Bath & Body

Shopping Discoves on Etsy

I think, by now, we have established I LOVE shopping! Now I’m not saying that I love it…I LOVE IT….get me?

Sometimes, a girl such as myself, can get a bit bored with items that stores have. I get a bit burned out seeing the same type of product offered over and over and over in a different format, color, or package.

I love being wow’ed by the next best thing but on a occasion sometimes the wow factor goes out of shopping!

In order to get my daily dose of wow I head over to Etsy to discover new, interesting, unique and generally awesome little goodies that are handmade by masses of different people!

Etsy reminds me of a little market places where tons of friendly people are peddling their wares! The only difference between Etsy and a real market place is this is my computer and I don’t actually get a chance to meet with the talented artists that pawn their goods on Etsy!

I admire and respect many of the artists on Etsy and adore giving them business! I think it takes a special kind of person to create so many interesting items! I call them artists because truly that’s what it boils down too! These people put heart and soul into all their creations! The best thing is you’ll shop, purchase, and end up owning something that’s truly a one of a kind item! What more could a girl want?

Some Etsy Shops that the Muse frequents and recommends:

Mad City Sue Soaps

Plenty of wonderful bits and bobs to keep you happy in the shower and out! Handmade soaps, body scrubs, customized mists and more! I strongly recommend the Italian Cream Cake Foaming Shower Parfait but please try to avoid digging into it with a spoon! After all it is for your body!

Whimsy Hollow
When the Muse wants to a little sparkle, shimmer, and glitter she looks no further than Whimsy Hollow where she can purchase Faerie Glimmer Dust! This gorgeous shimmer comes in a whimsical little jar with the cutest little powder puff. Use it on your eyes, shoulders, body, anywhere you’d love a little sparkle and a bit of honeysuckle fragrance makes it extra special! Whimsy Hollow offers other fine little bits and bobs for sale so check the shop out and see what catches your fancy!

Sobe Botanicals
The Muse loves lip glosses and balms! When she grows a bit tired of her normal stash she heads over to Sobe Botanicals to purchase some of their custom made lip glosses! Sobe allows you to choose the color and the flavor of your balm! It goes on smooth, gives your lips a tiny touch of color, tastes yum, and is cheap as a day old chips! Perfect for those days you don’t want to be too made up! Sobe has other wonderful little makeup minerals and such for sale as well!

Baba Studios

The Muse sometimes likes to step off the well used path onto a new one! When she does she visits Baba Studios to purchase some of their highly sought after bags! She uses them for a variety of storages purposes and sometimes even when she’s out and about! They always cause quite a stir among the vintage lovers in her life and are quite the conversation piece! For a few dollars you too can own a very interesting piece of art work to hang around your wrist or just to hold your tiny treasures in!

GraceEsjavacreations
The Muse absolutely adores spoiling her family and friends! She loves buying them pressies even when their isn’t a holiday or a birthday to celebrate! When she wants to add a special little something to a package for a friend or a family member she enjoys tagging it with one of the Victorian tags she can purchase from GraceEsjavacreations! It gives her gifts that special little touch!

BamaBelle Vintage Boutique
I can’t think of a single thing that the Muse’s likes more than vintage clothing! Oh yes wait I can think of something! Vintage clothing without the hassle of shopping for it yourself! Bamabelle scours the Vintage scene for all the greatest finds you could possibly imagine and all you do is sit back and relax while browsing through an extensive list of her finds! Gosh vintage shopping doesn’t get any easier does it? Note: the Muse loves when Bamabelle locates interesting cute camis and lists them for mere pennies for which she’d paid here in Manhattan!

Louise Black Designs
The Muse is never averse to adding a little goth into her life! She admires all the FRUiTS, Lolitas, and general Harajuku girl styles! When you want a little darkness in your life you can visit Louise Black Designs for an array of wonderful gothic clothings! Gorgeous corsets, blouses, and wonderful vintage pieces will line your closet after shopping here! She’s pretty new but she’s a favorite for me already! Her corsets are absolutely drop dead gorgeous! I’ve purchased two already!

glamourbunny Corsets
The Muse has a lot of wobbly bits that need to be tucked out of the way! When she wants them tucked away and seeks to look glamorous she heads over to the glamourbunny’s closet to purchase corsets and belts and an array of gorgeous handmade clothing! The Muse recommends the Taffeta bow belt for $25! It’s the must have Fall fashion accessory in her humble opinion!

