Lightening up With Fresh Colors and Scents For Spring

I rendezvoused with my daughter in San Diego last week for a few days of catching up, shopping, and laughing. Of course, as always happens, we ended up at Nordstrom for some shopping, and it turns out that we were both looking for a new fragrance. I gravitated to the Le Labo counter because my local Nordstrom doesn’t carry it. The specialist at the counter really knew her stuff and explained a lot about the notes and dry downs of the various scents. They’re all cruelty-free, vegan, and formulated with plant-based ingredients.


So many of the scents appealed to me that I couldn’t decide. The sales gal was awesome and sent me home with a handful of Le Labo perfume samples to test myself to see which one I loved best. This kind of customer service is just one of the reasons that Nordstrom is my favorite department store!

This trio of candles also came home with me because the fragrances have some amazing notes. These glass votives are hand poured in their lab in the USA using soy wax and a cotton wick.

I started burning the one with the most unusual description. The Laurier 62 candle (full-sized here) is “a 62-ingredient candle filled with notes of laurel, rosemary, eucalyptus, thyme, cumin, clove, amber, patchouli, sandalwood, and 53 other ingredients to create a beautiful mess from chaos.” It’s strong enough to fragrance a fairly large area and smells so nice! They don’t make perfume in this scent, so I’ll enjoy it this way.

Diffusers are another great way to bring fresh fragrance into your home, and you don’t have to worry about monitoring flame. Here are a few I spotted-

A body lotion is such a luxurious way to try fragrances because it gives you a subtle sampling of the fragrance while it pampers dry, dehydrated skin. I’m a tea nut and a big fan of Matcha tea in particular, so I decided to try the Thé Matcha 26 scented body lotion. I don’t know what I expected it to smell like, but I love it!


They describe the notes as creamy fig (which I love) grounded by soft vetiver and textural cedar woods uplifted by enticing bitter orange.” After it dries down, I notice a faint, fresh soapy scent that’s very pleasant. All of their lotions are paraben and phthalate-free, enriched with vitamin E, vitamin A, aloe vera, coconut, and olive oil, so they feel fantastic and are very nourishing.

I also picked up this Thé Noir 29 Body Lotion. It has notes of bergamot, bay leaves, black tea, fig, hay, tobacco, cedarwood, vetiver, and musk. It smells rich and exotic, perfect for cold rainy days, which we’re getting many of these days. I don’t know why one lotion came with a pump and one did not. I’m finding the lotions have enough fragrance that I wouldn’t need to add perfume on top of it, which is a bit of a win/win because the perfume is not budget priced.

I’m a big fan of fragrance discovery sets, so you can sample lots of options. Here are some fun ones-

I also updated a bit of my eye makeup. I’d strayed from my favorite mascara over the last few months as I wasn’t happy with the clumping I was getting. No matter how little I tried to apply, I ended up with little chunks along my lashes, which I hated the look of.


I’ve gone back to my Ilia Limitless Mascara, and I’m a happy camper. It may not build huge false eyelash-looking eyelashes, but its comb-type brush goes on cleanly without clumps.

It’s cruelty-free and made with natural dye. I love that it’s also free of sulfates, phthalates, parabens, petrochemicals, mineral oil, silicone and talc, formaldehyde, retinyl palmitate, oxybenzone, coal tar, hydroquinone, triclosan, triclocarban, gluten, artificial preservatives, fragrances, nanoparticles, EDTA and DEA. I don’t know how all those nasty things play into my dry-eye struggle, but they can’t be good. It’s also very important that we replace our eye makeup often to prevent contamination.


I also decided to give their Liquid Powder Eye Tint a try. I haven’t used a liquid or cream eye shadow for many years because I was worried about creasing. I read reviews that said it didn’t budge once you put it on, and they’re right.

I covered the lid with the powdered dove gray, then applied this soft gray liner in Alloy and the Limitless mascara. Then I dabbed a small spot of the lavender right in the center, by my lash line, and tapped until it dried…which was just a few seconds. It’s a water-based, crease-resistant, and smudge-resistant formula that doesn’t feel dry or cakey and stays put until I take it off.

I do love a smokey eye, but I’m enjoying this softer look with pale colors and non-clumpy eyelashes for a fresh change of pace. 😄

In other bizarre news, we had hail in Northern California last week, which reminded me that we are still a long way from our roses blooming. I love to buy fresh flowers, but they never smell as fabulous as the ones my husband grows. So last week, I treated myself to this Diptyque roses candle that makes the entire room smell like an incredible rose garden.


So while I sit and knit my third hat this season, I can feel like spring is right around the corner while snow falls in Los Angeles and hail falls in San Francisco.

