The first batch of Autumn candles!

EEeeee. I cannot wait for Autumn. I just posted my first round of glittery, iridescent Autumn candles on my site (www.SihayaDesigns.com).

Untitled-1

All of the scents are hand blended, not stock scents. They are:

AUTUMNVALE BAKERY: The most delicious treats in town come from the Autumnvale Bakery, where something tasty is always fresh out of the oven! Today’s specials are cider donuts with maple cream frosting, and pumpkin macarons with spiced vanilla filling! This one will definitely sate your sweet tooth!

AUTUMNVALE CAFE: Everyone knows that the best cuppa around can be found at the Autumnvale Cafe. Chat at the counter while your barista whips you up the perfect pumpkin spice latte, or grab a cozy booth by the bookcase and read a borrowed novel while you sip a cinnamon chai. This delicious brew will make your home smell like your favorite coffee shop in the fall.

AUTUMN ROSE: Reminiscent of the last roses clinging to the vine as the chill of Autumn descends. It is a blend of three roses: one crimson, one golden, and one burgundy velvet. I would describe it as floral, and just a touch woodsy.

PERSEPHONE DESCENDING: This blend honors the Goddess Persephone as she begins her journey to the Underworld, where she will abide with Hades until the coming Spring. The land will bear fruit, then chill, lying fallow until she again rises to warm the soil. This blend features notes of pomegranate, cranberry, and just a touch of dragon’s blood to soften the edges.

EQUINOX: A celebration of Mabon, the second harvest. On the day when light and night are equal, the air is crisp and cool, carrying the scent of ripe red apples from the orchards over the hill. After a day of apple picking, come home to a glass of fresh, sweet cider and relax as the sun goes down. All is in balance.

SAMHAIN DUSK: An atmospheric blend that is a bit hard to describe. I created it to encapsulate the still, potent magic of late Autumn evenings, when the air is brisk, the sun sets early, and the twilight is at its most luminous. It features notes of dry amber, cassia and clove, the smoke of distant bonfires, and the faintest breath of orange peel.

Oh, and, bonus. A limited number of wax tarts!

Tarts1

Solstice Scents Review, Part 2

Solstice Scents, Part 2

Way back in February, I started a Solstice Scents review that I never quite finished. The reason is that I rarely wear perfume at home anymore. My kitty, Nox, has intestinal lymphoma, and one of the side effects of one of his medications is that he goes through cycles where he is VERY sensitive to scent. If he gets overwhelmed by too much scent, it affects his appetite. He started one of those cycles in the middle of my testing, and as Solstice Scents are the absolute strongest and most potent perfume oils I’ve ever tried, I discontinued testing them. He’s doing a lot better, which has allowed me to resume some scent-wearing (and candle-making), so now is as good a time as ever to finish those reviews!

COVERED BRIDGE – The Foxcroft Collection – Woods, Moss, Leaves, Wood Smoke, Dirt, Ozone, Fir Absolute

The opening notes are wet wood, dirt, and smoke. It’s a very very realistic woodlands blend, complete with notes of fresh Autumn air. I expected this to be similar to The Night Watcher, but it’s got a lot less cedar/balsalm/fir going on, and no tart berry note. Overall, I’d call this woodsy and unisex. I like it as a perfume, but it would also be amazing as an atmostpheric spray.

HIDDEN LODGE – Woodland Collection –  Dry Wood Blend, Oud, Woodsmoke, Spices, Castoreum

This, too, is a woody blend, but with the addition of a dry spice. The overall impression I got while it was wet was firewood and cardamom pods. However, after a few minutes, a weird note that I couldn’t place developed. It smelled feral in a bad way– musky and greasy. Like civet but not as dry. I actually checked to see if my cat hadn’t made a mess near me, because it smelled… kind of like when my boycat gets anal gland stank on something. Of the notes listed, the only one I was unfamiliar with was castoreum, so I googled what it smells like. One person described it as smelling like “the business end of a beaver.” Another like urine and cheese. Yep, that’s the culprit alright. YECH. I had to scrub this one off. It was terrible on me.

LIBRARY – The Manor Collection – Leather Bound Books, A Carved Rosewood Mantle, Dying Fireplace Embers, Wood Wainscoting, Cedar Shelving and Aged Paper

Soft brown leather, lignin, and a touch of rosewood. Oh, yeah. This one smells like a cozy library, and a day spent indoors by the fire. I want to slather my Kindle cover in this.

MAPLEWOOD INN –  The Foxcroft Collection – Maple, Woods, Amber, Benzoin, A Roaring Fire & A Hot Cup Of Frothy Vanilla Chai

When initially applied, I smell a woody scent with a strong maple sugar note. As it dries, much of the maple sweetness settles, leaving a smoky fireplace and amber scent. Many of the scents I chose for my samples had similar notes, so it’s unsurprising to me that this one smells similarly to several others I sampled. They all have very similar smoke + woods bases, but with differing top notes. This is cozy and nice.

