Tuesday, 23 November 2010

Review: Royal Desire EDT by Christina Aguilera





Advantages: Low price, easy to wear, striking bottle
Disadvantages: Poor staying power, 'quiet', unoriginal
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The fragrance
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I'm not a huge fan of the Christina Aguilera brands perfumes, but found last year's By Night pleasant, low priced and easy to find [pleasant as in comforting and easy to wear, but not anything original that I'd call a must-own].

Anyway; As the listed ROYAL DESIRE scent notes sounded like a combination between the ingredients used in Christina Aguilera and By Night I thought it'd be worth a try, so I collected several days worth of tester vials for a test...


When I first apply this the only note I smell is a lightly powdered vanilla note topped with extra sugar [white marshmallow] - it takes a few minutes for the blackberry to develop and when it does it is short-lived. I didn't pick up on any mandarin, which is a shame. I do love vanilla notes but it seems flat and therefore boring here.

The vanilla is strong enough to last throughout the whole fragrance and coupled with the rose notes it creates something similar to Turkish Delight, so the fragrance remains very sweet. The rose is the strongest note, but I can clearly make out the lily too and what I think is the slightest hint of honeysuckle [but since I knew to look for it I might just be kidding myself]. I can't find any reliable sources that clarify which 'herbs' are used but I can't make out even the slightest hint of anything other then the listed florals.

There is no strong indication between the heart notes and the base, thanks to the ever-present vanilla. The sandalwood and musk are mingled closely together so it is a warm and creamy mix - combined with the lingering vanilla and you get the same general feel as the top and heart. I can't detect any cedar-wood.


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Scent notes
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White marshmallow, blackberry, mandarin, honeysuckle, herbs, rose, lily, sandalwood, musk and cedar.


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The bottle
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The bottle is the same curvy shape as Christina Aguilera and By Night - Only the curves are in reverse this time around. The glass is clear to show the pink juice and has a black fleur-de-lys pattern embossed on it.

There is a remove charm around the bottle's neck. The 30ml bottle has a heart shaped charm engraved with Christina's initials, the 50ml bottle is embossed with a fleur-de-lys and the 100ml bottle is shaped as a pair of lips.


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Other buying considerations
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The lasting power is the same as the previous Christina Aguilera fragrances = pretty bad for a EDP; It burns down within four hours and becomes close to the skin after one.

The vanilla, mild fruits and florals, paired with the warm musk and sandalwood in the base mean that this is a perfect choice for autumn/winter, whilst the fact that the fragrance is close to the skin means that the sweetness is soft enough to still appeal in spring/summer.

I think that this is best suited to daytime wear; both casual use and work. I personally think that it's too quiet for nights out, but I suppose it depends on what you have planned.


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My thoughts
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The easiest way to describe ROYAL DESIRE is as a mix of Christina Aguilera and By Night; It combines the mild fruits and florals of the former with the soft, warm, oriental feel of the latter.

Much better than her first Christina Aguilera [which is too watered down], but it can't be described as original; it reminds me of a few other fragrances. But as this is a 'celeb' release it is less expensive than most of its scent-a-likes, so it's worth trying out.

As it's already similar to perfumes I already own, I won't buy it myself, although it's nice enough that I would wear it if it were given to me as a gift. I also think that it would be a safe gift choice for someone, as it's easy to wear and none of the notes are strong enough to be disagreeable.


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Price
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30ml: £20
50ml: £27
100ml: £35


For £20 you can currently buy a gift set containing a 30ml perfume, a 50ml fragranced body lotion and a black clutch bag.

Monday, 22 November 2010

Review: By Night EDT by Christina Aguilera



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The Fragrance
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Christina Aguilera BY NIGHT is a flanker to her first Proctor and Gamble fragrance Christina Aguilera. It follows the same fruity/floral blueprint, but the stronger vanilla and almond notes give the fragrance a creamy, oriental feel.

BY NIGHT is a mild, non-cloying, sweet fragrance; but the sweetness is made more adult and sexier by being close to the skin; it whispers 'come closer'


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Scent notes
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Mandarin, freesia apple, almonds, rhubarb, pineapple, heliotrope, peach blossom, amber and vanilla.


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The bottle
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The bottle is the same feminine shape as Christina Aguilera, but the lace pattern is different and the color pink has been introduced to the bottle.




