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Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Ebb & Flow: May

The highs and lows of the month.


Skincare:
Lush Tea Tree Spray

Makeup:
Paul & Joe lipstick in Catamaran

Perfume:
Acqua di Parma Arancia di Capri

Lotion:
Haus of Gloi Snow Wolf Pumpkin Butter, that cedar is enthralling.

Wax:
The Bathing Garden Sleepy, hitting the spot.

Soap:
Handmade in Florida Lovely Lavender

Eating:
Honeycrisp apples

Drinking:
Thai Tea Boba and it blew my mind.

Reading:
The Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater

Watching:
An Idiot Abroad, because Karl.

Listening:
Jimmy Buffet Boats, Beaches, Bars & Ballads box set

Dreading:
The summer slipping by too fast.

Awaiting:
The summer break so I can sew a few things, paint a few things, and read, read, read.

Hit:
These Love Potion Perfumes that I will be posting about tomorrow. In love.

Miss:
Bath & Body Works Vanilla Bean candle... smells too smokey and cheap even with the wicks trimmed. Not digging it.

Low:
I think you guys know the answer to that one, getting canned.

High:
A new job and a gorgeous day at the beach with my family yesterday. Nothing like the warm sun and swimming in the gulf with the kiddos and husband to end the month. My sisters also made me a box of sunshine when I lost my job and that brought me to tears, a definite high.

How was your May? Tell me about your highs or lows, you hits or misses.


Monday, May 30, 2016

Moonalisa: Bohemian Velvet Soap and Bath Truffles


I belong to quite a few Facebook groups, but when one is a wax lover that is pretty much commonplace. But not all the groups I participate in are wax or even fragrance related. One of the groups I love to scroll through the most involves hand made metalsmithed artisan jewelry. It was in this particular group that I won a giveaway that included these Moonalisa products. 


Bohemian Velvet is one of my favorite Moona scents. It features sandalwood, patchouli and nag champa. A total hippy's delight. This scent is one of the come back kids for Moona's 20th Anniversary release. This 8.2 ounce behemoth smells incredible, moody incense and dried patchouli with nag champa as the strong base. The soaps run $8.95




Foaming Ice Cream Scoop Bath Truffles cost $4.25 each and come in these nicely packaged boxes.


Bali Cloud contains essential oils of sweet orange peel and ylang ylang, with sandalwood and vanilla fragrance oils. This one is still available for purchase on the site. The sweet orange peel figures prominently, it has a touch of Tang powder and tartness to it, with a slight woody vanilla  backdrop that almost has a cedar rather than sandalwood lean. I like it. 


Woodland Moss is comprised of cedarwood, sandalwood, patchouli and lavender. Gorgeous. Very realistic, herbal and slightly astringent, this is one that will awaken the senses. I used this whole truffle in the bath and it foamed and fizzed a thin layer on the water and provided a huge dose of moisturization. My skin was left with a buttery texture that felt amazing. I could have easily used half a truffle. In the water the lavender and cedar notes floated like fog around me. I would buy another in a heart beat.


Catch Moona's 20th Anniversary mega restock today at 11am! Bohemian Velvet and tons of other great oldies but goodies will be included as well as a Rock-a-billy, Sci-Fi, Let Them Eat Cake and various retro and classic scents. I personally will be gunning for some of Moonalisa's soy and beeswax tarts and maybe the Moon Drops perfume sampler.What Moonalisa products do you enjoy? Will you try to order?

Happy Memorial Day! I hope it is a beautiful and relaxing one! We will be at the beach soaking in some vitamin D and salt water.

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Two Year Anniversary Giveaway


 Two years... wow! Thank you for hanging out with me on this motley catch-all blog of mine. Meeting you guys has definitely been the highlight of this journey. I wanted to share some behind-the-scenes facts and stats with you today.
- This marks the 666th post for the blog... a little awkward, but there it is.
- As of this moment there have been 200,662 page views.
- After the US, Russia is my most viewed country source.
- Alamo Candelaria is my most searched vendor.
- There are 5,057 comments.

