Darling Clandestine; Maudlin & Bedlam

The given notes are: dark, warm honey and herbals and wood frosted unsettlingly with weeping green leaves.

Random digression: clandestine is one of my most favourite words, it evokes this sense of secrecy and things kept in the dark because of spooky reasons. And it feels as though Clandestine could totally work as a name, you know, like Constantine. Okay, I’m not making any sense here. Let’s just go on to the review, right-o.

Maudlin & Bedlam, I must admit, I was first drawn in by the name. It sounds so… contradictory? I mean, maudlin has the idea of this quiet drunken morose-ness, whereas bedlam simply means an uproar and confusion, which would be chaotic and noisy. It’s a jarring sort of juxtaposition, in my opinion.

Evonne writes fantastic descriptions for her perfumes, not the mere depiction of the notes that can be found in her blended creations, but rather like a true artisan, she sets the scene first, evoking emotions and memories through her words and then through her scents.

From the description: You and I, my love, we’re mercurial in tandem. Miles apart, we go missing together, outlandishly missing with each whiskey sunset, to reappear like the dew, like the frost. Every so often I dream of spacecraft, of a nautilus in a jar, and every so often your face floats past the portholes, your breath icing the glass. We’re instrumented like clockwork. We’re fused like honeycomb. We’re etched like steel, and when I move, I move you. You whisper down alleys, and you are the stone where I stumble. Still I sing bonny boys, and I am the static charge before the wind cuts through you. You have words for me. Send them to me. Send them to me on the dusk.

Isn’t the description just poetical and beautiful? It’s like a… sad love story that speak volumes through a few sentences, where you get to fill in the blanks yourself.

On the skin, it opens up warmly, almost spicy, which makes you wonder for a moment, why? But then you realise that the spiciness is actually from the herbals and the leaves. There’s this freshness to it, perhaps a hint of mint? But it’s tempered and evened out with the sweetness of honey, so it becomes smoother and less medicinal.

It’s not one of those bright fruity scents that people seem to wear on the streets, seriously I think so many girls wear similar scents/deodorants, because I recognize them after smelling them on so many different people! Maudlin & Bedlam lives up to its name, it’s dark and mysterious and definitely could work fantastically as a unisex scent, as Evonne states.


Black Friday

Black Friday, for those living under rocks, is the day after American Thanksgiving, where things go on sale for dirt cheap, and people go cray-cray over buying the things they normally would look twice at just because ‘omg, it’s 99.9999% off and idk what it is for, but man, it’s a fantastic deal so I’ll buy it and then worry later’.

Of course, we don’t have this custom here, which is frankly very comforting, because there would be so much bloodshed from all the cheapo aunties desperate for a good bargain.

Since I’m a broke bum, I definitely took advantage of this day and bought all the things. I went on a no-buy prior to this to prepare myself and my bank account for the dawning of the day and then basically splurged the hell out, after camping on the laptop to check for midnight in the US. t don’t think I went overboard with the spending at the moment, but one only knows when the credit card bill arrives.

So yeah, be prepared for all the ‘hauls’ posts.
Things that I bought:
– Nail Potions: nail polishes
– Shiro Cosmetics: makeup samples
– Alchimia Apothecary: perfume samples
– JCP & Josh Lanyon: ebooks
– Madd Style Cosmetics: eyeshadows
– One Hand Washes the Other: perfumes
I guess I will be staying in and eating cup noodles for the rest of the year… the lunar calendar, uh, okay, I have no idea when exactly the Lunar New Year will be (which is a fact easily remedied by Google, but I’m lazy.)

Obviously I do all my shopping online, like a typical kid who knows the convenience of the internet and has problems speaking to people coherently. (I actually did when I was way younger… where I had problems ordering food from people without getting stuck. But then I got over it, otherwise I would have died of hunger or something already.)

Pimp Post: Dragon Age 2

I mentioned the other day that I was replaying DA2, and I thought, ‘hey, why not make a proper pimp post or something?’ Thus this came about.

The Dragon Age games take place in a fictitious world, and most of the events are set in the continent known as Thedas. The first game, Dragon Age: Origins is set in Fereldan, where you play as a Grey Warden, and you’re tasked with the heavy duty of killing an Archdemon and stopping darkspawn from taking over the lands. So basically, it’s a ‘save the world’ plot with swords and magic.

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Solstice Scents; Cenobite

A Deep & Rich Vanilla for Vanilla Lovers

Description from the website: A deep vanilla bean which has a slight boozy liqueur note on application mixed with a pile of fresh vanilla beans and a sultry, smooth, rich and creamy French vanilla. Lovely for layering. This is not a sweet frosting/sugary/buttery vanilla, it is a sophisticated, pure and deeper vanilla bean scent.

