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June 20th, 2006
So Far…

…so good on the Hylexin. At least, it hasn’t caused any zits to pop up. I’m not noticing any dark-circle reduction, but I’m supposing two days is a *little* too soon to judge.

Back in the day, in the summer of 1996, I spent a month in Charlottesville Virginia. I was at the University of Virginia campus with the LEAD program. It was a defining month in my life. But, this post isn’t about all about that…

It’s about the perfume I bought at a The Body Shop in Georgetown, Washington DC. We spent a weekend in DC, I had made a close girlfriend, and we went shopping. As far as I remember, The Body Shop had not come to any of the malls in Oregon, yet. It was a revelation. I think my obsession with all things bath and body and cosmetic started when I visited The Body Shop and Bath & Body Works for the first time that summer. When I discovered Garden Botanika some time later, it sealed the deal. I was seriously hooked on these products.

At that first visit, I was exhilarated. I’d been dumped by my emotionally abusive boyfriend of two years a few months earlier, I had a couple of nice boys interested in me at home, and more nice boys interested in me in this group I was with. Nice boys! Who liked *me*! I had a little money to spend (they gave us a per diem allowance!) and this perfume called Ananya caught my eye (and nose). With top notes of bergamot, peach, melon, coconut, and violet, heart notes of jasmine, rose, freesia, tuberose, and ylang ylang, and base notes of sandalwood, cedarwood, vanilla, and musk, the scent was wholly unique.

I experienced true humidity for the first time – it is seriously muggy in Virginia and DC. It was hot, I was learning tons about both myself and the world outside the rather insular community of my high school and my group of friends. Wearing Ananya takes me back to that time – I can feel the moisture on my skin, smell the heavy air scented with my perfume rising off my skin, and remember how exciting it all was being away from parents and on my (supervised) own for a month. I can remember how good it felt when we were caught in a thunderstorm outdoors and felt the coolness on our skin, laughing and running, a welcome break from the incessant humidity. I started drinking coffee for the first time, that summer, when I began staying up so late talking with my new friends about everything, and having to be up and alert very early each morning. The business school had coffee service set up in the lobby – good coffee, with half and half. I got hooked on that too. The perfume conjures up all that, a feeling of freedom like I’d never experienced before.

That summer was ten years ago, and I returned home to start dating one of those nice boys, returned to Washington DC a year later to go to college… and continued my obsession with bath products. I left DC, came home, got married… started a business… and recently, The Body Shop brought back Ananya. I still love it. It’s a scent that has very good connotations for me.

Posted by Claire at 11:53 PM | Beauty Queen | Comments (0) | Tweet This Post

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June 18th, 2006
Eye Do

Disappointment is sharp. I purchased Wrinkle Twinkle from Bliss Labs almost as soon as it arrived at the Beauty Emporium. It was going to drain my dark circles, and hydrate the skin around my eyes. Despite having extremely oily skin, the skin around my eyes seems to suffer from surface dehydration. It makes my concealer cake up. I was hoping this product would rock my world. *pouts*

But, after two uses, I woke up with a pimple right next to my nose, just below the skin under my eyes. Ouchie! I used something else for a while, and then gave Wrinkle Twinkle another whirl. Whammo! Two days of use, and another pimple in the same place. This product is clearly not meant for me. I had to return it. *pouts some more*

But I have taken heart. We received Hylexin (a full size tube!!!) in gratis and I finally brought it home today. Could it be a miracle cream? We’ll find out… I have terrible dark circles, and I’d love to banish them for good.

Posted by Claire at 09:25 PM | Beauty Queen | Comments (0) | Tweet This Post

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June 8th, 2006

In 1998 I finished up my first year of college in Washington DC and went to visit DH (who was still Boyfriend) in Pasadena, where he was wrapping up his first year of college. One of my favorite things was going to a restaurant called Jasmine Terrace, which was a Vietnamese restaurant. For dessert, we ordered lychee with ice cream and longan with ice cream. Both lychee and longan are members of the Sapindaceae family. I had never heard of either fruit before.

I mention this story because lately it seems like lychee (or litchi, as I’ve seen it spelled) is suddenly very popular as an ingredient in cosmetics and as a note in perfumes. Why the sudden popularity, I wonder? Is it because it’s exotic, or because the name sounds cool? The scent is nice, but I wouldn’t say it’s a knockout. A quick google search would seem to indicate that in the interval since 1998 (wow, I guess it has been eight years since that spring trip to Pasadena) lychee has suddenly become a well-known fruit in the US and is a new high-priced crop in Florida.

In 1998, we felt like members of a cool club, enjoying this new and interesting fruit that no one else had heard of before. Now it seems that we will have to discover something new to retain our membership in the club of cool, since lychee is everywhere now.

