QOTW: What Kind Of Samples Do You Like To Receive When You Buy Something?

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What kind of samples do you like to receive when you buy something?

My answer: perfumes in small glass vials, which is great because here, you almost always get one or two of those when you buy something in store. I also like skincare samples, but only when they’re generous. Sadly, that’s rarely the case. Oh, and mascara samples. They’re a great way to try high-end mascaras without spending a lot of money, and they’re great for travelling too.

Product Review: Histoires De Parfums 1876 (Mata Hari)

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Name: 1876 (Mata Hari)
Brand: Histoires De Parfums
Size: 60ml
Price: €125.00

What I liked:
- beautiful spicy floral
- full of character, opens with a bang
- longlasting
- pretty bottle

What I didn’t like:
- mellows down too soon

Mata Hari is one of the most famous spies of all time. Except that she may not have been a spy at all. Born Margaretha Geertruida Zelle, the Dutch girl became an erotic dancer and courtesan, and, during World War I, mixed with various military officials, which put her in a position to discover top secret information. The official line is the she sold those secrets to the Germans, while others believe she was just a scapegoat. Whatever the truth, she was executed by firing squad in 1917, aged only 41.

Mata Hair had a bold, forceful, and intriguing personality. An aura of myth still surrounds her legend. Histoires De Parfums 1876, inspired by the beautiful and exotic dancer, does a great job at capturing the different nuances of her character. 1876 is a feminine floral with exotic spicy notes that opens with a bang but mellows down as time goes on.

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When you first spray it on, it smells like roses enveloped in alcohol. I’m not talking about the alcohol you initially smell whenever you apply a perfume. No, this has a boozy quality about it, instantly revealing the rebellious character of this seductive woman. A fruity accord of lychee, orange, and bergamot remains in the background, and can barely be detected by my nose.

Soon, things start to spice up. A bouquet of sweet carnations and slightly medicinal iris is enriched with exotic and warm touches of cinnamon and the lightest dash of cumin. At this point, 1876 loses its bombastic attitude, becoming subtler ans softer. You can still smell the rose, which is now laid down on a bed of musk and woods. Warm and sensual, the base seems to whisper erotic suggestions to your ear.

Still, I wish the drydown were bolder too. It seems such a shame to let a fragrance with such character, inspired by such an intriguing woman, to mellow down like that. This stuff lasts for more than 8 hours on the skin and for most of those, it stays very close to it.

Available at: Amazon

Summary
Inspired by Mata Hari, Histoires De Parfums 1876 is a spicy and floral composition with a bold personality that lasts for hours. Although it opens with a bang, it mellows down too soon.

Rating: 4/5

Disclaimer: The post contains affiliate links. For more information, please see my disclaimer.

Product Review: Moroccan Hammam Black Soap & Kessa Glove

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Name: Black Soap & Kessa Glove
Brand: Moroccan Hammam
Size: soap 180ml, glove one size fits all
Price: soap $30, glove $15, kit $39.00

From the Moroccan Hammam’s website:
Black soap: made using the traditional Moroccan recipe. The concoction is made up from a paste of organic soil, olive pits, hash, olive oil and salt. These elements combined will fulfill a strong and effective exfoliation while smooth and not harsh to the skin.
The kessa glove is made of granular tissue indispensable for a deep skin scrub for purification and blood circulation activation. The kessa glove is used in all baths with the black soap and after its use, the feeling of well-being is dazzling.

What I liked:
- black soap cleanses skin well without irritating it
- black soap leaves skin soft
- black soap doesn’t leave a greasy residue behind
- kessa glove exfoliates skin gently but effectively

What I didn’t like:
- black soap has a strong unpleasant scent
- some people may not like having to wait a few minutes before rinsing off the soap

An important part of Moroccan culture, a hammam is a traditional bath house visited by women, men, and children about once a week for a ritual and luxurious cleaning. This ritual is quite elaborate. First, you wash your skin with black soap, then exfoliate it with a kessa glove. After that, you wrap your body (and hair too, if you wish) inRassoul Clay for some conditioning. Once you’ve rinsed that off, it’s time to apply Argan Oil to moisturize your skin.

