Sunday, March 30, 2014

Beauty Blogazons Weekly Roundup

  • TheFabZilla: Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush #2. This time, TheFabZilla got her hands on Mood Exposure
    • Lola's Secret Beauty Blog: Love subscription beauty boxes? Then ring in the warm weather with the fabulous Beautybox 5 March 2014 box! 
    • Makeup, Life and Love: Tired of searching for the perfect concealer? Read as Jamie shares a few of her favorites- from drugstore bargains to maximum coverage. 
    • My Newest Addiction Beauty Blog : LUSH Cosmetics has their Easter 2014 products out right now! See some of the limited edition goodies!

    Thursday, March 27, 2014

    Beautiful, Useful, Joyful - Sweet Sammy Creations

    I have always loved the saying, "Get rid of anything that isn't beautiful, useful, or joyful," and I also love to shop using the reverse of that statement - "Is it beautiful?  Is it useful?  Is it joyful?"  After years of moving, living overseas, shopping in all corners of the world, and just acquiring the "stuff" that comes along with adulthood, adhering to this rule has helped me a lot in clearing out the clutter from my life and also from making wise purchases for myself and for my home.  So, today starts a new ongoing series of posts for Put On Your Big Girl Lipstick in which I can share all of the beautiful, useful, and joyful non-beauty-related things that I find with all of you!  

    One particularly great place for finding unique and beautiful/useful/joyful things is Etsy.  I can spend hours browsing all of the gorgeous and eclectic handmade items on this wonderful site, and I especially love shopping Etsy for gift ideas for friends and family.  One of my recent Etsy finds is Sweet Sammy Creations, a local Atlanta e-tailer owned by Martina Michon and her daughter,  that makes personalized notecards and gift enclosure cards.  Along with a perfectly made pitcher of sweet tea, a good biscuit recipe, and a knack for saying "bless your heart" in just the right way, every good Southern girl knows the value of a hand-written note on a lovely piece of stationery.  And, I have always loved the elegance and practicality of gift enclosure cards, which are smaller than a standard fold-over note cards or correspondence cards and add a pretty finishing touch to any gift bag or wrapped present.  Sweet Sammy makes gift enclosure cards that are perfect to include with any present, small or large, and with several beautiful designs and monogram/personalization options.  

    First, let's take a moment to ooooohhhh and aaaahhhh over Sweet Sammy's adorable packaging:

    And now...a big Southern girl shout-out to all things monogrammed, including these oh-so-pretty mint and taupe floral gift enclosure cards...swoon!
    The other cards I chose are a whimsical, multi-colored floral pattern:
    These 3x3 gift enclosure cards come in sets of 12 and also include plain white envelopes for each card:

    These elegant and practical enclosure cards definitely pass my beautiful/useful/joyful test (raise your hand if pretty new stationery makes your heart sing!), and I have already given several gifts and included these wonderful cards with them.  

    A set of 12 cards plus white envelopes costs $12.50, and Martina and her daughter are meticulous in making sure that every detail from the font to the correct spelling is done to your specifications.  

    Feel free to follow me on Etsy, too, to see my favorite Etsy shops and items!

    What are your favorite Etsy shops?  

    Sunday, March 23, 2014

    Spring and Summer Fragrance Favorites

    Helloooo out there.  Long time no "see"!  Despite our recent "Snow-Ma-Geddons" here in Atlanta, we're starting to see some warm weather and blooming flowers (and pollen).  So, all of my fellow fragrance addicts know what that perfumes for spring and summer!  I have acquired a few new scents lately, so let's take a look at my current spring rotation.

    First, back in the winter I picked up a travel-size spray of Tocca's Stella from Sephora.

    Now that I am on my last few spritzes, I finally broke down and bought the full-size eau de parfum spray AND the body lotion of this gorgeous sweet, floral-and-citrus scent.

    Look at this bottle!  All of Tocca's perfumes come in these beautiful feminine, round, vintage-style thick glass bottles with elegant scroll designs on the cap.  (I swear it weighs a pound or two...I could do bicep curls with it in a pinch.)  Attention other fragrance houses with your ugly, plastic-and-glass bottles with angular, wacky designs that look like something out of my high school Geometry class (I'm talking to you, Thierry Mugler and Givenchy)...THIS is what a perfume bottle and its packaging should look like:

    Stella is composed of blood orange, bitter orange, and watery notes for its top notes.  Freesia, lily, and water orchid make up its middle notes.  The drydown, however, is DIVINE with notes of sandalwood and musk (thought I can still smell the blood orange at the end of the day).

