Sunday, September 14, 2014

Beauty Trick: Making Your Paper Eyelashes Last

As you can guess, I love paper lashes!




The thing is, they can be pretty darn expensive and they're also fragile since they're paper. So this is a trick I learn to minimize my chances of accidentally ripping them during application and let me reuse them as well:



I attach the paper lashes to my normal fake eyelashes first. Then I apply the lashes the way I normally do. Done!

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Review & Recommendation: Possets Sicilian Seduction Final Review (9 scents)

I finally finished my final part of the Sicilian Seduction collection review! Part 1's here, and part 2's here. Here's the review for another 9 scents, so it's a total of 26 scents reviewed. Hope this helps you guys make up your minds on what to get before the collection is gone on September 21st! Here's the link to the collection.


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14 carnations


"I imagine the thought of 14 carnations being dug up by the enthusiastic Bendico, and the scent of earth and surrounding plants are the backdrop for the scene. Add bit of fern. I think it is a ravishing scent. Very clean and uncomplicated but beautiful in a deep manner."

This starts of smelling like a heavily sweetened sour plum tea you get from really good boba stores. The kind that uses real ingredients instead of flavourings, and sometimes add in traditional Chinese herbs to make your drink "good for you".

It looks sort of like this
Image courtesy of idealshanghai.com/

You can even smell the acrid smell those preserved sour plums tend to have. There's also this cool, not exactly minty sort of smell that smells exactly like these Chinese cough drops/syrup that taste absolutely delicious. I used to sneak into the medicine cabinet and drink/eat them as a kid. They're sweet, feels icy on your throat, but it's not minty at all. It's hard to describe the scent unless you've tried it.

Then my skin amps up the sweetness to the point where the sour plum tea smell is drowned out. This smell ends up smelling like a slightly dusty, slightly spearmint-y tea with tons of sugar.

TL;DR: Traditional Chinese sour plums and cooling herbs tea.



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Acanthus 


"Named for the type of plant crowning Corinthian columns. Strong clove notes are combined with a grey musk, a foundation of pink damascena rose otto and a good portion of sandalwood (a dark golden sort of sandalwood). Strong and beautiful in the way that Miss Dior used to be, a bit imperious and formal but the sort of scent which would be associated with a wearer with a great deal of command. Somewhat complex yet very harmonious. A cross between an oriental and a chypre, the crossroads of Eastern and European taste."

I smell honeyed roses (almost like rose Turkish delights) with a bit of dry woodiness. This smell reminds me a lot of Holi in Jaipur. When I returned to my hotel, the rose-scented wet towel they offered me to clean up mingled with the smell of the coloured powders smell exactly like this. My experience of Holi may be a bit different though. I was expecting this:
Gorgeous pic by Laura Saffioti, if you're interested in anthropology and other cultures, check out her photography!


But my mom talked to her socialite friends in India & the concierge at the hotel, and they terrified her with stories if people using powders with toxic colouring that's cheaper than the traditional powders (valid) and people who may throw the powder too hard (lolwut.). My mom was convinced I may end up with a broken nose from clouds of coloured powder, so instead, she took the tourist-friendly, toned down Holi celebration packet the hotel was offering. So we all went to another hotel, and threw coloured powder at other tourists in a hotel lawn. And this was my Holi experience:

They had dancers & various animals entertain us. It's almost only tourists participating in the powder throwing in the lawn, and the only locals were kids, or babysitter & dads stuck babysitting kids. Since the powder throwing was only limited to the hotel lawn, my parents managed to stay spotless the whole time.


Yup. Huge difference. So I'm not sure if the normal coloured powder used in Holi smells like the powders I was given. The smell may go "too foreign" (how my roommate described a lot of smells in India she has never encountered before) or too dusty (the wood's very dry) for some people. However, this brings up tons of good memories for me so I was thinking of getting it in full size. Unfortunately, the smell it leaves lingering on my skin after it dries down is very bitter and medicinal on me, so I'm cursing my skin chemistry right now. 

TL;DR: Rose Turkish Delights with something woody & dry that smells so India

Overview: Cloves. That's what it is. The powder I got smelled like honeyed cloves. This scent smells like Rose Turkish Delights with cloves. I added the long version of the description because the last part about this being a cross of Eastern and European taste is so true. That was my experience with the Holi festival in India..it was a "Western" tourist-friendly version of an Indian festival. 


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Bouquet a la Marechale


"Named after a perfume in The Leopard which is worn by the lovely Angelica, I imagine this raven haired beauty to be surrounded by violet and bergamot, and a bewitching light touch of bay to keep the whole thing fresh. Just the sort of thing you would want to wear to a lavish ball which is going to last until 6 a.m.! You can never get tired of this one. An upbeat floral but with very herbal underpinnings."

This smell reminds me a lot of DC's Blue Valentine, just a cooler more powdery version of it. It smells like how a lavender candy I once had tasted (smells different). I need to do a comparison of both.


TL;DR: Cool, powdery, candied blue florals.

Overview: I decided to sniff this scent side-by-side with Darling Clandestine's Blue Valentine to see if they're dupes for each other. Once I did that, it's clear they're very different. While I can immediately identify Bouquet as a cool, powdery candied blue (something about it seems blue, but I could have been biased by my lavender candy experience) florals, I had a hard time even figuring out Blue Valentine was a floral scent. I only identified it as floral through the process of elimination, because the entire thing was just blended so seamlessly.

Bouquet also has a bit of tanginess that Blue Valentine doesn't have, and it's powdery and while Blue Valentine is more rounded and almost lotion-y. The extra that Bouquet has smells a bit like dusty lemons (in a good way). If DC's Blue Valentine is a young girl going to her first ball and discovering her allure for the first time, this is a young woman who's demurely assured of her allure. So this for Blue Valentine:

Another picture by Petrova Julia N. I love how her style is almost a cross between painting and photography. Someone asked me if I deliberately look out for female photographers for my blog photos since more of the commercially celebrated photographers are male. Nope. A lot of the awesome photos I find happen to be taken by female photographers. I do keep a look out for models of colour though. 

vs this for Bouquet:
It's such a simple picture and I have to give more credit to the model, whose expression is just so captivating.
This is a picture by Heine Mann and all I know of the model is that her name is Anastasiya and she's Danish



When they dry down, the smell they leave on my skin are nearly identical, but they're still different enough that I'm getting full sizes of both. 



