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Saturday, October 3, 2015

Review & Recommendation: Deconstructing Eden Fall 2015 Part 2 (7 Scents)

Here's part 2 of my Deconstructing Eden Fall 2015 review! For part 1, you can head here. For my other Deconstructing Eden reviews, you can click here or on the tag on the right.

Anyway, without further ado, here are the reviews....


Review Notes

As always, reviews are done blind until the TL;DRs are written. If any of the notes surprise me, I write an overview. I've also started adding a "Final Verdict" section to help me keep track of my perfumes and figure out what to destash, since my perfume collection is starting to get messy. Here are the categories I came up with for my "Final Verdict":

  • Love: Most awesome perfume ever. Need endless supplies of it and will swap my first born child for the last drops of it if it's limited edition. 
  • Like: I like it and may buy a full size of it, but it's not urgent. 
  • Interesting: I don't really like it or I don't think I  can wear it in public, but I appreciate the artistry of the scent. It's like a beautiful but unwearable runway piece you won't buy on your own, but don't mind owning.
  • Ok: It's okay. I like it enough, but may destash for a good price to keep my collection manageable. 
  • Destash: Kill it with fire.
  • Age it: Maybe it will smell good one day. One day. Just wait.


Driving at Midnight

"Cool night air carries the scent of green leaves and grasses and cooling asphalt."

OMG! This is Haus of Gloi's Ploughman in bubbling scrub form!!! If you read my review for that scent here, you'll know that I'm totally in LOVE with that scent. Unfortunately, the perfume oil version I got smells different from the bubbling scrub version. Besides, the part I love most about that scent is that moment when it's being washed off, and I don't really expect any perfume oil to be able to capture that. I thought I'm stuck smelling that sexy scent only in my shower but holy crap, this is it.

There are hints of earth and a clean, wet green. The earth mingles with the green part to the point where it's not "dirty" at all, but just gives the scent a sexy, masculine bitterness. The green bit gets cleaner and lighter as I wear it until it starts smelling more like an aquatic note.

I'm relying on my memory of how Ploughman in bubbling scrub form smells like, so this may not be completely accurate. My impression is that compared to Ploughman, Driving at Midnight is cleaner, leafier...almost more feminine. It will still smell very sexy on a guy though, so it's a great unisex scent. I also find that the earthy part is less dominant in Driving at Midnight than Ploughman's start, and nearly the same level of earthiness as Ploughman getting washed out –when the earthy part is fading and the scent takes on a more soapy quality. It's the part of Ploughman I'm in love with, so I'm really, really happy. FINALLY.

It still makes me think of a lovable douche though. The kind of guy who's so charming, you keep going back to him even though he's the worst boyfriend material. And you don't even hate him for it because he's just so lovable and honest about it! It still makes me think of Prince Charming from Into the Woods and I'm going to have to use this gif again:

It's clean, fresh, definitely unisex. I want to make sweet, sweet love to this scent.

TL;DR: Ploughman bubbling scrub version dupe.

Overview: Here's the notes for Ploughman:
"Well worn leather, dirt n' dandelions, carrot, a pinch of tobacco and a light sheen of feral skin musk."
While here's the notes for Driving at Midnight again:

"Cool night air carries the scent of green leaves and grasses and cooling asphalt."
There's nothing similar at all between those 2, so I have no idea how they ended up similar. I'm so, so glad I decided to get all the scents from the collection! If I read the notes for this scent, I would never have tried it because I usually hate "asphalt"notes. From previous experience, "asphalt" and "concrete" notes usually end up smelling like Baygon, a popular Indonesian insecticide to me. I'm so glad I didn't pick and choose with this collection!

Final Verdict: LOVE.


Green Man

"Earth, moss, dark woods, rosewood, cedar, amber, agarwood, mahogany, green leaves and conifer branches"

I got a strong burst of earth as soon as I sprayed this. Oh this going to make me smell like I've trekked through a jungle? A cool, slightly sweet dark green scent soon came in afterwards though, and I'm starting to get rich, dark woods. Holy crap, this is amazing. This is a romanticized, perfumed version of riding through a dark, green forest in the arms of a hot dude. I say romanticized, because IRL, horses stink.

The way I'm describing this makes it sound a lot like Driving at Midnight, but this scent is more rugged and more foresty. Green Man makes me think of dry, dark green forest with lots of dry wood. It makes me think of the Black Forest in Baden-Württemberg, Germany. Driving at Midnight makes me think more of wet, delicate light green leaves. This is more of a Kyoto bamboo forest.

