Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Opulent Alchemy Review

When I first heard about Etsy seller Opulent Alchemy, I was a little meh about it all, thinking that I really wasn't interested in dupes of various store bought perfumes. I finally decided that for my blog, I'd buy them for reviewing purposes, any excuse is a good excuse, right?? ;) The hardest part of this purchase was trawling through the incredible list of perfume oil dupes listed in Opulent Alchemy's blog. My order arrived in a cute little box.

The fragrances, including postage cost a total of $25, very reasonable for 7 perfume oils.

The packaging includes roller-ball application. The labels are very cute. Perfumes ordered as follows:

JLo- Love at first Glow: *The original version has bergamot, neroli, Georgia peach, pink jasmine, wild rose, osmanthus, freesia, sheer musk, blond woods and vanilla absolute.
I've read some pretty scathing reviews about the original, I have no idea what it smells like, but I'm liking Opulent Alchemy's version. It starts off quite sweet and musky. Very quickly, I get a fresh, only slightly woodsy, yet sweet, but not overly so, scent. It is subtle, "airy" and lingers close to the skin. I really like this summery scent.

Beyonce- Heat: *A vanilla oriental for women that sizzles … glamorous, confident & seductive. Top notes of are sweet with a bite - red vanilla-orchid, magnolia, neroli & peach. A sultry heart of honeysuckle, almond & musky cream, leads to the base notes of sequoia wood, tonka & amber.
Begins sugary, and a little tart, which prevents the perfume being cloyingly sweet. It's a fun, girly scent. It has an almost effervescent quality. With a name like Heat, I was expecting some spice, there was none, but I still find it an enjoyable fragrance to wear.

Britney Spears- Fantasy: *This feminine scent possesses a blend of red lychee, kiwi, cupcake, jasmine, white chocolate, musk, orris root.
This is one of the few perfumes that I've bought "over-the-counter". It is long gone now, but I loved it. I thought I'd purchase a perfume that I'd tried, to see how close these dupes are. I know it's a girly fragrance, I almost hear giggling teen girls, lol. The scent is bright, bubbly, and sweet like candy. It evokes the colour pink.  I'm happy to report that the dupe smells the same as the original :)

Aquolina- Chocolovers: * Unmistakable, senusal, mysterious, the scent of chocoalte has incrediable powers. Chocolvers (type)contains essential & fragrance oils of Corainder, Patchouly, Orange, Bergamot, Lemon , Lily of the Valley, Hazelnut, Malt, Toasted Caramel, Musk, & Vanilla Absolute.
This is a rich cocoa scent, with a slight citrus-y note. The tartness lifts the dark scent, making it an ideal perfume for any time of year.

Estee Lauder- Pleasures: *Refreshing, flowery fragrance. This feminine scent possesses a blend of white lily, lilac, rose & violet …accompanied by a hint of sandalwood.
Instant bouquet of flowers, but not too heady. Such a feminine scent. Evokes visions of walking through a blooming garden in summer.

Jessica Simpson- Fancy: *Oriental/vanilla fragrance is sexy, luscious gourmand that is as alluring as it is feminine. Perfumer Alexis Dadier whips up a delectable scent, with top notes of pear, apricot & red berries; heart notes of gardenia, jasmine, almond & caramel; with sensuous base notes of sandalwood, vanilla & amber.
Sweet, fruit and floral. Girly, fun fragrance. Very nice perfume.

Sweetie..Hot Apple Pie....
Syrup-y baked apples with cinnamon. Warm, sweet and mouth-wateringly delicious, I can almost taste it! So foody, so yummm, I love it!

I am so glad that I placed an order with Opulent Alchemy. I know there are plenty of cheap dupes out there, but they are often cheap AND nasty, with this seller you can be sure that what you are applying is not harmful in any way, in fact, it's also vegan. There's so, so many I want to try..for reviewing purposes, of course!! ;)

Saturday, 19 November 2011

Dapper Owl Review

Not really needing more bath and beauty products, I still had to buy the Heartsy voucher for The Dapper Owl, $10 for a $32 voucher, sounded pretty good to me.

The owner is Alexandra and she is a full time college student. In her words "I love making soaps and other bath products in my spare time. My favorite things to include in my shop are bright, fun colors for kids and old fashioned recipes that are good for everyone and vegan friendly!"

My order was packaged well, and I appreciated the personal touch of a hand written card offering me a discount on my next order.

I purchased the following;
Tangerine soap: "This layered soap smells wonderful! Tangerine and orange come together to make a beautiful, citrus filled soap. I've added orange peel to the mixture to give it a little bit of extra scrubbing power. Orange peel is a natural exfoliant and is gentle, yet effective when used on the face."