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Charybdis

" She was associated with whirlpools and so I am using a very aquatic base to which I am adding a strong and serious grey musk, and a good shot of espresso because a girl can't do her best without a nice little espresso (which goes amazingly with the sea). "

Creamy coffee with singed toffee. The toffee smell is that slightly burnt toffee of freshly made toffee popcorn. The kind where it still tastes like creamy, heavenly toffee, but there's a toasted, slightly burnt taste to stop it from going too sweet. This scent unfortunately lasts extremely short on me compared to other Possets perfume, and after 30 min, my skin eats it up and the scent becomes a pretty faint scent of fresh sheafs of paper. This kinda smells like walking through an office in the morning. By 1h, I only get faint traces of that metallic smell a lot of gourmands turn into on me. 

TL;DR: Creamy coffee with singed toffee swept off by sheafs of fresh paper.





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Etna


"Strong and aromatic, Etna is a powerful blend of grey and crystal musk, a musk I put together which I call 992 and packs a real punch."

There's a traditional Chinese salve sort of bitter, herbal smell to this, mixed with Chinese wine. The smell reminds me of my grandma taking care of me when I was sick as a kid, so it makes me feel very nostalgic. 

The bitter, herbal smell disappears after 10 min, but now it's that sweet, dusty smell of going through the sheets of yellowing paper in my grandmother's drawers. There's even that sweet, slightly incense-y smell smell her drawers always have thanks to her storing paper for ritual burning in it. I miss my grandma!

I happened to be wearing it during a meeting and my clients agree it smells very familiar -like traditional Chinese salves and something else that kinda reminds them of their grandmas. We ended up talking about our grandmas for a while.

So even though smelling like a Chinese grandma may not sound appealing to most people, I'm getting this in full size. Why? Because people are way nicer after talking about their grandmas. No matter how scary their grandmas may be. My grandma used to be able to scale walls and slaughter rampaging wild pigs when she was younger (she lived in a very rural area, in the Indonesian jungle)...you don't mess with Chinese grandmas. They're pretty intense. I can see a scent named after a volcano representing them.

TL;DR: Chinese grandmas and their traditional herbal salves



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Jardin di Pincipio 


"Olive blossoms, cupped old roses, waxy white magnolia, and a hint of clove streaming out of the kitchen or was that a flower which was a clovelike blossom. Mixed with the scent of earth and the scent of water on limestone with moss. "

The first 5 minutes is a bit scary as roses exploded everywhere. They're the extremely sweet kind of roses, and there's a fresh, green scent in this to stop the rose from going too heavy. Luckily, it didn't get heavier. After 5 minutes, the roses ends up blending into the scent to give it a more mature, powdery sort of cool, green scent. Mature and not old woman-ish. I can see this in a classy, British woman in her early 40s. It's the scent of drinking a creative mint tea blend that has all sorts of flowers and leaves in it, with a very proper, classy older woman wearing a rose-scented powder that's powdery and slightly heavy, but the scent is more luxurious than garish. It's the kind of powder you imagine would come in a container that looks like this:
Image courtesy of Beauty & the Bath, and they have tons of recipes for bath powders here!
TL;DR: Enjoying a cup of mint tea that costs half your paycheck with an elegant, older British woman wearing a rose-scented powder.



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Myrtle of Venus

"Peach, apricot, myrtle, grey (seafoamy) musk."

This smells like a white wine sangria with sugared apricots as dessert. Possets' fruit scents tend to smell like liqueur or candy on me, and this went the alcohol route. The combination ended up smelling like a white wine sangria -the kind with peaches, apricots, apples, etc. Then my skin starts amping up the sugar in this and this becomes very sweet. It's such a gorgeous scent underneath too! Damn my skin chemistry!

TL;DR: White wine sangria and sugared apricots drowned by a deluge of sugar.



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Scylla 


"The story of Scylla is another beautiful nymph run afoul of a jealous goddess. There is a statue of Scylla in Calabria which shows her at the instant she is turned into a sea monster. Very frightening and very well done. I always think of Scylla a such a tragic figure and I put in several different sorts of figs in this fragrance in order to capture the right balance of sweet, dark, and elixir. There is a small amount of lychee here to save it from being too heavy. Very beautiful and still quite dark. For fig lovers. She is the companion piece to Charybdis."

If you're curious about how the Scylla statue looks like, here's a pic from the Possets blog

Fruity, floral pink peppercorn. The peppercorn smell makes this scent totally unique and turns it into a fresh, mildly spicy version of what would otherwise be a cutesy, pre-teen girl sort of scent. I smell star fruit and green mango candies in this. The peppercorn leans towards chilli at times, and the scent reminds me of the taste of preserved chilli mango drowned out by a lot of starfruit candy. And I say taste, since those preserved chilli mangoes often smell acrid. 


TL;DR: Starfruit & mango candies with pink peppercorn




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The God of Olives


"A lovely rendition of olive blossom (osmanthus) combined with pure bergamot, smoothed over with a beautiful sweet musk of some intensity. It blooms in a calm and enticing way over your skin and surrounds you with a lovely aura, a cloud of coolness to protect you from a sultry day."

The first 5 minutes, this smells a lot like a Thai massage oil - dry, herbal in that cool, almost lemongrass way, with light, sweet florals. The dryness and herbal smell eased up and the scent takes a more rounded, almost soapy quality. Now it's a scent I can see on an elegant, ageless Thai lady who wears no perfume, and is instead scented only by a handmade soap containing traditional Thai beauty products that makes her skin porcelain perfect. 

TL;DR: Floral-herbal soap on a very elegant, Thai lady.

I actually want to add a picture of my friend's mom, who's one of the most elegant woman I know. She has to constantly dispel rumours that she was formerly Miss Thailand, and when you see her, you'll know why. Since I don't have a picture of her, this picture by paza140 will do. 


