Search This Blog

Friday, April 27, 2012

Focus On Indie: Black Rose Minerals

Tonight is the first post in a new series I'm starting called Focus on Indie. In this series, I will be doing overviews of my favorite independent makeup companies and posting swatches of the products I own from each company. In this post, I will be focusing on Black Rose Minerals.

Black Rose Minerals (, circa 2010, is owned by the very lovely and talented Rosa. She's an absolute sweetheart and is always super quick to reply whenever I have any questions or comments for her via twitter.

I was drawn to Black Rose Minerals at the beginning of the year after seeing swatches of the Halloween 2011 Luciferi collection (BTW, I'm a huge sucker for anything Halloween related, especially makeup and fragrance collections). When I lurked the site, I died a little of sheer excitement when I saw that some of the shadows were named after Manson songs. Yeah, I'm a huge dweeb of a Marilyn Manson fan. How dweeby, you ask? Oh, I'm dweeby enough to have not one, but two Manson related tattoos. But, I digress. Needless to say, my BRM online shopping cart received some items right after my lurking session. I ordered five full size eyeshadows, and three free sample baggies were included with the order.

Before the makeuppr0n begins, I just want to warn you guys that these are the first swatches I've actually photographed, so I am hoping they are not too terrible. At the very least, I hope these pictures can do the beautiful colors justice.

Bottom of the jars from L to R: Scabbed Wings, Tourniquet,
Coma Black, Scruffy, and Alice.

The bottom of the jars are adorned with the company's website and logo, the name of the color, the ingredients, the item's weight, whether or not the color is lip safe, and whether or not the color is vegan.

Open jars with their lids from L to R: Scabbed Wings, Tourniquet,
Coma Black, Scruffy, and Alice.

I love how the lids have themed pictures of the specific collection that particular color belongs to. For example, the first three colors are from the Luciferi collection, the fourth is from the New York New York collection, and the last (Alice) is from the general catalogue. Another wonderful thing about these (and all the colors offered) is that you are able to choose whether or not you want a sifter. As you can see, I opted for no sifter.

The following skin swatches were done over Fyrinnae Pixie Epoxy:

From L to R: Scabbed Wings, Tourniquet,
Coma Black, Scruffy, and Alice

I was immensely impressed with the quality, pigmentation, and complexity of these colors. They are all absolutely gorgeous and unique to my collection. As with all loose shadows, I really recommend using a sticky base before use. Using something like Darling Girl's Glitter Glue or Fyrinnae's Pixie Epoxy won't set you back more than $7 or $8 financially, and it will also give you a lot more bang for your buck when using pigments or loose shadows.

Shade Descriptions

Please Note: The descriptions following the bold print are from Black Rose Minerals. My take on the colors is in itallic.

Scabbed Wings: "Angels aren’t the only things that fly. This devilish little number starts with a black base, orange undertones show off a bronzy duotone. Finish that off with violet sparks for quite a shocking twist. We recommend a wet or sticky base for application."
My Input- Scabbed Wings is a beautiful black-based bronze with, yes, purple sparkles. It is quite beautiful, and is perfect for fall. I also think it would look great as a twist on the classic black and grey smokey eye.

Tourniquet: "A metallic gold in a black base and an ever so slight tint of a green highlight gives just a bit of a twist. True to color wet or dry."
My Input- Tourniquet is definitely my favorite out of the five colors I ordered. I already said this to Rosa, but this is a color that I feel comfortable wearing to work because it's not ZOMG IN YOUR FACE; but it is unique enough to put a twist on an everyday neutral look. I feel like I can express myself and simultaniously be work appropriate, and I love that. The green highlight in this color gives an olive effect on the gold, which is really lovely.

Coma Black: "This darkly deep violet shimmers ever so slightly but smolders all the way. Wear it dry for a shimmer glower and wear it wet to deepen the shade and compliment every scab of your broken heart."
My Input- Coma Black is a wonderful black-based purple with lighter purple sparkles. It's a pretty purple color that truly does justice to the song it was named after. I think Coma Black would look beautiful as a crease color with a lighter violet shade on the lid.

