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!