Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Too Faced Spring 2014 Collection - Haute Chocolate

There are less than two weeks until Christmas and the first spring makeup collection has been released very early this morning.  It is still a bit too early for me to start shopping this collection but I am excited to start getting some ideas of what products that I will want to put on my spring shopping list.  Too Faced is the brand that has released their spring collection online today and it will be released to the Sephora and Ulta websites by the end of the month.  The company's website was barely functioning this afternoon when I tried to log on and look at the new products, it seems to be up and functioning at this point however quite a few of the products are already sold out.  I know that Too Faced will restock all of these products on their website and then there will be many more places to order them by the end of the month so I was not in rush to try and get these products before anyone else...

This collection is quite small and there doesn't seem to be a theme that ties these color products together.  That being said, the name of this collection is "Haute Chocolate" and it seems that the new chocolate-inspired eye shadow palette is the hero product of this collection and I am quite sure that it will sell out very quickly.  I am excited about the new eye shadow palette released by this company but the blush and lipstick shades aren't really doing anything for me.  I have been loving the Tarte Amazonian Clay blushes so I am not really in the market for a brand new blush formula.  The new lipstick shades are in one of my least favorite formulas so I certainly won't be ordering any of these...

The Too Faced Spring 2014 collection...

Chocolate Bar Eye Shadow Palette - The Chocolate Bar experience begins as soon as you open the palette and the smell of sweet chocolate envelops you. The eye shadows are pigmented with pure, antioxidant-rich cocoa powder and includes 16 matte and shimmer shades of natural browns, delicate pinks and luscious plums. Includes our signature how-to Glamour Guide with three looks to get you started.  Too Faced Co-Founder and Creative Director Jerrod Blandino was inspired to combine the power of antioxidant-rich cocoa powder and makeup while having a chocolate facial and learning about the benefits of cocoa at a Hawaiian spa. Based on this inspiration we created our best-selling bronzer Chocolate Soleil and have now added the Chocolate Bar Eye Shadow Palette.
- Gilded Ganache - deep chocolate brown satin
- Milk Chocolate - medium brown matte
- Black Forrest Truffle - deep warm plum shimmer
- Triple Fudge - deep warm chocolate brown shimmer
- Salted Caramel - deep cool brown matte
- Marzipan - warm medium brown matte
- Semi-Sweet - medium champagne shimmer
- Strawberry Bon Bon - pale pink satin
- Candied Violet - bright violet purple satin
- Amaretto - medium warm brown shimmer
- Hazelnut - medium neutral brown shimmer
- Crème Brulee - medum warm gold shimmer
- Haute Chocolate - deep chocolate brown matte
- Cherry Cordial - deep plum satin
- White Chocolate - cool champagne matte
- Champagne Truffle - cool champagne shimmer

Sweethearts Perfect Flush Blush - Choose from four no-fail color palette blushes to take the guesswork out of creating a sweet, romantic flush. In each baked, heart shaped blush there are three individual color swatches. The baking process and multiple colors create dimensional color to provide the look of younger, brighter, healthier skin. It’s like having Hollywood lighting wherever you go.  Blend all three swatches together for one universal shade or use each swatch individually for a custom color.
- Peach Beach - shimmering peach/rosy pink/shimmering light golden bronze
- Something About Berry - shimmering mauve pink/golden peach/shimmering magenta pink

La Crème Color Drenched Lipstick - There’s a reason why beauty editors, bloggers, and millions of social media fans are obsessed with La Crème Color Drenched Lipstick: it’s a completely unique, super-luxe combination of creamy color and intense hydration for unprecedented ultra-comfortable wear.  White Lotus Flower Extract is a sought-after antioxidant that contains hydrating, soothing, and lip-conditioning properties.  Power Peptides are known to stimulate collagen and aid in the appearance of smoother lips.  Creamy, one-swipe formula.
- Bon Bon - pink papaya
- Jelly Bean - raspberry red
- Lollipop - violet with orchid shimmer
- Pink Chocolate - berry brown
- Taffy - pink marshmallow nude

I think that the only product that I will order from this collection is the eye shadow palette, I can see that it is already sold out on the Too Faced website and I will need to wait for a few weeks to come back into stock.  This is one of the very few eye shadow palettes that I can see myself using all the time and creating all kinds of different eye looks from it.  I love all the neutrals in it and I would like to mix the purple hues into a few looks this winter. 

