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Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Review: Alchemic Muse Perfume Oils

I recently ordered from Alchemic Muse because their scents sound sooo good! I got:

  • Nevermore - Mini Body Whip
  • Fable - Mini Cream Soap
  • Cocoa Bee - Mini Foaming Body Scrub
  • Wassail - Mini Foaming Body Scrub
  • Figgy Pudding - Mini Cream Soap
  • 2 sets of 3 perfume oil samples

Karen tossed in 2 extra perfume samples for me! I'm still waiting to finish my current products before I try out the body products, so I'm only reviewing the perfume oils. I also got another sample, Zombee from a swap, so I'll just include that in the review.

The envelope's for the perfume oils

Customer Service

Karen was really sweet and responds so fast! I felt so bad since I kept messaging her to figure out the most cost effective international shipping, but she was so friendly and helpful the whole time. The TAT's amazing too:

  • Ordered: 5 June
  • Shipped: 5 June
  • Arrived: 24 June (I got the cheapest shipping option and we had several public holidays, that's why the shipping time was a bit longer than the usual 12-14 days)

Perfume Oil Reviews

These are definitely the oils to get if you like gourmands. A lot of their gourmand smells smell like actual food that makes you hungry, instead of artificial "food" smells that they often scent crayons with (kids seem to love those scents though..there has to be a reason why they keep trying to eat those cursed crayons).

Their throw is ok, you definitely have to get to whispering distance to catch a whiff. They stay this way for slightly under 2 hours before getting relatively faint. By 5-6h, all traces of the perfume's are gone from my skin.

Amber Crush

"Precious golden amber resins crushed together with dark patchouli and sweetened with a veil of bourbon vanilla."

I smell a bit of a medicinal smell that could be patchouli. Most perfumers' "amber" notes are usually warm, musky sandalwood and vanilla, but this amber just smells like patchouli and wood resin. It doesn't smell warm and creamy at all, it just smells like very old, hardcover books. After 10 minutes, there's a bit of a powdery vanilla scent to this, but it's hidden in the background. The old books smell is definitely still the most prominent smell. It ends up smelling like sorting through old books in a library with an old, sweet librarian who wore a musky, vanilla perfume the day before. And as time goes on, she walks closer and closer to you until the musky, vanilla perfume scent is pretty prominent, but it's still fighting with the scent of old books.

Looks gorgeous, smells like death.
Image courtesy of nad11a on tumblr (no longer exists), found on

The old books smell personally makes me feel nostalgic, but I know it's not for everyone. It's not exactly a scent I really want to wear out either.

Overview: I don't know why a lot of perfumers like to talk as if they can extract a scent out of a stone. Either way, if you want to smell like an old library, this scent is it.


"Caramelized brown sugar, sweet blackstrap molasses and creamy coconut milk dripping over ripe Moroccan figs floating on a base of vanilla beans and soft white musk."

It smells kinda like medicinal vanilla berries at first, and eventually, a powdery, musky smell enters. It ends up smelling like musky, vanilla sunblock with something that smells almost medicinal. As time goes on, it gets heavier and sweeter until it feels like you're wrapped up in a heavy blanket of sweetness and ants may start crawling all over you any moment.

Overview: After reading the description, I think I can smell a bit of the figs underneath the medicinal smell. I guess the coconut note they use is the type that starts smelling a bit like sunblock, so this might be something to watch out for.


"Wild bergamot, clover honey, and a light dusting of spice leading to a heart of warm amber and barley grass grounded in a rich base of black vanilla, musk, teak, and worn brown leather."

This initially smells like woody mushrooms, which freaked me out. But it quickly turned into a musky, baby powder scent. A leather bitterness makes an appearance a few minutes in, but mostly disappeared after another few minutes. The smell ends up bring a slightly spiked, musky baby powder. Kinda like someone from Hells Angels trying to babysit and ending up with baby powder exploding all over him.

Your kids would love this dude!
Image courtesy of

Overview: I would expect something deep, dark and masculine from that descriptoon, but this smells very feminine. I tried this on my brother and it smells like musky leather. Slightly less sweet on him, but still very musky and powdery. 

Honey Balsam

"Fresh honey with sparkling notes of bergamot and sweet orange accented by a layer of buttery toffee in a foundation of resinous frankincense."

At first, this scent reminded me a lot of Wild Hybrid's The Beekeeper. It smells like honey lemon, only kinda soapy and lotion-y. As time goes on, the lemon smells more like a floral orange. The soapy smell kept getting stronger until it starts smelling like a fancy dishwashing soap. Fancy. But still dishwashing soap. This dries down to a floral honey-orange soapy lotion.

