Holiday Gift Guide

 

It was difficult to edit my gift picks as I want everything I reviewed this past year and would love to give them all as gifts. In any event, here it is, an attempt that hopefully covers reasonable price points and varying tastes to aid in your gifting pleasure.

Roxana Illuminated Perfume Hedera Helix: Wouldn’t you love to receive the lovely compacts pictured above? I certainly would as they’re filled with Roxana Villa’s newest fragrance, Hedera Helix, an olfactory ode to ivy. Not surprisingly, this perfume is a leafy green chypre that has a dense and addicting note of oakmoss as its foundation. Both incarnations of Hedera Helix, solid and liquid, are a complex blend of nearly forty different essences, but I prefer the solid’s focus on the effervescent top notes of clementine, orange blossom, and grapefruit. (The liquid is much more resinous and inky and also very beautiful). The heart is full of warm beeswax and woods and the drydown is dappled with sweet rose and jasmine petals. I find this progression from chypre green to pale pink to be quite compelling and all together lovely. The mini compact is $30 for approximately 1.5 gm. If you live in the Portland, OR area, you can test Roxana’s perfumes at Spring Creek Store.

Red Flower Sweet Alyssum: Sweet Alyssum is Red Flower’s latest perfume offering which evokes the burgeoning blossoms of spring. And what better time to have your spirits lifted by iris, violet, honey and hay than in the middle of winter’s darkness? It’s a scent to daydream by. Plan that escape to a sundrenched shore, or imagine the color of that first blooming violet, heralding the new garden season. Whatever the dream, Sweet Alyssum will make it brighter. Sweet Alyssum is $138 for 1.0 oz, exclusively at Garnet Hill.

 

Alima Nourishing Lip Balm: Speaking of dreams, I can’t go to bed without putting lip balm on my lips. And I know I’m not the only balm addict out there. I bet you’re one yourself, or you know one pretty well. Alima’s Nourishing Lip Balm will satisfy even the pickiest guy or gal with its minty scent and smooth texture. Natural is sans color, perfect for bedtime or over lipstick, but I also adore Fig, a shimmering bronzy-plum that’s perfect for everyday wear. $7 per tube at Saffron Rouge.

Ilia Beauty Blossom Lady: I reviewed Ilia’s lipsticks in September and told you all how much I loved Blossom Lady. Well, I am still loving it. So much so that I need to get myself another tube. I also need to pick up a couple extras to give to friends since it’s such a flattering color. I just can’t think of a complexion this would not brighten up! More pictures and gushing are here.  $24 at Beautyhabit.com

For Strange Women Decadence and Debauchery: For Strange Women is a perfumery that I newly found this year and have been enjoying a great deal. I have a few favorites- Moss & Ivy, November, and Horse to be specific- but Decadence and Debauchery ranks high up there and strikes me as the one most people would be drawn to. It has a little bit of everything from tobacco to violet to vanilla and it’s all whipped up into one richly decadent perfume. $40 for 1/4oz bottle of perfume oil on etsy.

Aftelier Perfumes Pear Fir and Coffee Body Oil: Mandy Aftel of Aftelier Perfumes always has something new up her sleeve whether its creating Chef’s Essences®, perfumed teas, or candles. This time, she has caught me by surprise with her newest Body Oil & Hair Elixir; Pear Fir and Coffee. That’s quite a trio of scents! When I first applied the oil on my skin I thought, “Huh, that really is pear, fir and coffee.” After twenty minutes more I thought, “Wow! That still is pear, fir and coffee and I’m liking it!” Somehow these seemingly disparate notes- seemingly to me being a fragrance sniffer rather than a fragrance creator- work in concert to not only harmonize with each other but also allow each other room to shine as individual notes. This oil would be perfect for the perfumista in your life that is open to new olfactory experiences. $40 for 3.5 oz pump bottle at Aftelier.com.

