eyeliner on a cat

eyeliner on a cat
beauty, scent & style scrutinized for pleasure

Monday, December 30, 2013

We have a NEW WINNER for the HURRAW! Lip Balm trio giveaway!

The NEW winner for the Hurraw! Balm trio giveaway is...


Please email me at eyelineronacat at gmail dot com with your mailing address and you will soon have your paws wrapped around your very own delicious HURRAW! lip balms.
**as before, if the winner does not come forward by Monday, January 6th by 12 noon Central Time, another winner will be chosen**

List Randomizer

There were 10 items in your list. Here they are in random order:
  1. Andrea Murdock
  2. Suzy Lewis Ship
  3. tzeni pap
  4. Jackie Burns
  5. Wendy
  6. Sarah
  7. Barbara B
  8. Aliceatious
  9. Elizabeth RB
  10. Sunny
Timestamp: 2013-12-31 03:44:42 UTC

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Beauty Spotlight Team: 20 Questions with Jessika from Polish Insomniac!

It's Jessika's week for 20 Questions from The Beauty Spotlight Team!  Will she crack under the pressure?  Is there a real person under all that glitter (and hair)?  It's time to find out!

Friday, December 27, 2013

My Top 8 Fragrances of 2013: (or, the year-long rollercoaster of olfactory pleasures)

It's LIST TIME again! Always a treat for us bloggers. This year, as with every other, these fragrances are in no particular order, and if I do say so myself, this is quite an interesting group of perfumes I've got here. My consumption of scents in terms of numbers has not been quite as high as in years past, but these fragrances caught my attention instantly and I knew they would receive my year-end attentions. There are several new brands, and nothing pleases me more to be able to embrace new niche companies and the fantastic talents behind them. Below are links to the lists of my blogging compatriots-- for additional listy-type reading entertainment, please do check out their posts as well!

Olfactoria's Travels
Fragrant Moments
Candy Perfume Boy

Aftelier Cuir de Gardenia
With the simplicity of the finest natural tiare essence along with natural castoreum, I'm not sure a floral fragrance lover could dream a better perfume. Cuir de Gardenia is so rich and uplifting all at once-- it's one of Mandy's most lust-inspiring, maddeningly perfect, expensive-smelling creations yet. Unscrew the cap and it just might whisper stories into your ear that would make you blush. Over the years I've come to find out that it's not my toys or the television or my cat that hypnotizes me and tells me to do bad things, it's perfume. I'm going to love and wear Cuir de Gardenia with pleasure and abandon, and if I wind up in jail, Mandy, I'll need you to bail me out.

Neela Vermeire Creations Ashoka
As many of you know, I'm still completely obsessed with Trayee. However, Neela's newest creation, Ashoka, is a very, very close second. The composition is complex (in true Duchaufour style) but the effect is tempered with pure soul. I find its milky, powdered fig and sandalwood very soothing, and the intense overlay of a cool, otherworldly floral melange led by jasmine sambac (my favorite kind of jasmine) and osmanthus is something akin to icing on the cake. However, comparing this fragrance to food just seems wrong. Whatever this is-- this magic-- can only live in the ether, where you're lucky if you ever get to meet it.

Parfums Retro Grand Cuir
Fledgling brand Parfums Retro's first release Grand Cuir instantly made me feel all sorts of things. It has an incredible effervescence that you don't find in many leather fragrances. It draws you in and won't let go-- not that I would ever want it to. It's a many-faceted diamond that sparkles in its frankness and refusal to blend into the standards that have been set by the industry, critics like myself, or any other person desiring to categorize and simplify it. Grand Cuir is a leather fragrance for optimists, and for pessimists looking for a change of pace. And, I love the Art Deco chevron design on the label, which fits the brand perfectly. Overall, it's a very impressive and interesting first launch for Parfums Retro, and I can't wait for the next one.

Charenton Macerations Christopher Street
Everybody, meet the fragrance I wore most of the summer. I had been eagerly awaiting this new brand's first release, Charenton Macerations Christopher Street. The story is rich with history of the joy, freedom, revelry, individualism, pain, violence and turmoil of a particular area of New York City- The Village. I have two major associations with that neighborhood-- the happy memories of spending time with my mother there on our occasional trips, and the riots of Stonewall in 1969. You can fit thousands of lifetimes and experiences in this bottle of shimmering, combustible, energetic fragrance, and the imagination and artistry that went into making this a perfect fragrance for either gender, for any situation, is rather mind blowing to me. How to explain the Willie Wonka-esque everlasting drunken salty lime note? I don't know, I guess you'd have to ask Ralf Schweiger, who composed it. There is a lot of creative transparency and lore to pore over on the CM website, and it all makes for interesting reading. At the end of the day, though, Christopher Street, in its purposefully modest packaging, is one of the fragrances I reach for the most, and my favorite thing to smell traces of on my clothes.

