Monday, September 26, 2016

Yankee Candle After Dark Cracking Pure Radiance Review

Good morning, dear readers!

Today I am reviewing After Dark, a candle from the Yankee Candle Pure Radiance line.  This is one of the "crackling" candles, which is named as the candle wick is supposed to crackle when lit.  The wick is made from cotton and wood to get that type of effect.  I got this candle last year, but I have only burned it about 5 times so far.

After Dark™
(Not my image, image taken from here)

Here are the stats for the different sizes:

Large - $27.99 USD, 120-165 hours burn time, 22 oz..
Medium - $24.99 USD, 75-100 hours burn time, 14.5 oz..
Small - $15.99 USD, 40-50 hours burn time, 7 oz..

(I've used it more since I took this photo)

I think the prices are closely on par with the prices in the Canadian stores (unfortunately Yankee Candle does not have a Canadian website that you can order from, it just directs you to the USA website) despite the USD being worth more right now..

The glass is quite lovely looking, with a wooden pattern shape.  When I first saw an image of the candles online I thought the lid was wood but it's actually metal with a wooden design added to it.  The wax itself is very opaquely black (I find some other candles have a crystalline quality to them where some areas look almost shimmery but this one was much flatter-looking with an almost velvety blackness to it).

Here is the scent description:
"Enjoy an enchanted evening with this nocturnal mix of night air, garden herbs, rich woods and musk." - yankeecandle.com

After Dark has a cologne/Axe style fragrance to me that I think is quite nice.

The first time this was lit, while looking forward to listening to the crackling effect, it was likened to ants burning a tiny bonfire two houses away.  My sister and I joked about how it was SO quiet.  The flame also moves a lot, and I can find it to be distracting if that's the main source of light in a room.  I prefer a steady flame so I'm not seeing the light wobble around so much.

I really do like this fragrance, and I am very glad that I was able to get this, but I think it would be great if this fragrance also came in a regular cotton wick format.

There is some tunneling in the photo I have because I have a tendency to not want to burn candles for very long, and it can take upwards of 1-2 hours with some candles to get an even wax pool going.  With another candle I had I took a butter knife and squished down the wax from the sides while it was heated up so that pretty much fixed that problem for me.

Okay!  So that wraps up this review, have you tried any of the Crackling Pure Radiance candles?  Or any other wood wick candles?  If so, what were your thoughts on them and if not, do they sound like something that would interest you?

Have a great day!

-Ash


Saturday, September 24, 2016

Lush Halloween 2016

Good early morning, dear readers!

It's really early morning here (just after 5:30 a.m.), everyone else in the house is asleep, and I just sneezed super loudly.  Ah well, what can you do?

Lush Halloween products are up on their website, and they look to have some really cute and interesting products out this season!  (These were spoiled online weeks ago, along with the upcoming holiday collection, but I'm not going to post about the holiday collection until its closer to the holidays.)

The photos in this post are from www.lush.ca, and I do not own them.

This year they have some classic products returning this year but some new things as well!

"Misbehave while you bathe
Revel in your bath with this mischievous bomb that features a spicy herbal blend of patchouli and black pepper oil. Inspired by the ruler of the pagan Feast of Fools, Lord Of Misrule has a deep green exterior that slowly froths away to reveal a rich wine-colored center. Just like at the Feast of Fools, when the wine starts to flow, the popping candy crackles and the festivities begin..."

Lord Of Misrule

"Mystical pomegranate soap
Magical folk and muggles alike will love lathering up with this soap imbued with a sweet, fruity perfume. Enzyme-rich pomegranate will leave your skin bewitchingly bright after you wash, and the detoxifying charcoal in the soap's black outer layer will get you squeaky clean."
Magic Wand
"Feel the warmth
When cool nights get downright cold and fresh breezes turn frosty, it's time to come cozy up with Fireside. Just one look at its beautiful embedded flames is enough to make you feel nice and toasty. This sudser's spicy clove bud oil will warm you right up as you lather while sweet vanilla calls to mind the comforts of homemade treats. No need to fight for a spot by the mantle: there's plenty of Fireside to go around!"