Boudoir Queen
The Muse loves a little flare! When she seeks something with flare she wanders over to Boudoir Queen to purchase it! The Boudoir Doll purses are quite a favorite here! Note: If you’re a lucky petite size you’ll be happy to shop her Living Doll Collection which features some of thee most amazing fashion finds I ever did lay my eyes on! You can pair some of her corsets with a simple pair of jeans for a really amazing look!

As you can see Etsy offers a wide array of wonderful, unusual, unique, and amazing finds! These are just a mere handful of my favorite shops! Head on over, sign up, and begin searching, finding, and adding to your favorite shops! It’s always nice to have a special piece in your closet, shower, or train case that no one else has! Just don’t tell them where you purchased it! A girl has to have some secrets right?

Already an Etsy Member? Tell me your favorite shops!

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Simplifying Your Haircare

Are you not a morning person? Do you find general haircare a pain in the neck? Do you seek to simplify something as mundane as shampooing your hair? Do you travel alot?

If you answered yes to any of the questions above than I have quite a simple solution for you!

Look no further your wish is my command!

A shampoo puck.

Yes, yes I am already hearing you say to yourself, “What’s she on about now?”
Well..occasionally…the Muse is a bit lazy in the morning or just wants to keep things a bit on the simple side so she uses a nifty little shampoo puck to get her locks cleansed, shining, and happy in the shower!

Lush Cosmetics offers several kinds of these multitasking demons!

I generally use shampoo pucks when I’m being a bit lazy but they are also quite a nice little bit to have when you are traveling! Reason being with airline security being so tight these are a simple little treat to stow in your train case without the drama of large bottles! They also double as a bar of soap! Wash your hair and your body with one puck! Cool eh?

You’re probably curious how these work aren’t you? Easy as pie! Wet your hair, swipe the bar across your head a few times, lather, rinse, repeat, and smile! Simple as 1-2-3!

Not only are these easy to use and easy to travel with but they last for ages! If you’re currently being frugal with your money and don’t want to shell out for expensive shampoos this is a good way to go! One puck will last as long as 3-4 months!

If you aren’t happy enough at the idea of a cute little shampoo puck you will be at the fact that they have cute little tins to hold ‘em in too! Excited yet? I knew you would be! And since Lush likes it’s customers so much, if you buy two bars you’ll get a free tin! Yay!

At the moment their are 9 different bars to choose from! I’ve tried most of them so I can give you a brief review of each! As I said above I generally use these when I travel or when I am feeling a bit on the lazy side in the morning! My hair is dry and tangles easily so I can use only some of these without conditioner! You may very well be able to get away with using the puck alone but I can’t with most of them. I’d recommend a good condition afterwards! Lush also offers solid conditioners (I recommend trying Jungle) to compliment it’s solid shampoo bars so that’s something you might like to try as well!

Sadly Lush has discounted a few of my favorite shampoo bars such as Doctor Peppermint! But they have since replaced it with another of my favorites which is called New!

New! smells like red hot candies and feels quite refreshing and tingly when lathering up my hair! I actually use it once a week as a clarifying shampoo to cleanse my hair! It clarifies really well, maybe too well as it does seem to dry my hair out a bit more than I’d like! But it does a great job of making my hair shiny clean!

New! Shampoo Bar

Godiva is a very popular shampoo bar and ends up on the bestseller list quite alot! It’s not not my favorite but I do like it! I can easily use it as a multitasking shampoo bar and don’t need conditioner very much afterwards as the bar is loaded with chunks of cocoa butter which my hair seems to really like thus causing it to behave and remain tangle free! Godiva has the strong scent of jasmines and after one use I guarantee your hair will smell delightfully floral all day long!

Godiva Shampoo Bar
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Lush offers two distinct shampoo bars which are used according to your water! If you’re in an area where your water is soft they present the Soft Shampoo bar and if you live in an area where the water is hard they offer the Hard Shampoo bar. I personally do not like either! They tangle my hair up badly, aren’t the best smelling, and dry my locks out to a straw like texture! These you can pass up in my humble opinion! If you by some chance live in the UK or are traveling there you may want to pick up a Hard Shampoo bar because in cases of harsh water as England’s this works a treat even though I’m not a huge fan of it!

Soft Shampoo Bar

Hard Shampoo Bar

Karma Komba a Shampoo Bar that is most loathed for this girl! To my nose this smells like oranges and dirt! Yes, oranges and dirt. You heard me right. Patchouli is a very hardcore note in this Shampoo Bar so if you enjoy a deep green, herbal scent this be for you! As for me I can’t stand it!

