Jan 3, 2021

Scent-sational Buys (Favorite Scents To Sample)

Reviewing two fragrances over on Influenster today. These samples were sent to me and I just decided to do a quick scent of the day rundown. I really liked both of these, but if I had to choose one, the most long-lasting was the Tom Ford Black Orchid. 

If you're a beauty and fragrance enthusiast like me, I would highly recommend joining Influenster. It is a community of gals and guys who are passionate about all things in the industry. 

YSL Libre Perfume has quickly become one of my scents of the day. At first, I wasn't sure if it would be as long-lasting as I had hoped for. I have unusual chemistry and some scents just don't last, or the top notes just turn me off. This one warms on the skin nicely, and it isn't just fluff. This comes off a bit citrusy at first, thanks to top notes of Mandarin, Lavender, and Black Currant then drifts into a deeper dreamy note of Orange Blossom and Jasmine and a sweeter version of Lavender, then leaves behind a memory with Vanilla. Musk and Cedar. It is a fragrance that makes a very flirtatious statement. This is pricey, and like most of the newer scents out there, I'd be lucky to afford the body lotion, just being honest here, but it is well worth investing in. Overall, beautiful scent. 

Tom Ford Black Orchid. Oh, this one is nice! Once again, I've fallen for a scent at first spray. This one is definitely on my "make sure to buy" list. I love OUD fragrances and this one is dark and seductive. perfect for a very special evening. 

The reviews of this perfume have been done to death, but let me just add that this one will help you slay, and in a very good way. I was pleasantly surprised when I spritzed on just a bit and it lingered till the next day. Yes, it is that rich. The Mexican chocolate, Patchouli, Vanilla, Incense, Amber, Sandalwood, and Vetiver play nicely together as a bottom note. This is really like a dark blooming flower, that unfolds a rich beguiling scent. Magical! 

Check out all of my reviews here https://www.influenster.com/    and my latest men's fragrance review below. http://bellevuegrl.blogspot.com/2020/11/standout-fragrances-reviewing-world-of.html

Until next time~

Hearts and Hugs 



Nov 6, 2020

Standout Fragrances - Reviewing The World of Zaharoff

 It's been a bit since I've done a review here. Life has taken me in quite a few different directions and I've been away for a while from the beauty community. This particular review and the person that I'm writing about is more than enough to take this gal out of blogging retirement and set things on fire again. 

I first met designer and fragrance creator George Zaharoff many years ago through a very close friend in journalism, had it not been that I was in the fashion industry and that he designed a coat for her, I would have never known his name, thanks to the Twitterverse at the time, we forged a friendship and met face to face at a design launch, and years later, here we are. 

With two new fragrances that just launched, NOIR and ROYALE, George is once again blazing a trail for himself. Always the gold standard, I first wanted to introduce you to his original scent, Zaharoff Signature Pour Homme (EDP)  described by Zaharoff himself, "it is sweet lavender, clean blue cypress and spicy black pepper that unfolds into an earthy, smoky woods and floral heart of Oud and Balsam, finally settling into a trilogy of warm, spiritual and sensual Myrrh, Sandalwood and Frankincense."

Oriental Wood fragrances are some of my favorites (for both men and women) When George said that his scents were the "Elixir Of  The World", he wasn't kidding. From Coriander from the south of France to Mandarin and Bergamot from Italy, Ginger Roots from India, Anise from Egypt, Frankincense, and Myrrh from Ethiopia and Oud from China, Mr. Zaharoff has indeed put together the gold standard. NOIR is a pure spell of seduction. This warms on the skin like a sensual cashmere sweater. Make no mistake, this one is for when you're wanting to set the night ablaze and make someone crave more. Dare I call it "sex in a bottle" yeah, it's that good.

Have you ever felt a buttery soft suede, or smelled that perfect combination of leather? There's just something about it that stirs the senses. That's what ROYALE reminds me of. This dries down to that indescribable concoction of Amber, Musk, Cedar, Patchouli that is like a comforting throw on a chilly night while sitting by a fire. Gentlemen, if you want to make a statement, this is the one to choose. A man always wants to stand out, and this one will make heads turn. While deeper than the original Zaharoff Pour Homme, (while in itself is sophisticated), this takes classy to the next level. Think well dressed, polished, and on the playing field ready to conquer.  This is woodsy, rich on the sandalwood, but also fresh with crisp apple, juniper, and cardamom, and you guessed it, this one is also a passport around the world, from Guatemala, Indonesia, and Italy, all the way to my beloved Washington state. 

I love how each scent differs from the other and goes a level deeper. They are not a repeat version, and they are long-lasting, a spritz goes a long way. I love discovering all the layers of a fragrance from top note to the final rendition when it melds with your own body chemistry. From a female point of view, these leave a memorable statement behind. 

