Citrus or Sweet? Donna Karan vs Liz Earle

We have here two amazing fragrances competing with each other today. Donna Karan Cashmere Mist Liquid Nude and Liz Earle Botanical Essence No 1.

Lets begin with Donna Karan First. You must have heard of the ever popular Cashmere Mist range of fragrances and body products that Donna Karen has developed since years. Well the Cashmere Mist Liquid Nude (£52 for 50 ml) is a EDP and is just an extension of their Cashmere Mist range, deviating from the original fragrance that's stronger than this. This carries the same aura in my opinion, just in a slightly relaxed manner.

I like the way the carton's designed in shades of baby pink and gold, quite elegant.

The container itselt is a pretty nude pink transparent bottle with a gold nozzle.

Coming to the fragrance itself, its meant to be "A bouquet of sun-kissed orange flowers and pink cyclamen petals are laced with a whisper of lily of the valley. Then comes the intoxicating touch of Sandalwood, Ylang Heart and delicate Moroccan Jasmine, blended with the potency of woody Labdanum and pure Indian Jasmine Sambac. At the base lies the airy warmth of White Amber and Skin Musk mixed with velvety Suede, exotic Tonka and a hint of Benzoin. The result: a sweet caress of touchable, lasting sensuality."

Now you do know that each fragrance smells differently on every person after settling on one's skin and mixing with one's smell. On me I can immediately smell the Sandalwood and Jasmine, which is pretty pleasant to be honest. It quite a 'safe' fragrance I would say. It's highly unlikely that any body will find it offensive or dislike it like its Mugler counterparts.

It's not an overtly sweet fragrance too, its a softly sweet and sophisticated smell if that makes any sense. I would categorize this as one of those luxurious fragrances that we come across on the perfume isles hence the name 'Cashmere'. I like how its smell lingers around me the entire day building a cozy atmosphere. It's definitely one of those warm feminine fragrances, one which I would reserve for the evening.

Available on the 16th August 2010 Exclusive to John Lewis
Available nationwide from 6th September 2010

Liz Earle Botanical Fragrance No 1 (50ml for £39.50) is the only fragrance that the company makes yet it still manages to be so popular.

This unique fragrance has been lovingly crafted using some of the most precious botanicals from around the world. High-altitude lavender from France, damask rose from Turkey, Italian bergamot, and spicy patchouli from Indonesia are just a few of the ingredients in this complex blend. I hope you love our vibrant, naturally active fragrance as much as we do.

When I spray this, what I can smell at first instance is crisp notes of Orange and Lemon, which after a good few minutes warms down to Lavender, Patchouli and Cedarwood. However it does take quite a bit of time to warm down and the Orange and Lemon may not appeal to those who are not citrus-y smell fans.

I myself don't owe a Citrus fragrance yet, this being my first one but I am quite enjoying using this as the list of ingredients (14 botanicals!) used in creating this perfume are so vast, there has to be something you like the smell of. I discover a new smell every day I spray this on you know. To top it up, it consists of 98% naturally derived ingredients so yayy for that!

It is a very unusual fragrance I have to say. Its floral and musky at the same time yet not overpowering enough to put you off. It works really well to perk one up when you're feeling blue or to kick start the day. This has to be my everyday wear fragrance (after Thierry's Angel of course).

The drawer like box that it comes with is super cute to store this baby in, just like a wardrobe for it. The bottle itself is very prettily designed to look elegant yet simple, keeping in mind Liz's brand design.

Competitors then? Nah! Both the fragrances are completely different in their own ways. The choice is yours to make.

Citrus or Sweet?


Sheer Cover Mineral Makeup - not so Sheer eh? with FOTD

I am sure you have heard of Sheer Cover Mineral Make-up before right? Well I have quite a few times in some tele adverts I guess.

What is it? Pure Mineral Make-up which is supposed to be good for you skin too!

Now there are two groups of people I came across, one that raved about sheer cover and one that absolutely despised it. I am lucky to enough to report that I am a part of the former group and hence the rave post.

Below is what came in my introductory pack. Two mineral foundations, two brushes, a concealer duo, a lip and eye palette, a base perfector and a mascara. All these things come in a little black zip up case which is quite handy for travel.

Lets start with the brushes as I really like them. Pretty good quality they are in the first place. The concealer brush is synthetic and is great for applying concealer to the under eyes and is precise enough to spot conceal.

The powder brush may look a bit unconventional to apply mineral make up at first due to its unusual shape but because the brush hairs are so dense it works best at applying the mineral foundation in a concentrated manner. It is a bit small in width though and takes ages to cover the entire face with it.

