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Saturday, October 31, 2015

EOTD & FOTD: Happy Halloween!

Eyes is Fyrinnae's Rapunzel Has Extensions & Sleepy Hollow + Backstreet Makeup Co's Tangerine. Bonus B+A with Misaki's 2-tone Grey (use FRANMISAKI for 10% off!)

I actually went out with this! Wore glasses to tame the look down!

Bonus eye art!

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Review & Recommendation: Cocoa Pink Bath Products! 5 Products, 9 Scents!

Cocoa Pink is having an early Black Friday sale so I thought I better stop procrastinating and get this review out!

Minkishly, being an awesome friend and the best beauty blogger ever, passed me decants of her Cocoa Pink stuff for me to try out once upon a time. And that's how I got to discover one of the most awesome indie conditioners bath brands ever. After that, I just kept hauling from Cocoa Pink and here is one of my latest hauls:

Had to try everything! This is a group order, so it looks like a super sweet haul!

Cocoa Pink makes all their products from scratch and it shows! They now make some of my favourite products that I can't find mainstream dupes for. Their scents are not all original blends and some are stock scents, but Cocoa Pink is really open about this and denotes which scents are original clearly on their scent list. I'm a huge fan of their honesty!

The owner, Beverly, is also great at responding to all your enquiries promptly so I'm a huge fan of this company. I'm really sad my parents are getting rid of our place in LA, just because that means I'll have to haul less from Cocoa Pink!

So on to reviews! I'm avoiding reviewing scents that aren't in season, so I'm not reviewing everything yet (ok, and I haven't bothered writing up a review for a LOT of them >.<). Since I noticed that the same scent can smell differently in different forms, I'm reviewing the scents under the bath/hair product I tried them out in instead of all in one row. 




Argan Therapy Creme Conditioner

So...about this conditioner....

Beverly wrote this to me:

"Thanks Francesca! I see you really like the Argan now. :) So glad!

Well....that may be an understatement, because this is my current collection of conditioners:

Yup. I really love these conditioners. The texture is very runny and doesn't look promising at first, but it's definitely almost as good as the L'Oreal hair masks I often use. It's as moisturizing as a very intensively moisturizing conditioner, but just the slightest bit less moisturizing than a L'Oreal hair mask. If you want moisture but hate the feeling of heavy conditioners, this is it. 

The gorgeous scent also linger on my hair until my next wash, so that's a bonus! So here are the scent reviews for the different Argan Therapy Creme scents I've tried:

Cake on Mondays 

"Delicious sponge cake made with almond extract, vanilla, and a hint of cinnamon, then slathered in cream cheese buttercream frosting.  May cause irritation due to the spice notes."

This is an absolutely delicious scent. It smells like cinnamon cream! I need this scent in everything! 

Note: The cinnamon in this is strong and may cause allergic reactions for some people so please spot test first if you're not sure.

Thai Red Coconut Tea

"Aromatic red clover tea infused with creamy Thai coconut milk, hints of ginger root and a delicate splash of bergamot."

I was excited for this because I looove the scent of Thai milk tea, but the scent I got is more of this creamy musky conditioner scent. I don't know if it's the suggestion from the name, but the musk makes me want to describe it as a red musk. It smells more like perfume than dessert, and makes me think of  a mainstream sort of conditioner. I'm sure the coconut's there, but somehow, it just blends together to smell like conditioner. It still smells great, but I was just sad it doesn't smell like I just crashed into a boba store and got drenched in Thai milk tea.

Violet Kisses

"A floral blend of sugared violets, magnolia and sensual sandalwood on a base of creamy vanilla."

This is a powdery sort of smell and makes me think more of scented powders rather than fresh flowers. It's a bit heavy, but I wouldn't really consider it "old lady"-ish. It's actually pretty nice, and makes me think more of a Korean scented powder that comes in very princess-y packaging and will be littered in texts telling you you're a beautiful princess and calling you "my lady" unironically.

Violet Pixie Dust

"Violets dipped in a sugary concoction of berries, plums, pears, strawberries and a hint of citrus sprinkled with sweet sugar crystals."

