Sunday, January 31, 2016

Ebb & Flow: January

The highs and lows of the month.

Bobbi Brown lip balm tin

Skin care:
Lush Tea Tree spray

LCM Fragrance No. 30 

FuturePrimitive 3-in-1 Whipped Soap in Indian Temple Attar

Butterbears for days.

Downton Abbey. On the 4th season and thoroughly addicted. I must sit in front of the TV like a kid and sob every episode.

Magnus Chase and having fun. It balances the soap opera heaviness of Downton. 

Hummus. The variety pack from Whole Foods tops the lot.

San Pellagrino because bubbles.

Universal Studios Diagon Alley for Savanna's 9th birthday <3

Jury duty. Not because I am not grateful to do my civic duty but because what if I choose wrong?

This crisp weather in Florida. I was hoping winter would come eventually.

My new IKEA plates! Finally replaced our wedding set due to broken pieces and stains and scratches from over 10 years of use. The IKEA ones might be cheap but they are so pleasing to the eye. 

Lush's Gorgeous moisturizer. Second time trying it and second time breaking out. I count myself lucky I don't need an $88 face cream.

My emotions last week. It was a tough week. Ends up we have to pay for the new bumper because dude didn't have insurance and we have a $500 deductible. It sucks but not the end of the world. Then some little thorns, like foxes nibbling in my vineyard type of things. I really should not even be complaining. So I will stop right here.

Experiencing winter in North Carolina with my family. 

What are some of your highs? Lows? Anything you loved or hated this month? Please share!

Friday, January 29, 2016

Candy Panda Wax

Candy Panda is a newer vendor that opened in the early fall I think and operates mainly out of Instagram where she posts all restock information and dates. There are two websites associated with this company which can kind of make things confusing if you aren't aware of that and aren't a part of Instagram. There is a website for 5 packs and scrubs and a site for samplers. It is the same company though the main owner runs the 5 pack and scrub site fulfilling and her friend/employer runs the production and fulfilling of the samplers. These 1 1/2 ounce 5 packs run $6.00 each. The tarts are RTS and ship very fast. I believe the TAT was only a few days and came well packaged.

Lord of Chaos is a Lord of Misrule dupe. Lush obsession much? Yes. Yes, I know. I go through phases. Right now I am crushing hard on some Lord of Misrule. This is a nice representation of that sweet musky patchouli blend.

I chose Fruit Loops because I have not had this scent in many moons. It was one I melted way too much at first but now have come to miss. Plus it is a great barometer of how well a vendor's wax performs, as it usually is a great throwing scent. And this one was a great thrower. It scented my whole kitchen and living room for about 4 hours. 

Uluru is a Lush dupe too (of Uluru) but I have never had this particular fragrance from Lush. It blends citrus, sandalwood and rosewood. A beautifully clean and sophisticated scent that would not be remiss in the bedroom. The rosewood is what draws me. I appreciate a lovely rosewood. It melted medium-strong in my bedroom.

Pink Sugar. Need I say more? Another good barometer of throw as quite a few vendors get this one right and it goes strong while some just can't nail it down. I melted two in the living room/kitchen and it gave off a true medium-strong to strong throw. There was a lot of variation among fill levels in this scent as you can see in the background. 

Free Samples!

Creme de Menthe- There is a white chocolate and milk chocolate base note with mint swirled through. A nice scent but not for my personal tastes. I tend to be really picky about what mint is blended with.  

Fizzy Soda- A bubbling brew of ginger ale and lemon-lime soda that tickles the senses. Looking forward to melting this one.

Paradise Garden- A tropical fruit and floral blend where pineapple stands out. There is an aquatic tone to this fragrance.

Blueberry Wonderland- Blueberry mixed with Tea and Cakes. The almond note is always the strongest for me in Tea and Cakes and it is here too. My sister has already claimed it though so it all works out.

Insomnia- A lovely blend of lavender and pink sugar. I am enjoying the sweet lavender oil that Candy Panda uses and look to try more lavender blends from her in the future.

I am overall happy with my order. I do wish all the cups were filled to the top, but the throw was good on all the ones I melted. Her Lush dupes will be what brings me back to order. I am kicking myself for missing her Vanillary dupe. Have you tried Candy Panda? What are your thoughts?

