Hello Ganic, It’s time for mid week masking

As you know I am trying to whittle down my collection of sheet masks, determining which ones I want to purchase in larger packs and which ones just need to be cleared out before they go bad. At this point I have to admit that a lot of the sheet masks left in my collection are rose infused or rose scented.

While I don’t mind rose, I am picky about the type of rose that I like. You can give me pretty much anything rose scented from the brand Nuxe or even Dior and I am fine with the scent because it is light and tends to smell more like skincare that was placed near something rose scented for a while rather than actually infused with the rose scent.

When I went into the sheet mask box today, I found that because I tend to avoid the rose scented masks, I have a lot of them. I wasn’t feeling rose today so I dug through the box and came up with a non-rose scented sheet mask. And then I saw that it was a pore refining mask and I got happy. A lot of the masks left are also hydrating, and while I like hydrating masks it is nice to have a change so double win today.

Well win if I like the mask.

first applied

This is the Helloganic 1 a day Grain mask. Finding information about it was interesting. There were a couple of UK Sites that offered it The only place I could find it for sale in the US was on Amazon so that is where the links and product information are from. If you are reading this outside the US you may have better luck finding it. So according to Amazon…

Vegan Certified : HelloGanic is a 100% vegan green market and lifestyle beauty brand that brings healthy energy to everyone with carefully selected fresh raw materials and refreshing imagination. Eucalyptus sheet : Sheets are made from eucalyptus trees. Since eucalyptus grows well in the tropics and dry plains, we focused on an idea – “Tree that gives life.” We have developed products that provide a feeling of freshness and moisture. Strict quality standards : Each mask is produced according to very strict quality standards and excellent technologies such as a natural preservation system and low-temperature aging method. Full of GREEN ingredients : Just as a daily nutrient is required to maintain our health, Helloganic masks are filled with freshness and nutrients from green food needed for our skin every day.

after 15 min

I really like that these are made with eucalyptus sheets. It feels like cotton and to be honest, I thought it was cotton. if they can make wood feel like cotton power to them. It even says eucalyptus sheet on the packet although any UK sites I looked at claimed it was cotton. Since what is on the package says Eucalyptus I will go with that as the mask material.

Don’t you just hate when there is conflicting information?

Regardless, the mask lays across the skin well and adheres to all of the cures of the face without bunching up or sticking out. which is the goal regardless of base material. The scent of the mask is interesting. While the sheet mask lists Adlay Black Bean as the main ingredient it smells vaguely like oatmeal to me. Perhaps it is that I do not know much about the Adlay black bean.

A quick search for the Adlay Black bean netted me information about the ingredent…Adlay traditionally has long been used in China for the treatment of warts, chapped skin, rheumatism, neuralgia, and inflammatory diseases. – National Library of Medicine

All of the other searches listed teas and even black bean burgers.

So it smells a bit like oatmeal and a bit like skincare. Which is fine for a sheet mask. I like both oatmeal and skincare. The mask is juicy when it comes out of the pouch and I did have to wipe a bit of serum off of my hands and neck After that it didn’t seem inclined to drip.

Before on left and after on right

As I wore it I could feel a cool tingling over my skin. It wasn’t unpleasant but it was a noticeable thing. I wore the sheet mask for fifteen minutes while sitting at my desk answering e-mails. After fifteen minutes I returned to the bathroom to remove the mask. The part of the mask under my nose dried down and I could tell it was not cotton. When dry it simply didn’t feel like cotton.

The rest of the sheet mask was still damp but it was clear my skin absorbed most of the serum. What little remained I patted into the skin. My skin felt very chilled. It actually felt as though I had been standing in front of an open fridge peering into the depths for the last fifteen minutes. The coolness remained for a full ten minutes after the mask was removed. It was well after the serum absorbed in and my skin was dry. It still remained cool to the touch.

As often i will use cool things like jade rollers to calm inflammation and irritation down without recourse to actual items from the medicine cabinet, I think if I had been suffering from any irritation this would have significantly reduced it merely through the cooling effect. beyond that my skin felt really soft and smooth. The serum was a little sticky before it dried down and was fully absorbed. That took a few minutes after I removed the mask to fully soak in. If you can put up with the slight stickiness for that length of time then there is a nice pay off of soft nourished skin.

I enjoyed this mask far more than I expected to. I honestly wasn’t certain what sort of effect beans would have on my skin, but in this mask it works. I will happily repurchase this Helloganic sheet mask.

Green Tea, Rose, Banana & Coconut sheet masks

Snacktime: Righteous Felon Street Taco Inspired Craft Jerky

That’s right my darlings it is snack time once again. For me to stay on track and not reach dinner time starving and ready to eat far more than what I know my allotted portion should be, I need an afternoon snack. Now here is the thing. I always make sure there are minimal limitations on my snacks.

The one real limitation is that I try to stick to under 150 calories. I prefer around 130, but I don’t want to go over 150 at all for my afternoon snack. This calorie range makes me feel like I am getting something substantial, and when I start to make dinner I am not snacking on some of the ingredients as I cook and thus adding unknown calories to my plate.

Snacking is actually one of the most useful dieting tools I have come up with. One snack with 150 or less calories in it. That it my only restriction. I know some of you are thinking, well if those are the only restrictions then what’s to stop you from reaching for really bad candies and other empty calories?

