Tocca Perfume - Brigitte

"This was my first time wearing a Tocca fragrance, and from the bottle design to the notes of it's inspiration by the legendary Brigitte Bardot, it was exactly what I invisioned it to be.

This is a rose-based scent that has a lovely significant top note of papaya. On my skin the papaya and ginger were very prominent, and while sweet it was still fairly arid and streamlined, making it pretty, ladylike with a touch of sexiness.

This was a scent that I loved wearing during the day and on the weekends, particularly for Sunday brunch.

The drydown is soft, spicier and warm with the notes of musk, sandalwood and saffron coming into play.

All in all, this is a really lovely scent that many of you will like, year round, but particularly in the spring and fall when the temperatures are not too extreme. It has elements that women are looking for - a touch of sweetness, light, soft and warm. The staying power was quite good as well." RLB

Fragrance Notes: Rhubarb, Papaya, Ginger, Rose, Iris, Saffron, Sandalwood, Musk.

Tocca Beauty Brigitte 1.7 oz Eau de Parfum Spray

Clinique Online (ELC)

Creme de La Mer The Hydrating Infusion

Tester: Hispanic (Puerto Rican) mid-30's with combination skin.

"I have fallen in love with several of La Mer's products, but I was a little skeptical of this because I figured, "how can it really improve the results of my beloved Original La Mer cream?" I reminded myself of the old saying: "If it ain't broke, don't fix it".

But the box with the sea foam green was calling my name. After a few days, I decided to dive in...

The Hydrating Infusion is a serum that is meant to hydrate skin and prepare it for the La Mer creams (original or gel-cream). I used about two pumps after cleansing and spread it between my hands before gently massaging into my face. It had a watery consistency with some weight to it, was smooth in texture, clear and spread easily. The fragrance was the classic la mer scent to me - slightly oceanic/citrusy, and did not linger very long on my skin. The serum sank into my skin very quickly, and I immediately felt a nice hydrating, "plumping" sensation on my skin. It didn't make my more oily spots greasier, and it hydrated the drier areas, like my cheeks nicely.

The way I decided to test this product was to continue to use my La Mer original cream as usual, and see if there was improvement by layering it on top of the infusion.

I have to say that La Mer has done it once again. After a week using both products together daily, my skin looked even more radiant than before, and my makeup even seemed to last longer. As I continued the regimen over several more weeks, I was even happier at how even my skin tone was, and how great my skin looked in the morning in particular. I didn't have any breakouts or irritations, and I found that because the infusion in so concentrated, two pumps in the am and pm was the perfect amount to get good coverage on my face, so the bottle definitely lasts several months.

The packaging is great with the pump and shape of the bottle, so this is perfect for travel and the gym.

Note: On very busy mornings I sometimes only had time to use the infusion, and my skin continued to look fantastic, glowing, and radiant with perfect hydration.

This is another La Mer gem that made a significant difference in my skin and I now I won't be without it!" N.V.

Go-->Creme de La Mer The Hydrating Infusion

Origins Online (ELC)

Olay Definity Reader Giveaway! 1 Week Only

All of our lovely Palacinka readers have an opportunity to win 1 of 5 gift packs of their personalized Olay Definity product recommendations from, courtesy of Olay.

Please send us an e-mail with your name, e-mail and contact info to: by Friday, Oct. 3rd 8pm PST to be entered into the giveaway. Good Luck!

No purchase necessary.

Click here for our Olay Reviews!

CHANEL Mascara Exceptionnel

In today's market, mascaras tend to promise A LOT and offer all sorts of advanced designs, formulations, brush technology, etc. Some of them live up to the promise - but some of them do not.

CHANEL's Exceptionnel does what it is designed for - and best suited to a particular type of lash and for a particular type of look.
The wand itself is a four sided head with flat plastic edges in between comb-like bristles, along with short, traditional-style mascara brush bristles. As per the instructions, I twirled the wand up from the base, extending it out to my lash tips with some gentle pressure. The comb deposited the mascara and thickened my lashes while the brush feathered out the lashes so they not clumpy. This formula also took a little bit longer to dry (not more than 2 minutes however).
The result was thick, dramatic lashes, which is exactly what I love. It also made the little sections where I have skimpy non-existent lashes noticeable. I experienced no flaking or smudging and most miraculously of all, it really curled my lashes. I made a point of usually using this without curling my lashes first. I was amazed that I could get away without using one! Note: When I wanted to use the curler, this mascara sealed the curl that much more. At the end of the day it was easy to remove with either my cream cleanser or makeup remover cloths.

