Yesterday I brought you “September Empties”: today, September Favourites. Never say that I lack imagination. Tomorrow is October (I think?) so maybe there’ll be a change of theme. Ha!
Some corkers in this video, though, including the brilliant new mascara discovery from Diego Della Palma. It’s honestly one of the best mascaras I’ve used in ages – and it’s not bank-breakingly expensive, either. Very refreshing. There’s also a little preview demo of my new Luxe Shine hair fragrance spray from Colab. As always, products and links are below the video – you know the drill. Grab a cup of tea, etc etc…
A quick whizz through my empties – no, not the wine and beer bottles in my recycling box (chance’d be a fine thing), but the finished-off beauty products that I managed to collect this month. All of the products and links are listed below the video screen, just in case you can’t think of anything worse than spending eight minutes with a lovely cuppa, listening to the sound of my voice. Enjoy – and please do subscribe if you’d like to get my videos sent to you by email…
I’ve filmed a new fragrance video but parts of it are so incredibly random and silly that I thought I’d do a written accompaniment. I basically came up with this stupid idea that I’d try and describe each of the perfumes using only two words, but things just got out of hand. One fragrance ended up with “Cosy Pyjamas” as a description, another one “Deadly Flowers”. Give it a watch if you want to spend ten minutes in a sort of alternate reality where nothing much makes sense. (Also have a look if you’d like a peek at the littlest member of the AMR Family. She makes a very brief appearance.)
I tend to be a bit slack when it comes to fragrance reviewing, mainly because the new launches are constant and I find it all a bit overwhelming. It’s also quite difficult to talk about scent when it’s such a personal and subjective matter – my take on a perfume might be completely different to yours. But I’m going to try and do a fragrance roundup on a more regular basis, if people find it interesting or useful? The video might be a bit crazy and rambling but I did quite enjoy filming it!
There are six fragrances altogether – I’ve listed them below the video screen with a little summary of my thoughts. If you’d like to read previous fragrance reviews then you can find them all here.
The first perfume is Michael Kors’ 24K Brilliant Gold – online here. My least favourite of the bunch because it’s just a bit too top-heavy for me and I don’t get enough of the fruitiness to balance out the florals. I find it a bit suffocating!
Ironically, I really like the Rose Gold version but after I took the photograph I went and packed it away, thinking that I would like the Brilliant Gold more. Never judge a book by its cover. Or perfume by its box.
Talking of boxes, I went in and did the same thing straight away with Modern Muse Le Rouge from Estée Lauder. Judged it by its box. Which is red. And red is possibly my least favourite colour. I very rarely wear red clothing, or buy red accessories, or have anything in my home that is red. I’ve never had a red car. I do wear red lipstick and am partial, now and then, to a bit of red polish on my nails, but overall I am a red-free zone. Which is why it surprised me that I liked Le Rouge so much – a sexy, spicy little rose number that’s rather sophisticated and grown-up. Velvety and smooth, peppery and dark, if it was a lady then she’d breakfast at Claridges and wear La Perla lingerie. You can find it online here.
Gucci Bamboo isn’t masculine, per se, but it’s got that edginess that makes it a world away from being girly or “nice”. In the advert the model does loads of adventurous things like – er – driving a car and – er – playing the piano naked, but ignore all of that and you have a fragrance that’s seductive and delicious. Bit of the old favourite orange blossom at the top and then some lovely warm and woody notes at the bottom. Sandalwood, amber, vanilla. Bring it on, sex bomb. You can find it online here.
If you’re a regular reader then you’ll already know that I like the new Daisy Dream Forever from Marc Jacobs. To save me repeating myself, you can read the full review here. To me, it’s early nights, cosy pyjamas and a hot chocolate on bonfire night.
And to my favourite new launch; Clinique’s Aromatics In Black. What a treat! So heady that it’s almost cloying, so mind-transporting that I have to be careful how much I spray. This is heavy on the jasmine, which I would usually hate, but the blend with other notes (including myrhh and vetiver) is so clever that I just want to smell it again and again. If you’re passing Harrods then stop and have a spray – you can also find it online here.
Tom Ford’s Noir Pour Femme was a close second at the start of last week, but it was (possibly) overtaken by Lauder’s Le Rouge, mainly because dark and dirty rose scents seem to just do it for me. Noir Pour Femme is gorgeous – smoky and woody, as you’d expect from Tom Ford, but also with a kind of smooth softness. Teetering, as always, on the masculine side, but a lot more feminine and (I think) wearable than many of the private blend perfumes. You can find Noir online here.
Finally, Miu Miu by Miu Miu. (It’s new new. Ha.) Quirky and cute, this perfume became more and more interesting over time. To me, it’s like a light-hearted little peach fizz, but there’s no mention of peach in the notes. Fresh and light, but there are some more serious and deep notes too. I’ve really tried to like this enough to wear it, but although I find it interesting, it just doesn’t sit well on my skin. Perhaps it’s the focus on lilies – I’m not that good with lilies. Maybe because they’re toxic to cats and I hold it against them? I don’t know. You can find Miu Miu online here.
Right – that turned into a mammoth post! Let me know your fragrant thoughts in the comments below – I’d especially welcome any opinions on the Aromatics in Black, because I’m just head over heels in love with that one.
