Sephora has released a new line just for men called Matte for Men. There are five products in this line, and it's quite comprehensive. They include:
- Complete Head Care Lotion: an all-in-one moisturizer for face, neck, forehead, scalp, and ears
- Antioxidant Shave Gel: A shaving cream alternative created for head and face
- Complete Cleansing Cloths: an all-in-one cleansing and toning solution
- Antioxidant Daily Facial Cleanser: foaming cleanser designed to clean without drying
- MAN Powder: a body powder that keeps skin dry and comfortable
Looks like some great stocking stuffers at a fairly reasonable price. Available exclusively at Sephora.
I'm a Lush fan. Every year after the holidays I find myself a Lush store (kind of hard to do, the closest one to me is about 400 miles away) and grab their biggest gift sets, and then get my second one free. This enables me to have all my amazing Lush products for the rest of the year, almost. Although I will admit to refreshing the bath bomb collection periodically through the year.
So, really, I only do major Lush shopping once a year. That is, until I went in this year to sample some of their new products (all of which I will be writing about in short order). I walked out after spending $100 with some great stuff, but also a ton of wrapped gifts free! Talk about making my holidays a bit easier.
At any rate, I hadn't tried Flying Fox Shower Gel yet, but I had heard really good things about it. The description from Lush really says it all, I think:
Lots of women would love to believe that they were Cleopatra in a past life. Chances are though that they were somebody more like Mildred. Or Bob. Fortunately, a bunch of fabulous jasmine flowers decided to reincarnate as Flying Fox shower gel. Its infinitely sexy and mysterious scent makes any shower fit for a queen. And we added some honey so you can stay sweet in case all that power goes to your head. Divine!
Divine indeed. I've never been a huge jasmine person, finding that it's often just too sweet for my taste, but this might change my mind. It's gorgeous, and certainly not a one note wonder. You don't just get the jasmine with this one. There is something else there, and it's fantastic.
Another must have from Lush.
Flying Fox Shower Gel by LUSH, from $17.45 to $24.75. Available at LUSH or Amazon.com.
Do you have a Tiffany fanatic in your life? I admit that I love the brand, and purchase myself a little something every time I am in NYC. What I love about it is not the iconic association with Audrey Hepburn, but the design of the pieces. So beautiful, sleek, and chic. And Tiffany blue! Love.
The product description for Tiffany Style: 170 Years of Design states: In Tiffany Style, Tiffany’s design director John Loring gathers for the first time in one volume the most renowned and memorable pieces ever produced by the company. In this “best of Tiffany” collection, readers will find a spectacular array of objects, from Louis Comfort Tiffany’s famous lamps and vases to opulent silver tea sets to Andy Warhol’s whimsical Christmas illustrations to Elsa Peretti’s signature heart pendant. Drawing from a rich selection of design sketches and vintage and contemporary photography, all taken from Tiffany’s unparalleled archives, as well as new photography taken especially for this book by Harry Benson, Tiffany Style reveals the company’s fascinating history and evolution through its most unforgettable creations.
This belongs on my coffee table.
Tiffany Style: 170 Years of Design, $31.50, at Amazon.com.
All this talk about Tom Ford has made me almost forget my main squeeze, Michael Kors. I do love me some Michael - he consistently makes fashion accessible to many, and his fragrances are among my favorites.
One that I haven't tried yet, although I'm dying to, is Michael Kors Very Pretty. Although the name sounds like something I'd find at my local Victoria's Secret, the description sounds wonderful.
Intense sparkling citrus drenched coconut meshed with sheer white florals add a touch of femininity. Sensual vetiver and lush sandalwood create a sophisticated balance, resulting in an indulgent floral interpretation of the original Michael Kors fragrance. Housed in a luxurious, sparkling bottle, this new fragrance is all dressed up for the holidays.
Every time I spritz on a Michael Kors fragrance, I always want to head to a beach somewhere. They just have that effect on me, but this one seems a bit more complex.
Michael Kors Very Pretty, MichaelKors.com, $75.
