From the category archives:

-Dolce & Gabbana

Apart from the annual Sheer Stellas, I have not bought any fragrance for the last couple of years. I often test new fragrances that I see in shops, but I am not on the hunt for a new favorite. Stella McCartney’s Stella, Bulgari’s Eau Parfumée au Thé Vert, and Ayura’s Spirit of Ayura are still my solid favorites, and I have other scents to suit different moods and occasions.

D&G’s 3 L’Impératrice came as a surprise. It is part of The D&G Anthology, which was launched last summer and includes five fragrances. It is one of my favoites among all the new fragrances that I have tested in the last couple of years. After testing it for a few more times just to be sure, I got it a few months ago (with my Boots points).

Top notes: pink pepper, kiwi, rhubarb
Middle notes: watermelon, cyclamen, jasmine
Base notes: citrus wood, musk, sandalwood
(information from Osmoz.)

Osmoz classifies it as a floral fruity, which I agree with. (It is not a fruity floral.) On me, the most pronounced notes are perhaps kiwi and watermelon, but overall the scent smells peachy to me. Fresh with a hint of sweetness, it is like a jug of zesty, cooling, and refreshing fruit punch. It is young but not too girlie. (There are many other scents that are a lot more sugary-sweet.)

It is perhaps not the most multi-dimensional fragrance since it does not develop very much during the course of wear and the base notes are very subtle.
It is simply a fresh and light-hearted scent that is very easy to wear.

I do like fresh, straightforward and easy-to-wear scents,
which is mainly why I really like 3 L’Impératrice. It would not be my choice of fragrance for formal occasions, but it is a lovely daily scent (particularly for spring and summer) that I find delightfully uplifting and invigorating. While my top three scents remain unchanged, 3 L’Impératrice is most definitely among my favorites.

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Dolce & Gabbana Makeup Line in Selfridges

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(Scarlett Johansson, brand ambassador)
(images from www.dolcegabbanamakeup.com)
Some of you might already know about the new makeup line from Dolce & Gabbana. According to the line’s official website, it is currently only available in Milan’s la Rinascente Duomo, New York’s Saks Fifth Avenue, and London’s Selfridges. Last week, I stopped by the counter in Selfridges and spent some time playing with the colors.

As soon as I came across the first photos of the line some time ago, I was drawn to the luxurious gold cases. However, I wasn’t sure how they would come across in person. (Some gold packaging photographs well but looks much less opulent in person.) At the counter, it was nice to see that the packaging looked as good as it appeared on the website. Compared with YSL’s gold packaging, Dolce & Gabbana’s has no hard edges and conveys a more sensuous feel but it looks equally glamorous.

The launch lineup features essential makeup items, including eyeshadow palettes (quads and duos), mascara, eyeliner, lipsticks, lipliner, lip gloss, powder foundation, bronzer, and nail color.

I was impressed with the soft texture of the eyeshadows. Most colors are either moderately or well pigmented, and they glide (on the back of my hand) very easily. (I never use counter testers on my face.) At the moment, none of the duos or quads took my fancy, but I will definitely keep an eye on future releases.

(Smooth Eye Colour Quad in Stromboli)


Another item that left a fairly positive impression is Perfect Finish Powder Foundation. Available in 12 shades, it has a soft and smooth texture. It seems to impart a subtly luminous finish, and I think it will probably suit those with a drier skin type better. Shade-wise, I think Caramel and Cinnamon are relatively good yellow-toned shades for light-to-medium complexions.

Four of the five Luminous Cheek Color shades are on the warm side, with Provocative being the only cool shade. Hopefully there will be other cool or neutral-to-cool shades in the future.

Both Classic Cream Lipstick and Shine Lipstick have a rich and creamy texture. Shine Lipstick is slightly sheerer and glossier than Classic Cream Lipstick, which has a satiny and subtly glossy finish.

Price-wise (in the UK), Dolce & Gabbana Makeup is in the same category as other designer beauty brands such as Chanel, Dior and YSL. Here are the prices of some of the items:

Smooth Eye Colour Quad: £35
Smooth Eye Colour Duo: £22
Lipsticks (Classic Cream & Shine): £20
Perfect Finish Powder Foundation: £33

(Classic Cream Lipstick)


Overall, this is a promising makeup line and the standard of the current products appears to be good. Dolce & Gabbana obviously wanted the launch to be exclusive, but, with popular Hollywood actress Scarlett Johansson chosen to front the ad campaign and Pat McGrath (one of the world’s best-known makeup artists) sharing application tips on the line’s website, it seems that the line is aiming at a broader appeal. It would also be interesting to see if the line will try to enter the East Asian market, which is not the easiest market to crack due to its sheer competitiveness.

Related posts:

Makeup Review: Illamasqua
(also available in Selfridges)

Viktor & Rolf at Barbican Centre

Beauty City Guide: London

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