Call me a vanilla person, I won’t even be offended. I like the flavour and the scent, and I definitely like it as a note in my perfumes, and there is physical evidence as well: I have nearly 50 perfumes containing vanilla as a main note. Does that make me a boring conventional person? Maybe, but perhaps rather than the one-dimensional foodie and plain note that we seem to think vanilla is, the sort of vanilla that I go for tends to be blended with a strong boozy note, which makes it less sweet and ‘safe’, but rather more grown-up.

Remember the other time where I talked about a vanilla perfume? It was Poison Apple Apothecary’s Lady Victoria which had jasmine blended with vanilla with a hint of musk. That was an elegant lady-like perfume. Now compare that with Solstice Scents’ Cenobite, big realm of difference, this one may be comforting and warm, but it leans more towards going out to town with a boy you hope will sit close enough to smell this on you, rather than prim and proper-ness.

The scent remains stable throughout, in the sense that it opens as a gourmand vanilla with a shot of liqueur and it doesn’t morph beyond that. It remains creamy and sweet, but not overwhelmingly so.

The best thing about this is definitely the longevity. It may not have an amazing sillage, though honestly, it’s fairly decent, as compared to other scents, but it lasts freaking forever. As far, it has been 8 hours and counting, I can tell you, and do you know how awesome that is?

So yeah, I need to get a full-sized bottle sooner or later. Though for now, my little vial of sample will be sufficient, since I have so many other things to work through.

Roundup Post of Shame

Wow, it has been quite a time since my last update, and the thing is, I don’t even know where the time went to! I mean, what the hell have I been doing, man. *shakes head sadly*

So after much waiting here and there, I have finally gotten around to watching Thor: The Dark World. Here’s a brief rundown of the things that ran through my mind: I really quite liked the soundtrack, although it sounded quite generic, but still, it fit really well to the scenes in the movie. All the squees for Loki, even though I’m not one of those crazy fangirls that go wild at the sight of Tom Hiddleston, mainly because I have more dignity than love, I guess. Also, I’m no scientist, but Jane Foster seems like a terrible scientist. I just want to know, have they even seen a scientist in their natural habitat? Definitely nothing like Jane, okay. Darcy and gang, were a tad annoying and extra, but oh well, Kat Dennings is pretty. And speaking of prettiness, Jaimie Alexander is effing gorgeous and goddamn, those eyebrows and those features… *fans self* The plot was kind of cliche and shit, but still Christopher Eccleston, it has been too long, my good man. He was my first and favourite Doctor :D, even though I’m really fond of them all. The end also made me a little saaaad because it’s obviously the point of no return for the relationship between Thor and Loki, especially after Loki’s treacherous action. And lastly, very unsure of the extra clip at the end of the credits.

Nano isn’t going well, mainly because I’m a terrible terrible person who tends to procrastinate too much. Yeah, I’m procrastinating on everything, even on things that I enjoy. Like seriously, I just can’t bring myself to get around finishing up with the backlog of Supernatural and Doctor Who episodes, and I seriously can’t get myself to sit down and type up a few thousand words or even muster up the patience to write a couple of posts. What is wrong with me, and I can’t even blame it on the astro either, because apparently the moon has been in virgo, which is actually supposed to be pretty awesome for the work ethic, and you know the hilarious thing? I have it in my natal chart, which means I should be doubly motivated, instead, what am I doing? Hanging around libraries, reading random books and drinking afternoon tea, losing hours on imgur and being broke. Wow. My life. I’m such a grown-up. Thank god I don’t have pets, eh. I’d probably forget to feed them/take them for walks or something.

Oh yeah, I lost a couple of days when I finally finished my third playthrough of Dragon Age 2. I’m crazy, I know, but I was in a stroppy kind of mood and you know, listening to Fenris or rather, his voice actor Gideon Emery, being all swoon worthy works magic on me. Seriously, I like listening to cheesy lines *facepalm* Friends, who read this blog and know me in real life, feel free to disown me. I give you permission. So yeah, that’s why I haven’t really been around when it comes to social media and the such, too busy flirting with a fictitious broody elf. Story of my life, you guys. Hell, if I was Japanese, I’d probably be addicted to those lame simulation games for pathetic girls with no real love life. Aaaaand that’s probably me over-sharing. Why do I do that, why. But yeah, I mean, I could edit this out, but I’m kinda doing it stream of conscious style, which is such a diplomatic way of saying verbal diarrhea, thanks, modernism, you’re probably the best thing from the genre/time period/thing. Yeah, I can’t believe I majored in literature. And well, the whole point of me being on all forms of social media is that I aim to entertain by being self-deprecating and hopefully funny, because if it isn’t, you got to tell me, and well, I’ll know that being a stand-up comedian will never be on my list of possible jobs. Although I doubt I’ll even have the guts to stand on stage and deliver wisecracks. Plus, I’m actually not that funny. *sigh*