Karma Komba

Soak and Float is a bar for problem scalps! If you suffer from dandruff or oily locks this be the bar for you! The scent is quite overpowering and just terrible. I’ve never actually used this on my hair as I suffer from neither dandruff or oily bits but from what I’ve heard it’s a miracle cure all for a troubled scalp! I guess if you can get pass the scent you’ll be on squeaky clean scalp street with this bar!

Soak and Float Shampoo Bar

Seanick is the type of bar that will give your hair that just out of the ocean look! I’m serious, tis true! If you like the way windblown, full hair looks this be the bar for you! Seanick gives great volume and bounce and it simply makes your hair shine! It has quite a nice scent, like fresh ocean air! This is an overall lovely Shampoo bar that comes with a healthy recommendation!

Seanick

Now Hybrid is a friend of the Muse’s hair! When my hair begins to grow down my back once again (I cut it, shoulder length, not so long ago) this is the bar I reach for! If you have long hair you realize how much weight that is and how it feels so heavy on your back and product just seems to stay “glued” in it! Hybrid makes your long locks feel airy and light, it clarifies and cleans too! It has a strong smell of black licorice that’s quite appealing to my little nose! And best of all I don’t have to worry overmuch about conditioning afterwards because my hair behaves very well after a lather up with Hybrid!

Hybrid Shampoo Bar

The Ultimate Shine promises shine, bounce and condition. It does none of the above. It smells quite strong of Ylang Ylang which makes my nose wrinkle up in dismay! It tangles my hair awfully and causes generally havoc with my locks! This one I’d avoid at all costs!

Ultimate Shine Shampoo bar

Remember prior to putting your puck in your tin, dry it out fully otherwise you’ll end up with a mushy shampoo bar when next you use it!

Shampoo Tin

These are great little multitasking tools when traveling abroad or just for those really quick Monday morning showers!

The Muse likes to simplify life sometimes and these shampoo bars help that along! And if you happen to be a guy these might just be an offering from the Gods (Think we didn’t know you’ve been washing your hair with a bar of soap? We girls know everything! Now you can use a bar of soap to wash your hair and guilt free too!)

Some of my Shampoo Bars
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Touches of Fall

As I sit here and type this I can hear the crickets outside my bedroom window. This can sadly mean one thing, Summer is soon coming to an end.

I always get kinda melancholy when the season changes and a new one begins. It’s almost as if I am saying goodbye to friend that I won’t see for an entire year!

The good news is that soon the weather will get cooler, the leaves will start to fall from the trees, and the nights will become longer. All this adds up to the upcoming holiday that I may very much like more than Christmas. Some of you may guess what Holiday I am speaking of but some of you may well not be familiar with it in your part of the world. Halloween icon smile

Halloween holds a spot near and dear to my heart not only because it’s my birthday but because it’s just a generally awesome Holiday! I love everything about it! Candy, costumes, nutty (like me) caramel apples, kids….!

I think one of the best things about Halloween is when the beauty industry takes a step into it and store shelves not only line up with candy and decorations but Halloween themed bath goodies, perfumes, and an assortment of bits that any girl will love!

I’m particularly partial to heading into Bath and Body Works when they start loading their shelves with body lotions, shower gels, and body sprays in an array of funky Halloween blends like Spicy Pumpkin, Apple, etc….! I’m quite curious what they’ll be introducing in the Temptations line for Halloween/Fall!

Many smaller shops online take part in the festivities of Halloween and theme many products for the Holiday!

One particular shop that I know and love dedicates an entire line of perfume oil to the Halloween holiday!

Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab or BPAL to it’s diseased, addicted fans (Hey I can call them diseased because I’m one of the club with a gold membership card!) releases anywhere from 10 to 15 limited edition perfume oils every year for Halloween! This is truly an eagerly anticipated event for fans everywhere!

If you aren’t familiar with the Lab let me give you a very brief introduction to it.

The Lab started out as a very small operation that sprung up into a pretty huge full time online shop! It’s immensely popular and has an order wait time of 20-45 days!!!!!!!!!!! They sell 5ML bottles of highly concentrated perfume oil in a variety of scents. Perfume Oil is very potent and strong, a dab will last all day and into the evening too! 5ML seems small but it will last you a long time since you’ll be applying so sparely. The Lab, sadly, isn’t particularly a great place for people like me. Reason being is because they lack fruity, food, and sweet blends. A majority of the catalog are earthy, herbal, dark blends which I can’t stand. These have a huge cult following and many girls absolutely love them. Personally they aren’t for me. The good news is that if you dig deep enough you’ll find quite a few gems in the catalog! They release limited edition scents quite often and with every new moon they release a fragrance dedicated to that particular moon! I find that the limited edition scents are where the real treasures lay! They do Halloweenies during the Fall and Yule blends during the winter and Christmas Holiday! They also have themes for Valentine’s Day but those are normally too dark for me! They even went so far as to release some very silly Paris Hilton in Jail themed oils! Now if you are weary and just want to try they offer what they call “imps” of catalog blends. Imps are tiny vials of oil for you to test and see if you’d love a larger bottle! 6 are $19.50 plus shipping! They also include imps with any full size bottle purchase as an extra little gift for purchasing!