MONARCH – The Woodland Collection – Rich Red Musk, Fir, Juniper, Cedar, Frankincense, Labdanum, Moss

Red musk, juniper, and frankincense when wet. Red musk, juniper, and frankincense when dry. Something about the way the juniper and the frankincense are combining just isn’t doing it for me– they are merging together to create something that smells like grape incense. It’s not unpleasant, but it’s also just not my cuppa.

SMOKY MOUNTAIN MALLOW – Wood Smoke, Fossilized Amber Resin, Lapsang Souchong CO2, Guaiacwood, Labdanum, Nutmeg EO, Marshmallow

MMMMMMM. Super smoky wood with the faintest hint of marshmallow. The marshmallow comes out more as it dries, but it’s not a sticky-sweet marshmallow, tempered as it is by dry nutmeg. A supremely comforting scent, and one of roasting sweets over an Autumn campfire.

New Hair: A Tale Told in Instagram Pics

I’ve had pink hair for years. Occasionally, I’d put a little purple on the underside, but in the end, the pink always won. Which is fine. Pink looks great on me. But recently, I’d been craving a bit of a change. I know the pink is here to stay– bleach lightens it a little, but it will never come completely out. So I conceived a purple to pink ombre, starting with my roots, which were less suffused with color, and therefore a bit easier to lift.

Step one: the bleachening. I hadn’t used bleach on my hair in years. I really horribly damaged my hair with bleach about six years ago, and the resulting broom atop my head convinced me to use it VERY sparingly in the future. I’m a dirty blond naturally– so in general, when I lighten my hair, I use an ammonia free box blond. This time I used a Manic Panic flash lightning kit on the first 3″ of my roots.

Step 1: The Blondening

Step 1: The Blondening

As a result, my roots were very light blond, and where the pink had been? A lighter pink. My bangs had been thoroughly coated in 40 vol bleach, and they were like, “newp.”

My pink scoffs at bleach.

My pink scoffs at bleach.

Step two was the application of color. I stand by Special Effects, forever and ever amen. I used Pimpin’ Purple on the first 3 inches, and then blended the purple 1/2  and 1/2 with Virgin Rose for the next 3″/ I only put fresh color to my jawline, essentially, since my ends were already a nice pink shade. I wrapped my ends in aluminum foil so they wouldn’t get color on them, and tucked it all up under a shower cap. I let it sit for about four hours.

Step 2: The Purpling

When I washed it out, it was REALLY dark for the first night. But I washed it a second time (to get the rest of the dye off my scalp) and this is how it ended up. Really pretty, huh?

hair2

My camera kept portraying the purple as pink, but with the Perpetua filter, all is fixed. That shot is actually pretty true to life.

And then last night, I got my summer hair cut. I cut my hair on average twice a year. Just enough to even out layers and take off the split ends.  The stylists insisted on playing with my hair, telling me that I was “their own personal Barbie doll.” Which sounds creepy, but was meant affectionately, so.  Mostly I was just chuffed that they were surprised I’d done my own color and were asking ME for coloring tips. Win.

hair1

So that’s the new hair. I like it a lot!

Thermal Gorgeousness: Feelin’ Vampy by Fancy Gloss

I recently got my paws on a polish I’ve been wanting for quite some time: Feelin’ Vampy by Fancy Gloss. I continue to be absolutely in love with thermal polishes, and this one is no exception.

Cool, it’s a deep burgundy red with subtle holo shimmer. Warm, it’s a charcoal grey with the same shimmer. It’s got a sort of creme/jelly feel when painting it on, and it dries semi-matte. I coated it with Seche Vite for shine. You can get away with two coats, but to be honest, go for three for max opacity.

Cold

Cold

I did some accent nail stamping with Essie Rollin’ With The Chromies (not cruelty free!) and a Messy Mansion plate.

Warm

Warm

Warm tips, cold nail

Warm tips, cold nail

Cold tips, warm nail

Cold tips, warm nail

If you have longer nails, you’ll be especially pleased with this one– I found that the tips naturally turned red while my nail beds stayed grey, and it made a gothy French manicure look. Very cool.

And now, magic!

Fancy Gloss - Feelin' Vampy

FOTD featuring Notoriously Morbid Mystic Matte in Sorceress

Yesterday, I decided to do a look and swatches for one of my favorite recent lipsticks, Sorceress by Notoriously Morbid. It’s a deep magenta with a very vivid blue shift. GORGEOUS. I sort of rolled the dice on this one– most matte liquid lipstick formulas don’t play nice with my lips. They tend to dry me out and give me wrinkly old lady lips, or they flake off after an hour. I wore this to dinner on Sunday and had none of those problems. While it’s certainly not emollient or moisturizing, I didn’t feel parched, and I only had to lightly reapply after 3 hours. It is not transfer-proof, so keep that in mind. And a clear liner (I like Urban Decay’s Ozone) will keep it from smudging outside the lipline.

