Browsing Tag

Holiday 2013


OPI Wonderous Star | Holiday 2013

December 30, 2013

On my nails right now: OPI Wonderous Star from the holiday OPI + Mariah Carey collaboration. I just checked out the collection at my local Ulta even though the collection was released several months ago (see swatches on Beauty Geeks and Makeup and Beauty Blog). Wonderous Star is a glorious champagne gold sparkle infused with chunks of black glitter. The base is clear making the finish slightly transparent. I applied it with two coats and was impressed that the finish was very smooth even though it was loaded with glitters and sparkle. I haven’t seen anything like it. It’s definitely one of a kind.

Swatched with two coats:

I definitely recommend checking it out sooner than later before it’s gone. What do you have on your nails right now?


Diptyque Pine Bark, Orange Chai and Indian Incense | Holiday 2013

December 16, 2013

This holiday Diptyque has released three limited-edition scents in special packaging: Pine Bark, Orange Chai and Indian Incense. Each scent comes in two sizes which are slightly more expensive than the regular clear jars. The 2.4 oz/70 g candles are $32 each and the 6.5 oz/190 g candles are $68 each. The jars are made of colored glass – the larger sizes have a metallic sheen to the outside. The packaging is a work of art. The label designs and the boxes have intricate designs that are simply stunning. It’s taken me a while to burn each one long enough to do a review. I first purchased the small size of each scent since I was unsure of how I would like them. I went back after a few burns and purchased the regular size of Pine Bark and Orange Chai.
Indian Incense is described as featuring a “mysterious, dark, floral scent with notes of rose, carnation, incense and myrrh.” It’s one of the darker scents of the three but not too dark or heavy. The strength of this one is very good. I purchased the smaller size and the scent filled the entire room within a few minutes. It’s a spicy floral but not too incense-y which is right inline with my fragrance preferences.
Orange Chai was the one I was most excited about. It’s exactly like orange scented tea. Think the cinnamon teas, but orange scented instead. This one is described as a “mellow blend of orange, quince and a mix of Indian spices.” It has an almost creamy finish to it. I’ve never smelled anything like it. It’s a very unique scent. The strength of this one is also quite strong. I like it but can only take this one in small doses. It can be a bit sweet-smelling.
Pine Bark surprised me. I’ve never been a huge fan of pine scents but this has completely changed my outlook on green scents. For those familiar with Jo Malone’s Pine and Eucalyptus, the Diptyque is similar but a little less sharp. The Jo Malone is slightly more smoky smelling. Both are equally amazing. The Diptyque Pine Bark is described as “a clean, woody, smoky fragrance that combines notes of pine and cedar with hinoki, a Japanese cypress.” I will need to buy a few extras to stock up throughout the year. This one is by far my favorite.

Regular 6.5 oz Pine Bark vs. 1.2 oz Feu de Bois from the 10 piece set (review here)
Out of the three, I would say Pine Bark is the only one I would pick if I had to pick just one. The holiday packaging is absolutely gorgeous. Have you tried any of the Diptyque holiday candles yet? Do you have any other favorite seasonal candles that are new this year?
Pine Bark, Orange Chai and Indian Incense are all limited-edition. Priced from $32 to $68 depending on size. For size reference comparisons, see this post. I purchased all of mine from Nordstrom.

Holiday Gift Guide Under $100

December 15, 2013

One last holiday gift guide post for my picks of items under $100 to help with your last minute holiday shopping. I’m almost finished with mine (later than expected). Hope you are all having a wonderful weekend!
  1. Tory Burch Desk Calendar $75 – such a beautiful desk accessory for the entire year
  2. Nordstrom Solid Woven Cashmere Scarf $65.98 (on sale) – classic scarf in a variety of colors
  3. Diptyque 5 Piece Set $75 – amazing mini set great for trying out a variety of sets
  4. Longchamp Le Pliage Mini $95 – classic tote great for travel or everyday
  5. Tory Burch Robinson Saffiano Leather Coin Purse $95 – love the petite size but functional shape and style
  6. Smythson Notebook $60 – versatile gift that’s appropriate for all ages
  7. Marc by Marc Jacobs Classic Marc Disc Skinny Bangle $58 each (3 options available)
  8. Chanel Le Laque Le Vernis Trio $82 – Pirate, Gold Shimmer and the Top Coat (my favorite)
  9. Moroccan Oil Body Collection $65 – this set looks like a steal, I want one for myself
  10. Diptyque Pine Bark Candle $68 – my favorite holiday candle (review soon)
  11. Urban Decay Naked3 $52 (review here) back in stock online at Macy’s!

