I recently finished one of my favorite eye shadows, Shade 154 from Inglot. I mean, finished. FINITO. The pan was hit and then some. Which is kind of crazy because that baby has lasted me since 2013 when I went to their store in Chelsea Market in NYC (sob-three years ago already!) So I was considering buying a new Inglot palette online, as I've always wanted to try more of their neutral shades. I was about to pull the trigger when Fyrinnae dropped their new Edwardian Collection, chock full of neutrals and pretty, dainty colors. It's been about a year since I've ordered from Fyrinnae so I took that as a sign, and things were bought.

Heads up, my swatches are rubbish and can't capture how shimmery and multi-faceted these are!

I also picked up one of the new lip lustres, Demure, and I love it. It's not too bright or too pale, just a perfect, perky pink.

Two that I think are especially hard to capture are Art Nouveau, which is a metallic emerald green that has some blue/gold shift that brings to mind a peacock, and Brocade, which is a denim blue with a golden overlay.

Swatches on bare skin- expect more intense results with primer, though these all have excellent adhesion as is.

Here's a look I did the other day with it, using Art Nouveau on the lid, Marry Money in the crease, and Sunlit Boudoir as a highlight. Eyeshadows were applied over Coastal Scents Step One primer. I used Demure on my lips.

Here's a flash pic so you can see how beautifully shimmery these are:

While I was buying the new collection, I went ahead and picked up a few other minis- including one of my all-time faves, Beyond Binary, which I also recently finished. It's a gorgeous, my-lids-but-better neutral with a gorgeous blue glow, and it can also double as a crease shade to blend out lid colors or can also be used as a highlight.

Swatches on bare skin again, Coffee and Chocolate and Intergalactic Bookstore were a little sheer but I haven't had a chance to test them with primer yet, I'm sure they'll be great. I wore Illusionary today and really like it- it's a not-too-out-there, subtle pinky-violet with some pink sparkles, and it shifts rather dramatically to a more muted greenish-gold depending on the angle. I'm not even going to bother trying to photograph the shift, but it's gorgeous!

I went to a food festival yesterday and this was my LOTD- I used Faust on my lid, which is a molten, metallic bronze, Aristocratic Scandal in the crease, and Beyond Binary as a highlight. Also wore Demure again on my lips.

That's all for today, hope this was helpful!

Sixteen92's Summer 2016 collection drops on May 27th, and I have had my mitts on it for a couple weeks since I renewed my Circle subscription. With the 30% off seasonal full sizes and a standing 10% off other items codes, it was just a good deal for me to renew. And I really ended up liking a few of these so that 30% off code will come in handy.

This collection's theme is a throwback to  90's girl rock and the riot grrl movement. I never got into it much, I'm not sure why, but I was and still am a HUGE Fiona Apple fan, and quite like Tori Amos too, though I haven't listened to her as much as Fiona. She was my muse through my tumultuous high school years and as a recreational closet singer she was always my go-to for practicing. Nothing is more cathartic for the tortured soul than belting out some Fiona, people. I highly recommend it.

Anyway! Onto the scents:

Bells For Her (Tori Amos)

Sweet basil, dandelion, star jasmine, green vines, mandarin, ozone, green tea, crushed mint

I pretty much knew going in that this would be a winner for me. It seems like most Sixteen92 collections have some sort of green/earthy/watery/or herbal scent, and they almost always work for me. The Grass Harp, Eternal Return, the Primrose Path, I love all those, and if those work for you I suspect Bells for Her will too. This starts will a blast of sweet, herbal basil, quite like The Grass Harp, but minus the orange blossom that might have been too "cleaning product" for some noses. The jasmine is not heavy or indolic. Overall this scent is very green and dewy, a refreshing garden scent-like ivy winding up the brick walls of a regal estate, supported by subtle florals. I can't quite make out the crushed mint as a separate note, but I suspect it just lends a a cool, uplifted vibe to this, and there is a hint of fresh green tea. I would wear this on hot, humid days to feel clean, dainty, and non-sweaty. Very pretty, and full size for sure.

