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Friday, May 22, 2015

Review & Recommendation: 8 scents from Midnight Gypsy Alchemy & Body Butter Review

Last time, I was so impressed by Midnight Gypsy Alchemy's (MGA) quality that I had to make two more orders so I can try out more perfumes, as well as their bath products (for my previous MGA review, head here). Unfortunately, I have a big problem with MGA –I want everything. I thought the more scents I try, the easier it'll be for me to pick a favourite, but nooo.

So quick customer service review....


Customer Service Review


First of all, everything arrived packaged impressively as usual, and there's no leakage this time! Unfortunately, this was the only photo I remembered to take since I got too impatient about trying everything out:



Like my previous order, each scent sample comes with a card with the scent description & notes. It's a nice touch, even though the environmentalist in me cringed a bit. It's definitely pretty enough to send straight away as a gift to someone without needing to repackage it to make it look nicer though!

My previous order took 21 days since the order date before it got shipped, but the next 3 orders I made had better TAT (12-14 days):



  • Ordered: 14 & 16 Nov (I asked these to be combined) 
  • Shipped: 28 Nov  

  • Ordered: 19 Dec  
  • Shipped: 5 Jan

I don't take note of when the package actually arrives in Indonesia since it could be customs' fault if the package takes too long. 

Oh, and one of the reasons I love this company? They have FREE international shipping. Now on to the scent & products review!



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Body Butter Review

The texture is like thickened lotion, but one of those lotion that's advertised to have a "watery touch". It doesn't feel heavy at all, and it's not sticky either –your skin has that slight dampness like after putting on a very light body lotion, and that's it. It does feel "watery" (not diluted, more like a fresh spritz) and if you look at the picture of the newly opened lotion (it doesn't come with any safety seal), you can see there's water condensation on the lid:




It's pretty much comfortable enough to go back to typing immediately right after using it, but like Haus of Gloi's (HoG's) pumpkin butters, it takes about 3-5 min before it feels like the lotion's really absorbed into your skin already. Moisture-wise, it's much more moisturizing than Solstice Scents' body butter, but less moisturizing than Haus of Gloi's.

As for the scent, it's at medium strength –you can smell it at around casual conversation distance but no further. I've only tried one scent, so I would need to try out more scents before I come to any solid conclusions, but I did notice that the scent I picked is different in body butter vs perfume oil form.

Night of the Spirits Body Butter Scent Review 

I ordered this scent in body butter form because the perfume reminds me so much of my friend's baby. It has that baby creamy scent, but it's not just a general creamy baby scent, it just reminds me of my friend's baby (long review here).  

When I got the body butter, it immediately became clear why it reminds me so much of my friend's baby –it smells like a that creamy baby scent, mixed with Indonesian herbal ointments. The herbal bit is far stronger in the body butter, and that's how it clicked   in my head why it made me think of my friend's baby specifically. Like a lot of Indonesian babies, she gets massaged daily by her nanny with minyak telon, and gets slathered with ointments to prevent mosquito bites or ease the itch from mosquito bites. She also gets this hair tonic to help her grow more/better hair. The herbal bit is a combination of all those ointments, minyak telon and hair tonic, and it may be a bit off-putting for someone else who don't have the positive cultural associations with this sort of herbal smell.

Oh, and the reason she needs hair tonic is because she has very little hair. Like very little. She actually sadly pats her head whenever she sees me or her mom play with our hair, and gets so happy whenever I drape my hair over her head.



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Perfume Oil Scent Reviews


Ok, in my last perfume review (Sweet Anthem), a couple of people asked me why I didn't put a pic of the hot shirtless dude I had in my previous review from the same brand. I promised to pepper my next review with lots of hot, shirtless dudes in my next review, so I'm delivering.

As always, all perfume reviews are done blind until the TL;DRs are written. An overview gets written if any of the notes surprise me.


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Chocolate Mystique



"Divine chocolate alchemy at its finest, made by way of oil infusion with the natural chocolate scent of pure cocoa absolute, cocoa butter, essential oils in cardamom, sandalwood and vanilla, infused with cardamom seed and a touch of hand ground coffee . A scent so indulgant and rich one cannot help but to submit to the enticing aroma."

This is amazing! It smells like actual chocolate for one, with a dark chocolate tartness. It definitely smells milky, with an amber sort of warmth and an almost floral fragrance. Not exactly floral, but floral in the way some wine connoisseurs will describe a wine to have a "floral bouquet". It makes me think of gourmet floral chocolates, where it no longer smells floral, but the flowers just infuse the chocolate with a complex richness that make you want to write odes to it. A chocolate that looks something like this:

This is from a store in New Orleans called Sucré, which I can't stop browsing. I want to make a trip to New Orleans just to visit them! Check out their store here! Oh, and their Flickr page is the best page for food porn. I can't stop drooling.

