Reviews and Other Stuff

Maison Francis Kurkdjian Paris Fragrance Wardrobe, Discovery Collection for Her, Review.

Maison Francis Kurkdjian review


Makeup and beauty aside, let’s talk about a very intriguing fragrance brand — The Maison Francis Kurkdjian brand of luxurious fragrances. In this review, I have a mini discovery collection set full of fragrance samplers recommended for women.

The Maison Francis Kurkdjian brand of luxe fragrances is full of exciting scents that cater to all gender and gender-neutral type. Because of that, many MFK fragrances are unique, blendable, and highly versatile.


Maison Francis Kurkdjian scent review


This discovery set is geared towards women who want to discover the MFK scent or simply want to find their signature scents. Each scent in this set seems to have been carefully developed to provide a completely unforgettable olfactory experience.

Here is a quick run-through and my overall impression of the scents in this discovery set.


Maison Francis Kurkdjian Fragrances.


Aqua Universalis (Cologne forte) – This scent smells like very cool and clean water blended with pure cotton. Do water and cotton have a scent? Apparently, yes, it depends on the circumstances as to how they are washed 😊. This scent may come off as a bit masculine, but this is a very clean and pure scent that can work well with any woman’s body chemistry. This scent is meant to be woody, citrusy, and musky, yet somehow this scent seems like a very sophisticated blend of most water-inspired signature and cotton-like fragrances.


Aqua Celestia (Cologne forte) – Described as citrusy, floral, and musky. This scent will send your olfactory sense to a euphoric overload. What a unique blend of raspberry, citrus, and musk! This scent is SO good; you will need to purchase this in a large bottle. I can only describe the magical top note of this as sweet and floral. Not too heady and not too light. A perfect feminine scent.


Aqua Vitae (Cologne forte) – Sweet and floral. A light yet irresistible feminine scent that is somewhat similar to Aqua Celestia but has a bit of a woody note. This scent is also really good, but it tends to fade quickly, at least on my body chemistry. I recommend this if you are a fan of very light feminine fragrances or if your nose tends to react to strong scents.


Maison Francis Kurkdjian amyris review


Amyris (Femme) – Hmmm, at first spritz, I can already tell that there is so much drama going on in this scent. This scent is for complicated, mature, and elegant women because of the heavy woody iris scent. There is supposed to be something fruity in this scent, but all I could sense is the rich deep floral note, which can be heady, at least for me. The top notes of this scent remind me of Angel by Mugler or Black Opium by YSL. Overall, I think this will make for a captivating indelicate scent.


Gentle Fluidity – There is nothing quite gentle at this scent at all. I find this musky oriental scent to be somewhat masculine and heavy in alcohol. The top notes can be vanilla sweet, but there is musk and amber, making it very intense. On the contrary, the base note settles into a light powdery scent, somewhat reminiscent of the Byredo Treehouse fragrance.


Oud (Satin Mood) – Violet, Damascena Rose, Amber Vanilla, Cinnamon, Oud, and Violet make for this very sensual and provocative orient scent. This is a very intense scent. So intense that the liquid is blue-tinged. I find this scent to be intensely sweet and floral, which is not exactly my thing, but for some, this scent can be a perfect signature scent because it is so unique. It is nothing quite like I have tried before. The dry-down is a different story because it dissipates into something light and somewhat familiar, like the Byredo Bibliotheque fragrance.


Maison Francis Kurkdjian baccarat rouge 540 eau de parfum review


Baccarat Rouge 540 (Eau de Parfum) – Ah! The famous Baccarat Rouge 540! What an interesting and mysterious scent this is. For some, this scent is an identity, a symbol, a status. For me, this scent is so intriguing. Will this be my new signature scent? The answer is probably not. While I like this scent a lot, I think this scent is not for me since this does not seem to blend well with my body chemistry. I do not know how to classify this scent. I guess that is why this scent is complicated. I sense a very faint fruity-floral note, which is a delicate blend of lemon and jasmine. There is also cedar, sage, and a saffron derivative to it, which add to the woodiness of the scent. For some reason, my nose is telling me that this scent is a familiar blend of two or three fascinating fragrances — My Burberry Blush + Viktor & Rolf Liquid Diamonds + Angel by Thierry Mugler.


