Nails: Expressie and Sally Hanson Gel

You know I do my nails at home about once a week and to be honest, my nail polish collection has become a bit much. I will pick up a nail polish pretty much anywhere I go. I have some that are drugstore polishes, some I picked up at TJMAXX, and some I have ordered. I have nail polishes in pretty much every price range, along with assorted other nail products (press ons, gels etc). There are also polishes I have picked up due to subscription boxes.

All of which means I have repeat shades. So I decided to work my way through the nail polishes trying every one that is in my collection to see if it needs to stay in my collection.

This week I chose to start with the Expressie shade Misfit right in (270). Some of you might know this, others might recognize the Essie part of the name. This is a line from the Essie brand that is quick dry. And it is a really quick dry formula. It is a great nail polish to reach for in a hurry. This color was done with one coat and by the time i was finished polishing the last nail, the first nail was dry.

There have been days where this has really been helpful. Especially in the summer. Gardening tends to beat up my nails and occasionally I don’t realize this until I have to go somewhere so I do a quick polish and it looks really good.

The trick though is that while it will look good for a day, if you want it to last the week you need a top coat. It does chip pretty fast without the top coat. And while my top coat is not quick dry, the fact that the Expressie dries so fast means that I can apply the top coat fairly fast.

And then I have to wait for it to dry.

My current favorite Top Coat is the Sally Hansen Miracle Gel Top Coat (101). I have used this for a while now. I think this might be my second bottle of this top coat actually. It just works well with everything. It gives a really good shine and gel like finish to the nails and it makes even the polish likely to chip fast last longer than it would on it’s own. With this top coat I will get a week of use out of this Expressie polish. And since I really like this color, I am happy to keep it around longer.

The Daily: January 30th, 2023

Good afternoon my darlings. It looks like we are actually closing in on the end of January. It is always interesting to see the end of January. A lot of months I am surprised to reach the end of them but somehow January always feels much longer than any other month in the year. I think part of it might be that ic comes after a bunch of holidays. For Me Halloween is sort of when time speeds up.

Halloween is that fun holiday where you dress up and have candy and carve jack o’ lanterns and just generally have a good time making smoking concoctions that look like witch’s brews for the cocktail hour. Then the next morning as I realize the mold has claimed the inside of your pumpkin and the rot from being on the front stoop for several weeks has caused it to slump sideways, I am hit with the realization that it is in fact November.

we always do a lot of our gift exchanges on Thanksgiving because some people only travel for one of the holidays so everything has to be purchased and wrapped for those folks and then there is the shipping for other people so they can have things by Christmas and with one thing or another, the shopping the gatherings, the decorating and the taking down of decorations, from November 1st to January first there is just a blur of movement and whizzing past of time until it stops with the midnight champagne cork popping of new years.

Then everything sort of slows down to normal speeds, which oddly seems glacially slow.

And so January seems to last forever. Yet here we are about to reach the end.

At least that is my take on it. I suppose I am in a bit of an introspective mood today. I spent large chunks of my weekend trying to work out a character’s motivation. My plot idea had him behaving in a certain way so the story would move along but then I couldn’t figure out why he would do what I wanted. It made no sense so i had to think about what this particular character would do in the situation, based on how I’ve written him thus far and how that would affect the story. And than just for fun I flipped it around and thought about how I’d re write the character so that he would behave as I wanted and then i tried to decide which I liked best.

I actually enjoy that part of writing. But it does put me in an introspective sort of mood. I start wondering how everything around me ticks. Luckily oi am working from home with no meetings scheduled today so no coworkers will be affected.

Today’s Look:

Primer: AOA Studios Blur Fection Primer

Foundation: HIDE Invisible medium to full coverage foundation

Bronzer: Kim Chi Chic Hello Thailor Bronzer

Blush: Benefit Cosmetics Georgia Blush

Powder: By Terry Hyaluronic Hyrdo Powder

Eyeshadow: Revolution Beauty Coraline Palette

Mascara: Uoma Salute to the Sun Mascara

Lips: Yensa Super 8 Lip Oil in Power Pink

I picked up this AOA primer from Shop Miss A on a whim and I have to say I really like it. It is a bit crumbly until it warms up and then it blends beautifully and sort of works like spackle on fine lines and pores. I am really enjoying it.

