Friday, November 28, 2014

Playing for the Pixie League

If you follow me on Instragram or Twitter, you've already seen this, but I figured I should do a post anyway, to explain why all the new FOTD posts will have different hair. I did this last week, before my birthday.

I feel reinvented.
Necklace: Olive + Piper

As someone who loves big earrings, I probably should have done this years ago.

Best part? I can let it air dry. I run one of these through my wet hair, style my bangs (comb them in the opposite direction, and then lightly in the direction I wear them), and POOF. Done.
This is the photo I took in to my stylist. Carey Mulligan is adorable.
[source]
I get bored with hair pretty often, and can't be bothered to style it in fun ways, which is why it's been red and is usually short. This is just, you know, short-er. But hair grows back and experimenting with cuts is a lot of fun for me. Thanks to everyone who encouraged me to give it a shot. I love it.

Happy Black Friday to my US readers! Are you shopping? I never brave stores any more, and do my shopping from the comfort of our apartment. With fluffies and food. I don't have a lot of shopping left, so we'll probably just relax today, anyway. Eat leftover stuffing. Yum.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

A Little Bit of Everything: Esqido Mink Lashes Voila and Little Black Lash

[Product was provided by PR for review.]

I reviewed ESQIDO mink lashes Oh So Sweet and Lashlorette in the past, and this time I thought I'd try two from both ends of the false lash spectrum - the more natural looking Little Black Lash, and the more va-va-voom Voila. These are, again, beautifully lush false lashes made from naturally shed mink hairs.
I already trimmed the band of the Voila pair here.
I used clear Duo glue and Sephora's Bulls Eye Lash Applicator (picked up during the VIB sale); I like the clear glue because you can be messier with it - it won't be as obvious. The applicator didn't exactly make magic happen, but I felt better about it because I wasn't wielding scarily pointed tweezers around my eyes. It took a few tries, but I think I'm okay at using it now. In the past, I skipped eyeliner because the lashes add enough drama, but this time, I used eyeliner as a guide for where to put the lash band, and it worked so much better. I would advise it, especially if you have a liquid liner that is thin and won't gunk up the lash band.

The Little Black Lash is nice and simple, but still adds plenty of lushness to eyes. I think it's a little harder to handle because of its sparseness - if you accidentally pull out hairs, it will be noticeable - but if you're careful, it shouldn't be a problem.
Esqido Little Black Lash pair.
Wearing Esqido Little Black Lash. The lip color is Dior Fluid Stick in Vie d'Enfer, which I probably won't wear again, ha. After I apply the lash, I gently curl my own lashes and the false lashes together. Don't put mascara on them! You definitely don't need it, anyway.
The Little Black Lash is the most comfortable, since it's the lightest, and since it's not overly dramatic, I could actually see using this one fairly often, when I just want to amp up a look.
Esqido Voila lash pair.
If you want drama, though, you'll want something on the other end of the scale, like these. Since the Voila lashes are so voluminous, instead of drowning them out with red lips, I wanted to play them up with a glowing, more neutral look, inspired by this.
[source]
Wearing the Voila lash. These are heavier than the Little Black Lash, but not uncomfortable. And they are definitely a statement lash!
ESQIDO mink lashes can be purchased on their site. They can be re-used up to 25 times (remove the glue after each use, don't apply mascara to them or abuse them!)

I think they're quite lovely, and they're perfect for the holiday season. Whether you want to go all the way glam or just want a boost to your lashes, any of the wide range will serve your purpose. I do think that they are softer and less artificial looking (in terms of material) than drugstore lashes that I've worn in the past. Soft and fluttery lashes for days!

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

The Me-Time Tag

[No affiliate links.]

Yes, another tag, because they're fun and I can't seem to focus on anything else right now. I was tagged by the awesome Lindsay. So, let's talk about relaxing. With more hipster-filtered iPhone photos for your enjoyment. And then...let's relax.

1. What do you read or watch during me-time?
I rarely watch things when I'm on my own - S is more of the TV person than I am. As far as reading goes, I work my way through my list! I read a bit of everything. Lately I read Hold me Close, Necromancer and Necromancing the Stone, which were really fun urban fantasies set in Seattle. I also read The Daughter of Smoke and Bone trilogy, and right now I'm on David Mitchell's The Bone Clocks.