Fireside
"One spicy spirit
Our luxurious Halloween bath melt might be one of the smallest treats in the range, but don't let appearances fool you: this little ghost packs a seriously perfumed punch! Drop Boo into your bath water and watch it slowly go milky with moisturizing cocoa butter to give you hauntingly beautiful skin, perfumed with warming ginger and a bouquet of floral and citrus oils."

Boo
"Winner, winner, Halloween shimmer
This year, Snow Fairy's not the only fairy in town! Get glam with your gothic self by gliding our brand new shimmer bar wherever you want beautifully iridescent sparkles on your skin. Hydrating illipe and cupuacu butters soften you up while a fruity perfume of bergamot and grapefruit oils lifts your spirits. She might look a bit spooky, but this fairy's a real softy at heart."


Goth Fairy
"Time-lapse bathing
This stunning bath bomb brings the beauty of nature's autumnal metamorphosis right into your tub. Watching it dissolve in the bath is like watching the trees turn colors, only in fast forward! Breathe in the grounding yet uplifting perfume, full of bergamot, neroli and sandalwood, and brace yourself for winter's arrival."
Autumn Leaf
"Transform bath time into a ball
Have a ball in the bath with this warming and cheerful bubble bar packed full of sparkle and citrus for cool winter nights. The energizing blend of juniper berry, lime and grapefruit oils make it perfect for a long, lingering soak that'll leave skin kissed with softness and a light sparkle."


Sparkly Pumpkin
"Bath-o'-lantern
This year, we're introducing a very traditional looking fizzer to our limited edition range: one look at those geometric features is all it takes to put you in a Halloween-y mood! With a spicy, sweet perfume full of exotic pimento, sweet vanilla and warming cinnamon, our jack-o'-lantern will have you imitating his toothy grin once he hits your bath water."
Pumpkin
"Multicolored mutant
Throw yourself a ball by reveling in possibly the most beautiful bath water ever. This cyclops' outer layer creates layers of pink froth on top of deep blue-purple waters as its fruity lime and neroli perfume fills the air. Make sure you save a dance for this beautiful monstrosity. Trust us, you won't regret it!"

Monsters' Ball
"Mischievously herbal
This sweet and spicy sudser is back for another year to fill your shower with its intoxicating perfume of black pepper, patchouli and vanilla. Lavish your skin by lathering up this shower cream, full of moisturizing glycerin and wheat germ oil. With skin so soft, don't be surprised if you find yourself getting up to no good."

Lord Of Misrule


They also have some gifts and knot-wraps available.  I am surprised by the size of this line, and there are some really lovely sounding (and looking!) products available in it.  I think this year I may finally pick up a Lord of Misrule shower cream, although the Fireside soap looks and sounds delightful (I am a big fan of clove!).

Have a wonderful day!

-Ash

Friday, September 23, 2016

Yankee Candle Pink Sands

Good really early morning, dear readers!

YAY it's finally fall/autumn!!! :D  Ah I am so, SO so glad and excited for that.

Today I have a review of Yankee Candle Pink Sands.

Pink Sands™
(Not my image, image taken from here.)

This is totally not what I would ever consider a fall fragrance, but I want to review it and it's fall so this post is happening.

When I was last at Yankee Candle I had a coupon for buy one get one, and I knew one specific candle that I wanted to get, but was unsure of the other.  The lady who had been working at the cash was really helpful and suggested several to go with my preferences.  Unfortunately I didn't have much time to choose as my parents were waiting to pick me up from the mall and I had only a few minutes before I was going to meet them, so I grabbed this one after the sales lady suggested it and then promptly left the store (after buying it first, of course!).

She said that this was their best seller, and I can see why.  It has a light melon-y fragrance that isn't overbearing, and it actually reminds me of some Bonne Bell watermelon lip gloss I brought with me when I went to see Titanic in theatres (wooo that was a looong time ago!).  It seems like it would be a widely appealing fragrance, especially for summer (although spring would work too!).