This blog has lead to amazing friendships, a freelance writing gig, new products to try and has been a creative outlet. I plan on trucking on for as long as it fits. If you ever have any requests please send me a message. I love to hear from my readers. 

So here is the giveaway! All of the items above and a $50 Etsy gift card. The warmer has never been used and does NOT include the tin needed to make it operate. The Olfactif box is May's edition. There is a soy candle and aromatherapy oil from a local Lakeland artisan as well as wax and smell goods.


To enter this giveaway please comment below with what types of posts you most enjoy here on The Redolent Mermaid. One winner will be drawn randomly June 5th. 

Thank you! <3


Friday, May 27, 2016

The Book of Speculation and The Mermaid Girl by Erika Swyler

This book and short story were provided free from St. Martin Press for an honest review.


When Courtney from St. Martin Press contacted me about potentially reviewing a book with a mermaid tale I immediately agreed. Between my 2016 Reaching Challenge forging ahead full steam and my love of all things magically mermish I knew I wanted to dive right in. 

The Book of Speculation by Erika Swyler  chronicles the family curse laid upon the generations of mermaids and fortune tellers that are born into Simon and Enola's salt water infused bloodline. As a date fore told to be a harbinger of death looms nearer, Simon delves into the only clues in his nail bitten hands: a two century old carnival ledger, a name jotted inside the cover and the wizened old book antiquarian who sent it to him. 

The story unfolds from both Simon's modern day point of view as well as the 1700's mute Wild Boy who traveled in that very same carnival that Simon holds the history of in the weathered book. 


The book itself is beautiful. A black cloth covered hardback with copper embossing and deckle edged pages. The jacket foreshadows the haunting mystical feel of the story within the pages. 

I read the book within a few days and it held my attention and mind and emotions the entire way through. Erika artfully painted a poignant landscape that originated on the New England coast with a crumbling house upon a sea cliff and a cast of full bodied characters with dark wit, depth, shades of melancholy and unique abilities. Horseshoe crabs, tarot cards and the call of the water make beautiful metaphors and carry their burnished threads throughout the tale of these haunted beautiful women in a matriarchal line who can hold their breath for such a long time that being a mermaid in a carnival comes naturally. With the gift of breath holding comes the mystical knack for telling fortunes via the cards, untimely demise and alluring magnetism to men's hearts that is all-consuming. 

I would highly recommend this story as a brilliant summer read, especially if you enjoyed Water For Elephants, The Elegance of the Hedgehog, The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie, or The Red Tent


"The Mermaid Girl" is a short story prequel to The Book of Speculation and delves into Simon's early childhood through his mother's eyes. I did read it before the book and it helped me to understand Simon and Enola's history a bit better, but I also want to read it again now that I know exactly what she was struggling with a bit more clearly. 

Does this sound like a book you would enjoy? What do you plan on reading this summer? 

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Olfactif Artisan Perfume Subscription: May


Spring has arrived for many, bringing golden pollen on the breeze, green buds on spare branches and bright lilies and flowers abound. Here in my neighborhood it is more about summer already. The grass is thirsty and brown, the sun at its zenith scorches the skin and June bugs emerge from whatever hidey hole that they metamorphosized within. Thankfully I have this springy May box of scents from Olfactif to remind me of what spring can be like in other climates. The subscription is still $18/month with an $18 discount for any fragrance featured in that month's box.


Spring by Dasein- Notes include: Vetiver, violet, sandalwood, rose, yuzu, black pepper.
I sampled Dasein's Winter fragrance and fell head over heels. When I saw another Dasein seasonal scent I could not wait to wear it. Spring has this incredibly bright verdant juice and it echoes the scent perfectly. Translucent lime green sap, both peppery and electric awaken the senses. Razor sharp blades of grass cut through the womb of soil to greet the white hot sun. The biting and bracing vetiver and pepper ease but never depart as violets and paperwhites and bulb flowers of all varieties bloom in time lapse frames, moving to the forefront. The grasses and wildflowers fade back into the earth, leaving behind arid impressions and viridescent ghosts. $95 for a full bottle.