If there’s a fragrance or home scent you love, chances are Nordstrom has it for you. When given a choice, I always choose to buy from Nordstrom because they offer free shipping and returns, curbside pickup, BOPUS (buy online, pick up in-store), ROTUS (reserve online, try on in-store), and free beauty workshops. I recommend you join the Nordy club here. It’s free and allows you to earn points towards notes you can use on future purchases, plus you get free basic alterations.

How are you preparing your senses for spring?

Be well, and be sure to wear what makes you feel confident.


  1. Hi Jennifer, like everyone else, I thought this was a super helpful post! Your eye makeup colors are beautiful; can you tell me what you have on your brows? Our coloring is similar and yours look soft, but still defined. Thanks!! Jo

  2. Jennifer…I have been looking for a non-metallic cream eye shadow, and LOVE the look of the dove grey shadow. Ordered it online immediately from Nordstrom. Thank you!! Now…do you have any suggestions for a creme blush or stain for mature skin that works well and looks natural?

  3. Your soft makeup look — blush, eyes, lips — is so flattering, youthful, fresh. Love it! Thanks for sharing so many tips.

  4. Your eye makeup is very soft and pretty! I am going to try the Ilia brand mascara because I have problems with mascara and eye irritation as well. I’m also being tempted by the diptych rose candle. I love to burn candles at home, and a rose scent sounds heavenly.

  5. Love your eye makeup..your photos are gorgeous.. I haven’t thought of grey shadow, not sure if it would go with my hazel eyes, but can try… I’ll be at Walnut Creek Nordstrom on Friday, will definitely check out the fragrance , hopefully they will have Le Labo, I’d love to try the scents you described. It’s so dreary here, I splurged the other day at Trader Joe’s, they have spring flowers, filled my living room and bedroom for a shot at spring.

    1. They do have it in Walnut Creek. be sure to snip around the Byredo as well. They are lovely

  6. Cath🇨🇦 says:

    I recognize the Le Labo brand. It is used in the Fairmont Airport at YVR, where we often find ourselves after a long haul flight, enroute home. When small packaging was still prevalent, I would bring home some bar soap and shampoo. Great for traveling. Good to learn more about their products.

    I do like how your softer eye looks… very pretty. I use L’Oreal mascara, but toss when open for more than 90 days. That’s when it can become stickier and likely contaminated. Usually a sale item at Shoppers in 🇨🇦 on Seniors Day 👍.

  7. I, too, am in the ‘need a new mascara’ boat. Love the whole new softer eye look. I’d love to learn how to create a similar look for a cool winter. Speaking of winter: daffodils coming up yesterday are covered with 3 inches of snow, but we should see them again tomorrow when the temp rises to 45 degrees. I had to look up vitiver – turns out it’s one of my daughter’s favorites.

  8. I like your creamy white sweater, too! What’s the brand? My coloring is similar to yours and I always lean towards whites in my wardrobe. It’s bright and fresh. Your blonde hair looks great, too!

  9. Your eye look is lovely, very good color. It’s snowing once again N Oregon. I’m ready for spring.

  10. How to get the biggest bang for your mascara…..1) buy mini size. It has to be replaced every 3 months, and you won’t use up the larger size in that time. 2) use two different mascaras… one coat of each. Doesn’t matter which two you choose. Layer them for bigger impact.
    Eyeshadow….. to avoid creasing, layer powder over cream. MAC “Painterly” eyeshadow in a pot is a great primer. Layer whatever powder you like over it and the powder won’t budge. The same is true of creamier liners…. Layer powder over them and they won’t disappear on you over the course of the day. cheers!

    1. I often do the same over my liner

  11. You look so soft, natural and beautiful! My coloring seems very similar to yours and I would love to know what blush and lipstick you are wearing in this photo.

  12. I enjoy your posts; they’re always so “meaty.” This one is about something I rarely think about. For me it falls in the category of gracious living. I’m always trying to achieve that.
    I love that you take me to “other worlds” (not trying to sound overly dramatic). It’s nice just to get out of my normal routine and think about other, sometimes new, things.
    My favorite and closest Nordstrom store closed about 2 years ago. It was an “event” to go there, which I did at least once a month. Now, it’s an effort to get to the closest one. Thank goodness for online ordering.
    Today, thanks to you, I am going to think about scents, and make a plan to get to my nearest Nordstroms!

    1. I try to drive the two hours to get to my larger Nordstrom every once in a while too. The shopping experience is so fun and stimulating.

  13. Love reading about all the lovely scents. Nordstrom is my favorite store also. Your makeup looks beautiful on you. I’ve been trying to make some changes so these are great ideas. Speaking of weather, we just woke up to about 5 inches of snow and it’s still snowing ❄️

    1. Oh boy, winter is hanging on!

  14. These LeLabo candles sound so refreshing. I love clean spices dents that are natural. Thanks for tip.
    Your eyes look great.