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Other buying considerations
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The staying power is very poor; It goes close to the skin after an hour and burns out within three hours.

It is easy to wear and inoffensive to my work colleagues, so it is a good choice for an every day perfume as long as you don't mind constantly 'freshening up'. I don't think it is a good choice for nights out; It's 'quiet' and you'd need to carry a bottle round for re-freshening it.

As well as being easy to wear, it can also be worn all year round; The fruits and mild florals are perfect for the summer, whilst everything is [non-cloyingly] sweet, which provides comfort in colder weather.


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My opinion
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Much better than her first Christina Aguilera, but it can’t be described as original; it reminds me of a few other fragrances, including Hypnotic Poison. But CHRISTINA AGUILERA BY NIGHT is less expensive than most of its scent-a-likes, so it’s worth trying out.

As it's already similar to perfumes I already own, I won't buy it myself, although it's nice enough that I would wear it if it were given to me as a gift.


I think that it would be a safe gift choice for someone, as the fragrance is largely ageless and is easy to wear and none of the notes are strong enough to be disagreeable.


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Price
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30ml: £20.00
50ml: £27.00
75ml: £37.00


There is currently a gift set available for £20. It contains a 30ml bottle of the perfume, a 50ml tube of fragranced body lotion and a black/dusky rose lace hand bag.

Thursday, 18 November 2010

Review: Christina Aguilera EDT by Christina Aguilera




Advantages: low price, for women of any age, easy to wear, suitable all year round
Disadvantages: Poor staying power, 'quiet', unoriginal
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The Fragrance
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CHRISTINA AGUILERA is the first perfume release by the singer under Proctor and Gamble [She had several releases under the fragrance name 'Xpose' - which never received a official launch AND she released another self named one with a German company with a green bottle].

I find this fragrance a real struggle to describe as it has such a short life and is extremely close to the skin: I can't separate most of the listed individual notes as a result, so it just blends into one big jumble on my skin.


I find the fruit notes the strongest on me, but they are sweet and blend together too well. The plum and blueberry are the only notes that I can separate.

The florals notes could be anything; the top notes dominate everything else. If I constantly sniff my wrist and really pay attention I can just about single out the jasmine, but the florals are underdeveloped as a whole. What I did find easy to detect is a tea note [which raises this from one star to two stars].

The base isn't really apparent - the vanilla-soaked amber and creamy sandalwood are very similar to the fruity jumble.


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Scent notes
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Mandarin, peach, blueberry, jasmine, lily of the valley, peony, plum, musk, amber, sandalwood and vanilla.


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The bottle
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I like the old time glamour of the clear glass bottle - it's modelled after the classic hourglass silhouette.

The bottle is embossed with a black lace pattern which does look lovely in the print ads, but it does look cheap and tacky close up.




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Other buying considerations
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The staying power is very poor, it wears like a cheap body spray rather then a EDP. After one hour I have to press my wrist to my nose to be able to smell anything.

It is easy to wear and inoffensive to my work colleagues, so it is a good choice for an every day perfume as long as you don't mind constantly 'freshening up'. I don't think it is a good choice for nights out; It's 'quiet' and you'd need to carry a bottle round for re-freshening it.

As well as being easy to wear, it can also be worn all year round; The fruits and tea are refreshing in the heat, whilst everything is [non-cloyingly] sweet, which provides comfort in colder weather.


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My opinion
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Overall I find CHRISTINA AGUILERA very uninspired and safe - there's nothing individual about this fragrance, nothing to make it stand out from the crowd. We've all got these notes already with other fragrances.

I wear fragrance for the way they make me feel or as a confidence booster, but this doesn't provoke any feelings, provide confidence or stir any memories for me. I found this very disappointing, after having heard so many good things about it.


I think that it would be a safe gift choice for someone, as the fragrance is largely ageless and is easy to wear and none of the notes are strong enough to be disagreeable.


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Price
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30ml: £20.00
50ml: £27.00
75ml: £37.00

[There is also meant to be a 15ml EDP and a 150ml spray deodorant available, but I've never come across these].


The 75ml bottle has become hard to find, but if you shop around you'll be able to buy the 50ml bottle for under £20.

There is currently a gift set available for £20. It contains a 30ml bottle of the perfume, a 50ml tube of fragranced body lotion and a black/silver lace clutch bag.

