Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Luckyscent sample order!



I think I found Luckyscents when I was looking for the Tilda Swinton perfume, and then discovered to my sheer delight that you can buy $5 (roughly) samplers of the majority of their stock - and believe me, you aren't going to find most of these lines on Strawberrynet. There is some absolute batshit insanity here.



Etat Libre d'Orange - Tilda Swinton, Like This : Starts off very sweet and floral, which surprised me a little, but the drydown goes into honey liquer territory and stays there. Smells like summer and dusky evenings. Verrrr nice, I'd half been expecting something really balls out and weird.


The Different Company - Tokyo Bloom: Peppery and humid, and yes, i'm steadily getting more obtuse as this post rolls on. It actually reminds me of Escentric Molecules a bit. Have you ever ground cracked pepper onto fresh lettuce? This is what it smells like. Really really nice, Would be a great day alternative to EM.


Blood Concept - O: I'm an O positive, so I went for this one...? I know very little about this brand, and quite frankly I'm hoping I'll love it so I can buy the ultra amazing full size, which looks like one of the canisters they store Kryptonite in under grade A security.
And Aargh oh god it is the weirdest perfume ever. It smells like dust and decaying fruit and centuries-old tobacco stains. It's not bad, per se, but it is not a scent you would/should apply to yourself intentionally. Hang on, I got it - this is what Tywin Lannister smells like. Money and contempt.


People of the Labyrinth - Amaze: I get it! Amaze! A - maze! Labyrinth! Nice work bros.
This one is strong. Sort of - cherry concentrate but not sweet, though it loosens up into something more palatable. I can see you making enemies if you wore it in a crowded office, though.


Serge Lutens - Un Bois Vanille: Okay. Okay you guys. I get it now. I smell like baking cupcakes!


The Beautiful Mind Series - Intelligence and Fantasy: Very incensey but kinda sweet and girlish. It keeps twisting in with the O scent and it is doing my head in.


By Kilian - Love: Oh man - this is gorgeous. it's like a cocktail built around a faint scent of musk sticks and bourbon vanilla. It's sweet and understated and quite daywearish, and probably the most potentially mature sweetness I've met. Very nice. Will further investigate this one!


Penhaligon - Amaranthine: This is wonderfully soapy. smells like a beautifully clean linen cupboard at your grandmothers, all creamy florals and lavender sachets and hot baths. Loverly.


Penhaligon - Peoneve: I think this is the first time I've met a peony scent while knowing that that is what it is. I think it sits quite close to Amaranthine, a similarly "old" scent but with a slight bitterness that's sorta lemony. Smells like an ultra cool grandma.


Penhaligon - Bluebell: Whoooooa. Full on bluebell. This is like picking one, crushing it and holding it immediately under your nose. It's quite solid though - not just the flower-scent, but the vegetable-ish stems, dewy moisture, dirt and sunlight. Whole deal. This one is almost Demeter-esque in it's devotion to that one central note.


Penhaligon - Elixir: This smells pretty much exactly like something called "Elixir" should smell. it's a bit liquorice and alcohol, very herbal and heady. It softens out to a more floral mix, but it's a more aggressive scent than the other Penhaligons.


Penhaligon - Endymion: This is a really fresh, marine scent. Sort of a wet garden smell, though its far lighter on the florals than most of the other Penhaligons. It loses a lot of the ocean scent as it dries, which is a pity - resulting scent is pretty unobtrusive and a bit forgettable.



Okaaay! I'd like to try another one of the Blood Concept line because by god I want one of those cannisters. I have a suspicion they might all be equally whatthechrist, but hey, I can talk myself into almost anything! 
Elsewhere I'm going to try a few more Kilians, and a few more ultra-niche ouds. I have a wishlist going on like you wouldn't believe. Do have a look at the site, a good 90% of their labels are ones I've never heard and it's fascinating!


Friday, May 16, 2014

Project 50 Pan: 36 - 40!

