Tag: perfume/fragrance

The Magick Cabinet Carnelian Perfume Oil Review

I don’t even remember how I first stumbled onto The Magick Cabinet, but their Carnelian Perfume Oil immediately grabbed my attention. I resolved to buy it once autumn hit, as the notes seemed a bit more cool-weather, and when eBates decided to do an unprecedented 12% cash back for Etsy in mid-September, you can bet I jumped at the opportunity! So today, here’s my Magick Cabinet Carnelian Perfume Oil review, for anyone else who was intrigued by this scent but hadn’t yet pulled the trigger themselves.

Carnelian has long been one of my favorite gemstones. My dad was a sort of geology hobbyist – he loved to read about different gemstones and rocks as well as craft geode-inlaid wooden boxes or tumbled/shaped gemstones to sell at the front desk of the motel he managed. He had an uncanny ability to spot geodes in the wild, too – I remember him one time stopping the car and getting out, grabbing a kind of large, lumpy rock, and when we got home he split it open to reveal that it was, in fact, opal. We’d often go visit “rock shops” that completely dazzled me with their bins and bins of beautiful stones of all shapes and sizes. While most of my favorites were probably kind of predictable for a young girl – pink rose quartz, shiny purple amethyst – I always loved the soft, almost milky reds and oranges that could be found in polished carnelian stones.

So when I saw The Magick Cabinet Carnelian Perfume Oil, its appeal to me was threefold: one, the notes sounded lovely; two, I liked the overall idea of fragrance oils inspired by gemstones that actually included said gemstones within the oil; and three: the perfume was inspired by and named for my beloved carnelian.

But enough of my waxing nostalgic – let’s get down to business so you can actually read my The Magick Cabinet Carnelian Perfume Oil review.

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Luvmilk Review: My Favorite Fall and Winter Scents from OfficialLuvMilk on Etsy

So… initially, I meant to have this post about my favorite Luvmilk Fall scents go up on Thanksgiving night, to coincide with Luvmilk’s Black Friday sale – but my SSHD had other ideas, as it went into a death spiral on Thanksgiving afternoon and just barely allowed me to run enough checks to confirm that yes, it was a disk failure and not something else, before I had to completely reset Windows to be able to get into the OS at all and backup the last few days’ worth of files. And given the state the SSHD was in, resetting Windows? Literally took two full days.

I mean, on the bright side, Black Friday is possibly the best day to suddenly need new computer parts, yeah? But it also pretty much nuked any chance I had of writing this post in time for the sale, since even with the crazy fast shipping I get from Newegg (they have a distribution center ~2 hours away), it was still a Holiday weekend and deliveries were backed up… so I didn’t get to install my replacement SSHD (and my new SSD, since I finally decided to pull the trigger on that as well after “meaning to” buy one for about a year now) until the next Tuesday.

I did also totally forget to put a bracket in my order (weirdly, I definitely looked them up, but for some reason did not add them into my order with the cables. I am smart?) and Amazon Prime saved the day, both by delivering the bracket I needed within an hour as well as a 4-pack of one of my favorite semi-local beers:

All in all, not the worst turn of events.

So here I am, with my OS on a new SSD and my PC now all zippy because of it – let’s talk about some yummy Fall and Winter indie fragrances!

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My 2016 Black Friday Haul: Too Faced & Sephora

Now that Black Friday and Cyber Monday are in the rear view mirror, it’s time for my own Black Friday haul post! I pretty much entirely focused on cosmetics this year – initially I was plotting to get a PS4, but with the Persona 5 release date being pushed to April and no really amazing PS4 deals manifesting, I figured I’d just wait and see if anything better pops deal-wise between now and the P5 release date. Sure, Tales of Berseria is coming out in January, but as I still need to work through both Tales of Xillia 2 and Tales of Zestiria, I’m feeling a distinct lack of urgency on the PS4 front, basically. It doesn’t help that my PS3 finally bricked itself so I need to replace that one as well because Sony apparently doesn’t believe in backwards compatibility… sigh.