Wednesday, 17 November 2010

Spotlight: Makeup Academy cosmetics [exclusive to Superdrug]




As you can guess from glancing at the header, every product in Superdrug's latest makeup range - Makeup Academy - costs just £1.


I've got a lipstick [Shade 12 - A lovely red] and one of the glitter liners [shade 2 - pale gold] and I'm really impressed by the quality of both.


Lipstick

The colour goes on slightly lighter then the colour looks in the tube. It feels very soft, light and moisturizing on lips. The only downside is the less-then-amazing staying power; Around 2 hours with no eating or drinking.




Glitter eyeliner

This stuff is amazing. The glitter particles are finely milled, so the liner doesn’t come out in sparse clumps; it applies very smoothly and evenly. But the real selling point is the fact that the gel itself is beautifully colored to match the glitter.






The range


Eyes

Glitter eyeliner [10 shades]
Eyeshadow - a variety of matt and pearl finish powder shadow singles [20 shades]
Eye Dusts - Loose pigment pots [6 shades]
Eyeliner - Liquid eyeliner [5 shades]
Mascara - Lengthening mascara [5 shades]


Lips

Lipstick - Moisturizing, sheer and comes in a clear-bottomed tube [12 shades]
Lipgloss - Squeeze gloss with a high shine finish .[5 shades]
Lipgloss tube - Sheer finish gloss with a doe foot applicator [5 shades]


Face

Blusher - Powder [4 shades]
Bronzer - Powder [2 shades]


Nails

Nail polish - Mix of creme, shimmer and metallic finishes [18 shades]







See the range here.

Tuesday, 16 November 2010

Review: Princess EDT by Vera Wang





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The fragrance
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Wedding gown designer Vera Wang is behind the inspiration for the toilette PRINCESS. The name, fragrance and bottle are all aimed towards younger consumers, Vera Wang herself envisions young bridesmaids wearing this as they support the bride on her special day.


PRINCESS starts as it means to go on; delicately sweet and very feminine. I was surprised to learn how many fruit scent notes this contains as aside fro the apricot and a hint of mandarin I can't separate any others. I'm not sure what their version of meringue is either as everything is already sweet and there are several other creamy notes so it remains hidden.

If you aren't a fruity person, you'll be pleased to know that the top notes are short lived with the tuberose developing in the first five minutes. However even the tuberose soon takes a back seat as the gourmand notes steal the show. I'm not sure how to describe how the heart develops, other then as strawberry buttercream with a sprinkling of tuberose and powdered vanilla. I could pick out the chocolate but it is partly hidden underneath the other notes, so is very subtle.

I didn't really notice much difference between the heart and the base to be honest. The preexisting vanilla mixes with the 'amber' thoroughly creating a creamy mix. I'm not sure what woods the perfumers used - the super-vanilla is close to the skin and hides anything else that is under it.


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Scent notes
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Apples, water lily, golden apricot, mandarin, meringue, pink guava, Tahitian tiare flower, wild tuberose, dark chocolate, vanilla chiffon, pink frosting, precious amber and 'forbidden woods'.


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The bottle
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The heart shaped bottle is a case of love it or hate it. I'm in the hate it camp as it can't stand up vertically, so if you have a lot of perfume on your dresser it can be hard to spot.

The bottle neck and the crown shaped cap can both be worn as rings.




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Other buying considerations
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The only real negative for this is the staying power; After one hour it goes close to the skin and within three hours of application it's gone. Not unexpected for an EDT, but this is just as expensive as designer EDPs, so it's a big let-down.

It sort of makes up for this by being suitable to wear all year round; I don't find the sweet notes of chocolate, vanilla and frosting sickly in warmer weather nor is the fruit and florals 'cold' in the worst weather thrown at us during the winter months. It's very well balanced.

It is ideal for a day-to-day fragrance. I happily wear it to work and have received loads of compliments on it and I've smelled it on other colleagues too. I personally don't think that it is strong or unique enough for an evening fragrance, plus you'd need to carry the bottle around for top ups, so its a no-go for me.


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My opinion
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I'm ultimately left feeling let down by PRINCESS; there's nothing that I actively dislike about it, but for the price I was hoping for something a bit more distinct with better staying power. There are many gourmand perfumes on the market which cost less and last longer, so I can't justify re-buying this.