Oddly enough, i did worry about that when I first started adding the snack in. Then I realized it is almost self regulating. Around Easter one of my favorite treats are marshmallow peeps. I don’t know if you have ever looked at the container but a box of five is listed as one serving and the calorie count on that is 140 cal. which means it technically fits. And there will be at least one time every spring where I will roll in a box of peeps and call it a snack.

I will only do it once a year though. Not because it is a special treat, but because after that one treat my stomach really doesn’t want to take in that much sugar again for a whole other year. I don’t feel satisfied, I feel vaguely ill. After a while of snacking, i will find myself reaching for things that I know are good for me even if the junk stuff is available simply because that is the stuff that I want.

So snacktime is anything I want to eat that will fill me up in a way that makes me feel satisfied but has less than 150 calories. After a while of doing this you learn what falls into that category and what doesn’t and automatically reach for the things that have the right calorie count but won’t satisfy you until dinner. At least with me. it did take a while and occasionally something sneaks through but for the most part. Once I start paying attention I will crave an apple over a sugary sweet.

But sometimes, my body wants meat. We generally have one meal per week that uses meat (and it is usually a weekend thing and often it is in the colder weather, fish and chicken dominate the warmer months for our ‘meat’ meals). Occasionally though I just get a meat craving and when i do I want to make sure that I go with good quality items.

I have been ordering from Righteous Felon for a while. Their quality is top notch. I tend to stick to the pouches of meat snacks so I can measure out what I actually want to eat in that moment. This is my first stick from them. Even though it is only 100 calories per stick I generally find myself satisfied with only about half of the stick. But with the sticks I will eat the whole thing.

Recently Righteous Felon released some new flavors. I added a couple of them to my order this time and I could not resist the Street Taco Inspired Al Pastor and Pineapple Pork stick. It has 100 calories only 4 g of sugar and a full 8 g of protein. I generally find that protein really helps me fell fuller longer when I use it as a snack.

I know I could go the protein bar route, and sometimes I do, but a lot of the protein bars are just too sweet for me. This is not sweet. It does have a little sweet tang from the pineapple, but it also has a little bit of a spicy heat. the heat is mild. The spices don’t make it spicy, they make it spiced. and it is spiced exactly like a really good al pastor taco.

It is delicious and the only thing wrong is that it makes me look around to see where the chips and guacamole ran off to. It is fully flavored and tastes exactly like what it is, pork with pineapple and al pastor seasonings. It is a winner. The flavor is great, the protein is enough to keep me going and to let me prepare dinner without snacking on the elements as I cook and the calories are sitting at a lovely 100.will this unseat Darth Garlic as my go to Righteous Felon treat? Probably not, but it will be added to the list of Items I will purchase again on my next order.

Nails: Ohora Semicured Gel Nails

This week I did something different. I went with the Ohora Semi-cured Gel nails. I have always liked the thought of gel nails, but at the same time I was leery of the thickness of them and the fact that you had to get someone else to put them on and take them off.

At the moment, Ohora has a sale. Buy three and get one free on select designs.

I will occasionally wear press on nails for events but for me they aren’t an everyday thing. I simply spend way too much time typing for them to be comfortable. I do have pretty good natural nails, I just can’t let them grow past a certain point because the clicking on the keyboard irritates me and I find working with them a little clunky. I some how equated gel nails to more or less the same thing.

The Ohora semi-cured Gel nails are something different though. They come in a package and look like nail stickers. Basically that is what they are. Each pack contains enough for two manicures. There are two sheets of sixteen nails . So you have sizes to choose from and there are one or two you can sort of practice with if you mess up.

I expected to mess up more than I did. I actually didn’t mess up any of the nails to the point where I couldn’t use them.

before trim

There is one piece of specialized equipment needed. It is the gel lamp to harden the gel nails and make them fully cured. Right now with your first order you can get the gel lamp for free. They do sell them independently for $20. This was my first order from them so I did get the gel lamp. It has a USB port and it folds up to save space. If you press the button in then the blue lights go on for 45 seconds and your fingers get a little warm as the nails cure. Then after 45 seconds it goes off. If you want a longer cure you hold the button down a little longer and it will go on for 60 seconds. I really like the fact that it automatically turns off when it is done.

I really wanted to make sure they were done so I went with the 60 second cure which worked perfectly.

I did have some concerns with my right hand so I started with my left. For me I peeled the sticker off the back, placed it on the nail, tripped the sticker down and then proceeded to the second nail. You want to leave them a little longer than the nail. After I had all of the nail stickers on each hand I cured the hand. The gel became harder and stiffer and felt like actual nails. I then took the nail file to the tops of the gel nails and filed them down so everything was smooth and even. I was very impressed with the way they turned out actually.

my trimming wasn’t the best

But then came the nails for the right hand. I was thrilled that there were a few extra nails because I expected to make a mess when putting everything on my right hand. The stickers themselves were not hard to apply. It was the trimming I was really worried about. I do not have left handed scissors and even with left handed scissors I am not so very good at cutting things with my left hand. After trimming them down my left hand looked quite a bit more jagged than my left hand had.

I decided to call it an experiment and put my hand under the gel lamp. The nails cured and then i went to work with the file. Because they were messier they took longer to file. Unless you are ambidextrous or do this often then that is just what is going to happen. One hand is naturally going to take a little longer than the others. In the end though, they looked really nice and I am thrilled with the way they turned out. I am having no problems with the nails as I work. It feels like my own nails with polish on them.

