$80 – harrods.com
$99 – mytheresa.com
$8.01 – asos.com
Let’s follow that “mix ’em up” theme again today, shall we?
Every once in a while–usually springtime–my face gets “grumpy”. High-end and drugstore makeups make my face itch. Some eye shadows and mascaras can make my eyes burn and water. Some moisturizers and serums make my face irritated. But what’s worse? The face and eye creams that are supposed to keep me looking young actually causing meto break out, get puffy and make me look old. Sometimes it can get so bad that it can even require me to take an anti-inflammatory medicine to calm it down. Sad to say?…I’m used to it. It goes with my auto-immune diseases. The products that can help a “normal” person the most can cause flares with me the worst. Most of the time, simple irritations can be triggered by simple seasonal allergies–new grass, budding trees, wild flowers growing. Sometimes but rarely it can be a food. Too often, however, it’s because I’ve taken a chance on a new product only to find out I can’t use it for whatever ingredient or additive it contains. At that point, it’s hard to fight the test of time while I watch my skin loose its youthful luster. Like Grumpy Cat?… I say phooey.
So what do I do when my skin gets “irritable”? Well, I go back to the basics. Way back when I could barely use anything commercial, I made my own cleansers and creams with 100% natural ingredients to help wash, moisturize and fight aging without additives, perfumes, dyes, harmful chemicals, or worse–the “what the hell is that?” ingredients. And I got good at it! I did a lot of research and trial batches to find what would work the best. Eventually, my skin would calm down and natural-type skin care products from a store were okay to use again. But even now, when I hit a skin ‘flare’ for whatever reason, daily necessities like washes, masks and moisturizers can be put together with ease from simple home ingredients I always keep handy to get me through this irritating phase.
When it came to long-term anti-aging products however, it was the one thing I never really thought too much about. I figured a good moisturizer would be enough, but now I’m seeing I need just a bit more to fight the signs time. So after A LOT of research and a little bit of tweaking, I have managed to create a great night cream recipe that is easy to prepare and can sit next to my bedside or bathroom counter for a long time. Nothing in it can “spoil”. And seeing how little I use? I’m sure my 10 gram jar will last a long, long time. I will give you my recipe and why each ingredient is important and you can fight the test of time naturally too. If you are someone who is a little (or a lot) questionable about the chemicals and additives in your anti-aging creams, this is the thing for you. Let nature keep you young! Here’s what I’ve created:
SASSY AUBURN’S AGE-FIGHTING NIGHT CREAM
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 1/2 tsp organic virgin coconut oil
1 tsp beeswax
1 drop peppermint oil
1 drop grapefruit oil
1 medium sized drop of raw honey
1/3 tsp Bentonite Clay
2 capsules Vitamin E
Extra Virgin Oil contains anti-oxidants which protects the skin from premature aging. People have been using for centuries. It also restores the skin’s smooth surface and prevents free-radical damage to the skin. Oh, and it’s easy to find anywhere!!
Organic Virgin Coconut Oil keeps the natural moisture in the skin with its fatty acids. It also contains Capricorn/Caprylic/Lauric acids. These three fatty acids have strong disinfectant and antimicrobial properties to keep the skin fresh and healthy, fighting off ‘nasties’ in the air.
Beeswax…oh those glorious bees! Because of those hard workers, beeswax helps our skin because it’s moisturizing, softening, and contains Vitamin A which is necessary to lock in your skin’s natural moisture. Beeswax is also one of the oldest healers known to man, and the wax can help repair small cuts and tears in the surface of the skin where fine lines can begin.
Peppermint oil is a natural skin soother and calmer. Grapefruit oil contains Vitamin C which helps brighten & nourish the skin. Plus they both smell naturally great together.
Raw honey has been known for over hundreds of years to heal the nastiest of cuts and wounds. Too much is a sticky mess, but just a good sized drop in the mixture helps to target little surface tears on the skin that can lead to deeper, darker wrinkles and blemishes.
