Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Dark Candles: Light for Those Who Prefer the Dark

I received a sample tea light candle from Dark Candles in one of my Black Boxes and fell in love with the scent (Chocolate Bat) and the concept behind the business. Their catch phrase is "Light for those who prefer the dark". This really couldn't be any more true.  This company specializes in candles that have an occult theme to them, which honestly just makes them all the more fun!

I decided to buy their flat rate choose your own votive candle set.  You get 6 votive candles for $18 including shipping! As you can see my package also came with a free wax melt, stickers, business cards, and a point card for $10 when you spent $100! I also had an issue with shipping when I was trying to place my order and they literally responded to my question in under 20 minutes.  Their customer service is amazing and my issue was fixed in no time.
The quality of this company is top notch.  The candles have strong scents to them and they burn very nicely.  Therefore for this review I will be focusing on only the scents as the quality is already a 10/10 for me.

Half of these were for my boyfriend for Valentine's Day so unfortunately not all of them are scents I'm particularly fond of, so don't take my person review too seriously for those candles.  


A dark and musky masculine scent (Drakkar Type and Midsummer's Night Dream Type). Dark Black.

This was supposed to go to my boyfriend as I figured you can't go wrong with dark and musky for a guy, however I was quite surprised when I opened it up to find it smells exactly like his deodorant. I suppose that is not necessarily a bad smell but there is no way I was going to give my boyfriend a candle that smelled like his armpits, haha! Instead I shall keep this one for myself.  While I'm not crazy about a scent like this as a candle, I think it will be nice to light whenever I am missing him and want to be reminded of a good time we've had together.


A dark and masculine vetivert blend with desert florals and sage, reminiscent of ages past. Dark Purple.
I had bought this one for myself but because I'm keeping the Midnight candle, this one is going to go to my love instead.  I won't lie I'm a bit sad to give this up, it smells so lovely. The description is spot on.  It is very dark and masculine with a slight hint of floral.  I would definitely buy this in a full size, it is a very calming scent for me.

Dark Grove

A century year old grove of redwood trees with a cinnamon undertone. Dark Green.
This one I got with my boyfriend in mind as he loves cinnamon while I really can't stand it as a smell, I don't mind the taste however. Therefore I am probably not the best person to judge this candle. The cinnamon is definitely there but it is also mixed with something else which is I suppose the trees. I was imaging more of a cedar or pine type scent with this, but that's not what it is like at all.  Perhaps it is more of a leafy scent? I'm not sure I really can't pinpoint it but it does smell familiar.

Penny Royal

Pennyroyal is a highly aromatic member of the mint family with lovely notes of menthol and bitter spices. Pennyroyal has been used as a medicinal herb for centuries, and is also effective as an insect repellant. Dark Purple.
This one has the strongest scent out of all the candles for sure.  Its the only one that you can easily smell while it is still in its wrapper.  This one is for my boyfriend as well. He loves mint and I really don't, neither the taste nor smell.  I'm kind of on the fence about whether I want to give this to him or not.  I stopped reading at mint and totally missed the insect repellent part.  That is definitely the vibe I get when I smell this.  To me this smell is just really gross and I'm a bit worried he will hate it too....

Amber Velvet

A deep amber softened with a layer of tender velvet and a touch of citrus-y bergamont and vanilla. Dark Purple.
This one definitely does not smell as I expected it to. I love amber and vanilla so I was really excited about this one but I think the citrus and bergamont comes out so strongly that I barely even smell any amber. It is still a nice scented candle, but I bought this because of the amber and I am a little bummed that it ended up not being the strongest note.


Like a fine wine he only gets better with age. Add a touch of aged merlot with some turkish spices sweetened with masculine musk. It’s a sexy scent with a bite to it! Dark Red.
This is another one I bought for myself.  I had a huge thing for vampires when I was younger so it was definitely the name that initially brought me to this candle, but the scent description sold me on it.  Wine. Yes.  It is definitely sweet, like a cherry sweet, but it is balanced with the dark musk as described. I don't think wine when I smell this but it is nice nonetheless. This is the one I chose to burn first and I think it smells much better while burning than it does smelling it straight from the wax.  I would definitely get this one again!