Solid perfume in Bee's Knees: "This is one of my best selling scents! I love the blend of oatmeal mixed with high notes of honey and creme and almonds. It's a soft smell that lingers gently on your skin without being overpowering".
I like this blend of rich, yet gentle creamy honey, with oatmeal and almonds in the mix, it has an almost caramelized honey note to it. Unfortunately for me, it's so close to the skin that I must keep sniffing my wrists just to capture the sweet, dainty scent. If there was more throw, this would be one of my fave perfumes.

Summer Love solid perfume: "Here for the summer only, this wonderful scent is reminiscent of driving down a country road in the summer with the windows down. A wonderful blend of blueberries, strawberries, and raspberries along with gentle notes of peaches and magnolias make this a wonderful, girly scent!"
Effervescent fruity with floral fragrance. Feminine, uplifting summery scent. Soft, yet bright.

Sweet Darlin' solid perfume: "This is one of my absolute favorite scents ever. This is an imitation of Victoria's Secret 'Love Spell' scent and matches it wonderfully! This little pot is also much more convenient than carrying around a large bottle in your purse." 
Quite a similar "feel" as Summer Love, but is fruity instead of floral. Sweet and slightly tart. Fruit punch anyone??

The solid perfumes are stored in clear tubs with screw top lids and labels covering the top of the lid. Small enough to carry in a handbag for convenient re-application.

Alexandra also included a strawberry soap..a very generous freebie!! 

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Indio Skincare

I recently purchased some Indio products from sale site Brands Exclusive. I often quickly delete emails from the sale sites that I've signed up to, only because I get too tempted, but I thought I'd check it out for the skincare. I've never heard of Indio Skincare before, and a quick look at the site revealing that the company is Australian was a definite pro for me. I purchased Vitamin A serum, Vitamin C serum (musts for my anti-aging skincare routine) and Multi-V serum.

These serums are 15ml in size. For this order I payed $68.95 for the Vitamin A serum with the Vitamin C serum free, and the Multi-V serum $54.95. Postage was $10.50, which is a bit steep for local shipping, but at a total of $134.40 for active products, I thought that I was getting them for a good price.

Taken from the site: Vitamin C Serum is described as "A 12% Vitamin C featuring the potent Japanese Nikkol VCIP Vitamin C ester. It has outstanding transdermal absorption and anti-oxidant activity and assists in the reduction of premature aging and brightening of the skin. (For all skin types, including sensitive)"
Vitamin A serum is "A superior formulation packed full of the best of the best key ingredients in fighting anti-aging and free radical damage. Contains lipiud layer enhancers, wrinkle smoothing peptides, vitamins, antioxidants to enhance and improve the skin, smooth wrinkles, improve firmness, rejuvenates and imparts a more clearer, more vibrant complexion. (Suitable for all skin types)"
Multi-V serum has "Encapsulated vitamins A, H and F to even out skintone, hydrate and revitalise the skin while reducing the appearance of redness. Excellent for skin needing extra nourishment and balancing of the sebaceous activities. Great for acne and rosacea sufferers. The Biotin and Allantoin have strengthening properties and ingredients such as Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis providing large amounts of hydration. Also contains Green tea, which is an antioxidant. (For all skin types)"

Ok, after such spiels, how could I resist??? ;) I am yet to use these serums because the OCD in me must use up current skincare (as long as it's not causing problematic reactions) before starting new products. Rest assured, I will be posting my thoughts once I have been using these amazing SOUNDING serums.

Friday, 11 November 2011

Pure Fusion Review

Yep, this purchase is Heartsy's fault, yet again ;) I've wanted to increase the amount of mattes in my mineral eye shadow collection, and noticed that Pure Fusion had quite a few mattes in their etsy store. So, with another Heartsy voucher bought, I ordered some eye shadows. Ingredients of products are listed on the site, the shadows were posted shrink-wrapped, which I like.

Matte Chocolate is a versatile neutral colour.

Matte French Cafe is a light neutral shade. I found it hard to capture it dry, so swatched it wet.

Penelope is similar to matte chocolate, but has shimmer.

Hestia is a very usable gold, leaning neutral.

Matte Lilac is just that..applying wet makes it more vibrant.

Matte Deep Moss is a dark olive green.

I found that these shadows were easy to work with, and adhered well. I am considering ordering in future. I would like to purchase a collection (or 2), Pure Fusion showcases collections of various "looks" including a pic and instructions on how to get that look.. a nice touch, and great for encouraging sales, in my opinion.