Overview: I definitely can't smell any toffee in this. I had to smell The Beekeeper again just to check the difference. Now that I'm sniffing them side by side, they're definitely different. The honey in The Beekeeper is sharply sweet, while Honey Balsam is a more rounded, mellow sort of sweetness. There's also more of a soapy lotion smell to Honey Balsam, while The Beekeeper's lotion smell is more of an industrial lotion smell. The drydowns are obviously different. Beekeeper smells like honeyed wood..absolutely amazing.


"Succulent Japanese yuzu fruit and red mandarin grounded in a sensual, earthy base of dark patchouli."

This one I'm not a fan of. The smell bounces from smelling like a lemon & tutti frutti bubble bath or a lemon & tutti frutti dishwashing soap. The lemon smell gets old and powdery towards the end.

Overview: This doesn't smell like yuzu at all! I'm guessing the old and powdery smell comes from the patchoulli.


"Some of the best things happen in the dark… sweet Bulgarian lavender over an intoxicating base of Madagascar vanilla with a most decadent touch of dark chocolate."

Warm, honeyed vanilla lavenders. This is such a relaxing scent. Lavender tends to smell cold and airy to me, but this is a warm, heavier lavender, with the perfect blend of creamy vanilla. As much as I adore BathSabbath, I think this scent captures their Moonchild concept ("a relaxing blend of vanilla, Lavender, Cinnamon and Brown sugar") better. This is gorgeous! This scent makes you feel like you're snuggled into a mountain of soft, goose-feather pillows.

Overview: I decided to go for a second sniff since I can't seem to smell the dark chocolate in this at first. I still can't smell it. Dark chocolate tends to smell like sweet wood on me though, so it may be what's causing the warm sweetness.

Pinapple Milk

"A perfect blend of fresh, tangy pineapple enveloped in rich and creamy milk sweetened with raw sugarcane."

This smells like this chewy Japanese pineapple candy:

Image courtesy of ptotheenguin on Flickr
Well, like a milky pineapple. A tamed down, candy version of a piña colada. And the milk is an actual milk candy taste. It smells delicious and not at all cloying or artificial. I love this!

Overview: Since the name already gives out the notes to expect, I'm not too surprised here.


"Let trade winds sweep you away with an exotic and inviting brew of hot, creamed ginger infused with Sumatra coffee and fresh coconut milk."

Starts of as pure, unsweetened coffee before a cinnamon bread smell enters. I'm really impressed, there's a "baked" smell to this to make it smell like actual baked goods instead of that fake play-doh-ish "cake" scent I often smell. I'd say it smells like cinnamon buns and coffee, only it's not sweet at all, so it's closer to unsweetened cinnamon bread and coffee.

Overview: Huh..that's weird. I don't smell the ginger or coconut, but I wonder if the both those notes mixed together ends up creating that "baked" smell? Either way, this is a delicious gourmand scent and I'm in love!


"A thrilling concoction of sickly-sweet honey and warm beeswax over a layer of aged patchouli, crushed clove, and darkened vanilla pods."

This is amazing. It smells like woody honey with a bit of florals. There's also a soap sort of scent to this. Not soapy. It smells like you're smelling the scent off a soap bar. It smells warm, deep and old, yet clean at the same time. Makes you think of how this bed would smell like after someone (presumably a clean woman) slept in it:

I want this room..
Image courtesy of

Either way, I'm so in love with this scent! Out of all the scents, this has the furthest throw on me. I can smell it while I'm typing!

Overview: The honey is not "sickly-sweet" at all! It's just the perfect amount of sweetness! And the patchouli is the quiet kind that you can't smell at all, but it must have done something to make this smell so awesome!

So out of 9 scents, I'm in love with 3 (Sumatra, Nightshade, Zombee), hate 3 (Amber Crush, Blackstrap, Mystique), and are ok with 3 (Deadwood, Honey Balsam, Pinapple Milk). Not a bad mix!

Saturday, July 26, 2014

My Hair Care Routine

Today I got asked again about what I do to keep my hair soft and smooth, since people are often surprised by how it feels despite everything I've put it through. Thanks to maintaining an ombré hair between Aug-May, my ends have been dyed 6 times and my entire hair has been bleached twice in 11 months. So yes, my hair high-mantainance in the moisture department.

These are what I use to keep my hair soft:

L'Oreal Hair Mask 
This is what I use instead of a conditioner. I discovered how awesome L'Oreal's hair masks are after I tried dyeing my hair at home with a L'Oreal kit (I failed). The conditioner they included made my hair incredibly silky and soft for the next two days. I immediately got a L'Oreal conditioner, but I'm afraid it didn't have the same results. Then, I tried a L'Oreal hair mask and that was the one that worked. I've tried various types of L'Oreal hair masks and all of them had the same effect, so now I just get whatever's available/cheapest. As long as it's in a tub, it works.

