Saturday, December 14, 2013

Dreamworld Hermetica Avalon Matte Samples

Items were received by Dreamworld Hermetica complimentary.

A while ago, Dreamworld Hermetica was looking for testers for their new matte line and volunteered. Unfortunately, life caught up with me and I was unable to provide my feedback in a timely manner. While I did swatch the samples, I have had very little time to experiment much with it. Hopefully later this weekend, I'll have more to show you. For the time being though, here are the swatches!

This particular line is the Avalon Mattes and each colour is marvellously brilliant. At first I thought I'd be receiving a few samples but definitely not the whole collection which was previously unreleased. In addition to each eyeshadow, the company sent an eye primer, and a jar of both Mistletoe and Grendel's Mother (which are from the Medieval Collection). Below you'll find the entire series along with the swatches. Please remember that you can click on the pictures to enlarge them a bit. 

Apple Island, Avalon Nyght, Laird, Sayge, Small Sea, and The Grove.

Ygraine, Woad, Noble, Chalice, Blade, and Avalon Sunset.

Arthur's Shield, Druid's Earth, Into the Myst, Pagan, Round Table, Grendel's Mother, and Mistletoe.

Friday, December 13, 2013

This Absence

While I've been absent, I've been trying a variety of things. This variety ranges from a seasonal Trader Joe's Pumpkin Body Butter (which is divine for my dry skin), Bag Balm (does wonders for dry spots), to Shea Moisture hair care (my hair loves it), and everything in between. Sadly, I haven't been taking very many notes but here's what I can share with you as I slowly prepare for the onslaught of posts.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

My First Stitch Fix!

I admit that trying out Wantable woke up this urge for me to finally update my closet. I had all these new accessories and nothing to pair it with. So after considering it for a bit, I decided to hold off on Wantable and start focusing on revamping my wardrobe. And by "revamp," I mean "Finally get clothes that fits and isn't over 5 years old." The problem though is that I simply do not have time to shop. Heck, I barely have time to write nowadays. So I did what has been the fashionable thing to do lately... Try to find a box that would alleviate the pressure of having to actually go to stores. 

Through /r/beautyboxes, I found out about Stitch Fix (referral link). It kind of seemed like a huge commitment, so I weighed on it for days. You create a style profile which seems quite in depth and then you spend $20 to pay a stylist to pick out clothes. Upon receiving the box, you have three days to decide what you want to keep -- if there's anything you want to return, you simply toss it back into a bag that they provide that has a label already printed, and drop it into a mailbox. Seems simple enough right? Well, the commitment is in the cost. If you keep anything, that $20 is applied toward your purchase. If you buy all 5 items in your box, then you get 25% off. (Oh and California residents have to pay additional sales tax). If you dislike everything, then you are out $20. Luckily, they try darn hard to make sure that you at least like something in the box (or so it seems). 

Getting a date can be tricky and you do have to check back if you haven't gotten a slot. I didn't realize this at the time so I went back and forth for weeks before finally deciding that I would at least try them out. That was October 22nd and the earliest ship date I could get was "The Week of November 20th." So here's my first ever Stitch Fix!

The packaging is actually quite nice and somewhat reminiscent of True & Co. Everything was stacked neatly on top of one another and wrapped in tissue paper. Along the side was an envelope with the information about the items in the box with pairing suggestions, the notation of cost for each items, a Holiday Fix packet (which included recipes), and the return bag.

There were a total of 5 items and that breaks down to 3 shirts, a blazer, and a pair of jeans. The shirts and the blazer are labelled "41Hawthorn" which leads me to believe that this is their brand. This is fine with me so long as they send pieces that work out for me. Without further ado, let's look at those pieces. 

41Hawthorn: Franklin Solid Side Gathered Knit - $48
41Hawthorn: Moni Stud Detailed 3/4 Sleeve Blouse - $58
41Hawthorn: Queensland Dolman Jersey Top - $48
41Hawthorn: Benson 3/4 Sleeve Blazer - $78
Kensie Jeans: Johnny Skinny Jeans

When I first took everything out of the box, I immediately thought "Oh no, not jeans." I have had a long standing problem with jeans and it's very difficult to find jeans that fit correctly. The only jeans that seems to have fit me are Levi's Curve ID's and that's about it. So I tried the jeans on first and to my surprise, they actually fit! Not just that, but they might be flattering!

The next item I was on the fence about was the blue Moni Stud but seeing it on me changed my mind. It actually reminded me of my first lengha that I ever owned. What's interesting is that after trying everything out, the one that I ended up disliking was the purple Side Gathered Knit because the material felt weird and it just did not flatter my body type at all. I opted to keep it though because I figured that maybe I just didn't pair it correctly and had the perfect dress pants to go with it. 

So the damage? The damage pricey. (There's that commitment thing again). The total coming out to just about $242. Yes. I weeped a bit in the corner when I thought about the damage here. But here's out I logically worked it out for myself.

  1. I hate clothes shopping.
  2. I don't go clothes shopping.
  3. I hate going to stores and having to try on everything.
  4. I hate being disappointed when I go clothes shopping and find nothing.
  5. I shop online for clothes twice a year so that means that I don't have a steady flow of decent clothes in my wardrobe.

