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Monday, June 30, 2014

Review & Recommendation: BathSabbath Perfume Oils (Part 2)

Finally had more time to review these! Past review's here.

So this time, I reviewed 5 more scents, including BathSabbath's scents that are supposed to smell like something (leather, smoke, beer). Again, these are awesome quality and last a long time. I'm definitely impressed by them.

Born of Fire

"The smell of a raging bonfire. Smokey Woodsy notes with a touch of Cedarwood and Balsam."

Wow. It's straight up smoke and fire. The most prominent smell is smoke. Actual smoke. It's so realistic, I tried this on at my office and one of my coworkers actually went, "Do you guys smell something burning?"

She started walking towards the kitchen to check it out and I had to quickly tell her it was my perfume. It was that realistic. I even nearly coughed instinctively, because it smells like I inhaled a lung full of smoke.
Imagine standing downwind from this and inhaling the smokiness & burnt wood smell. Smells like that.
Image courtesy of Danver Stainless

At first, there was a hints of a BBQ sauce smell that's smoky, savoury and slightly sour but that disappeared after about 10 min to become a wood smell. The perfume smells exactly like a burning log of wood. I'm serious. I swear. It's not how you think a burning log of wood would smell like, it's actually what a burning log of wood smells like. I'm very impressed. This is probably a scent that's more for layering and I don't think I'll wear this out alone, but wow. I'm just so impressed how realistic it is.

Post-description reaction: They definitely got it right. If you like the smell of burning wood, but don't want to die of smoke inhalation, get this.

Curse Be Iron

"A blend of smoke, charcoal, and Frankincense with aquatic undertones. Smells like an anvil."

Oh wow...this is such a hot, masculine scent. It's a slightly cool, slightly bitter and dusty smell that makes me think of walking through stone halls in a castle in winter, while reading an aged parchment. It's a castle in another era where they still use torches and the stones still retain a slightly smoky smell, even during the day.
The halls of this kind of castle.
Image by Flaviobolla, please check out more of his awesome work here:

The romanticized version, of course. I'm not making it sounds good, but this just transports you to a different world. There's still a sweetness to this that makes it smell like a great cologne.  I need my boyfriend to try this. It smells awesome!

Post-description reaction: There is smoke in this! I wonder if the frankincense is the one causing the "old" smell.

Perfume on the bf: He complained it's an "old man's perfume". I pressed him for something more descriptive and he went, "It's ok, but it's a cologne for someone in his 40s. So yeah, old man's perfume."

That's all I could get from the boy. He's not really good at this.

Happy Little Boozer

"Straight up beer."

Vodka Red Bull. It smells exactly like vodka with Red Bull and I swear they even got a bit of fizziness in the scent. I don't know how they did it. And you know what's amazing? It's a sweet smell, but not the in-your-face kind of sharp sweetness that gives you a headache. I love this scent, but people may start thinking I'm an alcoholic if I keep using this. I really smell like I had vodka red bull spilled on me. Maybe I should get it in a soap form.

Ok, I've been smelling it for over an hour and the more I smell it, the more I like it. I think I need to get this in full size!

Post-description reaction: Huh..smells a bit too sweet to be beer for me. Let me get the bf to try it.

Perfume on the bf: He immediately went, "Beer."

This is the first time he ever identified a scent correctly, so I'm very impressed. Guess he knows his booze. It does smell more like beer on him. He even commented that it even has that fermented smell beer has. On me, my skin brings out the sweetness and he says it smells more like Red Bull & beer. I really want to get this in full size, but he told me not to get it because I smell like I came home wasted and that's not a good impression to give people.

I smell like this...I can so turn into a great billboard
Image courtesny of
Maybe I'll get this in soap form...I really like the smell! I'm not an alcoholic. I swear.

Hellbent on Leather

"Straight up leather. Oddly arousing…"

This smells exactly like leather. It smells like the inside of new cars and new, leather seats. Pure leather. Again, I'm impressed. Not something I'd wear out even though I discovered I really, really like the smell of leather in men, but definitely impressed by how realistic it is.

Smells exactly how this would smell like.
The Raymond leather chair by Massoud Furniture, image courtesy of

Post-description reaction: They got the description right.  No further comment...

99 in the Shade

"The scent of fresh-squeezed Lemonade with notes of Raspberry, Strawberry, and a hint of Lime!"

Like Happy Little Boozer, I swear you can practically taste a fizziness to it. It smells like a lemon-berry-mint Italian soda, but like all BathSabbath scents, it's more complicated. I definitely smell the bubbly citrus & berries the most, but there's a hint of a fresh, icy vanilla scent that reminds me of vanilla vodka. There's also some leafy smell thrown into the mix. It want to say it's shisho leaves, but I don't know if I'm imagining it because this smells so much like a complex cocktail.

