Monday, January 9th, 2012

By Caitlin, Fragrance Contributor

Caitlin recently completed her master’s degree in British Literature at St. Andrews in Scotland. She’s just moved back to the U.S., currently residing in Pennsylvania, and now works for a local non-profit. She studed French during her undergraduate years and even lived in Paris for a years. She loves traveling, but now that she has to hold down a “real job” now, she travels by way of new perfumes. She says fragrance has a way of transporting you to a new place, which is one of the reasons she loves perfume! You can follow her on Twitter!


Guerlain Jicky: A Life-Changing Scent

Confusion is not an emotion I expect to feel when sampling a fragrance, but that was exactly my experience the first time I came across Guerlain Jicky (Eau de Toilette, $98; Eau de Parfum, $122; Pure Parfum, $317). I had never before experienced such enticing notes mixed with something a little strange, something a little off-putting. The thing is, that jarring note wasn’t quite off-putting enough. It was off-putting in an interesting way, in a good way, if that’s possible! Jicky was the first fragrance I found to be truly compelling precisely because of its oddness.

Making its debut in 1889, Jicky is the oldest fragrance in continuous production. Guerlain attaches a romantic history to it: Aimé Guerlain fell in love with a girl while studying in England. Her nickname was Jicky. It was an unrequited love, and Aimé was obligated to return to his family in France. Still, he wanted to memorialize his first love, and thus he created Jicky. Who can say if this is the true story? But if it is the truth, Jicky must have been a unique woman because her namesake fragrance is anything but typical.

Containing notes of bergamot, lavender, civet, and vanilla, Jicky is famously divisive. It was initially a complete flop with women. Jicky was much more successful with men during its early years, and Guerlain now classifies it as unisex. Jicky’s contentiousness comes from the sense that it smells ‘dirty’ both in the sense that people find it too reminiscent of sex and too much like actual dirt. The animalic civet note is the troublemaker here, but I actually love this note in Jicky!

To me, the civet brings much needed balance to the fragrance. Jicky’s opening is a whirlwind of lemon, bergamot, and lavender. It’s intoxicating, but it teeters on the brink of smelling too medicinal. When the civet kicks in, it anchors the fragrance with more warmth and depth. There is an undeniably ‘dirty’ aspect to the civet but, again, balance is the key to Jicky. The cool lavender top note persists well into wear time and blends effortlessly with the warmth of the civet.

The Jicky Eau de Toilette is a bright and sparkling composition that focuses more on the citrus top notes, while the Eau de Parfum is more civet-heavy, and the extrait of pure parfum emphasizes the herbal lavender note. I have worn and enjoyed all three concentrations at different times; it simply depends on your mood as to which one you would prefer.

Any and all of Guerlain’s classic fragrances are worthy of the life-changer moniker but Jicky is the one that speaks to me. Jicky is not straight-forward or easy to love. I have returned to this fragrance again and again, and each time I feel simultaneously puzzled, pleased, frustrated, and seduced. But I love Jicky in all its beautiful strangeness. Worn at the right moment, there is nothing like it.

 

Monday, January 9th, 2012

By Adrienne, Scotland Contributor

Adrienne lives in Scotland, and she writes for The Sunday Girl, which is mostly beauty but with a little life thrown into the mix. She was born and bred in Scotland, still resides in a damp Scottish town, and jokes that she sees about three days of sunshine a year–but it’s a lovely place to live. She is currently attending university studying both English and French with hopes to become an English teacher.In her free time, she loves to shop and hang out with friends–and beauty blog when she can!


SleekMakeUp Original Palette

5 Life-Changing Products from the UK

I typed this post up with the though what local to me products do I reach for on an almost daily basis and what products would I wholeheartedly recommend without a second thought. Truth be told the list was rather large but I have scaled it back to just five must have products!