Coming to the main stuff, the mineral foundations. When I initially started out with make-up, mineral foundations is what I used religiously for the first few years but then I gave it up as I wanted to explore the world of liquid foundations that everyone raved about.

So using this wasn't something new for me. I got two shades, Buff and Latte. I found that mixing both of them provided me with the best color for my NC30 skin tone. On the whole, the powders are very concentrated, provide the fullest coverage possible with scars, spider veins, blemishes and all. Mineral foundations usually do provide much better coverage than liquid foundations overall any ways. It did not break me out too and was suitable with my combination skin tone providing a gorgeous matte finish.

The only problem I had using this was that it appears a bit too cakey for everyday wear/daytime and I wouldn't fancy people staring at my face for that reason. Obviously, that happened because I used a bit too much product getting carried away. You have to get used to taking just the right amount and it would work pretty well for daily use. I personally would reserve it for the evenings or occasions, when I want full coverage as it does deliver that in minutes. I also like mixing in a bit of moisturiser with this powder which makes it somewhat of a creamy consistency which is easier to blend.

The concealer I found to be fantastic again, just like the foundation. It covers amazingly well. I use the darker shade to correct my dark circles and the dab the lighter one to add some brightness. Its a nice creamy consistency that spreads well but again it dries to a slightly powdery finish and you have to make sure your under eye area is well hydrated or else this will cling to dry patches.

Isn't this palette super cute? It has a few lip colors and glosses which are very sheer, not pigmented at all, so extremely wearable for daytime. My favourite however in this palette is the black-brown creamy eyeliner that glides on so beautifully and the cream highlighter, which I love to use all over the eyes or on the brow bone. Great to pop into your bag!

The extra length mascara is a nice brown-black color and extremely buildable. Something that's nice if it comes along with this kit! The base perfector is another of my favourites. It gives that silicone finish just like face primers and makes foundation glide so smoothly. I like to use it especially on the under eye area to prevent concealer from creasing.

And just to demonstrate the results, I am wearing the mineral foundation buff along with the concealer duo and the extra length mascara. I like the full coverage matte effect, you like?

Oh and referring to the title of the post, the last thing this mineral make-up is, is Sheer! It's super concentrated in fact, which is good enough. Lets the ignore the name then shall we?

I would love to know your experience with Sheer Cover too?


24-carat gold?

Supposedly each pot of this gold eye shadow contains 2 leaves of pure 24-carat gold. Ohkay, what ever does that mean.

It's a stunning creamy gold eye shadow introduced by Belmacz which is also an acclaimed jewellery house. I really like the clear plastic packaging, its cute and classy at the same time without being over the top. You get 5 grams of product in this pot and seeing how pigmented the product actually is, it should last a lifetime to be honest.

It's a pretty creamy product but not so creamy that you would leave a finger print inside. I find these to be better than the Liquid Metals that Illamasqua bought out which were too creamy and would smudge and crease in no time. This on the other hand dries to powdery finish and stays put until you remove it. It is highly pigmented but you can also build it up for intensity or sheer it down for casual wear.

It's quite a great product for weddings, parties or photo shoots and it pictures really well too. If you cant think of anything, a quick layer of this with thick black eye liner is all you need to complete your look.

Everything seems to be perfect except the price tag unfortunately. It retails for £26, which I personally find a bit too steep and would think a 100 times before spending on something like a gold eye shadow that I will hardly wear.

You can purchase this at Zuneta.com

Disclaimer: The product/s in this post were provided by Zuneta.


Olivina Bath and Body - Honeysuckle rose

Olivina - Napa Valley is a natural bath & body company created by Susan Costner-Kenward inspired by her lifestyle in the Napa Valley. Olivina's main ingredients are hand-pressed anti-oxidant olive and grape seed oils. Besides that, the Olivina products contain nourishing extracts such as chamomile, shea butter, honey, avocado oil, aloe vera and many more.

Her new range called the Honeysuckle Rose includes Body Butters, Hand Cremes, Scented Soaps, Hand & Body Lotions, Hand & Body Washes and Bubble Baths.

We have below a scented candle, a scented soap and a Hand & Body lotion from the Honeysuckle rose range.

Starting from my favourite product, the Honeysuckle Hand & Body Lotion (£17.95). A humongous 500ml container with a pump dispenser is what I just needed. I usually skip moisturizing my hands and arms every morning because I don't much like the idea of dipping my hands in tubs of body creams whilst I am in a hurry. This baby now stays on my dresser and one pump before leaving home is just enough to moisturise both hands and arms.

It smells so soothing and delicious I just cannot resist it - a blend of honey and rose is what I can make out of it. It penetrates the skin very quickly and provides just the right amount of hydration that stays pretty well.

