The Daily: November 14th, 2022

Good afternoon my darlings. I hope you had a fantastic weekend. I actually had a really good one. Friday was veteran’s day here and we helped out at the VFW Barbeque/auction. It was fabulously good fun, if a bit cold and wet. The temperatures plummeted by about 15 degrees and the rain was constant. Luckily the wind wasn’t blowing. We were in tents with open sides (the pavilion sort of tents) and someone brought out some outdoor heaters (like the kind from restaurant patios not personal space heaters) so no one was overly cold, but that rain did add a bit of a raw edge. It was a big turn out though so that was nice.

It just wasn’t a late night.

It was fun though.

And this weekend I got a fantastic package in the mail from Beauty Bakerie. They sent over all sorts of goodies for me to try. While I will spread the items out for testing, I couldn’t resist trying them all today. And while I love the eyeshadow Palette color story and the color of the lipstick, I don’t think I would normally wear them together. I did today, just because I couldn’t wait to try them, but I think I will split them out and pair the lipstick with a different shadow palette. which is more a personal thing. The eyeshadow palette is bright and the lip is bright. With bright eyeshadow I tend to go with a more neutral lip and with a bright lip I go with neutral eyeshadow. I feel weirdly off balance when both are bright, or when both are neutral actually. But apparently I am already jumping into today’s look so let’s get started.

Today’s Look:

Primer: Pores No More Luminizing Primer from Dr. Brandt

Foundation: No 7 Lift and Luminate Triple Action Serum Foundation

Bronzer: Iconic London Precision Duo Contour Pot

Blush/Highlight: Beauty Bakerie Cotton Candy Champagne Blushlighter Palette

Setting Powder: Beauty Bakerie Flour Setting Powder in Oat Translucent

Eyeshadow: Beauty Bakerie Sweet Potato Pie Eyeshadow Palette

Mascara: Benefit Cosmetics They’re Real Magnet Mascara

Brows: i Method Beauty eyebrow Stencil kit

Lips: Beauty Bakerie Lip Whip Matte Liquid Lip in Mon Cheri

I am still testing out the Pores No More Primer. Well sort of, I know I like it and I love what it does for my pores, but i am playing with different foundations so i am using it as an excuse to keep it around. Today I used the No 7 Lift and luminate. It might have been a little more illumination from the pair than I usually prefer, but when the setting powder was added it worked really well.

This was my first use of the Beauty Bakerie Setting powder (since it just arrived). First of all the packaging was adorable. I love the little flour bag it came in. I also like that the oat has a slight tint to it. It isn’t a dark tint, just a little something to take the bright white off the powder. While my skin does go lighter in the winter as my summer tan fades, I am not an extremely pale person in general. My skin has some natural tan to it. Often times I will find that a true white translucent powder is just too white for my skin. Sometimes I use it to lighten a slightly too dark for winter foundation, but sometimes it is just too white which makes it look powdery. I know lots of people talk about white cast with flash photos but to be honest, I rarely take flash photos so it is more of a powdery look that gets me. And I would rather look good in daily life than worry about a roving photographer. This powder looks good in daily life. It applied well and didn’t look powdery. It also knocked back some of the glow caused by layering two luminous products together. Fir a first use this powder worked well.

Also on a first use was the Iconic London Contour pot. It has one powder and one cream. Both are shades that I use for bronzer. Today I used the powder one and really enjoyed it. It came on a little strong but it did blend well. So it is something I am willing to work with. And I actually will be working with it this week especially as it is smaller than my other bronzers and we are coming up on Thanksgiving travel. So I want to see if it is worth traveling with.

I will be honest, when I saw the Blushlighter palette I was a little nervous. Actually my first thought was how pretty is the packaging, which is a common thought with Beauty Bakerie items. The blush however looked bright in the pan. But I wanted to give it a go. So in I went. It is bright and it is highly pigmented. But it blends out really well. I applied with my blush brush and then blended with a makeup sponge. (I am trying out the Eggs Beauty Bakery sent in the package this week as well and in the common theme, how adorable is that egg carton of makeup sponges? I’ll go into more detail with the sponges after I’ve given them a longer than first day trial, but nice thus far.)

The blending made me less nervous about the pigmentation. It is a blush that i will dip into lightly and then layer as needed. It is a bright enough color that a cautious approach is warranted but it really blends well and I think it will prove buildable as I get into it more.

I went with the pink toned highlighter. I have another highlighter palette from Beauty Bakerie and i love the pink toned one in there. This worked just as well for me. It is more of subtle glow than a streak of light. And for me, especially at this time of year, the pinks just look really good on me. They catch the light being more glow than glitter. I know it is not really a test as it is a color I knew would work well, but I will be rotating through the other pans so I am fine with going with the more familiar shade today.

This is the first Beauty Bakerie Eyeshadow i have tried and I really like that it is not that powdery. I did still tap my brush off, but there wasn’t a lot of loose powder left in the pan when i dipped in. I think several of the palettes I have tried have left a lot of crumbles after I dipped in so it was nice not to see that. I also didn’t have any fall out with the shades I tried. I like the colors. Oddly enough the name Sweet Potato Pie makes me think of fall but the color story feels more spring to me. I’m fine with that actually as I don’t have a lot of palettes I can say that about. The colors are pretty pigmented but not uncontrollably so. I was able to blend them well and it is a palette I look forward to playing around with. It has been a while since I leaned into a colorful palette so I am going to have to think about the shadows and how I want them to look. But it is a fun looking palette.