The HIDE foundation is perfectly my shade at this time of year and it does blend well. I am noticing that less is more though. One layer looks beautiful but it is not a foundation I am having any luck building up. One to two pumps covers the face well with a medium coverage. it is my preferred coverage so i am okay with that but building it up just makes those fine lines show more.

The Kim Chi bronzer is beautiful. It is soft and richly pigmented. It applies strong but blends well. I just need to remember that it is more my summer shade than my winter one. It was a bit heavy for me today and since I haven’t used it in a while I was a bit heavy handed. It blended out well, but it was definitely operator error.

This Georgia Blush however is prefect for winter for me. It tends to get lost when I am tan but it is a nice soft pink on winter pale skin for me. I just need to remember to reach for it more often. I am glad I reached for it today.

The By Terry powder is one I will use, but I don’t think I will repurchase, at least in the loose version. The pressed powder is amazing for afternoon touch ups but the loose powder is a bit temperamental. if you use a sponge or a puff it wants to shoe where you first touched down on your face, It can be blended out but it takes some time. The best application has been a fluffy brush tapped on the wrist once before applied to the face. That helps. Once on, it is a beautiful powder, it just requires a bit more thought than other setting powders.

I chose the eyeshadow because I had Revolution on my mind today. I caught up on all of the legal drama of the brand over the weekend so I was thinking about them. Plus once I opened the palette I saw the purple and deep blue and decided that was just what I wanted today. I know, very Ursula of me, but I think it came out well. At least I like it. While I love my neutrals there are some mornings where my brain just says ‘Color NOW!’ and this is just what happened. Personally I like the way it turned out.

I am also loving this UOMA mascara. I deliberately went with just one coat today and I think my lashes look fabulous. In addition, this formula feels so light weight and when I used it last week, my lashes felt soft when I removed the mascara. I know it is a nourishing formula or it is supposed to be based on the website description, but it really seems to be doing some nourishing. One use isn’t enough to really tell, but it is encouraging.

And then there are the lips. I went with the Yensa Super 8 Lip oil. The one I was using before was just a light shine on the lips with barely a tint. This one is far more pigmented, almost like a lipstick. I am actually very impressed with the pigmentation. It is brighter than I usually go with my lips but I do love this formula. I think because the lip oil I used previously had such a barely there color I didn’t realize just how pigmented they were. I am going to have to look at the shade range and actually think about colors instead of just lip care with a shine. And I am always happy to find more lip products.

But that is me my darlings. I am kind of tickled with the way the yes turned out today. It is mostly my computer screen that will get to see them, but they make me happy. And somedays, that is what count’s the most. Happy Monday everyone.

Sinfully Soft Hair with Saints and Sinners Velvet

I have been using this Saints and Sinner Velvet Divine leave in conditioner for a while now. It is a spray leave in conditioner and it has a fairly fine mist. Occasionally the nozzle of the spray will get clogged and I will fine it shooting out one squirt instead of a spray. When it does that a wet cotton swab over the nozzle quickly clears up the problem and it is back to spraying a fine mist.

The scent is a high end salon scent that leans more towards slightly fruity rather than slightly floral. when smelling it, I don’t think ‘oh fruity’. I think, ‘Oh high end hair salon’. But it does lean more fruit than floral. The scent does fade though. I don’t notice it in my hair after the product dries.

For some reason I could not get the Saints and Sinners website to load, So the information was taken from the Salon Only Sales website. This Leave in conditioner is also sold at both Amazon and Walmart sites so it is readily available. I don’t know if there is some internal blocking on my system or if there is some issue on their end and will investigate that later, but I did use the info for the Salon Only Sales site for this (not an affiliate, it just had the most information.)

So according to the description…

Saints & Sinners VELVET DIVINE LEAVE-IN CONDITIONER is the best leave-in conditioner you will ever use! Ideal for all hair types. Instantly detangles, eliminates frizz, adds shine, protects color, adds moisture, increases combability, strength & manageability while protecting hair against heat and environmental damage.

it does have a fine spray as mentioned and when I sprayed it in my hair it didn’t get stiff or feel heavy. For me, I tend to spray a light coating on the top of my hair for shine and then flip my hair over and spray the bottom layer and then run my fingers though to ensure it is evenly distributed.