For other price points and stocking stuffer ideas you can see my other guides $25 and Under and $50 and Under.


Holiday Gift Guide $50 and Under

December 9, 2013

Another gift guide on my picks for items $50 and under. I love that most stores have items sorted by price point making it easy to search for ideas by category. Currently on my radar (still making my lists):

  1. Chanel Magic or Cosmic Le Vernis $27 each – a must-have for die-hard Chanel collectors
  2. Laura Mercier Bath Duo $48 – comes in a variety of scent offerings, great for those who love sweet scents for bath and body
  3. Tom Ford Lipstick $48 – the classic shade picks for me are Pink Dusk or Spanish Pink
  4. Jo Malone Vitamin E Nourishing Hand Treatment $50 – this is like a spa for the hands
  5. Aerin Rose Hand and Body Cream $40 – great for those who like a soft rose scent that’s not too floral, feels lush and moisturizing for the hands but it’s not too heavy
  6. Kate Spade Holiday Candles $40 – there are four options for Kate Spade candles in glass jars, they look like they’ll make great decorating pieces for the holiday and also after burning
  7. Kate Spade Ikat iPhone Case $40 – cute cover for iPhone owners 
  8. Diptyque Orange Chai Candle (Small) $32 – a lovely warm unique holiday scent that comes in the most beautiful packaging
  9. West Elm Capiz Jewelry Box $39 – small but dainty and lovely, will make a lovely accent piece to any room
  10. Pottery Barn Throw $45 – aa perfect gift for the home, lovely, classic and so soft
  11. Henri Bendel Holiday Candle $30 – Henri Bendel candles are in my top three picks for home fragrance brands during the holidays they often have promotions and price breaks if you spend a certain amount, the holiday scents have lovely gold and silver packaging
  12. Kate Spade Holiday Coasters $20 for a set of 24 – lovely host/hostess gift as an add on to a bottle of wine or gift basket
  13. Jack Black First Class Five Set $49 – killer deal for a starter or travel kit for men, my husband loves Jack Black and I know he would love a sampler set to try different things
  14. Caudalie Divine Indulgence Set $49 – value set priced the same as an individual full-sized Divine Oil, gives an opportunity to try 2 other items in a lovely gift set (bought this for myself)
  15. L’Occitane Hand Cream Indulgences Trio $28 – L’Occitane makes amazing hand creams that are perfect for the purse, holidays are always a good time to stock up or to buy value sets

Holiday Gift Guide $25 and Under

December 8, 2013
With Christmas only a few weeks away I’m determined to make my lists and get all my holiday shopping complete by the middle of next week at the latest. I’ve searched for things by price point starting with the little things I can use as add-ons, stocking stuffers or small gifts. On my radar:
1, 2, 3. Mini fragrances Jimmy Choo $25, Kate Spade $24, Marc Jacobs Dot $22 – great for add-ons
4. Minimergency Kits $15 each – perfect to throw in your purse, keep in your car or store at your work desk
5. Caudalie Duo Mini Hand Cream and Divine Oil $15 – this is what I’m getting for all my girl friends this year as a stocking stuffer
6. Jo Malone Vitamin E Lip Balm $25 – one of my holy grail lip balms, pricey but is something everyone all ages will love and use
7. Essie Hors d’oeuvres Nail Polish $8.50 – a nice little glitzy add-on
8. Deborah Lippmann Boom-Boom Pow Nail Polish $20 – a luxurious splurge for those who love sparkle and bling
9. Pottery Barn Silver-Plated Locket Key Chain $19.50 – a creative gift for close friends or loved ones
10. Burberry Light Gold Nail Polish $21 – another luxurious splurge for the holiday
11. Henri Bendel Cross Your T’s Pen $25 – for those who want a little something extra for their desks
12. Kate Spade Letter Stationary $25 – monogramed cards add a nice personalized touch that is also timeless
13. Henri Bendel Candle Trio $25 – small but the holiday scents are to die for
14. Fresh Assorted Soaps $15 – makes a nice little add-on for the home, Fresh has the prettiest soap wrapping that I’ve seen from any brand
15. Williams-Sonoma Peppermint Bark Bites (4 Pieces) $10 – small bites for those who don’t want to be tempted by the entire tin
16. Williams-Sonoma Classic Hot Chocolate Mix $19.50 – perfect hostess gift, the classic hot chocolate is available only during the holidays (tip – mix and match items to save instores by bundling products)
17. Godiva Dessert Truffles (Box of 6) $16 – an impressive box of six dessert themed truffles will bring a smile to anyone
If you have any good ideas for what you’re doing this year for stocking stuffers or small add-ons I would absolutely love to hear your ideas!!

