Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Purple Reign: Sabon Fig Coco Body Scrub + Violet Hand Cream

I had a lovely trip to the Sabon store across the street from Bloomingdale's today. If you spend all day typing, it's nice to treat your fingers to decadent beauty products. Sabon Fig Coco body scrub is ideal for stimulating circulation and perfuming your fingers. It smells like a bowl of sliced, ripe figs.

I also was smitten by Sabon's Violet hand cream. I could have bought three tubes, at least. The scent is reminiscent of a violet eau de toilette that cult perfumer Sarah Horowitz used to make.


BUY IT: Sabon Fig Coco body scrub ($30) and Violet Hand Cream ($13), sabonnyc.com.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

David Lynch - Vintage Opium Commercial

Entertainment Weekly mentioned this commercial in an article titled "The Triumph of 'Twin Peaks'" (April 6, 1990):
Lynch recently made his debut as an ad director on a new spot for Yves Saint Laurent's Opium fragrance. ''It's got an Oriental theme, a woman opening the bottle. It's a very sensual commercial,'' Lynch says with typical exuberance. ''You'd know it if you saw it. I really had a blast doing it. I've also done a public service announcement for New York City on trash and rats. It's in black and white. And I had a really good time doing that.'

Shalom Harlow - Vintage Shalimar Ad

Catherine Deneuve - Chanel No. 5

Weapons for Looking, Uh...Hot

Hello to my wonderful followers, idols of paradise, and vexingly vain darlings,

I have so many things to tell you, so I am squeezing everything in my mind into one post:


Eyeshadow Government gives two thumbs up to Lily. B Rose Hip-Infused Foaming Facial Wash, a superb solution for every skin type. This mild, paraben-free cleanser contains rose hip seed oil and seaweed extract, both natural antioxidants.  Rose hip seed oil nourishes and soothes the skin with Vitamin A, Vitamin C and omega fatty acids. Seaweed extract also is said to have anti-aging properties and I think helps your skin look its best. You can purchase this facial wash for $28 at Lilybskincare.com or Bloom.com.


Often, we forget that pampering (such as going to the spa for a treatment or getting a pedicure) is not just an indulgence, but a ritual that we can either embrace or deny ourselves. If you are feeling burned out at school or work, making time for relaxation can help undo the effects of stress and offer a much-needed "time out."

Going to the spa is an investment in your overall health, and so if you don't already go, think of it as an important part of your schedule (errr, sort of like a dentist's visit but way more fun). To me, the benefits always outweigh the costs.

Also, there are always plenty of ways to relax and pamper yourself at home. For example, a light bulb went off in my head two days ago, and I tried using my Pure Life Soap Co. Volcanic Clay Facial Scrub ($10) as a body treatment. Although this scrub looks a bit like dirt, I bravely applied the mixture to my torso, legs and arms. The volcanic clay helped draw out toxins beneath the skin's surface, and left me feeling shiny and new. Another favorite product for relaxing at home is Mandy Aftel's Aftelier Perfumes Forest Flower bath oil (link to my rave review).


Should you wish to appear enthralling, you must wear copper eye liner this weekend. Catch this trend while you can! Channel your Parisian alter-ego circa 1979! And in the meantime, if you took my advice and bought the Smashbox Softbox Eye Shadow Palette, this set has an excellent copper cream liner. If you prefer to use a pencil version, try Make Up For Ever Aqua Eyes Bronze #10L  or Hello Kitty Glittercute Eyeliner in Teapot (penny-colored + glittery).

Apply the eye liner above your upper lashes, and then line the inner part of your lower lashes too. Finish the look with jet black mascara and a rich burgundy lip.


Follow Eyeshadow Government on Twitter!

Friday, May 27, 2011

Gilt City Deal: Diane von Furstenberg $100 for $200 Credit (Major FYI)

Gilt City is offering $200 of merchandise at Diane Von Furstenberg's Meatpacking Districts and SoHo boutiques for just $100. This is one of the best deals I've seen on the internet in a long while or, like, ever!