Baccarat Rouge 540 (Extrait de Parfum) – This the intense version of the Baccarat Rouge 540. Personally, I kind of prefer this concentration because this is intense at first spritz, and does not fade away immediately. The complexity of the Rouge Baccarat 540 is more pronounced in this type of fragrance concentration than the Eau de parfum, even though this has a somewhat masculine note. I guess, after all, my preferences in fragrances gear towards the androgynous type.


Maison Francis Kurkdjian Fragrances aqua celestia


All the scents in this mini Maison Francis Kurkdjian Discovery Collection for Her are captivating and unique in their own notes. Despite some similarities of a few scents with some known brand fragrances, still, the scents stood out on their own, giving a distinct olfactory experience that almost determines which type of personality will match each scent. As for me, my top three preferred scents in this sampler are: 1) Aqua Celestia, 2) Aqua Vitae, and 3) Amyris (femme).


Are you a fan of Maison Francis Kurkdjian fragrances? What is your favorite fragrance of all time?





Pat McGrath Labs Mothership IX Eyeshadow Palette: Huetopian Dream Review + Swatches

Pat McGrath Labs Mothership IX Eyeshadow Palette Huetopian Dream review photo


Here is an eyeshadow palette that deserves its own review. The Pat McGrath Labs Mothership IX Eyeshadow Palette in Huetopian Dream is an out-of-this-world cosmic and ethereal palette that captivates you all the time. From the moment I saw and tested the palette, I noticed that there is a lot of thought and care put into it. Each shade is beautiful, and each shade’s texture feels very good to the touch. There are some creamy shades in the palette, and they are so soft and buttery. Even the shimmery shades feel very smooth and soft that they do not scratch the lid at all. Also, the shimmery and glittery shades adhere well to the lid without the need for any eyeshadow primer. There are also no fallouts noted upon testing and wearing the palette.


Pat McGrath Labs Mothership IX Eyeshadow Palette Huetopian Dream review


There are ten shades in the PMG Huetopian Dream palette, and they are all very pigmented and can be worn as is. Also, three shades in the palette are matte finish, while the rest are on the shimmery and metallic sides. On top of that, one shade is a duo-chrome, and another one is a tri-chrome. Both are really stunning shades. Moreover, two shades in this palette are very spectacular and are my top favorites. They are the last two shades on the farthest right. The lilac shade on the farthest right is very beautiful, and it gives a unicorn look on the lids. It also has a pink tone to it.


Pat McGrath Labs Mothership IX Eyeshadow Palette Huetopian Dream swatches


The shades do not bleed nor crease, and they never caused any irritation on my lids. Per Sephora, the PMG Huetopian palette is paraben-free, phthalates-free, and sulfate SLS and SLES-free.

The packaging of the palette is very impressive, like most PMG palettes — big, heavy, and feels very robust. Even the box that encases the palette is beautiful and very spring-like. Speaking of spring, I believe most of the shades can be worn in any season, but the PMG Huetopian palette might be suited best for Spring and Summer.


Pat McGrath Labs Mothership IX Eyeshadow Palette Huetopian Dream swatch


This palette has no brush, but it is expected with most PMG Mothership palettes, where quality is more emphasized than palette freebies. I still wish this palette comes with a brush, like the palettes we see from Urban Decay. However, I believe each PMG palette is created for luxury and superb performance in makeup, and this palette does not disappoint. I still love my other PMG palettes, especially the Mothership V Bronze Seduction palette (reviewed HERE). This Huetopian palette is an excellent addition to my collection of PMG palettes.


Pat McGrath Labs Eyeshadow Palette Huetopian Dream photo


Overall, if you are looking for a great palette after this Winter, you have to try this otherworldly palette and see how the unique shades blend and complement your lids. This palette is worth your time and dime.





The Inkey List Product Feature + Review, Part II.

The Inkey List Skincare review


Heya! This review features my top picks in The Inkey List products, as well as some discoveries. The Inkey List is a very exciting skincare and haircare brand that focuses on creating products that specifically address skincare and haircare needs. Their products are worth checking out because they have such interesting ingredients. I have reviewed The Inkey List brand before, along with my first impression of their products (see HERE). Because I enjoyed that review, here are more Inkey List goodies I have been testing.


The Inkey List Succinic Acid Acne Treatment


Bakuchiol – We all know that Bakuchiol is the next best thing to Retinol. Retinol has a lot of side effects, while Bakuchiol, though not extensively studied, has not been reported to have harsh effects on people’s health and skin. Like Retinol, Bakuchiol helps reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. It can also even the skintone, which I have noticed on my skin after using this product, and in any Bakuchiol derivatives, in general. Furthermore, this product contains Omega-3 Sacha Inchi oil and Squalane, which are hydrating and nourishing to the skin.