Also; As I mentioned above this is something that I notice a lot of other women wearing, and I personally prefer to wear fragrances that are a bit more unique.


Cheaper alternatives to PRINCESS include Kylie Minogue Sweet Darling, Paris Hilton Can Can, Victoria Secret Ooh La La, Avril Lavinge Forbidden Rose, Nina Ricci Lovely Nina and Ghost Sweetheart.


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Price
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30ml: £32.00
50ml: £43.00
100ml: £57.00

There is currently a gift set available for the festive season for £35. It contains a 30ml EDT, a 75ml tube of fragranced body lotion and a cube keyring that contains a solid lipgloss.

If you buy Princess at The Fragrance Shop you receive a cosmetic case, with a heart pattern over it. I believe that the case has a rollerball and miniature tube of body lotion, as it did when I bought PRINCESS in Debenhams a few years ago.

Speaking of Debenhams; There is a gift set sold available in-store and online there with a 50ml EDT bottle, a 7.5ml bottle, a 75ml lotion and a 75ml fragranced body butter. This set is £45.
Summary: ... Not worth it for me.

Monday, 15 November 2010

New in stores: Purr EDP [EDT?] by Katy Perry




The composition of Katy Perry Purr is developed by Firmenich perfumer house, combining top notes of peach, forbidden apple, gardenia and green bamboo with the heart of jasmine, pink freesia and Bulgarian rose and the base of vanilla orchid, creamy sandalwood, white amber, coconut and musk.

The image of the bottle is in the form of a cat with eyes like jewels, colored in metallic shades of lavender. The advertising poster, signed by Miles Aldridge, shows the famous pop star dressed in a pink and purple latex cat suit playing with a huge ball of wool.
 
 
Katy Perry Purr is available as 30, 50 and 100 ml EDP and an accompanying collection of bath foam and body lotion.


[Source: Fragrantica.com]




Purr is exclusive to Selfridges stores until the last week in November, then it will go on sale in all major fragrance retailers nationwide. Selfridges site only stocks the 100ml bottle and it costs £58.

Hmm, don't think I'll rush to try something that pricey, which - judging by the scent notes - isn't original. Plus, Selfridges list it as a EDT, not a EDP.

Sunday, 14 November 2010

Review: Big Fake Mascara by Collection 2000



Sam and Nic have recently been using Collection 2000's BIG FAKE mascara for their Pixiwoo tutorials, so naturally I needed to try it for myself and it didn't disappoint.

It gives me the same results of beautifully separated, evenly coated, non-clumpy lashes, with a rich colour [mine is ultra black, it also comes in black and brown/black]. I was really impressed by it's thickening ability, each and every time I've used it. The one thing that it doesn't do is lengthen my lashes. However the makers don't claim that it will, so no harm there.

Honestly; The results are the same on me as Benefit's Bad Gal Lash and Dior's Diorshow, for a third of the price [BIG FAKE is £5].


Yes - the brush is big, but no bigger then Diorshow, Bad Gal Lash or similar, so if you're used to using those then you shouldn't have any problems with BIG FAKE. The size of the brush is great as it separates, fans and slightly curls lashes, right from the roots to the tips, so my eyes really pop.



I do have one issue; This is a pain to remove. This hasn't put me off - this is my favourite mascara at the minute - but, yeah, I'll have to point that out.






[In both pictures 2 coats were applied - no other products or eyelash curlers were used]

Saturday, 6 November 2010

First Impressions: LA Glow EDT by Jennifer Lopez


Ah: Who hasn't heard of the best selling Glow range of perfumes that are released under the Jennifer Lopez brand? There's [deep breath] Glow, Miami Glow, Love At First Glow, Glow After Dark, Sunkissed Glow, My Glow, Blue Glow and now they've just released LA GLOW... 

Monday, 1 November 2010

Review: Heartbreaker EDP by Jenna [Jameson]


By now I think we all know about my love for perfume - especially if that perfume is relatively unheard of and not commonly found on the high street. Therefore it's needless to explain why when I read that Jenna Jameson was releasing a perfume I immediately went cruising on Ebay for it. [If I'm being totally honest I'd admit that I actually admire Jenna - for overcoming huge obstacles in her early years - I'm not embarking on a new career :p].