The color I chose was called N Felice. I chose it because I really like the subtle soft gray with the sparkle at the base of the nail bed. I also liked the more dramatic colors with the sparkle, but these seem suited for daily use. I love that the glitter is encapsulated so when i run my finger over the top of the nail it is smooth and there is no glitter fall out as I work. there will be no shedding of glitter causing unwarranted sparkles.

I think for me, these are actually a better alternative than false nails as I don’t feel like they are false and can work with them as though they were natural nails. Perhaps that is what gel nails do. All of the ones I have seen looked a little thick and heavy for my liking. These are light and feel durable. As I just put them on, there is no wear showing, however time will tell. If they still look good next Tuesday I will do a check in and leave them in place. The cost for these ranges between $14-16 per pack. Each pack will give you two full manicures. So that is about $7-8 per manicure. Which isn’t bad at all. Now that I have the gel lamp I am going to be looking into more of these to have around for different occasions. I love the look of them. Time will tell how long they last, but even if they just look good for a weekend event, that is well worth the price. At the moment, I am quite honestly in love with these Ohora Semi-cured gel nails. ho would have thought it would be this easy to do at home?

OHORA Semi- Cured Gel Nails. Check out the amazing variety of manicure and pedicure styles available today!


The Skincare Line Up: March 17th, 2023

Good morning my darlings. It is time once again to look at the skincare used this week. To be honest, there weren’t a lot of changes this week, however three of these products are now completely empty and will need to be replaced tonight. So changes are coming. Shall we see where we stand and how everything performed?

The Daytime Line Up

Cleanser: Byroe Kiwi Detox Gel Cleanser

Serum: Bare Minerals Long Life Herb Serum

Eyecream: Byroe Truffle Eye Cream

Moisturizer: First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Cream

There is just enough liquid in the Bioderma bottle to remove the last of my makeup tonight. Technically it should have been in the night time line up, but for some reason I put it with the day time crew. it is a good micellular water and worked really well at getting the makeup off. It was a very gentle way to cleanse mascara from lashes as well. there was nothing harsh about it.

While I have been going through my sample items to clear them out, I looked but did not find a sample sized cleanser. I’m sure I have some, i just couldn’t find it on the morning my last sample ran out. This Byroe cleanser was the smallest tube of cleanser i had in the wings so I went with it as my option. It is a good gel cleanser. It doesn’t smell of kiwi which is slightly disappointing as I think that would be a lovely refreshing way to start the morning. It has little beady bits like kiwi seeds in it. There are enough to be noticed but not really enough that it feels like an intentional exfoliating option. I’m not entirely sure they do much, but maybe time will tell.

The Byroe Truffle Eye serum is still doing well. It doesn’t clog the pores and it has a skin softening effect. I think I have been using it long enough that I should start seeing results soon. it is thus far a good eye cream. Not my favorite, but a good cream.

This was the last use of the bareMinerals Serum. It was a lovely herbal scented serum that absorbed well and made my skin feel soft. Beyond that I didn’t really see any results. The serum I had lasted two weeks and typically you need thirty days to see real results so I may have to use it longer. I am not opposed to trying it out for a longer period and i probably will at some point because I like bareMinerals products in general, but there is nothing that made me want to immediately go out and purchase it.

I was going to pick out a different Day cream but a I have a night mask in the line up that I am using a couple of times a week, I figured this would be good for both day and night use and I could limit the number of products open. I really like this First Aid Beauty moisturizer. It is actually one of my favorite FAB products. I’ve used it before and I will certainly use it again. I really do enjoy it for both day and night time use. I do have to add that we are going through a cold snap right now. I think it might be a little too hydrating for me to use in the day once the weather warms up, but even then as a night cream it works really well.

The Night Time Line Up

Makeup Remover:Bioderma Purifying Cleansing Micelle Solution

Cleanser: Byroe Kiwi Detox Gel Cleanser

Toner: Perricone MD Face Finishing and Firming Toner

Serum: Replenix Age Restore Night Time Therapy

Moisturizer: First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Cream

Sleeping Mask Omorovicza Midnight Radiance Mask

Lips mask: Tatcha Kissu Lip mask

The Perricone MD toner is really a nice gentle exfoliator. I am on the lower end of the product now with maybe a week or two left of use and I have really enjoyed using it. It is definitely something I would get again. It is kind of interesting that when I first started to use it there was a lot of gunk on the toner pad when I was finished as it exfoliated all the dead skin cells. As time went on there is less gunk on the toner pad. Not because it stopped working but because it is routinely taking them off as they arrive and so there is no build up. It is a good product that bears consistent use.

The Replenix is almost completely out of product. Actually I say that to make myself feel better. It was sputtering last night when I applied it and I know I will press the dispenser tonight and there will be little to nothing that comes out. I will still try though as it was a really good serum. It absorbed quickly and my skin felt like silk when it was on. I would love to get a full size and see how it performs over time. It is certainly on my list of full sized future trials.

I am 100% certain I never pronounce Omorovicza correctly, but I will still always try because I adore the brand’s products. This sleeping mask is used twice a week and there is only a little needed to cover the entire face. It is a gel formula that feels very lightweight on the skin. I love the way it makes my skin feel. It is an extra boost of moisture but it also seems to perk my skin up so I wake up looking better than I did when i went to bed. And isn’t that always the goal? If I had my way I would never run out of this cream.

And then as always we end with the Tatcha Lip mask. The divot inside is deep, but there is still plenty of product. I am actually quite amazed by how long this has lasted. I am also really glad it came with a small spoon. while the spoon wasn’t really needed at first I am getting to the point where it is easier to use it to get out the product. So I am glad I have it.