Dark Carnival

This scent will evoke images of dark laughter, midway games, freaky side shows, and seedy characters! A blend of Warm caramel popcorn, nutty candy apples, and fluffy cotton candy. This scent is not for eating - although you just might be tempted! Dark Black

To me what really comes out strongly is the caramel and nutty notes.  It literally smells like candied nuts. This was my free sample and while the smell is nice, It isn't really my thing.  I'm not a huge fan of foody scents in my candles, I generally prefer florals , fruits, and musk, but I will enjoy this little bunny shaped melt while it lasts!

I will definitely be making another purchase from dark candles in the future. I need Mage and Dracula and also want to try out some of their other scents.  It is a really nice small business with a cool theme and high quality products, don't hesitate to check them out!


Sunday, February 14, 2016

Jamberry From The Heart

Happy Valentine's Day everyone!
I technically already celebrated it last week as my boyfriend and I couldn't get together this weekend. However I still wanted to show you the nails I've had on all week.   I chose From The Heart as my valentine's wrap because it has the same pattern is Love Spell which was a wrap I fell in love with only to have it retire right before I made my first purchase.  this wrap is red and silver instead of purple and silver unfortunately but it is still a really cute mixed mani to celebrate the holiday of love.

As you can see this wrap comes in three different designs: red with a white heart, red with a bunch of white hearts and lines, and then a silver inverse. I've had these on for a week now and they are still going strong even thought I had some bubbles on my tips and sides, but I think that was mostly due to rushing to get them on.  I haven't had much free time lately....

Here is what I got for Valentine's Day!

The limited edition Pokemon 20th anniversary Mew plush! I was soooo happy. I also got a chocolate rose but I ate that a while ago haha.

I hope everyone has a great Valentine's Day! I'm off to meet my friend and her roommate for burritos and beer.

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Hollow & Ridge Mend Balm, Lavender Face and Body Toner, and Calm Essential Oil Blend

For Christmas my Aunt got my mother, grandma, and I little sample packages of some products from a company called Hollow & Ridge. This company specializes in essential oils and bath and skin care products scented with their own essential oil blends. As you may know, I love smelly things so I was very excited about this little kit!
This company focuses on ethics and quality, resulting in beautifully scented products that you can feel good about using.  Here is a quote from their website:

"The hollow & ridge approach to essential oil production is simple:
source high quality and responsibly-grown plant materials; experiment until
the right combination of therapeutic effect and pleasing scent is achieved."

This business has its ideals in the right place and their products are very lovely as well, as you're about to find out!

My Christmas gift included these three products: Mend Balm, Lavender Face and Body Toner, and Calm Essential Oil Blend.  They were packaged in the super cute floral bag they are sitting on in the above picture.  I also love how cute and simple the packaging is.  The colored translucent bottles and minimalist labels make the products look very sleek and professional.

The first item is the lavender toner.  I have not really used toners before but the packaging says it provides moisture and hydration so I spritz some on my face after moisturizing and before applying foundation primer.  The scent is lovely and starting my day with the bright crisp smell of lavender is just amazing. Here is the store description of this product:

"Our toner is ideal for all skin types to balance, tone, and restore skin. We have left out the rose for this one. Lavender by itself also promotes cell repair, is an excellent coolant for minor burns and sunburns, and soothes sensitive skin. Our lavender hydrosol used in our toners is distilled from freshly harvested lavender."

My little sample size is only 10ml, you can buy the full 50ml size for only $14!

Next is the Mend Balm.  This is a little pot of hard lip balm.  The products melts onto your fingers from the heat generated, allowing you to then rub it on your lips or any other chapped area.  I also keep this at my vanity and put it on before I begin my makeup routine so my lips are nice and soft for when I apply my lipstick. This smells a bit odd, its definitely my least favorite scent of the bunch.  To me it has a minty smell to it, I honestly think unsweetened mint chocolate chip when I smell it, but the oils its made from do not reflect that at all.  Regardless it is a nice product and while the smell isn't personally for me, I'm sure many others will adore it.

"Our new MEND Balm formula is luxurious, rich and intensely reparative. Applying Mend balm helps guard your lips against harsh conditions, like wind, dryness and temperature changes and leaves your lips feeling supple and smooth. The Balm promotes healing, and prevents dry, cracked or chapped lips, providing immediate relief from discomfort and softening roughness on contact. The natural oils, waxes and butters in the MEND Balm protect the damaged skin while it is healing to prevent further damage. The balm has a light, lavender peppermint scent that is both calming and invigorating."

