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Items of Intrigue, Vol. 006

Items of Intrigue, Vol. 006

It’s amazing how many new products roll out each week–how any one person could actually keep up with them all seems like an impossible feat to me! Here are five items that caught my attention this week:

  • Sedu Icon Prive Dryer ($700.00) might be one of the most expensive hair tools I’ve ever come across. That’s not a typo, you know! I’d love to see this in action.
  • Bath & Body Works Sweet Cinnamon Pumpkin Gentle Foaming Hand Soap ($5.50) is a new-for-fall scent, which I haven’t tried, and I keep my apartment stocked with these hand soaps. They’re almost as easy to collect as Philosophy Shower Gels!
  • Hourglass Powder Brush No. 1 ($65.00) just made me aware that Hourglass made brushes. What? Where have I been? Now, I’m generally a big fan of Hourglass’ products, so I might just have to venture to Sephora to see if these are on display.
  • Illamaqua Shimmer Blush ($24.00) is new for fall, and I’m eager to see how it performs against their matte blushes. I love that Illamasqua has a lot of matte finishes, but it’s nice to mix it up.
  • Jo Malone Fragrance Combining Cologne Collection ($95.00) is something I’d definitely like to try — and I love the idea of small-sized scents, because I know it takes me forever to get through a bottle. And I really mean forever, because I’ve never finished a perfume.

What products have interested you this week?

Estee Lauder Holiday Compact Collection 2011

Estee Lauder Holiday Compact Collection 2011

To celebrate the holiday season, Estée Lauder invites you to experience the unique and collectible Good Fortune Metal Compact and Solid Perfume Compact Collection. Each year, Estée Lauder unveils a stunning, limited-edition collection full of extravagant pieces that enhance the holiday gift-giving season with refreshing charm and brings an incomparable joy to existing and future collectors alike.

This season’s collection is an ode to the desires of good fortunes: Love, Prosperity, Luck, Success, Happiness and Peace. Each powder compact is ornamented with semi-precious stones representing their fortune, while the solid perfumes are transformed through use of symbolism and color. From the sophisticated detailing on the Beautiful Luck Elephant solid perfume compact to the eye-catching purple agate on the Success Compact, the exceptional details continue to draw attention and have become synonymous with the luxury of the EstĂ©e Lauder compacts. In addition to our in-house creations, we joined forces yet again with celebrated American designer, Jay Strongwater, to create elegant and whimsical designs that everyone can enjoy. Each compact is then handcrafted by a specialized team of artisans schooled in the fine art of costume-jewelry making.

Solid perfume compacts feature EstĂ©e Lauder’s Beautiful, Youth-Dew, Sensuous, pleasures and White Linen fragrances. Powder compacts include the universally wearable Lucidity Translucent Pressed Powder. All holiday compacts are limited edition.

All Fortunes ($125.00)

Combining all good fortunes on one compact with complimentary semi-precious stones of Green Malachite, Lapis, Tiger Eye and Rose Quartz.

Love ($65.00)

The hearts signify love and passion with accents of Red Agate on the Love powder compact and the classic Beautiful fragrance in the sleek solid fragrance compact.

Beautiful Love Heart ($95.00)

Carry around your neck a heart that represents romantic love and passion. This striking pendant opens to reveal Beautiful fragrance in long-lasting solid perfume. A tender bouquet of lilies and roses, marigold and orange blossoms…all warmed with a rich, woody base and brightened with a touch of citrus.

Propserity ($75.00)

Catching the light like a prospector’s treasure, a golden compact reflects a future full of prosperity. The multi-faceted cover is intricately textured. The clasp gleams green, set in malachite. Filled and refillable with Lucidity Translucent Pressed Powder (small-size refill).

Youth Dew Gold Coin ($89.00)

A shiny golden coin perfumed compact including the Youth Dew fragrance and a touch of Green Malachite on the powder compact clasp reflect a future of abundant wealth.

Luck ($65.00) (Neiman Marcus Exclusive)

This golden compact featuring shades of citrine crystal represents a lifetime of luck and optimism.

Beautiful Luck Elephant by Jay Strongwater ($295.00) (Neiman Marcus Exclusive)

A limited-edition collectible, this lucky elephant with shimmering stones has its trunk up for a life of good fortune.

