Weekly Weight: 231.4 Lbs

I know last week I was okay with the weight staying the same, but this week I was worried that it would again stay the same. Happily, it did not. The downward trend continues. Personally I am very happy with this week’s weight because this was a week of rain and varying temperatures.

Not only did that mean that the park and walking trail spent much of the week submerged, but it also meant that my sinuses were not happy. weather changes just cause me to get stuffy and to have a headache. It is not really me being sick because I can take a quick sinus tab and drink a lot of water and I will be fine for the day. I’ll feel a little hazy because of the medicine, but otherwise I am fine.

Until I try to exercise.

Then as soon as I get moving my nose starts running. No matter what medicine i took. I know it isn’t, but somehow that always makes me think my brain is leaking out of my nose. I know that isn’t how it works, but it feels like it.

And so exercise of any sort was a bit hit or miss. I will say that I went onto the My Fitness Pal App and logged every single thing i put into my mouth this week just to try and stay on top of things. I think that might have been my saving grace as far as diet went.

The Stats:

Starting Weight: 246.0 lbs

Last week’s Weight: 232.4 lbs

This Week’s Weight: 231.4 lbs

Lost this week 1.0 lbs

Lost this far: 14.6 lbs

My one thought for this week is to hope that the weather evens out. I don’t care if it is cold or if it is warm, I just want consistency so my sinuses are not constantly adjusting. Is that too much to ask? Maybe. we’ll see. For now though, I am happy with the weigh my weight loss is going, despite the weather and my sinuses.



The Daily: February 2nd, 2023

Good afternoon my darlings. Today feels just a little strange. Every time I look out the window there is a different weather pattern going on. It was raining , then it was sleeting, then it was snowing and then it was raining again. At the moment we are getting a rain sleet mix where the droplets his as they make impact with the glass of the window but melt to rain right away as though the ice was just kidding.

It is like the weather just can’t make up it’s mind today.

I did make a choice today though. No a big one, it was my IPSY Glam Bag X choice. At the moment I am doing the IPSY Beauty Boost. For $15 per month you get one extra full sized item. I think it is supposed to be worth $40-50+. I’ll have to look at the exact details. This is the third month for the boost. December was first and IPSY chose the Kate Somerville Retinol that is currently in my skincare line up. It was actually a really good choice for me. Last moth they chose the Fenty Beauty Sun Stalk R palette. I wasn’t really enthused with it as I am usually on the fence about most Fenty products. They are never bad actually they are usually just okay and pretty forgettable. I am however liking the palette much more than I thought i would and will probably get a lot of use out of it. And it was certainly something I would not have picked up on my own. I also liked that they were switching between skincare and makeup. And yes I know two times wasn’t enough to tell, so I was really curious as to what they picked.

Interestingly they did something different this month. They chose an item but then they had a section in choice where if I didn’t like what they selected then I could trade it out for one of the other items. The Item they chose for me was the Drunk Elephant F-Balm Electrolite Waterfacial which seems to be an over night mask. Since I have only tried one sample from Drunk Elephant and know nothing of most of their products (other than that everyone was raving about them a few years ago) I kept the selection they made. However I really like that they are allowing you to swap out items now as that was the one thing I wasn’t crazy about.

I actually didn’t mean to talk about IPSY so much, but I felt it was worth mentioning. I also liked the rest of the bag this month as well and I am more excited for this month’s IPSY than I have been for a while. I know it is an X month so those are always a bit over the top, but last month’s box was really good as well so thus far they are really hitting 2023 strong.

This is the year I am really reevaluating all of my subscription boxes to see what I really want to keep. I am even trying a few new ones out to see what combination of products I like and what I am willing to let go. I actually signed up for the Cohorted Subscription box. February will be my first one. It will be interesting to see if it is worth it. and since it is a new subscription I’ll probably go ahead and do a full post here instead of just posting the box on IG. Anyway, enough with the subscriptions, lets move on to what I used today…

Today’s Look:

Primer: Tatcha Liquid Silk Canvas Primer

Foundation: KVD Vegan Beauty Good Apple Balm Foundation

Bronzer: Milk Makeup Bronzing Stick (from the use up box)

Blush: Cotton Candy Champagne Blushlighter palette from Beauty Bakerie

Currently Beauty Bakerie is having a massive sale up to 40% off for the next two days. the product links will take you to the site.

