A fragrance can be pleasant or unpleasant, complicated or not. The more complicated a scent, the more nuanced it is, the more ingredients of high quality were used to make it. For me, it is a relatively simple matter to judge the complexity of a perfume, but it can be difficult to decide whether I like it or not.
Euphoria is one of the most popular scents on the market. This is surprising, because although the fragrance can be seen as a fruity floral, it differs leagues from the average in this category. This scent is very strong! Its potency is such that even a tiny spritz gives a dense, heady scent. Unfortunately, I had an initial association with a strong-smelling old lady for its cloying quality. Euphoria smells interesting, but with what populates the general market it’s almost astonishing to find it successful. I’m glad for it, as it is a quality product, even though personally I find it too heady. The scent is a woody floral aroma upon drydown – an allure perhaps worth waiting for through the almost sickening floral sweetness. Dry pomegranate introduces the fragrance with a sweet, exotic note, which I sense is ruined and quickly by the overpowering heady orchid that tries to usurp the fruit. The resulting concoction can be nauseating. On the verge of the drydown, once pomegranate had aired out and the orchid softened, mahogany and amber show through. At this stage, Euphoria finally becomes wearable. It is definitely a winter and autumn fragrance or for a night event, lasting 10 hours and leaving a trail withing arm’s length of the user.
Calvin Klein’s Euphoria is a complicated, nuanced, quality fragrance that tells a grueling story for too long before coming to the happy and pleasant-smelling end. The degree of enjoyment of its narrative will greatly influence the perception of the perfume.
Calvin Klein Euphoria Eau de Parfum Spray: 30ml for £30.60, 50ml for £40.80, 100ml for £56.10 @ Escentual.com.
There are many fragrances on the market that start out very nice, but fade so quickly that the feeling of being duped replaces the initial dazzle. Generally, these fall into the fruity genres. Or, perhaps, it’s just my skin that bends these scents into ghosts of their initial selves. I wish the starting scent would cling longer. I don’t think that there’s anything particularly special about my skin, however, so other people surely have the same problem. If the company hadn’t neglected to test the fragrance for quality and longevity of various skins, it would be a better perfume in the end. Unfortunately, the constant monotone releases dictate other companies to follow suit and place on the market clones of mediocrity.
Coach Poppy Eau de Parfum is a fragrance of mouthwatering sweetness, albeit short-lived. This candy-ness is lifted by mandarin orange, freshened by cucumber, and softened by marshmallow. It is a fun, girl-in-pigtails smell. Unfortunately, in a few minutes the almost undetectable marshmallow drydown is all that remains. It lasts for 4 hours considering the barely-there drydown, or 1 hour of actual easily detectable scent. Like with a lot of light fragrances, the sillage surrounds the wearer with a small trail. As a spring or summer day scent, Poppy is uplifting and non-invasive once it hits the too-soon drydown.
I’m sure it could have been a less frivolous fragrance if it passed quality assurance. If all that is being craved is a jolt of confectionery without the health detriments, Poppy may be worth purchasing.
Coach Poppy Eau de Parfum Spray: 2 x 0.16oz (4.7ml) for C$27.50, 1oz (30ml) for C$45.00, 1.7oz (50ml) for C$65.00, 3.4oz (100ml) for C$85.00 @ Sephora,ca.
Coach Poppy Eau de Parfum Purse Spray: 10ml for £17.85 @ Escentual.com.
Coach Poppy Eau de Parfum Spray: 30ml for £32.30, 50ml for £33.00, 100ml for £46.67 @ Escentual.com.
Eye makeup can be difficult to wash off, especially eye liner because it’s so close to the lashes. The delicate skin surrounding the orbitals dictates use of a milder cleanser. Generally, eye makeup removers can dry the skin and will sting if they get into the eye.