Chanel Nuit Magique | Cosmic and Magic

December 4, 2013

Chanel just released their Nuit Magique shades in the US in Cosmic and Magic ($27 each, limited-edition at and I found mine in store at Macy’s this past weekend. Both shades apply smoothly and flawlessly with two coats. The colors are very similar to past releases, but are still a bit different. Scroll down for comparisons.

Cosmic is a black infused with silver sparkles. It’s very sheer on the first coat but smooths out perfectly with the second. The silver shimmer is nearly invisible on the nails. I can only see them in direct sunlight or with a high flash. Even though the sparkle doesn’t show up I do think it prevents the color from being too harsh or flat-looking.

For comparisons I pulled Steel (limited from 2010), Black Satin, Noir Ceramic (discontinued). Cosmic is like a cross between Black Satin and Noir Ceramic.

Magic is a dark blue cream with a hint of teal. It’s a lovely striking shade on the nails. Magic is very similar to the Blue Rebel that was released a few years ago but there is a noticeable difference (scroll down for swatches). Magic is shown with 2 coats.

Comparisons show Magic is slightly deeper and more teal compared to the Blue Rebel from a few years ago. Below: Blue Satin, Blue Rebel (no longer available), and Blue Boy (no longer for sale).

I love both and think they are both worth having even though there are similar shades in previous releases. If you want to avoid dupes you can skip these though. Do keep in mind they are limited-edition.
The Nuit Magique shades can be found at Macy’s and as well as various Chanel Boutiques and

Diorific Vernis Gold Coffret – Saks Exclusive | Holiday 2013

December 3, 2013

Saks has released an exclusive nail trio this year, the Diorific Vernis Gold Coffret ($70, limited-edition). The colors in this set include Almee #291 a sheer sparkly gold with tiny micro glitters, Aladin #668 a warm metallic copper, and Apparat #871 a shimmery red infused with gold. It’s a repeat of last year’s Printemps Christmas 2012 set released in
limited quantities and stores. It also contains Apparat, a repeat from
holiday 2011.

Each shade comes packaged in the beautiful holiday bottles with the gold twist off caps. Everything from the gold box to the packaging and colors is exquisite. Dior really created lovely nail colors for the holiday.

Almee #291 is a sheer sparkly gold. I suspect this will be a better top coat on warm colors to add shimmer and sparkle. The shimmer is infused with tiny clear glitters. It’s beautiful in the bottle and on the nails (even though it’s very very sheer). Here it is with three coats:

Aladin #668 is a beautiful warm coppery gold metallic shade. The metallic quality makes it apply slightly lighter on the nails compared to what you see in the bottle. I was impressed with this and how it applied pretty much streak-free (considering it’s a metallic). I didn’t have time to photograph swatch comparisons next to other Dior or Chanel golds, but Aladin is softer and lighter with a more refined shimmer giving it a softer look. Two coats below.

Apparat #871 is a repeat from holiday 2011 in special packaging. It’s a lovely neutral-cool red with gold shimmer. The pigment is incredibly rich and applies smoothly. I don’t think I ever swatched this one on the nails on this blog but it’s a lovely metallic red. (Nail wheel swatch here.)

Dior’s Diorific Vernis Gold Coffret Trio is a luxurious boxed set. The colors are lovely – especially for the holiday and I think it would make a lovely gift for the holidays. Even though I already own Apparat in the regular bottle I still think this is worth purchasing just for the packaging alone. It’s limited-edition and available in stores at Saks and online at