It's just so fragrant! I want to bathe in this. I think I need to get a body butter in this fragrance! Oh, and the scent doesn't morph as is fades, so the lingering traces you get on your skin is still the same delicious scent, just a bit more faint.

TL;DR: Rich, gourmet, milky dark chocolate with the richest almost floral fragrance. Lovingly served to you on top of this guys' abs:
Yup. You can expect every hot guy break to be introduced with this amount of subtlety.
Awesome photography by Mattia Valerio

Overview: Ambers are often sandalwood & vanilla mixes, so that may be where that amber sort of warmth is coming from. I'm just really amazed by how rich this scent is from that relatively "plain" list of notes!

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Earth & Wild Roots 


"A dark foliage and fig scent touched by earthen mushrooms, spirited herbal mint and light musk like powders. A blend created with mushroom, tonka bean, vanilla, oakmoss absolutes, orris root and agar wood co2's, fig fruit extract, myrrh resin, essential oils of peppermint, ambrette seed, cedarwood, amyris, infused in ground organic figs, mushrooms, tonka beans, vanilla beans, mint leaves and cedar wood."

Oh dear. This is a HOT scent. First, it has that slightly sharp, sweet sandalwood scent that make me go weak in the knees. Then, there's traces of that cool yet spicy earth you get in HoG's Ploughman, which makes me fall even deeper in lust. Finally, there's something sort of musky in this that just makes me me think of languorously lying in bed after a hot, steamy...er, hugging session.

Anybody noticed how perfect the highlighter placement is on her cheeks?
Hot photography by Artur K


The musky bit is a tad feminine but the rest is masculine, so I'm not sure if I'm lusting after a hot man or a hot woman. The sharp sandalwood may go too "dusty" for some people but I personally love it since wood, earth & leather notes are my personal weakness when it comes to masculine scents.

After about 10-15 min, there's a scent that smells like boiled baby carrots at the base of this scent. The hot scent is still dominant, and the boiled baby carrots are hardly noticeable, but I just thought it's a bit weird.

After about an hour, it's mostly that musk, which now smells a tad cottony. It's now more comforting than hot, but I'm fine with just an hour of hotness.

TL;DR: That moment before you tumble into bed with a hot man, woman or well, why the heck not, both.

Overview: I was looking up what amyris was since I was trying to figure out what's causing the boiled baby carrots smell, and found this on Wikipedia:

Amyris is a genus of flowering plants in the citrus family, Rutaceae. The generic name is derived from the Greek word αμυρων (amyron), which means "intensely scented" and refers to the strong odor of the resin.  Members of the genus are commonly known as Torchwoods because of their highly flammable wood.

Oh my gods, how can she miss the opportunity to name this scent Torchwood??? 3 words: Captain Jack Harkness.

Seriously. He's so hot. Why is he so hot?
Image courtesy of fanshare.com
Oh, and of course. Here's John Barrowman shirtless:



*cough* back on topic. I have no idea what's causing the boiled baby carrots bit, but apparently ambrette seeds may be behind that seductive musk. I'm looking for more scents with ambrette seeds now.

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Magick & Moonlight


"A mysterious floral, lime aroma with a powdery under tone fragrance made with essential oils of frankincense,sandalwood, lime ,lavender, jasmine and vanilla absolute, infused with lime peels,lavender buds, jasmine petals and ground coconut."

Oh, this is such an Indonesian scent! Jasmines are the star here, and it's actual, fresh jasmines that you either love or hate. I personally love them, but I've heard some people saying jasmines smell like death. It's a watery jasmine scent, and I'm not talking about a blue note. Actually watery. It smells like rain on jasmines. You'll often encounter this scent when you're walking into upmarket tourist-friendly Indonesian hotels or restaurants. For everyone who lives/has visited Jakarta, you know that scent Tesate always has? That scent.

As soon as I sniffed this, I can hear the sound of gamelans and now I have this gamelan music stuck in my head. The bamboo gamelan kind.
Gamelans are traditional Indonesian instruments that look like xylophones.
If you search for gamelans on Google images, you'll be under the impression that they're instruments played primarily by white people, which may now be true considering it's a dying art in Indonesia. I was in my college's gamelan orchestra, and I was the only Indonesian they had in years....we even revived a traditional song (as in we were the first to play it again in 50 years) that died because no one in the village wanted to learn how to play it. Yup. While all my friends were going on and on about how cool it was we're reviving a "dead song", I'm sitting in sheepish silence because my countrymen let it die.
Image courtesy of usd.edu
Oh and here's a guy wearing the slutty version of an Indonesian batik-print sarong. Because why the hell not.

