Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Ulta vs Sephora

On Monday, I had stopped by Ulta with the intention of only returning the eye shadows that I had ordered online. That didn't happen, I mean, I returned the eye shadow but didn't just leave the store to finish up my errands. I made the mistake of looking at the sale fliers that they hang in their windows and saw the nail polish sale that they were having. Buy two, get one free and I could mix and match brands. So what did I end up doing? After my return, I did take a look at the Iceland collection. Sometimes you really need to see the color of anything in person before purchasing. I will maintain that this fall/winter collection from OPI, while nice, is a little on the drab side. I expected at least one red but they had a brighter pink and that was it. But I did fall in love with the Check Out the Old Geysirs and This Isn't Greenland because they were pretty unusual for OPI.

I have never spent a whole lot of time with Ulta and have always been pretty dismissive of Ulta. But being broke ha made me reasess my elitism when it comes to places like Sephora and Ulta. I always thought that Ulta was a poor man's Sephora but I don't think it's the case when I took a closer look. Ulta is a place that sells much more than fancy make up and skin care. Ulta is not like Sephora in that respect. I think Ulta figured out that Sephora seems to cater to a wealthier demographic and not everyone wants to spend tons of money on make up, hair care and body care. But there are people like me, who are tired of the drug store stuff and have a little more to spend on quality. I had found most of my favorite brands (SkynIceland, Urban Decay and Too Faced) at Ulta to win me over from the Sephora camp. I haven't really looked at the perfume section the few times that I have been in the store but didn't really have a whole lot of time to look at them.

Sephora isn't what it used to be, I don't think. It seems like they have raised their prices and the selection has gone down in the stores. Online is a little different due to the fact that they have online exclusives and most of the time, they are sold out of them. I don't see as many full Sephoras in malls and find more free standing Ultas. Well, I'm not really in Sephora's target demographic and I'm okay with that.

The biggest difference between the two is that Ulta runs a lot of sales and I do like a good deal on stuff I am going to use. Sephora never seems to run too much in the way of sales and when they do, it's not a good sale and something that I am not interested. So at the end of the day, it's going to be Ulta for make up and some body stuff.

Sunday, August 27, 2017

The Height of Depravity

I'm typing this on my Kindle, so forgive any kind of spelling mistakes and punctuation errors. Ever since tablets and all the ilk became affordable, along with wi-fi being pretty cheap, I really don't use my computer anymore. Well, not a whole lot. I mainly gave up on owning a computer and having an iPod.

The reason I gave up on iPods is that I am not exactly happy with Apple. For the longest time, iPods were fairly cheap and when the battery wouldn't hold a charge for more than 5 minutes, it seemed to be a whole lot cheaper just to buy a new iPod than replace the battery. Well, now that my beloved Nano's battery gave up the ghost, they're charging $100 or more to replace a stinking battery and discontinued all of the iPods except the Touch. I have got to be the only one that sees the Touch for what it is, an iPhone without the phone. How much longer before they drop the Touch? I'd rather keep my music and phone separate and wish that Apple would quit jamming the iPhone down my throat and keep at least the Nano or Shuffle but give the Shuffle a little more space for music.

What I mean by the height of depravity is that since I am not so hindered by dial up or wires, I can surf the internet, blog, read, or watch TV from my Kindle. The bathroom, the kitchen, outside, the doctors office, wherever. The only time I am hindered is when my battery is low or dead, then I need a wire.

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Chanel Cuir de Russie RDP Review

Remember when the announcement came out about Chanel converting the Exclusifs line from EDT to EDP? Well, I finally tried that decant I had of the Cuir de Russie EDP. Cuir de Russie was the perfume that really made me fall down the rabbit hole in terms of really loving perfume. At the time, I didn't know about decants and where to buy them or anything about perfume. Here I am 10 years later and a massive collection.

When I heard that Chanel was converting the Excluifs line from EDT to EDP, my reaction was kind of goofy. Some of me was the whole it will still be the same scent and it will still smell as wonderful as the EDT. The other part that was more knowledgeable said that all the Chanel formulations smell different. So back when TPC still had Chanel offerings, I grabbed a sample of Cuir de Russie EDP for a comparison and I think that I should have grabbed a small decant of no 22 EDP while I was at it.

The EDP still smells like Cuir de Russie but it is different. I find that the EDP is harsher and a little less blended than the EDT. The CdR is EDP form seems to be flatter and less rich than the EDT. I don't exactly know how or where is it flat but it is flat. The EDT is richer, more plush than the EDP. I think that some of it lies in the fact that the EDT has a lot of skank to where the EDP has taken the skank to nonexistant. The harshness in the EDP in mostly in the beginning but lasts until the dry down.

When it boils down to it, the EDP for Cuir de Russie is not a great, let alone good perfume worthy of the Chanel name. It's a good thing for me that I had bought the econo sized bottle before there were size choices of the Cuir de Russie in the EDP form. Hopefully, Chanel hasn't messed with the parfum. Needless to say, the only version of Cuir de Russie from now on will be the parfum.

