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Thursday, May 29, 2014

Review: Wiggle Perfumes (RIP scents)

When Wiggle announced they were clearing out a bunch of their scents, I had to buy some of the soon to be discontinued scents. I feel like I'll be owning a piece of history or something.

I started getting worried around May 20 since it's been nearly a month since I ordered and I haven't received anything yet. On average, all my orders from the US have gotten to me in about 15 days, so I was wondering if it got stuck in Indonesian customs or something. So I checked Etsy and saw this:

Noooooooo. That means I have to wait another 1 1/2 weeks!

This is when I ordered it:

I guess I got spoiled since all the other indie companies I ordered from shipped within a day of receiving my order. Still, taking 19 days to process an order is kinda long.

I finally received it on May 28. 2 weeks from the shipment date is normal for international shipping, so no surprises there. I contacted the owner just because I was wondering if this was normal or there were special circumstances. This is the reply I got.
There was a brain fart in my message, I meant to put "2 weeks".

I'm happy with the customer service and I'm glad she's making changes to improve the TAT, so no complaints there. I also chatted with other customers on reddit and they got their orders at a reasonable TAT, so I'll just assume my order was a one off craziness. I really respect Nani for not making any excuses even though this seemed like a rare case.

The perfumes I got were Maggie, Selma & Anna May. Selma's sold out but Maggie & Anna May are still available and on clearance!

Aren't they so pretty? I'm in love with the packaging!


I love it! The 5 ml sizes I got are convenient to carry around and comes in a rollerball bottle. So convenient to apply! The artwork's also pretty, so that's a bonus.

Perfume Oils Review

Oh wow, these are hard to review. Selma and Anna May will take you on an olfactory rollercoaster ride. They morph so much, I ended up constantly surprised and endlessly swinging from liking it to hating it. Every time I was sure the scent has settled in, it switches again, so I kept editing my entry. Finally, I just listed down all the various stages the scents went through.

The strength and longevity vary greatly between the 3 scents I got, so I reviewed this part separately for each scent. But it's guaranteed you can smell them from a casual handshake distance (without any of those air kisses) for at least up to an hour.

Overall, I'm happy and I'll definitely look into ordering more in the future.


I stupidly didn't take note of the description before it's gone, so here are the list of notes according to a post on Pinterest: "Cocoa butter musk with honeysuckle, warm hay, woodsmoke, and honey."

First whiff: This smells exactly like chocolate. Straight out bitter, dark chocolate. I feel like I sniffed too close to a dessert covered in cocoa powder, and ended up with a nose full of it. Not exactly a pleasant smell.

5 minutes in: Ooohh! Chocolate frosting with a hint of baby powder. It's starting to get good!

15 min in: Um...why is it just straight out ylang ylang on me? This is a really boring scent for me since ylang ylang essential oil is so common in Indonesia. Not liking it.

30 min in: Ok, now it smells musky and woodsy. Slightly like Balinese incense. Still smells too local, but at least it's getting complex.

1h in: It finally settled into the wooden, Balinese incense smell. Less musky and more wooden, with a hint of something metallic. I ended up loving this scent. Wow..I feel like I was just in a teenage romance, switching from love to hate and back to love again in a blink.

This scent stops wafting around after an hour, but stayed on my skin until I washed my hands 9h later.

Anna May

"This one has the peony and green tea notes, but I've also added a generous dose of wisteria layered over white musk, a touch of orchid, a kick of ginger, and the slightest hint of soft incense. Instead of kumquat (which, bless its heart, takes over everything I put it in), I've used lychee for a top note. Overall, this fragrance is soft, floral, and fruity, though somehow still a little dark."

Image courtesy of Wiggle Perfumes

First whiff: Oh my gods. My skin turned it into a sour lemon smell. Not good.

5 minutes in: Other scents rushed in and it became a medley of lemon, cotton, baby powder and blue notes. Nice!

15 min in: It's mostly blue notes but has the scent of lemons and florals anchoring it so it doesn't smell like straight out room spray. I'm also impressed. Blue notes tend to smell hollow and chemical-y to me, but this one manages to stay creamy.

30 min in: Ok. Blue notes won, it smells kinda like roomspray.

1h in: Now it smells mostly of a very, very sweet, floral with blue notes blending in. It's a bit too sweet for me. I'm pretty surprised since I thought I'd love this scent at 5 minutes.

This was the strongest perfume in the lot. It wafted around for about 3h and stayed on my skin until I fell asleep about 9-10h later.


Image courtesy of Wiggle Perfumes
"Layered into the lemon cookie sweetness are touches of cinnamon, sandalwood, egyptian musk, and soft yellow rose."

I'm biased. I got this scent because this was the nickname of one of the most inspirational woman I know. I didn't know what I was getting, so I was totally surprised by the scent.

First impression: Lemon buttercream cupcakes. Omfg love. I'm impressed, a lot of cake smells I encountered ends up smelling artificial, cloying & play-doh-ish, but this smells exactly like the lemon buttercream cupcakes one of my friends makes. 

5 min in: Still smells mostly like lemon buttercream cupcakes, but there's a cool, slightly icy smell emerging. It's not minty, just icy. Like the feeling after you sniff one of those balms that are meant to clear your sinuses. This scent stayed stable like this for the rest of the time. 

This scent lasted the shortest for me. It stopped wafting around by 1h, but you can still smell it above your skin. To clarify, assuming you put it on your wrist, someone kissing your wrist can smell it, but you'll struggle to smell it while doing the Rodin's Thinker pose.