This is a guy named Lane Fuller, whom I'm assuming is at least a model...
Image courtesy of famewatcher.com

And another guy:

This is Korean male model, Oh Jong Sung.
Image courtesy of famewatcher.com
TL;DR: Jasmines freshly sprayed with water.


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Mandrake Garden 

"Made with balsam peru resin, absolutes in tobacco,vanilla,honeysuckle,essential oils in ginger, fennel, jasmine, infused with ground ginger, fennel seeds, vanilla bean and tobacco leaves."

At first, this smells like a floral cinnamon milk. The milk is leaning towards that game-y milk sort of scent at first but luckily it got better on me. By about 10 min, clean, fresh jasmines took over and now it smells like jasmines with hints of cardamom-milk-cinnamon type of desserts you get in Indian cuisine. Like a lot of MGA's jasmine scents, this also has that fresh water sort of scent to it.

TL;DR: Catching a whiff of Indian milky desserts served in the background, while sitting in a hotel lobby decorated with fresh jasmines while waiting for a rendezvous with this guy:

This guy's Shahid Kapoor and his job must be to look professionally gorgeous. The image is from 123wallpapers.in, and here's the link where you can get a high-res copy of this pic. It's so high-res, you can see every water droplet on his glorious chest.



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Pavo Real 


"A blend created with natural strawberry isolates, jasmine, honeysuckle, rose ,orris root absolutes,essential oils in orange blossom ,vetiver, patchouli, bergamot, clove and coriander , delicately infused with real strawberry fruit, patchouli leaves,orange peels and rose petals."

This is what I expected Haus of Gloi's (HoG) Ruth to smell like! There's strawberries in this, and hints of herbal salves that gives this scent a clean, old European apothecary touch to it. Ruth is far too herbal though, so you start thinking of old people people wearing actual herbal salves. This just smell like the clean hands of a nun working in an apothecary (I'm thinking really expensive, old school European apothecary that are run by nuns and attached to convents that look like castles), or a aesthetician in a more medical sort of spa. It's so gorgeous!

Oh, and of course, the aesthetician will totally look like this:

But it's a totally respectable spa. Really.
Gorgeous photo by Benjo Arwas, I really recommend checking his profile out for more hot photos of hot people


TL;DR: Strawberry salve from a luxurious, old European apothecary.

Overview: Here are the notes for HoG's Ruth:
"Fresh strawberry, green patchouli, rose geranium and crushed violet leaf."
Yup, it's the strawberry & patchouli combo that makes them smell similar.


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Raven Spell 


"Captured is a bit of raven mystery in a special blend of dark violet floral spice and berries with essential oils of sensual sweet sandalwood,cinnamon, frankincense and orris root ,violet leaf absolute,infused with blackberry fruit extract, dragons blood resin,orris root ,real blueberries and apples."

I'm getting an acrid smell, the same sour, acrid smell that's usually a black tea note going wrong. It smells like Chinese preserved citrus peels. It's softened by this butter mints sort of powdery scent (there's no actual minty scent), and while I love the butter mint sort of powderiness, nothing can save the sour, acrid scent.

Speaking of powdery, here's a powdery shirtless dude:
Apparently this dude is a HK actor named Clement Tien.
Hot photography by Cymbie Yan


I don't know guys, I'm running out of ideas of how to subtly segue into hot shirtless dudes.

TL;DR: Sour, acrid woody smell that's only slightly tempered by butter mints sort of powderiness.

Overview: Ok, so the violets are the ones creating the butter mint sort of powderiness. Maybe it's the fruits and sandalwood creating the acrid, sour scent.

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The Evening Stars


"A fragrance to relax and unwind to in a special blend of floral, and earthy fruit mix in essential oils of ylang ylang, anise, sandalwood, honeysuckle absolute, infused with amber resin, pineapple ,coconut, tarragon leaves an aroma sure to enchant and take you away from the cares of the day."

There's that ylang ylang scent that smells like cottony oil. Ylang ylang always makes me feel nostalgic because it reminds me of childhood vacations to Bali. Unfortunately, there's this prominent scent that smells really chemical-ish and I can only describe as sickly sweet & balloon-ish. I know MGA only does natural perfumes, so I'm itching to see the notes to see what's going on.

After about 25 min, the balloon-y scent subsided a bit, and now smells exactly like these ylang ylang rice soaps that used to be in a lot of resort/country club bathrooms (in Indonesia at least). The scent is cottony ylang ylang, with a cool, fragrant sort of powdery rice sort of scent, mixed with that soap smell every soap seems to have.

