One of life’s simplest but most delightful pleasures for me is to step into a cozy French bakery early in the morning, feeling the warmth of the oven still on, and breathing in the tantalizing fresh aroma of pastries. The next pleasure is, of course, partaking in eating them. Laura Mercier’s La Petite Patisserie Travel Candle Trio has captured three beautiful scents of the patisserie in a perfect candle travel set, and the best part is, it’s calorie-free! Despite wondering if these gorgeous smells would make my stomach growl, I found them satisfying my senses without the craving. The sweet flavors of Fresh Fig, Almond Coconut Milk, and Crème de Pistache are wrapped up in votive candles to release that bakery-fresh smell whether you’re cozying up at home or on the road. When I travel, I find that a candle goes a long way in setting the ambience and bringing warmth and comfort to a hotel room.
Fresh Fig is my favorite of the vibrant trio, and I can almost taste the fresh Celeste Figs and fruit bouquets of Apricot Nectar and Ylang Ylang. The mini candle certainly packs a punch–within minutes of being lit, the room is permeated with the delicious warm scent. The Almond Coconut Milk is the most comforting, a sweet version of milky flavors with a tropical twist. It combines Milk, Coconut, Almond and Vanilla notes with Heliotrope and Musk for a rich experience. Last but not least, Crème de Pistache is an exotic and decadent blend of Almost, Praline and Hazelnut with freshly Whipped Cream for a luscious, rich scent. The candles have a 20-30 hour burn time, which is key for small candles–they go the distance for their petite size. This limited-edition sampler comes with a elegant and portable candle carrier which is perfect for stashing your favorite candle in your toiletry bag. Trust me, it’s the first thing you’ll pull out to create your home away from home!
It’s the perfect season for cheerful new shades, don’t you think? I was so happy to discover the great spring colors from Benefit’s new collection of eyeshadows — not only is the stuff fantastic (more on that below), the retro packaging is pretty, feminine, and cheerful — perfect for both my handbag and vanity counter.
I can’t go any further without gushing a bit about the Creaseless Cream Shadow. Here’s the thing: I had a seriously scarring experience with finger-applied eyeshadow years ago and since then, I’ve been reluctant to jump back in. But in the name of beauty blogging, I slid my ring finger across the richly-colored pot of creamy shadow and cautiously applied to my eyelid. I was ecstatic. It was easy to spread and went on like silk — not at all messy or uneven as I had expected. Feeling more courageous, I layered My Two Cents onto the whole lid, then applied Bronze Have More Fun just north of my lashes, blended a bit and ended up with a perfectly coppery smokey eye. For me, long-wear is of utmost importance, and the cream shadows pass the test. I spent all day in them, even took a short cat nap, and still managed to dash out the door for dinner with only a 30-second touch-up .
Along with the new cream shadows (my new faves!), Benefit has also released a collection of Longwear Powder Shadows, which are ideal for mixing and matching to create custom look. Blingo silver is one of my favorites to wear alone layer over a cream shadow for some extra shimmer. For something a little darker, Rain check? is a purple hue that works for almost any complexion, even if you don’t normally wear color. As someone who usually reaches for neutrals, I was pretty surprised at how flattering the violet looked with my dark brown eyes. In fact, it’s almost become a bit of a daily fave — I apply with a heavier hand for a more dramatic evening and sweep on lightly over lids for a day shadow. With 22 new spring colors, the possibilities are endless… so channel your inner kid-in-a-candyshop and play with Benefit!
Luscious. Pouty. Sexy. Everyone wants beautiful, healthy lips, and underneath the lipstick and gloss we all know and love, lips need a lot of TLC. Since I’m gaga over anything that has to do with lips, I figured I’d pay homage by doing a kiss-worthy roundup! I’ve pooled all my favorite lip products and done some hard-core testing to bring you the best of the best. So pucker up, here goes!
1) Ultra Repair Lip Therapy. I love how this sumptuous moisturizer coats my lips, and with this product I purposely don’t “stay within the lines.” I make sure a little extra balm goes on the corners and outside my lips so that everything is healthy and hydrated. Over the winter when I had a bit of a cold, a dash on my nose was the only thing that would soothe it. The consistency is quite thick, but not sticky or tacky. It’s there for emergencies when the wind is chafing, and also for extra TLC anytime. The handy lightweight tube is easy to grab on the go.
2) Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Lip Repair Balm. This little jar has earned its place on my nightstand. By what merit, you ask? It’s the perfect texture (soft and richly thick) and nourishing enough to last all through the night. Your body rejuvenates itself every night while you’re sleeping with cells dividing rapidly, so it makes sense to give it the best boost you can. Since I started using the balm, I’ve noticed the vertical lines on my lips getting softer, and overall texture is softer and healthier. For very dry lips, this is a must-have. The light eucalyptus scent calms like a cup of chamomile tea, perfect for evenings. For a daytime treatment, the Nourishing Lip Balm comes formulated with SPF 20 in a tube for convenience. The consistency is a little different but better for squeezing on the go. Sun protection is often overlooked for lips in favor of a facial SPF moisturizer, but lips are just as important and can show age quickly, so don’t forget to protect them. (more…)