Random Friday: Perfume, Art, Makeup

It´s been a great few days.  First off, I got The Big Cheese on a flight out of Singapore next week, thereby avoiding the Bangkok mess entirely.  The BKK airport is nominally “open” — with a trickle of flights and a total head-in-the-sand approach to security checklists, operational protocol, and potential violence if the two main political factions start fighting in earnest.   Fingers crossed.

Second, Louise and I got together at my house and tried on samples of seven variations of vintage Mitsouko (four parfum, two EDT, one PDT) and it was heaven, as well as quite an education.  Smelling the tweaks in the scent over a forty-year span, with shifting emphasis from peach in the early days (what a glorious smell!) to patchouli to oakmoss, was fascinating.  I was wafting some serious sillage for the rest of the day, and I was insanely happy.

Third, at the risk of provoking eyerolls – wow, Le Labo Poivre 23 really is All That.  I´ve almost finished my sample and have bought into a split.  It might be my Holy Grail incense – not as churchy as Avignon, not as floral as Passage d´Enfer, not as woody as MB03, Annayake Miyako or Tsukimi, not as austere as Bois d´Encens… it´s peppered incense perfection.  It´s also a $400 London exclusive >sob<.  In general, the idea of a $400 perfume has me rolling around on the floor, laughing.  This one might, in fact, be worth it, depending on how you price your desires.

Fourth, for anyone passing through DC before January 11, let me recommend a stop by the National Gallery of Art´s phenomenal exhibition of the work of Jan Lievens, a contemporary of Rembrandt who was considered his equal in their time yet has largely disapppeared from the public consciousness.   The paintings are extraordinary – from his earliest featured painting (at 14!) his brushwork and his handling of light and texture are a delight.  One of the best shows I have seen at the NGA in years.

Finally, catching up on some of the makeup/lipsticks that you all recommended to me recently.  Some of your recommendations I’m still tracking down.

 1) You´re right, Sephora/OPI Metro Chic nail polish is fabulous.  Indoors on me it´s greige.  Outdoors it´s more in the purple-gray direction.  It´s a weird color, definitely in the jolie-laide category, but sophisticated and neutral enough that people don´t stare at your hands in horror – you could wear this to the office, in my opinion.  Three cheers for weird colors that aren´t super-dark, glittery, goth or otherwise extreme.

 2) Gina the makeup artist who reads the blog gave me a couple tips I have to pass on.  First, if you want to gloss up your matte lip a little, with something that is long wearing but not super-shiny-vinyl, the makeup artist trick is … Lansinoh Nursing (nipple) cream.  Yep.  $8 for a big tube from your local drugstore.  I scammed an empty sample pot from the nice folks at Sephora so I can tuck it in my makeup bag.  Plus it´s healing/moisturizing, although I feel obligated to mention (possibly incorrectly) that as it´s made from pure lanolin, people who are allergic to wool might have an issue with it. Also, Gina´s a big fan of Laura Mercier Secret Brightening Powder (which also gets raves on MUA).  Powder mostly makes me crazy, it settles in my fine lines.  The Mercier is super fine milled and looked great all around and under my eyes – brightening indeed but not scary white.  It comes in two shades. 

3) Let´s say you like the idea of a red lip, but a matte lip sounds unappealing (Too Much or too dry.)   For a light shine and a great, neutral red, you all were right – MAC Lady Bug is the bomb.  You can work it pretty sheer, but it´s also quite buildable.  One step up from that in terms of pigment density, but also shiny and true – Smashbox Legendary.  FWIW these colors are almost identical on me, Legendary being both a bit denser and a hair lighter in tone, but really, they are very close. 

Also in the shiny-red lip department, I´m going to grit my teeth and mention Lancome L´Absolu Rouge in Absolute Rouge.  I hate Lancome.  I hate their stupid prices (my teeny tube of miracle concealer is now $29!).  I hate their GWP palettes.  I hate (ask Louise) the comically bitchy SA at our local Nordstrom Lancome counter, and the fact that Lancome counters in this area are routinely out of whatever it is you´re looking for.  I hate the fact that the Macy´s SA always tries to ring up something I´ve asked to see, not to buy – and I hate that I had to bully her into lending me a lip brush, for Pete´s sake.  However.  Absolute Rouge (also $29, this is the “plumping” one, which is b.s. as far as I´m concerned) is a glossy red with an almost imperceptible shimmer, veering one baby step in the direction of cool/blue undertones – I´m thinking this is not for the warm toned gal.  Against pale skin it is exquisite.  I got stopped twice on the five-minute walk through the mall from Macy´s to my car by two separate women who wanted to know what lipstick I had on.  Wear is decent – for something glossy it settles on there pretty well, and you have to reapply after you eat.  It’s a look that’s so lush I felt it might best be reserved for evening.

