Summer Solstice Scents

Summer Solstice Main

While the rest of North America swelters under a record-breaking heatwave (no climate change to see here, nosiree!) here in Ontario it’s pretty much summer business as usual. That means it rains a lot, especially on important milestone holidays (can’t wait to see the hurricane that will accompany Canada’s upcoming 150th) alternating with periods of crap heat and brutal humidity. ¬†It’s absolutely nothing compared to the conditions that Phoenix is experiencing today, but then again, what is?

So I feel quite fortunate that the heat and humidity in my neck of the global woods is not so oppressive that I can’t enjoy this recently-acquired quartet of Solstice Scents fragrances – and on the Summer Solstice, no less. ūüėČ ¬†No finer time to delightfully delve into a handful of beautiful bakeries, fine florals and one apple-jacked pick for Fall.

As it was with my first Solstice order, I had zero issues with this purchase Рit was remarkable only in its unremarkableness.  Oh!  Except that Solstice quite generously refunded nearly $9.00 in shipping overages, a lovely little treat I discovered only after noticing that a refund had gone through my account; I had had no idea one was coming to me in the first place.  It would have been pretty easy for Solstice to not inform me of a potential refund or to simply not issue one at all.  But they did, and in the most low-key, efficient and friendliest manner possible.  Customer for life with that kind of service, really.

Also?  This is a nice little personalized thank-you, and beside it, a thoughtful compendium of perfume-sampling tips (such as the important reminder to let your perfume sit a bit before passing final judgement; like a great stew or a fantastic soup, perfumes need a bit of time to settle and develop after bottling and shipping.)

Summer Solstice Cards

I picked up four 5 ml perfume oils this time around, with each blue cobalt rollerball retailing for $15.00 US.

Summer Solstice Main Up Close

And while my heart truly belongs to that most cherished of peppermint-vanillas, Snowmint Mallow, I think I can find a little room in there for these lovely and light summer scents, and that one autumnal outlier.

Summer Solstice Collage

Starting with the Fall favourite, Corvin’s Apple Fest is a scent I chose so I could layer it with another Solstice fragrance I own, Vanilla Pipe Tobacco. ¬†By itself, Vanilla Pipe Tobacco is a sweet and sticky herbal fragrance – heady, like steamy night air rising from a sun-warmed cornfield. ¬†I bought it because my grandfather smoked a pipe, and he always smelled a bit like the pouches of pipe tobacco he kept rolled up in the pockets of his Arnold Palmers. ¬†Being a farmer, he also often smelled like sweet corn.

But my grandfather smoked highly aromatic cherry tobacco, and what Vanilla Pipe Tobacco was missing was the tart and tangy element only a touch of fruit could provide. So I picked up Corvin’s Apple Fest with the hopes that it would be lovely both on its own and as a blender, and indeed, it’s both of those things. ¬†This is a really beautiful apple fragrance – fresh and sweet and juicy, with the barest hint of something tarty, cobbler-y or crisp-y. ¬†A great season-jumping addition to my fragrance collection.

Corvin's Apple Fest

An unexpected favourite was Lemon Ginger Creams, a tart and tangy hit of lightly-spiced citrus. ¬†This smells exactly like a lemon-glazed gingersnap, if there is such a thing, and if there isn’t, there should be one now! Like, right here with me right now, on a plate, waiting to be eaten.

Lemon Ginger Creams

A more traditional pick for my scent palette was Chantilly Cream, a sumptuous blend of fuzzy peaches, juicy mandarins, lightly-spiced vanilla and whipped cream. ¬†This is a gorgeous gourmand fragrance that effortlessly tows the line between lip-smacking dessert and sweet scent, a lovely choice for those not spun by anything with “cake” in its title. ¬†Ooh, I love this fragrance – soft and mild and sweet, perfect for those sultry summer evenings.

Chantilly Cream

And finally – as according to the tenants of Beauty Retail Law, there must be at least one per order – we come to the fragrance I am the least jazzed about, Blossom Jam Tea Cakes. ¬†Oh, how I wanted to love this scent! ¬†It was the first one into my basket, and I also seriously debated picking up a burnishing glace in the same fragrance. ¬†But as always, I’m glad I ultimately held off, as there’s just a¬†little something here in this lilac-tinged, lemon tea-and-cake blend that, to my nose, errs awfully close to something approaching powdery baby wipes.

Oddly, though, I don’t dislike this scent. ¬†In fact, I find myself returning to my wrists to sniff it time and time again, marveling with each pull at the ever-changing kaleidoscope of fruity, floral and barely bakery notes. ¬†It’s kind of delicious, and in hindsight, I might sort of love it. ¬†I clearly have some conflicted feelings on the subject of this perfume.

