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Friday, October 31, 2014

Review: Fortune Cookie Soap's Shampoo & Conditioner Bars

I got a $10 gift voucher from my Fortune Cookie Soap (FCS) subscription box (review here), so I had to use it somehow. Someone mentioned they have awesome shampoo & conditioner bars, so I had to try them out. I finally finished these bars so my review also includes how my hair reacted after I switched to different products.

The Sweet Spot Shampoo Bar

"Fresh picked melon, strawberries, and peaches twisted with sour mandarin oranges and pineapple, all sprinkled with a touch of sugar. Guaranteed to hit your sweet spot. ;)"

And this is how I discovered I'm in love with shampoo bars.

They're convenient for traveling, better for the environment since you're not using up plastic bottles and so fun to use! You wet your hair, and then rub the bar against your hair the way you'd rub a balloon over it when trying to showcase static electricity at work.

FCS's shampoo bar is very bubbly and leaves my hair squeaky clean. Too squeaky clean, even. My guy complained about his hair drying out but that's his fault since he won't use their magical conditioner bar (more on that later). I've only tried Clairol's Herbal Essence in early 2000s so I'm not sure if they've improved, but this is at the same level of level of squeakiness. Squeakiness doesn't necessarily mean oil reduction though, since my hair still got oily after 1-2 days like with my usual shampoos.

I'm a huge sucker for novelty, so I kept using this even though I quit using Clairol's after 2-3 washes. It's really that much fun. Unfortunately for me, my scalp disagreed with me on this. After I finished this shampoo and went back to my regular shampoo, I discovered my hair gets oily faster than before. It'll even get oily in less than a day after washing (so if I wash it in the morning, it gets oily at night) instead of the usual 1-2 days. I guess it's a bit too harsh for me, so my scalp has been reacting by producing more oils. However, I like the concept of shampoo bars so much, I'm looking at other brands of shampoo bars in case there's gentler ones out there.

Scent-wise, it's strong. It definitely fills up the entire shower when you use these scents and the drawer I kept the bar in before I used it still has the smell of the shampoo bar 3 months later. Every FCS scent I've tried has been highly artificial and closer to Bath & Bodyworks or Lipsmacker type of scents, and this is no exception. This scent is nice enough -it's a sweet artificial fruity scent that reminds me of Bonne Belle & Lipsmacker lip products. Unfortunately, it's not really for me, but I can see people liking it.

Cupcake Conditioner Bar

"Here at FCS we are not only obsessed with soap, but also cupcakes! I mean, who isn't?! They are sweet, adorable, and you can't help but smile when looking at one! Just like when you smell this delicious fragrance a huge grin will spread across your face!"

This conditioner bar is AMAZING. It's as moisturizing as L'Oreal's hair masks and I haven't found anything indie OR mainstream that's as good. This is why I kept using the shampoo bar even though it dried out my hair like crazy. I had this conditioner bar to counter it with super moisture, so my hair stayed soft and silky. I never knew how drying the shampoo bar was until I ran out of the conditioner bar!

The first conditioner I switched to after finishing this bar was Black Violet's conditioner. My hair felt like plastic after washing and that's when I realized how drying the shampoo is. I switched to Cocoa Pink's Argan Therapy conditioner next and it's much more moisturizing than my Black Violet conditioner, but my hair still didn't feel as soft as it usually does. Finally, I switched back to my L'Oreal hair mask and my hair finally felt like normal. That's how I know how good the conditioner bar is.

Unfortunately, conditioner bars in are a pain to use. This is my first conditioner bar, but I'm pretty sure this problem is across the board and not limited to any particular brand of conditioner bar. To use it, you rub it against your hair to get the oils on your hair, only it often wouldn't melt at all. I kinda expected it to be more squishy (like solidified lotion) at first, but it's as hard as a soy wax tart and almost as hard to melt. So, you just have to be patient and wait until it melts on your hair. I'm impatient so this was driving me nuts..especially since it adds an extra 2-3 minutes to my shower routine, and sometimes I just need a quick shower.

Not only that, the slight "stickiness"you get (think a semi-melted soy wax tart) from conditioner bars drags against your hair. If your hair is extremely fine like mine, this means you keep accidentally ripping strands out every time you run the bar across your hair. My shower drains were definitely more clogged than usual these past few months.

This conditioner bar is so amazing though, that I had to keep using this. My strategy to sort of work around the downsides of conditioner bars is to put the bar in a ziplock bag and sit on it for a while. This warms it up enough to get some of the oils out. Don't worry about smooshing the bar this way, it's so solid, that all it does is bleed out some oil. Once you have some of the oils out, you take the bar into the shower and use it. TMI, but in the shower, I hold it under my armpits to stop it from solidifying again...I'm pretty sure if I let my underarm hair grow out, they'll be so lustrous and glossy.

