July Empties: The Usual Suspects

Early July, I felt that I wasn’t using hardly anything up but suddenly they piled up but as per usual, I let them collect without writing a post. Anyways, I used up so many products to necessitate a second post – especially considering my rambling habits. Today I’m starting with the more usual bodycare, home fragrance items and items stored in the shower and stay tuned for the makeup and skincare items soon.

DSC_0734

 

Bath & Body Works Renew & Refresh 3-Wick Candle ($22.50) | review

I haven’t been burning candles much as of late, given that the weather here has been rather warm but over a month ago I burned this fresh floral and warm jasmine scented candle. As the review indicates, I loved burning this inoffensive mellow scent, especially when I was looking for a bit of calmness. The next time this returning scent comes around I will definitely consider picking the blue candle up again.

Bath & Body Works Bow Ties & Bourbon 3-Wick Candle ($22.50)

The fact that I actually repurchased this masculine-leaning candle before burning through my first three wick of it should be particularly telling in terms of the depth of my obsession with it. As I’ve said before, it has this subtly sweet vanilla scent along with the expected musky sandalwood and woodsy notes. I also quite enjoy that it works during a myriad of seasons and that it burns so flawlessly with a lingering but not overwhelming throw. If it comes back next year – and I hope it will – I will likely purchase a third one.

 

The Body Shop Moringa Body Milk ($13)

I did really enjoy using this lightweight milk body lotion because despite the inclusion of fragrance, it did not seem to irritate my skin and because of the rich hydration it left behind while having that thinner texture. The scent was strong but really nice as well, a unique fresh-leaning floral. I don’t have any plans on purchasing it again any time soon because it wasn’t quite that spectacular.

La Roche-Posay Lipikar Baume AP ($29.99)

Although I haven’t found anything resembling a miracle cure for my eczema, this lightweight but rich niacinamide-enriched cream has come the closest. It annoyingly tingles over irritated or raw skin but using it consistently really does help reduce the severity of my eczema and keep outbreaks to a minimum. The niacinamide definitely helps with barrier repair function that has a close correlation with eczema and it does sink in fast. It may just reduce itchiness over time and I will very likely purchase it again. I do wish it was a little richer in texture though.

 

L’Oreal Sublime Sun Sheer Finish SPF 50 Dry Mist ($17.99)

As I’m sure most of us do, I love the convenience of a spray sunscreen but most of the time I have issues with them irritating my skin with their alcohol content and running out of them far too quickly – in comparison to other sunscreen formulas. I’m pleased to report that I dealt with neither issue with this lightweight alcohol-free mist sunscreen. I particularly enjoyed how it felt soothing and hydrating on contact while having the convenience of the spray design. I’m going to be picking up another soon, as it is my favourite body sunscreen.

Aveeno Eczema Care Body Wash ($13)

As any one who suffers from a skin condition or general skin sensitivity should know, finding a gentle fragrance-free and soap-free body wash can make a world of difference for breaking the cycle of irritation – and this one is my favourite. It works nicely to cleanse even acne-prone areas of the body without irritation and gives a smooth shave to boot. I will definitely be replenishing my stock again soon!

Lush African Paradise Body Conditioner ($40)

This indulgent powdery musk scented body conditioner was a real treat for baths and showers and I did find that it was moisturizing and soothing whilst depositing the gorgeous scent, but in my opinion it’s just far too expensive for what you get. I loved the film that the oil rich formula left on my legs and just how smooth they felt afterwards, along with the ease of an in-shower formula but $40 dollars is too hefty of a price to pay.

 Use up anything lately of note?
Maggie, x.

The Other Favourites

As I promised (a few days before now), I’m getting off my bum and getting started on the list of the less beauty oriented favourites that I was enjoying throughout June – and beyond. It is nearing the end of July after all…

DSC_0707

DSC_0708

Phillipa Gregory “The King’s Curse” ($19.99)

For my birthday on the first of June my mother got me the final novel in the historian’s Plantagenet series and I devoured it, enjoying every single page of it. This has to be my favourite book in the series, which is high praise because its one of my favourite series as of ever. I love how Phillipa Gregory bases her novels on historical events and sticks to the record, only veering when in the realm of creative liberties while creating fascinating and engrossing narratives from a variety of female perspectives. I find that her novels actually inform me of the period with their emphasis on historical context and I like how they create a framework of cause and effect during these different events that the English royalty experienced between The War of the Roses and the Tudor reign.