Oooh...this is the candied violets scent that I just love! If you've tried Conjure Oils' Succubus, it smells very similar. I'm a huge fan of this scent and need it in EVERY form!


Soulmate Hair Rescue Treatment

The texture of this conditioner is more solid and similar to a soft body butter, so it's easier to get used to than the Argan Therapy Creme Conditioners. 

So this is supposed to be more intense than the Argan Therapy Creme conditioner, but surprisingly, I found it less moisturizing –it's only about as moisturizing as your normal conditioner. It's still good, and it's still moisturizing enough that my colour-treated & bleached multiple times hair stayed normal instead of going plasticky. However, the Argan Therapy Creme conditioner is just better since it actually makes my hair feel so soft! It's probably more than enough moisture for normal hair, and someone who's not a fan of Argan Therapy Creme's texture can go for this instead.

Vanilla on the Rocks 

"A rich buttery vanilla."

It smells like plain vanilla, only there's a strong waxy smell to it. I'm guessing the waxy smell is the smell of the unscented conditioner. If anybody else have tried the Soulmate Hair Rescue Treatment in a different scent, let me know if there's any waxy scent so I know if it's this particular scent or the conditioner in general.




Voluptuous Body Butter Review

This body butter is thick and doesn't spread easily, but it gets absorbed in about 5.5-7 minutes, which is not too bad for a body butter. As for the strength of the scent,  you can only smell it close to your skin after you apply it.  

Just Breathe 

"Fresh Vanilla bean, West Indian vanilla orchid, pink lilac blooms, lily of the valley, plump green cactus, exotic fruits softly blanketed in beautiful pale musks."

There's that cotton-ish smell I associate with baby rooms, only there's florals in this, making it smell like a baby's room after someone just placed a fresh bouquet of flowers inside. 


Soft Bubbles Scrub

There isn't much bubbling going on, so it feels more like a normal scrub that you're using while your skin still has soap that's only partially washed off on it. It's perfect if you want more scrub than soap! Here's a gif of the scrub in action:

You will not believe how hard it is to shoot a scrub in action on yourself while keeping it SFW. Oh and if anyone knows a good app/site for making high quality gifs that lets you crop the video, let me know! 

Tahitian Monoi Cake 

"Vanilla cake batter injected with candied citrus, moist white cake smothered in whipped buttercream icing touched with nuances of Polynesian Monoi oil."

 The scent makes my brain's a floral yellow cake scent, and I'm not sure if I want to eat it or decorate my house with it. 

White Sugar

"Marshmallow, Vanilla Cream, Sugar Cookies, a drop of Pink Sugar."

I got this as a free sample and was dreading the scent since I noticed that artificial sugar scents often smell like that searing, sweet Pink Sugar scent I hate. This one has that searing artificial sugar scent in it, but the most prominent scent is this delicious strawberry shortcake sort of scent. I actually like it!




Linen Spray spray it on your linen and you can also use it as a hair & body mist. It's pretty straight forward. It's like spritzing scented water on yourself.

Footprints In The Sand 

"Cool waves of coconut water, coconut meat, Persian lime zest, just a touch of  refreshing peppermint leaves all accented by the soft essence of French lavender buds."

Now, I discovered you have to let this one sit. The first time I tried this 3 months ago, I balked. It smelled weird. After I revisited it 3 months later, omg, it's awesome. After 6+ months, it's still awesome but it changed again. So here's my scent review:

First Use: 

There is something off with this smell, that I just can't place. It smells like gumdrops and liquorice (that tends to smell a bit medicinal to me), with the slightest hint of lemons. It's a very refreshing spray and I actually used it on my model to make her skin glisten during a NSFW shoot. She loved the smell, but agreed there's this weird, slightly cough syrupy scent in it.

I honestly can't guess what's in it and got a surprise when I saw the scent description. I honestly can't smell coconut, peppermint or lavender in it. I guess the combination just makes this scent smell a bit weird. 

Left it alone for 3 months:

And there's the coconut! Now it smells like a coconut lime cocktail!

Left it alone for 6+ months:

The lime part got stronger, so now it smells like a beachside lime spritzy cocktail, with some coconut in it. Looks like this is a scent that just needs a LOT of aging!