Chanel No 19 Poudre: I will admit, unabashedly, that I have fallen hard for Chanel No 19 Poudre. I know it hasn’t gotten rave reviews from other perfume bloggers as it’s been deemed as a watered down version of the original, and not terribly inspired. Well, I disagree as Poudre makes me swoon with delight. The opening is a tender and sheer rendering of galbanum unlike the original which is much too cold and sharp for my taste. The iris glistens and remains steadfast throughout Poudre’s evolution, but is at its finest when it melds into the tonka-sandalwood base which is delectable! $85 for 1.7oz at Nordstrom.com.

DSH Vanille Botanique: Another new fragrance launch that has garnered a lot of praise, is Prada Candy. I like it well enough, but I’m not feeling the love quite so strongly. I much prefer DSH Perfumes Vanille Botanique which also starts off with smooth caramel but with a boozy twist. I find Vanille Botanique to satisfy the same type of craving as Candy, but in a more interesting manner. It might not be the “benzoin overload” the Prada PR claim Candy to be, but Vanille Botanique is a lush cloak of tonka, balsams and yes, benzoin. And even though I just sang praises for Chanel Poudre, when given the chance, I would rather spend my dollars on, and give my loved ones a gift from an indie perfumer. $130 for 30ml at indiescents.com.

Happy Shopping! ~Trish

Share

Alima Friends and Fans Sale!


I love so many things from Alima, but here’s what would be first on my list if I didn’t have them already.
-Satin Matte Blush in Tulip and Mimosa
-Satin Finishing Powder in Hanae
-#35 Eye Detail Brush
-Nourishing Lip Balm in Natural

Here are some links to Scent Hive reviews on Alima:
Organic Lip Balm
Natural Peach Blushes (Mimosa)
General review of Alima’s foundation, finishing powder, blush, eyeshadow, etc!

And the fine print regarding the promotion.
*Offer does not apply to previous purchases. Discount is not applied to shipping and handling costs. Offer valid from Friday, November 11, 2011 through Thursday, November 17, 2011 10:00pm PST. Discount is applied at checkout with code BFF20. Offer not valid on phone orders. Cannot be combined with any other promotion or redeemed for cash. Limit one promotional code per order. Details of offer are subject to change.

Share

Alima Organic Nourishing Lipbalm. Reformulated.

From left to right: Fig, Holly Berry, Sweet Pea, Mango, Cranberry, Natural, Rhubarb, Acai.

I’ve reviewed Alima more than any other natural makeup line, simply because I love everything they do. Their blushes and eyeshadows are richly pigmented and gorgeous, their foundations provide luminous coverage, and their brushes are top-notch. And now that Alima has revamped their lipbalms, I can honestly say I love them too.

The previous lipbalms were perfectly fine, but they were a little thin and frankly the packaging was nothing special. Both issues have been addressed in Alima’s Organic Nourishing Lipbalm as the texture is thicker like a balm should be, and the packaging has been upgraded to reflect thier overall aesthetic. The tube is sleek and slim which makes application easier than before and I love its sweet yet elegant Alima design. All of the ingredients are organic, save for the mineral pigments, and features the antioxidant action of pomegranate seed and white tea extracts.

I mentioned that the new formula is a bit thicker and more balm-like than its predecessor. While this is true, Alima’s balms are by no means super thick or waxy. The texture is silky and feels very sheer but hydrating. I consider them a balm/stain hybrid as they provide excellent pigmentation, without a glossy effect. Therefore, if I want a satiny finish, I leave it as is. If I want more shine, then a lipgloss on top does the trick.

While I haven’t seen all of the colors in person, Fig remains my favorite color. Its unique mix of warm and cool seems to be appropriate for almost any occasion. Fig’s cool tones come from its plummy bronze base while a subtle coppery shimmer gives it a warmth that makes it wearable for olive-toned gals like myself. Holly Berry which is described as a sheer natural red is on my must-try list, and why not? For $7 a pop, these balms are an affordable all natural luxury.

Alima Organic Nourishing Lipbalm is available at Saffron Rouge.

