Bubble Bubble, Suds and (Some) Trouble

Main Soap Photo

Continuing my unfortunate streak of items I wish I had exercised a bit more caution in purchasing, here’s the back half of my large Rhinestone Housewife order, this time a quartet of spooky suds from Dreaming Tree Soapworks.  I noted in a post last month that I had had some trouble with the colourfastness of one of those bars of soap; it was a dark chocolate brown, and in combination with the soap’s plush, but slightly oily, composition, it had the rather gross tendency to leave fatty-looking bits of brown sludge behind on everything it touched.  To the point where I tossed the bar a few days after writing that post.  And not without some regret either, because I really love these olive oil-infused soaps in use; they’re incredibly lush and leave my skin feeling super soft and moisturized.

Soaps in Coffin

Some of these spooky soaps regrettably suffer from the same problem as that chocolate (brown) bar, particularly Monster Mash (a perky fruit punch fragrance) and The Pumpkin King (a spicy squash.)  Using Monster Mash is particularly distressing, as it suds-up into a bloody sort of pink that kind of makes shower time feel like Carrie-on-stage-at-the-prom time.  Which is both seasonally and thematically appropriate, but maybe not the greatest, cleanest-feeling way to start the day.

Soaps in a Row

Ah, but they’re pretty, and they all smell so lovely.  One of the things I do really love about these soaps is the way they really hold on to their scents; they remain strong and true week after week.  Which means if I can get over the kinda gross factor, I’ve got months and months to enjoy Monster Mash and The Pumpkin King, as well as Fruit Fool (far left), a scrumptious apple-blueberry scent, and Poisoned Apple (far right), a zippy, caramel (crab)apple fragrance.

Soaps in the Sun

So I’m well, well covered in the soap department.  Now I just have to turn around this bad shopping juju that has plagued seemingly every retail transaction I’ve made in the past two months.  This, however, delighted the crap out of me (and my husband, who was likewise impressed) – this American Psycho-worthy business card from The Rhinestone Housewife.  We seriously Patrick Bateman’d all over this thing – look at the card stock!  That sucker must be a quarter of an inch thick!  And yes, we really are that easily amused. 🙂

Card

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Sudsy Fandom Fun

Fall Fandom Closeup

Or a Hobbit sandwich on Harry Potter bread. 😉

Here’s a cute trio of fandom-minded soaps from Dreaming Tree Soapworks inspired by the Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter movies and books.  I nabbed these luscious, olive oil-infused soaps from The Rhinestone Housewife, who deal in Dreaming Tree Soapworks’ large collection of beautifully made, gorgeously themed soaps.  I picked up quite a few selections from their Halloween release; I’ll share those with you as we get a little closer to the haunting season.  But of the remainder, I just knew I had to try the fabulously foodie trio of LOTR’s Hobbiton Banana Bread paired with Harry Potter’s Butterbeer and Cauldron Cakes.

Of the three, I’ve only had a chance to try Cauldron Cakes.  On its site, The Rhinestone Housewife describes Cauldron Cakes as smelling like “Devils Food chocolate glazed cakes stuffed with buttercream toasted marshmallow filling.”  Which, holy lord, sounds just frickin’ amazing; can I get some right now?!  After using my bar of Cauldron Cakes for about a week or so now, I can’t say whether it smells like all those delicious things – I mainly get a rich, true chocolate scent, which is really quite scrumptious and pleasing; I ain’t gonna kick it out of the bath.

Fall Fandom Soaps

However, Cauldron Cakes – the dark brown bar – contains unrefined cocoa butter.  I’m going to assume that because the ingredient list does not include any sort of dye, the chocolate brown colour and gorgeous, true-to-life chocolate scent are coming from the unrefined cocoa butter.  And so I think because of its natural ingredients, Cauldron Cakes is not colourfast (if a bar of soap could be said to be such a thing.)  As such, its rich brown hue “runs” when wet; it suds up into a pale mocha hue and leaves rusty-looking water droplets all over your soap dish, counters and towels.  And like all bars of soap, it leaves bits of itself behind in the dish in between every use.  Gummy soap build-up is kind of gross; I submit it’s extra gross when your soap sheds oily shards of brown gunge with every pass, even if that gunge smells like sharp, slightly boozy chocolate.  It just looks like a wet log of poo sitting there in my soap dish, for real.  NOW I’m kicking it out of the bath.

