Old Factory Candles | Review

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Made from natural soy wax, Old Factory Candles are hand poured in the US. They retail for $25 on Amazon and come in a wide variety of scents. Each box comes with three 2 ounce candles (they're quite small, btw).

I received these candles for review from Old Factory via Brandbacker.

I chose Happy Holidays which includes Candy Cane, Gingerbread, and Christmas Tree. They have a lot of options. Like, a lot a lot, and some are scents you wouldn't quite find in your local Bath and Body Works. They even had a High as a Kite one, and I'll let your imagination figure out what the scents were (that option is no longer available).

Current scents are:
New Born Baby-  Baby Powder, First Blanket, Baby Shampoo
Coffee Shop- Coffee Bean, Hazelnut, Chai Tea
Fall Harvest- Pumpkin Spice, Cranberry, Autumn Leaves
Fresh & Clean- Lemongrass, Olive Blossom, Fresh Linen
Happy Holidays- Candy Cane, Gingerbread, and Christmas Tree
50 Shades- Leather, Jasmine Bubbles, Vanilla Sex
Man Cave- Straight Razor, Leather, Mahogany
Romance- Rose Petals, Champagne, Dark Chocolate
Spa Day- Cucumber, Lemongrass, Green Tea
Vacation- Sea Breeze, Hawaiian Lei, Awapuhi

Candy Cane:
This is the one I was most excited for. I love the smell of peppermint, and there's nothing I want more than to have my whole home smell like mint. Finding a plain peppermint scent is difficult since it always seems to be paired with chocolate (like peppermint bark). Imagine my excitement when I saw this as one of the scents.

Unfortunately it wasn't up to par. It had this strange almost plastic smell when it was burning. Not burning plastic. I think that's the soy, but I'm not sure. There was a hint of peppermint though, but the other smell was too overpowering, and I ended up blowing it out shortly after lighting it. The hunt continues!

Christmas Tree:
This scent never was one of my favorites. I consider it one of those staple Christmas scents (along with cinnamon). But, for some reason I never was a huge fan. But the scent is so light an airy it's nice. It's not over powering, and for some that may not be a good thing, but for me it was perfect. I'll be burning this one for a while. That is, as long as I don't continue to have to fight with the wick (not the company's fault. Some wicks are temperamental). It is true to scent, though.

My favorite of the bunch. It's your typical cookie scent, and easily the strongest one of the bunch.

Overall, I wasn't too impressed. For the price I expected a bit more for the price, but they are hand poured with natural ingredients, and the jar is adorable. At first I couldn't get the wax to burn evenly, but that seems to be the case with a lot of single wick candles. I let it sit for a while, rotating the jar every so often so that the flame was blowing in a different direction (yes I have a ceiling fan going in December. That's the Florida lifestyle for you), and that seemed to do the trick. Much better than the little Avon candles, which made me angry.

They do burn clean! Soy candles mean that there won't be any sooty residue left over on the jar, and that's true. 

The wick is self trimming, and are stated to last for over to 20 hours. I'm still working on that burn time, so I'll get back to you if I continue to keep track.

Do I recommend them? That's tough to say. The combinations are interesting enough that if I had the $25 lying around I would try out some of the other scents. It is a good gift idea (not just for the holidays), since there are three different scents in the package. But off of my experience, personally I'm not jumping on Amazon to purchase a set. But that's me, I've seen that a lot of other people have fallen in love with the brand. The almost 5 star rating proves that.

If you've tried these let me know what your experience was.

Hope you all have a fun and safe holiday!

Samples provided by Old Factory Candles 
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Let's Talk About Brands: Zoya

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Earlier in the year I made a post featuring the famed nail polish brand Essie. I figured it was time to resume the series with one of my favorites: Zoya.

Brief history:
Zoya is a brand under a company called The Art of Beauty. The Art of Beauty was founded in 1986 and in addition to Zoya, the company houses Qtica, Smart Spa, and Zoom (quick dry top coat and their "Callus Action Quick Gel"). Each nail polish is inspired and named after a real woman, the first being Carmen. A few years ago Zoya began dabbling into the lip gloss market with Hot Lips.

As far as wear goes Zoya has to be the best brand for me. I have a decent amount, but being as it's not as readily available as OPI, China Glaze, and Essie, my collection isn't as large as I would like it to be. I do participate in their annual Earth Day sale ($4 regular polish, $5 Pixi Dust).

They probably have about every color you could imagine, and close to every finish. From creams to jellies, to Pixi Dust and matte, Zoya is no stranger to variety.

I have never caught Zoya recycling shades like I've seen in OPI and Essie (if you know of an instance, please do let me know!). Each color seems to be unique to the name assigned.

Some of my favorite shades: Cassi, Tomoko, Phoebe, and Julie.

Under the Qtica Smart Spa brand you can find scrubs, lotions, and masks in a variety of scents and sizes for a professional like manicure and pedicure. Qtica is described as "intense therapy" featuring quick drying drops, cuticle repair balm, growth stimulator, and even a lip repair balm (and they're not as expensive as you would think).

I really can't express how much I love the brand. I don't buy from them often, usually about once a year, but whenever I do I'm always pleased with the product I receive.