Succinic Acid Acne Treatment – This product is so new to me. This contains 2% Succinic Acid, an antimicrobial treatment derived from amber and sugar cane. Succinic acid treatments work to prevent and control breakouts and clear blemishes. It can also control excess oil from the skin and it can unclog the pores. This product also contains 2% Sulfur and 1% Salicylic Acid to combat any stubborn breakouts. Though I never had any untoward reaction towards this product, I still only use this product as a targeted treatment for any breakouts. Sulfur and Salicylic Acid works well for my skin, so this product has that multitasking and compounding effect when treating potential and uncontrollable breakouts.


Caffeine Eye Cream – This inexpensive eye cream works in depuffing eyebags. It may not brighten the undereyes, but it helps to keep you looking more awake and less tired. The formula is very creamy and easy to blend, while also hydrating on the skin. I have tried this eye cream many times before, and this is still my quick fix whenever I wake up with puffy swollen lids.


The Inkey List PCA Bond Repair Hair Treatment


Salicylic Acid Cleanser – This is probably my most beloved product from The Inkey List. It is challenging to find a good Salicylic Acid cleanser nowadays, but I am glad that I found this product. This product does not have any strong scent, and the consistency is very gel-like, which foams easily. I love the big packaging, which lasts a long time, and I am so impressed with how this product controls excess oil from the skin, which helps to mattify and prevent pimples.


Niacinamide – This lightweight clear gel is packed with 10% Niacinamide. Niacinamide is basically Vitamin B3 that has multiple beneficial effects on the skin. First, it prevents and reduces the appearance of breakouts. Second, it evens the skintone. Third, it has brightening effects. Fourth, it reduces excess oil from the skin. Fifth, it reduces redness and blemishes. I believe this product is heaven-sent, and every person in the world who struggles with breakouts should have this. Niacinamide is very effective in improving the skin’s overall vitality and tone, and with 1% Hyaluronic Acid for additional hydration, like this inexpensive and easy-to-layer product, what more can you ask for? 🙂


Hyaluronic Acid – If you need a skincare product that helps to retain moisture in your skin, especially if you have excessively dry skin, then you might benefit from this Inkey List product. This Hyaluronic Acid serum is a moisture-magnet that helps the skin to attract more moisture. When the skin is moisturized, wrinkles and dry patches will be lessened or will disappear due to the plump and elasticized appearance. My skin is an oily type, so I use this around the cold and dry season when my skin tends to be somewhat dry in some areas.


Salicylic Acid Exfoliating Scalp Treatment


Salicylic Acid Exfoliating Scalp Treatment – What an interesting haircare product this is. This product is a serum that you apply directly to your scalp during the shower. The purpose is to control and balance oil production on the scalp, that is, to prevent flakes, itchiness, redness, and scalp breakouts. If Salicylic Acid can work well on the face, it can work well on the scalp, too, especially if you tend to have itchy scalp and greasy hair. Works very well for me. I will need this in large packaging.


PCA Bond Repair Hair Treatment – This hairspray releases a fine mist that gives a rebonding effect on the hair. The main ingredient is PCA or Pyrrolidone Carboxylic Acid, which helps repair, protect, and strengthen hair strand damage due to several stresses on the hair (e.g., constant heat styling, bleaching, and coloring treatments). The effect is relaxed, frizz-free hair that seems to continuously improve with time, as I have noticed on my hair. I use this product right after showering when the hair is still damp.


Tranexamic Acid Night Treatment – This product is very interesting. The main ingredient of this product is 2% Tranexamic Acid. Tranexamic Acid is a powerful amino acid commonly used as an antifibrinolytic. On the skin, it acts to lighten any dark spots. Thereby reducing hyperpigmentation and evens the skintone over time. This product’s consistency is very much like a gel that is easy to blend. Other ingredients in this product are 2% Açai Berry and 2% Vitamin C. I have yet to see the long-term effect of this product on my skin. So far, I do not have a lot of dark spots to lighten. This product can be used once at night.


There goes my second Inkey List product feature. I love the brand because its products target specific skincare and haircare needs. Most of all, the products work well without breaking the bank.


Are you an Inkey fan?


Note. Products provided by The Inkey List. The review and opinion herein are by the editor.