Bentonite Clay has been known in history as the “healing clay.” The clay that actually comes from volcanic ash, actually expels toxins we take into our body or, in this case, pick up on our face. These can be residues of cleaning solutions, paint, unpurified water, etc. A mixture containing Bentonite Clay powder can rid these impurities from the skin’s surface–especially the face–where age can show the fastest. In addition to taking out the bad, it can also put in Bentonite’s good minerals. This include potassium, protein, calcium and so many others! It’s not easy to find, but many private herbalists can get it for you (it is on EBay too).
Vitamin E is kind of self explanatory. Vitamin E, a substance found naturally in many foods, carries tremendous benefits for skin cells. Through its antioxidant properties, topical vitamin E creams help decrease the roughness of skin, the depth of wrinkles, and the length of facial lines. Although many more studies must be done, some recent research shows that vitamin E may reduce the risk of UV-induced skin cancer as well.
Okay, so now you’ve got the ingredients, the reasons you need them, and the knowledge that this is a healthy, natural nigh cream using basic things that have been used for ages to keep skin looking great. Ready to make a batch that will last you a LONG time without costing an arm & a leg? Let’s do this:
1) Shave approximately 1 tsp of beeswax off a cosmetic bar (available on a Ebay for cheap) into a small glass microwaveable bowl. (If you can, try to find honey in a comb-a local farm stand may have some-and chew up a large scoop. Don’t eat the wax–just chew it like gum. Ingesting natural raw honey in this form will help YOU fight against diseases and boost your immune system. You can then add the remaining wax pieces equal to 1 tsp to the mixture, just break them up into small pieces!)
2) Add the wax along with the olive oil, coconut oil, peppermint oil & grapefruit oil in the microwave on high for 30 seconds. Take out (Careful–HOT!!), stir. If wax isn’t melted, go another 30 seconds.
3) Next add the Bentonite Clay. If it turns into solid droplets in the mixture and won’t blend, put it back in the microwave and cook on high another 30 seconds. Carefully remove again (VERY HOT WAX!!) and blend the clay with a fork till its dissolved. Your cream will be a slightly cloudy yellowish white.
4) Add the Vitamin E capsules by puncturing them and squeezing them into the mixture before it begins to settle & thicken. Mix with the fork again. Throw out the empty Vitamin E “shells”.
5) Pour complete mixture into a 10 gram cosmetic jar or even a 4 oz. empty canning jelly jar. An empty, clean glass baby food jar works great too. I find glass is best to keep it fresh.
6) Put in fridge till it solidifies.
Afterwards, you can put the mixture in the bathroom or next to your bed for your nighttime skin routine. Nothing in it can spoil. It will last about a year.
That’s it. It might get hard with the wax (less creamy), but it will dissolve to the temperature of your hand. It’s easy to make with simple ingredients for pennies with the same results you might get from an $85 tiny jar of cream and unknown chemicals at the local department store. If it’s heathy enough to eat, I’m guessing it’s healthy enough to put on your face. Stay young and healthy without chemical irritants with an easy to make cream that keeps you looking & feeling like a million but only cost you less than a bottled water. And you don’t have to worry about funky ingredients you can’t pronounce. It’s au naturale. Perfectly pure!
Any questions or feedback?…. I want to hear from you!!
This non-irritating, natural, anti-oxidant skin care will make and keep you’re skin looking young and healthy, better than high-end, high cost retail jars. So, let’s go all Walter White in our private domicile, don’t be harassed, and cook up some fab anti-aging night cream! Good luck & have fun!
In the glamour world, very few things stand alone. Oh sure, you can have that über gorgeous red carpet dress that turns the heads of every status photographer on the runway, but the fact remains that the hair, makeup, jewels and shoes all play a part in that outfit being a front page headline.
That simple fact can also play a part in everyday looks for anyone. Whether you are a 9-5 office worker, a stay-at-home mom, an ever-scouting fad writer or an out there/have-your-own-style tattoo shop manager, layering fashions, accessories, skin care ingredients and makeup items can move a simple daytime look into the WOW! category with a couple of easy steps.
