Friday, July 21, 2017

Influenster: Lancome Monsieur Big Mascara

These Lancome beauty products were provided free for testing from Influenster.

Another Lancome box arrived from Influenster recently, this time instead of skin care it held mascara, Lancome's newest Monsieur Big Mascara. A travel size of Lancome's Bi-Facil eye make up remover and a small size of Lancome's Cils Booster XL enhancing mascara base arrived in the box as well. 

Lancome's Bi-Facil eye make up remover is one of my go-to formulas. I enjoy how efficient it removes mascara and eyeliner, with very minimal friction involved, and no stinging or super oily residue left behind. 

However, I cannot say that I enjoy the Lancome Cils Booster mascara primer. I find it to be too finicky and not really worth the extra step for my personal mascara needs. It takes too much effort to cover up all the white it leaves behind. I prefer to be pretty minimal when I apply mascara.

Monsiuer Big features wavy bristles and reservoirs within the brush shape to hold and distribute the new formula which features longwearing polymers and volumizing waxes. A full tube runs $25 on the Lancome website. 

I enjoy the results I get from this mascara. The wand is a nice size, not so big that the mascara gets all over my eye lids and not too wimpy. The formula gives amazing length as well as some volume. Two coats were plenty. It didn't flake, run or smudge even through a jog in a late summer thunderstorm. 

I will happily use this mascara up and even repurchase it when it runs out. 

Do you have any Lancome favorites? Enjoying a particular mascara lately?

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Future Primitive: Summer 2017 Order

I missed having Future Primitive goodies around the house. I had used up all my conditioner, whipped soaps, bar soaps and wax. Thus a wee order was over due. I mainly grabbed summer scents that were on offer. Some are still available at a discounted rate. (I must also say that a kind box from a friend arrived which contained two bars of soap which I am thrilled to use! Thank you, Sarah!)

I mentioned years back that I prefer to use Future Primitive Three in One Whipped Cream Soaps as shampoo, occasionally as shaving cream, but mostly shampoo so I tend to buy my Conditioning Hair Rinse and Whipped Soap in the same scent. 

Strawberry Patch- Notes: Fresh plump heritage strawberries, double cream and a dribble of cocoa absolute. 
I have never had Tiggy's Strawberry Patch. It is divine! The strawberry glows sweet and aged under the burnish of amber hues, nestled in mounds of vanilla cream and that drop of cocoa transforms the whole scent and brings it deeper and lends more decadence. Almost like a touch of patchouli. 

The Conditioning Hair Rinse continues to be ideal for my thin, curly, dry hair. It has a nice slip which allows for finger combing in the shower and leaves my hair to dry silk soft and fresh with scent. The summer Conditioning Hair Rinse is on sale for 6.94 pounds.

The Three in One Whipped Soaps clean my hair without leaving it overly dry and impart a gorgeous scent. Tiggy's whipped soaps are light as air, easily the lightest feeling whipped soap I have yet to encounter. These are on sale for 5.21 pounds.

Of course I had to add some wax tarts. I have had great luck with Tiggy's wax formula and scents. 

Custard Cream- A sweet sugar cream sandwiched between two crunchy sweet biscuits. Just like the British classic!
These 0.78 ounce scents shots at 1.65 pounds each are in the Limited Edition area and pack quite a delicious crunch. Vanilla laden and buttery with a shortbread like snap. 

Cut Throat Barbershop- Notes: A masculine blend of shaving soap, hot towels, cut throat knives, lilac water and aftershave. 
Ooooooweeeee! This is a charmer. A suave fragrant gent, Barbasol scented square jawline, clean musk and that splash of crisp lilac water that trails him like a banner. Good grief is it sexy and invigorating. 

Cucumber Cocktail- Notes: Cucumber juice, melon slices, crisp clean holiday air and a bit of fizz!
Summery sweet and juicy with melons and that cleanliness of cucumber, the fizz of champagne spritzers and a cool floral breeze. This is a very pleasing home fragrance. 