It feels like I'm drinking this.
Image courtesy of Food52, recipe for the drink's here! Full disclosure, I haven't tried it before...

It's such a nice summer scent and definitely makes me think of a complicated summer cocktail that looks gorgeous but you know will cost $20 or worse. It'll probably be served with nitrogen just to make it even more expensive. It's definitely a sweet scent, but miraculously, it doesn't go sweet to the point of giving me a headache.

For some reason, I got the same metallic after-smell I get from HoG's scents when the scent's mostly gone. I really need to figure out what note is causing this. I love that metallic smell.

I'm tempted to get this, but I'll check my budget first.

Post-description reaction: The description doesn't do it justice. This reminds me of Duncan Hills, where the description is so ordinary, but the scent is just so amazing. And I swear I smell shisho (it smells like a cross between basil & mint to me) in there somewhere. This scent is actually very wearable as a perfume and I can totally see it as an Escada scent...just more grown up and less headache inducing. I was in love with Escada sweet scents (Ibiza Hippie was my favourite) as a teen, but the sweetness was so sharp, I only liked it when I'm smelling it on someone standing about a foot away from me. This actually smells good on me straight away, and smells grown up enough for the board room meetings.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Review: 13 Gypsies Perfumery (Part 2)

I realized in my last review, I forgot to write about my experience ordering with 13 Gypsies Perfumery.  They're currently still having a 44% off sale until July 1.


This is a cute extra touch!

The package arrived beautifully packaged and smelling of patchouli. I'm not sure why because I can't spot any leaks, so maybe she scents her packaging with a bit of patchouli? I mean, these are definitely tightly sealed:

Nothing's getting out of that!

I like the little touches she adds like this box the perfumes came in:

The bottles are also gorgeous, so definitely impressed by the packaging.


Ordered: May 27
Shipped: June 6
Received: June 19

She did mention that orders may take up to 10 days to ship, or longer during sales, on her site. I guess I should take TAT warnings seriously.

Perfume Oils

As for the quality of these oils, I still stand by my previous review. They definitely have amazing longevity, but barely any throw, forcing you to get close to kissing distance to get a whiff. Unfortunately, all the oils I got in these next 5 scents have a sort of artificial smell that didn't agree with me.

Overall, I don't think I'll be purchasing again from them since the scents don't agree with me at all. Would I recommend it? I'm a bit iffy on this. If you want an oil that has longevity they definitely have it. Some people wouldn't mind the weak throw either, since some people don't want a perfume that stinks up the entire room. Honestly, the only oil I was impressed with out of the 10 I got was Xocolatl. Even though I hated the smell, I still admire it for smelling exactly like xocolatl. The rest smells artificial or off to me, but this is very subjective. Some people do enjoy the scents from Victoria's Secret & Bath & Bodyworks, and I find them artificial smelling. They're definitely not as artificial as some brand I've tried, where the smell just hits you in the head and gives you a headache or smell like air fresheners. At the same time, there's still something off. So I guess my stance on this is that the perfumes are worth checking out at 44% off, but definitely proceed with caution. 

As always, the scent reviews done below are done blind, and I only check the notes after I've done my review and before I do my post-description overview.

Desolation Angel

"Egyptian musk, vanilla bean, hint of walnut"

This smells very cottony and soft. This is kinda awkward but...this smells exactly like baby oil. There's even an oily smell in the background. I guess I can wax lyrical about how this smells like innocence and soft cotton, but if I'm being honest, it just smells like baby oil. There's even an oily smell in the background.

Post-description review: The next time my friend's putting baby oil on her baby, I'm going to go, "I smell the luxurious scent of Egyptian musk, delicately blended with rich, decadent vanilla beans. Do I smell the faintest whisper of another note? Ah, yes. Walnuts. There's also a hint of walnuts in it."


"Cotton candy, tobacco, smoke, sugar"

At first whiff, this smells great. It smells like tons of fizzy soft drinks. Awesome! Then it slowly becomes a pure grape soda smell which I find a tad artificial, but still not that bad. Unfortunately, a bitter smell starts to emerge and I'm not sure what's causing it. It's the insecticide sort of bitterness. It's like someone spiked my grape soda with ant poison and hopes I can't smell it.

Post-description review: I don't smell smokiness in this at all. Not the kind of smokiness I got used to from BathSabbath anyway. It just smells like bitter insecticide in the background.