CV-Third Treatment – Water Matrix leave-in conditioner

Best leave-in conditioner ever
Image courtesy of

The water matrix leave-in conditioner is awesome, I've been using it since I was 14 (over a decade!). It managed to keep my hair smooth and silky even when I had hair this long:

Yes, pooping was a pain. I had to wrap it around my neck like a scarf.

Argan Oil 

Alas, all the colour treatments got too much even for that leave-in conditioner to handle, so I've added argan oil into the mix since May, and now I'm hooked. Argan oil is amazing. The brand I use is Orofluido's argan oil (scented with vanilla and sandalwood! Smells sooo good!), but I think any brand would do. 
I discovered it when my stylist, Nobu, added some argan oil to my hair right after dyeing it. Once my hair was blown dry, holy shit it's baby unicorn hair soft. I whipped out my wallet immediately. It's only Rp 150,000 or USD 15 when I bought it. And guess what? A little goes a long way so this thing is going to last me forever. It's been 2 months and I still have a nearly full bottle!  
I usually only use a dollop about the size of a quarter (or SGD 50¢ coin, or Rp 500 coin), and work it into my damp hair after showering. I either sleep on it or style as usual, and the only trace the oil leaves is that my hair is now super soft. I used to hate hair oils since they felt oily and weigh down my hair, but argan oil gets absorbed so fast and leaves my as soft and fluffy as the fur of an angora rabbit. 

And that's it. Also, if anyone's looking for hairstylists in Indonesia, I recommend mine:

Nobu Salon
Dharmawangsa Square City Walk, 3rd fl #57
Jl. Darmawangsa VII & IX
Jakarta Selatan 12160

Phone: (021) 9121 4528 or (021) 9121 4504

I usually go to this outlet since I only go with Nobu himself, but they do have another outlet in Citywalk:

Nobu Salon
Citywalk Sudirman
Citywalk Sudirman, 2nd fl #23
Jl.KH. Mas Mansyur 121
Jakarta, 10220

Phone: (021) 9127 1870 or (021) 9722 7377

Monday, July 21, 2014

Pretty & Polished June 2014 Beauty Box

So after searching around, I finally figured out which month this Beauty Box is for. It's June's subscription box. I received this on July 15. I was a bit surprised it came so late, but when I emailed Pretty & Polished over my missing voucher (which the box was supposed to have), I was told that my box initially got returned to them, and that's why it came so late. I still haven't received my July box yet, so I'm guessing it'll take as long.

So here's what's inside:

There's no info about what I got, so I had to check the website figure out what the Blue Raspberry is. I'm guessing it's a bath bomb. So here's what I got for $30 (price for international subscribers):
  • 2 Full Size Nail Polish
  • 2 Mini Nail Polish
  • 1 dotting tool
  • 1 filo stick
  • 1 mini bath bomb
  • 30% off voucher

I have to say, out of all the subscription boxes I've tried, this is the one I find most worth it. 

 Here's the colours on my nails:

Ocean View is a metallic turquoise and green glitter. It's very pretty but I'm kinda sad since this is very similar to Rainbow Honey's Midnight Fountain, which I have already. Pretty & Polished has a better formula, so I think I'll give away my Rainbow Honey and keep this.

From left to right: Ocean View, Pixy Chix over white base, Solar Power Purple, Golden Child over white base

Pixy Chix is a clear base with confetti-like red, green, blue, and purple microglitter. On the swatch, I used it over and Essie matte white polish to show the effect. This is VERY glitter heavy and what you see is only one coat! Love!

From left to right: Ocean View, Pixy Chix over white base, Solar Power Purple, Golden Child over white base

Solar Power Purple is supposed to be a white base filled with purple and red matte-ish glitter, that shifts to lavender under the sun. Since I'm a huge sucker for any effect polishes, so I'm happy. This is very translucent and it took me 4 coats to achieve this opacity. Maybe it's meant to be worn over something else. The colour was initially a pale, cloudy white. Then it became this slight lavender colour and stayed that way. I guess I was expecting it to shift more often and more drastically, so I'm not sure if I'm applying it wrong. 

In this picture, I put Solar Power Purple under a UV lamp for about a minute or two to see if that'll trigger more of a change. Nope.

Golden Child Top Coat is a clear effect top coat with gold flecks. It's gorgeous and I definitely will wear it more often. It's very smooth and shiny, and definitely a great top coat even without the gold flecks. On the swatch, I used two coats of it over an Essie matte white polish to show the effect. 

Saturday, July 19, 2014

FOTD: Tropical Colours!

Since the mood in Jakarta's been so jittery lately, thought I should brighten up my day at work with tropical colours on my eyes. Here's featuring Nomad, Balinese Monkey Chant & Fish Tank Amusement by Eccentric Cosmetics on my eyes:

Nomad's the lime green, Balinese Monkey Chant's the brown, and the blue's Fish Tank Amusement. All worn over Eccentric Cosmetics' primer

Full face!