Strawberry Parsley- Notes: Heirloom strawberries dipped in sugar with a sprinkle of fresh parsley. 
Um. I am not sure what sorcery Tiggy has wrought with these blends but she is a goddess among fragrance blenders. A photorealistic strawberry shining on the vine, red and glossy and spiked with seeds. The barest hint of sweet green cuts the sugar and adds dimension.

Seaweed- Notes: A clean tangy marine blend of fresh seaweed with sea salt, ozone and a tiny hint of citrus.
A neroli and bergamot infused seaside breeze, tangy and iron clad and robust. This is not an aquatic but an ozonic deep green aroma.  

Not sure what has taken me so long but I finally dropped one of these Aromatic Perfume Oil Samplers into my order. It includes five 1ml bottles from Tiggy's General Catalogue at 10 pounds. I am only going to do a brief review of each scent to give impressions. If I end up buying any of them in full bottles I will do a more in-depth review at that time. 

Rook and Raven- Notes: A dark, mystifying blend of sweet Sicilian orange with a dry-down of aged patchouli, sandalwood and blackened vanilla.
Darkly spiced oranges, vibrant and concentrated, tamed with sticky ebony patchouli are balanced with that drop of black vanilla. The base lingers as smooth sandalwood and velvety patchouli just tinted with dried orange rinds. At its deepest the patchouli shines. Lovely.

Arabian Nights- Notes: Arabian desert. Dusk. The sky washed with a purple orange bloom. A balmy breeze casts casts aromas from a distant town across rippling sand dunes. Heady florals mingle with spiced citrus fruits, resins and dry leaves, enveloping you in a haze of memories that will never fade.
A beautiful illustration of an exotic desert landscape. Orange blossoms and jasmine flowers ply the senses with arid grace while amber and patchouli ground the spiced florals in mysterious richness. The base blooms in a musky sweet resinous and woody dream. A stunning fragrance. 

Incantation- Notes: A bewitching haze of labdanum absolute, patchouli oil, white sandalwood accord, a twist of green bergamot and droplets of Italian cypress.
The resinous cypress and almost camphorous bergamot begin the intoxicating brew... the sparkling combination almost has a lemony frankincense facet. Light and airy sepia toned patchouli crumbles its leaves into an apothecary jar and splintery chips of sandalwood join them. 

Dark Carnival- Notes: A curious carnival cart offering sweet treats. Honeycomb drizzled with warm caramel sauce, newspaper cones filled with hot sugared walnuts, fresh coconuts from the shy and velvet pouches filled with nuggets of amber and tonka beans. 
Gorgeous and golden honeyed amber shimmers in a pool of caramel that deepens as the scent wears on. The barest breath of coconut hovers around the edges. In the deep dry-down the lasting scent of sweet honey resins lingers long. Dark Carnival is fast becoming one of my favorite scents from Future Primitive. It was amazing in the wax tart form too.

Sylph- Notes: Clouds of fluffed up marshmallows infused with a glug of classic French lavender oil.
A beautifully executed lavender vanilla blend that features herbal almost licorice leaning lavender married to vanilla sugar encrusted marshmallows. It almost smells like grapes at the tail end. It is decadent and mouth watering. Less sweet and more deep and furry than Solstice Scent's version, more lavender less vanilla. Dreamy.

Cottingley Beck soap blends mint and basil in a rustic and endearing offering to the fairies. Being such a fan of mint soaps I am at a loss of why I have not brought a bar of this home to me. It is the perfect bouquet of fresh picked mint twigs. 

French Lavender soap smells of steel lavender buds, silvery and herbal. Another bar soap staple. 

Once again, I am content to have some Future Primitive goodies in house. I most look forward to her autumn offerings, hoping Owlette's End makes a come back. Do you have any Future Primitive favorites that you look forward to getting? What soaps are you washing with?

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Melting Basket 102

Wax tarts from the last basket I loved and would invest in again: RG Blackberry Gilligan's Brew and Pink/Lemon/Gilligan, TBG Raspberry Hearts, VCS Cheshire's Grin, L3 Naughty.

