Snacktime with Teriyaki Balboa from Righteous Felon

Snack time is one of those ways I keep my diet on track and so it is is very important to me. A small mid afternoon snack keeps me from over eating at dinner. And as long as I watch my calorie count I can often use that time to indulge in just a little treat that perhaps I shouldn’t eat a whole heaping bunch of.

I should also let it be known that I have a weakness for beef jerky.

Perhaps it was too much time spent on the road. I don’t know but it does hold a special place in my heart. And while I will occasionally flirt with the sticks it is the jerky pieces that I gravitate to the most. (Admittedly the Street Taco Sticks are now one of the exceptions.)

I also love Teriyaki flavoring on my beef jerky. So when I saw that Righteous Felon had a new Teriyaki flavor I added it to my last order to try out.

Righteous Felon is really good for minimally processed jerky that has only the good stuff that you want in a snack with non of the bad stuff. Which trust me there are many products out there really pumped full of preservatives and chemicals. I try to keep my intake of those to a minimum.

And if fabulous treats weren’t enough Righteous Felon is part of the Conservation alliance and a part of the proceeds from the purchase of this Teriyaki Balboa went to help protect North American Wild Places.

It is worth noting that the flavor description says Tangy Teriyaki with a punch of pepper. For me the pepper punched a little too hard. This starts out with that tang of teriyaki which goes so well with the earthiness of jerky, but then the pepper comes on a bit strong and overwhelms the tang that I really enjoy.

My babydoll who loves pepper crusted everything really enjoyed this and he did put it on the list to be ordered next time. I am not as big a black pepper fan as he is so when we do order the next box the Teriyaki balboa will be all his. I don’t mind as it does mean more Darth Garlic for me.

Not every flavor is going to be for every one. And what a boring world it would be if we all liked and ate only the same things. In the end this is a quality beef jerky it is just a little too pepper forward for my personal tastes. It won’t go to waste, but it isn’t gong to make my favorite’s list.

Unboxing the March 2023 Cohorted Beauty Box

It has arrived! My Cohorted box for the month of March. Before I get into it, a little housekeeping.

Last month was the first Cohorted box I ordered. (I paid in January for February’s box as you pay a month ahead, which I didn’t realize at the time so that is something to be aware of if you want to subscribe. It isn’t terribly clear on the website, at least to me. It is very possible that it is in huge letters and I missed it as yesterday I spent half an hour looking for a glass pitcher that was in fact on the counter top. Sometimes I miss the obvious). When my February Box arrived there were a few items missing. I contacted customer service.

It was my first box so I never dealt with their customer service before, but they were quite lovely. I sent in a picture of the box I did receive to show what was missing. There was a perfume sample that they could not send because they are in the UK and I am in the US and apparently apparently perfume samples are forbidden.

I’m guessing it has more to do with perfume being a flammable liquid than anything else. While I love my perfume samples I don’t really think I need to risk setting an entire trans-Atlantic cargo ablaze just to try the scent. Plus I looked it up and Scentbird actually has a range from the brand (the brand was Floral Street) should I wish to add it to my queue and try it out. They did however send out a replacement box with the items I was missing (minus the perfume sample). So all was made right.

So on with March! The box itself is $51. It does have a shipping fee of $16 which makes the fee I pay for this box $67. Which is on the steep end for a monthly beauty box. Last month was more than worth it even with the missing items so let’s see if March is just as good.

This month is a Female Founder’s Themed Box and it is full of Kate Somerville products. There are two full sized items and the rest are travel size. The first item in the box I have tried before and liked a lot. It is the Goat Milk moisturizing cream. I actually have another one of these waiting in my skincare drawer to use. After trying a sample I picked it up. It is a slightly smaller size though. It retails for $76. Which is more than I paid for the entire box. It is a very good moisturizer and I have to say I really like it for warm weather wear as a day cream. It is light enough that i can wear it throughout the summer. Which is why I picked up a smaller jar in the first place. I planned to use it once the heat hit since I knew it would be fine for my skin then. I may roll the little one in earlier as spring is starting to heat up.

Regardless I am thrilled to have this moisturizer. Plus as it retails for more than the box it sort of makes the rest of the box feel extra special.

The second full sized item this month is the Goat Milk Moisturizing cleanser. I have not tried this but I really like the idea of having a moisturizer and a cleanser from the same line. And actually to be honest, I have several other Kate Somerville products lines up to try out. As I am finishing up a bunch of sample sizes I may actually have enough to do almost a full line up of skincare from the brand. I haven’t done that in a while. I think the last one was With Sunday Riley products and that was about two years ago. There are two sized of this cleanser, the 4 oz and the 8 oz. This is the 4 oz which retails for $44. And quite honestly that is a large enough size cleanser for me.

Next out of the box is a travel sized tube of the Exfolikate Intensive exfoliating Treatment. I have tried this before and loved it. I did have an interesting experience where it did not make friends with another product I was using at the time so I had to discontinue use. I set it to the side and actually used it this weekend. I was reminded how much I liked it and will be using it soon. (And to be fair, the other product I was trying out at the time had many products that it did not get along with so I don’t think it was actually the Exfolikate’s fault).

The next travel size is actually an Exfolikate exfoliating body scrub. I actually didn’t know Kate Somerville made body products to be honest. I mean it makes sense but it just never occurred to me. Finding things like that out about the brand makes me happy. It is also one of the reasons I like subscription boxes. It makes me look at brands differently. I tend to think of brands by the things I buy from them. I have several brands I actually mental categorize as “that brand that makes the lipstick I like”. I tend to think of Kate Somerville as “Summer weight moisturizer and that super fab serum I love.” The fab serum is the Squalane and Hyaluronic Serum in case you are wondering.