Which Witch

"Light sandalwood, spices, woods, poppy"

Starts of smelling like lemon dishwashing soap but morphs into a slightly powdery white florals bubble bath scent, with a hint of lemons. I swear I can smell the soapy bubble scent that almost every bubble bath I've had has.

Post-description review: What is causing that soapy smell??


"Sea salt/ozone blend that also contains dragons blood, earth, and musk"

At first, it's a sharp, sweet and cool florals. I can't identify it since it just goes straight into my head and slightly gives me a headache. It's overwhelming my nose & that's all I can smell at first. Eventually, it calms down a bit, and it becomes very heavy, musky florals, with an oily smell in the background. Just oil. It's not a fragrant oil, it just smells like scentless cooking oil that still has an oily smell. It took a while before that oil smell completely disappears, leaving just heavy, musky florals.  

Post-description review: Maybe the sea-salt/ozone blend caused the initial cool smell, but that disappears fast and this scent just gets very, very heavy.

Bad Witch

"Nag champa, frankincense, sandalwood, dragon's blood, tiny bit of aged Indian patchouli" smells like smelly milk. Not sweetened or that cloyingly, play-doh-ish milk smell. It smells exactly like certain unsweetened milk powders that just smell bad -almost a game-y sort of bad. It smells like certain types of milk I've had in India. I learnt recently they may have been buffalo milk instead of regular milk (they did not taste like regular milk) and that may be why they had a game-y smell that I haven't acquired. That scent is the most overwhelming scent. There's a Hindu temple smell of incense, smoke and sweet offerings, but it's hidden behind that smelly milk smell.

After over an hour, there's finally a smell that smells exactly like the rooms of Hyatt hotel in Bali. My family and I used to stay there all the time when I was a kid, and I haven't been back there for close to two decades. But as soon as I smelled this, I recognized it. It's mostly a corporate-type of clean smell, with an incense bitterness that smells more like rubbing your hands on incense rather than burning it, and a whisper of Balinese florals like frangipani and jasmines hiding in the background. I love, love, love that smell. Unfortunately, the smelly milk is not completely gone. I think I'll pass on this.

Post-description review: Well, there's definitely something Indian there. I wonder if just the nag champa, sandalwood and frankincense will recreate that Hyatt hotel smell? I should customize a perfume in that combination.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Review: Brazen Fierce + Flawless & lip gloss swatches

My Brazen order arrived just yesterday, and I haven't had time to review the perfumes yet. The order came with a few samples though, including the Grown-Ass woman lip gloss that's currently part of the Out Loud collection that's 50% off. Thought I should give swatches to help anyone making up their minds.

Samples of Fierce + Flawless: Primrose Glow, and lip glosses in Grown-Ass Woman and Two Faced

Here are the swatches of Fierce + Flawless: Primrose Glow, and the lip glosses in Grown-Ass Woman and Two Faced. Left is under artificial light to show the shift, right is under natural light. Fierce + Flawless: Primrose Glow is swatched over bare skin on the left half, and Make Up Store's Face Serum primer on the right.

Left: Artificial light to show shift
Right: Natural light
In real life, I can't really see Primrose Glow either, so you're not imagining it

It's kinda hard to really see how pretty these colours are on arm swatches, so here are lip swatches. First, bare lips for comparison:

 Grown-Ass Woman

Apt name for the gloss..I really feel grown-ass in this killer colour
I loooovee this colour! It's a purple-toned berry colour with a blue shift! This is a pretty opaque colour on me, but maybe because it stains my lips. This colour is so pretty, it might be worth getting the collection just for this!

Two Faced

I want to try this over black lipstick.
This is a sheer opacity gloss with a pink & blue shift. Great colour to layer over any lipstick to turn it duochrome. 

Lip Gloss Review

They're pretty sticky so that's one thing to take note. But the consistency is very smooth & the pigmentation's great. They also taste delicious. They're sweetened & slightly vanilla tasting. 

Fierce + Flawless: Primrose Glow Review

I'm not a fan of this. As you can see from the swatch, it doesn't adhere that well to my skin. The glitter they use is also relatively large flecks, so it gives your face the disco ball effect. Very 1990s. 

I actually used it on my cheeks for the full face photos and I honestly can't see the difference even in real life, except for a few glitter flecks on my cheeks. 

Products used:

  • Dior Hydralife BB Cream (Luminous Beige)
  • Make Up Store Cover All
  • Make Up Store Face Serum
  • Biore Perfect Face Milk
  • Brazen Fierce + Flawless (Primrose Glow)

On lids: Notoriously Morbid (The Grand Empress)
Inner corner & lower lashline: Hello Waffle (Tchaikovsky)
Eye close up. That gorgeous smudged blue colour? That's actually The Grand Empress blended out!