Notes of Sauvignon Blanc by Kelly & Jones- Notes include: Yuzu grapefruit, starfruit, green apple, camellia. 
Kelly & Jones dedicates their fragrance line to compliment various types of wines. Notes of Sauvignon Blanc sketches out the tell tale crisp, dry and refreshing notes of the wine wonderfully. Yuzu and carambola blend to create the illusion of passionfruit and dragonfruit, tropical and plump. Carambola, or starfruit, also lends a pear nectar sweetness that balances the tart green apple. Camellia blossoms mimic the grapefruit and cream vibe that magnolias carry within their flower's heart. The fragrance dries down to a light oakmoss and musk flavor. A full bottle is $50, and with the $18 off coupon code, is quite a steal.

Hansa Yellow by DSH Perfumes- Notes include: Lemon essence, green banana peel, Tunisian neroli, grandiflorum jasmine, ylang, ylang, orange blossom, butter, Tahaitian vanilla, Australian sandalwood.
Dawn Spencer Hurwitz debuted a CHROMA line that ties artist palette pigments to scent. Hansa, or arylide yellow, is a yellow toned beige-tan shade that is pretty much dead on to the color of the perfume's liquid. Lemon rinds and banana peels, sweet and mellow set the tone as they merge with piquant neroli and tropical ylang ylang. At this point in the fragrant painting the yellow is more like bright aureolin or colbalt yellow rather than tan. Eventually the brightness blends into softness when the banana peels begin to bring images of cured tobacco, clear vanilla and creamy sandalwood. The dry down lingers in the true Hansa yellow shade of vanilla sandalwood musk. A pleasure to experience and wear all the shades of the sun. A full bottle is $100 on Olfactif.


I have another brand new Olfactif box, in this month's subscription to giveaway. I will be including it as part of a much larger Two Year Blogiversary Giveaway that will be posted on May 28th. If you would like to try this month's box, be sure to enter. 

Which one of these scents in the May box calls to you? My personal favorite was Notes of Sauvignon Blanc. I could see myself wearing this tropical fruity and heady magnolia beauty all summer. And hey, for $38 it hits the wallet nicely too. 

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Melting Basket 66: Husband's Choice


Well... it certainly has been a while. I normally move through my baskets much faster than this but the past couple of weeks have been a doozy. I will elaborate below. In the mean time, let's get this shindig started. Wax from the last basket I would buy again include: TBG Lemon Curd & Rose Milk, Ruby Chandelier, The Fortune Teller, Glitterati Island Peach, LSC Lemon Shortbread Cookies, Lemon Butter Crunch Cake, Rosegirls Rosegirls Garden/Raspberry Sauce/VBN, VCS Queen Anne's Lace, CFTKR Summer Strawberry Taffy

I asked in the last melting basket post what type of basket I should build next. I did get some requests and I will make sure I get to them all within the next few baskets, but the one that stood out was having my husband make a basket. You must understand a few things about Adam: 1. He is pretty much asnomic to a lot of things unless they stink. 2. He likes to still act like a 12 year old boy sometimes. 3. He really leans to the fruity side. I pulled him into the closet (where he thought we had an "appointment" and promptly got excited) but then I set him straight and begged him to pick out some tarts for me to melt. As I held out the basket for him to fill he spun around and farted into it. Really. Smirked over his shoulder and said "there, it's filled." Spun around in a full circle and repeated the process. "Now it's really full." I can't make these things up guys. This is my life. I laughed and then begged again. He huffed and sat cross legged and began to "smell" the tarts (while not opening the bags mind you) and then popped a few in there. He refused the bakery drawer due to it smelling like fall and then refused some other scents because they smelled like Christmas. I ended up with a repeat from the last basket and mostly fruity. He appears to favor The Bathing Garden and Glitterati. So without further ado... I present the Adam Johnson melting basket. By the way he did moan about the names of a lot of these. He just doesn't understand :-)

CFTKR- Summer Strawberry Taffy (the repeat, but I don't mind as I love it)
CFTKR- Driftwood and Sea Salt
LSC- Pink Sugar Melons
Glitterati- White Tea & White Clouds
Glitterati- Cotton Candy Honeydew Watermelon Spritzer
Glitterati- County Fair
TBG- Serendipity Cream Pie
TBG- Marie Antoinette's Boudoir
TBG- Tunnel of Love
TBG- Sleepy
TBG- Calypso

If you would like any of these reviewed, please leave a comment below!