Also, despite the fact that it is only November, and if I was living in the US, I’d be excitedly preparing for Thanksgiving, but I’m not, duh, I’m actually looking forward to Christmas and buying presents for people. I mean, I’m not a fantastic gift-giver, like, I probably wouldn’t get you a gift that makes you go ‘omfg, I wanted this for years, you’re amazing and awesome and the bees knees (whatever the fuck that is)’, I like to think that I am good at giving practical and sensible things that the other party can either use/regift. I’m considerate like that, haha. Idk, it’s just me wandering around town area and being like, ‘oh, that looks like a nice gift for so-and-so’. Maybe I’m deluding myself, who knows.

Oslo Cosmetics Review

so remember how I used to do reviews of pretty things I buy in the mail over at my now defunct livejournal? well, they’re back again~ because they make a good excuse for me to buy more pretty things, and we all need a hobby, right?

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Oslo Cosmetics is, despite its name, not from Oslo, Norway, but located instead in Ohio, USA. If I’m not wrong, the store is run solely by Joyce, and it’s quite impressive, considering the numerous products she has up in her store even though it hasn’t been that long since its inception.

TL; DR? Here’s a run-down
Shipping: Domestic and International (can be a little pricey, but Joyce is considering to refund excess shipping charges.) Also, shipping took 2 weeks to arrive, which is normal for parcels coming from USA.
Turnabout time: 1 – 3 business days
Vegan: Yes
Range of Products: Eyeshadows (pressed/loose/cream base) | Blush | Lipsticks | Cosmetic Glitter | Eye primer
Packaging: jars are shrink wrapped, ingredients lists are on all the jars, except for the lip slicks, but information can be easily found on their website.

Truthfully, I have been quite wary of trying out new indie brands, since I got my fingers burned a couple of times, from less established companies, like High Voltage and Victorian Disco. And you know, the ‘once bitten, twice shy’ syndrome is effective when you’re a broke student. I gave Oslo Cosmetics a go since they had an opening sale, and I went ahead to get a Mystery Items pack because I didn’t know what to get since I have too many things already, so I didn’t pay too much attention when it arrived either.

Anyway, here’s what I got this time around, when I bought a Blogger Pack to review! :D Picspam ahoy~

Together with my previous order~ and if you’re not blind, you’d notice that I’m silly enough to buy something that I already have, which is why you should always pay attention. Yes, I have two jars of Lyra eyeshadow.

Swatches are taken in daylight, left swatch is without primer, the right one is with Fyrinnae’s Pixie Epoxy.

From the Dark Days collection: ARA
Official description: Dark, sultry shimmery brassy red
My take: From the description given, you’d think it’s an unwearable colour, but that’s not the case. It’s less bright than expected, and leans more towards wine-red/burgundy, in my opinion.

From the Colossus collection: CARINAE
Official description: Beautiful, shimmery/metallic peach-pink, with light green/gold shift
My take: I don’t really see the green/gold shift, instead it looks to me like a very pretty rose gold. It reminds me very much of Fyrinnae’s Rapunzel Had Extensions, which is a much lighter colour than this one.

From the Rome collection: CRUX
Official description: A silver-green shimmery duochrome
My take: The douchrome isn’t really obvious in the photo above, but it’s actually quite complex looking, in the sense that on first glimpse, you’d think it’s a silvery-grey colour but as the light hits it, there’s a hint of green shining through subtly. I think it’s less evident because I took the swatch in daylight.

From the Starlight collection: LYRA
Official description: Smoldering, shimmery plum with duochrome glitter particles
My take: In the jar, without swatching, it looks very similar to Ara, but they’re actually quite different. Okay, this may be my favourite colour from all the other jars, but then again, I’m biased towards purple/plum colours.

From the Helio collection: PEGASUS
Official description: Shimmery/metallic light blue with gold shift
My take: This is apparently getting discontinued, and I have no idea why it looks so green-ish in the sample baggie. The swatch is more accurate, though I don’t see the gold shift. It applies a little on the sheer side, or maybe because it’s harder to get an even application from the bag, hence it looks kind of patchy here.

From the Dark Days collection: PYXIS
Official description: Light iridescent duochrome pink-violet
My take: I think the duochrome is quite obvious here, it’s quite a shimmery shade, leaning towards pale pink to almost silvery. It starts off pretty sheer, but can be built up upon. I think it’d make a nice highlight in the inner corner of the eye.