But given that I’m so deeply undecided on Blossom Jam Tea Cakes, I’m going to take Solstice’s fragrance-testing advice and tuck it away for a bit, see how its scent develops in a few months’ time. ¬†Provided I don’t, you know, drain the bottle this summer taking undecided whiffs off my wrists (reminder to self: don’t do this in public, it’s weird!)

Blossom Jam Tea Cakes

Once again, just a beautiful, beautiful order from Solstice Scents. ¬†It wasn’t my first and it shan’t be my last. Shan’t! ¬†I’m just so impressed with their scent offerings and presentation, and their customer service is second to none. ¬†A very happy – and deliciously-scented – camper, indeed.

Very Versailles

Versailles 2

I suppose it’s not too surprising this manicure turned out as Baroque-n as it did – I have been watching an¬†awful lot of the new live action Beauty and the Beast lately, and its wall-to-wall pastels and gold filigreed adornments speak to that part of me that sometimes likes her surroundings to be flouncy, ultra feminine and possibly way, way, WAY too much. ¬†Not, like, enchanted talking furniture too much, but just a lot of pink and excessively gilded molding. ūüėČ

Kitty in Stripes

Kitty in Stripes Hand

After posting a tutorial of my own yesterday, I thought it was high time to tackle another manicure from a Hello Kitty nail art book I was gifted over the holidays. ¬†The first mani of the book was a classic Kitty desgin – red and white polka dots, yellow-nosed and red bow’d Kitty.

Kitty in Stripes Book.png

The second design of the book keeps things similarly simple, this time introducing bold horizontal stripes in the classic combo of black and white, with just the barest hints of candy floss pink and glittery gold accents. Another easy tutorial to follow, resulting in a very pretty Kitty, indeed!

Kitty in Stripes Up Close

I’ve Lost My Marbles!

I've Lost My Marbles 1

News to no one.

But I may have found them again with this nifty, super effective manicure that was so criminally easy, I almost hesitate to tell you how I created that cool marbled effect, lest you think I’m a totally unimaginative sod (why, I never!)

But okay, here goes, a mini tutorial, for what it’s worth.

Step 1: Paint your nails to opacity with a basic white creme.

Step 2: Once dry, take a small dotting tool and, using just a pink creme, a pale blue creme and a yellow creme, dip it lightly first into one polish (say, the pink) and then another (this time the blue) and then dot onto your nails in a random fashion. ¬†What you’ll be left with is a small marbled dot that’s a little pink, a little blue and a little purple combination of the two.

Step 3: Repeat with the pink and yellow polishes (which produce a pretty, coral-y orange) and the yellow and blue polishes (which, of course, produce green.)

Step 4: Top with a layer of high gloss topcoat such as Seche Vite.  Then sit back and marvel at this magnificent mani that took next to no work!  Marbles found.

I've Lost My Marbles 2

Kat Von D Alchemist Holographic Palette

Alchemy Palette Collage

For those days when you just feel like twinkling like an opalescent unicorn.

Regular readers may recall that I purchased this stunning makeup palette – the Alchemist Holographic Palette from Kat Von D – whilst under the influence of, in hindsight, an ill-advised quantity of cold medication. Apparently going batcrap loopy on cold meds turned me into some sort of mega magpie, because this twinkly palette went into my shopping cart with great haste, along with a number of its sparkly friends. ¬†I mean, I think it was with great haste, as I actually don’t remember sitting down at the computer and placing this order at all. ¬†Seriously, cold-med responsibly, friends! ¬†It could be so much worse than just an overabundance of unicorn makeup!

But however it came to me, I’m delighted to now own this beautiful, fun and playful little makeup palette. What a charming delight! ¬†First, the palette case itself. ¬†It’s GORGEOUS – an iridescent, opalescent, rainbow-tossing wonder. ¬†I love the packaging, and I’m smitten with the soft opal hues of both the triangular palette AND the box it came in. ¬†There’s a bit on the Sephora website about how Kat Von D herself spent the last X-unreasonable number of months fine-tuning this creation. ¬†And while I certainly can’t speak to her schedule, I’d say it was worth it; this makeup palette features some truly stunning and eye-catching design work.

Alchemist Palette Packaging.png

Palette Opalescent

But one ought not judge a book solely by its attractive, iridescent cover, so let’s take a closer look at the makeup housed within. ¬†There’s four shades contained in the Alchemist Holographic Palette, which looks a bit like a pointy mirrored weapon when it’s fully deployed, green Emerald, ultra-violet Amethyst, pink Opal and blue Saphyre.