  15. I love the eye look and am going to head to Nordy’s to buy this week!

    I’m also a fan of Le Labo…I use the Rose 31 body lotion every day during cooler weather. I hope they’ll continue to work with The Laundress as I loved the Rose 31 laundry soap (actually have the refund check from the recall next to me now).

    If you like Diptyque’s candle, you might want to check out their rose-based fragrances. The Eau Rose comes in an eau de parfum and a parfum, and each has its own unique scent. Diptyque has a very wide range of fragrances – from green and fruity to floral and spicy – and the boutiques are always generous with samples. I wear multiple Diptyque perfumes which I rotate according to the season; I’m wearing the Eau Capitale now.

    Again, thanks for the eye makeup tip!

    1. I sampled a few of their fragrances and loved them!

  16. Jennifer I have the same gold bird with crown that you have. It’s the cutest thing and has found a place in many vignettes I’ve created in my home. Fun!

    1. It’s so cute, I found it during the holidays and find it looks fun wherever I put it

  17. love the new look. So hard to find a soft gray shadow without frost. Definitely going to try. You look fresh & beautiful as always!

    1. I love gray eyeshadows but they’re so hard to find. They do make this with a frost as well.

  18. Ooo, great post! All those lovely aroma descriptions make me want to stock up! And don’t you just love Purl SoHo’s yarns? So hard to choose. What kind of needles are you using?

    1. These are just in an expensive pair that are so old I’ve lost the packaging, so I don’t know the brand. Are usually prefer wooden needles This is my first of the Purl Soho yarns and it’s so yummy. It won’t be my last.

  19. Barbara Gilbert says:

    Your new soft spring look is beautiful. I also have the mascara clumping issue I will try your suggestions. Thanks for your blog. I look forward each day for your comments and helpful tips.

  20. That shadow is beautiful on you, and would be perfect for my true summer colour. Trying to find a new fragrance is so hard you really do need to wear them around a bit first before committing.

    1. Agreed, because it’s the dry down notes that stay with you. That’s why I love samplers.

  21. The softer lip color really brings your new eye palette into center stage. I absolutely love this new fresh look. I’ll definitely be checking out your new mascara choice.
    It feels like forever since we’ve been able to open a window for fresh air. I resort to candles and melts to hopefully add some freshness.
    Another simply fun blog! Your subjects and information all seem to relate to me today. I feel so energized! Staying current and willing to make changes in an otherwise stale routine seems to be the key to staying young at heart.
    Thank you again!

    1. I think you’re right!

  22. Your new eye make-up look is so pretty and perfect for spring. Spring is a long way off here – another snow storm last night and more on the way Friday. What is with the crazy weather everywhere this winter?
    I too love fragrance in the house – it’s almost time to replace the diffuser in my bedroom. I love a fresh scent there.

  23. Love the new eye makeup. You look great!

  24. Jennifer, your eyes look beautiful, such a soft and natural look. Not thrilled with my mascara and will have to try yours. Also, haven’t used eye shadow for quite some time. Love how yours looks, so I will try it! Would love to try that candle but that would be quite a splurge. It sounds amazing!

    1. They are a splurge for sure. I can smell them even when they’re not burning 😁 so they scent where I’m sitting. That means they’ll last a long time.

  25. Pat Patterson says:

    Good Morning Jennifer, wonderful post and gorgeous photos of your new look. I also like most of the ladies, have a problem with mascara, I will seek out llia.
    Have a great day

  26. Jennifer,
    Look forward each morning to reading your message. I have to tell you that this last facial picture of you is beautiful! I’m sure others would agree that it’s like I’ve known you for a long time and have become a wonderful friend. May Our Lord bless you each day. 😊


    1. Thank you so much, Shari! I feel like you’ve become friends too.

  27. I love the soft eye on you. I also look for that elusive perfect mascara that does not clump. I always go back to Defenicils by Lancome for that very reason. I so appreciate how you make sure the ingredients are safe and I need to be more aware of that, so I will give your suggestion a try. Thank you!

  28. Timely post, Jennifer as I’m in search of a new mascara. I have been using PrimeLash, but haven’t been really happy with it. Will def try the Ilia – thanks1

    1. Same problem here – lots of clumping with several brands of mascara, until I started using an Estee Lauder mascara (from a gift bag). I was surprised that the mascara goes on beautifully and with no clumping. Good luck with the Ilia

  29. Sheila in S.C. says:

    Your new soft look is subtle and lovely! We have very few Nordstrom stores in the south, sadly! Love your blog and suggestions.

  30. Your new eye look is wonderful on you! I may have to try those items.

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