It gets cooler and more leafy on me as the scent wears on, but the earth stays to ground it, making it sexy and masculine instead of room spray. It's so freaking hot. I love this. After about 40 min, the scent starts taking on a clean, almost soapy quality on me, but I still love it.

The cool, slightly sweet green part makes me think this scent is for a younger, prettier looking guy, but the dark, earthy part makes me think of a more rugged, mature man. As a result, this is a scent I can easily see on a wide range of ages for guys, from late teens to early 30s. I kinda picture it on a guy who looks like this:

You know you want to jump on a horse and ride through the forest with this dude. Or not...he's too gorgeous. He could be a serial killer...
Amazing photography by Chris Davis

From now on, I'm recommending DE for "hot dude scents."

As the scent fades, it gets more and more clean and soapy on me. I still love it though! Not sure if I love it enough to get another full size in this, but I'm going to need at least an extra sample!

TL;DR: Riding through a dark, green forest in the arms of a hot dude.

Final Verdict: Love.


Jack O’ Lantern

"Golden ambers, fat pumpkins, a touch of smoke, soft sweet woods and piles of dry leaves."

My first thought when I first sprayed this on was a dissapointed, "Oh, it's that pumpkin spice scent."

Pumpkin spice is definitely an overdone scent for fall, so I was prepared to be bored, but then the scent settled and holy crap. I do love DE's twist on it. It's lighter, more lightly sweet and clean. I think I catch a hint of ginger tea in here too, but I'm not sure. It's not the hot and heavy pumpkin spice scent that sends me into a food coma.

As the scent dries down on me, the fragrant wood resin and spices get amplified, so it becomes a very luxurious spicy wood sort of scent, with pumpkin in the background giving it a deliciousness you can't really identify. I'm crazy over Alkemia's Offering, and this reminds me of a sweeter, less gourmand version of it since Jack O' Lantern's sweetness is a more non-edible, almost floral sort of sweetness.

If I don't have wayyyy too much pumpkin spice scents (Fall 2014 scents got me good...) and 4 bottles of Offering (Alkemia was discontinuing it. I had to do it. ._.), I'd probably be crazy over this and buy a full size immediately. I still want an extra sample of it though, definitely recommend this scent for people looking for pumpkin spice sort of scents that don't make you smell like someone smashed a pumpkin pie into your face.

TL;DR: Light, clean pumpkin spice.

Overview: Oh, no ginger...maybe the spiciness is from the dry leaves.

Final Verdict: Like (may change to Love)


London Calling 

"Leather jackets and combat boots, strong black tea, a drop of lemon and a splash of whisky."

When I first sprayed it on, the first scent that hit me made me think of offices. Other scents started coming in fast though. There's still something sterile and clean in the scent that makes me think of offices with rows of cubicles under harsh, fluorescent light –offices that look like this:

I don't know why I'm actually nostalgic for these kind of offices.
Image courtesy of

I'm also getting a slightly musky tartness in this scent. The tartness has that acrid, dry quality that makes me think of a black tea note gone wrong, but the bitterness I get isn't the usual black tea gone wrong sort of bitterness –it's more of a sterile, disinfectant sort of bitterness that ends up making me think of offices. I think I smell hints of earl grey tea, but I'm not sure if it's my mind just trying to find a tea note in this.

As the scent wears on on me, the acrid part gets less acrid and now it smells more like dusty, dried lemon peels, and the earl grey tea is definitely there. The clinical bit is still present and still really office like. The musky part amps up to full middle-aged lady's perfume for a few minutes, before calming down and fading. It's as if a middle-aged lady with too much musky perfume got too close to you before breezing off.

The overall scent makes me think of drinking earl grey tea with old, dried lemon peels from a paper cup in the office, after a middle-aged lady with musky perfume has breezed by.

TL;DR: Drinking earl grey tea with old, dried lemon peels from a paper cup in the office, after a middle-aged lady with musky perfume has breezed by.

Overview: I tried sniffing it again and I can't really pick out the leather & whisky individually, but I'm pretty sure they're the ones was creating that "office" atmosphere.

Final Verdict: Ok


Pumpkin’s Revenge

"Sweet and buttery pumpkin flesh corrupted with black patchouli, sticky myrrh and smoky oud, all spiked with dark spice on a bed of graveyard dirt."

This is rocky pumpkins. Earthy, rocky pumpkins. The pumpkins part has a fleshy, watery quality to it...more like boiled pumpkins rather than pumpkin pie. I think DE makes one of my favourite pumpkin notes now! Her pumpkins are light, yet so creamy and delicious. You get that same satisfied feeling in your stomach without feeling like you're about to enter food coma. And it's definitely wearable as a perfume!

