Thirty Days of the OGEE Velvet Botanical Moisturizer

For the past month or so I have been using the OGEE Hyrdoganics Velvet Botanical Moisturizer. I planned to post this at the end of thirty days, But Thanksgiving happened and scheduling got bent so I am now at the end of this bottle of moisturizer.

I actually don’t mind that the moisturizer use was extended as I ended up taking it traveling with me so it was an extra test for the moisturizer. Plus I also really enjoyed using it. But lets look a little at the actual product. The brand OGEE Organics specializes in high quality, high performing certified organic skincare. So I feel good about using the products in general. They have skincare items like the velvet Moisturizer I used but they also have a few makeup items in their collection. I haven’t tried any of the makeup, but given the quality of this moisturizer I have a few of them on my list to try out in the near future.

Jojoba is one of the brands hero ingredients because it has a molecular structure very similar to the sebum we naturally produce. Which It one of the reasons this moisturizer felt so good to wear. I’ve always found that my skin absorbs jojoba based products really well and feels amazingly soft and hydrated afterwards.

One of the other ingredients, In fact it is the first ingredient listed in the full list, is aloe.

Full Ingredients: Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice*,Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil*, Squalane (from Sugarcane), Glycerin* (from Vegetable Sources), Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride* (from Coconut Oil), Propanediol (from Corn), Glyceryl Stearate SE (from Vegetable Sources), Isoamyl Laurate (from Vegetable Sources), Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil*, Polyglyceryl-6 Distearate (from Vegetable Sources), Olea Europaea (Olive) Fruit Oil*, Cetyl Alcohol (from Vegetable Sources), Jojoba Esters, Shea Butter Ethyl Esters, Zea Mays (Corn) Starch*, Galactoarabinan (from Larch Trees), Microcrystalline Cellulose (from Wood), Decyl Glucoside (from Sugar), Carrageenan (from Seaweed), Sodium Benzoate (preservative used in foods), Lauryl Glucoside (from Corn & Coconut), Xanthan Gum (from Vegetable Fermentation), Citric Acid (from Cassava), Tocopherol (Vitamin E from Vegetable Sources), Potassium Sorbate (preservative used in foods), Polyglyceryl-3 Beeswax (from Beeswax), Cellulose Gum (from Wood), Sodium Phytate (from Rice Bran), Hydrolyzed Sodium Hyaluronate (from Vegetable Sources), Rose Extract, Lavendula Angustifolia (Lavender) Flower/Leaf/Stem Extract, Anthemis Nobilis (Chamomile) Flower Extract, Camellia Sinensis (Green Tea) Leaf Extract, Pogostemon Cablin (Patchouli) Leaf Extract, Eucalyptus Globulus (Eucalyptus) Leaf Extract, Mentha Viridis (Spearmint) Extract, Rubus Idaeus (Raspberry) Fruit Extract, Citrus Aurantium Amara (Bitter Orange) Flower Extract, Theobroma Cacao (Cocoa) Seed Extract, Jasminum Officinale (Jasmine) Flower/Leaf Extract, Pyrus Malus (Apple) Fruit Extract, Cucumis Melo Cantalupensis (Cantaloupe) Fruit Extract, Alcohol (from Sugarcane).

*Certified Organic Ingredient

Free from harsh chemicals, parabens, synthetic fragrances, phthalates, dyes or petrochemicals. Certified to Contain 73% Organic Ingredients. 

Aloe and I go way back. When I was little my mom always had several potted aloe plants in the house and anytime there were sunburns or minor skin irritations a little piece of the plant would be snapped off and the resulting interior gel would be rubbed into the skin. And when I left home, I was given a small aloe plant to take with me so every place I have ever lived has had an aloe plant. (The small one was sent off to college with me to ‘brighten up’ the dorm room, In case you were wondering.)

To me aloe has a very nostalgic scent and it is one of the main scents in this Velvet Botanical moisturizer. There are no added fragrances so the moisturizer smells of it’s components. The scents that come through for me are Aloe, Jojoba and a a few drifts of scent from both the chamomile and eucalyptus. The scent though is predominantly aloe and Jojoba.

In the picture to the left you can see the cream massaged into my skin. There is a shine because it is freshly applied, but the skin is not greasy, just hydrated. In the picture below you can see my face after applying and waiting less than a minute. The moisturizer absorbs quickly.

The bottle is a white glass bottle with gold details and looks vet classy on my skincare shelf. I especially like that the pump locks in place for travel.

But how does it perform?