Where did all the colour go?? T.T

Product list:

  • Dior Hydralife BB Cream (Luminous Beige)
  • Biore Perfect Face Milk
  • MUS Wonder Powder (Kalahari)
  • Eccentric Cosmetics High Intensity Primer
  • Eccentric Cosmetics (Nomad, Balinese Monkey Chant & Fish Tank Amusement)
  • Müse (various custom colours)
  • Fiberwig mascara
  • Maybelline Falsies mascara

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Review: Rainbow Honey

So I ordered a bunch of Rainbow Honey stuff from Femme Fatale while they were having a sale.

I have to make a quick rave about Femme Fatale's awesome customer service. Check out how fast my stuff was shipped:

Ordered: June 15
Shipped: June 16
Received: June 23

Omg, now I know how people living in America feel! I usually wait a month before getting my stuff! 8 days! During a sale! And I got a handwritten note! OMG. Mind. Blown.

I do enjoy everything!

I ordered a cuticle balm in Worth the Truffle and the following nail polishes:

I love the labels, makes it so much easier to figure out which is which! I wish more companies would do this!

Worth The Truffle Cuticle Balm Review

"Deep cocoa with a smooth and creamy finish."

I waited until I've been using this for close to a month before I post the review. Yes, they're very moisturising! I'm arranging my manicures in order of when I took them, and you can see my cuticles improving over time. They're still very dry and ugly thanks to my habit of peeling on peeling cuticles, but they've definitely gotten better. 

Scent-wise, I initially hated it but it grew on me. It smells like stale chocolate popcorn. Not very appetising, but the scent does grow on you and now I love it!

Packaging-wise, it comes in a slim tube with waterproof packaging. When mine came (stupidly forgot to take the picture), the top of the balm has been cut smoothly so it looks very professional. Definitely something I'd buy again.


  • On Femme Fatale site: AUD 5.50
  • On Rainbow Honey site: USD 5.00

Rainbow Honey Nail Polish Review

I got a mix of consistency for the formulas, so I'm not sure how I feel about this brand. Leonids and the top coats had a smooth, easy to apply formula, while the other 3 had goopy, streaky formulas. I find that these polishes tend to chip within 1-2 days. Nail polish tend not to last long on me thanks to how rough I get with my hands, but usually, they last about 2-3 days. 


  • On Femme Fatale site: AUD 11.85
  • On Rainbow Honey site: USD 10.00
This is by far my favourite colour - it's a dried blood red (sorry for the gross description) that shifts to gold. This also has the smoothest consistency out of all the colours I got. Feels like a normal polish!

Leonids on most nails, Papillon on ring finger

Indoors to show the shift
If you're wondering how I got that effect for Papillon, this is how:

I let the sponge soak up most of the clear polish and then pat on the glitter on the tips of my nails.

Midnight Fountain

  • On Femme Fatale site: AUD 11.85
  • On Rainbow Honey site: USD 10.00
I wasn't a fan of this formula, it's very goopy and streaky. It's a pretty enough colour -dark blue with light blue glitter. I think the colour is no longer age-appropriate for me, though. T.T

Midnight Fountain on most nails, Diamond Weapon on ring finger

Diamond Weapon

  • On Femme Fatale site: AUD 11.85
  • On Rainbow Honey site: USD 10.00

It's supposed to be grey with silver with a gold shimmer, but I honestly can't see much of the gold. Maybe I got too used to strong shifts in indie eyeshadows. The formula is also goopy and streaky, and this ended up looking very clunky and messy to me.

Diamond Dust

  • On Femme Fatale site: AUD 11.85
  • On Rainbow Honey site: USD 10.00

This is a clear base with holographic sparkle. I wore this on top of Diamond Weapon and it's sooo gorgeous. I can see myself wearing this frequently! This one also feels like a normal polish so I'm happy!

Left: Diamond Weapon + Diamond Dust
Right: Diamond Weapon

Another shot to show off the sparkles. Diamond Dust is only over my middle finger. The gold polish is a Sephora polish that no longer has a label.

Diamond Dust applied over all nails. Check out the sparkles!


  • On Femme Fatale site: AUD 11.85
  • On Rainbow Honey site: USD 10.00
This is a clear based with butterfly glitter! I was a bit disappointed since I somehow expected this to be more glittery, but the glitter is a bit sparse so getting the effect out is hard since I mostly got clear polish. This is 2-3 coats of Papillon over Nails Inc's Chelsea Physic Garden:

The Bubbly Scented Top Coat

"Living up to its name, this scent is effervescent, bright, and just a bit juicy - perfect to celebrate any occasion!"