After about 5-10 min, I'm getting this fragrant sandalwood too, but it's still mostly earthy, rocky pumpkins. It sounds very "simple" but it's really a gorgeous scent. Definitely not for everyone, but I like it a lot. If I'm still on my pumpkins craze, I'd probably be in love with this scent.

When the scent dries down after about an hour, the scent left on my skin is fragrant, spicy sandalwood with light, sweet pumpkins, and just the barest hints of earth.

TL;DR: Earthy, rocky pumpkins.

Final Verdict: Like


These are the Days of Wine and Honey

"The last of the sunflowers, rich honey and beeswax, tolu balsam, tonka bean, cedar, liatrix, palo santo wood, elemi essential oil, silky musk and of course, a splash of wine."

At first, I got a burst of that "purple" smell, but luckily it calmed down. You know those jelly-like grapes that smell really fragrant and candy-ish, almost like Japanese purple grape gummies? I'm getting that. There's a leafy sort of quality to it that I'm thinking more about the actual grapes rather than the candy. Floating around, I'm getting that thin, woody honey note that makes me think of a melodic high note if this scent was a sound. Underneath, staying close to my skin, I'm getting.....conditioner. I don't know what it is about this scent, but it makes me think of mainstream conditioner scents. The scent just keeps getting more and more complex! There's hints of something almost nutty, and something slightly chemical-ish that may be myrrh.

Finally after about 15 min, everything settles down. The result makes me think of a grape conditioner for grown ups –the kind with something that smells vaguely floral and conditioner-ish that you can't identify. It's definitely not a straight up kiddy, artificial grape conditioner, but slightly reminiscent of it.  Grape's not my thing, so it's not really for me.

TL;DR: Grape conditioner for grown ups.

Overview: I had to look up what liatrix smells like, and here's what I found from Ayala Moriel Parfums:

"The leaves of this wild plant have nothing significant about them when fresh. However, when dried, they emanate the most intensely sweet scent, due to their high coumarin content. Dry deer's tongue is warm, powdery, sweet and slightly bitter. The dry leaves can be either tinctured or solvent-extracted into an absolute."

Final Verdict: Destash


Trick or Treat

"Dark chocolates, jack o' lanterns, honeyed cider, bonfire smoke and a touch of black pepper."

When I first applied this, I got a burst of this extremely delicious toasted chocolate muesli I used to eat a lot of. When everything settles though, I got sweetened cardboard. There's this chemical-ish bitterness and everything just mixed together to smell like sweetened cardboard. No idea why. I'm so pissed with my skin right now, because the first burst of delicious toasted chocolate muesli smells sooo good.

After about 10 min, I smell a clean, autumn room scent trying to get out but it's still a lot of sweet cardboard. I really don't know what's happening and I'm sure my friends who claim that muesli tastes like cardboard are going to love this.

This taste awesome and not cardboard-y at all. I swear.
Image courtesy of

After about 30 min, the scent got a bit better. It's a red Autumn Yankee Candle sort of scent, the kind that's usually called Fall Harvest, Autumn Air or something like that. There's a bit more smoky wood than what you'd expect from those types of candle, but I'm still not a fan.

TL;DR: Sweetened cardboard turning into Autumn Yankee Candle.

Overview: Huh. The notes sound really, really good! I think I'm going to age this and see what's going on...

Final Verdict: Age it

Thursday, October 1, 2015

EOTD: Focus on Fyrinnae's Exquisites in Fantasy Creatures

I normally wait until I do swatches first, but I'm so excited about this, I have to share. Today I did an EOTD with one of Fyrinnae's Exquisite eyeshadows in Fantasy Creatures. Here's what Fyrinnae said about their Exquisites:

"Exquisites are a new variation of our popular Arcane Magic eye shadows.  These shadows have stronger color changes (not a "duochrome", which is usually one hue layered over another) without depending on an opaque base hue, making them stunning alone or over many other colors. The transparency makes them suitable for a wide variety of skintones without compromising color. A sticky base is highly recommended."
This is the description of Fantasy Creatures:

"Vivid lime green sparkle on a sheer tan base turns bright pink at an angle or closer to light. Despite the appearance in product photos of an opaque base hue, this shadow is transparent as shown on the right, comprised mainly of color-changing sparkle, so can easily be applied over other colors. A sticky base is highly recommended."

