I absolutely LOVE gift exchanges! Thanks to Reddit, several times a year I get paired up with a stranger, stalk them relentlessly online, and pick out things I think they will love. Lucky for me, I get this in return! I already received some beautiful Shiro products, which I am using all the time, and also received some incredible Darling Girl and Sixteen92 products… as well as a box of AMAZING Canadian surprises!
Let’s take a look-see!
Let’s start with the non-makeup related things first. I learned a very valuable piece of information with this exchange– Canadian candy uses REAL SUGAR. None of that high fructose corn syrup shit.
You better believe all of the Reeses peanut butter cups have been eaten out of this box.
AND WHAT IS THIS. I haven’t ever tried these before, but these are also now gone, because the are maybe the most delicious candy I’ve ever tried. There were also Aero, Reeses Pieces, and Oh Henry’s… the latter of which I have fallen back in love with. I eat low carb day-to-day, so I have been eating just one of these every day for the past several weeks. What am I going to do when they are all gone?!
Have you ever tried this? Bison pemmican?! It is essentially the best, most amazing beef jerky I have ever tasted. I may need to go to Canada simply to get more. I genuinely struggled with sharing it with my husband… but I’m a nice girl and gave him one of the two pieces.
KETCHUP CHIPS?! What is this delicious madness?
My partner knows that I love alcohol of many kinds. This is the cutest whiskey ever.
I also got some Kindereggs, which I was so incredibly excited about that I forgot to take photos. Unfortunately they are now eaten, and my nieces and nephews have appropriated the toys inside, but I squealed like a five year old on Christmas.
Darling Girl Soft Focus Blushes
Darling Girl’s Soft Focus blush formula is terrific, and this is one of my very favorite shades. I have a small sample of it that I have used before, and my partner very kindly got me a full size. I used Don’t Eat The Apple in my 4th of July look , my Dolce Shiro look, and paired with Notoriously Morbid’s MDMA blush in my Anniversary look. You might be able to tell I really like this. Don’t Eat he Apple is a red-toned blush with a strong lavender shift.
I am learning how to use lilac blushes better, and I can’t wait to give this one a go! Angel Face is a cool lilac with a lot of silver shimmer. There is some gold shimmer in there as well, but overall this shade leans really cool for me. It’s particularly terrific when its fully blended out, I think!
Hnng, I love me some orange blushes! This is a light apricot color with gold shimmer. For people looking to start using orange blushes, I think this is a great blush to start with. It’s not TOO intense, but I think will give a really beautiful, warm flush.
I have been SO curious about this shade! Greycious Lilac is exactly what it sounds like– it is a gray lilac, with a slight amount of brown. I’m excited to see how this color functions as a contour shade. On my skin it leans quite a bit more purple. Super gorgeous!
Overall, I find Darling Girl Soft Focus blushes to be highly blendable, and all of the colors are very unique. Many of the colors have interesting shifts, and you’ll be hard pressed to find another blush quite like each of the colors anywhere else.
I am a big OitNB fan, and was ecstatic when I saw Daring Girl came out with a collection for it! Red and Pennsatucky are both eye-safe glitters, designed after two of the best characters on the show. I will say, I didn’t realize until I looked at the swatches that some Pennsatucky got into the Red glitter… oh Pennsatucky, getting into everything. So any silver seen in the Red swatch is a small contamination from the Pennsatucky. These glitters are very dynamic and have a lot of depth to them, and I’m excited to use them in a look!
Sixteen92 Scents and Lotions
I also was absolutely spoiled rotten with this beautiful order from Sixteen92. Sixteen92 opened up this past August, and Claire, the owner, has been receiving rave reviews of her scents… with good reason! I received five of her scents, two samples (one not pictured here, Mexican Hot Chocolate), a mini shower gel, and three mini lotions (one of which is at work, and not pictured here).
Mellifera (Wildflower Honey Accord (not vegan), Violet, Jasmine Sambac, Vanilla Infused Sugar, Sandalwood)- In the vial, Mellifera is a sweet, warm scent. The honey is most obvious to me on cold sniff. Unfortunately once I put it on my skin, I seem to be weirdly anosmic to it and can’t smell almost anything. My husband can, however, smell it, and says that the vanilla comes out more strongly upon application, and that the sandalwood note grounds it. It’s warm and sweet with a touch of incense.
Lolita (Crisp Apple Skins, Tart Peach Candies, Rose Absolute, Sugared Violet)- Lolita is so girly! It’s very sweet and fruity. The apples stand out most strongly with an undertone of peach. The floral notes are crisp and blend well with the apples. I especially love this scent as a shower gel, which has great lather and leaves my skin clean but not dried out. I really like Lolita– especially when it is more seasonally appropriate, I can see it being a perfume I wear most days.
Cloven (A sweet trio of vanilla, fossilized amber resin and balsam prowl beneath a fiery mix of cardamom, cinnamon and clove, finished with a dash of blue chamomile, damascus rose and neroli)- I absolutely love the description of this perfume, and on cold sniff I get the cardamom, amber, and clove. Unfortunately for me, my skin amps up the clove like crazy and it’s almost all I can smell. I wish that I could smell more of what I smell in the vial on my skin, because it is delicious.
Swarm (Honey (not vegan), amber, vanilla absolute, orchid blossoms, Spanish lavender)- It’s something about this honey scent, man! I can smell it in the vial, but once again, applied to my skin I can’t smell it at all. I get more of the orchid and a bit of amber from this. For people who can smell this on their skin, I think they will love it. The Spanish lavender gives it a little more of a clean edge as well.
