Commodity Fragrance Review

I have been on the search for a “grown up” fragrance for a few years now. I never do fragrance reviews, though, because scent is SO personal. What you like could be very different from what I like, and the same scent might even smell different on each of us. HOWEVER, I would like to review my shopping experience with Commodity Goods, because I found it really game-changing for online shopping addicts like myself.

It works like this: You pay in advance for a perfume by ordering a sampling kit, then you receive 10 scent samples to try at home. Pick the fragrance you like best and redeem online for your full sized perfume. You do have to commit to buying at least one rollerball (the minimum sample kit) in order to participate in the home sampling, but these are high quality perfumes and there’s bound to be at least one that you like. It’s a good way to try scents in advance without setting foot in a store, like Warby Parker but for scents.

The kit:
commodity try at home sample kit mens cologne and womens perfumecommodity uno try at home kit

I got the Uno kit which redeems for one 10ml rollerball ($24). You can also get the Trio with 3 rollerballs ($48), or the 100 which redeems for a full 100ml scent ($99), but they all come with the same 10 scents samples, so there’s no advantage to choosing one over the other other than the quantity you redeem for.

PRO-TIP!!! I recommend ordering the minimum order kit (Uno) because when you redeem it, you’ll get the option to buy anything else you want for half price. I don’t know how long that offer will last, but I used it to my full advantage and redeemed the single rollerball in my second-favorite scent, then snapped up the larger (more expensive) full size of my fave for half price. $73 total investment for a $123 value!

These were all very high quality and nuanced, and I had a tough time choosing between my favorites. Playing with the kit felt a bit like science class, which was fun for me.

I really did love the scents. They are eau de parfum rather than eau de toilette, which basically means they are higher quality and longer lasting. EDTs are more watered down. The scents are broken into a black and white collections, which the Commodity site describes thusly:
“The White Collection include scents that are light, airy, and easy, while the Black Collection is more complex, intense, and moody.”
What they’re getting at is the black scents are more masculine and the white scents are more feminine (something I didn’t understand until halfway through my kit), but they’re semi-unisex and are meant to be mixed and matched. I love the idea of wearing a masculine scent from time to time, so I got the (ladylike) Tea as my large 100ml scent and the (manly, but unisexy) Wool as my small 10 ml scent.

commodity perfume outer packaging commodity perfume 100ml and 10ml packagingcommodity cologne bottle design

The packaging is goregeous and I’m excited to have these on my vanity. I’m a mega packaging geek and I’m not even ashamed to admit it. The website also has adorable illustrations to explain the notes of each scent and I really loved that. Here are the descriptions and illustrations for the fragrances I chose.

“Not your average store-bought tea. A soft brew of citrus and aquatic notes infused with cooling Watermint Leaf.”

  • TOP NOTES: Citrus Accord, Sicilian Lemon, Bergamot
  • MID NOTES: Freesia, Muguet, Jasmine Sambac
  • BASE NOTES: Sandalwood, White Musk
  • GREAT FOR:   Day   Special Occasion

commodity perfume tea illustration
Image credit:

“Effortless warmth. Touches of Bourbon Vanilla and Haitian Vetiver craft this perfectly cozy outerwear.”

  • TOP NOTES: Mandarin, Grapefruit, Apple
  • MID NOTES: Basil, Fresh Ozone, Cedarwood, Lavandin, Armoise
  • BASE NOTES: Amber, Haitian Vetiver, Gray Musk, Bourbon Vanilla
  • GREAT FOR:   Day   Night

commodity Men_Collage_Wool
Image credit:

What do you think, would you ever buy a perfume online this way, or do you still prefer to try it in store?

April Golden Tote Review

My April Golden Tote came in last week! With May’s tote day coming up on Monday, it was now or never to get the review out.

This was another all-keeper tote, thanks to my stylist KB and the awesome expanded style profile on GT’s site! Take a look at the goods:

Chosen: Draped Jersey Tank.
This was huge on me, and I actually sized down. It was unwearable on its own, but I like it with a belt.

drape neck black jersey top golden tote draped jersey tank golden tote black draped jersey top

Chosen: Blue Batik Dress.
I really liked the fit of this dress and was excited to find that it was long enough to cover my tall frame. This will be an excellent patio brunch dress now that the weather is finally warming up here in Chiberia!
blue and pink batik dress

Closeup of the print and the add-on Inner Circle necklace:
golden tote batik print dress and inner circle necklace

Surprise: Miss Love Sheer Panel Tank.
I thought this would be a disaster, but it was surprisingly flattering! The fabric is super interesting and the sheer hem has a frayed end that gives it some edge. I like the way GT pays attention to details.
miss love black tank with sheer panel
Not bad!
sheer miss love black tank with circle print fabric
Fabric closeup:
fabric closeup black miss love golden tote tank

Surprise: Lumiere Ethnic Print Tunic.
I love this! It almost works as a dress on me, but I prefer it as a tunic. It’s kind of billowy, but I like it with a belt. It has a cross stitch style embroidery and buttoned placket that keeps it from being another generic black top in my very dark wardrobe. I can’t wait to wear this to a cookout! It would also work well unbuttoned and unbelted as a swimsuit coverup if I were the sort of person who went out in the sun.
black lumiere ethnic trim tunic lumiere embroidered trim tunic golden tote
Embroidery detail:
embroidery closeup lumiere tunic dress golden tote april 2015