You can find Zoya at select nail salons, Ulta, and online via their website (look out for deals! They have them frequently).


Empties #4

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

 I know what you're thinking: "you've been silent for four months and you only managed to finish off five products?" Well, no. There are several more, but these are the ones worth mentioning. Trust me, my opinion on my shampoo (boring Herbal Essence) isn't interesting at all. Or toothpaste. I mean, if you want a review on those boring bits I'm happy to oblige, but I figured you'd want an update, since most of these have a blog post dedicated to it.

Let's see, there are two PR samples present (no FTC, I haven't forgotten about your rules. I may be a forgetful blogger, but I am a compliant one): Burt's Bees Cream Cleanser and The Body Shop Body Scrub. The rest was purchased by me. Onto the reviews!

CO Bigelow Mentha Body wash: I used to be addicted to this stuff. The way it left the whole house smelling like peppermint, and my skin tingling and cold. Seriously, do not use this stuff in the winter. You will regret it the moment you step out of the bathroom. It took me a while to finish this bottle off (maybe two years?), but not for lack of trying. I swap body washes out here and there, so this stuff kind of kept getting put on the back burner.

Will I repurchase? One of these days. It's a staple product that I love. 
$12.00 through Bath & Body Works

Mark Help Wanted: Probably the saddest product on here. I loved it. Loved the smell, loved the results, pretty much everything about it. Sadly, it's been discontinued.

Will I repurchase? Can't =( So sad

The Body Shop Coconut Body Scrub: I blogged about this product a while back, and I'm happy to report that my opinion has not changed. Soft skin, great scent, what's not to love? It's fantastic, and I highly recommend it.

Will I repurchase? I already have =) along with the body butter.
Retails for $20 at the Body Shop's website and in stores.

Burt's Bees Intense Hydration Cream Cleanser: I'm going to sound like a Mary Kay spokesperson for a minute, but ever since I started the Clear Proof system I haven't have much problems with dry skin or excess oil. On those off days this cleanser is great, but I don't like using multiple cleansers at one time. It's great for those once in a while uses when my skin is feeling a bit dry, and it really does work. For me, the lotion works just as well, especially if applied at night before I go to bed.

Will I repurchase? Maybe, but probably not.
Retails for $18 at Target.

Julep Instant Warming Foot Scrub: This little bugger was a pain to use up. I had to push really hard for the product to some out, and eventually I gave up. It's not 100% finished, but I'm done with it. Like I said in my review it's a normal scrub, and its gimmick is the warming sensation. That's the only thing that separates this product from the rest. 

Will I repurchase? No. It's been discontinued, and even if it wasn't I still would but it again.
I don't see it on the website anymore, but I do remember that it was fairly expensive for the amount.

This post contains product sent for review
All opinions are my own

Venique "Be Brilliant" | Swatch and Review

Friday, October 3, 2014

Venique Be Brilliant BioMega

The one coat wonders are back! These lovelies appeared at my door unexpectedly a while back for review purposes and after playing around with them and wearing them on and off for the past few months I now have time to review them.

The collection "Be Brilliant" was inspired by the hair product of BioMega. I'm not familiar with BioMega, so I can't speak much on accuracy, but I can say that the colors are beautiful!

Also, super exciting, Venique is now available to consumers! You may remember in my previous post about the brand that were exclusive to professionals unless you browsed sights like Amazon or Ebay. Now their nail polishes are available to purchase through Loxa Beauty. They retail for $8, which is a really nice price considering the quality.

Venique Up Your GLOW
Up Your GLOW

First off is Up Your GLOW. It's a pinkish-purple cream. Now out of the six Venique nail polishes I have, this is the only one that can use two coats. You can get away with one, but when you look at it closely it's clear that it could use a second coat. Though a thicker coat would rectify the situation, but if you're more into thinner coats I'd think about adding a second. Above is two coats.

Venique Best BEHAVR-ior
Best BEHAVR-ior
It's a matte! A one coat mate! I was surprised when I applied this one for the first time, I wasn't expecting it to be matte. It's a beautiful blue with a hint of green shimmer in it that's not quite as noticeable when it's in its natural matte state, but definitely shines when a top coat is put on.

I'm glad it's one coat, it makes applying a nail polish in a rush an easy thing to do.

My only gripe with this, and it seems to be a trend with blues, is that it has the tendency to stain your nails. Base coat is a must with this one.

Venique Up All NIGHT, Party Till Dawn
Up All NIGHT, Party Till Dawn
 My favorite nail polish form the "Be Brilliant" collection, Up All NIGHT, Party Till Dawn is a metallic purple that is a dream to apply. Removal is simple, no fuss. Wear is good, pretty standard among the brand. Probably has a lot to do with the fact that they're one coat, and don't need a glob of nail polish to be opaque.

Comparison, Up All Night, Party Till Dawn and Sleepy Slippers
The first thing I noticed is its similarity to another Venique nail polish I own. I pulled both polishes out for a comparison, and luckily they're not too similar. Where UAN, PTD is a purple metalic, Sleepy Slippers is a pinkish silver metalic. They're similar, but not exact.

Overall, I'm really beginning to like the brand. The quality is fantastic, the colors beautiful.

*All roducts provided for review