Category Archives: your top shelf

Rocco’s Shaving Products


gilletteshavingcream_bornunicornLozione dopobarba contro il fuoco del rasoio-1

santamarianovella_cremapredopobarba_bornunicornHere’s what my friend Rocco uses when he shaves. From left to right: Gillette classic shaving cream, Santa Maria Novella Melograno after-shave lotion and Melograno before-and-after shave cream.

wpid-img_6410.jpgHe’s a fan of Santa Maria Novella products, which reminds me I need Melograno cologne in my collection. It’s been sitting in my perfume wish-list for years!


Margherita’s Bathroom Shelf

margherita_bornunicornYou know I can’t resist a good bathroom selfie, i.e. a picture where beauty and make-up products appear. For this reason, this afternoon, while browsing Instagram, I found myself staring at the pic above, taken by Margherita in her bathroom. She’s a feminist who believes in the power of make-up, one of my favourite writers, co-founder of a gorgeous website and constant source of inspiration, so I decided I couldn’t miss the chance to feature her on my blog.

benefithighbeam_bornunicornsephoramattifyingpowder_bornunicorn cliniquemoisturesurge_bornunicorn makeupforever_rougeartistcassissatine_bornunicornFrom left to right: a bottle of BeneFit High Beam highlighter, Sephora mattifying pressed powder, Clinique Moisture Surge moisturizer, Make Up For Ever Rouge Artist Intense lipstick in Cassis Satiné.

Thanks to Margherita for sharing this picture. I can’t wait to see more bathroom shelf shots from her ♥

Bonus read: a love letter Margherita wrote to this lipstick shade (only in Italian, sorry).

Zelda Di FooFoo’s Skincare Must-Haves

IMG_6166Remember the six beauty products from the past I wrote about last August? Well, Zelda is back! This time she sent me a picture of some of her favourite skincare products. As usual, all the comments are hers.

(1) Perricone MD Photo Plasma – super light whipped cream spf30 with astaxanthin and its peach coloured. Morning time essential.
(2) Biologique Recherche P50V – cult classic product but deserving of its status as skin perfector. Only use this at night as its quite hard to find!
(3) Clarisonic Mia – as long as you don’t overuse it will be your skin’s new best friend
(4) Valmont renewing pack – used sparingly, this is a great fix for a tired face. Again, don’t use very often as quite obscure and hard to find.
(5) RMK face soap – one of the few genuinely non-drying foaming cleansers. It works perfectly with Clarisonic and no tight or dry feeling afterwards.

I’ve been using organic skincare only for some years now, but I like learning more about high-end skincare. I’ve been lusting over Clarisonic for months, but for some reason I haven’t decided to take the plunge and buy it yet. My skin, which tends to get dry, is very interested in the RMK soap Zelda uses *added to my endless wish-list*

Mlle Ghoul’s Perfume Collection

IMG_6123.JPGInstagram is a wonderland for perfume lovers. I’m proud to be part of a small community there, kindred spirits who are an endless source of inspiration. One of my reference points when it comes to unconventional perfume choices is definitely “the weaver of the weird”, the one and only Mlle Ghoul. When she posted this picture on her account, I jumped on my chair and started going through the perfume bottles to see how many of them I could identify (I know, that’s a problem but I can’t help it). Besides the perfume collection itself, I was in awe of the picture and its details, in particular the beautiful flower drawing on the wall and the hot pink diamanté skull sitting on the black cabinet on the left.

I was able to id some bottles – Dior Addict on the left, Guerlain L’Heure Bleue on the cabinet, some Serge Lutens perfumes, a couple of L’Artisan Parfumeur ones – but I decided to ask Sarah Elizabeth to tell me more about her favourite pieces of the collection, which is – her words – “getting out of hand”.

I am particularly fond of Norne by Slumberhouse (down in front on the left, the smaller bottle with no cap). 10 Corso Como, Kyoto by Comme des Garçons and Laura Tonatto’s Amir which is in the very back, you can see the round gold cap against the floral picture – are some favorites. Kyoto reminds me of a dark, cool temple in the middle of a forest. It is probably my all time pick, no matter how many other fragrances I collect!

Needless to say, Kyoto has gone straight into my wish-list!

A Tale From the Past: Balenciaga Ho Hang

giochini_hohangI’m a hopeless nostalgic and, as such, tend to cling to memories, olfactory ones included. Thank God I’m not the only one! Some weeks ago I had the chance to speak about this with Giorgia, who explained how her mother couldn’t replace her favourite perfume – Balenciaga Ho Hang. The starting point was the plague of reformulations, which are sometimes so drastic that they turn our beloved scents from the past into something tragically different. Unfortunately, Ho Hang‘s fate has been crueller: if you fear the adjective “reformulated”, “discontinued” can give you nightmares and I guess that’s what’s happened to Giorgia’s mother. The search for an original bottle of her favourite perfume (metal cap, honeycomb box) is becoming harder and harder, because when a perfume is no more on the market, it’s destined to die.


balenciaga_hohang_1978ad_bornunicornI have never tried Ho Hang, even if I remember someone I knew (a relative, maybe) used it. I’d love to, though. I’m not a fan of 1970s perfumes, but I’ve hardly read a negative opinion about this one. Created in 1971 by Jacques Jantzen (who created Cialenga, another historical Balenciaga perfume, in 1973), it’s an elegant and sophisticated balsamic fragrance with a citrus opening and a woody/spicy heart. Its olfactory pyramid includes orange, lavender, basil, bergamot and lemon as top notes; carnation, patchouli, cedar, Brazilian rosewood and geranium as middle notes; labdanum, tonka bean, amber, musk, benzoin and vanilla as base notes. Ho Hang, which means “very fragrant” in Cantonese, has a powdery quality, given by the carnation, which is balanced by what Chantal-Hélène Wagner refers to as “a very true animalic accord”: “It smells exactly like the fur of an animal for a few moments,” she adds. No one can resist such a powerful description!

Six Beauty Products From the Past

10603504_10204110043967975_726433610885125070_nIf you follow my Facebook page, you know that I sometimes post pictures of beauty products from friends and fellow beauty addicts. I don’t post them here because the topic is not strictly cinema, tv or literature-related, but this time I’ve made an exception to the rule because this is a very special entry.

I received the picture above from Zelda, a fellow Erno Laszlo and vintage beauty fan. These are her favourite vintage products that have been discontinued or reformulated to be very different from their original formula. All the products are from 1980s – 90s. All the comments are Zelda’s.

– Vidal Sassoon shampoo: the nicest smelling shampoo ever and SLS free.

– Estee Lauder Almond Clay pack – one of her original products, a great deep cleansing mask that was available from the 1950s till the 1990s.

– Helena Rubinstein Bio Clear lotion – great for treating the occasional breakout. This was when Rubinstein was still a serious classy line before L’Oreal bought it and virtually killed it off in favour of Lancôme.

– Erno Laszlo Sea Mud soap – original bar from 1990s in original case. This was when it still was a slightly mystical product with legendary effects. It didn’t contain charcoal powder in those days.

– Erno Laszlo Sea Mud mask from the late 1990s, now sadly discontinued. It was great for an at home facial and literally pulled the dirt out of pores. Much missed.

– Givenchy III eau de toilette – original formula. Immensely popular in the 1970s – striking green mossy chypre. Great on a man or a woman. Due to scarcity of oakmoss it’s been reformulated and is a pale shadow of its former self…..

Loving a beauty product or a perfume and witnessing its death because it’s been discontinued or reformulated is hard to stand. Are there any beauty products are gone this way and that you miss?