Sounds too good to be true, right? Ok, so it looks like I need glitter glue to make it look pretty, that's usually a warning sign for me. What if the only way it looks good is if I gently pat in on over thousands of layers of glitter glue & eyeliners, after first performing a ritual dance to the make up gods and offering a sacrificial chicken to the glitter fairies?

Well, screw it! I wanted to see how they look like over primer alone so this happened:

Over Eccentric Cosmetics' primer only!

This is over Eccentric Cosmetics' primer only! On my top lid, I have Fantasy Creatures on at least 2/3rds of the inner corner of my eye. I blended into Fyrinnae's Serendipity in the outer corner, covering only about a third of the outer corner. I further blended Make Up Store's Pollution in the outer corner to add more depth. On my lower lash line, I have Fyrinnae's Crimson Ghost on the inner corner and Fyrinnae's Debonair on the outer corner. 

It's pretty enough, but does it shift? Hell yes.

The pink and green are both Fantasy Creatures! Another angle from the see how the shift shifted on my eye. It's all just one colour on the inner 2/3rds of my eye.

It turns pure gold at certain angles too!

I think this picture gives you an idea of how shiftastic this eyeshadow is:

I didn't do mismatched eyes, I swear!

Oh, and I know /u/Dorian_Gray_ said several times that the colour shift isn't as dramatic in real life and your eye can't can't all the subtle colour changes but guess what? My camera isn't capturing how dramatic the colour shift is IRL! Maybe it's one of the blessings of having monolids (nice, creaseless but curved plane to work on...pretty much like an arm swatch), but I can't stop shaking my head in front of a mirror and giggling because I can see the colours dance

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Review & Recommendation: Deconstructing Eden (5 Fall '15 + 1 GC Scent)

My Deconstructing Eden (DE) order arrived and I'm so freaking excited! I ordered a sample set of all 12 of their Fall scents and got a free sample!

If you read my previous reviews (click here or on the tag on the right), you'll know how much I love the quality of these scents. I really should stop ordering samples because I keep finding more and more scents I want full sizes in, but I still have this fear or missing out and want to try out DE's entire catalogue. DE is really great at making scents I'm in love with, and great at making me fall in love with notes I usually hate, so I really can't cull my list of scents I want to try...I still have 60+ more scents to try out.

Btw, I'm also amazed by how fast these arrived. No idea what shipping gods were with me, but here's the TAT:

Ordered: Sep 6
Shipped: Sep 9
Arrived: Sep 21

I'm used to waiting 3+ weeks for things to arrive, so I was surprised by how fast these arrived in Indonesia.

For this review, I'll review the 1 non-Fall line scent, Theodora, and 5 of the Fall scents. Thanks to DE's amazing throw and longevity, I can only review 2 scents/day at the most, so the review's going slow.


Review Notes

As always, reviews are done blind until the TL;DRs are written. If any of the notes surprise me, I write an overview. I've also started adding a "Final Verdict" section to help me keep track of my perfumes and figure out what to destash, since my perfume collection is starting to get messy. Here are the categories I came up with for my "Final Verdict":

  • Love: Most awesome perfume ever. Need endless supplies of it and will swap my first born child for the last drops of it if it's limited edition. 
  • Like: I like it and may buy a full size of it, but it's not urgent. 
  • Interesting: I don't really like it or I don't think I  can wear it in public, but I appreciate the artistry of the scent. It's like a beautiful but unwearable runway piece you won't buy on your own, but don't mind owning.
  • Ok: It's okay. I like it enough, but may destash for a good price to keep my collection manageable. 
  • Destash: Kill it with fire.
  • Age it: Maybe it will smell good one day. One day. Just wait.



"Bulgarian rose absolute, Indian jasmine absolute, sandalwood, dragon's blood, frankincense, purple plums, Madagascar ginger, and precious spices."

On first whiff, I'm not liking this. It smells like old, sour fruits. After it calms down a bit, I'm wondering if this is a tea note going wrong on me. There's definitely that astringent, sour smell that's similar to a black tea note going wrong on me, only this is a cross between Chinese preserved orange peels and old, yellowing books.

When I sniff closer, I get purple chewable Flinstones vitamins, and this cool florals that I love. Purple Flinstones vitamins always make me gag so I'm having a hard time reviewing this. The floral bit has a floral bitterness to it, it's either jasmines, lilies or orchids. I'm liking the cool floral bit, but I'm not a fan of the rest.

