The Beauty of Scent, Scrutinized for Pleasure

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Carrie Meredith interviewed on Olfactoria's Travels blog series, People in Perfumeland

[drawing of me by Niko Nemoto]


I'm super-excited to share this interview that Birgit of Olfactoria's Travels did with me a couple of months ago-- freshly posted today:
I loved Birgit's questions, as they brought out the intensely personal part of me that I don't normally display.There are frivolities and there is serious business, and I don't realize how often the twain really do meet. I think that's because as much as I think I compartmentalize my life, it's all just a big mess of Carrie stew. It's pretty damned tasty, if you ask me.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Beauty Spotlight Team shines a light on Christine: 15 Random Questions for 15 Minute Beauty



It's 15 Minute Beauty's turn to answer some questions, so of course she's answering 15 of them!  Head over to see why she still can't really smell chocolate (really) and if she's a gloss or lipstick girl!

Friday, April 18, 2014

Vincent Longo Cosmetics: My Favorite New Face Revealed & Reviewed

My recent foray into Vincent Longo Cosmetics has left me practically breathless. I'm completely new to the brand, so I really had no expectations besides the very eye-candyish product photos on their website. I've also had several VL products on my Dermstore wishlist for awhile. After being approached by the brand, I asked them to choose products for me with a violet/mauve theme. I was beyond excited when my package arrived. Digging in and testing the formulations on my hand was probably way more fun than it ought to have been, that is, until the following day when I tried it all on my skin.

Only one eyeshadow trio arrived damaged, but because I'm a nurturing soul when it comes to ailing cosmetics, I transferred the contents into a small jar so I could use it as a loose shadow. I do regret that I didn't get to try it when it was three different colors, but the shade resulting from its brokenness is a truly stunning, sparkling silvery violet. Insta-fave. Below you'll find product pictures, selfies and comments on the individual products. Coming up very soon on this blog will be a Vincent Longo giveaway, so check out the goodies, and stay tuned!





[Left to right: Pearl X Eyeshadow in Genesis, Diamond Lip Gloss in Lavender Mews, Dew Drop Radiant Blush in Heart's Desire, Creme Gel Liner in Velvet Plum, Angle Eye Liner Brush #11, Lip & Cheek Gel Stain in Sweet Apollonia]

Trio Eyeshadow Pearl-to-Matte in Genesis ($30)
(light peach, light taupe, deep amethyst)
This is the poor lass who didn't make the trip, but below you can see how it's supposed to look. I'm not terribly sad, though, because the shade I have post-breaking is very beautiful. It's what I used as a base on my lid and crease, pressed in with a large, stiff shadow brush. It's not super-sparkly, so it's great to blend along my lower lash line as well. I don't use eyeliner on my lower lids (for the most part), I prefer to use eyeshadow, and I also skip mascara on the lower lashes as well.

[Pearl-to-Matte Trio in Genesis]





Pearl X Eyeshadow in Destiny Rose ($25)
This gorgeous eyeshadow might be one of my all-time favorites that I've ever used. I'm fascinated by how many colors and effects you really can get out of it. I used the lightest part to highlight the brow bone, and the iridescent icy violet and metallic rose dots over lids and blended into crease. When you add the olive-taupe in, you get a darker, mellower hue that is especially gorgeous used wet as a liner.

[Pearl X Eyeshadow in Destiny Rose]





Lip & Cheek Gel Stain in Sweet Apollonia  ($22.50)
Yes, the fact that this shade is named Sweet Apollonia makes me love it even more-- she is, after all, my second favorite ex-wife of Prince. I mean, I named my cat Computer Blue. These things matter to me. Anyway, I was THRILLED to note that this is a cool tone when sheered out on the skin, and it blends very easily. It's not quite as intense of a stain as say, Benefit's BeneTint, which is nice, but too intense for me. I find Vincent Longo's formulation to be perfect. Not too liquid, not too thick, not at all gloppy or hard to work with. This is easy street, all the way, baby. A very sheer wash totally pops on my super-fair skin, and it's hot as a lip base. It smells faintly of vanilla beans and really, really lasts. I would recommend this gem to absolutely everyone- there are 7 shades, and I need them ALL. Now.

