beauty · health · life curation

June Empties

Hi friends! I was feeling a little unwell, so I skipped yesterday’s post, but I’m making up for it by posting a HUGE June empties post! I am amazed at how much product I emptied last month. In a future post, I’ll explain why I’m focusing on empties and the overall goal of this little project. For now, here are my thoughts on my June empties. Enjoy!

So I have a LOT of perfume samplers/minis. I adore scent so I like to purchase trial sizes so I can try a fragrance without having to make a huge commitment. I had a trial set from Commodity which I had planned to review but I ended up disliking most of the scents so I didn’t bother to write about it. However, there were three fragrances I really enjoyed, and I ended up using the last of those this past month. Magnolia, Mimosa and Tea were lovely fragrances that I look forward to wearing again. On a side note, I saw that Commodity closed unexpectedly on March 31st, but the brand was saved by an investor and is experiencing a reboot, so the fragrances can still be purchased at this time.

Magnolia by Commodity
Mimosa by Commodity
Tea by Commodity

Onward to skin care . . . I really love The Ordinary, and I’ve discussed it multiple times so I’ll spare you my profuse praise. However, I used up my Argireline Solution this past month. I love to use it on my smile lines and forehead creases. I’ll purchase more after I use up some of my other products for facial lines (like The Ordinary’s Alpha Arbutin).

Argireline Solution 10%

As far as body care goes, I finished using my mini L’Occitane Amande Shower Oil. I got this as part of a L’Occitane gift set earlier this year. This product smells incredible: floral yet slightly musky at the same time. The scent doesn’t linger, but the moisturizing effects remain after scent dissipates. Once I use up some of my other body washes, I’ll repurchase this.

L’Occitane Amande Shower Oil

Now onto hair care. The funny part of my hair care is that it’s minimal at best: I don’t spend a lot of time on my hair, though I anticipate that will change in the upcoming months. I use these very inexpensive conditioners to detangle my hair prior to shampooing. My hair is kinky/curly so I use a lot of product to detangle and moisturize. VO5 and Pantene are low-priced so I don’t mind being a little “heavy-handed” when applying. When I’m running low on deep conditioner, I will use the Pantene to help “stretch” the product.

VO5 Passion Fruit Smoothie conditioner; Pantene Curl Perfection conditioner

After shampooing, I apply a deep conditioner to help moisturize my hair and restore the protein balance. I recently finished this jar of Aphogee Curlific Texture Treatment and I must say that I’m VERY impressed with this product. I noticed that my hair retained a “stretched” state once dried, and my post-shampoo detangle session was a breeze. If you want a product that can help elongate the hair in preparation for stretched or straightened styles, this is a great product to try.

Aphogee Curlific Texture Treatment

After shampooing and deep conditioning, I moisturize using the LOC method – Liquid, Oil, and Cream products, applied in that order. My liquid product of choice is Infusium 23 Leave In Treatment. This bottle was large, so it took a while to use it up. I occasionally tried other liquid leave-ins, but I always end up coming back to Infusium 23. I only wish that the product was in a different bottle (with a spray top). I ended up transferring the liquid to a spray bottle for easier application.

Finally, I finished a tube of an eco-friendly toothpaste that I purchased. Hello Epic Whitening Toothpaste has activated charcoal and acai berry, along with mint for freshness. The product is black but it brightens the teeth as you use it. I love the flavor and I enjoyed the results. I’ll certainly use it again, but I have a TON of toothpaste that was gifted to me (long story LOL) so it will be a while before I do a repurchase.

Those are my empties for June! I love that I have so many items that I’m using up completely before repurchasing. It feels good to know that I’m being smart with my money and purchasing from an empowered, instead of desperate, emotional space. I’ll talk to you all tomorrow!

***Post contains affiliate links

beauty

Beauty Review: Harvey Prince Hello Perfume

A couple of months ago, I saw a promo on Instagram for Harvey Prince Organics perfumes. After following the page, I received a message inviting me to get a perfume for free, with the only out of pocket cost being shipping and handling. Being a perfume lover, I couldn’t resist: I got a bottle. Behold!

The perfume arrived in a sleek black box with salmon pink writing. I wasn’t sure which rollerball scent I would receive (either it wasn’t explicitly confirmed by the company or I wasn’t paying attention) but the one that arrived was “Hello“.

The rollerball has a good amount of product for the price, and the small size is perfect for tossing in a purse or gym bag. The scent is fresh and has a slight sweetness to it. According to the Harvey Prince website, “Hello” has a lot of citrus top notes (Meyer lemon, white grapefruit and satsuma mandarin) layered over heady floral midnotes (summer forsynthia, pink plumeria and wild verbena). It dries down to a sweet, warm fragrance in the base notes (Tahitian vanilla and musk).

I initially enjoyed “Hello” when I applied it. I like citrus notes so the clean smell was an immediate hit with me. However, as it dried down, I liked it less and less. It turns out it didn’t agree with my personal chemistry and it started to smell kind of rank on me. I think it may have been a bit too floral and sweet for my tastes. In short, this smells delicious in the bottle, and probably amazing on someone else, but for me? I can’t do it. I plan to pass it along to someone who may like it better, because I’d hate for a good product to go to waste.