Scent-wise, this is that metallic sweet smell I get from certain gourmands. I personally love that metallic smell, though I'm a bit weirded out since I always assumed it's my skin chemistry causing certain notes to turn metallic. 

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Review: Ripe Lip Balms, Lip Scrubs & Perfumes

I ordered from Ripe sometime ago and only got around to reviewing them now.

So here's what I got:

  • Perfume Oils
    • Ambrosia
    • Dirty Gardenia
    • Ginger Milk Tea
  • Solid Perfume
    • Chocolate Cake
  • Lip Scrub
    • Coffee
    • Honey
  • Lip Balm
    • Honeycomb
    • Taro Milk Tea
    • Tiramis

Customer Service Review

First of all, everything came beautifully packaged and shrinkwrapped!

Shrinkwrap makes me feel safe...

Their TAT is also freaking awesome:

Ordered: June 27
Shipped: June 27
Arrived: July 1 (at a US address)

Anyway, on to reviews...


Perfume Oil General Review

These perfume starts off at a throw of about faux whispering distance and lasts this way for around 30-50 min. Afterwards, the throw is about intimate whispering distance for about another 1-2h before you have to get close to your skin to catch a whiff. You can get traces of it for about 8-9h.

As always, all scent reviews are done blind until the TL;DR's written. I write an overview if any notes surprise me.


"RIPE signature fragrance! Creamy coconut, summer cantaloupe, violet blossoms, and clementine orange - if you love fruity scents like me, this one is perfectly ripe."

This is a candy-like scent. Definitely a chewy candy since there's that chewy candy smell to it. The smell reminds me a lot of a Starburst candy. I can't really identify the flavour of this Starburst, but it's definitely one of those medley of fruits sort of flavours. For the first 5-10 minutes, there's also a very slight icy flavour (like mild "cool" candies..think Relaxa if you're in Indonesia).

It's nice enough, but teethers on smelling very artificial at times. Full disclosure, while I do like grown-up candy scents like Haunt's summer scents or Ten Three Labs' Artificial Angels, straight up candy tends to be a nope for me. I'm 26, I can't smell like a 6 year old who ran around unsupervised in a candy store. If you like candy scents though, you'll probably like this.

After about 10 minutes, it starts teetering on turning soapy and the dry-down has a bit of a sunblock smell. I'm guessing there's a coconut note in this since coconut notes often turn into sunblock.

TL;DR: Cool, fruity candy.

Overview: I knew there's coconut in this, I think the coconut is the one causing that chewy candy sort of smell. The violet may be the ones causing the soapy scent.

Dirty Gardenia

"Rich, floral blossoming gardenia and an undertone of freshly dug earth (this is a strong scent for true gardenia lovers)"

I'm actually not sure how gardenias smell like but I like this. The "dirty" part is more like the bitterness of lilies so no worries there if you don't like the smell of dirt. I'm guessing from this scent that gardenias smell like sophisticated, almost woody, light florals.

Unfortunately, at around 30 min, the smell gets lighter and lighter until it smells like a chemical I've smelled in a science lab before. It's a sweet scent, light scent that makes me think of balloons. Ether. It smells almost like ether.

TL;DR: Lillies & gardenia turning into ether.

Overview: I'm still not sure what's causing that ether smell. It's definitely a chemical smell.

Ginger Milk Tea

 "A creamy and spicy ginger with notes of sugared milk, black tea and nutmeg"

This just smells like a citrus soda. In the beginning, it has that slightly drier citrus that almost smells dusty. I'm expecting ginger milk tea and can't smell anything. I think the dry, sour smell may be the tea note they use. After about 10 minutes, the sourness eases and I get a citrus soda-scented soap.

TL;DR: Citrus soda-scented soap.

Overview: It's definitely the black tea that's turning into dry, dusty citrus on me. It's pretty overwhelming and I can't smell anything else. Nope, no milkiness at all.


Solid Perfume Review

 The presentation is a bit messy but oh well, it happens with hand-poured items.

This is a waxier formula so it definitely feels sticky where you applied it. One thing I'm impressed with is that it starts off with a long throw - up to faux whispering distance! Unfortunately, by 5 min, my skin eats this up and I have to get close to my skin to catch a whiff. Oh, and there's a waxy scent that keeps threatening to overpowers the perfume by then. You can get faint traces of the scent on your skin for about 5-6h though. 

Chocolate Cake

"Milk chocolate cake with notes of vanilla and a thick layer of white frosting"

This scent is just straight up chocolate. It's not a complicated scent. One thing I like is that it doesn't smell like the highly artificial, way too sweet chocolate that some perfumers use. It's bordering on turning completely artificial but never gets there. It's a tad on the sweet side, but not cloying. Overall, I'd recommend it if you want an uncomplicated chocolate scent.