Thursday, May 26, 2011

Make Up For Ever Aqua Eyes Eyeliner Review

Hello my dearest and most glamorous dolphins,

Are you ready to go swimming? I hope so!

New Aqua eyeliners at The Makeup Show New York.

One must-have beauty item for making a splash this summer is a vibrant Aqua Eyes eyeliner from Make Up For Ever. Your eyeliner is your sword, ladies. (Some girls think they don't need schmancy beauty products, but eyeliner is surely enriching. If you have any doubts about its utility in matters of love and seduction, one need only whisper the names Elizabeth Taylor and Sofia Loren.)

The Aqua Eyes eyeliners are all fun and colorful, but the best part is that they won't budge. (I tested them at the Makeup Show New York.) I applied many of the eyeliner shades on my hand and then, tried washing the color off with Softsoap. They didn't move, streak or fade. Then, I took a shower. Still, basically the same. After tons of washing and scrubbing, the strength of the brilliant colors hardly diminished.

Surprised in a good way?


So before you take a dip in a pool, sweep on one of these eyeliners in Turquoise or Pistachio. And if you are really beachy and glam, you could invest in a different shade to match each of your swimsuits.

Testing the shades on my hand.

P.S. During The Makeup Show, Courtney Love's brilliant makeup artist David Hernandez wiped off dozens of eyeliners and arranged all of them to help me shoot the product display (top photo). He also has the word "Kapow" tattooed on his neck.


Wednesday, May 25, 2011

FiFi Awards on Livestream

The FiFi Awards, or the "Oscars of the fragrance industry," takes place tonight at Lincoln Center in New York. You can watch the livestream at 6:45 PM ET on Eyeshadow Government (see video below). Halle Berry, Fergie, Jean Paul Gaultier and many other celebrities are expected to attend this exciting awards show.

Watch live streaming video from fifiawards at livestream.com


Eyeshadow Government can't get enough of Aftelier Perfumes, which this year has three FiFi Indie Brand nominations for Candide, Honey Blossom and Lumiere. Here's our stories about Aftelier Perfumes Wildflower Solid Perfume and Forest Flower Perfumed Bath Oil.

The Fragrance Foundation has blogged about perfumer Mandy Aftel of Aftelier Perfumes too!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Anonymous, Preposterous

Hi darlings,

As you know, I have been flirting with a makeup-less lifestyle. For me, it's weird switching between wearing a lot of makeup and none, although many women do it all the time. After relying on heaps of makeup for years, I feel almost like a peasant when I skip foundation or mineral powder. The bare look is also a little "hippie" (not my favorite word unless we are talking about Joni Mitchell or a trip to Marrakech).

So...in some ways, I feel invisible without my makeup, which is kind of weird but also makes sense. Do you think Kim Kardashian could barrel on with such gusto without that eyeliner? I think not. Makeup is just part of my identity.

Still, I discovered that when I skip tons of foundation, I am hardly anonymous. My adoring public (they know who they are, LOL) is still very friendly.

If you typically wear liquid cover-up and are thinking about going for an au naturel look, you can start by wearing a touch of bronzer instead (especially if you haven't been outside that much this spring) and a sheer lipstick.

I quite like the Bronze-buki Brush by Too Faced. Bronzer in a solid compact form can very quickly appear too heavy (super-yikes!). This amazing all-in-one kabuki brush does the thinking for you, and releases just a little bit of bronzer powder at a time. The result is a healthy, sheer tan that no one would ever know is fake.

BUY IT: Too Faced Bronze-buki Retractable Brush ($34), Sephora.


Joni Mitchell, "Both Sides Now"

Monday, May 23, 2011

Eyeshadow Government: Reading List

FASHIONISTA: Pat McGrath Introduces Dolce & Gabbana’s Fierce Summer Beauty Collections. In the article, McGrath recommends grooming brows, and then blending several shadows along the brows for a more natural look. I always think it's hard to find a brow shadow that matches exactly, so this makes a whole lot sense.

DAILY MAIL: Why Audrey Hepburn's hairstyle wins top do of all time (Obviously!)