Eyeshadow: Urban Decay Naked Honey Palette

Mascara: Benefit Cosmetics They’re real magnetic Mascara

Lips: Beauty Bakerie Liquid Lip Whip and Illamasqua Lip Liner

Today I started with the Tatcha Liquid primer. I really enjoy it. It is one of my top primers. I still love the balm formula of Tatcha just a little bit more, but then I just really love Balm style primers. This is a really good primer and on the skin it feels a lot like the balm version a you put it on. I wanted a primer that I know and love when I started playing with the KVD foundation so that is why i chose it.

This Good Apple foundation is interesting. It has been a while since I used a foundation that oxidizes. This one does. It looks a little light on me when I apply it, but after a little while (an hour or so) it oxidizes and then looks like it is the right shade for me. It isn’t a perfect shade match, but it does okay. I think I notice it more because I have gotten really lucky with shade matches recently. It makes the not quite shade stand out more to me. while this foundation looks good on most of my face after a little while I really start to notice it settling into fine lines. I had a phone conversation about an hour after I applied the makeup. the conversation lasted about 20 minutes. When I was done I had to use the restroom and I looked in the mirror and I could really see it settling around my mouth and emphasizing the lines. it is something I am going to have to watch.

The Milk Makeup Bronzer is from my use up box. It is a sample and I want to purchase the full size but won’t until I use up the sample. I am trying to use one item from the box each day so this was my choice today. it is an easy choice since I really like it.

I also really like the Beauty Bakerie blush in the Blushlighter palette. Oddly it has enough shimmer for me that I don’t really want to reach for the highlighters. i like the highlighters, and i will use them with other blushes, but just the blush from this palette was good for me. I also couldn’t resist the Beauty Bakerie Lip Whip. If you are looking for liquid lips that dry down enough not to leave lip prints everywhere but not so much as to dry out your lips then i would suggest checking out the line. I did use the Illamasqua lip liner to smooth out the edges but that was mostly because I noticed a not so smooth bit after the lippie dried. It was just easier to correct with lip liner and I really like the Illamasqua formula. I also like that the color blended well.

My shadow was from the Naked Honey palette. I love this palette. it applies well, blends well and looks good. I think the trick with Urban Decay is to find whichever palette they offer that suits you and go with that. I loved their original Naked palettes but a lot of their others just don’t have a color story that appeals to me. Admittedly I may still pick up their Prince palette. On the other hand I have a friend who adores their Cyber palette and doesn’t like anything else. I think once you find the palette from them you like, it is a great palette to use. Mine happens to be the Naked Honey. I can wear the brown tones every day and I have a weakness for the bronze shimmers.

And so i used the palette today.

and that my darlings is me today. Over all it is a quiet one. Phone calls and e-mails but mostly just me and the computer at my desk. There is a whole lot of editing going on. nd now, I must get back to it. Have a great afternoon.

Ogee

A primer from AOA Studios

I am a big fan of balm style primers. They are actually my preferred version. Don’t get me wrong, I will use just about any style of primer, because I just love primers. And that is a love that just grows the older I get. If you have fine lines, primers can be your best friend.

I also love a good deal.

I periodically dip into the Shop Miss A website and pick out things to try. It is interesting. For those of you who have never been to the Shop Miss A site, it is an on-line dollar store. Most items are between $1 and $1.88. Some of the items are well worth the price and others I would give a pass. Oddly some of the things I have ordered from Shop Miss A I thought were not going to be good but when they arrived I was just amazed by. I was actually amazed by the quality of their makeup brushes for example.

AOA Studios is one of the brands featured on the site and I picked up this primer on my last order just to give it a try. It is about the size of a single eyeshadow. And to be honest, the product is about as deep as a single eyeshadow pan.

When I initially took the product out (I used the back of my nail to get it out) it was a little crumbly. With the heat of my hands it melted and became an easily spreadable consistency. It is white in the pan, but on the skin it goes invisible and there is no white cast remaining. It is listed as a blurring primer and it did really well filling in fine lines and blurring out pores. it actually worked better than I thought it would.

