A&F Fierce: Bom Chicka Wah Wah...

First thing - the bottle: all I can say is bom chicka wah wah! - it certainly brightens me up first thing in the morning!

Y'all know I'm a perfume junkie, but this time I hope I haven't gone too far...

I picked up Fierce when I was in Miami at the end of last year and wore it on the day I was very active - surfing, rock climbing and zip linging on my mini cruise on Oasis of the Seas. I was a little embarrassed when the 'harness guy' who rigged me up for the zip line got a bit close and I could smell he was wearing it too! The rock climbing instructor was also wearing it. It must be the regulation Royal Caribbean Cruise Line crew scent, and I ain't complaining!

My lust for this perfume started when I set out to get a new cologne for my boyfriend and went into A&F and asked a sales assistant (who looked like a young Morrissey - phwoar!) what the scent was wafting around the store - turns out it's Fierce. I sprayed it directly onto my wrist and it was awfully strong and cloying and well, fierce, so I chickened out and went for Cologne 41. Also I don't think my boyfriend would have been too impressed to be presented with a perfect male torso on a bottle! But by the time I got back to my office, Fierce had dried down to that familiar clean, fresh A&F scent.

Now I wouldn't recommend you spritz yourself with this for a night out on the pull - if you're after fellas that is, but this isn't a bad option for work as it's good to wear a 'strong' scent like a cyphre - but female versions of these can smell a bit 'older lady', while this is fresh and assertive. It's very long lasting - you can smell it on your clothes for days (I do change 'em y'know - I'm talking about my scarfs, etc.!) and all you need is one very light spray. I like to layer it with more 'feminine' fresh scents like Benefit B Spot, Mark Jacobs Daisy and even Juicy Couture Original.  A&F also do a few great, fresh 'ladies' fragrances, my favourite being '8'.

I've always been intrigued by how fragrance works... women like the smell of the perfumes they wear, and likewise men and their fragrances, so why don't men go around wearing flowery vanilla scents to attract the ladies, while women layer on the leathery, tobacco-y woody smells that men are supposed to like? Just a thought.

Abercrombie say:


Top Notes: Orange, Lemon, Fir Resin, Petit Grain, Cardamom
Middle Notes: Rosemary, Jasmine, Lily of the Valley, Rose
Base Notes: Musk, Oakmoss, Vetiver, Brazilian Rosewood


My boyfriend thinks I'm crazy.  This is a perfume to please me, not men.  But it does make them ask questions!  If you can't bring yourself to wear a 'male' scent, I'd still recommend you check this out for the man in your life and pick it up for the next special occasion - let's face it, this scent is sexy on anyone!  In the UK it's £46 for 30mls.  I paid about $45 in the US.  Exchange rate?  What exchange rate?


NOTD: O.P.I (not so) Cuckoo For This Color

Sadly, I'm not cuckoo about this colour at all...I had hoped it would be something along the lines of Chanel's Black Pearl as it looks very dark in the bottle - under flash it appears a much 'lighter' dark green.

I was kindly invited by P&O Ferries to the naming ceremony of their new superferry Spirit of Britain last week in a beautifully sunny Dover.  The range of beauty shopping on board is hella better than many airports I've been through (I'm looking at you MIA International) and on average prices are 25% lower than high street.  There was an excellent Benefit range and I was so tempted to pick up the new Mr. Bright Kit or Bella Bamba but resisted and picked up my first full size OPI.  I'm glad it was on sale for about £6 as I'm so not keen, I'll probably only bust it out for Halloween, but I already have MAC's Mean & Green for that!

While I adore accessories in this gorgeous dark green teal, on my nails it's just not 'me' and feels a bit manky and unsophisticated.

Double Olympic gold winner Dame Kelly Holmes named the ship - I can't believe this woman is almost 41!  I'd like a few of her beauty tips! My director sat on her table at lunch and assured me she ate loads even though she's tiny...I'm thinking of taking up running! :)


Let's Get Fresh: My Favourite Spring/Summer Scents

I really enjoyed putting together my favourite Autumn/Winter scents post so thought it would be a good idea to do one now that Spring is here and the sun's come out to play!

I am a complete perfume junkie so these are just the fresh 'springy' scents from my collection, I have a few sweet ones too which I'll probably do a separate post about.  Many of these were gifts and a few are very affordable.

First up, I have a dupe for you:

This must be my 5th bottle of D&G Light Blue.  It's a decade since it was launched and is a bit overexposed these days, but when it first came onto the market it was unlike any other scent.  Although it's light and refreshing it's more complex than first impressions suggest and comes into its own on the dry down.  I only spray it at the back of my neck, under my hair or onto my clothes as it doesn't have the greatest reaction to my skin's chemistry and smells slightly funky on me.

