Love, Chloé Purse Spray review, photos

Friday, April 27, 2012

The product: Chloé Love, Chloé Eau de Parfum Purse Spray

I have, admittedly, been sitting on this review for quite a while – but can you blame me? There’s something just so utterly photogenic about a well-designed perfume bottle, and the purse-sized Love, Chloé is no exception.

Anyhow; I ended up being more than a little overwhelmed by the chic gold casing of this particular flacon, and the number of photos I had sitting on my computer was… a bit intimidating, to say the least.

The scent

Love, Chloé is described as “[the embodiment] of all the olfactory vocabulary of cosmetics… a fine, powdery scent, light and sensual with a flowery wake, iridescent and musky with talc and rice.” And, to be entirely honest, I don’t think it can be put any more succinctly than that.

Created by Louise Turner and Nathalie Cetto-Gracia (Givaudain), Love, Chloé features top notes of orange blossom and pink pepper; heart notes focusing on iris absolute, but adding a blend of lilac, hyacinth, wisteria blossom, and heliotropine (for its suggestion of almond and vanilla); and finally, base notes of musk, talc, and rice powder.

What I love about this scent is how effortlessly feminine it is - feminine, not the overly-powdered girlishness of so many celebrity fragrances. It’s certainly not for everyone (my sister, who hates powder notes, can’t stand this one), but I was quite surprised to feel as strongly about it as I do.

The blend of powders, florals, and musks is just so, and despite quite disliking about the original Chloé, I’ve been reaching for this one much more often than I’d anticipated.

The packaging

The Love, Chloé Purse Spray is actually a small, refillable casing about 3 1/2″ tall and 1 3/4″ wide. Its build is plastic, surprisingly, with a glossy outer finish – giving it a more expensive feel without sacrificing its lightweight nature.

The refills (10ml x3) are the usual glass-and-spray combination, and fit quite securely into the bottle. The chained lid is a good fit as well; it’s nice not to have to worry about losing the cap on the go, and it sits snugly enough that I wouldn’t worry about it coming off in my bag.

My one qualm with the entire product is the twist-off base – I changed the refill just to see how it would go, and warped the slot a bit while I was at it. The purse spray is limited edition at the moment (and I’ve got my fingers crossed that it’s still on shelves), but I’d really like to see it added to the permanent Love, Chloé lineup.

In which case: it would be really nice to see the addition of a metal base, Chloé!

The bottom line

Packaging aside, I fell a bit in love with Love, Chloé this winter. It’s not my typical sort of scent (I tend to stray more toward unisex fragrances; think amber and patchouli rather than soap and citrus), but it snuck under my skin and I couldn’t (didn’t even want to) get it out.

Love, Chloé smells like something from the past; a classy, demure blend of powder and florals that would pair just as well with ’40s hair and red lips as it would with a neutral eye and a silk shift.

Availability and a couple more photos »

Lavender + Taupe smokey eyes

Monday, March 5, 2012

So, in an excellent showing of “it takes Rae forever to post absolutely everything,” here’s an eye look that I absolutely couldn’t wait to photograph & post. The photos, snapped within 48 hours of my becoming re-infatuated with lavender (totally Xiao’s fault), are… wait for it… three months old.

/sighs

Despite the fact that I am now considerably less excited about lavender (it’s so much more exciting during a season in which it isn’t already being overdone), I’m still quite fond of this look. Enjoy!

I used Rimmel Glam’Eyes in Royal Violet (review) for the violet in this look, but I think I’m going to need a new matte lavender soon – it’s good, for a $5 shadow, but you really have to pack it on. If anyone has recommendations, they’d definitely be appreciated!

To juxtapose something warm and wearable against the ethereal purple tones of Royal Violet, I added a mix of MAC Satin Taupe (swatches) and Ulta Molten (swatches) around the edges and along most of the lower lashline - a sheer layer of Satin Taupe toward the inner corner, and Molten concentrated on the outer corner, to add depth without closing in the eye area.

The look was finished with a smudgy flick of Marcelle Waterproof Eyeliner in Expresso and one coat of Annabelle Le Big Show Mascara (review). I’d thought about lining with the gorgeous MAC Teddy (review), but the Marcelle won out in the end – though Teddy is absolutely delicious (and a dream to smudge out), the wear time on the Marcelle is so much better.

Since doing this look (and this is a bit of an unrelated ramble), Expresso has actually moved into my “daily” tin – brushes, liners, and mascaras that I find myself reaching for quite often. It’s not breathtaking, but it’s still a lovely chocolate brown with subtle gold flecks; the perfect balance between no-nonsense and attention-grabbing.