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Lush Kitchen UK: 1st Order

Hey you guuuuuuyyyyssss >said in my best Sloth accent< It's not a Baby Ruth, but it is an equally addicting thing.... The Lush Kitchen. This is my virgin voyage into that wee hour of the morning insanity. Now, if you know me, I DO NOT wake in the wee hours of the morning for anything other than a fire or family emergency or nightmares from my littles. But I am up at 6am and anything left over in the Lush Kitchen is fair game after that. The Lush Kitchen opens at 8am UK time via the Lush UK Kitchen. Here they make limited edition runs of discontinued favorites and sometimes brand new products. New items come out Monday through Friday and are made really fresh. Liz, NotoriousLiz_54 on Instagram, posts a Lush Kitchen menu for each week of what to expect. She enabled me. I mean, how long can I look at those beautiful collages before I cave? It was only a matter of time. 

My first Lush Kitchen purchases included: Hot Toddy shower gel, Christmas Kisses bubble bar, and Three Gold Rings bubble bar. I did not receive any samples, though most people do even when not requested. But you can bet yer biscuits I will be requesting samples in the future. (Although I have already placed a second order which should be coming soon).

Hot Toddy was around a few years ago at Christmas I believe. This has a dry cinnamon bark and cloves scent that will be quite invigorating during cold snaps. Look at that glitter. This was 11.25 pounds, which is roughly $16.

Three Rings bubble bar features an exotic blending of myrrh and vanilla that I knew I would swoon over. And I do. It smells woody, golden and dripping like opium a bit. This was 3.95 pounds, or about $5.50ish. 

Christmas Kisses bubble bar holds a hefty amount of spiced patchouli inside. Yummmmmmm. Like a hippy's dream. There also seems to be a bit of citrus. Mostly cinnamon and patchouli though. This one was also 3.95 pounds. 

That glitter. 

Have you ordered from the Kitchen? What samples do you request?

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Zeep Bath Wax Tarts

Zeep Bath wax tarts caught my eye on Instagram. She posted about making a Lush sampler that you could buy via Direct Message, so I quickly sent off a DM requesting one. I believe Zeep is pronounced "zape" but not sure. At any rate, she DOES have an Etsy that is full of wax, including this sampler. It was $25 shipped via IG, I see it is $18 on Etsy without shipping.

Candy Fairy- A bubble gum and candy floss dupe for Snow Fairy. 

Bombshell- Candied jasmine and ylang ylang replica of Sex Bomb. I didn't realize I would like Sex Bomb so much. I melted both of these iridescent glittered hearts in my bedroom and got a medium to medium-light scent throw. 

Sugar Fluff- Smells frighteningly similar to Candy Fairy, the Snow Fairy dupe, but I believe it might be Rock Star. I am not sure. Either way it is one for my sassy Scarlette. She loves these candy gum scents. In fact, one went into her Scentsy bulb warmer and threw very nicely, at about a medium-strong, in her bedroom. The other went into their bathroom wall plug-in and threw medium-strong in there as well.

Rose Jelly- Rose Jam at its finest. The rose petals within make it that much better. I appreciate touches like that.

Snow White's Poison Apple- Is a dupe for So White, a scent I am iffy about. A very floral apple that would normally be my type, but there is just something I don't care for in Lush's version. I know this has a huge fan base so I will pass it on. 

Vanillarie- Mmmmmm, my baby. Vanillary was my first Lush Perfume solid, along with Karma and Breath of God (I bought all three at once). I used that stick in a matter of months. I miss those stick solids... so much more sanitary and preferred than those tins. Ugh. Anyway, the boozy vanilla bean paste sends me into raptures. So does this tart pack. What slays me is that she made the tart look just like the solid. A creamy tan base with flecks of black and gold glitter mimic the black flecks of vanilla bean seeds and bark in the actual solid. 

Olive Tree- My beloved The Olive Branch dupe. Yes. SO much yes. Smooth and musky bergamot and vanilla.

Dia De Muertos- I am guessing this is a Calacas duplication. It smells like a Haribo bag filled with only the orange, lemon and lime gummies (if there were lime Haribos, but you get me). A perky citrus scent with a touch of rubber. 

Avo All Over- WOW! These tarts pack a punch. Strong and invigorating! Sour lime and sharp lemongrass overload the nostrils. I cannot wait to melt.

Honey I Scrubbed The Kids- Pretty obvious what this one is... Honey I Washed The Kids. Slightly almondy silly putty is what I always get from this guy, not one of my Lush faves, but I will definitely gift it. 