    And, its matching Stella Crema de Corpo Body Lotion actually has notes that are a bit different (rose, peony, mandarin, rose absolue, and amber), which makes it a lovely and interesting combination for layering with not only Stella eau de parfum but my other floral and citrusy scents.

    So far this combination has gotten me numerous compliments, even after I can just faintly smell it on myself.

    My next scent is a re-purchase of a fragrance that I bought a few years ago, Lancome's O de L'Orangerie, pure and total citrus-y, green, fresh floral happiness in a bottle:

    Another scent with a beautiful bottle made of relief light green glass, O de L'Orangerie consists of orange blossom absolute and citrus top notes, jasmine and orange blossom middle notes, and base notes of cedar and benzoin, which is actually a tree extract that is commonly used in fragrances and for medicinal purposes.  For an eau de toilette, this fragrance has surpisingly good longevity and sillage, though it is what is also currently in my Travalo Fragrance Atomizer that I keep in my purse.

    Next, a recent "impulse buy" from Sephora that I have ended up really liking is a rollerball of Balenciaga's newest creation, Rosabotanica.

    This clean, woodsy take on rose is Balenciaga's second and most recent addition to its "Botanical Garden" line, which began with 2012's Florabotanica.  Aside from choosing the sulky Kristen Stewart to be the spokesmodel (Why??!!  Somebody please take this girl to see Anchorman 2 or steal some laughing gas from your dentist's office for her), Balenciaga has hit the ball out of the park with this fresh, modern interpretation of rose.  It opens with notes of hyacinth, fig leaf, and petitgrain.  Middle notes include rose, cardamom, pink grapefruit, and pink pepper.  It then dries down to base notes of white amber, cedar, veviter, patchouli, and woody notes.  While it is lovely on its own, its longevity is not as good as Stella or even O de L'Orangerie, but what I discovered is that it is really nice to layer over my other floral scents, especially my good ol' faithful Bvlgari Rose Essentielle, which you know from my Fall and Winter Fragrance Favorites post is a longtime favorite of mine.  The combination of these two is absolutely stunning, as the Rosabotanica adds a fresh, clean layer to the Rose Essentielle's sweet, heady scent.

    A recent GEM of a discovery for me (though it has been around for a while) is The Perfume Court, an online perfume site where one can order decants (small samples made from full-sized perfume bottles) of vintage, indie, niche, and even mainstream fragrances.  It is a great way to try out a hard-to-find fragrance or even one that is just insanely expensive before taking the plunge to purchase an entire bottle.  Here are the samples I've ordered so far:

    (l to r) Guerlain's L'Instant Magique, Tom Ford's Neroli Portofino,
    Houbigant's Quelques Fleurs Royale, Chanel's Coromandel,
    Frederic Malle's Carnal Flower, and Jo Malone's Iris and White Musk Intense

    Of these 6 scents, Frederic Malle's Carnal Flower is my favorite, a heady, in-your-face tuberose scent that is not for the faint of heart.  I'm also loving Chanel's Coromandel, part of their Les Exclusifs de Chanel collection and woody-oriental scent that can kick the pants off of just about any of today's mainstream oriental fragrances.  Even the classic Yves Saint Laurent Opium and Chanel's own timeless Coco cannot hold a candle to this spicy, warm beauty.

    A tip for using up all of those samples - I keep all of my little vials from The Perfumed Court and other stores in a pretty pink Depression glass bowl that I found in an antique shop and put them on my perfume tray so that I'll remember to reach for them.

    So, it looks like spring and summer are going to be fresh, floral, citrusy months for this fragrance fanatic.  Here's a look at my current perfume tray (you can read here how to make your own beautiful perfume tray to display your fragrances on), which also includes some of my constant scents such as Prescriptives Calyx, The Body Shop's Shea fragrance spray (I wear it to bed!), Bvlgari Rose Essentielle, and a year-round favorite, Chanel's Coco Mademoiselle.

    What are your favorite spring and summer fragrances?  Have you discovered any new favorites?

    Happy spritzing!