Thursday, September 11, 2014

Review & Recomendation: Femme Fatale Nail Polishes

So Femme Fatale has always been a company I'm in love with customer service-wise. They ship so fast, and Sophie's so sweet. Here's what I posted before on reddit:

I've ordered from Femme Fatale 3x now and omg, they're amazing. The first 2 times I ordered, everything shipped in less than 2 days and I got my stuff in less than a week (I'm close to Australia! Woot!). My mind's blown. That's already great but here's the rave worthy part.
I went to Australia and was staying about 1 1/2h away from Brisbane where Femme Fatale's located. I was going to go to Brisbane on Friday, a day before I fly out of the country. I figured I might as well order something and pick it up in person to save on shipping.Sophie was so incredibly nice and helpful when it came to coordinating the pick up. I even had an extra order to toss in last minute (less than 2 days before the pick up date) and she managed to get that in.
I didn't know how long it would take to drive from Hope Island to Brisbane, and I was with my family and friends who are all flaky and take forever to get ready, so I couldn't even give her a solid arrival time. I could only tell her I would be there around 12pm-1pm. She was ok with that and actually had someone wait for me for a full hour to hand me over my order!Oh and it gets even more amazing. I finally read the FAQs in the website and realized that their pick up times are only on Saturday. Crap. So she actually had to make special arrangements for me.I feel so bad and I'm so grateful for all that.
Sophie, you and the Femme Fatale team are amazing. I love you guys!

So yes, they're awesome CS-wise..but do you know they make AWESOME nail polishes too? They're on par with Cult Nails, and that'a huge compliment for me to give. My nail polishes usually chip within 2-3 days, but with Femme Fatale, they take 4-5 days to chip! It's a huge difference!

AND their thermals are so sensitive and change easily. I'm so happy!

I bought all the nail polishes below, except for Nightsong Grotto, which was a mini bottle free sample (I er..spent a lot..).

So here are swatches of their awesome colours:


Ring Finger: Nightsong Grotto
Rest: Gossamer Dust, a thermal polish that changes from yellow (warm) to orange (cool). It's this orange coming out of my cold, air-conditioned room in the morning! The middle finger turned yellow simply after I held it in my palms for about 10 seconds! I love how sensitive it is! MAGIC.

Left: Cold water
Right: Normal temperature (+ a bit of cheating by sticking my fingers under my armpits to warm them up faster)



Cloudburst

Midsummer Petals with Cult Nail's Tullum
Ring Finger: Midsummer Petals over Twilight Sorcery
Rest: Deepsea Charm

Ring Finger: Midsummer Petals over Deepsea Charm
Rest: Twilight Sorcery



Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Review & Recommendation: Possets Sicilian Seduction (10 scents)

Finally managed to squeeze in more reviews! Part 1 of the Possets' Sicilian Seduction collection can be found here.

The sillage & longevity of the other scents don't differ at all from the Gelato scents. Just a quick recap: the sillage is rather weak and you need to get to whispering to get the full range of the scent, though you can smell some notes wafting at casual conversation distance. The longevity is great though, and the scent stays at this strength for about 2-3h. You'll smell faint, lingering traces on your skin for up to 12h.

So on to scent reviews...done blind as always until I finish the entire review. I only write an overview if the notes surprise me.

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Cannoli 

"There was never anything so very soul fulfilling as these deep fried tubes of the lightest crust filled with sweetened ricotta cheese."

Holy crap! It smells like actual cannoli! Like you can smell the crispy crust and everything! I can practically taste the crunchiness in my mouth! And the creamy ricotta cheese filling, oh yes...the delicious filling. I'm craving cannoli now so I'm going to post this picture right here so you crave it too...
Be hungry.
Pic by Cannolo Siciliano

After an hour, it turns into sweet popcorn butter on mefor some reason. It's still good, but not as awesome as the initial cannoli smell. 

TL;DR: Cannoli.

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Doric

"Nag Champa always makes me think of hot hot days and hot hott nights, Fresh green skinned melon scent blends perfectly with it as does red honeysuckle."

It smells mostly like a watermelon bubblegum. With a waxiness to it. I can sense this scent is struggling to smell more adult than kiddie, and there is a cool, light floral scent floating up, but it totally got punched down and the scent is mostly just waxy watermelon bubblegum.

It's a scent I definitely would go crazy over as a kid and I'll still go crazy over a lip balm/bubble gum scented with this scent (minus the waxy part), but I'm too old to wear it as a perfume.
Must. Eat. Everything....
Adorable pic by Shannon Chad

TL;DR: Waxy watermelon bubblegum.

Overview: Oh darn it! The nag champa in this isn't in the forefront. I know it's there, quietly making this scent what it is, but it's not going, "BAM! Nag champa!"

 It's kinda sad since Possets' nag champa is great (see Prestidigitazione).

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Fiore di Profumo


"The beautiful flowers for which Sicily is famous, along with a few notes which are enhancements for the whole. Acacia with its honey scent, neroli, the whiff of lime and the artful addition of a bit of linden blossom to hold the whole together. A bouquet perfume held together with the lime juice."

The first smell that bursts on your skin is amazing. It's lemon with a spicy green wood scent to it that's very unisex and smells like a very high end perfume. Then it calms down to a waxy, woody floral. It smells like one of those flowers with thick, white petals, coated in wax. I like it and it still smells like a high end perfume, but the initial smell was so great, I can't help but feel a bit disappointed. I also notice a bit of a "dirty" smell to this that's very, very subtle and I can't put my finger on it. It's hardly noticeable on me, but I can see it getting amped up on some people so that's something to watch out for.

My skin eats up this scent and it's pretty faint and you have to struggle to smell it on your skin by 2h. It's not bad, but definitely relatively short compared to other Possets scents.

TL;DR: Waxed white flower with thick petals and wood.

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Mafia 

"This perfume is an amazing tour de force featuring one of the most beautiful melon fragrances anywhere with a lovely neroli. The requisite lemon and Mediterranean jasmine which only blooms around June. Strong, complex, sexy as hell, slightly sinful (Ok, very sinful). This one is redolent with osmanthus, incense, and distant orange groves in full bloom."