Posted by Claire at 09:30 AM | Beauty Queen, Days Go By | Comments (0) | Tweet This Post

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June 5th, 2006
Woe is Hair

I decided to grow my hair longer. Not “out” as in grow my hair out, because I don’t want it that much longer, just somewhere mid-neck. Regardless of the end goal, growing ones hair from very short to not-so-short is a huge pain in the behind. Several weeks past the point where you’d normally have it cut, it starts to look really, really gross. I am there.

I’ve been struggling with hair clips and head bands, but today I threw down the gauntlet and got out my blow dryer. Since I don’t have any mousse, I decided to use some of my favorite Aveda stuff (this, in case you’re interested – it smells incredibly good) instead. It doesn’t say anything about that in the instructions for use (applying to wet hair and drying, that is) but I’ve seen stylists do it that way, and figured what the heck. Well, it seems to have worked, because I managed to style my hair into something resembling a nice ‘do, instead of the blech look I’ve been sporting lately. I hairsprayed it within an inch of its life, and hopefully it’ll hold all day. When I shake my head, it doesn’t move…*grin*

Oh yeah, because I basically hate the smell of hairspray, I’m using this “Naturals” stuff from Suave – it smells vaguely better, somewhat fruity.

So, I guess I’ll survive the grow-out. I was seriously close to cutting it all off yesterday, but I really want a new look from the short-short I’ve worn for years. If that means whipping out the blow dryer, so be it. I can live with that.

Posted by Claire at 10:05 AM | Beauty Queen | Comments (0) | Tweet This Post

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May 26th, 2006
Eye Love Shadow

I love eye shadow. I’m hopelessly addicted to color, except yellow, orange, and true red, that is.

Too Faced Cosmetics has some really awesome (if a bit spendy) eyeshadow duos that I just love. The duos Lovey Dovey, Shamrock Chic, and Suzy Ho Maker (yes, terrible name) are personal favorites, being the ones I actually own. I’m still holding out for I Know What Boys Want and Fantasy Island. See them all here.

Milani also has some really awesome shadows. Milani is a drugstore brand that can be rather hard to find in Oregon. So far, I’ve found it at the Jantzen Beach Target store (but no other Target), the Beaverton Kmart, I think one other area Kmart, and Ulta on Cedar Hills has a small selection. The whole line can be purchased from Walgreens.com. I have a LOT of Milani colors – I wore Rich Chocolate today with my Shamrock Chic. Moonlight (an irridescent pearl with blue) is a personal favorite too. Shock, Illusion, Enchantment, Limbo Lime, Blue Ice… I have so many. When Cover Girl was still making their cute 4-pan palettes, I found the Milani shadows fit perfectly in them (if you removed them from their plastic containers). I’m sad Cover Girl doesn’t seem to be making them anymore, because I adore having all my Milani shadows sorted by color in palettes.

I have several trios from Jafra as well, that I use a lot. I wish the packaging was more compact, but I love the colors. The bulk of them are from last summer’s limited edition color collection, so they are no longer available… but sometimes you can find them on eBay. L’Ocean is a particular favorite – when I wear this one, I get so many compliments from my co-workers and our clients. I wish their regular line shades were as stunning, but sadly, they are not. The ones I had, I have given to my mom, who likes more conservative colors.

Last, but definitely not least, I have become TOTALLY hooked on Stila Cosmetics’ Smudge Pots (see here). I have two colors, the new copper one, and a blue shimmer that was limited edition. I haven’t tried them as shadows (intimidating), but they knock my socks off as liners. If I could get my hands on the Jade color that was from their last collection, I’d be such a happy camper. eBay, I guess… Bobbi Brown has a similar product, I want to take a look at hers too.

Then there’s that which I don’t have, but strongly lust after… Paul & Joe (see here) have these amazing colors. I want Mer Au Clair de Lune for obvious reasons, and Chat Siamois (Siamese Cat) because I love the name, and the color does remind me exactly of a Siamese’s seal points.

In the category of “stuff I’ll probably never buy because it’s just waay too spendy” fall the new Vincent Longo Wet Diamond shadows (here). Verite, Mermaid Blu, and Dawn Flesh are simply AMAZING, but NO WAY am I paying that much for eyeshadow. I have to admit, that Verite would be to die for with the Stila Jade Smudge Pot though… if I manage to get a hold of the Smudge Pot, maybe I’d consider the Longo shadow, if only because I’d look like a million bucks in it. Who doesn’t want to look fabulous??

Posted by Claire at 12:27 AM | Beauty Queen | Comments (1) | Tweet This Post

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