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Review & Swatches: 3 Australis Velourlips Matte Lip Creams

My wonderful friend, /u/starward-, the gorgeous girl behind sent me a box of goodies from Australia. She's seriously awesome. Anyway, she included 3 Australis Velourlips Matte Lip Creams and here are the swatches!

 Arm Swatches

Lip Swatches

Yes, I have to add the bonus of Shang-Hi mixed with Tok-i-o, which turns into one of my favourite lip colours ever!

Face Swatches 

Contact lenses are Misaki's 2-tone Grey and you can get 10% off with the code: FRANMISAKI

Velourlips Matte Lip Cream Review

  • The colours are so freaking vibrant! I love them!
  • One swipe is enough for full opacity
  • Smooth finish
  • Not drying on my lips (though I live in a tropical country so my lips tend not to get too dry)
  • Still looks comfortable on my lips and doesn't emphasize my lip lines too much

  • Not very long lasting. After it dries, it's prone to rubbing off into little eraser dust-like balls
  • Not very touch up friendly. When it's getting to the eraser dust stage, touching up can make it look cakier and make the flaking worse

Overall, I'll still buy them for the unique colours I can't get elsewhere, but I'm not in love enough with the formula that I'll buy every colour I want. 

Monday, October 26, 2015

EOTD & FOTD: Purple, Gold & Aqua

I've been more active on instagram (@workingwithmonolids) so I've been sucking at uploading this on the blog!

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

EOTD & FOTD: Neutral Work-Safe Look...with funky contact lenses

I was given Misaki contact lenses to try out and I'm having a lot of fun with them! The lens is the 2-Tone grey, and you can get 10% off if you use the code: FRANMISAKI

The eyeshadows are Darling Girl's #breaktheinternet, Farmer Ted & Clandestine over Eccentric Cosmetics' primer!

The purple blush is Darling Girl's Angel Face and the lips is a whole load of colours mixed together. Here's the close up:

Monday, October 19, 2015

EOTD & FOTD: Yellow Lipstick's My Jam

This is Limnit's Between The Lines (full review here). Isn't it awesome?

 Close up of the eye!

Friday, October 16, 2015

EOTD & FOTD: Pink Halo Eyes

Ok, this is a lazy, straight from instagram upload....I've been more active there lately -__-

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Review: 8 Scents from NAVA's Halloween Collection

I ordered decants of Nocturne Alchemy VApothecary's (NAVA's) Halloween collection last year, but never got around reviewing all of them since I got lazy about reviewing discontinued items. NAVA brought back back a bunch of them though, so I'm finally reviewing them now! Since it's been a year, all these perfumes have been aged, so they may smell different from a fresh batch. For my previous NAVA reviews which also covers many of the currently available returning scents, you can head here or click on the NAVA tag on the right.


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. < 5% of scents I try.
  • Like: I like it and may buy a full size of it, but it's not urgent. About 20-30% of scents I try. 
  • 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.With indie scents, that's about 20-30% of scents I try. 
  • Ok: It's okay. I like it enough, but may destash for a good price to keep my collection manageable. About 50% of scents I try. 
  • Destash: Kill it with fire. About 10-40% of scents I try, depending on how adventurous my mood is was while shopping and how familiar I am with the perfumer's strengths. 
  • Age it: Maybe it will smell good one day. One day. Just wait. 


Available Items


Ghost Ship

"Pirate Rum, Pumpkin Rum, Vanilla-Myrrh, Madagascar Black Sandalwood, Black Amber and syrup of Black Crystal Vanilla infused Benzoin-Musk aged in a cedar Pirate Barrel."

The first burst I got from this is a masculine blue musk that reminds me of older gentlemen in wood-filled rooms –I can see it being a cabin in a ship from the olden days when everything was made of wood. The scent quickly becomes rather soapy, so it makes me think more of a modernized "old" ship cabin where everything smells really clean and soapy, but there hints of old wood. Something like this:
This is La Sultana, an old Soviet spy ship turned into a luxury yacht....gorgeous, but costs $250,000/week to charter.
Image courtesy of
After about 3-5 min, unfortunately, it starts smelling like one of those cheap, white motel bar soaps that smells vaguely floral, with old wood. There's also a slight tartness in the scent, but the white hotel bar soap definitely dominates.

