Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab: Liberty

purchased and reviewed by ThoraSTooth

BPAL Scent of the Day:  Liberty (Comic Book Legal Defense Fund charity scent, 2010):  frankincense, beeswax, olive blossom, chamomile, sampaguita, magnolia, apple blossom, gunpowder, and smoke.

In the bottle this is floral-honeyish.  I particularly notice the sampaguita and olive blossom notes, but when this bottle was new the gunpowder note was somewhat more strident than it is now that the scent has aged.

Wet on my skin the sampaguita does its usual jasmine-y climb, making it the top note along with a touch of ripe magnolia and the olive blossom which has a rich, almost woody scent.  Underneath there is beeswax and resin serving to prop up the florals.

Liberty dries down to a rich, un-sweet, beeswaxy floral on a resinous base.  The olive blossom shapes the scent, giving it a slightly dark and sober cast.  The sharp florals it displayed when fresh have aged to tasteful, cooperative ones.  The apple blossom manifests as more fruity than floral.  It also seems as if there is some sandalwood or other similar note helping the frankincense to hold this together. 

Note from Jammies: Thora wore this on Friday to celebrate, and I got to see Summit County residents taking advantage of their new ability to get marriage licenses.

Friday, June 26, 2015

Sally Hansen Velvet Texture: Plush

purchased by me

Sally Hansen describes the Velvet Texture™ polishes as "the lush velvet-like finish you’ve always wanted!"  I describe them as true matte polishes--no sparkle, no shimmer, no satin, just simple, quick-drying polish with a matte finish.  Plush is a medium turquoise, leaning just a bit green on my fair skin.  It's opaque in two coats, dries quickly like most matte polishes, and also has a short wear time.

Plush also made a beautiful base for the Color Club blue-green shimmer polish Lady Liberty.  One coat of Lady Liberty over two coats of Plush:

The Velvet Texture polishes are not limited edition.  I found them at Walgreens for $4.99 each + tax.  Lady Liberty is available at the Color Club website.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab Plagues of Egypt reviews Part II

purchased and reviewed by ThoraSTooth

BPAL Testing Day:  Plagues of Egypt II

All the Dust of the Land (Plagues of Egypt, 2015):  An infestation of Ceylon cinnamon bark, black patchouli, tonka absolute, bitter almond, and frankincense.

Medb v4 (Clearing out the Cobwebs I, 2009):  no description given.

Upon Man and upon Beast (Plagues of Egypt, 2015):  Dry patchouli and white sandalwood oozing with lesions of labdanum, wet red cherry, and opoponax.

A Very Grievous Murraine (Plagues of Egypt, 2015):  Brown musk, myrrh, and sun-baked leather afflicted by splotches of saffron and red musk.

* * * * * * *
All the Dust of the Land begins by smelling like a frankincense cake with patchouli filling and tonka icing.  There's a dusting of cinnamon almond on top, but it's very tangy and dark.  After a while it becomes mostly patchouli and tonka, a robust, dark, thick scent.  Black patchouli lovers, this one is pretty tasty.

Medb v4 is a green scent.  It starts off with some aquatic, herby, citrusy, meadow floral.  It calms down quickly and a sugary citrus-lavender impression arises to balance out the floral.  It reminds me a bit of Bat of Longevity for a long time, but eventually mellows to a lightly vanilla floral with grass-green undertones.

A Very Grievous Murraine starts off very red musky, with a lot of myrrh beneath and some bitter saffron.  It's dark, very dark.  After a while it becomes mostly red musk over myrrh, and stays that way for many hours.  This one had rather a lot of sillage/throw on me, like red musk usually does.

Upon Man and upon Beast has a somewhat fugitive cherry note, or maybe it's just that the patchouli slapped it down.  This one is pretty dark, with patchouli and other resins; I get an almost leatherishly dark feel from it. After a while, though, it goes over to mostly patchouli and opoponax -- staying on the dark side.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Sally Hansen Velvet Texture: Velour

purchased by me

Sally Hansen describes the Velvet Texture™ polishes as "the lush velvet-like finish you’ve always wanted!"  I describe them as true matte polishes--no sparkle, no shimmer, no satin, just simple, quick-drying polish with a matte finish.  Velour is a medium, slightly blue-toned purple.  It's opaque in two coats, dries quickly like most matte polishes, and also has a short wear time.

The Velvet Texture polishes are not limited edition.  I found them at Walgreens for $4.99 each + tax.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab: Unity Roses

purchased and reviewed by ThoraSTooth

BPAL Scents of the Day: Unity Roses (Lupercalia 2009)

In alchemy, the white and red roses symbolize the male / female polarity, the active and receptive, the light and the dark. Together, the roses become the alchemical concept of Mercury: perfect unity.