Now if you happen to go on the Cohorted website and take a little look at the box teaser you will see that there is a perfume sample in the box this month. First of all, I had zero clue there were any fragrances associated with the brand and I will certainly be looking into that later. Second if you remember our above conversation, perfume samples are a trans-Atlantic no-no. So, Cohorted replaced what would have been a sample of perfume with two sample sized tubes of Too Faced Primed and Poreless Face Primer.

Now we all know at this point that I love primers. So I can’t complain about that. I have sort of a nostalgic feel for the Primed and Poreless line. For a long time the pressed powder from the Primed and Poreless line was my go to powder. For several years it was my setting powder of choice. I can not tell you how many compacts I went through. I don’t recall ever seeing a primer thought. I did see a recent Sephora Haul video where Too face had a relatively new primer and I think this was it. If it is excellent, and if it is a pre existing one, that is good too. I am very interested in trying it out.

Has anyone noticed that lately Too Faced is around more? For a while they were everywhere and then they fell off the map. Now they seemed to be reappearing a bit more. Or at least I have been noticing them a bit more. I can’t lie I am kind of pleased by that. I do have a soft spot for Too Faced.

But to return to the box at hand. The March Box. Female Founders. Kate Sommerville. Worth the cost of the box? Yes. I am honestly very happy with this month’s Beauty box and think it was worth the cost of the box. They are all good products that i am looking forward to using (which to me is actually a little more important than the actual monetary value. I don’t want to feel like I overpaid, but I don’t want products I won’t use either.).

While I have tried some Kate Somerville Products before next month’s box is going to be a completely new box for me. The brand being featured is BYBI. The product spoiled is the C-Caf Day cream. I know nothing about the brand from using any items but apparently it is a vegan and cruelty free brand that focuses on sustainability and natural ingredients. I am always up for learning a bit more about a brand like that so it should be interesting. I generally try to give a subscription box at least three months trial before I make any decisions about it. So far I have had two really fabulous boxes in a row. To be honest, unless something catastrophic happens with next months box, I will probably be keeping this Cohorted box for a while. It is a little pricier but thus far it has more than justified the price.

Up to 65% savings on the Best of Dermstore!

The Daily: March 27th, 2023

Good afternoon my darlings and welcome to another Monday. I hope yours is treating you well. Mine is chugging along nicely actually. We had a weekend where the weather was nice and the wind was blowing just right so we opened all of the windows to air out the house and began the first major spring cleaning of the year.

It felt fantastic. I know cleaning is normally not high on my fun times for weekends, but there is something about the full spring clean that just makes me feel so fabulous. The house smells fresh, all of the extra winter things are gathered. Even if we get a cold snap the hats and gloves and scarves and other winter things that pile up are put away for the year. Sheets are washed, blankets hung out in the sun and you find things you thought you lost.

It feels a bit magical.

newly cleaned brushes

And to top it off this weekend when the house stuff was done I sat down and cleaned my makeup brushes. I have to say there is just something extra nice about sitting down to do your makeup on a Monday morning with a full set of cleaned brushes. This is my every day jar. I have other brushes that I will sometimes swap in so that I don’t have to clean the brushes I used because of time and other excuses. I cleaned all of those too. It took quite a while because I have been putting it off for a long time. I did end up putting all of the extra brushes out of sight so that hopefully i will just remember to clean these instead of swapping the dirty brushes out for clean brushes.

One can hope.

I have to say it was a nice way to start off a Monday. I got back into my early morning workout routine, making it just a little bit earlier than before actually. We have started putting the seedlings out to start the hardening process so after Easter we can start the garden planting. That means adding a little early morning garden tour to the schedule to make sure things get watered before the sun is fully up. Right now it isn’t much of an issue, but I need to get in the habit of checking every day now so that when the summer heat rises I have the habit of checking each morning well established.

Mornings are not my strong suit and to be honest, habit is how my mornings run. It takes a bit to set a habit but once it becomes habit and I can run my mornings on partial autopilot, things go a lot more smoothly. So the seasonal transition has begun. My day now starts with me rolling out of bed and into my workout clothes, doing my indoor workouts, putting on the coffee, checking the garden and then coming in for shower and skincare. After that the regular day can begin. The first week of transition is always rough, but today wasn’t that bad. I might be feeling differently come Friday, but today at least went well. I am taking it as the positive step into spring.

Today’s Look

Primer: YSL Touch Eclat Blurring Primer

Foundation: Tom Ford Traceless soft matte foundation

Bronzer: Viseart Bronze Noix

Blush: Beseme Cosmetics Cream Rouge in Crimson

Highlighter: Wander Beauty Wanderess Glow in After Hours

Setting Powder: Anastasia Beverly Hills Setting powder

Eyeshadow: Butter London Natural Goddess Palette

Mascara: Tarte Lights Camera Lashes Mascara

Lips: Yensa Super 8 Vibrant Silk Lipstick in Noble

In March I am making an effort to work through my primer samples. To be honset I may have to make that a goal for April as well. I had more samples in that samples box than I thought I did. This one has been hanging on for a while. I am going to make an effort to use it all this week to try to work through it. I love this YSL primer. It makes my skin feel soft and smooth and foundation glides over it. I think I keep putting off finishing the sample because I know I am going to want to pick up the full size as soon as it is done and I really need to finish out some full sized primers before I do that. While I love primers for a stretch there subscription boxes were just sending lots of them so my already large collection multiplied. When I did my spring cleaning of the makeup this weekend I found a couple of full sized primers I hadn’t even opened yet. So need to clear out some space before purchasing any full sized items. Which I know is a stupid reason to drag out the use of a sample size. But it is such a good primer.

But I am determined to finish the sample. It will not be going back in the makeup drawer.