4) MAC Strada!!!!!  Recommended by several commenters when I was looking for a neutral blush that wouldn´t clash with my new red lips.  Who knew?!?!?!   Pale Pretty Princesses, take note – if you are looking for a neutral blush/contour, you seriously need to check it out.  Pay No Attention to how truly ugly it is in the pan.  (Depending on the store´s lighting, the color looks terrible – lavender, concrete, or gray/taupe.)  Ignore the fact that the young, tanned SAs will look at you in horror if you ask for it.  Repeat to yourself this mantra:  Strada achieves an 88% buy-again rating on MUA, based on a lot of votes, which is significant.   For all of you who´ve applied “bronzer” and had it turn 1) orange or 2) brown, this is your baby.  I loved how buildable it was, and how initially subtle – for once, here´s a cheek color I don´t have to put on with extreme caution.  On the skin it´s neutral but (unlike in the pan) warm without being any discernible color.  I don´t know how or why it works, but work it does.  Another reader recommendation, a slightly darker blush – Laura Mercier´s Wild Bouquet, which garners an 86% MUA buy-again — looked peachy-nude and quite pretty on my cheeks and didn´t clash with my red lips.  MAC Strada strikes me as something that might go “invisible” if you´re much darker than a MAC 20/25, in which case you could try the Mercier, which seems to be adored by the MAC 25 – 30 crowd, who use the word “natural” a lot when describing it.  I had to be a bit more careful with that one, but it looked great.

I´ll end with another hot blush tip from Gina, in the little-things-make-a-difference department:  where are you putting your blush on your cheek?  Are you blushing your “apples,” like they always tell you to do?  On my face, my apples are directly under my eyeballs.  Stop doing that.  To quote Gina: “The top of your cheekbone, right under the eye socket, is typically a ‘highlight’ and the bottom of your cheekbone is a ‘shadow’. You can feel the bone, where it sinks in and is usually naturally shaded. You want cheek color to be in between this highlight and shadow, joining the two together, sort of. I start at the back of the cheekbone, near the ear, and swirl the brush forward towards the nose. Try not to go much further than the outer corner of the eye and don´t go lower on the cheek than the nostril. Is this confusing? I wish I could show you. You don´t want color too low or too high on the cheekbone, especially too high – it tends to make the face look ‘flat’ if you put it on the high part of the bone, near the eye.”  Moving my blush further down and away from my eyes made a huge difference in appearance on my small-ish face – I was totally doing that flattening thing.

This blush rearrangement not only looks much more flattering, it also solved my application problem with the Exhibit A – that insane red blush I got.  Now I put the MAC Strada all over the cheeky area, sort of where you´d put your blush and your contour powder, if you´re into that sort of thing.  Then my foundation´s powdered, so – duh – I can go back and put a teeny bit of Exhibit A on top where the blush goes, without it glomming stubbornly onto my foundation.  It´s a little less eye-popping used on top of Strada, and easier for me, a non-makeup-artist, to get a natural looking finish.

Okay, that went on forever.  Anyone still reading this?  Chime in on anything you want to!

Jan Lievens, Self Portrait, from the exhibition, nga.gov

  • snowcrocus says:

    Bought Strada and sampled Ladybug lipstick/Brick liner tonight. So pretty! Great reviews and really useful. Thanks.

  • cathleen56 says:

    :”>

    Oh, and thanks for the tip about returning lipstick. Didn’t realize I could do that. I bought it downtown at Macy’s on a lunch break and realized that it was a little too stark, though a very lovely color. I think at my “certain age” a bright matte is a little too much to handle…..not to mention that stupid lip pencil, which I’ve never gotten the hang of.

    But a clear, bright, buildable red with a little shine to it….I could get behind that….

