Saturday, October 3, 2015

House of Usher Wax Museum wax tarts review

Okay, it's been ages since I posted. I had a long no-buy and a pretty stressful few months. But I have been trying tons of indie perfumes, bath and body, and makeup products and really want to get back to sharing them!

Today  I have my first indie wax melt purchase to share!

House of Usher Wax Museum is brand new, but the owner has been selling wax as part of her other company, Altitude Soap Co, for a while! I had never tried them, however, so this is my introduction!

I ordered a Halloween wax box, but that won't ship for a couple of weeks. In the meantime, I made a small order just to try them out and see how the quality is, etc. Also, I am a huge Edgar Allen Poe fan, so the theme did me in!

I ordered on the 29th and it arrived today, the 3rd. I was impressed by the fast shipping, and it was all safely packaged in a padded envelope with plenty of packing paper protecting it!

There were five items available in the shop at the time I ordered, so I grabbed one of each. She lists items as she makes them, so you'll want to check the shop often to see what she has in! Only listing what she has ready lets her have a very fast turnaround time, so I love that.

With my order, she included this little owl from First Sunday Handmade. It's a DIY air freshener! There's a little piece of cork attached to the back, and you can put your favorite oil or perfume on the cork and use it like you would a hanging air freshener. Super cute and cool!

This is the owl wax melt in the scent Blueberry Cornbread. This is about twice the size of the normal tarts at 3 oz. It's so cute! The Blueberry Cornbread scent is amaaaaazing. Seriously, it scented my whole mailbox. It smells like sweet corn muffins with blueberries and it made me so hungry my stomach actually started growling. I think this is my favorite scent of the bunch and I will probably look for this scent every time I order!

The 3oz size is a bit big for my warmer, so I cut a chunk off to melt. The smell is nice and strong with a great throw - it scented my room, and the two adjacent rooms! Super impressed.

 Look how cutely the normal tarts are packaged! All tied up with a seasonally appropriate bow. I am a sucker for cute little touches like that!

The first one is apparently one of her older scents, as it has the Altitude label! Pineapple Upside Down Cake smells very much like it's namesake - pineapple, caramelized sugar, and cakiness. It's so pretty, and I will update this post when I melt it!

 Strawberry Pie is one I was a little hesitant about - I love strawberries, but I hate how most berry scents have that fake plasticky smell. This one is great! It actually does smell like a strawberry pie! It is more of a bakery type scent (mmm, pie crust) than a fake fruit one, and I can't wait to melt it.

French Toast is so pretty! I was a little worried it would be too heavy on maple syrup, but it's not! It smells like nice, custardy, cinnamon topped french toast. This one will be great to melt in the morning!

 And finally, Warm Vanilla Nutmeg. This one smells so yummy - it reminds me of a good vanilla chai! Very warm and autumnal smelling. This made me crave some chai, and I think I'm off to make some, now!

I am so pleased with my first order from House of Usher Wax Museum. Everything was neatly packaged and smells amazing! If you are a fan of melting wax tarts, I definitely recommend these. They are a step above those store bought ones. I know I'll be making many more purchases.

What are your favorite wax tarts?

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Poesie Perfumes - first order and first look!

Recently, my friend Karissa showed me a brand new company she'd seen on IMAM called Poesie Perfumes. After reading through the thread and the descriptions, I knew I had to try some samples.

Poesie just launched. It is a handmade perfume company run by a woman named Joelle. They make everything in small batches and are inspired by literature, travel, and vintage glamour! Here's what they have to say about themselves:

Poesie Perfume is inspired by stylish days gone by, open books, cozy cups of tea, embarking on a new journey, wandering the streets of far away cities, waking up and following your heart… It’s for the adventurers, the dreamers, and those who know how to enjoy the view as this crazy world spins on its axis every day.

The current collection is "The 1928 Collection", and it is inspired by Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries! It consists of 9 scents, and they offer beard oil, body lotion, body whip, and shower gel!

I ordered 6 of the 9 scents and received a 7th as a sample! I will write full reviews of them after I try them.

For now, look how cute this is all packaged up, and the darling green glass bottles.

So far, I have tried La Jeunesse, which has notes of fresh cut grass, juicy apple, and tea rose. I really love it! It starts as bright grass with a hint of apple, and it dries down to a soft, sweet, powdery rose. It captures the vintage 1920s feel so well and I adore it! So excited to try the others.

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Aromaleigh Ephemera - March 2015

Well, you may have noticed that I didn't really post in February. Normally, this would be because I was slacking. However, this time it's because a combination of my cat and a large glass of vodka and soda destroyed my computer! Not fun. BUT, I've finally replaced it and intend to stay on track for March. Hopefully. Fingers crossed.

Anyway, I received my March Ephemera box from Aromaleigh yesterday! This has become my favorite sub, and I was so excited to get it.

This month's theme was Norse Mythology (um, YES). Specifically, some of the overarching concepts in said mythology. As a history nerd (and former history major) and big fan of mythology, let me tell you - I am PSYCHED.