Well actually. I needed two to three pumps to cover my entire face (two during the day and three at night). My skin is what you would call normal to combination. I have some spots that are more oily than others, but over all I am not too dry and not too oily. It does mean that my skin’s needs tend to shift with the seasons. In the summertime I lean more towards the oily side and in the winter I lean to the drier side.

when I started using this moisturizer, the weather had not quite turned. I was in the in between phase. My skin lost the oiliness of summer but the central heating was not running enough to lead me into the drier phase of the year. In this phase of time, this moisturizer was perfect for both day and night time use. I tend to like a little more moisture at night, hence the extra pump of product. I simply apply my moisturizer thicker at night or use a night cream. I don’t mind using a night cream. In fact I rather prefer separate day and night time products because there is a difference in what my skin goes through in the day and in the night I don’t mind if products specialize. Mostly because I tend to find that multi use products tend to still do one thing well and a few other things so-so. I would rather have a product that does one thing really well.

As a day cream, this Ogee Organics Velvet Botanical moisturizer was stellar. It went on smoothly, absorbed well and quickly and actually worked really well under makeup. Because it absorbed fairly quickly it was fantastic to use in the morning.

When I started using it in the evening it worked well then. I added the extra pump but it was the right mount of moisture for me. Then the weather changed and the inside air dried out a bit. Then this moisturizer needed a helping hand once or twice a week with a night mask. With those two nights of alternate night masking it was fine for me and remained fine for both night and day use. I think in the summer time, when I am a little more oily than I am now, this would work even better for me, without any night masking. It is just the winter where a few times a week I needed back up.

As I don’t mind having a separate night cream and a day cream, I would use this as a day cream in the future and just use it as a night cream. If you lean more towards the oily side, you could probably use it for both. If your skin is drier than mine, you might want to use this as a day cream as well.

One thing that I did notice was that there was no irritation from this moisturizer when my skin broke out during the excesses of Thanksgiving. Butter and sugar were consumed in larger quantities than usual during the week and my skin showed it. I was able to spot treat the resulting eruptions, but the treatment tends to dry out the areas around the blemishes. This moisturizer was able to rehydrate those dry patches without irritating or further inflaming the portions of my skin I was trying to treat.

To be honest I really enjoyed this OGEE Organics Velvet Botanical Moisturizer and would certainly use it again. For me it is more of a day cream, at least until the summer humidity rises, but using it only once a day would extend the life of the product so that I could use it for a longer period of time, Which I would certainly enjoy doing.

Beyond Clean Beauty. Ogee is plant powered, vegan, gluten-free, GMO free and certified organic ingredients.


Advent Calendar: Day 4

Day 4: Demi Candle (either Femme Mini or Elle Mini)

Hand poured with 100% natural soy wax blend, with an indulgent cocoa oud scent. Vegan and cruelty free.

I like that they had two versions of this candle as a possibility. One is a more slender woman and the other is more heavyset. I received the heavier one with the wider hips, which I actually like. When I looked this candle up they had the set available for $25. I don’t know anything about the brand, but I do like soy candles and I like that it is vegan and cruelty free.

When i took it out of the box, the scent was amazing. It was a little sweet but really warm scented and I really hope the scent permeates the room. It seems delightfully delicious. I will have to find a small plate or something to put under it as I am not sure how the wax will melt and there is no container with it. Also my candle lilts a little to the side (which I do too at this time of year) so I will straighten it by melting the bottom a little and sticking it too a base of some sort so it will burn evenly. I always feel a little strange about burning shaped candles. I had a frog shaped one last year with the wich sticking out of a santa’s hat perched on his head. It was a red and green candle, very festive, but when lit the flame, the red melting over the green…it all made me feel like I was doing unspeakable things to the frog. But at least this one has no color to it so that should hep. As will the lack of eyes I expect.

The scent is delicious though and I I can’t wait to try it out. You know I love a good candle.

Santorini Collection

Advent Calendar: Day 3

Day 3: Iconic London Triple Threat Mascara

Are you ready for voluminous, long and lifted lashes giving an intense, dramatic look that lasts all day? An ultra-black, stunning, weightless formula that volumizes, lengthens and lifts lashes all day and well into the night for a dramatic fluttery look. The easy-to-handle slim brush gets right to the root of your lashes for an instant smouldering, fuller lash line, whilst the dense bristles separate and coat lashes evenly with deep-black, intense fullness and length – the best alternative to false lashes.

Iconic London

I am always up for a good mascara. I tend to lean into the volumizing but a little lengthening never goes amiss. I have never been a false lash kind of person. No matter how light they are I always feel like i am half asleep when wearing them. In addition I never get them on straight. And don’t think it is lack of practice. I don’t draw my brows in straight and I’ve don that for years before finally caving and using the oh so fabulous stencil I use now.