SleekMakeUp Original Palette (£6.49)

Most palettes come with a running theme, such as neutral, smoky, or brights but this 12-pan palette has nearly all the colors covered. The original palette has a vast array of shades from bright to neutral that will easily carry you from day to night all encased in a slim compact with a sizable mirror. Each eyeshadow is highly pigmented and mineral based. The black eyeshadow in this palette has to be one of the most pigmented I have ever stumbled across, and it can double up as an eyeliner if you apply it wet.  It’s the perfect eye palette to keep in your handbag for any occasion!

Gosh Lipstick (£6.49)

Gosh lipsticks are all highly pigmented, come in a variety of finishes, apply with ease, and wear comfortably throughout the day without drying out the lips.  I get around four hours of wear from each application, but I am a habitual re-applier so you may find you get longer from each application. Unlike some drugstore brands, these are not highly scented, which I know some may find offensive. My personal favorite shade by Gosh is Darling, as not only can it be worn as a nude milky lip shade, but I also find it works particularly well as a lip eraser if you apply, blot, and then apply your chosen lip color on top. Gosh are particularly good at launching limited edition shades for each season to coincide with runway trends. Another shade to look out for is Gosh Tropical Pink that looks just wonderful on all skin tones.

Accessorize Bronzer Duo (£6.00)

As you might have noticed, I like my products to work hard and have more than one use; anything that can double-up has my attention. Accessorize Bronzer Duos are baked bronzers that are very similar in texture and finish to MAC’s Mineralize Skinfnishes, only with a much reduced price tag.  These are branded as bronzers, one shade in the duo tends to be far too light to do any bronzing and is best suited as a highlighting product, which makes it a multi-tasking product. You can apply the light shade as a highlighter, the darker shade as a bronzer, or sweep both shades together. My personal favourite is the Laguna shade that consists of a pink-toned bronze shade combined with a champagne toned section.

Check out two more life-changing products and photos! Continue reading →

Sunday, January 8th, 2012

By Madeline, Teen Beauty Contributor

Madeline is 17-years old and currently attends high school in southern California. She’s also lived in D.C. and a Connecticut suburb of NYC. She loves to read, write, as well as shop, travel, play golf, and spend time with her family and friends. She’s excited to go to college and hopes to attend university on the east coast. Despite living in California now, she feels like a New Yorker!

Check out her blog, This Little Preppy Goes West!


Teenage Beauty Madeline’s Beauty Must-Haves

Perhaps I am reading too much into the matter, but knowing someone’s “must-haves” is sort of like a window into their soul. I think these types of posts are extremely helpful, not to mention interesting. Hopefully, you’ll learn a little more about me from my favorite products!

I love the fun, edgy clothes from Topshop, so when the company released a line of cosmetics, I was excited to test it out. By chance, I found the unique gel/cream formula of blush, which happened to be on sale at the time.  Aside from the adorable and characteristically British packaging, Topshop Blush in Crushed Berry ($12.00) has all the qualities of a “holy grail” product. The dark berry color gives a healthy natural-looking flush with a slight hint of reddish-pink. This color is great for everyday and goes with every look. In fact, this blush is everything I wanted Benefit Benetint to be. However, what I like most about this product is the consistency. The formula is described as a cream, though it feels like a light, almost-solidified gel, with great but not heavy pigmentation. If you haven’t checked out Topshop cosmetics, I would definitely recommend it next time you’re in New York, Chicago, or the UK.

Like most every other beauty lover, I am a big fan of all MAC’s bestseller shades. I love All That Glitters, Woodwinked, Sable, and the list goes on. However, I think MAC Soba Eyeshadow ($14.50) is one of the most underrated shadows offered by the brand. The golden-sand color is completely universal and works great all over the eyelid, as well as in the crease. In my go-to look, I pair Soba in the crease with All That Glitters on the lid for an easy and natural eye.

If I’m going to wear a powder blush, I almost always reach for Benefit Sugarbomb ($28.00). The combination of the four colors is natural and brightening. Another interesting fact about the Benefit Boxed Powders is that they all smell delicious. I’m not sure how they make a powder have such a delightful, yet subtle scent, but I’m certainly not complaining!