On the subject of country clubs, here, have a hot shirtless tennis player....which every decent country club should have if they want my business:

Totally what every country club needs.
Image courtesy of tennisplayershirtless.tumblr.com. Yup, this is a thing.


TL;DR: Sickly sweet, balloon-ish chemicals mixed with cottony ylang ylang, turning into ylang ylang rice soap.

Overview: That's it. The sickly sweet, ballon-ish scent is an ester scent, and I'm guessing it came from the pineapple. Not a fan of this, unfortunately.


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The Music of The Night 


"A scent of enchanted beauty cloaked in the mystery of blended citrus,smoked woods and sweet floral tobacco. Created with frangipani, tobacco absolutes, agarwood CO2, myrhh resins, essential oils in , bergamot, lime, ylang ylang,infused in tobacco leaves and lime peels."

Oooh...this smells delicious. It starts off smelling like a creamy Indonesian mung bean dessert spiced up with ginger, spicy cloves, and cinnamon. By about 10-15 min, the creaminess disappeared and I get more of a watery cinnamon & cloves lotion scent. Watery cinnamon & cloves lotion sounds unappealing, but it's awesome, I promise. It smells like sipping a cup of creamy chai while sitting next to a hot guy in a trendy café. It's the kind of that's filled with minimalist furniture and has a monochrome colour scheme to make you feel like you'll be prodded by people in white lab coats anytime soon. It's a combination of creamy gourmand and clean, watery scents that blends beautifully instead of clashing.

Oh yes, and here's your drinking companion:
Yup. Totally normal to drink coffee with your washboard abs hanging out.
Benjo Arwas again. Seriously. Check his profile out.


TL;DR: Drinking creamy chai while sitting in a clean, trendy café.

Overview: There's a lot of wood in the notes, but the woody bits smell more like chai or add a spiciness to the scent on me. It does't smell like straight up wood.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

FOTD & EOTD: Teal & Purple Gradient!

This is a kind of old look I did, that I realized I didn't upload on my blog. I suck at multi-tasking so maintaining both a blog & an instagram account can be quite a pain >.<

Monday, May 18, 2015

Review & Recommendation: Sweet Anthem's Enchanted Collection

As you can tell from my previous reviews (click on the tag on the right or here), I'm a huuuggee fan of Sweet Anthem. I think their scents are of amazing quality and smell like high end perfumes, so when Meredith offered to send me some free samples, I was ecstatic.

Here's how everything came:




I was kinda "unlucky" this time, because unlike the Fall Collection that didn't work out for me, this collection works amazingly on me. So this ended up happening:


Yup. I bought the entire set of 4 10 ml perfumes. Nope, Meredith didn't ask me too or offered any discount/freebies. Yup. I have a shopping problem.

So here's the reviews, done blind as always until the TL;DRs are written. If anything in the notes surprise me, I write an overview.


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Black Queen

"Apple,  Linden Blossom, Oakmoss, Tonka Bean"

Omg I LOVE this! At first, I got some delicious fruity chewy candy, but now I'm getting this cool, light floral-fruity fragrance that has something very mildly bitter grounding it and making it so much richer and more complex.

After about 10-15 min, I'm getting this powdery sort of vanilla scent and that's the main part of the scent. I still love it, but the initial scent is so much better. The powdery vanilla makes me think of vanity tables with too much lace & frills, or Nanette Lepore type of scents, but there's something in this that keeps it cool and light, stopping it from going too powdery. I guess the interior design equivalent of this scent would be the shabby chic style, where items that are typically garishly twee are arranged in a way that they become elegant instead. This is what I'm talking about:

A lot of the items in this room look like something your grandma or Dolores Umbridge would like, but properly arranged, they look elegant.
Image courtesy of for-the-home.com



I way prefer the initial scent, but this part is nice enough that I'll still consider getting a full size of this.

TL;DR: Fruity chewy candy turning into a cool, light sort of powdery vanilla.


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Briar Rose

"Beeswax, Rose Otto, Tomato Leaf, White Amber"

I think I smell roses in this but it could be a suggestion from the name. I definitely smell very fragrant honey and it's kind of weird, but I'm getting hints of what smells like candied cherry tomatoes. The candied cherry tomatoes start smelling closer to green grapes after about 15 min, so maybe it's a grape note taking its time to settle. The green grapes are those Japanese kinds that's really fragrant (similar to Japanese green grape candies) and has an almost jelly-like texture.