Lasting Scent Candles- Below Zero, melting this again because the last one had no throw... hoping this one will be better
Lasting Scent Candles- Peppermint Dreams
Lasting Scent Candles- Bliss
The Bathing Garden- Deadly Sleeping Draught <3 gift
The Bathing Garden- Alice in Lavenderland
The Bathing Garden- Starlight Soda Pop
The Bathing Garden- Rose Glace
Candy Panda- Silver Haired Fox
Candy Panda- Mark No. 2
Candy Panda- Million Dollar Man
Candy Panda- Fly Me Out
CFTKR- Fresh Picked Strawberry
CFTKR- Strawberry Raspberry Guava
CFTKR- Jill's Strawberry Cream Jelly Roll
CFTKR- Napa Valley Sunset
CFTKR- Marshmallow Fireside

If you would like any of these in particular to be reviewed, please let me know!

This will probably be my last melting basket before we head out of vacation. I will make a post of what I plan on brining with me to the cabin to melt and burn. I melt quite a bit this summer! Being home all day really most days really helps me to enjoy more of my stash. I have freed up room in my wax storage drawers to buy some fall goodies here soon. 

And my summer would normally have an extra week after vacation until I return to work, but due to some shuffling around I will be headed back right after we return. It is all for the best because I will be transitioning from assistant to co-lead teacher in the classroom. It has been almost 10 years since I was a full time, full-fledged classroom teacher. I am nervous, but excited. The kids always make it a fun job to have. 

It may affect my blogging, but I am not sure yet. At any rate, I will at the very least still post on a Monday, Wednesday, Friday format if I start to feel over loaded. And that won't be too bad. I have plenty of material still (you should see some of my new perfume oils I am letting cure before I review!) And I plan on ordered at a few opening that approach. 

New horizons approach. Hoping the new healthy habits I have begun will stick with me during this transition. But hey, that is only up to me, right? 

Do you have any changes approaching? What preventative measures do you take to keep on plan when you know stressors will be coming your way? Are there any openings that you plan on partaking of? 

Monday, July 17, 2017

My Candy Panda: Samper Pre-Order

My Man Bun Sampler finally landed! Huzzah! This was my first ever order from My Candy Panda (Yuli who runs this extension of Candy Panda offers pre-order samplers and 5-packs) and I placed it on March 20th and it arrived just a week or so ago. I purchased the Man Bun Sampler for $19, a 5-pack for $6.75 and shipping was $10.75.

Mint Condition- Lavender, oak, peppermint.

Incredible. Sweet peppermint is laced with the barest breath of smooth lavender and woods. It throws beautifully at about a medium-strong to strong and fills the bedroom with mint and woods glory. I am besotted.

Man Bun Sampler included 13 scents plus a mystery scent. 

Papi Chulo- Juniper leaves, fresh woods, dewy musk and bergamot.
Smells more like an aquatic than I anticipated. A nice fresh scent with watery juniper. Probably not my favorite but great for the bathroom.I ended up melting it in the living area and it gave off a medium throw.

Million Dollar Man- Sweet herbal sage with dark honey and fig.
Deep and smoky sweet with the sage smelling more like warm dollar bills and the honey and fig are rich and dark. Brilliant.

Lumberjack- Oakmoss, sandalwood, musk, citrus and bergamot.
Reminds me of Abercrombie and Fitch stores and whatnot. That nice woodsy masculine scent. It threw medium-light.

Silver Haired Fox- Freshly shaved, powdered and smelling of rich vanilla and musky sandalwood.
Vanilla sandalwood meets Bay Rum and shaving cream. It is a joy to sniff and I am drooling all over it.

Birch and Black Pepper- Oriental woody blend smelling of cool spiciness. (Jo Malone dupe)
Oh heck yes baby. Peppery and spiced with a nice amount of slightly smoky guaiacwood and vetiver hints. Dreamboat.

