Month: September 2014

Beauty of Skyrim: The Alchemyst’s Troll Fat Lip Balm Review

So, if you pay any attention to the little Steam widget in my footer, you’ve probably noticed that I play a lot of Skyrim. I first played the game on Xbox 360 when it first released, but after I split with my then-boyfriend (we split up the kids – I mean, we divided up the consoles and I got the PS3 while he kept the 360) I no longer had the game or console. It’s only this year that I ended up buying the game again, this time for PC, mostly because I wanted to see what all the fuss was about regarding mods.

The result? Well, as you can see, I’m pretty much sold. So now one of my favorite ways to relax and unwind is to spent some quality time with my Bosmer archer-sneakthief and her Thieves Guild posse. Or my Thalmor-member high-elf mage that drags Ondolemar all over Skyrim (including pit-stops at her likewise Thalmor-themed loft in Solitude). Or my official lore-breaking playthrough using a half-Daedra race, complete with a gigantic badass scythe and this fully-voiced and awesome Deadpool follower.

Uhm. Carried away? Carried away.

Anyhow, enough about that. I’ll probably make posts about some of my favorite mods (I already compiled a Thief mod bible on a Skyrim subreddit this month, might as well turn it into a bonafide post eventually) soon and then I can ramble more about the actual game, but back on topic…

I first searched for ‘Skyrim’ on Etsy in the hopes that I would find some of those awesome horn candle-holders, and instead I was pleasantly surprised to see way more items that I had imagined: there were people selling Skyrim-themed teas (this Skooma blend is actually my current favorite tea!), candles (not in the cool holders, sadly, but scents inspired by places like Falkreath), some perfume oils, and… lip balms!

If you remember this post, you know that I can get very srs business about my lip balms. I have big, poofy, easily dried-out lips, and fall weather started creeping in already – it’s been in the 40s when I’m out walking my dog in the late evening. Since my lips tend to be really sensitive to the cold and wind during fall and winter, I’m always looking for excellent lip balms to use during the cold months. And what could be better than lip balms inspired by a game that takes place in a cold, snowy landscape like Skyrim?!

My cutie Dunmer, may her corrupted save file rest in peace, would've totally approved.
My cutie Dunmer, may her corrupted save file rest in peace, would’ve totally approved.

The Alchemyst’s “Troll Fat Lip Balms” (so named because troll fat is an actual lootable, usable alchemical ingredient in the game) comes in two flavors:

Black Briar Mead: Honey, Black Cherry, and Cranberry (Ingredients: Coconut oil, beeswax, organic shea butter, organic cocoa butter, jojoba oil, raw honey, vitamin e, cranberry extract, honey & cherry flavors)

Winterhold Ice: Peppermint and Rosemary (Ingredients: Coconut oil, beeswax, organic shea butter, organic cocoa butter, jojoba oil, vitamin e, rosemary, peppermint essence)

I bought both, of course, because what is impulse control?

Hit the read more to see my full review of these babies!

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#30 Tea Cosmetics Memebox Review & Unboxing

A few weeks back, I noted that I had unconsciously purchased a bunch of food/drink-themed Memeboxes… a pattern that also showed up in my most recent haul. Clearly, I am a sucker for foodie cosmetics – whether it’s simply that the product is packaged to look like a cupcake (see this review from one of my favorite bloggers; I was partially hoping it would turn up in this particular Memebox because of the tea connection, lmao) or that the item actually has some type of food or drink in the ingredients… coffee, ale, honey, tea, berries, sugar, whatever! This is my beauty kryptonite, haha.

With all that said, there is probably zero surprise that I was totally pumped when I realized that my Tea Cosmetics Memebox had arrived today!

Here’s the official description of the box:

Teas are natural wonders that have long been touted for their countless health and beauty benefits! This time, Memebox is back with the most powerful beauty benefits of various teas with our Tea Cosmetics Box! We’re bringing you the most natural remedies to address all your skin care concerns!

