Saturday, November 9, 2019

Tripping Over Tombstones...Village Candle Ghost Cemetery

I know Halloween is over. But, I was sick that week, and didn't have a chance to publish all my spooky posts before leaving for Nagoya on the 2nd (photos and videos of the trip are on Instagram). I just got back, and I really don't want to scrap these posts.  So, I asks for your patience during the next few installments. Anyway, if you're like me, Halloween is 365 days a year. so, I hope you enjoy:)

The first candle I'm going to review from the Village Candles' Halloween Collection is Ghost Cemetery.

What a phantasmagorical label and name for a halloween candle. As someone who used to lurk around cemeteries in her high school days, I was curious to explore Village Candle's interpretation of a grave site. Grievously, they missed the mark with this one.

Ghost Cemetery's notes are: Frankincense, Clove, Sandalwood, Forest Green.

The scent is described as, "Spend a chilly and haunting evening in the midst of a foggy grey cemetery where ghouls, ghosts and spirits of the night linger and watch from above. This mysterious scent both frightens and brings comfort to the air." 

On cold sniff, and burn, one positive note I got was a hint of a menthol coolness. However, this is detracted by a smokey, bakery vanilla sweetness. The oddest note to come to the foreground is maple. I've not sure if my sense of smell is broken, but the main scent I got was maple. 

I like the scent, but it should've been called something else...maybe Trick-or-Treat, but definitely not Ghost Cemetery. I wanted the candle to smell of freshly dug earth, mossy greenery, decomposing flowers, damp stone, with an otherworldly cold.

Use Me For Emotional Blackmail...China Glaze You've Got Blackmail

Next up in the To Catch a Colour Collection is: You've Got Blackmail.

You've Got Blackmail is a lavender-tinged charcoal gray, loaded with silver shimmer, and a textured finish. The formula is very good, and it applied with ease; practically opaque in one coat, but perfect in two.

An unexpected surprise was how much I liked the textured finish of You've Got Blackmail; it's one of my favorites in the collection.

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

See into the Tress...Village Candle Forbidden Forest

Recently, I purchased all four pettite glass jars (wish I would have bought the large) from Village Candles' Halloween Collection. Mistakenly, I thought Forbidden Forest was part of the series, but it isn't; it's from the Fantasy Collection...mea culpa.  Therefore, I'll review it first.

The Village Candle have gone through a bit of a makeover, and now have aluminum lids. 

The notes of Forbidden Forest are: Pine, Herbaceous, Cedarwood, Patchouli, and Smoke.

Village Candle describes the scent as, "Lush green, wet moss and a hint of smoky air lies deep in the intriguing forest where only some venture to go. At first glance the bright and cheery pine forest invites and then transforms into a mystical world where gnarly twists of cedarwood, eucalyptus clouds, dark fireside smoke and drifts of patchouli mysteriously mingle to capture your spirit and darken your mood in the hidden forbidden forest."

I believe the name, along with the visual description, is befitting the scent of Forbidden Forest. The candle's aroma is what I believe a forbidden forest would smell like. I smell earthiness, moss covered trees, pine needles, and a rich, swirled smoke mingled with a nipping chill. It's a dark, eerie, lost deep in the heart of a moon lit enchanted forest from a Brothers Grimm fairy tale.

For being a petite candle, I was very impressed with the throw. The scent filled up my entire living room.

Even though Forbidden Forest isn't a Halloween candle, I think it's perfect for the season as well as autumn. I will definitely be buying a large glass jar.

The Forbidden Forest 3.75 oz petite glass jar candle burns up to 25 hours (although, I've been able to get a few more hours of use), and retails for $10. 

So Full of Jealousy...China Glaze Green with Jealousy

I always look forward to China Glaze's Halloween Collections. I love them, and wish more mainstream brands would release themed polishes for All Hallow's Eve, don't you?!

With that said, I find there seems to be a disconnect between the polish shades and the crime noir- theme, and shade names of this year's To Catch a Colour Collection. For me, the mystery/thriller-theme lacks that spooky/supernatural element I need for Halloween, and would have worked best for a fall release; they just don't seem to match with one another.