The top spray gives great shine and by spraying it underneath I have noticed an increased volume to my hair as well as good body. At the moment I am using an oil control shampoo. It is actually a very good shampoo, but it is a shampoo that wither needs a hair mask following it or a dose of detangler. With that shampoo I have noticed that when I use a hair mask, this leave in conditioner is nice, but mostly just adds volume. If I use a simple conditioner with the oily hair shampoo, this is amazing. It makes the hair soft and reduces the need for a detangling product. I really enjoy this leave in conditioner and because of it I find myself wanting to try out the shampoo from the line. I haven’t gotten to that yet, but it is definitely on my list of products to pick up for trial. But that is a trial for another day. For now, I am well pleased with this leave in conditioner. I am about halfway through the bottle, but looking forward to using it up and adding it to the list of items to be purchased again.

Get More From A Face Cleanser And Spa-like Massage

First Use Perricone MD High Potency Face Finishing and Firming Toner

This product was sent to be by BzzAgent for the purpose of review. As always my thoughts and opinions are my own.

Everything I have used from Perricone MD I have really enjoyed. One was actually a makeup Item. It was the No Makeup Lipstick. It has a light really natural look wash of color and SPF 15 mixed in. I tend to forget that lips need sunscreen too and when I when I know I am going to be out in the sun, this lipstick is a life saver. Just make sure your pay attention to the expiration date, because when this product expires it is done.

The other two items I used were skincare. Both were eye creams and both were really good. The Hypoallergenic CBD Sensitive Skin Hydrating eye cream was really nice however the Cold Plasma firming eye cream was out of this world fantastic. So I was absolutely thrilled when BzzAgent sent this bottle to me to try. The Perricone MD High Potency Face Finishing and Firming Toner is…

This daily, rose-scented lightweight toner gently sloughs off dead skin cells & unclogs pores of impurities, oil & dirt while visibly tightening, smoothing & reducing the look of enlarged pores for a firmer, more refined, even-looking complexion. Revitalizes, hydrates & soothes, leaving skin looking radiant, refreshed & healthy.

This is a first use post, so the pictures in this post are really going to be a base line for comparison after thirty days. There were some notables from the first use though so lets get into that.

It is, first off, a toner. Toners are used after you wash and dry tour face to make suer that every drop of dirt, makeup and other gunk is gone from your skin before you continue. The best toners also have extra skincare properties. The toner pad I am using is reusable and light blue. While my skin was clean with the first use, I did notice that there was a slight darkening to the toner pad after use that is deeper than just the wetness of the product on the pad. That is generally what happens when I use an exfoliating toner or really any chemical exfoliant actually. I’m guessing it is the dead skin cells and other particles being removed. (I will pick up a small pack of disposable cotton rounds for a better look in the follow up post. with both the color and nap of the reusable rounds the details are lost if you aren’t in person.

The scent is Rose, but it is a light, natural scented rose. If you really have an aversion to rose scents you won’t like it, but for me it was light enough and it dissipated quickly enough that I didn’t have to worry about the scent for too long.

There are AHAs (Alpha Hydroxy Acid) in the toner. AHA’s are really good chemical exfoliants. My skin always reacts well to it. Initially I do get a little pinking of my skin. So I will look flushed right after I use it and then the flushed feeling/look will fade. This was no different. I applied the toner to my skin and about the time I set the toner pad down, my face started to flush.

The red flush lasted only the length of time that it took for the toner to dry down on the skin. This isn’t a product you wash off, it is one that you let dry down and then continue on with your skin care. After my skin dried I did run my fingers over my skin to see how it felt when it was dry, Many items with AHAs can leave your skin feeling a bit sticky.

This did not feel sticky at all. The toner dried down and my skin felt silky soft. usually after I apply an AHA my skin is more than ready for a moisturizer. To me it always feels as though with the older dead skin and gunk cleared off the new skin feels just a little too exposed, Like someone unexpectedly pulled the blankets off of you on a cold morning when you weren’t quite ready to get up. I think of adding the moisturizer right after like adding on thick fuzzy socks to suddenly cold feet.