In fact I was very impressed by how well it worked. However, I did find I needed a little bit more primer than I might with another balm style primer, Like the Tatcha Silk Canvas. And there are no skin care benefits.

This AOA Studios Blurfection Primer was however only $1 as opposed to the $52 Tatcha Primer. So I wasn’t expecting the same skin care benefits.

Because you need a little bit more of this primer, it does not last long. I was worried about it potentially drying out in the shallow pan. The truth is that it isn’t a concern. I used this primer for one entire week and there is almost no product left in the pan. $1 for one week’s worth of a good primer isn’t that bad. I would definitely order this again. In fact I could see making this a travel staple. It is small enough to go into a travel makeup kit and as long as I wasn’t going to be gone more than a week, it would serve beautifully. I don’t know how long it would last in the pan on it’s own without drying out so I don’t think I would pick up a bunch of them to stock, but i could definitely see myself picking this AOA Studios Primer up before my next trip to take with me.



Using the HIDE Invisible Oil Free Foundation

This is one of those foundations that gave me a bit of a run during my trial. I received this bottle in my Boxycharm premium and tried it out with the other makeup that arrived in the subscription box. I really enjoyed the first use. And then I looked at the bottom of the container and saw the expiration date. It was written 1/8/2023. As the subscription box didn’t arrive until mid January, I thought that Boxy sent an expired foundation. I sent in a message and they responded right away with an e-mail letting me know that instead of month first it was written month second so the foundation actually doesn’t expire until August 1st, 2023.

Which was a relief. Foundation is one of those products that is by definition put all over the face and so I really pay attention to those expiration dates. Actually foundation and all eye products are really expiration dates I don’t ever mess around with.

So relieved that it was not expired, I went ahead with my foundation test of this HIDE Foundation. According to the product page…

Achieve the perfect natural look with this soft matte foundation that easily builds to medium – full coverage. The custom oil-free formula is made to resist sweat and won’t clog your pores.

They also claim that this is medium to full coverage and is a buildable formula. Although listed as a premium foundation it retails for $30. Which is a pretty reasonable price. (One Foundation I consider premium, and well worth the price, is the Koh Gen Do Aqua Foundation which retails for $96 if you are looking for a comparison).

The container feels like cheap plastic. It is square and white with black lettering. It looks nice but it doesn’t look expensive. However you should never judge a book by it’s cover, or a foundation by it’s packaging. This foundation has a pump and I generally found that two pumps would give me enough product to cover my face. This shade is my perfect shade. It blends beautifully and gave great coverage. I used a brush as an applicator and then went back in with a damp makeup sponge to smooth out any brush strokes.

Like the description claims, it gives a soft matte finish. It is also a long wearing foundation. The longest I had it on was ten hours and it wore beautifully throughout. Personally it is really rare for me to be in makeup longer than ten hours. So this duration was perfect for me. Start to finish it looked good.

There are a couple of considerations though. The first is fine lines. If you don’t use a primer, it will emphasize those fine lines. Interestingly enough if I wore the foundation without a primer the lines were emphasized but they didn’t get worse throughout the day. So if I could keep the foundation from seeping into the fine lines during application then I was good all day. This foundation worked best with a pore filling primer such as the Tatcha Silk Canvas Primer or the Elf Poreless Putty Primer. Those were the two I had the best luck with when using this primer. The pore filling nature of both of them (along with the added Tatcha skin care benefits) worked really well.

It also helps if your skin is hydrated before applying this foundation as that helps keep the foundation from filling those fine lines. For me, part of that is that my skin is a bit more dry in the winter and we have had the central heat running more often during my trial of this foundation.

The only other issue I had with this foundation was when i tried to build it up. One application (2 pumps worth of product) gave me absolutely beautiful medium coverage application. When I tried to build it up closer to full coverage, it tended to look heavier. With the medium coverage it was light and beautiful and felt like I was wearing nothing at all. Even though it didn’t feel any heavier with more product, it looked heavier. Personally medium coverage is what I go for so I am perfectly fine with this. I feel no need to build it up to full coverage. If you want full coverage, it is going to look a little heavy.

Over all I really enjoyed this foundation. I will happily use the rest of this bottle and when it is out (hopefully before August) I will certainly consider purchasing a replacement bottle of this HIDE Invisible Oil Free Foundation.