Like this. Image courtesy of Maryhill Museum

By about 4 1/2h, I can berely smell it on my skin. Definitely surprised by the huge longevity difference from the other two perfumes. Still a delicious scent and I can totally see myself wearing it whenever I need to lie about my baking abilities. Oh that delicious smell? Yeah, I was just baking. Just lemon buttercream cupcakes, no big deal. Something I totally do all the time....oh, you can't try one. I, er...ate it all? Yeah, I eat everything I bake immediately. The entire batch. Yes, I know my family has a history of diabetes. 

Review: Fortune Cookie Soap's Summer 2014 Soap Box

My Summer Soap Box subscription box finally arrived on May 29. This is my first ever subscription box ever and I was really excited. Unfortunately, I'm not a fan of this one. Here's what I got:

I kinda messed it up in excitement.
  • "Lick Your Lips" Fortune Cookie Soap
  • "Lollipop Your Cherry" OCD Hand Sanitizer
  • "Rock Your Socks Off" Sugar Scrub
  • "Captain's Berried Booty" Whipped Cream
  • "Sweet Dreamsicle" Wax Tart
  • "Lemon Drop It Like It's Hot" Microdermabration Facial Scrub
  • "The Sweet Spot" Sparkle Me
  • "Blow Me" Lip Scrub
  • $10 gift card
  • Candy


US: $19.99
Canada: $28
International: $34

Product Reviews

They put something in it just like a real fortune cookie?? Awesome!

"Lick Your Lips" Fortune Cookie Soap

This was one of the scents I liked. It smells just like mint chocolate chip. The fortune cookie soaps is one of the reasons why I was attracted to this brand. I definitely like the concept of it and they definitely win when it comes to the various creative designs they came up with for each scent. The soap is completely hollow inside, exactly like a fortune cookie. So if you were expecting it to be totally solid like me you may feel slightly disappointed you ended up with less soap.

The formula is unfortunately drying, and your hands end up with that sticky, dry feeling that you get with certain bar soaps. It's a pity since I love the scent and the look of this. I think I'll leave it in my guest bathroom as decoration.

Here's what my fortune said.

"Lollipop Your Cherry" Hand Sanitizer

"Some fragrances just name themselves, I swear. Cherries, cherries and more cherries swirled with vanilla, and a hint of orange and pineapple."

This has a slightly sticky finish and smells exactly like Nyquil. Not a fan.

"The Sweet Spot" Sparkle Me

"Fresh pickled melon, strawberries, and peaches twisted with sour mandarine oranges and pinapple, all sprinkled with a touch of sugar. Guaranteed to hit your sweet spot. :)"

A glitter perfume spray? I guess I'm biased but I haven't thought something like this is cool since 2nd grade. Glitter's annoying to get rid of,  glitter formulations often cause allergic reactions for me, and like most people, I definitely don't want disco ball legs while attending a client meeting. This smells like a very sweet, cheap, floral room spray. I don't smell anything else. It's not a complex scent at all, and there's that hollow, artificial smell that  I associate with room sprays and cheap perfume.

"Lemon Drop It Like It's Hot" Microdermabration Facial Scrub

This has the texture of very fine grains of sand; I definitely feel like my face is getting microdermabrated. I personally think this is a bit too harsh to use even on a weekly basis for my face, though. I may just use it as a foot scrub. Scent-wise, it smells exactly like lemon-scented dishwashing soap. I'm not a fan of the scent and it definitely ruined the product for me.

"Captain's Berried Booty" Whipped Cream

Finally! Another scent I like! It smells like berries and cream frosting. Unfortunately, what ruined what otherwise would have been a great gourmand scent is that the berry scent is that artificial cheap berry scent. If you don't mind Bath & Bodyworks' artificial berry scents, then you won't mind this. If you do, you'll hate this.

The lotion itself is like Body Shop's body butters -thick, hard to rub into your skin, and leaves an oily film. Quality-wise, I'll estimate this to be on Bath & Bodyworks' quality, and their lotions for this size will usually be 3 for $5.

"Blow Me" Lip Scrub

This is the only item that makes the box worth it. It taste like one of those bubblegums you got from a machine when you're a kid. It's a cheap but nostalgic taste. You know it's full of food colouring and all sorts of artificial flavours, but it brings back so many good memories! I like the smaller sugar granules in this scrub and it's sooo sweet. I'm worried ants are going to get into this!

"Sweet Dreamsicle" Wax Tart

This also smells cheap and artificial. It's a strong artificial fruity smell that smells like a Victoria Secret's Body Mist that a friend of mine used to spray a lot (it's purple..I think it's called Love Spell?). Again, not a fan.
All out!

"Rock Your Socks Off" Sugar Scrub

"Straight up grape candy. It is what it is, and it does it all. This new creation exfoliates, moisturizes, and softens. Jump in the shower, scrub down and rinse. Voila!" 

This leaves my skin with a waxy finish. Not the oily finish like Fresh's sugar scrubs -an actual waxy finish like Madame Tussaud's wax figurines. I really don't like the feeling. I feel like I'm walking around with a wax coating.

The scent is that artificial grape soda scent, which smells exactly like the sickly artificial-tasting "grape flavoured" anaesthetic gel my dentist usually puts on my gums before he jabs me with the injection. I hate this smell.