While this is expensive (still crying and still telling myself that it's okay to make this choice), this may work out since I can try on clothes at home and since they know my tastes, it's going to be catered to me. I'm opting to try one more month to see how it works out. With this box from Stitch Fix (referral link), I'm very impressed and very happy to have the new pieces in my closet. 

My First Graze Box!

Items were received by Graze complimentary.

Admittedly, I've been slacking on my updates. I signed up for Graze's Nibble Box on Halloween when they offered a free code through their Facebook page. On November 4th, the box was prepped and around November 11th I was notified it was shipped. I got the box on November 13th which was right after BlizzCon so I didn't really have much time to think. 

Unlike other boxes that I've come across, this one does not offer a tracking code and actually ship through normal mailing means. This meant that I didn't really know where my box was or why it was taking so long (now I know). Also when it arrived, it had a puncture that went right through the top to the bottom of the box. All that meant to me was that I needed to consume that sample immediately (no harm, no foul).

Let's take a look at the inside of the box. The box has a great presentation and everything is wonderfully prepped. 

  • Garden of England (top left): Strawberries black currants, and apple slices. 
  • Jalapeno Fiesta (bottom right): Jalapeno peanuts, roasted sunflower seeds, salsa almonds and roasted pumpkin seeds.
  • Key Lime Pie (top right): Lime infused raisins, sponge pieces, mini meringues and green raisins. 
  • Cracking Black Peppercorn (bottom right): Black pepper rice crackers.

I ended up eating the Garden of England one right away since that was the little tray that was punctured. I loved that one since it's been a while since I've feasted on black currants (currant rolls are my favourite pastry and I haven't had them in a long time). A few nights later when I split the remainder between my boyfriend and my friend, I ended up having the majority of the Key Lime Pie which was amazingly delicious. It was a surprising blend though I will admit that the mini meringues were a tad bit too sweet.

The other two were devoured by my boyfriend and my friend. My friend happened to love the Cracking Black Peppercorn and is currently trying to devise ways of just getting that in bulk. 

At this point my only true concern was that while this seemed great for a free box, I wasn't entirely sure of the cost and couldn't determine if it was worth it (at the time). After all, the samples are all small, there's no way it seems to properly configure (or rig) a box for your favourites, nor is there an option to buy your favourites. I do suspect this might be something that they have already considered. So when I decided to actually double check the website, I realized... well, shucks, the box is actually only $6. 

So it turns out that yeah, it's actually pretty much worth it. 

Graze is currently still invitation only and they are limiting the amount of "FriendCodes" that each person can give out. I have four two more if you'd like to give it a shot -- the first box is free. Leave me a note if you'd like my code!

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

End of October Hauls

Last week my Sephora haul arrived just in time for the Halloween party. I didn't have a chance to post but since I got my most recent soap haul and my China Glaze nail polishes, I figured that now is the time to show it all off. 

Up first is what I got from Sephora during their Friends & Family sale. I got the Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics Lip Tar & Nail Lacquer Set in NSFW because who could pass up a matching set of true red! Hourglass Opaque Rouge Liquid Lipstick in Icon and SEPHORA+PANTONE UNIVERSE Spectral Lacquer in Purple Wine. 

I've already gotten the chance to try out the OCC set and they are amazing but the lip tar does take a bit of practice. I noticed that it bled a bit which led me to believe that I may have been a bit heavy handed during the application. A little does goes a long way and I'd suggest just using a bit, and reapplying if necessary much later on. The nail polish is beautiful and as a side note, it looked great with my Captain Hook costume. 

Geeky Little Things (Wonder Witch) is a soap shop that I figured I'd give a shot. Now maybe it was because they Harry Potter themed soaps or maybe it was because the main moisturizers are either olive oil, shea butter, and/or oatmeal but something about this store seemed whimsical and cute. So in honour of Halloween, I decided to grab a couple of soaps and their Butterbeer balm. The packaging is lovely and I was more than surprised when I got everything.

I've already opened the Butterbeer balm and it's scent is a butterscotch base, with french vanilla, burnt sugar, and marshmallows. It's quite moisturizing and I'm so glad I opened it immediately to use. As for the soaps, here's what was in my order:

  • Madam Puddifoot's Green Tea Soap (Green Tea, Cucumber, and Oatmeal Soap)
  • Professor Trelawney’s Divination Bar (Oatmeal, Milk, Honey, and Poppy Seed Soap)
  • Hogwarts Express Pumpkin Pasties Soap (Pumpkin Almond Shea Butter Soap)
  • Honeydukes Salty and Sweet Soap (Salted Caramel Goat’s Milk Soap)
  • Dumbledore Sherbet lemon Bar (Lemon Oatmeal Soap)

Finally, I got my China Glaze nail polishes! These are all from the Monsters Ball lineup. Almost every year I have the hardest time finding these in stores but this year Groupon had them as an offer. As a result, I had to indulge! 