Snow Pie- Snow Cake dupe! Another one I can never wrap my nose around. But these creamy guys are bound to light up someone's life. An accurate portrayal of the scent.  

'Merican Cream- Here she is. My favorite baby. I just LOVE American Cream. The red, silver and blue glitters on a white back ground are ah'mazin.'

Free Samples!

Fudgy Mint Brownie- Strong mint chocolate in a cute little shape!

Mystery- This was not labeled but it smells like lemon icebox pie or some thing along those lines. Lemon bakery, lemony creamy. I like it!

Overall, I am very happy with my order and will be frequenting Zeep Bath again. The attention to detail (look at those Lushy labels!!), easy ordering and affordable pricing ensure my future patronage. My dislike of certain Lush scents is in no way a contribution by Zeep, Ashley did an outstanding job obtaining precise dupes. I look forward to shopping with her again. Did you get this sampler? Any of these stand out for you?

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

LCM Fragrance

LCM Fragrance hosted a giveaway on Instagram recently and I was pleasantly surprised to see that I (and my friend Nancy! WooHoo!) won the prize, along with a couple of Nancy's friends. The gift was a generous 5 ml sampling of all three of LCM's current fragrance collection: Autumn/Winter 2015. 

LCM (Le Cherche Midi) is ran by the couple Cecile Hua and Nathan Motylinski. Cecile attended the Givaudan Perfumery School in Grasse, France, becoming classically trained in the art. The couple has created each scent to be worn by both men and women, with numbers marking each scents' name. They feel this allows the wearer to experience the scent holistically without branding influence. The thing I find most interesting is that the couple releases their scents seasonally and in limited edition runs. Currently, only No. 19, No. 28, and No. 30 can be readily purchased even though there have been at least 20 fragrances created since 2012. It would be nice to sample more of their past collections.

No. 19 Notes: Black brandy, cigar box, salted caramel.
Lit cigars, a tobacco haze of smoke, an evening at the local humidor. After chumming around with a stubby, dark Macanudo between your teeth the conversation moves outside and down the street for brandy and dessert. Worn leather seats and vintage brandy casting amber prisms greet the senses at the heart. Slowly aged cedar and caramelized vanilla reveal themselves during the dry down and remain for the duration. A stunning seductive fragrance that I quite enjoyed wearing.

No. 28 Notes: Gunpowder, wild gardenia, mother's milk.
An mirage of blazing white gardenia rapidly burns into an explosive saltpeter filled mushroom cloud. Black sticky tar, gun powder residue and peppercorns assault the nose. After you wake up, stunned from the unexpected, raw leather remains, salted and clinging to the wrists. This is the fragrance is the equivalence of taking off with the local bad boy on his Harley in equal parts terror and anticipation. 

No. 30 Notes: Japanese shiso, grapefruit givre, silver fir.
Airy essence of Meyer lemons and Key limes just peeled, with eyes squinting, rise from the top notes. A clean, cottony grapefruit pith follows, not sticky or juicy, but soft and dry. The base holds musky tones of sandalwood and vetiver. A beautifully constructed fragrance the feels lightly fresh and cooling without being linear or harsh.

Sample sets such as these are available for $29, which comes with a $29 credit towards any full-size bottle purchase. Full 100 ml bottles cost $229. My heart belongs to No. 30 and No. 19. I do adore No. 28 but my husband did not. I recommend following LCM Fragrance's Instagram account and other social media outlets to keep abreast of new releases and announcements. Which of these three scents draw you the most? 

Monday, January 25, 2016

NEST: Elton John's Holiday Candle

This candle was on sale at Sephora online and with the recent extra 20% off offer they had on sale items I figured it would be a good time to try this out. I bought both scents available: Elton John's Holiday and Elton John's Fireside. Both are limited edition candles under the NEST brand. I believe these were originally $38 each but after the sale price plus the discount I got them for about $20 each. This candle is the same scent as last year's Holiday candle which I reviewed previously. I won't go into much detail other than it is the same amazing scent of candied cloved oranges and evergreens but maybe even with a stronger throw. I burned it just a few hours for testing but will be saving it for next year. 

Have you tried a NEST candle yet? The Elton John editions are pretty groovy. 