This is an awesome blue, dirty jasmines scent, with a hint of something candy-ish. The cool blue note makes this smell clean, the jasmines make it elegant, the candy-scent makes it fun and the dirtiness just adds a dark twist to this scent that just makes you sit up and pay attention. This scent is a bundle of contradictions mushed together and turned awesome. It's so hard to describe this scent. If I'm picking a picture to advertise this scent, I'd pick this:

As you guys can guess, I'm a huge fan of Margarita Kareva. I keep picking her photos. XD


Elegant with a dark twist, cool and just the barest hint of frivolity.

I'm getting a full bottle of this. I love jasmines, but I have to be careful with it in Indonesia because it's the flowers you traditionally use to bury the dead. So I'll smell like I hopped out of the grave to some people, and that's a pretty creepy impression to give. I have to admit there's a smell that smells a lot like wilting jasmines in a funeral parlor, but the blue notes and the slight candy twists this scent into a safe-for-Indonesia scent. It has all the elegance of jasmines without smelling like an Indonesian zombie.

TL;DR: Blue, dirty jasmines with tiny hint of candy.

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Medusa


"To celebrate the loveliness which Medusa lost Possets has come up with a coconut fragrance which is latticed throughout with a kiss of olive blossom, a hint of myrtle, and a very small amount of stone"

It starts of as orange creamsicle and then a powder room smells starts coming in. Eventually, you can identify the smell as a very powdery and heavy type of floral musk. I've once had a perfume called Damask Rose (got it as a gift, can't remember the brand since I didn't like it and gave it away) which just smells like a heavy, powdery, candied rose, and this smells like that. With orange creamsicle fighting for dominance. The smell keeps wavering between the two until it finally calms down after about 30 minutes. It smell like a slightly waxy, powdery candied flower and sunblock.

TL;DR: A high end, powdery floral sunblock that's designed to appeal to rich women in their 40s.

I'm cheating here, Carmen Dell'Orefice isn't actually 40...she's in her 80s here. Yup. She's the world's oldest supermodel and I hope I age like her!
Found on luxo.co.za ..if anyone knows the original photographer, let me know!


Overview: Ok, so now I know for sure that Possets' coconut notes turn sunblock smelling on me. Something to watch out for if you have similar skin chemistry to me.

______



Prestidigitazione


"The word means magic in Italian. Black fig, thick nag champa, black coconut, black smooth balm-like labdanum. Comforting sex here, very summery but heavy and dark as black magic itself. The opening is all sweetness and then it cuddles down to a sexy dark love sauce. The complexity of fig is brought to the fore here."

This is the best nag champa smell I've yet encountered. Nag Champa notes often ends up smelling like smelly, gamey milk (specifically buffalo milk) to me, but this smells like actual nag champa. It also smells really clean, woody and elegant, which makes me think of a high end furniture show room selling Indonesian furniture designed to appeal to the foreign crowd, who want something foreign but not too foreign. It's the kind that looks more like an art gallery, and you'll need an appointment to get in so a perfectly coiffed woman in a pristine suit will show you the 2-3 pieces they have in there. And those 2-3 pieces of furniture end up designed in a very elegant, minimalist style, but featuring exotic Indonesian sandalwood. 
Can you tell I bought this in Indonesia? That's right, exotic.
Image courtesy of decorpad.com

I can see this scent on a now rich, middle-aged socialite who was an ex-hippie, trying to recall her hippie days by wearing a scent she believes smells like India...the grand, romanticized India that only exists in her imagination, of course. My friends in India will just go, "Why the hell do I want to smell like a temple?"


TL;DR: High-end Indonesian furniture shop.

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Sicilian Bride

"I have put together many of the traditional Sicilian treats you would find at a great reception: candied cherries of the most aromatic variety, a drop of banana for the thrill of its volatility."

Nyquil. Nyquil and banana liqueur. There's that strong alcohol smell with the artificial banana & cherry smell, so it really smells like banana liqueur and cherry cordial, though cherry cordials smell strongly like Nyquil to me. After about an hour, the smell takes on a powdery, soapy sort of smell to it. It smells like a powdery cherry candy soap, which is a pretty nice scent!

TL;DR: Banana liqueur & Nyquil, miraculously transforming into powdery cherry candy soap.

______


Sicily

"All the lovely things you would associate with Sicily: oranges, pepper, lemons, the sea, musk, and passion."

You know those typical Autumn jelly candles with names like Autumn (sooo original) or Fall Harvest (someone should trademark that name and make tons of money)? The kind that has tart fruits I can't really identify, vanilla, cinnamon and woody spices in it. This smells like those candles, only it has lemon in it. The lemon calms down after about 5-10 minutes, and the result is a candy-ish Autumn jelly candle. I wouldn't classify this scent as gourmand since it doesn't smell like you can eat it. It smells like a wonderfully scented jelly candle, but still a jelly candle and you can even smell the jelly candle scent to it.

TL;DR: Slightly more candy version of an Autumn jelly candle.

Overview: Er...I'm not sure if I have the right scent. I tried it again and I think the peppers may be the one creating that slightly crackly spice scent a lot of Autumn candle smells have. There's definitely a jelly smell to this, and I'm not sure if it's the oranges or lemon reacting to my skin. Yup, still smells like an Autumn jelly candle.

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Stiletto

"Sicilian lemon mingles with oakmoss which vamps to galbanum, which flirts with yuzu. Strangely refreshing for such a passionate blend."

It's a woody lemon that has a masculine musk sort of scent in the beginning, but the masculine musk winds down after 5-10 minute. It's in the background giving the scent a bit of a rugged sort of feel to it, and I think it can either go gross or awesome depending on your skin chemistry. I noticed a lot of Possets' fruit notes become a bit candy/liqueur/sunblock-ish, and the lemon in this was on the brink of going full on candy on me. The scent ends up smelling either like a masculine cologne version of scented wet towels they give you in certain country clubs, or a unisex woody lemon scented bath products you'll get in in extremely expensive hotels. The kind of hotels that will get offended if they were given 5-stars and prefer a whole different rating system.

Like a lot of scents, this changes after an hour, only like a lot of Possets' scents, the smell is still at its original whispering distance throw at this time. It takes on a more powdery quality to it, and smells like a powdery, slightly woody masculine water.

TL;DR: Unisex, woody-lemon scented products from country clubs/luxury hotels.

______


Vespi

"This fragrance is all abuzz with fabulous citrus blend of lemon and grapefruit, the zest of a tomato leaf and pepper lounging in the background."