Check out more of Madeline’s must-haves!  Continue reading →

Sunday, January 8th, 2012

By Eva, Local Contributor – Asia

Eva considers herself thick-skinned and confident, so you’ll always find her in good spirits! You might find her serious and quiet, though, but she says there’s a part of her that’s childish and always giggling inside. She’s a carefree spirit who sometimes relies too much on luck, but she can’t help it.

Eva loves meeting new friends, especially those who share her passions. She gets easily obsessed and falls in love with new things, whether it’s a book, movie, or person. She also has a fascination for history and all things historical, especially European history! Check her out on DeviantArt!


Eva’s Beauty Favorites from Asia

Every region’s has to have something unique about their products, and today, I’m sharing my must haves from the local brands of Asia!

Sofina Primavista Long Keep Base ($48.00)

Sofina is a highly rated Japanese brand, which is famous for its foundations and base products.Primavista Long Keep Base is an absolute lifesaver for me, and it does a terrific job of controlling the oil from my t-zone. Although the base is light pink in color, it goes on colorless. I tend to layer a primer over this base for the best effect.

Majolica Majorca 4-pan Eyeshadow Palette ($28.00)

Majolica Majorca is a drugstore line from Shiseido, so one could get a idea of its quality. I love it for its affordable price tag and pretty packaging, but really, the superb quality is what makes it fantastic! I was blown away by how smooth and buttery these eyeshadows felt. The palette has complementary shades so it is easy to coordinate colors. Plus, the packaging is gorgeous; one of my palettes was from a special collection and the little edges were reminiscent of cookies.  I’ve seen neutral, pink, purple, green palettes. The majority of these, however, have a lot of shimmer, which makes it ideal for gyaru makeup (anyone interested in knowing more?).

K-Palette 1 Day Tattoo Eyeliner ($15.50)

Stays on just like a tattoo–no smudging, fading, and absolutely waterproof. The precise brush is fabulous for drawing defined lines. I like applying my eyeliner after my fake lashes, so the precise tip allows me to get into the gaps that aren’t connected.

Etude Drawing Eyebrow Pencil ($10.00)

So easy to maneuver that a well-defined brow is just a sketch away. It’s also great for drawing a crease. The spoolie on the other end allows you to comb through your brow if you have a heavy hand and ended up drawing your brows too dark. The eyebrow pencils are mechanic, which means no product waste from sharpening. They come in brown and black.

shu uemura Skin Purifier ($40.00)

This has a fresh smell to it. My friend gave a sample size to me a few times, and they last for quite a while. She says buying the sample sizes are much better, since you won’t end up pouring as much as you would with the larger bottles, and if you calculate the overall price, it’s a better bang for the buck. (Though I haven’t done the math myself!)  It removes makeup effectively, and the refreshing smell is quite pleasant. Pour a little amount into the palms of your hand and lather with water–so easy!

Sunday, January 8th, 2012

By Jamila, Fragrance Contributor

Jamila is a graduate of Spelman College, native Atlanta peach–but with a California Girl personality. She loves to smile, laugh, and enjoy her life to the very fullest. She’s been a beauty fanatic since her teenage years.

Jamila finds every day is a blessing and believes in living beautifully–carpe diem!


Viva La Juicy

Jamila’s Fragrance Essentials

As a woman, there are never enough things that we absolutely need. There are my fragrance essentials–products I am always going back to for day-to-day use as well as special occasions. There is nothing better than being clean and smelling even better. Fragrance begins within one’s personal body composition and continues throughout the layers of products. I try to remain neutral in scent when washing my body, and even putting on lotions or cream, so it does not interfere with the scent I wear during the day. My scent gets adventurous when I am using perfumes–my scent collection is like the rainbow–all different notes and feelings.  I like to choose a scent based on the time of day or the type of activity I will be doing.