The Tm Ford Foundation I need to remember to reach for more often. I think the reason that I don’t is because it is a very liquid formula and can be a bit messy. Usually I dispense product onto my hand, dot it onto my face with a finger, blend with a brush and then if necessary go in with a makeup sponge. With this foundation I dispense a tiny bit on the hand, dip the brush onto my hand and apply, then dispense a little more. I have to watch the dispensing as it will run off the back of my hand. It does mean I use less product so this bottle will last a long time. The top does get messy and needs to be wiped down after each use but it is a beautiful light weight foundation.

I like the fact that the Viseart bronzer is buildable rather than highly pigmented. I feel more in control when I use it. It blends well and the tone is great for my skin. I also adore the packaging. I know packaging isn’t everything but I do like the little fold out pouch.

the foundation pump always gets messy because it is such a liquid formula

Today was the first use of the Beseme blush. Technically speaking I did use in on Thursday but then here was an incident involving mud and a run away dog and well perhaps we had best call today a first use. The metal tin is lovely and the cream is highly pigmented. I also have Crimson which I think is their darkest shade. it works well for my skin but it needs a light touch. I applied with my finger and it needed to be warmed up a little. Which my finger did. I will try using a sponge for application tomorrow to see how that does, but the finger approach worked well. I dotted it on my cheek and blended with clean finger tips. I would recommend having a cloth to wipe off your finger as soon as you are done. Even after applying I had product on my hand and it needed to be wiped off.

I remembered highlighter today. I don’t always. I love highlighters but I don’t always remember to wear them. The Wander Beauty is one of my favorites though. I have a sample size pan but the sample lasts forever. At some point I will get a full size but it will take a while. I like that even though this is silvery it has a pink under tone that lets it blend in a bit better. It can be stunning or subtle. As I am usually going for an office look I prefer the subtle.

The ABH Setting powder is nice but messy. There is no inner lid so I always get a spray of powder everywhere. I am almost done with this container though. I have a back up waiting but I am ready to clear this one out.

Today I pulled the Butter London Palette out of the drawer. This palette I don’t reach for often but it always makes it through the decluttering process. So I decided to take it out and see if it really deserved to stay. And yeah there is a reason I keep it. The colors are rich and saturated. The one matte is brown and when the brush is tapped off there is little fall out. It blends well as a base and then the shimmer shades glide over easily with a dry brush. The shadows stay in place all day and despite having only one matte there is enough variety in the six pans that I don’t get bored. It is a really good little palette. I think i gets lost sometimes because of it’s size but there is a reason it has lasted through the declutters.

Of the Tarte mascaras I have tried this is my favorite. It gives me nice long lashes with one coat and it doesn’t flake. perfect for a daily look.

This is my first actual Yensa Lipstick. I usually go for the lip oils from Yensa. Although that may have to change. This is a creamy pigmented formula that is really nourishing on the lips. It is a bullet style so it doesn’t dry down and there are lip prints, but even when the color starts to wear off the lips feel hydrated so for me that is a big win. Plus I like the color.

And that my darlings is me today. When I tidied up I found some products I hadn’t reached for in a while and I decided to use them. I am really glad I did. I thought I might use them and decide that no, they don’t need to stay. Instead I realized there was a reason I kept them around. Which is also good to know. Especially now that i get to use them.

But for me it is back to work. I hope you have a fabulous rest of Monday.

Wander Beauty

Hmmm, it’s m. Greengrass CBD Head to Toe Cream

One of the things that I find interesting about myself in this post-pandemic world is how much more attention i pay to body lotion. I always used body lotions and hand creams but they were all sort of in the background. Scent was the biggest issue for me. I’ve have lotions that I would put on right after my shower and lotions I would keep in my purse for when they were needed. Occasionally i would decide something had been in my purse for too long and I would take it out, make an effort to use it up and then find another sample size to put into the purse.

Some I liked better than others but they weren’t really an item that I thought too much about.

While I still tend to think of my post shower body lotions more in terms of both scent and hydration, hand lotions now have much points to pass if i am going to consider them usable. And while this m. Greengrass CBD Head to Toe Cream is technically a body lotion, It’s size and dispensing method make it more of a hand lotion for me. I did use it on the rest of my body, but it is subject to hand lotion checklists as well, mostly because it is easy to keep on my desk.

I actually have to say that is one of the things I like. It is a stand up pump bottle that can sit on my desk. It makes it easy to have on hand and to use. Tubes of hand cream get pushed into drawers a lot. I actually cleaned out my desk drawer last week and found three open tubes of hand cream i thought I finished. So the small pump actually works for me in a desk top setting.

But let’s look at the lotion…

We use a proprietary process for delivery of our cannibidiol molecules, which allows for better and faster absorption. Our isolate CBD is THC-free, US grown, and encapsulated for maximum effect. Our CBD-enriched products are made with elevated, carefully selected, high-quality skincare ingredients to for a 360° approach to wellness.Our unique formula uses 100 mg of THC-free encapsulated CBD for better absorption. It’s also packed with high performance ingredients for intense hydration, exceptional moisture plus soothing and calming benefits. Great as a daily facial treatment | moisturizer or for challenging spots from head to toe. For all skin types.

m. Greengrass
great pump

Now here is the thing. This 1 oz/30mL container is full size and retails for $45. While I needed one pump to cover each arm from wrist to elbow when I used it as an all over body lotion it took a large amount of the product in the bottle in one use. It does claim that it can be used as a facial moisturizer and I have been known to spend far more than $45 on a moisturizer before.

I tried it once as a facial moisturizer this week and simply didn’t like it. It did not provide enough moisture for my face and it was slightly sticky. It did absorb very quickly but for me this was not a facial moisturizer.

