Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Milani Fierce Foil Nail Lacquer: Milan

purchased by me

After I bought Capri and Sardinia at one CVS, I found the Fierce Foil collection at a different CVS and grabbed Milan, Rome and Venice.  Today's polish is Milan, a bright brassy gold with the same well-behaved formula as the others.  Just a note--none of the Fierce Foils are difficult to remove, but you will need to wash your hands really well to get rid of the stray glitter!

Indoors without flash:

Indoors with flash:

Most of the in-store displays I've seen lately are pretty well emptied, but you can still get the Fierce Foil collection at the Milani website for $3.99 + shipping.

Monday, May 25, 2015

Happy Memorial Day with Incoco and Walgreens

purchased by me

In addition to the Made in America collection on their website, Incoco has partnered with Walgreen's for six smaller kits.  The Walgreens kits have twelve nail polish strips in each packet for $4.99 each, versus the sixteen strips for $8.99 at the Incoco website.

You can check for a store near you on the Incoco site, or get a set from the Made in America collection (there's some overlap in patterns, but no dupes).

And it wouldn't be a proper Memorial Day if I didn't say thank you to all the veterans and their families.


Thursday, May 21, 2015

Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab: The Delicate Ambrosial Dews of Heavenly Nectar

purchased and reviewed by ThoraSTooth 

BPAL Scent of the Day:  The Delicate Ambrosial Dews of Heavenly Nectar (Anniversaries 2014) -- A celestial nectar redolent of honeysuckle-gilded amber with honeyed fig leaf, golden myrrh, helichrysum, and white cognac.

In the vial this has a deep and very slightly boozy fruity impression.  The cognac note reads very clean and refined, not heavy or sharp yet very noticeable.  Wet on my skin it goes over to resin with cognac and fruit.  The fruit is more recognizable as fig, the sweet thickness of moist dried Calimyrna figs.  The floral comes up too, adding some high notes to the mix. 

It dries down to a complex fruity scent that manages not to smell foody at all.  The earthiness of the helichrysum probably has something to do with that; it grounds the fruits and helps the gilded/golden resins not go over to vanilla, which is what they often do on my skin.  This is another scent whose notes fill in one another's spaces like atoms to make molecules; there are no seams in it, no obtrustive notes.  It's just its own self.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Zoya Paradise Sun collection

press sample

The second summer collection from Zoya contains six stunning glass fleck polishes.  Pictures and reviews after the jump.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab: Fire Phoenix

purchased and reviewed by ThoraSTooth 

BPAL Scent of the Day:  Fire Phoenix (Anniversary 2008) -- Enterprise, adventure, restlessness, impulsiveness, and dynamism: Chinese musk and red musk with hyacinth, cactus flower, cubeb berry, galangal, tobacco, pink pepper, and sarsaparilla.

Fire Phoenix gave me a "yikes, keep away from this one" vibe when I first read the list of notes.  But of that entire Anniversary update, named for the five Chinese elements (plus Candy Phoenix), it's Fire Phoenix that made me fall in love with it.  Late last night I suddenly smelled this scent when I was nowhere near my perfume box.  I took that as a sign to wear it today.

In the vial this announces its Chinese musk, like many of the scents in that particular anniversary release.  But there's also a spicy-sweet floral and an effervescent, foody vibe that is more exciting than cloying.  On my skin, it briefly smells like a lot of things it isn't:  lemon, carnation, fruit.  On drydown it's spicy-hot sweet warmth with a citrusy tartness over musk. 

The Chinese musk is immediately recognizable and reminds me of the Siberian Musk single note; it overtakes the red musk to the point that I don't even notice any red musk.  I don't ever get anything I can identify as tobacco or hyacinth from this scent, either.  I wouldn't recognize cactus flower if I sniffed it.  The spices and roots don't smell like themselves in this scent either.  In short, it's fairly impossible for me to pick out the actual notes that comprise the scent I experience.  I just know it by its qualities.  There is an artless, youthful energy about it although it doesn't smell like a youth scent. 

Fire Phoenix doesn't last as long as some scents on my skin.  When I travel I carry a little roller bottle of it so I can reapply it as needed during the day.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Zoya Island Fun collection

press sample

Today I have Zoya's gorgeous collection of summer crèmes for you.  It's called Island Fun, and it definitely has a fun summer vibe!  Pictures and reviews after the jump.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab: Lilith and the Jarocho

purchased and reviewed by ThoraSTooth 

BPAL Scent of the Day:  Lilith and the Jarocho (Forum Only 2009) -- Jasmine, vanilla, Spanish cedar, moss, marigold, purple verbena, candied tamarind, lime rind, a splash of margaritas on a nearby table, a little bit of Dorian, a little bit of Snake Oil, and a bright bouquet of mal de ojo.

In the vial this scent is cool and a bit sharp, with citrusy jasmine and herb.  Once on my skin, a musky sweet note like honey or ambrette seed comes up, along with the vanilla and cedar.  Mal de ojo is zinnia, a gaudy flower I grew up with that imparts a pungent bitterness not unlike marigold.  On drydown several dry herbal notes -- possibly these bitter florals, but likely also the moss -- temper the smooth vanilla and musky sweet impressions, while the citrus and jasmine shape the scent.  It reads warm and golden, with bright colors against sunshine.

The story behind this scent is the story of one moment in the life of a very young child, memorialized in scent by her loving mother.  I wear it on Mother's Day every year.