There's a slightly waxy and woody scent at the bottom of this, so the scent ends up smelling like honey spilled on a rustic wood table, with candied tomatoes/green grapes served on top of it, while the smell of roses wafts in from the gardens. That may not sound too tempting, but it's really a pretty scent. The scent makes me think of a fresh-faced beautiful young woman, living in a picturesque farm house that looks like this:
Everyone needs to add driving in the Tuscan countryside to their bucket list.
Gorgeous photography by Alex Polli



TL;DR: Honey, roses & green grapes in a picturesque countryside kitchen.

Overview: Huh. I don't know how tomato leaf smells like, but I wonder if it smells like candied tomatoes or green grapes.

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Red Queen

"Cardamom, Fig, Honey, Leather, Rose, White Pepper"

This is such an intoxicating scent. First, there's leather. I'm a sucker for leather. Masculine, bitter leather. I just get so weak in the knees. At the same time, there's this musky sort of floral blended into it, but the scent still stays pretty masculine. The scent makes me think of trysts in grand libraries (think the Beauty & the Beast library) with a really hot, old-fashioned guy in a suede jacket.

It's a heavier scent and can get a bit heady in hot weather, so watch out for that. I find it very seductive, but I'm still wondering if this is a scent I'd wear frequently enough to justify buying a full size.

TL;DR: Hot trysts with a hot guy (or masculine leaning woman) in the Beauty & The Beast library.


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Snow White

"Petit Grain, Osmanthus, White Musk, Vetiver"

At first, I got this masculine sort of bitter green that reminds me of hunting lodges. Then, I start getting hints of that scent that I usually associate with purple calcium supplements. The amazing thing is, it never turns into purple calcium supplements and stays amazing. Yes, there's that "purple" sort of smell (vaguely artificial grapes/blueberry/blackberry-ish) that I personally find a tad cloying, but this version has a cool and watery touch to it. It's the kind of cool water that almost has a metallic taste to it.

Like a lot of Sweet Anthem scents, this smells luxurious and can easily pass of as a high end mainstream scent. This scent is perfect for those who love "purple" sort of scents but need a more luxurious, high-class version of it that's suitable for attending the Met Gala. If I'm picking an ad for this scent, it'll be this picture:

I really want to know how they took this picture if the flare effect isn't from editing.
Awesome photo by Daniel Tam

When the scent dries down on me, it becomes this smells like cool, fresh water –so fresh that's it's sweet –coming out a metallic pipe. I hate purple scents so I'm not crazy over this scent, but I have to admit Sweet Anthem did a good job making it tolerable. I wouldn't buy a full size of it, but I didn't mind wearing this scent the whole day while testing it.

TL;DR: Purple scent turned high end.

Overview: I think it's the osmanthus. It likes creating that chalky calcium supplement sort of scent.


Creating a Cashmere Dupe Using Life's Entropy's Lip Theories

I was playing with Life's Entropy's lip theories recently...

Yup. 3 parts Quantum + 2 parts Transformation + 1 part Osmosis = Cashmere dupe

This is awesome because I can't support Lime Crime as a company (google "Lime Crime controversy" and you'll see the whole litany of shady shit the owner has pulled), but I do like griege shades. Here's the result on my lips!





Sunday, May 17, 2015

Discworld Inspired: The Luggage

I wanted to create several EOTDs that's Discworld inspired but still wearable for work. This one is inspired by The Luggage –a ball of murderous rage disguised as a harmless wooden trunk.




Saturday, May 16, 2015

Tutorial: Glittery Green & Teal Eye


 I recently did this glittery EOTD:


Excuse the dry lids >.<



It actually works well without the glitter too:



Anyway, here's the tutorial for it:



1. First, apply tape to get a really crisp line. To figure out the angle of the tape, use your lower lash line as a guide, and let the tape follow its upwards curve. Apply a green eyeshadow to about 2/3rds of the inner half of your eye.

2. Apply the teal shadow to the outer 1/3, and bend it together with the green.
3. Apply the gold highlighting colour to the rest of your lids and blend the green & teal shadow tightly with a small, stiff brush.

4. Apply the eyeliner. The tape will also help you get a crisp wing in this step.

5. Remove tape (and apply mascara if you don't have eyelash extensions like me). Apply a light blue eyeliner on the inner half of your lower lash line and a dark blue eyeliner on the outer half of your lower lash line, and blend them in the middle. If you don't have colourful eyeliner, grab a white liner, line your lower lash line, and pat eyeshadow on it. You can finish here or pat on a glitter adhesive where you want to apply glitter.

6. To get the glitter spaced out randomly, I drop it on a tissue, press my fingers against the glitter, then tap whatever glitter my finger picked up on my lids.