I really hope the other two don’t succumb to Cauldron Cakes’ problem of too-much-hue, although neither Hobbiton Banana Bread (a slightly spiced and lightly fruity bakery blend) nor Butterbeer (fizzy cream soda) contain much pigment, so we shall see.  Fingers crossed, because they both smell so lovely, and overall, I just adore the consistency and formula of Dreaming Tree’s soaps; my skin feels so lovely and moisturized, without the need for additional lotion, and they suds up so satisfyingly.  I just wish those suds weren’t the colour of (wait for it, Jessica!) cat poo.

Fall Fandom Pumpkin

Turn on the Northern Lights!

Northern Lights Sun Collage

It recently occurred to me that I haven’t done a swatch post in quite some time.  That’s because for the most part, I’ve suspended my informal nail polish procurement program (also known as me sitting in front of online stocklists at two in the morning going, “Ooh, that looks nice!”)  Things had just reached the point where I had no more room to store these things.  But more than that, it seemed like there was nothing new under the sun, and did I really need ANOTHER holographic, purple-to-teal multi-chrome?  TL;DR: I haven’t bought – or swatched – a new polish in a very long time.

But I am now, with this lovely, lustrous lacquer, OPI’s Infinite Shine 2 in Turn on the Northern Lights! Northern Lights is a beautiful, beautiful polish – a thick, gel-based purple polish shot through with fuchsia-to-green micro shimmer.  This polish positively glows in the sun, but in a subdued sort of way – Northern Lights is no disco ball, although I think its gorgeous, jewel-toned purple hues are perfect for a disco Fall. 😉

Northern Lights Bottle Sun

If Turn on the Northern Lights! is part of any sort of gel system, I have no idea.  I know, I know, bad, bad nail blogger, get your facts straight!  But I applied this polish as you would any other – three coats and one layer of a quick dry topcoat – and it produced one of the longest lasting and most beautiful manicures I’ve had the pleasure of wearing in ages (I remove my manis indecently fast, in part because they begin to chip and show wear quickly.)  But these Northern Lights shone brightly, through three days of wear and two trips down to the highly chlorinated pool!  Impressive.

Like all shimmer-laden polishes, Turn on the Northern Lights! does its best work in the sun, although it also looks beautiful in the shade, where you can really see the little bit of chartreuse pixie dust running along the bottom edge of the bottle.  I wish this effect was more pronounced on the nail (or pronounced at all; I saw no trace of the green shimmer in this polish, not even along the very edges of my nails) but I love the glowing, plum-to-purple effect enough that that’s but a tiny nit to pick.

Northern Lights Bottle Shade

 

Sunny Days: A Little Haul Post

Sunny's Main Photo

I’ve sung the sweetly scented praises of Sunny’s Body Products before – they’re a favourite indie bath and beauty shop, and their cuticle oils are the only product I use on my nails. Seems we’re both low tech AND brand loyal here at Finger Candy HQ!  Then again, Sunny’s has given me no cause to stray – their products agree nicely with my skin, I’ve never received anything less than stellar customer service, and in combination with their absolutely gigantic scent list (over 650 wide-ranging fragrances) securing a new favourite is practically guaranteed.

But with the exception of a limited edition, Fall-themed box of bath and beauty items I bought some years ago, I’d yet to try any of Sunny’s products that weren’t cuticle oils.  So with a hot little discount code burning a hole through the ones and zeroes of my digital wallet, I marched off to Sunny’s aaaannnnnndddddd…promptly bought a dozen mini rollerball cuticle oils!  What can I tell you, you buy what you know. 😉  Also, eight of these are for friends (hence the unsightly hockey tape still snugly securing some of the lids.)

Sunny's Rollerball Lineup

Staying here with me (where I will give them a very good home) are the four rollerballs in the middle, Balsam & Citrus (astringent fir trees and juicy citrus; I’m really looking forward to using this one at Christmas), Poison Pie (an old favourite that smells like blueberries, cinnamon apples and flaky, buttery pastry), Pumpkin Crunch Cake (another oldie-but-goodie that smells like spiced yellow pudding cake) and Vanilla Snowflake (a take-my-money combination of icy peppermint, coconut flakes and sweet sugar cookies.)

