Deal Breakers- What Make Us Hard-Pass On A Product?

I recently was trying a new face mask sample (the Fresh, Lotus Youth Preserve Rescue Mask to be exact) and I was struck by the cucumber scent. Now–I have no problems with cucumbers–I actually really like them, but I know Jess is not a fan. And I wondered if it was just the taste of cucumbers that she was against or cucumber anything.

Which then got me thinking about product deal breakers. Things that are just NOT going to work for you when it comes to a new product. Would a cucumber scent be enough to send Jess running away from the Fresh mask? (it’s actually not included in the description for it and only in the ingredients, btw.) I wondered what other things might be product deal breakers for us–and you!


Why yes, I DO hate the scent of cucumber- it literally makes me gag!!

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Things I’m Loving Right Now: Summer Flings Edition

As we’ve pointed out about 87000 times on this blog, we love summer!! I got really mad at Target the other day when I came upon the Back-to-School section already on full blast. Uugh. But hey, we’re only about halfway through, and no one has even made any Labor Day party plans yet. So! Let me tell you about a few totally random things that I’m loving right now, and may or may not continue to love them once the leaves start to turn…

Urban Decay Go Naked Perfume Oil


Did you know that Urban Decay came out with a limited edition perfume oil last month? They did, and I sleepily snatched it up the morning I got the email about it’s release (we all shop in bed now, right?), and I have no regrets. The main notes are citrus and lavender, and UD describes it as “the scent of sun-warmed skin and salt air”. Since I want to be at the beach at all times, I didn’t even think twice about buying this. It is a perfect light scent- it lingers but never overpowers. It is an oil with a roller ball applicator, which also makes it perfect to pop in your purse or travel bag. And it really does smell like sunshine! I may need to stockpile a few for next year.

Breakfast Smoothies

I realize this is far from a newsflash, but I do love the ease of a breakfast smoothie in the summer. When it’s hot, I don’t feel like cooking breakfast on the stove, or like, chewing… and some mornings I really am just in too much of a hurry to sit down with a meal, or too antsy to get outside for a walk to work on my tan and get some fresh air. Plus, I recently rediscovered that my blender has a handy smoothie-cup accessory.

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Sephora Splurges for Spring

The spring Sephora sale has started!  If I’m honest—I need new products like I need a hole in the head!—but of course, that’s not going to stop me.

I have a bunch of items sitting in my “loves” that I’m deciding between. I thought I’d lay out a few of the ones I’m considering the strongest to see if you have any experience with them and get your feedback. Since the sale ends on the 24th, I’ve got a little time before I hit the “purchase” button. I also thought I’d share a few items I’d recommend to you, products I’ve been using a lot lately, especially turning over from winter to spring/summer.

Tops on my “Loves” list:

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Smells like fall spirit

Days are sadly shortening. Jackets are coming out of the closets. Scarves are swinging around our necks. And our fall/winter fragrances are moving to the front of the vanity. These are our go-to scents that signal colder days are here.


From September through April is the cold, dark half of the year- a time I refer to as “candy season”. See, this is the time of year when all the major candy holidays fall: Twix ghosts kick it off, then it rolls right into some Snickers Santas, followed by candy hearts, and finally winding down with Cadbury Mini Eggs. Maybe it’s because of this that I gravitate toward sweeter, spicier, darker scents once the days get shorter. I should note that I’m really picky about scents- I do poorly with heavily perfumed or fragranced things, as they either make me crazy sneezy or give me a headache. I tend to go for more subtle scents, preferably made from natural stuff. So like, B&BW lotions and sprays that are like I LOVE CAKE BATTER DON’T YOU LOVE CAKE BATTER YOU CAN SMELL ME FROM A BLOCK AWAY I SMELL LIKE CAKE BATTER aren’t really my bag. Here’s what I do smell like these days:

J.R. Watkins Coconut Milk & Honey Body Oil Mist

Winter skin is a thing that vexes me, but an equally terrible feeling is putting on lotion after a toasty shower only to stand there waiting in a cold bathroom for it to absorb before you put your clothes on. For days when I can’t even with lotion, this is a great solution- it’s a spray on light body oil that absorbs quickly and leaves a pleasant, gentle scent behind. I know, you’re like “Jess, coconut is clearly a summer smell!”. Maybe it’s the honey, but this doesn’t smell like suntan lotion to me at all. More like… I’ve been cozied up baking cookies all day. This is nicely understated and easy to wear every day.

