free day friday: s’mores cookies!

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I’ve decided to start doing a thing I’m calling “Free Day Friday,” where I post about stuff other than makeup or perfume. Because I love makeup and perfume, but I also like a lot of other things, like food and books and music and tv shows and weight lifting, and sometimes I want to write about those things too, but I don’t really feel like having three different blogs to attend to. So. Here is the inaugural Free Day Friday!

Let’s kick it off with some cookies.

Last night around 10 pm, I got a bug up my butt to bake some cookies. This isn’t too unusual, actually. I love to bake – it’s kind of a stress-reliever for me – and I was having a very nerve-wracking, high highs and low lows kind of day. So, cookies. I also happened to have a couple bags of Dandies in my pantry, and some graham crackers that needed to be used up… clearly, the answer was s’mores cookies.

Guys? These are amazing. They have the perfect cookie texture – chewy and soft on the inside, slightly crisp around the edges – with pockets of uber-sweet gooey marshmallow and chocolate chips. The graham crackers mostly got crushed up into the batter, but the flavor comes through, and since I couldn’t find vegan cinnamon graham crackers (I think they exist, but I couldn’t find them last time I went shopping for graham crackers), I added some cinnamon for a tiny bit of spice.

Very slightly adapted from this recipe (I pretty much just added cinnamon), and lovingly illustrated by moi.

PrintAnd here’s one of said cookies in action, being delicious as hell:

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My lunchtime cookie strikes a pose.

Happy Friday, everyone! Go make cookies.

a few dc reviews + a wild solidzilla

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Cloudswing (oil and solid), Kendraberry, Love & Sharks, and a massive mega-solid of Limerence

One of these things is not like the other…

Your eyes do not deceive you – that tin of Limerence is enormous. When the shop re-opened, I ordered three solid perfumes: Limerence, Tilt-a-Whirl, and Hellbender. When my order arrived, I thought the package felt heavier than it should… and when I opened it up, I found that all three solids were giant-sized – twice the size of the (already larger than average) normal solids, to be exact. I believe they’re in the tins Evonne is using for the Field Shark bug repellent balm. There was a note in my order saying that her shipment of regular tins was delayed, so my solids were super-sized!

To be honest I feel a bit bad, because I ended up with 2x the amount of product I paid for, and I really wouldn’t have minded waiting a few more days for the regular tins to come in. That said, obviously it’s pretty cool to have these comically large solids – in addition to the massive amount of product, there’s totally a novelty factor to them. Here’s a gif with Cloudswing for comparison:

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Huge! No worries about slathering these babies on. I feel like I could use them as body lotions and they would still last for ages.

Anyway, onto the reviews. As always, they were done as blindly as possible, with notes and descriptions added after the fact.

Cloudswing: A bright, crisp, golden-green scent with notes of warm hay and vanilla and mowed clover and marigolds and lemongrass.

In the bottle, it’s lemongrass, intense and sweet. On skin lemongrass is the dominant note, but it’s joined by sweet vanilla and something a little grassy and green. That latter note amps up a bit more as it dries. I love lemongrass scents, and this is a really lovely one – bright and sweet and fresh, it smells like rolling down a wild, unmown green hill on a hot summer day feels.

Looking at the notes, I’m thinking the “grassy and green” thing is the marigolds, perhaps in combination with the hay.

Kendraberry: A bright, effervescent honeysuckle spritzer, tempered with fresh fruits and juniper and green tea and amber and ozone.

In the tin this smells floral, but also almost musty, like dead flowers? On skin it’s much sweeter and fresher (thank goodness), floral but not heady and a little fruity as well. There’s something at the base of this that I don’t completely love – it’s a bit of that thick, musty green note I get from the cold sniff – but overall I enjoy this much more than I expected.

However, it does seem pretty faint in the throw department in comparison to most other DC scents – perhaps the oil is better for that? I’ll probably grab a bitsy at some point (because I have The Problems) to compare. You know. For Science. I’ve found most of DC’s solids quite potent (with the exception of Tilt-a-Whirl), so this is a bit of an outlier.

Love & Sharks: It’s rich and deep and salty, splashed with apricot and true black cherry and rum and clove and a fantastically fine vanilla oleoresin from Madagascar.

In the tin it’s sweet, salty, and a little peppery. I would eat a snack that smelled like this. On skin I get pepper and spice right away (clove?), with just a touch of sweetness to keep it from being overwhelmingly savory. This one is interesting. I’m not usually a huge fan of pepper-heavy scents, and I do prefer sweeter scents, but inexplicably I kind of dig this. It’s salty and spicy and weird.

I layered a little Hellbender solid over this and I like the combination a lot! I believe I’ve heard tell of a Sharkbender solid appearing before, and I can see why. It lends some much-needed sweetness to the salty, spicy Love & Sharks. (It’s still kinda weird, though.) I may get a FrankenBitsy of this mix, if L&S can be bitsied. Also I will soon own a L&S solid with my very own shark drawing on the label, so this one will be swimming off to a new home at some point.