I have never tried this blush formula but it does not sound like my cup of tea.  I do not really like blush shades with a shimmer finish and I will be skipping over all of the shades in this formula.  I don't feel that I need to comment on the La Crème Lipsticks, I reviewed this formula a few days ago and this might be one of my least favorite products that I have tried lately.  I could barely keep this formula on my lips in the neutral hues and there is no way that I would try this formula in any type of deep or bold hue.

photo courtesy of Too Faced

Monday, December 16, 2013

Beautyblender Liquid Blendercleanser

Today we are looking at a product that I never would have purchased on its own and I am so glad that I was able to try it through a Glossybox that I received this fall.  Glossybox has been the only reason that I have gotten a full introduction to the Beautyblender brand and the big reason that I have fallen for the hype around this product.  I have been obsessed with using Beautyblenders since I first received one several months ago in my Glossybox and I started replacing it nearly once a month. This is quite an expensive habit but one that I willingly paid for as I just love how these sponges apply my liquid foundations.

In one of my last Glossyboxes, I received another product from the Beautyblender company that I have just started using.  I will admit that I tossed the cleanser aside when I first received it and didn't see why I needed this product.  I typically cleaned my brushes and Beautyblenders with shampoo and this method has been working for me for years.  The shampoo cleans my brushes very nicely but I was never very happy with how much seemed to be left in my Beautyblenders and I would simply replace them every few washings.  I was happy with this method until I got bored the other day and tried out this special cleanser that I received.

I found this product on the Sephora website and this is where I will be ordering it from once I go to buy another bottle.  "A sponge and brush cleanser that’s free of dyes and skin irritants.  This cleanser supports the integrity of the beautyblender® as it removes excess residue and germs for a clean makeup application. The cleanser’s soothing soy-based, low-suds formula breaks down rapidly making it earth-friendly, while the light lavender scent makes it fun to use.", states that company's website. 

I was bored last Saturday during the snowstorm and I decided to play with some new products.  I had originally washed my brushes and Beautyblender that morning.  I found this product in my makeup collection and decided to wash my Beautyblender again with it and see if it works better than my shampoo method.  I expected that I would reap little to no additional benefits from this cleanser and I was actually prepared to write a negative review of this brush cleaner.  One usage of this cleanser showed me that I was quite wrong and that there is a point to owning this product.

I used this cleanser on a freshly cleaned and dried Beautyblender, I expected little to no additional product to come out during the cleaning.  I fully saturated the sponge with warm water and then worked a small amount of the product into my Beautyblender.  It created a rich foam and excess foundation started pouring out of my "clean" sponge, I literally couldn't believe how much product came out of my "clean" sponge.  After one usage, the sponge looked nearly brand new and I couldn't believe that it took my so long to try this product out. 

I needed so little of this cleanser to achieve results and therefore my deluxe sample will last me for at least two or three more months.  I will be ordering a few size from Sephora once this is used up and this is the only product that I will be using to clean my Beautyblenders.  This product will pretty much pay for itself as I should be able to really space out the amount of time in between purchasing brand new Beautyblenders.

photo courtesy of Sephora

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Too Faced La Creme Lip Cream

The Too Faced spring collection will be arriving on their website in the beginning of this week and therefore I have decided to write my review of this Too Faced lipstick before this collection arrives on the website.  The website has always crashed with the initial releases of the spring and fall collections so I wanted to get this review done while I have their website up and functioning.  Once their website has come back up after the initial launch, I will start my spring collection coverage with Too Faced.  I ordered two of the Too Faced La Crème lipsticks several weeks ago and have been putting them to test since Thanksgiving and I am now ready to review this formula.