Here are a few to get you started. Following the bouncing ball:
**Skin Care**-Washing, treating and moisturizing are, nowadays, the bare necessities. If you AT LEAST do that? You’ll hold your ground. But why not combine a few skin-loving ingredients to treat your face to an experience that will multitask with just a few natural, easy to find things. Because my face tends to be a bit dry in the winter, I tend to make my own cleanser/masks to get moisture and anti-aging properties from natural ingredients for the best results. It’s actually simple…
1. Combine 2 tbsp of a mashed overripe banana, 1 tsp raw honey (local is best), 1 tsp heavy cream, 1/2 tsp instant coffee & 1/4 tsp white sugar. (This may sound like a lot, but think ahead: you can freeze extra overripe bananas in the freezer, buy the instant coffee once to use in other things as well, and substitute powdered milk for heavy cream for longer shelf life.)
2. Mix all your ingredients EXCEPT the sugar till the consistency is a bit thick and the coffee has dissolved. Then add the sugar last.
3. Begin to rub it onto your face in small, circular motions. Go over it a few times, adding a bit more each time.
4. After about 5-10 minutes, wash off with warm water & a gentle cleanser (like Aveeno’s Foaming Face Wash)
5. Pat dry.
Whala! Instant face treatment with a combo of fresh ingredients. Your skin is clean, moist, soft and treated. Easy mixing, right? Now, let’s think about what you just did: *Bananas naturally cleanses while hydrating & adding anti-aging vitamins into your skin; *Raw honey is a natural healer and will help heal fines lines due to small skin cracks and stretching; *Heavy cream is loaded with moisturizers and antibodies to fight infection and environmental skin damage; *Instant coffee has just enough caffeine to constrict blood vessels, even your skin tone and awaken tired skin; *White sugar is a gentle exfoliant that will remove dead skin cells and allow the other ingredients to work on the next active layer.
Kind of all makes sense, huh? It’s not a lot of work and if you refrigerate the leftovers you can use what is left daily for up to a week. There are so many ingredients you can add or substitute if you want other skin problems targeted. Tip: Don’t like the way the bananas turn brown in the fridge? Use Stage 1 baby food bananas. They last longer, don’t turn brown and the little bit of lemon juice that is in them helps even out your skin tone too. Baby peaches are good to soften skin. Oatmeal powder can reduce pore size. Yogurt has natural bacteria to help fight acne and breakouts. (Click here for other ingredients and recipes that can help your skin type.)
**Mascara**-Any YouTube video will tell you that you should wear between 8-10 coats of mascara for drop dead looking eyes. Ummmm… no offense? I don’t have time for that. And it never looks like the pictures anyways. So what’s my layering trick for great, long lashes? It’s kind of simple and doesn’t need a lot stuff. But you will need 3 different mascaras:
1. Get a good mascara that has a great comb wand. This will enable you to coat each lash for length and keep them separated. Plus you can get the little innie lashes with a pointed brush. My go to brand? Benefit Cosmetics “They’re Real!” Mascara. (Sephora, $24)
2. Next, when mascara is completely dry, curl them with a eyelash curler. None specifically, just make sure you are comfortable using it and it doesn’t pinch your eyelid or pull out any lashes.
3. Another coat of mascara. This time use one that lengthens and keeps the separated but begins to add volume. Again, a good wand is important. A comb is good again but can be one whose “bristles” are tighter together. I really like Buxom Lash Mascara. It keeps them fanned with a bit of thickness. (Sephora, $19)
4. Last step? One coat of a thick foofy brushed waterproof mascara. Lock in that look and keep your butterfly eyes looking smudge-proof all day. There are always new ones on the market and I try them before mine dry out and get old, but I’ve always had great success with Lancôme’s Waterproof Hypnose Drama Mascara.
Don’t get scared away by my suggestions of department store brands. I have had great success as well with drugstore brands such as Rimmel’s Scandal’Eyes Show Off Mascara, Lash Sensational Mascara from Maybelline, and L’Oreal Power Voluminous 24hr Mascara. Each is easy on the wallet but still layer-able to get the look you want.
