Friday, February 28, 2014

Fragrance Friday

It's been awhile since I've done one of these, though not for lack of perfumes––I just haven't felt like testing anything.

This Monday was T's funeral, which just sucked; funerals are always sad, but especially when it's for a 23 year old who shouldn't have died. I wore Comme de Garçons Avignon (chamomile, cistus oil, elemi, incense, vanilla, patchouli, palisander, ambrette), an incense perfume. It's beautiful and meditative, and while it would have been even more appropriate had T been Catholic, it didn't feel out of place in the synagogue, either. I don't know what frankincense and myrrh smell like separately, as I've only ever smelled them together, but Avignon opens with a mildly stringent, though by no means brash, version of the both. It softens after 10 minutes or so, grounded by amber and vanilla, and while I cannot smell the chamomile separately, I suspect it contributes to the solemn quiet beauty of the perfume. One spray lasts a solid 8 hours, and the base remains for another few hours after that.

Avignon is not a happy perfume, for me, even before I wore it to the funeral, but it is...soothing, I suppose. It smells holy and serene, and I thought it was very appropriate for the bittersweet occasion; its emotional resonance encompasses both the joy and vivacity I associate with T, as well as the sadness and anger her years of pain and untimely death create. I am not a religious person, but I can see why incense has been so meaningful in so many religious contexts for so many millennia: it does conjure a sense of the divine, or at the very least, the grandness that is our universe.

I'd had it in my mind that it was painfully expensive, but it's a relatively reasonable $80/50 ml. I hope to never have enough occasions to warrant a bottle of such a somber perfume, but I will certainly consider purchasing another sample once mine is empty.

Unrelated to perfume, but relevant to this post, is Phildel's song Funeral Bell. I absolutely love her music, and this song is so haunting and heartbreaking and tragic and wonderful. Kind of like T's art.

Saturday, February 22, 2014


My childhood best friend's younger sister passed away on Thursday. She had Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, and complications from a surgery to fuse her spine resulted in a coma and eventual death. She was 23.

She was a remarkable young woman––vibrant, brave, funny, sweet, beautiful, and incredibly talented. Her art is powerfully emotional (check out her site here), and the world is a worse place without her. I haven't been close with her since high school, but my memories are treasured nonetheless.  My heart breaks for her family, friends, and all of us who were lucky enough to know her. She was in terrible pain for much of her life, and I hope that she is now free, happy, and at peace.

Her funeral is in Eugene this Monday, and her family suggests donations to the Ehlers-Danlos National Foundation Research Fund in her memory.

Regularly posting will be back once I feel less raw.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Yves Saint Laurent Rouge Volupté Shine 02 Pourpre Intouchable Review and Swatches

I've been wanting to pick up one of the Rouge Volupté Shines ever since I tried some samples from Sephora. The formula is semi-sheer, lightweight, balmy, but not slippery, so when I had my $20 off $50 last year I decided to pick up a tube in Pourpre Intouchable, which I'd determined could be a high-end replacement for Revlon Sugar Plum, my HG MLBB shade.
Ooh, shiny.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Bite Lush Lip Tint in Juice

Larie recently had a blog sale, and I picked up a couple of Bite lippies I'd been wanting to try (and, because she's amazing, she included a pile of other wonderful goodies!). I figured I'd start the reviews with this Lush Lip Tint. I like sheer lipsticks for low-maintenance days, or when I'm wearing bold eyes, and I don't have a lot of lippies in this particular color family (being warm/nude pinks).

Monday, February 3, 2014

Manicure Monday

I've been steadily making my way through my polish stash, as decreed by my new year's resolution. I only took pictures of polishes/combos I haven't featured on the blog; ones I wore but have already reviewed were Color Club Miss Bliss (whose original photo is subpar, which should really teach me to read my own posts), which I wore with only 1 coat and it was almost completely opaque, and the whole mani took me about 7 minutes; Zoya Blaze, which is just ridiculously gorgeous; Milani Hi-Res, which chipped in less than a day (though I'm not convinced that's not due to my top coat, so I'm reserving judgment until I can try it with another); Zoya Godiva, which was another super speedy mani; China Glaze Ahoy!, which reminded me that I'm not crazy about CG's brushes but I love that particular shade; and Zoya Avril (which, goddamnit, I've never shown on its own, but I was like "oh I know I've already talked about it on the blog so I won't bother taking pictures" and PAST ME WHY ARE YOU SUCH A DUMMY), which is a really pretty pink-leaning neutral creme, opaque in 2 coats.

Now then, for the manis I actually managed to photograph!

Zoya Aurora and Zoya Carly
I wanted to see if I liked Aurora better than the first time I wore it, so I did a combo mani with it and Zoya Carly (opaque in one coat!). And I do like it more! It has a springy feel to me, even though it's not a pastel, and I like the subtle holo. It can stay. For now.

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Skincare Saturday: Rainshadow Labs QVMT Moisture Treatment for Sensitive/Acne Skin

I have incredibly persnickety skin, and always tread lightly when it comes to introducing new things, as it often decides it is having none of that, thank you very much, and rewards me with a fresh batch of blemishes. But there comes a time in every girl's life that she realizes she is a) running out of her trusty Amber Cream, and b) wanting to try to actively help her (gradually showing signs of age, poo) skin, rather than just not piss it off. And so I started trying to inspire myself to do the natural diy skincare thing, to little avail––turns out I suffer from a severe case of laziness, who knew?.

However! I read a post from Liz about an anti-aging moisturizer from Rainshadow Labs, and was intrigued by the natural ingredients (long ingredient lists can be scary, but less so when they're all natural oils and extracts), ridiculously low price ($3.95 for an ounce), and fact that everything is produced here in Oregon. I spent some time browsing their extensive website, and finally settled on a few products to try. Shipping was around $11, but three samples were free (this isn't advertised anywhere on the site, so I'm not positive if this is a normal occurrence), so I ended up with 7 or 8 1-2 oz jars/bottles of various potions for around $30. 

I've spent time testing most of the products, but will focus on them one at a time, since to do otherwise would surely result in thousand-word-epics that no one would want to read. (On the upside, now that I've given the whole spiel about the company, I shan't need to repeat it!) Today's product: QVMT Moisture Treatment for Sensitive/Acne Skin.
seen here, after a few weeks' usage
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