2. What do you wear?
It depends. Sometimes I prefer to get dressed in jeans and regular "going out" clothing, because it's a bit more motivating and I feel better when I've got a freshly washed face and have put in my contacts. Other times, I relish glasses, cozy sweats, hoodies and fuzzy socks. And my Gap Kids robe that has stars on it (in the photo below).

3. What are your "me-time" beauty products?
I like to mask! Origins Charcoal Mask and Origins Drink Up are nice and fast - those are the two non-overnight masks that I have around right now. I also like the sheet masks that kind people send to me. Thank you, kind people.

4. Current favorite nail polish?
(Hrm. Is this on here because I'm sposed to spend my relaxing time pampering? Doing my nails doesn't count - I can't eat while I do them). I don't know if I'm totally fixed on anything right now, but Lippmann's Through the Fire is great for the holidays. If you're feeling wild, you can also put a coat of Ruby Red Slippers on top. Perfect.
Lippmann Ruby Red Slippers, Through the Fire.

5. What do you eat or drink during me-time?
All the things.

I'm not even kidding. Everything is fair game. If S. is out of town or something, though, then it gets pretty extreme, as I hate to cook (and can't really manage much); I usually end up eating like a frat boy - cured meats and random pieces of fruit or string cheese or toast, ha.

6. Current favorite candle?
I don't have any right now! I keep meaning to buy one. I have my eye on this NEST one, or this Woodwick. I'd love to indulge in something like this, but can't bring myself to spend that much on candles.

7. Do you ever have outdoor me-time?
Sometimes. Right now it's cold, though, so I'm not even thinking about going outdoors unless I absolutely have to.

8. Would you ever go to see a movie alone?
No, I don't think so. I like movies every now and again, but I'm not a huge buff, and S can be persuaded to see most things if I do have an interest. I'm not against doing things by myself - I'd have meals by myself at restaurants, etc., but movies, nah.

9. Favorite online shop?
Amazon (I spend my life buying dog cookies, I swear), Nordstrom, Jetpens. Knitpicks.

10. Anything to add? Anything else you do during me-time?
I like to knit! I just bought a bunch of yarn at the Knitpicks sale, and I'm excited. I keep track of patterns and a project to-do list on Evernote, and also use Ravelry and a stitch counter app. If any of you are knitters, please. Let's talk knitting.
Warm wool things I've knit for S. I've got a project going right now, but it's not attractive all bunched up on circulars.

I also like to catch up on Tastefully Offensive's Tumblr, and read Awkward Zombie. It's been a while since I've made time to play games (I still want a 3DS, dangnabit), so I don't always get all of the jokes now, but some of them are pretty classic.

All right. Tis the season for coziness and indulgence. Do the tag and let me know!

Friday, November 21, 2014

The Lip Product Addict Tag

I lifted this from The Gloss Menagerie, because it sounded like easy fun, and I did a tag for my birthday last year, too. This is just a casual, for-fun tag, with iPhone photos and cheesy filters. Because sometimes you need to satisfy your inner hipster.

(Here's the original tag. Have I done this before? I thought I did, but I couldn't find it. So. Maybe not.)

1. Favorite balm/lip treatment:
For daytime, Epic Blend's More Moisture in Unflavored. For nights or when my lips are very dry (for example, after wearing a matte lipstick all day), Osmia Organics Honey-Myrrh Lip Repair.

2. Best eye-catching red:
This is a hard one - I like so many reds! Let's say, for high-impact, NARS Pure Matte in Mascate. For something classic, Rouge d'Armani 400. For bold yet elegant, Dior Trafalgar (I did actually buy a full-size, and am not still dabbing at the little card, thank you very much).

3. Best drugstore & best luxury:
Drugstore: Maybelline's Color Elixirs! Lots of shades, slight staining from darker shades, and a not-sticky, glossy formula. I have several. My favorite is Intoxicating Spice - I'm wearing it here.
Luxury: I'm a Dior girl. I like their Rouge Diors and Addicts. And, uh, everything else. Except...(see 5).

4. Best MAC lipstick:
I don't really have any of the "easy to wear" or natural MAC shades, because I don't necessarily find the formula to be my go-to for everyday lipsticks. I like MAC for its interesting shades - usually bold ones - so I pick MAC Lady Danger - #ladiesdanger time!

5. The most disappointing lip product:
The Dior Fluid Stick! It was pretty at first, but as time wore on, it became FAR TOO TACKY. Do not want.