This Tea Cosmetics Box packs a punch with natural yet potent tea infused cosmetics that work to brighten dark spots, clear pores of impurities and perfect a glowing complexion.

Sure sounds appealing, eh? Let’s find out if the actual box lives up to the hype~

Here’s the classic first look photo – at first glance, this seems like a normal-to-low amount of products for a Memebox, yeah? Looks can be deceiving…!

Blah blah, click the read more if you’re on the main page, blah blah etc.

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Massive Rose Rose Shop & Tester Korea Asian Beauty Haul!

Last month, both Rose Rose Shop and Tester Korea had some decent sales – and TK in particular had the coveted SU:M37 Miracle Rose Cleansing Stick in stock for only $3 markup over retail – so I ended up splurging big time. The boxes arrived within two days of each other, so the end result was a gigantic Asian beauty haul! Between this and my upcoming Memeboxes, I’m pretty much set with buying new skincare stuff for awhile, I think. I also included a lot of sample packs in both orders so that I could try a bunch of new items without breaking the bank (or risking a bunch of dud products), so I’ll have a lot to review in the upcoming months even if I manage to stick to my skincare no-buy plans for the rest of the year!


A few things are missing (like my OST Vitamin C serum, as I’d already opened it and forgot to pull it out of the fridge for pictures) or my Skinfood Trouble Clear Spot Patches as I’d already used up half the box by the time I decided to do this haul post. But you can still see that this was a big batch of beauty! I’m very excited as I managed to get some items that I’d really been ogling for months for really nice prices.

Let’s take a look at all the goodies after the cut!

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My End-of-Summer Bath & Body Works Haul & Thoughts

So last week, Musings of a Muse posted a coupon code that gave free shipping and a ‘Pumpkin Pail’ with almost $80 worth of various pumpkin-themed goodies for $25. Now, just like the rest of the internet, I adore pumpkin anything, so when I saw that they were ALSO having a 50% off all their summer candles and a buy 3small  items for $10 promo…? When you add that to the cash back from eBates, of course I had to jump on the opportunity and do a little hauling.



I mean, how freaking cute is the pumpkin-shaped loofah? And look at all the goodies in the Pumpkin Pail! Totally irresistible. Don’t worry if you can’t see inside the pail so well – I’ll be unpacking it and giving you a better look at everything after the jump.

I actually live in the city where Bath & Body Works is headquartered, so I’ve pretty much grown up with the brand – I remember when Iced Pineapple, Country Apple, and Sun-Kissed Raspberry were basically all you could smell at school, haha. I’ve since aged out of a lot of their scents – too many are too cloying and too sweet which translates as ‘too young’ for me – but I still looove their candles and their body lotion formula, so I do duck in to one of the 10 billion storefronts they have in Columbus every so often to figure out which of their current scents I can handle and wear without feeling like I’m doing tween cosplay.

This time around, however, almost all the scents that I bought were new to me and – since this was an online order – beyond Sweet Cinnamon Pumpkin, I really had no clue if they would be as good as they sounded. I justified it because the coupon code and online sales were so good, plus the fact that I’d pretty much only need to drive 5 minutes in any direction to do a return. Seriously, you guys, we have sooooooooo many B&BW here – some shopping centers even have as many as THREE of their storefronts. We are crazy.

This Bath & Body Works haul includes the aforementioned pumpkin set, a bunch of candles, some body lotions, and multiple body sprays/fragrances. Click the read more for photos and my initial thoughts of every scent!

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August 2014 Glossybox Review & Unboxing + Future Spoilers

Yes. Really. I don’t know what happened, but I only now received my August 2014 GLOSSYBOX this weekend – September 5th, to be precise. It was postmarked August 5th, so I have absolutely no clue why or how a package going from Kentucky to Ohio managed to take longer to get to me than most of my Korean orders!