LovelySkin Valentine's Day Gift Guide 2023

The Daily: February 1st, 2023

Good afternoon my darlings and welcome to February. I know the day is still cold and drizzly but because the calendar page turned i find my eyes drifting towards the seed catalogs. I need to get my seed orders in soon so I can start the seeds in the small greenhouse and have them large enough when actual spring time arrives to allow them to survive the move out doors.

And by greenhouse I mean a plastic shelving unit with a sort of clear rain coat over it. Greenhouse makes it sound far more grand than it actually is, but as it is an amazing bit of kit, I just have to give it the full title of Greenhouse. And yes, this year i am starting my seeds just a little bit earlier than last year. I checked my garden Journal to be certain.

Garden Journal

Last year’s spring was such a yo-yo of temperatures that a lot of my seedlings weren’t quite up to the transfer. I did the normal tempering of the plants but we had cold fluctuations all the way until May when summer came blazing on and lasted until October. I figure if I start my plants earlier and make sure they are more substantial, possibly with a longer tempering time, (starting outside in the day, coming in at night and gradually staying out all night until they are planted in the actual garden beds) I might have better luck this year.

Given the winter, I don’t think this spring is going to be an easy transition year either. So I am trying to plan for that. We’ll see if it works.

Other than that it is still rainy and just barely above freezing, 34 where I am. which means I just want to stay inside. which is fine as I have a lot to do. I was less puffy and inclined to watery eyes today so I am guessing that whatever was in the air washed out. Either way, for today’s makeup I decided to go for the complete use up box and then filter in the other elements from my collection to get a complete look. I’m actually quite happy with it.

Today’s Look:

Primer: Figs and Rouge blurring primer

Foundation: Bite Beauty Changemaker Foundation (discontinued)

Bronzer: Milk Makeup Baked Matte Bronzer

Blush: Tarte Breezy Cream Blush in Pink Sky

Setting Powder: By Terry Hyaluronic Hydro Powder

Not really a setting Spray: Peach and Lily Glass Skin Veil Mist Hydrate and Glow

Eyeshadow: KVD Vegan Beauty Single Shadow in Lolita and Elf No budge Shadow Stick in Rose Gold

Mascara: UOMA Salute to the sun

Lips: Revolution Pout Bomb in Clear

This primer I have to apply more like a moisturizer than a primer. With primers I generally put the primer on the spots where I need the primer the most and then blend out. This has too thin a consistency so I dispensed it on to my hand and then applied it like a moisturizer. I think it does a little blurring, but mostly it is a hydrating formula. with the heat running constantly at the moment, I am perfectly fine with a moisturizing primer.

I do love the Bite Beauty Foundation. I loved many things about Bite Beauty but alas, they are no more. I was pleased to realize there was less product in this tube than I thought so I definitely think I can use it up this month and clear it out of my collection which makes me happy.

I love the formula of this Milk Makeup Bronzer. I have a sample which is halfway down on product and it is in the Use up box so I can use the sample up and then order a full sized version. I really enjoy it and will have no problems reaching for it this month.

I put this cream blush from Tarte in the mix this month because i am still unsure about it. i have been liking cream blushes more and more recently. Usually they apply with a finger tip and then blend in. This one doesn’t work well that way. When i use a finger tip it tends to sort of take off the foundation when I try to blend. So I used a makeup sponge today. I patted it in the pan and then to my cheeks. At first it didn’t look like much but it built up and suddenly I had very pink cheeks. I used my foundation brush to knock it back a bit in color and then topped it off with the setting powder and I really like the way it turned out in the end. I am still going to have to play with it though. It is an interesting formula.

While I adore the pressed powder from By Terry, the loose version tends to be hard to blend out and leaves white marks. i went in with a light touch and a fluffy brush and it worked okay. it always looks good in the end but it takes a bit more effort than I want to give a setting powder. It is a travel sized version though so hopefully I can use it up this month and let it go.

Whether it is the setting powder or the central heat, my skin looked dry today so i found myself reaching for this spray a lot today. it keeps everything from looking and feeling dry without smudging. The mist is fine enough that even the mascara didn’t run. I really enjoy this spray. It is a long time favorite and one i usually reach for more in the summer, however this winter it has been a real skin saver.

