Tom Ford Noir de Noir Eau de Parfum
Tom Ford Noir de Noir Eau de Parfum ($195.00 for 1.7 oz.) is part of the Private Blend series and comes in a dark amber glass bottle. When I first spritz it against my wrist, before it’s even evaporated against the skin, I get this burst of sweet grapes, which really doesn’t last long–on a quick, light sniff, along the perimeter of where I sprayed it, I can detect a very subtle sweetness similar to the more grape-like sweetness I detected off the bat.
It develops into a sweet, but earthy, foreboding rose scent marked by almost chocolaty notes. There are hints of a general floralness playing in the background, along with a very muted and almost forgotten vanilla. Noir de Noir is spicy and woody and built around rose. It’s an interesting interpretation of rose that moves into more masculine territory, though if I had to pick, this is still a more classically feminine scent than it is a masculine one. It is entirely wearable on either sex. When the scent finally winds down, the vanilla becomes more pronounced, but the rose continues playing center stage, it just because sweeter and less earthy after ten to twelve hours on me.
A dark chypre Asian, this scent opens with an earthy mantle of richly woven saffron, black rose and black truffle, with hints of floralcy. Underneath, vanilla, patchouli, oud wood and tree moss soften the intensity, making the scent a sensual experience.
One of the reasons I really love Tom Ford’s Private Blends is how long-wearing they are on my skin. Only one or two (I distinctly remember Neroli Portofino being shorter in wear) last less than twelve hours, and with all of the scents, a little goes a long way. I usually use one or two sprays for all-day wear. Full disclosure: this is not my favorite scent, and the first few times I wore it, I specifically didn’t like it (and this was nearly a year ago!). After wearing it again more recently, I don’t dislike it, but it’s not a scent I would gravitate towards as my preferences lean elsewhere. I liked the composition and the way it transitioned and wore over the hours; it never goes soapy, turns to play-doh, or degenerates into something really commonplace.
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By Renee Rouleau, Skincare Expert and Esthetician
Renée Rouleau has been helping men, women and teens attain healthy, glowing, beautiful skin for more than twenty years.
Her philosophy is simple: With the proper tools, effective products and a disciplined approach, anyone can have great skin.
She provides regular skincare advice and tips on her blog, too!
Five Things to Know about Sunscreen
Did you know that you can get a 50 percent decrease in the risk of melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer, when sunscreen is applied daily? (Source: Journal of Clinical Oncology) Since May is National is National Melanoma Month, it’s the perfect time to integrate a healthy sun protection approach into the daily skin care routine. Not only is it good for your health, sun protection is the #1 anti-aging product I recommend to my clients. It prevents premature wrinkles, reduces the chances of getting sun spots and hyperpigmentation and is a must for the sake of your health. Here’s five things you need to know about sunscreen to ensure you’re getting the best protection for your skin:
1. Sunscreen must be applied generously. In order for SPF to truly protect the skin and prevent the harmful UV rays from damaging the skin, the formula has to be applied generously or it will not provide adequate protection. If you have a sunscreen that feels too heavy on your skin (which so many can), you’ll probably only apply a small amount and you’re not doing your skin any good. The goal is to find a sunscreen that doesn’t use heavy emollients so as not to leave a greasy residue. That way, you can be heavy-handed when using it (as you should be) but you’re not left feeling oily. This is why Renée Rouleau broad-spectrum Daily Protection SPF 30 is one of our best-selling products. It actually dries to a matte finish and never, ever leaves a residue. If you have oily, acne-prone skin, this one is for you.
2. Don’t get overly confident with a high SPF number. With so many companies launching high SPF number sunscreens, it creates a lot of confusion as to which number is the best in protecting the skin. Did you know that an SPF 30 offers only 4% more protection than an SPF 30, and an SPF 45 offers just 2% more? High SPF number sunscreens like an SPF 50 or 100 can give people a false sense of protection and therefore may not be applied generously enough to do its job. While I do suggest using a minimum of SPF 30, it has far more to do with how generously you apply it than the number. (By the way, the FDA is proposing to limit the maximum SPF on labels to 50.)