As always, Ephemera came all beautifully packaged and tied up in ribbon!
Seriously, how cute are these tiny boxes? I've been keeping them and keeping each month's goodies in them - perfect, easy storage.

First, we'll look at the samples. So far, every month Aromaleigh has included a couple of samples of theirs - this month, we have a preview of an upcoming collection, and a preview of next month's Ephemera box!

(I already tried out Carina, by the way - it's a sample from the upcoming Galactic collection, and let me tell you, it is freakin' STUNNING.) Next month's preview hints that it is based on an ancient Roman festival!

And, she's also included a lip gloss sample from Kiss My Sass Cosmetics. The sample is a sheer gloss with a pink sheen. It is cute and will be great to liven up a too-matte lipstick! I love that she's managed to send a sample from another indie company each month...such a nice touch!

As for the products themselves, this month we received a rouge and three eyeshadows. (Oh, and a couple of swedish fish..which I devoured immediately.)  I really love the labels and the fact that the name of each product is on the top!

Shades listed in the order depicted on the arm swatch photo below:

Valkyrie - An easy-wear, soft warm rose. Aromaleigh describes this blush as "your cheeks but better" and it really is! It's a perfect subtle, beautiful flush. It's named after the choosers of the slain, who decided the fates of warriors. I can see myself wearing this often! In fact, so far, all three of the rouges that I've received in Ephemera are perfect, and I have been wearing them most every day!

Valhalla - A soft, pale, weathered gold with strong blue interference sparkle. This shade is gorgeous - the pale blue sparkle makes it really special. It's named for the "hall of the slain", where Odin's chosen fallen warriors are housed. 

Yggdrasil - A midtone heathered green with copper interference shimmer. This is the prettiest green, a little different than any of the others I own! It's named after the huge tree that is central to Norse cosmology.

Ragnarok - This is a deep, warm reddish brown with gold/green interference shimmer. This is a nice, rich brown with the prettiest sparkle. It's named after the Norse end of days. Fun!

Overall, I am again impressed with this sub! The products are GORGEOUS and I really love how well thought-out Kristen's themes are. The shadows and blushes are always amazing quality, and she really has a way of creating unique sheens and finishes that make even neutral shades feel really special. 

Have you tried anything from Aromaleigh yet? If not, I highly recommend them!

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Glamour Doll Eyes OTM January 2015 Review and Unboxing

Glamour Doll Eyes was my first indie brand and is still, a few years later, one of my very favorites! I have so many of her beautiful shadows (and a few blushes) and I always want more.

GDE offers a monthly sub called the OTM, or "Of the Month". It includes at least one exclusive shadow each month, but also usually contains other products or samples, some from GDE and some from other indies. I've discovered some of my other favorite indies after sampling them thanks to OTM!

I wasn't able to get a subscription for most of last year (the time it went up for sale was a time I was busy at work) so I missed out on most of last year's OTMs...but this year, I was lucky enough to have a nice friend snag a sub for me!

January's OTM showed up today and I was so excited to see it and get a sample of what was in store for this year!

This month's theme was "Be My Anchor", and we received a shadow, a cream shadow, a tinted lip balm, and a shadow sample, as well as a few candies (there were three...but, um...I kind of ate one already.) and a cute little anchor charm.

This month's goodies came in a cute gold satin bag, with an adorable info card and sticker! I love chevron and anything nautical, so this is a really fun theme for me. I'm excited to find a chain for the anchor charm.  The full sized products are:

Be My Anchor (shadow) - A sheer flash of sparkling blue with a dusty golden base. This is so pretty! It is sparkly and almost neutral, but the perfect blue flash makes it so interesting. I can't wait to wear this one!

Sailing Away (cream shadow) - a deep royal blue base with a soft coral reef blue overlay, finished with anchor golden shimmer sheen. This is the first cream shadow I've seen from GDE and it is really beautiful! It has a nice texture and the perfect amount of shimmer. I love the shade of blue - not too dark, not too light. 

Atomic Astrid (Aqua Bomb) - This is a coral colored balm with a blackberry pomegranate flavor. This smells nice and is a gorgeous color! Unfortunately, my tube seems to be broken and will not twist up. I tried it with a brush, and it felt really nice on the lips and had a pretty color to it!

Rose City (sample baggie shadow) - This is a beautiful violet toned bright magenta with a magical green sparkle overload. It was actually designed by my friend Meagan! I haven't swatched this yet, but I am so excited to try it.

Here are the two shadows, opened. Be My Anchor is sheer, but buildable, and is gorgeous over primer. Sailing Away is a great creamy texture and I think it will be perfect worn alone or as a base!

Be My Anchor swatched on bare skin (top) and on primer (bottom). Sailing Away on bare skin.

Closeup of Be My Anchor. Look at the watery blue!!

Closeup of Sailing gorgeous.

Here is the balm applied lightly with a brush on bare lips. It has a nice tint to it and feels good on the lips! I wish my tube weren't broken, I would probably use it often!