This lipstick formula was an instant hit since it's first release last year and many shades of this product are often sold out at Sephora and Ulta.  Many ladies consider this lipstick to be one of their favorite cream formulas and it is now a cult favorite product from this company.  I will state very early in the review that this is NOT my favorite lipstick formula and I will not be buying any more tubes after I use up what I purchased.

We are going to start with the product description and shades from the Too Faced website.  "Indulge your lips with rich creamy color, drenched with luscious, hydrating moisturizers including white lotus flower and power peptides.  Moisture has never been so pretty!  16 Must-Have Colors: Something for every fashion and mood in sought-after shades for each color family: nudes, spices, pinks, and reds.  Lotus Flower Extract: Hydrating, soothing, and lip-conditioning with environmental protection provided by anti-oxidants.  Power Peptides: Conditioning, smoothing, and firming for delicate lip area.  Indulgent color: Saturated, one-swipe formulas drench lips with sexy, pure color."

The shades that are found in this formula are...

- Naughty Nude - chestnut
- Naked Dolly- satin pink
- Nude Beach - nude peach
- In The Buff - warm beige
- Spice Spice Baby - pinky brown
- Cinnamon Kiss - spiced brown
- Honey Bear - toasted mauve
- Sweet Maple - plum brown
- Marshmallow Bunny - marshmellow pink
- Razzle Dazzle Rose - pink rose
- Juicy Melons - pink coral
- Fuchsia Shock - fuchsia pink
- I Want Candy - raspberry rose
- Coral Fire - coral red
- Stiletto Red - classic red
- Divine Wine - Bordeaux

I started with buying both Naked Dolly and Marshmallow Bunny, I wanted to start with nude and neutral pink lipstick shades from this product in order to start working with the formula.  I had originally planned to then order more of the saturated shades; I had my eyes on Razzle Dazzle Rose, I Want Candy, and Stiletto Red but I quickly decided against purchasing more shades once I started to work with this formula.

I am going to start with why I didn't like this formula and how my wear testing of these shades went.  I was looking for a creamy lipstick that was easy to wear and hydrating on the lips, I had a picture in my head of these being a more hydrating version of the Urban Decay Revolution Lipsticks that I have been loving the past few months.  The La Crème Lipsticks are not at all like those in formula and they reminded me very much of the MAC Sheen Supreme Lipsticks that I loved so much last spring.  If I would have know this fact, my initial wear tests probably would have gone better...

I will be the first to admit that I didn't plan out the initial wear test and I should not have done my first impression on a Monday morning while getting ready for work.  I decided to grab Naked Dolly instead of my usual Urban Decay Revolution Lipstick in Naked, the shades look similar in the package and I was expecting them to be very similar on the lips.  I will also admit that I did not properly exfoliate my lips as I have found that I usually can skip this step with the Urban Decay formula.  I should not have skipped the exfoliation step and I should never test new products out on a Monday morning...

The initial application was quite nice, it applied smoothly and felt very creamy and hydrating.  I was very happy with my first impression but this happiness quickly wore off in the morning hours.  Naked Dolly is a nude pink that looks very wearable.  My first huge issue with this formula occurred when I looked in the mirror once I got to work.  I noticed that my lips had a golden shimmer cast in certain lights and I went back to look up the product description again, I wondered how I had missed the detail about a shimmer finish when first looking at the product.  It turns out that this fact is never mentioned in the product description but has been noted by quite a few people that reviewed the product on the Sephora and Too Faced websites.  I felt like I had been mislead a bit because I don't think that I would have purchased this product if I would have known that the majority of the shades contain shimmer.

My biggest issue with the wear on the first day is how the lipstick behaved over the first few hours of wear.  The shimmer particles clung to the dry patches on my lips, creating a clumpy appearance to my lips.  I dabbed a drop of coffee off my mouth and the formula smeared all over the place, ruining my overall lip look.  After several hours, I was so disgusted with the product that I wiped it all off and just applied a clear balm to get through the rest of the work day.  I tried the Marshmallow Bunny shade once I got home and saw that it has a silver shimmer finish to it.  At this point, I was ready to return both tubes and never try this formula again.

