Sunday, 14 February 2010

Valentine's love

When it comes to matters of the heart, I am steadfast and true, a fact Mr Glamoured is (I hope!) pleased about. However, when it comes to make-up, clothes, jewellery and other personal embellishments, I am a fickle pickle. Perhaps I am a marketer's dream, though I usually research purchases and like to think of myself as discerning. I just like to acquire new things as I get bored easily and so enjoy the variety.

So, for Valentine's day I thought I'd show you some recent entries into my affections...

Firstly, Lipstick Queen. I'd passed the stand before in Space NK and read some reviews, but being more of a gloss lover than a lipstick fan, I'd disregarded it due to the name. However, after idly swatching some of the products my interest was piqued.

I now own two Butterfly Ball lipsticks. They are not cheap but for a gloss lover like me, they are worth it. The lipsticks are sheer, but with enough colour to make a difference on the mouth. I own Float, a pale peachy beige and Trance, a soft raspberry. They feel incredibly smooth and moisturising, yet light. They also have a subtle blue shimmer, intended to make the teeth appear whiter. I can't attest to this, but I do love the subtly unusual effect the shimmer gives.

The swatches from top to bottom show Butterfly Ball lipsticks in Float and Trance and Chinatown Glossy Pencil in Mystery.

The Chinatown Glossy Pencil is a lipgloss in chunky pencil/crayon format. Mystery is a gorgeous sheer plum. It reminds me of one of my all time favourite, suits everyone lip products - Clinique Almost lipstick in Black Honey. The Glossy Pencil is also not cheap, but I have to say I've been using it regularly for a couple of months and I still haven't had to sharpen it. It comes beautifully packaged and includes a sharpener. The Chinatown packaging and product were apparently inspired by the classic 1974 film of the same name, so I suppose it could be described as lips noir. Unfortunately, I do not look like Faye Dunaway after application. Regardless, I now have my eye the hot pink shade, Crime.

If you like matte and/or pigmented lips, these products are not for you (try Lipstick Queen Sinners lipsticks) but if you like glosses and subtle lips, these are brilliant. The delicacy and ease of gloss without the stickiness.

My next ardent new love is for a scent. I'm quite picky when it comes to fragrance, yet I like to try new ones all the time. After years of dabbling, the ones I return to time and again include Coco by Chanel, Bois Farine by L'Artisan Parfumeur and Jo Malone's Pomegranate Noir. I like scents with spice and sweetness, tempered by something earthy. In Summer, I'll switch to something lighter and fresher - Clarins Eau Dynamisante is my favourite. Lately I've also been dabbling with Prada Infusion d'Iris and Stella Nude, which I can take or leave.

Anyway, I had read about New York perfumers Bond no.9 quite a lot and wanted to try some of their fragrances. Reading the fab book 'Perfumes: The A-Z Guide' by Luca Turin and Tanya Sanchez I deduced that I might like Chinatown (hmm, I sense a theme emerging). I bought some samples from Ebay, tested one as soon as it arrived and that was it - love at first whiff. After that, I had been eking out those tiny samples whilst debating what to do about getting a full bottle. You see, it's only available at Harvey Nichols and Harrods in England, and it's also pretty expensive. *gulp* £90 for 50mls *gulp*

The things is, I was crazy in love. The Bond no.9 fragrances are created to evoke different areas of NY, so titles include Gramercy Park, Broadway Nights, Wall Street. The company's tagline is 'Making Scents of New York'. On their website, Chinatown is described as:
Superpower meets Supercity: The emerging superpower energy with the avant-garde cachet of downtown New York. A sultry, mouth-watering equal-opportunity East-West bouquet.
Intriguing copy, but what does it smell like? Chinatown to me smells of luscious fruits and delicious spices, with a sweet, creamy accord and a hint of something earthy. It has notes of peach blossom, gardenia, cardamom, tuberose and patchouli and I would happily bathe in it every day. After an initially intoxicating hit, it dries down to a warm, enveloping fragrance that melds with my skin, lasts well and has a subtle sillage provided you only use a couple of squirts. In short, I think I've found my signature scent.

It's fairly predictable that I would fall in love with an expensive and exclusive scent. When it comes to fripperies, I have a natural ability to fall for things that will do me financial damage if I pursue them. I tried to forget what was swiftly becoming a forbidden love. Of course, this made it all the more desirable. To console myself, I searched Ebay for more samples. I nearly passed out when I saw a full, 100ml bottle of my beloved at a starting price of one third that of the 50ml at Harvey Nichols. Even better, there were no bids and only 3 days to go. After some tactical bidding, I became the overjoyed owner of my own bottle of heaven at less than half the price I would have paid brand new.

Yes, she looks beautiful - all the Bond no.9 bottles are exquisite - but this goes beyond mere appearance. We are very happy together and spend a lot of time in each other's company. In fact I'd say we can't bear to be apart. This is no fickle dalliance, this is true love.

Moving on to my final flirtation now. I am a lover of jewels, trinkets, adornments, baubles, sparklers and whatnots. I love new accessories to revitalise existing outfits on the cheap and to add interest and detail. Also *oooh, shiny* seems to be a reflex response for me.

On my way from work to home via the train station the other day, I found myself drifting into Accessorize because I had ten minutes or so to kill. I picked up a new pair of earrings because I loved the colours (the turquoise is more green in real life) and I loved the sparkle.

I also wanted a square, tasselled scarf I could wear around my neck with my new pretend leather biker jacket. I bought this one because I liked the juxtaposition of soft floral and monochrome graphic patterns. Also, it's sequinned so it had me at hello.

My head is so easily turned.


  1. I am loving every sparkly, dazzling, glorious minute of reading this. I NEED A MAKE0VER NOW!

  2. Any time Katy, it would be a pleasure to have your gorgeous face as a canvas xx