5 favorite summer fragrances – a Makeup Wars post

Another Makeup Wars, another way to entice you into spending money. This time we’re tempting your senses with a variety of fragrance that are loved by the bloggers involved. Normally Marcia writes the Makeup Wars post but for this she’s turned to her blog partner Lisa for advice. Lisa has a love of fragrance so she’s sharing 5 of the scents she’s tried this year that’s she’s crazy about. On the original list Lisa sent me she included ones from last year like Lisa Hoffman Tuscan Fig, Bronze Goddess by Estee Lauder, and LaVanila Vanilla Coconut BUT being the stern taskmaster that I am, I made her chose 5 different ones and promised that I’d show you her choices from last year’s Makeup Wars. Now unto her 2015 Summer Favorites in no particular order.
Clean Summer Sun

Clean Summer Sun

1. CLEAN SUMMER SUN ($59*) is her most expensive choice but one she is loving this summer. “Clean Summer Sun is a fruity, woody scent in truly beautiful packaging. The bottle itself looks like a summer sunset. At First I was thinking that with the somewhat tropical appearance perhaps this was a beachy scent, but it isn’t. It’s more of an outdoorsy fresh-cut lawns, lush green woods, watching the fireflies come out kind of scent.”soap and paper2.  SOAP & PAPER FACTORY SOLID PERFUME IN ORANGE BLOSSOM ($18*) is a great choice if you are traveling or like to take a scent with you. “The Orange Blossom scent is beyond gorgeous. This smells just like orange blossom with a woodsy note once it dries down. If you love orange blossoms, this is for you. And solid perfumes are perfect for summer.”1437349850_island_coconut_065eaff8-aae1-46f2-808f-9b373fa67460_large.jpg_v_1430874783

3. SunyIsland Blu ISLAND COCONUT ($12) “Sometimes it’s just too darn hot to wear perfume so instead I go for fragranced body sprays. My favorite Etsy Shop (also website) for summer sprays is SunyIslandBlu. This summer I am constantly reaching for two body sprays in particular – Island Coconut which is a mix of tropical coconut and sweet vanilla and Summer Crush which is a light creamy coconut.”  Note from Marcia: Lisa is a coconut fiend. I couldn’t find Summer Crush on Etsy or their website which is going to make Lisa sad. I hope she stocked up.1437349774_Skeem-Sweet-Pea-and-Vanilla-next-to-packaging-172x3004. SKEEM PURE PERFUME IN SWEET PEA AND VANILLA ($15*) Lisa has always loved Skeem and seems to have a stash of their beautiful candles at her home. Now she’s learned about their Pure Perfume and she’s enchanted. “These perfumes have only 3 natural ingredients: denatured alcohol, filtered water and Skeem’s exclusive fragrances. The took the scents from their Pur Piller Candle Collection and made them into cute roller balls. Just like with their candles, the packaging for each scent is a work of art itself. Check out the beautiful butterflies that adorn the Sweet Pea and Vanilla scent. This scent is a great combination of deep, rich vanilla and the beautiful floral of Sweet Pea. The scent on these is strong at first but then it dries down to a gorgeous subtleness that lasts throughout the entire day.”lush vanillary5.  LUSH VANILLARY PERFUME ($15.95) Actually Lisa had two Lush fragrances but only this one is on their website but if you go to a Lush store see if they have the Gorilla scents and look for Furze, a cookies and coconut scent. “The Lush Vanillary scent is a fantastic option for vanilla lovers. It combines deep vanilla with soft caramel notes, a pairing that adds up to a wonderfully rich scent that isn’t too sweet or too foody.”

Thanks for reading our combination post. Lisa is making Marcia think twice about her fragrance phobia. Did she do that to you too?