**Lips**-Maintaining a good, even lip tone with color, gloss, or both will take a little getting used to. The fact is, I don’t have time all day to constantly reapply an entire color routine on my lips. And between chatting all day and drinking coffee, it stays everywhere but on my lips. It has taken some time to get a good routine down, to maintain a lip look that will only need a touch up now and then. But you’ve got to trust me to play with this till you get the look/color you want. Ready?:
1. Exfoliate your lips with 2-3 drops of olive oil and a pinch of white sugar. Dab it on your lips then roll them back and forth so the oil penetrates and the sugar takes off any dry skin. Wipe off excess sugar with a tissue and blot excess oil.
2. Outline your lips with a neutral lip pencil. A great find is Rimmel 1000 Kisses Lasting Finish Pencil Lip Liner in Nude or Avon’s Glimmersticks Lip Liners in Simply Spice or Pink Cashmere.
3. Next time you are shopping, hunt and find a packet of unsweetened Pink Lemonade Kool-Aid and/or Cherry Kool-Aid (if you find other flavors, grab them. They are pennies and can be combined for great shades.) Using a Q-tip, dot a little bit of the powders on your lips, combining to achieve the color you want. If you have to add a drop of water to the other end of the Q-tip to help blend, that’s fine. Just add evenly so you don’t have one lip one color, one lip another. When done, let sit & dry for about 5 min. (If you prefer to just use one flavor, that’s fine too.)
4. Using a lip brush, apply a small amount of a good balm or gloss to keep lips soft. I prefer a balm, as glosses can get oily and transfer more easily giving your color less stay power. My fave right now? Chapstick’s Cake Batter formula. Yum! If you like a bit of frost to your shade, Nivea has a “Kiss of Shimmer Radiant Lip Care” which tops off for a nice, long-lasting sexy frosty shade while keeping lips soft & smooth.
5. Carry a gloss with you that matches today’s Kool-Aid shade in case of early fading or blotchiness or for an extra hint of colored shine.
If a stain isn’t your thing, try to find a ONE STEP lipstick with mega-stay power to keep your lips bright & soft. It won’t last as long but will buy you time in between lip breaks. A good find for me? New York Color Expert Last Lipstick. I find it lasts longer than any tube lipstick I own and the price is a steal.
So there you have it. Layering to get the look you love and the stopping the clock of aging. (Okay, not really but we can sure try to slow it down!) Good luck with these suggestions and please–PLEASE!–share if you have any of your own!
Next time? I think we will tackle eye liners, sweaters and….let me think on it.
Yup, it’s been forever since I’ve been on my blog. I’m such a slug lately. Oh I have a ton of reasons (err….excuses) on what’s kept me away, all of which seem legit. Living in Upstate NY, I can easily say I’ve been trying not too freeze to death, I can’t type with gloves on inside, I shiver so much my spell check gave up on me. I honestly have been fighting the flu for 2 weeks now. Not a cold with the sniffles-flu. The full-blown 102 fever, body aches, hacking cough, runny nose flu. The kind that only responds to one medicine, and it costs $125. With how horrible I felt?…I would have sold my car for the right medicine, I was so sick. I’m finally back on my feet, just in time to deal with another week of below zero windchills. Not to be a stick in the mud, but the this weather SUCKS and I’m sick of it. I won’t complain too much though because I would never leave. I love the other three seasons too much.
