Review of Skylar Fragrance Sample Palette

Skylar Sample Palette

I love beautiful fragrances, but I have to be careful with what I wear because I don’t want to set off a patient’s allergic response. Enter Skylar, a wonderful fragrance company based in Los Angeles, California. Skylar fragrances are all hypoallergenic, made from real flowers, fruits, and botanicals, resulting in fragrance mixtures which are fresh and natural. There are no harsh chemicals in these mixtures, no synthetic dyes, no phthalates or parabens, and Skylar fragrances are never tested on animals.

Skylar’s Sample Palette is a fantastic way to try all six of their featured scents. This way, you don’t have to commit to a full bottle of one fragrance until you are absolutely sure which one is your favorite. There’s plenty in the sample bottles to experiment quite a bit. What’s even better is that you can create new fragrance experiences by layering the scents.

The 6 scents included in the Skylar Sample Palette are:

Arrow – Spicy, warm, and seductive
Capri – Sparkling, zesty, and sweet
Coral – Fruity, floral, and flirty
Isle – Clean, dewy, and fresh
Meadow – Floral, elegant, and beautiful
Willow – Woodsy, lush, and cool

Arrow has this rich, exotic vibe which is just gorgeous. Skylar calls Arrow its most seductive scent, and I would have to agree. This scent blends jasmine, one of my absolute favorites, with rose, another personal favorite. Arrow also features neroli flower and labdanum flower, and brings in more “foodie”, enveloping elements like vanilla and tonka bean, while the tarry quality of birch tar, the musky sweetness of patchouli, and the spicy sweetness of schinus molle add a deepness which rounds out the blend.

Capri is the scent to turn to if you want a delicate floral. I’m a big fan of bergamot and use the essential oil in my bathroom to freshen it, so I am thrilled that it is featured in this fragrance. The lovely lightness of neroli balances the crisp bergamot beautifully. It’s a simpler blend than the other fragrance blends in this sampler collection, but it certainly stands its ground with its understated, refreshing scent which is perfect for cool spring days. It’s beautiful.

Coral is described by Skylar as a “very clean, fresh citrus fragrance”. However, the sandalwood, patchouli, and benzoin resin come through very prominently on the top notes for me, and only hints of black currant and apple blossom peek through in the middle. It’s definitely heavier than Capri, more complex, and it doesn’t read like a fresh citrus fragrance. That said, I love this mixture as well.

Isle is definitely reminiscent of an ocean breeze, fresh, gentle, and clean. The sharpness of the bergamot is balanced out beautifully by the mellow spiciness of cardamom and the exotic woodiness of sandalwood. This is like summer in a bottle, very nice. If you like crisp, summery, clean fragrances, then Isle is a great choice. I do like this alone, but it transforms when into fairy tale dreams when it is layered with Meadow. More on that later.

Meadow is a very elegant, almost lofty fragrance which reminds me of teatime on a temperate day. This blend features soft tuberose, rose, baie rose, and cistus flower, so it is definitely a more floral fragrance, yet the patchouli complements the florals nicely and tones them down somehow. I could definitely see wearing this by itself for more formal affairs, but with Allure, it’s phenomenal.

Willow is definitely a woody, earthy fragrance, yet it isn’t too heavy like other members of this scent category. It features the woodiness of cedarwood and the green quality of galbanum, balanced by the cozy aroma of the benzoin tree. I personally am not a big fan of earthy scents, so Willow wasn’t my favorite in this set. But if you like earthy fragrances, you’ll love this one. I will say that the combination of Meadow with Isle (the Daydream Duo) is utterly divine.

Scent Duos from Skylar

So then I began experimenting with combinations, starting with a combo which a reviewer on the Skylar website suggested. I spritzed Isle + Capri and experienced a very light, fresh fragrance combo, reminiscent of a spring breeze. It was lovely.

Then I tried the Getaway Duo (Isle + Coral). If Isle alone is the ocean breeze, the Getaway Duo is a tropical trade wind, carrying hints of the local flora with it. Just delicious. I even love the description of this combo on the Skylar website:
“A luminescent combination of fruity and fresh will whisk you away to white sand beaches. The soft sandalwood of Isle pairs beautifully with the hints of apple blossom in Coral.”