According to Yankee Candle, Pink Sands is:
"an exotic island escape in the beautiful mix of bright citrus, sweet florals and spicy vanilla."



There is an underlying tone of something else (I think the spicy vanilla) but I get almost exactly a fake watermelon fragrance (in a nice way).  I don't really notice the florals or citrus and the scent description is actually a bit surprising to me.  Also I find that the vanilla isn't very noticeable.

It actually reminds me a bit of Bath and Body Works Fresh Sparkling Snow from 2015, which I find also has a fake melon scent, although it is different.  Sparkling Snow is a wonderful scent, but I don't find it wintery at all (melons in the winter?).

Like probably most of their fragrances (that aren't limited edition) this is available in jar candles, votives, tumblers, fragrance spheres, fragrance oils, wax tarts...

Also may I bring attention to the lovely look of this candle?  The pink goes so well with the gorgeous photo and I REALLY HOPE THEY DON'T SWITCH ALL THEIR JAR CANDLES TO THE NEW LABELS AHH.  Had to mention that if I haven't already.  I'm really not a fan of the new label look on the jars.

Anyway, I do recommend giving this one a sniff if you are in the market for a light to medium fresh fruity fragrance.

Have a lovely day!

-Ash

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

David's Tea Blueberry Muffin

Good afternoon/evening, dear readers!

Today I have a review of David's Tea Blueberry Muffin tisane.

Blueberry Muffin
(Not my image, image taken from here.)

(Also not my image, image from here.)

This is an attractive tisane to me, with the berries mixed in with the bright orange carrot chunks and the vibrant blue of the cornflower petals (goooorgeous colour, and the combination of the two definitely reminds me of autumn!).  Also, the individual pieces of fruit and ingredients in this tisane are relatively small, so you can get a more consistent tea that way I think than some of the other ingredients in other tisanes they sell (the giant citrus slices look great and tasty but they would take up a spoon all by themselves!).

Blueberry Muffin smells tasty to me, and I find that it actually smells a lot like Jelly Belly popcorn jelly beans! Those are my favourite ones that Jelly Belly makes so it's a great scent to me.  There is a sweetness and possibly fruity scent to it as well (which makes sense as there is fruit in it, but I don't notice that as much when I sniff the tisane dry) however the strong dry notes I get is of artificial buttery flavouring.  That probably sounds gross to some but it has a savoury scent that I am enjoying (and one that I did not expect).

I got the skinny tin, which is 50 grams of tea and that fills the tin up about 3/4 of the way to the top.  It retails for $9.50 Cad. or it can be added in a current 2 for $16 deal they have going on for Skinny Tins at the moment.  You can also buy this tisane loose for $7.98 Cad. for 50 grams (they sell it in increments of 50 grams online),  however if you purchase it in store you can obtain it in smaller amounts.

The directions say to use 1-2 "perfect spoons" (a David's Tea spoon they sell) per 475 ml/16 oz., but I don't have one of those spoons and honestly its up to personal taste.  I think it can be nice trying it out the first time the way it is recommended and then altering the amount if one so wants.  According to David's Tea the perfect spoon is the equivalent to 2.5 tsp. of tea, so I used that amount for the Nordic Mug, which holds 473 (?) ml, or roughly 16 oz.

I used just under 3 tsp. of tisane for around 16 oz. of water and I steeped it for around 4-5 minutes.


I had added more tisane to the infuser so there is some that had been already steeping for 5+ minutes and some freshly added so the cornflowers still look lovely on top:)



Colour: Kind of if orange and blue mixed together in a really transparent way.  After steeping for longer and adding more tea, it looks more like a cup of orange pekoe as the purple-blue tinge isn't as noticeable and the orange tones come out more.


 Without and with flash (this is after the longer steeping with more tea:)



Scent:  Pretty close to the scent of the dry mix, but maybe 1/6th the strength.  I'm still getting butter notes, there are hints of berry, possibly getting hints of flowers but its such a mix of flavours it's hard for me to tell for sure.