  • Darling Girl Glitter Glue
  • Notoriously Morbid (The Grand Empress) (swatch still pending, sorry /u/thatspookygirl!)
  • Hello Waffle (Tchaikovsky)
  • Cheap eyelashes from China

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Subscription Boxes: Box of Happies June 2014 Box

I know subscription boxes aren't worth it for international shoppers, but I couldn't help it and because I'm a sucker for branding and packaging. Check out their website! It's so cute!

So here's what I got:

These are the items in the box:

  • Hair tie by Ting Lisa
  • Soap bar by Megan's Soap Box
  • Earrings by Box of Happies
  • Necklace by Box of Happies 
  • Felt magnet by Robin's Art & Design

This is how much the box costs:

1 month's box: $24
Shipping: $4.99

Total: $28.99

This brand does not ship internationally, but I was an idiot and didn't read that part, so I somehow was able to subscribe even though I live abroad. So the total I paid for is $42.14, which is unfortunately not worth it. 

So on to the pros & cons of this box:

  • They don't do auto-renewals of their subscription service, which is something I appreciate a LOT
  • It comes in a high quality, functional box I can actually use for storage!
  • It comes with a card with suggestions of what you can use the box for. Yay for being green!
  • It arrived to me, an international customer, on June 23, so US customers probably got it around June 13. Not too bad for subscription services
  • It's cute stuff!

  • It's unfortunately too cute. I feel so lame saying this but, I think the things look too young on me. I do think they're cute but they're not exactly age appropriate for me. The necklace may still work, but the hairtie, magnet and earrings are definitely too young-ish for me now. I'm going to pass it on to my friends with young daughters since I still think they're cute for young girls.
  • International shipping makes it too expensive :(

So unfortunately, I won't be renewing my subscription.

Megan's Soap Box Review

The soap isn't for me, unfortunately. It leaves your hands with a bit of that dry, sticky feeling you get with some bar soaps. Not too much, but enough for me to prefer something else. Scent-wise, it's ok. It doesn't really smell like lemongrass, and smells more like lemon with a bit of that soap bar smell. Overall, this soap is ok, but I'm not rushing to get it. 

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

FOTD: Trying on an Orange Blush, Featuring Daisy Bird Cosmetics

While swatching Daisy Bird's colours, there were several colours outside my comfort zone and I wanted to challenge myself to wear them. 

So here's my look with the incredibly orange You Bet I'm Blushin' blush, Mean Bean Green, Germinate or Die Trying and Dandy Dandelion.

Side view for contour:
You Bet I'm Blushin' is very, very orange. It may work on darker skinned girls, but on me, it' looks like a really bad spray tan gone wrong. Luckily it's very blendable, and makes a nice contouring blush.

To give you an idea of how scary the blush looked like at first, here's the swatch against bare skin, with no primer whatsoever:
Left indoors, right under natural light
It's even more vibrant in real life. When I first put it on, it was really striking orange streaks on my face. Extremely scary! But with a lot of blending, wow! Perfect for contouring!

Eye close up:

Dandy Dandelion on inner corners, Germinate or Die Trying as a base (gets rid of redness too!) and Mean Bean Green as the accent colour. Germinate or Die Trying ends up blending well with yellow-toned skin and makes a great base colour!
Front view:
Front view. With monolids, everything disappears from certain angles T.T

Also featuring:

  • Biore Perfect Face Milk
  • Dior Hydralife BB Cream (Luminous Beige)
  • Make Up Store Cover All
  • Make Up Store Wonder Powder (Kalahari)
  • Clio Kill Black Liner

I forgot to wear mascara since you often don't see your lashes with monolids T.T

Mascara still makes a difference even though most of your lashes look invisible. It makes your eyes look darker and pop more. 

Review: 13 Gypsies Perfumery

I got some oils from 13 Gypsies Perfumery and only received them a few days ago. They're currently have a 44% off sale until the end of June, so I thought I better get the review out ASAP.

Now, I know they have had some bad publicity, but I think everyone deserves a second chance, and I'll be as unbiased as possible when I'm reviewing these scents.

What bad publicity?

There's a blog claiming that she doesn't use carrier oils and her scents are just stock scents that can be bought for a fraction of the price, among other things. The blog contains bad reviews from other places she sold as well. This is just one person and I'm not aware of other reports. If you know anything else, please let me know.

What's her response to it?