With the Moroccan Hammam Kit, everyone can enjoy this luxurious experience in the comfort of your own home. The Kit contains all four products, but they can also be purchased separately for those who are too busy or lazy to try the whole ritual or already have some of the necessary products at home. Today, I’ll show you the wonders of the Black Soap and Kessa Glove.

moroccan hammam black soap

The scent isn’t one of them. The Black Soap smells strongly of eucalyptus oil. Personally, I’m not a fan, but as I only have to put up with it for a few minutes, and the soap itself works quite well, it doesn’t bother me too much. The soap itself is a dark brown colour and has a thick, gel-like consistency that’s easy to scoop up and apply generously all over your moist body (don’t apply it on the face though) during a shower or bath.

Then, leave it on for 5 minutes before rinsing it off. The soap, which foams very little, is easy to remove, but waiting in the shower before you can do so was a bit boring. I guess in a hammam you can always chat to the other ladies while you’re waiting, but at home you’re on your own. At least it’s only for a few minutes. And it’s summer now, which helps. I think in the winter I would enjoy that even less. But hey, it’s the performance that matters the most, right? And this soap performs very well.

This black soap is made using the traditional Moroccan recipe. That’s organic soil, olive pits, hash, olive oil and salt. Olive Oil has anti-aging and moisturizing properties and, thanks to the “like dissolves like” principle, it can help cleanse skin, removing excess oil. Once rinsed off, my skin was squeaky clean but soft. Also, the soap didn’t leave any greasy residue behind. It can also be used just before shaving. When you do, you’ll get a closer shave and your skin will be less irritated. I’m definitely impressed!

moroccan hammam kessa glove

Then, it was the turn of the Kessa Glove. It’s bright orange in colour and quite big, so it’ll fit everyone. Although it’s not too soft, it isn’t harsh either. It just effectively removes dead skin cells from your body without irritating or scratching it (unless you rub way too hard). Afterwards, my skin looks brighter and feels very smooth.

The Black Soap and the Kessa Glove work very well even when used on their own, but the results are even better when you complete the ritual with the Rassoul Clay and the Argan Oil as well. But that’s a topic for another post, so stay tuned!

Ingredients:
Water, eucalyptus globules or rosemarinus officinalis, natural soap

Available at: Morrocan Hammam

Summary
Moroccan Hammam Black Soap gently cleanses skin, leaving it squeaky clean and soft. However, you need to wait a few minutes before rinsing it off and the smell isn’t that pleasant. The kessa glove gently and effectively exfoliates skin.

Rating: 4/5

Disclaimer: these products were sent by PR for consideration. For more information, please, see my disclaimer.

New Collection: Laura Mercier Sensual Reflections Fall 2014

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Sultry greens, rich plums, and warm chocolate hues are perfect for all. Laura Mercier’s new collection, Sensual Reflections features them all to help you creative mysterious and seductive looks for the cold season. Here are more details:

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SATIN MATTE EYE COLOUR ($24.00)
These highly-pigmented eye shadows have a creamy texture and a multi-dimensional matte finish. Available in Gold Seduction, Plum Allure, Sensual Pink, and Tempting Green.

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CREME EYE LINER ($23.00)
Available in Envy and Espresso.

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FAUX LASH MASCARA ($24.00)
Available in Sierra Brown.

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SENSUAL REFLECTIONS CHEEK MELANGE ($42.00)
It adds a natural, glowing colour to cheeks.

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CREME SMOOTH LIP COLOUR ($24.00)
Available in Cocoa, Plumberry, and Sienna.

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LIP GLACE ($25.00)
Available in Bare Blush and Desire.

The collection is already available at Macy’s. What do you think of it?