My shower recess looks like a pharmacy shelf at the current moment. The prehospital period of stress also triggered an almighty breakout across my chest and back (I don’t break out on my face like normal people, oh nooo), so I've been trying not to aggravate anything further. My small patches of scalp psoriasis likewise flared up in response to stress, which I haven’t had to do anything to for years, so I've dialed back all the nice smelling ritzy shampoos and am back on the pharmacy wheel.



Dermaveen’s Oatmeal Shampoo smells like oatmeal, surprise surprise. It lathers up quite well considering it doesn’t have any of the standard foaming agents, and though it’s only intended as a hypoallergenic and ultra-sensitive product, it also takes the fire out of my scalp, stops it itching and doesn't aggravate anything else if it drips all over me. I am well pleased with this development. It sits in my shower next to my mighty litre of Dermaveen Soap Free Wash, which is my all purpose makeup remover, shave lubricant and body wash. This has compelled me to investigate the line a bit further, though the Oatmeal Conditioner will have to wait - I have enough hair conditioning treatments lined up to see me through til Armageddon.

Elsewhere I’m trying a new tactic with moisturizing (thus the three bottles of body oil), based on advice from the effervescent and endlessly entertaining Grace Bellavue (NSFW - she’s a sex worker, it’s a professional twitter account), who has some experience with excessive showering and subsequent skin dry out. She recommended turning off the shower, liberally applying oil while still wet, toweling off the excess and away you go. You should follow Grace, by the way, she’s a fount of wisdom and boobs.

ECO Aroma is a brand I haven’t met before, though I’m positively inclined to both pomegranate and argan oil. It’s a very small bottle (95 ml), which is a shame when it’s a product intended for full body use. I would kill for a big container. I would happily double the price for a double-sized vial. I hope they consider this soon, because body treatments probably shouldn't be in such a dainty size.
My skin has stayed healthy-hydrated for longer than usual, and it doesn't give me the overheating greenhouse-effect that body lotion tends to. It smells lovely, but the smell doesn't linger long. What it did do was amazing things for my nails. My cuticles sort of just - disappeared. I don’t entirely understand this witchcraft, but I enjoyed it nonetheless (oh - and I've just seen this line appearing at Target! Go smell it, eez good). 

POME Skin and Hair Wonder Serum smells very similar to the ECO oil owing to that central note. It's an oilier oil, though, and takes longer to dry. I enjoyed this one a lot, though i have a quibble with the pump on the bottle. It's not very strong, and if you're oily handed and manage to send the central bit pinging all over the shower recess, it's both frustrating and time consuming to a.) pick it up and b.) fit it back into the lid, all of which naked and covered in oil. I can think of better hobbies. 

Lee Stafford Dry Shampoo I've been using for a while now, and it's pretty much alongside the original Klorane in terms of preferences. I know lots of people like the Batiste ones, but I can't bear the scents! I've tried, oh god I've tried. Anyhow, the LSDS has a generic clean smell and a powerful aerosol on it, and it dries into the hair really fast. And it's cheap. Until otherwise superseded, this is where it's at for me. 

Chocomania Beautifying oil has the most gorgeous delicious smell ever, which kills me since it was limited edition and now it's GONE, how could they do this to me. I've had a half full bottle floating around for a while, and faced with my sudden enthusiasm for body oiling ("boiling", for short?) it didn't last long. This was lovely to put on straight out of a hot shower on a winters night. Like wallowing in a hot chocolate. 

So yep - this is currently how I’m rolling. All the fancy colors and perfumes are on hiatus until things behave themselves again. With the exception of my new perfume, which is all lollipops and rainbows and delightful things and I’ll not hear a word against it.


(The ECO Argan body oil was provided for review)

P.S. Yes, posting has been sporadic. There has been Reasons. If you're pining for my dazzling wit, you can follow me at @HogSandwich while I get shiz sorted out on this end.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

James Cooper, Welshman extrordinaire

We called Granddad "Grancha", which I'd always assumed was welsh for grandad, but now I suspect was just an accidental carryover of how small children mangle worlds. He maintained the most impenetrable Welsh burr until the day he died, and after 30 years of contact I still didn't understand everything he said. He whistled better than anyone I've ever heard, had a hell of a singing voice and could tap dance. And he was a coal miner, like a reasonable portion of Cardiff men, and a blacksmith. More than anything else, he was hilarious, quickwitted and happy to wrestle with shrieking children.