My pot is full size I believe, meaning you can get your own for $8!

Finally is the essential oil! My little sample is called Calm and is blend No 55.  This smells so so so nice.  I have been smelling this before I begin my meditation to help me relax and get me in the right mood.  I will definitely be sad when this oil is gone.

"55 brings together smells from the places which have brought Issa peace throughout her life. Geranium and lavender used to tame irritability. Issa uses rose otto for restlessness and agitation. Petitgrain is used as a "shock absorber"."

My sample is 3ml, but you can purchase a full 10ml bottle for $38.

The other two blends sound just as divine, I wish I could purchase them in 3ml bottles for a cheaper price, because at $38 each I just can't afford to try them all.

Overall I love all three of these items and can definitely see myself purchasing from here in the future.  I believe my Aunt knows where they have a physical shop, so hopefully I can get my hands on more of these cheaper sample versions so I can try everything!

Monday, February 8, 2016

Mary Kay Pink Satin

I just realized I never did a review on this Mary Kay lipstick!  This is one of the last ones I purchased before giving up on being consultant due to moving to a city for graduate school.  Before I purchased Pink Satin I did not own a single high end nude shade. Because of samples I knew I already liked this color so I had no doubts about adding it to my collection!

This is a really nice color to throw on when I find myself wearing a dark outfit with dark eyes.  It is soft and subtle and gives my lips a nice pink tint all day.  The only issue I have with it would be more my own skin's fault than my own.  As the day wears on and my foundation begins to fade it looks very odd compared to my naturally pink skin, so I try to only wear this if I know I won't be in a situation that will compromise the integrity of my foundation.  Additionally as you can tell from the image if your lips are super  chapped this won't look great up close, but from a distance any lip imperfections are barely noticeable.  

Overall this is a pretty decent light pink shade that I would give a try if you find yourself at a Mary Kay party!

Where to buy: Mary Kay consultant
Price: $15

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

A Girl Named Katie Gently Loved Collection

Today I have another post about A Girl Named Katie, a small clothing and accessory store featuring items handmade with ethics and the environment in mind.  If you don't remember, last time I posted about this business I was reviewing a handmade kimono style shirt!

Katie has recently started a new collection called Gently Loved. This is a mini collection filled with recycled clothing and home decor hand selected by Katie to go with the overall aesthetic of her handmade designs.  She has picked out some really adorable outfits, and I would have bought more if I had the budget! 
I purchased a flowy black blouse and a candlestick holder shown below:


The above are her pictures because they are just so nice way better than mine, haha!

I've wanted a candlestick holder for a long time and was thinking I needed to go to a thrift store or something similar to find a nice one, and just a few days later Katie announced she was adding home decor to her Gently Loved Collection along with a 30% off coupon and I knew then it was time to place an order.

 In addition to the candle stick I also bought the flowy blouse. Due to the nature of the top, this is not a good shirt to take a picture of laying flat, believe me it looks much better when worn! I had been eyeing this top for a long time and was super excited to finally take the leap and purchase it.  It is definitely unlike anything I own but I just fell in love with the sleeves from the model picture. It also has a little upside down V decoration at the collar which is a nice touch.  The bottom is elastic allowing for the fabric to fall in a flowy...type way? I am not good at describing clothing....

And here is a mediocre quality picture of me modeling the blouse with two different looks, dressed up and dressed down.  On the left I paired it with a dark purple lace skirt from Loft and black leggings.  As you can see the sleeves are just amazing and I am in love with them.  On the right I paired it with Loft skinny jeans and black boots.  This was the outfit I actually ended up wearing and it looked so casual yet nice. The blouse is a bit short so it must be worn either with a high waisted skirt or with a tank top underneath. I wore black this time but I may experiment with other colors. The only downside that it is a bit small around my shoulder and head area.  I have to put it on before I do my makeup because the collar does not stretch and my head just fits through.  The shoulder issue I'm used to as I know I have annoyingly disproportionate shoulders and upper arms. However, I'm not worried, as I can get it on and off just fine and it looks great!

