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2012 Post-Mortem & Best Of Stuff
About Claire, Best Of - Be the first to comment! - January 11th, 2013

I was feeling a little bad about not doing this post BEFORE the end of the year, but then I looked and saw I wrote last year’s Best Of late as well, so I’ll stop feeling bad. 2012 was …interesting for me. I didn’t work this year, so my budget for buying beauty stuff was pretty limited, and not going off to work each day proved to be a deterrant to doing my makeup regularly. I also had a really hard time with depression thanks to a pharmacy making an error with my medication, that I didn’t catch for several months. That really sucked away my motivation to write, too. Which is all to say, if you’re still reading my blog and didn’t quit last year, THANKS. I promise to do better this year! (More on that in a bit.)

Anyway, my best of list is the standout stuff from last year. Here’s the goods.

Best Body Product: St. Ives Naturally Smooth Body Lotion was an awesome find. Clearing up a rash I’ve had for 20 years? YES PLEASE. Runner-up: One Hand Washes The Other’s Buttella. It’s chocolate-y hazelnutty awesomesauce.

Best Facial Scrub: One Hand Washes The Other’s Black Magic Scrub rocks. Runner-up: St. Ives Naturally Clear Green Tea Scrub is a decent substitute if you’re in a hurry and need a scrub now.

Best Indispensible Multi-Tasking Face Product: Murad Skin Perfecting Primer (Acne and Shine Control formula) has become one of my must-have products. This is an awesome multi-tasking product – it has salicylic acid in it, so I can eliminate one of the serums I usually use from my morning regimen. It controls shine and mattifies like a champ. It evens out my skin tone, and is a great makeup primer. Basically? It’s FABULOUS.

Best New Tool I Found This Year: The Real Techniques Expert Face brush quickly became my brush of choice for applying foundation.

Best Lip Balm: This is a tough call, but I think the eos lip balm spheres have to win. I started using the medicated Tangerine one pretty religiously when I was sick in December, because it was TOTAL WIN on my chapped, peeling lips. The vanilla one from the Alice In Wonderland set is still my favorite.

Best Shampoo: I’m still loving Suave shampoo. I bought a bottle of the Rosemary Mint stuff to try, and I like it too. (Review coming!) For a basic shampoo that’s cheap, it’s great.

Best Mascara: Maybelline The Colossal Cat Eyes Washable mascara was the best new mascara I tried this year.

Yup, it’s a pretty short list this year. So, why will this year be better? I am going to school at the end of the month, for a five month program, to get my esthetician’s license. Yup, Claire’s Beauty is going to beauty school!! Much like going to work, I intend to wear makeup every day, because I hate looking schleppy in a professional setting, which means regular EOTD posts again! I’m looking forward to getting back into that routine. You can also expect interesting tidbits about skincare, etc., as I learn them. Happy 2013 everyone!

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More OHWTO Halloween Scents!
Perfume, Reviews - Comments (9) - October 10th, 2012

After last month’s epic One Hand Washes The Other Halloween smell-o-thon, I placed an order for a few more of the new scents. Let me tell you all about them!

Seance is described as having nutty bold-roast coffee, heavy oak furniture, carved sandalwood totems, dried herbs, neroli, vanilla’d figs, and a wreath of clary sage to ward off bad spirits. Lest you think this is a coffee smell, it’s not. On my skin, it becomes a warm floral scent, but rich and deep. When I think of this scent, the image that pops into my head is Miss Havisham and her mansion, a tragic yet romantic image. So, in my head I call this Miss Havisham. *grin*

Pumpkin Bread Pudding is OM NOM NOM, but don’t eat it! It’s got notes of bruleed pumpkin puree, buttermilk, cream, bourbon, bread, vanilla, honey, & pumpkin spice. It makes me crave pumpkin cream cheese muffins from Starbucks. The ultimate early fall gourmand smell!

Down a Dark Path is complex and interesting. It’s got notes of fresh figs, dried leaves, carnations, oakmoss, amber, sage, black pepper, pumpkin, vanilla, pomegranate, beeswax, rhubarb, lavender, and the scent of an unidentifiable animal stalking you in the shadows between the trees. It’s oh-so-spicy and herbal but also just a little bit gourmand. A dude could totally rock this smell.