WWD: Dior Celebrates Spanish Muse in Cannes

BELLASUGAR: 10 Cannes Film Festival Looks to Try Yourself (Be more French.)

BLOGDORF GOODMAN: Deneuve Dupe? Le Labo Belle Du Soir

BEAUTY BRAINS: Which Heat Protection Products for Hair Really Work?

Friday, May 20, 2011

Taking the Plunge

Just caught the homepage of Bergdorf Goodman and wanted to share this tempting picture:

Stella McCartney Jumpsuit, Bergdorf Goodman.
Is it me, or does Stella McCartney just get better and better? I would wear this sumptuous ensemble with a touch of Diptyque Do Son eau de toilette ($120, Space NK). Do Son is a luxurious floral perfume that starts out quite headstrong, in a wonderful way really. And as it settles on the skin, the fragrance becomes quite delicate, innocent and almost naïve. I love the idea of playing with contrasts.


Thursday, May 19, 2011

Kevyn Aucoin Palettes

Aren't these colors eye-catching? And perhaps the blue shade could be applied across the eyelid and all over the area above the eyelid with a coral lip for a hip, retro look?

If you live in New York, just swing by Bergdorf's to score these posh Kevyn Aucoin compacts. Don't hesitate!

Lady Gaga FarmVille Video

Lady Gaga = super-super-super-star. And the pony has a pink mane in her GagaVille promo vid!

In a YouTube video promoting GagaVille, a farmer says, "At first, we were not so sure about this Lady Gaga. Loud music, monsters, chrome-studded leather bustiers. We thought we'd have to teach her about farming, but as it turned out she taught us a lot about ourselves."

VIDEO: Yves Saint Laurent Beaute Makeover and Beauty Tips From the Makeup Show

Hello dearies,

I am "practicing" being more exhibitionistic. This is the video I promised you yesterday. As a warning, at one point, the video does cut off mid-sentence. What I was trying to tell you is that the eyeshadow colors are from the fabulous YSL Five Color Harmony Eye Palette in Indian Pink (available at Neiman Marcus).

This marks Eyeshadow Government's entry onto YouTube. I think my video screen fogged up a bit while recording because the weather that day was very "Miami Vice." Worship me anyway!

Also, one great product YSL national makeup artist Dell Ashley used before applying foundation was  YSL Top Secrets Flash Radiance Skincare Brush. Ashley likes using this brush on models because it primes and moisturizes skin in one easy step. Also, he doesn't have to put his fingers into any pots, making the application very clean. The formula contains caffeine, an ingredient that can improve skin's overall appearance and may even protect against sun damage.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

YSL Makeover Shots

Do you love it? I will post a video soon about the makeover I received from Yves Saint Laurent's national makeup artist Dell Ashley at the Makeup Show.

PHOTO: Mr. Leeb. Makeup: YSL Beauté. Dress: vintage Douglas Hannant. Perfume: Hermès Un Jardin Sur le Nil.

PHOTO: me. Shot this with my iPod camera and Aviary.

PHOTO: me. Juergen Teller-ish and over-exposed.

Allure E-mail to Beauty Bloggers Crossed the Line

Controversy! I just received an e-mail at 1:52 PM today from Allure's marketing department apologizing for a prior e-mail from an "advertising intern."

My guess is that Allure was uncomfortable with e-mails distributed in early and mid-April (at least, that's when I received e-mails from Allure in my inbox) inviting beauty bloggers to participate in a product sample program with a "don't ask, don't tell" policy. The April messages indicated Allure would send me beauty products but if I didn't like the stuff, as a favor I should just keep my opinion to myself.

I felt that this request was "non-traditional" (hmmm) and never responded to the invitation. Talk about strings attached!  


E-mail to Eyeshadow Government Received Today

 E-mail Eyeshadow Government Received Mid-April

Are New Yorkers Too Hair-Obsessed? And My Little Black Book to the Rescue

On Monday, the New York Times published an article about a rash of "hair extension" thieves. This doesn't surprise me in the least because wherever I go, hair is the topic du jour.

