Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Candle of the Moment: Diptyque Figuier

Figuier is one of Diptyque's most popular candles. This scent is so comforting; a slightly milky, wood and leaves, fresh yet cold mix.  Compared to the Philosykos fragrance Figuier is less sharp and more of a soothing, smooth version of the fig/coconut scent. Figuier is sweeter, with less of the dry wood and coconut prominence that Philosykos displays. This is one of my favorite Diptyque candles and for good reason.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Cocoa Pink Fall Favorites Sampler Set Review

So, I'm not even going to share how big my Cocoa Pink stash has gotten in the last few months. How did it take me so long to discover this etailer?! I don't know, but I guess I'm making up for lost time, lol.

In the beginning of October the Cocoa Pink Fall Favorites Sampler Set became available on the website.  It's a set of the six most popular Fall scents that Cocoa Pink offers, in six different forms. I love mini sized products, and I love value sets so I had to order it.

Perfume Spray 1/4 oz spray atomizer  in Marshmallow Pumpkin  
Scent Description: Sweet pumpkin blended with our wonderfully light and airy marshmallow.
My thoughts: Smells literally like pumpkin marshmallows. The marshmallow note is strongest, and it is a good marshmallow note; I can smell the powdery, puffy scent of a bag of marshmallows. As someone who isn't fond of spicy notes, it's really hard to find etailer pumpkin fragrances that aren't loaded with spice. Cocoapink offers a variety (and I have tried a number of them) that are truly yummy smelling pumpkin notes without spice.

Ends w/ Argan Benefits 1 fl oz in Midnight Hag
Scent Description: Tart Blackberries, Vanilla Bean Noel, and a splash of Spiritueuse Double Vanilla.
My thoughts: Smells like freshly stewed blackberry preserves with a hint of spice on the bottom that gives it depth. Very, very sweet, rich blackberry preserves, made from juicy blackberries.

Linen Spray 1 fl oz in Haunted Carnival
Scent Description: The haunting aromas of hot funnel cakes coated with delicate powdered sugar, warmed soft pretzels, sticky webs of freshly spun cotton candy and buckets of white fluffy kettle corn flow through the brisk autumn air, instantly bringing you back in time.
My thoughts: The scent of mounds of airy pink cotton candy over a layer of funnel cakes drifting through chilly night air.

Voluptuous Body Butter net wt 2 oz in Pumpkin Pie Spectacular
Scent Description: Sweet Pumpkin blended with gingersnaps, pecans, cinnamon and a sprinkling of sugar.  It is spectacular!
My thoughts: Smells like pumpkin nut bread. Very yummy! As I said above I'm not a fan of spice, but the spice in this scent isn't overpowering, it blends nicely into the mix of notes and enhances the scent.

Princess Poo Shampoo net wt 2 oz in Green Apple Noel
Scent Description: Sweet, juicy crisp granny smith apples with lashings of vanilla bean noel.
My thoughts: I love Cocoa Pink's Noel blends. Green Apple Noel smells like tart green apple juice over a layer of cream. Sometimes it smells like Green Apple taffy as well. It's so tangy and delicious and sweet.

Argan Therapy Creme' Conditioner net wt 2 oz - Halloween Apple Harvest
Scent Description: 3 favorite fall treats all wrapped into one mouthwatering fragrance. Sugared candy apples, gooey caramel apples and Toffee smothered Gala apples all decorated with candy corn.
My thoughts: Smells like sweet Golden Delicious apples. I'm not picking up any distinct caramel, toffee or candy corn, just sweetness. [Though since this is conditioner, I'm not sure if those notes would show up better in other product forms.]

I don't know how long the Cocoa Pink Fall Favorites Sampler Set will remain on the site, so if you're interested I definitely suggest you get it while it's available.

P.S. I love how the set even has special autumn themed labels. So cute!