Limerence: Limerence is a rich floral – not a grandmotherly floral, but a moody blend of bruised Casablanca lilies, bittersweet succulents, full-bodied herbal essentials, a heady crust of sea salt, and a wonderfully fine mitti attar that’s the essence of first rain hitting sun-baked earth. 

In the tin this is intensely floral, heavy on the green parts. It smells damp and almost moldering (DC’s floral notes always seem to smell that way to me on cold sniff). On skin it smells like walking into a flower shop or a greenhouse on a warm day – floral, yes, but not just floral. There’s a wet freshness to it, a humidity, a heavy dose of green leaves and stems – it makes me think of aloe plants, thick and heavy and oozing if you break a leaf.

It’s just barely on the right side of “too floral” for me – a touch less green and I would hate this. But as it is, I have to say I think I like it. It’s not really “my kind of scent,” and I don’t know that it’s one I’ll actually wear very often (which makes the ginormous tin even more hilarious), but it’s so evocative and interesting that I can’t help but appreciate it.

I layered a bit of Cloudswing with this and the combination is beautiful. This is another mix to add to my FrankenBitsy wish list.

That’s it for today – my pile of DC scents “to review” is getting smaller! Slowly but surely. If you want to grab any of these for yourself, head over to Darling Clandestine and see what’s in the shop!

dreamworld hermetica firefly swatches

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Curse your sudden but inevitable betrayal!

FIREFLY!! A warning up front that this post is going to be long and full of gifs and quotes, because I can’t not get heavily excited about this show.

As I’ve mentioned before, I’m a huge Joss Whedon fangirl. So whenever brands do collection based on his stuff, I’m basically powerless to resist. I must try them; it is my duty. I’m drawn to them like a cat to a Katsak… that is to say, magically. There are more Firefly collections than any of his other works – I can think of four or five Firefly/Serenity collections, but just one Buffy collection, one Avengers collection (I’m sure there are more!) and zero things based on Angel, Dollhouse (which, meh, it had its bright spots but to be honest I wasn’t a huge fan of that one), or Dr. Horrible (THIS IS A CRIME, GIVE ME AN EVIL LEAGUE OF EVIL EYESHADOW COLLECTION. BAD HORSE. FAKE THOMAS JEFFERSON. DEAD BOWIE. GET ON IT, INDIES!).

Ahem. Anyway, what I’m getting at here is that I’d been meaning to try out Dreamworld Hermetica for a while, but then they released a Firefly collection and my need became greater, and then they had a really crazy sale and, I don’t know, I guess I blacked out or something because a whole bunch of eyeshadows ended up at my house.

Some nefarious actor who isn’t me ordered stuff from other collections too, but those will be featured in another post. Firefly gets its own post, always.

First up, a quartet of warm pinky-purpley colors.

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All shadows were swatched over primer + Pixie Epoxy.

firefly_businessAmbassador: A beautiful rose mauve.

A very red-toned medium purple with a satin finish, inspired by Inara. Inara always gets this sort of color in Firefly collections (if I was smart I would’ve swatched it with Geek Chic’s Ambassador for comparison, buuuut I’m not – I think it’s darker and more purple), which is fine because it does suit the character and her opulent wardrobe. It’s lush and pretty, if perhaps a bit too pink for my personal taste.

Inara: I’d have to say, this is the first time we’ve had a preacher on board.
Book: Well, I wasn’t expecting to see a state official either. Ambassador. [shakes her hand as Mal laughs.] I’m missing something funny.
Kaylee: Not so funny.
Inara: Ambassador is Mal’s way of—
Mal: She’s a whore, Shep.
Kaylee: The term is “companion.”
Mal: I always get those mixed up. How’s business?
Inara: None of yours

 

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JUST MUSH YOUR FACES TOGETHER GOD

Fog: A muddy burgundy/purplish color.

A stunning soft metallic mauvey, pinkish-purplish-tannish-taupeish kind of color. I can’t with this, it’s gorgeous. It reminds me of a less silvery/warmer/slightly more brown version of Shiro’s He Loves His Hammer.

Inara: Mal.
Mal: I got no answers for you, Inara. I got no rudder. Wind blows northerly, I go north. That’s who I am. Maybe that ain’t a man to lead, but they have to follow so you wanna tear me down do it inside your own mind.
Inara: I’m not trying to tear you down -
Mal: But you fog things up. You always have – you spin me about. I wish like hell you was elsewhere.
Inara: I was.

 

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Kaylee smiles and the whole world smiles with her.

Shiny Young Mechanic: Soft pink that has satin finish.

A metallic peach, slightly pinkish. Shiny and adorable, just like Kaylee.