Nina Garcia “The One Hundred” ($19.99)

For years Project Runway has been one of my guilty pleasure shows so it’s only sensical that my love for Nina Garcia, the harsh but loveable no-nonsense judge, has grown into a particularly strong one. I’ve remained focused on editing my wardrobe and shopping smarter for a month or two now and I picked up this illustrated book, detailing 100 pieces that Nina deems essential to a woman’s wardrobe and why without being disappointed in the slightest. Toledo’s illustrations are a nice touch and I’ve actually found the writing impressive yet helpful.

American Eagle White Destroyed Denim Shorties ($55)

Having gone for so long without buying hardly anything in the clothing department and fluctuating in weight, I was due for a new pair or two of shorts and at the end of May I believe, I picked these mid-rise cutoff style ones up. They are borderline obscenely short but somehow they are short in a flattering way because they aren’t overly tight and do have a bit of a relaxed fit in the legs. I’ve been wearing my white pair many-a-time with just about anything and I do have to say that I enjoy how comfortable they are – along with the fun denim-printed pockets.

Talula Lipinski Sundress ($70 $50)

In expectation of wearing it to my cousin’s early July wedding, I picked up this flattering but slightly more expensive blue printed sundress from Aritzia and while I ended up wearing something else to said wedding, I’ve been loving wearing this easy floaty sundress. It has a comfortable skater kind of silhouette with a flattering nipped-in waist that I enjoy tremendously because mine is certainly not the slimmest in the world, and even moreso it has this lightweight breezy fabric that feels soft and actually holds up in the heat and humidity. Essentially, I’ve been happily grabbing for this short sundress because it is an easy instant outfit and it has the most slimming fit ever. If you’re interested, I would check it out while it’s on sale…

Bath & Body Works Bow Ties & Bourbon 3-Wick Candle ($22.50)

As if I could somehow go a month without including a scented candle in my general favourites post and neglect to mention one in one of these kinds of posts… Well, throughout June this candle addict happily burned this more sophisticated cologne-esque scent whenever I could stand it. It has definitely moved its way up into my absolute favourites — as I did purchase another — because of its more unique and refined vanilla, sandalwood and rich woodsy scent. It’s one of those candles that hits just the right spot for me, with a lingering but not overpowering scent and a candle that reads as seasonless.

Any more random favourites to share?
Maggie, x.

 

 

 

The Bath & Body Works Semi-Annual Sale Purchases

It was a foregone conclusion that I would end up succumbing to the allure of the Bath & Body Works Semi-Annual Sale, given my obsession with their candles and interest in their other products – and limited funds. I’m actually rather impressed that I held out this long, but yesterday I stopped in the store and left with six items that impressively cost me less than forty five dollars – and I do not regret a single one of them.

DSC_0689

DSC_0693

The $3/12 promotion on ‘select body care’ prompted my first foray into the realm of the store’s body care line. As soon as I saw the Bath & Body Works Mahogany Teakwood Fine Fragrance Mist ($3/12 from $15), I knew that I could not resist picking up the relaxing subtly-masculine scent in body spray form. I’m not really a body spray kind of girl but I was willing to make an exception for this warm woody scent. It does smell exactly like the candle in the best way possible. Having severely dry skin, I can always use a nice cream or five so I picked up two products that fit into that category. The first was the uniquely textured Bath & Body Works Sheer Cotton & Lemonade Body Souffle ($3/12 from $15.50) and was the easiest choice because the ingredients were more up my alley, focusing on butters and oils and I love a good thick cream. The scent is really nice too, not sweet in the least and fresh and water-y with a hint of citrus. And I love the soothing cream in the few times that I’ve applied it. I wasn’t sure what to go for to complete the offer but I kind of liked the floral-tinged citrusy scent offering so I picked up the Bath & Body Works Magnolia & Clementine Ultra Shea Body Cream ($3/12 from $14.50) to try. However, I am tempted to perhaps exchange the scent for Sheer Cotton & Lemonade, given that I seem to like it so much…

Obviously, I let myself purchase a few candles given how low my stash is getting and the persuasive discounted prices but surprisingly, two were repurchases – and I’m not exactly one that is decisive and willing to commit in this way. I couldn’t resist picking up another one of the Bath & Body Works Sparkling Limeade Mason-Jar Candle ($5 from $13.50) after enjoying the fresh herbal lime scent so much a little while back and seeing it on for such a good price. I’m about half-way done burning the one that I currently have in my collection and I’m in all kinds of love with the scent so I found myself instantly grabbing the Bath & Body Works 3-Wick Candle in Bow Ties & Bourbon ($11 from $22.50) – after all, the cologne-y and musky scent has that vanilla sweetness that is all kinds of appealing and different. The only new candle that I picked up was the recently released Bath & Body Works 3-Wick Candle in Nantucket Sail ($11 from $22.50) that unsurprisingly fit into the subtly masculine cologne-y candle category – my favourite. Unlike other beloved candle offerings, this one leans much fresher and has that aquatic note along with a faint citrus scent and it does seem different and consequently summer appropriate.