I forced myself to give this product a second test before deciding that I couldn't stand it.  The next morning, I exfoliated my lips well in the shower and prepped my lips the way that I would when getting ready to wear a bright shade of the Stila Stay All Day Lipstick.  The application and wear of this product was much improved after exfoliation, the initial application was smooth and it stayed smooth much longer throughout the day.  I did add a touch of lip balm before reapplying this product after lunch and this helped the formula stay smooth throughout the rest of the day.  Once I got home, I did the same test with the other shade and obtained the same results.

Due to my issues with the more neutral shades of this formula, I decided against buying the rose and red shades that I initially liked.  I can only see the issues with this formula being even worse with a more pigmented shade and I wouldn't want to wear a formula that moves around so much in a shade that will be even more evident when it smears.

Overall, this is probably one of my biggest product fails in the past few months.  I was expecting a pigmented creamy lipstick and received a cream formula filled with shimmer.  I can make this formula work with a bit more effort than I was expecting and I will keep both of these tubes and use them up over the next few months.  I prefer more of a matte finish lipstick and I won't be buying any more shades in this formula...

photo courtesy of Too Faced

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Spring 2014 Runway Trends

I have decided that we are going to check out the upcoming beauty trends that we will be seeing all over the place in the coming months.  I finished up my holiday collection coverage the other week and I am ready to see what collections and products will be making up the bulk of spring makeup shopping.  It is snowing like crazy today and I need to think about something other than cold and snow, it might be very early to start deciding on what trends I will be loving this spring but I need a distraction from thinking about all the shoveling that I will need to do this weekend.

I have already started to see pictures of the Too Faced spring collection and that collection will actually be releasing on their website early next week.  This company is always the earliest but I am sure that several companies will have their spring collections out by the week after Christmas and we will then go full swing into the newest beauty products that will be arriving in the next month or two.

Allure has always published the spring and fall runway trends and this is the article that I have traditionally used to review what trends we will be seeing each season.  This spring will be no different and I am using the Allure article about the biggest runway trends from the December issue of this magazine.  They have highlighted the top nine hair and makeup trends from the runways, I have found this article to be the best source of the trends that we will be shopping from in the coming weeks.  I am also going to start picking the trends that I will be following this spring season and starting to get ideas of what products that I will need to add to my collection (and what products I already own that will work well).

Allure's top trends for the upcoming spring season!

The Rumpled Braid - The trick to creating the textured plaits at Alberta Ferretti was scrunching first: Hairstylist Guido misted the volumizing spray all over damp hair, then scrunched as he blew the hair dry using a diffuser.  Then he curled the top layer, combed through the resulting waves with his fingers, and teased the crown before weaving a classic braid at the neck.

Romantic Ponytail - Guido called the ribboned hair at Nina Ricci "simple and feminine".  We call it one of the most elegant ponytails we've seen.  He secured the low ponytail with a black elastic, then tied a ribbon in a bow to conceal the band.  The ponytails stayed intact, even after one model was almost wrestled off the runway by a protestor who stormed the show.

Casual-Cool Bun - To keep the chignon at Celine from looking like something you'd wear to ballet class, Guido ran his fingers through the top of the hair to add a little volume and brushed the sides to keep them flat.  Once the hair was twisted into a knot and pinned, he used a lightweight hair spray to smooth flyaways and make sure it was clean, not crunchy.

Hottest Lip Color: Orange - Orange is the new red.  And pink.  And any other lipstick shade you might think about reaching for.  "Right now it just feels cooler than red, " said makeup artist Gucci Westman, echoing the sentiments of pretty much every other pro.  Creamy, matte, neon, or pastel - every single orange looked fresh and strong.

Metallic Smoky Eyes - Whoever said not to mix metals clearly never saw how sexy gold, bronze, and copper can look together.  Case in point: the glimmering smoky eyes at Gucci, which combined all three hues into one beautifully burnished halo.