The stickiness was a factor elsewhere as well. The cream went on smoothly and whether my skin was wet or dry when I applied it was irrelevant, the cream quickly absorbed into the skin and left no greasy residue. There was a slight sticky film left on the skin though. Almost like a light waxy residue.

It was very slight and to be honest, I didn’t mind it so much on my legs or my arms. it was mostly my hands that had the issue and after applying the body lotion i did find myself washing my hands off. And oddly enough reaching for a different hand lotion after washing my hands.

one pump absorbs quickly and easily

With the rest of my skin I did notice that my skin was noticeably softer and more hydrated the longer I used it. For me this presents a bit of a conundrum. And this is because it is such a small bottle. it is not a facial moisturizer or a hand lotion. it really is for all of the other parts besides hand and face (even my feet did well with this lotion). After each use the dry spots of my skin were softer both after use and later. Repeated use showed progression results. Which is kind of the goal with all skincare. But the full size is a one ounce bottle. If it were a large 12 ounce bottle this would be a completely different tale. But with this size bottle you are looking at two, possibly three full body applications before the bottle is empty.

I shower daily and so this $45 bottle would last only three days. The cream I used for this photo was the last product in the bottle. It is a good cream and I could see getting it to spot treat really dry and calloused areas. If you were working on one area that might be hard to hydrate to the same level as the rest of your skin then i can see picking this up for that sort of use. It is not a head to toe cream in the sense that you should use it head to toe, even though it works very well that way. It is simply not a feasible use for the product. I can’t recommend it for a body lotion but I think if you are looking for a spot treatment, this would certainly be something to look into.

If I were to get a second bottle then I would certainly use it. I like the ingredients and I can see why the cost of such good quality ingredients is so high. I just don’t think it is practical for me to purchase such a small amount if I wasn’t specifically treating one problem area. m.greengrass makes a great body lotion, but it just isn’t practical for me to use it on a daily basis.

A little Blue Ginger from Herbal Essences

In general I tend to write posts and reviews of pricier shampoos and conditioners. In general I don’t mind spending a little more on hair care items. However most of the pricier items it is easier for me to order than it is to pick up at a local store. And I am not always the best at remembering to order things before I actually run out. Plus some times it just isn’t in the budget.

There are also some very good drug store shampoos and conditioners out there. There are also some expensive shampoos and conditioners out there that aren’t really worth the price. and often times a good hair mask or scalp scrub paired with a not so fabulous shampoo and conditioner (whether that not so fabulous set is pricier or inexpensive) can make a world of difference.

One of the reasons that I tend to forget about writing the reviews of the drug store shampoo and conditioner sets is because I almost always pick up the same set. If I find myself running out of shampoo and need to pick some up at the store i almost always pick up the Suave Rosemary and Mint. In fact there is a large bottle of this in my empties bin that I finished out at the beginning of the month. And did I remember to order another Shampoo and Conditioner set to try out or to indulge in one of the pricier ones I like?

Of course not.

So I decided to pick up something I hadn’t tried before from the Drug Store. I went with the Herbal Essences Blue Ginger and Micellar water Shampoo paired with the Blue Ginger Conditioner. It is …

The Herbal Essences bio:renew Blue Ginger & Micellar Water collection is made to refresh flat, limp hair. This collection is infused with blue ginger, micellar water & other botanicals certified by the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. The collection includes a shampoo, conditioner and dry shampoo crafted to refresh for volumized hair. Enjoy a scent experience of ginger, floral bouquets and clean musk.

Herbal Essences

I have not tried the dry shampoo although I think that would be an interesting item to try. If my store has it when next i shop I may pick that up to try, not so much because of the Blue Ginger Line but because I am always looking for a good drug store shampoo that I can have on hand, especially when the summer heat hits and makes my bangs look scraggly.

great clean and good body

I also find it amusing that there is a dry shampoo in this line, but I’ll get to that later.

But for now let’s look at the shampoo and Conditioner. The set is free of silicone and parabens which I like. The scent oddly reminds me more of water lilies than ginger. At least that is the scent I get from the bottle. It is lightly floral but very clean smelling at the same time. Once out of the bottle and on the hair the scent does intensify so make sure you like it when you sniff the product. Also The scent does linger in the hair. If I washed my hair at night and let it dry naturally (no other product) then went to bed, I could still smell the shampoo and conditioner the next morning.

So make sure you like the scent.

I happen to like it. The shampoo foams really well but I did find that I had to do two washes before moving on to conditioner. Looking over the product information I realize it is targeted more for fine hair which mine most decidedly is not. with two washes my hair was clean but not stripped. and the second wash was more due to my own hair’s thickness. I will say though once clean it did feel really nicely clean.

The shampoo was light and again I think it is more designed for fine hair. I used the same amount I would normally but I applied it in half. I dispensed half and went under the hair to work it up through the hair and then took the other half of what i would normally use and worked from the top down and then combed it through in the shower. the I rinsed it out. It took a little bit longer but I did get the conditioning I liked.

It is a very light weight conditioner for daily use however I do have to say I really ended up looking forward to my Saturday Hair mask more than usual.

Normally I will let my hair dry naturally (sometimes with a little detangler sprayed in while wet) and then comb through when it is dry. With this Herbal Essences I did need the detangling spray (I used my all time favorite One Hit Wonder from The Mane Club, it is the most inexpensive hair product ($10 per bottle) I have and it is by far the BEST product I have tried Also their hair masks are absolutely amazing Cry Baby and Bad Attitude are my favorites).

lightweight and good on the ends of my hair

I also found myself combing it out when wet because it made for fewer tangles. It tangled so much more when I allowed it to dry and then brushed and combed my hair out.

Her is the kicker though. I normally wash my hair ever other day. Since I am working out every week day at the moment, on the days when I don’t wash my hair I just rinse it out when I shower. This kind of treatment has always worked well for me. It works well with most of the high end products I use and with Suave.