Swatched L-R: MAC Satin Taupe, Marcelle Expresso, Rimmel Royal Violet, Ulta Molten

One last thing…

Just threw together a quick assortment of other lavender eyeshadows, in case anyone else is being bitten by the lavender bug as well! I’d love to hear your thoughts on any of these, if you’ve tried them, or perhaps if anyone has an etailer recommendation for a nice matte lavender shadow?

The bad thing about a good fruity-floriental is that it makes you want to eat yourself. {A completely logical Calvin Klein Forbidden Euphoria review}

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

The product: Calvin Klein forbidden euphoria (eau de parfum)

Marketed as yet another “fruity floriental,” I wasn’t expecting all that much from the latest euphoria flanker. And, okay, it’s more or less what I’d expected – but in some respects, that could be a good thing.

When you go with a generically seductive fragrance from a brand known for its pretty-but-mainstream offerings, you’re not going to find anything riveting. Which sounds terrible, but it works both ways: the more adventurous a brand is with their scents, the more likely it is that everything is going to end up in a terrible mess of overdone scent molecules and trying-to-hard sillage.

forbidden euphoria, like the classic it is based off of, plays it safe: it’s the kind of scent that most people will kind-of-sort-of like, but perhaps not love.

Launched September 2011, the bottle is a spin on the original just as much as the scent is: the same shape, and the same idea, but this time in a gorgeous, translucent berry. I could photograph this for ages – and, to some extent, I suppose I did. (It’s so easy to go overboard on photo-taking when you’re working with a product that looks like this.)

The Calvin Klein house describes forbidden euphoria as a younger interpretation of euphoria, which is a description I’d have to agree with. It lists top notes of sparkling mandarin, peach blossom, passion fruit, and iced raspberry; heart notes of  pink peony, tiger orchid, and jasmine; and base notes of cashmere woods, patchouli, and skin musk.

(And I’m sorry, but I cannot use the name “forbidden euphoria” without quotation marks or stylized text. I just can’t do it. Please, for the love of grammar, capitalize your bloody product names, industry; you’re driving me crazy.)

 

Silver to the sides, or silver to the front and back? The adverts say translucent facing forward, but I think the silver looks rather cleaner.

The bottom line

I get an indiscriminate kind of fruity from this scent; soapy and very sweet. (“Soapy” as in commercial soaps and shampoos, not “soapy” as in aldehydes and Chanel No. 5.) I think iced raspberry was a very apt description of it – it’s like someone theorized a raspberry syrup that you’d make a tasty (and extremely alcoholic) drink from, created an absolu, and infused it into forbidden euphoria.

If I had to sum this all up in one word, I think I’d go with “tasty.” (Because, seriously, it’s more mouthwatering than any fragrance has a right to be.) I doubt forbidden euphoria will be winning awards for innovation anytime soon, but it plays its strengths – and (god help me), I kind of find myself accidentally enjoying it every now and again.

It toes the line of headache-inducing and I definitely have to use a light hand with this one, but it’s also the perfect guilty pleasure. Let’s keep that between the two of us, though, yeah? ;)

There’s more! (No, seriously, really is; keep reading.) »

A story of weird textures | FaceFront Tokyo Future Cyber Gel review, part one

Friday, January 27, 2012

The product: Facefront Tokyo Future Cyber Gel Cream Eye Liner + Color Base in Weekend Warrior and White Rice

Oh, FaceFront. Why do you have to do this to me on such a frequent basis? I feel like you’re creating innovative new torture methods, just for beauty bloggers, and I’m your sample size of 1.

But let’s not get ahead of ourselves, yeah? I’m going to start with the good stuff, then work our way to the bad.

The shades

Weekend Warrior (Pewter Finish) is a gorgeous deep purple, with strong blue undertones but red microshimmer – a violet-lover’s dream. It’s even prettier in real life than it is on camera, and is up and down a “true violet” if I’ve ever seen one. I think it’s due to that perfect blue-and-red mix; it’s hard to make a violet that’s really violet both on film and in person, but FaceFront nailed it with this shade.

White Rice (Pewter Finish, and don’t even get me started on that name) is described by FaceFront as being “a slightly metallic and very bright classic white,” but I have to disagree. It’s definitely bright, but I’d describe it more as “packed with microshimmer” than “metallic”, and it’s more of a light silver than a classic white.

Either way, it’s gorgeous. Whites and off-whites can get boring pretty fast, but this one has me rapt!

Swatches of Weekend Warrior and White Rice. Incandescent lighting + colour correction (sorry.)

Smudged with a light tough, after being given twenty minutes to set (and stubbornly refusing to do so).

The wear

Aaaand here’s where things start going downhill. As pretty as these two shades are, they just don’t cut it when it comes to wear - neither really “sets,” so even if you manage to get them perfectly even (easy to do with White Rice, obscenely difficult with Weekend Warrior), the results won’t last long.