After about 30 min, the florals morphed on me and it smells more like velvety, fresh roses and the purple Flinstones vitamins part calmed down a bit. When I say calmed down, I mean that the it now smells like purple Flinstones vitamins dissolved in water. The astringent bit smells more like old paper now, so now I'm thinking more of those old lady scented floral stationery with juiced purple Flinstones vitamins. Still not a fan.

TL;DR: Old lady scented floral stationery with juiced purple Flinstones vitamins.

Overview: I have this theory that anything listed as "purple" has to be avoided like the plague.

Final Verdict: Destash. Destash. Destash.


Fall 2015


Autumn ’15 (the gourmand version)

"Warm Autumn spices, a hint of cider, saffron, leather, tolu balsam, dark amber, cedar, maple leaves, moss and a drop of patchouli."

Ooooh....the notes that first float up are these sweet, spicy sort of apple cider scent. It has more spices than the usual apple cider though. When I lean in closer for a sniff, I get a more complex scent. There's something smoky that reminds me of the charred wood, and that roasted nuts scent I got from Darling Clandestine's Carny Wedding. It's smoky, yet delicious too. There's also hints of something icy that barely registered in my head for a while, but kept making me think of snow. The scent makes me think of waking up to the remains of a campfire you've used to roast peanuts, on a snowy morning.

After about 10 min, I noticed that the delicious roasted peanut bit is the first to fade. Now the apple cider is the most prominent, but you still get the rest of the scent. As the scent fades, the red apple tartness lasts the longest on me, followed by the smoky charred wood scent.

I finally have the chance to show off this pic! This is the most awesome picture of embers ever.
Amazing shot by Josh Tsen

TL;DR: Drinking apple cider after waking up to the remains of a campfire you've used to roast peanuts, on a snowy morning.

Overview: I think the smokiness may be coming from the patchouli. After trying out more scents, I wonder if the roasted peanuts part comes from the dark amber. It's the same roasted nuts scent I got from Cinnamon Girl, and that contains "deep amber".

Final Verdict: Interesting


Autumn ’15 (the fougère version)

"A walk in a sleeping forest, cool air, damp earth, falling leaves and a whisper of leather"

Oh. My. God. This is soooo hot. I think this smells better on dudes, and my bf likes it so much, he let me spray it all over him. There's definitely leather, and it's mingled with hints of DE's signature powdery musk, and the sharpness of that note that's often referred to as concrete/stone/asphalt/etc. (other perfumes that have it: Smelly Yeti's Hey, McFly!Alkemia's Prairie 66Blooddrop's Moonstone, and Black Violet's Apparition & Komorebi). I normally don't really like that concrete/stone/asphalt note since it reminds me too much of Baygon, a popular Indonesian insecticide, but in DE's blend, it's so subtle and complements the other notes so well, that I don't get insecticide at all. The scent just makes me think of a guy I want to get grope-y with.

After about 5 min, the leather bit becomes that watery scent some leather notes morph into on me, and I'm getting hints of earth. The effect is that I'm thinking of water washing over dark grey stones...with a hot dude frolicking shirtless nearby, obviously. It makes me think more of summer than autumn, actually. Definitely heavier on the rocks than the water bit.

This scent is definitely a deeper, more mature sort of scent. Not old though. Definitely not old. I see it perfect for a guy in his late 20s to early 30s, though I can see this on suave, sophisticated older gentlemen older than that age range. It's a scent I can see on a guy who can spend the week in a suit, moving fast up the corporate ladder, but still have a rebellious, bad boy streak that's so irresistibly hot. I can see this scent being perfect for a guy who looks like this:

I actually want a picture of a hot, shirtless dude lounging on wet rocks because that'll be the perfect ad for this perfume...turns out, it's almost impossible to go that specific when you're looking for pictures of male models. Female models though? Do you want white, black, or grey rocks? What size and shape do you want the rocks to be? What do you want her to wear? A ball gown? A little black dress? Stockings only? Nothing at all? No problem! Guess no one cares about male models :P
Stunning shot by Manny Herreria

TL;DR: A hot, shirtless dude lounging on wet, dark rocks.

Final Verdict: Love


Burning Leaves

"Dry autumnal leaves burning on a base of agarwood CO2."

I see the name and I got the feeling that I'm going to regret trying this scent. Sure enough, I get a burning smell as soon as I sprayed it on. Crap...I'm going to hate this right?

Underneath, there's this really, really hot, deep, masculine green scent that makes me think of dark, green trees. I'm so in lust with the masculine green part, I'm really hoping the burning part goes away soon. I'm also getting a very dry, dark wood. I'm not talking about a romanticized wood scent, I'm talking about actual wood. Like the scent you'd get in a woodworking workshop, wood resin and all.