I mentioned a crazy, rough couple of weeks. I had debated on whether or not to mention it here as I didn't really talk about it other than in person or in private chats to a few friends and family, but what the heck. This is my blog and it did impact it a bit. I was let go from my job at the middle school and it hit me hard. I had indeed had some struggles there but on the whole I love the kids and had planned on returning for the next school year. I was a huge ball of stress, anger, sadness, shame and despair for several days.


As someone with faith can I just take a moment here to tell you what a bitter pill it can be to take and hear that it's ok that this door closed, a better one will open, everything happens for a reason. Gosh. So hard. And I hated hearing it. And I railed against it. I wanted to mourn. To have someone rage right along with me. But I did it alone while my loved ones tried to lift me up. And they did. I eventually saw above the sea of tears that fell spontaneously and incessantly that it would be alright. I would find a new job. I would come to terms with this heartbreak. It was only a set back. If I sound like I was over reacting from losing a job, maybe I was, but it blindsided me. I have never been fired. Maybe it was pride, maybe it was surprise. Either way it hit hard. And it was my experience.


 I did get a new job. Thanks to a kind friend who sent me towards an opening. God did close that door I was familiar with... and another opened. And more chapters will turn and more heart ache will come. Hopefully I can deal with it more gracefully next time. Maybe I will float with the tides easier. Or maybe I will still care too much. Expect too much. And feel too much. That is alright as well. As long as I can get above that water line. Thank you for the kind words and love I was given during that hard time. I really and truly appreciate it. You are now chatting with a 9 to 12 year old Montessori assistant teacher at a new school. I am excited to start an entirely new school year. After summer break of course. 


Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Aroma M Perfumes: Geisha Vanilla Hinoki

This perfume sample was sent from Aroma M for an honest review.


Giesha Vanilla Hinoki is the newest addition to Aroma M's evocative Geisha line. Featuring notes of: Moroccan vanilla, hinoki (or cypress), bergamot, clove, cardamom, nutmeg, cedarleaf, lavender, leather, patchouli, amyris and cedarwood. 

Wild sweet oranges and tea from the orient, softly spiced and infused with flavor of vanilla bean pods. The sweet come hither nuances peel off to reveal a heart of lavender, medicine for the soul, accompanied by greenery from the cedar and cypress intertwining. Spiced oranges with age and vanilla velvet never disappear but continue to weave through the tale until the leather and woods appear. The orange strays but vanilla stays, lingering with the patchouli and earth base. 

A beautifully rendered vanilla centric fragrance that speaks more of the woods and spice east origin than a sugared version from the west. Sophisticated, exotic and sensual. A spray parfum is $90 and the oil roll-on is $60. Do you enjoy vanilla fragrances? What types of vanillas do you adore?

Monday, May 23, 2016

Box From South Korea and Tea Light Warmers


Liz at Furianne sent me a box of awesomeness from her current home in South Korea. She had shown these amazing tea light warmers that she found over there and I offered to pay her to grab me a couple but she is so very kind and sent them as a gift. <3 One did arrive banged up but my husband Gorilla Glued it back together as much as we could and I think I may do some type of decorative painting to cover the crack more. Make it look spiffy again. I hope it holds when warmed but we will see. 


I am mega excited about these sheet masks. We all know by now I am a sheet mask fiend. I used and loved the MediHeal Tea  Tree mask this past weekend. It provided a soothing and relaxing experience. The Black Mask looks intriguing!


I know I adore My Beauty Diary but have not tried the aloe version. Liz says she loves it and I am sure I will too.