I seem to be the only one who got their box so staggeringly late, so I’m assuming it has something to do with my local post office – UPS has the local mail man deliver some, but not all, of their parcels, and our the mailman that our neighborhood got a few months back is notoriously bad. He’s been caught several times leaving the ‘sorry we missed you’ message in people’s mailboxes when they were standing in their yard and said hello to him, people have been finding both incoming and outgoing mail just… abandoned in piles in people’s yards (including an outgoing mortgage payment) or on the sidewalk, packages are being marked as delivered full weeks before he actually bothers to truly deliver anything – unfortunately, it seems like if an entire neighborhood constantly filing complaints for three months about him hasn’t given any results, I’m assuming that we’re stuck with him no matter how badly he does his job. I’ve always heard that it’s next to impossible to get even the worst postal worker fired, and given how serious some of his offenses are – particularly the leaving outgoing bills on the sidewalk in piles with other mail and flat-out lying about deliveries – this situation seems to be proving that statement.

If this keeps up, I’ll have to get a PO box or something because I’m losing faith in my postman’s ability to actually guarantee delivery of my parcels. But honestly, I’d probably take it out with the UPS store or something. I’d rather give them money than essentially reward my PO for being so bad by giving them even more money just to receive my mail properly.

Sigh. Okay, okay, rant over – it’s just that this is the second parcel in a week’s time that I was expecting almost a month earlier, and the PO has been absolutely zero help. Our neighborhood has a Facebook group and we’ve been documenting all this nonsense, but it seems like the PO simply doesn’t find it important enough to hire someone who actually does his damned job and doesn’t put the community at risk for theft via leaving all their mail and important documents all over the street. Seriously, how the fuck is that considered good enough to keep a job?!

I just wanted to clarify that this fault does not lie with GLOSSYBOX. They fulfilled their part and mailed it out over a month ago, so I don’t hold them accountable for my local PO’s insistence on employing this irresponsible, dishonest, and lazy idiot masquerading as a mailman.

So anyhow, not like anyone will really care since this unboxing is about a month later than everyone else’s, but here we go – my August 2014 Glossybox review and unboxing!

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Sample Stash Quickie: Etude House Sparkling Tocs All-in-One Gel Review

My Sample Stash Quickie Reviews are pretty much just as they say on the tin – reviews where I try out sample(s) of a product and then give my basic, initial thoughts. They obviously won’t be as in-depth as reviews where I’ve been able to use a product for weeks or even months, which I usually prefer, but my hope is that they will still be helpful to people who are looking for any information and thoughts on the reviewed product.

In July, I bought a few things from rinishop and received a stack of Etude House Sparkling Tocs All-in-One Gel samples along with my order.

Etude House Sparkling Tocs Gel

I did a ton of Googling to try and figure out precisely WHAT this product was supposed to do, and found only about ~2 reviews. It turns out that the gel is meant to be a sort of ‘purifying/clarifying’ treatment that you use in place of your normal skincare for one week each month. Of the two reviews, one was a video that said it worked for her despite being somewhat drying, and another one said that it broke her out and was gross and sticky. So… a 50/50 divide, haha. I decided then that I’d use up all my samples the next time that I had a sort of ‘open spot’ in my trying new skincare schedule (basically, not on my period because I don’t want hormonal breakouts to confuse the results, and not too close to any other new products or reactions because I want to be able to easily tell what results come from which new products).

Last week it was finally time, I was pretty excited because hey – it’s always fun to entertain the possibility of a miracle product, even if realistically you know that it won’t/can’t live up to its promises.

As it turned out, each sample had enough for one application, so I only had enough to use it morning and night for four days. Now I suppose there’s a possibility that some sort of cosmic transformation hits your skin on days 5-7 and I’ve missed out, but I doubt that. So for purists, keep in mind that I didn’t get to test this out for the full week that Etude House recommends.

If you’d like to read the results from my four-day Sparkling Tocs treatment run, read on!

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