From the Colossus collection: TAURUS
Official description: Sultry, metallic gold
My take: Another sample from my first order, this appears to be more brown than gold for me, though more of on the muddy side.

And here’s an arm swatch, taken under a light bulb.

I also got two cosmetic glitter, which I am not sure what I’ll use them for.

And lastly, one pigmented lip slick in a jar.

I think it stays pretty much true to the colour seen in the jar. It’s not overly sticky and the payoff is pretty good and very buildable.

And well, let’s have my two cents here: overall, I had a pretty good experience with Oslo Cosmetics, shipping was quite standard, the turnabout time was really quick (1 day) and Joyce responds to queries really fast as well.

I think that the formula for the eyeshadows are quite unique, since I’m used to the loose pigments from other companies. The binders, probably the coconut oil or carnauba wax or vitamin e oil (but I’m not sure, since I don’t make my own makeup) are the reason why the shadows are clumped together into little balls. It can make it a little hard to pick up with a brush, since it doesn’t break up easily, so there’s that to get used to.

Here is a comparison between loose eyeshadows from different companies

The only thing that makes it less than perfect is probably the dust/cat hair/fluff thing that I found on two of my jars, but I don’t think it’s that great of a deal killer, since it’s not inside the jar, and I only point this out mainly because there’s quite a lot of drama going on in the indie community, what with mould/fingerprints. Also, Joyce mentioned that she had been moving furniture, hence the dust. I’m willing to give her the benefit of the doubt and believe that she has a sanitary work space, because otherwise, I’ll have to go around feeling cautious about all the other indie stuff I’ve bought. And heck, maybe even commercial stuff.

deviations are fun.

so I was supposed to be working on my nano stuff, but then I got sidetracked because I kind of stumbled on an old fandom, and I thought, ah, why not, right?

yup, so here, have a chunk of badly written yu-gi-oh fanfiction, written on a whim, with no actual real plot.

It had been three months, three long months where he found himself jumping at random noises, looking carefully over his shoulder and jerking awake in the middle of the night, panting heavily and drenched in sweat. Three uneasy months where he spent most of the time just counting the days. He ticked off each day on his mental calendar; it was an unconscious move that probably spoke volumes of his mental state.

It was official. The Spirit of the Millennium Ring had been utterly defeated and banished. He would never be around anymore to pester him, cut him with his insensitive remarks or physically hurt him with his little games against Yugi and his friends. A sane and logical person would probably be rejoicing and celebrating the fact that he would no longer be tormented by a vengeful spirit, but perhaps after all of his ordeals, Ryou could hardly be considered sane and rational. Perhaps you could call it Stockholm Syndrome, that the teenager, after being abused over and over again, managed to sympathise with his abuser. Or perhaps, and this notion was slightly more disturbing, that despite his innocent appearance, Ryou was neither the sane nor gentle character that his peers thought him to be.

Ryou did not really know himself. All he felt was pain and regret, and yes, he did miss the Spirit. Even as his common sense begged him to return them to a state of normalcy, Ryou had continued to hold out hope and wait for the Spirit to reappear in the Ring. He dared not to whisper his sentiments to Yugi and the others, knowing that they would react badly to his voiced feelings. They were glad that the Spirit was gone; they saw the Spirit as a threat, and truthfully, they were right in doing so. Ryou had shared a mind with the Spirit, and he had seen many unpleasant thoughts the Spirit had harboured for his friends. He did not think that his friends would be willing to help him in retrieving the Spirit, and any attempts to do so, should be done in complete secrecy as he knew that they would take drastic measures to prevent his success. Ryou might not want to rock the boat and damage the hard-won friendship, but this was not something he would relent from.

The teenager shook his head and sat on his bed, one hand reaching up to grasp the Millennium Ring which he still wore beneath his clothing. He doubted Yugi and the others would have noticed, not if he did not want them to. The Ring had separate powers of its own, even as the Spirit within it was gone. But the Ring still answered to Ryou, which made him harbor the hope that the Spirit would be returning sooner or later. Maybe Ryou had to help him out, maybe he was trapped and unable to leave.


“You’ll never be rid of me,” the Spirit declared, “Curse and regret the day you picked up the Millennium Ring, because your body is mine now.”

A young Ryou gazed at the barely corporeal form of the Spirit, “Are you a ghost? You look a lot like me. But you’re old. How old are you? Oh! My name is Ryou Bakura.”

The dark red eyes twitched slightly, a sign Ryou would quickly learn that it signaled impatience and annoyance. “Silence, mortal! I’m in charge here!”