Every had one of those beautifully presented salads that look more like a bouquet than a salad? Where even the dressing is a work of art you'll never find in grocery stores? This smells like that. There's a cool lemon zest to it but I can smell salad greens and tomatoes in it. The tomatoes and salad greens unfortunately (or fortunately, for some people) disappear after 5-10 minutes, and this smell turns into a cool & fresh, unisex lemon scent. It's very similar to Calvin Klein's unisex CK One Summer (2006):

This was my favourite perfume for a while!
Image courtesy of fragrantica.com

It's definitely a great unisex blend!

TL;DR: CK One Summer 2006 dupe

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Review & Recommendation: Possets Sicilian Seduction (7 Gelato Flavours)

I got to try out a lot of Possets' Sicilian Seduction scents thanks to the awesome Ajevie and her decant circles. Seriously, she's awesome.

Check out how my decants arrived!

The only way I can afford to try out so many scents...

On each little vial, she has the brand, scent name, scent notes and the year it was decanted! If you have a perfume collecting problem like me, Ajevie is a godsend. I've purchased from Ajevie several times before and each time, I've always had a great experience. If she already has the scent on hand, it's shipped within a day or two. As for the decants, well, it depends on how long it takes for the seller to ship her order. Ajevie lets you combine shippings too, so you really save on shipping! I highly recommend her!

I got 26 scents so I'm going to split up my reviews into 3 (7, 10, 9 scents) to make them more manageable. In this review it's just 7 Gelato scents. I got all the gelato scents except Blood Orange, since citrus notes scare me a bit. A lot either smell acrid or dishwashing soap-ish. After getting a taste of Possets' quality, I'm honestly regretting not getting it so I could have my mind changed.

As always, I write the reviews and TL;DRs blind. If any of the scent notes surprise me, I write an overview.


Perfume Oil General Review


I have to say, I'm very impressed by Possets' quality. At this moment, I've only tried the Gelatos, which are all gourmands, and dang they're amazing. In on of the scents, I smell actual milk! Not "milk" where someone uses a creamy note, condensed milk smell, artificial milk or watery milk -actual milk. I'm impressed.

The throw is average for these scents. You can some notes waft up as you type if you dab it on your hand, but to get the full scent, you'll have to get into whispering distance. It stays at this strength for about 2-3h though. After that, it gets faint, but you can smell leftover traces of it on your skin for nearly 11-12h. Makes reviewing tons of scents at once kinda hard.

So on to scent reviews...

_______

Fiore de Latte


"The name means "the flower of milk" or the very most essence of that divine drink. Again Possets explores cream but this time in a lighter yet highly lingering way. Such fun. Cream and a dash of salt, perhaps a bit of tuberose finds its way in here, Sugar. Ahhh, just grand summer delight."

Initially it smells better than Alkemia's Au Lait, and I swear it smelled like a nutty salted caramel candy on me. Then the artificial milky-caramel smell takes over and it ends up smelling exactly like Alkemia's Au Lait. I need to compare them side by side.

I see this scent recommended a lot, and at the same time, I see people saying it didn't work out on them. After trying it, I can see how this would get very mixed reviews. It's that artificial milky caramel-ish note, which Alkemia's Au Lait uses too -it's that condensed milk sort of smell. It's definitely one of those scents you either love or hate.

It smells like Japanese milk candies I used to secretly snack on as a kid (they're very round and big, and my mom always said no since she thought they're choking hazards so I ended up liking them more), so I love it! But I know my mom thought those candies smell disgusting.

I've noticed this particular note tends to go sour on some people too, so that's something to watch out for.

TL;DR: Caramel milk candies

Overview: I tried this scent and Alkemia's Au Lait side by side so I can figure out the differences. My Au Lait has aged a bit, and now it's teethering on going sour on me. It also has a stronger artificial caramel-milk scent than Fiore de Latte, so it's definitely going to provoke stronger reactions. They're both milk candy smells, but Au Lait is more of a Japanese milk candy where it's very strong, pure artificial condensed milk sort of scent (can be very cloying to some people), while Fiore del Latte is more of a European milk candy sort of scent where the artificial condensed milk taste is calmed down with the addition of salt, nuts, etc. I personally prefer Fiore de Latte.



_______



Pistachio 


"A ubiquitous flavor of gelato, and not at all like the pistachio ice creams in America this one has the suave character of roasted nuts, a dusting of great spices, and a rich thick bed of cream upon which to lounge."

This smells like a cherry liqueur, but a delicious one. The expensive kind that doesn't smell or taste like Nyquil. After about 10 minutes, it smells like cherry liqueur with thick, rich cream. The cherry gets fainter as time goes on, and it smells like an expensive gourmet candy with cream. I'm kinda surprised since I was expecting pistachio, but I like it!

After close to an hour, I finally got the pistachio smell. The good thing about possets is that at 1h, the throw is still at about whispering distance so you're not struggling to smell it. It smells like a coffee creamer with pistachio turkish delights on the side. And I'm talking about an actual coffee creamer, milk scent, not the romanticized kind. I'm so impressed with this, I've never had a perfumer nail that actual milk scent before. It's usually more artificial milk or watered down milk. This is actual milk.
Gotta share one of my favourite photos!
Awesome pic by Kimera Jam

TL;DR: Pistachio turkish delight served with a glass of milk.

Overview: I'm not really sure where the initial cherry liqueur smell come from. It could be one of the notes morphing on me, but I haven't encountered that smell in other Possets' scents, so I'm not sure about this.

_______


Profound Lavender


"Lavender and chocolate are fully explored in one gelato store which I will remember forever. What a full and amazing flavor combination, like nothing you ever tried before. Since this was Sicily, nothing was spared. A fabulous experience. Not sweet just glorious."

Ok, there's lavender in this, but there's actually a sweaty dude smell. I swear. This is going to sound racist, but I swear different races smell different to me when they're sweaty. And dudes smell the strongest. Regardless of race, men are just stinkier than women.

If I have to guess the race of this sweaty dude smell, I'll go with Middle-Eastern, Turkish or Mediterranean. It smells like a Middle-Eastern, Turkish or Mediterranean dude wearing a cologne that has lavender in it, after se- um..exercising. I asked my sister and she described it as, "Sweaty Middle Eastern guy. I kinda like it."