Overall Impression

This is definitely not worth it if you're international and slightly not worth it if you're in the US. I was definitely disappointed at how tiny the products are. Here's a pic of some of the items on my palm for scale:
I promise I don't have giant hands

The products are Bath & Bodyworks quality and for those sizes, I'd estimate they cost about $1-2 each. This is how much I would pay for the products:

  • "Lick Your Lips" Fortune Cookie Soap: $3.49
  • "Lollipop Your Cherry" OCD Hand Sanitizer: $1
  • "Rock Your Socks Off" Sugar Scrub: $1
  • "Captain's Berried Booty" Whipped Cream: $1.60
  • "Sweet Dreamsicle" Wax Tart: $1
  • "Lemon Drop It Like It's Hot" Microdermabration Facial Scrub: $3
  • "The Sweet Spot" Sparkle Me: $1:50
  • "Blow Me" Lip Scrub: $3
  • $10 off next purchase gift card

Total: $25.59

What I paid: $34 

Nope. Not worth it. US customers will pay $ it's a bit worth it if you count the gift card. If you don't, that's only $15.59 worth of products and not worth it at all.

I'm also not a fan of their scents. They all smell artificial and cheap to me, but maybe it's because I've been pampered by so many great products (*cough*HausofGloi*cough*). I'll put this under Bath & Bodyworks quality: cheap, very artificial, but a lot of creative marketing and a whole host of scents to tempt you. Unfortunately, Bath & Bodyworks is actually cheap and this isn't.

I've requested to cancel my subscription and I really hope they cancel it ASAP.

Now, the thing is that I have a promotion code for $10 off on my next purchase, which can get me a little under 3 soaps. Unfortunately, I have to pay $15.80 for shipping. I'm still deciding if getting 3 cute soaps that I'll use as decoration is worth it.

Being the nerd that I am, I did a quick calculation. I used $3.75 as the average price of soap, since I tend to prefer the fancier looking soaps that cost more. This is what I came up with:

Sadly, I'll have to conclude that these soap are not worth over $5 for me. So now I have a free $10 off voucher I won't be using. If any of you want to trade it for another gift voucher in another (indie) store, let me know. 

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Review: Brazen Cosmetics' Solid Perfume

Recently I purchased Brazen's solid perfumes, which are still on clearance right now for $4.49 each. I got the scents in Cranberry Cocktail & Pumpkin Mocha.

It's finally here!

Pumpkin Mocha & Cranberry Cocktail Solid Perfumes

In case you guys are wondering, no they don't include any goodies like free samples or candies.

Turnaround Time

Ordered: May 14
Shipped: May 15
Received: May 26

12 days TAT is pretty awesome for international shipping! Their delivery's on crack! Still, I noticed they charged me  $7.50 for First Class Shipping, while normal shipping usually only takes me 13 days. Not sure if the 2 day improvement is worth the extra $3-4 for shipping since.


I way prefer solid perfumes that come in tubes since they're easier to apply and I don't get my fingers dirty. I have a nail chewing & eye rubbing habit, so perfume on my fingers is never good. These come in tins and I'm ok with this since it's the typical packaging for solid perfumes. The deal breaker part is that unfortunately, they have lids that slip off easily. I'm talking about so easily that they slip off if I lift them up too fast or shake them.

See what I mean?

I'm definitely worried about carrying this around since I'll easily get a bag full of smushed perfume. Slightly disappointed with this since the reason I buy solid perfumes is that they're more convenient to carry around.

Solid Perfume Review

Out of all the solid perfumes I've tried so far (L'Occitane, Midsummer Dreams Apothecary, Fragonard, a gift I got ages ago from a brand I can't remember), this is by far my favourite texture. It the texture of a solid lip balm and feels great gliding against my skin. It doesn't go too oily and doesn't leave that dry/sticky finish either.

Strength-wise, you have to get close to the skin to smell anything, even when it's freshly applied. I actually get a better scent pay off from most body lotions, so I'm disappointed. Longevity-wise, I still smell faint traces after 3-4h later, but I definitely have to be looking out for it and the scent's completely different since only 1-2 notes linger.

Scent Reviews

Now the site doesn't seem to work properly for me, and I can't get the scent descriptions at all. When I picked these scents, I picked them purely based on their names, betting on the fact that I typically love gourmand scents.

Pumpkin Mocha

This mostly just smells like a spiced pumpkin pie, full of cinnamon & cloves. I smell the mocha for only about the first few seconds before it disappears under the stronger pumpkin pie scent. The weird thing is, my skin seems to bring out an actual pumpkin smell underneath it all. Not pumpkin after it's been drowned in brown sugary goodness, but the actual wet fruit. Eventually, there's a wintery spearmint smell that emerges that hides the wet pumpkin smell. Now it smells like eating pumpkin pie after brushing your teeth. I still find it a delicious gourmand scent, but it's totally unexpected.

Cranberry Cocktail

I smell some cranberries, mingled with a minty apple smell. The minty smell eventually became the strongest smell there is, and the fruit smells went way into the background. I actually can't smell any of the cranberries 5-10 minutes in and it mostly smells of minty apple blossoms in the rain. Again, it's awesome but completely unexpected.

Overall Review

I want to like this so much since I love the scents and the texture of the perfume, but I really don't see the point of buying a perfume that's less scented than a body lotion. Sure, it's cheap right now, but it's not that cheap. I'm definitely not going to buy any more solid perfumes from them unless they reformulate to make the scents stronger. 

Monday, May 26, 2014

Review & Recommendation: Pretty & Polished

Recently, I just made my first indie eyeshadow purchase from Pretty & Polished!

The colours are gorgeous and it was hard not to buy the entire store. I got 3 nail polishes in total:

Cuttlefish and May Flowers are both colour changing nail polishes. I've bought colour changing nail polishes before and gotten disappointed by the minimal colour change, so I wasn't expecting much to be honest. I was so wrong. These change so much. My nails had the most gorgeous ombré look most of the time. I guess my nails don't warm up evenly? 