It does not work well with this. When I tried it I was a tangled mess. I also noticed my hair would get greasier looking faster, making a dry shampoo a necessary thing to have around. Usually at this time of year i only use a dry shampoo on my bangs between washes to kind of freshen them up. As the heat and humidity rise that changes, but for now that is my go to. with this shampoo set I really needed the dry shampoo in between washes.

To be honest I mostly ended up washing it every day while using this. I will say that if used daily it worked really well. I simply could not skip a day. Which means that the shampoo bottle emptied pretty fast. I know part of the reason is that it is targeted for fine hair. However that is not on the bottle. If it was I would have chosen a different shampoo. what is on the Herbal Essences bottle is 90% natural origins, 0% silicone and parabens, pH Balanced and Color Safe. All of which are things that I like, Hence why i picked it up. It wasn’t until i looked on the website that I saw it was for fine hair.

I am all about research. I love doing research and looking things up. And when i spend more money I do my research. If I am buying a $30 or more shampoo I read all about it to make sure it targeted for my hair concerns. When I am adding a shampoo to my cart while doing my groceries because the bottle in my shower ran out that morning and I don’t have a back up, I rely on knowing what brands I have tried and liked in the past nd what is printed on the bottle.

Because that detail was left off I purchased shampoo that wasn’t quite right for me. It is good shampoo and smells lovely. I had to use more than expected because of the fine hair issue. Of more concern is the fact that I needed to wash my hair every day. I simply like washing my hair ever other day. Mostly because it reduces the amount of product that goes into my hair and because my hair has always liked being washed every other day.

I think if you have fine hair, you would get a good clean with a regular amount of product, but I still think there is going to be the need to wash your hair every day and if you are prone to tangles you will need to add a detangler to your list of products needed. I had more tangles with this shampoo and conditioner than i had in the last five or six shampoos I tried. So for me this will not be a repeat purchase. I think that before I repurchase any Herbal Essences shampoos I will be looking on line to see which sets are targeted to my hair before i go shopping. Will I buy again from the brand? Yes I will and I will probably try out the dry shampoo as well if i can find it. I would like to hope that the scent of the dry shampoo matches the scent of the shampoo and conditioner. I don’t know if it does but I would like to find out. It just might be the scent form a different set.

An Afternoon Facemask with Dew of the Gods

Today my darlings I am super excited about using the FijiFuji Collagen Whip Vitamin Mask from Dew of the Gods. And no it isn’t because I feel like I need a little extra blessing from Buddhist Monks. Although that is a lovely thought and I will never turn down such blessings.

But that is beside the point.

Today is the last use of this mask. That’s right. Don’t let the blue tint inside the plastic fool you. The plastic itself is actually dyed blue. This is the final wear of this Dew of the Gods Face Mask. I think it actually feels like such a big accomplishment because it is so large a container. I also did not think it would last this long.

I adore this mask. Of the Dew of the Gods face masks that I have tried this is my favorite. Which I wasn’t actually expecting. I have a pink clay mask and a charcoal mask from the brand as well. Both are really great masks and clay and charcoal masks are sort of my go to masking favorites so I was a bit surprised that i liked this so much.

But I found myself reaching for this so much that when the Black Friday sales were popping off I went ahead and picked up a back up. I never pick up back ups of masks. I usually tell myself once I have finished a mask I love that if I clear out two more samples or one more full sized masking jar then i can think about replacing it.

This one, I picked up before I was finished with it.

And yes having the unopened mask lurking in the back did give me an odd anxiety for some reason. I think it was potential product wastage. So I probably won’t do that again but it was a really good sale so i have a hard time regretting it. (It retails for $2 and I think I ended up getting it for around $15 when all was said and done and nothing makes a really great product better than getting a really great product at a really low price. It’s like a double win, especially if you know you will use it.)

According to Dew of the Gods…


Vitamin cocktail, anyone? That Fiji glow really hits different. Rich, luscious and thick electric kaolin infused with vegan collagen, vitamin-C and lychee extract brightens, tones and lifts your skin while restoring its natural bounce. Injected with hyaluronic acid, Fijifuji is all about that youthful, radiant glow — it’s a party in the tropics, and the vibe is Fiji-chic.

Maybe it is the hyaluronic acid in it that I love so much. The mask smooths on easily and feels a little more like the clay you would use in a pottery class than your typical clay mask. I think it is because clay masks tend to be looser and this really looked like a chunk of blue clay you would start on a potter’s wheel. But it does smooth over the face really easily.

It is cool from the start and I did feel the cold along my cheekbones as I wore it. I also noticed that if I have allergy puffy eyes that coolness does help reduce some of the puffiness just by default. This is the mask my babydoll loves making fun of. He thinks it looks like some sort of Mesoamerican death mask.

dried down and o smile is possible

It does dry down pretty far in the 15 minutes of wear that I usually keep it on for. It isn;t exactly kiln baked but it is dry. I keep a facial brush that is too harsh to use as a facial cleansing brush around just for clay masks. As you can see I have used this enough with this mask that the bristles are somewhat tinted. I am going to give it a good soak tonight and see if i can get some of the blue out of the bristles.

I don’t use the brush to remove the mask, I just wet the brush and lightly trace over the mask so that the water loosens it up and makes it easier to remove. Essentially I am rehydrating it and using the trace lines from the bristles to loosen it up. i find this just makes mask removal just a little easier.

brush to help removal

Then it is rinsed off and I have to say but skin always feels so fresh and clean. I feel smooth and really revived with this mask. It not only perks the skin up but if you have a day where you feel like you are dragging just a little bit, then this kind of gives you a bit of an energy boost without resorting to an extra cup of coffee.