County Fair is one of those, like Solanum, that I didn’t think I’d care for, but oh how wrong I was. It’s got notes of ripe peaches, Macintosh apples, pumpkin pie, mandarins, black currants, raw honey, plums, Bartlett pears, just-baled hay, orange blossom, and white amber. I thought “Fruit. Meh.” and didn’t order it, but Becca included a sample. OH DAMN. It’s like Autumn in a smell. I must have more.

Sticky Fingers is sweet. It might actually me too sweet for me (a rare thing indeed). It’s all creamy white chocolate, gooey marshmallow, a plump dollop of cream cheese frosting, tonka bean absolute, and warmed coconut milk. I think I want it in a soy wax tart for a house smell, rather than a put it on my skin smell. I love it, but it gets really really sweet on my skin.

And thus concludes my most recent Halloween smell haul from One Hand Washes The Other.

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Let’s Talk Halloween
Shopping - Comments (1) - September 7th, 2012

Okey dokey, enough of my favorite companies have put Halloween-y stuff online that I can devote an entire blog post to all the awesome spooky Autumnal goodness! *cue the Tim Burton music*

Detrivore Cosmetics brings you a STUNNING Halloween collection. Every single one of these colors floats my boat! Some are matte, some are satin, and some are sparkly! You can buy the whole set at a discount, or purchase them individually. Detrivore also released some Special FX blushes, if you are wanting something unusual for a costume or just because you rock the alt colors every day! Check them out!

One Hand Washes The Other has there Halloween collection up – check out my review of most of the scents here!

Darling Clandestine
has released a limited edition Halloween collection of four scents. Wither and Falter interest me the most.


Black Rose Minerals
will have a Halloween collection (two of them, actually) although they aren’t online yet. Rosa has put some sneak peek photos on the BRM Facebook page and they look fabulous.

Meow Cosmetics hasn’t put their Halloween shop up yet either, but I really, really, really like everything they do for Halloween (And then Christmas! Fall/Winter is my favorite time at Meow).

Other companies have stuff planned, but nothing live yet. I’ll update when I know more!

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One Hand Washes The Other Halloween 2012
Perfume, Reviews - Comments (4) - August 16th, 2012

Good news, Lovelies! I have samples of five of One Hand Washes The Other’s 2012 Halloween scents, and they are FABULOUS!! I also have either full size or samples of a couple of returning fragrances, so I’ll talk about them too. OHWTO’s Halloween scents are some of my favorites, and the new scents do not disappoint.

These are some of the most complex and interesting fragrances I’ve tried from One Hand Washes The Other. They are not simply a mish-mash of individual notes, but instead are finely blended scent “stories.” I continue to be impressed with OHWTO’s growth in perfumery.

First up, is Jack. In Black. Z.O.M.G. I am SO IN LOVE with this scent. It’s got notes of charred, sooty, dirty pumpkin flesh, Arabian musk, pomegranate, tea, and a handful of penny candy snatched from an unsuspecting trick-or-treater’s pillowcase. On first sniff, I get a lovely tea note, and then it develops into a deep, musky smell tempered by the freshness of the pomegranate. This one leans on the masculine side, but works just as well on the ladies. It’s just amazingly good, and I will definitely need this in a full size!

Dullahan is a tribute to the original headless horseman! There is no way to bar the road against a dullahan—all locks and gates open on their own when it approaches… Spooky! This one has notes of harvest spices, black leather, black tea, clary sage, buttery caramel, and civet. On skin, the buttery caramel is the first note I notice, and it’s yummy. The fragrance settles into a sweet gourmand, but the leather, sage, and tea keep it from being too food-y. I think this one will be popular!

Dudleyville, based on a particularly frightening ghost town, is my next favorite after Jack. In Black. When I first put it on, my thought was mmmm… dirt and fennel. Sexy. The notes are dried leaves, wood smoke, patchouli, fennel, dirt, palo santo, petitgrain, spectral musk, amyris, catnip, ginger, and cardamom. It’s got a definite masculine feel, so this one could be good for the guys. I don’t think it’s so masculine that a chick wouldn’t want to wear it, especially if you like herbaceous scents. This is the dirt smell I’ve always wanted. It settles into a warm scent that reminds me of fall, with the dried leaves and wood smoke. I really, really like this one.

Ravensblood is …ooh. On skin, my first thought is berries and incense. The notes are blackberries, dark musk, licorice spiked with clove, guiacwood, labdanum, sandalwood, patchouli, and a bright twist of lemon. It’s surprisingly light (in character, not in lasting power, which is excellent) after a while, which I credit to the lemon and clove. It’s not a berry pie smell. I really like how the blackerry note sticks around for a long time though, like it gets juicier on your skin. This is a lovely scent!

