So let's start with the beauty products! After finishing a sample vial of Etat Libre d'Orange Remarkable People and obtaining a coupon code for Twisted Lily, I decided to get a full bottle. This is a rare bird: a citrus I actually love. It's fleeting, but it's gorgeous while it lasts. The mimosa and grapefruit top notes give this a lot of sparkle without being too sweet or synthetic, and the citrus blends with a bit of soft, white florals in the heart. It's not as "laundry detergent" smelling as most other citrus-white floral blends I've tried--it's more like a "you left a glass of moscato in your snobby cousin's Hamptons bathroom full of fancy hand soaps" blend. I wear it mostly to work right now, but I'm sure I'll wear it even more in our hot, humid summers.
Now, as far as fragrances go, the little bottles of Etat Libre d'Orange perfumes are pretty affordable. But when it comes to hyaluronic acid serums? Jordan Samuel Hydrate is definitely an upgrade. It's worth the price, though, to have such a hydrating, plumping hyaluronic acid serum that feels great on my skin and doesn't irritate me. Seriously, applying this under my moisturizer, then running a humidifier at night has saved my face this winter. I'm curious about his new-ish face mist now, so if anybody has tried it, let me know your thoughts!
It took me a while to buy Besame's Carmine lipstick because I'm insanely cheap and I wasn't sure such an orange shade would work on me, but ooooh, I'm so glad I finally got my hands on it. This is the perfect balance of orange and red...like, it's almost orange, but there's just this extra dash of red that keeps it in the "warm red" category. It's a very saturated color, which I think works better with my skintone.
While I've been lucky with beauty products these past few months, I haven't had nearly as much success with books. I've read plenty of okay stuff, and a couple of books even got a four star rating. But only one earned a coveted five star, favorite book slot: Patrick Süskind's "Perfume: The Story of a Murderer." I actually read this book when I was in middle school--the library was a 15 minute walk from my house at the time and I'd stop lingering in the children's section at the end of elementary school, thanks to Wishbone--but I couldn't remember much more than "I really liked it." So when I finally got around to seeing the film version (solid but slow, visually striking, etc.), I decided to re-read the novel.
"Perfume" tells the story of Jean-Baptiste Grenouille, a misanthropic orphan with an incredible, incomparable sense of smell and no scent of his own. Guided and governed by his nose and his own selfish desires, he becomes obsessed with capturing the smells of certain people through the art of perfumery. Grenouille is far more blatantly sociopathic in the novel than he is in the film. For instance, film Grenouille accidentally kills a young woman and feels guilty for a moment before he starts sniffing her corpse, while novel Grenouille kills her on purpose, then noses away without remorse. In a sense, it felt like the film was trying to make us like him, while the book makes it very clear that he's a bastard of the highest sort...and I prefer that. It's hard to make me sympathize with someone who murders people just so he can smell them.
As for music, I've been listening to the Padmaavat soundtrack almost nonstop since it released. I still haven't seen the film, to be totally honest, since few of my friends enjoy Bollywood and those who do said it was "meh." The music, though, is utterly gorgeous. While "Nainowale Ne" may be my personal favorite track, "Ghoomar" captured the hearts of millions, so I just have to post it here. (NOTE: They edited this song in the film version to make it less "provocative," mostly by Photoshopping a red shift over Deepika's mid-drift. I think it looks silly, so I'm posting the original version here.)
Last, but most certainly not least, I have to give a shout out to the Elephant (Yoga) Pants. I tried the original harem version years ago and liked, but did not love, them. They were just too high at the waist, and the material was very see through. The yoga pants, though...they have just the right amount of stretch and have much thicker fabric. I wear a size 8 or 10 dress trouser right now (not my best weight, I admit) and am comfortable in a medium, and it should still fit when I get back down to my normal size. I'm trying to find work-from-home jobs for now, since I'm planning on moving soon, and I'm a little worried that if I land one, I'll live in these freaking pants. Mine are the black Kihari style.