Messy Updos - The most beautiful updos were the ones that looked a little (or a lot) unkempt.  To create them at Michael Kors, hairstylist Orlando Pita curled random sections, then sprinkled in texturizing powder before twisting and pinning the hair into a haphazard chignon, letting pieces fall out along the way.  At Rochas, hairstylist Eugene Souleiman achieved "multitextured, chaotic-yet-beautiful twists" with beach spray, furiously brushing out sections of hair that had been curled, crimped, and straightened.  "It's a bad hair day gone right," he said.

Gold Fever - Makeup artists and hairstylists glided everything in sight.  (No, really, you should see our notebook.)  "For 15 years I've done metallic looks in blues, yellows, and greens," said Pat McGrath.  "This season, when designers asked for metallic makeup, they wanted it to look more sophisticated."

Gilt-y Pleasure - We first spotted this Sylvain Le Hen barrette at the Jason Wu show - and soon after on several editors.  Stylist Kate Young found the clips at Colette in Paris and gave them to hairstylist Odile Gilbert, who snapped them on the models' low, sleek ponytails.  "It looks graphic and elegant," said Gilbert.  "The rose gold is my favorite".

Artsy Eyes - Talk about works of art: At Derek Lam, makeup artist Tom Pecheux created cubelike cat eyes, referencing sculptor Donald Judd.  At Celine, makeup artist Dick Page drew "surrealist" brows.  McGrath looked to street art when she airbrushed graffiti-style scribbles across the brow bones at Prada, and at Chanel, Philips made miniature abstract paintings by brushing rainbow-colored theatrical paint around the eyes, framed with black lines across the lids and brows.

There are five new hairstylists that we will be seeing all over this place this spring season and I am quite fond of the Romantic Ponytail.  This look will work well in many different situations and I will be able to wear it to work if I change out the type of ribbon used in the look.  The Gilt-y Pleasure style will also be a favorite of mine this spring, this look will be easier for me to wear in a professional environment.  I will be looking for a few different styles of gilded barrettes and ponytail holders and I will be wearing this look all through the spring and summer.

I am not a fan of the orange lip look and I will be skipping over this.  I have never liked or looked good in peach or orange hues so I will be sticking to my classic pink and red lip looks.  I like both the metallic and the gilded eye looks that were all over the runways and I will be working with these looks to make them more friendly for the professional environment.  The Artsy Eye look is probably not for me, I don't think that I have the skills to create these types of looks and I don't know that I like them enough to spend a lot of time learning how to create them.

I will be adding more hair styling products to my shopping list and I am excited to see some new eye shadow palettes.  I am a bit on the fence about what lip products I will/won't need for spring since I am not going to be adapting the orange lip hues that promise to rule the collections.

photo courtesy of Google

Friday, December 13, 2013

Fitness Friday - Supported Shoulderstand

Today is another Fitness Friday that will be focusing on yoga poses, I feel that many of my Fitness Friday posts have been all about yoga and I know that many more will be about yoga.  One of the most exciting parts of the semester end was signing up for a few more yoga classes over the next few weeks and knowing that I will have some time to start up a home practice.  One of my goals over this vacation is to create a special night flow that I can use before going to bed at night.  I will post that flow once I have come with the pose sequence.

Today's yoga pose is the first inversion that I ever tried, Supported Shoulderstand is the pose that starts most students' experience with inversions.  I still struggle with an unsupported version of this pose, so we will look at the supported modification of the pose.  This pose can easily become unsupported by pulling the blankets away and using no support on the shoulders. 

Yoga Journal provides details on the pose and the steps to follow in order to safely start working up into Shoulderstand. 

- Fold two or more firm blankets into rectangles measuring about 1 foot by 2 feet, and stack them on top of each other.  You can place a sticky mat over the blankets to help the upper arms stay in place while in the pose.  Then lie on the blankets with your shoulders supported (and parallel to one of the longer edges) and your head on the floor.  Lay your arms on the floor alongside your torso, and bend your knees and set your feet against the floor with the heels close to the sitting bones.  Exhale, press your arms against the floor, and push your feet away from the floor, drawing your thighs into the front torso.