    • March says:

      Well, I’m not entirely sure you can — I mean, I *think* you can. You can at Nordstrom, now I am trying to remember if I ever returned anything at Macy’s. I am the sort of person who would certainly try. :d

  • cathleen56 says:

    It’s one of the ones right on Howard Avenue — it’s been a while, but I saw it in a case full of other non-perfume tchotchkes, passed it by, visited a couple of times, then bought it, and I’m glad I did. It’s in a crystal bottle with the curved shoulders. I think this woman’s stand was in the group of vendors that terminates in the Tea Room, but I can’t be sure.

    There is another vendor who specializes in perfume only — mostly empty or near-empty bottles of rare vintage items, but some still have juice in them. Also right on Howard Ave. I would be able to zero right in on both of them if I were actually there.

    And a very Happy Birthday to Louise, btw!!!

  • Shelley says:

    :d/ Doing a little dance in celebration…

    A sniffing party! Fun. I think I’d like to go through some other Guerlain iterations. Hmmm, maybe our very national security relies upon a close examination of which scents seem to have had the most intense changes over time, or if there is a discernible pattern to these changes, or if changes in patterns anticipated major political or weather events….
    😉

  • Musette says:

    YAY! on El Q coming home! You already know how I feel about the 7 Variations of Mitsouko. I would’ve loved to be with you laydeez for that foray, though Wednesday Miss Mits ate my lunch, the beeyotch. Oh well, we know how she can be…

    xo>-)

  • cathleen56 says:

    Shout-out to Louise! The both of you must have read my mind because, before I even looked at this thread, I had an irresistable attraction to that bottle of Mitsouko vintage parfum I got at that antique store in Kensington (I think I even told Louise about this place). Anyway, I avoid Mitsouko at lot of the time, but it chose me today, and I’m glad it did. The peach was wonderful — nothing rotten in the house of Guerlain today. Maybe it’s a cold-weather accessory.

    RE: red lips. Like a lemming I went out and bought that MAC Russian Red, thinking it would be right for me, and it isn’t. I think I look best in reds with more blue in them. I will be happy to rendezvous with either of you and hand this off, next time you’re sniffing Mitsouko variations.

    It still stings that I passed up a mysterious bottle of something labelled only “Oakmoss” at that big wonderful DC thrift store about a year ago — what was in that, do you suppose?

    And for some reason, calling Mitsouko “Mitsy” creates a painful mental image — I imagine dragging the mysterious Japanese courtesan straight into Levittown, do not pass go! Just sayin’.

    • March says:

      Wait — WHICH Kensington store?!? Sniffs around … I live near there and have never seen perfume in any of them.

      So sorry about the Russian! Did you buy it in a regular dept. store? If so you should be able to return it (used) no problem, or even exchange it — for MAC Red, ideally, which was really pretty and definitely pinker. Or for a little less look, how about Lady Bug? I am sure they could help you find a better color. :)>-

    • wheezie says:

      Well hi there, C! I’ve been meaning to call, for, um, a year :”>

      Oooh, I must fix you two up…:d/…we’ll plan a nose-date :d

  • Aparatchick says:

    Let’s hear it for The Cheese, and your ability to get him on a plane!

    I was sure you’d like Metro Chic, it IS fabulous! On me it goes from gray to cafe au lait to plum, depending on the light. In any case, it looks good.

    A $400 London exclusive? Better I don’t get a sample; I won’t know what I’m missing.

    • March says:

      Well, it’s incense. Unless you’re an incense freak you might smell it and think, yeah, it’s nice, and so what? It’s not particularly complex. I feel that way about a lot of leathers, even beautiful ones. :-$ It’s fine to sniff them once or twice but I don’t feel the need to wear them again.

      Right now it’s cafe au lait. Outdoors it’s slightly purplier, but not so much it irritates me. 🙂

  • Elle says:

    I am SOOO glad the Big Cheese is finally coming home! But I wish it could be even sooner than next week. I can’t even imagine what it’s been like for you w/ him stranded over there. 🙁 Especially at this time of year.
    What Mitsouko bliss! I’ve been on a Mitsouko bender recently. Heavenly, heavenly stuff.
    And I LOVE these lipstick and makeup posts!!!!! I’m going to have to get that MAC Lady Bug. Also am taking notes on all of Gina’s superb advice.
    I am w/ you on adoring the London Le Labo. And w/ all the less than thrilling releases recently, I can’t even quibble about the price. One good classic is more than worth it.