All in all I was pleasantly surprised by the sale. In Canada, their sale prices seemed equal to those in the US, which was exciting and a little surprising and I quite enjoyed how they gave out plenty of coupons for the future along with the deals. My only disappointment was that the coloured glass candle collection was not included in the sale…

Have you picked up anything from the sale?
Maggie, x.

 

Weekly Medley #64/65

In the last few weeks, the two most interesting things that have happened are my constant, steady blogging schedule that I’ve been pleased with and the gorgeous hot, summer weather that we have begun to experience. I accidentally managed to get a tan with only a few hours of hanging out outdoors (reading books and the like), injure myself simply by going out on my first sail of the year, watch ten entire seasons of Grey’s Anatomy and make even more progress on the scented candle burning front…

Recently Updated77While it’s not like I can say that I’ve been pumping out blog posts on a daily basis, I’ve been keeping with a consistent 3-4 posts per week – and that’s without feeling rather blah about the posts. Considering that I’ve actually been having more of a social life than per usual, I’m rather impressed about my consistency. Two posts that I’ve been proud of are my recent candles-only empties post, “Craziness; May Candle Empties”, and the long-in-progress “My Five Favourite Coral Blushes”.

Thankfully, I’ve managed to avoid spending money for the most part, however, I did succumb to the allure of spending money on two skincare products from my local natural store. First things first, I picked up the Aura Cacia Organic Rosehip Oil ($13), as I’m running out of my Caudalie facial oil. I was also intrigued by their selection of Andalou Naturals, a brand that I’ve wanted to try on account of being an affordable natural brand that does not rely on irritating extracts and ‘natural’ alcohol and could not resist picking up the Andalou Naturals Pumpkin Honey Glycolic Mask ($15). I’ve been trialing and enjoying these two products, along with testing my trio of products from Peter Thomas Roth that I will be ready to report on soon. I will say that although I do like the Anti-Aging Cleansing Gel, it is too irritating slash drying for my sensitive dehydrated skin – I’m currently suffering the consequences of overuse of the foaming cleanser.

I’ve gotten into that summer reading thing along with continuing my candle burning thing. There’s nothing like soaking up the sun with a nice book in your hand and as I’ve mentioned before, my candle burning addiction has continued. I’ve burned a good number of candles as of late and I’m now moving onto burning my remaining Bath & Body Works Flannel Mini Candle even though it’s definitely a cooler weather scent; I love it that much.

Any recent thoughts?
Maggie, x.

Craziness; May Candle Empties

Throughout May I was a candle burning machine, somehow managing to burn through five candles – even though I note that I did not begin burning most of these this month (some I’ve been burning since December) and most of them are not even full sized. It seems that my love for the burning of candles necessitates writing up an entire post detailing the candles that I’ve burned to completion all month and I won’t lie, I do feel like a slightly insane person for writing a single and somewhat lengthy post simply reviewing the candles that I have burned within a thirty day period…

DSC_0628

1. Target Be Peaceful Lavender & Eucalyptus Fragranced Soy Candle ($12.49/16.2 ounces)
  • scent description: N/A
  • It might not have burned among optimal burning criteria of the harshest candle critics but it was an addictive calming candle at a great value that performed well, lasting an insane number of hours and delivering a great but not overwhelming throw
  • smells exactly like basis description in title, with relaxing essential oils
  • I would definitely buy again if Target had not pulled out of our country or if I or someone I knew was taking a trip to the US
  • Only critique would be that there was some mild tunneling on account of the large diameter and single wick and thus the candle burned a teensy bit unevenly