So, while I was battling the flu, I bundled up and tried to find things to do. In bed. Without moving. Other than sipping tea and watching endless daytime repeats of Law and Order: SVU it was hard to find things to keep me occupied. Shopping on EBay is always a good time killer, but it can get expensive. I think I even read magazines older than my cat. What other things did I find to humor me, keep busy but still rest? Here are a select few:
1. LA Girl Luxury Creme Lip Color in Romance–Thanks to the social media Pinterest (which in all reality is just online hounding) I found an epic lipstick that someone had posted. This color was WAY out of my comfort zone. It was a dark, creamy shade without a frost or high gloss finish. I have never seen this brand in any of my local stores, so I took a chance and ordered a new one from Ebay. It came fine without any problems. And the color? AWESOME!! Definitely looks bold against my pale skin and goes great with my auburn hair. The color went on in the same shade as the picture and I was thrilled. Not necessarily and everyday color, but definitely a color for a special event or night on the town! eBay, from $4.75
2. Style & Co. Stripe Lace Pointelle Tunic— After being stuck in bed for five days hearing the wind howl outside my window, I realized I’d never leave the house unless I knew I had a few extra sweaters to keep me warm. This one sweater really caught my eye. It was long and flowy which I like. It did have a loose knit pattern to it, but with a long or short tee under it, it would be toasty warm. Then, come spring, it could be worn alone or with just a cami for a lighter feel. This sweater was also a big deal because it had dark blue stripes. I NEVER wear blue! I don’t think it looks good on me, but with the white against it, it actually looks nice. A great investment piece on clearance! Macy’s, $38.99 (discount coupon codes available)
3. Sally Hansen’s Miracle Gel Polish in “Too Haute”–Nothing can lift a mood like a new manicure with a jazzy color. Where I work, it’s easy to blow a new mani in 2-3 days with all the picking, scraping, bumping and cleaning I do with my nails. I don’t want to weaken my nails with a salon gel color so I want the longest lasting nail polish I can get with a good formula, a brush & a topcoat. I have used the Miracle Gel Polish before and although it still chips after a while, I probably get twice as long with my manicures using this formula than any other. And the Too Haute color? A bright, bold raspberry purple that can’t be overlooked! CVS, $9.99
4. Jamberry Nails in Leopard–Sometimes your datebook doesn’t even allow you to do your nails nice twice a week. Because time is of the essence and healthy nails are a must, some people are stepping away from salon gel colors and doing funky manicures at home. “Jamicures” are a big deal right now. They are kind of like a stick-on adhesive manicure, but I find that they stay on much longer than regular stick ons. I think this has to do with the fact you need to warm them a bit to make them stick better. Stuck in bed, I found it easy to have a good pair of cuticle scissors, a tea light candle, and a pair of tweezers. With clean nails, free from lingering polish, lotion or lint, I take the size I need and hold it with my tweezers. I hold the Jamberry nail cover about 4″ above the tea light’s flame. When the Jam begins to “curl” slightly from the heat, I press it on to the bare nail and hold. When it cools and is stuck on, I trim it around my own nail so it looks even and pretty. When a busy week is ahead of me where doing a manicure 2-3 times is too time consuming, a Jamicure is a great solution to having jazzy nails with stay-power! Jamberry designs are often purchased through home parties or independent consultants. I get mine from my fave Jam Family member Jessica. www.facebook.com/jamcapades, $15 for 4+ full manicures
5. ForGoodnessGrape Lip Balm in Chocolate Ice Cream Soda–Fact: when you are sick, you blow your nose about every 10 minutes, coughing in between. You try to drink frequently to stay hydrated. That does help on the inside but the fact remains that your lips will feel like potato chips by about day two. I’ve always been a big fan of FGG lip balms, scrubs & tints. But when the body is calling in sick, I call in the big guns to keep my lips moist. Their formula is based with different butters and oils to help rehydrate and lock in moisture. Then they create unique flavors you could probably never imagine! And their prices are so reasonable, it gives you a chance to get a few to try. Oh, and if that’s not enough… rubbing a little bit on your finger to moisten that sore, flaky nose helps big time too… with no burning! It doesn’t matter how sick you are, we all know we are a sucker for an ice cold chocolate soda whenever possible. Okay, well I am. Even if my stomach is flippy, a little bit of chocolate that I can at least smell can bring a smile to even a sick girl’s face! ForGoodnessGrape.com, $4.00
The cold and flu season is not fun for anyone. We can follow the doctor’s orders, take our meds, get a lot of rest, and drink endless fluids. Although these things might be good to feel better faster, it’s hard not to get bored in the process. Getting ideas from magazines for the new season is always a good call. Trying new makeup styles can be fun too. Just remember to keep the germs away and you will be back into fashionista mode in no time!
First, let me appologize to my readers and contest entrants. This holiday season got very hectic and chaotic for me. Earlier in the month, I was thrown into a state of frenzy when I was faced with the news that I had lost my best friend due to cardiac arrest. He meant the world to me. In fact, he was hugely influential on my writing career. Thanks to him, I was exposed to the world of tattooing and learned not just the art of the industry but also how skin care and fashion played into it. He challenged me in my writing skills and loved to read my blog posts. When I was asked to work closely with the Paul Mitchell organization last month, he was beyond happy for me. Then suddenly, my life with my part time tattoo career became dark. Although we are attempting to move forward, a piece of me will always be gone. I am thankful, however, that I had him in my life for the time that I did. He encouraged me to follow my passion to write just as he always expanded on his love of his art. He will be forever missed.