    • March says:

      Le Labo would pretty much exemplify what we’ve been kicking around on here (although it’s already an established line so maybe it’s not a fair comparison.) Instead of releasing five okay scents simultaneously, they release one, and it’s brilliant. I am not a huge LL fan but this! Poivre is a delight. Falling in love all over again with Mitsouko (which I’ve been neglecting) was also a delight.

      Glad I am not irritating you with the makeup posts. Gina was so kind to answer a number of questions from me, and I couldn’t resist the temptation to stick some of that info up here.

  • Disteza says:

    Durnit! Looks like I will have to uproot myself from my perch in the Sackler and head across the way to see the Lievens exhibit. I try to get to one museum or another every month, but I’m too enamored of the Sackler. All they need is some incense and I would move in. There’s also a winter bonsai exhibit at the National Arboretum that I have to fit in on my next visit. You’ve got me interested in the Strada, but I’m wondering if I could use that hopped up a bit with something else as rouge? I’m paler than MAC’s 15 rating, and I don’t ever see them have anything lower than that at the counters. They always try to push the 20/25 stuff on me, even though it’s *obviously* too dark. It’s as if they’ve been told “Pale Caucasian women should always fit in the 20’s. Always. Don’t let them, or your own eyes, tell you different.” Shiseido makes a concealer that is almost exactly my skin tone, so I end up diluting that with some lotion and distributing it sparingly. It works OK for concealing spots, but it’s a stretch to say it makes for a good foundation.

    • March says:

      My father and I visit the Sackler and Freer periodically. I want to go see the seascapes at the Sackler. Did you know there used to be peacocks running around inside the Freer? My father said their screaming was mildly alarming.

      I would love to be as pale as you are, as I said before, but acknowledge that makeup would be one place where difficulties would clearly arise — I think that’s true for women at both ends of the spectrum, although it seems to me women of color are better represented in recent years, in regular lines like MAC and in specialty lines. Pale women have it tougher. I thought companies like Shiseido would fill that need better, but I think there are tonal issues there as well. Strada might even be too dark for you. 😕

  • Lindsey9107 says:

    Haven’t posted here in awhile. I must say, I freaking love these red lipstick posts you’re doing, March! You have such pretty coloring (very Nancy Botwin, heh). I’m sort of medium colored all over…I spent many years altering my coloring in the light hair, tanned skin direction, and now I like to dye my hair darker and I obsessively apply sunscreen to achieve something more like your look 🙂

    And thanks for the blush tips. I can never make blush work…next time I try it I’m going to have to re-read your (highly technical?!?) instructions.

    • March says:

      You’re welcome. I’m waiting for the commenter that says, ENUFF ALREADY with your stupid makeup posts. :”> Oh look, that blush is applied incorrectly.

      I view my pale skin as payoff after 40 years of watching enviously from under an umbrella while all my friends achieved the ideal tan. 🙂

  • gina says:

    March, it’s so cooooooollll to be mentioned on Perfume Posse, my favorite of online places! I’m glad to give tips that work and think that, by reading my quote, I could work on my communicating skills more! ha. Well, blush is always a tough one to describe. Sometimes my students look so perplexed I feel guilty. I’m definitely curious about the Lancome lipcolor. Any color people actually stop you to ask about must be a total winner. Had to laugh about the Lancome salesperson…comical.

    Glad your man is on his way home!!!

    I have a sample of Poivre 23 on it’s way. I fear I will fall in love with it – I’m always looking for the perfect incense. This one sounds so amazing.

    • March says:

      Honestly, I would love to go shopping with you and/or be a fly on a wall as you take things in as a makeup artist. The stuff people have on, particularly the “professional” SAs, must give you pause. They certainly have that effect on me and I don’t know much. What bothers me most (as I think I told you) is if they say, that looks GREAT! And it’s clear to me it doesn’t. I’d prefer — well, let’s try this over here…

      You did a public service with your blush placement tip, which makes perfect sense in your description, and thanks! :)>-

  • sweetlife says:

    Forgot to say — if you’re up for it, M, won’t you consider doing a post where you talk about all the different Mitsouko’s and how they smell? I’ve been delving into the vintages and would love to know what I’m hoping for, what I’ve found…

    • March says:

      I thought about it. In fact, I was going to. But I’ve discovered I sniff differently when I’m thinking about a post. I selfishly decided just to sniff. Having said that, we felt like we could match it up with the decades. The late 40s/early 50s was much fruitier (and I would kill for a bottle.) The 70s was sort of “Charlie” — lots of patch. The 80s vintage was very Working Girl — kind of buttoned down for Mitsouko, it’s hard to describe, and one bottle in particular had a ton of oakmoss.