Here's an EOTD of a couple of the shadows I purchased:

I used Matte Lilac on my lid, Matte Chocolate in the crease, Matte French Cafe above crease and Hestia on inner lid (should have left that one out, but wanted to play, lol)

Tuesday, 8 November 2011

Yet Another Great Indie Mineral Makeup Seller..Brazen Cosmetics.

Heartsy tempted me once again, with an offer from Brazen Cosmetics. I had not heard of this etsy seller before, but am so glad I discovered such wonderful products. For a mere $12, I was entitled to a $35 voucher. I normally don't go for mineral makeup vouchers, as I have more than enough eye shadows, however, after a little googling of reviews, this sale I could not miss.

Service was great, I received a shipping notice quickly after placing my order. The shadow sample and glitter pot were freebies, always a nice touch :)

Lipglaze in Breathless is a pale pink with shimmer. It has a subtle minty fragrance, and gives a slight tingle on the lips. Not heavy or tacky, in fact this gloss feels similar to a lip balm. Nice and subtle on its own, would also add shine and shimmer to lipstick. Very pretty. Contained in a tube, which I much prefer than a pot. Simple to apply with the doe-foot wand. Perfect colour to pair with a smokey eye, or a touch of pink to compliment a natural look.

 Passion Pot in Burlesque is a hot pink with a mauve sheen. It looks very bright in the pot, but can be applied sheer, then easily built up to the desired colour. It has good lasting power for a gloss, tastes yum, too :) I would much prefer the gloss in a tube than a pot..I do like this colour, tho.

Mischief eye shadow is a neutral shade with slight shimmer when applied dry. Apply it wet, and it's a sandy taupe. This is a perfect colour for a simple natural look, or could be complimented with a bold eye liner of any colour.

Mythic eye shadow is a bold, bright yellow gold with shimmer.

Glitterati Gel in Decoy is a clear gel with green and blue glitter. As cute as it is, this is not a product that I'd use, I'm sure my daughter would like it.

Vixen eye shadow is a blackened red velvet. It's harder to work with dry, as is my experience with most blackened colours. However, over a primer, it's much easier to apply evenly. This is one of the best textures I've used that has a black base.

Mayhem is the free eye shadow sample that I received in my order. It is a molten silver colour with a purple sheen being obvious when wet.

Here's a couple of pics after I had a play with some of these goodies:

In these pics I am wearing Mayhem on my lids, lined and crease is Vixen, above the crease I used Mischief. Burlesque gloss on lips.

I can see more orders of Brazen Cosmetics in my future. The texture, pigment and adherence of the shadows are fantastic. As for the glosses..I NEED more!! :)

Sunday, 6 November 2011

Sweet Anthem Fall 2011 Collection

After years of research and established since 2007, creator  Meredith Smith now boasts a huge range of scented goodies available from her website, etsy store and her recently opened bricks-and-mortar shop (wouldn't I love the opportunity to go there!!) More info on Meredith can be found here.

I must credit my love of Sweet Anthem perfumes to Heartsy. I was so impressed with the perfume oils and perfume sprays which I'd ordered, that when there was a pre-order offered of her fall collection, I jumped at the chance to order the sample set of 7 perfumes at the price of US$28, including postage. The samples are not your typical vial samples, but little bottles with screw-on cap. I get quite a few uses out of each sample.

I realise I am late in reviewing the fall set, however, I can largely thank customs for holding up my parcel of scented goods. I don't like to comment too much on actual postage time, as most of my parcels arrive from the US, I have to not only take into consideration international postage, but also customs has become stricter, as I've found out lately, with quite a few of my parcels being opened to be inspected. I do find that Meredith's service is great, each order is made fresh, and from experience, she replies emails quickly and is such a lovely lady to deal with. 

I couldn't wait to get into my Sweet Anthem parcel when it arrived, I wanted to send my nose into overdrive sniffing the fall perfumes, to decide exactly what I wanted to buy a full size of, as I'd recently bought yet another Sweet Anthem Heartsy voucher.

Anita was a freebie sample in my order, I have her in the EDP spray, but I'm yet to try the sample to see if they are similar, seeing as I have them in different forms of perfume.