To it’s credit, Harvey Prince specializes in organic products. So for those that are looking for a perfume that is cruelty free, vegan and safe for pregnant women, this company is worth checking out. The prices are also very reasonable, so feel free to give them a gander if you’re curious.

That’s it for today’s review! I’ll talk to you all tomorrow.

beauty

Review: Viktor & Rolf Magic Liquid Diamonds Perfume

Happy Saturday! I hope you all are enjoying some warmer weather than what’s happening on the East Coast right now. Yes, I know it’s fall, and yes, I know that cooler temperatures are normal. That doesn’t mean that I’m excited about them, or that I even have to fully acknowledge them. . . Anyhoo, if you’re somewhere warmer than here, kudos to you.

In a recent Sephora order, I received a sample of the Viktor & Rolf Magic Liquid Diamonds perfume. Now you all know how I feel about a perfume . . . I love any and all things fragrant and sumptuous, so I eagerly tried this one out and decided to do a mini-review on it.

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The perfume is described on Sephora as ” an opulent balance of a delicate flower bouquet and velvety white musks”. The notes identified in this perfume include “fresh petit grain bigarade, green galbanum, and spicy pink pepper essence […] Bulgarian rose and ylang-ylang flower tinted with jasmine[…]”. This decidedly floral fragrance definitely has a bit of spice to it, and it dries down to a soft but warm fragrance.

I wore this and could smell it clearly on me for quite a few hours after. The sillage is pronounced with this one, too: my mother could smell it even after I had been gone for a few hours (she called me to tell me so!). Despite lingering for a while, I wouldn’t call this fragrance particularly “strong”, though I’d advise anyone wearing it to apply lightly to start, and don’t increase the applications until you confirm your preference level.

This fragrance is an investment at $190 per 2.5 ounce bottle. Also, there isn’t currently a smaller travel size at Sephora, so if you want to give this a try before buying, you’ll have to ask the staff to give you a sample. However, I like it and would consider purchasing it once I finish using some of my (MANY) bottles of perfume currently in my collection.

It’s Saturday, so if you’re making a trip to Sephora, you should check this one out. I think you’ll like it!

beauty

Beauty Review: Urban Decay Go Naked Perfume Oil

***Disclaimer – this one may be hard to find, since it’s currently sold out on Sephora and Urban Decay’s websites***

I purchased the Go Naked Perfume Oil earlier this summer, as it was clearance priced on Sephora’s website. The description (as written on Urban Decay’s website) lured me in:

You don’t just look better Naked, but you even smell better Naked too. Get it on in new places with Go Naked, a limited-edition perfume oil that tucks into your purse and makes you think of sun-warmed skin and salt air on a private beach.

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Well, when you put it like that, who wouldn’t want to give this a try?

So I tried it. This immediately made me think of Maison Margiela’s Beach Walk, a perfume that I adore during the warm months. Go Naked has the same sunny, crisp notes that can be found on MM’s Beach Walk, except Go Naked is a concentrated perfume oil with (presumably) more staying power. I mean, I don’t know if I could tell the two apart if blindfolded. I’m sure there are some differences, but these are essentially the same fragrance.

I’m used to perfumes that occasionally smell similar to a scent that I’ve worn previously, but I’ve never had the scent equivalent of doppelganger quite like this one

I hope that Urban Decay brings this one back, because I really liked the smell and value of this oil. However, if I’m itching to wear a similar scent, I’ll just reach for Beach Walk.

beauty · luxury

Fragrance Review: Bulgari Omnia Pink Sapphire

Recently, I ordered a few things from Sephora, and I got a goodie bag chock full of some cool items that I am eager to try and review for you all. I received several fragrance samples in my box, but I was immediately drawn to the pretty pink sample card that stood out from the rest.

As it turns out, this sample was the Bulgari Omnia Pink Sapphire eau de toilette. This is a new fragrance from Bulgari, as in, it was just released earlier this year. As a certified scent addict (you all remember when I did 30 Scents in 30 Days on Instagram, right?), I was all too ready to try this out and see how I liked it.

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(photo courtesy Fragrantica)

As always, I get my information on the scent profile from Fragrantica. I’m pretty good about identifying at least two or three (sometimes more) notes, but I like to guess what’s in it before I double check my guesses against the Fragrantica website. I like testing myself to see if my nose is catching the subtleties. Anyways, I sniffed it and immediately picked up on the citrus and some floral notes, but I couldn’t identify much more than that, until it dried down and I smelled some musk.

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The package that caught my eye

According to Fragrantica, the notes includes pomelo, pink grapefruit, frangipani, tiare, pink pepper, musk, vanilla, and woody notes. It’s starts off bright and heady: it’s flirty and attention-grabbing at first spritz. Then it dries down to a lovely powdery essence that is sweet but keeps those musk notes in the forefront.