I admit the world I live in is a little strange and perhaps I have selective hearing. A week ago on Bedford, I saw a man talking into his cell phone about which gel he liked to use. He didn't want any products with alcohol in them. I recently overheard two young women comparing hairdressers next to me on the subway, and learned one had paid more than $400 for a visit to Miss Jessie's. Across New York, I am overhearing men and women alike comparing stylists, hairstyles and products. You would think we would be too embarrassed to display our narcissism, but nope! I myself have spent hours trading notes with my roommates on potential hairdressers, and their respective pluses and minuses.

It is c-r-a-z-y. Vanity has its limits. In California, I don't know a single person who pays more than $100 for a basic haircut. In New York, this is the norm and when you try to cut corners on beauty services, you could end up with the worst dye job of your life or...like... dead.

But I will unearth one address from my little black book. If you need a simple and cheap haircut, I  recommend going to Thai New York Spa in Queens. Just ask for 'em to cut straight across, no layers. The price is only $20 for a haircut and Bee is hot.


Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Squillions of Love

Hey dearies,

I am listening to Flip Phillips and my belly is full of cookies and pupupas from a neighborhood restaurant. I have never gone out to eat pupusas specifically but wow, it is great. Also, people at the restaurant were not eating, like, salads. In this land of skinny jeans, the diners were even plump. Maybe this will happen to me too if I keep on eating pupusas? Mmmmmmmm.

Gab soon!

This Dress Is Giving Me Chills

So incredible.

Just one look at this Vera Wang silk netting gown was enough. Such lyrical draping! Such gorgeous coloring! Such a divine length! 

Love at first sight.
BUY IT: Vera Wang Silk Netting Embroidered Sleeve Gown ($899), Gilt.com

Linda, Linda, Mason, Mason

The Makeup Show New York wrapped up yesterday. What a zoo! What fun!

My favorite thing for sale at the trade show wasn't anything you could put on your face, although I am tempted to kiss the shiny wrapping of this lovely rectangular piece of genius. I shelled out for makeup artist Linda Mason's new DVD, Glorious Technicolor. Can't wait to watch it!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Gilt Groupe Changes Shipping and Return Policies

Happy news for fashionistas who shop online! In a press release issued today, Gilt Groupe announced:

"Gilt has expanded its return policy to offer its customers the option of a credit card refund. Starting today, Gilt customers will have the option of returning for a credit card refund, minus the cost of return shipping, or a Gilt credit for the merchandise as well as the shipping fee. Gilt Groupe has also expanded the categories in which it will accept returns to include handbags, wallets, sunglasses, ties, belts, cufflinks, and jewelry, in addition to all sizable items."

Also, the shipping rate has dropped to "a flat fee of $5.95 for UPS ground shipping no matter the size of the purchase." 


Product Reviews: KeratinPerfect Shampoo and Hair Oil

KeratinPerfect products have just launched at Sephora and if you have hair on your head, you may want to pay mighty close attention.

My coiffure is on a roll. Whether you crave a sleek hairdo or just want to tame mid-day frizz, there's something for everyone in the KeratinPerfect line.

Right now, I use two products by this brand regularly:

PerfectCleanse Keratin Enhanced Shampoo ($24, Sephora) super-charges my hairdo, making it appear thicker, healthier and shinier. It's hard to describe, but I feel like this shampoo is the equivalent of pumping iron for your locks. The product strengthens each strand and tames frizz.

I can actually feel the difference as soon as I use the shampoo, and see a difference when I am out of the shower. My hair is always smoother after using this product.

Cool, right?

The second product I heart is the KeratinPerfect PerfectShine Keratin Oil ($40, Sephora).

Expect positive feedback. If people don't say you look great when you use this hair-taming oil, you don't have the right friends. Certainly, mine do.

On days that I skip the KeratinPerfect shampoo, my hair can be a thorny, fuzzy, frizzy, tangled, rambunctious thing. Now, I just rub a few drops of this oil in my hands, apply to my dry hair, brush, twirl and gloat.