Ryou pouted, “I don’t like you… you’re meeeean.”

The Spirit glared at the boy, bending down so that their faces were mere inches apart. If the Spirit had a physical body, he would be able to feel the hot breath against his lips as Spirit spoke, “Stop talking before I shut you up.” He waited for Ryou’s fearful nod before continuing, “You’re now my host, brat. Be grateful that I’m allowing you to live, and if you dare to get in my way, I will kill you and send your soul to the Shadow Realm. Understand me?”

Week 1 Round Up Post

it’s been over a week, which means well, round up of week one of November?

Nanowrimo, despite my best efforts, isn’t really going well. First, I tried to focus on merely doing one story, but then I realised I had nothing to write because I suck, so I jumped to doing fanfiction, because there’s a proper plot I can follow, then I got bored because the plot is there already, no thinking required, and I got around to wanting to write something else. So yeah, at the moment, nearly 10k of words in and not knowing what is up anymore. *facepalm*

The Singapore Writers Festival ended last night, and well, I enjoyed myself quite a fair bit in those few days. I missed a few panels because I was sick on Monday, and basically didn’t want to drag myself all the way to town for an hour or so at night for no good reason. But seriously, the highlight of the festival was Terri Windling, because she was so amazingly eloquent and idk, her words really resonated with me. The session with Tracy and Laura Hickman was to me, quite a wasted opportunity, because frankly, I didn’t think the moderator was any good.

My beef with Singapore literature still remains however, and I doubt it would change much. A local publisher mentioned that he was only interested in publishing works that dealt with the Singaporean identity, and was set locally. To me, I guess I understood his viewpoint – that is, stories set internationally can be found anywhere, and he wouldn’t be bringing anything new to the table. My annoyance isn’t that I hate my country/I think it’s inferior, no, I merely dislike fiction that deals with the notion of local identities. This is why I cannot stand Asian-American literature as well. And probably a reason why I cannot be bothered with books like ‘The Great Gatsby’.

And next, I shall give evidence why I’m so broke. Behold my recent purchases, which means more clutter in my room and less cash in the bank. I’m a terrible human… but I regret nothing, until I need to buy really useful things. Like… food. Um… books?

So I mentioned Shiro Cosmetics’ Halloween Collection the other day, and duh, of course I got some stuff. Why not.

Pretty packaging~ and candy! :D

The awesome content plus two free samples.

Just wanted to point out that the lip gloss “What Does the Fox Says?” isn’t part of the Halloween Collection, but rather a custom lipgloss that Caitlin, the owner of Shiro, makes. You get to choose any eyeshadow and turn it into a lip gloss, which is so cool~ :D

The next purchase was from way back, because Kickstarter projects take ages sometimes. And don’t ask me why I decided I needed a pack of playing cards. I think it was because I decided I wanted to venture into playing cards divination. Yeeeeah, I have too much time and a really short attention span.

The textures on the cards were great, and I like that it was on the small size as it made shuffling way easier. Some tarot cards are just huge and bulky and impossible to shuffle. Or maybe I just have tiny/clumsy hands.

Lastly, the physical copy of Littlest Lovecraft: The Call of Cthulhu is here~ with extra goodies! (because we managed to exceed the minimum amount necessary.)

There’s the book itself, a bookmark, a bookplate, a pair of dice, a set of postcards and a print! :D Aaaah, I’m dying from the cute!

I have also wasted a lot of time laughing over the panel show, “Would I Lie to You” which has the hilarious David Mitchell and Lee Mack as team captains. But seriously, David Mitchell. Can I just say that I love this man, and I think he’s my spirit animal? I mean, okay granted, his Observer posts aren’t the best, but they’re still very entertaining, and I guess you’re meant to take them in a tongue-in-cheek manner. But really, he’s quite relatable, especially if you watch him ranting.

Lastly, this song has been on loop just because.

the video looks amazing and it feels like it should be a mv for a symphonic metal band (with a soprano frontwoman)/a scene from a fantasy movie/a conceptualization of a fairy tale.

And now, back to wondering if I should continue writing about my mage character in Feralden or start my epic steampunk alternate universe of Yu-Gi-Oh. (wtf, I know but it works in my head!)

Updates will be sporadic while I attempt to hit out 50k worth of words this month.

The forecast that I will be successful seems low, but hey, it’d be a fun thing to tell people, like ‘oh yeah, I tried writing a novel in 30 days, but I crashed and burned and nearly died from caffeine addiction’ or something.

so yeah, rather than daily posts, I’ll probably just do a weekly roundup kind of thing and try to corral all my weird thoughts into proper words.