I know I am never going to be a false lash person but I do like the look and if a mascara can take me there, I am all for it. Plus I never keep a mascara past six weeks so I am always looking for new product to rotate in. I have a few I am using up before the year ends so I may just keep it until I have sent a few tubes on their way. I do like knowing I have a full sized mascara waiting h=in the wings though. And While I have tried several products from Iconic London, I haven’t tried their mascara. Won’t that be fun?

Advent Calendar: Day 2

Day 2: Drunk Elephant Protini Polypeptide Cream

This protein moisturizer combines signal peptides, growth factors, supportive amino acids, and pygmy waterlily for immediate improvement in the appearance of skin’s tone, texture, and firmness. Protini’s proprietary formula restores younger, revived-looking skin, almost from the first application. Lines, wrinkles, and signs of sun damage appear reduced, and skin feels strengthened and moisturized. 

Drunk Elephant

The link will take you to the Drunk Elephant site (not an affiliate code) As a warning though, they really seem to like their cut away pages. They now offer this in a larger size and the jumbo size is $98. They seem to still sell the smaller sizes, including this trial sized 5 ml version, but the website didn’t want to let me et to them. They seem to be really excited about the larger website. Or maybe they are just an excitable brand. The site moved around a bit too much for me and it was difficult to find what I wanted so I’d probably order this from a secondary site (which is where I order a lot of my skincare anyway actually)

Anyway, I will look into that more when i go to try it and see how I like it. I am actually really pleased to see a Drunk Elephant product in here though. I have never tried anything from the Brand. I know they were everywhere a few years ago and everyone loved them (or hated them) and then they sort of fell off my radar. nd I never got around to giving any of their products a go. And now I can. I don’t mind sample sized moisturizers actually as they give me a change to see how the product performs before I commit to a full size. It keeps me from wasting both product and money. Neither being things I wish to waste. So I am very happy with this Tuesday Treat.

It’s a Holiday Mask for Face mask Friday

Since I went and used the Santa and Candy Cane Masks for My mid week masking moment i decided to round it out with the third holiday mask I picked up, the Hot Cocoa Revitalizing Mud Mask from Que Bella. You know I love mud masks and I figured this was a self contained one that would have one, maybe two uses and then I could move on to my using up the open masks of my masking drawer plan. Actually I have been using those periodically on days other than Friday to clear them out, so I feel less badly about dipping into a holiday mask.

According to the brand this is…

Perfect stocking stuffer, Contains nourishing cocoa butter, Dermatologically approved, and New for 2022 & exclusive to Target

Yeah not the best description, I know. There is also no ingredients list which I didn’t realize until after I applied it. I was so excited about the holiday theme I got ahead of myself and didn’t check things out like i usually do. This mask retails for $2 in case you are wondering. And I picked it up because of the holiday theme and because I love mud masks.

Normally i am pretty easy going with masks. Some I like better than others clearly, but over all I am generally willing to think of one time use masks as a moment of relaxation. if I use them more than just once it is because they have skincare benefits I like, but the one time use products are more a mental health break or designed to target a specific issue I only need temporary assistance with.

Having said that, I did not like this mask. I cut the pouch open and there was only enough product for one use. I did apply it in a thicker layer than most people but still, if I thinned it out there were maybe two uses. After using it once the bit of mask left behind I had no interest in saving. But I am getting ahead of myself.

First, the scent. It smelled vaguely of cocoa but also vaguely of something slightly industrial. It actually smelled a bit like an unscented candle. but not a soy or beeswax version, something not entirely natural. That kind of waxy candle scent. It reminds me of the red tapered candles that my parents used to get when I was a kid. The kind that were unscented but smelled like red dye and industrial wax when burned. Which is why I went to the website to look at the ingredients. Which they didn’t have on the site.

My skin didn’t react to the test patch so I went ahead and applied it to my face, waited the fifteen minutes and then rinsed it off. There was no tingling or reaction of any kind while wearing it and the mask didn’t really dry down at all in the fifteen minutes which is not typical for mud masks. Still there are a couple of mud masks that I love that don’t dry down so this wasn’t that big an issue.

When I washed it off there was an odd waxy layer left on my skin. It didn’t feel hydrated or really like anything had been done to my skin other than a waxy layer added. It was like the waxy layer was put under the mask and the mask was just for show. To remove it I ended up using a physical facial exfoliant. The one I currently have on hand is the Elemis Skin Buff (I highly recommend it as it is fantastic). It did a lot more for my skin than the mask did.