I don’t think the palette goes with the lipstick though. It is bright paired with bright. I do love the lipstick though. It may come off a little pink on screen but it is a fire engine red in person and I really like the color. The want has a nice point to it, which I find really helpful with brightly colored liquid lips. It just lets me apply them more neatly, with the pointed edge working almost like a lip liner before I fill in the rest. Because lets face it brightly colored liquid lips can get messy fast. I didn’t have any mess with this one. It dried down well and didn’t run into the fine lines around my lips at all. It has been very comfortable to wear today.

I think I am going to wear it this week and save the eyeshadow palette for next week. I know no surprise that I am drawn into the lips first. It is a fab shade and feels comfortable to wear. Plus I just love lip products. So bright lip this week, Sweet Potato Pie Eyeshadow next.

For Brows and Mascara I just went with two products I love and didn’t have to think about, the benefit mascara is rapidly turning into my favorite and I really love the iMethod Beauty stencils and product. I actually have to reorder the eyebrow creme as I am almost out. I also need to take some tweezers to my brows ASAP. When my bangs get long they are so easy to over look. And then I get the bangs trimmed and reveal them reminding myself I have forgotten them. It is the cycle of brows for me. But it is time for some brow clean up.

and that my darlings is me today. I know that was a whole lot of first use products but i couldn’t resist. They were calling to me. I will be spreading them out so I can concentrate on a few at a time rather than all (or mostly all) new. I can already tell I am going to love this lip. At least if today is any indication. But still, we shall see. Let the test commence. And now it is back to work for me my darlings. I hope the rest of your Monday is absolutely fabulous.

Black Friday Sale! Get 40% off. Code: BF40

First Use: GlamGlow SuperCleanse

There are several products by Glamglow that I really like. Their Youthmud face mask is one of my go to facemasks and one I really enjoy using when I really need a fresh faced feeling and a deep cleanse. A while back however I did try a cleanser from Glamglow that I wasn’t too fond of so I have to say I did approach this cleanser wondering which side of the spectrum it would fall into.

The Glamglow Supercleanse Clearing Cream to Foam Cleanser is described as…

A daily deep cleaning cream-to-foam cleanser with detoxifying charcoal, lactic acid and glycolic acid that blasts away pore-clogging oils, debris and face makeup for super clean skin.

Ingredients: Water\Aqua\Eau, Sodium C14-16 Olefin Sulfonate, Magnesium Aluminum Silicate, Sodium Cocoamphoacetate, Cetearyl Alcohol, Glyceryl Stearate, Glycerin, Charcoal Powder, Propanediol, Kaolin, Carbon, Eucalyptus Globulus Leaf Powder, Mentha Piperita (Peppermint) Oil, Glycyrrhiza Glabra (Licorice) Root Extract, Nigella Sativa Seed Extract, Ethylhexylglycerin, Sodium Chloride, Glyceryl Polyacrylate, Cocamidopropyl Hydroxysultaine, Xanthan Gum, Caprylyl Glycol, Lactic Acid, Glycolic Acid, Fragrance (Parfum), Linalool, Benzyl Benzoate, Phenoxyethanol, Titanium Dioxide (Ci 77891) <ILN44277>

Glamglow

The description is fairly typical for a cleanser. It is meant to cleanse the face. What I found interesting is that many of the Ingredients in my favorite Glamglow Youth Mud Mask are also here. The kaolin clay, Eucalyptus, Peppermint and licorice root are all items i associate with their face mask. When I opened and dispensed the cleanser for the first time I discovered the cleanser smells more or less like the mask.

Personally i found this exciting. Licorice is the dominant scent with the eucalyptus and peppermint blending in as back notes. It is a clean and fresh scent that pairs well with the slightly earthy notes from the clay. Unlike the mask it is a smooth paste with no leafy bits from the herbs, which is nice to have in a cleanser.

cleanser on

I really liked that it applied in a similar way to a mask. I could dispense it into my hands and massage it into my skin and it looked as though I applied a mask. Personally I enjoy this thicker sort of cleanser as it lets me know I have covered my entire face with the cleanser. Once applied to damp skin I wet my hands and began washing my face. The clay turned to foam and rinsed away clearly and cleanly from the skin.

cleanser off

My skin felt really good. It isn’t as intensely clean as when the mask is rinsed off the face, but it has some of that same freshness. Since this was a first use, I don’t have any real results to share other than this was a cleanly rinsing mask that did go from cream to foam. It made my skin feel clean and not stripped. when I used a toner after cleansing my face there was a bit of charcoal left on the toner pad, but my face was clean. I will be using this cleanser, well, until it is gone. I can say that I am honestly looking forward to it. My big problem with the last toner I tried from Glamglow was that it left a bit of a residue on the skin so it never really felt clean. This Supercleanse from Glamglow does not seem to have this problem and I am happy to keep it in my skincare line up. It will be interesting to see if there are more, longer term use benefits other than just clean skin.


TRESTIQUE | Shop Trestique’s Holiday Gift Guide > 30% Off Our Must-Have Sets – For a Limited Time Only!

First use of the Depology Black Caviar Collagen Under Eye Patches

We all know that I love eye patches. While there are a few I purchase regularly, most of the ones I have used have been single use items that come in subscription boxes. While having one set is nice when determining if you want to bother purchasing an entire pack, it doesn’t actually show you any skin benefits.

interior plastic seal to ensure it doesn’t leak in transit

Depology very kindly sent over a full sized Black Caviar Collagen Under Eye Patches (pack of 60 pieces – 30 sets) for me to try out and review. On the website Depology recommends using these gels once daily. So with thirty days worth of under eye patches I can give an accurate report of how they perform when used for thirty days.

Plus I have the excuse of using under eye patches every day for the next month. I know, I need little encouragement, but I like it anyway.