Why Sunburns Itch (And How To Soothe Them)

These days I wear sunscreen religiously every day, but in the past, I got my fair share of sunburns. *sighs* Worse than the redness, is the pain. And the itchiness! Sunburns can itch like hell. And you can’t scratch because it makes things so much worse! Argh! So, how do you soothe an itchy sunburn? And why does it have to itch so much, anyway?

Why sunburns itch

An itch is an irritation in the skin that makes you want to scratch it to relieve the unpleasant feeling. UV rays, which caused the sunburn, certainly irritated skin, causing quite a lot of damage to it. But UV rays can’t penetrate skin, so they only damage its surface, which is full of c-fibres. C-fibres are special nerves that respond to mechanical stimulus such as pressure, certain chemicals, or heat, causing skin to itch.

Thus, C-fibres protect us by letting us know that something is wrong. For instance, if you have an insect crawling on your skin, the itching feeling caused by the C-fibres will alert you to it so that you can get it off you. But getting rid of the itch caused by sunburn isn’t that easy, unfortunately.

How to soothe an itchy sunburn

1. Colloidal oatmeal baths: colloidal oatmeal is rich in different types of phenols that give it both antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that can soothe irritations and sunburns. Adding Aveeno Soothing Bath Treatment, which is 100% pure colloidal oatmeal, to your lukewarm bath will give you some relief from the itch.

2. Soothing lotions: apply a gentle and soothing moisturizer, such as Eucerin Calming Creme (this too contains colloidal oatmeal). For an even more soothing effect, keep it in the fridge for a couple of hours before application.

How do you soothe an itchy sunburn?

New Collection: Tarte Rainforest After Dark Fall 2014

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Rainforest After Dark, the new fall collection from Tarte, features lots of new and intriguing products. Let’s take a look at them, shall we?

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RAINFOREST AFTER DARK COLORED CLAY EYE & CHEEK PALETTE ($38.00)
Inspired by the hues of the Amazon, the palette includes Highlighter in Champagne; Bronzer in Park Avenue Princess; Blush in Unleashed (nude rose); six eyeshadows in Bare to Explore (pink beige), Make a Mauve (plum mauve), Up to No Gold (gold), Tan-gled Up in You (tan), Don’t Turn A-Brown (dark brown), and Plum Away with Me dark plum); and Step-by Step Glamour Guide.

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LIGHTS, CAMERA, LASHES PRECISION LONGWEAR LIQUID EYELINER ($20.00)
The triple black formula delivers the ultimate in precision pigment for a rich definition that lasts.

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COLORED CLAY CC EYE PRIMER STICK ($19.00)
Available in one universal shade, it helps to correct the redness and discolouration on your eyes, brighten the eyelid and prep it for eyeshadow with an oil controlling formula to keep oily lids matte!

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COLORED CLAY CC UNDEREYE CORRECTOR ($24.00)
It brightens eyes and hides under eye discolourations and dark circles. Available in two light diffusing universal shades.

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MARACUJA CREASELESS CONCEALER ($24.00)
Maracuja creaseless concealer offers long-lasting, full coverage in a rich, creamy texture that’s ideal for hiding discolouration and imperfections.

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BEST IN FAUX LASH EXTENDING FIBERS ($19.00)
Easy to apply black fibers that instant add length, depth, and volume so lashes look fuller, fluttery, and longer. Simply prep your lashes with the deluxe Lights, Camera, Lashes Mascara than extend the length by applying the buildable fibers and finally set the look with another coating of mascara!

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COLORED CLAY TINTED BROW GEL ($21.00)
Available in three shades, this tinted brow gel enhances, defines, and shapes brows!

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BE CHARMED PICTURE PERFECT EYELASH CURLER ($19.00)
Tarte’s famous Picture Perfect Eyelash Curler gets a makeover for fall. It now features a special gold snake charm that can be removed and hooked onto your keys or purse, and comes with a sample of Lights, Camera, Flashes Statement Mascara.

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TIMELESS SMOOTHING PRIMER ($39.00)
A primer that smooths and fills pores and fine lines.

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ENVY LIPSURGE LIPGLOSS

The collection is already available at Sephora. Are you gonna try anything?