I wanted to talk about wear with some lid swatches, so I’m afraid I’ll have to leave you hanging for a bit. I should have part two of this review ready by tonight or tomorrow, but I’ll keep going and give these a verdict for now! Wear will be discussed extensively in the next part; for now, all you need to know is that it was (very much) not impressive.

The big issue

There are a handful of reasons why I typically go for products that are “mass-produced,” rather than mixing things up at three in the morning to meet my specifications exactly. One of those is time, sure, and another is a lack of a chemist’s lab in my office, but the big one is consistency. When you buy from a brand, you can expect a general level of consistency from shade to shade of a formula… right?

(I’m sorry, I think I need to take a breather to laugh hysterically.)

(But seriously, what beauty blogger hasn’t mixed up a shadow or lip product or blusher or five? God, we’re all just junkies scrambling for our next [colour] fix.)

Right, so back to expecting consistency. Which is to say: not so, in the case of the Cyber Gel line!

Using just these two as an example, White Rice is has the texture of frozen butter, if that makes any sense -  solid, but it “melts” smoothly onto your fingertip or brush. (Which is a good thing, in case that wasn’t clear. I don’t think that was clear.) And then there’s Weekend Warrior. Completely unlike White Rice, it’s solid and dry, rather than solid and buttery, and it’s a pain in the arse to work with.

The verdict?

Skip on these, if you know what’s good for you. The shades are absolutely gorgeous, but are still very much not worth the hassle – there are a ton of other great (or even just “better”) cream formulas out there, and these just aren’t up to snuff.

I hate to give such a negative review for these, because FaceFront do some of the most unusual, breathtaking colours, but sometimes (read: right now), I feel like they should stick to powder products until they figure out the perfect creme formula.

Which they’ve yet to do.

Ingredients & more »

FaceFront Tokyo Future Artistic Pigments

Friday, January 13, 2012

The product: FaceFront Tokyo Future Artistic Pigments

» Digital Dragon, Secret Samurai, Lost in Nishitama, and Shallow Depth.

I’m slowly amassing a frightful Artistic Pigment stash, and yet… I cannot find it in myself to care. (Does that make me a terrible minimalist? I’m pretty sure that makes me a terrible minimalist.)

Here’s the thing, though. I have my qualms with some of the line’s other products (their cream formulas come to mind — more on that next week), but their pigments? Damn. When it’s straight-up colour, FaceFront never fails to impress. They just come up with these really vibrant, unexpected, actually unique shades, and I’m always just really stunned by how gorgeous they are. It’s so refreshing to be surprised by a shade; to not already own a dupe of it in some way, shape, or form.

The details: Each Artistic Pigment retails for $10.50 USD and contains 5g of product. These multipurpose products are vegan-approved, made in the US, and paraben-, silicone-, & cruelty-free. The four Tokyo Future shades are all limited edition for Winter 2011.

See Shallow Depth in this violet and blue look and the full collection details here.

As an aside, I’d like to note the fact that I’m not a fan of Orientalism, and I don’t believe in capitalizing upon other cultures. That said, I’m not going to launch into a tirade about it, and I don’t think FaceFront has done anything specifically offensive in regard to this collection – I feel like it focuses more on the “future Tokyo” popularized in science fiction, rather than any given situation in the real world.

Anyhow, the point I was trying to make: feel free to discuss this in the comments, but please be respectful of your fellow commenters!

The shades

(Section alternately titled: Guys. Guys. I have so many feelings about Shallow Depth; I don’t even know.)

FaceFront describes Digital Dragon (Ultra-Steel Finish) as a subtle metallic golden brown infused with bright, rustic bronze refleks; Secret Samurai (Steel Finish) as a highly complex and shimmery taupe with subtle red hue; Lost in Nishitama (Steel Finish) as a vivacious and shimmery cranberry with subtle reflecks of red and silver; and Shallow Depth (Semi-Matte) as a dark, true oceanic matte blue.

I would describe them as…

  • Digital Dragon: an intense metallic bronze that honestly ought to be the sleeper hit of this collection;
  • Secret Samurai: a soft taupe with red undertones (the foiled swatch, behind the cut, displays the colour best);
  • Lost in Nishitama: a burnt red with visible silver shimmer, which is insanely pretty, not to mention really unexpected; and finally,
  • Shallow Depth:the poor girl’s NARS Outremer, though FaceFront’s Semi-Mattes feature microshimmer, which I’m not sure Outremer does.

Comparison swatches later today! (Though I don’t have the NARS; sorry, ladies.)

Swatched L-R: Digital Dragon, Secret Samurai, Lost in Nitshitama, Secret Samurai, Shallow Depth

Individual product photos, ingredients, & more »

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