Mal: I don’t believe there is a power in the ‘verse that can stop Kaylee from being cheerful. Sometimes you just want to duct tape her mouth and dump her in the hold for a month.

 

firefly_sleepinessAutumn Flower: Moderate neutral brown with a variety of orange undertones.

A warm reddish brown with coppery shimmer. Zoe’s color palette was all warm browns, creams, and reds, so this is a very appropriate shade.

Wash: You’re acting captain. You know what happens, you fall asleep?
Zoe: Jayne slits my throat and takes over?
Wash: That’s right!
Zoe: And we can’t stop it?
Wash: I wash my hands of it. Hopeless case. I’ll read a nice poem at the funeral. Something with imagery.
Zoe: You could lock the door and keep the power-hungry maniac at bay.
Wash: Don’t know. I’m starting to like this poetry thing. “Here lies my beloved Zoe, my autumn flower, somewhat less attractive now that she’s all corpse-ified and gross… ”

 

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Click to enlarge.

And now some shadows that are kind of a brownish color. (They were on sale.)

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I love this set, I think they all go so well together. Shiny.

serenity_misbehaveNo More Running: Soft peachy pink perfect for a highlighter!

A beautiful pale peachy pink, like Shiny Young Mechanic’s lighter sister.

Mal: You all got on this boat for different reasons, but you all come to the same place. So now I’m asking more of you than I have before. Maybe all. ‘Cause as sure as I know anything, I know this: They will try again. Maybe on another world, maybe on this very ground, swept clean. A year from now, ten, they’ll swing back to the belief that they can make people… better. And I do not hold to that. So no more running. I aim to misbehave.

 

firefly_mercy_combinedHonour: Warm neutral with blue undertones and satin finish.

This is an odd one. It’s kind of a matte putty peach with a very slight silvery blue shift. It looks warmer on an angle and/or in sunlight than it does head on or in the shade.

Badger: What were you in the war? That big war you failed to win - you were a Sergeant. Yeah, Sergeant Malcolm Reynolds, Balls and Bayonets Brigade, big, tough veteran, now you got yourself a ship and you’re a captain! Only I think, you’re still a Sergeant, see? Still a soldier. A man of honor in a den of thieves. Well it’s my gorramn den and I don’t like the way you look down on me. I’m above you. Better than. Businessman, yeah? Roots in the community. You’re just a scavenger.

 

firefly_riverbug2Gift: A pretty metallic peach color.

A pretty light pinkish copper.

Simon: I’m very smart. Went to the best Medacad in Osiris, top three percent of my class, finished my internship in eight months. “Gifted” is the term. So when I tell you that my little sister makes me look like an idiot child, I want you to understand my full meaning. River was more than gifted. She was… a gift. Everything she did, music, maths, theoretical physics – even dance – there was nothing that didn’t come as naturally to her as breathing does to us. She could be a real brat about it, too.

 

serenity_mirandaMiranda: Golden overtones with burgundy undertones that has created an awesome bronze color.

A metallic orange copper with some dark red in the base. Ellie threw this in as an extra, which is fortuitous since I almost bought it.

Kaylee: How can it be there’s a whole planet called Miranda and none of us knowed that?
Mal: Because there isn’t one. It’s a blackrock. Uninhabitable. Terraforming didn’t hold, or some such. Few settlers died.
River: [to Simon] I had to show them. I didn’t know if you were going to make me sleep.
Simon: You could’ve asked…
Kaylee: Wait a tick, yeah! Some ten years back, before the war. There was a call for workers to settle on Miranda, my daddy talked about going. I should’ve recalled…
Wash: But there’s nothing about it on the Cortex – history, astronomy… it’s not in there.
Mal: Half of writing history is hiding the truth. There’s something on this rock the Alliance doesn’t want known.

 

firefly_impossible2Browncoats: Medium to dark brown with golden undertones.

A neutral medium brown, slightly warm, with some gold shift. In some lights it’s more reddish, in some lights more gold. It is indeed similar to the color of Mal’s famous duster. (Between Mal and Spike, I feel like Joss really has a thing for dusters.)

Mal: Just focus! Alliance said they were gonna waltz through Serenity Valley and we’ve choked ‘em with those words. We’ve done the impossible and that makes us mighty. Just a little while longer, our angels’ll be soaring overhead, raining fire on those arrogant cods, so you hold. You HOLD!

 

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Second verse, same as the first. Click to embiggen. P.s. Pun totally intended.

My feelings about this collection overall?

firefly_illbeinmybunkThe shadows are very soft and wonderfully pigmented, and the color selection really does represent the overall color scheme and feel of the show well – it’s mostly warm, with lots of dusty neutrals as well some cool blues and silvers to represent the Alliance.

Of the shades I chose, my favorites are Fog, Shiny Young Mechanic, Autumn Flower, No More Running, and Gift, with Fog and No More Running getting absolutely top billing. I’m intrigued by Honour and am interested to see how it looks on – I don’t know that I have anything like it, which is impressive considering the absurd size of my eyeshadow collection.

