Akemia Apothicary – INDIE Pervume Review

Alkemia offers 5 samples for $10 including shipping on their site, which is a really nice way to get to test some perfumes out.  This was actually my first indie perfume purchase, so I kind of picked at random.  I guess there is a pretty good amount of trial and error when leaning the notes and what perfumers do best, and even just what I like and don’t like, so this purchase wasn’t entirely successful.  But I’m learning.

They run from an Etsy shop, which is nice because Etsy lets me keep a running cart forever, that I can place my favorites into so I don’t forget what I like from a shop when I get all wrapped up in ordering from a seasonal release or a sale.  (#Indieworldproblems.)

IMG_3786The turn around time was great, I had these in my mailbox in about a week.

On to the scents:

Vixen: White Amber, Musk, Jasmine Tea, Sugar Pumpkin, Moss

Based on the ingredient list I didn’t expect this to work for me, but Alkemia apparently used an Amber that my skin chemistry really likes and doesn’t morph into pure incense.  This smells warm and cozy, and a tiny bit spicy (the musk and pumpkin maybe?)  it’s creamy and sexy and really nice.

Burning Roses: dark red roses and burning divinatory incenses – smouldering frankincense, champa, labdanum

I was initially worried about my Alkemia Perfume order because this scent was so overpowering and SO strongly hippie head shop incense, that it actually made all the labels on the other bottles of perfume in my sample order smell like it.

Hellcat: Black Oud, Black Musk, Labdanum, and spiced Pipe Tobacco blended with a seductive purr of Black Opium

I really don’t know why I thought I would like this one.  Musk and Labdanum.  This perfume is exactly what I feared indie perfumes would turn out to be before I gave them a try.  So many promises of sexy, and so much incense instead.

adorem xxi: Ardorem 21 is a complex elixir of 21 precious essences including: Coriander, Mandarin, Amber, Nutmeg, Saffron, Bourbon Geranium, Blue Lotus, Tobacco, Musk, Clove, Sandalwood, Vetiver, Kashmiri Tea, Cardamom, Black Pepper, and Japanese incense

This is nice.  The initial scent is pure watery floral.  It’s similar enough to mens cologne like Davidoff makes, aquatic and with pretty decent sillage.  This leans a bit masculine for my tastes, and smells a bit like the aftershave or cologne one of my male colleagues (my cube neighbour) wears.  I don’t really not like it, but it’s not my style.

Tryst of Grey: An utterly beguiling blend of Earl Grey Tea, lightly brewed Black Assam Tea, Scarlet Monarda (also known as Wild Bergamot), a fresh twist of Bergamot citrus peel, and golden skin musk teased with long, slow kisses of orange blossom honey.

On application it’s bergamot and tea.  It somehow doesn’t really smell like Earl Grey though, because it’s got something almost floral in it as well.  As it drys down it starts to get really citrusy and fresh smelling, but still with a lot of tea.  I think what I was expecting was more a London Fog early grey with something sweet type scent, and this isn’t like that at all.  It’s fresh and clean and I really like it.


I think I need Tryst of Grey in a full size, but the rest I’m going to pass.  That’s what sample sizes are for, so I’m happy with my purchase!

13 Gypsies Perfumery – INDIE Review

I don’t remember how I cam across 13 Gypsies, but I liked the descriptions when I found them, and the price was good so I decided to give them a try.


These were on sale for $3 each dram, plus $5.95 for the shipping – very good for sending things to Canada, most places charge about $7 regardless of what I order.  (Prices are in USD)


The turnaround wasn’t great, I ordered on Oct 4 and recieved it on Oct 27.  Things do often take a while to get to Canada, but this was a bit longer than usual.


On to the perfumes.

The packaging was really nice.  Unfortunately I completely derped my photos of the wrapping and they look like crap so I won’t post them.


But here are the bottles. They are really simple and clean looking.

Sweet Violet: violet and sugar

This smells very medicinally floral right out of the bottle, sweet and fake.  On drydown it’s all floral and makes me think of someone’s grandmother’s bathroom.  Not much sillage, I can only smell it on myself if I put my face right up against my wrist.  This eventually becomes a soft popouri floral scent, not cloying and awful but more a bathroom cleaner scent than something I’d like to put on my body.  I actually may use it for that, since I’m a little tired of the cheapo bathroom candle and fantastic cleaner scent my bathroom is currently featuring.

