Section: Skincare & Fragrance

The Day in Beauty Vol. 25: Chanel’s New No. 5, and a Hello From Redding, California!

Published in: Chanel, Fragrance, Just For Fun, Product Reviews

chanel no 5 leau

The new Chanel No. 5 L’Eau

L’eau, the places, we’ll go! I’d love to take you to Paris or Hawaii, my friend…but for now, how about Redding, California? 🙂 That’s where I’m writing you from today.

Confession: I love me some Chanel, but I’m not really a Chanel No. 5 sort of girl. I’ve worn it many times over the years in the hopes that I’d fall in love with it because of its storied history and iconic past and, you know, because it’s Chanel, but it always felt like a pair of shoes that never quite fit me as perfectly as I’d like. Scent is such a personal thing, and No. 5 always seemed a little too serious for me.

I remember going to Filipino parties when I was young and being forced to hug aunties that I didn’t know, and they would always be wearing Chanel No. 5, and noisy jewelry, and they always had big hair, and when I hugged them, it would tickle my nose (the big hair AND Chanel No. 5).

No. 5 L’Eau is a new version coming to Chanel counters this fall — a reimagining of the scent — that will sit alongside the original, and I LOVE it.

With L’Eau, you definitely get the sense that you’re wearing No. 5, but it’s noticeably different. It still carries many of the original’s same notes, like May rose, but in a lighter elixir that seems more delicate and, dare I say, more fun.

Lemon, mandarin and orange stand front and center. To my nose, L’Eau seems airier than the original No. 5 and almost weightless, like a brush of tulle against naked skin.

Look for it this fall at Chanel counters. The 3.4-oz. bottle shown here is $132.

Enjoy the rest of your Saturday, babes. It will be a hot one here in Redding, as it always is this time of year (over 110 degrees!), so my big plan for the day will involve finding the coolest spot in an air conditioned room.

I checked in with Tabs this morning over Skype, and he and his favorite petsitter haven’t thrown any ragers yet. Let’s hope they don’t.

What do you have going on this weekend?

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,

Karen

The Day in Beauty Vol. 24: The Best Black Liquid Liner and a Makeup Tip for Late Nights

Published in: Clinique, Essie, Just For Fun, Nails, Product Reviews, Skin Care

I Love the ’90s…

That was the name of the concert I went to last Saturday night — I Love the ’90s — with my friend Marisol, and it was the first time I stayed out late since…

Shoot, I can’t even remember, but it’s been a looong time. I’ve been serving hard time in baby jail for almost five months now, and even before Connor arrived, back when I was still pregnant, I wasn’t going out a lot because I was ginormous, always tired and constantly uncomfortable.

Anywho, like I was saying, I hadn’t been out since forever, and when we were driving back home in the middle of the night from Jackson, California, which is a small town — I’m sorry, Jacksonites — out in the middle of nowhere, I suddenly got the feeling that I was wearing 20 layers of makeup on my face.

I wasn’t wearing a ton, though. Just, like, NARS tinted moisturizer, some powder, a little bit of cat eye makeup, so nothing too cray, but after being out and about in the summer sun for a few hours and perspiring at the concert, that drive home was rough.

I couldn’t wait to get home and wash my face, and Marisol said the same thing.

Has that ever happened to you? — where you get the sudden urge to wash your face in the car on a long drive home in the middle of the night? I mean, Marisol and I can’t be the only two people.

Oh! — I just thought of a genius (if I do say so myself) idea for the next time I’m out and about in the wee hours (whenever that may be). I’ll bring along a pack of makeup wipes to keep in the car! 🙂

That way I can remove my makeup, wipe down my face, and let my skin breathe. Then when I get home, I can just fall right into bed, ah…

By the way, these new Clinique Take the Day Off Micellar Cleansing Towelettes are SO BOMB.

Clinique Take the Day Off Micellar Cleansing Towelettes for Face & Eyes ($14 for 50 wipes)

Clinique Take the Day Off Micellar Cleansing Towelettes for Face & Eyes ($14 for a pack of 50 wipes)

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The Day in Beauty, Vol. 20: Roses and Tea with Annick Goutal, and a Bouquet of Lovely Lavender

Published in: Fragrance, Just For Fun, Tocca

annick-goutal-1

Hey, sweetie boo, happy Caturday! 🙂 It’s a sun-shiney day in Novato today, and I’m up bright and early because babylove is all about that rolling over lifestyle. She figured out how to roll over, and now it’s all she wants to do, so she got up at 6 for her morning meal and workout.

Do you have any plans for the Fourth? We’re thinking about driving up to Petaluma for the afternoon.

How was your week? Mine had a lot to do with scents, first with those TOCCA hair perfumes, and now with these two scents by Annick Goutal, which are kind of on the new-ish side.

Annick and I go waaaay back. I first started wearing her perfume back in 2005, I believe it was. It was on the whirlwind European backpacking adventure when El Hub proposed. We were in France at the time, and even with my broke-down high school French, I still managed to buy the biggest bottle of Des Lys perfume (which was limited edition), as well as a SECOND backup bottle. WHA?? I know. The power of beauty compelled me, even across international lines.

I like Annick Goutal’s scents because they’re usually light and refreshing. I mean, you know I love heavier, full-bodied scents in fall and winter, but lighter scents are really nice when it’s hot. When I’m perspiring, it seems to amplify whatever scent I’m wearing, and when I wear lighter scents, it doesn’t overtake the room…

annick-goutal-2

Rose Pompon is like a peppery peony rose (super dainty and feminine), and L’Ile au Thé (Oooh! My fave!) smells like a lemony iced tea with dash of sugar.