Dreamworld Hermetica has taken their shadows off the website for a short time because they’re revamping the sizes and pricing, but they should be back soon if you too would like to smear futuristic space western pretties all over your face and then sob them off while re-watching Firefly’s tragically short run for the eleventy millionth time and thinking about what could have been. DAMMIT FOX. Hold me.

low-buy july update #3

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Two orders this week – one from Darling Clandestine as a birthday present to myself, and one at the very last minute this evening after the awesome-looking (and all vegan!) new shop Life’s Entropy announced its opening over on /r/indiemakeupandmoreTechnically that order pushed me over my low-buy budget, but a relative sent me a birthday card with some cash in it, so I’m choosing to count that money toward my budget the same way I would a gift card. A loophole, perhaps, but I think it’s fair enough. Also it’s my birthday (not anymore), I’ll make up rules it I want to.

Before purchasing from Life’s Entropy tonight, I’d intended to spend the remainder of my budget at Blooddrop… now that’s either going to have to wait a couple of weeks or I might make up another rule and sell some things to finance a few new bottles of perfume. I’m undecided. And terrible at this self-restraint thing, apparently.

Darling Clandestine (7/16/14)

Maudlin & Bedlam vegan solid perfume

Fisticuffs bottle

Bitsies of Fire Eater, Step Right Up, and Pestanas

Total: $38.50

Life’s Entropy Cosmetics (7/20/14)

Blogger pack + one extra eyeshadow sample + one extra contour stick sample

(I got the entire Animal Sanctuary collection, Apoptosis lip theory, Proton contour stick, and Neutron contour stick sample)

Total: $25.40 (with discount code)

Combined Total: $63.90

Total Spent in July: $118.26 – $30 birthday cash = $88.26

Remaining Budget: $11.74

a quartet of darling clandestine reviews

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Itsy bitsy bitsies.

More Darling Clandestine today! As always, reviews were done as blindly as possible, with notes and descriptions added after the fact.

Mishigami: Mishigami is inspired by the beautiful Lake Michigan, from Illinois to Wisconsin to Indiana to, well, Michigan, and all its moods, from frantic to placid, and all its colors, from steely black to algae green to misty grey to Caribbean blue, and all its shorelines, from fine beach sands to rocky cliffs to dappled pebbles to soft reedy mud. It’s more than just an “aquatic” scent; it’s got haunting sandy depth that I’m really, really pleased with.

In the bitsy: A deep, sandy aquatic. Not your typical blue, ozone-y water scent. On skin the sandiness seems even stronger – it’s deep, dark, and a bit murky. This is not crystal clear water, it’s the kind of water you wade into and wonder what’s swimming beneath you. I don’t always love aquatics, but I’m on board with this one.

After a few minutes on skin, there is a period where it goes a bit dryer sheet-y, unfortunately – which is the trouble I have with most aquatics. Thankfully that mostly fades before too long and it’s back to sandy, watery loveliness. I’d like to grab at least a solid of this when/if it comes back to the shop.

I wanted a bit more murkiness from this, so I tried layering on a bit of Gram-Negative at one point and it really worked well. Gram-Negative enhanced the deep, murky quality of Mishigami wonderfully, while Mishigami lent Gram-Negative a bit of fresh natural sweetness. I really like this layering combo. It also lasts much better than Gram Negative alone.

Gram-Negative: Gram-Negative is deep, damp, earthy essential moss; sticky green leaf resin; a whisper of black tea; and a rare, rich, mellow, buttery orchid essential oil that is just divine. It’s incredibly smooth, unisex, and one of my new personal favorites.

In the bitsy: DEEP and green. All caps deep. On skin it smells like a thick layer of leaves decaying on the forest floor. Deep, green, damp, and a bit sludgy. It’s intense like that for a few minutes before mellowing into something I can’t even accurately describe – it’s rich, resinous but not incense-y, and almost – oddly – a bit buttery. It’s a very strange scent, but I really like it. It’s a perfect example of how DC scents are heavy morphers – the dry down here smells absolutely nothing like the oil in the bottle or on wet application.

Gram-Negative seems to have somewhat low throw on my skin, so at some point I’ll be getting a solid to try layering this one because I’d love for it to be a bit stronger.

Fisticuffs: Wine and honey and hot blood and concrete, with the green rush of the thrill of the fight. Fisticuffs evolves magnificently on the skin, starting spicy and ending intriguingly cool. Intoxicating and absolutely unisex. 

In the bitsy: Deep and sweet, with a bit of green and the distinct sharp smell of asphalt. On skin the green comes out more and tempers the sweetness at first, but then the honey blooms in a major way and it’s intensely golden and richly sweet. There’s an earthiness in the background, and after a while a light spiciness emerges, but the honey is the real star of this show.