*items marked with * are pr samples, rest are purchases

Getting cozy this fall with Skeem Candles


Skeem Fall Candle Sale

It’s getting chilly, so it’s time to break out the candles!  My favorite candle store is Skeem.  They don’t make just candles – they make works of art.  I have kept every single jar I’ve gotten from Skeem, each earning a new life once the candle becomes a fragrant memory.  I put Q-Tips in one, pencils in another, hair ties in yet another.  Several we use for drinking glasses.  I will also admit that there are some I don’t even burn, because they are so darn gorgeous I want to keep them looking exactly the way they arrived!

Skeem sent a few candles from their Fall 2013 selection and I am completely gaga about them.  Take a look:

The White Lotus Half Pint ($14) is a new scent in the Half Pint line, which at 7.5 ounces gives at least 50 hours of burn time.  The jar itself measures 2 3/4″ x 2 3/4″, and it is perfect for repurposing after those luxurious 50 hours.


Skeem White Lotus Half Pint


silk-screened sides


fantastic candle with no smoke and a terrific throw


love the metal lid print!

Don’t you just love that amazing jar??  The sides are silk-screened with the floral pattern, and the top is a metal lid with a parrot and vintage wallpaper print.  Right now this adorable candle is filling my office with a gorgeous mix of lotus, coral, and orange flowers with a hint of tea and musk.  My plan for after I’m done burning the flame fantastic is to fill the pretty jar with some Hawaiian Sea Salt I purchased a while back that we grind by hand in our marble pedestal grinder.

Other new Half Pint scents for season include Blood Orange and Tea Leaf.

If you want to go big, you want to check out the Weck Jars.  The Vintage Peony Weck Jar ($29) is one of the new scents in this very popular line.


Skeem Vintage Peony Weck Jar


vintage scientific ephemera


a huge 100 hours of burn time!


Sigh.  I love this.

The Weck Jars are perfect for canning pretty much anything once the candle is gone – right now on the website they talk about using the jar to can pickles.  People have been using Weck jars in Europe to can things since 1895.  The jars are a huge 4 1/4″ wide x 4 1/4″ high, and you get at least 100 hours of burn time.

The Vintage Peony scent is a grown up floral mix of peony, lily, and musk.  It is perfect for a family or living room.


beautiful canvas label


In 100 hours, you will be full of pickles!

Please do yourself a favor and take a look at all the amazing designs available in the Weck Jars!  Skeem says, “The lids were designed from our collection of vintage scientific ephemera. We layered detailed drawings of animals, insects and nature, popular with 19th century illustrators, with charts, type and labels from this same time period, to create these beautiful sepia-toned designs. The side of each jar features an embossed Weck logo and our signature printed canvas label.”  The designs are fantastic additions to your decor, and the candles themselves are the best you can find anywhere.

Other new scents for the season in Weck Jars include Grapefruit Zest and Sweet Balsam.

Right now there a few sale candles left, and also Skeem has free shipping for any order over $70.  It’s a perfect time to stock up for the season, get those heavier candles and avoid the postage costs!  You’ve got to go to www.skeemshop.com and look at the truly gorgeous items they have.  You won’t believe how fantastic this line truly is.  – Lisa

*pr samples

Spring fragrance from Skeem: Lilac Dandelion Pure Perfume

We all know Skeem as one of the best candle companies out there.  Their candles are more than just a light in the dark, they are truly works of art.

Sweet Pea and Vanilla

Sweet Pea and Vanilla

But did you know that Skeem also has beautiful perfumes?

Skeem Lilac

Skeem Lilac Dandelion

My absolute favorite for this spring is the Lilac Dandelion Pure Perfume ($15) fragrance. Lilac can smell a little ‘old lady’ish, and the addition of dandelion gives lilac a little more green and little more sophistication. The end result is a gorgeous, outdoorsy floral that isn’t perfumey or cloying.

So pretty!!

So pretty!!

Oh, and did I mention the packaging? It’s classic Skeem, amazing depth and detail. The roller ball perfumes are perfect for your purse and I find the fragrance to be super clean and long-lasting.

Love the portability of a rollerball perfume

Love the portability of a rollerball perfume

The bottles are 7.5 ml and made of glass with a rollerball applicator.

skeem lilac dandelion roller ball top

Skeem’s Pure Perfume rollerball fragrances are made with just three natural ingredients: denatured alcohol, filtered water and fragrance.

only three ingredients!

only three ingredients!