Packaged sleekly, I would highly recommend this product. It may seem a steeply priced one but the quantity you get will last you more than you can imagine.

The Honeysuckle rose Scented Soap (£9.95) is a delight to use! It contains Olive oil, Honey and Shea butter that keeps skin smooth without drying it out. Their triple-milled vegetal soaps come placed in a cute pink case. Just like all their product this one does not disappoint too and is a gorgeous treat when you are in mood for some self-pamper.

What came first to my mind looking at its elegant packaging was what a lovely gift this would make for someone! Obviously not on its own but as a part of a hamper.

Honeysuckle Rose Scented Candle (£26.50) - "Our clean burning Olivina candles are the perfect complement to a bit of pampering. Using a 95% Soy wax blend, our scented candles will burn evenly for around 50 hours creating a delicately scented atmosphere."

Again the smell is just as delicious just like the rest of the range. It's great to create a warm and cozy atmosphere in the absolutely confused weather we have these days. I like to keep this where I spend most of my time - in my dressing room.

Again their adorable packaging makes me want to get another of these babies to give out as present. Would make an awesome treat for those candle lovers out there. Apologies as I completely forgot to take pictures of the candle in action! You can check it out on their website though.

and we have some samples from the other flavours that Olivina makes, like fig, olive, mayer lemon and lavender. My favourites were the fig and mayer lemon as for some reason I adore such unusual frangrances. The Olive body butter is however the most moisturizing of these little fellows.

I will be trying out their Fig and Olive range soon. I am a sucker for Luxury Bath and Body products and love to splurge out on these, as they make a lovely treat for the body which I usually ignore, so I try to make it up by using high end products.

You can have a look at their range here. Besides that you can find this range at Conran Shop, Liberty, Shop at Bluebird and retailers nation-wide.

Vichy Normaderm Tri-Activ Hydrating Care

I really haven't tried Vichy's products before and their new daily moisturizer especially targeted towards imperfection prone skin really tempted me! I mean who does not have imperfections eh?

I especially suffer from really confused aka Combination-dry skin. Now why my combination skin is wierd is because I have a normal-dry t-zone area and blemish prone cheeks. So I always have a spot or two on the cheeks which is quite irritating to be honest.

What Vichy say...

Hydra-peel technology – a unique association of acids in a highly hydrating care:

LHA, a L’OrĂ©al patented acid helps micro-exfoliate the surface of the skin for a smoother surface and a uniform complexion.

Salicylic acid targets the pores helping to break down blackheads and whiteheads by gently micro-exfoliating the top layer of skin and clearing blocked pores. Salicylic acid also has antiseptic properties to cleanse the skin to help stop recurrence of blackheads.

Glycolic acid, the most common of the AHA’s is an all-natural derivative of sugar cane. Glycolic acid naturally exfoliates the skin and helps reduce the bacteria causing imperfections.

These three acids work in conjunction to target blemishes, black heads and open pores.

Women 25-45 years with imperfection-prone skin require a hydrating texture and for the first time Vichy has been able to create a texture that targets imperfections without drying out the skin.

A combination of Glycerin and lightweight emollient oils enrich the day care to offer a highly hydrating 24hour texture.

Finally the texture is enriched with Anti-Silice to help mop up excess sebum for an instant matt finish.

Vichy Thermal Spa Water also helps to hydrate and soothe the skin in order to fortify the skin’s natural protective function.

Firstly the cream is pretty hydrating as you can see below. When applied, one pump is enough to spread out on the face and neck. It immediately hydrates the skin and makes is appear more supple. The hydrating effect lasts an entire day, well until I wash my face at least and this is the first thing I look for in a daily moisturizer.

Secondly, it did not break me out! I try out a whole bunch of moisturisers, out of which half of them have a tendency to break me out. Because this one was so hydrating, I was sure it would break me out and actually I even noticed a spot or two on the second day of use but it vanished in a day so I am guessing it wasn't Vichy!

Also the cream appears dewy on the face for the first few minutes after application, after which it gives a complete matte finish which is wonderful news for us combination-oily skin people.

The Salicylic Acid did actually do its work of unblocking the pores, as the end of a week I witnessed blemish free skin really. I have no 'live' spot on my cheeks which I always do, so that is a heck of an improvement. Clearing out the skin without drying it at all is also something not many products can master, so well done for that Vichy!

I used this product for a week and am glad to report that my skin does feel pretty smooth, almost blemish free and overall much more healthier. I will be continuing you use this product and will happily repurchase.

Priced at £11.50, it will be available to buy in stores after its launch in September.

Disclaimer: The product/s in this post were provided by PR for consideration.