Tomorrow (today, if you’re reading this by email) will see the launch of Indeed Lab’s new Beauty Length campaign, looking at the – often unbelievable – lengths that many of us will go to in order to look and feel more beautiful. Topping the beauty wishlist? Perfect skin.
Indeed Labs know a good deal about skin perfecting; they make brilliantly effective beauty products that moisturise, resurface and brighten, targeting dehydration, wrinkles, fine lines, dark spots, dullness, lack of volume – the list goes on.
As part of their Beauty Length campaign, Indeed Labs have been doing a bit of research, finding out how far people will go in the name of beauty – a third of the people surveyed said that they’d happily give up chocolate for life if it meant perfect skin forever, and there were those who had made quite extreme dietary adjustments in pursuit of a flawless face. From eating spinach at every meal for a whole month to hand-squeezing grapes to extract the juice and apply as a tonic, it seems that nothing is too much trouble! I asked Twitter for their quirkiest beauty lengths – one follower had eaten hornet larvae (though I’m not sure whether that was a joke!) and others had embarked on serious courses of acid peels and homemade baking soda facials.
I’ve been trying to think of some of the mad things that I’ve done, beauty-wise. (There are many.) I think some of the best were in my teens, when I made an iced cucumber mask and gave myself chilblains on my face, and also used so much toothpaste on my spots that it congealed into my hairline and turned into a concrete mess, impossible to brush out. That was an interesting bus journey to school!
Possibly the biggest beauty length I’ve gone to as an adult is giving up drinking milk. It took me absolutely ages to work out that milk was causing my adult acne (I’d tried to rule out wheat, shellfish and citrus before landing on the answer!) and it was a bit of a major thing when I realised that I’d have to cut it out. Bearing in mind that I was addicted to eating porridge for breakfast (half a pint of milk just there) it was no small challenge. And I haven’t really drunk milk since (I think it’s two years now – you can read the posts on it here) though I started on Lactofree when I was pregnant and it seems to be OK – no spots yet.
I also wear SPF on my face religiously if I’m going to be outside for any significant length of time. Is this a “beauty length”? I don’t know. It’s definitely a necessity, and I used to be a bit gung-ho about it – I had to make a concerted effort to incorporate it into my routine and I still find it a faff having that extra layer. Ditto primers: I just cannot be bothered using them – what a palaver! – but they do make skin look extra-perfected and are completely worth the effort, especially if you usually find that makeup creeps into fine lines or looks patchy and uneven.
During pregnancy my skin became more dehydrated and it has erred on the dry side ever since, so I use a hydrating serum before my moisturiser every time. (Another step I used to be a bit gung-ho with, but regular use definitely pays off. Have a read of last year’s serum post here.) Indeed Labs’ Hydraluron is a top serum for tackling dehydration – it contains a pure form of hyaluronic acid (an ingredient that can hold up to 1,000 times its weight in water) giving skin a huge moisture boost. It’s lightweight and suitable for pretty much anyone – even oily skin can be dehydrated, and this does the trick without leaving any greasy residue.
Of course, using serum is the very opposite of a “beauty length” – it’s so light and easy to apply, it’s probably the quickest of the skincare steps. Potent ingredients, great results, no extreme measures needed! (Bye-bye chilblain-causing frozen cucumber mask.)
On Friday 18th September Indeed Labs will be showing that there’s no need to go to great beauty lengths to tackle your skin problems. They will be taking over three London stations and handing out samples of their targeted skincare treatments, offering solutions to your greatest beauty woes. Head to Paddington, Victoria or Oxford Circus stations where you can also share your “perfect skin” selfie; use the hashtag #SkinTalksIndeedListens and you’ll be entered into a competition to win a mini break for you and a friend.
And if you’re out and about in central London, then keep watch for one of the three branded cabs that will be cruising about – if you hop inside to confess your beauty length story then you’ll get a full-size product tailored to your skin needs.
You can find Indeed Lab’s products at Boots.com – the amazing Hydraluron is a very affordable £19.99.
*this post is an advertorial for Indeed Labs “Beauty Length” campaign.
I’ve been ridiculously busy with work this week (also why the house-move is taking so long), shooting videos and editing videos and working on the launch of the new Colab product. It’s an exciting one: a luxe hair fragrance spray (notes of bergamot and oud, very sexy) with a lovely light shine that’s great for fine hair. I’ll talk about it more next week, but keep a lookout for it at Superdrug and FeelUnique from Monday!
Did you know that I have an entirely separate blog over on The Uphill? Mum stuff, baby stuff, observations on life (often random) and lots of chat about breastmilk and large guts. It’s a hoot, if you’d care to join me – the comments sections are, I feel, a brilliant way to pass an hour or so. Some readers have the most fantastic motherhood anecdotes. I also write about fertility and I recorded my pregnancy from about twenty weeks in, so plenty to catch up on if you’re interested!
No pet pics this week – Mr Bear will be home in the next few days, I hope, and I imagine that all hell will break loose! I wonder how the new carpet / recently re-upholstered chairs / tactile wallpaper will fare against his sharp claws? I may have to get my Mum to knit him some mittens.