Scruffy: "Scruffy’s gonna die how Scruffy lived… This sparkly dark gray is a jazzy compliment to any janitor suit. We recommend a sticky base to capture all the shimmer and glitter in this one. Why is Scruffy sparkly? Well…. We don’t really know, but it worked. Mmmm-hmmm."
My Input- Not gonna lie, I was drawn to this shade because my childhood stuffed animal was named Scruffy. My mom got him for me when I was really sick in 3rd grade, and I had him until I was 20. He was unfortunately taken from me and never returned, so getting this color was like my tribute to Scruffy. It is a wonderful mid-toned gray with an array of silver sparkles within.

Alice: "High shine! High glitter! A mixed blue with massive amounts of aqua and teal glitter. A sheer duotone when worn dry with light and dark tones to highlight. When worn wet all colors are accentuated. Best used with a sticky base."
My Input- Oh, Alice. This color would make the character it's named after proud. It's a very beautiful bright blue that had a butt load of sparkles in it, but not an obnoxious amount. I think it's perfect for summer, or any time you're in a bright color kind of mood. For the less daring, I'd recommend pairing this with brown shadows.

The free samples I received were Bender, Luna, and Lunar Reflection.
L to R over Pixie Epoxy: Bender, Luna,
and Lunar Reflection

Bender: "Insert girder here… This silver shines with a touch of blue. It sheer when dry, but it can be built up. Worn wet the color deepens and has a slight metallic finish. Don’t like it? Well, you can bit our shiny metal… y’know."
Luna: "This is one of the shades created for Luna at toxid-lotus. A sheer ethereal light purple with lots of blue, red and purple shimmer. In certain angles it has a blue sheen. Wear it with a sticky base for the most opacity."
Lunar Reflection: "This is one of the shades created for Luna at toxid-lotus. A delicate sheer silver/gold with red, silver and gold shimmer. In certain angles it will look more silver and in other angles more gold. Sheer dry, more opaque with a primer and shines with a sticky base."

I felt like I hit the jackpot in the sample department, because is one of my very favorite beauty blogs and Bender is my favorite Futurama character! The glitter in Luna and Lunar Reflection is absolutely breathtaking. I love shadows that contain multiple colors of glitter, especially when the glitter is unique to the base color. Both Luna and Lunar Reflection would look great as an inner corner highlight or dusted over the entire eye area for a pretty yet simple look. Bender is a really neat color as well. I can definitely see the blue sheen to it when foiled (used over a sticky base), and the blue compliments the silver shade very well. Bender would look really cool with Alice, and I really need to test that combo soon.

I am very pleased with my overall experience with Black Rose Minerals. It is very clear to me that Rosa truly cares about each and every one of her customers. I received the sweetest, longest thank you note I've ever gotten from any company with my order. The note was even on black rose stationary. When I sent her a message on twitter about how I loved my order, she wrote back immediately and graciously. She has really wonderful products and great customer service, and I fully recommend this company to everyone.

Thanks for reading, and please check out

DISCLAIMER: All products mentioned were purchased by me for my own personal usage. I am not affiliated with or compensated by this company whatsoever. All opinions are my own, and most certainly always will be.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

New Solstice Scents Goodies!