[Lip & Cheek Gel Stain in Sweet Apollonia]



Creme Gel Liner in Velvet Plum ($25) and Angle Liner Brush #11 ($18)
Right about now, you might be asking yourself-- "Is there anything Vincent Longo that this girl does not love?" The answer to that is decidedly 'NO'. In general, I prefer gel eyeliners. I've been doing cat-eye liner since I was sixteen years old, and it was always liquid or cake liner until I discovered gels. I have never met one quite like this. It's hard to give you a precise sense of how Velvet Plum is a true iridescent shade-- it's got a bluish cast to it in a certain light. It brings out the caramel tones in my eyes beautifully, and it is so sexy.

And it wears better than anything I've tried. It stands up to periodic misting with my chamomile hydrosol, dabbing with facial tissue at the corners of my eyes (I did not rub), and it did not transfer to the upper-middle eyelid area, either. Part of the credit needs to go to the gorgeous little brush as well. It doesn't pick up too much product, and it can be used at the tip to draw fine lines or the entire slant edge to create more dramatic looks. It's a compact size, which I love because my hands are small and I love to take advantage of its ability to do tight, precision lines. This is a pair of must-haves that no self-respecting eyeliner junkie should be without.

[Creme Gel Liner in Velvet Plum]

[#11 Angle Liner Brush]




Dew Drop Radiant Blush in Heart's Desire ($30)
The photo above really showcases the gorgeous color and finish of the Dew Drop Radiant Blush. For the first time EVER, I'm totally into the idea of making cheeks the standout feature on my face. There's a trend towards dramatic blush, and while I might not be into the uber-editorial, over the top version of that look, I really do love the effect that bold blush gives-- especially against my pale skin and black hair. If I wanted to seriously play up the blush, I would not use eyeshadow or mascara- just a tight line of the Creme Gel Liner and the same neutral, stained lip with a sheer gloss that I'm showing in these photos.

The texture of Dew Drop Radiant Blush is technically a rich, hydrating powder. It's got a demi-matte base shade flecked with subtly shimmery dots- in this case- it's gold and beige shimmery tones to add a touch of warmth. It blends very smoothly onto the skin-- so well that I can easily use my fingers to do it, as though it were a cream. The result is a glowy flush of color that lasts a lot longer than one would expect with a powder blush. It doesn't rub off easily onto clothes or anything/anyone else, which is nice, because real life dictates that your head is not contained within a glass box so that your makeup application doesn't suffer. Again, this is a product that I want in every shade. Dew Drop Radiant Blush has taken my blush obsession to another level. Sandalwood is the next one in my sights.

[Dew Drop Radiant Blush in Heart's Desire]





Diamond Lip Gloss in Lavender Mews ($22)
This mauve shimmery lip gloss is the icing on the cake. It's long-lasting, layers beautifully over the Lip & Cheek Gel Stain and has a delicious vanilla scent. The name Diamond Lip Gloss sounds like a LOT of sparkle and glitter, but trust me, it's far from it. The multi-dimensional effect created by the very fine shimmer flecks is a trick of the light. The result is that your lips are noticed not for appearing Bedazzled, but as a part of your elegantly put-together face. The color and finish of this gloss plays very well against the satin-matte Dew Drop Radiant Blush-- the perfect contrast within the rich color palette of my dreams.

[Diamond Lip Gloss in Lavender Mews]

Remember, stay tuned, because there will be another Vincent Longo-themed post coming very soon. You'll have the chance to win two full-sized VL products from this very page! 


[samples sent by the company for my consideration]

Other makeup used from my personal collection: Givenchy Noir Couture 4-in-1 Mascara, Urban Decay Naked Skin Liquid Makeup, Veil Cosmetics Illuminating Complexion Fix, Besame Cosmetics Violet Brightening Powder, Jemma Kidd Makeup School Brow Perfector Shape & Lift Duo

Saturday, April 12, 2014

The Beauty Spotlight Team Round-Up: Weekend of 4/12/14



Is Marc Jacobs Lovemarc Lip Gel in Strange Magic true love, or a true miss for Lola's Secret Beauty Blog ? How did it compare to Tom Ford Nude Vanilla?