So what are these Depology Black Caviar Collagen Under Eye Patches supposed to do? Well according to the website…

Dēpology’s Black Caviar Collagen under eye patches are the ultimate luxurious treat to the eyes. These hydrogel patches nourish the skin deeply, which can help to reduce puffiness and the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles while also stimulating and regenerating collagen production within the skin. See results in only minutes by leaving them on whilst you relax.​

inner cap with spatula/spoon

There are four main active ingredients in the patches. Black Caviar extract which is an emollient and is designed to plump the skin with hydration and help to reduce fine lines (mostly by plumping the skin with hydration). Centella Asiatica helps with collagen production and anti aging. The Hydrolyzed collagen helps restore suppleness and helps repair dry and damaged skin while the fourth active ingredient Sodium hyaluronate is in the same family of hyaluronic acid (which my skin loves) and helps bind water to collagen aiding in the plumping of skin and reduction of fine lines.

At the moment I am still mostly exhausted from my recent trip home. For me exhaustion doesn’t so much bag the eyes but leaves me looking a little hollow eyed as though I’ve been drained. At least when paired with stress. If it is just tiredness from a normal sleepless night I just get the baggy and saggy eyes. I also get them with allergies, which is often why I use under eye patches. So while I am slowly catching up on my sleep and my stress level in much reduced, I still look a little hollow and could use a bit of plumping.

I also don’t expect miracles in one dose, which is why I will be using the patches for a month before making a final determination about results. I will say that I love that the jar of eye masks came not only sealed in a box but that the jar of Dēpology’s Black Caviar Collagen under eye patches had a separate plastic shrink wrapped seal around it. I know that sounds like a little extra, but as I recently ordered a serum and it arrived as an empty bottle and soaked interior packaging because the camp came just a little bit loose in transit, I love the extra precaution the brand takes in sending the product out.

The container is hard plastic and I have to say there is something quite appealing about the black and silver of the lid. I know looks aren’t everything (which is why I will be testing them for the month) but if I am going to have the jar out with the rest of my skincare for the next month i like that the package is appealing.

Inside the jar there is a plastic lid with a spoon/spatula to retrieve the patches. This is a very nice addition as they are a little bit slippery. I know some of the jars of under eye patches come with a set of plastic tweezers but the last time i used one I felt like I might tear the patch or maybe poke a hole in it. I much prefer the spoon and the divot in the center of it keeps the patches from sticking to the spatula.

before use for comparison at the end of the month

The jar has enough liquid that the patches shouldn’t run the risk of drying out in the next month. I was concerned that it would be a little drippy as I was taking out the first of the Dēpology’s Black Caviar Collagen under eye patches and there was a drop of serum that rolled off the patches and into the jar. when applied to the skin there was not an excess of serum. It was just enough to keep the patches in place but not to cause any drippage down the face.

after one 15 min use

I will say the curve of the under eye patch is a little on the sharp side so I had to wiggle it around to get it in just the right place. Once I did, I could see that the sharp curve does allow for coverage over the areas that I want the most of the pluming and anti aging on. so they are essentially shaped correctly but because they are a bit longer I had to adjust them a little more than I am used to. once in place they stayed for the fifteen minutes.

While I don’t expect miracles from one use of any skin care item, I will say that after one use of the Dēpology’s Black Caviar Collagen under eye patches I can see a slight improvement to my under eye area. It isn’t a massive change but it is definitely there. In addition I do feel more wake and alert. This ,makes me very excited and i can’t wait to see how these Dēpology’s Black Caviar Collagen under eye patches perform over the next thirty days. Stay tuned…

A Shop Miss A Haul

In general I am not a haul posting kind of person. Mostly because in general that isn’t how I shop. I generally find something I want and pot it on my list. Then I think about it a while and maybe wait for a sale. And then I buy the item and maybe a couple of other items to ensure free shipping. However Shop Miss A is a different kind of store. It features almost everything on it’s website for around a dollar. Most of the items I purchased were around $1 or $1.88. I think the only item I purchased that was more was the makeup brush kit for $10.00.

The entire order cost me less than $40

I have purchased a few makeup items from Shop Miss A in the past simply to try them out. I saw that they had other items but didn’t really go into the housewares, stationary or anything else really, I just stayed with the makeup. the items I tried, while a limited selection, worked well.

This time, while I did order several makeup items from Shop Miss A, I went in to almost every category in their store. I started with their new arrivals page (which is changed daily and tends to sell out quickly) and just kept going. Initially i went in because I wanted to try out more of their makeup. I have several younger family members who are just getting into makeup. They aren’t allowed to wear it out of the house yet. Their schools don’t let them wear it to class and I think the most they are allowed is clear lip gloss worn to church, but they are allowed to play around with it at home so they can learn and just have fun with it.

I figured the makeup or brushes might make decent stocking stuffers should the quality prove worth it. Once I selected items, like the single eyeshadows, eyeshadow quads and lip gloss (I already have a selection of Miss A Face products including foundation) I branched out.

I’ll admit, I ordered some to look at as potential gifts but several items I ordered because I wanted to see the quality or was just plain interested in trying out. A few things I actually needed. There is a heat mat to set down a hot hair tool without causing damage and potential fires. I was planning to get one and kept forgetting so I added it to the cart.

I love that this rolls up for easy travel

Many of my hair sticks are showing a lot of wear so finding replacements isn’t a bad idea and I have seen the hair massage tool in a lot of places and wondered about it. Picking it up here to try out is an inexpensive way to see if a tool like this is something I would use or something that really isn’t for me.

There was also a lot of cute jewelry that would be perfect for stockings if it proved decent enough quality. As always I am skeptical. And it isn’t because of the price. I’ll admit I am suspicious of the quality of $1 jewelry, but as I have had more expensive jewelry where the charm on the necklace was high quality but the chain was cheap and snapped after a few days of wear, I was willing to take a chance. Plus they had some really adorable items. I couldn’t resist these gummy bear looking earrings actually. (those are the green ones in the earring three pack).