Evonne recommended Fisticuffs to me based on my intense love of La La La, All Right (which I physically and emotionally require a bottle of, please come back La La!), and (of course) she wasn’t wrong. I really, really like this one. As a bonus, it has pretty fantastic throw.

Maudlin & Bedlam: Maudlin & Bedlam is beautifully complex—dark, warm honey and herbals and wood frosted unsettlingly with weeping green leaves. It’s one of my new favorites, with a subtle, sexy drydown, and thoroughly appropriate for ladies and gents.

In the bitsy: Dark and sweet, with a little bit of a minty medicinal quality, like some kind of ointment. (That sounds gross, most because the word “ointment” is gross, but it’s not!) On skin it’s a little less sweet, and that minty herbal-ness is more prominent. It stays like that for a few minutes, and then the honeyed sweetness starts to amp up again, reminiscent of the honey note in Fisticuffs, but less intensely thick and golden.

Maudlin & Bedlam smells like honey mashed with mint and herbs in a mortar and pestle. Overall it is slightly medicinal, but not in a bad way – it’s like wild backwoods folk medicine, some kind of herbal salve you’d mash up to press into a mosquito bite or a burn or a tracker jacker sting if you’re Katniss Everdeen and you’ve volunteered as a tribute in the 74th Annual Hunger Games. I like it a lot. This one also seems to have a bit less throw, so I’ll definitely be acquiring a solid for layering and touch-up purposes.

Most of this stuff is currently available from Darling Clandestine, should you wish to rub any of these smells on and around your person. Mishigami is the only exception, but hopefully it’ll reappear soon enough.

blooddrop “together: women & horses” review

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bd_together1Blooddrop’s new summer collection, “Together: Women & Horses” is based around vintage photos of, well, women and their horses! Each scent has a photo to go with it, which is featured on the label of the corresponding full-size perfume. The little stories spun to accompany the photos are charming, and worth a read.

When this collection was released, my little apple-loving head just about spun around and exploded. So many perfumes with apple notes! I got in on a decant circle, and I’m glad I did – many of the scents I would’ve blind-bought just from the notes alone turned out to be ones I’m pretty meh on, and a few that I wasn’t sure about turned out to be winners. Perfume is unpredictable that way, even if you’ve been sniffing and testing and collecting for years. Bless you, decanters!

As always, my reviews were done as blindly as possible (considering that the notes are written on the decant labels), with descriptions added after the fact.

A Venerable Pair: Orchard peach, warm ginger, chamomile, and white tea.

In the imp it’s sweet, fresh, and fruity. It’s doesn’t change much on skin – it’s all peachy sweetness (but not peach pie sweet or anything) with something almost a little floral floating underneath. That floral-ness gets a lot stronger as it wears, and after a while I get some kind of tea note. It smells like really floral jasmine tea or something. I usually like tea scents (specifically black tea), but this one’s not doing it for me. Overall it goes much more floral than I expected, especially looking back at the notes. Alas, not for me.

Fabulous Golden: Iced tea, juicy pineapple, and sweet passion fruit.

In the imp it smells like some kind of sweet tropical drink. Pineapple for sure. On skin pineapple is the strongest note, juicy and sugary, not tart at all. I can’t tell what else is in here, honestly, but it’s all very, very sweet – verging on cloyingly so. I actually wish that the pineapple were a bit more fresh and tart, because I feel like it might help balance the rest of it out. And again, after a while I get something almost the slightest bit floral.

Looking at the notes now, I assume it’s the iced tea that I’m not loving. It’s like iced tea with a million pounds of sugar. Southern sweet tea. Not sure where the floral thing is coming from – the pineapple? Passionfruit? I usually like passionfruit. In any case, I’m not loving this one either.

Flagstaff Fillies 1: Bubblegum, raspberry sun tea, macintosh apples, bright lemon zest.

In the imp: bubblegum! On skin it’s, yep, bubblegum. I know there are other things in here, but all I smell is bubblegum. It actually smells exactly like this Teaberry gum that I used to love as a kid. Exactly. It’s uncanny. And I love it for that, but I don’t know that I want to go around smelling like Teaberry gum. I will certainly keep my decant, but I don’t think I’ll need a bottle.

Looking at the notes now: WHY DOES THIS SMELL LIKE TEABERRY GUM??

Flagstaff Fillies 2: Granny Smith apples, bamboo, Murcott tangerine, green banana, ginger, vanilla, and white tea.

In the imp it smells a bit like unripe bananas. It’s banana, but green and almost slightly floral. On skin I get a little ginger to go along with the unripe banana. After a few minutes I get something similar to the floral tea note from A Venerable Pair, but it’s not as strong, and the rest of the scent is fruitier. The whole scent is very mild, though. Even with my nose right above my wrist it’s kind of hard to make much of it.