Southern Gothic (Mandarin Orange, Apple, Coconut Pulp, Southern Magnolia, Jasmine Sambac, Balsam, White Sandalwood)– I’ve read a lot about Southern Gothic before I tried it, but I tried to keep myself neutral when I wore it the first time. The magnolia and jasmine sambac stand out most to me at first– when I first smelled this I hadn’t looked at the notes and the magnolia smelled almost a bit rose-y to me (without actually being rose), but the jasmine was very obvious. What I now think was the coconut pulp gave it just a bit of smooth muskiness. The floral notes were strongest at first, and as they calmed down the sandalwood became more prominent and really grounded it. I used a lot of sandalwood incense in college, and this recalls my dorm room days. Because the floral notes were so strong on my skin I didn’t get a lot of Mandarin Orange and Apple, but I think those blended in with the floral notes and made them a little more punchy. I have only been to the south twice, but this scent really does call to mind both of those visits. I love it and will definitely continue to wear it.
Mexican Hot Chocolate (Dark chocolate, milk chocolate, Mexican vanilla, cinnamon sugar, spicy pink & black pepper, and whipped cream)- I haven’t had a chance to try this scent myself, because when my husband smelled it he stole it immediately. I asked him to describe what he smelled, and he responded with “Obviously dark chocolate, a scent of cactus (prickly pear), coffee, maybe some leather, sugar”. I have no idea what cacti smell or taste like, and he and I are currently engaged in a debate about whether or not it constitutes as food… so I can’t explain that one, but I think the leather and coffee was probably a combination of the peppers and cinnamon. I agree that the dark chocolate REALLY stands out, without the chocolate smelling fake. My skin tends to emphasize sweetness, so I wonder if I would get more of the sugar and whipped cream, whereas my husband’s skin tends to emphasize any amount of smokiness, spiciness, or darker, richer scents like that. This smells amazing on him.
I have not yet had a chance to wear Ex Tenebris Lux, so I won’t comment on it just yet, but will add it into a post in the future.
Sixteen92’s lotions are fantastic! I have dry skin, but hate having lotion residue remaining on my hands for too long after application. These lotions are very moisturizing and absorb quickly. They aren’t sticky at all. The scents are not TOO strong, but linger pleasantly. I received Wicked, Vanille Bergamot, and Caramel Candy Corn.
Wicked (Three vanillas, aged patchouli, marzipan buttercream)- A few seconds after applying, it smells just like a poppyseed almond cake I used to eat when I was a kid. This is definitely the marzipan buttercream. Sometimes almond scents are too much for me, but this is absolutely delicious. Straight after that the patchouli kicks in, and in contrast with the marzipan buttercream it smells like dry, crunchy leaves in the fall. Earthy, and very autumnal. I hope that the marzipan buttercream note will be used in other perfumes, because I am particularly in love with it and would love something delicate and foodie using it (I would die to have an actual poppyseed almond cake perfume). I’ve ordered a sample perfume vial of Wicked because I really like it.
Vanille Bergamot (Warm vanilla and Bergamot)- The bergamot is most obvious in this scent, and smells just like Earl Gray tea… without the tea. This is fine with me, because I haven’t yet found a tea note I really like in perfumes. The vanilla is faint and sweet in the background. Overall it’s a pretty simple scent, not too overpowering, and perfect for a lotion. This one lived in my purse for a solid week before I switched it out with Caramel Candy Corn.
Caramel Candy Corn (Vanilla, honey (vegan-safe), and buttery caramelized sugar)- This is a VERY sweet scent. When I initially used it it was actually too sweet for me, but as I used it more I got used to it. It’s pretty delicious. The caramelization of the sugar note really comes out in this scent.
This is my first experience with Sixteen92 and I am really pleased! Southern Gothic and Lolita were my two favorite scents from the perfume vials. I also really, really love the Wicked and Vanille Bergamot lotions. Mellifera and Swarm are both scents that I would really love if I could smell the honey notes on my skin– for anybody who could smell them (which I think is probably most people) they would be really lovely. I’m impressed with the complexity of the scents and the way they morph as you wear them.
I’m waiting on Rei (aldehydes, ozone, rose oxide, crisp bergamot, yuzu, gardenia, labdanum, vetiver, fossilized amber resin and opium), Black Sugar (Brown Sugar, Red Berries, Caramel, Vanilla, Tonka Bean, Dirt, Cauldron Smoke, Cocao Absolute), Toasted Marshmallow (gooey marshmallows lightly toasted over a campfire), Peppermint Hot Chocolate (Dark chocolate, milk chocolate, whipped cream, and a splash of cool peppermint), and Wicked. I also want to try Rook (Almond, vanilla, amber resin, clove, woodsmoke), but because the clove note in Cloven was so strong with my skin chemistry, I’m a little worried it might be similar with this… maybe sometime I’ll snag a vial of it.
The Darling Girl blushes are SUCH a treat. Super pigmented, super blendable, and I love how each one is so unique. The Black Collection eye glitter is going to be perfect around the holidays when I need a little extra somethin’ something’… or maybe to amp up some winged liner? And I am really pleased with my experiences with Sixteen92, even though I can’t smell some of the notes… I don’t think this is something people should come to expect with Sixteen92, as I have yet to read that anyone else is specifically anosmic to the honey notes. The scents were obviously very well crafted and not anything you could find in a perfume aisle somewhere. I can’t wait to try the new Sixteen92 scents I’ve ordered, knowing how great these ones were!
Special thanks to Brikitty for being such a marvelous partner, I was totally pampered. My box of Canadian treats is slowly dwindling, one piece at a time. Everything was perfect and unique and I’m looking forward to incorporating all of this into looks over the next week, which of course I will be posting!