Good day! Today I have pictures of a couple new perfumes I picked up from my beloved Solstice Scents. I ordered these the night I wrote about Manor and received them lightning fast (as usual!). They were packaged in a regular sized bubble mailer with even extra bubble wrap around the perfume for stellar protection. Also enclosed was decorative crimped paper, a business card, post card, and bookmark {all of which were adorned with the beautiful nature-inspired Solstice Scents logo}. The back of the postcard contained a thank you that was personalized with my name, which is always such a thoughtful added touch in my opinion. The perfumes I ordered were Moonlight on the Grove and Shoikan Grove, plus Old Cedar Magus as the free sample.
Contents of my Solstice Scents package And here are the individual perfumes. I don't have an individual picture of Old Cedar Magus, but it can be seen in the picture above (it's a sample bottle housed in a cute little sample bag).
Shoikan Grove Shoikan Grove Scent Description (from "Shoikan Grove is the eerily dark and maddeningly still wood that protects the Black Wizard's tower from unwanted visitors. Wandering in the cold, damp copse of trees will cause an adventurer to lose control of his sanity, while the remains of those who've ventured before emerge from the Earth, encircle his limbs with unwavering strength and drag him down to where he will never tread anywhere again, in life. This blend is comprised primarily of essential oils. Primary notes of Virginia Cedarwood, Spruce, Siberian Fir, Oak and Vanilla with background notes of Muhuhu EO (very woodsy), Jamarosa Root EO, Sandalwood EO, 2 different Frankincense EOs, Wood Smoke, Copaiba and Peru Balsam. More of a masculine blend but also wonderful for women who appreciate complex woody-smokey-fir scents. The Peru Balsam, Copaiba and Vanilla add a creaminess to smooth out the sharp Spruce and Fir notes. Lovely as a comforting bedtime scent as well." This one is definitely my favorite between the two. I don't feel like I can give either a proper review quite yet, but I will say that it is an absolutely beautiful earthy, woodsy perfume. Upon cold sniff and initial application, the fir makes its debut with a bang and overpowers the other notes. I personally like the fir and don't mind it at this stage, but it certainly settles beautifully on the skin; and after just a short amouont of time, a lovely sweetness shines through (I assume it's the vanilla making itself known). The sweetness doesn't overwhelm the tree notes, rather it bonds together with them magically. It is hauntingly beautiful- it smells like you are in a forest that is as stunningly gorgeous as it is dangerous. Creatures that mankind have only told legends of make their presence known through the foilage- beautiful unicorns and centaurs, butterflies as big as birds, tigers with irredescent rainbow colors in their stripes. However, there is also malevolent danger in this beautiful paradise: werewolves that come out at night and prey on anything (or anyONE) they can find. The sweet smell of smoke lingers in the air from the people trying to ward off the creatures of the night. Shoikan Grove can be summed up in this final thought: Where there is beauty, there is also danger.
Moonlight on the Grove Next, we have Moonlight on the Grove. I absolutely adore Angela's description of this scent, taken from "Fresh bloomed jasmine envelops you with its sweet and delicate floral fragrance every time you indulge in this perfume, transporting you to a balmy Savannah Summer's Night. This warm and enticing fragrance will have your mind wandering through Bonaventure Cemetery and Forsyth Park, and recalling the hot and sticky nights near the Savannah river or dancing in the moonlight under century old oaks with the ghosts of an abandoned plantation home. In aromatherapy, Jasmine is used in skin care to combat dry, greasy, irritated and sensitive skin. It is believed jasmine can effect the nervous system by fighting depression, nervous exhaustion and stress related conditions and imparting a feeling of optimism and euphoria. Jasmine is associated with love, money and prophetic dreams. This is a wonderful floral scent, light, sweet, sensual and fresh." I haven't accurately tested this one yet, so I can't do a fair description. The most I can say for now is that the Jasmine is *really* strong in this one. It's not a bad thing, especially if you like that particular scent. I'm on the fence about this one so far, but I'm going to be test driving it for a full day soon! As always, I am very happy with my entire Solstice Scents experience. These perfumes were only $10.00 a piece for .35 ounces of product, which is incredible for the amount, the quality, and the customer service. As a quick side note, the SS website asks that pregnant/breastfeeding women to avoid Shoikan Grove (I believe there are certain essential oils in this blend, which is why this is the case). If you have not done so already, please give Solstive Scents a look-see at Both of these perfumes, among lots of lovely others, can be purchased there. Also, if you missed it, please check out my review of their Manor perfume at I thank you so very much for reading, and I hope you all have a fabulous weekend!

DISCLAIMER: All products in this post were purchased by me for my own personal usage. I am not affiliated with or compensated by any of the companies mentioned. All opinions are my own, and always will be.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Glitter-al Illusion NOTD

Hello again! Today I did my nails with a few coats of glittery goodness, and I'm quite pleased with the result. I know my pictures are anything but HD, but in real life this manicure is a glitter bomb in any light source- artificial, direct sunlight, hell . . . this shit would blind your significant other in the dark! ;) Anyway, here's my iPhone snapshot:

Make a wish!