Lip Balm General Review

First of all, I looove the presentation. Look how neat it is!

These lip balms are definitely waxy. They definitely glide on easily, but it's still waxy. I think my lips don't react well to lip balms with higher wax content because these ended up making my lips crack. They're unsweetened, but Honeycomb seems to have some honey sweetness to it. I don't know if it's my mind tricking me, though. These also have a very waxy scent that tends to be overpowering.


My only win out of the batch. This tastes exactly like fresh honey from honeycombs that you get in hotels. Delicious!

Taro Milk Tea

Wtf is this. It's just old wax. Sour old wax. I had to ask another indie owner who makes lip balms because the scent of this worried me so much. Turns out it's probably too much flavour oils since that can cause sourness.


It's a sour, old wax scent and I don't get any of the creamy, coffee deliciousness of tiramisu. It just smells like a less sour version of Taro Milk Tea.


Lip Scrub General Review

This is brand new and unused.
As you can see, unlike the lip balms, the lip scrubs are less smooth presentation-wise. They're still sealed though, so I'm happy.

These lip scrubs use fine granules of sugar, and there's more balm than sugar granules in it, so I find that it doesn't scrub as well. It feels more like a sweetened lip balm where they used sugar instead of stevia. The balm part melts easily:

This is with one light swipe over my lips. My lips ended up caked with the balm.

So it's definitely messy - I recommend using this over a sink.


This is coffee beans - bitter, unsweetened and slightly acidic. It's not romanticized coffee at all. Again, the sour wax scent that the lip balms have is present in this.


Delicious! It's a much sweeter version of the Honeycomb lip balm!

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Review: Dreamworld Hermetica Foundation & Blushes

This post is long overdue but I keep procrastinating on doing the write up. I really shouldn't since Ellie from Dreamworld Hermetica is awesome and deserve all the publicity she can get. So first of all, huge rave for...

Customer Service

Ellie is awesome! Here's a list of awesome things she did for me:

  • Rushed my order to make sure I get everything in time since I was using a mail forwarding service that needs everything to arrive by a certain deadlin
  • Manually invoiced me because Paypal wouldn't let me ship to a different country from my billing address
  • Gave me tons of free samples! Check out my foundation samples:

I only ordered THREE.

  • I also had trouble with the blushes, and Ellie supported me all the way. More on that later.

So on to reviews...

Foundation Swatches and Reviews

If you like mineral foundation, you'll like this. Ellie has a shade for pale Asians and I'm just so grateful for that! It's so freaking hard to find foundations as a pale Asian. There's usually only 1-2 shades of yellow-toned colours, and they're usually 2-3 shades darker than my skin tone. I have no idea why mainstream brands (even in Singapore and Indonesia) seem to think that all Asians only come in 1-2 shade of yellow. I had resigned myself to just using foundations that are just  close enough to my skin tone or planning a trip to Korea/Japan to score some sweet make up...and then, I discovered Dreamworld Hermetica. I'm freaking ecstatic ! Here are the swatches...
Arm swatches:
It got cloudy so this is a bit dark
Face Swatches:
This was done at the same time, only the light kept shifting so I look like I have 2 different skin tones. 
Winner's Nimue I Cloud! It blended straight into my skin! I'm so amazed by what a perfect match it is!

Unfortunately, I'm reminded why I switched from a mineral foundation to my current BB cream -even though my face is still oily, I've started having dry, flaky patches. Seriously, my skin hates me. Mineral foundation tends to emphasize dry, flaky skin so I can't really wear them anymore, unless I'm going for the moulting lizard look. So while these aren't for me, I still recommend them if mineral foundations work well for you.

Blush Swatches and Reviews

So here are the swatches under naturla light:
They were supposed to be gradients...Kiss of Crimson was the easiest to blend out
From left to right: Kiss of Crimson, Deeper Than Midnight, Kiss of Midnight
Oh, and I look like I'm wrinkling my forehead in most pics..I'm not stressed, I just have a big zit that looks like a huge wrinkle. it's covered up using Make Up Store's Cover All. 

Unfortunately, I found these very hard to blend and I had to contact Ellie about it. This was the picture I sent her:

Apparently, this streaky version of Kiss of Midnight makes me look bruised, because my boyfriend freaked out when he saw me and asked me what happened.
Ellie was so quick to respond and was so helpful the whole time. I think part of the problem is that my BB cream AND my face is freaking oily, so the blushes end up draggy.

It's not totally my face's fault though. For the arm swatches, I tried creating a gradient the way I did with for my previous review of Life's Entropy's contour sticks:

And this is what happened:
I left the other 2 unblended to show how it looks like pre-blending 
I couldn't turn it into a gradient and could only do one, even blended-out patch.

