Sunday, August 28, 2011

The most wonderful time of the year

Autumn! Full of wonderful, harvesty goodness. Mmmm, pumpkin, spices and burning leaves. I love autumn and halloween is my favourite holiday. And I love all the autumn/halloween themed stuff that's available this time of year. So many indie companies offer a special line of autumn scents - I save up for this time of year the way most people do for Christmas. Here are just a few places I'll be spending too much money this season.

Haus of Gloi

Solstice Scents

Steam Bath Factory

Black Baccara Halloween Sampler

Alchemic Muse

I'm anxiously awaiting Lysa's Autumn selections at TMTM and hoping Becca at OHWTO will have something as wonderful as last year's Coven. What are you all looking forwards to?

Monday, August 22, 2011


Yup. I've been tagged. Thanks to the lovely Lisa Neff over at Fleurs-de-Lisa, who did the tagging.

So here goes: My top ten favourite cosmetics/beauty items, in no particular order.*

1. e.l.f. mineral primer - I can't tell you how many primers I tried. I was completely unimpressed by all of them. Lorac, Smashbox, too-faced, etc. None of them made my skin look any better or my makeup wear any longer. Just an extra step. Until I tried e..l.f. (and later The Porefessional). My skin loves silicones, and they make a wonderful barrier for sealing my  moisturizer in and keeping my skin from trying to slurp any foundation off my face. It does a so-so job of minimizing my pores and fine lines and does make my foundation glide on beautifully. Plus it feels creepy and weird on my fingers before I apply it - it's a gel-like formula, but it feels all velvety and non liquid. I love that. Science! It's my current HG primer, along with Porefessional, which has a nice light tint to it and is slightly better at hiding pores (and a lot more expensive). I try to buy all of my e.l.f. products in stores, like Target or Kmart or something, since ordering from their site can be a nightmare.

2. Pure Face Organics Day Moisturizer I found a bottle of this, for like, 2 dollars on clearance somewhere. It's amazing. My skin absolutely loves it and it feels like heaven. Smells a bit weird, but the scent grows on you after a bit. I've no idea what in particular works so well for me, but it's hands-down the best moisturizer I have ever used. I'm scraping the last bits out of the bottle before I order a new one at $18. I've also used the eye cream - meh, and the night cream, which breaks me out, badly. There are two more products in the line I have yet to try, but even if this one item is the only thing they offer that works for me, it works so well, I'll still be happy.

3. Evil Shades Matte Silk  EvilAngel claims that this powder is only Rice Powder, Magnesium Myristate, Calcium carbonate, Titanium dioxide, Zinc oxide, Silicon Dioxide, Cyclopentasiloxane.  She's lying. It also contains a teeny-tiny invisible airbrush artist who will make your skin look absolutely amazing when  you dust this stuff on. Or Fairy Dust. Or something, 'cause it's magic in a jar. The first time I tried it, I actually did a double-take at my reflection. I looked that good. It even looks good when you wear it all by itself. Seriously - if you don't own this,  you should. It's the first product I've ever tried that not only lived up to it's claims, but exceeded them by a whole huge mega-bunch. Another HG item.

4. Caravan Herbals Nourishing Cleansing Oil I use this for the oil cleansing method and it has improved my skin by leaps and bounds. My rosacea is calmer, my skin is less dry and desert-y. It's soothing, both facially and mentally and it works without breaking me out. What more can you ask of a product! The number of things I can't put on my skin greatly exceeds the number I can, so I'm always thrilled to find a good product that I can actually use.

5. Meow Pampered Puss Foundation in a blend of Snow Lynx and Inquisitive Sphinx. One of the very few foundations I've found that matches my pasty whiteness. The blend varies from season to season, anywhere between 50-50 to 25-75. My skin is a goth girls dream. Or it would be if it weren't so thin, delicate, sensitive and rosacea prone. For me, foundation is more than just a way to make my skin look better, it's a physical shield between my skin and a whole world full of irritants. Meow's foundation is simple, basic and soothing and protects and prettifies my skin without aggravating it. I do have to apply lightly, since powder foundation can look like crap on dry skin, but, overall, I'm much happier with this than I have been with any commercial or liquid foundation I've tried.