In addition once the mask was removed I had to clean upo the sink. Not only was there mask residue but my skink had a waxy layer on it where the water was beading up on top of it. So I had to get an exfoliant for my sink as well. (let’s hear it for old fashioned Comet). Over all, I did not enjoy this face mask and quite honestly $2 is far more than this mask was worth. If you are inclined to add small face mask packets to your shopping cart while in Target (which I am inclined to do) give this one a pass. It really isn’t worth it.

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Decadent Hot Chocolate to welcome in December

Each December my babydoll and I like to welcome in the month of festivities by taking out the holiday themed mugs and making a decadent Hot Chocolate. Last year my holiday mug was destroyed in the great crockery smash of 2021 so this year I have a new mug. One side is the Naughty Grinch and the other side is the Nice Grinch. Oddly the smile on the nice Grinch makes me think he’s up to something more than the smile on the Naughty side but that might just be me.

The mug is significantly larger and although I used it to measure my amounts this year, as I always do, it was so rich that I could only drink half of it. However there was no waste as the left over went into the fridge and the next day was sent spinning through the blend jet with some ice to make a cold, yet still decadent treat.

Make no mistake, this is a calorie bomb. It is a good once in a while treat though. Although in the future I will be using a regular sized mug for it and keeping this enormous holiday one for tea or maybe a hot toddy. It is simply too big for this much dairy.

So on to the ingredients…

All of my ingredients are measured based on the size of the mug I am using. Remember that milk and cream expand when heated so leave some space or you will have an overflow.

You will need…

  • equal parts milk and cream (or almond milk and coconut cream, just adjust the sugar level as I find both almond milk and coconut cream to be sweet)
  • white (castor) sugar to taste (I go with 2 T for regular milk and cream, less with the almond and coconut)
  • Cocoa Powder (I like the Mexican Cocoa mix for that because I like the cinnamon mixed in, if not using add pinch of cinnamon, and a pinch of nutmeg with a tiny pinch of cayenne pepper)
  • pinch of salt
  • dash of vanilla
  • dash cream of Cacao

Heat the milk and cream (or Almond and coconut) on low/med heat in a non reactive pot (Go with a pot that is larger than you think you need as the dairy will rise up as it heats and you don’t want to overflow). Once the dairy mix is warm, mix in the sugar and hot chocolate mix. If not using a Mexican Cocoa Mix add in your spices too. Whisk to combine and add in the pinch of salt and the dash of vanilla. The salt actually makes the coco sweeter. It’s a nifty taste trick actually.

When the mix is hot, pour it into your mug. Then add a dash of the cream de Cacao. It won’t make it taste alcoholic, it will just deepen the chocolate flavor. If you don’t consume alcohol, feel free to leave it out The dash I used for this giant mug probably equaled about one tablespoon. In an eight ounce mug I tend to drop it down to a single tea spoon. It really is there more for the chocolate enhancement rather than the alcohol.

I will say that if I don’t have Mexican Hot Chocolate and don’t add the spices I will also add a drop of peppermint schnapps. The mint will keep the chocolate from being too cloying. which is what the spices do in the Mexican mix. Again if you don’t want to use alcohol, I would recommend taking one of those soft round peppermints and putting one in the bottom of the mug before pouring the hot chocolate into the mug. The heat will melt the mint (use the soft kind) and give you the same peppermint effect.

This is a decadent treat and not something that I would recommend having often. In fact we will have this at the beginning of December and then once again on Christmas eve. I know it looks plain on the surface, without all of the extra visual trimmings, but the taste is really something special. And every now and again, a decadent treat is called for.

The Skincare Line Up: December 2nd, 2022

This week is a short little line up as I try to use up the products I took traveling with me. There is an eye cream missing from the line up a I finished out the MZ Skin Lift and Luminate Eye cream while I was out of town and sent the jar into the recycling bin at my mothers’ place. It was a glass jar and they have a better system for dealing with glass than we do here. So without further Ado, let’s jump in and have a look shall we?

Cleanser: Osea Ocean Cleanser

Toner: Best Face Forward Clarifying toner

Serum: Skin Inc Supplement Bar French Pine Bark Serum

Moisturizer: OGEE Velvet Botanical Moisturizer

Lips: Sephora Vanilla Lip Balm/scrub

I first came across this cleanser in a Petit Vour Box. It is a fantastic subscription box if you are looking to try out some clean beauty products. OSEA as a brand is pretty pricy. I have tried a few other products and I generally like them but very few of them I love. I have one or two items in my skin care drawer I still need to try. This cleanser however I absolutely love. There is minimal foaming but a really great clean and to me this cleanser always smells like lime sherbet. I have no clue why something called Ocean Cleanser smells like lime sherbet, but to me it does. I have been holding onto this travel sized cleanser to use when i traveled for thanksgiving for a few months now and it was so worth it. As alwasys I will use every last drop of this and then look at the $48 full sized bottle and promise myself that once i have used up a certain amount of cleansers I will be back to purchase this in the full size. Meanwhile I treat myself to a $12 travel sized version whenever I know I am going to be traveling.