As the scent dries down, the cheap, white motel bar soap keeps getting more and more dominant until that's all the scent that's left lingering on my skin as the scent fades.

TL;DR: Cheap, white motel bar soap.

Overview: I'm not sure what's creating that cheap, white motel bar soap bit. The vanilla myrrh mixed with rum maybe?

Final Verdict: Destash


Poison Pumpkin

"SINnamon, Nutmeg, Ginger, Vanilla, Pumpkin Puree, Cream, Crystal, Kobalt were the first ingredients in the perfume recipe....White Cinnamon, Nutmeg, Ginger, Vanilla, Pumpkin Puree, Cream, Crystal, Kobalt, Labdanum, Black Patchouli, Black Musk, Black Vanilla, Black Coconut."

Oh wow. This is the creamiest pumpkin ever. It's pumpkin with heavy, thick, velvety coconut cream, and smells so delicious. It could get too heavy for some people, but if you're a fan of creamy gourmands, this is a scent you want to curl up in bed and go to sleep in. It makes me feel so satisfied and sleepy. It's the feeling of staring at an empty Thanksgiving dessert table and thinking, "Yup. I polished that off all on my own. Good job self!"

There were hints of some note threatening to go sour on me, but luckily, it never did go sour. It's so delicious.

Between 3-20 min, there's a chai spices sort of scent that enters and keeps getting stronger, until I start thinking of creamy Indonesian dessert soups –the ones that have gula melaka (a kind of very fragrant, brown coconut sugar), coconut milk, ginger, and cloves. This scent is a bit heavier on the cloves than the typical Indonesian desserts though.

After about 20 min, I'm getting a dry wood resin in the scent, but it's still mostly that delicious, coconut-y creamed pumpkin that just makes you feel so satisfied and full. The dry wood resin is the kind that smells almost "dusty". The pumpkins started smelling more like wet, boiled pumpkins about 5-8 min later (25-28 min into the scent) and the spices get more spicy. It's starting to remind me a bit of a fall candle, and it does get closer to a fall candle as it dries down, but there's still a lot of the delicious coconut & pumpkin.

I really, really LOVE the start of this perfume and considered buying a full size even though I'm all pumpkin-ed out, but I'm hesitating just because I'm not really a fan of the scent as it dries down.

TL;DR: Creamiest pumpkin ever.

Final Verdict: Love.


Pumpkin Spice & Black Honey

"With the sensuality of our black honey perfume comes a deeper black honey aroma that surrounds the spices of Nutmeg, White Cinnamon, Cardamom, Black Fig, Pumpkin Flesh, Pumpkin-Vanilla-Cream and a drop of Pumpkin infused clove, with drippy rich black honey accord created in the summer of 2014 and left to age in an oak barrel, there will be a touch of oak wood infused naturally into the perfume."

The first burst I got from this scent is soooo amazing. It's a rich complex honey and fresh plant stalk, mixed with that type of creamy pumpkin note in the background that doesn't smell like pumpkins and not really noticeable outrightly in the scent, but just leaves you feeling full and satisfied. I was actually surprised by the fresh plant stalk because I wasn't expecting that zesty, fresh plant stalk scent in a fall scent, but the zest didn't last long since the pumpkin rounds it out as the scent settles on my skin.

The scent is delicious and so very complex! The honey is just so rich and complex, I can only describe it as melodic. I think I'm going to start recommending NAVA for honey notes! Another NAVA scent, Zillah, has one of my favourite honey notes ever.

I start getting a sort of waxy scent after about 3-5 min in. It stays close to my skin, and the overall scent is still amazing, but it does bug me a bit. I wonder what's causing it. The freshness mellowed out and mixed with the pumpkins make me think of wet, boiled pumpkins in a good way. This scent is boiled pumpkins and waxy honey. It sounds plain, but it's really rich and complex. Creamy pumpkin scents tend to make me feel cozy and snuggly –like curling into bed at home with a fluffy pillow. This scent does feel like curling into bed at home with a fluffy pillow....only your home's a picturesque dream home like this one:

You guys need to check out Adnan Bubalo's photos....I end up wanting to quit my job and just travel around the world.