If you want to find some really adorable and affordable second hand clothes and house decor while also supporting Katie in her business endeavor please head on over to A Girl Named Katie and check out her products!

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Fifth Of A Farm Creations Spruce Hill Blackberry Lavender Jam

Today I went to my local farmer's market hoping to pick up some herbs and jam but alas the herb stand was not present at the market that day.  I noticed there was another Jam seller than I had never seen before so I decided to get my much needed jam from there instead.  I don't usually review a lot of food products but I was really impressed with the owner, presentation, and taste of this product I felt like this brand deserved a little recognition!

So this company is called Fifth of a Farm Creations and I believe they are a fairly new business. As soon as I walked up to take a peek at the flavors the owner greeted me joyfully and made some quick small talk.  He also said hello to almost every person that walked by, he was definitely a really sweet guy. After I browsed for a bit he went on to tell me all about his company and the products.  His excitement and pride for his business was apparent and I knew right away I was going to be buying something.  They make their jam is small batches at a community kitchen where other small business owners can produce the items they love without spending a fortune to rent out a city property all on their own.  I think this is a grand idea as it allows prospective small businesses to get started with their dreams without having to take as huge of a financial risk.  So far they only sell in Philadelphia by going from market to market and also selling in local stores. However they do have a website where you can order online, so anyone can buy and enjoy these jams!

The next thing I noticed about these Jams was the packaging.  Every jam has a different colored label that matches the ingredients. The design is bright, efficient, eye catching, and just all around beautifully designed. I decided on the Spruce Hill Blackberry Lavender Jam as I love both of those things!  

Additionally every jam is named after a different neighborhood in Philadelphia, an idea that I thought was a really nice touch.

There is also a bit of history about the neighborhood printed on each jam label, once again a really neat thing to add! 

So I've established that the owners are nice and friendly and the label design is well thought out, but I have yet to comment on the most important part.....the taste!!
All the flashy outsides won't do any good if the product is mediocre, right?  Well thankfully there is nothing to worry about as this jam is DELICIOUS. It isn't too sweet or too tart it is literally just perfect.  The blackberry flavor is so lovely and there are nice large chunks of berries in there too, I could eat this every day.  My only complaint would be that the lavender taste could be stronger, but I love lavender and I know not everyone is as crazy about it as I am.  Regardless, this jam has everything going for it and I will definitely be a return customer.

Here is a picture of the brochure I took that lists all their products and prices.  See anything you like? I know I want to try the prickly pear eventually!

I hope you liked this review as much as I like this jam, enjoy!

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Jeffree Star Velour Liquid Lipstick Weirdo

I do own some decent black lipsticks but nothing that I would feel 100% comfortable wearing for an extended period of time.  Therefore I figured Weirdo would be a good investment for me.  I don't wear black often, but when I do it is a color that I definitely want to last for as long as possible.  Black can get EVERYWHERE....on your teeth, on your chin (darn you sandwiches!), and on your boyfriend. 

What makes this black even better is that it's matte! Yay! I was in a bit of a rush to take this picture so it is not quite at its full matte potential in the swatch or close up lip picture.
As far as application, I feel this lipstick could be better.  The doe foot applicator is much more difficult to use than Kat Von D's. I have a hard time getting a smooth sharp line, which is very important for a lipstick as dark as this.  It definitely takes me a while to apply this lipstick as I have to be very careful and take time to correct the mistakes I will inevitably make.  It also gets all over my teeth, but a simple clean off will fix that.  After the lipstick dries though, you are set!  It is transfer proof and smudge proof!  It does take a few minutes to dry, but once you get over the hassle of applying and drying it really stays put!

Do I think this lipstick is worth $18? Yes, I think the staying power makes it worth that, especially since there aren't too many awesome matte blacks out there.  It is a little cheaper than Kat Von D's brand which makes sense to me as I do feel the application is a lot more difficult. Overall I love this lipstick and even though I won't wear it super often, I can feel secure whenever I do.