Success ($75.00) (Neiman Marcus Exclusive)

Protecting an imminent future of great success is represented by the Purple Agate powder compact.

Sensuous Success ($225.00) (Neiman Marcus Exclusive)

Protecting an imminent future of great success is represented by the lock and key solid perfume that holds a solid formula of the Sensuous fragrance.

Happiness ($65.00) (Saks Exclusive)

The happiness compact is daintily accessorized with a Rose Quartz clasp.

Happiness pleasures by Jay Strongwater ($275.00) (Saks Exclusive)

The Swarovski crystals in the blooming solid perfume by Jay Strongwater, with softly floral pleasures fragrance, exude joviality and bliss.

Peace ($65.00) (Saks Exclusive)

The enchanting blue lapis clasp epitomizes signs of peace and tranquility.

White Linen Peace Branch ($195.00) (Saks Exclusive)

Ssigns of peace and tranquility embodied by the Swarovski encrusted White Linen solid perfume peace branch.

availability: Now @ Nordstrom, Estee Lauder, Saks, Neiman Marcus

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Illamasqua Freak Eau de Parfum Review

Illamasqua Freak Eau de Parfum

Illamasqua Freak Eau de Parfum

Illamasqua Freak Eau de Parfum (ÂŁ59.00 for 75 ml) is the first developed and launched by Illamasqua. I received a sample (so the bottle pictured above is a lab sample or decant, not representative of the actual packaging). The top notes include Black Davana, Opium Flower, and Belladonna. The heart notes include Poison Hemlock, Datura, and Queen of the Night blossom. The base notes include Frankincense, Oud, and Myrrh.

Initially, it’s woody and floral, with the strength of the floral carrying the scent for the first half hour to hour of wear. The florals sweeten and lighten a little from Queen of the Night blossom after it opens but the general tone of the fragrance is still darker and heavier. It stays sweet and floral for another hour before it transitions into the next stage, where the base notes tend to resonate more. I prefer the scent as it moves into those later stages, because it becomes more resinous with an underlying smokiness. For me, it was still floral but less so but shaped by hints of incense and a toned down sweetness.

It has a fair amount of sillage, leaving a trail of scent behind the wearer; it’s not overwhelming, but there’s a faint hint that follows. If I only spritz on my wrists, the sillage is minimized, but if you do full body sprays, you might want to save this one for nights on rather than for the office. Three hours into wear, it was still at full strength, but it seems faded and subtler by the fifth hour yet still lingering after eight hours of wear.

Freak is set to launch at select Sephora and SpaceNK stores in November, but I don’t have the price point yet.

Illamasqua Zeitgeist Pure Pigment

Illamasqua Zeitgeist Pure Pigment

Illamasqua Zeitgeist Pure Pigment

Illamasqua Zeitgeist Pure Pigment ($24.00 for 0.04 oz.) is described as a “shimmering black.” It’s new for fall/winter and available at Sephora state-side, while the full line of Pure Pigments is available at Illamasqua (they do ship internationally!).

Pure Pigments are loose, colored powder that can be used alone or mixed with other products. I find they work best when used wet or with a mixing medium, but shades like Zeitgeist have a more matte base color, which allows it to adhere better without an additional product. However, when used dry, the intensity is lackluster; the shimmer stands out more, but the base black color gets a little lost. It looks sheer and almost chalky when it’s applied dry. I like it better over a primer–especially as a crease shade–and it darkens nicely.

When it’s applied damp (I used just water for the swatch), it’s much more intense–very rich and deeply black–but the shimmer is softer and less apparent. Trade-offs! If you want the intensity and the shimmer, you could apply it damp first, and then pat a little on top dry. This particular shade would work well as an eyeshadow or eyeliner. The color reminded me of Lancome The New Black Eyeshadow but less shimmery.

The packaging looks sleek on the outside, and I appreciate that it has a smaller opening inside, but I think even smaller holes with a sifter would be more efficient.  Opening the “pot” can be finicky as well; it’s easiest to lift it up on all sides with the edge of something (like your nail), but it’s not the best.

Illamasqua Pure Pigment Zeitgeist

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