Skeem has quite a few new products for spring, there is a lot to get excited about. I am looking forward to the new Weck Jar Candles, too!  If you haven’t perused this beautiful website yet, now is the time to take a look.  – Lisa

*pr sample

skeem weck

Skeem Pint Pack is perfect for the holidays!

Skeem for the holidays

Candles are always a safe bet to gift at the holidays, and some of the finest candles out there can be found at Skeem. Skeem’s candles have a clean burn, and the empty jars are beautiful. I have a whole bunch of them that I have re-purposed for different things – one holds my Q-Tips, one is a pen and pencil holder at my desk, and I even use some as drink glasses.

Skeem Pint Pack #3

Right now Skeem has ‘Pint Packs‘ for $25, a $33 value. Each Pint Pack includes two Half Pint candles (50 hour burn time) and a box of coordinated matches. The match box is double sided, and each side has the design that graces the lids of the candles.

I am totally loving Pint Pack #3, which has Sweet Pea & Vanilla and Black Currant candles and coordinating matches.

skeem holiday matches 1

Sweet Pea and Vanilla is a mixture of delicious vanilla and fragrant sweet pea. It’s a lovely scent that has a wonderful throw. And I adore the packaging, the peacocks are stunning.

Sweet Pea and Vanilla

Black Currant is sweet and fruity, it’s a great scent for the holidays.

Black Current

Black Current

I love the rich jewel tones in the design.

Skeem holiday matches 2In addition to the Pint Pack reviewed today, you can also find Pint Pack #1 with Grapefruit Zest and Gardenia Nectar candles and coordinating matches; and Pint Pack #2 with Peach Velvet and Lilac Dandelion candles and coordinating matches. Any of the packs would make great holiday gifts!  – Lisa

*pr sample


Some holiday ideas that aren’t quite run of the mill

We’ve reviewed a few brands on Beauty Info Zone that don’t come to mind instantly when you are thinking of products to buy as gifts. They aren’t owned by the big cosmetic companies and don’t have big advertising budgets but their products are fabulous. We thought we’d share a few items with you that might be nice to see under a Christmas tree/Chanukah bush.

VMV Hypoallergenics is a brand we’ve shared before. They have gifts for the people that have sensitive skin. My favorite is the MistleGlow gift but that’s currently out of stock.

VMV Hypoallergenics Mistleglow

What is in stock at Dermstore though are three different sets of skincare: Very Merry VMV Happy HoliDew kits for combination skin, dry skin or oily skin at $25.00.

Very Merry VMV Happy Holiday kit

One of the products most sensitive women moan about is mascara since most won’t work on their eyes. That’s where VMV Ooh La Lash shines. Finally a product that won’t burn or turn their eyes red. ($23 at VMV Hypoallergenics) This will help the person who normally can’t wear mascara have a special holiday look. This would be a great stocking stuffer.

VMV Hypoallergenics Ooh La Lash

“Each application adds a new sleeve, coating each lash, building an ever-thicker cocoon of rich, beautiful color, and creating s-tube-pendous, non-smearing volume. Non-clumping, smear-free (and therefore skin-friendlier). Why? Because instead of applying layers of looser pigments across a swath of lashes, it creates a clean, “sealed” tube around each lash.” 

SKEEM is a brand that makes beautiful candle sets that your candle loving friends won’t find in every store in town. Here’s one of our favorites:

Pillar Pack 2

This is the Pillar Pack 2 that includes Night Jasmine and Fig & Black Pepper Pillars, and a Night Jasmine Half Pint. This set may be our favorite but there’s also 5 other sets ranging from $25 to $48. Read Lisa’s reviews on Skeem and you’ll see why it’s a favorite.

For your friend that would never wear Estee Lauder, Lancome or even Dior; the one that wants to be noticed; check out these amazing OCC Metallic Lip Tars.