DSC_0634

2. Bath & Body Works Brazilian Blue Waters Medium Candle ($12.50/6.3 ounces) | review
  • scent description: “escape to Brazil’s shores with notes of ocean waves, sea foam and dappled sunlight”
  • collection: Spring 2015 “Brazil”
  • It smells almost exactly as one would expect a water-note candle to smell, but the notes kind of go into weird territory with references to seemingly odourless things, more accurately described as a nice fresh watery scent with some clean light floral in the background
  • The scent does not have the most intensity but it delivers an excellent throw, especially for being a single-wick candle that is not offensive in the slightest, burned nicely with the slightest bit of tunneling at end and burned extremely close to bottom of container
  • It’s not one of my top five candle picks but it’s repurchase worthy
  • My experience with this medium candle has been consistent with the others (so this applies to all) so these are an excellent value or way of trying out scents without committing to the larger 3-Wick, often going on promotions for good deals and lasting for at least as long but with perhaps a bit less intensity
3. Bath & Body Works Sparkling Limeade Mason Jar Candle ($12.50/6 ounces)
  • scent description: “shake up a divine new drink with lemongrass, effervescent tonic water and smooth gin”
  • collection: Spring 2015 “White Barn Market”
  • Although the scent description for this candle is spot-on to my experience with the scent, this candle is nowhere near as sweet and strongly lime as its name would suggest and I would qualify the description even further by calling it a herbal/green gin and tonic scent with some slices of lime in it
  • It was a good burn, only the teensiest bit of tunneling and uneven burn towards the very end but I’m not even fussy about these kinds of things
  • This scent is a definite repurchase as it was my favourite spring scent because it matched my tastes and was quintessentially spring

DSC_0629

4. Bath & Body Works Champagne Toast Medium Candle ($12.50/6.3 ounces)
  • scent description: “pop, clink and sparkle with an effervescent blend of champagne, juicy nectarine and black currant”
  • collection: Holiday 2014 “Celebrate and Cheer”
  • I knew that I would like the scent from the description, as it’s a refreshing fizzy muted citrus but I do not get any hint of that black currant, ideal for the holidays
  • The scent can only be described as gorgeous and the throw was impressive, I burned it both on Christmas Eve and Morning and would likely purchase it again but only for the holiday season

DSC_0633

5. Bath & Body Works Amazon Falls Medium Candle ($12.50/6.3 ounces)
  • scent description: “the scent of fresh water, green rainforest fern and a hint of sunlight, inspired by the breathtaking beauty of a lush waterfall in the remote Amazon”
  • collection: Spring 2015 “Brazil”
  • The scent description only includes one thing with an actual scent, the rainforest fern, and unsurprisingly the fresh fern is the dominant note although I think I can smell some ‘water’ note or a fresh floral note in the background
  • This candle neither has the strongest throw or intensity, however, it is a nice and fresh green scent
  • I do not plan on repurchasing but I do recommend it to those that love fresh green scents and not for people that don’t, if it’s worth anything my father described the scent as a musty basement…
Any Candle-y Thoughts?
Maggie, x.

The Wishlist-come-Birthday-Gift-Guide

I would normally say that more than one monthly wishlist post would be excessive on my blog but this May there’s going to sort of be two. My birthday is coming in a little bit over a week – I’m not saying this for attention, in fact I’m not a fan of this kind of attention – and after frequently being asked what I would like, I thought it would be interesting and different to put together a Wishlisty gift guide post, highlighting products that I think would be nice to receive as a gift along with a few that I’m lusting after myself:

Desktop1

• Kevyn Aucoin The Sensual Skin Enhancer ($58): I might have prophetic insight that I will receive a pot of this multitasking concealer and foundation in SX04 for my birthday or I might have ordered it during the VIB Sale and sold it to my parents to gift it to me for my birthday. Regardless, a nice idea for beauty gift are the more expensive cult favourite products like this one that we might find it difficult to invest in for ourselves. This product has only recently become accessible to me in Canada and thanks to
Sephora’s recent acquisition of a few new hard-to-access brands, we now have access to some of these luxurious brands. It also helps that it should actually conceal without problems on my dry patches

•Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush in Incandescent Electra ($41): I’ve raved endless times about my love for these expensive but gorgeous marbled blushes, and I’ve got my eye on the newly released shade – even though I already own far too many corally glowy blushes. This is another one of those indulgent products that are lovely to receive as a gift, especially because they are difficult to buy for ourselves.

•Bourjois Rouge Edition Velvet in 04 Peach Club ($24): When you’re not 100 percent sure of the recipients make up preferences and what to go for, but you want to give a beauty gift, a nice bright lipstick is the way to go – this moderately priced one is my pick. I adore the comfortable formula of this liquid stain and I think orangey peach shade is a nice brightening one that would suit many

•Caudalie Glycolic Peel ($39): I’m partial to receiving beauty related gifts but I think many females would be thrilled to receive one of these extra pampering products that add a nice ritual to the whole skincare routine once or twice a week, and this gentle peel is particularly attractive to me for this purpose. I’m passionate about gentle acidic products and Caudalie as a brand so this brightening and radiance boosting mask-peel so it was kind of an easy choice. I seriously want to try this product.

