Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Cozy plaid blankie

purchased by me

Although it's been unseasonably warm around here, the season still calls for cozy blankies in red and green plaids, just like the Pendleton blanket my mom had in her car when I was growing up.  I used some old Sally Hansen polish strips in a red & black plaid, added a black border with my Migi nail art pen, and then topped it off with Ulta's satin matte top coat.

Monday, December 21, 2015

Incoco Sleigh Ride

purchased by me

What's black & silver & festive all over?  My nails, of course!

Sleigh Ride is available at Incoco for $8.99 + shipping, and it's worth every penny!

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab Testing Day: Hallowe'enies II!

purchased and reviewed by ThoraSTooth

Dead Leaves Bourbon Vanilla and Myrrh (Pile of Leaves, Hallowe'enies 2015):  no further description given

Dead Leaves Red Musk and Neroli (Pile of Leaves, Hallowe'enies 2015):  no further description given

The Magic Circle (Hecate's Inheritance, Pickman Gallery, Hallowe'enies 2015): Vanilla-infused frankincense and clary sage with 7-year aged patchouli, jasmine sambac, honey myrtle, and oudh.

The Witches' Rout (the Carcass) (Hecate's Inheritance, Pickman Gallery, Hallowe'enies 2015):  White sandalwood, opoponax, shriveled black plum, and vetiver.


Dead Leaves Bourbon Vanilla and Myrrh is all leaves on first sniff, with maybe just a touch of vanilla.  Wet on my skin I get the leaf note, neither dry nor juicy, with more of a fixative beneath it than usual; there's almost no vanilla impression.  On drydown there's more myrrh here than leaf or vanilla.  It's not sweet like the Sunbird myrrh note, but it's not dry or sharp or dark.  It's more like the myrrhs used in the churchy scents like Midnight Mass and Penitence.  At maturity it's a full, rich myrrh note with some dry leaf on the side.  As a myrrh lover, I think this is fantastic, but leaf scent lovers might want to look elsewhere for a more true leaf scent.

Dead Leaves Red Musk and Neroli is juicy leaves on first sniff, with a touch of tart nonspecific citrus.  Wet on my skin the neroli note develops first and the red musk wakes up.  Red musk tends to take a while to develop fully, but by the time it's dried down this one is definitely a red musk scent.  Fully mature, it's restrained red musk with just a touch of floral and some dead leaves.  It's light, good-tempered, and happy; I liked it enough to get a bottle of it.

The Magic Circle smells like vanilla and jasmine sambac over a resin-patchouli base, until I put it on.  Wet on my skin it went slightly foody, as if tonka were involved.  On drydown it was light and slightly foody, a vanilla frankincense scent with a touch of jasmine sambac.  After a couple of hours, though, the oudh had stepped in and turned tannic on me.  The light vanilla and jasmine were still there, but the herb and wood components took over the scent and pushed it in directions that didn't work for my chemistry.  Someone who's good with oudh might like it, though; the vanilla jasmine was tasteful, never too girly or strident.

The Witches' Rout (the Carcass) smelled great in the vial, all sweet-dark caramelized vetiver and opoponax with just a touch of fruitiness.  Wet on my skin, it was quite dark; the opoponax (which I think is the darkest of all the resins) and caramelized vetiver seemed to intensify one another's darknesses.  Mature, it was never smoky nor quite as dark as Haitian Vetiver SN, and it's got a slightly fermented vibe about it the way opoponax often does.  It's way darker than Minotaur or Schwarzer Mond.  Even the slight fruity impression was very, very dark, like the concentration of a dried fruit.  The poor white sandalwood must have been hiding under a rock, though, because I never got a bit of it.  For a vetiver or opoponax lover, this is really a standout scent, but it is not for the delicate.

Monday, December 7, 2015

Zoya Winter/Holiday 2015: Matte Velvet

purchased by me

Sorry it took so long, but finally, here are my swatches of the Zoya Winter/Holiday Matte Velvet polishes for 2015.

All six had the same flawless formula, opaque in two easy coats, flowed perfectly and dried quickly.  Pics after the jump!

Friday, December 4, 2015

Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab: Testing Day: Hallowe'enies I!

purchased and reviewed by ThoraSTooth

Satan Starting from the Touch of Ithuriel's Spear (Sympathy for the Devil, Pickman Gallery, Hallowe'enies 2015):  Golden amber, carnation, blackcurrant, aged black patchouli, red musk, and vetiver.

Second Spring (Hallowe'enies 2015):  An accolade: drifting leaves tinted in the bold reds of pomegranate and currant, the golds of amber and honey, russet myrrh, a touch of cypress-green, and crisp patchouli-brown.

Sweet William's Ghost  (Hallowe'enies 2015):  A scent of unendurable grief and longing: pale orris root and honeyed white lily chilled by wild carrot and cognac, pulled into a winding sheet of white jasmine, tobacco flower, tuberose, and patchouli.

Witches' Kitchen (Hecate's Inheritance, Pickman Gallery, Hallowe'enies 2015): Belladonna accord, sprigs of rue, crushed hyssop, white sage, beeswax, mandrake leaf, bay rum, black honey, hemp, and myrrh.

Satan Starting from the Touch of Ithuriel's Spear is splendid spicy carnation at first sniff, over a well-blended patchouli background. As it dries, the patchouli, musk, and vetiver come up to give a wicked impression without smouldering.  On full drydown it is still a carnation scent (which means smoky on my skin, but others will have better luck); the blackcurrant and red musk work together to give this a a full, dark-fruit feel over a chewy patchouli-resin base.  This scent is old school BPAL blended with more experienced nuance.  If I were even a smidgen better with carnation notes I would hoard the hell out of this one.  And I'm still tempted despite the tendency of the carnation to go to smoke on me.

Second Spring smells like it's going to be a great autumnal take on the fruity-patchouli blend.  It's tart-sweet and patchouli in the bottle; wet, the resin and dried leaf notes appear.  But something weird happened on drydown:  the scent suddenly went very woody, like one of my least good wood notes (probably oak) amping on me.  It's pretty hard to kill a fruity-patchouli scent on my skin, so I'm baffled by this.  But the wood note (could it be the patchouli?) took over the scent and clung to me for many hours.  I was so sure this was going to be my favorite 'Weenie, but alas!  Not to be.

Sweet William's Ghost is very funereal in the bottle; it reads shimmering white and floral without being a lily scent.  Wet on my skin, the tobacco note spikes as expected, but it's a light note so it doesn't overwhelm the scent.  The cognac is the secondary note, and then the unspecified florals.  It dries down very well blended indeed; I can make out patchouli and orris (usually uncooperative, but beautiful in this instance), but everything else is a mystery.  It is dry, white, and mournful.  After a few hours it becomes a very gorgeous soft orris note, buttery rather than powdery, and without that hurty blue-white aura that orris often has for me.  I will definitely be getting a bottle of this.

Witches' Kitchen smells of beeswax, bay rum, and hemp.  On my skin it's suddenly a basket full of greenery, some of it bitter.  A menthol-ish note holds it together over a warm sweet beeswax/bay rum prickliness beneath.  As it dries down it comes even closer to being the scent I dreamed it would be; although I never really get any more of that round hemp note I was expecting, and the myrrh is so mellow as to be unnoticeable.  At maturity, the combination of honey and herbal notes manages to be full and sweet without ever being powdery or foody.