So, you longed to go to distant lands this year, but with health, transportation and global safety issues, maybe you tapped the brakes on your project. I know that one of the fun things to do while galloping around the world is checking out the duty-free shops at airports, little spa boutiques and even apothecaries for beauty products not available in the states. You can still feel exciting and glam right from the privacy of your home – Fragrance.com has those cult brands right at your fingertips! I was happy to be hosted to try it.
Okay, if you’re doing your own pedicures, maybe don’t do like I used to, with the blades and all that. Not only can you seriously hurt yourself if you don’t know how to handle them, but I just recently dropped one on an irreplaceable sheet set and it went through into the mattress! Instead, use Japan’s cult favorite: Baby Foot! This is a super strength lactic acid peel treatment that will generally take a week or two to show results – but when they do: oh, baby!
So, first, you soak your feet for a while to make the skin more receptive to treatment. Have some scissors and thick sock on hand. You carefully cut the tops of the liquid-filled plastic booties, slip your foot in. They include tape tabs to close them around your ankle. Then, put on your socks for about an hour, hour and a half. Then, remove the socks and booties, rinse your feet well. From this point on, don’t use any lotion, creams or oils on your feet – they would neutralize the active ingredients. Do not peel your feet, let them do it on their own. This is professional pedicure stuff!
Collistar is a super-luxe line out of Milan, Italy. I first spotted it at a chic boutique on the beaches of Marina de Pietrasanta. If you saw the lovelies wandering into the ocean, you’d understand why they have a half-dozen types of body scrubs! Firming Talasso Scrub has essential oils, cherry extract and a heavenly fragrance. It works on detoxifying and buffing. It’s packaged in a large, plastic tub lined with a plastic shrink wrap. With its rich fruit oil content, I have a little trick: cut open only a little slit in the wrap, so that if your hand slips or you hold it at the wrong angle, it won’t drip out.
Benamore is a Portuguese skincare line. I have been to Portugal, but didn’t get to any beauty shops until I saw their jam-packed duty-free store in the Lisbon airport. They certainly live the good life there – not for nothing that James Bond 007 author Ian Fleming was himself a cultured, worldly man who was a spy stationed in Portugal during WWII. After wining, dining, sun and fun, you might need a little helping hand in the beauty department! Crème de Rosto Miracle Face Cream certainly has a name that sets a high bar. But I really did find it to be exceptionally helpful! Now, I’m not your dermatologist, so I can’t speak to what you can or should be using. But I have 30-year burn scars from a terrible fire and during harsh weather – like this summer’s burning and humid sun – they pop right back out and stubbornly refuse to heal. Well, with “miracle” in the name, I had to give it a shot. The company has been in business since 1925. This pearly, rich balm has anti-blemish actives and rose. Dabbing it on my nose and chin at night (it’s thick and white, so I think it works best for night), each morning, I saw things healing more and more rapidly.
Avene is an upscale French mass-distributed line with many products geared to sensitive skin, which clearly I have. Their brand is based on their nutritive spring water from the Sainte-Odile spring. Now, I remember when French spring water products first made their way to US beauty counters and my mom was aghast at paying for “water in a can”. As a little girl, I tried to intercede with the sales gal: “But Mommy, it’s better water.” All of us who only drink filtered water get it. With so many eye makeup removers, you need another remover afterwards, because they’re too creamy or gummy. This substantive clear gel won’t irritate your eyes or contacts – I checked. They suggest using a cotton pad, I do, too. Use a good quality one: some of those cheap ones seem to have rough plant pulp in them.
What’s doing beauty-wise on the other side of the world? Isehan Japan are the folks behind Kiss Me Ferme W Color Double Rouge. Really, what doesn’t this lipstick do? The gold-tone and metallic case holds a well-angled bullet. The color itself has sheer, creamy color outside and a light, pearlized and moisturizing core. This gives subtle sheen and glossy depth, without carrying around a bunch of products. The lipstick comes in several shades and is unscented.
Serums are one of the last decade’s great innovations in skincare, but many people don’t understand what their point of difference is, how to used them, what they are supposed to accomplish. They are a more fluid, smaller molecular product that can be more easily absorbed by your complexion. Because they’re light and silky, you might not believe that they work more actively than rich creams . . . or not. You want to make sure that your serum – always applied first, before other products – is giving you a helping hand. From the Dead Sea in Israel is luxe brand, Ahava. Their Dead Sea Crystal Osmoter X6 Facial Serum has the efficaciousness that you want, without interfering with other moisturizers or cosmetics. Although, I have to admit, on hot and humid days, I use the serum as skincare and primer, applying my color things on top. This serum is oil-based and boasts that 90% of people see an increase in skin-firming in 28 days! 28 days from now, how do you want to look? It helps with lines and wrinkles and did not make me break out.
Ibiza is an island off the coast of Spain especially known for its wild nightlife, celebrity visits, seeing and being seen. In a place like that, you want to be at your most sophisticated – yet, not trying too hard – best. Haute Vie is a line that captures exciting world destinations in fragrance. There is a women’s and men’s fragrance for Haute Vie Ibiza and I happener4 `d to try the men’s line. I experienced it as clean, very aqueous, with hints of warm, green moss. Certainly, it’s appropriate for whatever gender in the daytime, very tailored. Think of linen, not leather. This is how they describe it: Top Notes: Maritime Pine, Frosted Juniper Berries, Angelica Root. Middle Notes: Artemisia, Black Pepper, Mediterranean Cypress. Base Notes: Atlas Cedarwood, Sensual Olibanum, Rockcap Moss. The fragrance is packaged in an attractive metal and faux-croc case, with a protective cloth bag.
Amalfi is a town on Italy’s southwest coast. Having experienced a wide variety of cultures and rulers over the millennia, they have a worldliness from the cross-pollination of influences. It’s not surprising that Tom Ford, who’s able to turn anything he touches into gold – accessories, cosmetics, fragrance, etc. – expresses himself through an Amalfi-influences scent. Tom Ford Mandarino Di Amalfi Acqua is for all genders. Housed in a teal glass bottle, reminiscent of Mediterranean waters, I noticed a sweet and spicy citrus top note. As it dried down, I experienced aqueous and floral notes, resting at a subtle lemon-sugar. This is how they describe it: At the top are citrusy fragrances from Bergamot, Mandarin Orange and Grapefruit along with Mint, Tarragon and Black Currant. The heart is resplendent with notes from Thyme, Wildflowers, Black Pepper, Coriander, Lemon Leaf Oil, Shiso and Jasmine. The base consists of hints from Labdanum, Musk, Civet and Vetiver for a closure that is addictive.
So, no reservations needed for your gorgeous trip around the world with Fragrance.com!