So for now, this is the line up. I will need new serums and a new makeup remover at the very least for next week’s line up. I can’t wait to see what I pull from the samples box to try out next.

Using the Axiology Lip to Lid Balmies

Recently Axiology sent a few items to me to try out and review. As always my opinions are completely my own. I was very excited about these products though because one thing I have been trying to do in my life is to reduce waste.

Axiology has more or less the same mission, although on a much grander scale than mine. Enter the Lip to Lid Balmies. A zero waste Multi use cosmetic crayon. I have the two pack or Nude Plum and Rose which is described as…

Lip-to-Lid Balmies are plastic-free, multi-use crayons for eyes, lips and cheeks. Packed with oils, butters, and antioxidants such as hemp, and plum oil to nourish and hydrate skin. 100% vegan, cruelty-free and palm oil-free. Made with 9 natural ingredients.

Ingredients:Ricinus communis (castor) seed oil*, Helianthus annuus (sunflower) seed oil*, Garcinia indica (kokum) seed butter, Helianthus annuus (sunflower) seed wax, Cannabis sativa (hemp) seed oil*, Sambucus nigra fruit extract, Prunus domestica (plum) seed oil, Tocopherol**, Azadirachta indica seed oil*

I know I normally only talk about ingredients in skincare but these are well worth talking about here. These products are vegan so they use sunflower seed wax instead of beeswax. If you look down the list it is pretty easy to see it is not a bad list of ingredients. I’ll admit I did have to look up kokum seed butter and nigra fruit extract but the others are items I would not mind seeing in my skincare. (and those I wouldn’t mind either I just had to look them up.) In case you were wondering kokum seed butter is an emollient and nigra fruit extract is also known as black elderberry and has antioxidant properties.

And both are more in keeping with skincare than makeup.


While I have the two balmies, they do come in trios and even a Super Fan Pack with fourteen of these little crayons. Personally I was quite stunned by the array of colors available. I have been using these for various functions for the past few weeks (almost a month now actually). They are multi use items designed for use on the eye lids, cheeks and lips.

The first thing you notice when they arrive is that the outer packaging is completely recyclable. It is all paper and it quickly breaks down and can be sent off to the recycling no muss np fuss. We actually needed some dry material for our compost (we are a bit heavy on the coffee grounds) and so I tore the packaging into small bits and added it to it. The packaging is no more.

Inside, the container for the balmies is also made of recycled paper and ou yeah, the actually wrapping for the cosmetic crayon? Yup, that’s paper too. As you use the balmie it wears down and you just peel off the paper and keep using it until there is nothing left.

It is quite an interesting design. I imagine those last little bits of product might get a bit messy, but it will take a while to get there and they would only be a mess when it got down to the last little nub as the paper does go all the way to the base of the crayon and so should hold on until the very end if you are careful with your unwrapping.

I will say that while using these I did sort of want a Cruella Deville style cigarette holder to put them in. I think if Axiology ever decides to expand a bamboo holder in that style (without the hole for smoking) would be quite the classy addition. But that might just be me.

First, let’s talk eyes.

I really liked the way that I could draw a line with the product on the outer corner of my eye and then use a finger tip to blend it towards the center. Whether it is the product or these colors I don’t know but with that approach I managed a real natural sort of look. Just a little hint of color to give a little life to the face. I did try to build up the products and I was able to deepen the tone, but in truth when used as shadows these are really on the more natural side than they are the ultra glam side. The color can be deepened but the nude plum and the rose really leaned towards the natural low makeup kind of looks. I will say that while it is easy to blend, once it is in place it stays all day.

The cheeks were interesting.

I think because I so recently used the Axiology Color Cream which I have to be honest is now my standard for cream blushes, this fell a little short. The formula is fine, but the fine point didn’t work as well for me on the cheeks. These products want to draw a line. I did try and draw a circle and then blend, but the trick is you have to move really fast. Once these balmies are in place they want to stay in place. Which is great for makeup longevity but was not the best with the pointed crayon. I did have better success flipping the crayon over and using the flat bottom of the crayon but to use it I had to peel back the paper and so it left product exposed on both sides and that sort of meant it got all over my hand from the back when I went to use the pointy end.

While it can be used as a cheek product, and will look good on the cheeks, I think I am going to stick with the Color Creams for the cheeks. The shape is just better suited for the cheek area.

And finally the lips.

These Balmies were amazing on the lips. they are creamy and pigmented. The shades I have are more in the my lips but better sort of range. Again, that is just for these shades, there might be more dramatic shades in the box. But quite honestly I loved these. On the lips they feel like lip balm rather than lipstick. They don’t have the often waxy texture of a bullet style lipstick, they really just feel like a nice light lip balm. It also lends itself to a more natural look. It is a matte finish, however I found that pretty much any clear gloss will go over them really well and look good. I used the Revolution pout Balm and they looked great.

The one thing they don’t do is cover up any lip damage. if you have a dry spot on your lips then it does kind of show given the lightness of the formula. It will not irritate your lips though even if they are chapped which is nice. It is just not going to give you that super smooth look to your lips. It is not pigmented for that and it isn’t that dense a formula. However the point does allow you to trace your lips well so you don’t need a lip liner. And actually with this set if you are looking to do your liner one shade darker than your lip color and blend a little bit, the plum works well as a liner and the rose for infill.