I adore my suddenly well-groomed tresses.

Also, the centerpiece of the KeratinPerfect line is a Brazilian Hair Smoothing System.  I haven't tried KeratinPerfect's main smoothing treatment, called ThePerfector, yet because I'm keeping my natural waves.  But so, so many of you want straighter hair!

My friend Lisa at Beauty by Benz tried ThePerfector and posted the fab results on her blog. Before, her hair appeared cute and curly. After, her hair appeared hot and Jessica Rabbit smooth! Also, most importantly, ThePerfector is formaldyhyde-free, as are all the the products in the line.


Beauty quandaries? In a makeup kerkuffle? Ask Eyeshadow Government for expert advice. Just write to eyeshadowgovernment [at] gmail.com!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Bunny Hop

If you missed Eyeshadow Government's exclusive about Alexis Bittar designing a a "bunny" mask for Rihanna, check it out here.

Meanwhile, California Apparel News recently blogged about this awesome pair of robotic bunny ears powered by, whoah, the wearer's brain waves. A Japanese project called Neurowear designed this shmancy, adorable gadget.

XOX. And here's the definition of "Bunny Hop" on Wikipedia.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Beauty Math: Layering Skincare and Makeup Products

Hey gals,

Today, I thought I would share with you how I "layer" great skincare and makeup products to increase their effectiveness. What can you wear under sunblock? How do you boost your lipstick? How do you make a customized shade of blush? Eyeshadow Government has the scoop!

(Many of these products I have mentioned before, but I thought it would be helpful for you to know how to incorporate them into a full-blown, beauty addict's regimen.)

1. Serum + Oil/Lotion + Sunblock = Yay

After washing your face in the morning, apply Jurlique Herbal Recovery gel, which contains botanicals that work to improve evenness and give your skin a natural glow.

Next, apply a lotion that works on your skin type. If your skin is naturally dry, you can use natural jojoba oil or Josie Maran Organic Argan Oil. If your skin is breakout-prone, try Vichy Normaderm Anti-Acne Hydrating Lotion or Dr. Brandt Blemishes No More Hydrating Lotion.

Then, apply a non-codomogenic sunblock, such as Aveeno Continuous Protection Sunblock.

2. Your Favorite Lipstick + Too Faced Glamour Gloss = Smooch

Lately, I adore layering Too Faced Glamour Gloss in This Is Pretty over my favorite lipsticks. (Specifically, I wear this lip gloss over Chanel Rouge Coco Mademoiselle and Lipstick Queen in Jean Queen.) After it's on, you might notice that your lips appear fuller and shinier. And it tingles!

Also, adding this gloss is a great way to experiment with lipsticks that are matte or a little dry.

3. This Blush + That Blush = Hooray

You may already have your favorite blush in your makeup bag. (Everyone should have at least one.) But if you apply blushes lightly with a brush or cotton ball, you can create your own customized shade. I have started mixing cheek blushes and bronzer recently and love the results. 

For example, Beauty Is Life Multi-Touch Powder in Balina looks great alone. It's a shimmery blush/bronzer, and they sell it at Barneys. But you can mix it with many pink shades or bronzers too.

Tip: Dab color on cheekbones and blend thoroughly.


P.S. Feel free to share your own "layering tips" in the comments section too. Stay divine!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Rihanna to Wear Bunny Mask Designed by Alexis Bittar

 Lady Gaga in an Alexis Bittar mask via Formichetti's Blog
Jewelry designer Alexis Bittar, whose fans include both Michelle Obama and Lady Gaga, is helping yet another pop star transform her look. At a special breakfast to celebrate the 75th anniversary of Lucite in New York, Bittar announced he was designing a "bunny" mask for Rihanna's tour.

When pressed for details, Bittar said, "We're just finalizing the design with her stylist Mel Ottenberg." He couldn't share any more information.

Is Rihanna trying to be more like Lady Gaga?  Gaga has worn various pieces by Bittar in the past. In any case, his mask is sure to be a hit with Rihanna's fans.

