Beauty

A perfect piece

There is something special about a new bar of soap. The perfect shape is yet unspoiled, and it is simply bursting with potential and hours of that deep clean feeling you only get with barred soap. And then there is, of course, the scent - have you ever considered how impossible it is not to smell a fresh piece of soap when you hold it in your hand?

Photo: MH

It is especially the scent that makes the Chanel No. 5 soap bar a personal favorite. Sure, it has a hint of the famous formaldehydes that made the perfume famous, but the fragrance composition of the soap bar makes it smell exactly like a classic piece of soap is supposed to smell. So even if you don't like the powdery, non-flowery scent of Chanel No. 5, I'm convinced you'll love the smell of the soap bar - and that goes for both men and women!

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Travel in style

Yes, the signs that summer is coming to an end are getting more and more pronounced - which is probably why this travel kit is making me long for traveling to exotic destinations even more!

Curated by the fashion PR guru Lucien Pagés for the fashion-forward concept store Colette on the ultra-hip the Rue Saint-Honoré in Paris, this kit is basically all the luxury you'll ever need for your travels.

Photo: colette.fr (Click to enlarge)

The pouch itself is a white leather with a cute out-of-office message printed on the front. The kit contains a 50 ml Eau de parfum, hair perfume, roll-on oil, body lotion, foaming gel, body cream, and a hand cream - all in the Byredo Gypsy Water fragrance known for unisex characteristics that are both crisp, outdoorsy, and warm.

The whole kit goes for just under $900 (remember it is EVERYTHING you'll need :-)), and is only available for a limited time on the Colette online shop.

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Long Live Lang!

I remember when this one came out in 2000. My best friend picked it up (which, of course, meant that it was off limits to me), but it didn't stop me from falling in love with the musky, floral character of the scent that was both clean and dirty at the same time. At some point, my friend decided to stop wearing it and actually gave the last bit to me. And I wore that tiny sliver of scent like there was no tomorrow. Except there was.

Photo: PR

Helmut Lang's Cologne was discontinued after just a few years for no apparent reason other than Helmut Lang himself was going through a tumultuous time which culminated with the designer retiring from the fashion world in 2005.

Lucky for everyone, the fragrances (Eau de Cologne, Eau de Parfum and Cuiron) were relaunched late 2015, which in the meantime had become cult favorites that were auctioned off online for staggering amounts.

To perfume enthusiasts like me, the relaunch once again proves that well-made perfumery will outlast even bad or short-lived marketing.

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What My Summer Smells Like

Even though there is nothing like the smell of warm skin, it is no secret that I am a huge fragrance fanatic. I rarely leave the house with a spritz, and I have learned that I tend to obsess about certain fragrances and will use them religiously while almost completely abandoning everything else on my shelf.

This summer is no different: I am obsessing over two fragrances. One is a 10-year-old companion and the other is a fresh take on a previous fave of mine.

Let's start with the newcomer: Tom Ford Private Blend Neroli Portofino Acqua - a fresher, aquatic take on the Neroli Portofino from 2011. I love the original but there is something even more sparkling and clear about the Acqua sister that just makes me want to spray it on several times a day. It carries the 2011 original with it beautifully, but the top citrus notes are enhanced and lightened so it is more uncomplicated and fresh. Yes, please!

Tom Ford Neroli Portofino Acqua and Escentric Molecules 01. Photo: MH

Now on to the fragrance that celebrates its 10-year anniversary this year, and that I have worn ever since it was launched back in Berlin, Germany. I actually had the pleasure of meeting the creator, Geza Schoen, and he talked about how this fragrance was not a traditional fragrance with scent notes, top, heart, and bottom. Instead, it is a more experience-based scent that will react with your skin and allow others more than yourself to get a sensation of the fragrance.

The formula of using only Iso E Super - a molecule traditionally used to enhance actual scent notes - remains unchanged. And so does people's reaction to it. No other fragrance (or I should say scent) has garnered more reactions from others who want to lean in and smell more - and that's exactly what a good scent should do. I have even tried this on several friends who were amazed at the response they got from simply wearing a molecule on their skin that they could hardly smell themselves.

So, those were my two summer scents? What fragrances will you be wearing this summer? Leave a comment below :-).

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File It Under Good-Looking Nails

A quick update to recommend a great little tool that is keeping my hands and nails Nailslooking good without constantly having to go get manicures (and pedicures) all the time. The Multi-Use Nail Tool from Tweezerman is developed for men, but I would definitely recommend it for everyone - that also means you will have to find it under their 'Men' section when clicking through their website.

Multi-Use Nail Tool by Tweezerman

The file is one of the best I have tried and won't file your nails razor-sharp like other files would - and it's metal (nickel) so it'll last forever. The stainless steel ends are a combined cuticle pusher and nail cleaner, and the whole thing is easy to clean after each use, just rinse with water.

Back Again with a Beach Body (Well Almost…)

Yes, it's true - this blog has been awfully quiet for the past many months. Life simply got in the way for a second there - but now I'm back. And today with a recommendation of the highest kind.

