Fragrance review: Elizabeth Arden Untold Absolu EDP

15 Oct

A little while back Elizabeth Arden launched Untold, a multifaceted creamy white floral with fruity top notes like pear and blackcurrant.  They’ve now brought out another version of the scent, Untold Absolu, which is a more intense, more sensual interpretation.

Prettiest press pack

The scent arrived with a bottle of Lothian Vineyards Pinot Noir, my favourite wine from the decadent lunch dinner. Tres spoilicious!

Again, you’re looking at a creamy white fruity floral with blackcurrant and bergamot top notes but this time the pear (which is never a favourite note of mine) gets the boot in favour of red plum which lends the scent a slightly sweeter,  juiciness. As for the white floral heart, the original’s jasmine remains but the gardenia has been swapped out for rosewater. Again, this lends it a certain luscious, ‘greenness’ that its predecessor didn’t have. While the first Untold, to me, was a slightly arid and flat, Absolu is ‘wet’, juicy and warm. The latter comes in when the base notes pop up – creamy wood, vanilla and resinous benzoin. (For the record, the first Untold featured a woody-musky-patchouli-amber base.)

In short, you can tell that Untold and Untold Absolu are sisters, but the latter is most definitely the prettier of the too. (Don’t worry Untold, you’ll still end up marrying a charming neurologist and travelling the world by way of compensation.) Also, the difference is pretty marked in that I wouldn’t personally wear the first Untold, but have been happy to occasionally spritz on Absolu and find myself liking it more and more. It’s a lovely scent for ‘in between’ season days and ‘any season’ nights – the kind of thing you’d wear when you’re doing smart-casual/office chic or are a little bit dressed up but aren’t going over the top.

At the launch, Arden asked what we'd like engraved on the bottle. I put my mom's name on it and she spotted that on twitter ages back and is pretending otherwise. 'Hi Mom!'

At the launch, Arden asked what we’d like engraved on the bottle. I put my mom’s name on it and she spotted that on twitter ages back but is acting otherwise so she can pretend to be surprised when I gift it to her. ‘Hi Mom!’

When I close my eyes and think about the ‘ideal’ woman who’d pull this off well I see her as being mature (as in 30s plus), professional, level-headed, well-groomed and practical yet naturally glamorous. She’s not wild and crazy and running free – she’s restrained with impeccable manners – but still knows how to have a bit of fun and has a warm, kind personality that people gravitate towards. If she worked at your office, you’d trust her with your credit card and pin number to pay the sushi delivery dude. She’s possibly a Taurus with a penchant for simple luxury and gives considerate, tasteful gifts – like good white linen or orchids.

For the record, this descriptor is in no way a reflection of my mom. Mrs vd B might have good manners and isn’t likely to commit credit card fraud, but she’s in no way restrained nor would she tolerate a gig in an office. She’s also got a penchant for cards featuring dancing meerkats whereas Absolu Woman possibly owns personalised stationary. However, it would suit her too – if there’s any left by the time I hand it over – which goes to show it’s a multifaceted scent indeed.)

Anyway, if you liked the first Untold, you’re going to have to sniff this one too. And if you didn’t, I reckon give it a bash and possibly be surprised. I know I was.

Find Elizabeth Arden Untold Eau de Parfum in stores now going for R520 for 30ml, R720 for 50ml and R920.00 for 100ml.

Love, love

Leigh

 

St Yves re-opens with a bang for a sizzling hot summer in Cape Town

14 Oct

St Yves Beach Club might’ve closed it’s doors last summer but now it’s back for another season at a hot new location – 120 Strand Street in trendy De Waterkant.

Myself and the blogger besties were invited to the launch and possibly had a leetle too much fun in the VIP section. It was jam-packed with local scenesters, media and celebs sipping on the Pongraz and Eristoff vodka that kept magically appearing in the giant ice buckets on our table.

Liezel and Darryn up top and the brat pack down below.

Kfm’s Liezel ‘Giraffe’ van der Westhuizen and photographer Darryn van der Walt up top and moi et le blogger bratpack down below.

We also didn’t go hungry and may or may not have resorted to hair pulling and scratching in a bid to score the last of The BestCanape Ever – a super tender fillet on a stick served with creamy, dreamy Hollandaise sauce. (Nice one Tres Chic catering!)

Striking a pose with Simply Come Dancing's sexy Siv

Striking a pose with Simply Come Dancing’s sexy Siv Ngesi.

Entertainment-wise, Dean Fuel was in the house and played a killer set and at one point things got a little messy.

Thing got a little messy...

Cheers bietse!

...very messy

Fun, fun, fun til their daddy takes the Eristoff awaaaay! (And if you don’t get that Beach Boys ref you’re too young to be reading this.) 