With Ellie's help, these are the methods that worked for me for these blushes:

1. Blending it with my BB cream and using them like a cream blush. 
2. Using a foundation brush, pick up a bit of the blush and swirl the brush on a piece of tissue until the distribution is even and there's very little blush on the brush. Pat on bit by bit to build up until you get the gradation you want. And that's how I got my better face swatches. 

Unfortunately, as you can see from the face swatches, Kiss of Midnight is still pretty patchy. Ellie showed her awesome customer service by contacting EVERYONE who bought her blushes to check if anyone else had the same problem. Then, she made this announcement:

Screenshot taken on Oct 5, 2014. Original link here.

Seriously, Dreamworld Hermetica's customer service is AWESOME. Ellie is amazing, and deserve all my money.

UPDATE: 2h after my review went up, Ellie commented on my post and posted this:

Link to post here. Screenshot taken on 27 Oct, 2014.

UPDATE April 2015: The blushes have been reformulated, but as far as I know, no one had their defective blushes replaced/refunded, or offered compensation in any way.

FOTD: Another look with paper lashes!

Eye close up:

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Subscription Box Review: Sweet Anthem Fall 2014

I subscribed to Sweet Anthem Perfumes and got my first set of perfumes. I have to say, the packaging is great.
The rip was from me, I got so excited, I nearly tore it open before I remembered to take a photo first.



Customer Service Review

I actually encountered some problems in this subscribtion. I made the mistake of putting my forwarding address as my address initially when I first signed up. I realized a few days later that my mail forwarding company will not ship alcohol-based perfumes, so I immediately messaged Sweet Anthem to ask them to change my address to my cousin's address instead (this was long before the fall subscription boxes were sent out). Meredith from Sweet Anthem confirmed it would be no issue at all.

However, when the subscription came, they sent it to the wrong address -my mail forwarding address. I contacted the mail company asking them if they could just get rid of the package for me. They a $6.50 processing fee. I asked what would happen if I just ignored it..well..then they'll just keep charging me a warehousing fee.

So yeah, I had to pay.

Sweet Anthem tried to make it right by sending me another set free of charge to the right address, but I'll be honest, I'm not too happy about being forced to pay for their mistake.

I still would recommend this subscription since it's so thoughtfully done, but it's definitely not for international customers since most countries won't ship flammable items, and you better make sure the address you provide initially doesn't change.

Anyway, on to scent reviews. As always, all reviews are done until the TL;DR's written. Overviews are written if any scent notes surprise me.


Solid Perfume Review

First of all, check out how neat this is!

Seriously, little stuff like these make me so happy. I love it when my solid perfumes/lip balms look neat and professionally poured when brand new instead of looking like an interpretive artwork with wax.

The solid perfume definitely has less of a throw than the perfumes -I have to get to an intimate whisper distance to catch a whiff. It also leaves a bit of a wax-like oiliness on your skin. I tried rubbing it in and it stays waxy & oily, even after an hour. Rubbing it in also seems to make the scent disappear faster. By an hour, you'll have to get close to the skin to catch a whiff too.    

I get traces on my skin for about 4-5h if I don't rub it in, barely 2h if I do.  



"From an old Germanic ballad: The linden-maiden rests beneath an illuminated grove / night-blooming jasmine fastened in her hair / Surrounded by the memory of ash and smoke and trove, the linden-worm takes flight / off they climb together, through the salty air."

Head Notes: Sea Salt
Heart Notes: Jasmine, Linden Blossom

Base Notes: Amber, Rosewood, Tonka Bean

I love the initial scent -it's a cool, almost candy-like rounded floral with a fruity candy type of sweet tartness. There's definitely jasmines in this, muddled with other florals I can only describe as "white florals". It's a scent that's elegant, yet light-hearted at the same time. If I'm picking an ad for this scent, I'd pick this picture:
Though I'd probably get the model to smile more. You're surrounded by giant flowers! That's freaking awesome!
Photography by Jean-Baptiste Fort

Unfortunately, this scent mellows out fast and in about 20 min, what you get is a sweet, light yet rounded white florals. It still smells great, but it's just a shadow of its former glorious scent. After an hour, the scent's more of a heavy, powdery sort of florals. Luckily it's faint by now. 

TL;DR: Cool candy and white florals -elegant yet lighthearted. 


Perfumes Review

This is my first indie alcohol-based perfumes and I have to admit, it's interesting to see the difference. First of all, I can't really figure out the throw. Sometimes, I have to get close to the skin to get the full force of the scent, and then I put my hand down and bam! The scent hits me. It's sometimes so strong, I got self-conscious about the strength. They definitely tend to waft around me more at random times.

With oil-based perfumes, I get a very strong scent at first, which wafts around me though it's strongest where I dabbed the oil. With alcohol-based perfumes, it wafts around me and doesn't smell concentrated on the spot I placed it on. But while my oil-based perfumes gradually gets weaker and weaker until I get weak, lingering traces, alcohol-based perfumes seem to gradually concentrate on the spot where I sprayed/dabbed it. After a few hours, it stops wafting around and I can only smell it on my skin, but the smell is really concentrated and strong.