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Inside of the Omnia Pink Sapphire sample

Overall, I enjoyed the fragrance, with a few “cons” that I will mention here. I found that the fragrance didn’t last a very long time on my skin (a little under 6 hours) but it’s an eau de toilette, so that is normal. I loved the fruity-floral top notes but found myself disenchanted with the base notes. It felt a bit too sweet, and not the balance of sweet and earthy that I prefer as my fragrance dries down. I asked some “neutral noses” to sniff the perfume, and they approved, so, while the fragrance isn’t cloying, I’m still not completely sold on it yet. At this point, I’m chalking up my distaste for the dried-down fragrance to a persistent sinus headache that has made me dislike a lot of things over the past few days. . . I’ll try it again and if I have a different verdict, I’ll make a follow up post.

 

beauty · luxury

Fun with Perfumes

perfume

30 scents in 30 days: I’m up for the challenge!

Do you follow me on Instagram? If not, you’re missing out on my #30Days30Scents series. Every day, I’m wearing a different perfume and giving my overall review of it.

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Day 13 of #30scentsin30days brings us to @tocca Giulietta. I accidentally went spritzing crazy with this one, and I immediately regretted it when I realized that this #scent has lilac in it. You all remember that the #fragrance I wore on Day 9 (@cleanperfume Blossom) had lilac and lily, and I wasn’t a fan of those floral notes. However, doing this challenge has helped me pinpoint the scent that I dislike most on my skin: it’s lily. While Giulietta has lilac, I enjoyed this #perfume a lot more than Clean Blossom: this one doesn’t have lily in it. It does have some other floral notes, like heliotrope, iris and orchid. This scent is sumptuous: this elegant Italian contessa. I will enjoy wearing it in the fall, as I think this one will be great during the cooler months #smellgoodfeelgood #smellgoodfeelbetter #beauty #blogger #thebronzebutterfly #thebronzedbutterfly #bronzebutterfli

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If you want to learn more about the fragrances that I’ve reviewed on this blog, along with some others that I haven’t formally reviewed, then this is the series for you. I’m also open to suggestions as I progress toward the end of the month, so feel free to comment either here or on Instagram and let me know which scents you think I should try!

life curation · luxury

Adventures at Anthropologie

While spending time with my best girlfriends in Charlotte, we made a stop in Anthropologie. I don’t think I’ve ever shopped at Anthropologie, mainly because my personal tastes were VERY different from what they offer. However, my tastes are changing, and I was open to seeing if they had some things that I would enjoy.

Wouldn’t you know it, I barely looked at the clothing because I got caught up in the books and stationery section. The BOOKS called my name, y’all! I was in heaven among all of the journals, planners, and self-care guides. I was among kindred spirits, because my friends were also stuck in the same section LOL!

One of the planners that I purchased during my Anthropologie trip (you can buy it here)

I kept picking up books and putting them back, because if I’m not careful, I’ll buy them all! So many great planners for those that are interested in living well curated and mindful lives.

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The other book I purchased (you can buy it here)

But my delight didn’t stop with the paper goods. Anthropologie also has a beauty section, including fragrances. You all know that I’m a sucker for perfume. They sell one of my favorite brands, Tocca. I refrained from purchasing, since I already have some great perfumes that I’m using right now. But as soon as I finish using them, I’m stocking up!

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Tocca’s Florence is a sumptuous fragrance that I’ve worn

Maybe next time I visit Anthropologie I’ll actually spend some time browsing their fashions. There’s a lot to see in this store, and I simply couldn’t do it all during this trip. Do you have any favorite picks from Anthropologie? Let me know in the comments below!

beauty · luxury

Review: Roja Parfums Gulf Collection Perfumes

One of my friends – a stylish globetrotter with impeccable taste – encouraged me to try some luxurious perfumes that she adores. As a self-professed perfume fanatic, and a lover of all things luxury, I was up to the challenge. I was excited to try something new!

The perfumer she recommended, Roja Parfums, has sumptuous scents that are highly concentrated and intoxicating. I purchased a sample set from Lucky Scent, featuring a collection of fragrances inspired by the aromas of the Gulf region. The Gulf Collection has six scents, each named after a different Middle Eastern/Gulf-area country: the Kingdom of Bahrain, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, the Sultanate of Oman, and United Arab Emirates. The scents all contain oud and are described as orientals due to their spicy aroma.

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My samples from Lucky Scent

You can feel free to click on the country names above to get the scent profiles for each of the fragrances, because listing out all of notes would take FOREVER! My personal favorite was the Kingdom of Bahrain: it has citrusy top notes (including lemon and lime) but a vanilla and leather base note that are warm, sensual and erotic. I have to apply carefully during the daytime, since the scent is sexy and tends to be better suited for the evening.

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Photo of The Kingdom of Bahrain, from the Roja Parfums website

These are among some of the priciest perfumes on the market, costing more than $500 for a 50mL bottle. But the smaller atomizers are more affordable, at approximately $80 each. The fragrances are concentrated enough that even a small amount should last for quite some time. You definitely get value for your money!

Any other perfume addicts out there? Let me know about some of your favorite brands in the comments below!