Serge Lutens Chergui

Friday, July 30, 2010

There are very few fragrances that have truly changed the way I view fragrance.

(You’re one of them, of course.)

Your dark brown liquid is housed in simple, rectangular glass, and it doesn’t seem like it would be fascinating. Slightly intriguing, perhaps, but certainly nothing spectacular. To be honest, at first glance, you’re quite unassuming — so when I breathed in, I was caught completely off guard.

You are incense, amber, tobacco leaf and musk, but the blend is divine. (Other scents, like your sibling Ambre Sultan, are too violent with their incense and send me running toward the hills.) Of course, these notes are sweetened just enough with tiny bits of smooth honey, and lightened with rose and iris. Don’t get me wrong, though; I am by no means insinuating in the least that there is anything floral or syrupy about you.

It must be difficult to produce a scent that is entirely unisex, but… you are. Fit for a man in a suit with a bit of stubble, smoking a cigar in a ritzy hotel bar; fit for a woman in a slinky dress with just a flick of eyeliner, out for dinner with a lover. Honey and hay sugar in perfect harmony with tobacco and musk.

I thought that I didn’t like warm scents, because warm scents are always so sweet. But I kept looking; I kept ignoring each and every saleswoman and salesman who told me that sweet and warm must go hand in hand. (And trust me, there were many.) The hours and hours of searching paid off when I found you, Chergui — warmth without the syrup of cheap vanilla, cozy without being cloying, dry and a little dirty without being animalic.

Of course, there are many categories of fragrance, and you can’t fulfill my cravings for a light floral or a salty chypre. But when I need something warm, something sexless — no, something above the lines of gender, — something perfectly crafted and rich and beautiful and incredible…

Well, that would be where you come in.

Availability: Chergui can be purchased online at shops like the ones above, or through BeautyEncounter and FragranceNet. Alternately, it can be sampled through The Perfumed Court. For my fellow Canadians, you may be able to find it in your local Sephora!

Chergui was created by Christopher Sheldrake in 2001.

Hot Smudge creates a hot mess

Thursday, July 29, 2010

What it is: Hard Candy Hot Smudge in Rebel

The shades: Rebel features two cream shades, to be used as liner or shadow. One is a bright blue; the other is simply glitter suspended in a clear base. The blue side is a fairly dry cream with just a touch of fine shimmer, and while I do thin kit’s lovely, bright, and fun, I can’t say I’m a huge fan of the colour — it’s just not really my thing. The “white” side, on the other hand, has a tendency to sweat, posesses a texture reminiscent of Vaseline, and is more than a little bit hard to work with. I have to go over the same patch of skin three or four times to get the right glitter dispersal!

indirect sunlight / flash. click to enlarge! 
glitter on the lower lashline; blue shade winged on the top. nothing else, aside from concealer. 

The ingredients:

The wear: Okay, so it smudges, just as promised — but the problem is it just keeps smudging! I do like a creme that smudges, but it should set after a few minutes. Hot Smudge? Not so much. I flicked some of the blue on, gave it five minutes, cleaned up the line with oil-free makeup remover, gave it another ten minutes, and… yep, it was already creeping along. 

(I did try it with primer underneath and powder overtop as well, with the same results.)

The verdict? I just… didn’t like this product. I don’t have to say that often, thank goodness, but I simply did not like this one! It didn’t wear well on my lids, the packaging felt flimsy, and I could have sworn the blue side was more creamy and less dry when I first opened this a few weeks ago. The only thing it does have going for itself is its vivid hue, but even that fades quickly!

Don’t let this put you off the whole Hard Candy line, though. Sure, I kind of hated this wasn’t a fan of this one, but I still adore Honeymoon ;)

New at… Sephora

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

I’m just loving the clean feel of the ShopStyle boxes — plus, we can now keep these posts to a reasonable length! My goodness, did they ever get long before.

I personally can’t wait to see the Stila cheek colour in real life. I know items like this one (ahem, Smashbox?) are (excuse my French) a load of total bullshit 95% of the time, but I still want to check it out! Can’t blame a gal for being curious, right?

And one last item, which is incredibly thrilling (but not available through the above widget.) Very cool, MUFE! I can’t wait until this is in stores. The swatches on the Sephora site look amazing, of course, but I suppose we’ll just have to wait a bit and see if they’re just as gorgeous in real life.

What you may have missed

It’s a rare day when I have absolutely nothing to say, but I’m drawing a blank today. So instead, here are a few recent posts that may have slipped under your radar!

Hey there, fallout!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

What it is: The Body Shop Baked Eye Colour in Moonstone

The shade: Moonstone is a pretty combination of a creamy off-white and a silvery dark grey. Both sides are flecked with plenty of shimmer and subtle veining, and are just a delight to look at in the pan! The darker hue is more ashen then I’d usually work with, but I can definitely see it working well in a sexy, smokey silver eye, especially (but not only) for cool toned gals. As for the lighter shade, it’s neutral (and sheer) enough to act as a shimmery wash for pretty much any skintone.

The formula: Ick, ick, ick! Moonstone has a ton of fallout, and unless you foil the living daylights out of your shadows, you’re really not going to get much pigmentation. What looks like innocent shimmer in the pan practically turns out to be a full-on glitter assult, complete with agressive particle size! That said, though, the pigmentation does really perk up with primer and foiling (sorry I don’t have swatches for you ladies,) but you’ll still really have to clean up that fallout.

swatched dry

The ingredients:

Talc, Octyldodecyl Stearoyl Stearate, Calcium Aluminum Borosilicate, Dimethicone, Polysorbate 20, Magnesium Aluminum Silicate, Olea Europaea (Olive) Fruit Oil, Sclerocarya Birrea Seed Oil, Tin Oxide, Phenoxyethanol, Theobroma Grandiflorum Seed Butter, Sodium Dehydroacetate, Tocopheryl Acetate, Silica, Cetearyl Ethylhexanoate, Acrylamide/Sodium Acryloyldimethyltaurate Copolymer, Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Sorbitan Stearate, Zea Mays (Corn) Starch, Water, Isohexadecane, Tocopherol, Polysorbate 80, Sorbitan Oleate. 
[May Contain: Mica, Iron Oxides, Titanium Dioxide, Ultramarines, Chromium Oxide Greens].

The verdict? Okay, so Moonstone is obscenely gorgeous in the pan pretty — but with the amount of fallout and the level of pigmentation, I wouldn’t recommend this particular shade! I’ve read a few other reviews for these shadows, though, and Moonstone does sound like it’s the most sheer out of the three shades currently offered in North America.

Try it if…

  • You’re obsessed with how pretty the shades look in the pan!
  • You’ll be buying one of the other two shades instead (it also comes in Copper and Jade.)
  • You catch them on a great sale (like those awesome 3 for $10 sales they sometimes have!)

Pass on it if…

  • You want something smooth, pigmented, and easy to apply,
  • You balk at the $16 price tag,
  • You already have something similar, like a baked eyeshadow by a company like MAC or Maybelline.

glow magazine: way to go!

Pores. When was the last time you saw those in a beauty editorial? And a touch of peach fuzz-y hair, on a model’s arm!

This was the shiny, glossy delight of the month for me. (Well okay, of last month.) I’m proud you’re Canadian, glow!

P.S. Was I the only one who immediately recognized NARS Schiap on the cover model’s lips and nails? ;)

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