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varaeya
27 September 2014 @ 01:50 am
Viktor & Rolf Flowerbomb (eau de parfum)

It's nice. But it was barely noticeable on me after five hours.


Biotherm Aquasource Deep Hydration Replenishing Gel (for normal or combination skin)

This face moisturiser seems okay. The texture is in between a gel and a lotion. Smells kind of zesty mixed with that generic perfume scent. I might be imagining things but I think my skin doesn't feel as smooth as when I use Olay's moisturiser for sensitive skin.


Diptyque Do Son (eau de toilette)

Apparently, Vietnam's Ha Long Bay inspired this fragrance? It just smells heavily of tuberose to me and I don't like it. On the plus side, this didn't irritate my skin, unlike all the other Diptyque fragrances I've tried so far. Personally, I would've wanted something that reminded me of sea spray and perhaps something earthy to represent the caves on the many small islands in Ha Long Bay. Granted, it's been a loooong time since I last visited but yeah, those two things are what I remember. And I just don't remember any tuberose whatsoever on any of my trips to Vietnam. Why tuberose? Am I missing something?


Thierry Mugler Alien (eau de parfum)

I like this. Something about it sort of reminds me of Loverdose. When I first sprayed it on, it seemed as if barely any scent was there even though I sprayed quite a bit. After about fifteen minutes, it suddenly came to life, like BAM. But not in an overpowering way. The first six hours seemed pretty nice but after that, it fades in a way that smells kind of stale on me. It's not terrible, it's just... I don't know how to explain it. Like there's nothing mysterious or seductive or interesting or anything about the skin scent it becomes. It's there and it's tired and it's looking at the clock, waiting for its shift to end.


Cartier La Panthere (eau de parfum)

I hated this.
 
 
Emotion: uncomfortableuncomfortable
 
 
varaeya
24 September 2014 @ 11:50 pm
Diptyque Gel Lavant Revigorant pour le corps et les cheveux

This shower gel was thankfully not as in-your-face perfumed as the body scrub and body cream. Still, after seeing peppermint in the ingredients list, I was hoping for a refreshing minty scent but got neroli instead. I'm not a huge fan of neroli. Are you sensing a pattern here?


Diptyque Volutes (eau de toilette)

ABORT. Oh, and this made my skin tingle a bit right after spraying it on. I've also developed a slight red mark in the area, which showed up about ten to fifteen minutes after spraying. So far, all of the Diptyque fragrances have done this. Hmm.


Jo Malone Wood Sage & Sea Salt (cologne)

It's alright. I don't have strong feelings towards this scent. I kind of wish there was more salt to it 'cause I wanted to be reminded of the sea but it was not so. Also, this has zero sillage on me.


Biotherm Biosource Hydra-Mineral Cleanser Toning Mousse

Seems to do what a face cleanser should do. It initially comes out with a cream-like texture which lathers up to a rich, slightly foamy, creamy mousse. I didn't care much for the generic perfume scent but it didn't bother me excessively. I've yet to try removing makeup with this.
 
 
Emotion: weirdweird
Harmonising to: Cosmic Love - Florence and the Machine
 
 
varaeya
23 September 2014 @ 07:44 pm
Laura Mercier Almond Coconut Milk Hand Creme

The scent reminds me of one of my favourite hot, milky drinks from those Taiwanese-style cafes: lots of almond rounded off with coconut cream and sugar. The texture is that of a typical cream product that isn't very thick. I like it. Mostly because of the scent.


Jo Malone Blue Agave & Cacao Body Creme

An interesting take on chocolate. The top note kinda reminds me of those flavoured/mixed teas that contain kola nuts. There's a soft base of cocoa powder with a hint of something floral and sweet. It's a light, breezy cocoa scent rather than a rich one. This cream has more of a free-flowing lotion consistency. I also like this, though not enough to spend $75 for it.


Clarins Double Serum

I just used this serum this morning. I think I might have one more application in the sample I received. It... feels like a serum? It has a thin consistency typical to many serums? Nothing magical happened (in fact, nothing happened at all), not that much can with just one application. I don't know if I'd want to spend CAD 85.00 for the full-sized bottle.


My Burberry (eau de parfum)

I did not like the top note as it was too floral for my taste. After a few minutes though, that went away and a honey-like scent emerged, and I quite liked that. It's been about fifteen minutes now and it smells more like the mix of sweet pea, rose and bergamot notes that the website says are there. I liked that bit of honey-like something (maybe the sweet pea dominating for a minute?) but it's gone and I miss it and I'm not really enjoying the fragrance too much anymore. This left a faint red mark on my skin.