•Bath & Body Works Medium Candle in Black Teakwood ($12.50): I think that candles are a great gift but depending on how well you know their scent preferences and their level of obsession with candles, it can be better to go with one of the smaller single wick candles because the scent won’t reach as far, won’t be as potentially as offensive and is not the same level of investment. A safe choice is this repackage of the popular refined and relaxing but cologne-y Mahogany Teakwood.

•Bath & Body Works 3-Wick Candle in Black Sands ($22.50): If you’re confident with your choice in candle scents and that your recipient enjoys candles with some strength, I would say to go for one of the classic three wick candles – this ombred-glass number is my current top pick. The packaging is absolutely stunning and the scent is supposedly a mix of aquatic and cologne-y, reminding one of the beach without any of that dreadful coconut. From my own experience, though, I would also recommend Sparking Limeade, Brazilian Blue Waters, Renew & Refresh and Bow Ties & Bourbon.

•’The King’s Curse’ by Phillipa Gregory ($20): I’m a huge lover of books but I think even the less enthusiastic would love to receive a copy of a book such as this one for a present. I would highly recommend any book of Gregory’s Plantagenet series if one has any interest in historical fiction at all – they are relaxing, informative reads that are also highly engaging. I’m eager to read this one, the newest release. Books do make the greatest gifts though, regardless of genre…

 Thoughts?
Maggie, x.

Another Candle Review | Bath & Body Works Renew & Refresh Candle

Another day, another candle review. Don’t worry, this is still a beauty blog and I imagine that it always will be but don’t be completely surprised if there’s an occasional candle related post added to the mix. I may or may not have also become obsessed with reading candle reviews and watching their youtube counterparts as of late and have decided to dip my toes in the endeavour.

DSC_0611DSC_0613Since the beginning of April, I’ve been burning the Bath & Body Works Renew & Refresh 3-Wick Candle ($22.50) and loving the potent but calming fresh scent throughout the transition into Spring and warmer weather – I began using it during the most busy season in university leading into exams and it served me well for boosting productivity and de-stressing relaxing, but it’s also been a fresh but warm scent that I’ve enjoyed even in the warmer weather of May, as I’ve looked for lighter scents but with the same warmth and relaxing feel.

The Packaging

Renew & Refresh is a White Barn Home returning fragrance that comes housed in a lidless slightly sheer medium blue coloured jar with that white label on the front that scents in this signature collection have with matching blue accent. I haven’t had issues with the lack of a lid on any candles but I know some find this to be a great issue because it interferes with storage, throw and the overall strength of the scent – but at any rate, it’s a sophisticating looking blue jar packaging that does not come with a lid, instead being covered with that flimsy dust cover. At the moment the white wicked candle is only available in the 3-Wick size.

Scent Uniqueness & Accuracy

Renew & Refresh is rather accurately associated with the following description: “refresh the scent and ambiance of your home with the blend of jasmine, fresh air and a touch of mint”. It’s a fresh scent with potent jasmine-y warmth and a hint of airiness which might potentially be the mint note, although I’m not entirely certain. As far as these things go, the scent is definitely in tune with its description but it does not suggest that the scent is nearly as fresh based as it is. There are a number of fresh scented candles that Bath & Body Works has offered, but this one is different with its jasmine notes.

Scent Quality

The scent is a subdued one that has an airiness and an air of sophistication to it. However, it’s so fresh that only those who enjoy these kind of scents would enjoy it. As many have noted, it can kind of smell like laundry softener to those that do not like this kind of scent, as others have noted. This is the kind of scent that will not appeal universally but to those who like relaxing scents with fresh notes, this is one that I would recommend checking out.

Overall Burn

I haven’t had too many issues with the burn of Bath & Body Works candles but this one was almost perfect. The only issue to speak of was that it burned slightly unevenly, leaving slight wax remnants on the side and pooling in a slightly uneven way. The candle has burned for a good amount of time – thirty something hours thus far – although the deep pools of wax seem like they are burning rather quickly. There’s minimal soot happening even though I don’t always trim the wicks as often as would be ideal, along with nice high flames and wicks that never shrunk, let alone went out.

Throw

I’m tempted to say that the throw on this candle is absolutely perfect. Although the scent is calming and not the most intense scent, it nicely fills a small to moderately sized room and lingers even a couple of hours following it being extinguished. It lingers and spreads throughout the room without being problematic to those of us who can easily get headaches from heavier scents. My friend, Lauren, and I burned this candle for hours while stressing about our lives together and we both enjoyed the scent tremendously and could smell it throughout without having any problems with feeling sick, despite both being prone to headaches from strong scents.

What’s your favourite scented candle?
Maggie, x.