Green with Jealousy has a bewitching, murky teal base, with green and gold shimmers. Opaque in two coats, the polish finish is a little dull. Actually, I really liked this shade, but I was disappointed with the absence of  the glowy-radiance these types of shimmer polishes seem to have. So, You'll need a good top coat to revive the glimmer.

Sunday, October 27, 2019

A Tint Out of Water... Chanel Les Beiges Water-Fresh Tint

Typhoon Hagibis ushered in the long overdue Autumn weather. So, as the temperature drops, and my complexion's summer color fades, I'd say I have another weeks use of Chanel's Les Beiges Water-Fresh Tint in Medium Plus.

Preface: if you enjoy full-coverage foundation, or are in need of concealing any imperfections, this may not be the product for you.

Chanel makes plastic look luxurious. I love the look, and feel of the bottle. 

 Also, I like how the clear plastic allows you to see how much product is left in the bottle.

Included with the Les Beiges Water-Fresh Tint, a nifty brush that actually works wonderfully at applying the product.

Les Beiges Water-Fresh Tint in Medium Plus

Japan offers three of the six shades in the Les Beiges Water-Fresh Tint: Light, Medium Light, and Medium. Although Medium matched me perfectly, I wanted a deeper shade to enhance my summer coloring, and give me a faux tanned effect. So, I ordered the shade Medium Plus from the states.

I've used the Water-Fresh Tint as a primer as well as on its own, and both result were great. However, I found myself solely using it in place of foundation for the entirety of the summer season.

This product is exactly what Chanel claims it to be, a complexion tint. The base contains 75% water and encapsulates pigment micro-droplets. The Les Beiges Water-Fresh Tint gives the complexion an almost blurred, veiled uniformed, bare-skin effect. My face looks and feels hydrated, plump, with a healthy, radiant sheen.

I've been using Les Beiges Water-Fresh Tint for over 4 months, and I love it. For summer, I wanted an extremely lightweight, no-hassle base product that would hydrate, even out, as well as give warmth to my complexion; and it checked off all the boxes. I love this product so much! I'm going to buy the Medium shade, and wear it on those fall and winter days when I can't be bothered to wear foundation.

Friday, October 18, 2019

Welcome to St.Tropez...Lauren B Beauty Sun Kissed in St.Tropez

Released as part of Lauren B Beauty's Spring/Summer 2018 Travel Collection, Sun Kissed in St.Tropez is a glorious, deep burnished copper, with a metallic finish.

The first coat offers semi-opacity, with some nail line peeking through. However, with a second coat,  you achieve full color payoff. Personally, I prefer the color depth after the third coat. Although the majority of streaking levels itself out, there were minor trances on my application that day. It's not unusual to have streaking with metallic polishes, and I find this gives their finish added dimension.

A gorgeous, poolside shade, I love how Sun Kissed in St.Tropez transitions from summer into fall and, dare I say, looks even more stunning against the backdrop of Autumnal hues.

Saturday, September 28, 2019

Sunshine of Your Love...Bath & Body Works Shower Gel

With temperatures ranging from 83 to 86 degrees, the first week of Autumn was off to a sizzling start. The month is just about over, and one use left in the bottle, September's shower gel was Love & Sunshine.

Love & Sunshine's key fragrance notes are: Sun-kissed Daisies, Sweet Lemon, Mara Strawberry, Golden Honeysuckle, Sunshine Musk.
A refreshing scent for warm weather, I mostly pickup the lemon and strawberry notes of the shower gel.

I thought Love & Sunshine was retired, but I just checked the Bath & Body Works website, and it's still available. I've already made my repurchase. 

Thursday, September 26, 2019

Come Over Here and Kiss Me...Femme Fatale The Kiss

Femme Fatale is one of my favorite indie nail polish brands. All of their polish creations are spectacular, and I covet them all!

Isn't the color combination of the polish and glitters beautiful?! 

Inspired by Gustav Klimt's painting of the same name, The Kiss is a yellow (warm) to orange (cold) thermal, with various sizes of yellow, orange, turquoise, white, and black matte hexagon glitters. I feel Femme Fatale captured their inspiration in polish form. However, I'm also getting a 1970's printed fabric vibe as well as candy corn, both of which I love.