Those who were there will know there was a li’l electrical ish on the night but I’ve since been told that this has been sorted out so St Yves is now 100% ready to impress. Keen to check it out yourself? Thursday night is ladies night with female DJs playing hip hop and RnB; Friday’s are commercial nights and Saturday is Deep House and RnB. To learn more and check out the line up, visit St Yves’ website over here.

Upon leaving, my friends and I waited on the pavement for Karisa to join us outside, not realising we’d lost her to tequila shots and David Guetta. In that time space, event photographer Werner Ryke spotted us and started snapping. The results of which arrived in a zip folder yesterday labelled ‘Not Safe for Work’ but, shamefully, I think they’re super fun.

WXW_3187

The Real Bergies of Strand Street – a hot new reality show coming out soon.

A big dankie to The Little Black Book PR and St Yve’s Jack Kasi for a fab night out.

Love, love

Leigh

Fragrance review: Thomas Sabo Charm Rose, Charm Rose Intense and Charm Kiss

13 Oct

Swarovski, Bulgari, Chopard, Van Cleef & Arpels… it would seem that if you’re a jewellery and hit the big time, the next step is to create a perfume. Thomas Sabo, the luxurious German brand best known for their lustable little charms, is no exception and has recently launched not one but three ‘Charm Club’ fragrances – Charm Kiss, Charm Rose and Charm Rose Intense. Each fragrance is packaged in a cute, 50s-style bottle with a charm around its neck and sold in the most adorable lined hat box.

Pretty, pretty!

Pretty, pretty!

I’ve given them all a good bash and my thoughts are as follows:

Charm Rose, a fruity floral, is ‘lightest/freshest’ of the lot thanks to a citrusy clementine top note. It’s heart is a mix of rare roses – Chinese, alpine and musk – along with magnolia and jasmine resting on a soft, creamy woody-vanilla base. Later, once it starts to dry down, it becomes a slightly soapy-musky floral. It’s the kind of scent I imagine a younger, girlie-girl wearing. She’s a breezy, flirty type who always has pink gelish on her nails and owns a blingy cell phone cover. Still, an older woman wanting to feel even younger could easily wear it too.

Thomas Sabo Charm Club Charm Rose

Thomas Sabo Charm Club Charm Rose

The second scent, Rose Intense, is a bit more grown up. Here the rose comes through loud and clear along with quite a lot of peach and a varied bouquet of white flowers that includes jasmine. The base, however, is a musky-patchouli-woody affair that lends the perfume a darker, heady more mysterious feel. While it doesn’t smell the same, it makes me think of another heavier, rose-centred fragrance,  Jo Malone Velvet Rose & Oud. It’s the kind of scent you’d wear on an overcast autumn day or at night and would suit someone a little older and more sophisticated than the Charm Rose girl. Maybe her Aunt who likes to go to the ballet wrapped up in a black velvet stole, her heavy Thomas Sabo charm bracelet jingling on her wrist.

Thomas Sabo Charm Club Charm Rose Intense.

Thomas Sabo Charm Club Charm Rose Intense.

Last but not least, we’ve got Charm Kiss. This is an interesting li’l scent with notes that include champagne, strawberries and chocolate. To my nose, however, its pure strawberries and chocolate and I find it a bit too sweet. Still, anyone who loves statement making gourmands like Thierry Mugler’s Angel might find themselves in seventh heaven. It’s kind of hard to nail down the imagined wearer further than that because, despite being sugary, it’s not exclusively for the young. But ja, I reckon this is a real love it or hate it scent and something you’d have to sniff for yourself.

Thomas Sabo Charm Club Charm Kiss

Thomas Sabo Charm Club Charm Kiss

If you’re keen, you’ll find Meneer Sabo’s new scents in Stuttafords as well as selected Edgars, Foschini, Truworths and Clicks stores going for a very reasonable R795 a pop.

Love, love

Leigh

Reviews: Bourjois Push Up Volume Glamour mascara, Avon’s new Skin So Soft Fusions body moisturiser and MAC x Brooke Shields Cream Colour Base

10 Oct

Ready to get stuck in?

Bourjois Push Up Volume Glamour mascara, R129,95, selected Clicks.

I haven’t tried loads of Bourjois mascaras but can’t think of any that have ever stood out. That is until I tried new Push Up Volume Glamour. It promises ‘uplifting volume without clumps’ and that’s exactly what it delivers.

Bourjois

Bourjois Push Up Volume Glamour mascara

It’s formula is pretty waxy, but ‘wet’ – so you can slap on a thick glob of mascara, but then ‘stroke it out’ to ensure each lash is coated but separated. The overall effect it creates is ‘neat’ and voluminous; a look that I love.

See?

See?

Avon Skin So Soft Fusions Soft & Nourish Dual Softening body moisturiser, price TBA.