Bittar is the King of Lucite and a brilliant fellow. But will the mask have ears? And will the ears be perky or floppy? It's anyone's guess.

Here's a video of the designer talking about his career:

ALEXIS BITTAR- Past and Present from Alexis Bittar on Vimeo.

--Annie Wilner

Makeup Talk: Swoon-Worthy Lip Colors

It's time for a snack break at Eyeshadow Government. Here are three juicy, fantastic lip colors every woman should try.

More opaque than a traditional gloss, Aveda Lip Glaze in Cherry Blossom (top of photo, $18, Aveda) drenches lips in an amazing shade of pink. Eyeshadow Government is totally obsessed!

Boost your smile with a gorgeous, sheer fuchsia wash of color with the new Laura Mercier Gel Lip Color in Hibiscus Bloom (middle, $22, Space NK, 212-941-4200).

For a dazzling, kissable mouth, try Smashbox Lip Enhancing Gloss in Glam (bottom, $29, one of six glosses inside the Softbox Lip Gloss Collection, Sephora). The pretty, guava shade is just delicious.

Monday, May 09, 2011

Share and Win: What's Your Favorite Sunless Tanning Product?


I woke up today and wanted to show my legs to the world. I slipped into my black denim miniskirt and a favorite t-shirt with origami cranes. Anyway, the problem is my limbs are the color of flour. Call me Ghostleg Killa. I walked all around the neighborhood anyway.

I believe one of these products could fix the issue:
If you have a self-tanning product you love, leave a comment. Better yet, comment and e-mail eyeshadowgovernment [at] gmail.com to receive a free prize!

Sunday, May 08, 2011

Beauty Chatter: Highlights From Across the Web

Makeup artist Tia Dantzler explains how to get Jennifer Hudson's fabulous look at the Met Ball (Afrobella).

Selena Gomez reveals what's inside her makeup bag (Seventeen.com).

Carla at Product Girl can't live without Lisa Hoffman Japanese Agarwood Body Wash

The Non-Blonde offers a sneak peek of the Le Métier de Beauté Summer collection.

Strawberry Fields: 20 Hot Red Hair Colors (Beauty Blitz).

Hair and makeup shots from Lady Gaga's "Judas" video (BellaSugar).

Beauty Secrets Every Woman Must Know (Marie Claire).

Bryanboy's "military" look. Will cannons be the new little black dress?

Talk soon, my lovelies!


Thursday, May 05, 2011

Interview With Jessica Buchanan of 1000 Flowers

Eyeshadow Government is pleased to publish this interview with Canadian perfumer Jessica Buchanan of 1000 Flowers on the day of her announcement of a new perfume, Fleur No. 1.

Her Reglisse Noire perfume has elicited a rapturous response across the blogosphere. Buchanan plans to move from Canada to Grasse, France where she will participate in a new incubator program Pépinière d’Entreprises InnovaGrass for perfumers and cosmetics makers. 1000 Flowers is the first perfume company to be accepted to this program.

It was divine speaking with one of the most imaginative figures in the independent scent world.

Is the town of Nelson, where you live now, very remote?

It's about a nine hours drive to Vancouver, but quite a bustling, little town. There's an arts school, a school of Chinese medicine and a fine woodworking program. People are very interested in the arts, health and progressive thinking and, at the time I moved here, I was looking for a place like that to put down roots and start a small business.

And now will you be moving to France permanently to grow your perfume business?

I have been accepted into a business incubator in Grasse, and so I will be moving on August 1st on a three-year visa. My office will be in the old Roure factory, in the warehouse where the process of enfleurage used to take place. Enfluerage is the old technique of using wood-framed glass trays layered with animal fat, with successive batches of fresh flowers, such as tuberose and jasmine, placed by hand in the fat for extraction of the fragrance.

Can you describe Fleur No. 1, your newest scent?

