If you're never quite sure whether the ads for popular beauty products can be believed, relax. Our 4you Beauty Board is made up of veteran testers ready to try the latest when it comes to all things beauty. We'll share what worked and what bombed with the hope of making life a little easier for you.
This week: celebrity-inspired scents.
Black Star by Avril Lavigne eau de parfum spray
Available at Kohl's and www.kohls.com; $39 for 1.7 ounces
"Let your inner pop star shine with Avril Lavigne's Black Star fragrance for women. Soft fruity scent is ideal for anytime."
Cloe says: As an old-school R&B gal with lots of hip-shaking salsa pulsating through my veins, I didn't expect to like a scent inspired by a young, Canadian punk princess. But this scent is lush, floral and sweet - and not too sweet. It reminds me of my younger days when my scent of choice was "Sweet Honesty;" nothing fancy or "Complicated," just girly and fun. This one doesn't last as long as I'd like, but by today's celebrity standards it's a bargain at $29 and $39. It's marketed mostly to the teen set, but it brought out my inner punk rocker and I started humming "sk8er boi."
Cloe Cabrera, 43, covers fashion and beauty for the Tribune, TBO.com and News Channel 8.
Helena Rubinstein All You've Ever Wanted eau de parfum (inspired by Demi Moore)
Available at Macy's; $60 for 1.7 ounces
"Intoxicating fragrance blends an enveloping sensuality of magnolia with carnal iris cream, magnified by a charismatic touch of cedar extract."
Michelle says: I want to be Demi Moore. Always have. Any woman who poses nude, while pregnant, for the cover of Vanity Fair, is a winner in my book. Everything about her screams "cool." Her voice, her style, her comfortable relationship with ex-hubby Bruce Willis. And coolest of all is that she's the original cougar, snagging cute-as-pie Ashton Kutcher. (She was 42 and he was 27 when they tied the knot.) Oh, let me die and return in her body! This perfume by Helena Rubinstein is meant to capture Demi's spirit - "passionate, entrancing, seductive and in control." The fragrance is light, luscious and long-lasting, with a perfect touch of subtle sweetness. If the closest I'll ever get to being Demi is wearing a scent inspired by her, so be it.
Michelle Bearden, 55, covers faith and values for the Tribune, TBO.com and News Channel 8.
In Bloom by Reese Witherspoon for Avon
Available at www.avon.com; $34 for 1.7 ounces
"Sensual and elegant, it entices the senses with gardenia blossoms and lush florals, enveloped in amber wood and peach tea leaves."
Sara says: This fragrance came as a complete surprise to me. When it comes to perfume, I've always been attracted to exotic or woodsy scents, not florals. I think you can effectively set the right mood or attitude with help from your perfume. The first time I put this on, I felt compelled to take deep breaths over and over, like sniffing a flower. The scent is light, but it doesn't fade too quickly. It feels made for summertime, although I can see folks wearing this through the fall because of the amber wood coating. I read that Witherspoon got her inspiration from a giant magnolia tree in her childhood backyard. I can relate: Growing up, it seemed as if Dade City was always in bloom. Perhaps that's why I'm enjoying this fragrance so much.
Sara Minton, 33, coordinates the event listings for TBOExtra.com and Friday Extra.
Queen by Queen Latifah
Available at department stores and online at www.macys.com and www.dillards.com; $49 for 1.7 ounce eau de parfum spray, $59 for 3.4 ounces
"The heart of this scent brings together two sides of a woman: femininity and sexiness."
Shantae says: Queen, the debut fragrance from the multitalented Queen Latifah, includes notes of golden tequila accord, Italian bergamot, Mediterranean mandarin, Baie rose, jasmine noir, cognac, Moroccan coriander, Indonesian patchouli, sandalwood, vanilla absolute, tonka absolute, Egyptian incense and sexy musk. It is a rich, full-bodied and warm scent. The sandalwood, vanilla and musk blend together to add the right touch of spice, and the patchouli adds an earthiness. As it dries down, the incense steps up to help temper some of the sweetness. And despite the sweetness, it's not so much a tween scent; it feels neither too young nor too old. It might be a bit much for summer days, but it will do nicely in cooler weather. If you're looking for that dark, tropical experience, give Queen a try.
Shantae Brewster, 36, is the Tribune's Readers Desk supervisor.