The KVD is one of my favorite single shadows and I was happy to keep it in the Use up box rotating in this month. I will happily use it. Today I paired it with the Elf shadow stick. I picked this up on a shim and I am going to have to pick up more. They apply easily, blend well and do not budge all day. This shade happens to work really well with the KVD shadow so I think it will be popping up more often this month. I am a big fan.

Todays clear winner in the makeup category is this UOMA mascara. Two coats, ultra fabulous. I mean seriously, I am very impressed with my lashes today.

And I just wasn’t reeling the lipstick today so I went for the clear gloss of Pout Bomb. It is fabulous and with the heat running I know the Vitamin E will do well for my lips.

And that my darlings is me today. Not to bad as it turned out. It is a low key look that I am comfortable with. I deliberately used all of the items in my Use up box, mostly to see how they worked together. I won;t reach for all of them every day but I am going to try to use one item from the box each day through February. i don’t know how well I’ll do, but I like having that a a goal. I am also happy that if I use the box it is more of an every day look.

But now it is back to work for me. I hope you have a fabulous Wednesday wherever you are.

Prai Beauty UK

The Use Up Box: January 2023 review and February Selection

This year I decided to do something a little bit different with my makeup. I realized there are items I like that I never reach for, items that are nearing their expiration date, items from discontinued brands and items I might have tried but never really long enough to decide how i feel about them And so each month I will be picking a few items from my makeup collection and putting them in The Use Up Box.

In this box would be items that were constantly in view so I would see them and hopefully if I wasn’t specifically testing anything in that category I would reach for the item and use it. I think I was partially successful in that I did use up a few items. I think I was also overly ambitious in the products I chose. First let’s tale a look at what was in the January Box.

The January Use Up Box

The items that I fully used up were the Marc Jacobs Primer, The Becca Pink Haze Setting Powder and the Colourpop Ultra matte Lip. The Marc Jacobs primer and Becca Setting Powder were both discontinued so I am happy to have used them up and cleared them out,. They were both good products but they are no longer being produced so it was time to let them go.

The Colourpop is still in production, but this particular lippie is an older one that I have had for quite a while. It was getting to the point where I needed to finish it up and let it go. I really enjoy the formula and color so I will probably repurchase it at some point but for now, I have finished with this lippie and am letting it go.

I was hoping to finish up the Bite Beauty foundation because Bite beauty is no more and even though I love this foundation it is no longer being produced. However i had several new foundations come in that I needed to test so I didn’t reach for it as often as I planned. It will remain in the use up box for February. Hopefully it will be finished out in February. My goal is to use it at least once a week. i think that will finally clear it out.

That is actually the only product that is staying in the use up box.

The Josephine Cosmetics Lip was put in the box because I couldn’t remember trying it before. I knew I swatched it but couldn’t remember how it performed. It performed beautifully and is a lovely red shade that I will be keeping for a while. It will remain in my collection.

the Brow Bar By Reema is one of those products I love the thought of more than I like actually using. It is really a beautifully designed kit. But it is not my shade. i love the under brow highlighter but none of the powders work for me and I really don’t like the cream formula. The pencil and the tools in the kit I love though. And that mirror is fantastic for travel. For those reasons I am transferring it out of my makeup drawer and just putting it in the purse that I use for travel. I think that is when I am going to reach for it and that is where it will be the most useful. I might end up letting it go, but for now I think as a travel item, it is still useful for me to keep. Just not in the drawer with other eyebrow products.

Because the highlighter in the palette was so good, I didn’t reach for the Eyeko under brow highlighter. I did youse it a couple of times and liked it, but i am not going to put it with the use up box. I am going to transfer it to my brow products drawer and try to reach for it when I do my brows. As my bangs are kind of long at the moment I haen’t been reaching for brow products and need to remedy that, but I will try to work on that.

The Pretty Vulgar lid primer i only reached for a couple of times. It is a really good lid primer, my favorite in fact, but it is edging into the expiration date. There are only one or two more uses with of product left in the tube. I am going to put it in the front of my eyeshadow drawer to use when I have shadows that need a lid primer. It will be reordered as soon as it is empty but it won’t last the week so I am not going to add it to the use up box because it is almost done.

