Wednesday, May 11, 2016

{Old} Empties: The Finale

We're here! We've finally reached the end of this series! This post features one of my favorite type of beauty products...fragrances!

Now, I know people are quick to quip how choosing a fragrance is such a *personal* decision...and I agree. Nonetheless, I hope my take on these fragrances proves useful to someone in some way.

Armani Mania, Calvin Klein Euphoria, Versace Bright Crystal, The Body Shop Love Etc.
Armani Mania "A fresh burst of Moroccan laurel, green tangerine and pink peppercorns mingle with feminine florals and sensual cedar, sandalwood, amber and musk for a modern fragrance that is both sensual and sophisticated. Mood: Woody, floral and sophisticated." (from the Giorgio Armani Beauty website)

I loved this perfume during the time I wore it. I typically reserved for night time wear, whether it was a date or a girls' night out. It is a sultry woody, oriental. 

Calvin Klein Euphoria - "Notes: Pomegranate, Persimmon, Green Notes, Black Orchid, Lotus Blossom, Champaca Flower, Liquid Amber, Mahogany Wood, Black Violet, Cream Accord. Style: Confident. Sexy. Chic." (from

I loved this scent soooo much. Althought it was captivating and a little on the heavy side, I often wore it day and night. I actually went through two bottles of this. That is rare for me when it comes to nose usually gets tired of one scent after a while. It happened towards the end of this second bottle.

Versace Bright Crystal - "Notes: Iced Accord, Yuzu, Pomegranate, Peony, Magnolia, Lotus Flower, Acajou, Vegetal Amber, Musk. Style: Sheer. Sensual. Luminous." (from

I thoroughly enjoyed this fragrance. It was a sophisticated floral, not the sweet, playful variety some women associate with young girls. I found this to be most suitable for day wear.

The Body Shop Love Etc... - "...a heart-stopping fusion of jasmine, vanilla and sandalwood notes." (from The Body Shop website)

This is a light, flirty scent most suitable for day wear and warmer months. I enjoyed this quite a bit and got compliments when I wore it.
Marc Jacobs Honey, CK Downtown; Jo Malone: Blackberry & Bay, Nectarine Blossom & Honey, Wood Sage & Sea Salt
Marc Jacobs Honey - "Notes: Pear, Juicy Mandarin, Orange Blossom, Peach Nectar, Apricot, Honeysuckle, Honey, Golden Vanilla, Smooth Woods. Style: Sweet. Sassy. Energized." (from

I adore this fruity floral. It has sparked my love for all of Marc Jacobs' fragrances. Perfect for office wear and best during spring/summer months!

CK Downtown - "urban. original. real. a modern floral woody fragrance for her that balances feminine sophistication and an unexpected edge. the brightness of tunisian neroli blends with soft gardenia petals and an unmistakable signature of texan cedarwood." (from

I got this sample as part of a Sephora order and thoroughly enjoyed it! The woody notes are very similar to what I loved about CK Euphoria, but it's lighter and more versatile to wear anytime.

Jo Malone Blackberry & Bay"Childhood memories of blackberry picking...A burst of deep, tart blackberry juice, blending with the freshness of just-gathered bay and brambly woods. Vibrant and verdant." (from

I cannot express well enough how much I love the Jo Malone fragrance house! I am just glad I tried a scent from her line after hearing one of my favorite vloggers rave about some of her fragrances. I have been hooked ever since! No matter what other scents I try, I always come back to Jo Malone. Blackberry & Bay is one of my favorites. This light, juicy fruity fragrance is perfect for a warm spring day.

Jo Malone Nectarine Blossom & Honey - "Succulent nectarine, peach and cassis and delicate spring flowers melt into the note of acacia honey. Sweet and delightfully playful." (from 

This another of my Jo Malone favorites. I wore it every day last spring when I ordered a full-sized bottle! It is considered a fruity fragrance, but I believe it's a perfect balance between that and light floral.

Jo Malone Wood Sage & Sea Salt"Escape the everyday along the windswept shore. Waves breaking white, the air fresh with sea salt and spray. Alive with the mineral scent of the rugged cliffs. Mingling with the woody earthiness of sage. Lively, spirited and totally joyful." (from

I enjoyed the sample of this fragrance, and plan to purchase a full-sized bottle for this summer. I consider this to be unisex, because it strikes a nice balance between light and woody notes and doesn't smell masculine when I wear it. Definitely reminds me of a day frolicking on the beach.

Let me hear from you! Have you worn any of these fragrances? If so, what are your thoughts on them? What other fragrance houses and/or scent do you recommend? I love exploring new fragrances

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Nail Flavor of the Week: Spring's in Full Swing

In spite of (or perhaps because of) the several days of rain we've had lately, I am glad that all signs of winter are gone and spring is showing its lovely face. 

Polish Addict Nail Color - In Bloom (3 coats)
The green in this polish reminds me of the sea of green that fills the streets as the grass grows, the trees bud and the flowers bloom. This crelly polish also features hints of white, purple and pink...some in the shapes of stars and flowers!

Managed to get a couple of stars on this hand
The beauty to wearing crelly polishes lies in the fact that it's a one-stop shop for beautiful colors and nail art. The downside is having to paint multiple coats to built up to a decent level of opacity. I usually paint two coats of regular polish, whereas it took three coats of this crelly to build up to this look.

Here's to spring sticking around for a while. The temperature will creep up to the 80s and 90s soon enough, and I am not trying to rush that! 

Saturday, May 7, 2016

{Old} Empties, part IV: eye products

Ok, let's see if I can knock out this drawn-out series in the next week. This is the next to last post!