In Good Hands: Hazelnut cake, marzipan, honey, and buttercream.

In the imp: YUM. Very sweet and cakey. it smells like amaretto and frangelico. On skin it’s smoother, without that intense liquor-y sharpness I smelled in the imp. It’s sweet and nutty and buttery. No complaints here. I’ll definitely be adding a bottle of this to my collection.

Never Come Between a Woman and Her Horse: An oh so romantic ladies perfume of rose bouquet, vanilla, sandalwood, and carrot seed.

In the imp I get rose, sharp and green. On skin rose is still the dominant note, slightly perfumey, with thorny green bits underneath. As it wears it goes a bit powdery, though there’s still a freshness to it.

Looking at notes, I think when I got this I assumed it would be sweeter from the vanilla, but it’s not really sweet at all. The powderiness is almost certainly the sandalwood. In general I don’t mind this one, but I do prefer my rose scents sweeter.

Our Sunday Morning Rides: French toast with powdered sugar, and coffee brewing in the background.

In the imp: delicious coffee. Very sweet, with kind of a caramelized toastiness to it. On skin the coffee isn’t as strong – I get more of that yummy cake/bread scent. It’s sweet and caramelized and actually reminds me a bit of Les Madeleines – I even think I smell a bit of sweet orange, though I may be hallucinating that. The coffee is faint in the background, but I’m happy about that since I rarely like strongly coffee scents.

This smells like a really delicious breakfast. It also smells a lot like Froot Loops, which I will not even endeavor to explain because looking at the notes, that makes no sense whatsoever. But. It does. And I like it a lot. It also has the best sillage and throw of the bunch. This one’s bottle-worthy.

Overalls in the Orchard: Various apples, fresh green notes and a touch of bright lemon.

In the imp: crisp, green, and a little zesty. On skin it’s definitely apples, but not overly sweet apples. Green is the keyword here – kind of a watery Granny Smith green. The apple, alas, is quickly overtaken by a kind of generic “green citrus” note on my skin – it’s pleasant enough, clean and Springy but nothing too interesting. I can still smell a bit of crisp apple around the edges, but it’s not the star of the show on me.

I had high hopes for this one – I almost ordered a bottle un-sniffed – but I’m starting to think that Blooddrop’s apple notes don’t like my skin. THE HORROR. They don’t go bad or anything, but they just seem weak. This scent is very faint in general, and didn’t last long on me.

The Old Horse Has Gone to Sleep: Soft blue-eyed musk, brown sugar, lavender, meadow grass, and a wee piece of bubblegum.

In the bottle: bubblegum again, but not just bubblegum this time – it’s soft and sweet and almost a little spicy. On skin the bubblegum is at the fore, with a sweet, musky base underneath. It’s not the intense bubblegum of Flagstaff Fillies 1, though – it’s tempered with other things here. I couldn’t tell you what, honestly, but it’s just got more dimension to it. It doesn’t just smell like gum. It’s got a more earthy sweetness to it. After it wears for a while the bubblegum is less prominent, and that musky sweetness takes over. It’s very warm and soft.

Looking at the notes now, I guess what I’m getting is the brown sugar and lavender. I’m surprised that I get so much bubblegum, considering that it’s pulling up the rear in the description.

I didn’t intend to get a bottle of this, but the decant didn’t get enough interest and was going to be cut, so I ended up sponsoring the bottle. It’s about 2/3 full. I’m happy that it worked out that way, because it’s quite nice. It’s very unique to my collection, too – I don’t have a single other thing that smells like this.

Together: Meadow grass, pear, honey, and a blend of citrus.

In the imp: soft, grassy, lightly fruity. On skin it smells a bit like honey cough drops at first – not in a bad way! It’s like translucent honey candy with a bit of an herbal edge. A fresh, fruity sweetness comes out after a minute or so, along with a hint of citrus. This one is really nice, though it’s a bit faint on my skin. If it were stronger it’d be a bottle purchase for sure.

Scents I’ll definitely get bottles of: In Good Hands, Our Sunday Morning Rides.

Scents I’ll consider: Together (only in this category due to its faintness).

As for the rest – I’ll keep my decants of Flagstaff Fillies 1, Never Come Between a Woman and Her Horse, and Together (for now, until I decide its fate), but the rest will likely find new homes. I have a tendency to want to hoard samples and decants even if I don’t like the scent, or worse, even if I have a whole bottle, which is really pointless and a habit I’m trying to get out of. I’d like to only keep around samples of those scents that fall into the “I like it, but maybe not enough for a bottle” category.

Everything in this post is currently available from Blooddrop.

low-buy july update #2

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Two purchases this week! I didn’t really intend to pick up anything when DC re-opened (who am I even kidding?), but when Evonne posted about having a limited quantity of Limerence solids, well… so much for that. I don’t even think I’ll like Limerence, to be honest, but I’m very much in Pokemon mode with DC (gotta catch ‘em all!) and the phrase “limited stock” lights a fire under my ass like nothing else. And since I was buying one thing anyway, well, I might as well pick up another thing… or two… right? Suuuure. At least I only added on one thing this time and not 15.