He told terrible jokes and burst into laughter before finishing them, leaving the rest of us very confused.

Grancha died last night, and I don't really know how to process this. In the last 18 months my uncle, my grandmother (on the other side) and now my grandfather have passed away, and considering we have an extended family of maybe 15 people including the 6 in my family this is a bit of a blow. I'm sure it'll dawn on me properly later, at which point I'll have a normal teary response, but right now I'm staring into space with a poleaxed expression and trying to get my head around it.

"A fellow bought a violin and a painting by Stradivarius and Picasso, and thought "this is great! I'm going to make a mint!" but the painting was by Stradivarius and the violin was by Picasso!!" *crying with laughter*

Nice work, Granch. You'll be deeply missed.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Project 50 Pan: 31 - 35! And newsflash: having feet is v. useful.

Empties first! Vegetables before dessert, if you could call my rambling complaining dessert which you almost certainly shouldn't.


Archipelago Botanicals Soy Lotion Milk - It's not empty, but I've had it for about two years now and it's starting to go goopy and weird. Massive bottle, well worth the $30 if you like the scent. Scent will not work for everyone (a "strong neutral" according to the girl who sold it to me) and I don't think this will cut it for those with really dry skin, but - pleasant.

Elizabeth Arden Good Morning Eye Treatment - This is great. Feels like a cold flannel across the eyes. Very light formula, and a little goes a long way. I tried the EA Millennium eye cream after the success of this, but it's far denser and I'm missing the Good Morning. Will be fetching more. And it's only $20 a tube, which is pretty crazy for eye cream, plus they're a Priceline brand so endless sales and stuff. All signs point to yes. 

Paul and Joe refill lipstick 105 - This is my first Paul and Joe experience, and sadly it didn't work out. The formula is lovely and the separate case and refill thing I am all cool with, but this particular lipstick could not tolerate Australian Summer. AS kicked it's arse. It melted, solidified, melted again, and I ended up giving up on it. I'm too enamored of P+J as a brand to give up on them, but I might try again when it's a good deal cooler. After all, I've got an empty lipstick case now.

Derma E - Psorzema Creme - I feel like I've spent a big chunk of my life talking about this particular product. Short answer - it's great, I'm on my fourth tub, get it from iHerb, you won't be disappointed.

Ego Sunsense - Pre tan scrub - This is really good! The texture is a sort of whipped cream type lather, absolutely loaded with walnut shell. It's not one of the ones that leaves an oil behind (which I see the pros and cons for), so if you like scrub to not be too intrusively perfumed and come off cleanly, this one is worth a try. Because walnut shell doesn't melt, you'll need to be prepared to rinse your shower recess out afterwards, but that aside? Definitely repurchase. If I had any gripe it would be my standard it's-in-a-tube-therefore-it-is-TOO-SMALL thing.


I'm just coming up to two weeks of enforced homebody-ing, and I really did think it would be funner. There have been upsides - I've discovered how much I like coles online shopping - but for the most part it is difficult to be motivated to do anything at all. Since four weeks seems like such a unfeasibly long time, I have no sense of time left or the value of time remaining. And while I've always preferred my own company, I'm discovering that I prefer my own company in the general vicinity of someone else. While Frank has been an attentive and smelly nursemaid, I am starting to go rather stircrazy.

Somewhere in this mix I also turned 30 (!!). This hasn't sunken in and I'm quite happy for it not to. I feel, act and look the same (admittedly a paler and squinting variant of my normal self), so as far as I'm concerned, it's business as normal. Being housebound also handily removed any obligations to celebrate this event, and enabled a rather lovely set of visits by various family members. My little bro has been doubly useful in this time period, hanging out and discussing Game of Thrones theories with me and leaving behind hard drives worth of entertainment.