The website says it can also be used as a liquid liner so I will definitely have to try that out as well!

price: $18

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Jamberry Lace Noir Over Zoya Odetta

I went to the Franklin Institute's Science After Hours Speakeasy event and wanted to do my nails in a fancy and classy way, so naturally I reached for my Lace Noir wraps!  These have a gorgeous black lace pattern that is clear so you can put it over top of any nail polish color that you wish! I chose Zoya's Odetta because its a really nice mauvey purple shade.

I really liked how my nails looked over this color, however I think the next time I use this wrap I will put an even lighter color underneath to bring out the lace pattern even more.  The nails looks really cool up close however from farther away they just looked dark.
Regardless I definitely enjoyed this manicure and am already trying to decide which color to put under this wrap next!

Thursday, January 21, 2016

DIY Picture Frame Jewelry Display

Hello everyone! So since subscribing to Black Box Subscriptions I've greatly increased my jewelry collection both because of the box and because the box has inspired me to make my own jewelry as well. As a result my little jewelry pouch was just not cutting it anymore.  things were getting tangled and lost and thrown around and it was just a mess.  Therefore I began researching DIY jewelry displays as I did not want to pay a ton of money for one if I could make one.  Eventually I found one that used a lot of items that I already had, and those that I didn't were fairly cheap to purchase.  

Close up of my chicken wire frames | DuctTapeAndDenim.com

After browsing I decided to use this display from Duct Tape and Demin as my inspiration and guide.

This post is to show you how I made my own jewelry display, so beware this is very very picture heavy as I hope anyone reading this could make their own afterwards.

This is a pictorial overview of every item you will need. To begin with I already had the black picture frame, as my mom had it left laying around, the chicken wire as I had bought it to try and unsucessfully patch up my old rat cage, the acrylic paint and brushes, and finally the staple gun, glue, and drill were all items my dad had on hand in his toolbox.  Therefore the only things I had to spend money on were the little wooden nobs, the dowel pins, and the felt, making this frame put me back less than $10!

So the first thing I did was cut down the felt and chicken wire to be just a bit smaller than the frame.  I also forgot to list some sort of device to cut the wire with in my initial needed items, sorry! These scissors were also something I found in my parents house.  I also painted the wooden nobs a light purple.  The frame was already black but if it wasn't I definitely would have painted it myself.

Here is a close up of my painted pegs. I gave them only a single coat, and then once they dried patched up any sparce bits.

These pins may not be necessary depending on the kind of nob or hook you buy, but mine needed these 1/4 inch dowel pins to go with them.

I didn't want to make my dad feel awkward by taking pictures of him while he worked so there aren't any in action shots, but here is what the back looked like after stapling.  First we placed the chicken wire down against the frame and stapled 2-3 per side.  Then we placed the cloth over top and stapled around the frame, being careful not to staple over the chicken wire staples.  You can absolutely stop here but I wanted nobs to hang necklaces and rings from so I went a step further.

So next I had to insert and glue all the dowel pins into the nobs, which was harder than it sounds because not all the pins fit into the nobs so it was a lot of trial and error to dig through and try to find ones that fit.

So this is after the very first drill hole was made.  My dad used a drill bit slightly larger than 1/4' so that they fit in a little easier.  After drilling we then glued the nobs into the holes. This bit was also pretty tricky as my frame has a curved rim, so it was hard to drill straight down, therefore some of my nobs are a little off.  Also the pin ends were so long that we had to drill the whole way through the frame to get them to fit, which is why I'm thankful my dad was there as the drill kicked quite a bit if it went through and hit a wire or staple. It probably would have been better to make these holes before stapling on the felt, but hindsight is 20/20....

The drill wasn't always kind, so there was some chipping, so I took some black acrylic paint and painted over all chipped areas as well as any other areas on the frame that were showing any brown at all, such at the intersections.

And here is the frame right after getting everything glued and stapled on! I am very happy with how it turned out!

Here is a close up of some of my dangle earrings hanging from the chicken wire.

I used the top nobs to hang bracelets, rings, and some earrings.

And the bottom nobs for my necklaces.

Overall I am very happy with it, and I think it looks very lovely hanging in my room.  Plus it makes picking out my accessories so much easier in the morning.  I'm also hoping my lesser worn jewelry will get a bit more use now. To hang it I just punched a hole through the felt, hammered a nail into my wall and put the nail through the hole and under the frame itself.  It came with a hanging notch on the back but I'd have had to hang it vertically, which I didn't want to do, so I improvised. I am considering adding some more hooks to the side, as I am already running out of room for necklaces! 