FOTD 7/14/15

FOTD 7/14/15

 

I really liked this look– I rarely do smoky eyes because it generally doesn’t agree with my coloring, but I though it looked nice with this bold lip. My husband even complimented me twice on my eye makeup, so. Success!

Face: A mix of Kat Von D Lock-It foundation and the new Urban Decay Illuminating Naked Skin (review forthcoming).

Cheeks: Rituel de Fille cream blush in Desire (review forthcoming), Darling Girl Cosmetics Lumos Shimmmering Pearls in Celestia as highlight (review forthcoming).

Eyes: Ten Three Labs shadows in Hayden and 7 Hills, Darling Girl Cosmetics Lumos Shimmmering Pearls in Celestia, Darling Girl Cosmetics ChromaGlow in Jupiter Rain (review forthcoming), Urban Decay 24/7 Eyeliner in Asphyxia, BareMinerals Lash Domination mascara (review forthcoming), and Stila liquid liner (NOT cruelty free!). I did my brows with an older Kat Von D brown eyeshadow and set them with a clear Nyx brow gel.

 

Here’s Sorceress by itself:

Notoriously Morbid Mystic Matte in Sorceress

Notoriously Morbid Mystic Matte in Sorceress

When I opened it up, a volcano of lipstick kersploded all over me. Weird pressure bubble or nastygram from the makeup gods? You decide. At any rate, it did come out of my pants, thankfully.

I also thought it looked nearly identical to Ten Three Labs’ Heartbeat Bridge in the tube, so I swatched them. Thankfully, they look nothing alike when worn!

Notoriously Morbid Sorceress Mystic Matte vs Ten Three Labs Heart Beat Bridge

Notoriously Morbid Sorceress Mystic Matte vs Ten Three Labs Heart Beat Bridge

Notoriously Morbid Mystic Matte in Sorceress vs Ten Three Labs Heartbeat Bridge

Notoriously Morbid Mystic Matte in Sorceress vs Ten Three Labs Heartbeat Bridge

If you are on the hunt for gorgeous duochrome lipstuff, DEFINITELY check out Sorceress, even if matte isn’t usually your thing. I was pleasantly surprised!

Notoriously Morbid Sorceress

Notoriously Morbid Sorceress

 

Two Gradient Manis!

Lately, I have been working on my nail game, trying out more challenging sponge gradients. Things I learned:

* Masking fluid is your friend.

* Even with masking fluid, removing the excess polish from your cuticles is not as easy as nail bloggers make it look.

* Cremes are the easiest to do gradients with. Glass fleck shimmers barely work at all.

I have a lot of beautiful Autumn holos & cremes that I’m going to be doing some art with soon, including my first, hopefully not disastrous, shot at a water marble.

Anywho, here are two manis I did this week:

#1 was a really simple mani that looks like two colors, but was in fact three. Ulta Here Comes The Sun (Orange, cruelty free), Revlon African Tea Rose (Pink, not cruelty free*), and Zoya  Keko (Purple, cruelty free). I spent a good half hour cleaning up my cuticles and I still couldn’t get the crusties off, boo. Took a day’s worth of washing my hands to get them off. But I do love how smooth and sunset-y it is.

Untitled-1

#2 used two of the same colors (Keko, African Tea Rose) plus Zoya’s Breezi (blue, cruelty free), to make a Bi Pride flag gradient. I wanted a little extra pop, so I used Essie Rollin’ With The Chromies (silver, not cruelty free*) to stamp silver constellations on my nails. LOVE how it turned out.

IMG_4844 IMG_4849

Still got some blue staining going on, but it’s getting better!

* My plan for non-cruelty free products in my stash is to use them up, and then replace them with cruelty free options. So there will be NCF products used in looks until they’re gone, and I will make a point to note them.

#LoveWins Mani!

I am so so happy to hear that the Supreme Court ruled in favor of marriage equality and love yesterday. A lot of people assume that I am straight because I am married to a man, but as a bisexual, I am thrilled that all members of my community now have the right to marry in every state in the USA!

I haven’t had a ton of time for makeup or polish lately, but I did take an hour yesterday to paint my nails in rainbow hues!

I used: Digital Nails’ I See France (one-coat black creme), a Vivid Lacquer stamping plate, and OPI’s nail tints. I’m a bit sad that I could only get a pastel rainbow with the tints, but after thinning them a little with a few drops of Seche Restore, I was able to get them perfectly blendable! Note: OPI is not cruelty free as I see it: they sell in China which requires mandatory animal testing. As such, I will be replacing these bottles (and adding to my colors) with the Soap Bubbles tint collection by Esmaltes da Kelly!

IMG_4819 IMG_4825

Thumbs up for SCOTUS!

IMG_4824