Anyway, I notice these scents tend to do the weird randomly wafting around thing for about 1-2h and then end up in a concentrated patch on my skin for about 7-8h.

I need to stress that while I didn't find any that worked for me, I still like the quality of these perfumes.



"Aldehydic lavender, smoky black tea and agarwood, strewn with pumpkin spices."

Head Notes: Agarwood, Black Tea

Heart Notes: Lavender

Base Notes: Pumpkin

Oh wow, it's one of those old, dusty citruses. If you've sniffed Solstice Scents' Minister, it's that kind of old, dusty citrus. Only this has a bit of that old English lady scent you can find in Solstice Scents' Manor. So the resulting smell is an old English lady wearing a citrus-scented vintage face powder that's probably a biohazard by now and should definitely be thrown out.

Pretty to look at but probably not safe for face. If you like this, it's actually on sale on Etsy!
Image courtesy of VintageCookEtc on Etsy

While I didn't really like this scent, I actually like the faint traces it leaves lingering on my skin. It's a clean, almost soapy scent that somehow reminds me of my elementary school classrooms back when I was still in an international school. It smells like clean carpeted floors you can roll on, brand new giant cushions, beautifully illustrated children's books, paper crafts, and awesome teachers who make you believe you can do anything you want. It makes me feel really nostalgic. Unfortunately, at this point, the smell no longer wafts around and stays on a concentrated patch on my skin.

TL;DR: Vintage citrus-scented powder on an old English lady....or Solstice Scents' Minister & Manor crossed together.

Overview: This is definitely a complex blend and I blame the black tea for causing the dusty citrus smell. If the lingering smell is lavender mixed with pumpkin, I need to find more scents with those notes. 



"Indolic jasmine, softened by mimosa and black and white ambers, warmed with Chai spices and juniper berry, all on a base of earthy, grassy, vetiver."

Head Notes: Chai Spices, Juniper Berry
Heart Notes: Jasmine, Mimosa
Base Notes: Black and White Amber

This is a bit confusing. Initially, it's like a men's cologne for an old lady. It's one of those cool, fresh yet slightly bitter type of men's cologne scent...but there's something powdery in it. The powdery scent keeps getting heavier and heavier until the scent is like an old lady musk cloaked in a cool men's cologne. It's like an old lady wearing her husband's coat.

By 10 minutes, it's mostly a heavy, powdery, old lady-ish sort of scent with a bitter muskiness. It makes me think of a cranky posh old lady who's perpetually pissed off because people nowadays are soooo rude.

Regardless of what you think about Thatcher's politics, you have to admit she has one of the best disapproving looks ever.
Image courtesy of

TL;DR: Cranky posh old lady.



"Lingering candle smoke, tart cherry, a powdery, vintage style floral center, and a dry-down of real vanilla and resinous myrrh."

Head Notes: Candle Smoke, Cherry
Heart Notes: Heliotrope, Immortelle
Base Notes: Madagascar Vanilla, Myrrh

There's a clay-like scent as well as a bitter, medicinal scent. The bitter disinfectant sort of medicinal. Oh and something vaguely creamy..perhaps vanilla? I've had foot surgery once and this was the scent of my cast..with a bit of something creamy. It's as if a nurse tried to cheer me up by scenting my bandages with a vanilla perfume, only to have the medicinal cast smell overpower it.

The smell this leaves lingering on my skin kinda smells like latex gloves blown up into a balloon.

TL;DR: Creamy foot cast.

Overview: I tried sniffing this again. Still medicinal disinfectant.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Review & Recommendation: 2 of Possets' Endangered Blends

So I er...ordered a bit to much from Possets. It's not my fault, they have awesome vanillas! And free international shipping past a certain amount!

Anyway...I ordered 7 bottles and 12 perfume samples, and this is what I got.

Yup. An extra 12 regular-sized and 6 super-sized samples.

I was so freaked out, I contacted Fabienne thinking she messed up and misread my order. Obviously, I had to offer to pay her too if it was a mistake.

There's a typo in my's supposed to be 6 big samples, not 5.

Nope, it wasn't. Possets is just that generous.

Customer Service Review

This is actually my first order of Possets directly from Possets since I've only bought decants from Ajevie previously. The customer service is AMAZING. Well, the free stuff definitely made me happy, but Fabienne was also so quick to respond when I had a bunch of questions about international shipping. Oh yes -and free international shipping. I love free international shipping.

There's also little touches that make you feel so loved, like this handwritten note she included:
She has a pretty signature!
So anyway, on to scent reviews. I'm only reviewing the 2 bottles of Endangered Blends I got since I don't have time to try out the samples yet. I figured I better review those two before they're sold out. As always, they're done blind until I finished writing all the way to the TL;DR.  For my previous Possets reviews, you can either click here or on the tag on the right.