Tory Burch Eau de Parfum

The opening seemed promising as it hinted at orange. But that faded to lots of flowers and I'm not the type that likes lots of florals. This had pretty good sillage on me; I sprayed on a small spot on one arm and was able to catch whiffs of it whenever I waved that arm around, even about five hours later. It's about seven hours later and it's starting to become a skin scent on me. It's too bad that I'm not really into this perfume.


Clinique Chubby Stick Moisturizing Lip Colour Balm in Super Strawberry

I've never tried any of Clinique's Chubby Sticks before so I didn't realise that this particular lip line is supposed to be a sheer tint rather than full-on colour. So I was kind of sad when I applied Super Strawberry 'cause I really, really wanted it to show up as a deep, rosy red. What it actually does is slightly deepen my lips with a hint of reddish pink. It glides on easily and is slightly moisturizing upon application. I will not purchase the full-size as I already have a lot of MLBB lippies.
 
 
Emotion: still overperfumed
Harmonising to: I Don't Feel Like Dancin' - Scissor Sisters
 
 
varaeya
22 September 2014 @ 11:14 pm
Givenchy Dahlia Divin (eau de parfum)

It's nice, I guess. I don't mind wearing it. Doesn't quite suit my personality though.


Biotherm Biosource instant hydration toning lotion

I've only used this three times so far and each time, my face tingles slightly. It feels like it leaves behind a bit of a film which gradually fades away. The second and third times I used this, my neck got kind of itchy for a few minutes afterwards. While the scent isn't offensive, there's something about it that I don't like. Despite the name, my skin does not feel any more hydrated than before I started using this. I don't feel any need to go out and purchase the full-sized bottle.


Carven L'Eau de Toilette

I didn't really like this. I didn't hate either. But it reminded me too much of flowers that have been sitting in the same water for too long.


Diptyque L'Ombre dans L'Eau (eau de parfum)

Opening notes are quite green and sharp. Too much rose for my taste. I'm not a huge fan of rose. The perfume has left behind slight redness on my skin.


Diptyque Pommade Exfoliante pour le corps

It... exfoliates? Can't say if it does that better than other, much cheaper body exfoliators I've tried. Initially, it's very thick, so it was a bit hard to get it to spread at first. It did not seem to affect how quickly my body lotion absorbed into my skin. Smells heavily of jasmine, another flower I'm not particularly fond of.
 
 
Emotion: overperfumed
Harmonising to: Devil's Head Down (Ear Candy live studio recording) by Pearl and the Beard
 
 
varaeya
21 September 2014 @ 06:43 pm
When I first reviewed Revealed 2 last month, I recommended using an eye primer with the palette. Well, I've since used the shadows without primer and I'm quite pleased that they hold up well on bare lids. The eyeshadows fade a bit quicker and have a touch more fallout during initial application but tapping the brush (whether you use primer or not) really minimises the fallout. They still blend easily without primer. In fact, I've decided not to use a primer unless I'm gonna need the shadows to stay on for longer than the average work day as it holds up mostly fine in that time (and saves me primer, haha). I'm honestly having a lot of fun with this palette because it's so easy and quick to use. Obviously, I don't reach for this when I want a dramatic/colourful look; I grab it when I want a no-brainer. The shades all coordinate well with each other so I don't really have to worry about figuring out which colours will look good with another. I had no trouble making a darker, smokier look with these shades. It's not a super versatile palette but damn, I really like it.


Moving on: I went to the mall recently and came home with EVEN MOAR samples! SAMPLES SAMPLES SAMPLES, YAY!! There's a lot to go through, many of them being fragrances, so this will take up a few posts in the coming days (hopefully).


Estee Lauder Advance Night Repair

On this serum, it says "Synchronized Recovery Complex II" so I wonder if there's a 1 floating around somewhere? Also, why's it called Night Repair when the instructions tell me to use it day AND night? Can't it just be Advanced Repair Serum or something? The past two days, I've switched out my regular Indeed Labs Hydraluron serum for this, except I've used this day and night rather than just nighttime like I have with Hydraluron. Nothing seems to have changed. I think I have maybe one or two more uses left in this sample. It's expensive and I've yet to see the need to buy this.


Read more...Collapse )
 
 
Emotion: hungryhungry
Harmonising to: Little Talks - Of Monsters and Men
 
 
 
varaeya
15 September 2014 @ 06:31 pm
Step 1: Use a black pencil eyeliner to line the top of your eyes and to sketch out the wing to use as a guide for your liquid liner.

Step 2: Following the guide you drew with your pencil liner, draw over it with your black liquid liner.

Step 3: Step back from the mirror and realise that the lines aren't even.

Step 4: Attempt to even out the lines by slightly thickening them with more liquid liner.

Step 5: Repeat steps 3 and 4. Keep repeating these two steps until the lines are so thick that they no longer resemble the nice, winged liner look you were trying to achieve.