Carrie from eyeliner on a cat shares her love of multi-tasking products in her Spring Skin Care Round-Up-- and she also has an exclusive discount code just for her readers!

Find out why Jessika from polish insomniac has fallen in LOVE with the new FingerPaints Pastel Rain collection!

The Pink Sith lives up to her moniker with her Top 10 PINK Lipsticks. Check out what made the list!

Mostly Sunny thinks technology really has made the world a better place! For example, with YSL Fuchsia Désinvolte Baby Doll Kiss & Blush, you can now use one product on your lips and cheeks and look fabulous for hours on end!

Prime Beauty visits the French Riveria, indulges in chocolate and gets a tan with no burn all with the Too Faced Limited Edition Bonjour Bronzing Wardrobe, a must-have for pale girls!

Beauty Info Zone wants you to rethink your Easter basket with Lush's Funny Bunny set. Look Ma, no cavities!

Win It!!! Head over to Pammy Blogs Beauty to find out how you can win a "Year's Supply" of Dove products!

Phyrra wants us to kick back and have a drink with the new Silk Naturals Happy Hour Spring 2014 collection!

drivel about frivol examines the evolution of a beauty junkie, through a selection of Kate's baby pictures, including baby's first FOTD. With wings.

As the cosmetic industry keeps upping it's game lip products continue to become more and more impressive. Perilously Pale shows us the new Lancome Lip Lover and what makes it such a standout on the market right now.

Want to plump? Your lips that is. 15 Minute Beauty has shared a luscious way to do so with Bliss Pout-O-Matic.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Spring Skin Care Round-Up: My New Multi-tasking Heroes + exclusive discount

As many of you already know, I love me a brilliant multi-tasking product. I'm a doting collector. As time goes on and my skin issues change, so must the ingredients I seek. This Spring, a new batch of products have hatched into my life, and I'm excited to tell you about them. What's more, I've been given an exclusive discount code to share with you from Wild Naturals! Keep reading...

Wild Naturals Moisturizing Skin Cream 8 oz jar, $39.95
It wasn't long after I purchased and started using this cream for my red, itchy, cranky, broken skin that I found such profound relief, I had to fire off a late-night rambling email to the company, as I am known to do once in awhile. I found it on Amazon.com, sifting my search results for a couple of key ingredients I needed to have. Manuka honey and manuka oil: an absolute must. Hemp oil: non-negotiable. What else? How about CEHAMI: an Australian botanical which has been shown to have incredible anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving properties. Add to that blue-green algae, aloe vera, coconut oil, olive oil and shea butter, and we've just scratched the surface, really. Every ingredient has been carefully chosen and many have been purposefully left out (like water and mineral oil). It only takes about 15 seconds to take effect, and it cools the skin down lightning fast and takes redness and pain away-- and there are no shortcut ingredients like camphor or mint to achieve this effect.

The anti-inflammatory action is immediate, and the gentle hydrating properties are long-lasting. A thin layer works best, and it dries to an almost matte finish and is completely non-greasy. There's not much of a fragrance to speak of, except that it is faintly oat-like and milky to me, which I absolutely love. There is no person or type of skin I can think of that wouldn't benefit from having a cream like this in their beauty bags or their desk drawer at work. Wild Naturals Cream is top-notch, luxurious skin care, genius first aid and a beauty must-have. In other words, a no-brainer.