I recently given a box of  Avon and Justine goodies (so expect more reviews coming shortly) and one of the stand outs was Avon’s new Soft & Nourish body lotion. It’s chockfull of hydrating glycerine, contains a bit of urea and a dash of  jojoba and sweet almond oil.

Avon Skin So Soft

Avon Skin So Soft Fusions Soft & Nourish Dual Softening Body Moisturiser

Personally, I like it because it feels great on your skin – almost like an ‘oil-infused lotion’, if that makes sense, so it leaves your bod with a lovely sheen. In a way, it reminds me a bit of Justine’s Tissue Oil body butters which is one of my favourite body hydrators hands down.

Scent-wise, I can’t put my finger on what it smells like but it’s a clean-smelling ‘demure’ green-floral. Something like lily of the valley or sweet pea. Either way, it’s not going to interfere with your perfume.

MAC x Brooke Shields Cream Colour Base in Cherished, R420.

MAC’s most recent celeb collaboration is with Brooke Shields. Remember her? I haven’t seen her do much of anything lately (although in all fairness, I don’t own a TV) but I still love her to itty bitty pieces. She’ll always be the beautiful girl in The Blue Lagoon. My sister and I used to loooove that movie to bits and watched it over and over again until the tape wore out. To date, I’m still terrified of walking in water where I can’t see ‘the bottom’ due to a fear of stepping on a poisonous stone fish. Ermigggaddd!

Brooke Shields. Still gorgeous after all of these years.

Brooke Shields, the original ‘bold brow’ beauty icon and still gorgeous after all of these years.

But ja, geting back to MAC… the Brooke Shields’ collection’s packaged very differently to any other MAC goodies I’ve seen – lots of grey plastic and orange, which makes me think of Hugo Boss In Motion, the brands’ sportiest male cologne. The overall ‘vibe’ is lots of lovely, flattering neutrals accented by pretty pops of berry, pink and coral for your lips.

I was given the Cream Colour Base in Cherished; two versatile cream colours (a bright pinky coral and dusty plum) that can be used as either a lippie or cheek colour.

Wearing the pinky-coral on my cheeks and the plum one on my lips.

Wearing the pinky-coral on my cheeks and the plum one on my lips.

I found both colours were super easy to blend out on your cheeks and did a great job of creating a lovely ‘lit from within’ glow. It didn’t work as well on my lips through as it did that thing where it separated and went ‘liney’. The plum shade, however, makes for a lovely lip colour in that it ‘covers’ well, lasts for ages and doesn’t feel ‘dry’, which is often the case with lip-cheek 2-in-1 colours.

To check out the full collection – and shop online – visit MAC’s local website over here.

See anything you like?

Love, love

Leigh

Review: Lipidol Cleansing body oil

9 Oct

Heard about Lipidol yet? A line up of six oil-based beauty products, its exclusive to Clicks and going for R80 a pop. It consists of two cleansers – one for face and one for body – as well as an after shower oil, sunscreen oil, after shave oil and overnight face oil.

Lipidol

Lipidol Cleansing face oil, Cleansing body oil, After Shower oil, Sunscreen oil, After Shave oil and Overnight face oil.

They all promises to do their jobs without stripping your skin of its natural moisture, actually hydrate a bit and then seal it in. (As you know, if you pour a little oil on top of moisture, you’re not going to lose it to evaporation and it’s the same deal with your skin.)

I attended the Lipidol launch the other day and learned the range was initiated by the creators of Bio-Oil and developed by a team of highly skilled scientists. They all banged on about how it was seriously next level tech but never really explained it so I don’t know how it’s any different or more advanced than other oil-based competitors but I can tell you this – the zingy lime-scented Cleansing Body Oil is very nice.

Lipidol Cleansing body oil

Lipidol Cleansing body oil

I was given it to try and, while it’s very clearly an ‘oil’, it still emulsifies with water to create a sort-of lather and I love that. (I never really feel like my skin or hair or whatever is truly clean unless whatever I’m using foams up a bit and while I know that’s just my brain being moronic it’s just the way it is. For this reason, I always reach for foaming facial washes as opposed to milky ones.) Once you wash it off, your skin feels clean, but not squeakily so.

Aside from containing natural oils like soybean and castor, it also makes use of interesting plant extracts like antibacterial neem seed and soothing holy basil leaf.

I also tried the After Shower body oil and, while others have raved about it, I wasn’t a big fan. It’s supposed to smell like chamomile, to me it smells like ‘nothing’, and that together with its kind of medicinal-looking packaging makes me feel like I’m using straight up liquid paraffin on my skin as opposed to what could be something indulgent.

I’m now keen to try the sunscreen as I love oil-based SPFs and have been told it smells like the Mediterranean. Has anyone given it a bash? Is that true? Also, if you’ve tried any Lipidol products yourself, please share your thoughts in the comments section.

Love, love

Leigh

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