The rollerball applicators themselves are lightweight, but sturdy enough you can stand them on their ends without them all toppling over.  Inside, the light combination of almond, jojoba and avocado oils mingle with just the right amount of fragrance oil, creating a skin-nourishing treat that I frequently press into double agent action as an allover fragrance.  As always, though, the best thing about these rollerballs – all of Sunny’s products, actually – are the labels.  I can’t imagine the work that must go into compiling all of these custom orders and then matching up the graphic design to each individual fragrance, but I do know I really appreciate the effort.  Half the fun of opening up a Sunny’s order is guessing what adorable labels will be wrapped around your items. My favourite from this go-round was Poison Pie, and yes, those are martini glasses and mason jars filled with eyeballs. 🙂

Sunny's Poison Pie Rollerball

But I didn’t just stop at the cuticle oils this time, adding a whipped soap and a donut-shaped bar soap to my order as well.  You know, for quality testing purposes!  It simply won’t do to have a control group of nothing but cuticle oils.  Simply won’t.

Sunny's Order Wrapped Donut

Scented with my all time favourite Sunny’s fragrance, Blueberry Cheesecake, both the whipped soap and the donut soap are sublime.  I’ve actually yet to break into the whipped soap (I have quite a backlog of bars to plow through first) although I like the frosting-like consistency of the glycerin-based blend.  And the scent?  Oof, it’s so delicious, and true to both the cuticle oil and the bar soap – the scent thankfully does not change from product to product.

Sunny's Blueberry Whipped Soap

And what of the adorable little donut-shaped bar soap?  About two days from retirement. Plans to go on a round-the-world trip with its wife once it finishes this one. final. JOB! Oh wait, sorry, think I’m getting my bath and beauty and police procedurals all mixed up.  A-gain.  But the soap *is* nearly finished.

Anyhow, if you can consider yourself to be any such thing, I was actually proud of this little donut – perched at the side of the bathroom sink, it lasted for three weeks, sudsed up nicely, moisturized well, remained scent true (and strong, such a rarity in a cold processed soap) and didn’t disintegrate into a soapy, goopy mess as it neared its final days.  Also, Sunny was kind enough to solicit requests for icing colours, so I went with the rainbow sherbet-like hues I use to decorate our apartment.

Sunny's Soap and Towel

So there we have it, another little Sunny’s order to enjoy alone AND share with friends.  I can’t wait until they get their cuticle oils – I’ve no doubt they’re going to love them, maybe enough to seek out some sweet little donuts of their own.  But no matter the recipient, this was another fantastic order from Sunny’s Body Products, and absolutely not my last.

Salted Caramel Yumminess

Salted Caramel Apricot Basket

Whenever I find a scent I really like from Bath & Body Works – a bit of a rarity, but when it happens, it’s usually a love affair for life – I almost hesitate to tell other people about it, lest they run off to the store, smell its fabulousness and then snatch up every single item in the shop that smells like, say, this fantastic new Fall fragrance, Salted Caramel Apricot. But I’m generous like that, and stealth is clearly not my thing – I just told you right in that first sentence there that I love this stuff!  Although I suspect I am not alone – on a field trip today to pick up a few reinforcements (something I never, ever do – I’m a real one-and-done-er) I found just a handful of Salted Caramel Apricot products to the dozens of other Fall releases.  Bit of a bummer, that, especially this early in the season.  Also a drag in that Bath & Body Works is somewhat notorious for discontinuing fan favourites, so Salted Caramel Apricot’s apparent popularity is no assurance that it will stick around. Bottom line: If you find any bath and body products in Salted Caramel Apricot, jump on ’em (particularly if they’re subject to one of those ridiculous “Buy 6, Get 9 Free” deals.)

Salted Caramel Apricot Basket Closeup

So what does Salted Caramel Apricot smell like?  Well, to me, it smells a bit like Bath and Body Works’ stores themselves – that pleasant, unidentifiably yummy bath and beauty shop scent.  Salted Caramel Apricot is a lot more than the sum of its parts, though – it’s a little bit fruity, a little bit warm, and the honey in the products themselves lends the fragrance a mild sort of floral note that I positively love in combination with all of the above.  It actually reminds me quite a bit of a favourite discontinued shampoo, Timotei’s Honey and Chamomile; both share that sort of sweet-fruity-grassy scent profile.

Salted Caramel Apricot Products

The Salted Caramel Apricot fragrance is available only in the body care line; no candles this time around. Sometimes that’s for the best – what works well on your skin does not necessarily translate to wax.  I nabbed a potent sugar scrub, creamy body wash and luscious lotion while the going was good, although I hope to nip back soon for doubles on all of the above, and maybe one of those cute fragrance sprays as well.  Wish me luck, I may have to fight someone for it (I shouldn’t joke; I’ve never seen such a thing myself, but to paraphrase Elton John, Bath and Body Works’ Semi-Annual Sale is Alright for Fighting!)