When packing, I forgot to pack a toner actually. I think I looked at the Elemis I was using and thought, I’m sure i have a smaller bottle that would travel better.’ and then just forgot. when I got home I had several breakouts and since BFF is generally good with break outs, I went for it since I had so many travel products out anyway. It is a nice cleanser and i think it really is helping to clarify my pores or at least not make things worse. Which is what I need. o I will continue finishing this out and then go back to the open Elemis. The BFF toner is one that I would consider having on hand while there is more holiday fare in my future so A bottle may soon be purchased.

I’ll be honest I chose this serum at random from the travel sized bottles of serum and I didn’t actually look to see what French Pine Bark was supposed to do. Apparently the serum fights signs of aging and evens out skin tone. While I can see a little evening of the skin tone, I haven’t used it long enough to see any major effects. I will say that my skin drank it it and felt silky soft after it absorbed. The serum absorbed quickly with no sticky residue, it just melted into the skin. It has no scent to it either. I really like the look of the suspended pink bits. I have no idea what they are but they disappear on the skin and have no texture to the, (I thought they might be exfoliating, they aren’t.). I don’t know if there is enough product to last long enough to show effect but I really hope there is a good effect as it feels so nice on the skin. For that alone I would contemplate a full sized bottle.

The OGEE Velvet Moisturizer is just that a moisturizer that feels velvety against the skin. since I was in the middle of testing it, this moisturizer was the only one I took home. It is a fantastic day cream. It is composed of organic and clean ingredients I feel good about putting on my skin and the white glass with gold accents is beautiful. The scent is a mix of aloe and jojoba oil, both of which are in the moisturizer. With both of them it should come as no surprise that it feels great oin the skin and softens as well as moisturizes. As I said it is fantastic as a day cream. It is a little light for me to use as a night cream. I like a little added moisture at night and this really could have used a little back up. Not much of one actually. if I had rolled in a night mask a couple of times a week it would be fantastic. It just needs a little boost for the night. However because it needs only a slight boost for me in the winter when my skin is the driest it will be all year, I am fairly sure that at any other time of the year i could use this moisturizer without needing back up or without it being too much moisture for my skin. It is definitely a product I will get again. At the moment though I am pretty sure it will run out sometime next week. I will be using every drop and will post a full review as the trial of the OGEE moisturizer comes to an end.

I am finally down to but a nub of product in the Sephora lip scrub. It is very unevenly mixed. The first two weeks I used it, the product was mostly lip balm with a little bit of scrub to it. Then there were more scrubby bits for a little while before it became mostly balm again. Now I am back to the scrubby bits. I don’t know if the exfoliation particles were added in bands or if the mix was just not mixed well. It is a decent enough lip scrub. In the end it isn’t something I would go out of my way for, but it is something i would toss into a Sephora cart when i was shopping if I needed to get my cart price just a little bit higher to get free shipping. i know it is something i will use and it is not a bad product. it just isn’t all that noteworthy.

And so my darlings that is my skincare for the week. Most of these items will be finished up next week and new ones will take their place in the grant circle of skincare lineups. Until then, Have a great Friday.

Weekly Weight: The December Break

For the past few years I have given myself the gift of skipping the scale for the month of December. It is a way to enjoy family time and friends without the added pressure of worrying about the scale. It is a gift for myself but it is also a gift for the people I am with. I still monitor what i eat, mostly by controlling my grazing and making certain to have a good meal before I actually go to a place where it is mostly snacks and appetizers. That way I can still have a small amount of what I want to taste, but am not facing temptation down while hungry.

Also it means that as I have no real dietary restrictions no one has to worry about what I can and can not eat. while i don’t mind counting my calories, I don’t want anyone else to worry about counting them for me. I personally don’t think my diet should be anyone else’s concern.

This year as I did add a little weight back when i went to help out my mother post surgery and then came back to a brand new scale which had the audacity to add on ten pounds that I didn’t realize my old and ailing scale shaved off for me, I was going to skip my no scale December so that I could keep better track of things.

And then i went home for Thanksgiving.

I know I joke about the butter explosion at the holiday and how it has shown on my skin. While I did indulge I actually did fairly well with my consumption. It was richer fare than i am used to that broke me out and left me craving raw veggies (I can’t get enough of raw spinach salads at the moment) but I did monitor my portion sizes and actually came home with the same weight as when I left, no loss, but no gain.