Overall, I am super happy with this month's OTM. As always, the colors are gorgeous and the formulas are good. I already can't wait to see what February will bring...and here's a hint...the theme will be "Any excuse for chocolate". YES PLEASE!

Have you tried anything but GDE yet? What's your favorite indie sub?

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Solstice Scents - indie perfume oil review

Indie perfume oils are my current obsession. I can't get enough of them! They're so unique and interesting and I want to order ALL THE SAMPLES.

After looking through some of Solstice Scents' catalogue, I couldn't resist ordering a ton of samples. So many, I'm going to have to break them into a few posts! Solstice Scents offers whipped soaps, burnishing glace, body cream, and other items as well as perfume oils! I have only tried the perfumes so far (but I really want to try more, now.)

Today, I have a few samples each from the Manor and Foxcroft collections! I wish now that I'd gotten the entire collections, but I'm going to have to go back and get the rest of them.

All of the fragrances I ordered were sample vials, so they are all in the same packaging. I've included all but one of them in the photo (Maplewood Inn was in my bag), but all vials have a label with the name of the fragrance written on them.

First, I have 3 scents from the Manor Collection. The Manor Collection was created as an addition to the 2012 autumn collection, and is now part of the permanent line.  It's a series of scents inspired by a big, old manor. There are three more scents in this collection I need to try!

Cellar - This is described as "Damp Earth and Stone, Wooden Casks, Cool Fall Air, Crisp Apple, Pear and Broom Corn". I ordered this one out of sheer curiosity. I wasn't sure how I'd feel about smelling like a cellar, and I was a little wary of the damp earth and stone notes. However, this ended up being my favorite scent of the bunch! It is seriously amazing. On first sniff, it is all cold wet earth, stone, and very fresh, real red apples. It is a true, realistic apple scent, and not at all that synthetic and overly sweet type of apple scent that I avoid. It smells exactly like walking into the giant storage room at my local orchard! After it's been on for a while, the hay and wood notes come out a bit. This is a perfect fall scent if you don't want to smell like pumpkin spice. I am in love with this scent and intend to get a larger bottle of it when it is available. I'd also really like to try this one as a whipped soap.

Kitchen - This is described as "Pumpkin, Sugar Cookies, Peach Preserves, Spice Breads, Danishes, Caramel, Vanilla & Sweet Wood Smoke." I drooled over this one for quite a while before I finally went for it. And I'm not disappointed! When first applied, it reminds me of warm pumpkin snickerdoodles, with a bit of caramel. It is sweet and warm and delicious! As it wears, the spice breads peak out, and the wood smoke appears at the end. It is a sweet, subtle smoke and it doesn't overpower. I have to be careful with scents that have spice notes - my body chemistry loves to amp up those notes until they overtake all of the other notes. This one stays balanced, even on my skin. I want my kitchen to smell like this, and this is another I want a larger size of.

Library - This is described as "Leather Bound Books, A Carved Rosewood Mantle, Dying Fireplace Embers, Wood Wainscoting, Cedar Shelving and Aged Paper." Honestly, this is the scent that got me to try Solstice Scents. I LOVE LIBRARIES. I love books and everything about them, and there is nothing I can think of that sounds nicer than smelling like a library. And somehow, they managed to make that a reality! This scent is amazing - it's rich, dark, woodsy, smells just like a room full of old, dusty, leatherbound books. It's a bit mysterious and masculine and evocative, in a really nice way.  This is something I want to wear when I'm spending a gloomy day at home, reading. I'm impressed with it!

Next, I have four from the Foxcroft Collection. Foxcroft is a fictional town created by Solstice Scents. The collection is intended to evoke the atmosphere of the quaint little town. So neat! I need to grab the other two in this collection, as well. 

Maplewood Inn - This is described as "Maple, Woods, Amber, Benzoin, A Roaring Fire & A Hot Cup of Frothy Vanilla Chai".  It is a warm and smoky scent! It starts out with the sweet and spicy vanilla chai and woods with a swirl of smoke, and slowly dries down to more subtle woods and maple. It is a very autumnal scent and very different from my usual type of scents. It is a very well done smoky fragrance and it reminds me of a cool morning in a cabin in the woods. 

Blackburn's Parlor - This is described as "Vanilla Waffle Bowl, Vanilla & Chocolate Ice Creams, Sliced Bananas Smothered In Caramel Sauce & Topped With Whipped Cream." This scent is AMAZING! It smells, to me, exactly like a banana split. It starts out with the ice creams (you really can smell both vanilla and chocolate) and sliced bananas (the bananas do somehow smell SLICED). As the banana fades a bit, the caramel comes out. The scent dries down to the vanilla waffle bowl. It is a very well done sweet, foody scent. I definitely need a larger bottle of this.