THEM: cassis, cherry, fig, sugar, and musk

There is something in this and sweet violet that smells similar, and cheapens the scent.  I guess maybe it’s the sugar.  I’m getting a bit of musk, but mostly just sour fig and sugar.  It’s funny, I bought a whole bunch of sugary fig perfumes thinking I liked that scent, but I think…. I don’t.  It may be time to give up on that.

Eat Me: inspired by the smell of cupcakes with creamy vanilla frosting

Cheap vanilla sugarbomb.  This is the very definition of cloying sugary yuck, right out of the bottle.  It drys down to a less intense version of this.  I went through a “buy every vanilla lip gloss” phase, and this is the same scent they all have.  It’s not a bad smell… it’s just way too foodie vanilla for me.  (What did I expect?)

Apricot Fluff: apricot and marshmallow fluff

Fruity and sweet, kind of boring.  This scent started to fade immediately when I put it on, and it turned a little stale smelling.  It reminds me of the years old halloween taffy things that my grandparents had in one of the cabinets in the living room when I was a kid.  Sweet, old, musty.

Bad Witch: (free sample!) nag champa, frankincense, sandalwood, & dragon’s blood, with a touch of patchouli

This is everything I feared about indie scents before I started getting into them.  I’m not even going to review this since it’s sooooo far from something I would pick myself and I think it wouldn’t be fair.  It’s really nice to get a free sample with purchases, and I actually really appreciate when shops throw in something really different from what I ordered.  That’s how you find new things, right?  But some things will never be my kind of thing, and this scent family is one of those.


Reviewing what’s currently in the store, I don’t think what I ordered is indicative of the store’s best work.  Many of the scents are head shop/hippish incense smells, and I avoid those, so I have to think that probably the ones I was drawn to are not their speciality.

There is a sale on right now, where Halloween is 44% off, which is a great deal since the perfumes are really not expensive to start with.

But, that being said, I won’t order from them again, since nothing worked for me.

Memebox Coupon Code and a Giveaway

I haven’t been buying things lately, but for those not tortuing themselves with nobuys, Membox has released their $5 coupon code

You can get a $5 coupon too

For October enter: 9ZCL

For $5

The reason for this post is that Memebox is doing a Free Giveaway (ha, their words, I guess some giveaways aren’t free?) contest!
Here is the details:
Dates: Oct. 9 – Oct 20th, 2014
Qualification: International, anyone can enter (have your parents permission if you are younger than 18).  We will choose 30 winners that will be announced on Oct. 22nd.
1. Sign up with Memebox and subscribe to our newsletter

2. Leave a comment, like and share both Vagabond posts on Facebook and Instagram

Yay, enjoy, ect.

I’ll be sulking at home with no new stuff for a while.

SYN-AKE Peptide – Mizon S-venom Wrinkle Tox Cream

Syn-ake is supposed to be the “botox in a bottle” solution.  It’s an anti-wrinkle chemical, a synthetic protein fragment that is meant to replicate part of the venom of the Malaysian Temple Viper.  It’s been found to work similar to botox – like how botox paralyzes the muscles that cause expression lines.

Technical details:

Dipeptide Diaminobutyroyl:  Active compound is based on a synthetic tripeptide that mimics the effect of Waglerin 1, found in the venom of the Temple Viper. The activity of snake peptide reduces the contraction frequency of muscle cells on the face, thereby decreasing the appearance of expression lines. In vivo testing showed an impressive reduction of over 50% in wrinkle size after 28 days. Does not contain preservatives. Clear liquid, no odor. pH value 4.5 – 5.5. Easily water-soluble. CAS# 794590-34-4, 883558-32-5, 56-81-5.

Has been found in clinical studies to reduce the appearance of wrinkles and expression lines due to reduction of contraction frequency. Best added to skin serums and creams to target wrinkles around eyes, mouth and forehead.

The Purchase:

This was what I bought:


 IMG_2896 IMG_2901-001

I have some fine lines, and I guess I’m pretty obviously obsessed with getting rid of them.