Step 6: Attempt to fix the lines by using a q-tip with a bit of makeup remover.

Step 7: Smudge the liner horribly, thereby necessitating the need to completely wash off the eyeliner.

Step 8: Discover that you still have a bit of liner left on your eyes and it's kind of obvious. Now is the time to decide to be lazy and not continue trying to remove every last bit of eyeliner.

Step 9: Pretend the bit of liner left was completely intentional by smudging a bit of charcoal eyeshadow into the outer corner of your lids and smoking it out into the crease. Finish off with a light, neutral shadow for the rest of your lids.

Step 10: Curl your lashes, apply mascara, and then apply a bright violet lipstick as a means of distraction. Insist that the finished look was actually what you were aiming for from the very beginning, totes for realz!
 
 
Emotion: FAIL
Harmonising to: Brave - Sarah Bareilles
 
 
varaeya
President's Choice Mango & Lime Medium Salsa

Let's get this one done with first. Ahem. WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH THE LABELING ON THIS SALSA SERIOUSLY IT IS NOT EVEN A TINY BIT SPICY AND LIKE THERE IS ZERO LIME THIS SALSA IS WAAAAY TOO SWEET

I will not repurchase.


Living Proof Perfect Hair Day 5-in-1 Styling Treatment

I don't notice this doing anything besides making my hair smell unpleasant the next day, forcing me to wash my dry, easily damaged hair sooner than I'd like. Out of the bottle, the product smells like the PHD shampoo and conditioner.


Clinique Acne Solutions Clinical Clearing Gel

I've only used this once. Because it stings like the dickens. Took a look at the ingredients and what do you know, alcohol is the first ingredient.


Clinique High Impact Mascara in black

High impact my arse.


e.l.f. Essential Eyeshadow Brush

Sheds, sheds, sheds, and the brush is not cut evenly across (one side is more rounded than the other). Also, while it isn't super rough, it's isn't very soft either. The brush I got looks nothing like what's shown on the website. The very top of my brush is blunt cut across and I had to trim a bunch of stray bristles. Ugh.


e.l.f. Essential Blending Eye Brush

It blends. Wish it was a bit softer but it's good for the price. It's a touch on the small side so it's good for more precise/targeted blending.


e.l.f. Studio Complexion Brush

So far, so good. I've only had a single instance of shedding. It's soft and applies blush in a nice, diffused manner. I haven't had any problems with using it to pat finishing powder on.


Update: Ole Henriksen Sheer Transformation Face Creme

I did a first impressions of this here. I recently finished up the deluxe sample I received and will confirm that I won't buy the full-sized product. It's decent enough but didn't really "transform" anything.
 
 
Emotion: lazylazy
Harmonising to: The Boulder (Ear Candy live studio version) - Geographer
 
 
varaeya
FTBbeauty.ca has a pop-up shop going on right now in Toronto and since my mom was there for a few days, I asked her to do a mini-haul for me. She picked up a Coastal Scents palette and some e.l.f. brushes. The brushes I wanted simply out of curiosity; it was the palette I had my eye on. (I will try to review the brushes later. Spoiler: I like but not love the Essential Blending Eye Brush while the shedding on the Essential Eyeshadow Brush drives me up the wall. I also got the Studio Complexion Brush.)


Coastal Scents Revealed 2 Palette

What really drew me to the Revealed 2 were the matte eyeshadows. At the time I learned about this palette, I didn't have very many matte shades. (Now I have three palettes worth of mattes, haha, shoot me now.) Urban Decay's Naked Basics bored the hell out of me, not to mention that the left half of the palette swatches nearly identically on my skin. It's just not worth the 30-something CAD to me. When my mom purchased the Revealed 2 palette from the pop-up shop, she paid around 21 CAD. Revealed 2 has seven matte shades. One of those shades is a gorgeous cranberry. Yeeeah, spend more for half a palette of highlight shades that are everywhere and an easily dupable black, or less for some plummy/mauvy matte shades that I don't currently own in my collection with a bonus of a bunch of nice nudes that I also don't currently have? Colour-wise, the answer is pretty easy. But what about the quality of Coastal Scents?

When I finally received the palette, I wasn't expecting incredibly high-quality, intensely pigmented, super buttery eyeshadows. And you know what, I didn't get incredibly high-quality shadows. What I did get were twenty good quality shades that were definitely worth more than what I paid.