While I like other Dew of the Gods Masks the Fijifuji Collagen Whip Vitamin Mask is my favorite. As much as it bothered me to know I had a back up instead of waiting until I finished and cleared this and at least one other product out, I am thrilled that as this empties, I have one jar of this waiting in the wings. And now I can use it to prompt myself into using up other masks because I will not open the new jar until I have emptied two more. That was the deal I made with myself when I purchased the back up. I remember because I put a post it note on the box. So it will be a little while before I get to see this mask again, but I know it will be worth the wait.

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The Weekly Skincare Line up: March 24th, 2023

Good morning my darlings and welcome to Friday. You know what time it is. It is time to look at the skincare used this week and to talk about how things are performing. We have one product that is empty and a couple that will only last one more week. So let’s see how things are going. we will start with the day…

The Daytime Line Up

Cleanser: Byroe Kiwi Detox Gel Cleanser

Serum: Depology Matrixyl 3000Collagent Boosting Serum

Eyecream: Byroe Truffle Eye Cream

Moisturizer: Miss Flower and Mr. Honey propolis Rejuvenating Lotion from Banilla, Co

Okay let’s start with the cleanser and work our way down the list. It is a good cleanser in general. It gets the skin clean and doesn’t leave any residue or strip the skin. There are small bits in it which I think are supposed to represent the kiwi seeds. There aren’t enough of them to be considered exfoliating but there are too many to ignore. I honestly can’t figure out why they are included other than to make it look like a kiwi. It is a gel cleanser so it sort of fits visually. But they don’t really seem to do anything. It is a good cleanser but not a super fabulous one. I will use it but it isn’t going to be something I seek out as a must have.

Byroe seems to do better with eye creams. I am using the truffle one now. It is good. And it is an eye cream that I would purchase again. It does have a lot to live up to though as I love the Tea Time Eye cream from Byroe. This I like, that i love. This works well while that is fantastic. It is really hard not to compare them because I know when i go on the Byroe site to order I am going to place an order for my favorites. If I didn’t have the other eye cream to compare it to, I know I would repurchase this because it is a good eye cream. I just know I would repurchase the other.

This week I did roll in a full sized serum. It is the Depology Matrixyl Collagen Boosting Serum. I have used it before and I really loved it. I have also tried their eye patches and those microdart patches that Depology has on line They did good things for my eyes and I liked the results even if they weren’t as spectacular as the commercials. they did god things for my skin and in general I like eye patches. For me this Serum is hands down the best thing I have tried from the brand. I think part of that is consistent use. I put it in my line up and I will use it every morning while it is in the line up. Even when I plan to use eye masks every day, I will sometimes forget and skip days or not get to wear them as long as I want. Which I kind of know about myself. Perhaps if I was more consistent with the eye patches I would feel differently, however I know I am not going to be that consistent with the eye patches. And I am consistent with the serum. And with skincare consistency brings results. If the product works. And this one does.

A while back I tried out a moisturizer from Banilla Co and I adored it. This was an IPSY add on because I wanted to see if this was as good. It is. I am enjoying it. It as a lightweight moisturizer and it has a lightly honey scent to it that is really quite a nice way to start the morning. It also reminds me that I wanted to try out the moisturizer in a full size and need to order it. But I am glad to use this sample size as my day cream for the moment.

The Night Time Line Up

Makeup Remover: Elemis Pro Collagen Cleansing Balm

Cleanser: Byroe Kiwi Detox Gel Cleanser

Toner: Perricone MD Face Finishing and Firming Toner

Serum: L’Occitane Immortalle Reset Serum

Moisturizer: First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Cream

Sleeping Mask Omorovicza Midnight Radiance Mask

Lips mask: Tatcha Kissu Lip mask

This is not the first time I have used this Elemis Cleansing Balm. And it won’t be the last. It is fabulous. It takes everything off without stripping the skin. For a long time it was my go to makeup remover. And then I decided to branch out and try other things. And as if sensing my abandonment I started getting a bunch of travel sized containers of this cleansing balm Including the one in this line up I have five travel sizes. So I am going to work on using a few of them up. It is a fabulous makeup remover and I adore it.

This is the last week for the Perricone MD toner. I am both sad and happy at the same time. It is a fabulous toner and a really good, gentle daily exfoliator. I am really sad to see it go and it is something I will be purchasing in the future. Because it did such a wonderful job, I didn’t feel comfortable using other exfoliators when I knew I would be using this daily. So I set to the side any retinols and chemicals exfoliants as well as physical exfoliators. And I kind of have a lot of them to go through and clear out. So it is a relief to start clearing some of them out at the same time i am very sad to see this go. It is a definite repurchase though.

I actually have two samples of this serum from L’Occitane and I will probably use them back to back as I try to see how the serum performs. I am hoping that with the two serums I will use them long enough to see real results. I can’t lie though it is a pretty bottle and I am really hoping that I see enough good things to warrant purchasing the full size. i know pretty bottles shouldn’t matter, but I do like pretty bottles. But it has to work before I will justify it. I won’t buy it just because it is pretty. I will buy it because it works and then take a secret (or not so secret) delight in the fact that it is a pretty bottle. Thus far i do like the serum. It is light weight with a really clean fresh scent to it. the scent is light and disputes quickly but it is that sort of healthy spa like scent, like cucumber water. If that makes sense. I like the scent. I also like how it absorbs quickly without leaving my skin sticky. My skin does feel very soft post application. No instant results, but I distrust instant results. I am encouraged to keep trying it out though and hoping for long term benefits.

The First Aid Beauty Cream is nice. I’ve used it before, loved it and will use it again. While we did have the cold snap this week, the Ultra repair cream is too heavy for me to wear during the day except in winter. It makes a great night cream but it is getting to be a little to much during the day. So it has been shifted off to the night. where it works really well. A lot of First Aid Beauty products are hit or miss for me, but this is one of my favorite products from the brand.