Monday, October 13, 2014

Alchemic Muse Handmade Soap Sample Set: Travel Size Treasures

I'm really into bar soaps lately. Just a few months ago I was anti-bar soap. Then I discovered cold process etailer soaps. They're a bit more expensive than store bought bar soaps, but the majority of them (it of course, varies by company) have better ingredients than mass produced store bought bar soap that is full of cheap fillers. I like them even more than store bought gel/cream soaps.

Today features a teeny, tiny Alchemic Muse haul. Maybe I should just say purchase, and not haul, since I only ordered one thing: Alchemic Muse's Handmade Soap Sample Set: Travel Size Treasures.

I love how each sample is individually wrapped and labeled, with a full ingredients list.

Each soap sample (0.5oz each) comes in a cute little paper envelope!

I ordered the scents:
-Bad Wolf

and they sent me a freebie of Waikiki! Very cool surprise.

Alchemic Muse soaps leave my skin with that "squeaky clean" feeling in the shower, but once I'm out of the shower, my skin isn't dry nor stripped; it feels soft and normal and clean with no tightness. I obsessively kept track and one sample bar lasts me exactly one week of showering. I use scrubby gloves and rub the bar between the gloves to make a handful of suds to wash with.

Definitely recommend this set! This is my first time trying Alchemic Muse, but it definitely won't be my last.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Revlon Colorburst Lacquer Balm in Demure Review and Swatches

Talk about procrastination. I bought this when the Revlon Lacquer Balms were first released... last year was it?

I'll be honest. I NEVER, EVER reach for it. I'll be more honest, it is not a good product.

What's makes Revlon Colorburst Lacquer Balm in Demure less than stellar? Let me count the ways:

1. Incredibly sheer. I can put on ten "layers" and it's still sheer. It's definitely does not have buildable coverage.
2. Staying power is abysmal. Maybe two hours maximum... if I don't do anything but sit prettily and not move my mouth. Yeah, right. In real life wear it's gone after an hour.
3. Highlights lip texture. Self explanatory. I have naturally wrinkly lips, so I'm pretty critical on this one.
4. Glitter. It's chunky, sparse, gritty silver glitter. Gross. Plus, it sticks around long after the color has faded. Look you can even see it in the product, flecks of chunky glitter!

5. Insanely expensive. Of course the price varies by location, but expect to pay around $7-10 dollars. For what? A small amount of product that barely shows up and fades after an hour? NO THANKS!

It has one redeeming quality. It's a gorgeous nude milky warm petal pink... when swatching. If Revlon was smart it would revamp this color by taking out the glitter and upping the pigment. I would definitely buy it then. As is, this product is an utter failure.

See the pretty color? Too bad it doesn't show up.

Revlon Colorburst Lacquer Balm in Demure Swatch with Flash

Revlon Colorburst Lacquer Balm in Demure Swatch in Natural Light
Harsh review? Yes, but I like to tell it like it is!

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

How to Whip Shea Butter Without Heat

I suppose I could title this, "How to Whip Cocoa Butter Without Heat" or "How to Whip Mango Butter Without Heat", since I use equal parts of all three.

This is basically a tutorial on how to whip hard butters without heat.

(This is for Shea Butter that comes in hard chunks. If you have the kind that comes in a paste like consistency, then yes, I know you can just whip it no problem.)

This doesn't take any longer than if you do use heat, but it does take a lot more elbow grease.

2oz each of Cocoa Butter (chips) Mango Butter (white colored) and Shea Butter (cream colored)
There are literally dozens of DIY butter recipes in the beauty world. However, pretty much all of them say to use heat. A lot of them even say to nuke the mixture in the microwave. This has never made sense to me... what is the point of buying an unprocessed product only to process it (and probably much worse that a regulated company would do) in the microwave?! AH!!!

Anyway the method of no heat is pretty simple. The idea came up into my head from watching how the women of Ghana knead the Shea butter they make.