Here are the notes:
Top Notes - Granny Smith Apple, Sicilian Cedar, Bluebells
Middle Notes - Jasmine, White Rose, Bamboo
Base Notes - Cedarwood, Amber, Musks

The best affordable dupe I've found for Light Blue is Next's Paradise which is £12.50 for 100mls.  The bottle you see in the photo is well over a year old and its packaging has been updated since.

For those who may be sick of D&G Light Blue but still want some depth and originality to their spring/summer scent you need to check out ckIN2U her - I love this scent but not once have I ever caught a whiff of it off anyone else.  At Boots it's currently £27 for 50mls but I nabbed this one last Christmas for around £12.50 as part of a boxset.  The first bottle I ever had of this was a present otherwise I doubt I ever would have tried it.  It evokes fond memories for me as it's the scent I was into when I got with my boyfriend.  The only thing I don't like about this perfume is its horribly minimalist cheap-looking bottle.  It's sweet but ever so slightly masculine - classic CK I guess! and extremely hard to describe, so here are the notes:

Top Notes -  Grapefruit fizz, Sicilian Bergamot, Red Currant Leaves
Middle Notes - Sugar Orchid, White Cactus
Base Notes - Neon Amber, Vanilla Souffle, Red Cedar

Not sure what how Amber can be 'Neon' or how 'Vanilla Souffle' is different from plain old vanilla...these two notes form a common theme amongst my perfumes, but Red Cedar and Red Currant Leaves are certainly new to me and may explain why this scent is so different from anything else I've come across.

I don't think I've ever had a bus or tube journey where I didn't detect Marc Jacobs Daisy, but I think everyone is over the hype of this perfume now.  I myself ran out of steam with it half way through the bottle, but if I leave it alone for a couple of months I always return to it with a reinvigorated affection.  The bottle goes a long way in making this perfume attractive - I don't think it would have reached the same fame if it came in a container like CK's offering.  The new version of Daisy, Eau So Fresh is extremely similar to the original, but a good option if you've been thinking of taking the plunge but want to break away from the herd a bit.  I enjoy this fragrance, but won't be repurchasing.

Before Benefit's wildly popular Crescent Row collections, their most famous fragrance offering was B Spot.  It's essentially summer in a bottle - very zingy, citrus and just sweet enough.  I wouldn't have bought this perfume but received it as a free gift when I bought a couple of make up products.  It reminds me of Ralph by Ralph Lauren, the quintessential summer fragrance.  I keep this one in my desk at work for a refreshing spritz on a stuffy summer afternoon.  It's on sale now at Debenhams for only £13.25 for 50mls.

If I could only choose one perfume to wear for the rest of my life, Chloe EDP would be it.  It can take a while for scents to grow on me, but with Chloe, it was love at first sniff.  I've since finished this bottle and am just waiting to finish up a good number of my other perfumes before I repurchase this as I know they would get neglected and oxidize on my shelf!  The bottle is gorgeous but sadly the silver tarnished, which is the only downside about this product.  Also, it's on the pricier side at around £36 for 30mls.  Chloe is truly my signature scent, I always receive compliments when wearing it and it doesn't react badly with my skin's chemistry.  Whereas some fresh perfumes can foray into quite masculine territory, Chloe is the ultimate feminine fragrance and the rose comes through loud and clear.  If you haven't tried this one I urge you to...just don't buy it - I don't want y'all smelling like me!

Top notes: pink peony, freesia and lychee
Middle notes: magnolia flower, lily of the valley and rose
Base notes: cedar wood, amber and honey

Other honourable mentions go to Lacoste Touch of Pink which is a nice variation on the original, and Lanvin's Rumeur, which I picked up a massive bottle of at Portobello market for £10.  While I do like it, it is a bit cloying as it's a bit too heavy on the patchouli.

What are your favourite sunshine scents?


Mini MUA Haul & Swatches #2

Who knew spending £4 could make me so happy?!  I'm almost glad not all Superdrugs carry the £1 Make Up Academy range as my urge to haul from it could start adding up!

Shade 7 is the second MUA lipstick I've picked up and is a paler, brighter pink than shade 6 and suits me better.  It is very glossy and 
moisturising.  Some of the lipsticks in the range contain chunky glitter so I'd avoid them like the plague!

While similar to Shade 1 from the eye shadow range, shade 2 is paler and make a fabulous highlight for your browbone or inner corner of your eyes.  It's very pigmented and applies smoothly.  Amazing value.

My favourite piece from this haul is this eye brow pencil.  I'd go as far as to say it's becoming a holy grail product.  It's in the shade Blonde and look very natural on my eyebrows.  I adore how soft it is and it sharpens to a nice precise point.  The brush at one end is okay but I always prefer to use a spoolie to comb through my brows.  If you have light brown or reddish brows, you need to check this pencil out.  It even supersedes my love for Rimmel's Hazel brow pencil.