Maine Moon - This is described as "Crisp Fall Air, Wood Smoke, Leather Seats & Concessions of Root Beer, Popcorn & Chocolate Covered Caramels." This is a very unique scent, reminiscent of a date to a drive-in movie!  It starts out with a burst of root beer and popcorn, which is admittedly a strange combination.  After a few moments, a really nice milk chocolate scent comes through with a bit of smoke. As it dries down, the leather note appears and it ends in leather and smoke. It's a super evocative scent, and probably not one I need a full size of, but wearing it is a fun experience.

Sycamore Sugarworks - This is described as "Caramelized Pear Tarts, Banana Apple Muffins, Spice Cakes With Rum Glaze, Cream Puffs & Maple Walnut Pastries." This is a pure, sweet bakery smell. On me, it is primarily banana apple muffins and spice cakes. The banana note is very much a banana bread smell, rather than the fresh banana of Blackburn's Parlor. This one stays sweet and muffinlike on me throughout wear. Hints of things like the rum glaze and maple walnut peek out at various points during wear, but the muffins never really fade. This is a super sweet, but really delicious scent. I would like to try this in a body cream!

Overall, I am really pleased and excited by my first experience with Solstice Scents. The fragrances are really unique, and I love that wearing them is an experience in and of itself. I have more samples to share in the near future, and I'm just as happy with those. I definitely recommend trying them if you're into unique scents - they do gourmands especially well.

Have you tried Solstice Scents? What fragrances have you been wearing lately?

I purchased these products with my own money and was not compensated for this review.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Birchbox - January 2015 - Unboxing


I am excited about this weather for one reason only - school was cancelled today, and thus, no work for me. So, not only am I having a lazy pampering day in my pajamas...but my Birchbox showed up, too!

This month, I chose one of the curated boxes - the Relax & Recharge box. It's supposed to be products to help you relax and take time for yourself, which I think is really important, post holidays.

I kind of forgot what the contents were by the time that it arrived, so it was pretty much a surprise anyway!
But here's what was inside.

Briogeo Don't Despair! Repair! Deep Conditioning Mask - This is a hydrating mask for the hair. I've sampled this before and I liked it! My hair gets so dry in winter, this is very welcome. The pot is big enough for 2-3 uses for me.

Manna Kadar Lip Locked in All of Me-  This is a all-in-one lip primer, stain, and gloss. I got this in the shade Lucky last month, and I reall y liked's a good light texture. This one is a bit of a darker shade, a mauvey color, and it's super pretty.

Perlier Intensive Nurturing Body Balm in Shea Lavender -  This is a thick cream to smooth and soften. I don't love the scent (I'm picky about lavender) BUT it will be really great for my hands, feet, and elbows.

When Travelmate Sheet Mask -  This is a soothing, nourishing mask meant to give a healthy glow. I really love sheet masks! However, these When masks are terribly overpriced (the set equals out to $14 a piece) so unless it works major wonders, I won't be buying any. But I'm excited to try it out!

Balance Me Wonder Eye Cream -  This is a multi-tasking eye cream that battles wrinkles and dark circles. This is probably why I chose the box. I LOVE EYE CREAMS. It's a good size, too. happy to be trying this!

Tea Pigs tea temples - I love tea. It's one of my favorite extras. Birchbox, please send me tea ALWAYS.

I'm pretty happy with this box! I will use's good sizes, and great for post-holiday rejuvenating.

If you haven't tried Birchbox yet and want to, feel free to sign up using my referral link!

What was in your box this month?

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Aromaleigh Ephemera - January 2014 Review and Unboxing

Lately, I've been really excited about indie subscription services - and in fact, indie makeup in general. I started thinking about how much money I was spending on beauty products put out by big corporations, and how much better I'd feel about supporting small businesses run by people doing what they love. Luckily, there are more and more companies making this transition possible!

Aromaleigh has been around for 16 years now. They are a small company out of South Carolina making vegan, cruelty free cosmetics. They make beautiful collections inspired by history, mythology, feminism, literature, science, classical music, astronomy, botany...basically, all of the things I care about! They also support Autism Acceptance organizations, having an owner with autism, and that is a very important cause for me. They are truly a great company!

January marks a new chapter for them - their first subscription box! I scrambled to sign up when they were made available, and I received it yesterday.  The box is $17.99 including shipping, and will be monthly. I am really impressed with the quality and thought that went into this box!

The shipping was super fast - she mailed it out on Friday, and I received it on Monday! It was packed in a bubble mailer, and it arrived in perfect condition.

I was really excited to open the mailer and find this adorable little box! The pretty sticker and ribbon make it feel like opening a present! I love that the box itself is marked with the month - it will make organization easy.

Opening it, I found the prettiest info sheet I've ever seen in a sub. It explains the theme, which is based on The White Witch from "The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe" in a really beautiful way. It also describes the items themselves. I really, really love the way she did the info sheet...reading it was a really nice part of the experience and felt more special than a simple list of items.

Underneath the sheet, you find all of the goodies. As you can see, she packed a lot into this little box! The turkish taffy was a really nice touch, and I kind of ate them while unboxing everything. In the box, she included two face products, two shadows (in adorable mini sizes), a sample of an upcoming blush, and samples from two other companies. 