These are face masks/scrubs I believe. The texture looks grainy on the images I researched. Very stoked to use these puppies.


Stunning compact mirror that I will be using during travel. I love Sandhill Cranes and these are gorgeous, shimmering with mother-of-pearl.


My super cute new tea light warmer! Actually, my only one since my Yankee one fell and crashed to the ground a while back. The minty aqua matches my living room perfectly. The bowl is pretty deep and at an angle. It looks like a little piece of art. I love love love it. 

Thank you so much Liz and I really appreciate this box and the warmers. I hope we can swap again before you leave. If there is anything you are hankering for, let me know! 

Do you use a tea light warmer? How much wax do you put in? Where did you get it? Have you used any of these masks before? Any favorites?


Sunday, May 22, 2016

Aftelier: Chef's Essence Sprays in Chocolate and Bergamot


Mandy Aftel builds a bridge to span the gap between scent and taste in a way that only a master natural perfumer with the tools at hand could. Aftelier Chef's Essences are single note high quality essences or absolutes that come in drop and spray form to add to foods, drinks and desserts. Rose, fir needle, frankincense, violet, lavender, magnolia can all make magic with your taste buds if you crave the exotic, or even a superb flash of strawberry, coriander, saffron, spearmint or apple if concentrated comfort is the desire. I purchased two sprays and two absolutes. Today is all about the sprays. 

Chocolate ($22) seemed like a no-brainer for me and it certainly has found itself to be a staple in my home. I intended it for use in some exotic dish, perhaps a rich mole or marinade. But so far it is an every day work horse that turns the mundane into indulgent. I spray it on top of vanilla bean Haagen-Dazs, into my morning cup of coffee, my afternoon chai tea. The absolute imparts a dark chocolate experience without bitterness and with a clarity and translucence that is sublime. I almost want to spray it on my skin it smells so incredible; coffee bean depth, cocoa nib duskiness, woody vanilla bean pod tones all fuse into this chocolate absolute. The alcohol content lends just a touch of boozy liqueur delight. I may still attempt to use it in an actual recipe but if I never get that far, I will not regret it one bit. It serves me well just adding a spritz of dimension to my every day consumption. (No, I don't eat Haagen-Dazs every day... or do I?). I can also tell this will last me a good long while despite my frequent use, it comes in a 30 ml glass bottle.



Bergamot ($16) Essential Oil spray piqued my interest. This "wild harvest" bergamot adds a peppery aged lemon citrus aroma and taste to foods or drinks. As the chocolate, I envisioned fancy creations using this beauty but those dreams have yet to materialize. Instead I have sprayed it on various cold salad type meals with excellent results. An easy lunch recipe I fell in love with, I drained and rinsed chick peas, added minced garlic, olive oil, apple cider vinegar, sea salt and a spray of bergamot. Instant light lunch with an exotically fresh aroma. This also adds citrus airiness to steamed rice, salad greens and Caprese salad. Mandy does warn that the citrus oils do need to be refrigerated to maintain freshness, and even then they will only last months and not indefinitely like her other essences. 

If I could not only have a spice cupboard but an essence cupboard too, I would. And maybe I will work toward that. I did buy the lavender and frankincense oils to bake and make candy with so do look out for those in a Cooking Cove post. Would these look like something you would be interested in experimenting with? What essences strike your fancy? What would you create or enhance with the chocolate or bergamot?

Friday, May 20, 2016

Scent Trunk: Custom Fragrance Subscription

This Scent Trunk box was provided free for an honest review.


Scent Trunk has really amped up the perfume subscription game as of late. They re-branded, as we saw last time, offer new and exciting fragrances, as well as some pretty great deals. Like a free trial. You do have to cover the $4.95 shipping cost. The subscription is $18 per month and includes three 2ml spray vials of fragrance based off of your scent profile.

Scent Trunk also has a rewards program for referals and donates 1.5% of all sales to the Brain & Behavior Research Foundation.


I updated my scent profile recently and I can see that it paid off. I love each of these scents.

