Friday, August 31, 2012

OMG Haul! Tom Ford Tobacco Vanille & By Kilian Back To Black

Thanks to everyone who showed interest and bought from my previous few Blog Sales and eBay, I had enough money to blow and I blew it on these beauties! I am the proud owner of the two best scents in the world! 

One of the first websites I browsed when I moved to UK was Harvey Nichols. Looking at the website, lusting after everything, dreaming! That place, in person is simply mind blowing with the fancy makeup and perfume counters. That and Harrods. Trips to London will prove a lot more expensive than I thought. The comparatively lower prices to Australian retail are so tempting. Nothing is 'cheap', but still! Multiplying things by 1.5, constantly reminding myself that the price is in Pounds, not in Dollars, easily getting carried away!

I wanted to get Tom Ford Private Blend Tobacco Vanille since yonks but it was too pricey in Australian retail (and even otherwise it is pricey. I paid ₤135 or $210 US, Australian RRP $290). If not for all the disposable money, I could only have dreamt of owning a full bottle. It is really worth the splurge. The most beautiful vanilla ever done!

Back To Black: Aphrodisiac By Kilian: You may think I am a bit crazy to buy two things that are similar: two very expensive tobacco themed perfumes. I admit to being a bit crazy, the two perfumes may not be starkly different. But Tobacco Vanille and Back To Black are one each of their kind. Tobacco Vanille relays on the bourbon vanilla for the sweetness. It is dry, a bit boozy and absolutely sexy. Back To Black is all about honey, sweet, powdery, soft and sexy as well, but more of a comforting sexy on my skin. The common thing is though, both perfumes are addictive and orgasmic, every time I sniff!  
4 x 7.5 ml with one spray cap and the gorgeous refill case
By Kilian perfumes are not cheap. But Kilian gives us price options with the concept of refills (Eco-Luxe, nothing goes waste!). From the L'Oeuvre Noire collection, the size that is the easiest on pocket is ₤41/$65 for 30ml refill (₤1.36 per ml). They are plain glass bottles, come with no spray. You can decant into generic spray bottles to enjoy the juice. The wisest option.

The 50ml refillable spray bottle costs a whooping ₤145/$230 (₤3 per ml)! 
Plain glass bottle of 50 ml refill costs ₤65/$103 (₤1.3 per ml)
We are surely paying a lot for the design of the bottle: comes to ₤80/$127 for just the bottle minus the juice! 

What I got is a Travel Set 30ml for ₤82/$130, instead of Travel Refills which would have cost me half, at ₤41! Not a wise thing to do. But please, please look at the gorgeous stone case for the refills to go in. Yes, I paid double, to cover the cost of the packaging! Ridiculous! I LOVE IT! I'll have something to put the little sprays in when I buy the Discovery Set (dreams!). To my eyes, it looks much more aesthetic than the $230 big bottles.
"Monolith engraved with Achilles Shield"
It has a magnetic cap.
I feel guilty for spending so much money at once, especially on By Kilian where I could have gone for the sensible option. I am reflecting on Liz's words and injecting myself with some sense! I am done. No more splurges anytime soon, especially on perfume.

Now I'll leave you to be charmed by this soft spoken gentleman. Not just the looks and the accent, he seems like someone who is genuinely nice!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Vintage Perfumes: Arpege, Charlie, Fragonard

Some lovely vintages that I have come to acquire: Lanvin Eau Arpege and Revlon Charlie, from late '70s, at least 35 years old, both in pristine condition. I was given these as a present by my uncle, who was gifted these by a friend in return of a favour. It was in 1979 or '78 and the friend got these from Switzerland, I suppose. My uncle has used them and loved them. You can see how well they are preserved, with the boxes and all.
I fondly remember the smell of Arpege, sneaking a few sprays from the very same bottle when I was little. To my young nose, don't know why, it smelt like the foil paper from insides of a cigarette pack. It was so fancy that I was afraid to wear it! That thought briefly flashes my mind when I smell it, even now. I get something like a medicinal tincture like smell at first, like the alcohol has matured. It is a powdery floral with an initial aldehyde blast. It is so complex but so rounded and very soft. A little nanna-ish but it is full of class and very wearable.

Charlie is a bit different from the new formulation. It is so huge on aldehydes, sparkling and heavy with old, dry and dusty flowers. I think it is the oakmoss which gives that dry dustiness to the flowers. It is bright and beautiful. I recently wore it to London on a bright and sunny Sunday, doing the touristy things. Perfection!