It is a green floral, full of the precious floral absolutes such as rose and jasmine, narcissus, and osmanthus. There are notes of violet and wet spring forests, mosses, and green baby leaves. It's based on a chypre/oriental base with notes such as opoponax, oakmoss and labdanum. It's a full floral, but at the same time, it's simple and green and reminiscent of Spring. I'm dedicating this fragrance to my mother.

Where will the perfume be available?

I will be launching it here in Nelson on May 5th.

Is your mother alive?

She is alive. She is well. She lives in Saskatchewan with her husband, and they have always lived quite close to the land. They live off the grid with solar power, in a home that they built from wood that they milled from their own property.

She's been so incredibly supportive and nurturing throughout my life. I began this path when I was a very small child. Herbal medicine was my first obsession when I was 8, 9, 10 years old and I was constantly collecting and drying wild plants from the woods and creating remedies for my family. She really nurtured that interest, and that eventually developed into my career in aromatherapy and then, perfumery as an art form.

Reglisse Noire means black licorice in English. Tell us a little about this scent.

I wanted to create a fragrance that was something that was recognizable and familiar that could symbolize connection between opposites. My background was natural perfumery, but in Grasse I was learning about modern perfumery, which includes man-made chemicals. I was inspired to find a way to balance those two worlds- of my natural and traditional roots with the high-tech, modern raw materials that we were learning about. At the time, I coming to terms with the fact that some of these synthetic raw materials were actually amazing, and so I really wanted to find a balance between these two elements that I perceived as opposites.

Why did you choose to create a licorice scent as opposed to a more traditional floral?

I chose licorice because I wanted to explore something that had personal meaning to me. And it was connected with my grandmother. When I was growing up, she always had licorice allsorts, the candy. And I wasn't really allowed to have candy when I was little. Occasionally, I was permitted to have one and it was a real treat, and so that association was the starting point for this fragrance. Maybe because those candies are a little old-fashioned, I see it as part of the balancing of tradition and modernity.

Was this when you were very young? And where were you?

That was on Salt Spring Island, and I was between the ages of 1 and 6 and throughout my life, she always had them. Through my teens as well. But I think my most fond memories were between the ages of 1 and 6.

Some of the notes in Reglisse Noire are ozone and shiso. For a normal reader, does that mean that it smells like the air?

Yes, it does have that crisp fresh scent. Ozone can be generated by moving water. It's negative ions. I think with an ozone generator, there is an ozone smell that you can detect. But what I'm associating it with is that scent near the beach, without it being a marine note. Shiso leaf is an aldehydic note, and rather intense to smell on its own!

I have read many descriptions of what your scent smells like from the opening note to the end, but what does Reglisse Noire smell like to you?

It depends on the person, right of course? (I'm just going to spray some right now, actually.) Right away, of course, it's licorice. It really has the character of black licorice. Even though it is an interpretation, it's not a candy fragrance. It's not sugary. It opens with citrus notes and white pepper, and there is bergamot. I hear from some people that they find a floral note in the top. And it's not something that I list as a note, but there is a light white pale jasmine in this fragrance. It's hidden inside and not everyone finds it.

As it warms on the skin, we move into the spices. It's got warm, earthy cocoa and spices in the heart, and this is where the concept of the perfume really develops for me. The high-tech notes are a little bit more in the top and the bottom, whereas the middle holds the heart of the fragrance, which is the where the opposites find their balance with each other and attain warmth and harmony. It's star anise, it's ginger, it's all-spice and cocoa. Once it develops a bit more on the skin, one moves into woods, into the cedarwood and the patchouli, and vetiver, quite a lot of vetiver actually, and finally into the musk.

This musk is one of the 'high-tech' notes in the 'soul' or bottom of the formula- a raw material called Exaltolide.

What attracts you to this note?

It's a beautiful note. It's a solid, clear crystalline material when at room temperature, which I find quite lovely. But most importantly, it's a nature-identical musk, being that it exists in natural musk. And it's what is termed macrocyclic, which means that it's biodegradable and it doesn't accumulate in the environment. I find materials like these very interesting.

What are perfumers like?