OHIO-Sticky Gooey Buckeyes 

"Well, this one is in the Midwest (which is noted for its simple and delicious fare), a foody blend here several delectable chocolates play serious footsie with nuts and gooey delights. This harkens to the candy called "buckeyes" which is a combination of nut butters and chocolate. Foody, gourmand, sweet."

Oh wow, the peanuts in this is strong. So strong, it actually makes me wonder if someone with a severe nut allergy can go into anaphylactic shock from sniffing this. There's also chocolate - sinfully sweet chocolate. It smells like a chocolate covered peanut brittle from See's Candies.

You lucky Americans can buy this anytime..
Image from

There's something in it that doesn't agree with my skin chemistry. It's something that smells like body lotion that solidified after being left out for too long, but it isn't strong enough to bother me.

After about 30 min, there's a warm vanilla that overpowers the peanut brittle scent. I still smell the peanut brittles, but it's more in the background rather then the foreground. 

TL;DR: See's Candies' chocolate covered peanut brittle

The Girls Love Chai-Chai-Chai

"Lively blood orange and a couple of rose buds make this chai extra special. Teas, dark and sustaining and the persistent scent of honey and spices make this a most memorable blend."

This is the scent of a dry, more acidic black tea. It's one of those special blend black teas that looks like decorative potpourri, smells like perfumes, and tastes slightly sour. I think there's cardamom in this because that's a scent that always reminds me of India and this scent definitely takes me there. After about 20 min, I can finally identify that perfumed smell -it's roses. Heavy, powdery roses. 

Mixed with the acridity of the tea note though, the roses end up smelling more like India than an old lady. Don't get me wrong, this is still a really strong scent. But it's a heady, hypnotizing smell that reminds me of entering "mystical" boutiques that cater to tourists in India. If someone wants to pass off as a mysterious Indian fortune teller, this is the hypnotizing perfume she'll use (as you can tell from my language, I don't believe in fortune tellers).

I just wanted an excuse to post pictures of a sari. I wish I can wear saris all day...they actually hide my tummy and make me look like I have curves. I love saris.
Photography by Alex Hann

TL;DR: Believe me, I can see into the future. I swear. Check out how mystic I smell.

Overview: Now that I looked at the notes, I think I assumed this would smell like chai tea from the name, and got it without looking at the notes. Citrus and black tea are my death notes. Add rose into it and I normally would have ran for it. Somehow Possets made me love them so I'm impressed.

EOTD: Gold & Green

Monday, October 20, 2014

Subscription Box: Pretty & Polished October 2014 Beauty Box

I finally got my Pretty & Polished October box last Saturday, on the 18th of October. As always, the packaging's cute:

My favourite from this batch is Of Fire and Ice. It's a sheer black glitter polish and obviously, I had to do this glitter gradient look because it's so perfect for it!
Of Fire and Ice
Here's swatches for the other colours:
From left to right: Rake A Little Piece of My Heart, Bonfire Bliss, Autumn Enchantress
Autumn Enchantress and Bonfire Bliss are both glitter toppers and Rake A Little Piece of My Heart is a glitter pale peach crelly.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Review: Blooddrop Clothing & Fineries Perfumes (7 Scents)

Earlier, /u/minkishly, being the awesome person that she is, passed me 7 of her decants (6 scents since there was a double) of Blooddrop's Horses of the Carousel collection (decanted by the awesome Ajevie, as usual). I also got a full size of Moonstone, a Blooddrop exclusive scent for The Rhinestone Housewife.

First of all, huge rave for The Rhinestone Housewife. I sent her a message via her website because I noticed there's no security certificate on the site or an option to check out via Paypal. She got back to me really fast and fixed the problem (it was a website error). Not only that, she actually invoiced me separately on PayPal so I'd feel more comfortable. Everything was shipped out the next day!

The order also came with a free tub of Brazen eyeshadow!

Perfume Oil General Review

My skin seems to eat up Blooddrop really fast. They start off at casual conversation distance and I can smell certain notes waft up as I type, but they usually go down to about faux whisper distance within a minute. By 45min-1h, I tend to have to get pretty close to the skin to catch a whiff.

I like certain blends but certain blends also give me a headache. I'm still undecided on Blooddrop, so I'll definitely try more before scents first.

The full-size perfumes do not come sealed in anyway and doesn not have a reducer.

So on to scent reviews! As always, they're done blind until I write all the way up to the TL;DR. If any notes surprise me, I write an overview.


Scent Reviews



"A cool, lunar, dreamy, luminous blend for this goddess stone; white tea, apple meat, moonflower, blue agave, wintergreen, jasmine, and white ginger."

