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Serge Lutens

Eye Makeup

Mascara Hits and Misses

August 4, 2017

Mascara Testing Hits and Misses

I have a new updated mascara roundup. I’ve been trying a few new formulas and have some hits and some misses. The humidity in Florida is pretty high and the sun feels a million times stronger here than it did in San Diego. Finding one that holds up to the humidity has been a process.

  • Bobbi Brown No Smudge Mascara is a formula I had purchased from a duo over last holiday. I had it sitting in the box waiting for my other tubes to get used up. I was pleasantly surprised because the reviews with this were mixed. It had zero clumping, defined lashes, volumized, coated evenly, held the curl and had no smudging. For me this is a hit.
  • Sisley-Paris So Intense Mascara is one I tried from the Nordstrom Color Twist Set (review here). Huge hit with this one even though the comb is so tiny it looks like it won’t grab lashes. It allows you to get right at the base without touching the skin. This usually isn’t a big deal for me if the mascara is good because a quick clean up with a Q-tip fixes it after application. However this one makes application easier. It volumizes, holds curl and doesn’t smudge.
  • L’Oreal Lash Paradise Waterproof is the first drugstore mascara I’ve actually liked. I’ve tried dozens and end up throwing them all away after 2 uses because they either dry to a grey looking black, smudge or don’t hold the curl. This literally was WOW with the first try. It’s everything I want in a mascara – volume, definition and holds the curl. I absolutely love the waterproof version because there is zero smudging. Blackest Black is the color I tried and it’s a true rich black. It does take more work to remove at the end of the day but is completely worth it. Huge hit.
  • Tom Ford Waterproof Extreme Mascara has to be mentioned again even though it’s not new to me because it’s my favorite waterproof mascara. No smudging, holds the curl, volumizes – huge thumbs up. I’ve repurchased this one the most in the past year.
  • Chanel Le Volume Waterproof is another classic. The regular Le Volume is good, but I prefer the Waterproof version because it holds up better in the humidity. This is one of the few rubberized applicators I like – most other brands just don’t do it for me. A classic one for me.
  • Dior Pump N Volume Mascara was a big miss. The first application was decent for volume, holding the curl and having a true rich black color. Every application after that was a clumping disaster – even when I removed excess from the tube by cleaning it. When there’s buildup, every once in a while I’ll take the wand and run it in between a folded piece of paper. It’s just like you would do with a tissue or paper towel but using paper makes it so those cotton fibers from tissue won’t get caught in the bristles. The volume on this one is really good and there are quite a few rave reviews on this one, if it didn’t clump all the time it would be perfect.
  • Serge Lutens Comb Mascara is another miss for me. I had such high hopes for this one as it came highly recommended and the online reviews on the formula were stellar. It has a similar applicator to the Sisley-Paris one. For some reason this Serge Lutens one made my lashes look spidery. It took a while to dry and smudged with a few blinks. After it dried down it had decent staying power but didn’t hold the curl and didn’t have as rich of a black finish as other ones. It wasn’t the worst but there are much better formulas for me out there.

A few notes on other mascaras I’ve loved but didn’t feature in this roundup. Other long-time favs have included the By Terry Mascara Terrybly, Chantecaille Faux Cils, Stila Huge Lash and Bobbi Brown Eye Opening Mascara. Most of these still work for me in the humid hot weather, I’ve just been rotating through different options recently. If you’ve had your eye on the Chantecaille one I highly recommend you check out the Touch-Up Essentials Set while it’s still available for the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale because it’s a great deal. The only one that doesn’t work so well for me in humid weather is the By Terry option, but they do have a waterproof version which I want to investigate.