6. Liner - yes or no?
Mostly no. I have a red one, for um, credibility reasons, or something, and I keep a clear one around to help fix lines when I wear a really pigmented lipstick. Or one prone to bleeding. But it's an as necessary kind of thing.

7. Best gloss:
Dior Addict Gloss, hands down.

8. Something extra:
I squee for minis.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Comparison: Lip Hybrid Thingamabobs

[Products were purchased by me, except *, which was a gift from a friend.]

I thought I'd do a comparison post for these "hybrid" things, because there are a lot of them now, but I don't think they're all the same. Case in point, these three:
L-R: Lancôme Lip Lover in Framboise Étoile, Maybelline Color Elixir in Intoxicating Spice, Dior Fluid Stick in Vie d'Enfer*.
Now, I like lipsticks, and I like glosses, so I'm open to hybrids. My favorite glosses are Dior's Addict Glosses, and I also like Shu Uemura's glosses and MAC Cremesheens (only cremesheens, though); I like my glosses to be hydrating and not sticky. Preference for opacity and the presence of sparkle depends on my mood - texture is the deal breaker in every case. Same is true for the lipstick-gloss hybrids featured here.

So let's talk about texture, and the claims of each product.
Lancôme: "Alluring lip color meets the moisturizing effects of a balm in Lancôme’s Lip Lover’s three-in-one formula. The moisturizing base provides up to eight hours of hydration, a smoothing layer supports the reduction of fine lines, and the saturated pigments leave lips with intense color. "
Maybelline: "A trio of concentrates delivers the color of a lipstick, the cushiony care of a balm, and the glass shine of a gloss."
Dior: "A spectacular lip formula that packs the benefits of shiny gloss and pigmented lipstick into one color-rich product. This stunning hybrid imparts high-impact shine with maximum color to offer a new kind of lip color. It’s lightweight in texture, boasts sensational color payout, and delivers long-lasting wear and a no-makeup feel with coverage that is between a gloss and a lipstick.

Basically, they all claim to be balm + lip color + glossy shine. OKAY THEN. 
Sorry, I didn't  have super similar shades across the three formulas.
Nice pigmentation, check. Glossy shine, check (these all lose their spectacular shine after an hour or so, though the color remains, and they never dry down to a matte or satin finish.). But how do they feel? 

The Maybellines are nice; they're thick but slather on nicely. They're comfortable to wear and I actually pull them out quite often. The Lancôme Lip Lover is similar - it's a little thinner and hugs lips a little more (clinging to them in one nice coat), but it remains comfortable, and my lips don't feel dry afterward.

BUT THE DIOR. Vie d'Enfer, for serious.

It's the thinnest and least cushiony as it goes on, and it was tolerable for the first ten minutes or so. Gradually it felt stickier...and stickier...and stickier. Like you went too long without reapplying your gloss. Like you put double-sided tape on your lips and kept smacking them together. Every movement of lips made them stick together and pull apart. ON FIRE. My lips were ON FIRE. I don't know how people are wearing them! And, you can't argue that they stay put - I still managed to get some on my teeth while I was talking to S. 

Verdict: Maybellines are $5-10 and fantastic, along with the color range (some are more sheer, I think, but they are meant to be). The Lancôme Lip Lovers are also good; they don't have as strong a scent as the Maybellines or the Dior Fluid Stick, but at $23, I'd need to love a specific shade to opt for it over the Color Elixir. SKIP THE DIOR ($35!). Unless you really, really love tacky formulas. But honestly, at that price point, it needs to be so much better than it is. 

Sunday, November 9, 2014

An All-In-One Smokey Eye Palette: Marc Jacobs The Parisienne

[Product was purchased by me.]

I didn't exactly rave about my first Marc Jacobs Style Eye-con Palette (The Siren), but as I used it more and more, my opinion improved. So when I saw the new holiday 2014 palette, The Parisienne, with all of its sultry shades, I knew I was probably going to get it. One Sephora F&F sale later, it was here, and I am very pleased.
The palette itself is a dark, sparkling navy blue, not the black of the permanent range palettes. It's sleek and I really like the color stories for the MJ palettes, I have to say.