  • On Femme Fatale site: AUD 11.85
  • On Rainbow Honey site: USD 8.00

It's not particularly fast-drying, shiny or long-lasting, so it's just like an ordinary top coat, except that it's scented. Very gimmicky but I fell for it hard and I'm still resisting the urge to buy more of these! The scent is absolutely delicious! It smells like a fizzy citrus soda, and I swear you can even smell the fizziness in this. The scent lasts about 2 days, though it's a bit faint by the 2nd day. 

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Review: Debaucherous Bath & Body

UPDATE 7/12/14: I canNOT recommend this brand at all, after it came to my attention that many of this shops customers experienced problems with their orders. /u/minkishly had a bad experience with them, and I already linked her post about it before. We thought her experience may be an unfortunate one off experience, but it turns out that the terrible customer service (shipping label created without anything being sent, 0 communication, missing items, going way above the stated TAT, etc.) happened to many people. You can read about it on Evolution of a Foodie

Another disturbing fact is that this brand used to call themselves Haus of Haunt, basically stealing the name of 2 existing popular brands –Haus of Gloi & Haunt. I really can't recommend this brand at all.

Thanks to the lovely enabler, /u/minkishly, the awesome writer behind the Minkishly blog, I ended up with a bunch of Debaucherous Bath stuff to try out! Since I didn't buy these and got them as gifts, it's best to read Minkishly's post for reviews on the customer service & TAT.

Here's my review for a whipped soap, body lotion, lip balm and some perfume oil samples!

Alice’s Nightmare in Wonderland Whipped Soap

Image courtesy of Debaucherous Bath & Body

"Rotting pumpkin flesh, overripe peaches, drizzled with caramel, touched with liquid black amber, hot butterscotch, wicked spices and soft hay."

Texture-wise, it's a bit hard for a whipped soap and ends up like a regular soap that's been softened by many uses. It ends up having a similar sort of feel as refrigerated butter -takes time to melt and will always turn into that one last freaking sliver that just won't melt.

The scent also disappears fast. Almost immediately after it's rubbed on, actually.

It makes it really hard to identify the scent. Initially, I got some delicious caramel fall cake scent, but before I can identify it further, it just disappears. The strongest smell becomes an old soap smell that even unscented soaps seam to develop. Reading the scent description was definitely a surprise for me.

I finally stopped being stupid and decided to sniff this soap out of the jar since the smell is pretty strong that way. Underneath the caramel smell, there is a peach scent, but overripe peaches is the right description for it. You know that sickly sweet smell rotting peaches get? Smells slightly delicious but with a cloyingness to it to warn you the peach will probably explode into mush if you're lucky, or worm-infested grossness if you're unlucky. It still smells mostly like caramel fall cakes and old soap.


  • Full size (5.5 oz): $10 for most, going up to $12 for certain scents
  • Samples (1.5 oz): $3.75 or $4.50 (only available for select scents)

Red Queen's Rage Body Lotion

Image courtesy of Debaucherous Bath & Body

"Red Damask Roses, tempestuous clove, followed by smoky vanilla, frankincense and ylang ylang."

It smells like water and roses! Such a gorgeous scent! There's a bit of a sunblock smell mixed into it too, but I didn't mind it that much. Initially, the scent is strong and hits you as soon as you open the tub. After you rub it into the skin, the throw disappears fast, but you can still smell it from inches away. The smell is surprisingly light and fresh, which is the opposite of what I was expecting based on the scent description.

Texture-wise, it's a very thin, slightly runny lotion that spreads easily on your skin. It leaves a thin, oily layer that only takes 8-10 min to absorb.


  • Full size (5.5 oz): $10 for most, with some scent going up to $14
  • Sample size (1.5 oz): $3.75 (only available for select scents)

Caramel Embrace Lip Balm

Image courtesy of Debaucherous Bath & Body
"Rich Caramel swirled in with Dark Chocolate and a dusting of Cinnamon"

This comes in slimline tubes, which I love because they make application neater. I hate the feel of lip balm going outside my lips so I'm all for this.

Unfortunately, the caramel flavour lasts only a second. I swear. It disappears almost immediately upon application and I had to look out for it to notice it. It just leaves behind this weird, waxy taste. It's sweetened but I'm not sure what it's sweetened with. I'm assuming stevia. This is what it says on their product page:
Screenshot taken on July 15, 2014
I can't taste the dark chocolate or cinnamon. I tried sniffing this instead and got the sour smell of a caramel note going sour. It's still moisturizing though!

Texture-wise, it's slightly stiff but melts into a consistency that's similar to frozen vaseline, with the same vaseline-like "stickiness".