So freakin’ good.

Speaking of scents, you might’ve noticed this beautiful bouquet of lavender in the background. I picked it up the other day at Trader Joe’s for $3.99.

I couldn’t wait to get it home, but as soon as I did get it home, I was like, “What the heck am I gonna do with this now?”

lavender

I put it in some water, but now I’m starting to rethink that strategy, because I have a lavender plant on my back deck, and it absolutely hates being overwatered, so now I’m thinking that I should take it out of the water and let it dry. I dunno… If you have any experience with lavender, please hook a cat lady up.

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:)

My Latest Skincare Finds for Combination Skin

Published in: Guest Post, Skin Care

combination skin

Fresh-faced in my work-from-home uniform of gym clothes and funky glasses

Over the past year or two, my decidedly normal skin became very “combination.”

Maybe it was my cross-country move from NYC to the Bay Area, or maybe it’s just that I’m in my 30s now, but I’m constantly looking for the right products for my sensitive, combination skin.

Here are some things I’ve been testing:

combination-skin-2

The skincare products I’ve been testing lately (L to R): boscia Charcoal Mattifying Makeup Setting Spray, Erborian Bamboo Matte Lotion, Murad Oil-Control Mattifier SPF 15 and Sephora Clarifying Booster

I don’t like heavy skin products, especially now that it’s consistently over 85 degrees every day, so I’ve been trying out all kinds of different things, from setting sprays and toners, to SPF and skincare boosters.

First up is Erborian Bamboo Matte Lotion (available at Sephora for $34). It’s the product I’ve been using the longest of this bunch, and for good reason. I love it! It’s definitely earned a place in my skincare routine.  

It’s actually a toner, and I picked it up randomly one day at Sephora because I’d been curious about it for a while. As you can see in the photo above, a powder settles at the bottom of the bottle. I just give it a quick shake and apply directly to my face.  

Since my skin is classic combination right now — dry on my cheeks and shiny along my T-zone — I can’t really get down with strong toners because they just make my skin feel too tight, but this Bamboo Matte Lotion manages to work well wherever I use it.

The water is infused with moisturizing bamboo, but the powder helps soak up oil. 

I love applying this after I wash my face. It just balances my skin so perfectly.

I’ve also been testing Murad Oil-Control Mattifier SPF 15 (also available at Sephora, and it’s $40).

It’s a moisturizer with SPF, and I definitely like the convenience of having one product that does both. It does a great job preventing shine, but at the end of the day, my cheeks feel a bit tight when I use it. I don’t think that translates into visual dryness, but I can feel it!

Also, I feel like SPF 15 is pretty low for a sunscreen, and I like to wear SPF 30 at least. My uncle was diagnosed with skin cancer when I was in junior high, and even though he was able to get treatment in time and is doing just great now, that experience alerted me to the danger of not protecting myself from the sun. 

I’m gonna get off my soapbox now, but outside of the low SPF, I think this Murad does a good job at keeping my skin matte.

combination skin

Testing serums, sprays, toners and lotions

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Mist Me, Please, With the TOCCA Hair Fragrance Collection

Published in: Fragrance, Product Reviews, Tocca

tocca hair fragrance

I can imagine seeing these bottles laid out on a vanity in Sophia Coppola’s Marie Antoinette, all nestled amongst the feathers and powders and potions and other opulent things…

Every time I spray one of these TOCCA Capelli Profumatis fragrances, also known as the scents in the TOCCA Hair Fragrance Collection, which is available now exclusively at Anthropologie, into my hair, I can’t stop sniffing my strands!

I’m an unapologetic TOCCA super fan, and these hair mists are just as lovely and fresh as the other fragrances I love in the line.

You mist them on your hair for scent, obvs, but they’re also supposed to moisturize and add a subtle shine, too, which comes courtesy of coconut oil.

tocca hair fragrance

There are five $36 scents in the collection, all of which are inspired by fragrances in the TOCCA line, but they aren’t exact replicas, as TOCCA pulls on some of the notes to bring them to the forefront.

I think these versions smell a little lighter and a little fresher than the original TOCCA fragrances on which they’re based.

I can’t get enough of three of the five. Those are Liliana, which has notes of peach muguet; Collette (which is my FAVORITE, favorite, ahh!), which has notes of vanillla and sandalwood; and Stella, which has notes of Italian blood orange (which is different, ya know, than California blood orange…).

There’s also Cleopatra (grapefruit and cucumber) and Florence (bergamot and gardenia), but I haven’t smelled those two yet. I’m hoping and guessing they’re also lovely.

Official fragrance notes

  • Florence: an alluring combination of bergamot, crushed violet petals and blond wood (floral)
  • Cleopatra: rich amber patchouli blends royally with vanilla musk and hints of tuberose and grapefruit (spice)
  • Colette: a lush mix of bergamot, citrus, juniper and pink peppercorn mingle with florals, musk and woods (fresh)
  • Liliana: neroli, gardenia and faint peach (fresh)
  • Stella: a flirtatious combination of sheer musk, white freesia, blood orange and spicy lily (fresh)

— anthropologie.com

I bet these would make great gifts for a girlfriend’s birthday or… Oh, I gotta remember this! — for Mother’s Day next year. Or maybe this Christmas, but I’m not always sure about giving perfumes as a present because they’re so personal, and because an entire bottle of perfume seems like such a huge commitment on the receiver’s end, ya know?

But a hair scent, I dunno… For some reason, that seems more like an accessory. Plus, TOCCA’s scents have been pretty universally pleasing, in my experience. I’ve never run into a girl who doesn’t like TOCCA.

tocca hair fragrance

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