I am head over heels in love with the Omorovicza night mask. I only use it twice a week and each use only takes a little product so it is still lasting. I have enough for the coming week and maybe a little beyond. It is a light gel that practically melts to water as you apply it. It does take a few minutes to dry down but then you wake up with fairly glowing skin the next morning, or at least I do. So it is worth the few minutes to let to dry down. If I didn’t have several other night masks to try out and go through, I would have already ordered the full size. I actually came close and then I forced myself to count the number of sleeping masks I have that i need to try out and use up. Six. That’s how many I have waiting for trial. Knowing I have those is the only reason I did not immediately purchase the full size. It is encouragement to go on and try them out because as soon as I can justify it, a purchase will be made.

And as always my darlings we round out with the Tatcha lip mask. This is the best lip mask I have tried and the one I will always repurchase. I know I need to try out a few more, but this is the one I will compare all of the others to. It has now become my standard.

And that my darlings is my skincare for this week. Overall I am pleased. My skin is healthy and well nourished. Which is always the goal. I also feel really good about clearing out some of the samples. It will make my end of the month empties post a little bit unwieldy but at least my skincare collection is much more manageable and I have found several items I want to try out in the full size.

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Weekly Weight: 228.3 lbs

Yup that is a repeat of last week’s numbers. I am not terribly surprised. I lost a little over three pounds last week. Pretty much anytime I record a big loss on a Friday, the following Friday the scale doesn’t move. This is then followed by a loss the next week. It is a predictable thing at this point.

It doesn’t mean it isn’t somewhat disheartening though. I will say that as I currently have my period and am feeling quite bloated the encouraging sign is that I may actually see an exaggerated loss next week as I lose the water I am currently retaining.

I will say the back and forth with the scale is sort of getting on my nerves a little bit and I do find myself thinking about the scale more than I usually do. I also looked back at the past posts and it is generally the time of year where I get fed up with the scale. It happens a couple of times a year. I always give myself December off of the scale because stepping on it when the Holidays throw scheduled meal plans in the whirlwind of activity is too cruel to contemplate. I have noticed that in the spring this happens as well.

I don’t know if there are just so many other things going on that things get crazy or if it is the back and forth with the scale.

I do know that this is the time of year where the scale just bothers me. while I don’t mind giving it a break, I think I may want to switch it up for a bit. Instead of the scale maybe talk about the recipe’s I am making or the workouts. Maybe even add a recipes page for those interested. I don’t know.

Perhaps this is a momentary irritation and I’ll get back to normal with next week’s weigh in and be less irritated by the scale. Perhaps it is time to shake things up.

If there is anything you would like to see on this page, please let me know. I would love to hear what would be interesting to you. While this is more or less a post designed to keep me on track, it might as well be interesting to those of you reading it. So let me know in the comments or sent me an e-mail through the contact page if you don’t want to post it on line.

But I think I am going to have to make some sort of change to this page, just for my own sanity. But for now…

The Stats

Starting Weight: 246.0 lbs

Last week’s Weight: 228.3 lbs

This Week’s Weight: 228.3 lbs

Nothing lost, nothing gained this week.

And so my darlings that is me, more contemplative about the post than worried about the weight, but otherwise doing just fine.

yoga gear

The Daily: March 23rd, 2023

Oh my darlings this has been an interesting day. A comedy of errors if you will. I woke up and did my exercises. I was feeling pretty good about myself too. I went through my skincare and plotted out my day. I had coffee and breakfast and my babydoll left. His sinuses are clear and he is back to breathing well and walking with a little bounce in his step.

I have to admit I was really glad to see. It has been a little over three weeks since he has been able to take deep untroubled breaths and you could tell it was wearing on him. But now he can breathe easy and it shows as well. So all was right in the world. I put on my makeup and realized I was actually running early.

Did I stop to take pictures? No. I looked at the sky and the weather report and realized that while it wasn’t raining now, the rain would be returning later in the day. So I thought I would go down to the park and see if it was flooded. It wasn’t so I took my chance to get a walk in.

As I was walking I heard the call “Lucy!” from behind me. My name wasn’t Lucy of course but I turned anyway because I hadn’t seen anyone on the path. That’s when I was barreled into by Lucy, a bulldog boxer mix.

She is adorable and because she was looking back at the sound of her name while still running forward didn’t see me any more than I saw her, until the collision. While the path was clear the sides of the path were muddy. I was coated. The dog not so much as she landed on me and I landed on the mud. The other dog Rufus, a black and white dog of indeterminate breeding who may have some collie mixed in came to see what the fuss was about and to say hi.

A woman who might stand five foot even when her hair was fully teased out and who had at least eighty years to her name came huffing and puffing towards the melee. At which point the dogs decided it was time to resume their romp through the park.

This is how I met Maria. She and her husband just moved into the neighborhood. Lucy was apparently her son’s dog but the other dogs were picking on her so since she got along with Rufus, Lucy was now hers. Lucy is apparently less than a year old and in the bad environment she was subdued. Without the bullying of the other dogs, she is happier and much more energetic. Since Rufus on his own was manageable without a leash it hadn’t occurred to her that Lucy wouldn’t be.

I found all this out because I decided to be a good neighbor and help her corral the dogs and bring them back home. After I was already muddy and she kind of needed the help. It was a great workout. I did look like a mud spattered raccoon when I returned home. It was not water proof mascara.

