Monday, November 16, 2015

My Perfume "Wardrobe" Pt II: Everything Else

[Products were purchased by me, or gifts from friends. One was a free Sephora perk. No affiliate links.]

Find Part I: Bottles, here.

Ok, here are travel and mini fragrances (including indie selections, which are often available in smaller sizes). The size of the hoard is a bit embarrassing, to be honest, but I do frequently wear most of these as well (I wear perfume daily, unless I have a headache or otherwise don't feel like it). Links to reviews where applicable. I grouped them by brand where I could, just for some sort of organizational scheme.

Atelier Cologne Orange Sanguine
I have a travel spray (part of a set that S bought me as a gift), and redeemed some Sephora points for a mini splash bottle, because I really like this one. It's not razzle-dazzle amazing, but it has the best genuine orange note that I have come across thus far. It is so real, like you just cut into the peel of the fruit, and the citrus scent crackles to life. The sandalwood and amber woods keep it a bit spicier, rather than sending it down the well-trodden citrus-clean route; this is one of my favorites, actually, and I find it easy to wear.
notes: Blood Orange, Bitter Orange, Jasmine, Geranium, Amber Woods, Tonka Beans, Sandalwood. 

Atelier Cologne Vanille Insensée
I don't really like oak moss, but since I fell in love with Sweet Anthem's Black Queen, this has sort of grown on me. The vanilla-oakmoss combination does still kind of have a spiced, tart caramel-apple tinge (due to the lime + coriander, I imagine) to it, and since Sweet Anthem has sadly shuttered its doors, I will have to wear this to fill the gap. Also, the little blurb is really romantic (on Sephora's site).
notes: Lime, Cedrat, Coriander, Jasmine, Vetiver, Oak Moss, Vanilla, Oak Wood, Amber. 

Atelier Cologne Grand Néroli
This one smells like Fruity Pebbles. Yep, the cereal. That is all. It's a little reminiscent of Orange Sanguine, but it doesn't have the draw of that great, real orange note, and the cereal's weird. I don't wear this that often, but sometimes you wanna smell like childhood, I guess (or I guess I do, ha), so I kept it from the set.
notes: Orange Blossom Flower, Herbs, Musk, Vanilla. 

L'Occitane Verviene EdT
L'Occitane scents don't last very long at me at all (even accounting for the EdT formulations), and this is no exception. Still, I like the fresh, zesty verbena + geranium scent, especially in the summer, and if it were stronger, it'd prolly give me a headache, anyway (verbena sometimes does that to me). This is a 20 mL bottle that I don't think is available any more.
notes: lemon, orange, verbena, petit grain, rose, geranium

L'Occitane Vanille & Narcisse
This is a little splash bottle that I bought as part of a La Collection de Grasse mini 4-bottle set; I've used up 2/4 (Jasmin & Bergamot, Thé Vert & Bigarade), and will not go near the Magnolia & Mûre, so this is the last that I've got. It's a stronger, richer, spicy "floriental," so I don't wear it that often, but I'll have to pull it out again this winter - it does much better for me in cooler weather.
notes: blackcurrant, bergamot, narcissus, gardenia, vanilla, tonka bean
These are all tiny bottles! So much cute. The E&J is a rollerball.

Philosophy Amazing Grace
A simple classic. No frills, just clean musk - slightly floral, mostly clean, spritzy and inoffensive. I have a tiny 0.5 oz bottle because I like it just enough to have on hand.
notes: Bergamot, muguet Blossoms, musk. 

Elizabeth and James Nirvana Black
This was a Sephora perk, and is a rollerball. I don't like Nirvana White at all, but I quite like this one - especially for sexy date nights. Violet is rather mercurial on me, and I don't normally like sandalwood much, either, but this combination is killer - sweet, sexy, sultry. I think this one is more feminine than other similar scents. 
notes: Violet, Sandalwood, Vanilla. 

Jo Malone Vanilla & Anise
A bit of a panic - have they discontinued this? I have the tiniest bottle (part of a gift set), and the tiniest drop left, and I always thought I would buy a full bottle when I finished this, but now I find that it has a much diminished presence in online shops. Eek. It's a great spritzy vanilla, and anise, guys, I love it.
notes: star anise, purple vanilla orchid, vanilla bourbon

Jo Malone Red Roses
A cautionary tale: I overdosed on rose somehow (and this was the only rose perfume I had, ha) and now I cannot wear anything that is predominantly rose. Maybe it's this really green rose combination that turned me off (it can be a bit sour). I don't know. I would hand this off to someone if I knew anyone near me who would take it! It's languishing.
notes: lemon, scarlet velvet rose, honeycomb

The rest of my smaller bottles are from Sweet Anthem (which can no longer be purchased), Solstice Scents, and Haus of Gloi - some of them are perfume oils or solid perfumes, and many were limited edition, so I'll just link previous reviews here.

