, which is a variation on the concept of design. Mass-produced jewelry tends to be all about selling a pretty design, and I'm not knocking it, but handmade jewelry tends to be one-of-a-kind and far more intellectually conceived.
It's also an easy way to buy American. The best form of charity, after all, is not charitable: you give someone the opportunity to work, to produce. Our decline in major production...the United States was once at the forefront of manufacturing...has spawned cottage industries such as jewelry-making, independent clothing houses, perfumery, and so forth, at an ever-increasing level of quality. So if you're looking for baubles this year, you might try some of these sites first.
Ava Luxe on etsy.com
I first encountered the hands, heart and soul of Ava Luxe when I tried some of her perfume oils. I had mentioned a copy of Chanel No. 5, which I love but am allergic to, and was amazed she had replicated it perfectly. Another scent I loved was Ingenue, a resurrection of the long-discontinued Deneuve fragrance (yes, Catherine Deneuve once had a celebrity scent).
Ava Luxe was on sabbatical recently; a small selection of the perfumes are available now on the Etsy site. Her recently-added jewelry really strikes me though, as having jumped forward into that intimate, almost spiritual zone.
The Golden Lotus Necklace ($99) just looks sweet, from its long-and-short golden chain to its (Hill Tribe?) vermeil lotus bead, delicate pink topaz accents and limpid rose quartz drop.
There's more, of course, from a wicked good pair of fine silver earrings to an ethereal elf bracelet and beyond.
Midori Jewelry is my personal jewelry-making hero. There is a quality of peace in her pieces, a languor, a leisure in her careful selection of exactly what to put in each. I feel Midori Jewelry has been widely copied (in fact I borrowed one of her handmade hoop designs, it was so good) yet there's nothing quite like the original.
I love the Hecate necklace ($70); it's sheer genius. You get the look of a lariat, without the annoying strangly or loose feeling.
The Plum Blossoms necklace ($70), with its hand-etched sterling silver dog tag pendant, bequeaths a gentle touch of Spring to your mood.
There are several "water" pieces on the site that are truly lovely as well.
SkyDreams on etsy.com
Sky Dreams' pieces are opulent and gem-oriented (she also has a "Sky Dreams Light" site on Etsy for less expensive jewelry).
What's been on my mind is this piece:
This Peridot, Amethyst Sterling Silver Necklace ($159) is not something I'd normally consider. It's, well, a whole lot o' gems, but its thoughtfully-chosen spring green color, popped by purple, of all things...it works. It makes me think of a lush green meadow with a touch of violets.
There's a close-up of the wrapping detail on the site; each green briolette has been worked into the chain by hand.
images courtesy AVALUXE.etsy.com, www.midorijewelry.com, SkyDreams.etsy.com
Annick Goutal Passion
Posted by Colleen Shirazi, Monday, August 20, 2007 10:12 PM (Eastern)
(Not to be confused with Gardénia Passion.)
When I first tried this on, I hated it. It went to the "why bother trying it again?" pile o' vials, at least momentarily. Of course I tried it again (the beauty of the perfume sample vial!). Now it's one of three--along with Heure Exquise and Eau d'Hadrien--Annick Goutal perfumes I'm considering buying a bottle of.
As to why I hated it at first sniff, the only thing I can think of is that I was trying it on at the same time as something else, and the combination confused me.
From the Annick Goutal site:
Passion - sensual, fascinating, alluring, sweet floral, cyprused;
tuberose - jasmine - vanille-oakmoss
Alluring, Sensual, Fascinating
Passion is the fragrance of passionate love. Tuberose and jasmine from Grasse blend with vanilla to create the warm and heady scent of a sensual and captivating woman.
Even if it's only briefly mentioned, it's the oakmoss that makes Passion. The product page description makes it sound almost horribly sweet and candy-like, and indeed Passion was not one of my first choices (aedes.com happened to be out of Le Jasmin).
My previous experience with oakmoss was in Ava Luxe's Ingenue perfume, which itself was a replica of the long-discontinued Deneuve perfume (which I've never smelled and don't even remember).
Deneuve was classified as a chypre. As funky as the word "chypre" appears to be, it's a terrific perfume category. Not fruity, not really sweet, not floral, not spicy, not gourmand...just muted, dusky, soft, mellow, almost a "skin" scent. It is not a category for young girls, I don't think, nor for the slew of new "celebrity" perfumes. To me it has an "old," elegant feel to it, and the oakmoss in Passion is well balanced by the tuberose/jasmine/vanilla sweetness (a tad more floral than vanilla).
I tried Passion out again yesterday and today; it's still in the "bottle worthy" running. Even as an eau de toilette, the staying power is decent (6-7 hours). Sillage: you can smell it if you're close to the person (about the same as my good old Givenchy Organza edp).
image courtesy aedes.com