I had to strip in the laundry room to keep from being a mess and then I took a shower and started the day over. The only thing i regret is not taking the picture when the makeup was fresh. I enjoyed frolicking with the dogs even though I was cold and muddy and I like Maria. She seemed nice. And I really couldn’t leave her to catch the dogs on her own. I would have felt really bad leaving her. So now I feel pretty good. I don’t feel like redoing my makeup though. I might do a face mask as a reward for being a good neighbor, but otherwise it is bare faced for the rest of the day.

Not what i was expecting, but I can’t really complain. And that makes this a pretty good day.

Oh something you may want to take advantage of. If you are into clean beauty Petit Vour is having an 80% off sale on their site. Plus there is a sale on sale for some of the items with an extra 15% off. I am not entirely sure how that works becuase that seems to mean that some of the items are 95% off. Which seems like a lot. I haven’t done the full math. I do know it is a mega spring clearance sale though.

Also you can get a Clean Beauty Basics Kit ($45 value) free with any $60 or more purchase by using the code BASICS. (while supplies last.) For a long time i had the Petit Vour Subscription box and I have recently been thinking of restarting the subscription (I just want the IPSY/Boxy thing to settle down a bit first). I always found such wonderful Clean beauty products that I would never have found or tried on my own. Actually one of my favorites from the subscription box is on the sale list. It is the Be Kind exfoliating scrub. It is an amazingly gentle exfoliator and something I am actually picking up on the sale. Anyway you can follow the links in this post or click on the banner below. (they are affiliate links so if you purchase something I may get a small commission, if that bothers you just go directly to the Petit Vour Site. The code BASICS is in no way tied to me so you can use it with no strings.) Happy Clean Beauty Shopping.

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Let’s talk water…

I know that Thursdays is where I generally post makeup reviews during the week, but I can think of no better beauty secret then drinking plenty of water. Not everyone agrees on how much water is enough water and most people I know are pretty sure they aren’t drinking enough no matter how much they are actually drinking.

To be honest, I was not entirely sure how much I was drinking. I tend to lose track throughout the day. I find that I do drink more water if it is carbonated. Somehow it doesn’t sit as heavy on my stomach as still water does.

Because of this Iong ago purchased a Soda Stream. I have one of the older models which i believe has been discontinued. while I love it and use it daily, there is a part of me hoping that it will wear out soon because the new models they have out are simply fabulous. Have you seen them? The new Art Icy Blue is the one i have my eye on. I know mine works well and it works the same as mine does it just looks so sweet. I took a screen capture. I am trying to fight my desire for pretty. I won’t repurchase until mine does break (and no I won’t break it just to get a new one, I don’t want the pretty that badly.) and then i will pick up something like this. It will take a while as these machines last forever.

But seriously, is that not so sweet looking. They have other colors but I love the shape of the body as well as that handle. It just appeals to me.

But moving on.

I have the soda stream for carbonation but I don’t drink from the bottle. I never have. I think because it is simply too big for me to feel comfortable drinking from it. My babydoll does drink straight from his bottle and we do have to replace his bottles twice as often as we do mine. They are plastic and after repeated use (he also adds more flavors to his bottle while I add them to the glass) they will eventually get off flavors with them. Even then we replace his once a year and mine every other year.

I picked up this glass carafe with a straw from Smartass and Sass. I love their on-line store (and at the moment they have a 60% off clearance sale. I think this exact carafe was down to $8.95 and still available should you be interested.) I sometimes find their boxes a bit too much but each box has one or two items in it that I like so I tend to buy those items rather than the box. But that is just me. I think this water bottle/carafe and the travel mug are the two best things I have picked up from the, Although I do have to add the desk calendar provides me with great dark humor daily.

but back to the water. I don’t like drinking out of the Large Soda Stream bottle. So this smaller glass water bottle with a straw is perfect for me. I know, some of you are looking at the top picture and seeing the even larger water bottle next to the Soda Stream and thinking I had best get to explaining myself.

Like I said I lose track of how much water I drink in a day and would really like to actually know how much I drink and then f course figure out how much i am supposed to bedrinking and work towards making those amounts match. Hence the giant bottle with measurements marked down the side.

My current system, while I am trying to figure out my amounts, is to use the soda stream and empty the Soda Stream bottles into the Giant jug ‘o water where there are measurements. It takes two and a half of the Soda Stream Bottles to fill it. Then throughout the day I refill my actual drinking glass with the carbonated water from my jug ‘o water.

At the end of the day I tally everything up to see how much water i am drinking. And I don’t have to worry if I emptied my drinking glass before I refilled it or how many times I refilled it throughout the day. I just look at what is left in the giant jug. And before you ask. I keep it on the floor under the desk rather than on the desk. Mostly because this feels like something I should take on a picnic or a camping trip rather than to my desk.

I’m sure in time I’ll feel more normal about seeing it, but for now it is a little strange. It is however helping me to track how much water I actually drink without having to think about it too much. I have tried multiple formats, notes with tally lines and star stickers were my last two attempts to count. They pretty much failed because I would lose track or refill the glass when it was still halfway full.

I don’t know how many of you are trying to figure out or keep track of your water consumption. when I first started to try to lose weight it was something my doctor really emphasized as something to watch, hence the various ways I have tried. if you are in the same boat, perhaps this will help you out. You can pick up these bottles in loads of places for not that much money. I think TJMaxx has a huge selection as does Home Goods, Walmart and Target. And I am sure loads of other places as well as on-line. The thing is to make sure it seals tightly, has a decent pouring capability and has one side of the bottle marking measurements so you can keep track of things. Then throughout the day you can drink what you are going to drink (whether it is carbonated or not) and find out just how much water you are drinking in a day.

For me this was an easy fix to an irritating problem. I wanted to know how much water I was drinking in a day but kept losing track. Now, I don’t lose track and can more easily work towards my goal. It is a bit silly, i will grant you that, but it works. And in the end I can stand to be a little silly.

SodaStream USA, inc