The premise of The Lucky Guide to Mastering Any Style: How to Wear Iconic Looks and Make Them Your Own
is to take iconic looks and make them your own. Lucky breaks it down into 10 different looks:
- Euro Chic
- California Casual
- Rock and Roll
- Posh Eclectic
- American Classic
- Arty Slick
Each look has pages of "essential pieces" that combined, make up the look. From daywear to accessories, everything is covered. They show you then how to mix the pieces together to give you a look, and give you shopping resources, both brick and mortar stores and online venues. Fit and styling of each iconic look is examined, and two real-life examples are pictured with items directly out of their closets.
All of this is really helpful, and it's fun to see how the looks come together. The main problem here is that most of us are really a combination of two, three, or even four of these styles. Rarely do any of us purchase exclusively out of one of these styles. Fortunately, Lucky has a small section at the end that shows how Lucky staffers mix and match the looks, pulling from two of the styles.
A lot of the resources will be fairly obvious (Ralph Lauren for the American classic look), you will find some great resources to explore. The last section of the book has "Lucky Breaks," which is a listing of stores that are offering discounts to the book's readers, from such companies as Urban Outfitters, Tarte Cosmetics, and Hayden-Harnett.
All in all, I think this is a great resource to have if you're trying to achieve a very specific iconic look, but if you're looking for a resource to help you pick out quality clothing that is flattering to your body type, you might want to skip this one.
The Lucky Guide to Mastering Any Style: How to Wear Iconic Looks and Make Them Your Own, Amazon.com, $19.80.
I'm a Tom Ford fanatic. I'm sure my regular readers are well aware of this, but I feel compelled to point it out every so often. The man is just sex in human form. Black Orchid is my holy grail fragrance. I think his design is on point. Which is why I think this gift set would be perfect for any Tom Ford lover on your list.
Has the following scents:
- Amber Absolute: A hallmark private blend fragrance. Amber Absolute is a honey-colored scent infused with the purest form of amber, joined by a tenacious refrain of African incense, labdanum, rich woods and a touch of vanilla bean.
- Black Violet: Crisp citrus surrounds a modern pulpy fruit accord, fused with black violets. Woody accents fold into oakmoss adding the universally comforting sensation of warmth.
- Bois Rouge: This woody oriental opens with a blend of elegant citrus and spice. The luxurious heart reveals cedarwood, patchouli, jasmine and muguet. Sandalwood, vetiver, amber and refined leather are warmed by vanilla and tonka, adding lasting depth and texture.
- Japon Noir: A contemporary fragrance enriched with flavors from the past opens with an inviting spice bouquet and warms to reveal patchouli and porto noir accords. Night-blooming jasmine, leather, amber and vetiver add a deeper, sleeker touch.
- Moss Breches: Dark and complex, this mystical chypre combines fresh wood and warm spice notes with the delicate essence of beeswax absolute. The scent intensifies with the addition of ingredients such as Moroccan clary sage, Hungarian tarragon, Corsican rosemary and labdanum, patchouli and benzoin.
- Neroli Portofino: A modern intercontinental version of an iconic fragrance theme balances luminous citrus oils and floral notes with amber undertones that awaken the senses and leave a splashy yet substantive impression.
- Noir de Noir: A dark chypre oriental, this scent opens with an earthy mantle of richly woven saffron, black rose and black truffle, with hints of floralcy. Underneath, vanilla, patchouli, oud wood and tree moss soften the intensity, making the scent a sensual experience.
- Oud Wood: Exotic rose wood and cardamom, blended with exuberant Chinese pepper, envelop the wearer in warmth. Eventually, the center exposes a smoky blend of rare oud wood, sandalwood and vetiver. Finally, the creamy scents of tonka bean, vanilla and amber are revealed.
- Purple Patchouli: This '60s-inspired floral woody fragrance opens with an elegant orchid accord and wet, succulent citrus notes. The heart blends noir leather and a signature patchouli accord with exotic spices, supported by the intense depth of amber, patchouli, Peru balsam and vetiver.
- Tobacco Vanille: A modern take on an old world men's club. A smooth oriental, Tobacco Vanille opens immediately with opulent essences of tobacco leaf and aromatic spice notes. The heart unfolds with creamy tonka bean, tobacco flower, vanilla and cocoa, and finishes with a dry fruit accord, enriched with sweet wood sap.