Currently available at Amazon.com in an 8 ounce jar for $39.95...
BUT WAIT! The very cool guy behind Wild Naturals, Philip Jepsen, has an exclusive discount code to share with the readers of this blog to give you 20% off your purchase: Q8U6CSQ4 (enter code during Amazon checkout process)

(product purchased by me for my own personal use)

Raw Gaia Hemp Heaven Moisturizer 2 oz jar, $41.50 (trial size and 4 oz jars also available)
Welcome to my balm-of-the-moment! Raw Gaia's Hemp Heaven moisturizer has an uncomplicated list of pure, organic and cold-pressed ingredients: cocoa butter, apricot kernel oil, hemp oil, wheatgerm oil, sweet orange and lemon essential oils. Perhaps it doesn't sound too special at first sight, but don't be fooled: contained within this jar is a powerful panacea for numerous skin problems, including regular ol' dry AND oily skin.

With only a little dab warmed between hands and pressed or massaged into skin, irritation is quelled, dryness is swiftly banished and all types of acne, psoriasis and eczema are battled. Each component of Hemp Heaven is prepared and combined in a way so as not to compromise the full integrity and potency of each ingredient. It is Mother Earth's healing genie-in-a-jar, and when all else fails me (which almost everything does at some point, unfortunately), Hemp Heaven is there to help patch me up again.

Thankfully, this impressive UK brand is available for US customers to purchase via Wave Healing Arts





(sample provided by Raw Gaia for my consideration)

KiwiGlow Body Oils, 4 oz ($35 each)
KiwiGlow makes organic, unrefined, cold-pressed sesame oils boosted with vitamin E and natural, plant-derived fragrance oils.These super-fine, silky body oils are incredibly scrumptious. The scents are not at all cloying and the oils can be used anywhere- body, face and hair. If there's just one product you throw in your beach or gym bag besides sunscreen, make it a bottle of KiwiGlow.

The lightweight consistency seals in moisture and is absorbed into skin quickly, but not so quickly that you can't use it for massage. My twice-daily self-massages (Ayurvedic abhyanga) have become a very important part of my day, and KiwiGlow fits the bill perfectly. I favor Verde for an energetic lift and Earth for that grounding, soothing calmness I need when my nerves are frayed.

Earth has hints of frankincense, patchouli and vanilla
Verde is infused with sweet citrus and eucalyptus
Amaya is infused with botanical notes and petals of dandelion, the fragrance is crafted to evoke lily of the valley.


KiwiGlow VERDE

(samples provided by KiwiGlow for my consideration)

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Beauty Spotlight Team Interrogates Lisa from Beauty Info Zone!

Lisa from Beauty Info Zone is just a girl who can't say no.  Find out what fashion faux pas she made in the '80's, how cemetery plots used to keep the cash flowing, and the worst part about owning waaay too many cats.



Friday, March 28, 2014

The Beauty Spotlight Team Round-Up: Weekend of 3/28/14




Lola's Secret Beauty Blog has fallen madly in love with African Botanics Marula Résurrection Eye Crème because it is an antioxidant rich anti-aging cream that gives real results. It is truly amazing!

Carrie from eyeliner on a cat reviews Sage Lifestyle's newest perfume called Diamond-- a lovely gem 10 years in the making!

Everyone's buzzing about the OPI Sheer Tints and the Nicole by OPI Roughles Check out how polish insomniac layered them to create a match made in heaven!

There are some gorgeous blushes in Giorgio Armani's new Maestro Mediterranea collection. Mostly Sunny has a sneak peek of a bright Maestro Fusion Blush for you!

Phyrra shares her Top 10 Cruelty Free Spring Beauty and Accessory Items!

Spring means new fresh lip colors to Beauty Info Zone and we have some from Senna that are so so Pretty in Pink.

Prime Beauty brightens up your spring with her Top 10 Spring Beauty and Accessory Picks!

Are you short on time yet you still want a high-end, results-oriented, and spa-like treat for your skin? See why Pammy Blogs Beauty loves reaching for these Age-Defying Exfoliating Pads from Radical Skincare. From the effervescent feel to the amazing results, these are totally worth checking out!

Get a sneak peek at the new Dior Addict Fluid Sticks and see why Perilously Pale is so enamoured with this new lip product.

15 Minute Beauty asked the experts, and they responded! Here are the favorite eye creams of dermatologists! Is your eye cream listed?