Best Makeup Remover Lancome | The Beauty Look Book

For makeup removal longer lasting formulas and waterproof ones are going to be more difficult to remove in the evenings. Most of these I have to use a multi-step process to take them off in the evenings. Regardless of whether I double cleanse with a cleansing oil or cleansing water, I always use a cotton pad and soak it with eyemakeup remover first. My favorite formula used to be the Chanel Gentle Bi-Phase Eye Makeup Remover but these days I’ve found it’s just ok. Some of the longer lasting formulas don’t come off anymore with this one and I don’t know if the formula of the makeup remover has changed or if I’m simply finding formulas with better lasting power. Some thing goes for the Neutrogena Oil-Free Eye Makeup Remover. It used to be a long-time go to but my last bottle didn’t perform as well as I remember it did in past years. My current go-to is the Lancome Bi-Facil Double Action Eye Makeup Remover (available in this value set from Nordstrom here and here). For cotton I’ve tried a number of brands but my favorites are from Chanel and Sephora.

If I had to pick one mascara to use for the rest of the summer that would be a hard choice. I would be able to narrow it down to three: Sisley-Paris, L’Oreal and Tom Ford.

What are your favorite mascaras for the summertime?



Fragrance Collection To Date

February 7, 2012

Photographed in one post by request: my fragrance collection. All 15 fragrances I own (minus one from Tocca which I gifted away and not including the little tiny samples I have accumulated). Where reviews are applicable I will link them. All photos were taken with my iPhone 4S Hipstamatic App.

Row 1:
Jo Malone Sakura Cherry Blossom
Row 2:
Row 3:
Row 4:
Row 5:

I rotate my fragrances more frequently than I rotate my foundations. My nose is fickle and tires quickly of the same scent when I wear them. I’ll alternate depending on mood. The longest I’ve worn a single fragrance is 4 days in a row (Jo Malone Wild Bluebell which I consider magical b/c I use it quite liberally and have barely made a dent in usage). I find the Jo Malone fragrances to be the most simple/pure which allows for easy layering. Out of all of these, my Jo Malone Tea Fragrances are my most worn. Have I used up any yet? No … but I’m more than 1/2 way finished with some of my limited edition Jo Malone tea fragrances.
What fragrances do you own? Or have owned/used up? I feel like my fragrance collection grew overnight and I completely blame my friend LJ along with other fragrance bloggers. Can I count some of my Jo Malones as 1/2 a fragrance because of the size? I know my L’Artisan Holiday Trio is getting used up very fast (each are in the miniature sizes which I will count as 1/3 of a full-sized one). I almost always purchase the smaller option for fragrances even though the larger sizes are often a much better buy. I’m curious to know how many fragrances do you own?

Serge Lutens L’Eau Eau de Parfum

July 25, 2011

I’ve been interested in trying Serge Lutens L’Eau ever since I read about it on over a year ago. I’ve had it on my list to smell every time for ages, yet this fragrance always manages to slip my mind when I am at Barneys – there are simply way too many distractions. This past weekend I finally remembered. It’s been reviewed as the perfume for those who do not like perfume. I was instantly intrigued since I am one of those women who doesn’t really like perfume. Yet after reading so many mixed reviews I spritzed this with an open mind.

I sprayed it on my wrist and was pleased with the simple, clean and pure scent. At first it seemed a bit too simple, slightly unoriginal and very familiar to something else I’ve tried before. Still I liked the freshness and the beautiful bottle. I told the sales associate that I would think about it. It wasn’t until 3 hours later that I decided to go back and purchase it. Throughout the afternoon I kept sniffing my wrist. I was surprised by the longevity of the perfume, especially given the “lightness” of the scent. Also, after a few hours, I did not have a headache  which was a huge plus (I find many fragrances migraine-inducing). Also, as simple as this scent is, I personally found a bit more depth than “simple clean.” Hard for me to describe, but click on over to Nathan Branch’s review and it will make complete sense to you.
As I was looking at all the Serge Lutens bottles, smelling them one by one again, the sales associate recommended I also try the Nuit de Cellophane layered over L’Eau. The combination was interesting but a bit sharp for my taste. A bit too floral, but a sharp floral. She kindly made me a sample to take home which I will be trying out more in the upcoming weeks.

