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Beauty Musings & Rogue Ramblings


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Champagne, Macarons and a Jo Malone Haul

Hey gorgeous!

Okay, so I was so wrapped up eating my macarons and sipping my champagne at Saks that I failed to snap some photos of the Jo Malone event they held recently. Complete with free samples, tasty snacks and booze, there was also a Jo Malone representative there explaining the newest collection, Sugar & Spice, along with all that JM offers, and the best blending combinations to pair the new fragrances with.

It was so much fun just indulging at bit with other JM lovers, and of course, splurging a little on a few new fragrances for Spring and Summer.

So, I thought I’d share my haul of JM goodies…

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JM Haul + Free Bag with Saks Beauty Samples + Free JM goodies

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Blue Agava & Cacao, Nectarine Blossom & Honey 

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Redcurrant & Cream, Lemon Tart

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Free JM goodies that came with my JM Haul

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Samples of every JM fragrance Saks offers

Oh and if you haven’t discovered Jo Malone yet, I’d definitely stop into the closest store/counter and give the brand a try. JM fragrances are unique and made to be layered, so you can really make the brand your own.

x Sam


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Holiday Gift Guide: Easy Gifts Under $50 for Him ;)

Okay, so first off, sorry for the lack of proper posts, my life has been sucked into the black hole of holiday madness and job hunting. Oh my gosh, I’m tired already…

Anyways, in case the world doesn’t go poof! in the following days – hehehe,  my apologies to the Dec 21 doomsday prepper’s on high alert, but I find it mildly amusing 😉 – so, back to it, you may be like me, in that you are still holiday shopping, especially for some of the most difficult of the bunch – guys!

So, just as before with my Holiday Gift Guide: Easy Gifts Under $50 for Her ♥ I gathered some easy – under $50 – gift ideas for the men in your life.

ArtsyArchitette Holiday Gift Guide for Him Under $50

1. For the man that loves books

Whether he’s into crime, mystery, history or fantasy, if he likes to read and its a topic he loves – a good book is always appreciated. Maybe get him a new one he hasn’t read or perhaps an old favorite that he’s lost somewhere between high school and a life full of moving boxes.

Men are fairly transparent in their interests, but when in doubt cross reference the NY TimesAmazon and Barnes & Noble Bestsellers lists.

Featured Books Above: The Millenium (Girl with the Dragon Tattoo) Series by Stieg Larsson, Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption by Laura Hillenbrand,  On the Road by Jack Kerouac and The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien.

2. For the scent conscious guy 

If he likes to smell good, cares for his place enough to own cleaning supplies, and isn’t afraid of a dash of feminine, then he might love a man-friendly scented candle to warm up his place.

Bath & Body Works have had some yummy candles lately that really do smell like men’s cologne!

Featured Candles Above: Mahogany Teakwood, Fireside and Black Pepper Bergamot.

3. For the guy in need of a little pampering

Guys often neglect their skin and especially their hands, unfortunately, so sometimes they need a little push – next thing you know – they’re hooked!

Nowadays, there are some great men’s skincare lines and around this time – gift sets galore!

Featured Items Above: Kiehl’s Men’s Refueling Kit and Helping Hands Essentials.

4. Movie/TV Junkie?

Easiest thing ever! His favorite show’s latest season or perhaps a special edition blu-ray.

Featured Item Above: The Dark Night Trilogy Blu-Ray Limited Edition (just got this exact one – thanks to my awesome brother – for $27!!)

5. The Gamer

If he is a gamer, no doubt he has been raving about the latest game out that he just has to have, but maybe just can’t afford at the moment.

If you’re unsure – get him a points/gift card for his most used game console.

Featured Games Above: Call of Duty Black Ops II and EA Sports Madden NFL 13.

6. For the workaholic and the traveler 

Whether he commutes, or just has that never ending job that requires him to mainline coffee – a quality insulated travel mug that could take a beating and his favorite coffee is guaranteed to be welcome!

Featured Items Above: Starbucks Blonde Veranda Blend Whole Bean Coffee and Stainless Steel Insulated Travel Mug.

7. For the sports fanatic

No brainer – his favorite team gear!

Featured Items Above: San Antonio Spurs T-Shirt and Chicago Bear Cap.

8. For the musician 

Why not opt for the unexpected, but totally awesome gift! Maybe hunt down a vintage record shop, or a bio on his favorite musician, or maybe just a nerdy novelty gift you know he would just love.

Featured Item Above: DIY Guitar Pick Punch from ThinkGeek.

9. Guy friendly Coziness 

Whether he is unprepared for the cold/dry weather or maybe you just want to spruce up his winter wardobe, pick up some non-holiday guy-friendly gear.

Featured Items Above: Lightweight sweater from Old Navy and Scarf from Gap.

10. And for the man who loves a good beer

If he enjoys the beer craft and is practically on his way to becoming a beer connoisseur, why not get him a new beer sampler?

This isn’t for the drunk guy in the bar, who you should NOT encourage with more beer, this is for the man that likes to buy 2 very good beers at the bar with a quality steak; and enjoys discovering new brews.

Featured Sampler Above:  World Market’s Winter Brews 9-pack Seasonal Beers.

Well guys – and ladies – hopefully that helps out, in case you are still in need of a few gift ideas 😉

x Sam


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Product Spotlight: Travalo Perfume Atomizer – Fragrance Lovers Rejoice

If you are perfume lover, especially to the point where you carry a bottle around in your bag, and you haven’t gotten hold of a Travalo yet- what are you waiting for!

