Tom Ford Amber Absolute Eau de Parfum Review, Photos

Tom Ford Amber Absolute Eau de Parfum

Initially, it is a burst of smoky incense and amber with an underlying sweetness punctuated by vanilla. A little spicy, but more like a dark, smoky room with incense burning in the background, and it’s very strong and nearly overwhelming in the beginning. Amber is noticeable at every point in the evolution of this scent as the day wears on, but it is most apparent after an hour or so, when the fragrance gets drier.

The vanilla isn’t cloying nor the star at any point while wearing this scent, but it is always there, balancing some of the headier notes of labdanum. The heart of the fragrance is amber, with a resinous incense rounding it out for the first hours, then getting it woodier and a little sweeter. The woods really don’t come into play until several hours have passed, but then they are there, subtle but distinct, along with a touch of sweetness from the vainlla bean.

Like Oud Wood, this is a potent, long-wearing scent–I can still detect it into the next day. Though a pricey affair, I find a spray on my wrist, then gently dabbed onto the other wrist and beneath my ears, is more than enough.

final thoughts: Scents are certainly personal, and at this price tag, trying-before-buying is something you should seek out if possible. It’s a heady, amber scent with lots of smoky incense and a hint of vanilla sweetness.

where to buy: Nordstrom

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Giorgio Armani #517 Rouge d’Armani Lipstick

Giorgio Armani #517 Rouge d'Armani Lipstick

Giorgio Armani #517 Rouge d’Armani Lipstick ($30.00 for 0.14 oz.) is a brightened, dark fuchsia with semi-opaque color coverage and fuchsia and pink micro-shimmer. I love that it’s fuchsia but still very much a pink, too; it’s not so fuchsia that it leans purple or violet. Most of the shades I’ve tried from the Rouge d’Armani lipstick line have been opaque but this is short of being full color coverage.

my thoughts on the formula: The formula itself is moisturizing, long-wearing (six to eight hours), and comfortable to wear. It’s not clingy nor heavy, and there’s enough slip to give it that creamy look where the color nearly melts against your lips. Rouge d’Armani Lipsticks are also scent- and taste-free (and no waxy scent, either!). It comes in a sleek, glossy black case with a magnetic enclosure to ensure your lipstick is closed at all times.

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final thoughts: This is a shade that should work on a variety of skin tones, because deeper pinks can add a lot to a look, and because it doesn’t lean too cool, work well on warmer skin tones, too.

where to buy: Nordstrom

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NYX Sparkling Beige Lipstick

NYX Sparkling Beige Round Lipstick

NYX Sparkling Beige Diamond Sparkle Lipstick ($4.00 for 0.14 oz.) is a rose-tinged amber brown with lots of copper shimmer and micro-glitter. It is kind of opaque, but it doesn’t apply evenly, so it ends up looking patchy in some places but totally opaque in others. This one was a bummer, because it wasn’t as creamy as NYX lipsticks typically are, and the overall result was less impressive.

my thoughts on the formula: NYX Diamond Sparkle lipsticks are super, super shimmering/glittery (I think the formula’s name should give that away!).  Sometimes they’re opaque, but sometimes, in this instance, they aren’t quite.  Texture can be a little gritty.  However, the scent of them can run from waxy to synthetic sweetness (neither are particularly pleasant)–and sometimes they smell like nothing at all. I typically get two to three hours of wear.

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final thoughts: It just depends what your expectations are; I think it can be a fun layering shade for the price tag, but it’s not the same quality as other NYX lipsticks.

where to buy: NYX

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theBalm Just This Once Jamie Eyeshadow

theBalm Just This Once Jamie Eyeshadow

The packaging is simple cardboard, which makes these easy to stack and store, plus a little more eco-friendly than plastic, though it may not stand up to wear and tear as prettily as plastic.  I think the cardboard is plenty durable, but you may get a couple dents and scratches over the months/years.

my thoughts on the formula: theBalm’s eyeshadows are soft, silky smooth, and packed with pigment, but I did find that Just This Once Jamie seemed to sheer out a touch when blended.  It was not quite as pigmented as other theBalm shades I’ve tried, and it is a shade that is better wet than dry, because the dampness gives it something to cling to.  It applies evenly and blends out beautifully–but when dry, it nearly disappears when blended.  Worth noting, too, is individual eyeshadows come with 0.12 oz., which is just over double the average eyeshadow–and at a rather affordable price tag.

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final thoughts: Definitely worth the price, and you’ll find it will take you quite awhile to hit pan on one of theBalm’s eyeshadows–but even better is that you don’t really end up paying for that privilege.   I wish the texture was more adhesive, such that the color wouldn’t sheer out so easily when applied–I felt like I had to be really careful blending it before it seemed faded.  When used wet, it does work better–but I found using it dry to be of little use and it had to be used wet.

where to buy: Sephora

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