I can never resist a pair of cure socks so I picked up a pair of those as well to see how they feel on the feet. And I love sunglasses. I have several expensive pairs as well as several cheap pairs and honestly pricy or cheap is less important to me than the look of the glasses. I was thrilled with these and I love that they came sealed in a separate foam wrapping to keep them from getting scratched up in transit.

Honestly, everything was very well packed and wrapped so that absolutely nothing was damaged in transit.

Traveling so recently has also added some of the items to my purchase list. I ordered travel nail polish remover wipes which I really hope works. I didn’t take any nail polish remover home with me and my mom didn’t have any in the house so my nails looked spectacularly bad when i returned.

I also picked up a travel case for my makeup sponge which i really could have used this trip and because I was giving their makeup up tools a try I decided to add a makeup sponge to the order as well.

And then I wrapped things up with a notebook to try out (graph paper pages), a soap tablet for a refillable soap container and soap sheets for washing my hands. They had a wide variety of scents to choose from and this is something I have been looking to purchase for a while. While I am sure it will be good for travel, there are two separate buildings I go to for various meetings (most of my stuff is done on line but there are still a few in person meetings) one has a bathroom that is almost always out of soap and the other has one stocked with soap that I am allergic to as it causes my hands to break out in an itchy rash. The soap sheets added to my purse will be quite appreciated.

Providing they work and I have no reaction to them. I will be testing them out before adding them to my bag as a staple item. In fact everything will be tested and tried out in the near future. Partially because I want to try out the items I purchased and partially because I want to determine if the quality is high enough that I can order stocking stuffers and birthday add ons.

Quite honestly I am looking forward to the testing portion of the items in this order. There are a wide variety of items and some of them are quite practical. others like the candy gloss and gummy bear earrings just look like good fun. Either way, I can’t wait to try everything out from my recent Shop Miss A Haul.





First use of the Depology Matrixyl 3000 Collagen Boosting Serum

Depology recently sent a box of products to me to try out for the purpose of review including Depology’s Matrixyl Collagen Boosting Serum. while these were gifted to me, as always my opinion is my own. As Depology is a brand that focuses on anti aging skincare I am thrilled to be able to test out some of their products. They are a Korean Skincare brand and according to their mission statement…

Years of experience in the fast-paced Korean beauty industry has made us highly ambitious to be as innovative as possible and continuously discover new ways to contribute to the ever-evolving world of beauty and skincare. Our hope is that we can help people feel comfortable and confident in their skin using effective and non-invasive skincare solutions.

I am all for non-invasive treatments. And since I just finished the serum I was trying, it seemed like the perfect time to roll in the serum they sent me to begin it’s trial. *I’ll be adding in some of the other products as we go on so that I can not only try out the products, but get a feel for the brand itself as these are the first items I have tried from them.

While this is a first use post, it is mostly to record my first impressions and a little bit about the brand. The biggest benefit to the first use posts, especially with things like an anti-aging serum, is that I can put up the photos of my skin before I start testing the product. I find it much easier to not lose the before pictures if they are posted with the first use. I also know that no matter where I save them by the time the month long trial has gone through I will have forgotten where I actually put the photos if I don’t.

So let’s first look at what I should be expecting from the Matrixyl 3000 Collagen Boosting serum, shall we?

A supercharged serum formulated to hydrate the skin, counter the visible signs of aging and reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Apply after cleansing and toning the skin every morning and night. Optimal to use before the application of micro-dart patches, to boost effects of the patches.​

Depology’s Matrixyl Collagen Boosting Serum

Now Depology did send over some of the Mirco Dart Patches which I am very much looking forward to trying, but I want to get a feel for the serum on it’s own before I start having it work in conjunction with something else. That way I know what item did what and if they have some sort of Wonder Twins Activate kind of powers.

my bare skin before the start of this trial

As you can see from the photo, the serum is clear. It is slightly thicker than water. It has a certain viscosity to it when dispensed from the dropper. I worried that the viscosity might cause it to be a little sticky. When applied there is a slight stickiness, but as soon as it dries down and is absorbed the stickiness is gone and the skin just feels smooth.

The absorption takes about thirty seconds. So it is really quick. Which I appreciate especially in the morning. This is a twice a day serum, and while I don’t mind taking more time in the evenings, the mornings can get pretty rushed. So no delays to wait while serum absorbs is a good thing.

the lines at the side of my eyes

There is no scent to the serum. I don’t know why I expected there to be, but there isn’t. Which means it doesn’t compete with any of the other products in the skincare line up. Many of which do have scents at this time. In general I don’t mind scent in my skin care, but I prefer to keep them light. Having no scent is actually a bonus sometimes.

the line on my forehead that helps me measure efficacy

So as I move forward with this serum the things I will be looking out for are a reduction of the fine lines and wrinkles. As you can see, there are many on which this serum can work. I will also look at an over all reduction of the signs of aging. For me that means better skin tone, plumper firmer skin and that sort of thing. some of that may show on the photos. I am guessing that a lot of it is going to be something that is more noticeable by touch but there could be some in the photos, which is why I have taken both over all pictures as well as close ups.

The products themselves look really interesting and I can hardly wait to give them a try. While thee is the newness aspect of course, I am really hoping that they show some effect. I always root for any kind of skincare to be effective actually. I hate to see them fail. And this serum has a pretty good ingredients list to get it started.

