Thursday, July 23, 2015

Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab: Pluto

purchased and reviewed by ThoraSTooth

BPAL Scent of the Day:  Pluto (Celestials 2004) -- no description given.

The Lab released an early line of scents devoted to astrological takes on the planets.  They haven't been available for a long time.  I like testing early Lab scents because I enjoy seeing the changes in an artist's development over time; accordingly, I have kept my eyes open for those early blends.  From time to time the Lab finds a really old bottle in their 
dungeon storeroom and puts it on their Etsy site.  That's how I got ahold of a bottle of Pluto just in time for the culmination of NASA's New Horizons mission to Pluto. 

In the bottle this is mostly a light tart resin with maybe a fillip of patchouli.  Wet on my skin there's a sudden rush of patchouli and a menthol impression that might be wood or might just be the red patchouli note.  Ethereal high notes of lavender and something citrusy, perhaps lemon verbena, mingled with a definite dragon's blood note, the stemmy rather than the floral kind.

This one took a long time to dry down and get stable.  For a while it was amping an extremely high floral I never did identify, but that eventually went away.  That menthol impression blended down smoothly into something light, citrusy, herbal, and indistinct.  At maturity Pluto is clearly a resin scent built around opoponax; after about two hours the opoponax went from the dry, tannic, woody version of itself to the expansive, warm, sweet but still very dark version of itself.  That's the note I love in Schwarzer Mond, Minotaur (as "bisabol myrrh"), Earth Phoenix, and Event Horizon, so I am happy to encounter it here.

Hello, Pluto!  Nice to meet you!

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Essie Cashmere Matte Brights Mini Nail Polish Set

purchased by me

For summer, Essie came out with four soft, fun colors in a satin matte finish.  I like all four, and have enjoyed wearing them as well as swatching them.  All four were opaque in two easy coats and dried quickly.

Hip Tide is a medium, cool-toned pink.

Sea the Sights is a sky blue.

Soft as Sand is a pale, pink-toned lilac.

Yespadrilles is a medium mint green.

The Cashmere Matte Brights set is available at Ulta for $13.00 + applicable tax and shipping, where single bottles are available for $8.50 each, or you can get individual colors at Head2ToeBeauty for $8.00 each + shipping.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab: For Each Ecstatic Instant (Lupercalia 2015)

purchased and reviewed by ThoraSTooth

BPAL For Each Ecstatic Instant (Lupercalia 2015) -- velvet-red roses and sensual aged patchouli with night-blooming jasmine, caramelized bourbon vanilla, labdanum, black amber, and oudh.

In the bottle this smells very deep, mostly resin and patchouli with some jasmine and a touch of vanilla.  Wet on my skin the patchouli and jasmine spike immediately.  This smells like it's going to be similar to the Sumatran Red Patchouli single note.  The oudh comes up, and there's a tiny velvety bit of rose impression too.  Overall, it's very dark, opulent, and intense.

On drydown, it's a dry and slightly powdery scent, woody at first but then more resinous, more jasmine than patchouli.  I keep wondering where the sweetness of rose and vanilla have gone!  But there is no mercy in this scent.  It is not ethereal, a picturesque ninteenth-century mourner's statue draped over the grave of former ecstasy.  This is the full awareness of loss, the forceful downside of loving completely.

I'm always delighted when I find a perfume inspired by one of my favorite poets.  It's even more delightful when I can actually wear it and find it meaningful.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Essie Silk Watercolor Abstract Floral Nail Look Kit

purchased by me

It seems as though everyone's getting into the sheer, blendable polishes these days.  OPI Color Paints were, to the best of my knowledge, the first, but Sephora and Essie weren't far behind.  I grabbed one of the Essie sets of mini polishes at Ulta so I could try them.

I didn't swatch the OPIs because there were so many good swatches out there, but I did swatch the three Essie polishes I got.  They differ from OPI in two ways.  First, Essie suggests using a white base and includes one in the sets of minis.  Second, the Essie polishes are sheerer than the OPIs, which can be either an advantage or a disadvantage, depending on how opaque you want your polish.  The Essies are not, however, as sheer as the OPI Sheer Tints, their first, disastrous attempt at colored top coats.