Monday, August 21, 2017

Nail Stuff

Is there anybody out there that's like me with nail polish. My nail polish and doing my nails is a little wonky. I am not really so much into the whole doing my nails (even my toe nails) on any regular basis. I used to years back. Having nail polish on my finger nails and working in food service doesn't really mix. It's frowned upon to have it on nails. But I've had a hankering for what nail polish I can add to my collection and my usual go to for nail polish is the OPI brand. I had seen that the collection this time was called Iceland. I've always loved the play on words/names that OPI does.

I had to take a closer look on this collection because it looked a little on the drab side with maybe one color that I liked. It looks like a couple are either drab or just too boring for my liking. Since Amazon doesn't really have the collection and what they do have would take weeks to ship to my house, I went to the Ulta website and created an account to get the two that I really liked and a couple of small things for Christmas gifts. What has amazed me is the price of the OPI nail polishes. I don't recall them ever being so expensive and I guess that it's a good thing that I am not overly obsessed with polishing my nails.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Things That Make Me Wonder

A few years back, I was a massive nail polish junkie. Well, I had fake nails that I went to a nail salon once a month to have filled and all. Usually, I bought the nail polish that I wanted for the month for the reason of touch ups and if I wanted to, polish my toe nails the same color. But after a while, fake nails got really expensive and I stopped. Would I like to start doing that again? Yes, I would but I work in food service and it's frowned on and can run on the expensive side when you do it long term.

When I stopped polishing my finger nails, I kind of stuck to doing my toe nails to start using up most of the nail polish that I do have. Since I've done that, I've looked at the OPI nail polish collections after the German collection. Nothing really caught my eye, then I saw the Iceland collection. For a minute, I squealed because I thought that it would be a wonderful line. Taking a closer look at it, it's either somewhat of a rip off of my favorite Russian collection or the colors are kind of awful. I see two, maybe three that I would like to get. At this point, I'll probably get one. I'm kind of wondering about OPI since they don't have the selection of color anymore that I can get excited about.

Since I have been making an effort with using my full bottles, last night, I decided to spray on Amouage Lyric. Lyric was my first Amouage love and saved up for at least 3 years before I was able to buy a bottle. My full bottle has been sitting in the back of my collection untouched and rarely worn for 5 years. I had mainly been wearing my decant and travel spray but neglected the bottle. Something funky had happened. I initially thought that Lyric had gone bad. Then I sprayed a little spray this morning before my shower and was confused again. I was wondering if it was because I had a couple other perfumes on my robe sleeve or what I had been wearing was a post reformulation batch. I am going to have to wear this for a few days just to make sure.

Monday, August 7, 2017

Is There Progress?

I was looking around, thinking about what I should wear in terms of perfume today (Une Rose Chypree, in case you were wondering). The thought occured to me that I haven't bought one bottle of perfume since I had bought a bottle of L'Heure de Nuit back in February. Yes, I was poking around E-bay off and on since then and Luckyscent but haven't pulled the trigger on any full bottles. It isn't a total victory though.

Have I bought decants, yes, it's all I can really afford right now in terms of perfume. Financially, things are tight and I must start thinking ahead. It may be too early to think about my nephews and their birthdays in November, Christmas in December. I got a plan for that. If I have an extra $10-$15, it will be Amazon gift cards to put on my account and then have the ability to afford something for the people I shop for. At the end of the day right now, I do have to think about the future.

Have I made some progress with my perfume collection? Yes and no. I haven't finished one full bottle of anything and I haven't even started with selling anything on E-Bay with the stuff I either don't wear nor the stuff that I don't wear anymore. But I have made some progress with my decants. The progress I made is that I used up the ones that I had only one or two wearings left. But some of my focus has been wearing a couple more bottles exclusively. I kind of fell into wearing my Andy Tauer perfumes a little more frequently and also seeing if I can finish off that 1 ounce bottle of vintage Bal. I would like to see if I can actually manage to finish a bottle or two this year.

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Perfume Minis and Other Things

Cleaning has never been my favorite thing to do, nor replacing things that need replaced. But both needed to be done. I'm not one of those who has to scour everything once a week, I usually do that once or twice a year. The rest of the time, it's some maintenance (vacuuming, minor cleaning). After putting off cleaning my bedroom for about a year, I went through and sorted out some stuff to throw out or donate. You don't realize how much you really own until you start to go through things. Part of the reason is that I had bought a new mattress because my old one was falling apart. I needed more space to maneuver the old and new mattress.

I periodically do poke around for perfume minis. Usually I find them when I am doing my vintage searching on E-Bay. Most of the time, I find them through searches of  vintage L'Heure Bleue, Mitsouko and Deneuve. The mid to late '90's must have been the time where sample vials of perfume of minis that sprayed must have become more common. But minis must have been the decants. Where people could spend maybe a dollar on a mini to try out at home. Or they might have been those free with purchase or cost a dollar or two if some couldn't afford a full bottle. But minis don't seem to be common anymore in the land of travel sprays, TPC, STC and perfume companies getting on board with spray samples for people to take home. No, I am not talking extrait bottles because those are not minis. I do have a few minis myself in my collection. they are predominantly Deneuve. The Deneuve minis are the ones that I mostly see and for a fairly reasonable price on E-Bay. Let's face it, even partially full bottles of Deneuve are pretty pricey and the minis are wither the EDT or the extrait. But I've never been overtly enthused with spending what seems like a million dollars for a small amount of perfume.