And my Kodak shot:

Neither one of my pictures comes close to showing the true vibrancy and sparkley-ness of this manicure. I know even the best of the best bloggers still have issues getting swatches to be true to life, and I'm still one of the noobiest Noobs of beauty bloggin', so please try to put up with my pitiful quality pictures until I figure out the optimal programs/settings for this stuff.

Products used:
Orly Bonder (as a base coat)
China Glaze Optical Illusion (2 coats)
Klean Color Grand Finale (1 coat, used as a topcoat for Optical Illusion)
Sally Hansen Insta-Dri Anti-Chip Top Coat

Please let me know what your favorite glitter polishes are, or if glitter isn't your cup of tea, what your favorite nail polishes are in general. :)

DISCLAIMER: All products mentioned were purchased by me for my own personal usage. I am not affiliated with any of the companies mentioned, nor am I compensated by any of the companies mentioned. My opinions are my own and always will be.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Solstice Scents Review: Manor

Hello there! Tonight, I am going to be reviewing my absolute favorite perfume and the lovely company that makes it. Brace yourselves for a whole lotta love, because my heart is not big enough to contain my love for Manor by Solstice Scents.

Product photo for Manor, via

How freaking awesome is that product photo?! I absolutely love the abandoned house atmosphere just radiating from this picture- not only because it ties into the fragrance description, but because it is immensely clear to me that a lot of time and effort went into making such a neat product photo. Each Solstice Scents perfume actually has their own themed product photo that matches the soul of the scent, which I love. It adds a personal touch and wonderful personality that so often seem to be lacking in mainstream corporations.

Onto the scent description! Now, there are only a handful of people that are truly gifted at describing scents; and I certainly categorize Angela (the amazing lady behind Solstice Scents) as one of those people. This is her description of Manor:

Manor is the scent of a once grand estate, now disheveled, forgotten and left exposed to the elements. The faint scent of previous owners and their esteemed guests - exquisitely perfumed ladies mingling with the intense rich and musky scent of smartly dressed gentlemen - meets rich wood floors and heavy wooden doors long since opened, decaying beadboard and Wainscot topped off with a thin layer of dust. It is very sophisticated and absolutely intoxicating.

Manor is a blend of woody-vanilla musk coupled with an incredible vanilla accord, glorious black agarwood and exquisite aloeswood. The scent is sweet and rich due to the vanillas, woody and incensey from the agar and aloeswood. The black agarwood is literally to die for. On initial application and coldsniff, the agar and aloeswood are a little stronger than they are on the dry down. Manor settles down wonderfully. After hours on the skin it does smell much sweeter due to the vanillas, though the woody/incense element is still detectable. Every single note in this blend is brand new to the shop. The result is a very unique scent that still has the familiar Solstice Scents profile. Fans of Old Cedar Magus will enjoy Manor.

Mmmhmm, there is magic in those adjectives, I tell you! I believe Manor was first introduced as a part of their Autumn 2011 collection, but (thank goodness for me) it is now offered in the General Catalog. I ordered the full size right off the bat because it really seemed like my cup of tea, and it is truly a steal at $15 for .35 ounces. The TAT is honestly incredible, especially for an indie company. I absolutely adore and support indie companies, but it can sometimes be difficult to play the waiting game when you're anticipating an order. I received my order in literally just a few business days. As I recall, it was definitely not more than four days. For those of you that are as impatient as I am, or if time is an issue (i.e. if what you order is a gift for a special occasion or if you plan to wear your new perfume to an upcoming event), Solstice Scents is definitely on the ball with getting your order to you in a more than reasonable amount of time. Additionally, the packaging is professional and the products are neatly and safely packed inside.

My product photo of Manor

Above is my backup (yes, I bought a backup bottle- which I've never done except in this situation because of my spontaneous but deep love affair with Manor) product photo of Manor. I apologize for the lack of quality, it was taken with my iPhone because my digital camera hates me currently. The perfume is housed in a beautifully deep blue glass vial with a roll-on applicator. The glass is pigmented, but the great thing is that it's still clear enough for one to visably see how much product is left.