The other purchase was on single little decant from an Arcana Coasts of Cascadia circle. Sea Glass is the only one left from that collection that I don’t have either a bottle or sample of, and in addition to the name and description being too lovely to resist, the completionist in me couldn’t pass up the chance to have the whole set.

Darling Clandestine (7/7/2014)

One day before the shop officially opened and I was already placing orders. Eek.

Limerence vegan solid perfume

Tilt-a-Whirl vegan solid perfume

Hellbender vegan solid perfume (add-on when it came back in stock the next day)

Total: $22 + 9 = $31

Arcana Coasts of Cascadia decant circle (7/8/14)

One decant of Sea Glass

Total: $6

Combined Total: $37

Grand Total Spent in July: $54.36

Remaining Budget: $45.62

Not too bad. I’ve resisted lots of sales and things and I’m pretty proud of myself! There’s a ton more I want from DC and others, but I’m hoping my birthday (coming up on the 16th!) will provide some opportunities to pick things up without putting any more dents in my budget.

And unfortunately I’ve got some more motivation to stick to this low-buy situation, because my laptop is on the verge of biting it… two months after my AppleCare warranty expired, while I’m in the middle of a pile of freelance work and a hefty test design project for a job interview. Because of course it is. I thought it died for real last night and I FREAKED THE FUCK OUT. So in addition to saving for a house, I am now saving for a new laptop, or at the very least an expensive fix. Hurrayyyyy.

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hello waffle eyeshadow review & swatches

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Full-size shadows with adorable watercolor kitty labels.

Hello Waffle is a relatively new brand that I’d heard a lot of buzz about over on /r/indiemakeupandmore, but never got around to trying until very recently. They’re closed at the moment, and will be for another month or so, but I didn’t want to just sit on these swatches for that long, so here you go: a post full of eyeshadow you can’t have. YET. Soon!

I placed my order during a sale on June 6th, it shipped on June 24th, and I received it on June 30th. It ran slightly over TAT, which Christine noted on my invoice, but to make up for it she included two extra full-size shadows, which was very sweet. The actual shipping time was not bad at all considering that Hello Waffle is based in Canada. There are downsides to this for the US shopper, of course – shipping is slightly more expensive than what I’m used to from US companies (though still very cheap for international shipping – $6 flat rate, which is probably about half of what the orders cost to ship in reality), and does not include tracking (I believe it can be purchased separately, but it is costly) – but considering that shipping from Silk Naturals is $4+ and also doesn’t include tracking (which, let’s be real, is stupid when it’s US to US shipping), I don’t consider either of these things real problems and they certainly would not put me off from ordering again, especially given HW’s extremely reasonable pricing.

I ordered the Blogger Pack, which at the time included 2 full-size eyeshadows, 10 shadow samples, a full-size blush, one blush sample, one full-size lip balm, and two lip balm samples. I ordered an addition full-size eyeshadow and lip balm, and received another full-size eyeshadow as a GWP, plus two more as a “sorry your order exceeded TAT” gesture. Today it’s all about the eyeshadows; I’ll review the blush and (now discontinued) lip balms in a separate post.

Vegan note: Hello Waffle is NOT all vegan. Many of the shadows and almost all of the blushes contain carmine. However, vegan options are clearly marked, and the (again, now discontinued) lip balms were all vegan. There was some vegan confusion with the blush I ordered (Rose Coloured Glasses), which I’ll cover in the next post. When I ordered I requested that any extra samples be vegan, and the two extra shadows I received were.

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Swatched over primer + Pixie Epoxy.

Snow Bees: White with silver shimmer that has a hint of orange.

Cream with a slightly orangey overlay. This was one of full-size shadow choices.

Dormouse: Pale sparkly taupe.

A beautiful sparkly beigey taupe. This was my additional full-size purchase.

Gryphon: Muted bluish-gray taupe.

Slate or pewter grey, more of a metallic finish. This was included as an extra.

Bartok: Copper with bronze, gold, and red sparkle.

Gorgeous metallic copper with red sparks. This was my other full-size choice from the blogger pack.

Whale Hello There: Pale shimmery lilac, leans blue.

Sparkly pale lavender, leaning blue. I swear I wrote this description before I grabbed the official one off the website. This was a Color of the Month that I asked to be substituted for the GWP color at the time of my order, which Christine very kindly honored.

Rainforest: Vibrant green-blue with sparkles.

A deep emerald/jungle green, a bit less sparkly. This was part of a past GWP duo and was included as an extra. I bet this would make a killer liner.

hw_samplesPlease excuse the raggedy labels on these – they did NOT come that way! Some big dumb dummy (me) spilled a glass of water all over her photo/swatching area. I messed up some of the full-size labels, too. Sad face.