My wounded foot is a giant swollen parody of the unwounded one, but since the bandaging is pretty extensive I can only guess whats going on under there. The tips of my toes (the only things visible) are an amazing spectrum of pink and purple. I'll spare you photos.
While I didn't rate a moonboot, I did get equipped with a moon-sandal-type-thing, which with the intense bandaging underneath makes me look like I'm wearing one ultra HomyPed granny sandal with a sock underneath. The moon-sandal is ultra rigid and makes things like stairs a very timely indulgence. I have crutches, which are helpful and all, but my wrists are weak and pushing my weight down on a 90 degree angled wrist is uncomfortable to say the least. I can't really exercise or go anywhere, so I sit in my loungeroom, read, watch things, nap, then repeat the cycle.

Accordingly my sleep patterns are laughable at the moment, as evidenced by the fact that I'm writing this at 4am. Even on the days I refrain from sleeping during the day at all, I've expended 0 energy which leads to difficulties when sleeptime comes around.  And the lack of light probably plays into that. I think I went five days before I literally stepped out of the house to feel sunshine. Before wincing and creeping back into the darkness, but nonetheless.


Movies watched thus far:
Forgetting Sarah Marshall - eh, it was orright.
Black Beauty (1994) - I'm horsemad and this was my first viewing.  Great moments punctuated with uneasy "how did they make that horse so emaciated :( :(" moments.
Bridesmaids - This is sort of shit. I was expecting good things, could not get past how much I hated everyone.
Lovelace - I liked this, but it's a bit of a mess in terms of a narrative. Amanda Seyfried is glorious as always.
My Neighbor Totoro - Compulsory viewing. Beautiful.
Marie Antoinette - should have been a six page Vanity Fair spread, not a movie.
The Canyons - Terrible, terrible Lindsay Lohan + James Deen vehicle. The dialogue is Room-esque.
Crumb (documentary) - Difficult to watch. Plays out like a Wes Anderson.
Deep Blue Sea - Rachel Weisz and Tom Hiddleston. Great performances, but I sort of feel like we're past the point where a whole movie can hang on the device of a failing romance.
Walk the Line - So good! So so good. Emmys and awards landed all over this one and for good reason.

Plus a stack of Blackadder, Qi, Good Game and some documentary about David Attenborough and Bjork.

(plus about six or seven rewatches of things I own. I really have to force myself to watch new things, I'm sort of afraid of them. I blame Pans Labyrinth for being entirely what I was not expecting and traumatizing me utterly)

Anyone who follows me on twitter will know I've been griping about Myer's online store, which I'm fixated on at the moment because I was gifted a very generous gift card from the ladies at work and Myer will Not. Let. Me. Spend. It. Going to a store is out of the question, so I'm reliant on the online store. Internet shopping is the light that keeps me going right now. I must use this damned gift card, or so help me god.
But it isn't just me, right? It's been nearly 12 days and the store only just came back up today (the entire Myer site, not just the online store I should note), and then encounters and error at checkout and empties your cart. OH COME ON. This is just mean, not to mention commercial suicide. Almost two weeks? If we needed a clear sign that all was not well in Myerland...

So yep. It's 7.00am and I should probably go eat something and go back to bed. Gotta keep my strength up for - you know - harassing Frank with my camera or something.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

This is my entire life in one image

(This is one of Kate Beaton's)

So I'm going into day surgery tomorrow to get my foot re-jiggered. It's always been a bit oddly shaped but now it needs some medical urging to make it operate in the way a foot should operate. I'm relatively unfazed by all this (as much as you can be), but I am very interested in the month following wherein I am housebound. So many books. So many movies. So much Franklin. Realistically I suspect I'll be bored out of my mind within a week. But that's not the point.

Now is the time to tell me that I'm an idiot if I don't read certain things or watch certain things or do certain things. I am open to suggestions, and I definitely have the time to try them ALL.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Project 50 Pan: 26 - 30! (and ye olde life updates)

I only seem to be able to string together coherent thoughts about empties right now, it's like everything else has been thrown under a blanket of Too-Hard. My lighting situation is still a pain, thought I've bought some little clampy lamp things which DO help, but I can't use them at the same time as having my computer on. Which is obviously like someone switching off a dialysis machine, pfff. There's a way to make it work, I'm sure of it, but it's a work in progress.