Ingredients: Organic Sweet Almond Oil, Organic Castor Seed Oil, Organic Shea Butter Fruit, Organic Beeswax, Organic Safflower Seed Oil, Organic Coconut Oil, Organic White Tea Extract, Organic Cocoa Seed Butter, Organic Pomegranate Seed Oil, Organic Jojoba Seed Oil, Organic Peppermint Essential Oil, Organic Pomegranate Extract, Tocopherol. May Contain: Mica, Titanium Dioxide, Iron Oxide.

Disclosure: Samples were sent to me for consideration by Alima. The opinions in this review are my own. I was not financially compensated for this review or any other.

Share

Alima Spring Eyeshadow Collection

On a cold and overcast day like today, I could have spent hours perusing the Alima website. It’s easy to navigate, the product photos and overall design are aesthetically pleasing, and you’d be hard pressed to find another cosmetics line with such a gorgeous variety of colors. Deciding what to drop in your shopping bag might be the only difficult task when you visit Alima, and I find myself discovering another blush I want to try each time I take a peek.

Needless to say, I’m a fan. But when I was sent the new spring eyeshadow collection, Welcome to the Rainforest, I wasn’t sure I’d find the colors all that wearable. Two of them are bright and light colors that I usually don’t go for, and all of them are rather sparkly, so they sat on my bathroom counter for a couple weeks before I decided to actually play with them.

Alima does a fantastic job of describing their colors, so there’s no need for me to change their verbiage: Jaguar is a slinky, golden-brown shimmer, Macaw is a light shimmering teal, Kapok is a deep, dark brown sparkle and Bromeliad is a sparkling light green. It was Macaw and Bromeliad that gave me trepidation with their easter-egg likeness. There was, and still is, no way I was going to use them all over my eyelids and then go near the door. But turns out, they both make absolutely stunning eyeliners. I used my favorite brush for lining, Alima’s #35 Eye Detail Brush, and came away with a surprisingly subtle flash of green from Bromeliad and a darker than expected pop of shiny teal from Macaw. Probably not my quick-run-to Trader-Joe’s-look, but definitely perfect for a night out or enjoying a special lunch on a day off.

Jaguar and Kapok being earthier colors are more in my comfort zone and create a lively take on the smoky brown eye. As a wash, Jaguar is a peachy light brown that sparkles with shimmers, not chunks. Nevertheless, it shimmers enough so I’ll be saving Jaguar for evenings. When paired with Kapok as an eyeliner on the lower lid and smudged out on the top, you get a warmish-brown smoked eye that will look even more amazing with a summer tan and a sundress.

Jaguar on top left, Macaw on top right, Kapok on lower left, Bromeliad on bottom right.

Jaguar on tippy top, Kapok on mid-top, Macaw on mid-bottom, Bromeliad on very bottom.

With every purchase of the limited edition Welcome to the Rainforest collection, $2 will be donated to the Rainforest Action Network. Alima is 100% natural mineral makeup and is cruelty free. Please read more about their safety and standards.

Welcome to the Rainforest is available at Alima for $30.

Posted by ~Trish

Photos except for top pic (from Alima) taken by ~Trish

Disclosure: Samples were sent to me for consideration by Alima. The opinions in this review are my own. I was not financially compensated for this review or any other.

Share

Alima Fall Collection: Perfectly Tailored

Alima is one my favorite all natural makeup lines, and definitely my most-used mineral makeup line. Their blush and/or foundation are used by me on a near daily basis, and I adore their brushes, #35 for eyeliner and #17 for blush to be specific. As for eyeshadows, their quality and beautiful colors allow for endless hours of experimenting in front of the mirror. Did any of you watch Mad Men on Sunday night? Peggy’s got it right IMO, we do love the ritual!


For fall, Alima presents us with the Perfectly Tailored Collection, adding more lovely shades to the mix. Two of the colors, Velvet and Jacquard are “almost matte” while Brocade is a true matte, and Tulle is super shimmery. Here’s the color breakdown from the website with my commentary in italics:

Velvet is a lush, smoky purple with a hint of shimmer.” This description is dead-on. Velvet is a dramatic eyeliner with a very subtle shimmer that is noticeable when the light hits your eyes. Beautiful!