So it's not just me!!! Apparently genetics play a part in how different people smell to you, so you may guess a different race/nationality. I'm going to stop now. Here, have some eye candy.

I spent 1h looking at photos of hot male models. Just so I can find the perfect one for you guys, of course. Yup, that's right.
Awesome pic by Kathleen Minerve


It's actually a pretty hot scent, only after it dries down after an hour, the cologne smell disappears and I smell like I've just been....hugged..by a bunch of sweaty dudes. I actually texted my guy immediately to tell him about this perfume to prevent any potential misunderstanding.

Cropped to remove couple-y grossness

TL;DR: Somebody talk, dark and handsome with smouldering eyes, who's wearing a lavender-ish cologne, right after...exercising. There, I sound less racist. I hope.

Overview: I tried this out on my guy friend, and the smell of cumin and Middle Eastern curry immediately exploded. His gf told him to sit further away from her. As it dries down, it gets sweeter and ends has a more men's fragrance sort of smell, but it's still a lot of Middle Eastern curry. It's actually a scent I smell a lot on men in Dubai.

I just want to add, I really hope nobody ever makes Sweaty Middle-Eastern/Turkish/Mediterranean Dudes flavoured ice cream.

_______

Riso Des Anges


"For sugar and carb nuts, this famous Italian flavor celebrates rice and sugar in ways too sinful to recount. Just the utter bliss of cream and that indescribable feel of carby goodness."

Based on my crappy Italian, I know Riso is rice and rice is actually one of my favourite gelato flavours (if you're ever in Florence, try that flavour in Perché No!...Vivoli's another awesome gelato place too, but they didn't have a rice flavour then). That's why I was surprised that this has the most amazing baked smell ever. Actual baked smell! You feel like you're in a bakery!

TL;DR: Freshly baked nutty biscotti with nuts I can't identify in it.


_______


Stracciatella


"This is what chocolate chip ice cream would be like if it were perfect. A wonderful creamy vanilla gelato is drizzled with a dark bitter dark chocolate and left for just a few seconds. During that time the chocolate hardens. When the churn starts again, the chocolate shatters and is diffused into the mixture. It gives it a fabulous chocolate crunch and bitter backlash which is unmatched in any other form of "chocolate chip" ice cream. Stracciatella is a very special treat, done best in Sicily."

Holy crap this smells exactly like stracciatella, which smells like sweet cream and chocolates. After 10 min, there's a bit of a sunblock smell I can't really explain. The sunblock smell doesn't go away and gets stronger. There's a bit of stracciatella to it, but it's mostly drowned out by sunblock.

I was going to put a picture of sunblock but decided to put eye candy for those who swing the other way.  And I'm going to take this moment to extol the virtues of wearing sunblock..especially when you're outdoors and scantily clad.
Awesome photo by Martin Strauss 


TL;DR: A few drops of stracciatella ice cream dropping into a sunblock slathered body.

Overview: I'm surprised there's no coconut in this. Typically it's coconut notes that turn into a sunblock scent.

_______


Strawberry from Syracusa

"You have not lived until you taste the strawberries in Sicily. What makes them so different and beautiful? The sun and the passion, that's what. Crush them and add them to gelato and the scent and taste is so glorious, your mortal body can scarcely contain the pleasure. Very fresh and not cloying at all."

Strawberry shortcake! The strawberry is bordering on smelling  room spray-ish at times, but there's an actual shortcake smell that's amazing. There's also a sugar cane smell to this. As time goes on, it turns more into a strawberry shortcake scented room spray with sugarcane.

Unfortunately, after about 25-30 min, this starts taking on a sweaty quality to the smell. I swear. It smells like a kiddie strawberry scented spritz on a sweaty child.

Kinda how a kid smells after an entire day wearing a flouncy princess dress.
Gorgeous pic by Ravena July
TL;DR: Strawberry scented spritz designed to appeal to girls ages 4-7, on a sweaty child.


_______


Vaniglia


"...as only Possets can do it. It is possible to have vanilla as a top, middle, and bottom note. I just did it. It is just a halo of vanilla as I have tasted it among the best of gelatos. Mmmmm. Vanilla was never so concentrated and so pure."

This smells like a slightly boozy vanilla cream with cinnamon. As it wears on, it starts smelling cake-y. Not the gross artificial cake, actually baked vanilla-cinnamon cake. It's so delicious.

TL;DR: Slightly boozy vanilla-cinnamon cake. Sooo hungry.

Overview: I was wondering why I got this scent since vaniglia is such a, well, vanilla scent. After reading the description, I remembered that I nearly didn't get this scent the first time too, but got curious about the "halo of vanilla". This scent is truly magical guys. Don't let the boring name scare you away.




Thursday, September 4, 2014

Review: Sugar and Spite Bathery (11 scents)

I ordered from Sugar & Spite Bathery some time ago and only got to reviewing it lately. When it arrived, the packaging & presentation were awesome:







I got 3 sets of 3 perfume samples, and got 2 free samples!

Customer Service

I accidentally ordered 10 instead of 9 scents, but the owner, Lysa gave me all 10 instead. I thought that was really sweet of her.

This store does have some controversy, which I was not aware of when I purchased from them. Thanks to my terrible experience with various sketchy companies, I'm much more wary about who I shop with now so I did do a brief search to see if there's any controversy with the brand before purchasing. Nothing turned up then, and I still can't find anything now through normal searches.

Most of the complaints apparently unfolded on a Facebook page that got scrubbed, so my only source is from the owner's blog and several redditors.

Here are comments that directly mention the issues, there's several more brief mentions of "past issues" around the sub, but most posters didn't elaborate more and continue recommending this brand:

http://www.reddit.com/r/Indiemakeupandmore/comments/23pt5q/story_time_my_reason_for_going_indie_with_perfume/
http://www.reddit.com/r/Indiemakeupandmore/comments/2byyah/secret_samples_and_a_note_about_sugar_spite/cjal2de

Here's a blog post on the owner's blog, where customers complained in the comments section:

http://themorbidthemerrier.blogspot.com.au/2012/05/please-be-patient.html

The gist of it is that Lysa had opened a few stores before, then closed them without sending the products people bought, disappearing with people's money. She then lied about having refunded everyone, when no one received any refunds yet.