And onward!!


I'm so uninteresting. Duplicates ahoy!

Trimedica Purea Skin cream
I bought this off iHerb, since as far as I can tell it had the highest Urea percentage and I was interested in what it would do to my keratosis. Short answer - not much. It essentially acts like a very dense body cream, and in a tub that size that don't impress me much.

Firebird Perfume Oil - Pomegranate Rose
Oh, Firebird, you are such a solid performer, and you can bet I'll be fetching more roll ons from them. I'll likely re-purchase this one as well, since I'm already missing it so badly. I find the last tenth of the vial is insanely powerful (more concentrated?) which should be factored in, since I put some on at Anissa's house and very nearly fumed the place out. Soz about that.

Aquacare HP
This ones appeared on here heaps. Pharmacy purchase, only thing I've ever bought that makes a big difference on my hideous scaly elephant feet. For optimal results, load onto feet, put on a pair of those Ecotools bamboo socks and go to bed. For serious, it's great.

La Roche Posay Toleraine protective skincare
This has likewise appeared on the blog a few times - absolute heaven on an overly hot, sensitive, summer-ravaged face. I've been loading it on before bed, usually accompanied by little moans of relief. I live in fear of this being discontinued. Don't you DARE, you saucy French bastards.

Schwarzkopf Ultimate Oil hair mask
Not bad, still not up the the standard of the Elvive hair masks. Lovely smell though, and handling it makes me feel like I'm messing around with molten gold, with less of the burning and dying.

So whats up elsewhere?

A small handful of you know that I'm working on a graphic novel with an epic artist called Linda Foote. We have a looot of work to do, but she's been drawing some stuff up for it and I'm ultra-psyched. Linda posts more of her art on her tumblr, but only occasionally adds art from this project. mostly it's just a scrolling paean to her insane skillz.


And here's a map because daaaaym.

And speaking of comics, I've found one that I'm completely in love with - it's called Nimona, and it's by an artist called Noelle Stevenson ( @Gingerhaze on twitter). It's the only thing I've ever seen that seems to be an equally fantasy, equally sci-fi mix (they're usually all one or the other...), not to mention extremely funny and smart and engaging. The characters are wonderful, the art style sharp and dynamic. Do yourself a favor and check it out. If you've never webcomicked before, this one would be a very user-friendly starting point. Link below takes you to the first page!


And what else? I've had some icky medical things crop up, which is exactly as much fun as it sounds. I've got some blood tests to do and an operation on my foot impending which will take me out of action for about a month, which means either I'll be snooping the internet all the damn time or I'll just disappear and go analog (reading).

And you should all be following Chaucer on twitter.


Saturday, January 25, 2014

Reading Bingo!!

I don't really need to read more, per se, because I already read a lot. But I'd like to make myself step outside my comfort zone a bit, and also make more of an effort to write about what I read, since I generally emerge feeling like I have a better handle on it when I've reviewed it. I found this fun graphic on a tumblr somewhere and thought I'd transplant it:


Fun! So the rules are that I can't retroactively tick off any boxes, and I can't tick any that I haven't written a review/blog post about. So, for my first trick:


I reviewed Burial Rites, based on the execution of Agnes Magnusdottir and thus a true story. I could have ticked off Female Author, Different Continent, Blue Cover, Best-Selling, Heard About Online, and Under Thirty, but you only get one cross out, and I went with based on a true story. From hereon in, I'll be sticking this updated graphic at the end of each of my blog reviews. Woot!

Some of you might have noticed my beauty blogging lagging way behind - this is twofold. One - it's summer, I'm constantly overheated and sweaty and can't face photos of myself and Two - the photography lights I usually use have been out of action. I'm still writing em, don't you worry, but images have had to wait. All in good time, friends, all in good time.

So who's going to embark on some Reading Bingo with me?!?