      • Olfacta says:

        Wouldn’t you love — just once — to go to a 50’s cocktail or holiday party in NY or SF or somewhere and smell all the lush perfumes of that era, lavishly applied, in a time where no one was worried about offending the allergic or hyper-sensitive? I vaguely remember my mother’s friends smelling really good, even in the daytime, and each one smelling different.

        Not that the rest of it (girdles, dress shields, enslavement) would be all that much fun.

        I second the Mitsouko discussion. Mine (I think it’s from the 80s) smells less lush than I had expected, almost beery. It smells good, undoubtedly vintage, much smoother than the modern, but I wonder.

        • March says:

          Yes. I would. And in fact I had a faint echo of this on my recent church foray — which was a bit unusual. I think folks are a little down, it was a cold dreary winter day — I was surrounded by lots of older, bundled up women. And they were wearing heavy perfumes mostly of an older (or at least grown up) vintage. Combined with the smell of slightly damp wool, wet leather and old church, it was absurdly pleasurable. Not precisely where I was supposed to be getting my inspiration, but I’ll take it where I can find it. :)>-

      • sweetlife says:

        I totally understand the difference between sniffing gleefully just for pleasure, and investigating for post material. It’s one of the many reasons I don’t really do reviews, though as we’ve discussed in the past, that kind of scientific observation is sometimes its own pleasure.

        I’m glad, given all that’s happening for you right now, that you just sank into the Misty Bliss!:x

  • Erin T / Tigs says:

    Thank heaven that the Cheese is coming home. I feel badly because I haven’t emailed you – I can’t even imagine what you’ve been going through and so was kind of struck dumb by the whole thing. Had a nightmare about the Cheese the other night and I haven’t even met him! Rest easy, hon. Before we were married, my Cheese-to-be decided to take his first ever big trip out of the country – to *Pakistan*. There were riots over by-elections once he was over there, shooting in the streets, kidnapping of important-looking people, etc. Only one day was scary, though, and I didn’t have the babe to worry about then, so I didn’t have to keep the Game Face on. You tough, girl.

    So I’ve been experimenting with all your new hobbies. I even bought nail polish – YSL Tuxedo Grey from your grey nail link – but I’m waiting for my ridiculous nails to grow so they’re actually all the same length and groomable. I was going to try the red lip at MAC the other day – both the SA and I were thinking Chilli – but MJ kept running away and injuring herself etc. (She feel right in front of some nice guy, who nearly fractured something to keep from tripping on her, and then turned on him, pointed and yelled: “That man pushed me over Mom!!”) I did buy the Warm lip palette from the Viva Glam. The Viva Glam VI looked surprisingly nice on me and the money goes to HIV (justifying madly here). I’m definitely warm. Not working the blue-reds.

    • Erin T / Tigs says:

      Yes, that would be she “fell”. She always does. Sorry, no coffee.

    • March says:

      Oh, that YSL is so *pretty*!!! I hope it works out for you. And makeup shopping (any shopping) with the bairns is hell. Did I ever tell you the story when I was out with the twins when they were quite young, and in my brain fog I left my beautiful engagement ring sitting on the counter at Nordstrom after I put some hand lotion on? And realized all this 10 minutes later, at the other end of the mall? During the holidays? And sprinted back to Nordstrom, weeping, not believing that I had done something so stupid, already filing the police report in my head…

      … and it was sitting there blinging its merry old bling right there on the counter in the central hallway right where I left it, surrounded by dozens of people. My own little Christmas miracle. 😡

      I think you are definitely warm, and I’ve been eyeballing the same palette. The red lip … I’m learning my boundaries (I think Chilli would look great on you). It’s a precision application. I don’t understand how women do that at their tables after lunch. I need a magnifying mirror, a brush and a steady hand. :”>

      • Shelley says:

        Wow. (The ring story. Quietly noting happy miracles.)

      • Divinemama says:

        Wow, very cool ring story, March! I lost my wedding band (thin platinum band with channel set diamonds) and I was pretty sure it was near my car in a shared driveway. We lived a duplex at the time. I searched and searched and had given up on it. Then a couple of months later, there it was…on the ground in my spot in the shared driveway. Being platinum, the metal had held up very well…who knows how many times it was run over…by ME!…and all the diamonds were in tact and still are to this day. Amazing! Your story is even more amazing though given the number of people who may have seen it there on the counter.