Except that i didn’t have that feeling with this Perricone MD High Potency Face Finishing and Firming Toner. I think that might be the soothing effect of the rose water. I know rose does help soothe and settle my skin, which is why I was not really surprised that the AHA redness disappeared so quickly. I thought it was probably due to the rose and it’s vitamin C infused goodness, which it probably was. But that some goodness also made my skin feel comforted after the exfoliation. I still applied the rest of my skincare but my skin felt clean and soft instead of cleaned and stripped back.

I can say that with a single use I know it is a good toner. For the other skin care benefits, only time will tell. But I am more than happy to keep using this toner and hope that with regular use the other skincare benefits will come along. For now, this is how my skin stands as the Perricone trial begins. It will be interesting to see the thirty day comparison photos’ as the product really settles down to work. But for now I am just happy with its use as a toner. I am hoping for good results though. And I will admit that hopes are high, not only from how the first day turned out but because I hae always had fabulous results from the brand.

LovelySkin Valentine's Day Gift Guide 2023

Something Smells Yummy…It’s Face Mask Friday with Yensa

As far as physical exfoliation masks go, this Pumpkin Tumeric 2-in-1 Radiance Polishing Mask from Yensa is one of my favorites. it is a mask I will always come back to.

First there is the fact that I just plain like physical exfoliators. There is something deeply satisfying about them to me. Don’t get me wrong I love the chemical exfoliators too, (let’s face it I enjoy most skincare) but there is kjust something about physical exfoliators.

This is one that feels like very fine grain sand suspended in a gel. It smooths on fairly easily but you can tell there is some exfoliation that this mask is going to provide. According to the Yensa website…

Yensa

The gel that the particles are suspended in soothes and brightens while you let it sit. It is actually quite a good brightening mask even though I do reach for it mostly for the exfoliation. This is a mask that sits on the skin for fifteen to twenty minutes. Sitting with the mask is like sitting in a bakery during the autumn. the scent is so reminiscent of my favorite pumpkin muffins that it actually makes me hungry wearing it.

After about the first five minutes with this mask on my face I am starting to wonder if we have the ingredients in the house to make the muffins. It is by far the most delicious smelling mask I have ever used. Just don’t try and taste it. Inhale the fragrance, don’t eat the mask.

After 15 minutes of contemplating muffins and the possibility of making them tonight, I went to the bathroom to wash off the mask. Before rinsing off, massage the mask in circles a little bit to get the full effect of the exfoliation. I tend to massage a bit first and then when I am rinsing I rub the mask off in circles as I use water to splash it off. It gives me a little extra exfoliation and rinses the mask away at the same time.

Once removed I pat my skin dry and enjoy the freshly scrubbed feeling.

The mask claims that it can be used 2-3 times a week. While it is a gentle enough scrub that you could use it that many times, I generally only use physical exfoliators about once a week. i find that gives me the best scrub without over doing it. I find this is also perfect for when I have clogged pores that I have just managed to coax to the surface. This really helps clear the bumps away before they have a change to become full on brake outs, thus helping to keep my skin clear.

This is a mask I return to often and always keep on hand. In fact this tube has only a few more uses in it and already, there is a replacement waiting in the wings. If you are looking for a delicious smelling, fantastically exfoliating face mask, The Yensa Pumpkin Turmeric is definitely one to look into.

The Skincare Lineup: January 27, 2023

And so we reach the end of another week. And it is time once again for my favorite post, the skin care line up. While I do like posting about the individual items, this post is all about how the items i use on my face work as a team. Because let’s face it, I don’t use just one item in isolation. Many of my items are approaching the 30 day mark of use and soon I will e able to look at actual results. I love skin care, but it isn’t a magic potion. It takes time and consistent use to show results. And generally you only start seeing changes after 30 days. So, soon sooooon… But until then, we have mostly the continuing products and one brand new cleanser. I have also put a picture of my face sans makeup because honestly, I think my skin looks fabulous this week. Even with the baggy allergy eyes. So lets get into it shall we?