Over all i was very impressed with Axiology’s Lip to Lid Balmies. They work well for different uses and are easy to use. There is a good amount of product so it will last a long time. The placement of the paper is designed to let you use the entire product with no fuss (unless you peel it back and try to use the back end). For me the cheeks were not my favorite use and that had more to do with the shape pf the product and the cat that I knew Axiology’s Color Cream was just a fantastic cheek product. If you are looking for products (and brands) that provide good products while reducing plastic, metal and other unrecyclable packaging I think that Axiology should be on your list to check out. Personally I will use these two crayons down to nubs and plan to keep them hand this summer when my default makeup look is low to no makeup for most of my week. I think Axiology’s Lip to Lid Balmies are a product I will keep around for a long time to come.

Axiology Beauty

Trying out the Montrax Heated Eye Mask

Sleep is one of those things everyone needs. It is also something that often eludes me. While there are many factors that contribute to a sleepless night, one of the ones that is often ignored is light. I am an extremely light sleeper and it took me a really long time to realize that one of the things that woke me up a lot during the night was the shifting lights in the bedroom.

A neighbor turns on or off a porchlight, a passing cat triggers an overly sensitive security light, a car drives past the house and headlights roll past the windows. A million things can happen in the night to shift the light around and once i realized that the shifting of the light in the room, even if it was for a short time, was one of the things that was waking me up, or at least a contributing factor, I began to look into eye masks.

I am actually amazed at the variety of eye masks out there. You wouldn’t think that there would be so much variation, but there is and I have discovered some preferences and a list of things that I think make the perfect eye mask. Admittedly, that list is always adapting as I find new masks with new features.

flat, adjustable light weight strap

So when Mountrax asked if they could sent one of their heated eye masks to me to try out and review I was all for it. The Mountrax Heated Eyemask is a 3D Design and made for total black out. It has smart IC for save warm Eye compress to help relieve sinuses and puffiness and it even has a small pocket for a scent tab if you are looking for a full sensory experience. The Mountrax Heated Eye mask retails for $29.99.

So let’s take a look at the eye mask. The first thing i always look at with eye masks is the strap. I know it sounds strange but I have found one of the key features of a good eye mask is an adjustable strap. Many of the eye masks I have tried have just an elastic band holding them in place. Some of the elastics have been very nicely covered in silk or satin, but the truth is that if you sleep in them every night then that elastic is going to loosen. To continue to consistently use an eye mask for any length of time the strap needs to be adjustable. This not only has an easy to adjust strap but it is a wide strap. The wider the strap the more comfortable it is to wear. There isn’t a thin line of pressure on your head and you don’t feel a ridge where your head presses against the pillow. So the strap get’s two thumbs up.

contours with memory foam

The mask itself is a soft material that feels nice against the skin. It is filled with low rebound memory foam so it is light against the skin as well, so there is nothing heavy pressing against the face. This is my first 3D face mask and I have to say I am in love. I may never go back to the flat masks. The way the 3D works is that the foam ridge aligns with your brow and your lower orbital bone. there is then a concave space above your eyes. Which means nothing is pressing against your eyelids. You can blink with abandon and not feel like your eyes are trapped in a closed position.

For me this means that if I hear a sound in the middle of the night, I can open my eyes to listen, but still be in the darkness of the mask as my ears try to determine what the sound was. Usually it is the heater clicking on or some other identifiable noise that once my brain realizes what it is I can let it go. Because I don’t have to lift up the mask to open my eyes and thus expose myself to the light and shadow of the room, I find it much easier to slide back into sleep.

port for cord and heating element

As far as black out goes, this design really works for me. The memory foam contours to my face well and hugs my face gently while still blacking out all light from my eyes. It is quite honestly the best black out mask I have ever tried with regards to light blockage. I was worried at first because the materials are so light weight but it does a really good job.

The heating element has a port where it can be attached to a USB port to turn on. I like that if I don’t want it to heat I can easily ignore the port and just use it as a mask. The Heating element runs horizontally through the center of the mask. Because it is a 3D mask even though the hearting strip is over the eyes, it isn’t pressed against them. It sort of heats up the chamber where your eyes are, using the warmed air to heat your eyes rather than directly heating them with the element, which I like. Also because of the design you can use it when you have makeup on. It doesn’t press against the eyes so there is just a small touch up where it was pressed across your nose when you have finished with it.

quite a long cord and easy to use with any usb plug in

For me, the heating element was better used when I was awake than asleep. I think that might be because I sleep on my side. Also the port for the heating element is on the left and my night stand (and USP ports) are all on my right hand side. So it was a bit of a challenge to use when sleeping. However for a little allergy relief it was fantastic. I settled myself in a comfortable chair and put the mask on for a ten minute break when my allergies were acting up and it really helped relieve some of that sinus pressure. I tend to prefer a lot more non drug sinus assistance and this fit the bill perfectly. The pressure was relieved and my headache lessened. I did have to keep a box of tissues handy as it did sort of start the faucet running so to speak, but the reliving of the pressure was well worth it.

scent port

There is a scent port on the front of the mask located close to the nose. It fits a little tablet inside. It does nothing when on it’s own but once you turn the heating element on it releases the scent of the tablet. The one that came with my mask was Sage and it was a pleasantly herbily aroma. I personally like sage. I keep a pot of it and cook with it often. while i found it pleasant i could see it being really handy for scent based therapies like allergy and cold relief. My babydoll did try the mask and the heated element with the scent tab in. He is currently getting over a very bad sinus infection and he really wanted to keep the mask for himself. (I suspect we will be ordering a second one for his use). His comment was to ask if they had menthol scented tablets.