Water, Butylene Glycol, Matrixyl 3000, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Glycerin, Portulaca Oleracea Extract, Hyaluronic Acid, Codium Tomentosum Extract, Citrus Paradisi (Grapefruit) Seed Extract, Cereus Grandiflorus (Cactus) Extract, Polyglyceryl-6 Caprylate, Trehalose, Hydroxyacetophenone, 1 ,2-Hexanediol, Coconut Oil, Rosehip Seed Oil, Sunflower Seed Oil, Allantoin, Stearic Acid, Xanthan Gum. 

Matrixyl 3000 is a considered a “synthetic peptide.” that basically tells the skin to start replacing collagen that is lost. For a more detailed and scientific version this article from MiamiMD can break down all of the details for you in a much more concise way. I just know it is used in some anti-aging skincare items. I came across it with Timeless Skincare a while back and my skin really responded well to it. Thee are some other favorites for me in the ingredient list as well. Aloe is always my friend and you know I love hyaluronic acid. Grapefruit seen extract tends to help brighten the skin and fade age spots so I am pleased to see it here.

I can’t say that I’ve ever had cactus extract in my skincare so i will have to take a deeper look into that as well as see how it works with my skin. Most of what I have found about cactus extract involves preventing hair loss and reducing sebum. I’m guessing it is for it’s sebum reduction properties it is used here. But I suppose if I start sporting a full beard we will know why. I am also pleased to see coconut oil, rosehip oil and sunflower seed oil, all of which my skin has responded to positively in the past.

Over all it is is an ingredients list i can get behind and I can’t wait to see what a month of solid use of Depology’s Matrixyl Collagen Boosting Serum looks like. And once I get a feel for it on my skin, I will start to incorporate the micro dart patches to see how the products work together. So stay tuned and let the testing of the Depology’s Matrixyl Collagen Boosting Serum begin.

First Use of the New Balance Ab Wheel

I fully admit that I have an odd fascination with random workout tools. I think it comes from a childhood where things like the Thigh Master and the rowing exerciser. Both still disturbingly on sale on etsy and e-bay, I checked. I actually broke my toe with the rowing exerciser. I wanted to see how far the spring would stretch then I lost my grip on the slick handles. I smacked myself in the face and the handle whapped my toe (I was barefoot). It was not a good day.

The fascination remains, although now I actually read instructions.

I have however heard good things about these ab wheels and heard no stories of tow breakage. I was looking into picking one up to try, mostly because I need to do some work on my mid section instead of simply walking for my workouts and I can usually count on myself to give any new thing at least thirty days to see if it does anything. Then I ended up getting the Fab Fit Fun Box (I used my referral link for this so I think I get some kind of store credit if you use it. If that bothers you no worries, just goggle it instead of using the link) and this New Balance Ab Wheel was one of the items. I selected it.

the three exercises

It was easy to assemble and I have to be honest, it looked a bit like a toy. Still I was glad that the handles are textured for a more secure grip and since it was here, I figured I would give it a try. Like skincare exercise tools aren’t magic, so even though I did give it a first try i know I have to commit to using it for a month before I see any results. So this is just a first impression of the work out and a recording of measurements before the month begins.

The first think i noticed was that the wheel didn’t really like rolling on carpet. It didn’t roll smoothly and was hard to control. So I lay down the yoga mat. This worked fabulously well. It provided a smoother surface with no carpet fibers and the slightly textured surface of the yoga matt helped with my control. So I can tell you right away that I will be pairing this with my yoga mat.

The booklet that came with the Ab Wheel has three exercises listed on it so I did one set of each. As I progress maybe I will add in more but one set worked well for a first try. I did notice that Even though I was working my abs while using the tool I was also very firmly gripping those handles. I don’t know why but the first few exercises I sort of felt like it was going to suddenly roll out from under me and then I’d smack my nose into the floor.

textured grip of handle a plus

I didn’t it behaved exactly as it should. My other fear was that as the athletic woman in the photo is much smaller than me, that the tool would not be good with my weight. while the wheel is plastic and the handles rubber, the shaft that runs through the wheels and is covered by the handles is metal. It was easily able to support the weight I put on it for the exercise.

I’ll admit, my focus was on the balance and not injuring myself. Which I managed to do and will hopefully not focus on so much moving forward. The first two exercises were on my knees and went fairly well. The standing workout pose “Pike Roll” took a little bit more time to get used to. And the next morning I felt that one in my calves as well as my abs.

carpet vs. Yoga mat. Go for the yoga mat as its textured surface provides a little grip and you can control it more easily

I did feel the efforts from the day before. The Ab wheel may look like a toy of some sort but my body certainly feels the effects of using it. As I feel the muscle stiffness in the abs where the tool is supposed to work, then I feel I have at least used it appropriately.

And so the month begins. Before I end this post, there are the small matters of the measurements. I figured Waist and Hips would be appropriate so those are the two measurements given for the start of the thirty days with the New Balance Ab Wheel.

Waist: 48 inches

Hips: 50.5 Inches

I suppose we will se if in thirty days wither of those measurements change. Let the trial of the New Balance Ab wheel begin.



First Use Kusker Portable Oral Irrigator

Growing up I had braces on my teeth. Because of this one of the items that was a constant in my bathroom was the water pic. The model I had was a plastic basin filled with water that sat on top of the machine. When it turned on it sounded a bit like a lawn mower. It wasn’t as loud, maybe the lawnmower from the neighbor’s yard instead of your own. The pic part was connected to this contraption by a long plastic cord, through which the water ran. The cord often got kinks in it and was kind of a pain.