Lumiere Geo Print Sleelevess Top.
I really love this, It’s the kind of thing I wear pretty often to work. It fits well and the fabric is of good quality.

lumiere triangle print tank lumiere navy  geometric print sleeveless top

Honey Punch Damask Print Blouse.
Into it. The fabric is nice and heavy on this blouse and it is a nice transition piece for this fake spring I’m dealing with. I’ve already worn this one.
honey punch damask print blouse in ivory
And I have a few more add-on accessories.
Mother of pearl Delicate Drop Necklace.
delicate drop necklace
It’s reversible!
reversible mother of pearl delicate drop necklace

Birds of a Feather Wallet.
black and white bird print clutch wallet golden tote april 2015

Turquoise Step Into Spring Shades.
blue step into spring shades

Tan Rimmed Sunglasses.
tan rimmed sunglasses

Tortoiseshell Favorite Wayfarers.
golden tote favorite mirrored sunglasses in tortoise

And that’s my tote! I am soooo excited about how well curated these last two totes have been. There’s a lot of cute stuff coming up in the May sale, although I will probably skip this month because I’m trying to clear out my overstuffed closet. More on that soon.

April Ipsy and Birchbox reviews

I thought I would do one of these rundowns again after my overly long hiatus. In case you were wondering, I definitely did get some good stuff over the last few months, so that’s not why I was slacking. I just got these this week, so I’m not that late for once. 😉

First of all, can we take a moment to just appreciate how far both of these companies have come in terms of packaging? Soooo cute, especially the Rifle Paper box!
SAM_6596 (2) SAM_6599

You come a long way, ladies.

Ok, review time! Let’s talk about ipsy first. This month had a bohemian theme.
april 2015 ipsy
First is Gállány Cosmetics Lipstick in Petal ($21.50). This lipstick was a pretty color, although I have a few dupes of this shade. It was kind of average. Nothing super special about it, but not a bad product. Not worth $21.50.
gallany lipstick in petalgallany Petal lipstick swatch

Next was Mullein & Sparrow Mini Lip & Cheek Tint ($22).
I was excited about this, but it had almost no color at all on my lips, and my lips are pretty pale. I could detect the tiniest hint of color and that was it. Other than that, it had a nice slick but not sticky feel and was very glossy.

Mullein & Sparrow Mini Lip & Cheek TintMullein & Sparrow Mini Lip and Cheek Tint swatched

theBalm Cosmetics NUDE Dude Eyeshadow Single in Fit ($36 for the full palette).
A sequel to my Nude ‘Tude palette! I really liked the first one, and this edition seems comparable. The shades seem reeeeally similar to the original palette, just warmer. The first palette was good that naturally this extremely similar one is also going to be a good nude palette option. Pretty much everything theBalm makes is a winner. They are one of my favorite sleeper brands that doesn’t get the love they deserve.

the Balm nude dude eyeshadow single
(it’s the bronzey shade in my crease below)
the balm nude dude fit eyeshadow

MicaBeauty Eye Primer ($44.99)
This is a good primer. It’s a large pot, with a very solid feeling formula that would last a long time. It looks good on my skintone and while that means it would be pretty light on darker skin, that can make bold colors stand out really well so it isn’t a bad thing. However, this primer is not worth $45. This was great as a sample, but there’s no way they can be serious with that price.
mica beauty eye primer
L-R, a swatch of the Nude Dude single, then a swatch of the primer, then both.
nude dude fit eyeshadow swatched over primer

JulieG Nail Color in Damsel ($3.99)
Hot pink! This swatch is only one (admittedly thick) coat, and it’s super smooth and opaque! Not a color I would normally wear, but the polish quality is good. It was worth sampling for sure.
Julie  G hot pink nail polish JulieG JulieG Nail Color in damsel swatch

And now onto Birchbox:

april 2015 birchbox review

jane iredale Just Kissed Lip and Cheek Stain in Forever Pink – $25
I like it well enough. It’sone of those “magic” products that goes on clear and adjusts to the right shade for your lips/cheeks. It was very natural looking although it felt slightly waxy on my cheeks. Still looked good, though. You can also see it on my cheeks in the final full face picture at the end of this post.
SAM_6631 (2)

Number 4™ Hydrating Shampoo – $34
This stuff is way expensive, but it smells and feels nice. Not in my budget.
Temple Spa Peace Be Still Calming Face & Body Balm – $29
A good, non-greasy moisturizer. Again, a bit pricier than anything I’d buy. I save my splurges for eyeshadow.

Harvey Prince Yogini – $55
I don’t love fragrance samples as I’ve said time and time again with my birchboxes. I also don’t love Harvey Prince fragrances. However, I actually liked this one! I probably wouldn’t buy it, but it was nice. Probably because this one has notes of grapefruit and I’m a big citrus fan.

Supergoop!® Daily Correct CC Cream ​SPF 35+ in light to medium – $32
I’m already a fan of the Supergoop line (you know I am OBSESSED with SPF and that’s kind of their thing) so I was excited to try this. It felt good, covered well and it had a natural finish that made my skin look so smooth. Unfortunately, this was a shade too dark and made me look like I had a spray tan. Fortunately, they make a lighter shade, so I’m interested in buying that once I use up my 5,000 other foundations and BB creams.

SAM_6635 (2) SAM_6639 (2) SAM_6649 (2)