Mizon products are pretty high quality, have good reviews, and my skin seems to like them.  This one is about $30 on Amazon (shipped from Korea) which at 50ml isn’t cheap, but it’s not as high priced as some others I found.


I used this daily, applying pretty liberally (I have dry skin so I can put on a pretty thick layer of moisturizer) over my C-Serum, and under my sunscreen.  The instructions say to give it some time before putting anything over top, so I waited about 10 mins before adding the sunscreen.


This is a pretty greasy feeling moisturizer, but it layers well under sunscreen without pilling.  In the 10 min wait time it didn’t absorb all the way in.

Once applied, it doesn’t seem to relax or paralyze anything…

My fine lines before:


This photo is 6 months old.  From when I started with the sny-ake.

Yep.  Definitely there.  This is with the syn-ake on it, that’s why I look SO SHINY.  I cover all this with makeup.

Right after application, I wasn’t able to see any real difference.  It’s supposed to be able to relax the lines that come from expression…. but my expressions weren’t hindered in the least, so I don’t think it’s doing what it’s supposed to.

My Fine Lines Now:

photo 2 (7)-001

Harsh Lighting

I can still see them, the 11s are alive and well.


I think this product is an interesting gimmick, but I don’t see enough of a difference to continue its use.  If I like the product as a moisturizer more, I’d probably keep using it, just in case it’s doing some kind of work behind the scenes, but as it is, I’m not going to keep using this one.

Just spring for botox, for actual botox effect.









For some reason these were very difficult to photograph, they really really wanted to be out of focus.  I got small jars of each of Cloud Kingdom, Demon Soul, Desecration, Candied Apple, Deepmoss

I really like these colors, they are really pigmented and sparkley, and most of them are duocrome colors.

With a flash:   Cloud Kingdom, Demon Soul, Desecration, Candied Apple, DeepmossDSC_0016

Without a flash:  Cloud Kingdom, Demon Soul, Desecration, Candied Apple, Deepmoss


I swatched these twice because the first didn’t show well.


I really like these, and they highlight how badly I need to invest in a great primer to make my indie shadows pop.  Candied Apples and Deepmoss need it the most I think, those colors are just amazing with even my crappy primer under them.


I think it’s safe to say I have fallen for indie makeup.


The cost of these was about $3.30 each, I bought minis so I could test them out and I think that size works really well, since I like to buy new things so often.  Femme Fatale is in Australia, which means shipping was completely ridiculous, but they were one of very few companies I could find that would ship nail polish to me in Canada.  (Nail polish review will be coming up soon.)  I was able to combine all these shadows with 6 nail polishes, for a total shipping charge of $20.10.  This order cost more than I had intended to spend, so I’m very glad that I’m so happy with everything in it!



photo 4 (2)-001


What’s a Memebox?

Memebox is a Korean beauty box service that ships from Korea to Canada and the US (and quite a few other countries). In each Memebox, you get 6-8 Korean beauty products, some are deluxe samples and some are full sizes. The normal box is $23 + shipping (and not shipping per box but per order, so if you order multiples it’s a way better deal. Superboxes, are between $29 and $39 This particular one was $23.

You can earn “meme points” as well for additional discounts, and the way and number you earn is varied and seems a little random. If you want one click here if you would like to use my affiliate link and give me some sweet sweet points or dollars or something. You get 3 memepoints just for signing up right now, which is a $3 value!

On to the box!  (This is in no particular order, other than the order I photographed the items in)

  1. Recipe by Nature Golden Time Vita Capsule Essence: Full Size $42
  2. Shower Mate Perfume de Whip Body Wash
  3. a;t fox Fantasy Holic Lip & Cheek Designer Pencil in Lovely Coral
  4. Beauty People Miss 100 Super Waterproof Gel Liner in glimmer bronze
  5. VOV Good-Bye Black Smudge Waterproof Mascara
  6. Sua Young Mineral Essence in Liquid Foundation SPF33 PA+++
  7. Sally’s box 4 Set (Love Recipe Apple Mask, Delight Ceramide Hydrogel Mask, Delight Collagen Hydrogel mask, Delight Panthenol Hydrogel Mask
  8. Kocostar 4 Package Set:  Ggongii Hair Pack, 10 Face Spot Mirror Patch, 5 finger nail pack, 3 Foot Peeling Pack


Recipe by Nature Golden Time Vita Capsule Essence: Full Size $42

Vitamin Essence. This is another item that I’m going to have to go on a big ingredient list hunt for. There is an ebay listing that says it has

Panthenol (Vitamin B5)
Niacinamide (Vitamin B3)
Tocopherol (Vitamin E)
Vitamin C

But… what else?  That’s just the actives, right?  I like essences, but to try them out I think it’s good to know what else is in there.  I get worried about things like lemon, ect, that seem to show up from time to time in Korean skin care products.