Locusta is a blush sample from an upcoming expansion to the Ignis Antiquita collection.  It's a pretty coral color and I'll definitely have to check out the rest of the existing collection, as well as the upcoming expansion. I haven't tried this on my face yet, but will report back when I do!

We got two samples from other indie brands. 

The first is a lip product from Dreamworld Hermetica. They are a new company for me and I was pretty happy to see something from them in here! This product is called "Ectoplasmic Lips" in the shade "Wytch's Heart", and it is not listed on their website (which is currently closed to orders as they add new products) so I think this is one of their new products. It's really interesting - the texture is somewhere between a lipstick and a gloss. It goes on shiny and shimmery and a bit sheer. It looks kind of scary bronze in the tub, but looks really gorgeous on the lips. I've included it in the look I did at the end of this post.

The second is a perfume sample from Ten Three Labs. This is a company I've been wanting to try, and indie perfumes are my current new passion! This sample is "Superstition's Willing Victim" and it is described as bay rum, peppermint, tea, lime, coconut, and sugarcane. I really like this! When I opened it to sniff it, I thought that it smelled a bit like a rum and coke with peppermint, and when I read the notes, I was surprised how spot on my first impression was! It's a really unique scent, and not one I probably would have chosen on my own, but am so glad that I got to try it. I am definitely interested in trying more scents from this company.

And now, the main products. As I mentioned we got two face products and two shadows. I really love the labels and the fact that the name of each product is on the top! I always find it hard to photograph products in sifter jars, so I've posted the descriptions of each product and some swatches of each!

I find the descriptions of each to be spot on...and yes, they are as beautiful as they sound!

Here is each product swatched in order, on bare skin, in artificial light in my bedroom. As with all products like this, the shimmer doesn't show in photos as much as you'd like, but it's all sparkly and gorgeous. 

And here are the products in natural light. They are nicely pigmented and have a great texture. The gold sheen in the White Witch is truly gorgeous and I wish photographs picked it up better!

Here's a quick look I did using all of the products except for the blush sample. Everything was really easy to work with and wears absolutely beautifully!

Overall, I am loving this box. The products are so beautiful and well thought out and the quality is amazing. I'm so glad I signed up for Ephemera, and I think this has the potential to become my favorite sub!

Have you tried any indie subs yet? Would you?

I purchased all items mentioned myself and was not compensated for this review.

Friday, January 2, 2015

Blog name change!

Years overdue, the blog is finally getting a new name! "I Sold The World" will now be called "Clumsy Chromaticity"!

I'm excited for more changes coming up!

Monday, December 29, 2014

Birchbox - December 2014 (two boxes!)

Well, I'm really late on these and I have no excuse. But, I am getting two Birchboxes right now (I'll probably cut one out after January and I spend my points!)

The first month that I got two boxes, I got the same box on both accounts and that was a bit of a bummer. This month, though, I got two different boxes, and I like both!

Box 1:

This was the curated box this month. I chose it because I really wanted to try the Davines serum!

Ruffian Nail Lacquer in Ruffian Red - I'm not huge on red polishes, but I don't have many, and I like Ruffian polishes - I think they have a nice shiny finish and they last longer than a couple of hours on me, which is a feat!

Cynthia Rowley Beauty Creamy Lip Stain in Sugar - This is the prettiest natural pink stain. When I buy things like this, I tend to go for bold colors so it was nice to get a nice natural color...this is very much a "my lips but better" shade for me and I like it a lot.

Davines Replumping Hair Filler (with bonus shampoo and conditioner packets) - This is a leave in that is supposed to help your hair look thick and shiny. I can always use that! So far, I like it. No mind blowing miracles, but it leaves my hair looking and feeling nice. (I haven't tried the packets yet!)

Joie Folle de Joie perfume - This is a fresh scent with mandarin. I'll admit I don't love it, I'm just into different kinds of scents lately. But I passed it along to a friend who will appreciate it.

Embryolisse Lait-Creme Concentre - This is a moisturizer that can also serve as a primer and makeup remover. I've sampled this before, and I really like it! I only use it as a moisturizer, but it leaves my skin soft without feeling greasy. 

Overall, I'm really happy with this box, and everything is getting good use.

The 2nd box came in the special blue holiday box - so cute! 

In this box, I selected a sample - the Manna Kadar Lip Locked. I received the sample I chose! Here's everything I got:

Manna Kadar Lip Locked in Lucky - This is a combo lipstain, gloss, and primer in a pretty mauvey color. It's another really natural shade for me, which I like! I really like the light texture of this and am definitely interested in trying more of them.

Yu-Be Moisturizing Cream - This is a tiny tube of moisturizing cream you can use anywhere on your body. I've frankly gotten about a million of these samples in various places. It's not bad! But it's nothing special to me. I'm using this one up on my elbows.