Now for the reviews...Please accept my apology in advance, I am only just a novice at reviewing perfumes :/

NELL: * Top notes: Cardamom, Creamy milk, Peach. Heart notes: Damascus rose. Base notes: Black tea.
 Begins quite a tart, fruity perfume. I can detect a sharp note, slightly smokey. The smokiness and sharpness all but disappear into such a feminine scent. The sweet, juicy peach brightens and lifts the perfume. After wear, the peach mellows into a creamy, yet still sweet scent. I'm on the fence with this one, don't get me wrong, I really like it, but when I 1st apply, I get the dreaded headache. It does disappear as the perfume mellows. Do I endure the headache for a nice scent??

BEATRICE: *Top Notes: Rhubarb. Heart Notes: Mahogany. Base Notes: Frankincense, Tonka Bean
    Beatrice is robust and has spice, with a fruit flavour. Upon drydown, her softer side appears. She's sweet and warm. Yum, I need a full size!

MIRANDA: *Top Notes: Pink Pepper, White Pepper. Heart Notes: Immortelle. Base Notes: Black Agar, Cocoa, White Agar.
    Woodsy lovers need to try Miranda. She definitely has a woodsy bite, sharp and earthy. It isn't for the faint of heart..certainly not for me, I felt a little nauseous after wearing, Miranda's bite is as loud as her bark :)

COLIN: *Top Notes: Benzoin, Cardamom. Heart Notes: Honey. Base Notes: Amber, Frankincense, Myrrh.
    Sweet, spicy, intoxicating incense scent. The sweetness of honey and warmth of cardamon gives a comforting side to this perfume. Of course, there's more complexity to this scent. The amber provides slight sharpness, grounded with the spicy incense nature of Frankincense, Myrrh and I assume Benzoin. After wear the sharpness and spiciness are no longer so obvious, and are somewhat powdered down to a softer scent. Very nice, full size contender for sure.

MAUREEN: * Top notes: Almond, Fig ,Mint. Heart Notes: Morrocan Rose. Base Notes: Chai Tea, Myrrh.
    Sweet floral, fruity, grounded with warm chai spices and almond. I can't seem to detect the mint. It's not heady, but strong enough to be noticed.

LESLIE: *Top Notes: Grapefruit, Yuzu. Heart Notes: Lily, Incense. Base Notes: Leather, Sandalwood, Sea Moss.
    After application Yuzu and grapefruit fight to not be outdone by strong scent of leather. The incensey note seems to be a mediator between the contrasting notes. After wear, Leslie becomes a more even blend on me. The different notes are still contenders, but no longer seem to be at war with each other. Leslie is sweet, but has a dark side..she loves her leather knee highs ;)

ANNABELLE: *Top Notes: Sea Salt. Heart Notes: Jasmine, Osmanthus. Base Notes: White Amber
    Ok, I'm not sure if my chemistry eats up oceany notes of this perfume, but I don't get any. In saying that, I do find this scent to be a beautiful sweet floral, not too heady, being grounded by the amber. Annabelle surely is the belle of the ball, she's outgoing, but surely a lady.

Out of the Fall scents, my faves are Beatrice, Colin, Annabelle, Maureen, and Leslie is growing on me.

  Currently these perfumes are available at $50 for 3 EDP sprays or 2 10ml roller perfumes

*These are my opinions only of how I interpret how the perfume works with my body chemistry. What I like or may not like, may not  be shared by others.

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

Latherati Closing Down..

Etsy store, Latherati is closing down. Sadly, I've only just found this store, as I'm happy with the quality of the perfume oils that I have received.  All products sold, which include perfumes, soaps, lip balms and creams are book inspired. I'm not a huge reader of literary books, tho from reviews that I have read, this seller is pretty spot on with matching  scents with characters.

What I've found with the perfumes that I currently have is that, on me, they soften quite quickly and seem to linger. Lovely soft fragrances...I am planning to purchase more, I'm a sucker for a sale!!

The perfumes that I currently own, and are still listed in the store are:

Sinister- Fall pumpkins, black licorice, carnival cotton candy and a hint of spearmint.
All the notes are easily detected, nothing really stands out to me, the notes just blend together so well.

Celebration- A party of sparkling champagne, creamy orange and a hint of juicy strawberries.
This is such an effervescent uplifting scent. It's fruity, tart and sweet. To me it smells a little like the fruit tingles lollies. A lovely summery scent.

Matchmaker- Ripe strawberries, orchid and a touch of plum.
Sweet, fruity and floral. Soft and feminine.

Dairymaid-  A sweet blend of milk and honey and fresh butter cream.
With this perfume, I imagine sweet, dripping melted honey, mixed with a hint of creamy butter...yummmmmmmm.

So, if you want great bath and beauty products at slashed prices, or want to stock up on your fave Latherati products, head to the store and shop away :)