This 600ml mammoth of a bottle is Fragonard Concerto, not really a vintage. It is about 10 years old. My husband bought it when he visited Grasse, France in 2002, long before we met. Since then it has been untouched and had been living in the cabinets of my in-laws house. I couldn't bear to see it go waste, so I brought it along with me. Concerto is a fresh citrusy cologne, not really my type of thing. I really hope my husband uses it because he is going through a vetiver phase right now, which to be honest, is making me a bit tired and sick.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Update And Haul

UK! So beautiful when it is still hot and getting a bit windy! Especially as seen from my very cool naval-barrack-converted-seaside apartment! But...

Where are the bread tags? And why don't the traffic lights make that sound when they turn green, while I stand all dazed waiting for the sound and everyone else is crossing the road?! Oh well, at least people still drive on the 'right' side of the road and spell things the right way. I do have to do some mental math for converting miles to kilometers though.

I am out of touch with the whole world, both real and virtual. I have no Internet (using free wifi for basic stuff), no TV (waiting for the freight) and no mobile. I am loving it this way but I am sure the world will get me sooner or later. I have deleted my Twitter and FB accounts because I just don't feel like it. Let's see how long this lasts!

Back to blogging and picking up from where we left off with a haul post! My haul from India (where I spent 5 great weeks!):
One of the many things I did in India was to fall for the whole 'fairness hype' of the Indian beauty market. I picked up so many fairness products. Well, they sure are safe, if not totally effective. I am very happy with my natural skin colour but what I really look for is something to even out my skin tone and things with good SPF, both of which are the features of these 'skin lightening' products.

I bought heaps Lakme stuff because I love the brand. I have a soft spot for it because it is the brand I grew up with, so did my mother! It is not easily available overseas, so I stocked up. The best thing about Lakme is the ease with which I can find a perfect match for my skin tone. You have to be as dark as me to wear the lightest shade! So, if dark skinned gals and guys are looking for a foundation match, Lakme will have something for us!
A few things I picked up from the Absolute range: The Absolute range is expensive for Indian money but it is affordable (still not cheap) if you convert to foreign money (roughly INR600 or $10 or ₤8 is the cost of each product), which is why I indulged! 

Lakme Absolute White Intense Skincover: This foundation is the star of my haul! It is like a BB cream, thick in consistency but gives a great coverage and a matte finish. It leaves my face fresh and clean, natural finish with all the pesky spots well covered. SPF 25 is good. It does stay all day on my face (promises 16 hrs). Shade range is minimal with just 3 shades. Love it, already thinking if getting it posted from home.

Lakme Absolute White Intense Wet to Dry Compact: It is nice but not great. Just a another finishing powder really.

Lakme Absolute Lip Last: Long lasting liquid lipstick comes in a click type thingy that dispenses the product to the brush (like YSL Touche Eclat). It does last long and feels good on the lips. It has a nice tint-like finish, still creamy, no shimmer. The shade I picked up is a gorgeous pink called Day Kiss.  I wish there were more light pink toned shades to choose from.

Lakme Absolute Forever Silk eyeliner: Awesome pigment, great staying power and it is a twist-up automatic eyeliner (no sharpening). Winner! Got it in Electric Violet, so pretty! Need the green.

Lakme Perfect Radiance Daycream and Cleanser: The most attractive thing for me about the day cream is that it promises to remove tan and prevent tanning (I can tan blotchily). The day cream has a good SPF and has a kind of mattifying effect that makes a great base for makeup to sit on. It gives a temporary 'fair effect' but not in an unnatural way. Kind of like a bronzer which gives a sunkissed glow, this one gives an illusion of fairness! I do like it! Cleanser is decent too.

Lakme Perfect Radiance Skin Lightening Foundation: Thumbs down. It has very fine shimmery particles in it which is responsible for the 'radiance'. I hate those things in a foundation. It is not glittery but it is like a highlighter that I might use only on my cheek bones. The matching compact is good.

Lakme Invisible Finish Foundation: I picked this up instead of my staple Perfect Liquid. It is nice-ish everyday foundation but it sweats off easily.

Lakme Flawless Matte Complexion Compact and Lakme Kajal: Old favourites. The compact always lives in my handbag.

Lakme Fairy Dust eyeshadow: GWP with all these buys. It is a shimmery green powder shadow. Not very pigmented, but it is alright.

Maybelline Clear Glow: MNY's BB cream for Indian market. Affordable price, really cheap when you convert to dollars or even otherwise. But it is a huge fail of a product. Think watered down Garnier BB cream with less coverage and even less staying power. 

Maybelline: The Colossal Kajal: Wow! Really great eyeliner and really cheap. It is a big hit in India, where the Kajal wearing demographic is large and critical. It is deep black and has a great staying power (surely 6+ hours). Great for waterline, no smudging, no running even on waterline. Want more of these as I am half through it. Not worn anything else since I bought it!

Well, after indulging in all these fairness products, my MAC Studio Fix powder in NW 35 may have become a tad dark for me!