  • Melissa says:

    Oh I am soooo looking forward to my tiny little decant of Poivre 23. The insane prices of these (sometimes) fabulous juices don’t make me roll around on the floor laughing though. They make me wail:((

  • helenviolette says:

    Joining the Cheese’s welcome wagon! Vintage Mitsouko (sighhhhh)- still have not gotten my hands on any- have been trying to pick some up on *Bay, but I can’t ever seem to win. Now I have to check out the Lancome lippy and the Mac Strada…

    Hey, I finally saw the alien emoticon do its trick!!!

    >-)

    • March says:

      Isn’t that alien trick cool?!?! Although people kept telling me he did that and I secretly thought they were nuts, until I saw it with me own eyes… :d …

      This is a tough time of year to buy Mitsouko on eBay (the holidays/winter.) Give it a go in the heat of summer and you’ll likely have better luck. IMO there’s a definite seasonal component to people’s bidding desires on the bay.

      • helenviolette says:

        Thanks for the *bay tips. Well, I went to the Macy’s at lunch today and tried on some Mac Strada- um, gorgeous! I never in a million years would have looked twice at that color, so ^:)^

        Got home and my 14 year old pulled it and and asked me why I had bought such a gross blush! :[email protected]
        I pulled out the handy blush brush and she was quickly converted- of course now I think I should have kept my mouth shut, since I know I will find it in her make-up bag…

  • Debbie says:

    ITA about the blush on the apples too. It makes my face look so fat, and I’ve noticed that it often looks very bad on people on tv too. I wonder who started that bad idea.

    • March says:

      I suppose if you’re a model — 6 feet tall and 100lbs — it doesn’t matter where you put your blush. But on normal people it doesn’t seem quite right, does it? And on my kind of doll-like face I noticed right away it made a huge difference, but still don’t understand exactly why.

  • Debbie says:

    Strada is HG for me. It’s the only blush that really looks great on me all the time…..unless I am going for my tangerine look, in which case I have to change it.

    It gives me a hint of color w/o making the red in my face worse. I first tried it in a MAC store in London. They were the only MUA’s who did a fantastic job (in comparison to the whore-like looks most US MUA’s crank out) in my entire life. Wait, there was one young man in Nordstroms who was incredible. He was wearing a full face, and you couldn’t tell it unless you were abou 12 inches away and looked for it. He definitely knew how to do natural beauty.

    You make me want to check out that Lancome lippie.

    • March says:

      Yeah … trying to find something inoffensive to say about their makeup (although it’s certainly not a problem confined to MAC SAs.) The gal who sold me the Strada was chatting with me and said something at some point about working her “natural look.” And it’s true she wasn’t wearing any obvious color like blue eyeshadow, but really, I don’t think you could have spackled her makeup on any thicker. And they’re so young, I don’t understand it.

      There’s one young SA I also know (at Armani) who wears a delicious full face, but it’s very discreet.

      I really want that Lancome lippie. There’s a party next Friday. Is that a good excuse? 😕

  • Olfacta says:

    Good news about getting the Cheese out of hot water; very scary stuff.

    I loved the blush application tip. Who knew? In painting that’s called a “half-tone” — where the light bends. I guess I’m going to have to back to A Mall (Nooooo!) because that’s where the MACs are here; the Strada sounds interesting.

    • March says:

      Is there anywhere the MACs aren’t in a mall? I wish they had their own free standing store. In any case it would be worth trying.

  • Frenchie says:

    Great post – art, perfume, makeup. Can it get any better? 🙂

    I’d love to smell some vintage Mitsouko, I bet it’s heavenly.

    After your red lipstick post I went to try Strada. Loved it! Great for contouring or as a blush when I want to look very natural.

    Wonderful news about the Cheese.

    • March says:

      Chocolate. Chocolate is the only improvement I can see.