Here is a look at some mascaras, brow products, liners and primers I have used up in the past:

from left to right:
Tarte Lights, Camera, Lashes 4-in-1 Mascara; L'Oreal Voluminous Miss Manga and Miss Manga Black Angel Mascaras; Cover Girl Clump Crusher Mascara (all in some shade of black)
I was not terribly impressed with the Tarte mascara and would not be likely to purchase a full-sized version of the product. 

I loved the original Miss Manga formula. It struck a good balance of lengthening and volumizing, which is what I mainly look for in mascaras (more volume, though, as my lashes are already pretty long). I would repurchase this. 

The Black Angel formula was rather wet and produced clumps...not my preferred look, so I would not repurchase that particular formula. 

I loved the Clump Crusher mascara and found myself using it almost exclusively while testing it out. I would definitely repurchase it!

from top to bottom:
Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion in Original; bareMinerals 5-in-1 BB Cream Shadow in Divine Wine; Wet n Wild Megaliner Liquid Eyeliner in Black; Jesse's Girl Liquid Eyeliner in Black; Anastasia Beverly Hills Clear Brow Gel; Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz in Chocolate
I actually have had multiple samples of the UD Primer...while I enjoyed the staying power of the product, I did not appreciate the white cast it left behind on my skin. I prefer an eye primer that dries clear. I would not purchase a full-sized version of this product. 

I enjoyed the bareMinerals BB cream shadow because it can function as a primer or a stand-alone shadow. Honestly, I don't know that I saw any BB benefits with this product, but what I liked was enough for me to buy a full-sized tube in the shade Radiant Sand. 

The brush on the Wet n Wild liner was a little thinner than I prefer. It is also very wet and takes a while to dry. While an inexpensive product, I would much rather spend a few more dollars on Jesse's Girl's eyeliner. It has a superior brush and the packaging makes it easy to hold comfortably in your hand while lining your eye. I have repurchased this at least twice already.

I have really enjoyed all of the ABH products I have tried so far. The brow gel was the very first item I tried, and I loved it. It helps hold the hairs in place without making them flaky. I love the thin tip on the Brow Wiz pencil and its consistency makes it easy to apply without being too hard or causing worry about breaking off. The only quip I have since trying similar products by other brands is the shade selection. They all seem to be either too dark and harsh or too light. While I would repurchase again (I have gone through a few tubes), I 'd probably prefer to stick with the brand that offers me better shade selections.

Friday, May 6, 2016

Play! by Sephora - April

Hey...TGIF! The weekend is reason enough to celebrate. 

I signed up for the Play! by Sephora subscription last year after reading blog posts about it.  I jumped at the opportunity when I got an email towards the end of March inviting me to join. I have subscribed to Ipsy and Beauty Box 5 in the past...while I looked forward to a new box each month, I found that the product types started to become redundant and the brands less exciting. I am hoping Play! by Sephora will cure the lackluster let-down that other beauty subscriptions become after a while. I enjoy shopping at Sephora and trying the variety of brands and products the store offers.

Here is a look at the April box:

box top
front of pamphlet featuring the month's theme "The It Crowd"
inside contains information about each product

Milk Makeup Sunshine Oil, Sephora Collection Colorful Cheek Ink Gel in Peony, NARS Satin Lip Pencil in Rikugien
Sunday Riley Good Genes Treatment, Clinique Pep-Start Eye Cream
Also in the box: an eau de parfum sample of Derek Lam's 2AM Kiss from the 10 Crosby collection
Sephora sends emails featuring sneak peeks of the month's box items, an unboxing video, and an alert when the box is on its way. I am pleased with the variety of products that were included in April's box. I actually had a sample of the NARS Satin Lip Pencil (I got it from Sephora last year as part of my birthday gift), but because I like that shade, I am not mad about having an extra as back up. I have not had a chance to play with everything yet, but I have enjoyed the items I have managed to incorporate into my daily beauty routine so far. For $10 per month, I'd say this looks like a promising subscription and I am looking forward to next month's box. Stay tuned for a post on which products I enjoyed...some may make a list of favorites!

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Nail Flavor of the Week: Pink Lace

Good morning! I hope you are having a good week. In spite of the gray, rainy skies, this week has been filled with plenty of sunshine for me because my husband returned home from a 7-month Naval deployment. I am thankful to God that Hubby came back in one piece and in good health!

Needless to say, in the midst of my homecoming preparations, I neglected to take a picture of my nails earlier in the week. Here is what I snapped today. Ignore the minor chipping and tip wear.

Base color: OPI Hello Kitty Collection in Let's Be Friends!
stamp color: Wet n Wild in Black Creme
nail stamp: Pueen Collection - 24M Make Your Day, plate 103
The stamp I used features leaves with detailing that reminds me of lace. Hubby asked if the design was Spiderman...SMH. #thingsmensay 

A few notes on this look:
-I really love this OPI polish. I have worn it at least 3 times since purchasing it. That is rare because I usually try to rotate the colors in my stash.
-To avoid streaking with my stamp designs, I need to try waiting longer for the design to dry before adding the top coat.
-I know I really need to just suck it up and buy some stamping polish.
-My nails had a growth spurt in the fall around the time my husband first deployed. Ironically, all of them have broken except my left ring finger. It appears the nails on my right hand aren't even growing right now. This is in spite of me using a nail treatment by Nailtiques.

I am still enjoying my nail stamps, although time does not always allow to create a full look with them. This look proves a few nails with stamped designs can look just as good...if not better!