 Since these reviews have been done to death and on every channel, I wanted to do something a little different and offer up a complementary women's fragrance.  The fragrance notes in Estee Lauder's Aerin Rose de Grasse are a perfect pairing to Zaharoff Pour Homme, Royale goes well with Estee Lauder's Beautiful Belle, and the magic of NOIR completes the spell when paired with Estee Lauder's Cinnabar, Olibanum, Sandalwood, Patchouli is a perfect mate, yes, you can thank me later. Think of it as a couple pairing.

Both of these fragrances were sent to me for review. Special thanks to my dear friend George Zaharoff. For more information please visit zaharoff.com, and for fragrance notes for the women's fragrances, please see  esteelauder.com

Until next time ~
Hearts and Hugs

Aug 7, 2019

Catching Up

It has been a very, very long time since I've posted on here. I wanted to catch everyone up on what's been going on over the past year, and rather than make a long-winded social media post, I thought I would just make a long-winded post on my beloved blog.

I have indeed been busy. I've published two books, and have been in the process of writing my third, which, I may scrap, as I don't like the voice or direction it was going in. All hell kind of broke loose in my life whilst writing it. I was hospitalized while on vacation for pneumonia, which basically put me on my rear in (almost) the ICU for about five days. When I returned to normal life I had a hard time focusing on the premise of the book and well, it's been sitting here stewing in its own broth for awhile. To quote the words of a very close friend, I was "a sick sickie"

I have been busy writing elsewhere, both as a contributor for a publication on the Medium platform, and I recently threw my hat into the ring as a contributor for Thrive Global. I am having a very difficult time hitting the send button on my first post.  Even as a seasoned writer, I feel somehow inadequate alongside those with "Dr" or "Ph.D." in their name. I'm just a gal eating burritos for lunch while they are eating caviar (on toast, no less) While I may be sitting on the patio with a glass of rosé and watching the sunset, they are 37,000 feet in first-class watching the clouds roll by. I'm a working girl who juggles words, photography and social media, then comes home to feed the cat and herself, then settle down to her hobby of writing on the side. Glamorous, right?

Truth be told, I am intimidated about the big leagues, even though I've written here for ten years, covered front row fashion, and lived to tell about it, I find myself stumbling. I'm still figuring out a way to make words flow when it really counts.

How do we get past that initial stutter, that slip of foot on what we thought would be steady ground? Do we just jump and hope we land firmly, or do we fall, and use it to teach us how to use our wings? I'm about to take that step.

Stay tuned, and I'll let you know!

Until next time~
Hearts and Hugs

Jul 15, 2018

Book And Happenings

It's been quite awhile, and I wanted to catch up with everyone and announce the launch of my new book.

I decided to bite the bullet and put together a collection of short stories that I have written over the past year.

Most of these stories are about the heart, emotions, both positive and negative. There are stories of love, insight, inspiration, whimsy. They aren't meant to be taken literally, they aren't about anyone, or even for anyone. They are simply like poetry, to make one think, to appeal to the senses, perhaps to remember a moment or two of your own.

There is a passage, one that I like to refer to as a parabal for the heart. I was feeling very uncertain of my path. Every now and then, we all feel a little stuck. We want to be remembered, to matter, to be heard.

The heart is like a book. It holds memories. There are chapters that we like to re-read now and then. The storm in my story is a metaphor for life. It can be gentle, or it can be fierce and make us question everything. There are dog-eared pages in my book (heart), well loved moments, people, friends.

The character is feeling unsettled inside, is walking in the rain.  I liken the world to a diary that was carried by someone, dropped carelessly along the way, perhaps into a puddle, the pages are drenched. Someone finds it, and tries to see if they can salvage what was written inside.

As you read this story, I hope that you can relate.

The following is an excerpt from "And Then God Smiled" by Elaine Hamilton

                                                  The Book And The Storm

Feeling stormy today. There's a quiet roll of thunder under my calm surface. Seeing with my grey eyes today, there is no sun that can warm me enough to feel anything but disdain. I almost like the feel of rain on my face, I've come to welcome it some days, because it just feels good to to become part of the wildness of nature, just let go. Walking, feeling the wind, no one can see the pain behind the sardonic grin. I hide it well.

Raindrops hide tears, wrapping my heart with rubber bands again. Words, memories surface, almost like an old journal that is treasured. Scrapping everything I know once more. The pages of this book are getting old and tattered, a few are dog-eared because I tend to revisit them now and then. I carry this book with me, keep it close, but one day, I'll let go, and it will be consumed by the puddles that are left after the storm passes, pages will be drenched, and the words will be erased, and the book will lay forgotten.