OCC Metallurgy Lip Tars (photo borrowed from http://gouldyloxreviews.blogspot.com/)

These lip tars have a metallic sheen and give you the amazing long lasting color of the original Lip Tars. “Apply even less product than usual in this newest iteration of our groundbreaking Lip Tar™ formula for a fully metallized lip look.” These are available at OCC’s website and at Sephora.com for $16.00. ICED: OPAQUE SNOW WHITE FROST

Last but not least, we love everything from Mont Bleu. We’ve recently reviewed some great files and gorgeous mirrors but they also have amazing jewelry, tweezers, hair brushes and cosmetic brushes. Plus they have a Black Friday sale at Design Glassware. You can’t go wrong with Mont Bleu.

Two Hearts Key Ring by Mont Bleu

Have fun shopping – only 36 days left!! — Marcia

Gorgeous Pure Tapers from Skeem

Are you a candle person?  Some people prefer tarts, others prefer candles.  I am a total candle person.  Candles can be works of art, and no one does them better than SkeemSkeem candles are stylish and trendy, in fact they have been featured in magazines like Lucky and InStyle.  They makes the most beautiful candles in glass jars, check out some of my previous reviews here and here.  My latest obsession is with their Pure Tapers ($22).

Skeem Pure Tapers: Bluebird

The Pure Tapers are made in Germany by a factory that has been producing tapers for more than 200 years using the drawn style.  With this method, the wax is built up around the wick so the candle has wonderful, individual linear marks in the wax.  Then Skeem hand screen prints the tapers in the US.

I’m not sure which is prettier, the box or the candles.

The screen prints are fantastic.  I have Bluebird, but other choices include Honeybee, Butterfly, and Filigree.

Such fantastic, detailed prints!

They are understated, classic designs that I think are totally drool-worthy.  The Pure Tapers are $22 for a set of 2, with 12 hours of burn time.  Even better, the tapers are smokeless, dripless, and unscented.

If you love candles, you really need to check out Skeem.  They have absolutely gorgeous products that are perfect for yourself or for gifting.  – Lisa

*pr sample

Pure Perfume by Skeem

My love affair with Skeem continues…I adore their pillars and half pints, which are not only amazing candles, but also works of art.  Now you can get the scent of your favorite candles in a roller ball perfume!  These perfumes have only three natural ingredients:  denatured alcohol, filtered water, and Skeem’s exclusive fragrances.  They took the scents from their Pure Pillar collection and made them into cute roller ball perfumes.  Each Pure Perfume 7.5 ml glass bottle rollerball fragrance is only $15.

Skeem Sweet Pea and Vanilla Pure Perfume

Just like with their candles, the packaging for each scent is a work of art itself.  Check out the beautiful butterflies that adorn the Sweet Pea and Vanilla scent.

What beautiful packaging!

The Sweet Pea and Vanilla scent is a great combination of deep, rich vanilla and the beautiful floral of Sweet Pea.

Fun travel sized roller ball

The scent on these is strong at first, then it dries down to a gorgeous subtleness that lasts throughout the entire day.

Skeem Blood Orange Pure Perfume

The adorable Blood Orange is just fabulous, adorned with a vintage looking bumble bee pattern.

The perfect size for your purse!

This is a true, bright blood orange scent that smells so real you won’t believe it.  And it’s great for travel and for your purse.  In addition to Sweet Pea and Vanilla and Blood Orange there are four other beautiful scents available, including Grapefruit Zest, Flower Market, White Lotus, and Vintage Peony.

While you check out these awesome new perfumes, be sure to take a look at their limited edition Spring Gift Sets.  There are three different sets from which to choose, and the two half pints (plus a beautiful box of matches) give you over 50 hours of burn time – plus the freaking fantastic jars can be repurposed as cotton ball holders, or paper clip jars,  or drinking glasses, or tons of other possibilities.  These are great gifts for birthdays, Mother’s Day, and just for yourself.  You really need to take a moment to peruse the Skeem website, it’s full of fabulously unique items!  – Lisa

*pr samples