Makeup Remover: Beekman 1802 Makeup Melting Cleansing Balm

Cleanser: Dr. Brandt Pores No More Pore Purifying Cleanser

Exfoliator: Elemis Blackcurrant Jelly Exfoliator

Toner: Elemis Superfood Fruit Vinegar Toner

Essence: Missha Time Revolution The First essence (currently 30% off on the brand site)

Serum: Elemis Pro Collagen Renewal Serum

Retinol: Kate Somerville Retinol Vitamin C

Moisturizer: ESPA Optimal Skin Pro Moisturizer

Eye cream: Byroe Tea Time Eye gel

Lips: Tatcha Kissu Overnight Lip Mask

Okay let’s start from the top. The Beekman cleansing balm is good. It takes very little to actually remove the makeup. It is a bit crumbly so the spatula isn’t used to you don’t contaminate the product with your fingers but an actual necessity for getting it out of the jar. And luckily it has it’s own holder on the top of the jar so it is less likely to get lost. while i like this cleanser and how the crumbly bits melt to oil, I don’t like it to remove my eye makeup. It tends to make my contacts a bit cloudy. It rinses away with a little saline solution but i think next week I am going to try an eye makeup remover separately. I have a couple in the drawer as well as a few micellar waters so I might try one of those.

I was using a sample sized cleanser and it is finished. I pulled this Dr. Brandt one out of the drawer to try next. I seem to have a lot of cleansers waiting to be used. I think there was just a run of them from subscription boxes for a while. I don’t mind that actually as I do go through them pretty fast. While I did like the clean I got from this Dr. Brandt, I think I am going to have to watch it. It smelled medicated when I tried it and after I washed my face, I looked at the tube. The smell alerted me but the label does mention salicylic acid and white willow bark, which was I was smelling. Sometimes that can dry me out. I have been using this for three days at this point and there is no signs of drying but it is something I will monitor. Thus far it is just a really good clean.

I am almost out of the Black Currant Jelly exfoliator. I have loved using it. I just don’t think it will last the week. I tend to use a little more product than I should but it is now at the six week mark of use so I can’t really complain. I really like this daily exfoliator.

The Elemis Toner is slowly but surely being used. I am just past the half way point in the bottle. It is kind of funny but with the toner, essence and the Elemis Serum not a lot of product is used with each use so it takes a while for it to show that it is being used and then all of a sudden you see it. I really like this toner. It smells a bit like fermented cider and I kind of dig the scent. It also takes care of any stray makeup bits that the cleanser might have missed.

I really love having an essence in my routine and this Missha one is a good one. It makes my skin feel like it is open and ready to receive skincare. Which is sort of the point of an essence.

The Elemis serum is making my skin feel soft and simply fabulous. I know, I tend to be a big fan of Elemis products and have been for a long time. This is a good serum thus far. My skin looked bright and clear and i am seeing a small reduction in some of my fine lines. plus the soft skin it leaves behind is amazing.

I have the Kate Somerville Retinol in my line up and I have been using it on Tuesdays and Thursdays. This week I have to confess, I didn’t remember to use it. Tuesday got crazy and then all day Thursday I somehow thought it was Wednesday. So it is in the line up, but this week, I just didn’t reach for it.

the more I use the Byroe and ESPA products the more I like them I am approaching a month of use with each of them and they will be with me for quite a while. The ESPA is not even half way empty and so little of the eye cream is needed with each use that it will last a long time. I have a sample of a different Byroe eye cream that I may pause this at some point to try out, but I really want to see what this eye cream can do. I am already seeing small improvements and I think with further use I will continue to do so. I did remember to take preliminary picks so in another week or so I will do after photos and we can do a side by side comparison, but at the moment I am loving the way my skin looks and feels. and honestly that is the best think i can say about any skincare line up. This is a winter moisturizer for me, so I did start using it at the prefect time. I love it when a skincare line up just works, don’t you. I don’t mind drama elsewhere in my life but I don’t care for it in skin care unless it is , Wow I think my skin looks great. And at the moment, that is the kind of drama i have because at the moment I do feel that wow, my skin does look and feel great. Let’s hope it continues.