Team Aiden- Sheer woodsy scent, on a base of crisp citrus, pure florals and aged driftwood.
Another one that is a little too aquatic for my personal tastes. The florals and woods add a nice depth and tang but the water is still all around.

Mahogany Cotton- Clean cotton, coconut, oakmoss, vanilla and mahogany.
This one is so creamy and sweet. I want mounds of this. Coconut and woods. Delicious.

The Other Woman- Rich cedar, dark amber, sheer musk and rosewood.
A great blend of Rosewood and Amber that I always enjoy. 

Fine Leather Goods- Light amber, musk, coffee beans, and a light aroma of leather.
More suede like than leathery. Supple, sweet and that touch of milky latte is perfection.

Aqua Di Gio- Aquatic aroma of bergamot, neroli and tangerine musk. 
Watery citrus freshness. A mild and mellow cologne type of scent. Very clean and great for a light scent to freshen the home. Not a favorite but I knew that going in. It threw medium in the kitchen.

Pool Boy- Creamy coconuts, vanilla and mahogany.
I love BBW Mahogany Coconut. This is so darn good. Just good old coconut and woods, musk and yum. This is more masculine and sharp than Mahogany Cotton. I like both but the sweet creaminess of Mahogany Cotton is sooooo dreamy. 

Mark No. 2- Sea moss, musk, wild spicy mint and blue spruce.
The blue spruce is the star in this one with an airy clean mist surrounding it. Very nice and well blended. 

Honeymoon- Vetiver and beach wood.
I think this is the Calypso scent from The Bathing Garden. I didn't pick it up this year (guys I skipped Take Me to the Sea... what is wrong with me?!) so it is nice to have this on hand. It threw medium to medium-light.

Gunslinger- Amber, woods and ocean mist.
I was kinda hoping this would be a creosote and tar, leather and sand type of scent. Wild wild west style. This gunslinger is scrubbed squeaky clean and has been dozing on the sand dunes of a beach. The salt notes keep it from being too watery. It melted at about a light or medium-light.

Fly Me Out- Fresh dew drops, sunny citrus, salty sea air and sweet amber. 
Oh this is goooood. The amber really makes this special. It almost has a tobacco lean to it. Plush.

Blue Suede Shoes- Fizzy Blue Hawaiian and Blonde Moment.
I forgot how much I missed Blonde Moment. The touch of Blue Hawaiian in this is nice. I am looking forward to popping this one in the bathroom warmer. 


I did notice that these tarts were hard to pop out. I have had this happen once or twice before from other vendors when the formula was being tweaked. Not sure if CP is tweaking formulas but these either had to be cut out or put in the freezer for a bit to come out. 

Sunday, July 16, 2017

The Dirty Goat: Probiotic Deodorants

My friend Jay over at The Candle Enthusiast alerted me when The Dirty Goat offered some new deodorant scents for a limited run and I hustled myself on over and picked up one of each. Thanks, Jay!

The Dirty Goat does offer probiotic deodorant in Rose, Yuzu and Vetiver most of the time but Mermaid, Coconut Milk and Tonka Bean were ones I really wanted and could see myself wearing most of the time. They ran $9.85 each and arrived in great condition. I was a little worried about melting since it has been hovering around 100 degrees of late, but everything was perfect.

Tonka Bean smells incredibly snuggly. Warm almost sandalwood toned vanilla bean pods and musk. It is a medium light projection and strength so it won't overwhelm your perfume choice of the day. After about 3 hours of wear I cannot even detect it when I do the pit sniff test. 

Mermaid comes on a bit stronger than Tonka Bean. It smells like the most summery version of vintage Coppertone ever. Beach front scents of sand, sun and salty air and water meshed with jasmine and white florals and a touch of sunscreen. I love it. Perfect for summer. 

Coconut Milk is a balance of Mermaid and Tonka Bean, not too soft and not too flamboyant. It shimmers with sweet coconut and vanilla and maybe the barest hint of other tropical fruits and greenery. 