NEST: Elton John's Fireside Candle

This Fireside candle from NEST was purchased during the post-Christmas extra 20% off sale at Sephora. Normally $38, I bought it for $20. Fireside is a sweeter more amber laden variety of a Fireside than Bath & Body Works. Bath & Body Works version is a touch less sweet, more deep and with cedar undertones. The throw on this candle was a solid medium-strong. It never got overbearing but you knew it was there, sitting right beside you, painting you canvas of a warming fire in the hearth. 

I would buy this one again if it were on sale. But there are other NEST fragrances I would buy at full-price. Namely Moroccan Amber.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Lush Boxing Day (US): Part 2

Part Two of my Lush Boxing Day order from the US site. This one was much more modest. 

One Rosy Christmas gift box for $18 was ordered, while the Secret Santa was my free box, costing the same price. I adore Rose Jam. I have great luck using the shower gel as a bubble bath and shampoo. Ro's Argan Body Conditioner is a favorite of mine too, especially post leg shave. 

Secret Santa included the Peeping Santa bubble bar, sweetly scented in a strawberry musk and an orange punch scented Dashing Santa bath bomb. I am not sure what to do with the knot wrap though. They are cute but I am clueless what to do with them. Any suggestions? I have a reindeer one from last year too. 

A single bath bomb in Father Christmas (Snow Fairy scented I believe), two Cinders bath bombs (lovely sweet orange and spices), and one Shooting Star bath bomb that is a copy of Honey I Washed the Kids. While I am not a huge fan of SNow Fairy or HIWTK, I don't mind the fleeting tones in bath bomb form. Just not wax. Usually.

Free samples of soap in Coal Face (adore!) and Sea Vegetable (lemongrass and seaweed comes to mind). 

Are any of these favorites of yours? Have all your orders come in? I am STILL waiting on one more. Gah. The post is killing me.

Friday, January 22, 2016

Bath & Body Works: Comfort Candle

Bath and Body Works Comfort candle hung out with us while we visited North Carolina this past weekend. It turns out the cabin has a gas fireplace, so Comfort provided a little more authenticity to our faux fireplace. Comfort threw pretty dang strong, it pooled deep and even and touted stout wicks. The scent of a comforting fireside experience was achieved through a slightly smokey birch, tar and woody notes. I would repurchase for sure. How do you feel about "fireside" type scents? Too smokey? Just cozy? Are you burning candles this winter?

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Lasting Scent Candles: Holiday Restock

Are you ready for the beast that is my Lasting Scent Candle's holiday restock order? This is the first time since they announced their intent to close (after using up supplies) that they have offered bags of brittle. I knew I wanted to grab a few in scents that I figured I would enjoy the most. During this restock there was a family tragedy that occurred, but the ladies kept pressing forward and got the orders out any way. I admire that they did that even though we would have all understood if it got pushed back or even canceled. My heart goes out to Pam and her family.

You know you were a bag girl with you get two Click-N-Ships. 

As always, at least in my case, the tarts were packed beautifully and with care.

Tart Brittle was $14.99 for anywhere from a 12.6 ounce bag to a 13 ounce bag. 
One and a half ounce scent shots were $1.75 and two ounce scent shots were $2.25 each. 

Pam and Jennifer ran a fun little contest where if you found an embed in your 2 ounce scent shots then you get a free bag of brittle during the next opening. (YAY another opening!) When I opened these four fellas I felt like poor little Charlie in Willy Wonka hoping for a Golden Ticket. Mine did not contain an embed, but my friend Lynda got one (WHOOOHOO Lynda!) <3

Winter White Cake blends wedding cake with double mint confetti. The funny thing is that I do pick up a slight sprinkle note, the slightly plastic sweetness of colored confetti sprinkles. The mint is sweet and wedding cake is one of my favorite vanillas out there.

Smokey Mountain Christmas melds pines, mint and cedar. It very much smells like a cabin in North Carolina on a mountain top. The mint adds a touch of candy to an otherwise evergreen forest scent. Very unique.

Free samples in:

Cozy Winter Nights is not one I thought I would like at all. But I was wrong. It is hot cocoa with candy canes and marshmallow. I see cocoa and think, "Ewwwww chocolate." But LSC must have a magic chocolate because it smells just like cocoa. Rich and real. The candy cane is mellow but refreshing. 

Chilly Morning is a Bath and Body Works Sweater Weather dupe. I do not care for Sweater Weather but I know it has a huge fan base so I am giving it away.

Peppermint Marshmallow Snow holds peppermint, candy cane, marshmallows and magic. I think the magic may very well be Vanilla Bean Noel. Loads of fluffy vanilla fall out of this bag with a touch of mint.