Here's the link to her response. This is the screenshot as of June 23, 2014:

How's the brand owner?

Darla is really sweet and my interactions with her has been great. I went crazy during the sale and bought a bunch of stuff, but something came up and I realized I can't afford the crazy purchase right now. She refunded me immediately with no questions asked, so I'm definitely a fan.

How's the quality?

Full disclosure, I didn't find a single scent I'm rushing to get. At the same time, I haven't found any HoG perfume oil that I like either, and I still like their quality so I think I can be fairly unbiased.

Now for the quality of these perfumes. Well, this I'm torn about. On one hand, certain scents do have that artificial smell, and some scents have this weird oily smell to them, but most of these scents do not have that extremely hollow, cheap synthetic scent that I've gotten from some perfume makers. So even within my batch of 11 scents, there seems to be a range of different levels of quality.

These scents don't have much of a throw and you'll have to get as close as kissing distance to sniff them, even in the beginning. By about minutes, you'll have to practically press your nose against the spot you put the perfume on to get a whiff. But they last really long -about 12h.

So here's the scent reviews, as usual they're done blind, without me checking the notes until I write the post-description reviews:


"Peony, peach, grapefruit, and vanilla"

This starts of as an orange-berry soda smell, but gradually gets more soapy and bubbly. It starts smelling like a tutti frutti candy scented bubble bath. There's also a cotton-ish milky scent to this that reminds me of babies. It's like dunking a baby into a tub of tutti frutti bubble bath, and sniffing him/her after you've fished him/her out.

I love babies, I swear.
Image courtesy of

It's definitely too young for me and I'm not a fan of the tutti frutti smell, it smells too artificial for me. Gods..never thought I'll finally find things "too young" for me, but it's time. It's a cute perfume for tweens, but definitely not for someone who's 25.

Post-description review: There's definitely a bubble bath smell, and I can't figure out where it's from. I get this soapy scent from a lot of 13 Gypsies' perfumes.

Halloween Patchouli

The site does not carry a description of this scent, so I have no idea what it's supposed to be :(

This started out smelling like nothing at all, but then a wet, mushy pumpkin smell enters. The smell gradually gets sweeter and ends up smelling like sweet pumpkin purée on some minty herbs. I cannot smell patchouli at all, so that's a relief. Unfortunately, as time wore on, there's a bit of a sour smell emerging and the minty & herbal smell got stronger.

This will sound so bad, but...the only way I can describe it is that it starts smelling like certain old people -there's that icy, herbal smell of muscle relief salves, something almost like cabbage, a slight sour smell, and sweet mint candies.


"Mexican vanilla, brown sugar, sweet cream"

It smells like gumdrops and caramel. The caramel is that slightly cloying, artificial caramel smell, but luckily it doesn't turn into a curdled milk smell on me, which is what happens with a lot of those cloying milky/caramel notes. The gumdrop scent started smelling medicinal after a while, and it ends up smelling like one of though gumdrop-flavoured cough syrups. The kind that you know won't taste like gumdrops, and can still smell a bit of the bitter medicine in it, even though the manufacturer tried their best to lay on the gumdrop smell hard so kids can stomach it. The caramel smell did get stronger as it wears on, but the gumdrop-flavoured cough medicine smell still lingers.

Post-description review: Can't figure out what note will smell medicinal in here. Maybe one of the notes just morphs on my skin?

Opium Eater

"Tobacco, light amber, poppy"

I don't know what opium is supposed to smell like, but this smells exactly like a Chinese temple. Not the tourist-friendly type. The ones that are actually still in use and smells like the the scent of thousands of joss-sticks burnt daily. A very bitter-sweet burnt smell.

My grandma's altar smells exactly like this. If you like that burnt joss-stick smell, you'll like this. Personally, the smell reminds me too much of my grandma's altar. That altar used to scare me shitless as a kid. It glowed red. At all times. Even at night. And had scary-looking angry bearded men statues & dragons on it. Try walking past that as a kid.

This is the closest image I can find to my grandma's altar, only this is in a cheery, brightly lit room:

My grandma's was more menacing looking.
Image courtesy of
And it glowed red like this at night:

It's scary as hell at night.
Image courtesy of

Needless to say, I'm not a fan of this scent.