May Flowers: It goes white when it's warm, green when it's cold.

This is totally the lazy girl's ombré nails.
May Flowers with Cuttlefish. Cuttlefish is supposed to turn from blue to white when warm, but it only goes to light blue on me.

I'm definitely impressed with these colours!

I also got a non-colour-changing nail polish because I couldn't resist how gorgeous it looks. Check out Catnip! Sweet Babies!

Ran out of nail space, went on to toes.
Please excuse the grossness. I failed at giving myself a pedicure and this toenail was the only one that didn't look like the work or a 4-year-old imitating a Pollock painting. 

Their turnaround time's not too bad. It took them 4 days to ship my products and I received it 28 days after ordering. I've just subscribed to their monthly subscription boxes. I'll let you know how that goes!

If you're interested in their subscription box, they're still having a promotion that lets you buy 12 months for the price of 10, and 6 months for the price of 5. That makes a box $18.33 instead of $22 for US customers, and $25 instead of $30 for international customers. an international customer, I save $5 instead of $3.67! Finally! There's a perk to being international! Woot!

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Review: Haus of Gloi Pumpkin Butters & Whipped Soap

I finally got around to trying my HoG pumpkin butters & Selkie whipped soap. You can get them here! They're releasing part 1 of their summer scents today at noon PST, so you should definitely check them out. Anyway, here are my reviews to further tempt you all...

Selkie Whipped Soap Review

Oh my gods this feels so amazing. The texture is exactly like frozen whipped cream: stiff but foamy, and melts against your skin. It's non-drying and feels like cream against your skin. I regret only getting one of these. They're not available until the new summer scents are out, so make sure you get them before they're out!

"The break of waves, gurgling sea foam, kelp, rain tinged air, sand smoothed driftwood and wild sage."

Scent-wise, Selkie smells amazing. At first, I only got a strong wave of the blue smell crashing in, and I thought it smelt like the wild sea. It conjures images of high waves crashing into cliffs, sending sprays of water and earth. Then a sandalwood scent that brings up romanticised images of old chests in forgotten attics emerges. Emphasis on my experience, old chests in forgotten attics usually just smell like mothballs and the various critters that called it home at some point in time.

Pumpkin Butter Review

I definitely recommend these. I was surprised at how thick this body butter is. I wasn't sure what to expect from a pumpkin-based, vegan body lotion, but it's just like any other body butters. I do like that it still gets absorbed easily even though it's thick, and I don't have to work hard to rub it in unlike some body butters I've tried. The finish is like any other body butters: thick and buttery, slightly sticky. The stickiness disappears pretty fast and you don't end up with that oily, greasy feeling though.

I got pumpkin butters in 3 scents (Depravity, Mango Sticky Rice, Troika), and here's my review for all 3 scents in pumpkin butter form:


"Pure corruption: clove, nutmeg lurk amongst the sweetest offerings of coconut, on a bed of rich golden amber, laden with dustings of sandalwood and spilled wine."

Wow..the spilled wine is definitely strong. There's definitely a distinct leftover wine smell and that's all I smelled at first. Then I started picking up other scents and it smells like wine stained carpets, leather and the sickly sweet melange of perfumes worn by ladies of the night (you know the type -very heavy, musky, powdery and too sweet).  It makes me think of a high end gentlemen's club or the morning after a wild and expensive party. It's a scent that somehow smells expensive and cheap at the same time, and completely captures the trashiness and classiness of a night of wine tasting that devolves into a night of drunken debaucheries. Depravity is definitely an apt name for this.

It's surprisingly pleasant, but I know I'll definitely hate this smell if I'm hungover. Personally, I'm not too crazy about this scent, since it brings back too many memories of taking care of sloppy drunks in college. If you're a huge fan of wine smells though, this is perfect for you.

Knowing my sister is an alcoholic in the making, I offered it to her and she loves it because it really smells boozy. She describes the scent as, "Wine mixed with sherry."

Mango Sticky Rice Pumpkin Butter Review

"Sweet mango, coconut infused rice and toasted sesame."

The scent is heavenly, it makes me sooo hungry! They definitely nailed the sticky rice scent, but I just think it needs a bit more mango. I also kept feeling that something was missing, and after a while, I finally got it. It needs more of a pandan scent. All the good mango sticky rice I've tried will always include pandan to make the rice even more fragrant. Even so, I still love this scent. I wear it to sleep almost every night now! Another item I need to get in full size.


"A trinity of soft milks, almond, oat and coconut, lashed with sweet agave nectar and the ethereal scent of clean white."

Initially, I thought it smells like the perfect milky smell -a smell that's more milky and cottony than cloying. Then it finally hit me what this smells like: almond milk tea with boba. I really love this smell and have a huge craving for boba milk tea now. Definitely getting this in full size, and buying one for my bf's mom for brownie points.


I'm a huge fan of gourmand scents for bath & body products, so I'm a huge fan of HoG now. It looks like their speciality is definitely in the gourmand scents for bath and body products. I've just placed an order for a full bottle of their Troika & Mango Sticky Rice perfume oils. I'm going to see how they go. If they don't work out, I'm giving up on HoG's perfume oils and sticking to their bath & body products.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Perfume Combinations


Midsummers Dream  Rapunzel + Alkemia Vixen = Fresh rain and fairies dancing on a field of flowers. Holy shit this is awesome! I don't know why but the smell actually becomes light as air. I thought the vanilla would make it heavier, but wow...this is such an airy, rainy smell. It's slightly sweet, but not overpoweringly so. Amazing.

