Monday, 19 January 2015

Roberto Cavalli Exotica

As many of you may know I am a dedicated follower of fashion and have a soft spot especially for Italian designers, so when Roberto Cavalli launched the Roberto Cavalli EdP (£29.99) in 2012 I was ALL over it. I quickly became a fan of the warm, feminine, oriental scent and since then I have also kept a close eye on every new version of  it. The latest summer edition dates to back to 2014, and it's Roberto Cavalli's Exotica EdT (£39.99) in a deliciously pink bottle with a little detail of Cavalli's trademark animal print, that hides a wonderful tropical scent concoction.

I must admit that I find it a challenge to characterize this scent; it's not simply fruity or sweet or woody, it's all those things at the same time - talk about being multi faceted. The first spritz makes you think of golden, juicy exotic fruits, but it's far from a light and fleeting scent, instead the fruitiness is quite concentrated. The fragrance develops quickly and it soon reveals it's flowery sweet side with intense notes of frangipani flowers that vaguely remind me of roses. Despite the very pronounced floral notes, there is nothing sugary or sickly about the scent, probably because of the dry harmonious notes of sandal in the background which adds balance and makes Exotica a velvety smooth and seductive EdT.

Despite being a tropical summer scent, I personally prefer to wear it when the temperatures have dropped since in my opinion Exotica is warm enough in itself and during a hot sunny summer day for me it gets a little bit on the heavy side. Saying that though I'm still intrigued by the depth and complexity of it, and just like Roberto Cavalli's fabulous fashion creations this EdP definitely stands out. Although Exotica is a limited edition, it's still readily available in many stores, and on Fragrance Direct you can find both the original and its pink summer sister.  

Monday, 12 January 2015

Red 2015? No - Red 2000!

My festive period love affair with red just continues into the new year, it's the colour that keeps giving. Last week I mentioned a perfect gorgeous and ravishing red for your nails - Boudoir from Ciaté and today I just had to show its lipstick mate. I've mentioned before that I'm not usually one for doing matching nails and lips and personally I find it more interesting to contrast but some pairs are just made for each other. There are so many gorgeous red shades from the big cosmetic brands but I've always found it difficult to find a shade that works with my colouring and doesn't make me feel like the lipstick is wearing me rather than the other way around. Something tells me I'm not the only one doubting which shade suits me since L'Oréal very helpfully has released their Perfect match red range to help us find the right red.

As a blonde with a hint of a tan left from the holidays, and with a warm undertone to my skin anyway deep reds with blue undertones do nothing good for me and I do shy away from them. Instinctively I've always been drawn to the more orange reds anyway, however there's again a fine balance between reds with a warm undertone and intense scarlets that are just a tad too sharp for me. Having tested my way through reds for years I did eventually find a shade that's just right (yes there is one for everyone!) and it's Avon's Ultra Colour Rich Lipstick in Red 2000 (£3.85).
The formula is nice and creamy without being waxy, and it leaves a nice hydrating sensation on your lips. The pigmentation is very strong so I would recommend being careful when you apply it since it does leave a stain and if you get the lip contours wrong you have to remove it and apply it again from scratch. I find that it works best if you use a brush to apply the lipstick and then of course you get a fabulous and precise lip contour as well, if you've got plenty of time that is, otherwise just dabbing it on works really well too. Because of the strong pigmentation the colour is fairly long lasting, and after 4-5 hrs eventually only a stain remains, but that also mean that it does transfer onto coffee mugs etc for quite a while. From a formula and wear point of view it's a pretty good lipstick, but what nudges it into being a great one is definitely the colour; it's a gorgeous sultry golden tomato red that brings out my natural colouring and brightens everything, even the rainiest of days (have a look at my Instagram to see a color swatch). It's a confident and elegant shade and the only thing that bugs me about this gem of a lipstick is that it's no longer part of Avon's range, but you can find it on Amazon and on eBay.

Monday, 5 January 2015

Manic.Monday: Ravishing Boudoir red

So what happened to the blog during the last half of the year? Well in short - life! It was a year of massive change for me and I was as disappointed as anyone that I simply wasn't able to include the blog with everything else I had to juggle, and putting the blog on hold certainly wasn't an easy decision but unfortunately a necessary one. We're only a few days into a new year and although I won't be able to post daily, there will be a weekly post every Monday as of now, and I hope that you who have always supported me and been so encouraging will understand and continue to visit and enjoy the weekly articles this year.

In my book the Christmas period ends on January 6, which strictly speaking means that we've only got one more day of festive joy, silly jumpers and hopefully no more left-over food from the Christmas table.... SO DONE with left-overs! Saying that, I'm not yet quite over the traditional red Christmas nail. As most of you may know I am fairly daring when it comes to nails and am willing to give most looks a try, and I have been surprised at how much I have enjoyed sporting a classic style this winter and there's something about this beautiful and intense pure red that just makes me coming back for more.
This little sassy number is Ciaté's Boudoir (£9, but on sale at the moment for an incredible £4.50!), a glorious, sophisticated red and since it doesn't have overtly strong blue undertones it's likely to suit most skintones.

You can always trust Ciaté formulas; they're just the right consistency, easy to work with and dry quickly. Admittedly the pigmentation varies, and the lighter or sheerer colors will not be as opaque as the others, and they will therefor require more coats. This stunning red does have a sheer element to it, so I would definitely recommend at least 2 coats and a top coat to get as much wear out of it as possible. The longevity of this Ciaté polish is about 4-5 days, which is above average I think, but in all honesty, even if it only lasted 2 days, I would still buy and LOVE to wear this color. To me this is a timeless and beautiful red, and if like me you think that the masters of red like Tom Ford and Manolo Blahnik charge a bit too much for a finger nail of sexy glamour (£23-£32) this is a brilliant alternative.