Well that’s a bit of background info on the lab….

Mostly I’m excited because shortly towards the middle or end of the month (Depending on Beth’s, the owner, schedule) the Halloweenies will pop up and be available for purchase!

Each year I really get excited to see which blends will make a come back from the year before and which new blends will be available! If you LOVE Halloween as much as I do you’re in for a real treat if you do decide to order from the Lab! The past few years I’ve collected many a fantastic perfume oil! Spicy Pumpkin, Candy scents, and so many other interesting bits and bobs have popped up! I’m especially a huge fan of the Pumpkin Patch oils which are released in a set of 5 and consist of 5 different blends of pumpkin mixed with different notes such as cocoa, pomegranate, and more!

These are actually a good investment. Sounds weird doesn’t it? Perfume Oil an investment. But actually they are. Bottles have ranged, over the course of a few years, from $14 to $17.50 and $20-22 for Limited Edition. Now if you hang onto a particular blend long enough you can fetch triple or more your money back! Not that I’d sell ANY of my rare blends EVER but it’s an interesting little fact of information to share! I’ve seen bottles of Pumpkin King go for $300 on E-bay! I’ve also seen many bottles from the Carnival Series go for $90-$120! I’ve even heard rumors of unreleased blends going for $500!!!!!!!

Occasionally with the Limited Edition blends the Lab’s Trading Post shop will release special oils that are a bit more costly! Last year they released 4 blends entitled Trick or Treat. It consisted of 4 oils, 2 Trick and 2 Treat. In order to get the oils you had to plea your case of which you wanted and why! It was all in good fun and made your purchase interesting and fun icon smile I got all 4 of the bottles! They cost $50 each and came with a cute little T-Shirt! The oils are well up in price now on E-bay but I refuse to part with them icon wink

Soon the new blends will be released and again the yearning for a new scent will fall upon me and others like me!

If you’ve never purchased from the Lab before now is a good time as any to start checking it out and see which Halloween blends will pop up that you might be interested in!

If you need any help deciding on a particular scent do let me know as I’ve tried plenty!!!!

Happy Shopping!

I leave you with some pictures from my collection!

Trick or Treat Oil Blends from Halloween 2006
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Pumpkin Patch Oil Blends from Halloween 2005
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A few of the Halloweenies from Halloween 2006
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A few Halloweenies from Halloween 2005 (As you can Sugar Skull is in both this picture and the one above! Sometimes oils get a reprieve and make a reappearance from year to year! I always buy the reruns because the blend is sometimes slightly different from the year before and it’s delightful to pick apart how they differ from year to year!)
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Agent Provocateur Wants You To Strip!

Agent Provocateur has updated it’s website with it’s newest fragrance Strip! Yours truly couldn’t wait to get my greedy, sweaty hands all over it so I’ve gone and ordered a bottle!

Here’s the blurb from the website:


Agent Provocateur Strip has an evocative soul accord made up of exotic Ylang Ylang, Iris Bud and Geranium Bourbon. This is embraced with the heat of Hot Amber oils, Vetivert from Haiti, precious Exotic Woods and musks that react to your body temperature and exudes from your skin to release the sexual attractant within.

Now I guess I really need this because obviously, as advertised, it’s going to release my sexual attractant within! If anyone knows me you know that sexy and myself don’t actually fit into the same sentence! This fragrance is not only promising to make me smell sexy but also release my special inner sexy minx scent that will have everyone just positively wanting me! How about that for multitasking folks! (I wonder if they make an Eau De Dorky, that would probably work better on me)

In all seriousness I was disappointed by Maîtresse so I’m slightly weary of Strip but we shall see! I was so psyched about Maîtresse release I had purchased two and was utterly devastated it didn’t work with my body chemistry! The good news is the second bottle is going to a good home with my boyfriend’s mum who I am hopeful will love it more than I did! I guess with all the hype surrounding the original AP I was looking forward to it’s sister with much excitement only to have my giddy pleasure dashed upon spraying it on me!

So…here’s to hoping Strip is gorgeous! If not…E-bay anyone?

