Defined as: an immediate impression; especially : insight

This will be a recurring collection of current favorites and moments.

I’ve become absolutely obsessed with AnnStreetStudio on instagram – she is literally spending a year in Provence, and my heart aches for all of those blessed summers i had with my own family in France. Patience, I must tell myself! The above post caught my eye, in particular, as it is quite the dead ringer for where we were married – just transplanted to the Texas Hill Country.

Per complete chance, I stumbled upon the most perfect Happy Hour combo (masquerading as a “late lunch”) post allergy shot. Margherita Pizza, that paired beyond perfectly with the “Happy Hour Red” – Tiamo 2016 Chianti.

Mail Call from Australia! Three from indie nail polish brand Femme Fatale’s latest release “Green Gables.” Left to Right: A Kindred Spirit, Woodsy Wild and Lonesome, & Trees Talking in Their Sleep. These (minus Woodsy, unfortunately) will be available again from Femme Fatale Cosmetics in June!

Sunshine and blue skies through dreamy walls of windows. Had to be up especially early one morning this week to chauffeur S around. Treated myself to a Lavender latte and Spiced Pear & Earl Grey scone.

After tuning into TLC’s Trading Spaces reboot, I found myself sucked in to Nate and Jeremiah by Design and have since become low-key obsessed (their style is amazing, but they’re also super cute). Their renovation was beautiful, and I’m dying over that glass door and that FLOOR! May not happen in this house, but I have tracked down the cement tile to the Starbright pattern from Clé! It can be ordered in a bunch of colors, and I’m mulling over some ideas now!

Today, my nose is quite happy my friends! We’re experiencing a completely abnormal cold snap and while apparently this isn’t so abnormal since it does have it’s own colloquialism (also known as Blackberry Winter), we don’t typically experience it ’round these parts ;).

Still! I’ve dug my sweaters and winter coat out of hibernation; enjoyed some Malbec and Indian comfort food; and am taking full advantage of the unseasonal drop in temperatures to test out and enjoy 2 smokey, comforting scents.

(Image/artwork from Cire Trudon official)
First up is the Empire candle Cire Trudon. S and I were browsing a massive candle selection at a local store, when we came across Empire – while many scents in the Cire Trudon line had piqued our interest that day, both our eyes lit up when we smelled Empire.

Cire Trudon officialy describes this as:
“Pine, sage and hay vibrate this Napoleonic camp with accents of wild juniper and bush. The joyful and indulging warmth of thyme, marjoram and rosemary rings like a fife. A time of peace right after a battle between dog and wolf. An imperial tent that exhales an exemplary scent, crowned with laurel’s force.”

Unlit, this candle smells like fire – smokey, woodsy, beautiful fire on a cold winter’s night kind of fire. Lit doesn’t change much except that it diffuses in a way that the other notes become more apparent. There are definitely light citrus and floral elements that make my house smell more like Lapsang Souchong tea (admittedly, my favorite tea) than outright smokey fire. It’s just beautiful, and S and I are both fans.

Cire Trudon is known to be the oldest candlemaker in the world, with all of their candles made at their Atelier in France. They boast a 55-60 hour burn time and contain no artificial substances, fillers, or paraffin. Cire Trudon candles are made from 100% vegetable wax (specifically, palm oil, rice, soy and coconut) for the purest candle and the cleanest burn.

The Empire candle retails for $95 and can be purchased directly from Cire Trudon here or from Beauty Habit (sign up for e-mails and receive 15% off your first order).

(Photo from Boyds of Texas official)
I picked up Cuero, an Eau de Parfum, by Boyds of Texas from a local pop-up shop at S’s favorite local store. I chose it and High Desert, because, well – I’m always on the lookout for some variation of smokey and leathery fragrances, obviously! What is great about fragrance, and particularly perfumes, is how parfumeurs layer different notes to craft distinctive aromatic experiences – journeys, even. You can go with something direct like Velvet Desert Oud by Dolce and Gabbana or Replica Across Sands by Maison Margiela for linear Ouds so bone dry that they leave you parched and seeing mirages. Or you can pick up more complex leathers – Tom Ford made 2 of my favorites, Tuscan Leather, which is warm with amber wood and nuanced with thyme and jasmine; and the extremely limited and now discontinued Ombre Leather ’16, which leaned more feminine with the floral notes of Tuscan Leather on steroids.

Or – you could go for a full on journey with Boyd’s of Texas’ Cuero that evokes images of cactus filled deserts, well made and well worn saddles, but settles into something that is still all of those things – yet sweeter, richer, and bewitching.

Boyd’s of Texas describes Cuero as:
“A fleeting burst of citrus and soft florals quickly becomes rooted in the dryer, dusty woods of various cedars. This deepens on the skin and is joined by the slightest hint of warm jasmine, before it develops and softens into darker woods and smoky leather.”

I was honestly surprised I loved this scent so much – I expected it to be more linear, I anticipated it to be more masculine – something that would wear better on S. It wears completely fine on S, but on my skin it has settled into something slightly boozy and even chocolatey. To my nose, it references a favorite gourmand of mine – Chocolate by L’Antichambre, but with smoke and leather.

If you’d like to try Cuero – Boyd’s of Texas offers samples for $10 which can be purchased here. A full sized EdP (50ml) can be purchased here for $125. The scent is also available in a Face & Body Oil as well as a Charcoal Bar Soap.