Rouge Bunny Rouge Embers
UK/Moscow cosmetic brand Rouge Bunny Rouge relies heavily on fantasy. If you look at (or use) their products, you'd know their signature whimsical style and stories. They eschew infantile cutesy-ness for shadowy rabbit-hole oddities, and it really works for them. Their cosmetics are fantastic and their seasonal collections offer much more originality than you'll find with the usual high-end department store suspects-- this is niche beauty on steroids. The looks they create are what I want, so I was not surprised at all when they released a series of fragrances that I found equally impressive. I mean, really impressive. I like all of them, love a few, but am out-of-my-mind obsessed with Embers. It's smoky and woody (which you may have already gathered), but it's loaded with spices and aromatics that mercifully last for days if you let them, and yet it manages to not be cloying. It's a super-sexy swoon-worthy unisex sillage monster and I love it intensely. In the US, it currently can only be ordered through Beautyhabit.com.

Aether Arts Burner Series no. 4 John Frum
Amber Jobin is the perfumer behind Aether Arts, who until fairly recently was under Dawn Spencer Hurwitz's apprenticeship. Some of you might remember that Dawn created a bespoke perfume for me a couple of years ago, Guimauve de Soie, which was a huge thrill for me. Amber created a series of perfumes for Burning Man, and I fell in love with no. 4 John Frum, right here in my living room-- not naked in the desert. But I do know someone who was there, though I've no idea if she wore her clothes or not. Anyway, Burner no. 4 is a super-fresh vetiver and leather concoction that is oil-based, and wears close to the skin. With other, milder notes of tropical flowers and a faint touch of coconut, besides the vetiver of course, the other main ingredient it boasts is kava kava, which in herbal medicine is known to help a number of different ailments, including its function as a sedative, an anesthetic, and a psychoactive drug with its numbers of kavalactones reaching up to fifteen or so. I must admit I have no idea what the plant smells like, and I've never seen it in person in its natural form. But if I'm smelling it in this perfume, it's delightful. I don't know anyone who wouldn't love Burner no. 4, which makes it a must have, and a good one to stash small bottles of for gifts. Amber and Aether Arts are bringing something special to the table-- watch this one, folks.

SOIVOHLE' Carpathian Oud Cologne and Demi Absolute
Yep. Those who know me, know that I might be a little obsessed with Christopher Lee as Dracula from the old Hammer films. When I heard the name of this fragrance, I thought, "the old-school vampire lover in me AND the black metal lover in me are making out right now". I remember years ago when I went bazonkers over Liz Zorn's Meerschaum, her ode to my other favorite fictional character, Sherlock Holmes. This is Meerschaum 2.0, people (only similar in degrees of bazonks I went over them). Carpathian Oud is one of those rare fragrances where I've gotten handed two different versions of it at the same time, so that is a total treat for me. I tried the cologne first, which I declared addictive (between long inhalations). When it came time for the demi-absolute, a new world opened up. It's like watching a Dracula film or reading Stoker's book vs. being right there in the Carpathian Mountains as the sun is setting and you've got no idea where you'll find shelter for the night. Carpathian Oud has many aromatic oddities, a curious balance between acidity and alkalinity, and the distinct tang of metal. Ah, yes. Iron! That's it. The mineral found in human blood. It's earthy, sexy as hell, and can be defined by the word exotic. It's not from here, it's not from there... it's a Liz Zorn creation, and this is a scent that I want to be buried with.

[photo includes DOGSTAR and both Carpathian Oud concentrations]

SOIVOHLE' Dog Star Cologne
A Soivohle/Liz Zorn cologne-concentration fragrance can be deceivingly potent, so that's one (good) thing to consider when thinking about trying Dog Star- but I will warn you, it's already on clearance and being phased out, so snatch some up NOW. Hopefully it will return again one day. Anyway! Dog Star is what you would find on offer at an intergalactic, floating department store for aliens (I know, I watch a lot of Doctor Who). It has a very human, tactile quality to it, but it feels very, very steely and cold in temperature with ozonic muskiness, choya and patchouli. To be perfectly honest, it fascinates the hell out of me. I don't even know who I am when I'm wearing it. And that, is what has earned Dog Star a place on my list. Too strange to live, too beautiful to die.

[disclaimer: I was not compensated for any of my reviews or statements. Samples were provided by the perfumers for my consideration. All photos courtesy of their corresponding brands]

Monday, December 23, 2013

The Winner of the HURRAW! Lip Balm Trio Giveaway!

Out of 11 entries, Random.org helped me to pick a winner...
Please email me at eyelineronacat at gmail dot com with your mailing address and I will mail your prize out to you as soon as possible!