While I do not care for menthol, he adores the scent and I can see how it would be quite helpful with a sinus or a cold.

For me, I think the scent tab is nice but probably not something I would use a lot. I like the idea, I just don’t think I would use it. I would definitely use the heating element when I needed headache relief or relief from congestion or puffy eyes. For me a ten minute break to sit and let the heat work it’s magic did wonders when I needed it.

First and foremost it is a wonderful sleeping mask. The band is snug but not too tight and flat enough that it is not noticeable when the head hits the pillow. It conforms to the face well with the memory foam. the 3D design lets my eyes blink when the need to and open if necessary, thus promoting a more natural sort of sleep for me. Although I have to say they had me at blackout design. Th9is mask sits so perfectly that it blocks out all light providing a truly dark space in which to sleep. The other attributes are fine and actually quite nifty, but that lack out design and comfortable wear make this perfect for helping a light sleeper like me not wake up due to shifting lights in the room. I will be using this Mountrax Heated Eye Mask for a long time to come.

Perfume Review: Plum in Cognac by Scents of Wood

The perfume I have been wearing this week is called Plum in Cognac by Scents of Wood. I had never heard of the brand or the scent before but when I saw the scent profile on Scentbird I had to give it a try. It just looked too intriguing to pass up. The description too is lovely…

Torn between sweet and spicy, mellow and wild, dark and light? Allow our Plum in Cognac fragrance to tease you endlessly with a blend that is at once sensual, nourishing and provocative.

The scent notes listed are cinnamon bark, purple plum, rum absolute and vanilla.

So the scent arrived, I spritzed I sniffed, I waited for the scent to settle in and I sniffed again. At first there is a moment where the first spray seems overpowering and I thought I made a bad choice. Then the scent settles in and snuggles dark and warm against the skin. To me there is a smoky almost tobacco scent to this perfume. When I close my eyes the first image that does come to mind it the old leather chair my grandfather used when smoking his pipe. I think part of that comes from the rum absolute which is kind of the forward note in this scent. The vanilla tames it down but it doesn’t make the scent sweet.

I was worried that with both vanilla and plum listed that it might get a bit sweet scented. The rum and the earthy cinnamon seem to ground the fruity and sweet notes for a wonderfully warm and dark scent.

In the first hour of wear it is noticeable to those in your general vicinity, but after that it fold back and becomes a skin hugging scent. If I applied it at eight in the morning, by nine am I was the only one who noticed the scent as no one else was within my personal space bubble, and by noon it faded to a ghost of a scent that I had to press my nose to my wrist to pick up.

while I did test it during the day, this is definitely a night time scent and far too sensual to wear in an office. This scent just makes you think of curling up somewhere cozy, whether alone or with someone special. It is a very intimate feeling scent and something that would go well with a date. I would apply it early if you ae going out to eat though as I am not so sure it would pair well with food. It is a drinks and dancing sort of scent not a dinnertime one.

I would say that it is more wintery than anything else but to be honest I could see wearing this on a moonlit walk even in mid summer. It is more the time of day rather than the season that matters for this scent.

For me this scent was a winner and one that I really want to keep wearing. Because it is a scentbird sample it has a month’s worth of scent in it so after a full week of testing I still have plenty to use. Oh and if you are thinking this might be something you would like but aren’t entirely sure you are up for a month of an unknown scent, Scentbird also has small samples (1.5 ml, so the traditional perfume sample size) available for $4.95. As perfumes can be very subjective it is a great way to try something out of your comfort zone without having a lot of excess product around.

The trick for me will be setting this Plum in Cognac aside so that other scents can get a fair trial. I really did love this scent and I have to say I will now be looking into the brand more to see what other delights they have to offer. Don’t you just love finding new brands you never knew existed?

Especially when they smell fabulous.

Is the IPSY Beauty Boost worth the money?

Back in December of 2022 IPSY announced their new Beauty Boost Category. For $15 per month ($16.46 with all additional tax) you could get one full sized item added to your bag, I believe this was available for all tiers of the bag. While there are four months total that this subscription has been active, I could not find the Item I received for December. I will mention it, but it isn’t tin the photos.

My plan was to try out the beauty Boost for six months and then evaluate. I figured a six month check in post would do well. However IPSY recently announced the full merger of the IPSY and Boxycharm Boxes so I thought a four month check in might be helpful for those trying to decide if it is worth adding on. If you are a Boxycharm Premium Member then I believe your subscription will now be the Ipsy Glam Bag Plus (renamed Boxycharm) plus the beauty Boost. And for those of you who aren’t then this may be a chance to add it on, or avoid it if you want. According to IPSY…

Here are all the deets on Beauty Boost and how to get started: Glam Bag Plus members can opt-in to receive one additional high-delight, full-size product (worth $40+) for only $15 more a month (a guaranteed savings of 60% off or more). Basically, you get a premium, splurge-worthy pick for the cost of a few lattes. 

IPSY is usually pretty good about matching items to your profile. Mine essentially has that I like skincare as much as I like makeup. And for the Beauty Boost, IPSY has alternated between Makeup and Skincare. December I received the Kate Somerville Retinol and Vitamin C moisturizer (retail $110 for the large, I think it was a smaller size that retailed for $60 but that is from my notes, I didn’t see it on the site). I was very pleased with this selection for me. At the moment I put the moisturizer in a safe place as I was finishing up another moisturizer and now i can’t find it, which is irritating me, but it is a product i am very much looking forward to.