Haus of Gloi Earl Grey
Solstice Scents Snowshoe Pass (my annual winter favorite)
Sweet Anthem Lizie, Joan, Edith, Lucille, Fox

All right! Scent journey, over. I wish more companies offered smaller sizes (Atelier Colognes is great about that, actually), because those of us with, er, diverse collections don't need to buy big hulking bottles, you know? And, of course, travel sprays are easier to, you know, travel with, so that's always nice. I don't love rollerballs, because the application method does change the scent experience, but I know they do have their fans. What's your favorite mini perfume style - solid, spray, rollerball? Do you prefer full bottles, or do you buy mini versions when you can?

Monday, November 9, 2015

Color Story: Plums and Wine

Er, which could also be a food story, I suppose, but who's judging?

Right, so we're not wearing ALL of these things at once (although I sort of did that here, and the monochromatic look doesn't always turn out too bad).  But I've been so into these sorts of shades lately, in clothing and in makeup.

In the photo above:
Sorry, all the similar colors freaked out my camera. L-R: MAC Stratus, MJ palette last shade, maroon shade in OR316, mauve shade in RD299, MAC Amorous, Maybelline Intoxicated Spice, Etude House Blackberry Jam.

I've been pairing both the mauve shade from RD299 and the wine from OR316 (sometimes over Laura Mercier Amethyst) for a plum eye that's really gorgeous. Or, using the entire RD299 trio and pairing it with a plum stain (Blackberry Jam) or a glossy lip (Intoxicating Spice). I haven't gone really vampy yet this season...but I think I'm getting in the mood, soon.
On eyes: RD 299 + OR316; lips: Intoxicating Spice.

What color family are you loving right now? 

Thursday, November 5, 2015

My Perfume "Wardrobe" Pt I: Bottles

Currently: 7. But I am scheming, scheming...
Ah, these bottles make me so happy. Perfume makes me happy, really - I think it is the perfect blend of science and poetry. And it's creative science. People often assume that creativity has no place in science, and that couldn't be more wrong. How else can you have innovation?

Mini (scientist) rant aside, I thought I'd do something fun and simple: showcase my perfume wardrobe. These are the full-sized bottles. Next is the travel/mini sizes. And that'll be it. I've done full reviews of most of these already, and will link them, so these are just little blurbs in a roundup style. Shall we begin?

YSL Parisienne
I start with this because...I started with this (check out this embarrassing first review). I normally dislike berry notes, but this one works for me. In the summer the patchouli-vinyl is stifling, but in the cooler months the riesling-aromatic is delicious. S also loves it when I wear this, so there is that, and nostalgia, as it is my first perfume and we picked it out together.
notes: vinyl accord, cranberry, blackberry, damask rose, violet, peony, patchouli, vetiver, sandalwood and musk
Serge Lutens Gris Clair
This is the only SL I happen to like, I think (here are the others I've tried). It is aggressively medicinal lavender, with a delicious, smoky vanilla wind-down. I feel sexy when I wear it, in a sort of androgynous way. As if I could pull off a sleek pantsuit, paired with killer heels.
notes: lavender, amber, tonka bean, iris, dry wood, incense

Diptyque Eau Duelle
This is hands down my favorite vanilla, and I'm a vanilla fiend. I love the medicinal quality of this woodsy oriental, and the spiced vanilla drydown is the sexiest thing. Delicious. Cozy as a thick, luxurious scarf, the kind you can bury your face into and breathe in. Equally good in the summer, due to the herbal elements, and I cannot tell you the number of people who have asked what I was wearing and said it smelled amazing.
notes: cardamom, elemi resin, olibanum, bergamot, pink pepper, juniper, saffron, black tea, musk, ambergris and bourbon vanilla

Guerlain Terracotta Le Parfum
This was initially a limited edition release, but it sold so well that it was added to their permanent line. It's a buoyant summer fragrance, creamy and rich. It's all over white florals, with a splash of sunshine and coconut. I love it, although I wear it more in the warmer months, for sure.
notes: bergamot, coconut, tiaré flower, orange blossom, jasmine, ylang ylang, vanilla and musk

L'Artisan Parfumeur La Chasse aux Papillons
This is another white floral, but it's delicate and feminine and would be more representative of a fresh-cheeked spring than a summer beach babe. It's a classic, and one that is easy to wear - it's nearly impossible to overspritz (it's an EdT). I wear this mostly in the spring.
notes: Linden blossom, lemon tree blossom, orange blossom, jasmine, tuberose