Shattered Dreams

Shattered Dreams Main Photo

Oof, these busted bath and beauty items are giving me nuthin’ but shattered dreams (shattered dreams!) – unfortunate victims of a sudden drop and a short stop, both. 😦 And yes, I know being crushed all to bits impacts the functioning of this Luxury Lush Pud bath bomb and Unicorn Horn bubble bar not a whit, but for blogging purposes, I always prefer to have these things looking their finest.

But shattered or not, I can’t say really say my dreams with regard to these items were all that grand – I’ve been a bit off Lush as of late.  Or perhaps I was never actually “on” Lush to begin with – I’ve never really cottoned to their scent blends or company aesthetic. Then a string of expensive, dudderiffic bath bombs kind of sealed the deal on my whole informal Lush embargo, at least until I’ve used up the few items I already have in storage.

Which is where this Luxury Lush Pud and Unicorn Horn come in – might as well use up that which is busted all to crap, as no saying I know of goes.  Anyhow, my Pud wasn’t too badly damaged in its swan dive off the counter, so it performed nicely, throwing off first pastel – and then ultra vibrant – swirls of pink, turquoise and yellow bubbles.

Shattered Dreams Pud

And the Unicorn Horn, jaundiced devil that he is (there’s seriously so much yellow in that Horn), provided mounds of creamy, lavender-scented bubbles beneath which to sink.  A very relaxing and daintily-hued bath, broken bits or not.

Shattered Dreams Bath Art

Where the Sand Meets the Sky

MayJune 2017 Collage

With this duo of angry thunderhead and sparkling sand-hued lacquers, Enchanted Polish seems to be going back to nature with its mystery releases for May and June 2017. Thankfully, the au natural look suits them well; much as I love my not-of-a-colour-found-in-nature glitter bombs, there’s something soothingly refined about less artificially-hued shades.  I also can’t overstate the importance of finding a beautiful, unique polish you can wear to work, cocktail night and your grandparents’ anniversary dinner.

I’ve complained a bit in the past about how Enchanted’s mystery polishes don’t always correlate to the months in which they’re released.  Sure, you’ve got the requisite fir-green polish for December and red for February. But you’ve also got a shade best described as “holographic dishwater” for July and an inexplicable – if pretty! – primary blue for May. Back in 2015, the inspiration for these polishes seemed to be all over the place.

But this year’s crop of mystery polishes has so far been an absolute delight.  Inspired by some of Enchanted’s retro best-sellers, the polishes have also corresponded nicely to their month of release, particularly these two stunners, stormy May and sandy June. Let’s take a closer look at both, shall we?

May 2017 Collage

May 2017 reads a tad more blue in these photos than it does in real life, where it’s the same dark and dusky hue as loaded thunderhead clouds above a sandy beach.  The holo in this polish is not hugely pronounced, but no mind, this is one of those ones I actually prefer in the shade – lower lighting brings out its fine silver shimmer. These photos show two coats, and as always, it applied like a dream about smooth, streak-free things.  Never doubt Enchanted’s formulation – it’s across-the-board rock solid.

June 2017 Collage

At the halfway mark of the year we have June 2017, a beautiful sandy holo shot through with fine red shimmer. I think this polish looks like that sand I talked about beneath the thunderheads of May 2017, although it also looks like tanned skin after a day spent out in the sun – bronzed and slightly flushed.  This is another polish that is lovely in the sun, but positively gorgeous in the shade, where you can really see that shimmery pink glow.  An immensely flattering three-coater that’s workplace (and churchplace) appropriate.  A surprise favourite that will undoubtedly see a lot of nail art action.

Holo Package Shot

And because Enchanted’s stunning holographic boxes make my paper product-loving heart sing, or at least begin spouting impromptu slam poetry, I’ve included a shot of one of those, too.  I particularly like the way it appears as though the blue/green haze of the holo rainbow is climbing up the side of the castle in this photograph – let’s give it up for some decent iPhone photography, yes? 😉  Total fluke, I assure you!

Bummer time: Short of finding these mystery releases on, say, Ebay or via some other re-seller, May and June 2017 are one-and-done polishes.  But there’s still six months left in the year, so six more opportunities to nab fantastic polishes like these.  So if you’re interested, sign up for Enchanted’s newsletter here to stay up to date on all new releases.