January was a makeup item and it was the Fenty Beauty Sun Stalk’R palette (retail $48). I am usually a little on the fence with Fenty as they are usually just okay products, but when they get it right, they really get it right. Their gloss bombs are amazing and this palette proved to be really well thought out. It has the bronzers I can use, plus shimmer shades so it isn’t just that you are using a bronzer as an eyeshadow. Technically the shimmers can be used as highlights but I wasn’t impressed with how they worked as highlighters. With the shimmers you can create a good quick look. it has proven to be a really nice addition to my collection.

With February came skin care again and this time it was with a brand that hadn’t been in IPSY before. It was Drunk Elephant. Specifically the F balm Electrolyte Water Facial masque Hydrant. (retail $54). I have not used much Drunk Elephant before. Actually the only item I used was a protini moisturizer and it was a sample size. It was fantastic though so i am very much looking forward to giving this a go. At the moment I am trying to clear out some of my sample sizes before opening full sized products. So I have to wait, but soon…soooon.

And then in March we went back to make up and my Beauty Boost this month was the Better than Chocolate Eyeshadow Palette from Too Faced. (retail: $54 although currently on sale on the site for $24). I remember the chocolate palette rom Too Faced but I don’t remember this one. It could have been around for a while though. I like too faced but I have to admit I haven’t dipped into their product releases in a while. They are coming back to mind though. I don’t know if they expanded their ads or something but I am more aware of them now than I have been for a while. I used an eyeliner from them last week and I do find myself looking at the Too Faced Palettes in my collection more. They had a bit of a slump where their quality kind of went down, but the last thing I tried from them was really good so I am hoping this is a good formula, especially as I really like the shades in this palette. It is a very me palette for right now.

As of February, IPSY did introduce a trading option in the Beauty Boost. If you don’t like the item they have selected, you can deselect it and chose one of the other items. In both February and March there were five other options to choose from if I didn’t like their selection. As the items they chose were actually what i would have chosen from the offered choices I kept the choice they made.

So after four months do I think that the beauty boost is worth it? Yes I do. I very much enjoyed the options chosen for me and I am looking forward to hopefully having that category expanded as the new joint box is created. I am hoping for really good things from the Beauty Boost. In a few months I will do a check in and we can compare the pre merge to the post to see if it is still worth it. If you are looking to add this to your subscription or if it was added by the merge I hope this helps you out with your decision making.

Unboxing the IPSY Glam Bag Plus for March 2023

For those of you who don’t know, IPSY and Boxycharm officially merged. The first merged box will be in April so this is the last of the IPSY Glam Bag Plus boxes. In the future this subscription will be called Boxycharm. Personally i find that a little confusing, I wish they had just given it a completely new name, bit I am not in charge of such things. They did rename the Glam Bag X which is quarterly. It and the Boxycharm Luxe will now be the same thing and they are calling it the Icon Box. I suppose since IPSY got to keep the regular $13 glam bag as Glam Bag they wanted Boxycharm to be represented in the merger, despite the confusion. For those of you who had Boxycharm Premium you will get the new Boxycharm Box (Currently Glam Bag Plus) plus the Beauty Boost. I do get the beauty boost, but I am going to put up a second post about that later today covering the past few months of Beauty Boost so those of you who are thinking of signing up can see what it looks like.

I figured I would post the last IPSY Glam Bag Plus so that it can stand as a marker while we watch the subscription change. I am hoping the change will be a positive one. For the past year one of the complaints I have had was that i would get some of the same items I got in IPSY that I got in Boxy. Hopefully that will be a thing of the past and I will be able to get back to unabashedly loving this subscription.

Before we look at my items, a brief bit of details. The subscription is $28 per month, This is not changing. With all of the tax and shipping I pay $32.91 each month. The beauty boos is an extra $15 (actual cost $16.46). In this box you get five full sized items. Two are chosen for you and three you get to choose from a limited selection. This month’s selection was not the greatest but I did manage to find three products that interested me. I also picked up two items in add ons that i believe were choices for other people but weren’t on my list of options. Which I am okay with. I know they have to balance the cost of the boxes and This month the spoilers I was excited for that didn’t make it to my selection were in add ons so I added them. They were the Saturday Skin Yuzu Vitamin C Sleeping Mask and the Porefessional Tight and Toned Pore Refining AHA + PHA Toning Foam. I have been wanting to try out the new skincare options from Benefit cosmetics since they were first released a month or so ago and I was tickled I could puck it up on add ons.

But now On to the Last ever Glam Bag Plus!

First we look at the two items chosen for me. The first was a set of brushes from Beauty for Real (retail $42). It is a set Five full sized brushes and they look like a really well thought out kit actually. All of them are brushes I will use. I have to say I am thrilled with the liner brush being included. I used to have one exactly like this and I used it until it fell apart. With it gone I did steadily fewer and fewer eyeliner looks so I am hoping having a new one will encourage me more. They look like they are decent quality. I will no more once i start using them, but I am looking forward to giving them a go. I haven’t had a brush set from IPSY for a while so I am pretty excited.