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Customizing Your Haircare

The sense of scent is a unusual and unique mystery! Different scents are appealing to different people. Some people find the smell of a baking pie very comforting, some enjoy the sweet scent of a ripe peach, others enjoy the smell of wet glass after a rainfall. The good news about your choice of scent is that you can have it and customize it to suit your haircare! Yes, indeed, I did say haircare! The internet offers wonderful shopping options and some very posh brands of haircare are available, believe me I know, as I’ve tried them all! But for the last few years I’ve turned to smaller companies that create a wonderful utopia of haircare products that suit my need for not only a good volumizing shampoo and a deep quenching condition but also a sweet smelling one or a foody scented one!

I’ve come across some wonderful small shops that offer wonderful customization for shampoos, conditioners, hair sprays, hair gels, hair refreshers, and more! These small shops offer a wide range of scents that will suit any need! Scents range from fresh baked goods like cookies, cakes, and cupcakes, different fruits, and of course wonderful sweet scents to ease your need for sugar!

I guess some people would wonder why I have a need to smell like a cupcake or a peach but hey that’s another mystery that’s unique…it all comes down to being a girl!

Some scents I’ve come across in haircare that I’ve tried, fallen in love with, and stash in my washroom would be the following:

Bunny Hugs-A dreamy and creamy blend of sliced fruit, with oranges, marshmallows and whipped cream.

Cherry Cupcakes-Sweet, frosted vanilla & cherry cupcakes with light notes of almond & toasted coconut.

Island Girl-A cocktail inspired fragrance blending of lemon and lime with cherry and pineapple.

Violet Fairy Cakes-These little vanilla frosted, violet topped petit four cakes are perfect for a fairy tea party.

White Cake-Scrumptious white cake with sweet almond notes!

Banana Split Cupcakes-Chocolate banana cupcakes topped with strawberry cream and a cherry!

Sweetheart Cake-Fluffy mini cream puffs stuffed with a soft strawberry buttercream with a scoop of vanilla ice cream!

Pretty in Paris-Sweet summer strawberries, oodles of marshmallow cream frosting, cotton candy and vanilla cream makes this one sweet treat.

These are just some of the scents that line my bathroom cabinets. The companies I shop from offer a wide range of scents to suit every need, truly when I said wide range I mean it! Scent lists available from most sites go from 100-500 blends or more! Some companies are even willing to blend a custom scent to suit your needs if you happen to not locate one from the huge list they already have!

I find that many of the haircare products linger very long in my hair and give off an amazing throw which means I am constantly asked, “Wow what is that wonderful smell”…! I always love to smell sweet and gorgeous I guess it comes with the girl territory and when someone remarks on how wonderful my hair smells I just glow and feel very tickled they noticed!

These companies offer a wide range of items that can be customized but this blog entry is solely dedicated to the haircare line of items!

Some shops to check out:

Cherriflip An absolute favorite of mine hands down! Wonderful Shampoos, Conditioners, and Other great haircare products! Truly Uniquely blended scents available that cannot be located anywhere else! Cherriflip currently has a sale going on, 20% off your entire order! Take advantage of this great deal!

Skindazzles Another favorite and the home of my very favorite, signature scent, Bunny Hugs! Skindazzles has 10% off select items at the moment!


Make Me Smooth
A wide range of different haircare needs with tons of scents to choose from! Ongoing sales change week to week!

The Little Shop of Beauty Little Shop of Beauty is one of the few shops that offers hair gels and hair sprays in custom scents! Free Deluxe Samples with orders!

These are just some of the dozens of shops that offer customized haircare! Have a search and you’ll find a million more!

If you aren’t familiar with these forms of shops please keep in mind prior to ordering that they make your order upon your submitting it! This means that certain items do take a longer wait time! Some companies have wait times up to one month while others get products out faster! Basically your items are not sitting on a shelf and placed in a box for shipment, they are freshly made and then shipped to you! They are immensely popular as well which causes the wait time to go up accordingly, especially around the Holidays! Prices are affordable but some companies are Canadian which means costly shipping options! On the plus side some companies do run specials with 10%-20% off orders!

Personally I love the option of clicking on a bottle of Shampoo and asking for it in any one of 500 scents! Many of these small shops revolve the scent lists as the seasons change and the holidays come up! I love smelling like sweet, juicy fruits in the summer and gorgeous pies, cakes, and cupcakes in the winter! I like the scent of cool mints or warm cakes and baked goods in my hair during Christmas and possibly the smell of caramel apple or candy corn during Halloween! If that isn’t customized haircare I don’t know what is!

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Some of the many haircare products that overflow from my washroom cabinets!

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