      So glad Strada worked for you as well! I still don’t get how it works on the cheek, given its color in the pan. 😮

  • Louise says:

    And the Cheese rolls home >:d< The Mitsy sampling was way too much pure pleasure, and such an amazing nose-training. The various samps were all clearly "in the family", but the distinctions were really evident. Fascinating to me how they reflected their era of origin. The fruitiness of the 50s girl linked the oldest to its cousin Femme, the 70s parfum had a slightly metallic opening, and the 80s PdT certainly wears shoulder pads 😮 Poivre is one high price perfume that is worth every penny IMO. It smells fabulous on you, and I am thrilled to be getting another decant. Le Labo struck it outta the park on this one :p I hope to go see the Lievens tomorrow. What a abundance of (free) museums we have hear. On the makeup front, I couldn't quite imagine not having LadyBug and Legendary in my red lippie wardrobe. On your inpiration, I'll be doing MetroC or Jacques as my next mani. And, yeah. That Lancome SA is Seinfeld-bad =d> . There must be really training that goes into that level of nastiness…

    Happy Weekend to all:d/

    • Louise says:

      “hear”->”here”. Oy. It’s a good thing I’ll not be doing “real” speech therapy today, only going on a field trip with the students 8-|

    • March says:

      Heh. I giggled when I read “hear.” Because I had to go back and re-edit the post when I eventually realized I’d typed “forth” (first, second, third, forth). So obviously it’s a problem we geniuses have. 😉

      The Soup Nazi!!! “No Lancome for you!!!!!”

      I’m trying not to buy *all three.* (whimpers) You and I agreed Legendary looks a bit better on me (the color?) But I really want that %*@))%$#* $29 Absolute Rouge, although that’s a Whole Lot Of Look, as Tim Gunn would say, so it’s kind of in a different category of Evening Lip.

  • Gail S says:

    Also YAY! for the Big Cheese’s return 🙂

    Definitely need to try to score a sample of Poive23 and perhaps that MAC Strada. Generally I only wear a light powder foundation (for oil-absorption), mascara and lip balm, but occasionally I look at my face and think “Wow, you could really use a little brightening somewhere!”. I feel like a clown in red lipstick so maybe some subtle defining in the cheeks would be just the ticket!

    • March says:

      I have Strada on again right now — even a quick brush without foundation is nice. It is literally the first blush I have ever tried/owned where I can kinda slap it on — I don’t have to be super-precise and fret about too much on the brush. This must be what playing with blush is like for people with more medium-toned skin: everything isn’t a potential disaster. :)>-

  • violetnoir says:

    Oh, the Mitsouko history lesson must have been so much fun! What a glorious fragrance it is.

    I love Poivre 23 and just bought a decant. That one should have been the LA Exclusive…

    So happy that the Cheese will be returning to you next week. Yippee!!

    Hugs and love!

    • March says:

      The Mitsouko. Sigh. I would love a bottle of the peachy one. I’m glad I scored a couple pre-oakmoss ban. People did look at me a bit funny in the post office. 🙂

  • sweetlife says:

    Yay for Cheese returning! I’m so glad you follwed up on that with us. I hope you’re sleeping better.

    You totally have me going on the lip thing now. I’m going to have to make an actual pilgrimage to Sephora/the mall and try things on because I just bought three completely wrong things on a whim at the drugstore. But the right one was — so right! Wow!

    • March says:

      Yes, we are all looking forward to the advent of the Cheese. We’ve got the house all decorated up for him and everything… hung the icicle lights on our porch last night, I love those things.

      As you know, the real take-home for me on the lippies was trying things outside my usual comfort range. I bought some duds as well – I have a couple of oranges that do me no favors. And the “plum” continues to disappoint. But to work out of my “natural lip” rut has been fun! I feel that lipcolor is still an acceptable place for a really bright, fun color, whereas rocking, say, blue eyeshadow at my age is silly looking.

  • All that on makeup, and my comment is on the Lievens exhibit, which is my idea of All That. It’s the only thing I miss about DC, now that I have decamped to the desert. I don’t wear a lot of makeup, but I need some lipstick to brighten up the face a little, given that the eyes have baggage and can’t be glammed up without that “escaped from the home and late for her medication” look. Mac Ladybug sounds just right.

    • March says:

      When we lived in Santa Fe I used to time some of my visits back here to coincide with some exhibition I particularly wanted to take in. I missed it as well. What astonishes me is the number of people who live here and *never* go down there — never take their kids to the museums, etc.

  • tmp00 says:

    Don’t you hate it when something that pricey is really kind of worth it? Musc 25 is kind of like that. Grrrrr.

    • March says:

      You keep taunting me with the Musc 25. 😉 I’m so happy you got your wish, though, for something good/appropriate/skanky. I need to order up a samp.