6. Yes To! towelettes. I use both the blueberry and the cucumber, usually in the morning, or when I have mascara to wipe off. They do the job, my skin loves them and they're simple and easy. I hate the way the blueberry ones smell, but my skin really likes them, so I've just learned to live with it. I learned a long time ago to give my skin what it wants or pay the consequences.

7.Benefit Badgal Plum mascara - thought it was time to throw in a bit of color. I have good lashes. They're long, black and clearly defined. All I really need in a mascara is enough colour to make them show up against any shadow I'm wearing and to not clump up. Far too many mascaras either turn my lashes into a terrifying chunky mess or end up smeared all over my brow-bone/undereye area. I like a simple, basic brush with deep bristles to coat my entire lash instead of just the tip, and I hate the kind with a crap-ton of fibers, which eventually migrate into my eye. I love the plum colour for daytime wear, as it brightens my olive green eyes. This isn't the best mascara I've ever tried, but it is the best plum mascara I've found, since I only wear black for more dramatic looks. For black, I prefer Revlon 3-D Extreme.

8. Fake Nails - any brand really. Revlon are very nice. I'm wearing Broadway Fashion Express 'Fame' at the moment. I'm a biter. And I don't mean 'a little nibbling on the edge of a snagged nail' biter. I mean a 'gnawing the nail down to the bloody nub then chomping away the the cuticles, ripping the skin off until I have to wear band-aids on all my fingers' biter. Seriously. I'd show you a picture of my nails without any enhancements but you'd gag. And probably have nightmares for years to come. I used to have my nails done with acrylic gel at the salon, but that is expensive, time-consuming and inconvenient. Plus, breathing in the salon fumes, even for the hour or so it takes to have my nails done always left me with a horrible headache and sinus problems. I want my nails to look nice, but more in a 'normal human who has not recently been attacked by a rabid rodent' way rather than a perfectly done 'just stepped out of the salon' way. Glue-on nail technology has progressed dramatically since my youth, and a good pair looks convincing and lasts me about a week, even with knitting, typing, cleaning and gardening type activities. Plus if I want polish, I can do it before I put them on, since my polishing skills are the equivalent to a spastic four-year olds.

9. Morgana Cryptoria Lip Balm in Nevermore Everything that makes a balm wonderful, plus colour. Okay, it's a bit stiffer than your average balm, which is good, otherwise it'd end up looking all smeary and Joker-y. But it's still nicely moisturizing and with a wonderful warm mauvey-violety ever so subtle sparkle. The perfect fusion of lip balm and lipstick. Plus it's available in more colours than any one person can possibly use. (Not that we won't try).

10. Hair dye. Usually in some shade of cool red. Right now it's Garnier Nutrisse Ultra Colour R3  with Splat! Luscious Raspberries over it. I've had every colour of hair imaginable in my time. (except green. I've yet to find a green I like.) I love brightly coloured hair. One of these days, I'll do a post about it. I change my hair colour constantly, depending on what catches my eye or my mood. I'd rather go outside naked with no makeup than have boring hair. Plus my hair is ultra-short, so if I screw it up, it grows out in like, three weeks. Neither of these two are the best or the brightest dyes I've ever used, but they hold up well through multiple washings and I'm lazy, so it's working for me right now.

Now to spread the love: 10 wonderful bloggers chosen semi- randomly from my daily reading list:
Liber Vix

**Rules of the Top 10 Award**
1.  Thank the person who tagged you and link to their blog.
2.  Put the Top 10 Award logo on your blog.
3.  List your Top 10 cosmetics/beauty items.
4.  Choose 10 bloggers to tag, link to their blogs, and let them know.

*I expanded the tag from just cosmetics to include beauty items, because beauty is more than just face-paint and I'm not sure I could come up with 10 cosmetic items without repeating myself.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Rhymes with door hinge

Orange and amber. Can you really go wrong with this combination? I think not.  I'm quite fond of most citrus fruits, both as a snack and as a fragrance and there are very few I will turn my nose up at (I'm looking at you, grapefruit). Orange and lime happen to be two of my favourite non-exotic citrus scents, and I passionately adore the scent of amber.  I happened to be browsing The Morbid The Merrier's site a while back looking for another perfume and came across this:
Key notes:
orange blossom, blackened amber, blood orange, whiskey, and a most decadent Indian white amber

Orange! Amber! Is there a downside to this? I think not! Obviously I snapped it right up. I mean, even the name sounds exotic and heady: Dhanya- like some Hindu goddess. Being a complete geek, I looked it up. Dhanya is a Sanskrit name, which, depending on the source you use, means 'most glorious', 'virtuous', 'thankful', 'blessed'. It may also be a Tamil name for the goddess Lakshmi.