Now, after a long awaited drawing, the results of Sassy’s holiday contest have been chosen. Thanks to all who entered and I appreciate your interest in my blog as well as the fabulous products I use, love and promote. Congratulations to the following winners:
The winner of For Goodness Grape’s Strawberry Gift Set is…. CHRISTINE! — @grandmain2002
The winner of Paul Mitchell’s The Art Of Color Gift Set is…. KRISTA! — @krhach
…And the winner of Paul Mitchell’s The Art of Rejuvenation Gift Set Tea Tree Gift Set is…. TABITHA! — @Tabatha426
All winners please email me at the “Conact Sassy” link above or here to send me your full name and address so I can mail your prizes out this week!!
Congratulations again to all our winners! And Happy New Year to all my Sassinista friends!!
Everyone is out and about doing holiday shopping, enjoying the pretty lights, or home wrapping gifts, making cookies, and–of course–getting stressed! Ugh. But have no fear… Sassy is here! I am going to calm your season’s stresses by giving you a chance to win goodies for your friends or family. Or–EVEN BETTER!–a giveaway to snag a goodie for yourself just because you are awesome and deserve it! So what is Sassy giving away this season? Three EPIC gift packs that any glamour guru would love to have! Three winners will be chosen (out of minimum of 25 entries) by random.org. You must complete the requirements to have your name entered. Once verified, you will be notified that you are in the running. If you want to be entered and cannot meet a requirement please contact me here and we will discuss it.
Ready to see the prizes? Here we go:
The Art Of Color Gift Set from Paul Mitchell: If you or your bestie use color to enhance your hair’s natural shade, then this is a great holiday gift set! You will get: Color Protect® Daily Shampoo, 10.14 oz. and Color Protect® Daily Conditioner, 10.14 oz. Packaged in a cute box, this is a great gift for any diva who wants to have great products to take care of and extend the color in their hair!
ForGoodnessGrape Strawberry Kisses Set: These are three of my favorite products from one of my favorite indie companies. Known for their unique balms, glosses, tints, scrubs and fabulously scented products, ForGoodnessGrape is my go-to lip company to keep my lips soft, conditioned, slick and colored. In this special set, I have included a Strawberry Sugar Lip Tint (a gentle strawberry scented & flavored frosted tint in a light pink shade), a Queen of Hearts Sugar Scrub that will gently exfoliate your lips during this rough weather, and a Strawberry Shortcake Lip Balm to keep them soft and healthy. Natural, organic and earth friendly ingredients are used in these American made goodies that are fun and healthy to use!
The Art of Rejuvenation Gift Set from Paul Mitchell: Ahh! Tea Tree’s natural extracts and rejuvenating scents will turn your hair care routine into a sensory experience. It cleans your hair gently without heavy chemicals while stimulating your scalp to keep it healthy in any weather or season. The winner will receive Tea Tree Special Shampoo®, 10.14 oz., Tea Tree Special Conditioner®, 10.14 oz., and Tea Tree Firm Hold Gel®, 2.5 oz. This limited edition holiday set is a fabulous little extra for anyone special!
Okay, how do you get entered? You need to do a few things:
(If you do not have a Twitter account, email me for an alternate entry method)
Winners will be selected at random at 12:01am on 12/19 from the total entry collection. Make sure you share this contest with your friends and followers because there must be at least 25 entries. The more people we have participating, the more giveaways we can do in the future! I will confirm your entry on my Facebook page under this posting, so look for your name there as being entered.
Happy holidays and GOOD LUCK!!!