From the fragrance reviews I’ve written you can tell I gravitate towards the simple scents.  I’ve been getting regular use out of all the Jo Malone Tea Fragrances. This is my first Serge Lutens purchase which I know many say is not typical of his fragrances, but I love it. I’ve always been drawn to Un Bois Vanille, yet every time I’ve tried it I find it slightly too heavy for my taste. It smells so much better on my friends. My quest for the perfect vanilla continues. Most are simply too sweet and cloying for my nose. Un Bois Vanille comes so close to the perfect combination of notes for me … but not quite what I’ve been looking for.
Do you own any Serge Lutens? What are your recommendations?

The Scent Bar – Los Angeles (Lucky Scent)

April 18, 2011

My dear friend Laura has been raving about The Scent Bar – Lucky Scent for years and this weekend we finally made a point to visit it together. This was my first visit and it was truly wonderful (aka perfume heaven). When it comes to fragrances I am overwhelmed, slightly intimidated and utterly lost. If you ask me what I like I will be at a loss for words – I just know it when I smell it. I have recently started to explore the world of scent a bit more with simple fragrances from Chloé, Tocca and Jo Malone, but perfume is something I know little about. If you are ever in LA, make The Scent Bar a top priority to visit for the ultimate perfume experience. I highly recommend reading Nathan Branch’s Interview with Franco Wright (co-owner of Lucky Scent) and another interview from We Heart This: Behind the scenes with Lucky Scent/Scent Bar.

For my experience and thoughts: The retail space is small and quaint but they carry walls of perfumes organized by notes. Seeing all the bottles lined up was just beautiful. There is a bar to sample fragrances. We spent about two hours with Rachel and Steve – both walking encyclopedias on fragrances. Rachel’s knowledge of all the scents and brands was astounding. Her ability to pick out the right fragrances for the two of us (Laura and me) was almost magical. It was almost like a two hour tutorial on fragrance. Those who have been to Lucky Scent know that no words can really describe the experience.

Walls of heaven:

After each whiff we would analyze what we smelled. Then Rachel and Steve would pull something else for us to compare with different undertones. They made both of us feel completely at home. I think we could have spent all day there.

I cannot remember all the brands we sampled but the two that stood out to me were Serge Lutens and Keiko Mecheri. Amy from Café Makeup, Josie and Laura have all gushed, swooned and raved non-stop about Serge Lutens. I felt drawn to the Bois de Violette, Fleurs d’Oranger, Louve and Un Bois Vanille – but I was looking for something a bit lighter and less complex. Something without too much spice.

I discovered Keiko Mecheri’s fragrance line for the first time. I’ve read about some of her scents on The Non-Blonde and Nathan Branch before but since this is a hard to find brand, I had never paid much attention. Every fragrance we smelled from Keiko Mecheri was exquisite. Her website has an interesting sampling program which I am anxious to explore.

Hours later (yes hours), Laura and I had narrowed down our selection to several Keiko Mecheri fragrances. I personally loved:

  • Les Nuits d’Izu (part of the Les Hesperidés line) – with notes of Yuzu, Rose japonica, jasmine, littoral moss, hinoki, musk
  • Hanae (part of her Les Eaus Tendres) – notes include white petals, Japanese grapefruit (yuzu), wildberries, crystalline musk
  • Peau de Péche (part of her Les Eaus Tendres) – notes of white peach, orris powder, sandalwood, amber wood
I left with Les Nuits d’Izu and a few samples of other Keiko Mecheri and Serge Lutens. I am not the best at describing fragrances, the Les Nuits d’Izu is light and fresh with a subtle hint of rose. The musk, jasmine and citrus hint from yuzu blends well with the rose so it’s not too floral. The musk and citrus stay the longest on the skin while the others fade, but overall I found the lasting power to be extremely good.

I already have my eye on Hanae which layered beautifully with Les Nuits d’Izu, but I must be good and use up what I have acquired. I cannot rave enough about our perfume experience at The Scent Bar. It was truly unique and the attention and service we received was phenomenal.

Have you been to The Scent Bar before? What are your favorite discoveries from Lucky Scent? I’m all ears to hear about your experiences there.