The only downside to this pencil is that I seem to be going through it at a rate of knots! This may be because I've been putting it to some heavy duty usage, but may be because it's so soft, either way, at £1 I will never be without this pencil again!

Now, the dud in this little haul is the nail varnish in Shade 10. I got so over excited by the quality of shades 7 and 15 I wanted to give this one a go because the colour is a like a cafe latte version of GOSH Metallic Purple. However on my nails it looks like a 'granny' shade. Pearlised and bleugh. I suppose I could make it work with 3 coats, but I was so bored by it I gave up at 2!

1 coat
2 coats

I have a number of the eye shadows and blushes, so when I get a chance to take a few snaps I'll get some swatches up here for you.


Mini Review: Carmex Lipbalm - New Flavours

When Carmex launched their cherry flavoured lip balm a couple of years ago I couldn't wait to give it a taste so I was happy to get my hands on the latest mint flavour release.   Carmex's distinctive tingle sensation is even more noticeable with the mint version.  

I can be very guilty of neglecting my lips and they chap very badly but the camphor and beeswax in Carmex soothes them and the menthol tingle makes it feel like they're actually being treated.  I find Carmex works almost as well as Elizabeth Arden 8 Hour Cream to heal cracked lips but tastes far better, and is more convenient to lug around in your handbag.  The added bonus is the SPF 15 which is a must for me as I can even get freckles on my lips - not pretty.

I prefer the tube to the pot as it's more hygienic.  The consistency of the balm again reminds me of 8 Hour Cream but it's not as thick or sticky.

I'm sure the strawberry balm is just as delicious as the cherry so I'm looking forward to trying that one too!

Have you tried Carmex? What flavours would you like them to release next? (I'd like to taste a lemon one!)

The best places to find Carmex are Boots or Superdrug for around £2.65.

*products provided for review purposes (but I already owned Carmex original and cherry flavours)


E.L.F Haul & Swatches #4 (Pic heavy)

The main reason for this e.l.f. haul was the Day2Night Brightening Eye Colour Palette recommended by both Cydonian and Robyn and it's the best £1.50 I've spent in a while!  There were a few other bits on my wishlist so I thought why not?!

The first of these eye palettes I got was Ethereal and I was surprised by the teeny size at first, but they're actually great for travel and I don't got through eye shadow very fast anyhow.

I am utterly in love with the taupe on the right and the second colour is a pretty good dupe for MAC Sable.  The shadows are extremely pigmented but there is some difference in texture, the best one being the taupe, gladly.

Look at that gorgeous taupe-y gleam!  You cannot go wrong with this little gem of a palette.

To feed my cream product addiction I picked up the Studio Shimmer Palette for £3.50.  I watched a couple of YT reviews on it and while it wasn't raved about I wanted to see it for myself and I'm glad I did.

e.l.f. recommend them illuminating the eyes, lips and face.  My favourite use for them is a cheek highlight as the texture is just right, not too creamy or too shimmery.  A little dab in the centre of your bottom lip over another colour can make your lips look fuller.  I haven't tried them on my eyes yet, but I'd say they'd work best as a browbone highlight.  The second colour from the left reminds me of Benefit's Highbeam.

While this lip stain in First Date is nice, it's not a must-have product and I don't know how much use I'll get out of it.  I wish I used my £3.50 on another product!  The colour is lighter and more sheer than it look in the tube and I prefer the matte look without the gloss over, but it can look a little uneven on.

Again, with the cream products, but I love my MAC Fluidline so much I had to have this Plum Purple eyeliner.  I'd actually call it Aubergine.  For £3.50 it's not bad but it's no Fluidline.  I find the formulation dryer and less pigmented and would not recommend using the brush that come with it.  I've made this work for me but you need the right tool - a MAC 210 brush.

It's a nice alternative to black as it gives the same effect but doesn't look as harsh and really not that purple!

I knew this was probably a bad idea as even high end cream eyeshadows can turn out to only last 5 minutes on the lids, but I really like these colours and again, for £1.50, curiosity got the better of me. 

Although my swatches are not very impressive, the pigmentation once they're on your eyes is great.  I could do without the glitter however, as the white cream could have made a nice browbone or cheekbone highlight.  In terms of durability, there is some creasing, but it's certainly not the worst I've seen (I'm looking at your Sleek Eye Primer Palette ¬_¬) and can be helped much by the addition of a primer underneath.  The brown is great for a dark, smudgy eye.

I think I own more e.l.f. products than any other brand now! As always, any other recommendations for me to try out?  My addiction is no where near waning!

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