First you scrape. I scrape with a bamboo spoon. It's that simple. You can see in the below picture I just scrape along the edge of the butter and the softened bits of butter paste collect along the sides of the spoon. Easy.

If you are like me, and have Cocoa Butter in chips, then fear not. All you have to do is take the chips, and mix them with a bit of the butter paste (just enough to act as a sort of gluey base), then you mash!

Yes, all you have to do is scrape and mash.

This is a good arm workout, if you do it my way and just use a spoon. If you don't want to, a potato masher works splendidly, and though I don't own one, I imagine a mortar and pestle would definitely suffice (probably the best tools for this method).

Keep mashing the mixture until it looks like mashed potatoes, this helps smooth it out. Make sure there are no chunks! Then all that's left is to whip it.

It whips up easily. The above is after only a few minutes of whipping. So while the scraping and mashing take a while depending on your arm strength, the whipping is very fast. This is opposite of the heat method, in which it melts in just a few minutes, but takes a long while to whip up.

Let me know if this helped you out!

Monday, July 28, 2014

Cocoa Pink Haul

Look how adorable the box is packaged!!! I ordered from Cocoa Pink last Thursday, and it arrived today, Monday. SO FAST!!! Even though this is my first time trying out the products, I know from frequenting bath and body boards, that if you wait to order during a sale from Cocoa Pink, because of how crazy popular this brand is, the turn around time can increase exponentially. Literally, this past weekend she did a 15% off sale, and the turn around time on the site increased to at least two weeks. I've seen it be even longer than this during other sales, which is the reason why I never ordered (I have this obsessive habit of only ordering etailer products when they have sales, I'm one of those weirdos that gets a thrill from the feeling of saving money, haha).  But I'm also crazy impatient, so the thought of waiting up to a month for products, THEN on top of that waiting for products to cure... I just can't. 

My haul! From left to right:
-Dram Perfume Vial in Hazelnut Napoleons
-Shine+ Conditioner in Strawberry Noel
-Princess Poo Shampoo in Ruby Sand Beach
-Ends with Benefits Hair & Body Fragrance Mist in Violet Pound Cake
-Soft Bubbles Foaming Sugar Scrub in Coconut Sugar
-Anti-Frizz Styling Serum in Tres Leche

First, I have to mention that the Princess Poo and Soft Bubbles Scrub were FREEBIES. I asked for a sample of the Princess Poo because my scalp is crazy sensitive, and as you can see the samples sent are super generous! I'm very impressed from the samples alone, since I will definitely be able to properly gauge how I like these two products over several uses. A+

I'm not going to write a review since I just received the products today, want to let them cure, and also want to properly evaluate them. BUT I will say I was impatient and couldn't resist trying out the Ends with Benefits and Anti-Frizz Styling Serum after my shower, and ahem, I'm already plotting what scents and products to get in my next order. Yes, I'm already plotting a next order. I'm that impressed.

More thorough reviews of each product to come in the future!

Oh, P.S. Very awesome in the fact that exact shipping is charged. So if your order ends up being under the standard shipping charge, Cocoa Pink refunds the difference. Excellent service right there!

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Candle of the Moment: Diptyque Jasmin Review

Diptyque Jasmin Candle. Mine is on its last burn. :(
     The Diptyque Jasmin candle is a beautifully simplistic offering by the House of Diptyque. It has a a pleasant, soft realistic jasmine scent. It has a lighter ambiance than other Diptyque candles in my opinion, but the scent throw is just as strong. I can smell fragrant wafts of a straightforward floral throughout the room I'm burning it in. If you are one to often find scents overpowering, this is a nice airy option. The jasmine is definitely a crowd pleaser for the masses, there is no presence of indolence in the aroma (avid fragrance hounds might find that last observation disappointing, but fear not, it's still undeniably a gorgeous scent). It's a light floral that is on the verge of almost being sweet and clean, definitely a year round, any occasion type of scent. Win!