As it dries down, the honey becomes less melodic and the scent gradually becomes that metallic scent some vanilla/cake scents dries down into on my skin.

TL;DR: Boiled pumpkins and waxy honey –in an AWESOME way.

Final Verdict: Love


Trick or Treat

"Black Vanilla Caramel, Black Raspberry Sugar, Black Sugar, Bastet's Black Amber, Candy Corn, Black Cotton Candy, Blue Sugar Cream, Vanilla Flesh, Hot Cocoa Accord, Chocolate Sugar, Angel Food Cake and French Vanilla."

Mmmmm...cherry liqueur filled chocolate truffles! Real ones, not the cheap, artificial kind. It's so amazing and I have to resist trying to lick my skin!

After about 10 min, there's this beautiful, comforting lotion-y sort of musk entering the scent, but  that part stays closer to the skin while it's mostly cherry liqueur chocolate truffles wafting around. The effect created feels like dress shopping in a very understatedly luxurious, classy boutique that serves cherry liqueur filled chocolate truffles, while a personal shopper selects styles personalized to your tastes.

When the scent dries down, it reverts back to cherry liqueur filled chocolate truffle, though it's not as "melodic" as the initial burst.

TL;DR: Cherry liqueur filled chocolate truffle

Overview: Oops, looks like it's raspberry instead of cherries. I still think it smells like cherry liqueur filling though, which smells more like a sweet, syrupy red candy instead of a fragrant fruit.

Final Verdict: Love


Unavailable Scents


Make Me REZ 

"Ethereal Essences of Blue Musk, Red Musk, Blood Saffron left to age and sifted out, Wormwood, Blue Sugar, Pink Sugar, Black Sugar, Bastet's Amber Dragon’s Blood Amber, Wood Violet, Vanilla Absolute, Orange Zest, Sweet Musk, Sandalwood-infused-Patchouli, Boswellia Serrata, Sea Buckthorn, Davana, Liquid Ginger Essence, Nepalese Amber, drop of Black Myrrh, Blue Sandalwood, Pink Pepper, Black Salt, Amber Resin liquefied." –notes coutesy of

Initially, I got sugary honey mixed with clean, light white musk. Depending on which period of the month, I could sometimes pick out hints of woody incense in this part. At other periods of the month the sugar bit gets amplified, and I get hints of a chemical-ish sort of scent that reminds me of bathroom cleaners instead. It's still a pretty scent though!

After about 10 min, the white musk bit takes on that cottony, baby oil quality and turns into that scent that's often described as "Egyptian musk". It's still a clean, classically elegant scent that's not so light but definitely not heavy either. The scent makes me think of very elegant and demure new mothers who end up looking more beautiful and radiant with motherhood instead of haggard and harassed. It's the kind of woman who'll still look gorgeous on a Tatler cover, even after she just popped a baby out.

It's the scent of contentment from having perfect babies in a perfect family while wearing the perfect dress and looking perfect as always. She'll even wear those elegant, flowy white dresses at home instead of stained loose t-shirts and shorts, which would totally be my uniform when I have kids. She's the kind of woman who'll make you feel clumsy and clunky around her without meaning to, but you can't hate her because she's so sweet and acts like the mom everyone wished they had as a kid. I feel almost more maternal and elegant just by sniffing this. This picture totally captures this scent:

And of course, the dress looks gorgeous on her instead of looking like a sack I've kidnapped from my grandma's closet.
Gorgeous photography by Alena Romanovskaya

As it dries down, it gets more woody. It's still clean, but there's hints of old wood.

TL;DR: Elegant, content young mother.