The two eyeshadow products I included because i wanted to start rotating through my single shadows. I tend to forget to reach for them. I figured if I had them out I would reach for them more. And I did reach for them a couple of times. I just have several palettes i need to test out so I ended up reaching for them first. I still think it is worth it to have a single shadow in the box so I am adding one for February and rotating these out.

So are you ready for February’s Use up Box?

February’s Use Up Box

The Foundation I love but want to use up because it is discontinued. The Figs and Rouge primer is about half empty and while I did like using it, I am still on the fence about whether or not I would repurchase it and would like to both figure that out and use it up.

I really love the milk Makeup bronzer but it is close to being finished up and I would like to use it up and order a new one to use. It is a sample size and I would definitely like to get a fill size to use.

The KVD Shadow is one of my favorite one and done eyeshadow products so i am rolling it in for the days when i don’t have something specific I want to use since it is very good. The By Terry powder is one of those products that is hard to work with but looks beautiful once it is on. It is a sample size of powder and I would like to use it up. Because it is difficult to work with i probably wouldn’t repurchase it. I adore the pressed powder version of this, just not the loose version.

The final product is the Tarte cream blush. I tried this when it came in a tarte themed Boxycharm. i liked it but I have several cream blushes I love so I tend to reach for them first. I don’t feel that I gave this enough of a chance. So hopefully i will reach for it more if it is out and I can decide how I really feel about it.

I’m sure you have noticed, but the February list is much shorter than January’s list. I’m hoping that will cause me to reach for the items more since there are fewer of them so they will be more displayed than in a clump. Either wya, I still like the idea of the Use up box and I am happy to continue down this path. I also find it useful to assess what I like and what I am wanting to use. It actually inspires me to go through each drawer and look at things that I haven’t reached for a while or forgot about. Hopefully you find it fun as well.

The January 2023 Empties

I have to say this looks like far more product than I expected. It feels like I haven’t gone through anything, but I have worked through a bunch of sample sized products. In many categories I am trying to clear out a bunch of the sample sizes before I switch to the full sized versions. A lot of what I have worked through are hair and body products. I had really good luck with this run of hair care products actually, so we will just start there.

There are two Christophe Robin products. The first is one of my all time favorites, the Cleansing Purifying scrub. It is one of my favorties and I have used it many times. I have a full size waiting for me in my hair care drawer. I also have at least one more sample size to use up before I open it. For me I use it once a month to really get my hair clean and fabulous. It takes the remnants of all products out while leaving my hair soft and fabulous.

The second Christophe Robin product is the Hydrating Melting mask. It has a very Aloe like scent to it and it is majorly hydrating. I liked the mask, but I think it is one of those masks that works better for my hair in the winter when it is dry. It might be a bit much in the warmer months but in the winter it is fabulous and I will probably repurchase this for winter use.

The Sachajuan hair mask was also a very good mask. It made my hair clean and soft, but it isn’t as heavily moisturizing as the hydrating melting mask. It is good for a weekly pick up for my hair. It is definitely somethin I would repurchase just for everyday use.

The Amika Dream Routine Overnight hydrating treatment is another winter fabulous hair product. I think it might make my hair a little overly hydrated in the summer time, but in the winter it is fantastic to help counteract the dry winter hair. I tend to pick a day where I don’t have to go anywhere to use this mask because I just don’t like sleeping with a hair mask. I love the results, I just can’t sleep with it in my hair. It also has that fabulous AMIKA hair product scent.

There were three Ouai products in my empties this time around. All three are from the Melrose Place Scent line. It smells like a very expensive rosy scent. I personally enjoyed it. I enjoyed it more in the hair care products than I did in the body cream. In the hair products it is intense in the shower but once the product is rinsed out it is a soft and subtle scent. With the body cream the scent is more intense and because it doesn’t get washed out, the scent remains. the three products I use were the Detox shampoo, the Ouai hair and body scrub and the body creme.