Manor has a beautiful aroma from cold sniff to dry down, which is great, because it lasts as close to forever as a perfume can get. Seriously, I can still smell it on me the morning after I apply it the day before! It really does smell like a house that was once loved dearly, but now the only guests are of the ghostly variety. And not just any ghosts. You see, these ghosts are literally the best-smelling ghosts you could ever imagine! If you're into the paranormal at all, you might've heard that good scents are reminiscent of, well, GOOD spirits; and these spirits are certainly good. They roam the halls of the once-loved estate, leaving hauntingly beautiful aromas of musk and vanilla in the air. These ghostly scents comingle with the black agarwood and aloeswood and a teensy whiff of dust from the years of abandonment, and they all add up to HEAVEN in a bottle. I can truly not describe this beautiful perfume in a way it certainly deserves, but I can say that it truly does not disappoint.

If you want to try Manor, but don't want the commitment of a full sized bottle, I urge you to pick up a sample. Angela sells her perfumes in sample sizes for just $2.50 a vial. There are also sample packs available for extremely reasonable prices, in case you're wondering! Another lovely thing about Solstice Scents is that you get to choose your own scent in the free perfume sample that comes with all orders, so that would be another option to try a perfume you're interested in if you already have something in your shopping cart. :D

And just when you thought this company was more than a dream, I invite you to wake up and smell the perfume, 'cause Solstice Scents honestly surpasses expectations. Their customer service is the best I've ever come by in any company. I am always promptly greeted with a sweet and professional response whenever I have a product question or even when I just send them a compliment. In my life, quality customer service has been seemingly nonexistent (especially lately), so I definitely appreciate and respect a company that has communication that's as good as their products.

To sum it up, I cannot compliment Solstice Scents enough on how wonderful they are as a company, and I cannot love Manor any more than I already do (lest I spontaneously combust out of love!). If you haven't already done so, please check them out at:

DISCLAIMER: All products mentioned have been purchased by me for my own personal usage. I am in no way affiliated or compensated by this company, nor any company for that matter. My opinions are my own, and most certainly always will be.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Easter NOTD

Hello there! This is my mani for Easter: a baby chick hatching from an egg next to a decorated Easter egg.

I had fun creating it. The products I used are:
OPI Fiercely Fiona
Essie To Buy or Not to Buy
Essie Borrowed & Blue
China Glaze Full Spectrum
Orly Cotton Candy (With OPI Princesses Rule! on top)
Art Deco white striper
Kiss black striper
Stripe Rite silver glitter striper
Wet 'N Wild 9021Orange (for the baby chick's beak)
Sinful Colors Green Ocean (on top of Borrowed & Blue and Princesses Rule!)
Sally Hansen Let's Dance (on top of To Buy or Not to Buy)
Klean Color Grand Finale (love this one- it's holo bar glitters!) [on top of To Buy or Not to Buy and Let's Dance]

Okay that was a shit ton of colors! But I guess there's a lot going on here, so perhaps it's forgivable. Maybe. ;)

I hope you all have a lovely Easter and that you're having a fabulous weekend.

Now I bid you farewell with Hippity, Hoppity, and Floppty, my Easter beanie babies (I was an avid collector as a youngin').

CB I Hate Perfume: I Am A Dandilion

Dandilions in a field. I took this picture a couple days ago.

Today I am going to be reviewing CB: I Hate Perfume's I Am A Dandilion. First off, let it be known that I adore dandilions. I'm one of the individuals that don't view dandilions as a weeds, but a beautiful, intriguing flower. I love how dandilions morph from cute yellow buds to the adorable balls of fluffy seeds infamous for making wishes with once blown. I'm not ashamed to admit that I still make dandilion wishes to this day. But back to the point- the perfume.

I was initially drawn to this particular perfume because of its story. Christopher Brosius has a lovely story behind the creation of I Am A Dandilion, and it's definitely worth a read. It can be found under the "Story" link to this perfume on the official website.