(Um, I may have also ordered The Enigma. What can I say? I'm having a palette moment, here. Also, it's hard to pass up a good pun in a beauty world that usually takes itself very seriously. Icon, indeed.)
The left two shades are similar, but on lids, Shade 1 is more of a pewter gray without the brightness of Shade 2. Shade 3 is a vibrant, cool silver. Shade 4 is completely matte (hurray!) which makes it excellent for blending out the dark shades; the pigmentation is good, but it's very close to my skintone. Shade 5 is a lighter, pearly white-gold. Shade 6 is an olive brown, more emphasis on the brown, and 7 is a reddish plum with glitter specks. The specks do make it to eyes, but it's not fallout city, surprisingly.

I think the beauty of this palette lays in the middle shade (4)- it's a completely matte nude, with easy pigmentation that makes it perfect for blending out the darker shades. A lot of smokey palettes lack this, I think, but it's a crucial shade. You could also just use 4 & 6 to do a neutral eye (especially over a cream shadow base), so the versatility is nice to see; you could travel with this, especially if it's for a wedding or another event that calls for more dramatic makeup.
Shades 4, 5, 7 over a NARS primer. Blush is Shiseido Camellia and gloss is Maybelline Intoxicating Spice.

I really like that plum shade. Maroon? Whatever. The palette runs cool, but is still very wearable for those of us of a different persuasion.
Shades 4-6 over NARS primer. 6 can be a bit muddy, but I think that's often the case for olive browns. Also, sorry for the color changes. I shoot in front of my window, so natural (mercurial) lighting rules all.


The white shade also helps brighten up smokey looks, and it can be used lightly as a highlight. I like palettes that are all-inclusive, because to me, that's the beauty of a palette. I know others worry about repeat shades, and while I don't want multiple palettes with the same color schemes, I also like having fully functional ones that can be used for travel without having to bring additional items. Personal preference.
Shades 1, 2, 4, 5. I think it's Illamasqua Zygomatic + Tarte Stellar on cheeks, and just Epic Blend More Moisture (Unflavored, of course) on lips.

Overall, I can see myself getting a lot of use out of this one - all the smokey shades, collected in one convenient place! And the quality is nice; the darker shades don't pill up and though over-blending can make them muddy, that can be avoided by patting them nicely into place.
This look is still my favorite (same as the first). I'm going to have to repeat it over and over, haha. I also really love that Maybelline Lip Elixir. Goes with everything!
This one is limited edition, I believe, but so was The Siren, and that one is still available, so it doesn't seem like it will sell out all that quickly. Of course, I could be wrong - their experience with The Siren could have made them make a more limited quantity, this time around. What with the VIB sale and all right now, if you want it, I'd get it now - the 20% off discount makes it $47.50 vs. retail $59, which is always nice.

(Also, could you please like my look at Savvyist? If you do, I mean. It's the Jewel-toned Eyes Challenge! Thank you!)

Ingredients (from the back of the box):
Shade 1: mica, oryza sativa (rice) extract, calcium sodium borosilicate, boron nitride, lauroyl lysine, magnesum myristate, caprylic/capric triglyceride, sodium dehydroacetate, phenoxyethanol, sorbic acid, tin oxide, carmine (CI 75470), silica.
Shade 2: mica, oryza sativa (rice) extract, magnesum myristate, boron nitride, lauroyl lysine, caprylic/capric triglyceride, sodium dehydroacetate, phenoxyethanol, sorbic acid, tin oxide, carmine (CI 75470), silica.
Shade 3: calcium sodium borosilicate, calcium aluminum borosilicate, oryza sativa (rice) extract, mica, silica, boron nitride, lauroyl lysine, magnesium myristate, caprylic/capric triglyceride, sodium dehydroacetate, phenoxyethanol, tin oxide, sorbic acid, stearic acid, carmine (CI 75470).
Shade 4: mica, boron nitride, lauroyl lysine, magnesium myristate, oryza sativa (rice) extract, caprylic/capric triglyceride, sodium dehydroacetate, phenoxyethanol, sorbic acid, silica.
Shade 5: mica, boron nitride, lauroyl lysine, oryza sativa (rice) extract, magnesium myristate, caprylic/capric triglyceride, sodium dehydroacetate, phenoxyethanol, sorbic acid, silica.
Shade 6: mica, oryza sativa (rice) extract, mica, boron nitride, lauroyl lysine, magnesium myristate, caprylic/capric triglyceride, sodium dehydroacetate, phenoxyethanol, sorbic acid, silica.
Shade 7: mica, boron nitride, lauroyl lysine, calcium sodium borosilicate, silica, magnesium myristate, oryza sativa (rice) extract, caprylic/capric triglyceride, sodium dehydroacetate, phenoxyethanol, sorbic acid, tin oxide, carmine (CI 75470).