Final Verdict: Like


White Zombie REZ 

"Cemetery Soil of a Zombie grave, Zombie Flesh (leather accord), Japanese Ghost Pine, Crystalline Vanilla (Egyptian Vanilla Orchid stigma Resin), White Musk, Sweet Incense Smoke, Aged Redwood Bark, Russian Teak, Black Forest Extract, N5 Musk (White Egyptian Musk - sensual and slightly spicy), White Pine Needles and Cemetery Musk."–notes coutesy of

The first note I noticed is that watery scent that could be a leather note gone wrong. It's not a blue "water" scent, it's that almost metallic, watery scent that makes me think of water dripping out of corrugated pipe. It's mixed in with a this powdery note and has hints of a berry sort of tartness. The powdery part reminds me of that sort of delicate but slightly heady powdery scent you get from brand new leather seats inside a brand new car.

The tart bit keeps getting more and more dominant on me, so by about 15 min into the scent, I'm getting a berry tartness mixed with powdery, brand new leather seats.

As the scent dries down, I'm getting a dry woodiness and the tartness reminds me more of that acrid black tea note that ends up smelling like dry, dusty, Chinese preserved fruits.

TL;DR: Powdery, brand new leather seats with a berry tartness.

Overview: I'm guessing the tartness is from vanilla going sour on me? 

Final Verdict: Ok


Moon Dust: Kashmir 

"Deep aged Kashmir Red Musk, NA Ethereal Incense Accord, MORE Blue Sandalwood (unreleased), MORE Blue Moonstone (unreleased), MORE Blue Amber (unreleased), Moonstone (African White Vanilla Bean) Studio Limited, Sweet Gray Frankincense Resin and Blue Chypre of Copenhagen."  –notes coutesy of

Oh gods. I mentioned this before, and I'll say it again: I have to avoid anything with Kashmir from NAVA. I've never been to Kashmir, but if I'm basing my impression of Kashmir from NAVA's Kashmir scents, I'd imagine Kashmir to be overflowing with smelly bush animals, because there's always that game-y incense note. Sure, in this scent, it's mixed with that cottony, baby oil scent that's sometimes marketed as Egyptian musk, but the incense still dominates.

To be fair, as the scent dries down, it gets lighter and there's this beautiful, light scent that I can only describe as silvery. It's not a sweet, tinkly sort of silvery that makes you think of Christmas bells, but it is that sparkly silvery that makes you think of moonlight over a lake...but the incense still dominates. I hate anything Kashmir from NAVA. 

TL;DR: Silvery game-y incense.

Final Verdict: Destash


Bleed REZ 

"Rich Kashmir Blood-Musk-Infused Incense, Fossilized Amber, Deep Wood Oudh, Leather Accord (vegan), Balsam of Peru, Champaca, Styrax, Dragon’s Blood Amber, Black Incense, Wood Violet, Orange Zest, Sweet Musk, Sandalwood-infused-Patchouli, Boswellia Serrata, Sea Buckthorn, Black Musk, Davana, Tonka Absolute, Liquid Ginger Essence, Nepalese Amber, drop of Black Myrrh, Blue Sandalwood, Pink Pepper, Blue Sugar, Black Salt, Amber Resin liquefied." –notes coutesy of

Noooooo. There's that incense again. Ugh. Stupid, game-y incense. I don't know if it's NAVA's signature scent or just signature for the Halloween collection. Ugh. There's a red candy mixed into the scent and a musky scent that strikes me as "red", but the that game-y incense note still dominates. I hate that freaking game-y incense note.

As the scent dries down on me, it starts turning into that white hotel bar soap scent. No idea why. With the game-y incense, of course.

TL;DR: Game-y incense with red candy & red musk. Then it turns into white hotel bar soap.

Overview: See? Kashmir. Screw Kashmir.

Objectively though, if you love that game-y incense Kashmir note, you'd love the different ways NAVA incorporates it into new scents. You'll definitely end up going broke in an attempt to get every iteration of this Kashmir note, because I usually end up falling in love with the rest of the scent that excludes the Kashmir bit. If you love the Kashmir bit, I'm pretty sure you'd be in perfume heaven. 

I've been comparing the notes for this scent with Ghost Ship's since the white hotel bar soap dry down is a bit similar. Here are the notes for Ghost Ship:

"Pirate Rum, Pumpkin Rum, Vanilla-Myrrh, Madagascar Black Sandalwood, Black Amber and syrup of Black Crystal Vanilla infused Benzoin-Musk aged in a cedar Pirate Barrel."

