Monday, 29 June 2009

Summer scents

Having discussed coping in the summer, I think it's only right to talk about summer perfume a little bit more. So, in no order of preference, here are some I love.

Mitsouko - Guerlain.
Some would disagree that this is summery but I think it is a very 'green' scent and find it strangely refreshing. It's not a typical refreshing scent but I am not wild about light and airy fragrances which disappear in about 10 mins. This is a grown up, sexy yet subdued, beautiful perfume.

Lime, Basil and Mandarin - Jo Malone
No list would be complete without this. I used to love this very much but in the last year or so I've gone off it rapidly. I can't explain why. Maybe I am just over familiar with it. There is no denying that it's summer in a bottle though. Very zesty but with something to make it a little more interesting.

Grapefruit - Jo Malone
I love this. I understand grapefruit is a difficult scent to reproduce and that it never lasts. It's true this doesn't last long but layer it with Jo Malone Red Roses and it's heavenly. I know that sounds like a weird combination but trust me, it works. I use this combination when I need waking up in the morning before I head off to work.

Colonia - Acqua di Palma
I don't own this (let's face it, I have enough perfume) but it is divine. A classic. If you don't know it, you should. Italy in a bottle.

Eau Dynamisante - Clarins
Another classic. I love this and always turn to it like an old friend. Another one that doesn't last long but I love it after a cool bath at the end of the day. Gorgeous.

Laughter - SpaceNK
I have a friend who wears this and it smells wonderful on her. I got a free bottle of this about 6 months ago. It smells horrible on me. All screechy and shrill. Awful. But if it suits you, it's lovely. I guess I should give her my bottle...

Tell me what you wear in the summer.

Thursday, 25 June 2009

Coping in the Summer

Ahhhhh summer days. Wimbledon, long cold drinks, ice creams on the terrace, lounging on the beach, Jazzy Jeff...

Love it. I do love summer and I don't mind being hot since it only ever lasts for about a week if we are lucky. However, when you live in the city and have to dress smartly for work, summer can be a challenge. One always strives to look fabulous and hot days can be a menace.

Here are some of my current tips for surviving summer looking cool as a cucumber.

1) Get comfy shoes. I am all for suffering for fashion but not when it comes to my feet. My feet swell at the mere whiff of sunshine and heels are an impossibility for me. Fortunately I have dozens of pairs of shoes that live at work. So give your feet a treat, wear flat comfy shoes to get to work and then slip into the elegant ones when you get there. While you're at it, invest in some cooling foot spray for your desk drawer too. Your colleagues will thank you.

2) Ditch the tights. Come on, let's be honest, tights and heat are a nightmare combination. Invest in a decent razor and fake tan and get your legs out for the summer. My current fake tan is St Tropez - the gradual tanner that you apply daily. It's the best I've found and a million times better than Holiday Skin which, I think, stinks. It's £12 from Boots but it lasts ages.

3) Get a pedicure. And repeat. Get your feet out for the summer but please do make them presentable first. Get a decent pedicure where they will tend all of your foot, not just the toes. It will leave you walking on air. And put some decent colour on the toes. No pinky frost! I have a gorgeous metallic purple on mine at the moment and they were freshly done today. *wiggles toes* And don't think you only need one pedicure to last you the whole summer.

4) If you've not yet realised primers are the best thing ever, now is your final chance. My Urban Decay eye primer is doing sterling work for me at the moment. Eyeliner stays in place all day. No running, no smudging. It's a miracle. Also, a primer for your face is fab too - it really keeps your skin matt. And also, Pores No More - GET IT! It's amazing.

5) Get a zingy shower gel. I am currently loving the Naked range from Boots. They do a minty one that is so zingy. It really helps you stay cool or cools you down at the end of a hot day.

6) Anti-perspirant - Mitchum. That's all.

7) Get a summer perfume. This is no time for heavy scents. I made that mistake today and spent all day wondering what I could smell. And not in a good way. Get a green, fresh scent and top up during the day to keep you feeling daisy fresh.

8) Get a funky hat. This is not necessarily for your commute but hey, I won't judge. But please wear a hat on your sunny holiday or in the garden at weekends. It protects your hair colour and keeps you from fainting and needing the smelling salts.

And spend anytime not at work outside. All too soon it will be cold and grey once more. So stop moaning that you are hot.

Wednesday, 3 June 2009

American drugstores

I just went to New Jersey for work. There was no time to shop but I did spot a giant Walmart within walking distance of my hotel and found 30 mins to make the journey.

For those unfamiliar, there is nothing more satisfying to a beauty junkie than an American drugstore. They are always huge, they have them everywhere and they sell a vast range of products from biscuits (in a pharmacy, yes) to nail polish to ped eggs (waste of time by the way) to 50,000 types of body lotion. And they are cheap, cheap, cheap. And of course they sell drugs - Tylenol cold and flu, Advil etc all in giant packs of pain relief heaven.

Walmart is, of course, much more than a drugstore but it was all I had available to me so I hot footed there. It's not quite as good as a dedicated drugstore but it provided me with Maybelline Great Lash mascara in a better range of colours than you can get in the UK. Here it's hard to find anything other than blackest black. There I bought some brownish black and soft black. Less than $4 each. And I got a whole load of travel sized toothpastes, cotton buds etc. I got a pack of three Carmex lip salves with SPF 15 which was the princely sum of $2.

Altogether I spent $52 and $25 of that was on a bottle of antihistamines (so much cheaper than over here). I would have bought loads more but I had very limited luggage space as I wasn't checking my luggage in.


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