Saturday, November 8, 2014

The Makeup Addict Tag

I don't really like to think about just how much stuff I have, but the lovely Sharlynn tagged me for this, so here it is. A moment of truth.

1. Which product do you still keep buying more of despite having plenty in your collection?
Um. I think the correct answer would be, "Everything." But since it's too early for wine, let's just say, most of my collection is lipstick. (Speaking of which - Tracy, Liz and I are doing #30daysoflipstick on Instagram - check it out and join us!)



2. What's the one product you can't live without?
Eyeliner. Liquid liner, to be specific. I like having stronger, more defined eyes, and I don't have time to toss around with the pots and gels and brushes and cakes (this should be food, no?) and what have you.
Current favorite liquid liners.
3. Favorite makeup brand?
I have an assortment of many brands, but I guess I have favorites per type of makeup. Eyeshadow, definitely Shiseido. Bases, I like Dior. For blush, MAC Mineralize blushes are my favorite. Lipstick, again Dior or Shu Uemura. Gloss - definitely Dior. 

4. How big is your makeup collection?
Muji 2-drawer + 5 drawer + daily tray big.

5. And how do you store it?
See #4.

6. How many items of makeup have you got in your handbag at the moment?
Blotting papers (Boscia) + whatever lip product I'm wearing that day (if any).

7. If you could raid another blogger's stash, who would it be?
DENISE, hahahahaha. (Girl, you are not getting away without doing this tag). I want to raid an MUA's stash!

8. How long does your usual makeup routine take and how many products do you use?
I've never timed myself, but if it's just the daily thing, probably ten minutes: two types of concealer (or foundation + undereye concealer), brows, eye shadow + liner, blush, highlighter. Spritz with a facial mist, and ta-da!

9. Have you ever bought makeup knowing you wouldn't use it?
No, I'm not a collector. Everything I buy is going on my face.

10. Tag a few other makeup addicts to do this tag!
Lessee. I feel bad tagging people because I don't want to make them feel obligated, so feel free to ignore me, ha! But, just for fun: Monika of Rocaille Writes, Lily of ChloeAsh, Lena of Lenallure, Denise of Circuits of Fever, and Vita of Making Up 4 My Age.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

The Birthday/Holiday Wishlist

Birthday/Holiday Wishlist

I know the Sephora VIB sale starts tomorrow, but everyone else has done brilliant posts and it's dangerous to look at any more makeup. I wanted to do a skincare post, but the photos are bringing me down, dudes. So I am now, instead, procrastinating and talking about the items on my birthday/holiday wishlist. This is the birthday month! And the holidays come tumbling after. I'm trying to think big, in an effort to save up and get some of those bigger items I've been looking after; I've been feeling the quality vs. quantity battle a little bit lately, and this probably reflects those thoughts. I've also been feeling cluttered and want to start replacing things around our home, like furniture (I want a nice big sofa piece, and a new coffee table), as well as new dishes and cookware. One at a time, I know, but that makes my wishlist more focused, and less beauty-oriented, this time around. All the little lipsticks add up, and I want a new couch!

Clockwise from top left (no affiliate links):

1. Tom Ford Tobacco Vanille ($215 for 1.7 oz): every time I go to Nordstrom, I make sure to get a spray card of it. It still smells magically enticing, and I love the dark smokiness that melts into sexy, sultry vanilla. This is the ultimate perfume on my wishlist right now.

2. Sorel Joan of Arctic wedge boots, in Grill/black ($240): I tried these on in Nordstrom when I was in Seattle, and was sold. They're waterproof and they have this cute wedge, but also these grittier details and a sturdy sole. My old Cole Haan waterproof boots finally disintegrated beyond all repair (I wore them basically for six months straight every year in Seattle) and I need a new pair. I've got other knee & ankle boots - and frilly boots and colorful boots - so I like these for their in-between height and nice arch support. Spoilers: S. said I could have them for my birthday. *fistpump* Dry feet are important, y'all.

3. iPad Mini 2/3 ($299/$399): I don't think I need the newest one. Does anyone have an opinion on this? I sometimes just want to browse stuff and don't want to pull out my laptop for this. So. Tablet it is.

4. The Chemistry of Fragrances ($48): It's a chemistry book about perfume. I'm not an organic chemist, but I love reading about this specific kind of chemistry, and I want to have this to look at and read through.