There's an icy touch to this scent along with a delicate, sweet, almost candy-like floral. The icy scent is that stone/concrete/rock note perfumers seem to like using -the kind that smells like Baygon, a popular insect repellent in Indonesia. While insect repellent sounds off-putting, Baygon actually smells great if you don't realize it's something you shouldn't be inhaling or using as a perfume. Other perfumes that use this notes are:

  • Alkemia's Prairie 66 (very dominant and almost the entire scent's just that note)
  • Black Violet's Apparition (balances with other aspects of that scent)
  • Black Violet's Komorebi (faint and in the background)

For Moonstone, this Baygon note is slightly stronger than the Baygon note in Black Violet's Komorebi -well-blended with the other notes to the point where it's almost overpowered, but definitely there and not in the background.

The result is a perfume that smells like small, delicate bursts of cotton candy pink flowers, preserved in icy frost while the cold, biting winter wind blows around it. If I'm picking an ad for this perfume, I'm totally picking this picture:
The video ad will have tons of CGI flowers blowing everywhere, obviously.
Gorgeous photography by Alena Root, check out her stuff here!
Unfortunately, within about 45 min, the scent has mellowed out to just a sweet, pink floral scent with a hint of something green, and you have to get close to the skin to sniff it.

TL;DR: Small, delicate bursts of cotton candy pink flowers, preserved in icy frost while the cold, biting winter wind blows around it

Overview: I can't pick out the apple in this, or any of the individual notes actually. They're really well blended. Not sure which note's responsible for the Baygon smell, and other perfumers with this note simply describe it as "stone" or "concrete".


Horses of the Carousel Collection


The Aurus Horse

"It smells of a vanilla bean cupcake with vanilla frosting covered in yellow and white daisy sugar flowers and edible gold stars."

There's a tart, sour smell that may be vanilla going sour on me. The sour smell is really strong and I can smell it as I type. You have to get to faux whispering distance to catch the full blast of it, though. I really can't smell anything except for that tart, sour smell for the first 5 minutes. Luckily, it calms down and I catch whiffs of green notes and that play-doh-like "cake" note. Unfortunately, by the time it calms down, it's very faint and I have to get close to the skin to catch a whiff.

The green is more of a realistic, sort of green that smells more like crushed plant stalks that have been left out for a while and starting to brown. It clashes with the play-doh "cake" note so I'm not really a fan of this scent -it's like someone serving you cake and you bite into it only to discover overcooked spinach inside. I really hope this doesn't mean Blooddrop's gourmands don't work on me.

TL;DR: The dry-down is that metallic "cake" scent a lot of gourmands turn into.


The Giant Horse 

"Its scent is of a bold, mocha cupcake with mocha frosting that is delicately drawn to appear like the horizon with tiny tree tops, roof tops, mountain tops and the ocean."

Ok, in the vial, it's a scary sour coffee smell. On my skin, there's hints of the sourness, but it's tempered down by the smell of slightly burnt coffee and a clean, office-like smell. Unfortunately, the sour smell keeps threatening to burst out. It's not a fruity sort of sourness smells like rotting coffee. Maybe it's a vanilla/caramel note going crazy. The resulting scent is like the cubicle of that one person who practically lives in the office -tons of empty mugs of coffee left out on his/her table because s/he's too wrapped up to wash them, and some mugs have even started to grow stuff.

Whatever you do..don't look inside..
Image courtesy of

TL;DR: Old mugs of coffee at various stages of age.

Overview: I still don't know what was creating that rotting smell. Usually it's vanilla or caramel that goes this way.


The Lyrical Horse

"Its scent is a pink vanilla cupcake with raspberry jam filling and raspberry meringue frosting softly ascending upwards."

I smell raspberries in this. It mostly smells like the artificial raspberries that I normally like, but there's something off. I can't really describe it. I think a note may be going crazy on me, but I can figure out which one it is. There's that plastic-like smell that raspberry scented toys seem to have, but there's another off smell I really can't describe. It makes me feel nauseous too.

TL;DR: Weird, artificial raspberries.

Overview: Maybe it's the cupcake mixed with the vanilla? I think Blooddrop's gourmands hate me.

The Mountain Horse

"Its scent is a dense, thick chocolate cupcake with a chocolate pudding center and dark chocolate glazed top."

This smells like a creamy chocolate truffle. Unfortunately the cheaper kind of mass produced "chocolate truffles" that tends to piss off chocolatiers and make your teeth ache. My skin tends to amp up sweet scents and holy crap this is sweet on me. I feel nauseous.

TL;DR: Very, very, very sweet chocolate truffle.


The Twisted Horse 

"Its scent is that of a fried dough, churro-like cupcake made with a vanilla and cinnamon sugar spiced batter. It has a crisp outer texture with a light fluffy interior and is dusting with powdered sugar and gold dust."