When summer and hot, humid weather hits the skin on my body tends to become a little more oily and will clog up and create bumps and impurities. Not cool when next thing you're going to the beach or a pool party. Well, here's the remedy:

One Body Refiner by Intelligent Nutrients. Photo: MH

Many body scrubs are way too harsh on your skin, and many tend to scrub too hard making the product abrasive and potentially damaging to your skin. Intelligent Nutrients has completely remedied this with a body refiner that uses fruit bio-actives and plant cellulose beads (no micro-plastic!) to gently lift dull skin from the surface and even condition the skin. It is recommended to use a moisturizer after, but because it is packed with nutrients, I have skipped that step once in a while.

The body refiner is from the recently launched One Body Collection which uses only the best and most respectful ingredients. Check out the rest of the collection here.

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Funny Because It’s True

If you haven't come across this gem of a trailer for the movie Zoolander 2 yet, you have to stop reading right now and watch it! Apart from being a stellar piece of comedic perfection, it also falls into the 'funny because it's true' category.

Because even though this is an excellent parody, its comedy actually hits pretty close to home. We've all seen or read advertising for beauty and cosmetic products or treatments that do exactly what Kristen Wiig's Zoolander character Alexanya Atoz does in this ad for her 'Youth Milk': Over-promising and the basis of faux science and outrageous claims.

Sure, the cosmetic industry spends millions searching for ingredients that are beneficial to the skin, but no creme will make you look like a baby again.

Luckily, the majority of trends in the field of skincare point in a different direction where honesty about ingredients and effects are more down to earth. That also means that the traditional beauty advertising mold is slowly being broken down to pave the way for a more realistic message that doesn't claim that youth lies at the bottom of the creme jar. And that doesn't insist on the fact that 'when you look young, feel happy' as Alexanya Atoz states trying to force a smile from behind her many cosmetic procedures. 

Even though there is still a long way to go in terms of breaking that cosmetic mold, it is reassuring that even beauty giants like Lancôme and Estée Lauder insist on using less photo editing in their advertising in order to do away with false or unrealistic perceptions of the effect of beauty products.

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Getting Hands-On!

Ok, my last post was pretty long, so I'll try to make this one short and sweet. Which shouldn't be difficult as this product sells it self. Literally. Because every three seconds one of these is sold somewhere in the world. The reason? It's a really, really good hand cream! Perhaps one of the best - in the world that is.

FullSizeRender-2

Want proof? Well, if a product alone can make someone like me who notoriously neglects hand care start using a hand cream on a regular basis because of it's scent (it's a whiff of pure Provence!), effectiveness (20% Shea butter!), and ability NOT to leave greasy film on everything you touch, it really does do the job. 

As an added bonus, French beauty giant L'Occitane offers many wonderful products for him and her as well as a portfolio of beautiful fragrances - you cannot walk into their store without trying their Citrus Verbena (unisex) or the classic L'Occitan (for men). 

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Miu Miu’s First

Miuccia Prada has had a lot of experience with designer fragrances - really big hits even like Infusion d'Iris and Prada Pour Homme. But she's never let the Prada sister brand Miu Miu launch it's own fragrance - until now. The peppier, more provocative little sister to the elegant but still edgy older sister Prada is launching its first fragrance with a name befitting of the brand's first fragrance, Miu Miu.

The fun and provocative spirit of Miu Miu is already evident in the flacon, which got a little design help from Prada. The attractive, turquoise bottle carries a pattern from Miu Miu's popular matelassé leather bags, while the top is a bright, red plastic dish. It's darling, modern, and edgy all at the same time.

Photo: PR

Photo: PR

Perfumer Danielle Roche Andrier has created a fragrance that is both pretty and provocative. Pretty because it opens up with floral notes of lily of the valley, jasmine, and rose and provocative because it has a wilder green and woody side, which almost overpowers the florals before settling in nicely to a quiet floral with a peppery and woody base.

It is probably not for every female fragrance consumer, because it needs time before it settles on the skin, and because it just doesn't fit the mold of most female fragrances right now. It makes a statement on its own without trying to force sexiness on others by sending waves of sweet florals out to everyone who surrounds you. It's a little off, but in the cool way, and that's exactly what makes Miu Miu so alluring.

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Three Easy Ways To Give Your Skin a Boost

We all need a little nudge or push once in a while - and that goes twice for our skin that often shows the first signs of being tired, stressed or under the weather. Of course, splashing ice-cold water in your face always helps, but luckily there are other - and less brutal - ways to give your skin a boost. Here are three of them:

Photo: MH

Photo: MH

Bliss Triple Oxygen Instant Energizing Mask - The name almost says it all. It goes on as light gel and expands into a prickling foam on your skin, which feels really great and, yes, reviving. As a quick-fix it really does give your skin a shot of freshness that you can see afterwards.

Kiehl's Daily Reviving Concentrate - You're probably familiar with the wonderful Night Repair from Kiehl's (if not, check it out!), and this new concentrate is the daytime equivalent of it. It's less oily than the night concentrate, and it will disappear completely from the skin's surface and leave it looking bright and fresh. And it works really well as beard oil too, so this is rapidly becoming a personal favorite of mine.

The Body Shop Nutriganics Drops of Youth - I've used this product for years now and I'm still surprised at how well it works. It functions as a pre-serum, which will pre-condition the skin for other products. I know, it sounds a little gimmicky and like just another layer to a never-ending skin care regimen, but it really does work. The principle is like comparing the skin to a sponge: when it's dry a product will stay on the surface, but when it's moisturized a product will penetrate deeper. And because it contains aloe vera and glycerin, it works great as an after shave treatment too!

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