White for Summer

August 1, 2010

Summer is the perfect time to wear white. It helps to keep you cool when the temps rise and it looks tres chic anywhere from a night on the town to a day at the beach. You do the monochromatic thing and wear head to toe white (just make certain you do different shades of white or add a splash of gold or silver or a tiny bit of color) or you can pick and choose pieces, accessories, and even makeup. One of my fave quick and easy summer eye looks is to draw on a sheer shimmering white eyeliner and smudge until you’re left with a faint sparkle (Try Sephora Collection Flashy Liner in #02). I also like doing the same technique with a sheer shadow (I like Sephora Collection Aspen Summit #23, which is in the free birthday gift for beauty insiders this year).

Where to buy above items: Tops and sandals are from forever21.com, necklace is from fantasyjewelrybox.com, white shadow is the Sephora Collection Shadow mentioned above, white silver ring is from pret-a-beaute.com, and the velver rose hair clip is from flowerclip.com.

 

I purchased the Sephora Sun Safety kit  this year, just as I always do every year, to see if I can find my new holy grail of sun protection. The 2010 kit included Kate Somerville SPF 55 Sunscreen Serum, my new love. It’s lightweight, absorbs quickly, is great for my oily skin because it’s oil free and non greasy, and does not have a scent. I am so so so so hooked on this product that I had to go buy the full size. I had to order online, though, because my local Sephora only carries three Kate Somerville products. 

 The other suncreeens in the Sephora kit weren’t really anything amazing, though I did like the Jack Black Lip Balm in Lemon and Chamomile. I’ve been using the balm in Mint for several years and might switch to the Lemon version because the scent is uplifting. The kit also includes Bliss Best of Skintentions Moisturizer with SPF, which I have also been using since it launched. Another honorable mention goes to Murad Essential-C Eye Cream SPF 15, for its light weight formula that works well under makeup.

Bandeau swim top pictured above is from Vitamin A.

Men take note: rising temperatures and more humidity in summer can make your deep, rich, or bold winter fragrance smell more intense. If you love your current fragrance too much to change, consider skipping your regular eau de toilette or cologne for an aftershave, deoderant, shower gel, or body lotion in the same scent. Most brands produce these ancillary items to match their fragrances. Another option is to dillute your fragrance by spraying a bit into an unscented body lotion and applying to your body. You can also spray your fragrance into the air and step through the mist. If you do the latter, please take heed to spray only a little.

If you’re open to something  new, try switching to a cool, crisp fragrance during warmer months. You can often find similar versions of your winter fragrance that wear better when the murcury rises. Not sure where to start? Check out my suggestions below or hit up your local Nordstrom (I find their fragrance sales associates to be wonderful) or Sephora (look for or ask for a certified fragrance expert or peruse their Scentsa computer on your own).

Some of my faves for summer (or any time of the year because they are light) include:

1. Fresh Citron de Vigne, $18.50-$75; fresh.com and sephora.com: Founder Lev Glazman created this new and exciting fragrance inspired by sparkling notes of pinot noir. Its fresh and sensual notes of neroli, bitter orange, pinot noir accord, lemongrass, sandalwood, and amber make it optimal for everyday wear. I’m a huge fan of Fresh fragrances overall, and think that Lev, who is also a certified nose, has a very unique, fun, and sophisticated point of view in all of his creations.

2. Bvlgari Aqva Pour Homme, $55-$75; bergdorfgoodman.com, sephora.com: Inspired by the sea and mediterranean, this summer-esque fragrance is both fresh and soft while still masculine. It features only five notes, four of which are unique (mandarin, petit grain, santolina, posidonia, mineral amber).

3. Kenzo L’eauParKenzo Pour Homme, $54-$72; sephora.com: Subtle, fresh, and light, this remarkable fragrance from Kenzo embodies leisurely summer days. Notes include yuzu (one of my favorite notes), lotus leaf, aquatic mint, mandarin, and waterlily.

4. Burberry Touch for Men, $57 for 1 oz, burberry.com; While this fragrance has some spicy notes of white pepper and nutmeg, it’s rounded out by cooler notes of violet leaves, and mandarin tree leaves. This is a great option for guys who like a heavier fragrance during the winter months.

5. Burberry Classic for Men Summer Edition, $60 for 3.3 fl oz, sephora.com; One of my favorites for men, this fragrance is pleasantly surprising. The top notes of pineapple, citrus, and frozen mint are a fresh and unique blend. I love that this fragrance is rounded out by woody notes and tonka bean.

kingt

The de Young Museum in San Francisco currently has an exhibition showing various items from King Tut’s tomb. It features artifacts from King Tut’s tomb as well as his ancestors (Note: there seem to be more of his ancestors items then of his on display). The museum advises that the self guided tour takes about 90 minutes. My mom and I finished in 45. There is an audio tour for $7 that you can follow, although we did just fine reading the signage for free.