So this is where Exceptionnel excels: creating great curl, definition and volume (as it is advertised), but not length. This is important to note, as someone who has very short straight lashes for example will have a harder time getting the results I described above using only this mascara. For those of you who do have fine/thin long lashes that are straight or with a slight curl, this is the perfect mascara for you. - RLB

Go-->CHANEL Mascara Exceptionnel 

Dior Addict Ultra Gloss Reflect Stretchy Brown 537

Stretchy Brown, shown left.

Tester: Hispanic (Venezuelan) about Rosalyn Sanchez’s complexion with light/medium pigmented lips.

“Oh how I love this lip gloss! It is true that I am a big fan of Dior products – from packaging to formulas I am always impressed. However, this is the first time that I’ve used a Dior product which has resulted in compliments from random strangers, to my co-workers to my own mother asking “what is that color you are wearing on your lips?” or in the case of a recent walk in NYC, a gentleman saying “what amazing lips!” as I walked by…

The color is a lovely and very wearable warm nude/brown shade with rose micro glitter. The glitter is very noticeable and multi-dimensional. I observed pink, orange and yellow in the flickers of this gloss. The shine is not “plasticky” shiny - just gives a very pretty gloss to the lip and yet the texture and feel is extremely light. I really loved how it gave my lips dimension and color without being overly shiny. It does have their signature a rose/floral mix fragrance which I happen to love, but it’s not too overbearing. This shade will look amazing up to an Iman shade.

In terms of quality, of course it is fantastic (as all the Dior Addict Ultra Glosses are!) The packaging is also great, very luxurious indeed! This is worth every penny my darlings -- after all, you are getting one of the best quality lip glosses in a beautiful shade!" G.V.

Dior Addict Ultra Gloss Reflect Stretchy Brown 537

Bliss World, LLC

Givenchy Rouge Interdit Shine Lipstick -04 Auburn Shine

Auburn shine, pictured left.

Tester: Multi-Ethnic (Hawaiian & Japanese) about Nicole Scherzinger’s complexion with medium pigmented lips that are dry.

“First off, any beauty lover worth her salt (or lipgloss!) cannot deny how beautiful this packaging is! It is glamorous and super modern at the same time. The lipstick actually comes out by pulling the lovely delicate sparkly grey ribbon at the top of the shimmery Lucite tube that it is housed in.

The shade is a very nice mauve with a touch pink that is flattering and versatile. It is a semi-sheer finish. This was perfect when I didn’t quite want a nude lip, but I didn’t want to go bright pink either. It has a high shine that is buildable. There is a light sprinkling of glitter, but it was not large or coarse – my lips felt smooth and I didn’t experience any glitter “migration” during the day on my chin or face. The moisturization was very good as well. My lips felt smooth and plump all day. One layer was fine for daytime and the office, and a few more made super hot for a night time look. The color is long lasting as well. This shade will work with many complexions, best up to a Gabrielle Union shade. True luxury and performance in one!” T.Y.

Givenchy Rouge Interdit Shine Lipstick 04 Auburn Shine

Clinique Superbalm Moisturizing Gloss - Rootbeer

Tester: Multi-Ethnic (Puerto Rican & Italian) about Jamie Lynn Sigler’s complexion with lips that are dry and lightly pigmented.

“I might have had a little thought in the back of my mind that a lip “balm” + a lip “gloss” would not equal such an attractive product, but that thought was soon zapped once I actually tried this!

This shade is a really flattering nude that made my lips instantly look gorgeous and yet still natural. It should be noted that in the container the product looks milky brown but when it was more of a light brown with a peachy/pink tint to it on my lips. The texture was just right – a medium weight that still felt light and airy on my lips. This is because it is a hybrid.