Lysa's rebuttal to those accusations is that she never planned on running away with people's money - it's just that too many people requested refunds after she went well beyond her TAT, and she ended up not having any money to fulfil orders or give refunds. Thus, she was forced to keep opening new stores to earn money to fulfill past orders. So it was more of a matter of poor cashflow management rather than malice.

I trust /u/Saffrin and her account completely, and I definitely agree she has the right to be incredibly pissed. There's just so many ways to fix a cashflow problem, and in my experience, indie buyers are understanding to a fault when it comes to giving owners leeway. I'm definitely incredibly relieved my order came on time after my experience with Ophelia's Apothecary.

Lying about having solved a problem when you haven't is also another big issue I have. I'm ok with mistakes, lying about them is a huge issue. People only got their money back 11 months later (March 2013), despite claims that refunds have were on the way 3-4 months prior to that (Nov 2012).

All this did happen over a year ago, and so far, it looks like the owner has cleaned up her act. I haven't encountered anyone complaining of recent problems, and I personally had no issues. The TAT I got was good:
  • Ordered: July 21
  • Shipped: July 23
If anyone has further bad experiences, please let me know and I promise I will amend this.

Perfume Oils General Review


The throw's very strong, and you can smell some notes wafting around as you type if you put it on the back of your hand. You'll have to go about whispering distance to get the full scent though. It stays like this for about 2 1/2h. You'll have to smell it close to the skin afterwards, but they linger on your skin for 9+h.

These perfumes unfortunately don't agree with me, since a lot of them have that very heavy, old lady musk note. A bunch of them also has that headache-inducing "perfume" smell. I'm kinda sad since I've heard great things about these scents, so I tried enlisting my sister to see if her skin will have better luck.  She quit on me after 2 days and 4 perfumes, telling me to stop making her "smell weird". :(

Unfortunately for me, my usual guinea pig (the bf), is currently on a business trip so I have no one else to test the scents on.


Apple Sugar

"Delicious, juicy apples and a heaping spoonful of pure sugar. Wonderfully sweet, yet somehow all grown up."

This is that artificial apple smell, with something that smells old and vanilla. All mixed together, it smells pretty unique and less Bath & Bodyworks hand sanitizer. It was actually pretty great for about 15 minutes, until a weird "off" smell I can't place starts emerging. The "off" smell gets stronger until you can finally identify it..it smells those really cheap clays they used to sell in small stores in Singapore. It's oily, and it melts and stains. There's also a distinct chemical smell that smells so bad.
This is the highest resolution I can find. Probably because letting customers zoom in will reveal just how shitty it is.
Image courtesy of Syarikat PPP Paper Products SDN BHD on alibaba.com

I'm not even sure they sell them anymore.

TL;DR: Melting apple-scented cheap clay.

Baltus

"Pumpkin, shiny cranberries, black fig, 3 musks and 2 sandalwoods, swirled with bittersweet cocoa and a shot of espresso. Indulgent!!"

This is extremely sweet. Smells kinda like a burnt coffee caramel cake where everything just smells way too sweet and heavy. There's something vaguely perfume-y in this, but the burnt coffee caramel cake smell is still there, so the effect is a very chemical-y scent. Not artificial since this doesn't smell close to anything I've ever smelled before, it's chemical-y. It ends up smelling cloyingly nauseating.


TL;DR: Coffee burning in a chemistry lab after some idiot's experiment went horribly wrong and just stopped short of creating an explosion.

Which is what happens when you follow lab safety procedures recommended by fashion magazines.
Awesome photo by Anton Tokarev

Overview: I heard this scent recommended several times on /r/indiemakeupandmore, so I tried it on my sister to see if it'll smell better on her. It's less sweet on her, so it's much better, but there's still a chemical-y scent to the coffee. We both can't place what that chemical-y scent is. She hates coffee and can't stand the chemical-y scent, so she's not a fan.

Brewster


"Buttercream icing, candied violets, and vanilla cake"

This starts of as leather and flat beer, with that very sweet smell beer that's gone flat tends to have. Then it just changes. There's a roomspray floral smell coming out, and it got a bit musky. It smells a bit like an office building. There's a cool, clinical smell, only there's also a bit of a sweet smell that smells almost like Coke that's gone flat. As this dries down, it becomes old lady musk.

TL;DR: Old lady musk roomspray.


Egyptian Fig


"Creamy, dreamy Egyptian Musk and plump figs"

Again there's that heavy, musky, old lady perfume smell that sears your nose. There's a fig scent, which smells like a sweet watery fruit scent to me. The's a bit of a cottony scent too, but it's mostly old lady musky perfume. It smells a lot like perfume-y baby oil. I'll need to do a comparison with Katrina later. It keeps getting sweeter and heavier as it dries down.

TL;DR: Overly perfumed grandma giving a traumatized baby a hug.

This was too perfect not to use...
Image courtesy of thepioneerwoman.com

Histoires des Amoureaux


"A little Eden, a little de Sade. leather, juicy red apple, a serpent slither of pepper and spice, green grass, and sweat."

There's that leather note that smells very plasticky and watery in this. It gets more blue until it smells like very watery plastic florals for a while, but then goes back to just a simple artificial leather note. The kind that smells almost like plastic chairs. Not a fan of this.

TL;DR: Plastic chairs.

Overview: I tried this on my sister after reading the notes since I can't smell any apple on me. I guess my skin amped up the leather. On her, it's a great artificial apple smell that's slightly tainted by that watery & plasticky type of artificial leather. Unfortunately, her skin ate up the smell fast and by 10 minutes, it's just sweet, plasticky water and nothing else. She likes it, but thinks it lacks depth.

Kalopsia


"Raw, sweet honey, amber syrup, ancient spices, and black tea leaves."

I already got worried when I did a cold sniff since it smells very sugary on the bottle, and sure enough, it's a sugar bomb on me. It's a very heavy, musky sugar too. I think there's patchouli in this, because it smells like old people. There's also a slightly sterilized, medicated smell in this, so it smells like an old woman wearing a very heavy, musky and sweet perfume, who's drugged up in the hospital.