However I had a realization when I went home. Or maybe it was just the solidification of several separate trains of thought into one cohesive whole. Or maybe like staring at one of those old magic eye pictures and suddenly seeing the single image behind it.

However you want to phrase it, something clicked.

I love my family, I really do, but we have what I like to think of as different sectors. We have one sector that leans into the naturalistic hippy sort of vibe and one sector that is former and active military. We have the British sector (with a healthy Scottish bias) and the Quebecois sector that after a spate of older relatives deaths makes it more of a quadrant, but as they always add butter tarts and Tarte au Citron to the dinner table we will still call it a sector.

We also have a sector of the family that tends to focus more on appearance over everything else. (they are actually balanced by the University crew that cares more about what you know than what you look like, pretty much each sector of my family is balanced by an opposing one it seems. It can often make things very…interesting. Yeah, we’ll go with interesting.).

This trip home I ended up spending a lot more time with the appearance sector than I usually do. Spending time with them, I realized that my weight bothers them far more than it will ever bother me. And as I thought about it, I realize that the only complements I have ever received are when I have a full face of makeup up on and the only accomplishments they have ever said they were proud of involved me dropping a jean size. I also caught several glances at my plate while they often pushed a few untouched morsels around their plates.

Which quite frankly pissed me off.

It also made me want to double down on my portion size, eating just to spite them.

Which I actually caught myself doing and stopped.

It made me sit down and think about the concept of saboteurs. They come in all shapes and sizes. Some guilt you into eating something because they made it especially for you. Some insist that you clean your plate because there are starving people in Africa (or wherever your family claims starving people live when you won’t clean your plate. Oddly enough my Great Auntie Olive always used to say ‘There are starving people in Hell’ And in case you are squinching your eyes and tilting your head to figure out that bit of logic, apparently the punishment for wasting food in this life is starvation in the afterlife. At least in the Gospel According to Great Auntie Olive. I’m not sure how the clergy of any designated faith feels about the matter.)

For me one of my sabotages is the implication or accusation that I am not doing in my diet what others believe I should be doing. Rather than shame me into behaving it makes me want to mentally flip them off and double down on whatever I am eating at the time even if I know i don’t actually want any more.

It is something I know about myself so it is a sabotage i need to watch. Luckily I don’t see a lot of the people who fall into that family sector very often.

Which leads me to circle back to the original thought of this post, skipping December Weigh ins. While it is a nice gift to myself and to those around me (one less thing to worry/think about anyway), skipping December always has a practical purpose. It took me a while to realize this actually. Without the scale, I tend to focus more on how my body feels rather than the numbers.

Now I can’t go for too long without the scale, a month is about if before i start drifting into forgetting about eating correctly and lose the diet completely. However a month off lets me think about my body a bit clearer. while I still monitor calories it is at this time of year when traditional favorites come out and annual indulgences arrive that I start to realize that it isn’t just the weighing of ingredients that limits my portion size. My apititte has changed and my tastes have shifted. Something I might have once gorged upon I can only eat a smaller portion of without feeling ill because it is too rich for my system. or too salty or too sweet. It is with the month off of the scale that i listen to my body more.

And honestly that is a bigger gift than not causing my friends dinner party angst.

So this year I will be taking December off from the Scale. I will still check in each week with my weigh and my thoughts, but it will be January 6th when I step on the scale and start recording for a brand new year. For me the step back and internal evaluation will be a help as I move forward. I don’t know where you might be on your own weight loos or healthy living journey, but it is so easy to get so tangled up with just bits of everything that come at you from pretty much everywhere. Perhaps taking a breather might do you good as well. But it is your journey and you know it best. No judgement from me either way. It is a journey of individualized pathways and for me, I need to do an internal systems check before I step back on the steep slope of the pathway. Happy trails.


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Advent Calendar: Day 1

Each year I try to get a different advent calendar. I know the thing seems to be to get the advent calendar and to go through all of the boxes in one sitting. I have done posts like this, but to be honest, i just don’t like them. I really enjoy getting an advent calendar and having a little treat each day. I know part of the posts are to let you know what is in the advent Calendar so you can decide what is in them and whether it is worth picking up for yourself. Honestly when i watch or read those sorts of posts my thoughts kind of blur.

This year I went with the Look Fantastic Advent Calendar. I ordered it in September and shipping is best not talked about. The only thing I can say is that Look Fantastic did keep me well informed of the delays. I believe I received a total of 18 e-mails on the subject. But it arrived in good condition and before December 1st. I chose this one for several reasons. The first was that when I looked at the contents list before I purchased it way back in September, I saw two full sized items on the list that made it worth it. They were a full size of the Christophe Robin Sea Salt Scalp scrub (retail $53) which I routinely order anyway and will always use. The second item was and ESPA Moisturizer (retail $75.60). While I have used many items from ESPA and have always found them fantastic (especially for an at home Spa Day, I always order from them for my birthday at home spa treat for myself) I have never tried a moisturizer and would love to do so.