Uh, so, right. All that is to say, instead of dropping cash on a gaming console, I instead decided to shore up my makeup kit. In preparation for the sales, I went through my cosmetic stash and came out realizing that I desperately needed five things:

  • I had somehow allowed myself to get down to only one small GWP size of mascara
  • I was in serious need of more neutral matte eyeshadows for daily wear (I had TONS of shimmery palettes and vibrant mattes, but my Urban Decay Pulp Fiction palette was my only source of neutral mattes jfc)
  • I wanted to invest in some higher quality brushes because I was sick of my powder brush shedding all over my face every time I applied my pore finishing powder. Yuck.
  • I was about to run out of my shampoo and conditioner and wasn’t impressed enough with either of them to justify a repurchase, so if I could find a volumizing shampoo/conditioner set, that would be stellar!
  • Eye makeup remover. My makeup remover wipes were “accidentally” thrown out by someone who will remain nameless, and the only makeup cleansing water that I had on hand was the Boscia Sake Cleansing Water – which, while it works nicely for removing foundation and SPF, is not something I recommend using on your eyes!

So, with those goals in mind, I started creeping on sites like Musings of a Muse and Temptalia, noting which sites were going to have sales and which brands were releasing limited edition sets/palettes for the shopping holiday.

I ended up managing to check every box on my list (and then some ?), so if you’d like to see how I made out, please read on!

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Barefoot Apothecary Haul Post & First Impressions!

I found Barefoot Apothecary’s Etsy shop when I was trawling for any cardamom-related beauty products. Blame Epically Epic Soaps and their Vanilla Cardamom lip balm for setting me off on this kick, but at least it appears I’m not the only one feeling cardamom lately!

Barefoot Apothecary features an interesting selection – teas, honeys, bath and beauty products, jewelry, and fragrances can all be found in their inventory. I’ve been on a major tea kick lately, so the fact that this shop had cardamom honey, some exquisite-sounding teas, and cardamom perfume oils (as well as lily and sakura fragrances, which are a couple of my other favorite notes), I knew I wasn’t getting out of this encounter without losing some cash!

I ended up ordering a perfume oil sample set, the infused honey elixir sample set, and the smaller size of one of the “perfumed” tea blends.

If you’re reading this on the main page, please click the read more to see my full Barefoot Apothecary review!

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Summer 2015 Sephora Haul

Wow, it’s been awhile since I did a haul post, huh? I’m happy to say that the reason is mainly because I did manage to stick to a beauty no-buy for several months; beyond the essentials like replacement shampoo, deodorant, renewing my PocketDerm script, etc, I’ve been a very good girl and have stuck to just whittling down my massive stash rather than making new purchases.

However, when eBates emailed me with the opportunity to turn my cash back reward into a Sephora gift card, I saw the excuse for a haul and jumped!

This urge was only solidified when I saw that Sephora had brought back a kit that I’d missed and envied horribly last year: their Summer Sun Safety set. Given how the sunscreen category seems to have exploded this year (seriously, browsing through the sun protection category, it seems like almost every brand has recognized what we Asian beauty devotees already realized: people with different skincare needs also have different sunscreen formulation needs, as well – look at all those new products!) it’s actually probably a blessing in disguise that I waited until this year, just for the new variety!

As you can see, I ended up buying a few more things than just the suncare kit… they had a number of kits that really piqued my interest from brands that I’d been lusting after for some time, so I just went a little nuts. This is a full-blown Sephora haul!

Hit the jump to see all the madness~

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A Lab On Fire: Almost Transparent Blue Review

First things first: yes, I’ve been gone a long time. I accidentally managed to delete a bunch of the reviews that I was working on, and in my frustration, decided to just take a break and regroup. Days became weeks, weeks became months, and now here we are.

Jumping right back in, though! Have a fragrance review, why don’t you?

Full disclosure: I am by no means a fragrance expert. I can’t tell you the chemical composition of an aldehyde. I don’t keep up with the hottest, newest niche brands. If that is the sort of person you need me to be in order to survive reading my thoughts on fragrance without clutching pearls at my ignorance, you will be disappointed.