Next was the Enliven Duo (Capri + Willow). I personally was not fond of this combo because it was too crisp for me, and it ended up smelling more like a men’s fragrance when it mixed with my body chemistry. Again, though, if you like woody, earthy fragrances, then this is great for you.
“Brighten any day with this playful and cheerful layering combo. The fresh, citrusy notes of Capri aligns with the green woodiness of Willow. Playful yet grounded, this is the perfect pairing to rejuvenate and refresh.”

When I tried the Allure Duo (Arrow + Meadow), I fell onto a bed of lush-smelling blooms. This duo is definitely very floral, which I usually don’t like, but this combo is so tempting, so inviting, that I can’t get enough of it.
“This layering combination will lure you into a world of glamour and temptation. Our full bodied floral scent, Meadow pairs beautifully with the spicy and warm notes of our most seductive scent, Arrow.”

The last combo I tried was the Daydream Duo (Isle + Meadow). I love how lush and intoxicating this blend is, yet it somehow manages to be undeniably light and fresh at the same time, and so very feminine. For me, it’s a toss up between the Allure Duo and the Daydream Duo, but since I love Arrow so much on its own, I may end up with Arrow and Meadow.
“Let your mind wander. The dreamy layering combination of heady white flowers in Meadow blend with the dewy, sheerness of Isle to create an exotic floral scent.”

I’ve got nothing but love for Skylar, and I love the fact that they are nestled in my hometown of Los Angeles. From the small batches they mix, to the packaging which features original hand-painted watercolor artwork made exclusively for Skylar Body, this company pays attention to the details.

Oh, and by the way, Skylar also makes candles with their featured scents!

I also think that the Scent Club is an amazing opportunity to try new fragrances. If you join, Skylar will send a different new, limited-edition, travel-sized roller fragrance each month. Right now they are having a promotion, so you can sign up for $20 per month (instead of $29 per month). Shipping is free, and you can “Change, skip, swap or cancel anytime”. How awesome is that? It was so irresistible that I signed up for the Scent Club while writing this blog post!

Here’s a link to Skylar’s website:

https://skylar.com/collections/fine-fragrance

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Knit Knack

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Image ID : 69123108
Copyright : sebboy12

 

There was something about knitting that always appealed to me as a child.  I was enchanted by women who were in the midst of knitting something, and would watch them as they wielded their handiwork on a skein of yarn.   By the time I was eight years old, I was dead set on learning the art of knitting, and since my mother did not know how to knit, I ended up going to the library and borrowing a book on knitting.  I then asked my mom to take me to the local hobby shop, where I purchased three skeins of acrylic yarn: one pale yellow, one ivory, and one navy blue.
I remember studying the illustrations which accompanied the instructions for casting on stitches, knitting, and purling, and I caught on quickly.  And since I was reading a book with right-handed instructions, I learned to knit right-handed even though I am left-hand dominant with crocheting, writing, drawing, painting and eating.  To this day, I knit right-handed.
When I was in my teens and 20’s, I knitted scarves, afghans and a sweater which I proudly wore until the oppressively hot 100% acrylic yarn made wearing it next to impossible.  I didn’t pick up knitting needles again until February of this year.  For whatever reason, I suddenly missed the meditative, repetitive motion of knitting, and decided to tackle a project.  I purchased yarn and circular knitting needles, downloaded a knitting pattern for a cardigan sweater, and started knitting.
I had my heart set on a long sweater duster, so I extended the lower body pattern to accommodate the longer length.  I used the exact brand and weight of yarn which was used in the pattern, but because the extra length was so heavy, the panel stretched out so much that it looked warped.  My hopes dashed for a long sweater coat, I stared at the panel, trying to figure out how I was going to salvage it.  Was I going to use it as a throw blanket?  No, it was slightly too small for that.  I draped the panel over my shoulders and toyed with the idea of a poncho, when I came up with an idea.  What if I fashioned the corners into sleeves?  I began pinning and measuring, and once I figured out a design, I sewed up the panel, creating sort of a kimono sleeve coat.
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What do you guys think?