Peppermint Dreams houses pure peppermint and soothing lavender. The stuff Mr. Sandman dusts on my pillow. Perfectly dreamy.

Cloved Cinnamon is a spicy deep Red Hot bag of heat. Simple spice at its best.

Candyland Dreamin' fuses peppermint, lavender and vanilla into a more creamy and sweet version of Peppermint Dreams. Jacqui totally enabled me on this scent years ago. It smells like the best candied aromatherapy ever.

Toasted Embers is easily in my Top 3 favorite Bath and Body Works Marshmallow Fireside dupes list. It is one of the rare ones that is heavier on the vanilla rich marshmallow with a touch of ambered smoke that does not smell acrid. Yum.

The ladies had a slew of backstocked Fall and Halloween scents left so I grabbed two that I adored and really missed. I hope that there will be backstock from the Holiday release as I would love to get my hands on more Cozy Winter Nights.

You can read about these two scents here.

Pine Berry Wreath, pine, berries and balsam that reminds me of the Lingonberry Wreath scent a bit. Tart cranberries and a touch of pine. Not my favorite of the bunch.

Cranberry Citrus Balsam is phenomenal. The added cranberry takes the citrus and balsam to a whole 'nother level. It adds a tart dimension that makes an incredible scent even better. I wish I had bought it in a tart brittle bag. 

Strawberry Pine Cone is all about a sweet candied strawberry. The pine cone aspect adds just a tiny bit of bark and woods. This would definitely pass a cheerful year 'round scent.

Sugar Berry Clove blends cranberries, clove and white sugar. The clove is the strongest but the candied cranberry sauce is not far behind. Saving this one for next year.

Candy Cane Kisses couples Vanilla Bean Noel and candy canes in the perfect minty vanilla scent. My favorite of the vanilla mints I ordered. So strong and minty.

Peppermint Log merges Peppermint Marshmallow Snow with White Wedding Cake. There is a slight white chocolate hint that makes this far deeper and more like Vanilla Butter Fudge than the Winter White Cake.

Snow Globe is all about vanilla and marshmallows. No mint. Just creamy goodness. I must say there is a slight candy note that makes this stand out from just plain vanilla though.

Peppermint Shake combines vanilla bean shake and candy canes. The milky component can be detected and does set this apart. It is not my favorite of the mint and vanilla combos I ordered.

Winter White Cake, described above.

Cedar Wreath embodies cedarwood, greens and citrus peels. It smells like a sexy mountain man. The end.

Mint Mallow Creme is described as having mints, vanilla sugar and toasted marshmallow fluff. And it does. But one of those mints is spearmint for sure.

Pink Sugar Spruce is lovely. Pink and spruce. Just like it says. Heavier on pink. Love.

Spun Sugar Pine makes me think of all the Rock Candy samplers I have had from LSC in the past. It is like a piney rock candy. Love it.

Snowy Pines coated in vanilla, mint, and sugar. Vanilla Bean Noel holds reign here but the pine and sugar add coziness.

Smokey Mountain Christmas described above.

Christmas Tree really is just that. A tad too resinous but I will probably blend it out with something sweeter and creamier. 

Holiday In The Park entails Blue spruce and pines joined by cinnamon sticks and cedars. The cinnamon sticks are the dusty bark curls, no added sugar.

Holiday Splendor is a cornucopia of apples, balsam, fir, cinnamon and clove. An amazingly blended spiced apple and evergreen scent. Sweet, not too spicy and perfectly homey. One I would buy in tart brittle too. 

Magical Mistletoe is made of evergreen, spruce and magic. The magic smells like apples. Very nice! Little to no spice. 

Sparkling Wonderland features evergreen, pine cones, citrus and spice. It smells like mulled orange drink. I am not sure how I feel about it on cold. It might warm up nicely though.

Holiday Hearth simply says "all the comforts of your cozy home on the holidays." I pick up fireside, Christmas trees, and fruits. Interesting, and not one I remember smelling before.

If I had to pick Ultra Favorites I would pick: Toasted Embers, Candy Cane Kisses, Candyland Dreamin', Cobweb Cookies, Cranberry Citrus Balsam, Holiday Splendor, Cloved Cinnamon and Snow Globe.

Did you order this last opening? Do you plan on catching the next? Did you win a free bag of brittle? Any favorites? Do please share about your order or what you hope to try from Lasting Scent Candles.