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Swatched over primer + Pixie Epoxy

Pachelbel: Sparkly white-gold, wedding-like.

Sparkly white. I debated between this and Snow Bees for my full-size, and I’m glad I went with Snow Bees. Pachelbel is very pretty but not quite as unique.

Debussy: Soft pastel green with subtle golden highlights.

Pale spring green.

Prince: Dirty bronze shimmer.

Warm medium brown, slightly less sparkly than the rest.

Locked Doors: Dirty brown with gold shimmer.

Warm, slightly taupier brown, very sparkly.

Bae: Dark stormy copper with silver sparkle.

Similar to Locked Doors, but with a more silvery sheen.

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Swatched over primer + Pixie Epoxy.

March Hare: Rich brown with a lively red undertone.

Warm, dark purplish brown.

Wastelands: Brownish red with yellow sparkle.

Sparkly warm golden brown.

Pride: Warm dark lilac with light purple sparks.

A really pretty warm medium purple with reddish sparks. I love this one.

Enchantress: Shimmery copper leaning purple.

Dark burgundy.

Kai: Reddened copper with green, silver, and gold sparkles.

Red with a coppery sheen and noticeable silver sparks. This is a really interesting color.

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Artificial lighting. I put these in the wrong order, herp derp.

Overall I found Hello Waffle’s eyeshadows to be very pigmented and mostly true to their site descriptions. Many of them are VERY sparkly (much moreso than these swatches show), so a sticky base is a must to get the most out of them, though for the most part they don’t apply badly over primer alone. My favorites are Snow Bees, Dormouse, Bartok, Locked Doors, Bae, and Pride. Pride in particular is a gorgeous purple, and one I will definitely be picking up a full-size jar of in the future.

Hello Waffle is closed right now, but should re-open sometime in mid to late August.

darling clandestine pyrotechnik, hellbender, and tilt-a-whirl

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In honor of Darling Clandestine officially re-opening today, here are a few more reviews! I’ve been slowwwwly working my way through the order I made before the shop closed, but now that it’s opening up again I’m going to try to step that pace up a bit.

As always, reviews were done without looking at the scent notes (though of course I do have some general knowledge of what they’re supposed to be), and descriptions were added after the fact. DC’s scent descriptions tend toward long and prosaic – I’ve plucked out the most relevant bits to use here, but I recommend heading over to read them if any of the scents catch your fancy. They usually tell an interesting little story.

Pyrotechnik: This fragrance is a sangria-spicy concoction with bold notes of cantaloupe and raw sandalwood darkened with smoke and earth.

In the bitsy: Deep, spicy melon. On skin I get a strong blast of dirt, dark and dry, with a subtle sweetness underneath. The earthy scent stays at the fore the entire time, and as it wears a dry spiciness emerges. I never get anywhere near as much melon as I do in the bottle – it’s just a very subtle background sweetness. I like it, but it’s different than I expected. I wish the melon were stronger.

I’d like to try layering this with Tilt-a-Whirl or maybe Hellbender for added sweetness.

Hellbender: Lovingly brewed in the seismic dark, Hellbender features notes of raw ginger, toasty amber, saffron and deep, deep vanilla. 

In the bitsy: Warm, sweet, deep vanilla and ginger. Yum. On skin it’s a tiny bit less sweet, and the ginger is spicier. This is a very “hot” scent. Really nice. It smells like some kind of deliciously creamy, spiced holiday drink, in the least foodie way possible, if that makes any sense.

Tilt-a-Whirl: This is a bright, citrusy fragrance that begins fruity and ends mellow and herbal and almost grown up.

In the bitsy: Sweet, juicy citrus with an herbal edge. I want to drink it. The citrus isn’t your typical orange or lemon – it’s sweeter, maybe tropical. On skin the herby-ness (sage) is stronger and the citrus is a touch less sweet. It’s very fresh and summery. I really like this one. It does seem to be the weakest of the bunch in terms of throw, but I picked up a solid perfume to layer with it so hopefully that will help.

Two winners here! But no losers, really. I love both Hellbender and Tilt-a-Whirl, and while I’m not 100% in love with Pyrotechnik, I do still like it. I just wish it were a bit sweeter and more akin to the spicy melon-y goodness I get straight out of the bottle.

Everything here should be available sometime today from Darling Clandestine on Etsy!

low-buy july update #1

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Just one purchase this week! And a rather small one. Midsummer Dreams Apothecary released a set of five new colognes, and since I love manly scents I had to try them out.

Midsummer Dreams Apothecary (7/5/2014)

Sampler pack of 5 new cologne scents

Vegan solid perfume in the scent Mermaid (my favorite from her first collection)

Total: $17.38

Budget Remaining: $82.62