Weekly Weight: 232.4 lbs

No my darlings it is not Deja vu. This is the same weight as last week. To be honest, while I would always like to see the numbers shrinking, I am not terribly surprised. Last week I lost nearly three pounds which for me is a lot in a week. Usually I have a big loss and then not so big a loss the following week. I’m okay with that. If that trend holds up I will be fine.

This week was also very strange as far as exercise went. I managed to get a few walks in and I did about 40% of my indoor exercises. I know 40% is something I can work on but there was very little sun this week and with the flip flopping either my sinuses were running like a faucet. while I got stuff done this week there were days where breathing was sort of an achievement all it’s own.

So I am impressed there was no weight gain. That makes me feel good.

I owe that to keeping track of everything I ate. (I am using the My fitness pal app as my food diary.) I don’t know if this is a factor of getting older but if I just watch what I eat and limit my calories, I mange to not gain weight not lose it. It is only when I have a Wonder Twins Activate movement with exercise and calorie control that thigs start to move.

Perhaps that is another reason I am not terribly surprised there is no movement. It was more of a hold the line sort of week. with luck things will dry out next week and I can edge back into a decline in the scale numbers. For now, I feel content with what I have done. Part of that content may be the sinus meds kicking in and the ability to draw in deep breaths for the first time this morning, but I am not worried this week. It is only if the scale stays static for multiple weeks that i start to worry.

The Stats

Starting Weight: 246.0 lbs

Last week’s Weight: 232.4 lbs

This week’s Weight: 232.4 lbs

Lost this week 0.0 lbs

Lost this far: 13.6 lbs

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The Daily: January 26th. 2023

Good afternoon my darlings. Have you ever had one of those days where in the back of your brain you are convinced it is the wrong day? somehow my brain keeps telling me it is Wednesday instead of Thursday. It is really throwing me off. There are some things I do on Tuesdays and Thursdays and some how they are not clicking in. For example my Grimm Expansion Project on my writing site (ten-til-midnight) I convinced myself that it was Wednesday so it didn’t need to go up until tomorrow and then I looked at the calendar and realized today was Thursday and I had to scramble.

It has been like that all day and I have no idea why.

Does anyone know why that happens? maybe it was because Wednesday was so off that my brain just decided on a do over. Yesterday felt like i was running from one thing to another all day long. Not like in a normal work day where you move from one task to another but where you were almost done with something when something starts to pull you away so you hurry the last of the task while listening to the details of the next one so they sort of run into each other.

The interesting part was none of them were emergencies. they were the sorts of things you just need to get done before you forget so that they don’t become emergencies down the road. It wasn’

t a bad day, just a strange one.

this one hasn’t been bad either. It has been busy but whatever brought yesterdays task deluge on has eased up so it is just a normal work day. I did manage to sneak a walk in. The clouds were dark and heavy though so i felt like I was being pressed down as I walked. I went on my normal length of walk but I shaved ten minutes off my time. It wasn’t intentional, I think I just walked faster because it felt like rain was coming. We are sitting at 34 degrees so it would be rain, just really cold rain. The rain has not arrived yet but every time I glance out of the window it looks like the sky is getting lower and lower. I feel like getting my walk in was actually some sort of victory. This entire week has been me versus the weather, but to be fair, every January is like that. I flipped through one of my journals last night. While the weather bouncing has been more extreme than in most years, January the biggest complaints were all about the weather not being good for walking. It was just more consistent temperature wise.

It made me feel a little bit better to see that.

Today I decided to go quick and simple with my makeup.

Today’s Look:

Primer: AOA Studios Blur Fection Face Primer

Foundation: HIDE Invisible medium to Full Coverage Foundation

Bronzer/eyeshadow: Fenty Beauty Sun Stalk R Face and Eye Palette

Blush: Illamasqua Gel Blusher

Powder: Beauty Bakerie Flour Setting Powder in Oat

Mascara: UOMA Salute to the Sun Drama Bomb Extreme Volume Nourishing mascara

Lips: Maybelline Superstay Ink Crayon in Live on the Edge (05)

I am really impressed by this AOA Primer. It is a bit crumbly though until it warms up. Then it blends smoothly and really does a good job filling pores and blurring out fine lines.