Go-tos: MAC Turquatic, Versace Crystal Noir, Paco Rabanne Lady Million, Marc Jacobs Oh Lola!, Gucci Flora ( Black and Gold Label ), Chanel Chance, Coach Poppy, Gucci Guilty, Kenzo Flower, J’adore Dior, Ralph, Viva La Juicy, Givenchy Irresistible, D&G Light Blue, Hanae Mori Butterflies, Vera Wang Princess

Celebrity fragrances can be tricky, but a few that I like are Kimora Lee Simon’s Baby Phat, Halle Berry’s Pure Orchid, and Queen Latifah’s Queen.  When I was a teenager, Britney Spears Curious was a favorite of mine for awhile.  My dream fragrance is Killian.  It’s sold at Saks Fifth Avenue, and it is absolutely to-die-for.  He uses essential oils for his notes, which allow for easier application and better wear throughout the day.

If you’re new to the art of wearing perfume, you can get the most out of your fragrance by layering your favorite scent and opting for Parfums, which are more concentrated (compared to an Eau de Parfum or Eau de Toilette).  Not all scents can be layered easily, but check to see if your favorite also has a body lotion or body wash.

What are your essential fragrances?

Saturday, December 31st, 2011

By Leili, Hair Care Contributor

Leili is a 19-year old New Yorker who is obsessed with beauty, chocolate, and celebrity of the trashiest kind. Her drawers look like the stockroom of a hair salon! She’s currently enrolled in her second year of college but still trying to decide on her major. When she’s not worrying about that, she’s either at home with a good book, baking scrumptious goodies for her family, or exploring new restaurants with her friends. Check out her blog, Materialistic Musings!


Photo by kelsey_lovefusionphoto

How-to Restore Post-Holiday Hair

While the festive party season brings happy memories, gifts given and received, it also leaves us with a few less-than-desirable things, like thunder thighs and damaged hair! Most people hit the gym or start a diet to help them get back to their pre-holiday lifestyles, and there’s no reason that shouldn’t hold true for your hair as well. Here are my favorite products and tips to help you get lovely, lustrous and healthy locks:

Get a haircut.   Though it seems obvious, it’s really important to get a regular haircut.  For those afraid of hairdressers: there is simply no better cure for dry, damaged hair like a haircut—it’s really something that no other supposed miracle product can fake. The start of the new year is a great time to try out a new hairstyle, but if you’re not willing to take the plunge, simply ask for a trim. I know a lot of people try to grow out their hair and hate to lose any length, but those locks really won’t be healthy until you’ve had the damaged ends snipped off. There’s really no better feeling like bouncing out of the salon with the lightness of a fresh cut styled in a fabulous blow out!

If you’re not going to the salon, or even if you are, hair masks and deep conditioning treatments are something to think about for restoring moisture. While there are numerous hair masks on the market today, Davines Nou Nou Nourishing Repairing Mask ($25.20) is one of my favorites. The Italian brand can be a little hard to find, and it’s not the most pleasant-smelling (think sharp, mustard greens), but it works like nothing else. For a more intense treatment, I like to apply this to damp hair in the shower, clip it up, and then sleep with it in overnight with a towel draped over my pillow. It might be slightly uncomfortable to do but nothing gives my hair such moisture and shine.

Swap your leave-in product for an oil.  The consistency of each would lead you to believe that the cream is more hydrating, but I’ve found the oils to be much more moisturizing. These have really become popular in the last few years, and there are tons available at all different price points. My favorite, however, is the Maybach of hair oils:  Shu Uemura Essence Absolue ($65). Of course, you do not need to spend the money on this particular one, as most hair oils deliver that terrific dose of intense moisture, shine, and anti-frizz power. They’re also terrific for using as a treatment–just run a few more pumps of the product into dry hair and let it sit for a while before washing it out (I recommend shampooing twice—these oils are no joke). If you are going to use an oil in this way, however, I would suggest using a higher quality one as I’ve found that the ones available at drugstores don’t work well for this purpose.

A product designed for your ends. They’re absolutely essential for those looking to revive or prolong the health of their tips. They are the most vulnerable to dryness and damage, so they’re definitely worth looking after. If they’ve split already, you’ve gone past the point of no return, so go and get them trimmed off! But for preventative measures, I like the Bed Head Ego Boost ($15.50), but there are a lot of similar ones out there on the market. They even make some that are supposed to hide the look of split ends, but we’re going for health here, not the appearance of it.