- Continue to lift by curling the pelvis and then back the torso away from the floor, so that your knees come toward your face.  Stretch your arms out parallel to the edge of the blanket and turn them outward so the fingers press against the floor (and the thumbs point behind you).  Bend your elbows and draw them toward each other.  Lay the backs of your upper arms on the blanket and spread your palms against the back of your torso.  Raise your pelvis over your shoulders, so that the torso is relatively perpendicular to the floor.  Walk your hands up your back (toward the floor) without letting your elbows slide too much wider than shoulder width.

- Inhale and lift your bent knees toward the ceiling, bringing your thighs in line with your torso and hanging the heels down by your buttocks.  Press your tailbone toward your pubis and turn the upper thighs inward slightly.  Finally inhale and straighten the knees, pressing the heels up toward the ceiling.  When the backs of the legs are fully lengthened, lift the balls of the big toes so the inner legs are slightly longer than the outer. 

- Soften the throat and tongue.  Firm the shoulder blades against the back, and move the sternum toward the chin.  Your forehead should be relatively parallel to the floor, your chin perpendicular.  Press the backs of your upper arms and tops of your shoulders actively into the blanket support, and try to lift the upper spine away from the floor.  Gaze softly at your chin.

- As a beginning practitioner, stay in the pose for about 30 seconds.  Gradually add 5 to 10 seconds to your stay everyday or until you can comfortably hold the pose for 3 minutes.  Then continue for 3 minutes each day for a week or two, until you feel relatively comfortable in this pose.  Again gradually and 5 to 10 seconds onto your stay until you can comfortably hold the pose for 5 minutes.  To come down, exhale, bend your knees into your torso again, and roll your back torso slowly and carefully onto the floor, keeping the back of your head on the floor.

Supported Shoulderstand is usually the first inversion that a yoga teacher will start to work their students into.  I will say that I fell out of this pose many times before my teacher decided that I was going to learn this pose in a different way.  The only way that I could learn how to straighten up correctly was to do this pose with my feet against a wall.  Once I mastered being able to hold that for 3 minutes, I then worked on doing this pose with the blanket supports and holding it for a minute.  I have worked up to holding the pose for three minutes and I am still working on holding it for longer.

I have yet to try this pose in the unsupported fashion and I will be working up to this in the next few weeks.  I plan to use this winter break to practice yoga as much as possible...while pushing myself at the gym.  I have four weeks until class starts again...time to use it wisely!

photo courtesy of YogaJournal.com

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Benefit Fake Up Hydrating Undereye Concealer

I have been using the same Benefit concealer since the end of last year and Erase Paste has quickly become one of my favorite face products.  Based on how much I love that concealer formula, I jumped at the chance to try another Benefit concealer formula when I had my choice of Sephora VIB Point Perks.  I have been trying the Fake Up Hydrating Undereye Concealer since the beginning of this week and I can already say that all of Benefit's concealer formulas are not created equal.  I think this is one of the few products that I have not liked at all in the past few weeks and that I could never see myself buying again.

The Benefit website provides the following description of this undereye concealer formula, "This hydrating crease-control concealer - with vitamin E & apple seed extract - hides dark circles and diffuses fine lines for a silky smooth, ultra-natural look. It’s proven to keep skin hydrated for six hours."

The following testing results are also provided for this product...

- 100% said it hydrates skin
- 100% said it feels comfortable on skin
- 91% said it conceals dark circles

This is one of the most unique products that I have ever used on my eye area and I give Benefit points for this aspect of the product.  This product combines the coverage of a stick concealer and then hydrating properties of an undereye balm.  The concealer itself is in the middle of the product and it is surrounded by the hydrating balm.  Once applied to the skin, they mix together and become a two-in-one product for hydrating and concealing.  Benefit states that the product should be applied directly to the undereye area and then patted in using the ring finger.

