Saturday, 11 May 2013

I can't stop sniffing myself: Philosykos EDT by Diptyque

Close your eyes and visualize that you 're on the beach. Now, I'm not talking about a filled with people and 4 SPF oil "sunscreen" type of beach, under an umbrella on a chaise longue with a frappe on hand and the latest hits pouring out of the speaker over your head. Not that there is anything wrong with this picture, it 's just a different thing than what I have in mind right now.
So, the beach. I choose my most favorite, secluded little spot of sand and sea, where I lay under the shade of a tamarix tree (not sure about the translation, I'm talking about the lovely almyrikia or armyrikia tree that can be found on many Greek beaches).
The sand is golden beige, the sea is a gradient of blue green to ultramarine, far off, where a tiny speck of a ferry is going towards its joyfull destination. The sky is a blinding cobalt blue and the sun is the king on his high throne.
The only sound that comes to my ears is the rhythmical caress of the sea on the sand in the form of lazy but repetitive tiny waves. Somewhere in the back is a company of cicadas that sing the classic August hit of sweet idleness.
There is also a refreshing breeze coming from the sea, soothing and comforting, despite the blazing hot sun.
I feel relaxed, tranquil, one with the elements around me, safe in the embrace of nature, with no worries or anxieties, my mind is a white sheet of paper.
This, my friends, is Philosykos to me.
Fear not for my mental health, (lol!) it 's just that I haven't been so head over heels about a fragrance for a long time now (well, not since last May when I discovered the, alas LE, Sweet Milk by Jo Malone).
First of all, let's get professional-like and review this heavenly fragrance.
I got a 12ml, travel sample spray bottle of the eau de toilette, a few days ago, in the first Cherrybox box that I bought. It was a lovely surprise because Diptyque is such a niche brand and very expensive so I was not familiar with its products.
Philosykos as a word is actually a joint of two Greek words:
  • Philos, that means friend
  • Syko, that means the fruit of the fig
So, Philosykos means friend of the fig (I know, translated it sounds a little weird and not so posh, lol!)
Diptyque describes this fragrance as an ode to the fig tree and was created after the memories of one of the founders of the brand, when, "in the heat of Greek summer he had to walk through an orchard of wild fig trees in order to get to the sea".
Technically speaking the notes are:
  • Top: fig leaf and fig
  • Middle: coconut and green notes
  • Base: cedar, wood and fig
Not technically speaking (lol!) I find that it opens up crisp, fresh and green but without being sour or tart, as it happens some times with green scents.
Instead, there is a sweet, milky quality, not at all pungent and offending but quite the contrary, that manages to balance wonderfully the fig. It 's - my oh so dear - coconut that does it, standing on a base of delicate woods.
It's a tight and wonderful ensemble that can be worn by women and men alike (well, that was a strange way to put it...!). It 's definitely a summer scent but I can probably wear it all year round. Also, to me it stands out of the group of summer-y perfumes because it 's more refined, more polished, in a good - not elitist - way.
The part that I like the most is that, as time goes by, the scent doesn't become loose, disheveled. It retains its integrity but the harmony becomes deeper, richer not meaning heavier but like as more in unison with my skin.
I also love the fact that it 's not a screaming type of perfume, meaning that it doesn't fill a room as soon as I enter it, but it does leave a faint but distinguishable trail.
The only part that I wasn't excited about is the average longevity, I would be thrilled with a bit more, but, it's not bad.
So, the premiere of Cherrybox service was quite impressive to me but I 'm going to talk about it in a following post. I am so in love with the fragrance that I couldn't hold myself, I just had to tell you about it!
I 'm definitely going to buy the full size, we 're just 84€ apart, (sigh) for the 100ml bottle.
That 's it for now, I hope you 're all well and thriving (off to sniff my wrist a little more!).

Tuesday, 7 May 2013

Da Glove (but not from Sigma!)

I 'm sure you 've all seen the Brush Cleaning Glove by Sigma. It is a little wonder, an innovation itself, in many eye catching colors, that makes brush washing a breeze.