Now that I know this HODE Foundation is not expired I am returning to testing it. And actually I have to say it is a really good formula. It does need a pore filling primer underneath if you have fine lines. I have noticed it is especially willing to settle in the fine lines at the edges of my mouth. But it blends beautifully and looks fantastic on the skin.

I went for the Fenty Palette today because I was trying to streamline my makeup so I could get my day going. Plus my babydoll misplaced both his keys and glasses this morning so we ended up starting the day with a search which delayed things. So I felt a bit crunched I used the second lightest bronzer as my bronzer today and it worked really well. I went one shade darker for the all over my eyelid shade with the silver highlight in the inner corner and the darkest shade for a little definition along the lash line. Personally I really like how it turned out.

I adore the Illamasqua blush and love how well it worked with this foundation. Thee was no pulling and it blended easily. The Fenty Beauty palette doesn’t really work well for highlighters so I left it off and set my face with the beauty Bakerie Flour Powder. I really enjoy the formula and the slight tint to the oat shade works really well for my skin.

This was the first use of the UOMA mascara and I am very impressed with it. My lashes look longer and thicker, but even more it is a very smooth formula. Thee ae no flakes and even as it dries it doesn’t feel as stiff as some other mascaras. It really feels like nothing is there. Thus far it is a really good first use.

And then i finished with Maybelline for the lips. I am really thrilled with the Ink Crayon formula. the point of the crayon makes a great lip liner so i don’t need a second product. The lipstick glides on smoothly. It feels waxy until you blot it and then it is very easy to simply forget that you are wearing it. It is also really long lasting which I appreciate. I did a little touch up after lunch, but only because I had a quick video meeting. I probably wouldn’t have bothered otherwise and just been happy to wear it the rest of the day. it is very impressive and makes me want to pick up more shades. Admittedly i will either have to order on line or wait until my local drug store restocks. The pickings were slim when I took a stroll through. And to be honest I picked this lipstick up because it was one of the racks with product on it and I thought the color might be nice. I am very glad I did, but picking it up wasn’t my intent. Now,. I am going to take a closer look at the rack.

But that is me today my darlings. It was a relatively quick look to pull together. Simple, but I think it works. Don’t you just love when that happens?

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Perfume Review: Crystal Noir

I have finally managed to whittle down my perfume samples box and while there are still a few assorted perfumes to try, I have restarted one of my favorite subscriptions. Scent Box.

Monthly supply of fragrance, just $9.72 $15.95/mo thereafter, cancel anytime. Free Exchanges & Shipping

I love this subscription. I get to browse through all of the available samples in their library of scents and choose the ones I think i want to try, adding them to my line up and then each month the 0.27 oz sample is sent to me in a travel spray bottle. Each month is a different color. AND each month earns you Scent bucks which you can store up and use to purchase full sized fragrances. The sample size is enough that you can use it every day for a month. And then it is time for a new sample.

I have chosen poorly in my sample selections. There have been some perfumes where I loved the description and then the scent arrived and with the first spray I knew I was never going to use it. That’s why they include a return label and you can send it back and get a different one. I have had to to that twice (once because one spray from the perfume had me sneezing for hours) and there was never any hassle.

And if you can’t choose for yourself (or want to be surprised) they always have a monthly sample they select for you. There are always so many i want to try that I always fill up my queue. And of course you can pause whenever you want to. I had to pause mine for a while because I just had a box of small samples that I needed to go through. But as I said at the beginning of this post, the box of free samples with purchase perfumes is mostly empty. So the first perfume in my line up was Crystal Noir from Versace. The description is…

Crystal Noir by Versace is a lush blend of gardenia and amber, this sheer fusion of modern contrasts is the ultimate statement in luxury and femininity. Destined to become a classic, this delicate scent was inspired by haute couture, and is the ultimate high-fashion accessory. Notes of Gardenia and Amber.

This is a perfume that comes on strong with the first spritz. It felt momentarily overpowering. However after it has a moment to settle down it becomes less intense. In fact i thought it was more intense than it was because when I sprayed it, the scent lingered in the air for a while. When I left my bedroom and walked into the hall and other parts of the house, the scent became only a light fragrance that was only detectable if someone got into my personal space.