- Tuscan Leather: A chypre blend of notes brings a raw yet reserved sensuality to this original take on a classic leather scent. Saffron, raspberry and thyme open to olibanum and night-blooming jasmine. Leather, black suede and amberwood add an intricate richness.
- Velvet Gardenia: A heady floral blend of ripened black gardenia and succulent orange deepens into a heart of jasmine, rose and muguet. Tuberose blends with dark plum, honey and beeswax, finishing with a smooth accord of incense and labdanum.
Tom Ford Private Blend Rollerball Set, Nordstrom.com, $225.
It's the season for giveaways, isn't it? So many great blogs are giving away some great things, and I'm going to put together a great list for you soon.
In the meantime, I'm so happy to be giving away some amazing products. Sothys, based in France, not only has a beautiful spa (go check out some photos at Sothys.com!), but some amazing products. One lucky reader will win an at-home spa kit, choosing from Sensitive Skin, Normal Skin or Oily Skin. They are described as follows:
Contains: retail size Hydra-Protective Creme, retail size Vitamin Serum, trial size Desquacreme
Contains: retail size Immuniscience Creme, retail size Clearness Serum, trial size Clearness & Comfort Mask
Contains: retail size Hydra-Matt Fluid , retail size Clarifying Correcting Serum, trial size Absorbent Mask.
Enter between now and 12/5 for your chance to win! Only one entry per person, please, and this contest is open only to residents of the U.S. (sorry!). Good luck!
The FTC says that you all need to be told how I obtained a product that I'm reviewing. So to make it easy, I've come up with graphics that will be at the end of each product review.
Did you even know that NARS had skincare? I'll admit to being in the dark about that one, although I've always had a love/hate relationship with NARS. Love Orgasm, can't stand most of the eyeshadow duos. Not a fan of the foundation, but love the body oil.
I recently had the chance to try NARSskin EFA Night Infusion. I'm always a bit leery of any kind of oils on my face, since I'm so prone to breakouts, but I had great luck with this. It didn't feel greasy at all, and left my face feeling smooth to the touch.
Here are the benefits, according to NARS:
The exclusive NARSskin Omega-3 Lipid Support System™, an essential fatty acid complex, nourishes and repairs the skin cells deep within the lipid layer. The skin’s absorption ratio is optimized as the complex simulates the skin’s lipid content, ultimately allowing the skin to increase its intake of hydration.
Essential fatty acids have long been recommended as part of a nutritious diet, and have multiple benefits for the body, so it makes sense that they would have benefits for the skin as well.
While the price is high, Narsskin EFA Night Infusion makes an excellent moisturizer, especially if you are concerned about dry skin.
Q: I'm not African-American, but I have very thick, coarse, curly hair that I straighten. A friend of mine told me that I could avoid the flat iron every day by wrapping my hair, but I don't know what that is. Help!
I love it when my readers force me to learn new things! I have thick, coarse hair that requires constant straightening too, and I didn't know anything about it. However, an hour spent on the intertubes and asking people that I know paid off! I have a new beauty routine to add to my evening.
Basically, wrapping your hair is just that: taking your (usually longer, but not always) hair and literally wrapping it around your head, then tying it with a scarf before bed. It seems like everyone does this differently, and there is no real "right" way to do it.
Before you begin, you might consider having the following items on hand: wide-toothed comb, stiff (but not plastic) bristled brush, duckbill clips, a glossing spray, and a silk scarf.
To begin, spray hair with glossing spray or spray-in conditioner, and make a part down the back of your head, as if you were making pigtails. Starting on one side (whichever side you choose), start combing your hair clockwise around your head, gathering hair as you go. Depending on how thick your hair actually is, this might start looking like a beehive - that's totally fine. No worries, since you're not going out for the evening. Keep wrapping your hair around your head literally in a circle. If you need to, use clips to keep hair in place. Some people will clip hair at the hairline to keep strays where they need to be.
Next, grab your scarf and tie it tightly around your head, making sure no strays are poking out. Pull any clips out (if you're like me, and can't stand anything pushing into your head when you're sleeping) and take yourself on off to bed. In the morning, you can unwrap your hair and find that it doesn't need any straightening whatsoever.
I hope this helps!