At first I get a vaguely sweet, deep fried goodies smell, but the cinnamon grew stronger and stronger until it smells a bit like those Red Hots candy. There's a bit of a dry, almost peppery smell in the background but it's mostly Red Hots. I urge people with cinnamon allergies to be very careful with this scent. I'm normally not allergic to cinnamon, but I can feel the spot I put this on feel warm.

I should have wiped it off because 5 minutes after I wrote that sentence, this was my arm:
It itches and still feels like it's burning T.T be careful with this scent. This has never happened to me before with cinnamon, so I'm hoping it's just this one off case and I'm not developing a cinnamon allergy.

There's something else cloying in this that I can't figure out since the Red Hots is so strong. I had to wash this off fast, so I don't know if I could identify the cloying smell once the Red Hots scent is gone.

TL;DR: Very strong Red Hots with a very dry, almost peppery scent and something cloying in the background.

Overview: To test out if I've developed a cinnamon allergy, I put on Possets' Gelato: Vaniglia the entire day. Nope, no rashes or anything. I also use Cocoa Pink's conditioner with the Cake on Monday scent, which also contains cinnamon, and I'm still ok after using that too. So I guess I'm still not allergic to cinnamon in reasonable doses and it's just this scent containing far too much of the cinnamon. For anyone who developed an adverse reaction to anything with cinnamon at all, it's best to stay away from this.


The Velvet Horse

"Its scent is that of a chocolate and coconut cupcake with chocolate cream cheese filling and chocolate frosting decorated with red and purple sugar rose petals."

Oh I like this. It's chocolate but more like a buttery, melted chocolate that's not so sweet. There's a floral in this, but it's too blended into the scent for me to identify what it is exactly. It ends up smelling like chocolate being melted in the kitchen of a traditional chocolatier. There's the smell of a clean room and melted chocolate with flower petals sprinkled on top. I love this one and this is actually one of my favourite chocolate scents ever - actual creamy, smooth chocolate. It doesn't end up going sandalwood on me or smelling like chocolate powder, it's actual chocolate. I'm a huge fan.

I want to swim in this...not in reality though. Someone actually nearly drowned in a vat of chocolate in the Hershey factory once.
Image courtesy of

TL;DR: Flowers sprinkled on buttery, melted chocolate in a clean room.


While a bunch of scents didn't work out on me, these are scents that didn't work out on /u/minkishly as well, so there's a chance they're the weirder scents. I'm definitely giving Blooddrop another try.  The only thing I'm sure about is that their vanillas just don't work on me, so if you have a similar skin chemistry, steer clear. 

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Swatches: Beauty For The Win

UPDATE 30/10/14: If you ordered from Beauty FTW and found pet hair on your order, Laurel is currently recalling her eyeshadows. The containers she used were stored in a place with pets, and that may have lead to the contamination. Her lab and supplies should be safe. I think this is very responsible of her, and I'm happy with her customer service.

Laurel from Beauty For The Win sent me eyeshadows to help her swatch some time ago. She finally launched today and you can buy her shadows here!

She's also having a sale right now and each purchase you make supports a charity! Here's her launch announcement, in text to make copying the sales codes easier:

I'm so excited to finally be able to launch my brand; Beauty For The Win! 
You may remember my soft launch earlier this summer, along with hints of an August launch.Well, grad school happened and the opening got delayed, so I had to expand my timeline. But the website is up and running, and I'm excited to share all three opening collections with you all! 
Each collection sponsors a charity -- 1$ from all full sized products and .50$ from each sample sized product goes to a charity that relates to the collections theme.-The Fault In Our Swatches - Eyeshadows based on The Fault In Our Stars, sponsoring This Star Won't Go Out -We Are Wizards - Eyeshadows based on Harry Potter, sponsoring The Harry Potter Alliance -The Jane Austen Blush Club - Blushes based on Jane Austen Heroines, sponsoring Girls Write Now 
And to celebrate, we're having a sale for the rest of October. Not only do we have amazing Blogger specials this month, all regular products are 15% off with the code IMAMLOVE and full collections are 25% off with the code OPENINGFUN 
And if you have a coupon for free shipping from the soft-launch, that will be good until January 31st to make up for the delay in launching.If you have any questions, I'm more than happy to chat with y'all! I'm so excited for this launch that's been a long time coming! 
EDIT:I forgot to mention; I changed website hosts, which also added to the delay. But now, I can accept paypal, which I think should improve the shopping experience :]

Anyway, these are the shadows she sent me for swatching:

Her samples are so generous, I still have some left even after wasting so much on these shots! 
How they arrived.
Safety seals! Yay!
So on to swatches!

Glitter glue close ups. Swatched over Darling Girl's Glitter Glue.
Completely bare skin

Foiled with water, over bare skin


Over Darling Girl's Glitter Glue