Post-description review: I don't know how opium smells like, but I know how a Chinese altar smells like. It's a Chinese altar. Unless my grandma's burning opium in her altar


"Apple blossom & orange blossom (florals, not the fruit), with a touch of sweet frankincense and cinnamon"

This smells exactly like Lux soap bars - a slightly heavy powdery, white floral scent with soapy cleanness to it. It's a great smell, but it's the soap that's usually found in every cheap restaurant and shady motel because they're just so cheap, so I can't shake off the feeling that it smells like an ordinary cheap bar of soap. After about 10 minutes, a cinnamon smell comes in, so it starts smelling like vaguely cinnamon-scented soap. But mostly just a normal bar of soap smell. Only after about 40 minutes, it starts smelling like this jasmine rice soap I once got (the soap is supposedly rice-based, not sure how they did's very drying for my skin though). Not a bad scent but smells too much like a normal bar of soap to me.

Post-description review: What causes the soapy smell? I get that soap smell from a lot of these perfumes.


"Intoxicating blend of chocolate, patchouli, and coffee."

Initially it smells like a chocolate liqueur I once had. Eventually, it smells like a raw cocoa hot chocolate I once tried, complete with the sour-ish dark chocolate smell. That raw cocoa hot chocolate was also called xocolatl, and it's supposedly raw, Aztec chocolate that's better for you than normal chocolates. The guy selling it was this stereotypically hippie looking guy who operated his blender with what looks like half a bicycle attached to it. Obviously I had to try it out.

Raw cocoa sucks. It's sour and bitter and I immediately saw why chocolate making is an art. You know what xocolatl means originally? It meant "bitter water". That's a good description for that drink. I'll leave you guys with the description of the drink by Jose de Acosta, a Spanish Jesuit missionary from the later 16th century:

"Loathsome to such as are not acquainted with it, having a scum or froth that is very unpleasant taste."

What I was expecting
Image courtesy of

What I got. Yes, the texture and consistency's like that. It has a dusty, fiber-ish texture to it, and it's so bitter & sour.
Image courtesy of

This smells exactly like that raw cocoa hot chocolate I choked on.

The sourness eased up a bit, but it still smells like sweetened raw cocoa. It actually smells good if you don't have to drink it. Cocoa notes tend to turn into a sweet wood scent on me after about an hour, and this did the same. But the sourness of raw cocoa remained, and there's also a slightly metallic aftersmell. I often get that metallic aftersmell with a lot of gourmand perfumes for some reason. I like it, but I'm not sure what causes it.

Post-description review: Good news! You can't smell the patchouli! But it's still a xocolatl smell.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Review & Recommendation: Cult Nails Effect Top Coats

So I sadly ordered items from Cult Nails on May 6. I say sadly because I bought everything I could possibly want from them, only to find out they decided to have a 50% off promotion a few weeks later. I have awesome luck. I delayed this review because I wanted to see how long the polishes I tried last, and being me, I ended up delaying it too long and forgot all about publishing it. /u/ashhole613 kindly posted that they're having another 50% off deal at midnight, so definitely get them now!

Also, not sure if referral bonuses stack up, but this is my referral link:

And you get $12 of $24 if you use it. Full disclosure, I get a $5, so if you're not comfortable with that, no need to use it. These nail polishes are definitely worth buying at full price :)

From left to right: Dance All Night, Wicked Fast, Feedback, Wax That..., Alter Ego, Doppelganger

I ordered:
  • Doppelganger - LIMITED EDITION (Effect Top Coat) 
  • Alter Ego - LIMITED EDITION (Effect Top Coat) 
  • Dance All Night - LIMITED EDITION 
  • Feedback - LIMITED EDITION
  • Wicked Fast (Speed Dry Top Coat) 
  • Wax That... (Wax Effect Top Coat) 

Turnaround Time:

  • Ordered: May 6
  • Shipped: May 7
  • Received: May 26
I'm not sure what happened to this order, but usually, it only takes 2 weeks for USPS to reach me. This took 19 days. It's not bad, but definitely longer than usual.

I decided to try out two Effect Top Coats, Alter Ego & Wax That... Here's the Cult Nail's Description for both products:

Alter Ego

"Alter Ego is a sheer top coat that will cast a gold and green tinge over your polish, creating an aged, antiqued, look."

Wax That...

"Wax That... is an effect top coat that gives your manicure the look of melted candle wax.  It can be described as a satin/matte finish."

I was definitely excited to check out Wax That..., but when I saw Alter Ego, I got disappointed at first. It looked like a normal gold nail polish and I thought I fell for a gimmicky description. I was so wrong. Check out what it does to a light nail polish and a dark polish:

Left: Just plain old nail polish. Sally Hansen "Black Diamond" & Formula X "Brilliant", with Sally Hansen's Maximum Growth Base Coat
Right: With Cult Nail's "Alter Ego"
Holy crap, this is magical! It actually is a green-gold duochrome top coat! Here's more pics to show off the duochrome

It's even more awesome in real life.