I think that perfumers can be quite introspective. There's a lot of contemplation that is involved. Before I sit down with raw materials, I'm thinking for months and months, allowing the fragrance to germinate in my mind. There is a certain amount of loneliness involved in being a perfumer, and you have to be fine with that. It's a very solo work, so in that sense it could be like writing. Creating a fragrance, for me, is a meditative process.

If somebody wanted to acquire your perfume, where would be the best places for them to go?

They can go to Scent Bar in Los Angeles, and they can also order from the store's website, Indiescents.com. You can also order from my website which is 1000flowers.ca. I haven't announced this yet, but I just begun selling to a new client in Munich, Germany. The store is a beautiful boutique in the center of Munich called Sundhaft.

If you live in Nelson and would like to meet Jessica Buchanan of 1000 Flowers in person, she will be at the Kootenay Coop this Saturday to celebrate the debut of Fleur No. 1. The perfume, which 1000 Flowers launched today, will be sold in 15 ml Italian square glass bottles.

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

Happy News + Psst!

Did you miss me?

Yesterday was my birthday, and I wanted to take the day to enjoy myself. I am back to writing today and so happy to talk to all of you. I have a short story coming out in an anthology in September and although I don't know the exact title of the book yet, needless to say, I am thrilled to have my writing appear in a book (again).

Also, I have been eating my way through Williamsburg, and so I think you might enjoy doing as I do, and eating at Lighthouse and Traif. To be honest, it would be pretty hard to get fat at either of these fashionable restaurants. The "big" salad at Lighthouse was just medium-sized. My entree at Traif had, uh, four scallops. Totally yum though. Adore the new spots!


My stream of free beauty products continues, but you know what I"m kind of excited about...products no one knows about..SECRETS! One new perfume I am keeping under wraps until tomorrow, but the other product I can tell you about today.

Beauty brand skinnyskinny is going to launch an organic face serum very soon. I haven't tried it yet myself, but the company owner Clara Williams uses the serum and every time I see Clara inside her shop in Williamsburg, she is drop-dead gorgeous.  There are plenty of cute gals around, but Clara has some of the "best" skin in the neighborhood. Her face glows like an angel.

She told me yesterday that she hopes to launch the serum in a few weeks. In the meantime, she is very busy shipping boxes and boxes of her amazing fancy, fragrant dry shampoo. It's always cool visiting the skinnyskinny store on 129 Roebling Street because her shop perfumes the whole block.

A picture of Google search results for "skinnyskinny face serum." Proof that you are hearing about this product on Eyeshadow Government first.

Monday, May 02, 2011

Spring For It: A Beauty Expert's Shopping List

Some people shop for bread and Windex. I shop for makeup. These lipsticks, perfumes and eyeshadows are all wonderfully delicious and extremely satisfying. XOX.

1. What's too much fun? Yves Saint Laurent Volupte Sheer Candy lip balm ($30, YSLBeautyUS.com) in shades like Mouthwatering Berry and Succulent Pomegranate. The formula is sheer with a touch of glitter. I love the concept of a youthful sheer lipstick in a more grown-up lipstick case. So deluxe! So magnifique!

2. Did anyone else notice that Sephora.com has begun selling Acqua di Parma products? Click, click, click, click, click! I adore the Acqua di Parma Iris Nobile Eau de Parfum.  Such a heavenly scent. It may not be for a lady on a budget, but it is absolutely for a lady who loves beautiful things. Invest in a bottle "for a special occasion" and then wear it every day anyway.

3. Smashbox Soft Box Eye Palette ($48, Ulta). This is such a no-brainer. I order you to buy this. A gal can create dozens of gorgeous eye looks with this kit.  The set contains a small tube of Photo Finish Lid Primer, nine eye shadows, two cream liners, brushes and a booklet. For going out this past weekend, I wore Flirt (a shimmery silver) alone. I had to tame my tendency to heap on makeup because the shades are intensely pigmented. (FYI amigas, those little rectangles pack a powerful punch.) Of course, if you go too far, just smudge a bit off with tissue.

Less is more, darlings!


Setting the scene for the Met Ball tonight via Amy ODell.