The texture of these deodorants is a bit more soft and pillowy than the Handcrafted Honeybee ones I have been using. I have to rub in the white creamy glops it leaves behind to better spread the deodorant evenly and keep from having balls of stuff under the pits. Jay did mention cooling and solidifying hers in the fridge as an option but I am a super huge weirdo and hate putting anything non edible in the fridge. Call it a quirk. But it may be an option for you if you have these. The texture is not enough to give it a negative mark but it is a step I don't relish doing. 

I find for the most part these last about 4-5 hours on me until the effectiveness starts wearing off and I have to reapply. Just shy of the full day that the other brand I am using gives me. The scents, packaging and 99% natural ingredient list makes me very happy. I enjoy using these and will continue to both day and night and supplement with the Handcrafted Honeybee on days I am working out and need the stronger option. These have a shelf life of one year. Between these three full sizes, my full sized Honeybee and three travel sized ones, I am set on deodorant for at least a whole year. If not more. 

I look forward to exploring more of The Dirty Goat's offerings. High quality ingredients, hand crafted creations, stellar branding and packaging and great customer service are all hallmarks of the company. Do you have any Dirty Goat favorites? 

Saturday, July 15, 2017

MoonaLisa: Ostara Candle and Lavender Bath Salt

May 6th I ordered a couple things from the MoonaLisa early summer release, a candle and some bath salts. They arrived a couple weeks ago so it was just under two months. I wasn't in a rush so the delay didn't bother me at all. 

Lavender Absolute Bath Salts ($10.95) created a soothing bathing ritual with the essence of real lavender oil. While fragrant and nourishing to the skin, the aroma was rather ephemeral in the water. It swirled about for a few minutes then dissipated. I got about 3 uses from this jar and would consider buying more again.

I adored the Ostara wax tart I got in the MoonaLisa Goddess bag earlier this year so when I saw a candle in it, I knew I wanted to take the plunge. It is an 8 ounce candle for $13.95. 

Ostara- Notes: Cedarwood, lavender, rose, clove and a touch of Dragon's Blood.

It smells like a beautiful earthy and woody floral with a smooth sweetness. No one note sticks out for me and I love it. The spice is not obvious but lends a warmth, the rose is not obvious but adds plushness, it is just a well wrought scent.

And how cute is that bee embed?! The frosted glass is hefty and reminds me of the frosted glass containers that Arcane Bunny Society utilizes. 

It burned well and took a while to pool to the edge, nice and slow. No tunneling, strong flame. It was a lighter throw in the living area so I took it to my nightstand and I burn it there. I get about a medium to medium-light throw in the smaller room and it gives off a lovely atmospheric aroma. I quite enjoy it.

Two free tart samples in a paraffin formula:

Almond Milk and Blackberry Bramble Tea- Divine. Purple and plump blackberries drizzled with vanilla and almond cream. The fruity tea adds a touch of depth and sweetness. Great blend.

Vanilla Orange Blossom- A touch of neroli bitterness sharpens the white heady orange blossoms and the vanilla just barely hovers like a soft marshmallow musk to take off some of the bite. I look forward to melting this one. 

I may pick up another candle in the future and more bath salts as well. Have you tried the MoonaLisa candles? Buy any of the Faery Realm or Witchy bags this restock? I kinda want the Forest Faery but need to behave. I see they are offering candles again too but at a dollar more, though they have Bohemian Velvet and Warm Hearth and Butterbeer, Halloween Hayride and Enchanted Forest! Swoon. 

Friday, July 14, 2017

Single Tooth Stoneware

Noelle Hoover crafts stunning ceramic slipware pieces via Single Tooth Stoneware on Etsy. She hand paints and forms scenes and patterns taken from nature and molds everyday usable works of art with them. My friend, Jean, pointed me her way when I asked about favorite potters on IG. This stunning Cloud Mug with Gold 14 was listed and I desperately wanted it. 

At $45 it is a bit of an investment but not too over the top given the craftsmanship. I did end up sleeping on it to see if I really wanted it. Or if it was meant to be. Sure enough, she loved me too for there she was still waiting on my when I awoke the next day. So I brought her home. 