Open Palette

Being of very pale Celtic descent, the shades – softly pressed powders flecked with holographic shimmer – all but disappear as against my freckled hide. ¬†For this next photo, I ramped up the contrast whilst editing so you could actually see the colours and not just wonder to yourself, “Huh, I had NO idea a skin tone could be classified as “ultra-violet.”

Alchemist Palette Bare Skin

Next, I ran a test on the opposite end of the spectrum, layering the four shades over a shimmery black creme lipstick, Hard Candy’s Black Diamond. ¬†It was a pretty terrible lipstick (it stained, badly) but the effects created by combining the two were undeniably dope. ¬†I’m looking forward to trying out some fun lipstick stenciling work, and these powders will make nifty cool highlighters.

Alchemist Palette Black Lipstick

The Alchemist Holographic Palette, when it’s in stock (it’s frequently out of stock) is sold through Sephora (online and in-store) and retails for $44 Canadian. ¬†Perfect for all your unicorn cosplay needs or just, you know, ’cause it’s a Tuesday. ¬†Twinkle on, fabulous friends. ūüôā

June Band of Bloggers

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Toes in the water, sunshine on the skin, evenings spent watching blinking fireflies or brilliant fireworks, all the little indulgences that only summer can bring. ¬†As it’s arriving soon (in the northern hemisphere), for June we want to know the special ways you indulge during the summer months. ¬†Any activities you look forward to? ¬†For some, it involves dodging bugs, to searching for respite from soaring temps. ¬†But for everyone, it means longer daylight hours. ¬†What is your summer indulgence?

I’m not sure how much of an indulgence something can be if it cost 75 cents at the secondhand bookstore, but one of my favourite things to do in the summer is bury myself in a stack of Christopher Pike young adult thrillers and pretend I’m 12 years old again. ¬†I was just discussing this with a friend the other day, but those beloved books (all published in the late ’80s and ’90s, for those not familiar with Pike’s work) really hold up quite well. ¬†You know, provided you’re into Egyptology, time travel, teen cannibalism, lizard people from Mars, mild drug use, vampires, devastating childhood trauma and a hell of a lot of female characters named Ann. ¬†Last summer, whilst in the midst of a major Pike-a-thon, I created this manicure. ¬†I may have also rhapsodized a fair bit about my deep, abiding love for the 1980s YA teen thriller; you can find that post¬†here.

Christopher Pike Collage

Continuing with gratification, what’s the most indulgent fragrance purchase you have ever made or been gifted? ¬†A special bottle of perfume, exclusive wax opening, or pricey, fancy pants candle?

Every Christmas my parents gift me with a two-wick Voluspa candle in one of my favourite fragrances, French Bourbon Vanille. ¬†This candle is a real luxury item – silky smooth, clean-burning coconut wax, a lush, gourmand fragrance, that beautiful mercury glass container – and it’s got the price tag to go along with it – $38 Canadian.

That my parents willingly – I’d say even gleefully – purchase this for me every year is nothing short of amazing, as they are not the type to splash out on something as banal as a candle. ¬†My parents have always been exceedingly financially responsible. ¬†It’s what has allowed them to enjoy a comfortable life, all while continuing to be quite generous with their only daughter (come on, you knew I was an only child!)

Having said that, my parents are still a long way off from Dickensian tightwads. ¬†They spend their money on the things that matter to them; luxury candles simply aren’t one of those things. ¬†Dollar Store firestarters will do just fine, thanks! ¬†But my, do they love purchasing this candle every year. ¬†I think it gives them a weirdly illicit little jolt – “Wayne! ¬†We’re buying a $40 candle for our kid. ¬†Is she bonkers or are we?”

Voluspa In the Dark

Lastly, how would you indulge if $ was no object? ¬†It could be a luxe fragrance you desire, a pampering spa package, a legendary retired scent, etc. ¬†What is your dream way to treat yo’self?

If finances and environmental impact were of no concern, I’d enjoy freshly laundered linens every day, and fresh cut flowers thrice weekly. ¬†Thrice! ¬†I love bedding down in clean sheets (bolted downstairs at 9:30 pm on New Years Eve, actually, to throw a load in the machine so I could begin 2017 unencumbered by 2016’s scuzzy sheets) and fresh flowers are simple sunshine in a vase. ¬†Love the little luxuries associated with both.

Luxurious Photo

Please feel free to answer these questions for yourself in the comment section below.

And we hope you’ll visit these Band of Blogger blogs and help support the blogger community!

Amanda at Thrifty Polished

Deb at It’s Always Something

Jaybird at The Candle Enthusiast

Jessica at The Meltdown Blog

Julie at The Redolent Mermaid

Lauren at LoloLovesScents

Liz at Furianne

Sandra – me! – at Finger Candy

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