Alkemia New Orleans Love Spell + HoG Splendiferous = A hot cut of creamy, thick vanilla chai, served with a fresh sprig of flowers. Wow...these two perfumes perfectly balance each other out. New Orleans Love Spell no longer smell overpoweringly hot, Splendiferous no longer smells cloyingly milky..this is perfect!

Midsummers Dream Sultan's Daugther + Alkemia Affaire de Cœur = Washing your hands in jasmine scented soap after eating buttered popcorn

HoG Milkmaid + Alkemia New Orleans Love Spell = Sipping a cup of hot chai with a cinnamon stick in it, while sitting on a leather chair. Makes me want to cuddle with my cat. I mean my boyfriend. Yes. Boyfriend, not cat.

This kind of soap.
Image courtesy of:
Midsummers Dream Beauty + Alkemia Calliope = One of those old school bar of soap, the plain white ones that's usually rounded in shape. I love it! The old lady smell from Beauty is gone, but unfortunately, the more "fruity" smell in Calliope is gone too. There's a hint of melons but it mostly has a clean soap smell. I still like this smell though. Reminds me of the time when you're a kid and you're still amused by bars of soap. I hope I'm not the only weird kid who would spend eternity washing my hands just because watching soap lather fascinated me so much..


HoG Milkmaid + Alkemia New Orleans Love Spell + Alkemia A Roll in the Hay = Marshmallows melting in an Indian temple, stomped on by muddy feet. No idea why but all the scents wafting around disappeared and I have to smell close to the skin. My mom says there's an "Indian temple" smell that stank and made me stay away from her. It later disappeared to leave this lingering scent of old pennies, which seems to be a lingering "aftersmell" of all HoG products I've tried so far.

HoG Elevenses + HoG Milkmaid = Salty sweat, rust, orange blossoms, with a hint of Chinese traditional medicine

Alkemia Prairie 66 + Alkemia Vixen = Blue, floral baby powder that's slightly medicated. At least the insecticide smell of Prairie 66 is gone.

Alkemia Prairie 66 + Alkemia Vixen + Alkemia Calliope = Sugared mango & melons, sprinkled in medicated baby powder.

Midsummers Dream  Rapunzel + Alkemia Vixen + HoG Elevenses + Alkemia La Sirena = A high end spa bed in a tropical destination, after an old man wearing strong smelling traditional Chinese herbal salves laid on it. The blue smell from La Sirena finally managed to mask the traditional Chinese medicine smell of Elevenses, but you can still smell it faintly. On top of that clean spa smell I've associated with Rapunzel, there's now a tropical fruit smell..definitely something sour but fragrant like unripe mangoes with grapefruit and melons.

She is so judging you.
Image courtesy of:

Midsummers Dream  Rapunzel + Midsummers Dream  Mermaid + Midsummers Dream  Beauty + Midsummers Dream Sultan's Daugther + Midsummers Dream Snow White = A socialite granny: powder rooms, something a very classy & clean, and a hint of something old. You imagine this perfume being worn by a very proper, Julie Andrews style grandma who's constantly wearing Chanel suits. I instinctively felt the need to sit up a bit straighter.

Alkemia La Sirena + Alkemia A Roll in the Hay = A sweet & heavy floral. It's like someone wore a heavy, old lady floral perfume, changed her mine and tries a cheap, light floral perfume, and now the two scents are fighting for dominance. It's not too bad, but I'm not a fan either.

Alkemia Lux Aeternum + HoG Splendiferous = Honeyed citrus flowers with hints of artificial condensed milk. I would've loved this scent, only the artificial milk smell from Splendiferous still smells pretty strong. Without it, this is a really gorgeous scent -light, sweet, slightly floral and citrus that's not overpowering.

Kill it with fire.

Alkemia Gaea + Alkemia Au Lait = ABORT. Do NOT ever attempt. It smells like insecticide drizzled in artificial condensed milk

Alkemia Gaea + Alkemia Au Lait + HoG Elevenses = Insecticide in curdled milk. What was I thinking? Oh right. I thought something sour would even out the smell.

Alkemia Gaea + Alkemia Au Lait + HoG Elevenses + Midsummers Dream Mermaid = There is really no saving this. Now it smells like cockroaches drowning in bad quality condensed milk. I'm showering. By the way, I actually found a picture of cockroaches drowning in condensed milk on Google. It's too gross to post.

Midsummers Dream Sultan's Daugther + Alkemia Antares = Drowning in melting sugar and incense. Waayyy too sweet and musky.

This looks pretty but your hands won't smell pretty.
Image courtesy of Patricia Nabong
Alkemia Gaea + Midsummers Dream  Rapunzel = Your hands after de-potting hundreds of flowers -there's a vaguely floral smell, but it's mostly dirt. I give up on Gaea guys. Rapunzel eventually wins out and it smells more floral, but you still smell the undertones of dirt.

Midsummers Dream  Rapunzel + Alkemia Vixen + HoG Elevenses = A truck carrying Chinese traditional medicine crashed into a truck carrying flowers. The traditional medicine smell from Elevenses is strong.

Alkemia La Sirena + Alkemia A Roll in the Hay + Alkemia Au Lait = Trying to mask the smell of curdled milk with room spray.

Alkemia New Orleans Love Spell Alkemia Au Lait = Burning a cinnamon candle after you've forgotten to peel off the plastic wrapper, with hints of cloyingly sweet condensed milk. The sickeningly sweet smell of melting plastic is really strong, followed by a strong dose of cinnamon. Guess New Orleans Love Spell doesn't work with all milky scents. 

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Hallpp...glitter glue doesn't work with my eyeliner :(

So I was using Darling Girl's glitter glue to bring out the dimensions in a Müse duochrome eyeshadow.
This is just one colour!