Price: $3.50 for a 0.07oz tub

Perfume Oils General Review

Image courtesy of Debaucherous Bath & Body


  • 5 ml: $15 for most, with some scents going up to $26
  • Samples: $3.50 (yikes!) for most, with some scents going up to $6.50 (O_O)

I like the concept of these perfumes and they're extremely delicious gourmand scents that manage to avoid smelling horribly artificial. I honestly fell in love with all the scents I tried out. Unfortunately, the throw is weak, and my nose has to be an inch or two away from my skin to smell it even right after application. If I apply it on my wrist, I can't smell it when I sniff the back of my hand. This is even with my nose pressed against the back of my hand. By 10 minutes, I have to smell it close to the skin and by 1 1/2 hours, it's very faint. Faint traces linger on your skin for over 9 hours though.

I'm so sad about the sillage or longevity since I like these scents a lot! If they're better, I would definitely get a bunch of scents in full sizes.


"Caramelized sugar, cocoa butter, cotton candy, white florals, oakmoss, precious woods, dark amber and raw honey."

This smells like blue, salted caramels. There's that watery blue scent that I always associate with masculine colognes that I like but the salted caramel smell is strong as well. Almost overwhelmingly sweet at moments, and keeps threatening to overpower the blue scents. My brain ends up confused...this scent definitely makes me feel in lust, but I'm not sure if I'm lusting over food or a guy. What do I want??? Towards the end, I get a slightly powdery, white floral smell...can't seem to identify what kind of florals though.

Overview: "White florals". Well that's helpful.

This smells more feminine to me, but Minkishly mentions that this may smell great on a guy. So obviously, I had to smear it on my little brother...

Less than a month into his summer break and many, many perfume tests later, my awesome brother has resigned to his fate and barely complained even though he hated the smell of this. The blue notes are less prominent on him, and the caramel doesn't go too sweet or lean towards going sour. He ends up smelling like delicious salted caramel. I don't know why he's complaining. When it dries down, he got the same metallic smell I often get and the scent smells like metallic caramels.

Mau Loa

"Oahu night sky consisting of sweet plumeria, orchid lei, mai tai’s [sic] and salty ocean air."

First, it smells like a floral, soapy cantaloupe, with a fizzy lemon sitting in the background. The fizzy lemon balances precariously on the edge of smelling like dishwashing soap, but luckily, the sweet floral cantaloupe smell overpowers it most of the time.

Overview: I swear I smell a cantaloupe-ish scent somewhere in here. Not sure where that came from. Maybe it's the plumeria mixed with mai tais. I had to check out the recipe of mai tais because this doesn't smell like the mai tais I've tried. Yeah, no cantaloupe either. I like this scent, but it's definitely different from what I'd expect from the description.


"Black forest cake, a raspberry rose filling, chocolate liqueor, European black chocolate dusted with French cocao."

It starts of as cherry liqueur chocolate truffle, but the cherry starts to blossom and become slightly floral.  By 10 minutes, that metallic smell I often get from gourmand smells appeared and now the scent smells like metallic, floral cherry candies. A bit of a weird, old butter smell starts appearing in the background and slightly ruins this scent for me, but it's strong enough for me to totally hate this scent. Unfortunately, that old butter smell mixed with plastic cherries is what dries down on my skin after 1 1/2 hours.

Overview: Despite all the chocolates they threw into the notes, the chocolate notes disappeared fastest on me. I guess the cherry and raspberry rose bit was stronger. The floral is very light and airy, and not like what you'd expect from a  rose note.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Making New Colours With My Hello Waffle Tinted Lip Balms

I really love how Hello Waffle's Ginger Kitties mixed with Cotton Candy looks on me, but I'm getting a bit too lazy to carry two colours with me at all times. So I thought I might as well try combining them!

First, I disinfected eveything and then put a chunk of Cotton Candy & a chunk of Ginger Kitties in a microwave-safe bowl. 
I love disinfecting stuff...

Next I microwaved then until they melted. I can't give an estimation of how long it took since I'm way too impatient and kept opening the microwave after every round the bowl made.
Mix that all up!

Next, I just poured it into an old lip balm tube (disinfected, of course) I have and let it set. It set in about 20 min for me!

Now, since I was only using a bit of the tinted balms (in case this mucking around failed terribly), I twisted the lip balm tube about 2/3s to 3/4s up. Unfortunately, I twisted it up too high and ended up with some left overs. While rumaging for a spare eyeshadow tub to pour the leftovers into, I noticed this: 

Lip-safe, you say...? Interesting...

So I re-melted the leftovers and dumped some Schubert in:

Mixing in eyeshadow is messier than I thought...

Only had enough for this little blob, but it's good enough!

Now swatches!

Top: Cotton Candy + Ginger Kitties
Bottom:  Cotton Candy + Ginger Kitties + Schubert

 Cotton Candy + Ginger Kitties

Cotton Candy + Ginger Kitties + Schubert
There's a more purple-ish tint IRL

So on to the most important question! Did I ruin the tinted lip balms? Nope!