Shower Mate Perfume de Whip Body Wash:  Full size $4 each (2 total)

These are very scented.  The card says fruity and sweet floral refreshingly crisp white blossom (lighter tube) and elegant rose and jasmine scented Marilyn Red Fantasy (black tube.)  I say overwhelming perfume scent.  It’s a good scent, but I’ve been trying out indie perfumes lately, and these are just cloying in comparison.


a;t fox Fantasy Holic Lip & Cheek Designer Pencil in Lovely Coral: Full Size $7

All over color, it’s pretty pigmented and a little shimmery. I tried this on my lips and it went on OK.  I don’t think I want bright coral colored cheeks, so I haven’t tried that yet.  It’s got enough shimmer to it that I probably won’t top it with a gloss.  I went out for dinner right after I put it on, and by the time I got to the restaurant it had rubbed off.


Beauty People Miss 100 Super Waterproof Gel Liner in glimmer bronze: Full Size $38

Bronze eyeliner.  Not much more to say, than Yay it’s waterproof and I’m going to the beach this winter so I’m totally going to use it there! I am not normally one for golds and bronzes as eyeliners, but it’s good to branch out, right?  I’m going to give it a try, I think it will look great with black dresses and red lips.DSC_0031

VOV Good-Bye Black Smudge Waterproof Mascara:  Full Size $16

I like getting mascara samples.  I’m going to keep this one sealed up for now, since I already have 3 tubes going.  So no swatch.  I’m going to be bringing this with me on my Christmas beach holiday!  Whoo!


Sua Young Mineral Essence in Liquid Foundation SPF33 PA+++:  Sample (5g) $5.65

The formula seems OK but the color is too light for me.  It’s creamy, and seems like it’s great for the right person’s skin though!  It’s also a really big sample for foundation.  I like it when samples are big enough that I can try things for a day or so before buying.


Sally’s box 4 Set (Love Recipe Apple Mask, Delight Ceramide Hydrogel Mask, Delight Collagen Hydrogel mask, Delight Panthenol Hydrogel Mask:  Full Size $14
I love Sheet Masks. So much. And these are Hydrogel ones (aside from the apple one). I’m pretty pumped.  I’ve been wanting more good sheet masks ever since the Leaders Insolution ones I got in another Memebox.  They are hard to come by in Canada (The Face Shop has some disappointing ones, but otherwise it’s big shipping costs to get them here.)


Kocostar 4 Package Set:  Ggongii Hair Pack, 10 Face Spot Mirror Patch, 5 finger nail pack, 3 Foot Peeling Pack:  $20 Total Value

I’m totally excited to see my feel peel up like crazy. This is going to be so gross and awesome.  I like packs, masks and other things like this, so i’m glad there were so many in this box.  I’m very curious about how this finger nail pack works out, you are supposed to put them on and let them sit for about an hour.  The hair one says you don’t wash it out, but it should also involve a ponytail…. my chin length hair can only get into slightly questionable looking pigtails, so hopefully that will work.  Then the foot pack… it says to only leave it on for an hour!  Then I will molt after 3-5 days.



a;t fox Fantasy Holic Lip & Cheek Designer Pencil in Lovely Coral

Beauty People Miss 100 Super Waterproof Gel Liner in glimmer bronze

Sua Young Mineral Essence in Liquid Foundation SPF33 PA+++

Total Value:  $150

This box is pretty awesome!  I think there is more in here that I will use than I’ve had in most other boxes, even though it seems like it has less big ticket items.   Quality over quantity, right?  I think I’m going to get good use most everything.

(Under $30) Cheapskate Approved because it’s so high value!

  Pretty Great!

Edit:  I don’t know why some things are links, but for whatever reason I can’t remove the links (wordpress conspiracy?)