I love the drippy glaze, the one large shiny gold sun and the matte clouds and golden orbs peeking through whimsically. I enjoy the shape and size of the cup (it will hold 2 cups of beverage within). Overall, it looks almost Japanese in the aesthetic. 

The drippy glaze has some white speckling that just barely shows over the ivory stoneware. 

I am thrilled with this new addition to my handcrafted mug collection. She will be petted and used for years to come.

Do you have any favorite ceramic or pottery artists on the internet or locally? Hoping to find one in Tennessee when we are there for vacation like I did in North Carolina. 

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Haus of Gloi Marshmallow Woodsmoke

Marshmallow Woodsmoke by Haus of Gloi- Notes: Fresh marshmallow enveloped by curls of campfire smoke. ($15)

Candied tonka beans nestle in the vial, sparkling with vanilla sugar crystals. Smeared onto the skin,  vanilla cedarwood smoke wraps thin threads around the crystalline vanilla. There is almost a soft salt note that balances the sugar. The drydown calms into a pale marshmallow and smoke sweetness. 

This is not a rendition of Marshmallow Fireside, it is less woody and deep, less smoky and gooey and intense. Marshmallow Woodsmoke wears more transparently, more vanilla with a merest veil of cedarwood smoke. It feels like fur on the skin. Soft and fuzzy. It has a medium strength and wears near to the skin, so a great one for the workplace. It lasted about 4-5 hours on the skin. There is a whole line of marshmallow and lavender centric scents on the Haus of Gloi site right now. Check them out. 

Are you wearing any Haus of Gloi lately? 

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Melting Basket 101

Wax tarts from the last basket that I wouldn't mind having on hand again include: RG Americana Wafers, Rosegirls/Raspberry/VBN, CFTKR Fresh Picked Strawberry and Blue Lavender Cedar, TBG Beach Bum and TDC Patchouli Mint. 

Lasting Scent Candles- Below Zero
Lasting Scent Candles- Candyland Dreamin'
Timberwick- Night Musk
Rosegirls- Blackberry Gilligan's Brew
Rosegirls- Treat Yo Self
Rosegirls- Strawberry Raspberry Guava Gilligan's Brew
Rosegirls- Sweet Lemon Confection/Pink Sugar/Gilligan's Brew
The Bathing Garden- Raspberry Hearts
The Bathing Garden- Glacier Blue <3 gift
The Bathing Garden- Candied Peppermint Petals <3 gift
Vintage Chic Scents-Cheshire's Grin <3 gift
Vintage Chic Scents- Bogie and Bacall <3 gift
Vintage Chic Scents- Rosemary's Baby <3 gift
L3- Winter is Coming (blue sugar, peppermint, eucalyptus) <3 gift
L3- Naughty (black pepper, bergamot, pink sugar) <3 gift
Rocket's- Purple, Pink and Blue Sugar <3 gift
Little Pony Wax Creations- Blue Sugar and sandalwood <3 gift

If you would like any of these reviewed, please drop me a line! I would be happy to do so just for you. 

Good morning, friends. In less than a month it will be back to work and the beginning of a new school year. The girls and I got about half of the things accomplished on our summer bucket list. A few will not be crossed off and that is ok. 

I didn't get as much crafting or sewing done as I wanted to and that is ok. 

The days were filled with water balloon fights, making lunches and bike rides around the neighborhood. For the past two days the girls have been off camping with their Mimi and Papa and the house has been very quiet and still. Adam pads around in circles asking where his babies are. I realize now that even when they are playing outside I can hear their laughter and pounding of feet as they run around the yard carry through the windows and cracks in the door frames. But not right now. Now it is eerily quiet. 

Adam and I took advantage and had a Tuesday night double date and we watched Vikings and Sherlock on the big TV when we normally wouldn't. But we miss them. Our babies that are not longer babies, going into the 3rd and 5th grade.

What is going on in your neck of the woods?