I have used this product each morning and I have determined that I just cannot use it as described and this is just not the product for me.  I started by hydrating my undereye area with the Bobbi Brown Hydrating Eye Cream and then blend my foundation in the undereye area using a Beauty Blender.  I have dark undereye circles and have always relied on a high coverage concealer to cover them up.  Once I had all of these products in place, I applied the Benefit product to each of my undereye areas and then blended it in as suggested on the brand's website.

As with many two-in-one products that I have tried, this product falls short in both the hydrating and concealing aspects.  I cannot use this without another eye cream as it seems like the application and blending of the product drag my delicate undereye skin.  I have found that it also falls short in the concealing aspect, it is too sheer to fully cover my dark undereye circles.  I have found no way in this product lives up to its description and I will not be buying this in the full size.

I found a way to use through the large sample size that I have of this product, I apply it after my foundation and use it as a primer to apply a full coverage concealer over.  It works nicely in this aspect however this just adds an extra step to my routine that I don't reap much benefit from.  I will use it in this fashion to finish the product up but I would not buy another tube to use only in this fashion. 

This might be a nice undereye concealer for someone who doesn't struggle very much with dark undereye circles and only needs a small amount of coverage in this area.  I just cannot really make this product work as I have to use it with both another eye cream and another undereye concealer, it only creates an extra step in my morning routine that isn't needed.

photo courtesy of Benefit

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Calvin Klein Downtown

I received samples of the new Calvin Klein fragrance with my last Sephora order and then was given even more samples of it when I bought some perfume gift sets at Macy*s.  Downtown is a fragrance that is inspired by New York City.  I was very excited when I saw that the Rooney Mara (in Lisbeth mode) was the model for this ad campaign and I tried this fragrance out with high hopes.  I initially liked this fragrance however I have decided that Downtown will be added to the list of Calvin Klein fragrances that are not my cup of tea.  With the exception of a handful of fragrances, Calvin Klein has never been a brand that has created perfumes that I have liked.  I find that this company creates many fragrances that skirt the line between masculine and feminine and these are just not the types of minimalism fragrances that I would wear very often.

I think that I really wanted to love Downtown for two big reasons.  The first reason is that it Rooney Mara is the cover model for this ad campaign and I love her minimalist downtown style.  The second reason that I wanted to love this fragrance is that it smells like nothing that I already own and it is very unique.  I own nothing like this fragrance for a reason...I just do not like unisex fragrances and would rather own a massive collection of floral fragrances. 

I found this fragrance on the Macy*s website, it states that Downtown is, "This urban women's fragrance is sophisticated and extremely feminine yet has a confident edge. Featuring scents of watery plum and gardenia, you'll never get tired of this divine scent." 

The key fragrance notes are: Neroli tunisia, fresh green pear, watery plum, gardenia petals, pink peppercorn, violet leaf, Texan cedarwood, vetiver, benzoin Laos orpur and musk. 

As I stated above, I find that Downtown could be a unisex fragrance.  The gardenia and violet leaf notes barely come out on my skin and I usually wear white florals very strongly.  I get mostly the pear, cedarwood, and vetiver notes from Downtown.  I did like how different this was but I didn't like how it wore on my skin.  It reminded me more of a men's cologne than a fragrance geared toward females.  If the floral notes were stronger, I probably would have been able to wear this fragrance but that is not the case so I will not be buying a full bottle of this fragrance.

The other disappointing aspect of this fragrance is the wear time.  Calvin Klein fragrances have never worn very long on my skin and I find that they tend to be heavy on top notes and don't last on many people's skin.  I got about two hours worth of wear time from this fragrance and I found that I needed to reapply it several times throughout my day and have been running through the samples that I have very quickly.

I was very hopeful that I had found a new perfume when I started trying these samples and I really wanted to like this fragrance but it just isn't for me.  I will finish the little bit left in my samples up but then I will be moving onto another perfume.

photo courtesy of Macy*s