Taste-wise, they're still the same. Texture-wise, the graininess in both seem to have gotten finer. The Schubert mix is even finer and I'm not sure if it's because of something in the eyeshadow, the lowered percentage of carnauba wax content, or the product getting melted twice. 

The pigmentation is just as rich as before, so no worries there. I think I'm about to have a lot more lip colours soon!

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Review: Wild Hybrid, 10 scents + Soap!

I recently got 2 sets of 5 perfume samplers from Wild  and got a blogger sample of one of their soaps.

Very secure packaging! No leakage at all!

Customer Service

Ross contacted me to let me know when he shipped my order, so I'm happy with the customer service. The turnaround time's not bad:

Ordered: May 30
Shipped: June 3
Received: July 2

This is my first time ordering anything from New Zealand, so I'm not sure if this is the normal shipping time. If you need your order in a hurry, it may be best to contact Ross to check if there are any expedited shipping options available.


5 ml bottles: $13.50, $15.30, $18, $22.50, $27


  • $10.80 for 5 general catalogue scents ($2.16 each)
  • $24.30 for 9 themed scents ($2.70 each)
  • None available for limited edition scents

Perfume Oil General Review

The throw's pretty good. I can smell it while I'm typing when I put it on my wrist. You can even smell it from chatting-with-the-boyfriend-while-watching-GoT-together distance for about 1-1.5h. I picked GoT since it's the kind of show that puts you off cuddling mood, but you're still sitting close together (maybe even holding hands) for moral support because you know a character you love will die. After that, you have to smell close to your skin, but the smell lingers on your skin for about 9-12h.

Some of these are great, complex blends while some struck me as very synthetic smells. The samples I got are for the cheaper, general catalogue blends, so I have no idea what the limited edition scents would smell like. If anyone knows of any decanting circles for this brand, let me know so I can check out how they smell before I commit to a full purchase. For some reason, I often get a different scent from what I was expecting from the descriptions.

As usual, I didn't check the descriptions until I wrote the overviews. And almost every single time, I had to go for a 2nd sniff since I was going, "Wait, what?"

So yes, I definitely recommend getting samples before committing to a full purchase. Now on to scent reviews!


"Tea-soaked fur, caramel cakes with a thin smear of butter, toast crumbs and pink pepper"

This smells like raisins and wood, with an icy coolness. The icy coolness that smells like a medicinal salve calms down to a cold, wet smell. I'm on the fence about this.

Overview: I got confused and went for a second sniff after reading the description. I guess the wood smell can be the pink pepper, though it mostly just smells like old wood. Maybe the kind of wood in taverns that have soaked up a bit of a wine smell. Taverns that look like this:
Obviously, I found this pic on a D&D blog
Image courtesy of:

I don't get butter, toast or caramel either, though the medicinal smell may have come from the tea. There's definitely a raisin smell which I like, but I'm not sure if that's just caramel going sour on me. I know some caramel notes go sour on me. I like this scent better on the second sniff, but it still sounds different from the description.


"Pear, pearlescent flowers, clean linen and honey"

Sparkling, white wine sangria. And it's one of those that'll be served with flowers and bust a hole through your wallet. I swear you can smell some fizziness in this. The fizziness dies down after 5-10 minutes, and it kinda smells like like a cleaned kitchen. There's that clean, slightly soapy disinfected smell with a fruity scent to it. I didn't like the cleaning soap smell, but that's one of the first notes to disappear as this perfume fades. The perfume fades off to this  fruity honey-sweetened wood smell.

Overview: I'm not sure where the fizzy smell comes from. I wonder if the cleaning soap smell comes from the clean linen bit. It smells more like a cleaned floor than cleaned cloth though. I definitely love the dry down!


"Clean linen, fresh cut grass, summer blooming flowers and a touch of soil."

It's a green scent, but there's that bitter freshness you get from crushed plant stalks that makes this more of a realistic scent of greeneries rather than a room-spray sort of scent. The green scent keeps leaning towards becoming overpowering and turning this into a room-spray sort of scent, even thought there's that crushed stalk scent and a bit of a dirty scent grounding it. Towards the end, it's just a full on green perfume that smells very room-spray-ish.

Overview: I got my boyfriend to sniff this, and he describes it as a "generic car perfume" scent. After he mentioned it, I realized he was right. Guess I'm not too crazy about this.


"Night blooming flowers with a touch of campfire smoke and leather."

Ice cold, mountain spring water and leather. This is a more masculine scent but I like it. As it dries down, the slight sweetness in this dies down and it really just smells like wet leather. I like leather, but I know a bunch of people don't like the scent.

Overview: Nope, can't smell any smokiness in this. But then again, I got used to BathSabbath & Darling Clandestine's smoky notes, where you actually smell smoke. Not sure how night blooming flowers smell like, and I actually googled it. Several flowers bloom at night and their fragrances range from "deep and fresh" to "spicy". Not sure which particular flower is picked for this scent, but I guess whatever it is just makes the leather smell wet. I personally like this!