General admission on weekdays for adults is $27.50 and $32.50 on weekends. For what it was, I felt the tickets were a little steep but you also get to view the rest of the museum. One of the most impressive pieces Tjuya’s gilded coffin (thought to be Tut’s grandmother). It was huge! And gold! There was also a fairly large head from a broken statue of Akhenaton (Tut’s father). The rest of the items were smaller, everyday objects like jars for ungents and oils (I was excited to see these after studying about the role of fragrance in ancient Egypt for my Fragrance Foundation certification). I was blown away by the amount of gold used, but then again, you wouldn’t expect anything less for a king and royal family.

I wouldn’t recommend going to the city just  for the exhibit. Plan a day around the city to make the most of your time. By purchasing a ticket, you will receive a Pharaoh’s Gold Card, which offers discounts and perks for various businesses around the city. There are quite a few restaurants that offer 10% off or a complimentary dessert with purchase of entree. There’s also tons to do in SF, and if you don’t want to venture too far from the museum, there are several things to do and see within the park: Conservatory of Flowers, Japanese Tea Garden, Arboretum, and California Academy of Sciences, to name a few. Sutro Heights, the beach, and the zoo are also close to the park.

Read on below for information about handicap access at the museum and the exhibit.

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The Faux Tan Files #2

May 20, 2009

blisstanscrub

What: Bliss’ A Tan for All Seasons, $36. It sprays out purple to neutralize orange (genius) and gives a hint of tint instantly so you can see where you put it. The nozzle sprays 360 degrees so you’ll never miss a spot.

Rating: 5! I like this better then VS Bare Bronze. It dries super quickly (somewhere between instantly and 3 minutes) and doesn’t feel like anything once it’s rubbed. It’s also very easy to use.

The smell: Not bad at all. There wasn’t really a scent right off the bat. Once it had been on my skin for a few hours I started to smell a little self tanner scent but it was faint.

The color: No orange! It’s a natural looking shade on my fair skin. I actually have color that doesn’t scream, “My tan is from a can!”

Verdict: I love it. If you check Sephora.com the ratings are all very good, too.

Tip: When scrubbing or removing excess self tanner from hands or body, always apply scrub or soap to the area before adding water. Using water first will lock in the self tanner. I wish this tip was of my own genius, but it’s from a super smart Bliss employee.

Tip #2: Before using self tanner be sure to exfoliate! I like Bliss scrubs, like the Lemon and Sage scrub featured above. It also helps to remove tanner from your hands post faux tan session.

PS: I got Bliss’ Fat Girl Slim anti-cellulite treatment today. I will report my results on a later date as this is a product that needs to be used consistently and as directed. Using one time would not make for an accurate review. Also, to anyone thinking of using this product, a little goes a long way. You don’t want to use it like a regular body moisturizer.

The Faux Tan Files #1

May 18, 2009

barebronze

What: Victoria’s Secret Bare Bronze Collection, $32 (free for me thanks to a bday gift card). This set features a full size 5.3 oz bronzing spray for instant color over the course of a few hours, 3.2 oz gradual tan firming body lotion for tanning maintenance, and a 3.4 oz sand and surf body polish to buff away dead skin and provide a smooth surface for self tanner application.

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars. I completely adore the sand and surf body polish. It feels luxurious and is one of the best body scrubs I’ve tried. The bronzing spray was fairly decent. The first time I used it, I was very light handed and didn’t get much color. The second time I it gave me more of a glow and enhanced my skin tone by about 4-5 shades. The gradual firming body lotion was nice but not memorable.

The smell: VS described the scent as “a sweet, creamy Brazil nut scent,” and I would agree. It’s pleasant at first, then the self tanner scent settles in and is covered by the Brazil nut scent. The scent wasn’t as offensive as most self tanners on the market and it also wasn’t the best, either.

The color: Surprisingly not orange. It was a very subtle golden shade. I’m pretty fair so for a self tanner to not instantly turn orange on me was a nice surprise. It did look slightly yellow around my elbow and more exfoliation followed by a bit of regular body lotion would have fixed that issue.

Verdict: Not bad at all. If you are looking for more color, do add more product. I’m always conservative with the amount of products I use because I believe that it’s best to start with less and build up gradually from there. It’s easier to add product then to remove excess.

Tip: So I don’t get tell-tale self tanner hands and help to avoid streaks, I blend with a kabuki brush instead of my hands. The kit is a good way to try the products. I probably would not have purchased the scrub because I have so many, but this one is pretty nice and is possibly worth a repurchase.