a335215I’m no basic b*tch. I’ve never had a pumpkin spice latte and I never intend to. I don’t buy Michael Kors and I don’t wear pink on Wednesdays. When it comes to the whole autumnal ‘pumpkin in everything’ trend it’s not something I really get behind, so when I spotted the Peter Thomas Roth Pumpkin Enzyme Mask during my recent trip to Sephora it definitely wasn’t the name that caused me to pick it up. After spotting a few reviews of it in some magazines, I knew I need to give it a go and I’m so glad I did because it is really great.

This mask is perfect for those days you feel gross. When the city said eff you and decided to take a crap on your face (have I gone too far?) After the first use, my skin had a glow to it and was so smooth. Smooth like the 10-year-old me.

My first impression was that it smelled good enough to eat. Cinnamon-y and warm, like a pumpkin muffin. You’ll be tempted to, but please don’t taste the mask. I resisted and instead slathered on a dollop of the orange, slightly gritty textured gel and massage it on as instructed. At this point the Aluminium Oxide kicks in, doing its exfoliating thing. After a minute or so my skin started to feel warm. Instructions say to leave it on for 3 to 7 minutes but given that I am stubborn I decided to really go for it and left it on for 10. The Pumpkin Enzyme and AHA gets to work at sloughing away the dead skin cells; now I wouldn’t say it stung, but it was warming and a cool cloth coming at me after a few minutes was very much welcome. After rinsing it off there was a bit of redness but it subsided after a few minutes and it felt great.


I am all about this mask. Those pumpkin spiced lattes…not so much.

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_11040585I am a sucker for all things Tom Ford, even Tom Ford the director for A Single Man. If you haven’t seen this magical piece of cinema starring Colin Firth and Julianne Moore, I suggest you go Netflix and chill asap! But I am getting off topic.

A few weeks ago it was one of those gloomy pre-Fall days. Muggy and rainy and all-around gross out. I decided to take myself out and pay a long overdue visit to the Tom Ford counter. I sampled a few of the more recent scents but one really caught my attention; Venetian Bergamot.

The new fragrance which belongs to the collection Private Blend, presented as a unisex edition which blends expressive pepper-based notes with exotic floral notes and creamy woody shades. Everything I like in a perfume. It opens with green and tart aromas of bergamot which is surrounded with bitter and cold chords of black pepper and a light cheerfulness of pink pepper, while ginger enhances the sharpness and citrusy scent. The heart mixes warm and intoxicating shades of ylang-ylang combined with gardenia and magnolia. The woody blend of cedar and Californian bay leaf (Pepperwood / myrtle from Oregon / Umbellularia) provides a rougher character to floral aromas, while the finish is provided by warm aromas of sandalwood, tonka, amber and cashmeran.

It walks an interesting tightrope, trying not to veer too far from the bergamot it is named for, but keeping enough other things going on so you don’t lose interest.  It goes on joyous and immediately deepens into more than a cologne.  Tom Ford Venetian Bergamot walks the line of unisex really well – a little floral, a little cologne, a lot of woods and pepper, smoothed over with tonka.  Easy to wear, it would work well in the office or for a night out on the town.

If asked to describe it in one word, it’d be: sublime.

Purchase yours here.

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jessie_baylin_cover_sq-f090a6437f089067388b748e3d1ccd6ccb9bb198-s800-c15There are many striking similarities between singers Jessie Baylin and Lana Del Rey.

New Jersey-native Baylin just turned 31 and New York-native Del Rey turns 30 in June, and both performers have been releasing music for seven or eight years. They’re also stylistic sisters, otherworldly crooners who bring to mind a gauzy California sound from the 1960’s and ’70’s. But while the more-popular Del Rey deals with sultry surrealism, Baylin deals with soulful surrealism.

Baylin’s new “Dark Place” might narrow her popularity gap with Del Rey.

“Dark Place” is an intoxicating mix of bliss and melancholy keyed to Baylin’s sumptuous vocals and lush production by Richard Swift. There are ear-opening twists, like the staticky hallucination “Creepers (Young Love)” that sounds like an unlikely cross between The Doors and Siouxsie and the Banshees, and there’s an impossibly sweet “Kiss Your Face” that sounds like slo-mo Beatles.

Interesting though the instrumentation is, Baylin’s voice consistently steals focus. She shines in the inescapable shadows of the title track, she mesmerizes with the repeated refrain “It’s all that I can do” on “All That I Can Do,” and she towers in the melancholy sway of “The Ringer,” singing, “What a time to walk away/Is that the way you play it safe?”

Swift and Baylin offer one last twist with their finale – the lone cover song on the album, a stately rendition of Bette Midler’s “Do You Wanna Dance” that epitomizes romanticism.

With any luck, “Dark Place” will bring Baylin’s career to a light.


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