Lancome’s Bi-Facil Dual-Action Eye Makeup Remover is a two-phase cleaner. The bottom phase is water soluble, while the top is oily. The two mix marvelously into a foamy liquid that is used like any other makeup remover – placed on a cottonball and swiped across the eyelids. The scent is pleasant, perhaps chamomile. The oil part prevents the skin from feeling dry after the procedure, moisturizing. Bi-Facil also calms the delicate eye area, so it should not be red or irritated after use of the makeup remover. Although the mix feels uncomfortable if it gets into the eye, it does not sting and a bit of blinking fixed the discomfort for me.
The best makeup remover for me has been the general in-shower cleansing with L’Occitane Shea Butter Extra Gentle Soap. For very sensitive skin on the face or for individuals who do not consider soap to be the right way to go about removing makeup, this may not be an option. Lancome’s Bi-Facil will remove at least 90% of makeup while soothing and moisturizing.
Lancome Bi-Facil Double-Action Eye Makeup Remover: 4.2oz (125ml) for C$35.00, 6.8oz (200ml) for C$42.00 @ Sephora.ca.
Lipsticks are creamy, but they often require a lip pencil underneath for staying power and to prevent feathering. On its own, a lipstick may quickly fade. It is suggested that a lip pencil be worn on the whole lip for added longevity of the lipstick, but the texture of traditional lip pencils is dry, making drawing the whole lip with them a pain. Lip pencils can look cakey worn on their own. Additionally, they must be matched to the lipstick, which means buying two separate products for the same area. The whole process is cumbersome. What if a lip pencil was combined with a lipstick for a two-in-one? This is exactly what Buxom did with theirs.
Full-On (Big & Healthy) Lip Stick has the creaminess of lipstick while maintaining the longevity of a lip pencil. It also provides enough hydration to be able to skip a lip balm underneath if the lips are in good condition. The cooling element of Full-On works to plump the lips – nothing dramatic, but enough to skip gloss. Even if it looks dry on first application, it melts into the skin after a few minutes. On it’s own, Full-On can look anywhere from a tinted moisturizer to a full-coverage lipstick depending on the technique and colour used. There is a sharpener on the end opposite the cap (twist and pull), but if the stick is angled, it will retain an edge, making sharpening (and wasting product) unnecessary.
The colours are dense and matte. I purchased Amsterdam and San Francisco. Amsterdam is a rosy nude which looks natural on pale and light skin. It’s not very bright so it may not work on darker people. San Francisco is a dusty mauve – brighter and more dramatic. It is suitable for a wider range of skin colours due to its hue. However, if you have warm undertones to your skin, test it before purchasing because the purple may not necessarily be flattering.
Buxom Full-On Lip Stick is a multi-tasking, creamy, long-lasting, non-sticky formula in a variety of shades. I only wish that Buxom replaced the sharpener with more product.
Buxom Full-On Lip Stick: 0.03oz (0.9g) for C$23.00 @ Sephora.ca.
There is a lot of demand for long-lasting makeup. Some people may not have time or opportunities throughout the day to refresh their look or fix a smudged line. We live in a time of haste and every minute counts. Smudge-proof makeup is inherently difficult to make – it has to apply easy without smudging from skin oils, yet wash off easily. Waterproof is not smudge-proof, yet at least it is a more stable formulation.
Aqua Eyes is a water-resistant pencil, but it is not waterproof. Water will make it smudge, although not as much as other pencils like Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil, for example. Both pencils yield to oils, so using them on top of creams like Shiseido Benefiance WrinkleResist24 Intensive Eye Contour Cream will destroy the look in no time. Opting for most other eye creams is best if you are not planning on applying eyeshadow primer or powder. Oily lids will probably require a base regardless of the eye cream. Aqua Eyes stays longer and keeps the drawn shape better than 24/7 Glide-On, yet the latter’s colour payoff is greater when comparing Zero (24/7 Glide-On) to 0L (Aqua Eyes), both matte blacks. Glide-On is definitely the creamier of the two, making its application easier.
For a soft, creamy, dense-colour pencil that won’t tug the lids, Urban Decay’s 24/7 Glide-On is the choice. For a more water- and smudge-resistant, longer lasting formula, Aqua Eyes is the better option.
Make Up For Ever Aqua Eyes: 0.04oz (1.1g) for C$23.00 @ Sephora.ca.