Taste: ... it's... SO MILD.  Maybe I need to add more tea next time or steep it for longer.  It tastes like this was a re-infusion of something that had been steeped before and almost all of the flavour had been removed.  I'm going to put the strainer back in for a few minutes to see if it makes any difference to the strength.  And then I'm probably going to add more tea.

Okay, I steeped it for a few more minutes and added another tsp (at least) of tea.  Now it has more flavour, and is really pleasant.  I still get surprised by some tisanes which seem to have sooo much fragrance dry and when I steep them I expect even more flavor.  I would recommend using at least 3-4 tsp. and letting this steep for the full recommended length of time to get more flavour.  However, I used around 1/5th - 1/6th of the dry mix in the tin for this one tea so just a heads up that it can go fast and as the ingredients in this tisane are heavy, it can add up fast at about $8 Can. per 50 grams.  I'm not sure how well the tisane would go for another infusion.

There is some tangyness to this, and I find the butter note mellows out more with the other flavours after its been steeped for a bit and they meld together much more evenly.

Aftertaste: Pretty much the same as the taste while drinking it (the buttery berry/possibly floral combination), nothing really dominates the aftertaste (there definitely is an aftertaste as the flavour stays in the mouth a bit).

I think this is a lovely tea and while it may sound like a strange combination of flavours at first (that butter note!) it actually is very soothing and I think that buttery almost savouriness adds a comforting cold-weather touch to it.  This could also be really lovely while watching a movie inside of a rainy day.

Tasty tisane with a hint of tang, but not overly sour (I don't like sour that much) and it could go nicely with just a hint of sugar, although it's not necessary to me.

-Ash

(This is a repost, the original post was reverted to draft)

Friday, September 09, 2016

David's Tea The Great Outdoors Collection 2016

Good afternoon/evening, dear readers!

Recently I got some of the David's Tea teas/tisanes from their The Great Outdoors collection.  I was able to get 3 of them, and I'm looking forward to trying them!  (All photos in this post are from the David's Tea website and are not owned by me.)

They have 5 teas in this collection:


First up is Carrot Cupcake:


This one looks really interesting!  I've heard mixed reviews on this, so it will be cool seeing if it's something I enjoy.  It has rooibos in it, so I will also get to see if it's rooibos that makes me sleepy.

Next up is Blueberry Muffin:



While I don't like eating fresh blueberries, I do like them in blueberry muffins and I'm looking forward to trying this tea!  I got this in a skinny tin and I will be trying it soon.

Third there is Nutty Granola Crunch:




I didn't like the scent of this in the store and I didn't pick this one up to try.  However, if anyone reading this has tried it, please feel free to leave me a message below to let me know how you like it!  Sometimes a tea/tisane can be very different than a first impression!

Next there is Pumpkin Chai, a returning favourite for many, but one that I've never tried before!  I picked this up in the Skinny Tin size and I'm really looking forward to it (I don't drink caffeinated teas often so I hadn't gotten this one until now).




And lastly, there is Pom Cider:




I also didn't get this one but I might pick it up later depending.  Not a big fan of stevia and I would have preferred if it wasn't already added in (but I also like having the option to choose how much sugar or sweetener to add to a tea).  I don't like the chemical aftertaste stevia has (which is funny, since it is an herb) but maybe it won't be as noticeable in this tea? 

As for the rest of the collection, they have some really cute mugs and tins to go along with it; sadly the tins were only available in-store for a short amount of time and they aren't available at my semi-local store anymore.

I really really like David's Tea but I hope that they fix what's been going on with their labor practices.  It's not right having on call shifts for this line of work and I hope to read a positive update soon about that.

Have a great day and I'll be back soon with reviews!

-Ashley

Products I'm Really Enjoying Right Now

Good afternoon, dear readers! Today's post is about some of products that I've been enjoying lately!  Swatches (where applicable) ...