The Kiss is opaque in 3-4 coats (personally, I prefer the look of four). The polish dries textured, so, don't forget that top coat. Although the polish contains glitters, it was easy to remove. As for wear, I got a full week of The Kiss.

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Fantastick, That's You! Linda Hallberg Fantastick II Lipstick Swatches

In addition to Lisa Eldridge's Summer Pink Lipsticks, Linda Hallberg's Fantastick II Lipsticks were in heavy rotation this Summer.

 Although I own the original five Fantastick Lipstick shades, I'm going to work backwards, and post the five most recent shades first.

 I found the colors and pattern of exterior packaging of  the second release extremely appealing.

The Fantastick lipsticks are a multi-use product that can be used on the lips and cheeks. Also, they're  vegan, cruelty-free, and contain SPF15.

From left to right: Cultured, I Die, Extra, Famous, Pop. 

Cultured: a muted, terracotta orange.

I Die: a slightly reddened-coral.

Extra: transparent with pink and champagne glitter.

Famous: a cool toned nougat-brown.

Pop: a cool toned fuchsia.

At first, I wasn't going to get Extra, as I'm not really into glittery transparent lip products. However, the bundle amount dropped from $115 to $100, and the cost of 4 Fantasticks was $92. So, in order to qualify for the free worldwide shipping of orders over $100, I parted with the $8 difference.

Reminiscent of the M.A.C Sheen Supreme Lipsticks (remember those?) in both appearance and formula, I found the Fantasticks to have a creamier consistency. I really enjoy the performance, and wear of the Fantasticks; they're pigmented, yet have enough translucency in their glossy finish to give the lips a succulent pout. The only thing I don't like is the diagonal, circulair shape of the lipsticks. I found it difficult, and rather tedious, to apply along the lip line. But, hey, that's what lip brushes are for.

Of theses five shades, my favorites were cultured and famous. I'll definitely be caring them over into Autumn.  

Saturday, September 14, 2019

I Guess I Was Born...Naturally Born...Born Blue...Zoya Mallory

I had Oliver Stone's Natural Born Killers playing in the background while cleaning makeup brushes, which inspired today's manicure, Zoya's Mallory.

Mallory is a highly saturated, deep (yet, bright) prussian-blue creme, with a high-shine finish. This polish has a beautiful, one-coat formula. I haven't worn Mallory in a while, so I don't remember its wear time. However, I will update this post upon the first sign of  tip wear.

Mallory is an attractive shade of blue, and always puts me in a pleasant mood whenever I look at my nails. 

Thursday, September 5, 2019

Pink, It's My New Obsession...Lisa Eldridge Summer Pinks Lipstick Collection

I picked up three of the four new lippies from Lisa Eldridge's Summer Pinks Lipstick Collection. As much as I enjoy a salmon-pink lip, depending on the base tone of the pigment used, the shade can be a hit or miss for me. Go Lightly is described as having a pastel undertone. Because those kinds of shades doesn't look good on me, I feel confident in my decision to pass.

With the purchase of two or more lipsticks you got this cute pale turquoise fabric bag, with pale yellow gold trim, and Eldridge's trademark embroidered emblem.

The lipsticks come in two different formulas: Luxuriously Lucent (Go Lightly, and Love of My Life), which is a soft, translucent, semi-sheer finish. The second formula is Insanely Saturated (Rainbow Spill, and Skyscraper Rose), a creamy, ultra-pigmented demi-matte. Both textures apply smoothly, with a luscious, lightweight feel on the lips. As a side-note, all three lipsticks leave a beautiful, even stain.

 From left to right: Love of My Life, Rainbow Spill, Skyscraper Rose.

Love of My Life: a medium, rosy pink.

Rainbow Spill: a slight muted, slightly radiated, corally-red, watermelon pink.

Skyscraper Rose: a deep, yet vibrant, reddened, fuchsia pink.

Apologies that my lighting in the photos below are all over the place. I really need to buy a ring light.

Love of My Life.

Rainbow Spill. 

 Skyscraper Rose.

I love all three shades as well as both finishes. However, I must say my favorite formula was the Insanely Saturated, and my favorite shade was Skyscraper Rose, with Rainbow Spill coming in at a close second.