Which Chrissy’s Socks Am I Wearing?

Thigh high boots are part of my signature style…so are thigh high socks!

My friends know that I am obsessed with thigh high boots, but they might not know how much I enjoy wearing different thigh high socks underneath my boots. There is a wild streak in me that gravitates towards fun designs like the ones that Chrissy’s Socks offers, and the best part is that it’s my way of having fun with my personal style. When I’m home, I really enjoy walking around the house in leggings and fun knee high or thigh high socks.

Can you guess which pair of Chrissy’s Socks I might be wearing here?

Which style of Chrissy’s Socks am I wearing here?

Here are the thigh high sock styles which Chrissy’s Socks offers:

https://www.kneehighsocks.org/products/Thigh-High.html#.XLE8gPZFzVI

A great pair of socks will stay in place, feel great against the skin, and with thigh high boots, help to keep the boots in place so that they don’t slouch or bunch up. Chrissy’s Socks deliver on all counts!

Check out all of their amazing styles by accessing this link:
https://www.kneehighsocks.org

A Princess Dream Come True

Our court from 1991. I am second from left on the bottom row. This was taken about a month before our Nisei Week Pageant and Queen selection.

Over two decades ago, my first seemingly dreamy and unattainable goal was to be involved in a yearly Japanese-American festival in Los Angeles known as Nisei Week, which was established back in 1934.  Aside from a period of seven years between 1942 and 1948, during which World War II raged and carried a solid and jarring impact on the Japanese-American community, the Nisei Week festival has continued to run throughout the decades.

As a child, I remember seeing the Nisei Week Queen and court each year, and it became a dream of mine to be selected as a court member when I got older. However, I got sidetracked by life and didn’t bother to enter the  competition for the local queen selection until the year I turned 25.  I was stunned when I was chosen as the Queen of my community center (the San Fernando Valley Japanese American Community Center, or SFVJACC) for that year.

Once I was selected, I spent the next three months in regular meetings with the queens from the other eight participating communities, meetings in which we would practice all the routines for the beauty pageant which would mark the beginning of that year’s Nisei Week. We competed in that pageant for over 1,000 audience members in a 3 hour event, and though I didn’t win the Nisei Week Queen title, I was happy with being a Nisei Week Princess. We rode on floats, visited businesses, and fostered good will throughout the Japanese-American community.

August 16, 2015: Nisei Week Queen and Court on the float of Nisei Week Japanese Festival Parade at Little Tokyo in Downtown Los Angeles.

When we were on stage, on parade floats, and on visitations, we would wear our sashes, a definite marker which identified us all as queen and court.  On some occasions, we would wear our crowns, and were either clad in matching dresses, or in kimono.

Queen?  Princess?  I guess so, at least in pageant terms!

The Challenges Of Modeling

If you’ve never balanced on a craggy boulder, while freezing your ass off and also managing to muster a facial expression which makes everyone believe that you are having the time of your life, then you have no idea what models often have to endure in order to get “the shot”.

Shot by the late Weiferd Watts in 2010

Modeling often is hard work. Those of you who are snickering need to hear me out. Those elegant or sexy poses which you will often see models in are often incredibly uncomfortable, especially when there are boulders, creepy crawly things, nasty wind gusts, and weather extremes to negotiate as well. Outdoor locations can be teeming with insects, or they may have shards of broken glass everywhere which makes it quite treacherous for a model to strike a pose. Models often have to “cheat” a shoulder or limb, meaning that they have to turn a body part in a certain way to create an angle which looks right in the camera lens, but which feels completely unnatural and often sparks muscle cramps which linger for days after the shoot wraps. I still remember holding a pretzel pose for a full ten minutes while the photographer happily shot away (see blog image at top of this post), but because I put myself into a bit of a meditative state, I was able to hold the pose without much discomfort. Alas, as I have gotten older, my joints are far less forgiving, and I must take a brief break after several frames are shot.