This gloss does not feature any smell or taste, which was fine for me. It is also an amazing moisturizer. All day my lips were soft and supple with no dryness, peeling or flaking. This was perfect for day time since it gave me healthy, flattering color, without being too obvious. The finish was actually a sheen rather than a high shine gloss. This is perfect for a “natural” look – or just one of those days when you only have a few seconds to put yourself together! :)

Another plus is that there is a LOT of product in the tube. It has lasted for me forever and this is using it pretty much every day. I also love the slanted applicator tip which made it very easy to apply without having to get my fingers involved!

This shade will work with all skin tones. However, if you have very pigmented lips you may want to try using a neutral/brown lip pencil first to just even out the tone. This is a makeup bag must for me now!” V.D.

Superbalm Moisturizing Gloss

Clinique Online (ELC)

Alberto VO5 Total Hair Recovery Weekly Intense Conditioning Treatment

Tester: African-American with thick, naturally wavy hair (like Chili from singing group TLC) that tends to be dry.

"Wow! In my quest to keep my hair healthy (fewer trips to the hair salon for blow outs). I decided to try out this hair treatment to restore moisture. The kit comes with a tub of the hair mask/conditioner and a standard shower cap. The product was thick and creamy and very concentrated, so there was plenty for my thick hair. I left it on for about 20 minutes, a bit more than directed. When I rinsed it out, I was surprised by how strong and smooth my hair felt.

The best feature of this hair treatment is that it didn't weigh down my hair. My hair actually seemed bouncier as it dried. I used this without fail 1x week for over a month and could not have been happier with the results. On those occasions now when I do decide to blow dry and flat iron , my hair looked so healthy and bouncy. This is a "drugstore gem" meant for stocking up on! For those that don't like putting your fingers in a jar, I would recommend transfering to a plastic squeeze bottle for travel, the shower or at a spa. It was certainly worth the small extra step to continue to have hair feels and looks great." D.G.

Go-->Alberto VO5 Total Hair Recovery Weekly Intense Conditioning Treatment

An Afternoon with Wen Haircare Founder Chaz Dean

Last week we were treated to a wonderful lunch for beauty editors at the NY restaurant, Tao, hosted by Chaz Dean founder of Wen haircare.

The launch was to unveil Dean's latest project, the Wen body care line.

Chaz Dean is known for his "Cleansing Conditioners", which cleanse hair thoroughly without detergents (no Sodium Laurel/Laureth Sulfates) and uses only natural astringents that leave hair softer and healthier than ever before. If you take a look at the gorgeous Chaz (who really does look like his picture, left, in person) and that beautiful hair, it was easy to see that he practices what he preaches and his products work!

Celebrities like Nicole Murphy, Staci J, Halle Berry, Christina Applegate, Cameron Diaz, Brooke Shields, and Reese Witherspoon are big fans of Wen products, which are amazing for curly/textured, straight, wavy and chemically treated hair alike.

We are in personally in love with his Fig Cleansing Conditioner and Sweet Almond Mint Styling Creme!

Wen (which he happily told us that day is "New" spelled backwards - who knew?) now has a line of body care products that also contain no detergents and a natural blend of goji berry and white tea leaf extract to help nourish and protect skin from environmental toxins.

The first set being launched are Lavender Body Cleansing Creme 8oz &Lavender Nourishing Body Lotion 8oz (Reviews coming soon!).

Also Check out Chaz on QVC on the Beauty Newsmakers Face to Face show:

Oct. 11th 9pm PST, Oct. 12th 12am EST

Phyto Phytobrush Special Smoothing Shampoo For Blow-Drying - Anti-Frizz

Tester: Multi-Ethnic (Jamaican & British) with shoulder-length, loosely curly hair that is dry.

“I am really amazed by this shampoo! I usually have my hair blown out straight at least 1x week. It’s in fairly good condition, but the blow drying does make my hair feel drier than I would like, and it’s frizzy at the ends by the end of the day. I was very eager to see if this shampoo could make a significant difference in the look and feel of my hair.