Prada Candy
This is the original - I don't like any of the flankers. It's a delicious benzoin vanilla - a resinous, elevated gourmand that I love. This was a gift from S, and it's also one that I wear more frequently in colder weather. It sticks to sweaters and scarves beautifully, and I smell delicious forever.
notes: musk, benzoin, vanilla and caramel

Prada Infusion d'Iris
Actually, I confess that I don't wear this one that often. It becomes too powdery on me, and I was sort of turned off of it by having to interact with a bunch of people who wore it. I would sell it if I knew how to ship it, ha. But it's a well constructed iris, and maybe if I let some time pass I'll be able to wear it again. Still, I think it's overall a little too safe and clean on me.
notes: mandarin neroli, orange blossom, iris, galbanum, lentisk, benzoin, incense, cedarwood, vetiver

And now, the fun part. I told you I was scheming, right? 
Full Bottle Wishlist

Heh. I know, you're all thinking, "We are tired of you banging on about that stupid TF scent, go get it already and shut up."

Noted. BUT, there's more. Admittedly, I haven't smelled three of these, État Libre de Orange Fils de Dieu, L'Artisan Tea for Two, and Prada Infusion d'Amande, but their notes are intriguing (Fils de Dieu: lime, coconut, leather; Tea for Two: Cinnamon, Ginger, Lapsang Souchong, Tobacco; Infusion d'Amande: bitter almond, heliotrope, anise, tonka bean and musk). 

I love anise, lime, tonka bean, tea and tobacco notes.

(I mean, not all together. Probably).

These all sound marvelous and also pretty unique, with no overlap in what I already have, although to be honest, that doesn't really matter too much - scent is so hard to describe and pinpoint. I already have vanillas. I want more vanillas. *shrugs*

Origins Ginger Essence isn't high brow or anything, but that ginger beer scent is amazing and I must have it for next summer - the body oil fragrance doesn't last nearly long enough. Lastly, I had a mini Jo Malone Vanilla & Anise and it's nearly gone; it's an easy, spritzy scent that you can go nuts with, and like I said - anise (although funnily enough, I think licorice is disgusting to eat. Scent and taste are so connected, but I have more of these - I love coffee and coffee flavored food items, but I cannot stand it in perfume).

So, have I got you pumped up for perfume, now? Next time I'll go over my travel sizes, and smaller indie bottles. Prolly the bottom line is that I have a shit ton of perfume, but hey.

So tell me: what is your favorite perfume? How many bottles do you have? What's the last one you purchased, what are you wearing today, and what's on your wishlist? I AM THE PERFUME CREEPER, MUAHAHA.

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Fall Favorites Tag

[Products featured were purchased by me. No affiliate links.]

I was just thinking about doing a favorites post (and ultimately deciding, "No, I'm too lazy,") when Monika tagged me for the "Fall Favorites Tag." This one is always my favorite, so I rallied. Because autumn is my favorite season!

1. Favorite fall candle
Er. I haven't bought any yet this year (and I don't even have matches right now, ha) but in previous years I've loved B&BW Marshmallow Fireside. I also really like the Woodwick candles, because they crackle beautifully - really soothing on a calm, quiet night.

2. Favorite fall lip color

I like a vampy lip as much as the next person, but this year I've been really into MLBB shades. Dior Frimousse was reviewed here, and the gloss is Enchanted Rose from a previous Christmas collection...there's probably something similar in the permanent line, though. I find the glosses to be moisturizing, which is ideal for cooler weather (good thing I have five, ha.). The other lip product I've been loving - that is more on trend for the season - is Etude House's Blackberry Jelly Sugar Lip Tint.

3. Favorite fall drink

Sorry, I'm going to adult it up in here. We made these Cider Bourbon Jam Cocktails from How Sweet It Is last year, and they are insanely good. Need a repeat.

4. Favorite blush
Old photo, cheater cheater!

Uh, yeah. I think blush is my least favorite thing to shop for...*ducks*
I mean, all hail the importance of blush; if I forget it, I often look wan. I still have more than any sane person needs, but I rotate through them all pretty regularly. This is YSL Red Agate, a great terra-cotta with a fabulous texture..which I think has also been discontinued...*ducks again*

5. Favorite clothing item
Express Marled Extreme Circle Hem Tunic in Wild Orchid
Express Scuba Leggings
Sole Society Isani Pumps
Uniqlo Soft Woven Long Sleeve Dress in Dark Green
Joan and David Circa boots (old)

Fall fashion is my favorite! BOOTS, BABY, BOOTS. I post outfits on Instagram, under #pestozestolb. I'm no fashion blogger, but I'm trying to have fun and experiment with different looks. (Fun fact: my home is a shoe-free zone. I have to put them on for the photo, then take them off again, haha. #dork)

6. Favorite nail polish

I'm doing this instead of movie, because I can't really think of an autumnal themed movie and I hate scary shit. I apologize because I buy a lot of limited edition polish, but really, it's more about the color inspiration, right? Also, if you really want a banging fall polish post, you should check out Shannon's annual Halloween roundup.