The effect of this top coat is more visible against a dark background, but it makes a lighter nail polish also look like it's been sprayed by fairy dust. It looked so perfect, I didn't want to ruin it by adding anymore layers, but I'm also really excited to try out Wax That... Decisions, decisions. I decided to go for it and wow.

Left: With Wax That... Top Coat
Right: Without
Again, my camera can't capture how awesome this is. It's a matte duochrome. Mindblowing. This matte is a more buttery matte than OPI's matte nail polish, which has a similar look as a chalkboard. Maybe I haven't explored enough, but I honestly haven't seen this texture before. I'm freaking amazed. My nails look like they went through an instagram filter that reduces contrast and adds a vintage effect.

And yes, the duochrome is still in effect under this top coat!

Matte Duochrome!

You need to buy this.

The amazing thing is that even though manicures usually only last 2-3 days on me thanks to me not being able to keep my hands still, these lasted at least 5 days on me (some started chipping on the 5th day, I started picking on them on the 6th day and further ruined them before wiping them off on the 7th day). I even tore my nail while trying to pry open the cap of a perfume sample, but the nail polish stuck!

This is how it looks like after 4 days:

Sorry for the yellow lighting. This is the last photo I had before they started to peel off about a day later. And yes, I tend to pick on my cuticles >.<

When they do come off, I think it's my base coat's fault. They come off cleanly like this:
Aww darn! The rest still looked pretty good!

I've used this base coat before with other polishes, as well as used these base colour nail polishes before, and none of my manicures lasted this well.

I totally see why these are called Cult Nails. I can feel myself getting sucked into the cult. I can practically hear people chanting, "One of of us...."

Depotting My Solid Perfumes Into Perfume Lockets

Recently I discovered one of my old necklaces is a perfume locket!

I got this when I was a teen. Totally forgot about it!

So I decided to see if I can put one of my solid perfumes in it. First thing I did was disinfect everything.
I love disinfecting stuff...

Then I put some solid perfume on a spoon:
At this point, I realized that I should probably not start with my favourite solid perfume (Midsummer Dreams Apothecary's Snow White), but it's too late already.

Melted it over a candle:
This entire process took 2 minutes, but I sped it up.
Poured it in:

Used too little..but I didn't want to try more in case I screwed up.
Since the little bubble was too small, it kept sliding around. I smushed it in.

Anyway, I got another scent locket. Alkemia tossed it into my order since I spent a bit too much there.

Since there's holes in it, I thought I should try a perfume without much of a throw so I don't end up perfume bombing people around me. I chose Brazen's Cranberry Cocktail solid perfume, which has a very weak throw.

Repeated the same steps:

More time lapse!


This is when it's just poured.

All solid!

So the important questions:

Did you ruin the solid perfumes?

Yes and no. The solid perfumes became much more solid. Almost like candle wax. It's not too bad for MDA's perfume, but it really made me sad for Brazen's perfume since I really loved the initial texture. The scent still remained the same though!

For the 2nd locket, do you smell like a walking Cranberry Cocktail?

Nope :(

As I mentioned in my previous review, Brazen's solid perfume has a very, very short throw. My HoG pumpkin butter has more of a scent than them. I tried sniffing the locket and unfortunately, that brassy, cheap metal smell from the locket is stronger than the solid perfume's smell. I still smell a bit of Cranberry Cocktail, but it's in the background.

Where can I buy those lockets?

No idea for the first one since I got it as a present over a decade ago. As for the 2nd one, I found out you can easily get it from

Unfortunately, if you search "perfume locket" or "scent locket" on Etsy, you'll notice a lot of sellers selling these. I started searching both sites for lockets and found out there's a lot of unethical sellers selling made in China lockets for jacked up prices. Sometimes, even falsely claiming that they're "vintage"! Be very careful guys. There are tons of legit sellers, but a number of fake ones too.

Any reviews for the two perfumes you mentioned?

Review for MDA's Snow White is here.
Review for Brazen's Cranberry Cocktail is here.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Review & Recommendation: Daisy Bird Cosmetics

Guess what came in the mail?

Love the sticker! And candy!


My Daisy Bird order!

Last month Alice made a post about her new store, Daisy Bird Cosmetics on reddit. I have a soft spot for entrepreneurs, so of course I had to help her out!

So here's my review:


I decided to do it off Etsy so it's easier to figure out international shipping and stuff.