This shampoo really did give me soft, smooth hair without any residue left behind – yeah! I also like that the shampoo cleansed well without stripping my hair. Note: You must leave it in for a few minutes as the instructions state because it makes a big difference in the results.

My hair still had body and bounce and was exceptionally shiny. My flyaways and frizz were a thing of the past and I had beautiful, smooth, straight hair. I'm in love! This is a product that truly delivers.” S.P.

Editor’s Note: If using this in the shower you must take care as this is a glass bottle. You can always transfer to a plastic bottle if you prefer for shower/gym use.

Go-->Phyto Phytobrush Special Smoothing Shampoo For Blow-Drying - Anti-Frizz 6.7 oz

Prescriptives (ELC)

Neil Morris + Takashimaya - A Fragrance Collaboration Made in Heaven

Today we had the pleasure of attending a special breakfast event and sneak peak for beauty editors of the just launched Neil Morris Takashimaya fragrance.

For those of you that have read our reviews of Neil Morris scents, like Afire, you know what big fans we are of his niche fragrances which are statement making, unique and really offer something for everyone.

His latest fragrance is a collaboration with Takashimaya New York, a division of one of the world's largest department stores known for its rare and exclusive goods.

Neil graciously shared with us that he wanted the fragrance to incorporate the beauty and serenity of the Japanese culture along with the stylish sophistication of Fifth Avenue. "It's my artistic twist on East meets West," Morris says. He also told us the secret to his creations is creating a "story" for each and every one.

For Neil Morris Takashimaya, he imagined a couple walking hand in hand into the Takashimaya store, spending a lovely afternoon, and then walking over to a beautiful Japanese garden to enjoy the beauty and scents...

The fragrance is nothing short of outstanding (full review coming soon!). It opens with top notes of Black Currant, Mandarin, Bergamot and Aldehydes . Heart notes include Plum Blossom, Jasmine Tea, Japanese Cherry Blossom, Bamboo and Dossinia Orchid, accented with the passionate scent of Narcissus. The base notes include Cedar enriched with accents of Oak, Tonka, Orris and Oud.

Neil Morris for Takashimaya New York is available only at Takashimaya New York, 693 Fifth Avenue in New York City and at A two ounce spray bottle of Parfum is $125.00.

For more information and to view his other fragrances from the Neil Morris Collection, please visit

Dermalogica Skin Purifying Wipes

Tester: Asian (Thai) with oily/combination skin with regular breakouts.

"This product is a great example of a product that has gone above and beyond the skin care cleansing wipes category.

I have skin that is prone to breakouts and oily, so cleansing for me is a serious proposition, since I need my cleanser to do double duty - cleanse and help prevent future breakouts. Having a quick and convenient way to do this (or an option when I can't get to my regular gel cleanser) is definitely what drew me to try these dermalogica wipes.

The wipes themselves are fairly large (almost as big as the average Kleenex) and moist, but not super drenched with liquid, so I found them much more pleasurable to use than some others in the past. I usually used them in the evening and after a gym workout. They left my skin very clean and still soft, and were effective at removing makeup as well. I could immediately feel the tingle of some of the ingredients which were antiseptic and helped to prevent the bacteria that often leads to my breakouts.

After using daily for only a week, I noticed an improvement in the main areas where I tend to breakout like my forehead and cheeks. If I was running late in the morning I also used them, added some light makeup and my skin looked great. These are a fantastic cleansing option and a must have for all you oily girls out there!" L.P.

Editor's Note: These are particularly great for men after working out/sports and teenagers as well.

Go-->Dermalogica Skin Purifying Wipes 20 piece

Neil Morris Fragrance - Afire

There’s sexy, sexier and then “Afire”! It’s smoldering, hazy, heady….from the first spritz until the end of the night. What impressed me most (and is also a feature of other Neil Morris fragrances I’ve tried) is the various opening notes (in this case citrus, berries and caramel) actually seemed to morph into additional combinations when the middle note of frankincense came in later in the day.