Were you able to get any Lipsticks from the Summer Pinks Collection?

Saturday, August 17, 2019

Gone Surfing...Lauren B Beauty Santa Barbara Surf

In Tokyo, August is the hottest month of the year, and based on the forecast, today is 95°(feels like 111°). My apartment feels like the epicenter of Hades itself. I long for a swim, and although I may not be able to cool down, at least I can wear a cool shade of nail polish.

Lauren B Beauty's Santa Barbara Surf is a bright, seafoam green with a shiny creme finish. The first coat has some streaks and unevenness (not unusual for a shade that borderlines on the pastel spectrum), and depending on my application, I'm able to get an opaque finish in 2-3 coats. Santa Barbara Surf's wear time is an average of 4-5 days.

I love how Santa Barbara Surf looks on the fingers and toes, against tanned-skin and white clothing (shocking coming from someone who only wears black). Santa Barbara Surf is a beautiful polish that's perfect for both Spring, and Summer.

Saturday, August 3, 2019

Those Shadows Are Mine, Betch!

Wow. I knew it had been some time since I last blogged, but 3 months?! I didn't mean to take so much time off, Well, let me fill you in on what's been going on. Since my last post, someone whom I've worked with for over 10 years confided in me of her diagnoses of breast cancer. Her and I are very close friends, and I've been accompanying and aiding her in her treatments and recovery process.

That is what has been going on in my world. Now, on to the makeup. I'm going to start with the last post that was in queue: Tarte's Icy Betch Palette. Whenever I read or hear the word "betch," I can't help but think of Liam Kyle Sullivan's character, Kelly. If you don't know what what I'm speaking of, Google "kelly shoes," I'll also insert a video below:

Upon opening the palette, I was caught off guard by the product's pleasing vanilla fragrance.

From left to right: Veronica, Becky, Blair, Heather, Georgina.

Veronica: a white matte.

Becky: a matte mid-toned (yet bright) turquoise blue.

Blair: a midnight blue with micro silver and blue glitter shimmer.

Heather: a cloudy blue matte.

Georgina: a teal matte.

From left to right: Miranda, Cheryl, Aria, Regina, Vivian.

Miranda: a muted emerald green shimmer with a murky, yellowish-brown undertone.

Cheryl: a mid-toned olympic blue shimmer.

Aria: a indigo blue shimmer.

Regina: a gold shifting ivory highlight. I wish Regina had a blue shift to give it more cohesion with the palette.

Vivian: a  muted, deep petrol blue matte.

Look Breakdown:
Bobbi Brown Extra Illuminating Moisture Balm
Dior Star Studio Makeup Spectacular Brightening Weightless Perfection in 030.
Laura Mercier Candleglow Sheer Perfecting Powder in 2.
Laura Mercier Candleglow Sheer Perfecting Powder in 3 (to give warmth to my complexion).
Tarte Amazonian Clay 12-hour Blush in Exposed. 
Tarte Icy Betch Eye & Cheek Palette shadow in Regina (highlighter).
B & C Browlash EX Water Strong W Eyebrow in Grey Brown.
Nars Soft Matte Complete Concealer in Custard.
Mac Pro Long Wear Paint Pot in Utterly Becoming (used as a base).
Tarte Icy Betch Eye & Cheek Palette:
Veronica (on the brow bone).
Heather (in the crease).
Becky (in the crease and along the lower lashline).
Aria (on the outer half on the lid).
Cheryl (on the inner half of lid).
Vivian (blended into the outer corner and outer half on the lashline).
Regina (inner corner highlight).
L'Oreal Hydrofuge Voluminous Mascara in Carbon Black
Mac Lip Pencil in Stripdown.
Nars Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in Decibel.

Already getting my Summer color.