Highest Bidder is a bright fuschia.

Pen and Inky is a blue-toned turquoise.

Point of Blue is a soft indigo.

White Page is a decent, two-coat white.

I haven't played with the Essies like I have with the OPIs, but I'm excited to experiment.  I prefer the chrome base to the white, though.  The sheerer tint gives me some great ideas about combining them.  The Silk Watercolor Abstract Floral Nail Look Kit is available at Ulta for $13.00 + applicable tax and shipping, or you can get individual colors at Head2ToeBeauty for $8.00 each + shipping.

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Zoya Color Cubes - 3 for $25

press release

Now, some of your favorite summer shades are available for a limited time in Zoya Color Cubes!
With 20 different combinations, you can mix and match your duos to
have your most colorful summer yet! PLUS - they make the perfect gift!

Use Code: CUBES
NOW – 7/26/15, (11:59pm EST)

How it Works:
1. Visit the Color Cube Page and add your select duos to your shopping cart.
(Along with any additional items you would like!)

2. Enter Code CUBES into the coupon code field in cart and press “Apply Code”

3. Complete check-out, review and submit order

*Terms & Conditions
Valid online only at 7/17/15 – 7/26/15 (11:59pm EST). Continental US and Canada ONLY. Not valid in conjunction with other coupons, codes or gift with purchase items. Returns or exchanges of promotional items not permitted. Art of Beauty is not responsible for incorrect addresses, credit card entry errors, declined credit cards or web related issues. Code must be entered at the time of purchase – code cannot be reinstated on canceled orders. Shipping will begin on 7/27/15. Please allow up to 4 weeks for shipping and processing depending on volume.

Zoya Nail Polish is the world's leading brand of nail polish. Known as the "Healthy New Color of Fashion" Zoya is always a step ahead of fashion trend with the longest wearing natural nail formula. From creams, mattes, satins, metallic and texture finishes there are over 300 shades to choose from at

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab: Chaos Theory VII

purchased and reviewed by ThoraSTooth

BPAL Testing Day:  Chaos Theories!

I tested four different decants of Chaos Theory VII:  Emergence in the Woods family of scents.

CT VII:  Woods #68 was very balsamy in the vial and wet on my skin.  It dried down to a greenish yet sweet frankincense and balsam.  Despite having a touch of some dark wood, it's a very light scent.  I will probably layer this with some other scents to accentuate their existing balsam/frankincense.

CT VII:  Woods #69 was all birch and some foody note in the vial.  On my skin the foody note turned darker and woodier while the birch note amped, then soured, then calmed back down.  The dark foody note turned a little spicy when it matured and reminded me a bit of sassafras -- not quite as rooty as sassafras, but with a similar vibe.  The birch stayed present the whole time but lost much of that lovely wintergreen clarity after a while.

CT VII:  Woods #80 was very masculine in the vial; I would swear it was a man's cologne.  On my skin it became a very dark wood with a fougere on top.  I couldn't quite make out the wood for a long time:  not oud, not mahogany, not rosewood, but familiar.  Finally, after it was quite mature, I realized it was oak:  a dark oaky woody fougere.  This one stayed very true for many hours on me.

CT VII:  Woods #81 smelled like bright strong lemon and stems in the vial.  Wet on my skin it was like nothing I have ever tried, a very woody yet thoroughly lemony scent.  (How could this be?  I still don't know.)  It calmed down a bit but stayed both woody and lemony.  I still don't know if it was lemongrass or not, but it was really, really lemony.  Really.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Incoco Smoke and Mirrors

purchased by me

Smoke and Mirrors was originally part of Incoco's Autumn 2014 collection, but it's still available and because I think of black and gold as year-round combo, I wore it recently.  The application was typically easy, as Incoco always has been for me and the wear time was decent.  HOWEVER, removal was a mess.  Smoke and Mirrors is not a black base with gold stamping, it's a gold base with a black pattern, and that gold base is made of micro-glitter.  My hands looked like I'd been rummaging through the sale bin on January 2nd.

Glitter bomb disposal aside, this is an elegant pattern, so if you're prepared for the cleanup, you can find it at Incoco for $8.99 + shipping.