I adored the detox shampoo. it really cleansed my hair. It does need to be paired with a deep conditioner. I paired it with the Sachajuan hair mask actually and that worked fantastically well. The Ouai scrub worked well. It really got down to my scalp and cleansed while rinsing away clean. It too needs to be followed with a strong conditioner or hair mask. I found when i didn’t my hair needed a really heavy does of detangler. It is good for hair and body but personally I found using it as a body scrub to be a waste. It is much better with the hair. The body cream was absolutely fantastic, however its scent is very intense. I can wear it, but I can only wear it when I am not going to be spending time with people who are scent sensitive. But it is a fantastic creme so if you like the scent, go for it. I will definitely repurchase the detox shampoo, the other products I might repurchase if there is a sale. I would use them if they showed up, but the shampoo is the one I would go out of my way to purchase.

The Cake Milk Made hand cream I really like. The scent is very vanilla but the shea butter really soothes the skin. It is one of my favorite post hand sanitizer creams. I tend to get the small tubes of this just so that I can keep it in my purse. I have had several and will probably pick up several more as I really enjoy it.

There were two First Aid Beauty body products. One is the Bump Eraser Body Scrub and the other is the matching body lotion. The body scrub is fantastic. It is very finely milled and rinses off easily after providing a gentle scrub. It also leaves a bit of a sandy residue in the bottom of the shower you have to rinse away. It isn’t the most attractively scented product, but it works well. The matching body lotion has the same not so attractive scent. Unfortunately it doesn’t have the fantastic function of the body scrub. The scrub I will use again despite the scent because it is fantastic. The body lotion is just basic lotion with a not great scent so I would give it a pass.

The ESPA Refining Skin Polish is more of a facial exfoliator than a body one and I have lost track of how many of these I have gone through. I have used it in the sample size and then purchased the full size and then got several sample sizes in subscription boxes. This is a fantastically gentle exfoliator and I will no doubt use it again. Actually there hasn’t been a product from ESPA that I have tried and not loved. They are a really good brand if you are looking to create your own spa like event at home. I also pick up things from them for my birthday home spa each year.

The Wishful Clean Genie cleansing butter is a really good makeup remover. I would use it again. It melted every type of makeup that I used. From the deepest red lip stains to the most waterproof mascaras, it took down it all. I do wear contacts though and it did leave a film of oil over my contacts. It washed right away with a little saline solution, but just be aware if you wear contacts and remove your makeup with them in, you will need to clean your contacts after.

There were two moisturizer samples I finished at the very end of last year. One is the Drunk Elephant Protini Polypeptide Cream. I adored this and will be looking at picking up a full sized version this year to test out. I also used the It Cosmetics Beauty Sleep Night cream. It was good, but it wasn’t anything spectacular. It is a product i wouldn’t mind using, but I probably wouldn’t go out of my way to repurchase.

There are two cleansers in my empties bin as well. Like the creams, one I would repurchase, the other I wouldn’t. For me the Medic8 Micellar Mousse was fine but not fabulous. It sort of smelled like furniture polish. You know that sort of lemon industrial scent? Yeah not my favorite. It was a decent clean, but not my favorite. However the Milk Wash from Beekman 1802 was fantastic. You apply it to your face dry and then add water to massage it and rinse off. It is n exfoliating cleanser and it is super gentle and just really takes off the last of the makeup. I thought it was absolutely fabulous and was very sad when it was empty.

Finally we have one empty makeup item. I did finish out a couple of items in my use up box, but we’ll get to that when we look at the use up box in a later post. This Milk Makeup Kush Mascara was a sample and I used it. I really enjoyed it. I would happily use this mascara again. I think, if i am honest, if I were to go to Milk to put in an order I would purchase the Rise Mascara before I would pick up the Kush, but I really enjoyed using the Kush masara.

And that my darlings is the empties bin from January. This month I actually had a lot more than usual because I am working my way through many of the sample sizes that have lingered in the drawers. I think that as I get through the samples, there will be a smaller number of items. Personally I really enjoy seeing the empties and thinking about how I feel about the items now that they are gone. This month I had a really good run of muck. Here’s hoping the next group of products I try out will be as good.



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The Daily: January 31st, 2023

Hello my darlings and welcome to a cold and rainy Tuesday afternoon. Today there is something in the air that is just making me stuffy and puffy. I have the air purifier running and it is helping loads. Since sneezing has been a recurring theme for today and that never bodes well for makeup and I am not leaving the house today, I opted for a no makeup day.