3. Sunscreen built in your foundation makeup is just not enough. If you apply a regular non-SPF moisturizer to the face and then apply a foundation with an SPF over it, the sunscreen in the makeup has a difficult time penetrating through the moisturizer to effectively coat and protect the skin cells. Plus, most people only apply foundation makeup sparingly so you may not be getting the full protection anyway. I highly suggest using a sunscreen moisturizer directly on the skin first to adequately deliver the specified SPF (as long as you apply it generously) and then apply foundation makeup with sunscreen, then finished off with SPF-infused mineral powder.
4. Sunscreens degrade from sunlight and your skin’s natural oil. Many sunscreen formulas degrade with exposure to UV light. The daily oil produced on the skin (especially on the nose which is the oiliest area of the face) can also cause sunscreen to breakdown. This is why reapplying sunscreen every few hours is so necessary. However, reapplying often is not always practical. Are you supposed to wash your face, reapply sunscreen, reapply makeup and repeat this every two hours during the day? Not so easy. The fastest, easiest, and most effective way to ensure that your skin is protected all day is to dust the skin every few hours with a good mineral powder formulated with sunscreen. They are considered “dry” sunscreens and make reapplying very simple. My personal favorite (and the one I use faithfully) is ColoreScience, because it’s endorsed by The Skin Cancer Foundation and contains SPF 50. I don’t use it as my makeup, even though it has a light tint, but rather as a light powder over my regular makeup to give a good physical block of protection to my skin.
5. If you’re prone to sensitivity or breakouts, choose a sunscreen formula with Zinc Oxide. Of all the categories of skin care products, sunscreens are the most likely to cause negative skin reactions on the skin. And mostly, it’s rashes or acne breakouts from the use of sunscreen. The good news is there have been a lot of advancements in sun protecting ingredients, so if you still shy away from sunscreens because of past bad experiences, you just haven’t found the right one yet—but they are out there. My skin is oily in the t-zone, and even at 42, my oil production hasn’t slowed down too much yet. I have my own built-in moisturizer (the oil) which is considered to be a good thing, but I also have to be very careful because I’m definitely very sensitive, prone to breakouts and clogged pores. So using a lightweight, gentle sunscreen is an absolute must for me and the best ingredient to offer that is Zinc Oxide. It’s chemical-free, won’t clog the pores, offers excellent UV protection and never leaves the skin feeling greasy. Also of the two chemical-free sunscreen ingredients, Zinc Oxide and Titanium Dioxide, Zinc is better for skin of color as it won’t leave a white-ish cast on the skin that Titanium Dioxide can.
I think Guerlain would be my favorite, but I wasn’t absolutely head-over-heels in love with the entire launch. I’m trying to think of a favorite, and just not much comes to mind this year.
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shu uemura P Soft Beige 832 Eyeshadow
shu uemura P Soft Beige 832 Eyeshadow
shu uemura P Soft Beige 832 Eyeshadow ($15.00 for 0.049 oz.) is described as a “pearl gold light brown.” The pearl finish is described as “a silky shimmer of light for luminous radiance.” It’s a warm light-medium brown with a golden-beige shimmer and sheen. Tarina Tarantion Agate is a bit darker. Chanel Eclosion is less warm. MAC Summer Haze is frostier, so it appears a bit lighter. MAC Sweet Satisfaction looks identical. MAC Grain is more beige. MAC Jest is pinker. MAC Arena is a smidgen darker.
The color is fully opaque, and it applies smoothly with a soft, blendable texture that feels like silk and requires little effort to soften around the edges. For light to medium complexions, it’s a one-and-done kind of shade for quick mornings, office-appropriate makeup, and the like. On deeper skin tones, it will be beautiful to brighten and wake up eyes with a little luminosity and neutral coloring. It’s a “boring” shade, but it’s incredibly versatile and usable. When I applied over bare lids (no primer), it wore for eight hours without fading or creasing, and when I applied over a primer, I had no problems over the same eight hour period. It’s packaged in a compact metal tin, which is designed to be placed into one of shu uemura’s palettes, though you could insert it into any magnetized palette.
shu uemura P Soft Beige 832 Eyeshadow
Beautiful Beginnings with China Glaze
What was the first China Glaze product you ever tried? Did it pave way for a real romance or did it put you off the brand entirely? What was the first China Glaze product you purchased? Did you love it? Hate it? Still own it?
my answer: I’ve been in love with China Glaze since I first tried it! My initial shades were Tree Hugger and Secret Peri-winkle. Then it was the Rodeo Diva collection where I loved Wagon Trail. Cheap, good formula, and huge color range–what’s not to love?