Perfect Gardenia by Sarah Horowitz- Notes include: Gardenia, green notes, vanilla, musk.
Narcotic, powdery gardenia unfolds under the late afternoon sun. Green accords akin to sweetgrass weave and tangle around the bloom. A veil descends, casting the white blossom into softness, plush, downey and dulcet. As it dries down and the base notes emerge, it was as if the gardenia was worn right on the skin the whole time. Shadows of the scent linger, nuzzling a sweet floral musk into your flesh. $100

New York 1955 By 4160 Tuesdays- Notes include: Candy floss, raspberries, rose, violet, musk, vanilla, ambergris.
Wild raspberries and live roses ramble and tumble out at first spray. Over time they ripen and fall off the bushes then mix with silken cotton candy, Choward's Violet Mints and rose flavored Necco Wafers. This lovely floral candy violet heart lasts long enough to really enjoy it and revel in it. Eventually, the candies are cleared off the skin to reveal the softly smouldering ambergris and vanilla musk, a comforting ending to a long day of indulgence. $100

Evening Edged in Gold by Ineke- Notes include: Osmanthus, plum, Angel's Trumpet, saffron, cinnamon, Midnight Candy flower, leather, woodsy notes.
A phantom fragrance that slighters just out of grasp when trying to pin it down. Osmanthus opens the scent, sweet, soft and regal wearing the slightly purple hue of the tart plum skin. Saffron wafts up, so distinct and pungent from the floral bouquet. Creamy, yet somehow spicy and peppery, leather and woods surround the exotic and royal flowers. This is a scent for beautiful evenings, cherished moments and dressing up. $95.


Of the three I would be hard pressed to pick just one. And I will happily wear each of these scents any time. I actually wore New York 1955 to an interview yesterday. Something to perk me up and put a smile on my face. I love all three for very different occasions. New York 1955 is a great mood lifter, Perfect Gardenia is a great summer beach scent and Evening Edged in Gold holds promises of romantic experiences in store.

Have you tried Scent Trunk yet? Don't wait too long, as you really can't beat $4.95 for such high quality scents during their free trial period. Which of these speaks to you?

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Once Upon A Bookcase: May


This is my second and last Once Upon A Bookcase phone case subscription box. These run about $26 plus shipping which works out to about $32 in the end. You get a bookish phone case as well as 3-4 other bookish items within the same theme. 


I signed up for the Anything & Everything box (you can get Manly Man or Girly Girl too). This month was Peter Pan themed. This black tote was included in the box.


As well as this faux leather scroll type pencil holder that features a map of Neverland.


I thought it was cool for sure, but I may end up using for paintbrushes or just giving it to Savanna.


The phone case itself is blue and white with some pearlization and sheen to it. It looks very nice, but I am not a huge Peter Pan fan. I will use it in order to get my money's worth, but I won't be grinning like a maniac over it.


I used my Beauty and the Beast case for a full month and there is definite wear and tear. The flap is shredding, exposing the cardboard underneath, the thin plastic type fabric is wearing off the edges. It is just not holding up. 

I did see that you can buy just the cases from Chick Lit Designs on Etsy, thanks to a commenter on here but they are $29 each plus shipping and it equals about $41, all said and done. That is a lot for a phone case that does not hold up for more than a month. I canceled my subscription. My phone is back to wearing my Society 6 Harry potter case. Have you signed up for any cool sub boxes lately? Anything bookish tickling your fancy?


Monday, May 16, 2016

Warmed Wax: The Bathing Garden



The Bathing Garden Fortune Teller turned out to be just as enchantingly mysterious melted as she was on cold sniff. Initially I detected ginger ale and lemon lime soda tartness but with an underlying cake quality. As the scent progressed, more brown syrupy cola emerged then butterscotch sauntered onto the scene. At different times of the day I would catch various notes popping out to surprise me. The throw was a solid medium-strong and I enjoyed it. I would repurchase again just to experience it. I could not melt it all the time but I did have fun with it.