The scent description according to is as follows:
"The Scent

Though there are certainly "prettier" flowers, the simple Dandelion is remains my own favorite. Perhaps because its beauty lies in its innocence and the flower constantly reminds me of happier times.

Dandelions are also extremely resilient and able to survive very harsh conditions. Much like me...

This perfume is the simple scent of a Dandelion newly picked from the lawn "

Oh, I could not be more content with this perfume. I Am A Dandilion smells beautiful from cold sniff to dry down. It was, of course, inspired by dandilions and therefore has a strong dandilion note. However, it's not as simple as the title insists. This perfume to me is the embodiment of Spring- it's so fresh, clean, floral-powered, and absolutely breathtaking. It seems to have an array of foliage notes among the Dandilion that fuse together to create a refreshing scent that truly makes me feel like Spring has Sprung (even though it was randomly cold today!) Also, the staying power on this is wonderful. I dabbed a bit on my wrist this morning, and I can STILL detect a faint hint of the scent 18 hours later. Awesome sauce!

Here's what it looks like:

I suppose it goes without saying that I am absolutely satisfied with my CB order, and I would certainly order once again (assuming I had the moo-lah, of course).

DISCLAIMER: The products mentioned were purchased by me. I am not affiliated with this company. My opinions are absolutely honest and are intended to help those interested in the mentioned products. I have never and will never accept financial compensation for a dishonest review.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

CB I Hate Perfume: In The Library

Hello again! Today I received two travel sizes of CB I Hate Perfume that I ordered last week. I was so stoked to hear the knock of the UPS guy! So I decided to get I Am A Dandilion and In The Library.

The perfumes came in cute little bags (shown above) with the name of the scent on the front. These are the travel/trial sizes, which contain 2ml each. Let me just jump right in and say I love both of these so freaking much that I plan on ordering full sizes of them when I can afford to do so. I know it's early to say such a thing, but I am really, really impressed.

Tonight I am going to be writing about In The Library, as it's the perfume I wore after receiving the package today. This is what it looks like, with a China Glaze nailpolish by it for size comparison:

I only needed a teensy bit to, well, smell like a library! I love how CB makes perfume that really, truly tells a story. He is so witty, and it's great that every scent he creates has a story behind it. In The Library is such a comforting scent. This is how the website describes it (from

"The Scent

In the Library is a warm blend of English Novel*, Russian & Moroccan Leather Bindings, Worn Cloth and a hint of Wood Polish

*The main note in this scent was copied from one of my favorite novels originally published in 1927. I happened to find a signed first edition in pristine condition many years ago in London. I was more than a little excited because there were only ever a hundred of these in the first place. It had a marvelous warm woody slightly sweet smell and I set about immediately to bottle it."

I'm not going to begin to pretend that I'm anything close to good at describing scents, but I'm going to do my best. This perfume is a great first review, as to me, it smells exactly like its title. In The Library really does take me to a lovely library that's full to the brim with well-loved books that have collected dust over the years. Upon cold sniff and initial application, the book note isn't as apparant, but (on me) it made its appearance (quite boldly, which I LOVE) after about 10 minutes. Today was an absolutely horrid, windy day, so this was the perfect perfume to wear today while I snuggled up indoors with a lovely cup of tea. The wear time on this was also pretty noteworthy, as it lasted through my nap (a couple hours) and still made its presence known when I awoke. I added a teensy bit more, which was four hours ago . . . and I am still sniffing my wrist every few minutes with delight. It's always wonderful to come across a perfume with great staying power. (My favorite perfume is Solstice Scents' Manor, which literally lasts all night and still marches through the next morning).

Tomorrow, I will be reviewing I Am A Dandilion. Hopefully it will be a lovely, tame Spring day to match such a beautiful Spring scent.

Please let me know what your favorite perfumes are (any brand), or if you've ever tried In The Libray (or any other CB I Hate Perfume). :)

DISCLAIMER: I bought these items with my own money. My reviews are my own opinions about the content of the products. I have never and will never accept compensation/free stuff for a fakeass review. Thanks for reading!