Elizabeth and James Nirvana Black

I hate perfume samples. I hate them in magazines, I hate them in subscription boxes, I hate them showing up in the bottom of my Sephora bag. So I can’t explain why, when this sample showed up in a bag from a VIB event, I decided to smell it. Then spray it on my arm. YOU GUYS. I can’t stop smelling myself. This is a beautiful fragrance, brought to you by none other than the Olsen Twins. It’s main notes are violet, sandalwood, and vanilla, and it is described as “sensual, mysterious, and warm”. I made it through about half the sample vial before ponying up for the full size- this is GORGEOUS and I feel like a lady (but still a cool lady with tattoos) wearing it.



I don’t really change my fragrances with the seasons a ton.  Having said that, I do have some very obvious spring/summer scents and some very obvious fall/winter scents, the latter of which I gravitate toward throughout the year.  My tastes tend to go for the earthy, musky, woodsy, vanilla, smells. Sandalwood in particular is my absolute favorite. Santal 33 by Le Labo is my go to almost always, but after dropping a brand new bottle last fall and having it break all over the floor (uuuhhhh, what a waste), rather than shelling out another 90 bucks right away I began using my straight up sandalwood singular note from Aveda. While I will eventually re purchase my beloved Santal 33, this does quite a nice job as a less expensive place holder.  Now I should mention that they have since discontinued this singular note.  Everything I like eventually gets discontinued.  Which brings me to my next fragrance, that is also discontinued, but I’m hoarding every last drop!  Lush’s 25:43.  I first smelled this on Lyn during our fall trip to NYC in August of 2012.  I immediately went to the nearest Lush store and purchased it (and apparently should have purchased all of it.)  This was a really special fragrance. It’s half citrus with notes of lime and lemongrass, and then mellowed down a bit with vanilla, tonka bean and ylang ylang.  It is SO GOOD. It is definitely not just another citrus scent, but something altogether more complex.  I will shed a tear when it is finally gone…. and it is getting close. In review, clearly I am in the market for a new fragrance.


Perhaps this is why we get along so well–the three of us smell the same!  We definitely have a similar theme when it comes to our fragrances. Sadly, my bottle of Lush’s 25:43 is just a distant memory. But thanks to a visit to Las Vegas with Pamela, I am also a Le Labo convert. Do yourself a favor and get this Le Labo Discovery Set. For $30–you get samples of their most popular scents–and they are great alone AND layered. And like Jess–I’ve been enjoying the Nirvana Black for a few seasons. (but the Nirvana White is nasty. i haven’t tried the new Nirvana Bourbon or Nirvana Rose that recently launched…)

Since I also tend to gravitate to a warmer, musky, woodsy scents–when the days get shorter–I immediately reach for my old friend, Michael Kors, Michael for Women. I ended up grabbing a rollerball of this one when it first launched and have never been without a full size bottle on my dresser ever since. I even have the lotion for when I’m feeling fancy. It is definitely a heavy scent, but I love it. It is described as “a rich floral scent featuring notes of tuberose, freesia, gardenia, and white lily followed by sophisticated and sensual base notes of sandalwood, suede, amber, and musk.” I actually don’t find it particularly floral, but definitely heavy with the base notes. There are a ton of other Michael Kors fragrances in his line–I like the Sexy Amber for summer–but I find nothing beats the original.

Last year, Sephora had one of their 4x points on fragrances promotions. I used it as an excuse to check out a few new options and ended up grabbing this Bvlgari, Omnia Crystalline Travel Spray. It’s an interesting scent which I find kinda classy and grown-up smelling. It’s technically listed as a mix of “Bamboo, Nashi, Lotus Flower, Balsa Wood.” My daily routine ends with spritzing on a fragrance before I leave for the day, but it still takes me an Eternity to work through a full bottle (see what I did there.) I wore this one regularly in the winter and I still have half of the bottle left. Even though it’s a pretty small size–for $25–I think it’s worth it. And now that I’m back to wearing tights (i’m seriously wearing tights today and i’m very crabby about it) it’s nice to rediscover this new favorite.

Do you switch up your scents seasonally? What scents do you gravitate toward when the weather gets colder? Pamela’s in the market for something new and needs your suggestions–so leave them in the comments below!

(We procured these scents ourselves like the fancy women we love and represent.)