Luckily for me, the burning scent is pretty fleeting and fades fast after the initial, overwhelming burst.  Once the scent settles, it makes me think of dark, mahogany tables in a luxurious study with a recently used fireplace, that has deep, dark leather seats, and a smoulderingly hot dude. Like this dude:

We can work allllll day.
Hot photo by Denis Ploskirev

This is definitely one of those scents you either love or hate, but I LOVE it. I don't think I can wear it out, and I'm pretty sure my bf would kill me if I tried to spray it on him, but holy crap I still LOVE it.

TL;DR: Dark, luxurious study and a hot dude.

Final Verdict: Love/Interesting


Burnt Flowers Fallen

"Discarded love notes and dried bouquets, a whisper of leather and the fire that consumed it all."

I got a burst of this amazing sweet & tart scent when I first sprayed this scent on, but it's shortly followed by this off smell that makes me think of gasoline.....fortunately, the gasoline bit stays close to my skin. When the scent settles on my skin about 3 min later, I'm still getting that gasoline scent with a scent that makes me think of cool, purple and yellow flowers. I really, really love the floral bit, but I really can't stand the gasoline bit. Why. Why.

I kept telling myself to keep this scent on because maybe, just maybe, the gasoline would fade first and leave behind the amazing cool, purple & yellow flowers part. But of course, the gasoline stayed on my skin the longest and the only scent left on me when the scent dries down. Screw you, gasoline note! A rational part of me is telling me to destash this, but the floral bit is so beautiful, I can't let go of this. I'm going to age it, hoping the gasoline bit goes away.

TL;DR: Gasoline & cool, purple & yellow flowers.

Final Verdict: Age it


Cinnamon Girl

"Deep amber, candied peaches, Jasmine Sambac and lots and lots of cinnamon."

Something cloying hit me when I sprayed this on, but luckily it dissipated fast. I'm getting something nutty, a cool, watery scent and warm spices. It's a really interesting mix. It smells like a delicious, nutty spiced candy bar, in a room with fresh white florals floating on a bowl of water. It smells like going to an elegant lady's expensive home and being served freshly baked, organic cinnamon nut granola bars.

By about 10 min, the floral bit is more dominant on me, but I still get the same impression. Definitely an elegant home decorated in all white and cream, because this lady's children will be well-behaved robot children who will never, ever dirty the place. The kind of home that looks like this:

Not suitable for actual children...who'll destroy the place within 5 min.
Image courtesy of

TL;DR: Homemade, freshly baked cinnamon nut granola bars, served in a home so pristine, you dare not even  sit down in case you mess up the cushions.

Overview: Huh...I can't really identify the peaches, but maybe it's because it's drowned out by the cinnamon and jasmines on my skin. I mentioned this before, but I think DE's amber turns nutty on me. It's the same nutty scent I got in Autumn ’15 (the gourmand version), which also contains amber.

Final Verdict: Like

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

EOTD: Bright & Colourful!

DIY Cosmetics: How to Create Lip Products (review TKB base)

If you're like me and tend to feel crafty when it comes to cosmetics, one thing I like to do is create lip products using my existing lip-safe eyeshadows or micas. You have several options for creating lip products and I'll go through them here. First and foremost though...

Please remember to sterilize everything, even when you're making this for personal use. It's much cleaner that way, and you reduce the risk of funky stuff growing on your lip products.

Now, on to making your lip products.

Tinting a Balm

For this, you can either buy a lip balm base or simply use an existing lip balm. Here's what you have to do:

1. Depot the lip balm
2. Melt it in a microwave. Microwaving it in no more than 10 sec bursts gets me the best results.
3. Mix in the loose powder/mica/pigment of your choice. The more loose powder/mica/pigment you add, the more pigmented it'll be.
4. Let it cool and set.

If you want to buy a lip balm base, here are a couple of places that sell them (feel free to let me know if you want to add another store in):

Creating A Lipstick With A Lipstick Base

Follow the same steps as "Tinting a Balm", only you'll be using a lipstick base and adding a higher concentration of mica. The more mica you add, the more pigmented but less creamy it gets, so feel free to experiment with different concentrations to find the combination you're most comfortable with. Some lipstick bases will require different steps, so it's best you follow the manufacturer's instructions.

Here are some places selling lipstick bases and the prices for the minimum amount you can buy (feel free to let me know if you want to add another store in):

By the way, Making Cosmetics has a gif file on how to make lipsticks where the person is not wearing any gloves. Please don't imitate that. Even if they're for personal use, please use gloves to avoid smearing germs all over your lip products.