However since i am also skipping the mid week face mask, I decided to do something a little different. A while ago I received this pack of Bright Eyes Eye Gels from Beauty Bio in a subscription box. While I adore eye masks for their depuffing nature on the back of the pack it also lists using them on the sides of your mouth to reduce lines.

So in the absence of makeup I decided to go for that as well. And so I added them to my face and got some work done while I let them soak in. This is one of those days where I really decide to monitor my calories more than participate in any activity.

I know I will feel a bit twitchy later in the day, but it is more a breathing is hard kind of day and even though I know the exercise will do the rest of my body good, when my sinuses get like this even when I take medicine exercise makes my nose drip and my head feel like it is going to explode.

So some days the body takes a back seat. And I monitor my calories very closely.

The Beauty Bio eye gels were worn for fifteen minutes. I have to say my under eyes feel great. I feel less puffy and bleary eyed. While there is hydration on the skin to the sides of my mouth I think I would have to repeatedly use them on a daily basis if I was going to see much in the way of reduction.

It is an interesting thought and I can see where they would conceivably work. I just think it needs repeated applications in order to show results. And to be honest there are a few minor results. My eyes are a little less puffy. Actually they are a great deal less puffy. I think when I look in the mirror I think, still puffy. It is when I see the photos that I realize the change. Also Yes, they are different eyes from the before and after. Both were equally puffy before, I just somehow forgot which eye I took the picture of in the first place. The depuffing stands though.

And now for the mouth.

Sorry the image gets fuzzed out. It is in focus I just had to crop it down to show the mouth and the lines and then when the cropped par t is blown up it gets fuzzy. As you can see there is a reduction in the lines. And I think consistent use would bring them down. I also sneezed off the ones by by mouth a couple of times. They are not as stable by the side of the mouth as they are under the eyes.

While nice, I just think these eye gels will be better used as eye gels. Beauty Bio does make a nice eye gel though so I am happy to keep wearing them for that. The depuffing was better than i expected and I will certainly be using them again.

I know this wasn’t my normal daily, but to be honest, it was a nice break from work to sit with the masks. I was just in a non makeup mood. I do feel more awake now, so that is something. And now, it is back to work for me. Don’t worry. Soon the rain will pass, the allergens it stirred up will leave the air and all will return to normal. Today, it is just me and the skincare. Have a great rest of Tuesday my darlings!

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Have Coffee, will travel…

I spent a long time working a job where I was on the road ninety percent of the day. It was one of those jobs where I would go into the office in the morning to do paperwork, then I would drive a few hours, go to a meeting or give a presentation, then possibly have lunch before I went back on the road to reach another town for another meeting.

I did get to see a lot of different places and I met a lot of fabulous people, but it meant I spent a lot of time in the car and I often had really long days. During this time I accumulated a lot of different travel mugs. Some held coffee, others had morning smoothies.

Now I mostly work from home. However I have the tendency to pour myself a cup of coffee, sit it next to my mouse and then get working on something and forget it. And so I have returned to the travel mugs for my work day coffee. The thing is though that I don’t always want it to feel like a travel mug.

This travel mug from Smartass and Sass is really helping me out. It is double walled glass that does a really good job of insulating and keeps my coffee warm for a long time. The silicone band acts like an insulator sleeve to keep the coffee hot and my hand from not getting too hot. The silicone top is also well suited, fits well on the cup and all of it is dishwasher safe.

Personally I like the saying stamped on the front. “Excuse me, I have to go make a scene.” is more dramatic than my day usually gets, but as a writer I find it also strangely appropriate as a large chunk of my day is spent creating scenes.

One thing I also like about this is that while the lid makes it look like a travel mug. If I am feeling just like having a cup of coffee and don’t need to keep it hot while working (because I am drinking it while reading something instead of forgetting it while answering e-mails) I can take off that lid. Then I just have a glass coffee mug that fits well in the hand and feels good to hold.

For me this is a definite upgrade from the string of refillable travel mugs (most of which came from various gas stations along my old work route and were attractive mostly because they got me free or discount refills). It also suits my work now. It has traveled out of my house for the occasional meeting and will no doubt see several road trips, but for me, this is a great everyday office coffee mug. if you are looking for something that can easily go from home to car, to office, this might be an alternative.

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.