Sumita Color Contrast Eyeliner - This is a creamy liner in the prettiest gold/olive shade. I am really happy with this...I already had the black and love how creamy and long lasting these are. I will use this one often!

Rusk Texture Spray - I used to hate hairsprays of any kind, and I would immediately toss them. But lately I've been wearing my hair wavy/curly, and a good texturizing spray is appreciated. This one is nice - it sprays on with a fine, light mist that never feels wet and just adds some nice texture and hold.

Royal Apothic Cuppa Cuppa Firming Tea Treatment Mask - This is a mask made from tea...masks and tea are two of my favorite things, so I love this! It has a nice tingle when you use it, and it left my skin feeling fresh and soft. I'd love to get my hands on some more of this!

Overall, I'm really happy with both of my boxes this month, and I'm excited for January!

What was in your box?

If you haven't tried Birchbox yet, feel free to sign up using my referral link here! :)

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Haus of Gloi - indie perfume oil review

Well, this is about two weeks later than I intended it to be. I'm going to blame it on Christmas and not at all slackerhood and procrastination. Right? Right.

Anyway, I've mentioned before that one of my newer interests is in perfume oils - specifically, unique ones. I love fragrance, but I don't just want to smell like *perfume* (you know, that scent you think of when you think of perfume? Yeah, that's not me.) After months of looking and considering and telling myself "but you don't need more fragrances", I finally gave in and ordered some samples from a company called Haus of Gloi.

Haus of Gloi is a small, two person company. They are a vegan company, and everything is cruelty-free, handmade and from scratch. They make perfume oils, but also things like whipped soap, pumpkin butter (their version of body butter), foaming scrubs, soaps, and hair oils. They have a permanent collection of scents, but they are big into seasonal collections!

This review is on perfume oils...I haven't yet tried any of their various body care products (but they're on my to-do list!)

I ended up ordering 4 samples from their Yule collection (and they threw in a 5th as a free sample), a full sized bottle from the Yule collection, and one from the permanent collection.

I am by no means a perfume expert, so I'm just going to talk about each scent I tried and how it smells to/on me.

Each sample is in a little vial with the label wrapped around it. I think the labels are adorable! The full size is in an amber bottle with the same pretty label.  They came safely packaged with a little handwritten thank you note (I love touches like that!)

Now, onto the perfumes themselves! I'll start with the permanent scent, then move through the Yule releases I tried. 

Elevenses - This is described by HoG as "Not quite breakfast and not quite lunch, it's the little sip and nibble in between... Fluffy little orange cakes, sugar coated toasty almonds and a wee steaming cup of black tea."

I couldn't say no to this one, as a LOTR fan! And besides that, it sounded delicious. This is a really nice scent! On initial application, you smell the orange. It is a tart, orange zest kind of scent. The orange is almost too strong in the vial, but it is not overwhelming once it touches the skin.

After it settles in, the sugared almonds come through a bit more, though the orange is still present. Through most of the wear, it smells like orange glazed almonds! I don't get much tea on me, maybe just a hint. This is a really unique citrus scent - it doesn't have that freshness that most have, instead, it's more warm and cozy. It lasts a pretty long time - at the end of the day, I could still smell it on my wrist. I really like this one, and am interested in trying it in other products.

Sweet Potato Treat - This is described as "Sweet potatoes with mild spices, butter and brown sugar baked off with marshmallows."

This is a delicious scent, and probably my second favorite of the Yule scents I tried. It is a very sweet foodie scent, but it doesn't smell overwhelmingly sweet like some do.  In the vial, I smell buttery marshmallows. It reminds me of making rice crispy treats! Once it's applied to the skin, the spices come out. They are nice and warm (predominantly cinnamon), but not so spicy as to completely overtake the toasty marshmallowyness.  It wears well - the spices mellow without disappearing, and the sweet potato and brown sugar come out a bit more. This is one I will buy next year, for sure, and in multiple formats!

Parkin - This is described as "Glorious ginger cakes celebrating Guy Fawkes Day! Brown sugar, black treacle, oats, a peculiar blend of white spices tossed with chopped roasted chestnuts and coated with the lightest of icings."

This is a very spicy scent - for me, a bit too spicy. It smells good, but kind of reminds me of spending a little bit too much time in the cinnamon potpourri aisle at a hobby store - it's all I can smell after a while! I don't really notice the chestnuts or brown sugar behind all of the spices - but my body chemistry tends to amp up spice notes, so it might not be quite as overwhelmingly spicy on others.  If a spicy cinnamon gingerbread scent is what you're after, this is definitely one! I will use up my sample, but I don't think I'll buy any more of this scent in perfume - it might, however, be nice as a soap.

Eggnoggin - This is described as "The Haus 'nog! Cream, sugar and a shot of dark rum topped with fresh grated nutmeg."