7. Favorite fall TV show
I don't watch a lot of TV - I don't have one right now, actually. I watch football on my phone and my guilty pleasure is The Voice. I've also been watching The Muppets, although I feel like these days Miss Piggy has absolutely zero redeeming qualities...she used to be a little bit more relatable. Still, I have always loved The Muppets, and contrary to popular belief, there were always adult jokes on the show - we just didn't get them when we were kids. Enough already. (There are adult jokes in older Disney movies, too, you know. Watch them again.)

8. Favorite Thanksgiving dish
I. Love. Thanksgiving. Because, well, food. S. and I usually keep it small (and I'll be flying back for the holiday); I think this year we're going to do a sausage stuffing, cranberry sauce, baked sweet potatoes, and some kind of pumpkin dessert. This one, I think.

9. Favorite Halloween costume
I love Thanksgiving, but am completely indifferent to Halloween. I don't even like chocolate, so cheap candy has no appeal for me. Bah, humbug. (What do you mean, wrong season? Grouchiness is for all seasons, thank you very much.) I do have a Jack Skellington beanie, though. That's like, festive, right?

10. Favorite fall perfume

I have been wearing Diptyque Eau Duelle pretty much daily since I bought it this summer, but the Sephora VIB sale is next week and my birthday is next month know what this means: Tom Ford Tobacco Vanille will finally be mine! Swoon, baby. SWOON.

Need more? Tracy did it, too, and Denise, and of course, Monika, who tagged me. And we need MOAR. Lena, Gaelle, Laura, VB, I'm looking at you! And I would love to tag the southern hemisphere ladies, but I'm afraid they'll look at me funny, ha! You could do a spring version...

Thursday, October 29, 2015

For the Sunny Commute: Dr. Dennis Gross Sheer Mineral Sun Spray SPF 50

[Product was purchased by me. No affiliate links.]

Er, I always end up reviewing sunscreen AFTER summer is over.

Because I'm super timely.

But hey, at least you know I used it during its finest hour, right?

The sun here is intense, and I always worry that the sunscreen I put on in the morning (face) is all gone by the time I leave work at the end of the day. So, I purchased this Dr. Dennis Gross Sheer Mineral Sun Spray SPF 50, intending to use it for my face, neck, arms and hands before I drive home (my commute is anywhere from 30 -60 minutes, depending on traffic). I also use it in the mornings on my arms and hands, if I remember.

This is a mineral spray and comes out white. It rubs in easily; hands are greasy for a little bit afterward, but it goes away quickly. I spray my arms and hands, rub it in, and then spray my hands and pat/press it into my face, as instructed (they don't want you to spray yourself in the face, I guess. Based on my idiot experiences with MAC Fix+, this is prolly good advice).
Single spray.

For arms and legs, it's great. The spray distribution is nice, it rubs in easily, and doesn't feel overwhelmingly thick or greasy afterward. Ace, especially when you're just going to work and don't want full on sport sunscreen gunking up your nice clothes. If you're going hiking, I would stick to the Neutrogena or whatever you like for strenuous outdoor activity.

And for the face, though, I think I want something different for touchups, like this Jane Iredale Powder Me Dry Sunscreen SPF 30, that can be applied over makeup. By the end of the day, I don't really care if my makeup gets messed up when I apply sunscreen over it,'d be nice not to have to rub everything on my face. So I guess I have mixed feelings. I like it, but I don't like it. We don't always have to have a final verdict, right?

It's pricey at $42 (4 oz) but does always seem to be out of stock at Sephora, so I guess it is popular. I do like that it is all mineral (12% zinc oxide) (have you read this piece on how chemical sunscreens are affecting our coral reefs?), and that it is a great everyday sunscreen  - aside from the price. I'm not aware of any other product like this out there, though - something all mineral that can be sprayed in non-aerosol form. Do you know of any?

What do you use for sunscreen reapplication during the day?

Full ingredients:
active: zinc oxide 12%
inactive: ascorbic acid, ascorbic palmitate, biotin, camellia sinensis leaf extract, acetyl PEG/PPG-10/1 dimethicone, cyclopentasiloxane, embolic officials fruit extract, glyceryl isostearate, neopentyl glycol diphetanoate, phenoxyethanol, polyhryxoystearic acid, resveratrol, tocopheryl acetate, ubiquinone, water