Saturday, January 10, 2009
Favorite Things 2008
Recapping the year only in perfume terms just doesn't cut it: There are tons of things that are connected to the Good Life which have brightened the year past. So in an effort to credit the small and bigger things that have done so, a group of bloggers are showcasing them. Thanks to Grayburn for organizing this project and kindly inviting me to join!
What does it take for something to make it to my favorite things 2008 list? It has to be something I have derived actual pleasure out of, plus results; it must be luxurious without necessarily being in the stratospheric price echelons; and it should provide that ne plus ultra that makes it indispensable. So without further ado, here are some of my favorite things for 2008.
Clarins Lisse Minute/ Instant Smooth perfecting touch
Do you consider your face a fresco? Then why are you applying what is essentially paint directly onto the mortar (your pores)? This small jar of volatile silicones and wax helps make all small textural imperfections (pores, lines, roughness) vanish in such a miraculous way as Keyser Söze did in The Usual Suspects. Making the imperceptible yet annoying disappear is impossible in forensics, archaeology and the coroner's bed, but not in cosmetology any more thanks to Clarins. Pricy but worth it!
Favorite blusher and beyond
Nars the Multiple in Malibu
Not new, but I have come late to the cult of this, thanks to my introduction to it by Dain. Basically sunset in a stick, meant to be lightly dabbed on cheekbones (but also eyelids and/or lips), it imparts the loveliest glow without seeming garish (it's not as dark as it shows in the tube) and should look lovely on those with light or medium complexions (I fear it won't show up enough on dark skins, that's why)
Favorite Anti-ageing Treatment
Laboratoires Avène Ysthéal creme
This is so good, so well tolerated and perportedly so effective (I will know in about 10 years' time I guess) that it's a perennial favorite of mine for at least 8 months of the year every year (strong sunlight is a no-no so I give it a rest during summer ~no matter how much I lather sunscreen on, some of it slips and I am taking no chances). Containing retinaldehyde (a precursor of Retin-A, more effective than retinol, better tolerated than actual Retin-A) it transforms to retinoic acid in the skin providing an investement for the future. Consider it Skin Insurance.
Vichy Aqua Thermal UV SPF15
The new product that finally managed to salvage me on the humid days in the metropolis when I didn't have the heart to put my moisturiser on (instant sweat on the forehead!) or my much needed sunscreen (the requirement for safekeeping the future). Luckily this combines both in a satiny gel-cream that absorbs quickly, leaves a smooth texture and has a high PPD of 18 (basically this means that it does perform a good work of shielding the skin from the ageing UVA rays contrary to sunscreens with a high SPF factor but not much UVA protection). Available through chemist's.
This is a perfume blog, how could it ever be possible to choose only one? Still the fragrances I have worn most in 2008 are Vetiver Tonka by Hermès, Chant d'Aromes by Guerlain and El Attarine by Lutens (one out of three is from 2008). Please peruse my Reviews Index and Recent Releases for more.
Favorite Portable Obsession
Tie between Roxana Illuminated perfume in Sierra Gold (complex resinous goodness) and Pacifica Madagascar Spice (the clove smell of the holidays's melomakarona). These are so easy to use and so yummy that they have converted me to smearing my wrists with what I thought was simply goey stuff; it's so much more.
Favorite Lip Balm
Parfumeria Gal Madrid in Grosella (Red Currant) and Violette
These cute looking Art Nouveau tins hide a wonderfully aromatic balm in various shades. Grosella is especially becoming in the colder months and Violette smells delicious. Available through Beautyhabit.
Amedeo Canfora Sandals in Danielle Turquoise.
When you're traipsing your way through the hot cobblestones of Capri (What am I saying? Even through Monastiraki square!), these elegant, foot-friendly sandals are a constant reminder that your well-cared-for feet are, per Leonardo da Vinci's words, "a wonder of mechanics". They make me wish for the return of summer!
Favorite Art Site
None other than Art Daily. A little dose makes for plenty of ideas and much enjoyement.
Favorite Sinful Indulgence
Orange and Thyme pralines by Pierre Marcolini. A look through their catalogue is sin itself. (available also in 6 Lancer Square Kensington, London W8 4EH and Park Avenue, 85 10022 New York. Pretend you never read this).
Favorite Healthful Indulgence
Drinking the earthy, almost tannic tasting Pu-erh tea which is said to lower cholesterol in the process as well. (Can it wash down the Marcolini pralines, I wonder?) Available through tsai.gr.
Favorite Nail Polish
Essie in 491 Sweet Tart
This nail polish is everything autumn and winter fashions were about: mauve-ish, metallic and elegant. It has been adorning my fingernails for most of autumn and into winter and goes well from university lecturing to theatre-and-a-drink night out. The finish is excellent, it lasts well, it compliments my light, yet neutral skintone and the price is right.
Favorite Literary Parody
If you are an avid reader (like myself) and might also want something practical around (unlike myself) Sartre's Sink by Marl Crick might do the trick of two birds with one stone. Imitating the literary style of famous writers to actually compose a Do-it-Yourself guide that includes from wallpapering to unblocking a sink, Crick will have you laughing out recognising The Old Man and the Sea, The Black Cat or The Wind-up Bird Chronicle (to give out but a few). He's written a cooking guide called Kafka's Soup as well, tackling the authors who escaped; word has it the recipes work too! (on my to-read-list)
Favorite Tobacco fix
For someone who doesn't smoke, but appreciates the complexity of a good Partagas Reserva nevertheless, finding something with a rich, satisfying tobacco smell is a futile mission.
The perfect combination came this year in Kings & Queens Tsar Peter shower gel followed by a spritz of Bell'Antonio by Italian designer Hilde Soliani (available at New London Pharmacy). Two minutes later and I am sporting a fedora shading my eyes in an imaginary Kafka-esque walk through Mala Strana.
Favorite Threatical Performance
No contest; the Quebequois Cirque Éloize in their latest, Rain: Childhood innocence and fantasy combined in a Fellini and Comedia-dell'Arte-like show full of wonderful music that takes the form of a memoir of author/director Danielle Fins Pasca's childhood recollections. The catharctic finale has the entire troupe reverting to their childhood, one by one, participating in a rain-soaked game of football. It was hard to get back to reality as I exited the theatre and to tick off the last remaining drops of "rain" clinging like a vague souvenir off the lapel...
Please check the other participants for more ideas on Favorite Things of 2008:
Beautiful Makeup Search
For The Love of Beauty
Life Of A Ladybug
lily loves mac
Make Do Style
Miss Whoever You Are
Platinum Blonde Life
Searching the Inner Me
Slap Of The Day
The Beauty Alchemist
Pic through Amazon, msn.com, shopmania.co.za, canfora.com, ulterior epicure/flickr