Bruise Violet (Babes in Toyland)

Red lipstick accord, dusting powder, white iris, violet leaf, Damascus & Bulgarian rose, red grapefruit zest (premium)

How weird! This one smells so nostalgic, it's triggering some sort of memory, though I'm not sure what it is. It's supposed to smell like lipstick, and it really does, but I can't tell if that is the memory it's tapping into. Some other product I used growing up? Not sure, but it makes me happy. It's a creamy, sweet, almost candied rose, iris and violet-powdery but not heavy. It sounds like it could be old fashioned,but there is something edgy about it, like it's lipstick not perfectly applied with a brush, but smeared and venturing defiantly outside the lines, a fuck it kind of lipstick. I suspect the grapefruit adds some punch and lift to this and is what makes it smell both powdery and bright at the same time. Nostalgic yet modern. Liking this one too!

Doll Parts (Hole)

Rhubarb, white cake, white peach, cassis, osmanthus, ginger flower

I was pretty certain this would be a no-go. Sixteen92's stone fruit scents don't really work for me, and I wasn't sure what rhubarb smelled like, but I was pretty sure it wouldn't help matters. But this isn't bad! I don't think I'll get a full size, but I kind of like it. It smells like a combination of super fruity gummi candy, and some kind of medication I might have encountered as a child- a cough syrup but not a traditional cherry one, something else I can't put my finger on but I find strangely compelling. It's an intensely sweet, syrupy, creamy, cakey, peachy scent. I like this most on cold sniff and first applying-after it dries down it starts to do that peachy-body odor thing which is the bane of my perfume existence. But those initial minutes are perversely delicious!

New Radio (Bikini Kill) 

Vanilla milkshake accord, maraschino cherry, pink lemonade, grass clippings, waffle cone

This one drove me crazy folks, because I knew I'd tried something very similar to it before, but I couldn't figure it out. Not a memory of something else, but another perfume. It took me a week or so before I figured out it smelled a lot like Haus of Gloi's Satyr ( Italian blood orange drizzled with blackened vanilla). It was hard to pinpoint because they don't really have anything in common so it wasn't a natural connection, but yeah, this smells so much like Satyr. It's got a creamsicle vibe to that I really like-even though I normally don't like cherry, this is more a general sweet, creamy vibe that keeps it from being sharp or medicinal. It has a festive, carnival-like feel to it- like fair foods. I very occasionally get a faint whiff of grass, but it's very subtle and sometimes I can't pick up on it at all. Another winner!

Rid of Me (PJ Harvey)

 Magnolia, Sambac jasmine, ylang, white pepper, grapefruit blossom, ambrette, satin musk, Oudh (premium)
This reminds me a little of  La Llorona, but instead of being a peppery, citrusy rose, this is a peppery, citrusy white floral. Usually there is a scent in each collection that I'm sort of "meh" about, and this is that one. I don't have strong feelings about it either way. I don't dislike it but it's not moving mountains for me either. But it's perfectly nice if you like white florals with a little pep!

Shadowboxer (Fiona Apple)

Jasmine fleur, May rose, blond sandalwood, mango flower, praline (premium)

 I had high hopes for this considering the inspiration, but this is the one that just didn't work for me at all. There is something very acetone-like upon cold sniff, like sharp, alcohol-y nail polish remover. Upon application, it's like nuts steeping in nail polish remover. A few minutes after that, I get more of a pungent, bordering on too-indolic jasmine and woodsy scent with something fruity? It morphs a lot and once it finally dries down it's almost manageable, but the journey with this is too fraught with peril for my blood.

To recap!

Love: Bells for Her, Bruise Violet, New Radio
Like: Doll Parts
Meh: Rid of Me
Nope: Shadowboxer
So I was thinking of something to call this post that wasn't some boring, lame apology-for-being-gone-so-long title. And then I thought that 2016 has me feeling a little like Season 3 The Walking Dead character Milton (spoiler warning I guess if you haven't seen it?) after he got beaten, pummelled, and stabbed by the Governor, and locked in the torture chamber to die, turn, and inevitably kill handcuffed Andrea. So they talk, share heartfelt feelings of regret and hope, and he periodically tells her "I'm still here...I'm still alive," helpfully reminding her to get her ass moving to free herself, but instead she just keeps rambling on and on with no real urgency considering her impending demise. But I digress...