Maybe someday, someone will find it, and wonder about the story it might have held. Maybe they will carefully dry out the pages , and see what was written, try to decipher the story within, the things that might have been, the wistful fairytale, the long forgotten dreams, and treasure it.

The book is available in the Amazon Kindle Store. Check out this link if you'd like to know more.

Until next time~
Hearts and Hugs

Dec 7, 2017


I've been missing in action for awhile. There have been so many changes going on, and I just wanted to update everyone on that.

When I first started BellevueGrl back in 2009, it was to support local business and local fashion. Over the years, I have had the pleasure of meeting so many wonderful business owners, local designers, makeup artists, and entertainment personalities. I have bonded with so many people, and I am so very honored to call them my friends.

I've photographed hundreds of shows, attended front row fashion events, met some of our wonderful Seahawk players, and dined on some of the best fare from all over the city.

BellevueGrl started branching out to go beyond just the local city and Seattle. It soon incorporated designers from Project Runway, personalities from Sally Beauty, friends from LA. I started writing for a few online publications, became a brand ambassador for AHAVA, did some visual merchandising, and immersed myself in the field of fashion completely, once again.

I most recently became a fashion and lifestyle writer for a digital magazine in Beverly Hills, and attended LAFW where I was able to go backstage and capture all of the behind the scenes action, watch models rehearse for shows, be able to watch hair and makeup teams work their magic, I met with emerging designers that were of a global outreach, and so BellevueGrl evolved once again.

Evolving implies change, and that's kind of the beauty of things. When something grows, rises up from the ground to become something that can make an impact outside of it's normal boundaries.

BellevueGrl will soon become a new entity "Just A Girl In The City Too", a new digital fashion spot featuring emerging women designers, interviews, photos and more. I will be doing mentoring, as I believe in developing talent and inspiring others to reach their goals and giving back, and I will be embracing more of an entrepreneurial role, and hopefully, putting my book out on shelves in 2018.

Writing a mission statement for a new publication was once a dream, and looking back on the past few years, I feel so very blessed.

Will you come along on the journey with me?

Thank you all for your support, friendship, comments. To all who are out there, never underestimate the power of your talents or voice. One article, one photograph, one painting, can make an impact on someones life in a moment.

You never know who's watching! 

Until next time~
With so much love

Sep 12, 2017


If you've never been to New Mexico, you're missing out.

Dubbed "The Land Of Enchantment" this beautiful southwest spot definitely lives up to it's name, with gold and watermelon sunsets and a sky full of stars.

Not only does it sport the wonderful capital of Santa Fe, but there is a certain charm to Old Town in Albuquerque.

I had a chance to visit a few months ago, and was impressed by the galleries that it has to offer.

One that caught my interest was GhostWolf Gallery, where I  had the chance to meet with local artists.

Tucked into a cozy corner, one feels the ambiance of walking into a friend's home with speciality pieces made to make you immediately smile.

Usually, there is an art crawl or special event going on, a chance to do a little champagne or wine tasting, and mingle with the creators of copper, clay, and canvas works.

There's plenty to catch the eye as one strolls from room to room, and always a bright blue sky to gaze up at while meandering the patio outdoors.

I was able to chat with Amy M. Ditto, Owner about her work and the pieces that she is most proud of.Hearing her speak, you can really pick up on  the energy of her creations.

Amy's favorite work is her "Dia de los Moo-uertos" the poster, which to her surprise, won at the Rio Grande Arts & Crafts Festival. Another favorite piece (mine too) is "Meanwhile Back In Kansas" which depicts a very calm "Dorothy" during the raging storm.

This piece is printed on dye infused aluminum, and gets rave reviews from everyone. There are so many who see this as a symbol of strength.

The Gallery is open from 11am-6pm, and is closed on Tuesdays.

If you're traveling anytime through the southwest, be sure to put this on your "to do list". The memories and the warm atmosphere of friends gathering will last forever.

Until next time~
Hearts and Hugs

Photo Credits: Elaine Hamilton
All photos are property of the blog owner, and may not be used without permission.
BellevueGrl Productions, 2011.

Jul 25, 2017


What's a birthday without a few glam presents, right?

Especially when the treats come from Tarte and Sephora! This years #BeautyInsider treat from Sephora was this fabulous duo.

Inside is a full size Amazonian Clay 12 hour blush in a limited edition shade "Paaarty" which is a peachy nude shade, teamed with a mini tarteist creamy lip paint in "Birthday Suit" a sweet confection of peach and beige.

This set is perfect for the gal on the go (like me!)

Grab yours at Sephora, and get ready to dazzle. #BeautyInsider membership is free, and you can earn points per purchase for all kinds of treasures.

"Paaarty on! "

Until next time~
Hearts and Hugs

Photo Credits:
All photos are property of the blog owner, and may not be used without permission.
BellevueGrl Productions, 2011.