Those two items have a value of $128.60 and one of them I was already going to purchase anyway. The full price of the Calendar was $120. At the time I used a 20% off code and then I was able to use Glossy Box Glossie Credit earned from reviewing the monthly products in the Glossy Box (they put up the surveys each month and you get $0.40 of credit per review and can use them at either Glossy Box of Look Fantastic.) At the time this Advent Calendar went up for sale I had a little over $60 worth of credit So all told I ended up paying around $40 for this Advent Calendar. As even when the Christophe Robin Scrub is on deep discount the cost is only lowered to around $36 (incidentally it is still currently on sale on the Christophe Robin site for $37.10) It made this Advent Calendar incredibly worth it for me. It meant I purchased the item I was going to buy anyway at a discount and then got a bunch of other stuff with it over the month of December. (it is a 25 day advent calendar)

So since I know that going into the calendar I can just enjoy the items as they appear each day. Which is how I like to enjoy my advent calendars to begin with.

While this was a bit longer of an intro than I planned, these posts will be pretty short. I will talk about the item as it comes out of it’s drawer each day, but it isn’t a review. I will review the items when i use them. I’m sure some of the items will be passed on as well. But hopefully it will just be good Advent Fun.

So let’s Begin…

Day 1: Rituals Ayurveda Mini Diffuser

A mini variant of our current The Ritual of Ayurveda fragrance sticks, specially created for small rooms in your house. A natural and stylish way to fragrance your home. Enjoy the gentle fragrance of ancient Ayurvedic ingredients Almond Oil and Indian Rose for a relaxing effect on body and soul. Will last for two to three weeks. . .

While this is a mini diffuser I honestly wouldn’t want a larger one. This is just the right size for pretty much any of the rooms in my house. It stands about seven inches tall without the sticks and is about as big around as a half dollar. The glass base is ridged amber colored glass. It is well sealed and no scent escapes so I will have to see how I feel about the scent when i open it. I am actually looking forward to it as most of the Rituals scents I really like. I al hoping it leans more towards almond than rose, but either way i am planning to put it in the sunroom. Right now there are flowerless houseplants and my small greenhouse (empty at the moment) in the sunroom and while it is a lovely sunny room it smells a little cold because of the stone floor times when I sit in there to read. I’m hoping a scent like this will warm the space up. Either way I am well pleased with this day one treat.

This Rituals Mini Diffuser is on sale at the Look Fantastic website. Currently it is on sale for $17.20 but it is usually priced at around $21.50 if you are interested in it.

The Daily: December 1st, 2022

Good afternoon my darlings. Can you believe it is December already? It feels like November just evaporated. But then I sort of feel that way about all thirty day months. Add in a holiday and it just shrinks to an eyeblink. I am actually kind of proud of my self and disappointed all at the same time today. Yesterday I restrained myself from walking a lot in the fabulous weather.

I was so proud of myself for being all adult and responsible. Then the weather turned in the night and rain pummeled us from about dinner time last night to the wee hours of this morning. And the temperatures plummeted. So the park is flooded and it is really chilly and windy outside so I am now disappointed in myself for being all adult and not taking better advantage of the sunshine. I know I needed to work instead of walk but as I can’t really walk in the flooded walking trail today, I am a little disappointed in my own responsibility.

I’m sure there is some sort of internal lesson in there, but mostly I am just going to blame the weather forecast (although I should probably have looked at an update before deciding to be responsible and stay working at the desk. So I guess that is on me and not the dopplar radar).Still the work needed to be done.

Today is gray and cold with the wind blowing all sorts of bits of stuff through the air. Which means I will be getting a lot done at the desk and doing an indoor workout today. I actually don’t mind too much as I picked up a cordless jump rope to try out. It has two weighted balls on the ends of the handles rather than an actual jump rope. I took measurements and am committed to using it for a month before I review it. But I kind of like it thus far. I can use it without worrying about the rope smacking into furniture or ceiling fans when i use it indoors. I’m using it in the sun room which has space, but it does take up a lot less space than a regular jump rope when i swing, so it is easier for indoor use. And it is kind of fun too. And let’s face it, workouts are better if you actually enjoy the activity you are doing.