Despite the troubles with the machine, I loved it. Well okay I didn’t love the machine, but I loved the way my teeth felt after using it. I could use the water to get in between every little crevice and pay extra attention to my gum line. As much trouble as it was, my mouth appreciated the effort.

each piece was individually and sanitarily wrapped

So when Kusker asked it I would like to try out and review their portable Oral Irrigator, I took a look at it and was thrilled to say yes. They also gave me a code for you to use for 10% off if you are interested. It is MSMIMSY and it is for any purchase on their site not just the water pic. While this was sent to me, my opinions are my own. However I have to say I am very excited for this trial. While this machine has the same water pic ends that the machine of my childhood featured, it is an all in one unit. The water carafe is located in the bottom of the unit and the pic part clips onto the top. For the pic you just insert it into the hole at the top and it clicks in securely. To remove you press the eject button and lift it out.

unboxed and unwrapped

There are no cords to tangle. You don’t have to make sure there is nothing interfering with the connection between the carafe and the machine. And it is on the quiet side. It makes about as much noise as an electric toothbrush.

bag with separate pocket

There are different modes of use, four actually, for the Kusker Care Water Flosser; Normal Mode for regular cleaning, soft mode for gentle gum massaging, Pulse mode to massage gums, and DIY mode which is where you can adjust the intensity of the water depending on your preferences. I love the amount of control that you get with the modes. and the buttons on the front are easy to see and easy to use. In my first use I ran through all of the modes and it was really easy to use.

There are also four separate attachment nozzles. They are easy to insert and remove. I only used one of the tips but during my trial I will work through all of them and add my thoughts into the final review.

pic assembled

Before use the Water Flosser needed to be charged. It comes with a USB cable. I like that there is a soft rubber cover for the charging plug. I plugged the cable into an adapter cube since I am using it at home instead of traveling with it. It does come with a travel bag and while the bag fits the device perfectly, it also has a small pocket for the pics and cord which makes it really convenient. You don’t have to just drop them in the bottom of the bag and leave them loose. I like that it keeps them from getting dinged up and possibly bent.

I let the device charge over night before my first use. I will monitor it throughout the trial to see how long the charge lasts. The manual tells you not to use it while plugged in, so once charged I disconnected the cable and recovered the port so no water could get in.

charging port with cap

The carafe was relatively easy to fill. The cover for the water fill was a little stiff. I suspect with regular use it will loosen up a bit. It had that same stiffness that a new book has. With use it will loosen up a bit and be easier to open for filling. For my first use I filled the tank to the top mark on the plastic carafe.

I then discovered there was one difference I hadn’t anticipated. Without the cord, there is no delay between turning it on and water coming out. With the older units, you turn the machine on then lift the pic to your mouth because it takes a minute to get the water through the cord. Sometimes it took longer because the cord was kinked.

carafe cap a little stiff but I’m sure it will loosen up with use

This had no cord. Just a straight run from carafe to pic. So my mirror took the first shot of water. Luckily it shuts off as fast as it turns on, so a press of the button and the mirror only took one shot. I then wiped it off, Put the pick in my mouth and tried again.

While this first use was more me playing around with buttons and determining the easy/difficulty of set up and taking it from box to first use, I have to say my mouth felt that old familiar fabulous clean. I may not be working around braces any more, but I do love the extra clean feeling I get from using a water pic. I am very much looking forward to putting this Kusker Oral Irrigator through it’s paces in the next few weeks. It will be interesting to see how it performs.

First use of the Korres Santorini Grape Poreless Skin Cream

I couldn’t help it, but the lure was too strong. I had to open the new Korres Santorini Grape Poreless Skin Cream and start trying it out. I know looks aren’t everything, but just look at the light green of that glass jar. It just says pick me up and give me a try. So i am.

In general I really like the Korres brand. I find their products to be both fairly priced and effective. The Pomegranate line has found a permanent love in my heart, despite the fact that they seem to have let it go (sniff, sniff, so sad). I like the rose but not as much as the pomegranate, and since I have an allergy to pine I have to avoid that line, but the yogurt face masks are always in rotation in my mask collection. the Golden Krocus is high on my list to try.

inner lid with tab

I have not tried anything from the Santorini Grape line so I was over the moon when it was a choice Item in my Boxycharm for June. It has been on my must try list since it’s release and when I saw it I pounced. I’m sure there were other options, but I didn’t really bother looking.

And I did order the Santorini Grape Velvet Skin Drink Serum this morning as well because i couldn’t resist giving it a try. But it’s first use will come, for now it is time for the moisturizer.

According to the product page…

For: Oily, Combination + Sensitive, A lightweight gel moisturizer that blurs pores, controls shine, and hydrates skin all-day using a powerful blend of Hyaluronic Acid, Salicylic Acid, Willowherb Extract, and the antioxidant-rich, Santorini Grape.

Key Benefits:  Poreless complexion,  Balanced all-day hydration,  Smooth skin canvas

Korres

At this time of year I am at my oiliest although I suspect i fall into the combination category. So this is about perfect and it is about the perfect time of year for me to try this moisturizer. As I mentioned above it is in a beautiful green glass jar. I know looks aren’t everything but I do like looking at a pleasing array of skincare on my shelf. It is okay to like pretty things, they just have to be pretty things that also pull their weight in the skincare department.

Opening the jar there is a stout plastic lid as a barrier to air, which I really like. It has a little pull tab to lift it off the top of the jar. It is wide and round and fairly easy to grab and lift. The inner plastic lid fits securely but it isn’t extremely tight so you don’t have to struggle with it if you don’t have a lot of hand strength. You just have to be able to grip the tab. Barring that slipping a thumbnail under the edge can flip it up for those with issues making pinching motions.

I find the scent of this moisturizer interesting. It does smell of grapes which I expected, but it is a grape that has had the sugars removed and smells almost like it is blended with plain yogurt. I didn’t see any yogurt on the list of ingredients so perhaps this is just a face mask hold over. The moisturizer has the same color as the mask, so perhaps that leans into it.