5. Conair Pro Styler Ionic Conditioning Hair Dryer ($21.99): Seriously, I don't know jack rabbits about hair dryers. But, we go to the gym in the early AM, then shower, and then I'm left with wet hair at that point. My hair dries pretty quickly if left to its own devices, but I just want to have something on hand, that I could use sometimes (or never, ha). If you have thoughts about hair dryers, let me know.

6. Tashi Feather earrings ($74): I love Tashi jewelry (and they're from Vancouver, BC!) for their simple, clean designs. Also, I like birds and feathers. And statement earrings. Always earrings.

7. Bobbi Brown Porcelain Pearl ($52): I have been feeling like my highlighters are a bit too, lately, and I wanted something subtle and barely there. I also don't own a finishing powder (well, I have the NARS light-reflecting powder, but I think this is a bit of a different effect) and this one is so pretty to look at!

8. NEST Vanilla Orchid & Almond candle ($34): I don't have many candles or burn them that often, but it's nice to have at least one or two. Right now I just have a small Voluspa Chestnut & Vetiver (courtesy of the grand Liz-Bob), and it's almost reached the end of its beautifully fragrant life. I keep smelling this NEST one every time I see it in store, so I think that means I have to have it. Plus, it's pretty, and I might even try one of those ubiquitous tutorials about cleaning it out afterward to store other things.

Well! If you have thoughts about any of these (as in, it sucks, Larie, don't buy it), please let me know! Or recommendations for a couch set. Or DISHES. Or pans and skillets. Being a grown-up is both hideously depressing and wildly fun, isn't it?

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Sweet Anthem Winter 2014

[All purchased by me, as part of Sweet Anthem's The SA List.]

This is the last set of Sweet Anthem's SA list this year, and it does not disappoint. There have been packaging changes throughout the year, as Meredith listens to customer feedback and adapts accordingly.

The winter release features three fragrances: Agatha, Lenore, and Ulalume.
Image from Sweet Anthem
Agatha: petit grain mandarin, orris, peony, caramel.

Petit Grain Mandarin is extracted from leaves and twigs of mandarin plants; orris is iris root. Agatha is clean and feminine on me - the bright break of peeling into a mandarin, the soapy, petal-soft peony, like crepe, blended into skin with the thinnest layer of light caramel. If you're worried about caramel, don' be - Agatha is not a gourmand, and the caramel here isn't the heavier, vanilla-centric syrup of Prada Candy or the like; it's drizzling the tiniest bit of caramel into a crisp iced tea. Agatha is a little too clean for me, but if you shy away from heavy, indulgent scents in the winter, this is a nice, lightweight option.

Lenore: pineapple, orange blossom, fern, white musk.

Yes, this collection appears to be Poe-themed. The pineapple intrigued, and you can smell it instantly from the vial. On skin, it contributes that sweet roundness that candied or dried pineapple can have, without the tooth-achingly sweet sugary crust. The fern and white musk make a lovely green wreath, kept fresh with the orange blossom, so that it will be eternally green and alive, never fading. (The ties to the poem are obvious here - beauty preserved, never aging - but I didn't want to make this sound dead; the poem is more about the preservation of a beautiful woman's image and celebration of her spirit's ascension, so let's go with that, shall we?). I rather like this one, and it reminds me of Edith, another one of Meredith's creations that I'm quite fond of, but of course the beeswax has been traded in for fern and musk. It's like another color of a favorite sweater - I'll have to think about a bottle.

Ulalume: Black pepper, Ylang Ylang, Gardenia, Dried Leaves.

Ulalume is the darkest of these three sisters, and the one I'm the most divided on. Agatha is not for me, Lenore is, and Ulalume - I'm not quite sure. I'll have to try it some more. It has the cozy spicy blend you might expect of a winter launch scent, coupled with the musty, peppery sweetness of dried leaves. As you might expect, ylang ylang and gardenia are diva notes, but even though you can definitely smell them, they blend in harmoniously, their velvety undersides and spicy qualities amplified by their dalliance with the pepper and spices of the other notes here. I think I like it, I'm not sure I could wear it. It runs a bit sweet as time wears on. However, even if you're not usually a fan of white florals, that shouldn't stop you from trying Ulalume.

Overall, I enjoyed the experience of this set and feel it speaks to the cold nights and darker myths of winter, bypassing the snow and more celebrated aspects. You can find them all at Sweet Anthem.