I wanted it. Desperately. Passionately. I was set on buying it. I mean, I don't have as many brushes as a makeup artist (by any means) but, I 'm quite adamant about washing my brushes once a week and it is undeniably a chore. Depending on the brush, I may have to wash some of them repeatedly 3-4 times to remove all product (Sigmax I 'm looking at you!) and taking into consideration that I spot clean them every time I use them, it says a lot about how much gunk a brush can collect.

What the Sigma Brush Cleaning Glove is supposed to do (and I don't doubt a bit that it does deliver) is that it makes washing, rinsing and shaping your brushes a joy, something that sounds at first like a retro add where the happy and oh so pretty and polished housewife manages a whole household without loosing a curl from her hairdo (seriously???).

So, I watched a few videos and I saw that it actually does what it promises, with flying colors.

But there was a huge boulder between us...

The glove of gloves, the promised land of all dirty brushes waiting anxiously to be fresh and clean, costs $39!!! Plus twenty something bucks for shipping to Greece, we 're talking over $60 in total!!!

No, it doesn't make coffe as well. No it doesn't give you directions when you 're in the car, lost in another space and time dimension (like, next block from your house, lol!). No it doesn't wake you up in the morning. It just sits there, waiting for you to cover it in soap and water and clean your brushes on it.

But it has groves or should I say "variety of textures and surfaces" and did I mention it comes in all sorts of fun colors? Yeah.

Now, here's a hot topic: how much do your brushes cost? Depending on the total cost - money invested - on your brushes, maybe $40 + shipping isn't that absurd.

To me, it's not that I don't value my brushes but this price point seems completely exuberant, for something that costs 2-3 dollars to manufacture. It's plain (and ineffective) marketing tactic that says that consumers are sheep and will buy everything as long as it is in a pretty package. Well, sometimes at least we 're not sheep, surprise!

The results were that even famous beauty gurus, that got it for free, raved about how practical it is but also admitted that they probably would never buy it, because of the unreasonable price.

So, after deciding that I didn't want to throw $60+ on a rubber glove, I decided to improvise a bit and did an eBay research on rubber glove, rubber mitt, etc.

And guess what? I found a decent priced one, at $8 with free shipping.

Don't get me wrong, it 's not the same product but it does more or less the same thing.

Here it is!

Isn't it prettttyyyyyy? It even has little hearts, awwwwwww (no, I 'm not brain damaged....)

What I looked for was substantial groves, because most of them have really shallow ones. This was one of the cheapest that has some decent texture, so I decided to get it.

Bottom line: Is it effective?

Well, yes! I can't say how it works in comparison to the real thing but it does clean my brushes thoroughly at a fraction of the time I had to spend when I cleaned them by hand.

I 've used it in order to wash my Mac brushes, Real Techniques brushes, even the oh so hard to clean Sigma Sigmax brushes. Most of them need only one wash, whereas the Sigma ones need two washes.

So, all in all I'm very pleased with it because it's definitely effective and a great value for money, I do have a reservation though: I don' t know how (and if) it will affect the brushes in the long run, because my hand is obviously a softer surface than the glove. I try to be gentle and not rub them viciously on the glove, but, some times, when I 'm in a hurry, I do tend to be a little slack and rub them a little too vigorously.

I 'm not so concerned about the synthetic bristles because I do think they 're more durable but the "regular" brushes (made from animal hair) need extra care. So far though (I 've been using it for over a month now) I haven't notice any hair loss, so, maybe that 's a good sign!

Now, that 's a lot of ink over an oven glove but it does deserve it and I wanted to share with you an alternative to - the much debated of - Sigma glove. It 's not the same thing but it does the job, at a fraction of the price.

That 's it for now, I hope you 're all well and thriving!

Χρόνια Πολλά, εύχομαι να γυρίσετε ασφαλείς όλοι σπίτια σας με τις μπαταρίες γεμάτες!


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