Our Red Rose scent is the embodiment of vigorous passion, and our White Rose personifies purity, virtue, and unconditional love. The scents individually are powerful, but layered together -- combined -- they become their perfected self.

Red Rose -- Red rose buds, with amber, clove, tonka, Indian musk, fir, and tobacco.

White Rose -- White rose buds, with vanilla tea, benzoin, orris, coconut meat, and frankincense.

I wore these scents recently for a significant wedding anniversary.  Red and white are significant for more than just the alchemical version of dualities, and this particular scent pairing works for me on many levels simultaneously.  I originally tested these scents separately, and then layered together as suggested.  I'm relying on my original notes to describe the individual scents, because that's the only time I haven't worn them layered together.

White Rose starts out very vanilla-coconut, soft, bright, sweet, and a bit tart.  It matures to a creamy sweet vanilla resin.  Red Rose is pretty consistent, a spicy musky clove and amber scent.  As it matures the spice gives way to a dark evergreen overtone.  For both Roses, the actual rose content doesn't dominate; it's a good team player.

Layered together, this scent is soft sweet vanilla-tinged resin with clove, rose, and musky overtones.  It's one of my Top Ten.

Monday, June 22, 2015

Incoco She's Royalty

purchased by me

She's Royalty was part of the Autumn 2014 collection from Incoco, but rose gold is a year-round color for me.  I just wish my photos had done a better job of picking up the pattern!

You can see that the base color is very close to Milani Dolci!  If you'd like some rose gold on your tips, you can get She's Royalty at Incoco for #8.99 + shipping.

Friday, June 19, 2015

Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab: Host of the Air

purchased and reviewed by ThoraSTooth

BPAL Scent of the Day:  The Host of the Air (Bards of Ireland 2009) -- Peat and rolling grass-covered hills, with wine-dappled heather, white clover, cloudberry, juniper berry, bluebell, dandelion, and cross-leaved heath.

Yeats is my favorite poet, and I was happy when I was able to wear this scent based on one of his poems.

In the bottle this one is green, a bit sharp, and sort of mossy, but the minute it hits my skin a sweet floral springs up.  It's white clover, the best white clover note I have ever smelled.  It doesn't last very long before the heather note comes along and wraps around it.  Together with a hint of dandelion (I get mostly the milky stem) they make a beautiful impression of a wide, wild, flowering field.  The other dominant note on my skin is a green juicy note that's very like the ivy note in some of the scents that came after this one.  All that is against a background of slightly bitter, slightly mossy dark green.

I love this one immoderately.  Of all my scents, it's the one I worry the most about running out of because I only ever had a partial bottle of it and haven't been able to find another bottle.  It's that evocative, that lovely.

And never was piping so sad,
And never was piping so gay.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Fun with OPI Color Paints

purchased by me

So I started with the OPI Color Paints set of minis, 5 color paints and one silver chrome.  I had so much fun playing with those that I had to get full-size versions of the ones that weren't in the set, plus full-size versions of the purple and turquoise because I know I'll be playing with those a bunch!

My first attempt was a fail--a checked pattern of Purple Perspective and Turquoise Aesthetic over Silver Canvas base.  I like the color combo, just not my inability to draw straight lines. :P

My next attempt was more successful, because it was more of a patchwork of Chromatic Orange, Pen &Pink and Primarily Yellow over Silver Canvas.  One of my work friends grabbed my hand and said, "Girl, your nails are fire!"  which of course made me grin.

My best so far was a watercolor mani with Indigo Motif, Turquoise Aesthetic and Landscape Artist over a white base.

If you'd like to play with these, you can get both the minis and full size bottles at Ulta, which is where I got mine.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Black Phoenix Scent of the Day: Chaos!

purchased and reviewed by ThoraSTooth

With the current interest in Chaos Theories, I thought I'd dig this one out of my scent box and test it again.  I haven't worn it in about five years, I think.  I have long thought that a run of Chaos Theories is a good way for the Lab to clean out its small quantities of oils they bought for a specific scent or to test.  Certainly I've rarely smelled a classic Chaos Theory that has recognizable Lab accords in it.  The later Chaos Theories with their bases in a particular scent or ingredient are naturally more recognizable although they're pretty random too.  But this one is pure unadulterated randomosity.

Chaos Theory IV:  Edge of Chaos, Bottle CXXVIII is a bottle I received new from the Lab.  (They're always numbered, which is very important if you get a decant of something you love and want to track down more of it.)  In the bottle it smells a touch green and soapy, like evergreens or bitter dark herbs plus lilies or muguet.  There's a touch of sweetness beneath, like a meadow floral.  There's also a strange whiff of something that might be watermelon rind.