From left to right is: Bat My Eyes, Fang-Tastic, Howl You Doin', Boo-Gie Down, Ghoulish Glow, and Bump in the Night. 

Monday, October 28, 2013

Comparison of Blushes (and Pressing)

So whenever I get a new blush, I always do a swatch comparison against the others that I have -- even if they aren't remotely the same. This helps me to place the colour so in that way in the future, I know where they fall with the others. Originally, I swatched the Whip Hand Cosmetics in Cheek Flash Distraction which came in my Wantable Makeup Box. 

Currently, these are the blushes I have in rotation, along with my franken-blush (read about that here) which is not pictured as it is in my UNII palette. So if you look at my hand along the bottom, you're seeing from left to right: the franken-blush, The Body Shop, tarte, and Whip Hands.

Since my Darling Girl Cosmetics haul arrived, I decided to add in the Purple Haze into the mix to get a better feel for it against the other blushes. So pictured below is the updated image for your viewing pleasure. The Purple Haze Duochrome blush appears just before the Whip Hands Cosmetics blush. 
Once more with feeling, from left to right of the second picture you are looking at swatches of:
  •  Franken-blush
  • The Body Shop All-In-One Blusher in Guava
  • tarte Amazonian clay 12-hour blush in Blushing Bride
  • Darling Girl Cosmetics DuoChrome Blush in Purple Haze
  • Whip Hands Cosmetics Cheek Flash Loose Blush in Distraction

I think the two new blushes are a great addition to the collection. But they are loose, which means that my desire to use them in the morning may be limited since I'm often in a rush. So, I decided to try my hand at pressing them. 

While it's recommended that use a binder with the loose pigments, I found that sometimes it's a bit troublesome to press them correctly. As a result, I've resorted to just pressing with alocohol. I don't know just yet if that will prove to be a problem in the future, but I can assure you that I will find out this week if that was a large error on my behalf. Anyhow, I present my three magnetic palettes!

I didn't need to picture them all, but I wanted to show how useful they have become. The palette on the right has become a designated "blush palette" so I went as far to depot the blush I have from The Body Shop into it as well. Here's a closeup of the 3 blushes and from top to bottom that is Darling Girl in Purple Haze, Whip Hand in Distraction, and finally the franken that I decided to fix (I didn't have the proper pressing tool at the time that I made it so it was a bit rough).

Price:  $16
Stars: ★★★☆☆ 
Would Recommend? Not really.
Takeaway: I feel a bit weird not really liking this one, but I've been using it for a few months now and the pigmentation is lacking. And since the pigmentation itself is lacking, the lasting power of it is a bit sad. It's not buildable so even I layered it on, it doesn't quite pop. Often when I use this one, I have to keep going over it till the colour finally shows a bit. 

Price: $26
Stars: ★★★★☆  
Would Recommend? Yes.
Takeaway: The pigmentation on this one is also somewhat lacking however unlike The Body Shop's blusher, I can build layers upon this one to make it a bit more visible. Also it lasts a bit longer on my wonderfully oily face which makes it a high contender. 

Price: $5.90
Stars: ★★★★☆ 
Would Recommend? Yes but with caution.
Takeaway: For this one, it's highly pigmented which is great, but if you're not careful, it will get everywhere. At some point it got into my hair and I couldn't get it out of my bleached parts for a day. That's probably a testament to it's lasting power, but do be careful since it's a loose powder. It's wonderfully beautiful and long lasting.

Note: I received this product for free with my complimentary Wantable Makeup Box.
Price: $18
Stars: ★★★★☆ 
Would Recommend? Yes!
Takeaway: This one pops and it's not hard to control either. It lasts all day to my surprise especially since I've been a bit stressed and therefore a bit oilier than normal. I'm pretty impressed with this one.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Wantable October 2013 Accessories Box

I got my Wantable October 2013 Accessories Box (referral link) on Monday which made me pleasantly surprised; the shipping notification also came through on Monday so I suspect there was a bit of lag with the email. Nonetheless, I couldn't wait to see what I got especially since this was on heels of the October Makeup box. 

With this month's accessories box, I received 3 items (compared to last month's 4 items). The difference though was that two of the items in this box were right up my alley. In this box, I got:

  • Miranda Necklace: $20
  • Adore Ring: $24
  • Ruthe Necklace: $34
Upon seeing the ring, I fell in love with it. I can't explain it, it's kind of quirky but incredibly simple and with the current state of my wardrobe, I feel as though it will easily fit in with anything.

As for the necklaces, I liked Miranda immediately for it's simple nature. But then I saw Ruthe and just fell in love with that one. I love pearls, I think that they are beautifully unique (pearls, that is) even when imperfect so at first, when I saw it in the bag, I was hesitant. Once I took it out, I was in love, especially since it's a tie style necklace. 


The three boxes that I received have been amazing so far which leads me to the conundrum of trying to figure out what I should stick with. I'd highly suggest these boxes since so far they have been great! They are a bit pricey as one box (without the subscription) costs $40 and with the subscription they are $36. Thus far the boxes seem incredibly tailored, have high quality items, and seem to hit the mark. 


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