This does smell just like eggnog in the vial. Eggnog is something I like every once in a while, so I had to give this a try. The bad news is, on my skin, it doesn't work so well. What smells nice in the vial smells like some sort of ointment once I put it on my skin! I think it's the combo of nutmeg and rum?  After I've worn it for a half hour or so, the ointment scent fades enough for the creaminess to come out, and it's okay then. But I can't really get past smelling like diaper rash ointment for the first few minutes enough to wear this one much.  I will finish this sample in my oil burner, I think! This is another one I might try in soap form, but it doesn't work on me as a perfume.

Fancy Bread - This is described as "Ripe banana, roasted nuts and brown sugar folded into a delicious quick bread."

I wasn't sure about this one in the vial - all I could smell was that synthetic banana smell. But once I put it on my skin, it was really nice - it does smell just like fresh baked banana bread. It's warm and sweet and I think the banana, nuts, and sugar are all there in perfect amounts. This one lasts quite a while. I like it, even if it makes me crave banana bread. I am interested in trying this one as a body butter.

Rosy Cheeked - This is described as "Pink grapefruit, fir needles, juniper berries, rosemary, a sprig of parsley and bright winter lilies."

This is the free sample they sent me - it's not one I would have picked at the time, because when I made my order, I was in the mood for cozy foody scents. However, I ended up really loving this one!

In the vial, and on the skin, at first it is pure grapefruit. It's slightly sweet, tart, and fresh. As it wears, the fir, juniper, and rosemary come out. It's a bright scent, clean and fresh and not too strong. I love grapefruit scents in general, but the notes underneath make it really unique.

Hearth - This is described as "The warm glowing center of home. Autumns last apple pickings, warm bread, orange rind, various fire roasted nuts, cracked black pepper all nailed down by an oozing sticky benzoin."

This is the one full sized bottle I got. I did so because they were out of samples and I was that desperate to try this scent! I'm glad I did. This is my favorite of the bunch!

It smells a little strange in the bottle and I wasn't sure how it would smell on me. When I put in on though, it's great. It's a very homey scent. I get the fresh apples and the bread at first, and then the pepper and orange rind come out a bit. It smells warm without being too spicy.  I love that the apples are present, but it is not an overwhelming apple scent. There's a lot going on with it in a good way. It just smells cozy and homey and it feels like the holidays to me. I want to try this one in a soap and a body butter next year (I'm sure I'll still have some perfume oil!)

Overall, my first experience with Haus of Gloi was a lot of fun! I will definitely be ordering from them again.

I'll continue my venture in to indie perfumes soon - I have a ton of Solstice Scents samples coming up! That one will likely have to be broken into two posts. 

Have you tried Haus of Gloi yet? If so, how do you like them? If not, what are your favorite fragrances? Have you tried any indie oils?

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

I've been MIA!

Yes, I haven't been here in a while. It's partly because I started a new job in August and adjusting to new hours is always tricky for me.

But even more than that, it's because I've honestly gotten bored to death with most of my sub boxes, and standard beauty products in general. It was bound to happen!

The good news is, I have been venturing into the world of indies - indie makeup, bath and body, and perfumes, and I'm excited again. I think I'm going to be posting about more of those, here!  And while I've been trying quite a few new things, I'm always looking to discover more.

SO, have you tried many indie companies? If so, what ones would you recommend to me?

I hope to have a little review of some Haus of Gloi fragrances up this weekend!

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Memebox - Superbox #41 - My Cute Wishlist review and unboxing

You all know I'm a sucker for a subscription/beauty box. Combine that with my curiosity and fascination about Korean beauty products and cosmetics, add Memebox offering to send me a box to review, and you have one very happy camper!

Have you heard of Memebox yet? They are the most popular beauty box in Korea! A while back, they started offering boxes to the US and other countries, as well!

Memebox isn't really like the other boxes we have now, For one, they're not really a sub box - you order boxes from them individually, and they do not offer a recurring subscription. They offer several different types of boxes! I'll explain a little bit about each box before I show you what I received!

Memebox Global: This is their "signature" box - it contains a range of products (skincare, cosmetics, haircare, body care, all fair game) and you receive 4-8 deluxe and full sized products. I'll say that most of the boxes I've seen reviewed have had closer to 8 products in them, with great sizes, and they are always a great value! I need to snag me one of these soon. THe downside is that you have to order these WAY in advance, they sell out quickly!

Memebox Special: These seem to be like the global boxes, with full and deluxe products, but they revolve around a theme! Some of the themes currently available are masks, tea tree cosmetics, Beauty 911, and Green Food Cosmetics (there are many more, too!) 

Superbox: A superbox is a box with ALL full sized products! They also go by theme - some example themes have been The Honey Box, Makeup Edition, Yogurt Cosmetics, and Holika Holika. These are great if you're looking for full sized products. The box I received is a Superbox!

Luckybox: A Luckybox is a mishmash box containing favorite products from previous boxes. They make a great introduction to Memebox for people who are curious, or if you want to see some of the goodies you missed out on!

The prices vary on most of these boxes! Memebox Global is $23 (plus shipping). Superboxes and Special boxes vary by theme, with most falling between $23 and $32. Every box I've seen from them has been a great value and I am pretty excited to try out some more.