‘Tis the season to shop for all kids kinds of presents for guys and girls alike. And it is a known fact that fragrances are one of the go-to gifts for men to give women during the holidays. But sometimes the price of some of the high-end scents can cost more than a trip to the market…or a payment on the car that took you there! It’s a sweet gesture, but maybe there is a way to find a great scent at a not-so-steep price. Or, even better, how about getting a nice scent that costs about the same as a stocking stuffer? That frees up a whole lot of coin for those over-the-knee boots, a new handbag, or maybe some bling at the jewelry counter.
So what are a few of my favorite inexpensive fragrances that you can ask for yourself, give as a stocking stuffer or just pamper yourself with a new fragrance to lift your spirits during this crazy time? Check out some of my inexpensive favorites:
Rue 21’s “etc!”: This light, bright, fruit-essenced fragrance is a perfect pick me up scent for any time of the day or any season. Barbados grapefruit, juicy apple & raspberry cordial blend together for a refreshing aroma that will brighten your senses and bring a smile to you face… anytime, anywhere. Oh, and the bottle is kind of cute too. So chic! (Rue 21 stores or rue21.com, $9.99)
Bath & Body Works “Paris Amour”: I love this scent when I need a little deeper, more serious fragrance. With a variety of notes including sparkling mandarin, strawberry, sparkling pink champagne, apple blossoms, peach, tulip, French vanilla, coconut milk & creamy musk, it has a more forward and enticing aura. It may sound a bit busy, but they actually blend perfectly together. As romantic as the city of Paris is, this fragrance will bring that feeling of romance with you wherever you wear it. (Bath & Body Works stores and bathandbodyworks.com, $6.00 for travel-sized fine fragrance mist. Other products in the same scent available with many holiday sale priced)
Playboy “Play It Lovely”: Over the years, the Playboy name has given off mixed messages. When it comes to their fragrances this year, however, they have come up with a direct hit. My favorite, “Play It Lovely”, is a sweet yet sensual scent. With top notes of citrus, blackberry and juicy pear, rounded out with seductive notes of amber and patchouli, this perfume lets everyone know you are a flirt with a shy, yet playful side. Yup, that’s me and this scent is perfect to let everyone know that. (Walmart stores, $15.98)
Express “Love Express” Rollerball: There is no doubt that Express makes some fun, fab clothing that is current and chic. What’s even cooler, that many don’t know, is that they make some awesome fragrances too. I stumbled upon this one in a clearance rack at one of my favorite stores, and went back two days later to buy the rest! It’s such a fun fragrance and not many others are like it. Because it’s different than many others, I always get complimented on it. That’s cool! It’s not “busy” with a lot of different fragrances. It’s simple, sexy and fun. With notes of just blackberry, Lily of the Valley, Tiare Blossoms and sheer vanilla, this somewhat basic scent has an enticing appeal… to me and the guys who notice it! (express.com, $7.95)
Britney Spears “Fantasy” Solid Perfume Pencil: So I grabbed this little goodie while at the pharmacy today. There was a neat arrangement of various “pop” perfumes in solid sticks, placed in a little holiday display while people waited in line for their purchase. Yup, the glamour sucker that I am, I had to pick up each one, test the scratch ‘n sniff patch on the back, and judge for myself. Out of the four on display, three scents were already someplace in my house, in some perfume form. This one by Brittney, however, I hadn’t sniffed before. I liked the sample patch on the back of the card. I liked it a lot actually. So for the price?… I thought why not. I was even more impressed when I took it out. It has a slightly oily/wax base and it doesn’t fade away like many spray perfumes do. The fragrance has enticing yet unusual notes within it: lychee, quince & kiwi, with a bit of cupcake, jasmine, white chocolate orchid and sensual woods. I guess even pop superstars can know a thing or two about fragrance… or at least their managers do! I got the fragrance stick, put it on in the car and will keep it in my purse. A perfect little gift, especially for a younger girl! (Walmart stores and walmart.com, $9.88)
So you see, smelling fun, sexy and alluring doesn’t have to cost you or your gift giver an arm and a leg! Trust me…some of my all-time favorite perfumes would be a pretty hefty purchase if I put them on the top of my list. But there is absolutely nothing wrong with changing up the play and wearing something a little out of the ordinary for yourself or to give as a gift. You never know whose bells could be jingling with a sassy new scent for you or them!