The Santorini Grape Poreless Skin Cream is a thicker sort of cream. It has the consistency of Greek Yogurt actually. It is the kind of cream that I scoop out a little and either dot it lightly on my face and then rub in or rub my hands together and then apply to my face. The second method will cause it to absorb faster on the skin and is fantastic when you are running late in the morning. Even if you choose the first method of dotting it on the skin before massaging it in, it won’t take long to absorb, just start with little dollops as a little goes a long way with this moisturizer.

The scent of the moisturizer fades as you apply it and once it dries down your face is not sticky at all. As a first use, it was a positive experience and I am happy that I will get to use it for the next month. July here promises to be incredibly hot and insanely humid, which is when my skin not only feels oily, but because I sweat so much I end up getting oddly dry patches from salty sweat running over the skin. I am hoping that this combination skin oriented Santorini Grape Poreless Skin cream from Korres will be just the thing to get me through with healthy skin. But only time will tell.

Shop our 4th of July Deals Now!

Korres Greek Natural Beauty

First Use of the Embryolisse Lait Creme Fluide Moisturizer

That’s right my darlings, we have reached the third moisturizer from Embryolisse’s Lait Creme Line. Today was my first use of it and I have to say I am a bit tickled with myself. Embryolisse sent all three creams from their Lait-Creme line for me to try out and review. I have used each in turn and while there will be a full comparison review of the three after I’ve given this one a full try, there is one thing i do have to mention.

I chose to use the Concentre first because it was the only cream in the lait creme line i was familiar with. I used it before and knew I loved it so I thought I’d refamiliarizing myself with the moisturizer before starting on the two I had not tried. I put the Lait-creme sensitive second as I thought it was a sensitive version of the concentre (which it is) and it made sense to try them one after another. I then put the Fluide last, because there were only three creams so it was the last one left.

pump top

Inadvertently I chose the best line up possible for the creams based on the weather and my skins needs. I think that is what tickles me. The Lait Creme Concentre was perfect for my winter dry skin. As the temperatures rose a bit and spring started to fight with winter for dominance, the sensitive lait creme, which is a little lighter than the concentre, was the perfect weight for my skincare needs. Now as I was thinking that the Sensitive might be a little too heavy and need to shift into night time use only, it is time for the Lait Creme Fluid to arrive on the scene.

And wouldn’t you know, it is the perfect weight for the summertime.

The Lait Creme Fluid comes in a pump format rather than the metal tubes of the other moisturizers in the Lait Creme line. And it is easy to see why. This Fluid cream is thinner than the other two in the line and if put into a tube far too much would come out in one squeeze. As this was my first use, I dispensed one full pump, just to see how much came out with one pump.

one full pump was a bit too much for me, in the future I will be using half a pump.

The truth is, far too much came out. I used this amount to cover my face, neck, upper chest, and both my arms. About half a pump is what I will go for in my next application. Although I can’t say that my arms didn’t appreciate the use. This is just a good all round moisturizer to be honest. But this first use is more about the face and it’s use as a facial moisturizer.

The pump is obviously easy to use. it has a wide flat top that is finger width. It’s wide pump means that it is still easy to use even if my hands are still wet and or slick from previously applied products. In addition there is a circular imprint on the top of the pump with lettering to show you how to lock and unlock the pump should you choose to move it about instead of leaving it in the bathroom. This design, while appreciated for the information it gives, also provides a bit of a rough surface for the finger which aids in gripping and using the product.

From a packaging standpoint it is a ten. It is very easy to use even should you have mobility issues and it is a thick enough bottle that it stays stable on the counter. In addition the bottle is solid, thus protecting the moisturizer from the light. But as we all know packaging isn’t everything.

applied with dabs

While a full pump was too much, a half pump would be about perfect for face, neck and décolletage. The moisturizer formula has a scent comparable with the others in the line. It is oddly lighter in scent than the sensitive version which I found interesting. (I still have some of the sensitive so I did a comparison and it is just a slight bit lighter in scent but exactly the same scent.) I think the lightness of the scent is due to the less dense cream. While still a white creamy texture, this Lait Creme Fluid is more like a water cream than your standard cream moisturizer. It isn’t quite a water cream, but it is heading in that direction. Or I suppose a better way to put that is that it is a cream based water cream rather than a gel based water cream, if that makes it a little clearer.

easy absorption, not greasy and no white residue

In application, it applies really well. I dotted it on my face, mostly because I dispensed too much. Otherwise I would have rubbed my hands together then applied it – there was simply too much in my hand. It massaged in almost instantly with out leaving a single trace of white on the skin. There was also no greasy residue left behind. For me not only is the lighter cream good for summer moisturization levels, but because it absorbs so well so quickly with no greasy feel left behind, it actually aids me in applying my sunscreen.

In the summer I like to get into the habit of applying my sunscreen with my morning skin care so I don’t forget and then just before my walk I add an extra coat of a spray sunscreen over my previously applied layer of sunscreen. With the way the Lait Creme Fluid applies, I have very little lag time between moisturizer and sunscreen. Since I don’t have to wait it is less likely i will forget to apply the sunscreen, and the more I remember my sunscreen the better off my skin is.

Somehow I managed to find the right order in which to try out these moisturizers from Embryolisse. This first use went well for me, which as I generally like Embryolisse products isn’t that big a surprise. The biggest surprise for me was how well timed the start of this moisturizer trial is. For me this is the perfect summer weight moisturizer and I am looking forward to seeing how it performs as compared to the more standard versions of the Embryolisse Lait Cream that i know and love. As a first use, this was quite fabulous.