So, anyway, Dhanya is part of TMTM's Odditoria line, which tend to be even darker and more exotic than the standard TMTM fare. A little slice of heaven. I want to try all the scents in that line, but this is the one that caught my eye that day.

Dhanya doesn't smell Indian to me. The first note I catch is a burst of orange - true orange, not orange candy or Bayer Baby Aspirin orange. After a little wear and warming on the skin, the blood orange - which I can only describe as somewhere between orange and tangerine scented - surfaces, cushioned by a rich, creamy layer of amber. You sort of float in this sweet but citrussy mixture for a long time, dreaming of Morrocan orange groves or the gardens of Alhambra, when the wicked whiskey undertones sneak up on you. They're delicate, but at the same time sharp and just a little bit naughty, like a little girl taking a sip of Daddy's gin while he's not looking. There's not enough whiskey to make the scent boozy, just a little bite beneath the juicyness of the richer notes.

I love this scent, it's simple without being simplistic, it's a wonderful layering of like upon like that blends complimentary aromas together without sacrificing their individual virtues. The final touch of whiskey is the perfect contrast to top it off. If you don't care for the main notes, you won't like this perfume, but if you do, you'll be astonished at how breathtaking and intricate such a simple mixture can be. It's so easy to make an orange-scented perfume that's a basic, safe, Florida sunshine smell. Which is fine and has it's place. But add just a few variants and you find yourself a world away, someplace much more exotic and fantastical, with just a hint of hidden danger; a cafe in Casablanca, or strolling down the streets of Granada as the sun sets.

image courtesy of TMTM

Odditoria perfumes come in a 5ml roll-on bottle, which I just love. I'm hella clumsy, so anything I can't accidentally spill is a big plus for me. It's $12 per bottle, which is a great price for so much scent packed into one little container. This scent lasts all day on me, and if I put it on late enough, I still get a hint of it in the morning.

To add to the wonder that is all things TMTM, Lysa has announced the upcoming Fall line and a big sale this Sunday, August 14:
"I am holding a special pre-Halloween sale for Saucy Jack and The Saw is Family. I have a VERY limited supply of fragrance components for both of these, so I will make as many bottles as possible and place them for sale THIS SUNDAY @ 4PM PST - MIDNIGHT in the Etsy shop. I really don't like doing it this way, but Halloween is going to be pretty intense this year, and I wanted to get these out of the way before listing all the seasonal stuff. Should I have any bottles left after the pre-sale, they will return to the vault (aka my perfume cabinet - ha ha) and I will list them with the rest of Halloween until they're gone. I feel very sad, because these will never return, and The Saw is Family is one of my personal favorites EVER. "

I'll be lurking to grab my bottle of the Saw Is Family. See my review of Saucy Jack here. You probably need a bottle of at least one of these. Be there or be square.

All products were purchased by me for my own use. My opinions are my own and always will be. Your mileage may vary.

Monday, August 8, 2011

In Ohio

I was going to write a cheerful post about facial products and discounts and so forth. Unfortunately, recent events have made that seem frivolous right now.

Some of you may be aware that I live in Northeastern Ohio. You are probably also aware that there has been a terrible tragedy in Copley Ohio, which happens to be quite near here.  I heard about the shooting this afternoon, but only recently got details on what actually happened.

So often, we see these things on tv and on the news. We are shocked and horrified. It seems unreal. Our hearts ache for the people involved and we thank our Gods that our family and friends have never had to deal with such a tragedy. After a great deal of back and forth between friends, I have learned that someone, or more correctly, the immediate family of someone, who was once a close friend of mine, someone who was part of 'the old college punk rock crowd' I hung out with many years ago were injured and killed in this shooting. Please join me in a moment of prayer for the Dieter and Johnson families in their time of loss.

I never met my friend Lesa's sister Becky, nor her brother Craig. I'd lost touch with her long before her nephew Scott was born.  I visited her house once, but don't think I met her  neighbors. I'll never have the chance to meet most of them now, but I sincerely hope Becky recovers soon, and that I do get the chance to meet her some day.