The cardboard palette came inside bubble wrap and neatly placed inside a thin box. I was a little bummed to see the shadows a bit dinged up; it didn't look like it'd been used, it simply had a few nicks here and there in some of the shadows. Also, the pans aren't filled evenly. That aside, I'm happy with the palette despite the fact that it's pretty much a dupe for UD's Naked 3, the colour selection of which really disappointed me. By the way, here are two bloggers who swatched Revealed 2 so you can have a better idea what the colours look like: Musings of a Muse and Harlot Beauty. The former has done up a lovely look so you can see what it looks like on an actual human face while the latter has very helpful comparison swatches to Naked 3.

What I liked and didn't like.Collapse )
 
 
Emotion: fullfull
Harmonising to: I Will Get There (from Prince of Egypt) - Boyz II Men
 
 
varaeya
I love cheese. For my birthday, I begged my mom to take me to the local known-for-their-delicious-cheeses restaurant as her gift to me. The cheese was glorious. (I think she might have been a bit surprised that I didn't ask for more makeup.) In fact, I'm eating a cheese sandwich right now as I ponder how to appropriately convey my love for cheese. Mmm. Cheese.

It shouldn't come as a surprise that I enjoy a nice grilled cheese sandwich, especially since they're also easy to make. Confession: I'm really lazy so I don't even "grill" them anymore, I just stick 'em in the toaster oven until the cheese is just melted.

But sometimes, guests show up unexpectedly or something to that effect, the fridge is kind of empty, and you want to make something a little nicer than just a grilled cheese sandwich. Or more people showed up to the tea party than you expected, almost everyone brought dessert pastries, and it turns out someone's allergic to the cucumber in the cucumber finger sandwiches. Uh, that was rather specific. Whatever. Maybe you want more than just bread, butter and cheese. For me, it's usually the last reason but I've actually gone to gatherings at friends' houses and whipped up some grilled cheese sandwiches with just a little something extra when the snacks ran low.

Those little something extras can change everything.

My favourite things to add to "fancy" up a grilled cheese sandwich are ingredients most people generally have on hand: tomatoes or apples. It's a rare day indeed when my fridge lacks both at the same time.

Anyway, here are some ideas to fake a fancy grilled/baked cheese sandwich. I suppose some of them are super obvious but I'm writing this for me and this is my blog, so.

Don't just add tomatoes, throw in some basil too! Bonus if it's fresh! Add some fresh ground pepper to the tomatoes! Soak the tomato slices in balsamic vinegar, which is an automatic fancifier. True fact. Using a lighter cheese, like mozzarella? Don't forget to sprinkle a bit of sea salt on those tomatoes. Oh, and drizzle a bit of olive oil on top. Oh hey, we just made a caprese sandwich.

Bacon. Bacon on everything. Thick slices of bacon with apples. Crisp bacon with tomatoes. Swiss cheese with bacon and mushroom. Bacon and a drizzle of maple syrup. Just bacon with the cheese. Bacon. Bacon, bacon, bacon. Good lord, I've typed bacon so much that the word doesn't even look real anymore.

Sharp cheddar paired with apple slices. Brie or camembert with apple or pear, maybe with cinnamon and a bit of maple syrup. Dessert is served.

You know what else is good with apples? Ham. I mean, you could just do a classic ham and cheese, but adding cinnamon-spiced (optional) apple slices just brings it to a whole new level. If you haven't already noticed, I love pork and apple pairings.

Got turkey leftovers from Thanksgiving? Throw it in a cheddar sandwich with the leftover cranberry sauce! How 'bout leftover mac 'n cheese? Throw that between two slices of heavily buttered bread and grill that sucker. Comfort food times comfort food equals ultimate comfort, amirite?

Pretty sure I'm forgetting a bunch of stuff. If any of you [nonexistent] readers have suggestions, throw 'em out there! Let's all eat faux fancy grilled cheese sandwiches together! Er, unless you don't eat cheese. That's okay too. You can take all the cucumber sandwiches. I don't eat cucumbers.
Tags:
 
 
Emotion: inspired
Harmonising to: World Spins Madly On - The Weepies
 
 
varaeya
17 August 2014 @ 01:31 pm
I'm still looking for that amazing, not-too-heavy cheesecake recipe. When I came across this one, I thought I'd give it a try.

I made a graham cracker crust instead of the recommended shortbread one. I used light cream cheese and a little less than one cup of sugar. I took it out of the oven at 55 min. and also put a shallow pan of water underneath the cheesecake while it was baking (a suggestion by another reviewer who said it would mitigate cracking). Otherwise, I followed the recipe exactly.

What I liked: It really is very easy to make. Looked good and didn't have any cracking. Nice, smooth texture.

What I'm not so keen about: Still a tad too heavy and a bit too sweet. It tastes like a standard cheesecake so I'm not sure why one would need to use the sour cream?

Would I make this again? No. It's not bad but it's not what I'm looking for.
 
 
Emotion: dissatisfied
Harmonising to: Fragment of a Dream from Chrono Cross