As you can see, the results are awesome! Then I put on my liner (Clio liquid liner in Kill Blood) and this is what happened:

 Gaping hole right there.
Yeah, the liquid liner ended up acting like an "eraser" and erasing all the make up. Even worse, I couldn't layer it back on.

I asked about this on /r/indiemakeupandmore, and /u/misosoup122 may have found the answer. It may be the liner brush being too stiff and wiping off the glitter glue. I currently only use 2 liners, elf liner sealer & Clio liquid liners, and both have stiff brushes. The elf liner has a really stiff, cheap brush (feels like a felt marker tip) and the Clio liners have a very flexible but stiff (perfect for supersharp lines) brush.

So this was my solution: I created my own "liquid liner" so I can use a different brush.

This is what I used:

  • a very, very small drop of Jojoba oil (apparently jojoba is great for sebum control, so it's perfect for my oily lids)
  • a small scoop of any loose powder eyeshadow

So I mixed the oil & the eyeshadow together. Make sure it's not too watery, you want a wet paint-like consistency.
This is still too watery, so I added more eyeshadow in. I mixed dark brown & red.

And this works!
I wanted the duochrome eyeshadow to look more like an eyeliner, so I erased the edges to get them crisp.

Finished look!

I'm actually wearing mascara on my top lashes.

See? That's how much of my eyelash my eye eats up.
Another pic to show the shift. I'm only using one eyeshadow colour and the "liner"!

EOTN: Simple Candy

Monday, May 19, 2014

Review: Midsummer Dreams Apothecary Perfume Oils

Some time ago, I reviewed Midsummer Dreams Apothecary. You can check the store out here.

I only got the chance to review the solid perfumes then since I received the package right before I was heading off to Singapore, and the perfume oils were unfit for travel since they were already spilling all over the place when I opened the package. 

When I finally got the chance to review the perfume oils, I decided to postpone my review until I received my perfume oils from other brands so I can give a more fair review. This was my first perfume oil purchase ever, so I won't know what's good or bad. I was really excited to try out perfume oils since I've heard mixed reviews about them. While I read some posts saying the usual alcohol spritz on perfumes last longer and smell stronger, I've also read that perfume oils last longer and smells more complex. This brand was my first try, and I immediately wrote down my impressions when I smelled it. I then tried them all out again after reviewing perfume oils from 2 other brands (Haus of Gloi, Alkemia), and edited my review accordingly.

Perfume Oil Quick Review

I've seen some reviews saying these perfume oils lasts only about 1-2 hours, but for me, I can still smell it 3-5 hours later on my skin. Maybe it's because I live in a warm, tropical country, so smells just linger. The smell does stop wafting above my skin after 1-2h, depending on the scent. I realize that this is a bit on the short side after I've tried Haus of Gloi and Alkemia, but he owner, Cheryl, mentioned on reddit that she's open to reformulating the fragrances to make it stronger. So I'm positive this would improve soon. Here's a quick summary of the wear times:

  • Beauty
    • N/A. This was a miss for me and I scrubbed it off, but I wore it for 2h and the smell was still strong before I washed it off.
  • Mermaid
    • Wafts around: 2h
    • Just on the skin: 6h
  • Rapunzel
    • Wafts around: 2h
    • Just on the skin: 5h
  • Snow White
    • Wafts around: 1h
    • Just on the skin: < 3h
  • Sultan's Dauther
    • Wafts around: 30 min - 1h
    • Just on the skin: < 2h

Also the perfume oil samples were leaking when they arrived, but Cheryl also mentioned some time ago that she's fixing this issue and I noticed newer reviews had different sample bottles. I'm assuming this issue's already solved. 

Scents Review


Image courtesy of: Midsummer Dreams Apothecary
Notes: Amber, Sweet Grass, Honeysuckle, Rose, Jasmine

First Impression: There's a sharp, herb-ish smell that's almost medicinal. Not a fan.

5 min in: Oh my gods I'm in love!  It morphed into this fresh, clean smell that makes me think of fresh linens in a tower overlooking the sea. Reminds me of trips to spa in Baden Baden, Germany or walking around in Santa Maria Novella in Florence.

30 min in: Definitely smells like clean soap. I once read that Coco Chanel's inspiration for her iconic scent is that fresh, clean soap smell she used to smell while living in a convent. This smell definitely evokes that imagery. A gorgeous, stone convent surrounded by beautiful gardens, filled with fresh-faced nuns who'll be nothing like the scary nuns I remembered from my childhood. 

1h in: Can I swim in this? I just feel like I'm in a different place and era when I smell this. I'm definitely in a fucking castle. A modern one like those castles refurbished into 5 star hotels, of course. Actual castles in non-romanticized bygone eras stank since people didn't have proper plumbing. 

2h in: Still the same soap smell, only there's something a bit woodsy in the smell. I love it. It's like lying in a soft, clean bed after prancing around in a meadow like a unicorn on crack. This scent no longer wafts around by 3h, but I can smell it faintly on my skin for up to 5h.

Overall impression: This is a scent that really sparks your imagination. If I'm ever playing D&D, this is totally the perfume I'm using. Only I'd probably be the shittiest player since the only thing I'll be doing is staying in my fucking castle. I smell too good. 

Image courtesy of: Midsummer Dreams Apothecary


Notes: Vanilla, Amber, Rose, Rosewood, Oakmoss

First impression: There's a burnt, tobacco smell I don't really like.

5 min in: I smell a bit of leather in. It's starting to smell like an old library. Leather, tobacco and old books.  I kinda like the smell, but it's definitely too masculine for me.