Today’s Look:

Primer: Tatcha The Silk Canvas Protective Priming Balm

Foundation: Kristopher Buckle Triplicity Priming Foundation Stick

Blush/Bronzer/Highlight: Marc Jacobs Omega X Three Palette

Setting Powder: Beauty Bakerie Flour Setting powder in Oat

Eyeshadow: Sweet Potato Pie Palette from The Beauty Bakerie

Mascara: Complex Culture Executive Level Mascara

Lips: Anastasia Beverly Hills Matte Lipstick in Dead Roses

Today I went with one of my favorite primers, the Tatcha silk canvas. I really just love this primer and I wanted something matte for today as well. I wasn’t really feeling glowy. Plus I have just started getting my skin back to normal post holiday so something with skincare mixed in isn’t a bad idea. It was clear enough that I was okay wearing makeup today, but a little extra help never hurts. (Plus I had a meeting this morning and needed the makeup on for it.)

The Foundation is alas from a company that has gone under. While you may be able to find this foundation at secondary sites, it is no longer being produced. I love this foundation though so I want to use up the last of my product. I am trying to make an effort to roll it in once a week so I can use it up and then send it on it’s way. Since I know I will never be able to get it again, there is the tendoncy to try and hoard it, but I know it will just go bad, so i am using it up while it is still good. With a once during the week and use over the weekends I think I can actually finished it up before the new year.

Again continuing with the theme I used a Marc Jacobs face palette today. I love this palette, especially in the winter. The tones are just perfect for my skin right now. Which is kind of amusing since it smells like coconut and makes me think of summer when I use it. The shades are more winter shades for me. And it’s slim design is perfect for travel. I picked this up from BoxyCharm as Marc Jacobs no longer makes makeup. And I’ll be honest, even though it isn;t in production any more I will keep using this until I’ve either used the products down to pan or it is too expired to use. And then I will still use it as a travel compact for the mirror. I’ll try not to use it too much for these posts since it is no longer in production but I do love it and it will make several appearances throughout the winter.

The more I use this setting powder the more I like it. the slight color is just enough to keep the powder from being blinding and it never makes me look powdery. It also locks my makeup in. Which Is pretty much why you use setting powder in the first place. So two thumbs up.

Today I had fun with the blue shade in the Sweet Potato Pie Palette. why is there a blue shade? No clue. I’m sure it is a pop of color for the orangy-red palette. It does work well with the other tones even if it isn’t pie like and I really liked using it as a psudo eyeliner today. It actually worked really well. I’ll admit I focused more on it than the rest of the eye and I could have blended it better, but I (very stupidly) did the blue first and then thought ‘Oh other shadows yeah lets put them on’. so I was working around the eyeliner effect instead of going the other way around. I will say the shadow worked really well. The brush I used was the Luxie 221 Flat definer if you are interested. It had the short stiff bristles and straight edge that I needed, plus it is wider than my eyeliner brush which gave me a little more control and let me apply in a straight line (which is not really my strong suit. I know there are a lot of you out there who are pros at this, but I tend to reach for the smaller brush as my brain thinks eyeliner and it never works for me when I try to use shadow as liner. Using this brush really helped me out.

I know it isn’t like discovering gravity or inventing the wheel, but I am kind of stoked by this. And yes I will probably be using this trick a lot in the next few weeks as I am so pleased with it. (I apologize in advance.)

Today I remember to use an eyelash curler before applying the mascara and it looked better, I think. The mascara does a good job at lengthening but the eyelash curler really helps it out. This is actually the third of fourth use of this mascara and while that isn’t much I will say that this mascara tube is now messier than a lot of my more well used mascara. For only three or four uses, that is a bit of a mess. I’m not sure how that is going to affect it moving forward. But we will see.

And today I went for the ABH Lipstick I wanted something neutral and this worked. The shade has been eliminated so I am trying to use it up, which sort of made it fit the theme of the day. The formula is fantastic though and I will be picking out more shades from this range. It is a very comfortable formula to wear. And for those interested, it is part of their 50% off sale right now. The link is in the product list above (not an affiliate code). It is just a really good lipstick. I use the traditional bullet style versions. I remember trying and liking the liquid lips from ABH but it has been a while since I purchased any from the brand so I don’t know what the formula is like now. The bullet style is fantastic though.

And that my darlings is me. Even though I groused about not taking advantage of the sun, I am thrilled I have a new to me makeup trick (even if it isn’t that groundbreaking it makes me happy).I’m not entirely sure that balances out, but I suppose the silver lining is the actual productivity. And sooner or later the rain will end and the floods recede. For now, there is more work and a cordless jump rope workout ahead of me. So I will get back to that and let you get back to your day. Have a great one.

Year end Sale! Enjoy 50% Off E&Os + 5-Piece GWP ($40 value) on orders of $85+ at Urban Decay Canada! Valid 12/10 – 12/31