*If it should happen that I do not hear from the winner by Tuesday December 31st at 12pm, Central Time, another winner will be chosen.*

There were 11 items in your list. Here they are in random order:
  1. Kasha
  2. Elizabeth RB
  3. Andrea Murdock
  4. Sunny
  5. Wendy
  6. Suzy Lewis Ship
  7. Aliceatious
  8. tzeni pap
  9. Sarah
  10. Jackie Burns
  11. Barbara B
Timestamp: 2013-12-24 02:54:52 UTC

Friday, December 20, 2013

HURRAW! The art of amazing lip balm [and a killer giveaway!]

**The draw is now closed- a winner will be announced shortly!**

Some of you might already be thinking, "Lip balm? For real?'  Yep, lip balm. It's a big deal to me, and over the years, I've used hundreds of them. I'll find one that I think is great, but after the third or fourth one, there will inevitably be something... one little thing... that bothers me about it enough that I won't buy it again. It's too sweet. The texture turns grainy after awhile. It melts too easily, it won't stay on my lips long enough, it's too waxy... I could go on. I even have brands that I return to periodically because they're perfectly lovely but I just need to be in the mood to use them. You see, I've usually got about a dozen active lip balms at a time, stashed in different places. I'm obsessed. The lip balm love affair may actually be one of the most common beauty obsessions that exist.

So what's the big deal about Hurraw! lip balms? They are silky and satiny, sexy and perfectly textured, profoundly hydrating, all natural, made with uber-high-quality ingredients that are literally good enough to eat, they are softly fragranced, very affordable... and my favorite part? They're not all formulated exactly the same. Each balm is a little work of art in itself, and I think this is most evident in several of my favorites, including the Ayurvedic trio (Pitta, Vata & Kapha).

My interest in the ancient Indian healing art and science of Ayurveda has grown quite a bit over the past couple of years, and these lip balms are formulated on-site with finesse and thoughtfulness by a staffer who also happens to be a practitioner of Ayurveda. Like every HURRAW! lip balm, they are authentic, a pleasure to use and filled with gorgeous ingredients.

While it was the Ayurvedic trio of balms that pulled me in, it was the "tea trio" that held me down. I'm absolutely crazy about them, but my crown jewel has to be Green Tea. Here's the ingredient breakdown:
Sweet almond oil, hemp oil, coconut oil, jojoba oil, cocoa seed butter, olive oil, camellia (green tea) powder, vitamin e, natural flavors. The brand uses raw, organic, vegan ingredients to create their products, and wildcrafted ones whenever possible.

This stuff makes your lips so soft and hydrated, that I swear that I can feel the moisture seeping through my lips into my entire face. Can you picture that? Maybe it sounds kinda gross, but if you're the winner of the TEA TRIO giveaway, you can find out for yourself if that's an accurate description of the delightful insanity that is  HURRAW! lip balms, and perhaps if this blog's readers are lucky, share some of your own weird technicolor visions of these addictive lip care products.

I've already bought some for my closest friends and family, and I personally own about twenty of these at any given time. My goal is to have tried one of everything, and I'm not very far off, to be honest. My husband is totally into the Root Beer balm, and Mom goes for the citrus fruits: lemon and lime. Another brilliant duo that I haven't mentioned yet are the Sun and Moon balms: Sun is tangerine and vanilla with SPF 15, and Moon consists of a mercifully soothing blue chamomile and vanilla, and is a bit thicker so that it really stays on all night.

You can win one each of the following lip balms, tucked away in an adorable little muslin drawstring bag:
Green Tea, Chai Spice and Earl Grey.

Just leave a comment below telling me about your current favorite lip balms, and what you look for in the ideal lip balm. On Monday night around 7pm Central, I will announce the winner in a new post. The winner will be determined by Random.org. At that time, the winner will be responsible for emailing me at eyelineronacat at gmail dot com with their mailing address so I can send out their goodies! Think of me as a version of Santa Claus that deals strictly in badass stocking stuffers, who has way too many pairs of high-heeled boots and bottles of perfume for her own good.

Feel free to head over to the HURRAW! website to check out all the different flavors and formulations they have. If you are a true lip balm freak, I dare you to click away without buying a couple. That is something I've been woefully unable to do as of yet.

Good luck to everyone, and happy holidays to you and yours!

[prize trio provided by HURRAW! balms. All other balms purchased by me for my own personal use. All images copyright HURRAW! balms, all rights reserved.]

Saturday, December 14, 2013

The Beauty Spotlight Team: Twenty Questions with Kate from Drivol About Frivol

It's 20 Questions Time Again! Get to know a little bit more about Kate from the blog that covers more scrumptious beauty goodies than one person should be able to handle, Drivol About Frivol.

Happy weekend, everyone!