I have only tried TKB's lipstick base, so that's the only one I can review. I find it really comforta

Making A Lip Product From Scratch

If you're feeling, REALLY, really crafty, several sites provide recipes on making lip products from scratch for free. Here they are:

  • DIY Cosmetics (glossy lipsticks, matte lipstick, solid lip gloss, liquid lip gloss, eyeliner, brow pencils)

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Review & Recommendation: Dame Perfumery

I purchased 2 7ml trial sizes from Dame Perfumery some time ago and finally got to reviewing them. The 2 scents I got were Black Flower Mexican Vanilla and Peach Blossom, Violet & Vanilla, and got 3 additional free samples.

I can't comment on the turnaround time since I shipped it to my brother and he doesn't notice when things arrive, and I didn't need to contact their customer service for anything.

Dame Perfumery only sells their scents in 7ml trial sizes or 50ml full sizes, so they definitely require more of a commitment. The trial sizes are $8.50 or 10.00, and the full sizes are $65 each. Shipping's free so that's a bonus. Unfortunately, they do not sell outside the US.

It's kinda sad for us non-US based perfume lovers since these perfumes are great quality.

If you're in the US though, they have this fun deal where they'll send you a free sample if you send them a postcard from where you live. I know they don't send the samples internationally, but I'm tempted to send them something from Indonesia just to add to their postcard collection!


Perfumes General Review

There are really well-crafted, great quality scents even though I personally didn't find any scent that really worked for me. All 5 scents I got somehow ended up being scents that I see more suited on older women. They're definitely great and I can see them in high end department stores, but I do find the scent a bit too old for me. I'd recommend them in a heartbeat to my mom's friends though (and they have very expensive tastes since they're Indonesian ladies...).

The throw and longevity is definitely great. I can smell it wafting around as I type when I apply it on my wrist, but I do have to go almost as close as faux whispering distance to get the full body of the scent. The scents generally stay at this scent for 1.5-2h, before fading to about kissing distance. I lose track of how long it stays within kissing distance, because even after 7h, it's still at that strength. Usually I end up accidentally washing my hands/showering before I can figure out just how long the scent would last before it fades on its own.


Review Notes

As always, reviews are done blind until the TL;DRs are written. If any of the notes surprise me, I write an overview. I've also started adding a "Final Verdict" section to help me keep track of my perfumes and figure out what to destash, since my perfume collection is starting to get messy. Here are the categories I came up with for my "Final Verdict":

  • Love: Most awesome perfume ever. Need endless supplies of it and will swap my first born child for the last drops of it if it's limited edition. 
  • Like: I like it and may buy a full size of it, but it's not urgent. 
  • Interesting: I don't really like it or I don't think I  can wear it in public, but I appreciate the artistry of the scent. It's like a beautiful but unwearable runway piece you won't buy on your own, but don't mind owning.
  • Ok: It's okay. I like it enough, but may destash for a good price to keep my collection manageable. 
  • Destash: Kill it with fire.
  • Age it: Maybe it will smell good one day. One day. Just wait.


Black Flower Mexican Vanilla

"The composition is vanilla absolute with touches of lemon, grapefruit, caramel, nutmeg, gardenia, jasmine, sandalwood, patchouli, vetiver, musk and tonka - but the ingredient list is less important than the final blend."

This is one of those heavier, powdery sort of scents. There's definitely a floral scent here that has a similar bitter bite to it as Deconstructing Eden's Black No. 1, but the heavy, powdery bit gives me a headache and reminds me of old ladies. There's also a slight tartness that may be a caramel note gone wrong.  

After 5-8 min, the bitterness I love went away and I'm getting delicious caramel, with a bright, clean sweetness...unfortunately the heavy powderiness is still there. It still smells like a scent for older women.

After about 30 min in, the scent kind of reminds me of a more powdery and slightly heavier version of a mainstream perfume Brown Sugar Vanilla perfume I've tried before (can't remember the brand). That scent was leaning towards too heavy for Indonesian weather for me, so it's not for me. I can see this being perfect for winter though!

TL;DR: A more heavy, mature version of a Brown Sugar Vanilla-type scent.

Final Verdict: Destash


Dark Horse

"The composition is a blend of bergamot, lemon, cinnamon, jasmine, carnation, rose, clove, guaiac wood, vetiver, vanilla and musk."