Paid: May 22
Sent: June 1
Received: June 13

The 10 day processing time is a bit long, but I wasn't too worried since she was figuring out international shipping all the way to Indonesia. Alice was the one who followed up with me, was really apologetic about it, and made no excuses. I'm very impressed with her customer service. And she must have picked a really awesome shipping option, because getting the goods in just 12 days is freaking amazing for Indonesia! Either that or customs decided the package doesn't look like it's worth extorting money for.


Sifter seal. YES.
So, so pretty! I love the artwork! And yes, they have sifter seals. The labels are not waterproof, so be careful about that. I'm now so careful with this eyeshadow just because I don't want to get the label wet and ruin it. It's too pretty!

Is this brand legit?

Yes! These are definitely legit and not repackaged micas. The ingredients lists are great, and there's definitely consistency in what she uses for binders (carnauba wax, magnesium myristate).

This is how I check if an indie company is selling legit products or just repackaged stuff. If there's no binders, it's almost certainly repackaged micas. Yes, the colours may look unique, but TKB Trading has a large selection of really unique micas. If the type of binders they use keep changing, either the company is still experimenting on the right formula (and using customers as guinea pigs) or have added some TKB Trading's ready made eyeshadows into their collection of mostly repackaged micas.

I've once decided not to buy from a certain company after I noticed inconsistencies in the ingredients lists and a lack of binders for certain shadows. Sure enough, there are reviews that mentioned the colours are streaky and patchy.


These are very pigmented and applies very evenly. Any patchiness on the swatches is due to my skin getting all wrinkled in the morning. I definitely like the quality! As swatches below will show, they still show up on your bare skin. I'm very impressed with that! They're definitely best applied over primer though.

2 colours are a bit patchy when applied wet, but there's an awesome explanation for it below.


Right is under natural light, left is indoors, under yellow-toned artificial light.

On bare skin:
Right: Under natural light
Left: Indoors, under yellow-toned artificial light

On NYX's HD Primer:
Right: Under natural light
Left: Indoors, under yellow-toned artificial light

Applied with a wet brush:

Right: Under natural light
Left: Indoors, under yellow-toned artificial light

I really don't recommend this method since these are really pigmented and will stain your skin this way. This is my arm even after I washed it with my oil-based make up cleanser:

I didn't bother glitter glueing the mattes, but here's the glitter glue swatches for the shimmers:

April Showers, Grand Maitre Crocus, Hello Hyacinth
Right: Under natural light

Left: Indoors, under yellow-toned artificial light

April Showers is a shimmery white, that somehow goes blue if applied against a primer or when it's applied wet. At first i thought my brush was dirty and caused the blue-ish stains on April Showers while doing the primer swatches, so I kept layering on more eyeshadow. Turns out it was the eyeshadow because it went completely blue when I applied it with a wet brush (I made sure it was the first colour I swatch so there's no colour transfer too).

Grand Maitre Crocus is a colour I'd typically get for myself -a gorgeous, shimmery violet.

I thought Hello Hyacinth was an ordinary shimmery purple until I applied it over glitter glue. Hello blue duochrome! Check that blue shift out!

Dandy Dandelion is the colour that got my interest when I first visited the Etsy page. It's a buttery, shimmery, pastel yellow that's just so pretty! It's very low shimmer, and looks almost matte. It pairs up so beautifully with any colour!

Germinate or Die Trying is a soft, pastel mint green. I noticed this colour & Dandy Dandelion are both pretty hydrophobic and that's why they were hard to apply with a wet brush. Hence, the slightly patchy swatches.

My theory is that it's probably because they contained higher quantities of titanium dioxide, and the titanium dioxide in this formula is oil, not water, dispersible. That means that the titanium dioxide dissolves better in oil than water, and that'll make the colour relatively waterproof. To test out this theory, I conducted an experiment. I applied the two colours over NYX's HD eyeshadow primer:

Dandy Dandelion blended with Germinate or Die Trying
Then I ran them through water. And I'm not talking about just dipping my hand into a tub of water. I ran the colours through running water like this:

For at least 10 seconds. And guess what? They are waterproof! Notice how the water initially tries to avoid the patch of colour?
They repel water.

Mean Bean Green is definitely a colour I normally wouldn't consider. It's a dark matte green. The greens I normally go for are darker, or are more blue/emerald toned. I'm going to challenge myself to wear this. 

It's not the camera, You Bet I'm Blushin' is a very dark orange blush. I'm a bit scared of the colour since it looks like a spray tan gone wrong, but I think this is a good way of challenging myself to get out of my comfort zone. 

Not So Loud Lilac blush is a gorgeous lilac colour in the packet, but on me, it turns into this bright, blueish-toned cotton-candy pink. Also another colour I need to challenge myself to try.