Look Breakdown:
Bobbi Brown Extra Illuminating Moisture Balm
Dior Star Studio Makeup Spectacular Brightening Weightless Perfection in 030.
Laura Mercier Candleglow Sheer Perfecting Powder in 2.
Laura Mercier Candleglow Sheer Perfecting Powder in 3 (to give warmth to my complexion).
Tarte Amazonian Clay 12-hour Blush in Paaarty. 
Tarte Icy Betch Eye & Cheek Palette shadow in Regina (highlighter).
B & C Browlash EX Water Strong W Eyebrow in Grey Brown.
Nars Soft Matte Complete Concealer in Custard.
Mac Pro Long Wear Paint Pot in Utterly Becoming (used as a base).
Tarte Icy Betch Eye & Cheek Palette:
Georgina (patted on the lid, blended in the crease and along the lower lash line ).
Miranda (patted on the center of the lid).
Regina (inner corner highlight).
Black Up Le Khol Smoky Waterproof  Pencil in KS04 (on the waterline).
L'Oreal Hydrofuge Voluminous Mascara in Carbon Black
Mac Lip Pencil in Stripdown.
Linda Hallberg Fantastick Lipstick in Pink Opal.

Albeit, the matte shadows are slightly thin in texture. The matte shadows, along with the other shadows in the palette are pigmented, layer, and blend well with one another. Also, they endure a 10+ hour work day, without signs of patchiness or fading. A surprise like of the palette was the highlighter, Regina. I don't think I've ever tried a highlighter from Tarte, but I really enjoyed Regina.

For $24, the Icy Betch Eye & Cheek Palette is a pretty good deal, especially for those who may not be familiar/comfortable with working with blues, and want to get into them.

Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Light it up Blue with Zoya's Twila

Hey everyone!

How have you been? Have you watched Game of Thrones season 8 episode 3 yet? Did your favorite GoT Characters survive?

April is coming to an end, and if you weren't aware, April is also Autism Awareness Month. Autism awareness isn't something we can do for just a month. Awareness and acceptance of individuals with ASD is something we can do every month, all year long. In support, I've been wearing a lot of blue polishes, and wanted to "light it up blue" with a bang using Zoya's Twila.

As per Zoya's description, Twila is a mixture of blue and silver bar glitter with holographic glitter accents. If you want to Jazz up your manicure, you can wear Twila as a topper or on its own, in two to three coats. When dry, the polish has a textured finish. So, if that's not your preference, or you just want added bling, apply a top coat.

Sunday, April 7, 2019

Chaos is My Life...Nars Chaos Velvet Matte Lip Duo

As a lover of the Velvet Matte Lip Pencils, I was thrilled when NARS included 14 all new (but not original), exclusive shades within four different sets last holiday.

I've been meaning to catalog and post swatches of all my Velvet Matte Lip Pencils (among everything else in my collection), so I thought I would start with the ones I have been using recently.

First up in these jumbo pencil wonders: the Chaos Velvet Matte Lip Duo, Decibel and Zipped.

From left to right: Decibel, Zipped.

Decibel: a warm toned, muted mauve-tinged, rosy-brown.

Zipped: a cool toned, muted berry.

Decibel and Zipped have the same velvety texture, seamless opacity, effortless application, comfortability that stays put, without drying out my lips.

Aside from wearing Decibel and Zipped monochromatically, I love pairing them together. With Decibel all over, and Zipped applied to the inner part of the upper and lower lips, they create a beautiful reversed ombre lip that's perfect for Spring.

Luckly, both shades have made a smooth transition into Spring because I love them, and I don't want to put them away.

What are your thoughts on Decibel and Zipped? 

Tuesday, March 26, 2019

For Me To Call A Polish My Friend...Lauren B Beauty Griffith Gaze

A stylish shade for all seasons, Lauren B Beauty's Griffith Gaze is a neutral gray cream, with a swirl of pink, mauve, and purple undertones. Personally, I like wearing this gorgeous shade during winter, and spring. This is totally off topic, but I can't read Griffith without thinking of the character of the same name from the anime, Berserk. If you're into anime and, for whatever reason, haven't seen Berserk, finish reading this post (of course), then go watch it! It's one of my favorites.

Aside from being opaque, there are some minimal streaks with the first coat; however, this is corrected after a 2nd application.

The black polish used for the stamping is Lauren B Beauty's Paparazzi. 

I've been using many of the products from Nars' 2018 Holiday collection, and on another occasion, was inspired to pull out one of my MoYou Stamping plates in punk 06 (delving into the world of stamping), to give my mani some edge.

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