Tulle a super-sheer wash of golden shimmer, beautiful worn as a wash over other colors.” Another spot-on description. Tulle is buildable for a high, golden shine, but I prefer it with a light application on the upper-lash line for a warm glimmer.

Brocade is a completely matte medium grey.” I agree that in the pot Brocade is gray, but on my skin it pulls blue. This is my least favorite color as its cool tone does nothing for my olive complexion other than wash me out.

Jacquard is a pale cream with the softest touch of shimmer.” True again, but what this description does not mention is that it goes on skintone-sheer, like the nude/champagne duo, NARS All About Eve. It’s not an exact match as Jacquard is lighter, but the effect is the same.  A question you’ll see frequently on the beauty boards is, “who makes an affordable dupe of All About Eve?” Well, here it is and it’s all natural to boot.

My Swatches


left to right: Velvet, Tulle, Brocade, Jacquard


Perfectly Tailored Collection is $25, with $2 going to the Global Fund for Women, at AlimaPure.com

Posted by ~Trish

Disclosure: Samples were sent to me for consideration by Alima. The opinions in this review are my own. I was not financially compensated for this review or any other.

Share

Pick a Bunch of Natural Peach Blushes

clockwise from top: Alima Satin Matte Blush in Mimosa, NVEY Eco 953, Dr. Hauschka Rouge Powder 01, Everyday Minerals Rhapsody in Peach

 

I’ve always had a preference for pink blushes. Pink is one of my favorite colors and when it comes to blushes, they’re hard for me to resist. This spring, I decided to branch out into the world of peach blushes, and have found four fabulous ones to choose from.

 

An easy place to start was in the soft peachy pink realm so I chose Alima Pure Satin Matte Blush in Mimosa, which means there is no shimmer but yet it imparts a subtle glow. Mimosa is slightly warm, on the apricot side of peach, but has enough neutral pink to create a soft, pretty flush that never leans orange. NVEY Eco’s #953 looks slightly lighter in the pan than Mimosa, but it gives the identical effect. The only difference between the two is that Mimosa is a loose powder blush and #953 is a pressed pan blush. I love both of them equally, but do reach for NVEY Eco more frequently since the pan is so convenient. (It also costs twice as much as Alima’s blush). Since Mimosa and #953 are my go to blushes when I want a natural, healthy look, I highly recommend them both.

 

The deeper peach blushes I tried were Dr. Hauschka’s (01) Warm Terracotta and Everyday Minerals’ Rhapsody in Peach. Warm Terracotta is the perfect name for Dr. Hauschka’s blush as it’s a matte, burnished apricot with a hint of brown. It is highly pigmented, therefore I only apply it with a skunk brush. With a light touch, Warm Terracotta brightens your cheeks with a warm peachy color that would move into bronzer territory if it had a bit more brown in it. Rhapsody in Peach is not a terracotta color, but rather a bright pinky peach with fine gold shimmer. It differs from Mimosa not only because is has a shimmery quality, but mostly because it is a much deeper color and would not be suitable for light skin tones. Again, I use this with a light hand and achieve a peach flush that is more intense than either Mimosa or NVEY’s #953 but still looks natural.

 

Left: Everday Minerals Rhapsody in Peach.   Right: Alima Mimosa

All of these blushes are 100% natural and contain no petrochemicals, phthalates or parabens.

-Alima Pure Satin Matte Blush in Mimosa is available at Saffron Rouge, $16.95 for a 5gm jar.

-NVEY Eco #953 blush is available at SaffronRouge.com for $28.95

-Dr. Hauschka Rouge Powder in Warm Terracotta is available at SaffronRouge.comfor $29.95

-Everyday Minerals Rhapsody in Peach is available at EverdayMinerals.com in their On The Reef Collection for $34

 

Posted by ~Trish

Photos by ~Trish

 

Disclosure: All of the blushes are from my own collection, except for Rhapsody in Peach which was sent to me by Everyday Minerals. The opinions in this review are my own. I was not financially compensated for this review or any other.

Share