30 min: It smells like old ladies now. Very heavy, heady smell that reminds me of a grandma's powder room -very heavy, musky, powdery smell. The vanilla & rose is definitely strong.

1h in: This definitely isn't a perfume for me. It smells too much like an old lady. There's a hint of something faintly medicinal.

2h in: Oh wow..the smell is still really strong. It still smells like an old lady. I ended up washing it off since the scent's not for me. 

Overall Impression: Maybe it's because of Indonesia's hot, tropical weather -warm, heavy smells just smell too heavy and heady here. I liked Valentino's Rock & Rose, which has strong notes of vanilla and rose, but this scent smells much heavier than that. 

Update 08/08/14: Beauty has aged beautifully after about 4 months! It now starts off as a very light and fresh rose, instead of the burnt tobacco & leather smell. As it wears on, it gets heavier and becomes this very creamy, warm florals that's a tad old lady-ish, but not as bad as it was the first time I tried it. It's a perfume I can see on a middle-aged Madame de Pompadour -a sophisticated, lush woman brimming with secrets and charm. I picked Madame de Pompadour out of all famous mistresses since there's something Rococo about this perfume - it's heavy, grand and florid.


Image courtesy of: Midsummer Dreams Apothecary
Notes: Sea salt, lotus, vanilla, Puakenikeni flower, gardenia, bergamot

First impression: There's a very sweet liquorice smell.

5 min in: The more flowery, sweet smells are definitely coming out. It smells like a minty bouquet of flowers, with traces of vanilla. I kinda like it.

30 min in: On first whiff, there's a very fresh scent (almost reminds me of ice) with a hint of something wild I can't place (it may be the sea salt). Then, slowly, a more muted, creamy flowery smell comes out.  Out of all the perfumes, this seems to be the strongest scent in humid, tropical weather -I can smell it wafting around me even as I walk. Definitely a good thing.

1h in: The sweet, liquorice smell is back. I'm personally not a fan, but I know my mom would love it since she's a fan of liquorice. The smell is now wavering in between sweet liquorice or a minty bubblegum, with a hint of something floral. Reminds me of entering a high end candy store where they have interesting flavours like lavender chocolate and chrysanthemum candy. 

2h in: The smell has settled and it smells like candied flowers with a hint of a coppery smell underneath the fresh, cool smell. The smell is a bit faint after 3h, but I can still smell it on my skin 6h later. 

Overall impression: Metallic, candied flowers. I actually like the smell once it settled, and I can see myself using this pretty often. This is one of the strongest scents out of the 5 scents for me. 

Update 08/08/14: I sniffed this again after about 4 months and this unfortunately didn't age well. It got much heavier and the candied smell becomes a bit artificial. It ends up smelling like a cloying car perfume :(

Sultan's Daughter

Image courtesy of: Midsummer Dreams Apothecary

Notes: Vanilla, Jasmine, Amber, Fig, Ylang Ylang

First impression: Unlike the solid perfume version, the perfume oil version has a faintly medicinal smell when it's first applied.

5 min in: The perfume oil definitely smells creamier than the solid perfume. Not sure why. It still smells like a Javanese massage with a hint of a heady incense. A very creamy, flowery smell. 

15 min in: The heady incense smell disappears faster and morphs into the clean, almost soapy, jasmine smell a bit earlier. Comes in around 10-15 minutes. 

30 min in: The smell is stays as clean, soapy jasmine, though there's a hint of something creamy that wasn't present in the solid perfumes. Probably the vanilla and amber. 

1h in: The smell is relatively faint now, but I can still smell it on my skin. 

Overall impression: This scent is the one that lasts the shortest. It's actually a really great smell, but all my Indonesian friends weren't fans. They find it too ordinary and it just smells as if they just got out of a massage (to be fair, the essential oils most spas use here are awesome). But I can see non-Indonesians going crazy over this smell since it would probably smell exotic and sensual. If you've had great memories of trips to Bali and Javanese massages, you'll probably love this smell. 

Snow White

Image courtesy of: Midsummer Dreams Apothecary
Notes: Vanilla, Apple, Ylang Ylang, Balsam, Cedar, Rosewood, Pear, Bergamot, Fig

First Impression: Still smells like minty rain with a hint of apples. Though in the perfume oil version, there's a hint of something bitter. This is definitely Snow White's  poisoned apple -juicy, tempting, and seductive, with a hint of bitter poison. When I tried to describe this scent, the first thing I thought of was "forbidden fruit"....though technically, the biblical forbidden fruit is probably not an apple. 

5 min in: I still smell the apples, but unlike the solid perfume version, I smell less apple and more of a warm, woody smell that was lost in the solid perfume. My coworker thinks it smells like apple potpourri, I personally think it smells like spiced, apple flavoured chai. My coworker countered that she finds chai to be edible potpourri. 

30 min in: The woody smell is definitely more pronounced in the perfume oils. In the solid perfume version, the apple scent is closer to the surface. In the perfume oil version, the apple scent is more muted, buried under the sweet wood scent. 

1h in: There's a more floral smell entering into the spiced wood smell. With the solid perfumes, it starts smelling like apple pie around this time, but with the perfume oil, it smells more like chai. The smell reminds me of drinking a hot cup of chai after getting drenched in the rain. 

2h in: The smell's very faint now and it's a bit more floral. 