Another major challenge which models constantly face is that they have to evoke certain moods and looks at the drop of a hat, even if they feel ill, tired, bloated, or otherwise uninspired to shoot. If a model can’t convince the photographer, and more importantly, the camera lens, that she is indeed the vision which is called for in a campaign, she can forget about lining up much work as time goes on.

Over the decades in which I have been modeling, I have learned so many tricks which increase efficiency and reduce the risk of injury while on the job. I know what essentials to pack in my bag, even if I end up not using them at all. When shooting on location, I always bring a large black robe, which I refer to as my changing robe, and which gets so much flak from the photographers because it makes me look like a transient when I wear it. If I have to put my bikini-clad ass on a felled tree stump which threatens to deposit some splinters into my flesh, I grab a small towel or scarf to protect my skin. I have also adopted the habit of wearing aqua shoes when on location so that my feet don’t get scorched by hot sand or torn up by rough terrain.

Believe me when I say that being a model isn’t just about standing in front of a camera and looking pretty. Good models WORK HARD, and they maintain a positive, cooperative attitude. Even when the ocean water is freezing cold, or the weather is so blazing hot that makeup is literally melting off, models who know how to be professional will honestly grin and bear it unless it is actually causing frank injury.

New Vino D. Shootout Locations

Vino Darius Calloway has outdone himself again, with new shoot locations for the Vino D. Utah Shootout for next June! I had the opportunity to shoot at these new locations last month, so I wanted to provide the models with some tips on how to prepare for them.

INFINITE TATTOO AND ART GALLERY:

This awesome location is in downtown Ogden, which is about an hour away from Park City. It’s a great place to shoot in if the weather doesn’t cooperate, and most of the shoot locations are inside the building. Infinite Tattoo and Art Gallery is a tattoo parlor, an art gallery, and a barber shop, and is filled with great furniture, art pieces, and outdoor murals. There is a lot of red and burgundy in this establishment, so colors which pop against red tones work best in this location. If Vino chooses this location, you will most likely leave the house late, perhaps around 3 pm, since you would be able to shoot until around 9 pm during the summer.

MOAB:

Moab was an amazing find, and though it is quite far from Park City, it is well worth the long drive. Moab is a four hour trek from Park City, situated in the southeast border of Utah, and is blessed with the warmest temperatures, making it a great shoot location if mother nature decides to fling some cold weather and wicked wind around Utah. Prepare to leave the house around noon. Once wrapped at this location, you ladies won’t return to the house until 1 am or later! Be sure to pack food for this long trip. Restroom facilities are VERY scarce in Moab, so be prepared to wrap a beach towel around you and find a bush to crouch behind to do your business. I always recommend carrying some tissue or a roll of toilet paper with you for those situations.

Shot at Infinite Tattoo and Art Gallery

Moab has some beautiful spots to shoot in, with panoramic canyon views, but the silt is slippery, there are rocks, twigs and brambles everywhere, and broken glass also litters some spots. For these reasons, it is imperative that you wear rubber-soled shoes or aqua shoes while climbing around in those areas! Keep your eyes open for any broken glass, and hold on to sturdy branches while climbing up and down the embankments.

You might be thinking that it would be better to avoid drinking any fluids, just so you can minimize your restroom breaks, but with the hot weather, you should hydrate throughout the day. Bring water with you to drink while traveling in the van. Every day that I was in Utah for the 2017 Shootout, I drank close to a gallon of water. My skin looked great as a result, and I didn’t have any issues with belly bloat.

It’s also a good idea to carry some extra water which you can use to rinse your feet and legs when at Moab, Salt Flats or Little Sahara.

Moab, Salt Flats, Little Sahara and the marina can get VERY windy. If you have long hair, I recommend shooting so that you are facing the oncoming wind. This way, you’ll avoid having your hair whip in your face and ruin the shots. I also recommend putting your hair in a very durable style, such as crimped waves which won’t unravel when the wind blows. Use a good setting spray to hold your hairstyle in place.

The sun’s rays can be brutal on location, so make sure you slather on sunblock, and use sunglasses to shield your eyes from the sun. If you shoot without sunglasses, and you have difficulty with squinting while facing the sun, close your eyes and have the photographer count to three, then open your eyes for the shot.