Equinox is like visiting a harvest dessert festival and sitting by a bonfire. The notes are fresh apple butter, spiced breads and iced pastries, just-pressed cider warmed with ginger and mulling spice, roasted figs, berries, pomegranates, bonfire smoke, amber, and patchouli. It’s gourmand for sure, but not in a “you smell like food” way. The base notes keep it in the perfume realm, by providing a wonderful richness in the drydown. This is definitely a must if you like spicy scents!

Those are the five I’ve tried so far. Seance, Pumpkin Bread Pudding, and Down A Dark Path are also on my list for sure, based on the descriptions!

I also have a few returning fragrances to mention. Sugar Skulls is a long-time favorite of mine, with its notes of sweet baked goods, vanilla cookies, anise, and roses. It’s such a comfort smell. I highly recommend it.

Pumpkin Eater is what a non-foodlike pumpkin smell should be, with its mangled pumpkin, spiced cider, tilled earth, and patchouli.

Burning Times is really complex and spicy, very, very spicy, with notes of vanilla, clove, patchouli, pink peppercorn, suede, musk, sandalwood, cinnamon, cedarwood, and the smoldering Embers of a thousand years. This one is such a great smell for cooler weather!

Solanum is quite nommy, with the almond announcing itself first to me (I LOVE almond), and then the fruits and spices come forth. I didn’t order this one last year because I thought it would be primarily an apple scent – it’s not. It’s definitely more gourmand than fruity, and the apple and raspberry play a supporting, rather than starring, role. I love it!

Mirror Witch smells bright and clean to me, with notes of pomegranates, dried figs, white sage, candied ginger, and a vision of white musk. If rich and heavy isn’t your thing, but you still like a traditional autumn scent, Mirror Witch fits the bill perfectly! I just love the ginger in this one.

Are you excited for the Halloween collection from One Hand Washes The Other this year? Which scents are on your must-have list?

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OHWTO Queen Bea & Violette Solid Scent Review
Perfume, Reviews - Comments (3) - August 11th, 2012

I’ve almost got all the One Hand Washes The Other summer scents now, either in full size or sample form. I just need Eva, Tea Rose Mimosa, and Berry Amber to make my life complete, lol. ANYWAY. My last OHWTO order included Queen Bea and Violette Solid Scents, so I wanted to do a quick little review since summer is going by quickly and they’ll soon be gone.

Violette smells like my childhood. I still can’t put my finger on WHAT, exactly, but for some reason violet smells trigger a very strong scent memory from my childhood. I think it might have been a soap or bubble bath or something like that. Violette’s notes are wood violets, leather, and honeycomb. It’s not strictly a violet scent though – it’s not very powdery at all, like you might expect with violets. It reminds me of a shampoo I’ve used, actually, which is not a bad thing. It’s very fresh, and a bit sweet, and just really NICE. If Violette were a person, she’d be Miss Congeniality.

Queen Bea is sexy. It’s got apricots, lots and lots of apricots, and honey, plum wine, peonies, freesia, a whiff of violet, cardamom, and white patchouli. I get a big dose of apricot first (I LOVE apricot smells), and then the honey and spices start to warm things up, and then the flowers bloom. It’s soo good, especially if you’re a sucker for apricot, like I am. I lurve it.

I have samples of One Hand Washes The Other’s upcoming Halloween scents. You jealous?

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One Hand Washes The Other Haul Post
Perfume, Reviews - Be the first to comment! - July 7th, 2012

I have more stuff from OHWTO to write about, because I can’t stop myself from throwing money at Becca. IT’S ALL SO GOOD!!! I ordered another Snayk Oyle because I can’t get enough of it, plus a few more solid scents. SO HAPPY.

The Snayk Oyle is in the fragrance Besos del Sol. It’s really, really awesome for summertime (or for reminding you about summer, if it happens to not be summer where you are right now). Besos del Sol has notes of creamy coconut and white gardenia star, supported by notes of white grapefruit, resinous amber, jasmine, a touch of deep, smoky vetivert, and a dash of bourbon vanilla. It is not overly coconut-y or overly floral, but rather a nice blend of everything that reminds me of suntan lotion and swimming pools, circa 1994. It’s the smell of my teenage summers, in a bottle. Snayk Oyle, should you need reminding, is an awesome body moisturizer that’s perfect for slathering over your skin after a shower. You’ll smell good for hours afterwards.

