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Carrie, Miranda, Charlotte and Samantha: In Color

Get dolled up for the new "Sex and the City" movie with Julep Nail Parlor's newest shades: Carrie, Miranda, Charlotte and Samantha. The colors come in a girlie pink, pastel green, soft lavender and hot fuchsia.

Can you guess each character's personal color?
Sex and the City fingernail polish by Julep
Image courtesy of Julep Nail Parlor

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Insect Season: Sacrificing Your Signature Scent

Natural essential oils can be used to ward off pesky mosquitoes
Summer fragrances are touted all season long, and we all have our favorites. Unfortunately, so do summer’s pesky insects. Mosquitoes, bees, gnats and ticks love sweet, floral scents, which – of course – are the same scents most often associated with warmer months.

The thought of dousing yourself with bug repellent is itself repelling, especially if you’re trying to impress a certain someone at the annual summer cookout. Is it worth being mauled by mosquitoes, though? Fortunately, there are some natural alternatives available that will keep the bugs away, but not the boys (or girls).

For centuries the essential oils of plants have been used for everything from healing wounds to enhancing moods. Essential oils can also keep the bugs away.  

A simple blend of peppermint, eucalyptus and tea tree drops can deter those pests in an instant. Just remember to dilute the oils using carrier oils (such as unscented jojoba). Never apply essential oils directly to the skin.  

Peppermint and eucalyptus are strong mosquito repellents, as well as lemon and lemongrass. If chiggars are your culprit, use lavender or peppermint. Gnats are especially repulsed by spearmint and patchouli. And for the worst of them all – ticks? Blend some lavender, sage and thyme.

CB Outside Water Perfume is actually a perfume made to repel insects. It blends lavender, bergamot, geranium, marigold, oregano, cedar wood and patchouli. Its opening notes are earthy, but this fragrance dries down into a subtle peppery aroma. 

There are options out there, so you don't have to trade smelling good for swatting pests!
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Comme des Garcons' Rolls Out Short Film for Latest Fragrance

Most design houses launch fragrances with racy ads or red-carpet shindigs, but Comme des Garcons is marking its launch of Wonderwood with a short film that is both slightly creepy yet in line with the Japanese fashion label's flare for the unconventional.

The three-minute video opens with drab colors and what appears to be a doll's face (or what's left of it), followed by the words, "Someone who loved wood more than words can say." From there, we're taken on a twisted journey filled with woodsy elements like pine cones, acorns and troublesome woodpeckers.

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Marc Jacobs Bares All for Bang

Marc Jacobs is making a bang with his new bare-all ad for Bang, his new men's fragrance. This marks the first time the designer has appeared in an ad touting one of his products. And, aside from the strategically placed fragrance bottle, he's fully nude lying on a silver Mylar bed.

"Once I agreed to be the model, I couldn’t see what I would wear to express this. We tried it with clothes, but it didn’t work," Jacobs told WWD in an exclusive interview.

Although it's the first time Jacobs has modeled for his own product line, it's not the first time he's appeared naked. In 2006, he and business partner Robert Duffy were nude on the cover of WWD for a campaign involving melanoma awareness.

Bang will be available July 30, and the ad will begin running this fall. Maybe he should've named his fragrance Buff.
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Everyone Has Secrets, Even Antonio!

Antonio Banderas on his fragrance, The Secret, along with some of his secrets.

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Mariah Carey Delivering Summer Sweetness

Look for Mariah Carey's newest fragrance, Lollipop Bling, to hit stores in June. Carey is working with Elizabeth Arden to create the sticky-sweet scent. This is not Carey's first scent. Others include M, Forever Mariah Carey and Luscious Pink. The new bottle will be in the shape of a bling-laden lollipop!
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Today's Tip: Testing Fragrances

Oftentimes we aren't exactly sure what type of fragrance we want. Our moods are everchanging. One day our nose might prefer a fresh and fruity scent, the next day warm and sensual. Here are a few tips to keep in mind when trying out perfumes at the store.

Make sure you aren’t wearing any fragrance when you go to test out a new scent.

Use a test blotter if you plan to try several different fragrances. Although testing on skin is the best way, it is not wise if you plan to test many fragrances at once.

Spray the scent onto the blotter and let it dry for a few seconds. Hold the blotter about an inch away from your nose to smell it.

In some specialty stores (like Sephora), they offer cocoa beans to sniff after every few fragrance whiffs. This helps to cleanse your “scent palate,” if you will.

Once you find a scent you like, try it before you buy it. If time permits, leave the perfume on your skin for the day so you get a general idea of what it smells like later, once it’s commingled with your skin chemistry. Then go back and buy it.
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Paris Hilton ... Such a Tease

Socialite Paris Hilton is rolling out her 10th fragrance. This one is called Tease by Paris Hilton, according to recent reports.  The fragrance is due out sometime this summer.

For the advertising campaign, Hilton dressed up like Marilyn Monroe. "I got to dress up like my idol Marilyn Monroe, and we ended up with some great photos. She's always been such an inspiration to me," reported the Daily Star.

"Tease is a really sweet and flirty scent, so the name is very fitting. It's playful and sexy - perfect for grabbing attention," she added.
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Porsche Launches New Fragrance

On the heels of putting the final touches on the new 911 GT2 RS, Porsche Design is launching a new perfume called The Essence Summer Ice. According to autoevolution.com, Porsche says the fragrance has a fresh, vibrant and invigorating citrus aromatic woody perfume that combines exacting taste, purity, elegance, simplicity and contrasts.

“The composition opens with a stimulating, invigorating freshness – defined by a molecule called arctical, specific to all The Essence fragrances – and a refreshing green-citrus accord of Italian lemon, mandarin, green mint and juniper berry. The radiant and woody fragrant trail of the perfume is magnified by Tunisian neroli and cedar wood notes”, reads the press release.

While the scent is manufactured elsewhere, the bottle itself was crafted by Porsche Design. And like all Porsche products, it's sleek, modern and sophisticated.

The actual launch date has not yet been announced.  
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Scent-sational Summer Fragrances

Strawberries, homegrown tomatoes, lemonade and fresh rain are just a few summertime scents that trigger the olfactory senses.

Naturally when the weather warms up, we begin to shed our layers. One such layer is our favorite winter fragrance, which tends to be heavier and warmer, like our that old winter blanket. We toss it aside and hunt for a new scent that captures the essence of summer.

Not only does our personal preference change for a certain fragrance, but our body chemistry changes as well. We sweat and shower more, use bug spray and sunscreen. All of these factors can change the way a perfume works for us.

During the summer, we look for lighter, crisper fragrances that scream fruity citrus sexiness or breezy ocean rain air.

Think light, fruity, citrusy and crisp. Think summer.

A sampling of fun, summer fragrances:

D&G Light Blue: Light Blue opens with a green apple top note, giving it its notorious crispness.

Lola by Marc Jacobs: The girl who wears Lola is a flirty, fun, free spirit who lives and breathes summer!

Le Feu d'Issey Light by Issey Miyake: Subtle sophistication, perfect for romantic summer nights.

Boucheron: Flowers and citrus all rolled into one.

Pleasures by Estee Lauder: A summertime flower garden dotted with lilies, violets, roses and peonies!

Halle by Halle Berry: An edgier fragrance that draws invokes summer sexy.

Burberry Summer: Refreshing, crisp with a hint of sweetness.

Givenchy Absolutely Irresistible Soleil d’ete: Irresistibly feminine. He won't say no to a summer night stroll.
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