The Bathing Garden Lemon Curd & Rose Milk was all that I remembered. The soft milky rose paired with lemony bright tang. A beautiful scent combination that threw medium-strong and lasted several hours. Repurchase, and I am happy to have a back-up. 

I am kind of stumped on what to fill my melting basket with this time. Do you have any requests for scent types, vendors or wax you have seen me purchase but not review? How are you doing? Anything new in your neck of the woods?

Friday, May 13, 2016

Esscentual Alchemy: Time Lord and Sibylline


Esscentual Alchemy is an all natural perfume house that I had the pleasure of experiencing not too long ago. I wanted to show that I did enjoy Patchouli Creme so much that I had to go back and get more, as well as buy a sample of a scent Amanda creates titled Time Lord. Because.... WHO wouldn't love that?! >elbow elbow< Eh? Eh? Dr. Who mom jokes. 

I won't be reviewing Patchouli Creme again (to read that click here). But I am excited to share with you Time Lord and a sample of Sibylline she sent.


Time Lord is everything I had hoped it would be. Primordial woods oozing an eerie green mist, as ageless as The Doctor. Incense smoke with a slightly metallic cyborg edge that could very well come from the pumping gears, hot electrical currents and steam generated from time travel. There lies a lone carnation on the control panel of the TARDIS, maybe a token from a past companion or love lost. The Time Lord smells ancient, modern and yes, always a bit alien. This fragrance captures all of that and more. I purchased this perfume mini spray for $13.


Sibylline comes in a parfum extrait formula and highlights the fleeting spring and autumn rose blossoms. I adore this version of rose, she is spicy and not sweet, sharp and not powdery. Her thorns and petals share space with lavender buds and moss. This departure from the jammy rose preserves serves to make her even more beguiling and sensual. I am head over heels.


I very much have been enjoying my Esscentual Alchemy experiences and will be a long time customer of Amanda's. If you decide to venture into the world of natural fragrances, be sure to sample her scents.

Have you explored natural perfumery yet?

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Paul & Joe: Come Sail Away... Cat Lipsticks from Summer 2016


This might have been my most highly anticipated makeup release to date. For several weeks I had been teased by photos of these adorable cat lipsticks. The past few years I managed to miss out on Paul & Joe's infamous kitty lippies. Not anymore. No ma'am. I high tailed it to Beauty Habit on May 6th bright and early in the morning and snatched one of each up. 


And look how cute. 


Ahoy! is the brightest shade. A bright deep fuchsia dream. These all run $20.00 each and $7.00 for the tube case itself. They have a core of pigment in a cat shape (they retains its kitty silhouette all the way through use) with a shiny moisturizing lip gloss ring surrounding the core.


Smooth Sailing is a paler pink but definitely not "death" lips. On my skin it is a My Lips But Better shade and I love how natural it looks. I can see how some skin tones it might not really pick up on. It is very subtle.


Initially I did not get this last shade, Catamaran, but an IG friend enabled me rather quickly. Some nudes scare me but this one is fabulous. The soft brown and pink tones are flattering on my lips. This one will be an everyday workhorse for sure. 


Can I take a moment to tell you how hard it was to swipe these on my lips? Knowing that I would never see these kitty eyes, whiskers, and features again? So. Hard. But I persevered and did. Just for you guys. The formula on these are much better than the last Paul & Joe lipstick I purchased. They are a glossy yet nicely pigmented lipstick that wears easily and feels slick and nourishing. 


These were my freebies since I placed two separate orders. I did use the code BRIGHT to get $10 off $50 but if I had ordered all three at once I would have used SAILAWAY to get the skin care and passport cover for a $65 purchase. The passport has seashells with sexy legs. Yes. But I do love the cat graphing notebook they threw in with the samples.


But mostly I love these lipsticks. How nice is it to have something so cute turn out so great?! At the time of this writing, they were still in stock at Beauty Habit. 

Have you gone giddy over any new makeup releases lately? Tried Paul & Joe? Do you like Beauty Habit? Let's chat makeup :-)