Overall impression: For the ancient Greek, the apple was the fruit of seduction. Just because it was so damn expensive. Giving a girl an apple was the modern equivalent of giving her champagne, caviar and truffles. Apples represented seduction. This scent just captures this concept.  I love, love, love this scent. It's an apple smell that's delicious but light at the same time. It makes me hungry and yet doesn't make me smell like ants are about to swarm me.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Tutorial: Exaggerated Ombré Wings

I recently did an exaggerated ombré liner on my monolids.

monolid makeup tutorial

If you like the look, here's the tutorial:

monolid makeup tutorial, single eyelid tutorial

  1. Apply tape. I made an exaggerated wider angle  since that's the look I'm going for.
  2. Create a wing with a white liner on the inner half and a black liner on the outer half. I'm using NYX Jumbo Eye Pencils in Milk & Slate here. I'm doing this so there's even more gradient when I apply the eyeshadows. Don't worry if it's messy, we'll fix it later.
  3. Blend the eyeliners.
  4. I'm using all Müse eyeshadows, but you can just pick any colour that works for you. Apply the orange eyeshadow on the inner half, stopping before the blended black part of the line.
  5. Apply the red eyeshadow on the rest of the line and blend.
  6. Blend in a gold eyeshadow on the inner corner of your eye.
  7. Blend in a black eyeshadow on the tip of the wings.
  8. Dip a q-tip in eye make up remover, and clean up the wings, creating a very crips line.
  9. Remove tape, apply mascara, do brows and tra-dah!

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Review: Darling Girl Glitter Glue & Eyeshadow Swatches

I've been hearing amazing things about Darling Girl's Glitter glue so I ordered seven of them. Yes. Seven. International shipping is expensive so I wanted to just make one big, bulk order....if you're in Jakarta and want one, let me know...

My package arrived and I got a surprise! A sample of Dark Forest & Petit tub of Sakura Season!

Extra goodies? I love them!
This is a picture of the petit tub. As you can see, the jar is barely filled halfway. Apparently it's only 1/4 tsp of eyeshadow. It's not bad for $2.50, but I guess psychologically, I felt disappointed when opening the tub since all the free space makes me feel like I have less product.. Their full-size tub is 3/4 tsp (or 2g) for $5.90. That's slightly cheaper than Shiro ($6) but more expensive than Hello Waffle ($4.50).

I actually went, "Wow...oh." when I opened it.

Turnaround Time

Ordered: Apr 10
Shipped: Apr 23
Received: 8 May

I guess I got used to faster TATs from other indie brands I've tried, so I wasn't impressed it took them 13 days to ship my order.

Another issue I had with their customer service is that I sent them a message asking them for an update when the glitter glue is back in stock. I never got a reply, and only discovered the glitter glue is back when I was randomly checking their page. 

Eyeshadow Review

Both colours I got are extremely glittery, so you definitely need to be careful when applying it. Puffs of glitter flew everywhere, even when I was just tapping excess glitter off. And there's no end to the glitter. There was even a rain of glitter down my face while I was patting the colour on. It's actually really pretty to watch, and I feel like Tinker-freaking-belle, shooting fairy dust off my brush. It made me really tempted to flick my brush around, spraying everyone with bursts of glitter while yelling, "Let's fly! Fly! Fly to Neverland!"

Both colours definitely need glitter glue to work. I struggled to get them to stay on my bare skin (patted them on, blew on them to get rid of the excess dust and most of the eyeshadow blew off my skin too), and while applying them wet got the colour to stick, all the gorgeous glitter disappears and the colours look less special.


Sakura Season

Darling Girl Sakura Season
My iPhone can't capture how gorgeous this colour is! It looks metallic in the picture but in real life, it's super sparkly. With multi-coloured sparks!  

Dark Forest

Darling Girl Dark Forest
Check out the shift!
The camera can't capture the multicoloured glitter again! The colour shifts between dark green and dark blue depending on the angle of the light, and also has multicoloured glitter.

Unfortunately, the colour stained my skin:

My camera doesn't capture it that well, but you can still see the stains. IRL, the stains are more prominent.

Glitter Glue Review

As you can see from the swatches, this thing is awesome. I got Darling Girl's Glitter Glue because the price is awesome at $6.75, and I've given up battling Fyrinnae's website to get a hold of their Pixie Epoxy. I've also read reviews both of them are of the same quality anyway, so I might as well get one from a company that doesn't make purchasing a challenge.

The Glitter Glue is not supposed to work as a primer but check out how smudge proof it the eyeshadow over it becomes!

I smudged hard and the swatch over Glitter Glue just won't budge!
This made me wonder if Glitter Glue would make blending and softening out edges impossible, so I had to do an experiment.

I coated my hand with Glitter Glue and put 3 stripes of eyeshadow over it. I chose really contrasting colours so the blending (or lack of) will be more obvious. 

Turns out, you can still blend the eyeshadow above the Glitter Glue!

Ooooh! Pretty!
It's completely impossible to soften the edges of the Glitter Glue though, so I think I'll just put it all over my lids instead of just the spots where I want the glitter to show. Sometimes I like creating crisp edges by using eye make up remover, so I had to test our if I can do that with Glitter Glue. Well, it's hard. It's similar to trying to wipe eyelash glue off and you can expect similar messiness. 

Messy, messy..

Anyway, I went crazy trying out Glitter Glue with other eyeshadows. As you can see from the swatches below, this product is freaking amazing.

And here's how it fares with a less glittery duochrome:

Glitter Glue just brings out more dimension in the colour!

UPDATE: I just found out Glitter Glue doesn't work with e.l.f.'s liner sealer. When I tried using the liner sealer over my eyeshadow that's placed above Glitter Glue, there's some reaction and the liner sealer ends up acting like a make up remover, and the liner sealer won't stick no matter how hard you try. I ended up using my usual gel liner.