What I am, however, is somebody who likes to both smell nice things and smell nice myself. I’m a bit picky as I am sensitive to smells and so many a time have had to reject a scent based on it being slightly too heavy or having a note that gave me an instant headache. To give you an idea: 75% of the perfumes that I sample, from all price ranges and brands, are too strong or headache-inducing for me. So I figured that I’d write reviews of the scents that actually work for me on the chance that people with the same sensitive noses might benefit.

With all that said, today I’m going to talk about a fragrance that I’ve actually had in sample form for about a year, yet hadn’t really experimented with until recently for no apparent reason.

“Almost Transparent Blue” is from A Lab On Fire, which is a pretty fantastic name for a fragrance house, if you ask me! While I’m sure for some people it sounds more silly and just begets mental images of perfumers screwing up and setting their chemistry labs ablaze, I just think it rolls off the tongue nicely and is unique enough that it sticks in your mind – a good thing for a brand name, no?

The name “Almost Transparent Blue” presumably comes from the Ryu Murakami book of the same name, but as I haven’t read the book, I cannot give any opinion of how well-matched the scent and novel may be.

I purchased my sample from Lucky Scent, which describes Almost Transparent Blue as a “futuristic urban citrus” alongside buzzwords like “strange,” “ultramodern,” “stark,” and “industrial.”

Well, Lucky Scent is prone to some flights of fancy with their fragrance description – and I mean that in the best way possible – but in this case I’m really not sure that I agree with their assessment. Ah, we’ll get to that in a moment. First of all, let’s look at the notes:

Top: Lime and yuzu
Middle: Thyme flower and aldehydes
Base: Hinoki, musk and cedarwood

I suspect that I found this perfume while looking for hinoki, as hinoki wood is one of my favorite scents – it’s just used so much more often in masculine-oriented fragrance. Almost Transparent Blue bills itself as unisex, which can sometimes end up meaning too heavy and heady for my tastes. A lot of perfumers seem to believe that for a scent to be viable as a “masculine” fragrance, they have to make it strong and overdo it (to my tastes, at least) with heavier notes like musk and woods and spice.

I’m relieved to report that Almost Transparent Blue does not fall into this trap. Well, I guess they’d have to avoid being too heavy with a name like that – you can’t call something sluggish and heady “transparent” without some serious dissonance.

For my full review, please click the read more if you’re on the main page. Otherwise, just continue reading!

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My End-of-Summer Bath & Body Works Haul & Thoughts

So last week, Musings of a Muse posted a coupon code that gave free shipping and a ‘Pumpkin Pail’ with almost $80 worth of various pumpkin-themed goodies for $25. Now, just like the rest of the internet, I adore pumpkin anything, so when I saw that they were ALSO having a 50% off all their summer candles and a buy 3small  items for $10 promo…? When you add that to the cash back from eBates, of course I had to jump on the opportunity and do a little hauling.

bbw-pumpkin-pail-2

bbw-pumpkin-loofah

I mean, how freaking cute is the pumpkin-shaped loofah? And look at all the goodies in the Pumpkin Pail! Totally irresistible. Don’t worry if you can’t see inside the pail so well – I’ll be unpacking it and giving you a better look at everything after the jump.

I actually live in the city where Bath & Body Works is headquartered, so I’ve pretty much grown up with the brand – I remember when Iced Pineapple, Country Apple, and Sun-Kissed Raspberry were basically all you could smell at school, haha. I’ve since aged out of a lot of their scents – too many are too cloying and too sweet which translates as ‘too young’ for me – but I still looove their candles and their body lotion formula, so I do duck in to one of the 10 billion storefronts they have in Columbus every so often to figure out which of their current scents I can handle and wear without feeling like I’m doing tween cosplay.

This time around, however, almost all the scents that I bought were new to me and – since this was an online order – beyond Sweet Cinnamon Pumpkin, I really had no clue if they would be as good as they sounded. I justified it because the coupon code and online sales were so good, plus the fact that I’d pretty much only need to drive 5 minutes in any direction to do a return. Seriously, you guys, we have sooooooooo many B&BW here – some shopping centers even have as many as THREE of their storefronts. We are crazy.

This Bath & Body Works haul includes the aforementioned pumpkin set, a bunch of candles, some body lotions, and multiple body sprays/fragrances. Click the read more for photos and my initial thoughts of every scent!

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