The Decadence Palette is the 4th release of Pat McGrath’s series of Mothership palettes. It is limited edition (at least, for now!) and retails for $125. It can purchased either from Sephora here or directly from Pat McGrath Labs’s website here.

I’m the proud owner of the first 3 Pat McGrath palettes she released, as well as a handful of other previous limited releases – most notably both very limited Skinfetish Kits – The nude/pink is an incredible pink duo chrome and the MUA who did my wedding makeup would not stop fawning over it, and used it for my Wedding Day Look. In summary, Pat McGrath makes some really amazing products – incredible pigmentation and textures, that are really hard to find consistently in other brands.

All that being said, I wasn’t sure that I would pick up the Decadence palette, as the colors are mostly more saturated deeper that I usually feel comfortable wearing. My curiosity was still piqued as I knew from the previous palettes that the pigmentation and texture should be extremely high quality. So, I wandered over to my local Sephora to do some swatching…for science.

Of course, the swatching led to a purchase – these shadows were like butta!

Left to Right:

Gold Standard: A metallic, yellow gold
Sterling: True metallic lighter silver
Inferno: Metallic copper – like a shiny new penny
Lapis Luxury: Metallic blue leaning teal
Blue Blood: Deep, shimmery Burgundy
Divine Mink: Shimmery, slightly purpley gunmetal
Sinful: Metallic champagne – leans slightly olive in the pan
Hedonistic: Metallic Pink-Red-Orange-Gold duo chrome (quadra chrome?) Like a sunset on the lid – see below.
Underworld: Blackened base with dark blue and deep teal shimmer
Enigma: Metallic Bronze, but when mixed with cooler colors, like Divine Mink – looks more grey. Like an enigma!

So as you can see, this palette is full of shimmers and metallics – even a duo chrome.

Even so, it is possible to do something more for day. I tend to prefer a matte nude base when using intense shimmers, but challenged myself yesterday to do a quick look using only the palette before running out the door:

I started with Inferno as an all over base on the lid, and then used Enigma for the outer V, Hedonistic for the center lid, and a hint of Gold Standard on the inner corner. Applied over a NARS primer, this lasted about 10 hours on me. That is, until I forgot I was wearing eyeshadow, and rubbed one eye real hard. Oops.

Obviously, this palette was created for fun looks as well…

Used Divine Mink all over the lid, with Lapis Luxury on the outer third, Enigma over the center third, and Sterling on inner third.

My favorite! Hedonistic all over the lid (see! Like a sunset on the lid), Lapis luxury as liner, and Underworld on the inner corner.

I’m convinced that someone even more talented than me could make something really neat with Lapis Luxury or Underworld as a base and Hedonistic on top.

For me, Hedonistic and the true metals (Gold Standard, Sterling, and Inferno) make this palette worth it alone. Lapis Luxury is also stunningly beautiful, though it may be slightly more difficult to incorporate in more of a day-to-day look.

Valentine’s Day admittedly isn’t for everyone – I may or may not have been broken up with one fateful Valentine’s Day. But, haven’t we all been there? Plus, it was most definitely for the best. Whether you’re a fan of the holiday (I know someone who claims it as her *favorite* holiday of them all), or you think it is too commercial – it is hard to deny the adorable and feminine clothing (or clothing optional) items that released for this holiday.

With Valentine’s Day just over a week away, I wanted to round up my favorite picks from around the web – whether you want to lounge at home alone, have a movie night with your most beloved girlfriends, want to look festive for the office, or you have a hot date. Or maybe…you just like pink and red. And hearts 💖

1.Gisele PJ set in Vineyard Wine by Eberjey – $120
2.Delfina Enchanted Romper in Candlelight Peach by Eberjey – $95
3. Staci Pajamas in Chili (print is adorable daisies and bees) by Morgan Lane (top is $278, matching shorts and pants are available as well).
4. Lips Applique Stripe Tee by Graham & Spencer – $99
5. Heart Tee by Sundry – $78
6. Sequin Heart Cardigan by Moth – $138
7. Love Letters Purse by Kate Spade – $378 (SO cute!)
8. Taylor Stripe Heart Shirt by Rails – $158
9. Long Sleeve Ruffle Top by JoosTricot – $595 (Metallic knit! 😍)
10. Becaw Lace Dress by Club Monaco – $328
11. Wollstan Lace Dress by Club Monaco – $268 (I’m slightly partial to pale pink dresses from Club Monaco. Four our first V-Day, I found a pale pink dress, aptly named the “Lauren Dress” on the sale rack at Club Monaco! It was the last one, and it was my size – fate!)
12. Sophia All You Need is Love North/South Clutch by Alice + Olivia – $495
13. Adah Dress by Maria Lucia Hohan – $515 (The blush pink satin dress of my dreams! 😍)
14. Geddy Sequin Star Dress by Joie – On sale for $233

As of yet, I’m not quite sure which of the above options are going to apply to my Valentine’s Day. S likes to keep me on my tip toes until the day of (or in the case of our 1st Valentine’s Day, until we were in the car on the way). I like to think its because he loves to surprise me – but I know there was at least one time that the plans were left to the last minute! Here’s hoping you all have an enjoyable one 💗