Since this seems more of a masculine scent, I tried it on my guy. On him, it smells more like wet leather, devoid of any sweetness. I like it, but he doesn't.


"Lavender, jasmine, lime, tomato leaf, moonflower and a dribble of cinnamon"

This is such a relaxing scent! It smells like drinking jasmine tea with a slice of lemon, while sitting in a blooming garden after a springtime rain. Unfortunately, the scent starts smelling a bit like lemon soap before the cinnamon becomes the most prominent note. Eventually it smells more like drinking a sweetened cinnamon drink with powdery lemons. Not too bad.

Overview: This is one of the scents where the cinnamon just takes over. I'm not sure where that powdery lemon smell comes from, and I even sniffed this twice to make sure I wasn't imagining things. Nope..powdery, dusty lemons.

Imagine how this smells when it's powdered..
Image courtesy of

Purple Cream

"A luxurious dessert of juicy boysenberries, blueberries and passionfruit in a vanilla cream base."

Grape flavoured syrup water. The artificial, synthetic grape smell is strong. I'm not a fan of this.

It smells like how I imagine this would smell
Image courtesy of

Overview: Nope, can't smell all that. Just an artificial grape scent. It smells like grape sodas, but there's no fizziness to it, so it smells like grape soda that has gone flat, leaving behind a grape flavoured syrup water.


"Cinnamon, butterscotch, almond and spiced musk."

The initial smell is scary, but this ends up great, I promise. Initially, this unfortunately smells like vanilla-flavoured cough syrup. Or Nyquil mixed with vanilla essence. It's sharply sweet at first but calms down to have the most perfect pound cake scent, only it's hidden behind the cough syrup smell. Eventually, the cough syrup completely and this turns into the most heavenly gourmand scent. I have a hard time deciding if this smells of cinnamon spiced milk drizzled in caramel or cinnamon spiced pound cake drizzled in caramel. There's a faintly pound cake scent (actual pound cake, not the artificial kind), but it often loses out to the strong cinnamon smell. As it dries down, the cinammon overpowers the other notes.

Overview: I was getting worried I got the wrong scent at first since I didn't expect something named "Satyr" to be gourmand. I was expecting something more green and earthy, I guess. From the notes, I don't know where that pound cake smell comes from, but I wish it'll stay longer! This scent is still great, even when it goes though!

Summer Garden Party

"Fresh cut grass, cinnamon cookie, strawberry, rose and honeysuckle"

Initially, it's a tart, dirty green smell that I didn't enjoy. Eventually, the dirty smell fades off and this becomes a delicious smell of sweet pomegranate and basil iced tea. This gets very sweet on me though.

Overview: I did a second sniff since I can't smell any cinnamon in this, which is weird since the cinnamon note Wild Hybrid uses tend to overpower everything else on my skin. I guess the mixture of everything ends up smelling like pomegranate tea. A rose and honeysuckle combination usually produces a distinct smell that I often recognize and associate with Midsummer Dreams Apothecary's Rapunzel. I don't smell it here since the sweet, fruit smell and the green smell are strong in this scent.

The Beekeeper

"Honey, pipe tobacco and blackberry"

Just pure honey with hints of lemon. Smells exactly like L'Occitane's Honey & Lemon line, with a slight lotion smell to it.

This is my favourite L'Occitane scent line so I'm happy!
Image courtesy of

Overview: I honestly can't smell any tobacco in this, so I went for a second sniff. I notice there's a bit of a Baygon (popular Indonesian insecticide, smells like Alkemia's Prairie 66) smell in the background. It's faint enough that I still like this. The lemon smell may have been the blackberry, but the honey is so strong that I only smell a tartness to it. On the second sniff, the lotion smell is stronger than I remembered and got me a bit iffy on this, but the dry down is absolutely gorgeous -honeyed wood!

Witches Cottage

"A wild and verdant garden of flowers, herbs, fruits and vegetables surrounding an ancient wooden cottage."

This initially smelled like what I imagined HoG's Strawberry Patchouli would smell like -strawberries with just faint traces of patchouli for that quiet, herbal clean smell. It smells sooo good! Unfortunately, the patchouli went away pretty fast on me, and this just smells like a plain berry smell.

Overview: This scent is more green and fruity than the description makes it out to be. It's a very sweet smell.


Brain Matter Bar Soap Review

"Vanilla syrup and white peach flesh"

Like most soap bars, I find it drying and my hands end up with that dry, sticky feeling afterwards. Scent-wise, the scent smells more of a peach scent that leans towards smelling artificial, but still smells great. While the scent's pretty strong for the bar soap, it disappears fast as soon as you use it.