The second Item Ipsy chose for me this month was the Wander Beauty Island Hop Getaway Eye and face palette (retail $42). It has a row of eyeshadows a blush, a bronzer and a highlighter. I have to say all of these colors work for me as a daily kind of scheme. I love the formulas for Wander Beauty Shadows but I have never tried their face products. I live that this is the prefect travel sized palette too. I am really looking forward to trying this out.

Shall we look at the first product I chose?

The first up is the Bobbi Brown Long Wear Cream Shadow Stick in Vanilla. (retail $32). I have the champagne shimmer shade of this shadow stick and I absolutely love the formula. I was thrilled to add another one to my collection. I also adore the fact that it is matte. Almost all of the shadow sticks in subscriptions are shimmers. I know they have more pizazz, but personally i want some matte shadow sticks. I think I would use the shimmers more if I had more mattes. But maybe that is just me. I am happy to have this one and I hope to use it a lot.

The next item I chose because I found it interesting and wanted to give it a try. It is the Farsali Skintune Blur Perfecting Serum (retail $22). I think it is a primer that has a serum consistency. At least that is what I got from the description. I’ll find out more when I start to actually use the product, but it seemed interesting enough to give a go, After all I like serums and I like primers. Perhaps I will like this, sort of the skincare version of the Reese’s Peanut butter cups. I was a little disappointed that this wasn’t the full size. On the website they have two sizes. This is the smaller of the two. Technically I don’t think it is listed as a mini, but it is a bit smaller than I would have liked to have seen in this subscription.

And finally the last item I chose this month was the Selfless By Hyram Retinol and Rainbow algae Repair Serum (retail $24.50). I chose this because I always love a good retinol. I also have never heard of Rainbow algae and thought it would be interesting to learn about. I know I like products with red algae so hopefully that will work for me. I am also curious about the line as I used to watch Hyram’s skincare videos. So it will be interesting to see how his skincare turns out.

And that was my IPSY Glam Bag Plus Subscription this month. I will be covering the beauty Boost separately, for those interested. I just figured it was less confusing to keep things separate. If you are tallying up the retail value of this bag it comes to $162.50. Which is not a bad return for the bag. While I appreciate the monetary value I think it is more important to have items I will use or that i want to try out. I will certainly use the brushes and I am looking forward to taking the Wander Beauty Palette on my Near -Easter trip next month. I will play with it before then though. I’m not brave enough to travel with an untested palette. Over all, even though the selection wasn’t great (I really chose the one product that interested me in each category) I did get products that I find interesting and want to try out. I am hoping with the merger the selection will be better and that I will have fewer duplicates as there aren’t two subscriptions pulling from the same pool of products.

I have had my ups and downs with IPSY but over all I love the subscription and can’t wait to see what it becomes as we move forward.

Peach & Lily 100% Worry Free Skincare

A moment with OFRA’s Dew the Dew Shimmer body Lotion

This OFRA’s Dew The Dew Shimmer body Lotion came in my February Cohorted box. I can honestly say I would not have picked this up on my own. In general I like OFRA products, however I always find Shimmer body lotion a little of a strange thing. I know it is used to highlight collarbones and that sort of thing, but honestly I don’t wear a lot of collarbone revealing items in my daily life.

So I just treated this as a body lotion.

Which was quite interesting.

According to OFRA…

A translucent with silver and pearl flecks

Douse yourself in our most tempting glow for year-round vacay vibes with this body shimmer lotion. Drape this ultimate glow on your shoulders, chest, legs, and arms to shine with the intensity of the pearl pigments of our scene-stealing highlighters without the skin becoming too oily or slippery. 

The shade I have is moonstone. There are Coppery and topaz shades as well which I think have more of a bronze glow. I suspect I would have more issues using those as all over body lotion. This is translucent and so there is no color to it. The cream is white and the white disappears into the skin like regular body lotion. There are sparkles that remain. It is a subtle sparkle though. What i find interesting is that it does catch the light thorough out the day, but doesn’t wear off like glitter would, And it rinses clean off with no issue in the shower. If it doesn’t catch the light there is no sign of it.

wet when first applied

Getting a pic of the shine was interesting because It really depends on light shifting over the skin to shine so it has to be in motion to see.

When the cream goes on it goes on wet and at first I thought, oh no I am going to be a shiny grease ball all day. The wet look faded fairly quickly though and there was no slickness, or greasy feel. It is also really hydrating.

All in all it is a really good body lotion that they put shimmer into.

And did I mention the scent?

dried with subtle shimmer catching the light

It is delectable. There is a light peachy but clean rather than sweet scent to the lotion. It is strongest when first applied but the scent fades back after a minute. You can sort of still smell it if you put your nose to your arm, but that’s it. It is not a lotion scent that travels. So you can enjoy the scent without worrying about causing issues to the scent sensitive around you.

I am not a huge fan of the shimmer but this is a good enough body lotion with such a fantastic scent that i am willing to use it and ignore the shimmer. As it is a light shimmer it is relatively easy to ignore. It will catch the light and glimmer occasionally but it isn’t something I have a problem with. The only draw back I have is the cap to the bottle.

It is a small complaint. The bottle is a square bottle and looks quite elegant. The silver pump is nice as well. The square plastic cap feels a little cheap in the hands. It has the feel of something that is going to crack soon. And to be honest, I will probably deliberately lose it soon because I think it cheapens the look of the product.

As far as complaints go though, it is a minor one. OFRA’s Dew the Dew Shimmer Body Lotion is not a product i would have purchased on my own but I love it and will certainly be purchasing it again.