Special Price

First use of the Comper Smarkin 4-in 1 Beauty Device

This device was gifted to me from the brand for the purpose of review, however all opinions and thoughts are my own. I have to say I was tickled to be able to try out this device. The Comper Smarkin 4-in-1 Beauty device is a skincare/treatment device that you link to an app in your cell phone. While you can operate it manually just by pressing the buttons on the device, with the app you can set up a treatment program and the phone automatically transitions the device between the different modes. It also keeps track of the treatments and reminds you when it is time to use the device again so it is easy to keep up with a regime.

easy to use buttons, soft grip texture and the device fits well in the hand

But that is getting a bit ahead of ourselves. First what does the Comper Smarkin 4-in-1 device do? According to the website this device gives you…”Professional Treatments At Home
An advanced, smart skincare tool that brings forth a new generation of skin treatment and improvement via RF, EMS, MASS, and LED.”

I know, some of you went, wow that’s nice and some of you are looking at the letters and thinking only a few of them sound vaguely familiar. I had to look them up to be certain myself, so lets do a quick break down.

RF is radio frequency and Radio Frequency (RF) can heat the dermis layer evenly over a larger area. It stimulates collagen regeneration, reduces wrinkles and provides immediate lifting and tightening.

EMS is a micro current(EMS) promotes a deep movement of muscles and enhance blood circulation. It tightens the skin for facial lifting and helps improve skin’s contour, tones, fine lines and puffiness.

records use

LED light therapy repairs cells and capillaries, balances facial water and oil levels, helps to eliminate acne, reduces pigment issues and heals UV damage. While MASS is short for massage and through micro-vibration massage at a certain frequency, Skin Massage(MASS) enhances the skin absorption and becomes a perfect match with other skin care products.

So essentially this device is designed through it’s different programs (each with three levels of intensity) is designed to reduce wrinkles and puffiness. lift tighten stimulate collagen regeneration and reduce acne and pigmentation. I can pretty much get behind all of that actually, although it is a long list and I was curious as to how complicated it would be to set up.

easy to follow program leads you through the treatments with timing counting down

It turns out it was very simple to set up. The user manual came with step by step set up instructions. My app was downloaded to my phone via google Play and took seconds to install. It is easily named Comper Health App. I plugged in the device, turned it on and synced it with the program. What I like is that should you decide to purchase any other Comper device (they have many interesting looking ones), it looks like they can all be linked via the same app, Which means that you don’t have to download a bunch of different apps and you can keep all of the monitoring information in one place for reference. I really like the ease of the set up.

Once linked I was lead through a bunch of different questions about my skin. Once I inputted all of my information (It is multiple choice and no personal data other than skin conditions and issues are asked), they system sets up a recommended treatment regimen and frequency.

Hyaluronic acid serum to pair with the device

And that’s it, you can start using it right away. It is recommended that you use a Hyaluronic acid serum with the device partially because the serum is good for the conditions it treats, and partially because applying a serum with the device helps it glide more smoothly over the skin. While Comper did send me their HA serum, which I rather like, any HA serum can be used. I really like knowing that as it is an HA serum, many versions of which I have in my skincare arsenal already waiting to be used, I don’t have to worry about running out of a specific one and not being able to use the device.

skin before treatment begins, front view

So on to the first use. I entered the app and simply pressed the start button. The device reminded me my skin needed to be clean, dry and the serum needed to be applied to the head of the device. It then waited for me to accomplish these tasks and when I was ready I pressed the button marked ready, made sure the device was turned on and let the phone connect with the device. It did and lights went on and a buzzing sounded. My first treatment combined the Massage and the radio frequency. It was warm and quite pleasant actually. In addition, the device walked me through the motions and the time I needed to use those motions.

At the bottom of the screen I could see how long the full treatment would last and at the top I could see how long this particular segment would last. In between there was a face showing the exact placement and movements I needed to use at that time. With each shift, the device prompted me and shifted the image on screen. It was extremely easy to use and and fears I had of maintaining a complicated ritual faded away. It is one of the most user friendly devices I have tried out.

Side view 1

The treatment started at the forehead and worked it’s way down in predictable motions, slowly moving to the jaw line and neck. Once the neck had been treated the system told me it was time to move to the second treatment. It adjusted the device settings for me and I began the LED therapy. It again led me through the motions and I completed them effortlessly. At the end the device shifted to the EMS. I have to admit I was a little worried about the micro current. I thought it might hurt, it didn’t. The device started me on the lowest setting and it felt like there was a current running into my skin but there was no sort of shock with it.

side view 2 (photos are all before to compare with at the end of 30 days

Now clearly with one use there were no striking visual changes. I will say that my skin felt warm and invigorated as well as oddly rested. I know invigorated and rested shouldn’t pair together but it was rested the way your skin feels after you’ve laid a hot wash cloth over your face for a bit and invigorated as though you splashed something like eucalyptus on your face. My face felt really good even if one use wasn’t enough to show any changes. I have included the before pictures with this post so that when I get to the end of thirty days of use I can show any actual changes in my skin.

To be honest, I have high hopes. In part my hopes are because of the movement in the device use. A lot of them are similar to the movements I used when trying out the Gua Sha stone on my face. That too is a sculpting tool and even without the techno bits, I received really good results using it. This incorporates the same movements along with the techno bits mentioned above so I expect there will be significant improvements at the end of the month. As with all skincare tools, devices, treatments, and products, consistent use is the best way to see any form or results. So I will consistently use this for the next month and get back with you at the end of the thirty day trial to see how well this device performed and how it felt to use it for the duration. As I very much enjoyed this first us, I can honestly say I am looking forward to continuing to put the Comper Smarkin 4-in-1 Beauty Device through it’s paces.