Serge Lutens Un bois vanille
To describe this merely as a vanilla perfume as I've done in the past doesn't do it justice. It's so much more than that, and it was only this month when that finally clicked in my mind. This is actually a busy, complex fragrance with A LOT of notes. According to Fragrantica, sandalwood, black liquorice, coconut milk, beeswax, bitter almond, musk, vanilla, benzoin, guaiac wood and tonka bean. I don't know if my nose detects all of that, but I do get whiffs or bursts of certain ingredients coming to the fore when I'm smelling it. There's almost a risk of too much going on, but it's too well-blended to be overwhelming or dissonant. There's an unpredictability and depth about it that keeps things interesting, but overall, this potent, full-bodied, somewhat spicy/smoky but lusciously sweet concoction is simply addictive. The lasting power is phenomenal and it's one of few perfumes I can easily smell on myself after I've applied it.
Cacharel Amor Amor
ZOMG. I discovered Amor Amor only this month and it's like I've been living under a rock all this time. Bit of trivia ... the nose behind Serge Lutens Un bois vanille, Christopher Sheldrake, named Amor Amor as one of his favourite perfumes. If that's not a ringing endorsement, I don't know what is. This stuff is strong and very, very sweet. At first when I sprayed it on my wrist, I dismissed it as some generic, slightly chemical, overly sugary, youth-oriented frag that I'd quickly forget. How wrong I was. This developed and blossomed on my skin in a way that commanded my attention and soon, my wrist was glued to my nose. Someone on Fragrantica described it as smelling like an orange creamsicle and I'd have to agree. Fruity, sweet, creamy, edible, romantic, comforting. Call me utterly hooked.
Essie Cocktail Bling
Star polish of the month. You know it's a hit when it's on both my toes and fingers. Cocktail Bling is up there with Nails Inc. Porchester Square and OPI Tickle My France-y if we're talking unassuming, easy to wear, effortlessly cool neutrals. Eva Chen describes it as one of very few shades she repeats and it's not hard to see why.
First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Cream + Garden of Wisdom Argan Oil
Obsessing over this combo for my skin, day and night. Nothing else works as effectively in combating the winter dry spells. I wasn't a huge fan of the FAB on its own, and I'd completely forgotten I even had the Garden of Wisdom argan oil, but together, they're magic. As odd as it sounds, I find my skin responds really well to no-frills moisturiser mixed with a straightforward, one ingredient face oil. I was using rosehip oil (or rosehip oil with avocado oil) for a while, but I'm convinced argan oil is it for me. Nicest texture (not overly greasy or thick), largely scentless, great absorption, and noticeable, fast results. It's my favourite oil and I'll probably repurchase the Josie Maran travel size when I run out of the Garden of Wisdom.
Max Factor Creme Puff Blush in Lovely Pink + Real Techniques Blush Brush
These Creme Puff Blushes from Max Factor do remind me a lot of Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blushes, though they're not as long lasting. Still, I've been enjoying the sweet, girly, warm pink flush Lovely Pink gives. It's pink without being too earthy/ruddy or cool-toned. Texture-wise, it's smooth and soft but not powdery. The pigmentation is easy to work with as it's not too strong, but still gives good colour payoff. It leaves a glow to the skin due to the shimmer content, but it's not pore-emphasising or OTT. I've swatched it in a previous haul post here.
I've been relying heavily on my Real Techniques Blush Brush this month to apply Lovely Pink (and basically all my blushes). The fluffiness and large size is ideal to diffuse pigment and ensure a well-blended, natural-looking flush. It's so soft on the skin and the tapered shape helps to sculpt my cheeks when placing the colour. I love that I can also dab the round tip into my blush to concentrate the colour on the apples of my cheeks. In a way, I've always overlooked the Blush Brush for applying my blush, favouring other brushes like the Ecotools by Alicia Silverstone Blush Brush, or more recently, the Zoeva Luxe Sheer Cheek, but I've truly rediscovered it in May and realise the error of my ways.
Wet n Wild MegaLast Lip Color in Bare It All
I've finally managed to buy this darn lipstick, despite wanting it for more than 2 years after seeing it on clothesencounters in one of her tutorials. I tried to live without it, even going as far as attempting to replicate the colour by combining BYS Longwear Lipstick in Beautifully Bare with Revlon Super Lustrous Lipstick in Ginger Rose. Now it's here, I wish I hadn't resisted for so long. The colour is spot on for me as a not too pale, reddish brown nude. A true "my lips but better" shade. The lip swatch doesn't even do it justice as it's coming off a bit too brown. The pigmentation is incredible and it's not especially drying for a fully matte lipstick. I also love that it's extremely versatile. Wear it lightly patted onto the lips for a barely there, fresh-looking stain, or built up to full opacity for a bolder, more done up look.