The notes they seem to have in common are: myrrh, amber & sandalwood. I'm not sure how that creates a hotel bar soap scent, but my main suspect is myrrh.

Final Verdict: Destash

Friday, October 9, 2015

EOTD & FOTD: A Slightly Muted Yellow Look

I had to resist the urge to paint stripes and turn this into a bumblebee look...

The yellow is Mad Lab Cosmetics' Pyrite, blended into Blanche Neige's Deep Sea. The liner is Eccentric Cosmetics' Fish Tank Amusement, turned into a liner with TKB Trading's mineral wetliner.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

EOTD & FOTD: Trying Out A New Eyeshadow Shape

Trying out a new eyeshadow shape...

Of course for lips, I had to use my go-to Fall colour –Limnit's Extraterrestrial. For the full review, head here!

Monday, October 5, 2015

Swatches & Recommendation: Swatches of 15 Limnit Shades!

On July 7, I got the most awesome surprise for me in the mail!

Trina from Limnit sent me 16 lipstick samples to swatch!

I accidentally got 2 Castle In the Sky though, so the swatches are for 15 colours only.

Limnit is a brand I've tried before, and you can find my previous review here. I love Limnit –not only do they have really gorgeous, bright colours, Trina is so awesome customer service-wise, and always responds so quickly to my questions. I usually get a respond within a day, and sometimes even within a few hours! 

Anyway, Trina had just reformulated her lipsticks, so I was really excited to try out her new formula. I actually wanted to publish this exactly 3 months since I received the package, but I have a business trip tomorrow so I'm publishing it a day early. 

Lipstick Formula Review

In my previous review, I mentioned the lipsticks hardening with time to the point where they were almost impossible to use. That's why I decided to delay this review by 3 months, just to make sure this new formula will survive the test of time. Guess what? It did! 3 months in, the lipsticks are just as creamy and smooth as they were before! I did the arm swatches on Oct 3, and they were still a dream to apply. And yes, they're very pigmented. 

The formula doesn't feather so you can use these without a lip liner. They're not drying on me and I found them really comfortable to use. They do fade around the middle of my lips after about 2-3h, but that's normal lipstick performance on me. 

Non-traditional lip colours like greens and blues are a true test of a lipstick's formula since any streakiness shows up pretty easily. Almost all of Limnit's colours passed this test with flying colours. The only colour I had an issue with was Between The Lines, which was very "oily" in texture so I had trouble getting an even application and building it up. Flower Maze has a similar issue, but to a much, much lesser extent. It's only one (or two, if you count Flower Maze) out of 17, so I think it's just a bad batch. 

I noticed Freestyle, Olive My Love, and The Other Side has a softer texture than the rest & melts more easily, but it didn't really make much of a difference to me application-wise. 

Overall, I'm extremely impressed with the formula and strongly recommend this brand!


All done under natural light over bare skin:

Ms President, Punk'in, The Fuchsia is now, Swept Away, Racin Carnation, Petal to the Metal, Castle in the Sky, extraterrestrial, bewitching hour, deepest taupes and dreams, flower maze, freestyle, olive my love, the other side, between the lines

Btw, I made a typo that I only caught now after I've copy & pasted the text on ALL the swatch pics. 

My phone's white balance went crazy with some colours for the lip close ups. I've tried to colour correct as much as I can:

Ms President, Punk'in, The Fuchsia is now, Swept Away, Racin Carnation, Petal to the Metal, Castle in the Sky, extraterrestrial, bewitching hour, deepest taupes and dreams, flower maze, freestyle, olive my love, the other side, between the lines

Full face for more accurate white balance:

Ms President, Punk'in, The Fuchsia is now, Swept Away, Racin Carnation, Petal to the Metal, Castle in the Sky, extraterrestrial, bewitching hour, deepest taupes and dreams, flower maze, freestyle, olive my love, the other side, between the lines

Oh, and I think Extraterrestial is going to be the IT colour for Fall. What do you guys think?

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