It’s an amazing little gadget that’s great for everyday and travel. They come in a wide variety of colors, but the ones I got my hands on last year were black (and one red) – which was absolutely okay with me. They run about $10, which may sound like a lot for this little atomizer but when you think about it, if you were to buy your favorite perfume/cologne in a travel size – that would run you about $10 to $20 and you can’t refill it!

 

Products Highlights (from Travalo.com):

  • Travalo is a refillable atomizer bottle with a difference. Its patented easy fill system allows you to refill in seconds with a simple repeat pump action. Travalo makes it easy and convenient to have your scent with you any time, anywhere.
  • Travalo fills directly from almost any fragrance bottle with a removable spray head.

 

 

  • 50-65 Sprays! Travalo has an integrated fill level indicator window to show how much fragrance you have left, so you never run out unexpectedly.
  • Travalo is finger-sized at a convenient 8cm long and weighs only 0.4 ounces, yet when filled it gives a massive 50 sprays of fragrance, in a wonderfully fine mist spray that belies the diminutive size.
  • Travalo can be taken in hand as carry on luggage onboard planes anywhere in the world. Travalo has a unique pressure regulating system that makes sure the bottle adjusts to changing air pressure during flights, preventing any leaks, and enabling you to be fully prepared for landing!
  • 98% of Travalo’s components are totally recyclable.
  • Travalo is made from the same aluminum material as high tech aircraft, making it extremely light and strong.
  • Travalo contains no glass parts at all, so unlike other atomizers or fragrance bottles, it can take a fall onto concrete, hard floors or tiles without any worries about risking breakage.

Here is one of mine, which holds my Jo Malone Wild Bluebell Cologne:

Tip: If you have multiple Travalo’s in the same color and need to distinguish them for different fragrances – do what I did here, unless you plan on using the same Travalo for different fragrances (remember to clean the Travalo to not muddle the scents).

Take a nail polish, one that reminds you of the fragrance or cologne, and add a bit of color to the Travalo. Personally, I taped off the tip and painted the cap of the Travalo, then added a dot of nail polish in the same color to the body of the atomizer.

These make great gifts for anyone!


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I have a mistress, her name is Wild Bluebell.

As in Wild Bluebell, the Jo Malone London Cologne, for all you dirty birds out there!

Deliciously dewy, this cologne drenches the skin with the delicate scent of bluebells. Luminous with lush persimmon, lily of the valley and eglantine. Mesmerising. {Courtesy of Jo Malone London}

This has quickly become one of my most perfect and favorite scents to wear. It is the just right fragrance to transition from Winter into Spring and to carry me through till Summer.

It’s a light floral scent, without being too feminine nor powdery. The fragrance stays close to the body, so it’s not a suffocating fragrance for those around you. Granted I would never categorize Wild Bluebell as being capable of being offensive to the nose at all.

While it is a clearly floral based cologne with the tiniest hint of fruitiness, it is a quite clean and earthy scent. It’s quite different from many other fragrances I own – a casually charming scent that makes me feel like I’ve wandered through a meadow in the forest. That sounds a little ridiculous and silly now that I am actually writing it out, but I have actually walked through a meadow in a forest and Wild Bluebell brings me back to that memory – just a bit more whimsical.

What may be surprising to many is that Wild Bluebell contains no true bluebell extracts. You see the common bluebell, also known as The English Bluebell, is a protected flower species in the United Kingdom – where over half of all common bluebells are found and where the Jo Malone brand is based.

Instead, other  fragrances were combined to mimic the bluebell. After some hunting around, here is the composition of Wild Bluebell from Christine Nagel, the master perfumer to thank for this fragrance, from an article in The Telegraph :

Nagel [Christine Nagel, an award-winning master perfumer who, for the last 30 years, has created fragrances for the likes of Dior, Armani, Lalique and Narcisso Rodrigues] began her interpretation with dewy floral and a touch of clove in the top notes, “exaggerating certain facts – the wet ground against the spiciness, something a bit piquant and characteristic”. Orange flower was used to blend these into the more obviously wild-floral heart [lily of the valley, hyacinth] of the cologne – jasmine and eglantine with a corresponding dash of tartly fruity persimmon.

At the base rests white musk – “the petticoat that holds up the scent, like in Dior’s New Look” – and a tiny amount of [white] amber, “because it melts sensuously on the skin”.

All of which results in something clear, discrete and deceptively naïve without being so fragile that it disappears, leaving a trail that is softly lasting without being aggressive. If scents had weight, this is a satin, not a velvet – a wildflower rather than a heady hothouse bloom.

Jo Malone’s Wild Bluebell is definitely my most expensive fragrance, but for me it was a splurge that was worth it. Jo Malone has an extensive range and I would encourage anyone to at least wander into your nearest department store that carries Jo Malone (or a Jo Malone boutique if you are lucky enough to live in a location that has them) to sniff around.

I literally cannot stop spraying Wild Bluebell on everything! Pillows, clothes, the car and ME of course! This may pose a problem, as I mentioned, it was a bit of a splurge for me – but I just can’t resist.

And a lovely bonus for those who appreciate presentation as much as I do (they do this in all stores when you purchase a Jo Malone product):

“Beautiful packaging and thoughtful presentation are synonymous with Jo Malone. You receive an iconic Jo Malone gift bag with signature bow in grosgrain ribbon, and your sensorial journey begins. Upon opening, you’ll discover chic cream boxes embraced with grosgrain ribbon that are delicately nestled within soft black tissue.”