I hope you enjoyed my process, and if you decide to make your own display, I wish you luck! :D

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Black Box Subscriptions December 2015

I really can't express how much I adore this subscription box.  I honestly was expecting to subscribe for 2 to 3 months and then quit, but I just can't bring myself to because every month I keep getting more and more stuff that I love!
I can't believe I've already been subscribed for 4 months, with my 5th box soon on the way. This box has made me wear jewelry more often and also helped me be more confident in expressing myself by trying new things.  It really is a joy every months to see what Vixx has picked out this time.

I can't believe I've already been subscribed for 4 months, with my 5th box soon on the way. This box has made me wear jewelry more often and also helped me be more confident in expressing myself by trying new things.  It really is a joy every month to see what Vixx has picked out this time, and this month was no exception.

I didn't take an individual picture of the nail polish as it was one I already got and review, so go here if you'd like to see it!

BeautyTreats Green Tea Facial Mask

This month's makeup item isn't exactly makeup but instead a beauty product.  This is the first time I've gotten something like this, its a green tea facial mask.  I LOOOVE moisturizing masks like these and use them whenever I get my hands on one, so I was definitely pumped to see this in the box. 

Bat Sticker

This month's random goodie was another bat sticker.  I definitely liked the last one better as it was a bit 3D and sparkly but this one is cute too! I actually really hope I get a bat necklace or earrings in a future box.

Strange Omens Pumpkin Pin

This month also included a little handmade goodie from Strange Omens.  It is a clay disk inside a bottle cap with an engraved and painted pumpkin on the outside. Not 100% sure what I'll be doing with this but if nothing else it will make a cute addition to my book bag when Halloween roles around next year.
This little pin also came with a 10% off coupon for the website.

Red Scarf

Up until now all the accessories I've gotten have been clips, either for my hair or for my bag.  I was SO EXCITED to see this beautiful dark red scarf sitting on the top of my box when I opened it up.  I love scarfs and have been trying to collect more solid colored ones to wear with patterned tops.  Also I did not own a red scarf so this was absolutely perfect.  I've worn it twice now and Its just so lovely.

It is made of a warmer material so it is definitely a fall/winter scarf.  It is also pretty short, which is what I prefer.  I hate super long scarfs as they tend to get in my way when I'm working in the lab.

Beaded Bracelet

The first jewelry item this month was a handmade beaded bracelet.  Vixx had posted on facebook that she had a ton of beads and was planning on making things so I was expecting something like this.  This is the first time I've received a bracelet and...not going to lie I just don't wear them often. Whether I'm doing research in the lab or typing on my computer they tend to just get in my way, but for a bit I was determined to make it work.

That was until I happened to just hold it up to my neck and fell in love with the way it looked.....so alas it is no longer a bracelet.  I turned it into a choker length necklace because my goodness it just look so stunning, and to be honest...makes me feel like a princess.  This will be perfect for days I'm feeling a bit more girly!

Filigree Gem Earrings

The second jewelry item I received was definitely something unique.  I got these gorgeous stud backed decorative earrings.  They have a beautiful swirly metal design to them with a faceted white gem in the middle.  They feel so vintage and classy, I just love them.  Things like these are the reason I'm such a huge fan of this subscription box.  I don't think I'd personally buy something like this but after seeing them and trying them on, I just adore them.

I think these also go very nicely with the red scarf. 
I've actually been working on making some jewelry displays to keep my jewelry organized since because of this box I have so much more than a few pieces now!

Fancy Paperie Raven and Rose Victorian Stationery Letter Set

The special item this month was a mini set of stationary from the company Fancy Paperie.  This is a really really cute idea and the artwork is so gorgeous. Unfortunately my handwriting is absolutely terrible so I am so afraid to deface the beautiful artwork with my atrocious scribbling. But as I say in my unboxing video, these look nice enough to frame, they're so lovely.  Maybe I can write really slowly and carefully with a pencil and then ink over it so that I can actually use these and make someone's day! :)

And for anyone interested here is the business card with all the info included!

Did you like what you got in your Black Box this month?

Want to watch me unbox it?