For those of you who think that berries, caramel and vanilla would make such a scent too sweet, no worries here – somehow, magically the sweetness is tempered with more woody, spicy and drier notes that make this such a sensual olfactory treat. This is a truly unique scent, one that a woman who is confident in her femininity should wear, but perfectly suitable for day or night because as saucy and tempting a scent as this is, it’s not overwhelming or offensive in any way. A little goes a long way and the staying power is incredible.

This is going in my top 10 fragrances of all time." RLB

Fragrance Notes: Citrus, Berries, Vanilla, Woods, Frankincense

Go--> Neil Morris Fragrance - Afire, Inc.

Weleda Creamy Body Wash - Sea Buckthorn

Tester: Middle Eastern (Lebanese) with dry skin on body.

"I have a new shower love and it's Weleda!

My love affair began with the the scent of Weleda Sea Buckthorn Creamy Body Wash . It is simply gorgeous -- a refreshing orange + graprefruit blend that is authentic and yet still unique in it's combination.

I noted that it was not a high lathering formula due to the lack of many artifical detergent agents, but I found that it did an excellent job cleansing thouroughly, while providing intense moisturization to my skin (Sea Buckthorn Oil is the key factor). It was creamy and light in texture coming out of the tube and had a silky smooth feel on the body.

After rinsing it left my skin soft and supple with the great fragrance just faintly tracing my body. While it was moisturized, I didn't feel any film or residue on my body.

This is a product that I felt great about using because of how much I enjoyed it, the results and the organic/natural ingedients it contains (vegetable oils instead of mineral oils, no synthetic perfume and no preservatives)." S.D.

Go-->Weleda Sea Buckthorn Creamy Body Wash - 7.2 oz.

Origins Online (ELC)

Zo Skin Health Skin Offects Exfoliating Cleanser

Tester: Multi-Ethnic (West Indian & British) with combination/dry skin and occasional break outs.

"As a recent press event for Zo Skin Health, Palacinka had the honor of hearing Dr. Zein Obagi speak about the optimal skin care routine and the products that will truly make a difference in our skin. One of the favorite refrains from his talk that day was that just like the body will stay healthy and improve in tone with excercise, you must also "Wake up the skin!" by stimulating it - much like a jog will do for the body.

When I tried the exfoliating cleanser, these words were in the back of my head, as I massaged the clear gel-based cleanser with various-sized blue exfoliating beads onto my face. I indeed loved the feel of it's exfoliating effects and was very impressed by how gentle they were at the same time. With his expertise as a leading top dermatologist, Dr. Obagi has also created a formula which is pretty unique. The massaging motion didn't just break down the beads contained within the gel -- it actually seemed to transform some of the beads so that they felt bigger and then gradually broke down again completely into my skin.

After rinsing my skin felt super smooth and had a great glow. This was great to start off the morning and also after a heavy work out. As I continued to use the cleanser, my pores were always clear in my t zone, and I noticed that my makeup went on much easier.

I was very happy with this cleanser and although many of you have ventured into the cleansing exfoliator category before, I would definiately recommend giving this product a try!"

Go-->Zo Skin Health Skin Offects Exfoliating Cleanser

MD Skincare LLC

Angela Bassett's Favorite New Skincare Products!

Did you know Anglea Bassett is a big fan of Olay products? recently recommended a personalized skin care regimen for Angela to keep her skin looking it's very best! All the more important for her now that she is taping new episodes for the last season of ER, which premieres on September 25.

According to Bassett, “I recently logged onto and in just minutes it gave me a personalized skincare regimen specific to my needs,” said Bassett. “It was so simple and felt as though a real person was taking me through the experience. I’ve actually started using my recommended products - Definity Foaming Moisturizer, Eye Illuminator and the Night Cream – and I already see a difference in my skin. The Definity products have really helped even out my skin tone and when I look in a mirror, I see a more youthful, luminous glow.”

Here's a recap of her recommended products:

Olay Definity Penetrating Mousse Cleanser

Olay Definity Deep Penetration Foaming UV Moisturizer

Olay Definity Night Restorative Sleep Cream

Olay Definity Highly Defined Anti-Aging Illuminating Eye Treatment

Olay Definity Intense Facial Cream

Click here for our Olay Definity reviews!, inc.