After 5-10 minutes, it got less heavy and now it's a cool sort of sweetness with that old smell. So now it smells like a loveable, slightly dotty grandma who's still young at heart and loves bustling around the neighbourhood grandmothering everyone. It's a scent that makes you smile -but it's old. After the 15 min mark, the coolness reveals itself to be a spearmint sort of smell.

TL;DR: Loveable, slightly dotty grandma who goes around offering mints to everyone.
The happy face of someone with easy access to drugs.
Image courtesy of nursinghomecare.ie

Katrina

"A trio of white flowers, smoky almond, and spiced pumpkin."

It starts of like a cottony baby oil sort of smell with some greenness to it. As time goes on, it just smells like perfume-y baby oil. The perfume-y part is the kind that’s cloying, sears your nose and gives you a headache. Smells a lot like Egyptian Fig, so I need to do a comparison.

TL;DR: Baby oil trying to go high end but flopping.

Overview: After comparing it with Egyptian Fig, they're definitely different. Egyptian Fig is way more sweet and old lady musk. Katrina is more cottony and almost soapy. When they dry down, Egyptian Fig becomes a very sweet, heavy, headache-inducing musk, while Katrina smells like medicinal sandalwood.

Mathilda

"A perfectly perfect marriage of juicy red apple, hay, sweet figs, and skin musk."

In the bottle, this smells deliciously of artificial apples and on the skin, it smells like a musky floral with artificial apples at first. The musky floral part gets soapy with time, and there’s also that sharp perfume smell. Not sure how to describe it except for that generic heavy and cloying cheap perfume sort of smell that gives you a headache. This heavy & cloying cheap perfume sort of smell dominates until the apple can be barely detected.

TL;DR: Generic cheap perfume that may vaguely have apples. :(

Overview: My sister initially hated the smell, saying she smells like a toilet fragrance. Eventually, it calms down a bit and ends up smelling like an apple hand wash.

Milk & Sandalwood


"The perfect balance between the innocent whiteness of creamy milk, darkened by earthy sandalwood"

This smells like powdery sandalwood, with bursts of cottony, small yellow flowers. Starts of as sandalwood with a cool, milky sort of smell (not the artificial milk, thank gods). As it goes, the "milk" just goes powdery and makes this smell almost like a very high end baby powder that's scented with sandalwood. By 30 minutes, the sandalwood blends with the powdery smells and the resulting smell a mostly cottony, powdery sprigs of small, yellow flowers with hints of something woodsy in the background. It's a cute scent I can imagine on very, very pampered billionaire babies.

Call my secretary to arrange a play date.
Cool pic by Elena Shumilova


The powdery smell can be cloying for some people though, and it did get heavy and headache-inducing at times for me.

TL;DR: Billionaire babies.

Nocturne 

"Black Tea, Vanilla, Spice Cookie, Oakmoss, Cedar, Sandalwood"


Again, there’s that cloying perfume-y smell. It starts of smelling like a watery ginger milk candy, but with a heavy, sickeningly sweet, musky perfume smell. If this doesn't have that cloying perfume smell, this would be such a great scent! If you power through that cloying smell, it does get slightly better after 30 min. It's still there, but less headache-inducing. By now, the smell morphs into a heavily sweetened cinnamon cream with slightly medicinal wood smell.


TL;DR: A grandma wearing too much perfume offering ginger milk candies, but instead gives you Chinese medicine mixed with heavily sweetened cinnamon cream to hide the taste.

Look at her, scheming away. You can't trust those grannies..
Image courtesy of scientificamerican.com
Overview: I tried it on my sister and there's less of the old lady musky perfume smell on her, but there's a very off smell. She says she smells exactly like cincau, the Indonesian kind that's black in colour.

Looks like this. It's slightly different in taste from grass jelly, and I'm not sure I can describe the difference. Tastes great, I promise!

I personally think it smells better on her. There's definitely that cincau smell, but it smells more like a cincau dessert that has ginger gula melaka (coconut palm sugar) drizzled over it.



Mystery Halloween Sneak Peak Scent


This was given to me as a free sample, unlabelled. I got their newsletter with their upcoming Halloween scents, so I'm going to guess what I got based on the descriptions.

I smell coffee, with perfumed caramel and cream. There's a wateriness to this that makes you feel like you're smelling actual liquid coffee. I love coffee scents and this smells like a generic "coffee" scent that I normally would like, only there's that "perfumed" base that I don't like that much. Is there patchouli in this? There also something that smells like old, yellowing paper. If I have to give a concise description of this scent...

TL;DR: decaying perfumed grandma dowsed in coffee.

Here are the Halloween scents:

SINISTER: Black licorice whips, tea leaves, and incense smoke from darkened caravans. (lotion, soap, perfume, bath crumbles, scrub) 
SOMETHING WICKED: Creamy pumpkin, plump apples, anise, and a faint breeze carrying the scent of bonfires in the distance. (perfume, lotion, soap, scrub) 
DIABOLIQUE: Orange blossoms dripping with sticky black honey, warm gingerbread, 3 vanillas, tea leaves and aloeswood (perfume, lotion, bath crumbles, sugar scrub) 
BABYLON: Wood, twisted roots, damp earth, resin, incense smoke, red musk, oud and a waft of blood red cranberries. (perfume only) 
CARNIVALE MACABRE: A steaming cup of espresso, butter chocolate, black patchouli, and tiny spiced muffins sprinkled with cracked pepper and crumbles of hazelnut. (perfume, lotion, scrub, soap) 
GRIMOIRE: Ancient dusty spices, fire, smoke, charred wood, and turned earth. (perfume only)

I'm guessing I got Carnivale Macabre!

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Beauty Trick: How to Remove Mascara Messes Without Make Up Remover

So turns out a lot of my friends don't know this trick on how to remove mascara mistakes when you don't have any eye make-up remover handy.

1. Take a q-tip. If that isn't available, twist a tissue into this shape:
I just folded the tissue in half, twisted it and bent the pointy top down.

2. Place the q-tip or tissue on the spot where you made your mistake:

Let the mascara mistake dry first or you'll just make a bigger mess.

3. Press down and twist:

4. Tra-dah!