I did notice that a few hours later when I had to go into the bedroom there was still a lingering trace of it in the air. It seems to stay in the air where you spray it for a while. So it is not a perfume I would slip into my purse to apply while moving between office and going out. Unless I wanted my car to smell of Crystal Noir for a while. Which I wouldn’t mind actually as I rather like the scent.

But we will get to that in a moment.

On the wrist, the scent is noticeable for a long time. It has the power to last all day. When you wake into the room it is not noticeable to those around you unless that are well within your personal space bubble. However I did notice that if I stayed for any length of time in a small area and then left for a bit and came back, thee was a hint of it in the air. It does take a while to sort of permeate the air. And I have to say that while it does leave a whiff of itself behind, it is a light one. More of a something scented passed this way sort of vibe.

there is a floral note from the gardenia but it is warmed up by the amber. In the scent profile pepper, cardamom and ginger are all mentioned and while none of them are individually identifiable all of them combined gave this a warm spicy scent. There is still a floral note but it plays in harmony with the others instead of rising for a solo performance.

It is very much a night time scent. It is something I would wear for date night, whether going out or staying in. It is just far too sensual for the office. The scent is warm and dark. As I have quite a few day time florals, in fact the last spate of perfume samples have all been more day time scents, I am pleased to have a perfume that I like that is more for the night. I like that while it is sensual and spicy it is not overly heavy on the nose. I am guessing that is the influence of the gardenia. The floral lifts the spice while the spice grounds the floral It is a really good balance and one that I very much enjoyed wearing this week. I am very pleased with my selection and can’t wait to see how the next Scent Box sample performs. For me Crystal Noir from Versace is an excellent date night scent.

Trying out the EVIO SKIN Hemp and Peppermint Lip Serum

If you have read these posts for any length of time you know I love my lip products. I love pretty much everything from traditional bullet style lipsticks to liquid lips to lip balms, treatments and lip scrubs. And so I am always happy to test out any that comes my way.

This particular Hemp and Peppermint Lip Serum came to me in a Glossy Box (December I believe). I adore peppermint so I was very excited to give this a go. I also have a couple of lip liners from EVIO Skin that I really enjoy so I was also pleased to try something else from the brand. According to the website…

Evio Skin

I have the shade Speak Up which is listed as a warm coral. On the lips it is a my lips but better sort of shade. The color is very minimal, but it does make my lips look very nice. It also feels very nice on the lips and considering the ingredients list (aloe, castor seed oil, shea butter, and sunflower seed oil to name a few) I am not surprised that my lips really like the formula. all of these listed, plus several more in the ingredients list help make my lips feel soft and nourished.

The name is of course Hemp and Peppermint. Even though peppermint oil is listed on the label, there is no peppermint scent or taste to this lip serum. It does smell vaguely hemp like. And while I don’t mind the scent, it is the taste that gets me.

I know, in general you shouldn’t go around tasting your makeup products. However with lip products it is inevitable. Scent and taste are big factors in lip products. this one is very interesting. The scent is not strong and doesn’t bother me that much. However the first time I rub my lips together after applying a lip product I almost always taste it and this EVIO Skin Lip Serum tastes like hemp. It really tastes like sucking on a bit of hemp rope.

Here is the fun thing.

If you can apply it and not taste it for ten minutes after application then there is no taste whatso ever. The scent also fades. And you are just left with a really good, soothing lip serum with a light tint that makes your lips look good. there is just some compound in the mix that needs a moment to air out. Within ten minutes the scent and taste will go away. You just have to get past those ten minutes. Or accept that there will be a momentary hemp rope taste in your mouth before the product settles down.

it is a very transitory taste and smell even if it isn’t particularly pleasant. It is worth putting up with that momentary issue to get the soft lips. There is no peppermint flavor or scent, which is sad. The Hemp taste and scent aren’t fabulous but they go away quickly. The softening of the lips and the light wash of barely there color lasts for a lot longer. Personally I can get past the momentary hemp of the EVIO Skin Lip Serum to get to the soft lips even if I wish there was more peppermint involved.