So I feel like 2016 has been my personal Governor, but despite feeling pretty run down, I'm still here, and still alive. In one of my last posts, I talked about work changes, dealing with my anxiety, and starting medication for it. All of that has been challenging enough, but in mid April, a week before my 35th birthday, my dad had a stroke. And a week after that, the new library opened, and all the chaos that has come with it. So this past month or so has just been me trying to deal with these changes and keep myself sane.

My dad has been in the hospital almost a month, and is supposed to go to a nursing home for rehab this week. When he had his stroke (he got a blood clot, fell in the bathroom, and my mom had to call paramedics and they had to tear the door down to get him), I wasn't very hopeful. The surgeon couldn't remove the clot manually and he made it sound like he wouldn't get any better and said we needed to prepare for him to have a worse and more debilitating stroke. His bedside manner was lacking and had me basically mentally planning dad's funeral, and freaking out over what my mom would do. But dad survived, they dissolved the clot, and has improved so much more than I imagined- it affected his left side and speech, swallowing, ability to control that side was affected. He has progressed to eating regular food and can speak pretty clearly and can turn his head. He can stand for almost a minute though he is in pain and needed a double knee replacement before this. He still is having trouble with left hand/arm coordination though, but still, he is in good spirits considering everything and is focused in getting better. I know walking will be the biggest challenge for him, but I'm just happy he's alive.

My parents have always had health issues and I was no stranger to hospital waiting rooms as a child, but this was the scariest experience, the one where death was truly staring me in the face. I have NEVER cried at any of their health crises, but when that surgeon came out, I did break down. I think the medication I've started has actually helped me a TON with all of this, and has also helped me express myself without the crippling fear and anxiety that had me holding back for much of my life. I don't find myself getting worked up, anxious, overwhelmed, or angry over things as much, with far fewer fight-or-flight responses, but I don't feel emotionally flat either. I feel more comfortable saying things, expressing feelings without second-guessing myself as much as I used to. My mom is, as I've mentioned before, pretty much mentally ill and at times very self-centered and difficult to deal with ( I was emotionally abused growing up, no two ways around it) but G has been amazing taking her to the store, getting the rent paid, running errands with her, even though she hasn't always been super nice to him. I am grateful he's taken this on board as work as sucked up a lot of my energy.

I am also grateful I started the meds back in February when I did, as all of this would have been so much harder without it. Work has been crazy busy, so much more so than I'm used to, and adjusting to the huge new building, larger staff, and generally different way of working as been challenging, but I am...dare I say it...doing OK? My new co-workers are really nice and friendly for the most part and it's kind of nice spending time with some fresh blood, though we don't have much time to talk yet and get to know each other. It's been a lot of trial by fire and just fumbling our ways through, but there hasn't been a lot of drama or head-butting yet.

 I am out on the floor almost all day now, spending time "roving" with a walkie-talkie and a tablet, which means walking around, asking people if they need help, assisting with check-out and returns, computer help, etc. Then I spend an hour on the desk doing general circulation/reference work, then an hour "greeting", yeah, pretty much like a grocery-store greeter. And around and around like that. I'm in charge of supplies so my off desk time is mostly spent keeping track of that. I feel more productive/competent in a way, and patrons have been excited and mostly positive about the new building. I still get to see my favorite patrons from my original branch. A few naysayers have been grumpy about using the new technology for self-check and have claimed we staff now "have nothing to do" (yeah, right) or saying the building is "soulless" compared to the old branches, but mostly people think it's cool and have been super impressed. We have huge wall mounted TVs for kids to play Wii and Playstation, a recording studio, meeting and conference rooms to reserve, a cafe, so this has been major culture shock, but somehow in the midst of everything I'm adapting.

I have a lot less down time at work now, so getting any blogging done is going to be strictly an at-home venture, but I really want to get back into it as I have so many new smells and it would be a pity to leave them un-reviewed. Now that I'm starting (fingers crossed) to get my bearings and hopefully dad will continue to improve I hope to start posting again. I don't even know if anyone reads this anymore, but I will try to keep doing it at least for myself, so I can keep connected to the things that make me happiest.

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