Stolen Bouquet and Tilly are summer scents, so snag ‘em now if you think you want them. Stolen Bouquet is a blend of purple flowers – lilacs and violets, accented with orchids, with a dash of powdery vanilla added to ground the scent. It’s so pretty, and very floral. I love how feminine it is. Tilly is described as “sweet, juicy peaches, rows upon rows of tomato plants ready to harvest, damp earth and Lily-of-the-Valley underfoot, a trail of fragrant honeysuckle, and a locket filled with intoxicating amber.” It’s not nearly as fruity as I was expecting it to be. It really is a well balanced scent, with no single note demanding attention. They’re both lovely for summer, and I look forward to wearing Tilly in the dead of winter, to remind me of July.

Lost At Sea is from the Private Stock collection (thus available year-round), and I’m in love. It’s got coconuts, citrus fruits, and salty sea air. I like it better than Latitude (from the Summer collection) just because it’s a little less about the sweet and a little more about the fresh sea air. It’s still definitely coconut, and I love me some coconut smells, but let’s just say I’m happy I have a full size Lost At Sea and I’m content to just have samples of Latitude.

I got a Buttella Solid Scent because I just had to have ALL THE BUTELLAS. Yup, I’m a sucker like that. I have my jar of original Buttella Whipped Cocoa Butter, half empty now (and I hear that the whipped awesomeness will come in OTHER SMELLS this winter! ZOMG!), Buttella Snayk Oyle, and now Buttella Solid Scent to carry with me for a portable chocolate-smell fix. Buttella’s notes are creamy hazelnut spread made with skim milk and cocoa, smoothed out with vanilla notes.

Just FYI, OHWTO’s Halloween smells (some of them, anyway) are available just this weekend, at least until Halloween. Go see!

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5 Things I Want Now!
5 Things, Shopping - Comments (3) - June 18th, 2012

It’s been a while since my last THINGS I WANT post, so I decided it was time for another. In no particular order, here are 5 things I have been lusting after recently.

1. Shiro Cosmetics has new eyeshadows and new lip colors. Look at Badger! Look at it! EET’S SO PRETTY! There are eight new Intertubes, and they all look so fabulous. I CAN’T DECIDE.

2. Detrivore Cosmetics has new lip gloss! Again with the can’t decide. They’re all really pretty colors!

3. The Body Shop has body mists in scents to match their body butters. This is totally genius, and I want to go smell them. Also, I saw these Beautifying Oils in the store last time I was there. They are really nice. I am kind of overstocked on body oil right now, but if they’re still around when I need more (or at least, have put something of a dent in my stash) I will try them!

4. I want more Darling Clandestine. Specifically, I feel like I need to try Cloudswing, Circassian, and Vardogr.

5. Every time I turn around, I’m lusting for more One Hand Washes The Other solid scents. I’ve added Eva, Queen Bea, and Violette to my list. Also, after falling completely in love with the wonderment that is Black Magic Scrub, I must try the cream soap at some point. Preferably, soon.

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One Hand Washes The Other’s Black Magic Scrub Review
Best Of, Complexion, Reviews, Skin Care - Comments (1) - June 11th, 2012

Last year I tried One Hand Washes The Other’s Black Magic Soap, and really liked it. Now I have the Black Magic Scrub in my hot little hands, and OH MY. It’s packed with WIN!

Here’s the scoop. The scrub is the cream version of Black Magic with bamboo powder added. Bamboo powder, you say? Yes! Bamboo stems are rich in silica, and this silica makes a great exfoliating powder. I like it because it’s definitely scrubby but it isn’t as rough as other scrubs, like those that use walnut shell powder, for example.

The cream soap contains all the stuff that makes Black Magic, well, magic. That would be the essential oil blend including tea tree, grapefruit, and peppermint, French green clay, activated charcoal, and calendula. It’s a great blend for blemish-prone skin. The scrub part provides surface exfoliation to help keep your skin clear.

I bought the 2 oz. jar to start off with, and it’ll probably last for a while – a little goes a long way. I will likely buy the bigger jar next time, just because I love it so much and it’s worth it. I’ve noticed my skin is a lot smoother. I started using it in the midst of an epic hormonal related acne-fest and it cleared up very quickly and with minimal scarring. TWO ENTHUSIASTIC THUMBS UP!!

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