As it dries down it warms up.  The soapy impression goes away and something more like a resin emerges.  There's also a creamy, almost vanilla impression.  I'm gonna call that benzoin, just on a hunch.  The meadow flower, fruity, and herbal notes are still there too.  This is not one of the meadow flowers that gives me a headache, but I can't identify it either.  It's not clover, but it might be heather.  Meanwhile, the fruit is headed toward a sugary, cooked fruit candy territory.  And an aquatic note pops up too.  It's utter Chaos all up in there!

Later as it matures it gets sweeter and softer, all meadow floral and something grassy over the thing I'm calling benzoin.  In that phase it reminds me a bit of Khajuraho or Machu Picchu.  Eventually it turns to a soft single note, a grassy-floral impression that reminds me of Tavern of Hell.  Hey, maybe it's tobacco flower?

Testing Chaos Theories can be a lot of fun, especially if you share them with a community so other people can appreciate the comedy, tragedy, serendipity of it all.

Note from Jammies:

If you are interested in the Chaos Theory scents, you can read about and order them at the Black Phoenix website.

Friday, June 12, 2015

Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure in On Pines and Needles

purchased by me

On Pines and Needles is a deep forest green with semi-hidden shimmer, by which I mean it is visible in bright light and shows up less in low light.  The formula is smooth and very pigmented, reaching bottle color in two coats; dry time is good but not super-fast.  On Pines and Needles had the extra advantage of not staining my nails or my cuticles!  For me, it's a refreshing winter color on my toes in the summer.

Indoors with flash:

Indoors without flash:

On Pines and Needles is part of the Complete Salon Manicure core line, and can be found wherever Sally Hansen polishes are sold.  I got mine at Walgreens for $7.99 + tax.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Orly On the Edge

purchased by me

On the Edge is a gorgeous, vivid summer indigo--never so dark it looks black, vibrant enough to pop on toes in even modest sandals, and with a smooth formula that is perfect in one thick coat or two thin ones.  It dried quickly and a little bit satiny, but it's not quite bright enough to qualify as a neon in my book.  Still, I love it and I love seeing it on my toes when I'm doing water workouts!

Indoors with flash:

Indoors without flash:

On the Edge is part of the Adrenaline Rush collection, it's limited edition and I got mine at Ulta for $8.00 + tax.

Monday, June 8, 2015

Pretties from pixi!

purchased by me
referral link

I pulled the trigger on my first pixi by petra order, and it's definitely not going to be my last!  If you're interested in ordering and would like to use my referral link, it's here.  Otherwise, please just click on any of the product links below.  First of all, look at the adorable shipping box my order came in:

More pictures and details after the jump!

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Sinful Colors Horizon Shine

purchased by me

The last time Walgreens had Sinful Colors on sale, I grabbed two of the Citrus Twist colors (they had already sold out of the third).  Horizon Shine is an orange-toned red jelly stuffed with teeny-tiny little flakes. There's always going to be some visible nail line with jellies, but the color was vibrant and even at three coats, it dried quickly, and for a buck, this is amazing!

The Citrus Twist polishes are LE, but while the counter displays are gone from my local Walgreens, I've seen Horizon Shine and Ring the Bellini stuck in other displays.  Sinful Colors polishes retail for $1.99 each.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Milani Dolci Bronze Collection: nail polish

purchased by me

I'm going to start this post by telling you that if you see this collection, grab what you want the day you see it.  There is only one nail polish and one lip gloss in each display!  If you'd like to see a picture of the display, there's a great one at Nouveau Cheap.  All of the products have the same name, Dolci.  I got the nail polish and the eye shadow.  The polish is a gorgeous rose gold foil, the same color as Orly Rage but in a deeper shade.  It absolutely flowed onto my nail, was opaque in two effortless coats and dried quickly.

Indoors with flash:

Indoors without flash:

I do not know if the products in this display are limited edition or if they're being introduced slowly to the core line.  I missed out on my chance to grab the lipstick and the gloss, so learn from my mistake!

Monday, June 1, 2015

Milani Color Statement: Ultra Violet

purchased by me

Ultra Violet is a gorgeous red-toned purple with blue-violet shimmer.  It's not particularly unique, but this is a gorgeous iteration of this type of color, and for four bucks, you've got little to lose.  The formula is the perfect viscosity and it's opaque in two coats.

Indoors with flash:

Ultra Violet and the other Milani Color Statement polishes can be found at drugstores and the Milani website.  The average price is $3.99 each.