Now, onto the box I received!

When Memebox said they were sending me a box, they did not tell me what the box would be! So, I was really excited and couldn't wait to see what was inside when I received that cute pink bubble mailer!

I opened it up to find that I had recieved Superbox 41: My Cute Wishlist! As a huge fan of cute packaging and products, I was overjoyed. Here's how Memebox describes this box!

We've searched and scoured through the Korean beauty scene to find you all the beauty things adorbs and irresistibly cute! From miniature beauty trinkets to cute face makeup kits and skincare potions, these precious little beauty finds will make you "oooh" because of the trademark Korean charming packaging and "aahhh" because of how cute it makes you look. Carry around these beauty treasures wherever you go and make your friends green with jealousy.

Sounds good to me! Immediately, I noticed how great Memebox's info card is - it has photos of each item as well as pricing, a description, and directions for use. This is great because the directions on the packaging of many of these products is, obviously, Korean!
See all that cuteness under there? Here's what's inside!

Etude Missing U Hand Cream - This is made with organic olive oil and shea butter. It comes in several varieties, each container shaped like an endangered species, and in four different scents! This fairy penguin contains cream scented like baby powder! I adore this. It is so cute, I love penguins and the idea of using cosmetics to raise awareness for endangered species is awesome. The handcream is nice - easily absorbed, leaves my hands soft, and the baby powder scent is soft and fresh and not overpowering. I want to collect the other 3!

Beauty People Snow White Special Edition Season 2 - This is a set of 5 creamy, shimmery, eye pencils in an adorable tin. These are in the shades Glimmer Black, Glimmer Brown, Glimmer Bronze, Glimmer Gold, and Glimmer Beige. I am being honest when I say these are some of the nicest eye pencils I've ever tried! They are so soft and creamy and very pigmented. These swatches were a single stroke with light pressure! And, once they set for a few seconds, they did not budge, even with repeated rubbing and some water! I really love them and have been using them most every day!

Pure Smile Neco Punch Point Pad in Lemongrass and Hibiscus - These pads are soaked in Vitamin E, Collagen, Hyaluronic Acid, and arbutin and they work to moisturize and control excess sebum and secretions. These are so cute. They're like sheet masks, only they're spot treatments. I've been using the lemongrass ones on a trouble area on my cheek, and I like the fresh feeling it leaves me with! They smell amazing, too.

Kokostar Split End Therapy - This is a treatment with 8 amino acids that helps prevent breakage and static electricity, as well as to protect the hair and mend split ends and damage. It is meant to be a ponytail treatment that you tie on with the included (adorable) hair band. My hair is currently too short for a pony tail, and while I'm sure you could use it another way, I think I'm actually going to save it until my hair grows out a bit so I can get the full effect. Really excited to eventually try this!

Etude Sweet Recipe Candy Stick in Sour Lemon Candy - This is a glossy lip balm/tint with a sheer color that moisturizes and contains sugarcane and sugar maple! This one, lemon, doesn't have too much tint, really just adds a hint of color, and is nice and soft and slightly glossy. It has a light lemon scent, which I love! I like the cute shape - makes it easy to pick out of my bag easily. I'd be interested to see if the other flavors have more color to them, but I really like this!

Pure Smile Muddy Girl mud pack in Red Clay - This is a mud mask that soothes, purifies, smooths, and moisturizes. It also comes in a charcoal version, but I got the Red Clay. I tried it and I really liked what it did for my skin - it made it feel nice and clean and refreshed, but not at all dried out. I'd like to get my hands on some more of these! I'm a sucker for masks.

a;t fox Creams - These are three different creams - Lifting Cream, to firm and lessen signs of aging, Water Gel Cream, to moisturize and lock in moisture, and Whitening Capsule Cream to hydrate and brighten. HOW CUTE ARE THESE? I love the little cupcake pots, and even after the creams are gone, I will be finding something else ot use them for. I like all three of the creams! The Water Gel cream is great - not too heavy, I like using it in the mornings. The whitening cream is a gel, and it feels nice on the skin. It's too early to tell if it brightens, but so far I'm liking it. I like the lifting cream in my undereye area, it has a great consistency and keeps that area feeling nice and moisturized. I am really impressed with all three and want to try more from the brand!

As a little bonus, they also sent a cute little pencil sharpener, which I can always use!

Overall, I'm kind of in love with this box! Not only is everything absolutely adorable, but I love the range of products - hair, facial skincare, hands, makeup, lips...such a great mix. I have honestly been using everything (except the hair treatment, but I will get to that when my hair needs it!) almost daily and it's all so great.

This box was sent to me for free, but it costs $23 and if I had paid for it, I would have felt like I got an amazing deal. This box is out of stock now, but they do sometimes restock boxes, and there are also new versions of the Cute Wishlist. If you like what you see, you can order boxes at

What do you think? Have you tried a Memebox yet?

*Disclaimer: This post contains products sent to me for review purposes. I was not otherwise compensated and all opinions are my own.