Oh this is gorgeous. I get the best perfumed version of vanilla caramel. The vanilla caramel is rich, decadent and smell so delicious, but it has this musky perfumed touch to it that it smells more like perfume than dessert. Again, it's on the heavier side and makes me think of a more mature woman. I see this as the perfect scent for someone in her 40s who want an age appropriate vanilla scent.

When the scent dries down on me, I get a more powdery floral sort of vanilla. I actually like the dry down much better since it's lighter and feels younger.

TL;DR: The perfect vanilla for someone in her 40s.

Overview: I checked the description and apparently this scent is unisex. I did not expect it at all, since I find it too powdery and floral for a men's scent.

Final Verdict: Ok..or may age it until I'm in my 40s.


Desert Rose

"The composition is a blend of Turkish rose otto and Damascenia Rose with touches of peach, Sicilian lemon, Egyptian jasmine, geranium, carnation, heliotrope, sandalwood, musk, amber and vanilla."

Oh wow, this is the first relatively light scent I got from Dame. It smells like a light, lotiony candied rose. There's a slight tartness that lightens up the scent even more, though the rose does weigh the scent down a bit. By close to 30 min, the tartness just smells off on me and I can't really figure out why.

The scent makes me think of those really sour rose-hibiscus sort of floral teas that smells kind of like potpourri. The kind that looks really pretty but taste so sour and dusty, you're wondering if it's meant to be potpourri instead but by now, you're too afraid to ask. I still like the quality and I think this is a wonderful scent, just not for me.

This tea is called Sweet Melody and you can buy it from

When it dries down, it's so beautiful. It smells like a burst of powdery little flowers, mingled with fresh, light white florals. I really, really love the dry down!

TL;DR: Lotiony candied roses, turning into sour rose-hibiscus tea, turning into clean, fresh florals.

Overview: Carnation often smells tea-like to me, the lemon is definitely behind the sourness, and I'm guessing the sandalwood is behind the dusty scent. I was trying to figure out how heliotrope smells like and found this description from Fragantica:
Garden heliotrope has been a constant feature since at least the Victorian times, thanks to its delicious scent that oscillates between marzipan, vanilla, cherry pie and almond (hence its alternative name "cherry pie flower"). 
I'm guessing that's creating that candied scent.

Final Verdict: Like


Pear, Waterlily & Amber

"Top notes are pear, mandarin orange and lemon; middle notes are water lily, cherry blossom, honeysuckle and jasmine; base notes are amber, sandalwood, musk and vanilla."

Again, this is a heavier scent. There's this clean, crisp floral, but underneath is this heavier velvety scent that makes me. The velvety part is kind of powdery, and has that cottony baby oil note that's sometimes called Egyptian musk by some perfumers. It started off a bit too heavy for me, but after about 10 min, everything blends together beautifully to make this, clean, blue, powdery sort of scent that's extremely elegant and serene.

It makes me think of the kind of woman who can still smile graciously and remain an amazing hostess, even as the police breaks into her mansion to arrest her husband for running a Ponzi scheme.

Wondering whether it's more polite to serve the police tea before or after they've dragged your husband to jail...
Gorgeous photography by Joanna Kustra

I was going to say that this scent is slightly too old for me and more of a late 20s sort of scent....until I realized I'm qualifying for late 20s soon. Crap. I definitely love it, but I still think it's for someone with a more classically elegant personality.

As the scent dries down, it gets more powdery on me and it makes me think of stately, blue drawing rooms for some reason.

TL;DR: An impeccably elegant lady.

Final Verdict: Like


Peach Blossom, Violet & Vanilla

"Top notes are peach blossom, red berries, hyacinth and bergamot; middle notes are parma violet, jasmine and rose; base notes are tahitian vanilla, driftwood and musk."

This starts of extremely sweet, with a freshness that smells almost like room spray at first. I didn't need to worry though, since Dame's perfumes are top notch. The scent calms down to this elegant, clean sort of scent. I want to say that it makes me think of white linen, only I'm hesitating since white linen tends to make people think of dryer sheets sort of scents. This is a more upscale version of a white linen scent –it's the white linen from luxury hotels that are so upscale, they'd be offended to be called a 5-star hotel. It's really wearable though, and smells more like perfume than a room scent.

Unfortunately, underneath, there's this musky, heavy sort of scent that again makes me think of more mature women. While it complements the scent perfectly and makes it smell like languorously lounging on white, silken sheets, it smells too old for me.

After about 50 min, the scent gets really soapy on me. The kind of soapiness that makes you practically taste the soapsuds in your mouth. It's still a top-notch sort of soapiness though!

TL;DR: An older woman languorously lounging on white, silken sheets.

Final Verdict: Destash