It’s a Holiday Mask for Face mask Friday

Since I went and used the Santa and Candy Cane Masks for My mid week masking moment i decided to round it out with the third holiday mask I picked up, the Hot Cocoa Revitalizing Mud Mask from Que Bella. You know I love mud masks and I figured this was a self contained one that would have one, maybe two uses and then I could move on to my using up the open masks of my masking drawer plan. Actually I have been using those periodically on days other than Friday to clear them out, so I feel less badly about dipping into a holiday mask.

According to the brand this is…

Perfect stocking stuffer, Contains nourishing cocoa butter, Dermatologically approved, and New for 2022 & exclusive to Target

Yeah not the best description, I know. There is also no ingredients list which I didn’t realize until after I applied it. I was so excited about the holiday theme I got ahead of myself and didn’t check things out like i usually do. This mask retails for $2 in case you are wondering. And I picked it up because of the holiday theme and because I love mud masks.

Normally i am pretty easy going with masks. Some I like better than others clearly, but over all I am generally willing to think of one time use masks as a moment of relaxation. if I use them more than just once it is because they have skincare benefits I like, but the one time use products are more a mental health break or designed to target a specific issue I only need temporary assistance with.

Having said that, I did not like this mask. I cut the pouch open and there was only enough product for one use. I did apply it in a thicker layer than most people but still, if I thinned it out there were maybe two uses. After using it once the bit of mask left behind I had no interest in saving. But I am getting ahead of myself.

First, the scent. It smelled vaguely of cocoa but also vaguely of something slightly industrial. It actually smelled a bit like an unscented candle. but not a soy or beeswax version, something not entirely natural. That kind of waxy candle scent. It reminds me of the red tapered candles that my parents used to get when I was a kid. The kind that were unscented but smelled like red dye and industrial wax when burned. Which is why I went to the website to look at the ingredients. Which they didn’t have on the site.

My skin didn’t react to the test patch so I went ahead and applied it to my face, waited the fifteen minutes and then rinsed it off. There was no tingling or reaction of any kind while wearing it and the mask didn’t really dry down at all in the fifteen minutes which is not typical for mud masks. Still there are a couple of mud masks that I love that don’t dry down so this wasn’t that big an issue.

When I washed it off there was an odd waxy layer left on my skin. It didn’t feel hydrated or really like anything had been done to my skin other than a waxy layer added. It was like the waxy layer was put under the mask and the mask was just for show. To remove it I ended up using a physical facial exfoliant. The one I currently have on hand is the Elemis Skin Buff (I highly recommend it as it is fantastic). It did a lot more for my skin than the mask did.

In addition once the mask was removed I had to clean upo the sink. Not only was there mask residue but my skink had a waxy layer on it where the water was beading up on top of it. So I had to get an exfoliant for my sink as well. (let’s hear it for old fashioned Comet). Over all, I did not enjoy this face mask and quite honestly $2 is far more than this mask was worth. If you are inclined to add small face mask packets to your shopping cart while in Target (which I am inclined to do) give this one a pass. It really isn’t worth it.

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Using the Cotton Candy Champagne Blushlighter Palette

I’ll admit, when Beauty Bakerie sent this Cotton Candy Blushlighter Palette to me to try out and review, I thought, ‘Well I’ll probably like those gold toned highlighters but that blush, mmmm, I don’t know about that one.’ And then it turned out the blush was my favorite item in the palette.

Isn’t that just the way?

But before we get to that, let’s look at the palette. The Cotton Candy Candy Champagne Blushlighter palette has four really large pans of product. The top row has the shade I used as blush (24hour Champagne Diet) and the highlighter Sip Sip Hooray. These are the two products I found myself leaning into the most.

I did use the bottom two pans as well, but that pair worked the best for me. On the Second row we have Stop and smell the Rose (L) and No Champagne, No Gain (R).

When you look at these pans, the three highlighter shades look very similar. If you look at the swatches you can see there are subtle differences. on the second row I could use the pans more or less interchangeably. On my skin they were both golden bronzes that worked well with my skin tone. They blended well and left me with a subtle glow rather than a blinding strip of product or a glitter bomb.

While I know a lot of people who love the glitter and even have a couple of friends who want the dramatic strip of glow, I am more into the soft glow, which is exactly what I love with highlighters. Admittedly they also are much more dramatic in their looks while I tend to go with every day looks. While these highlighters will give you a strip of glow if you apply it in a line and don’t blend out (it won’t give you glitter) they blend beautifully for a soft natural glow sort of look.

All three of these bronzy highlighters have that soft glow look. I was very impressed with their blendability. The top highlighter has a bit more of a pink tone to it than the others. I think with the three of these highlighters, they are wearable by a wide swath of people but your preference is really going to depend on your skin tone. For me the Sip Sip Hooray with it’s pinkish tint worked the best for everyday wear. the lighter Bronze of No Champagne, No Gain was a bit more dramatic for me but still very wearable and once the summer returns and my skin tans I will probably lean into the slightly darker Stop and smell the Rose.

All are great.

But then there is what I think of as the blush. It is the 24H Champagne diet. For me it is a blush. I think that if you had much darker skin than mine it could be worn as a highlighter as it also has a sheen to it when applied to the skin. In fact it was this sheen that had me a little nervous about it. It seemed a little glowy for a blush, but I was determined to test all four pans of product so I dove in. I am so glad i gave it a try. Because I love it.

applied blush on left and blended in on the right I went a bit overboard on the application for the picture I would normally apply about half of this amount of product (it just looked too subtle with the everyday wear version)

It applies with a sheen which on first glance, i didn’t like. To apply I took a stiffly packed kabuki style of brush and dipped it into the pan. the brush has a head about the size of a nickel. I dotted into place and then took my Blending Egg and used it to blend it out onto my cheeks. I found I only needed to dip into it once and then blend. It blended just as well as the highlighters and despite the fact that it is a brighter blush than I usually go for, it looked really good on me once it was blended out with the rest of my makeup.

While I am as pale as I ever get at this moment and this blush works, I think that with a little more of a tan it will look even better on me. And for me that is a big win. I have several blushes I can only wear in the summer and I have a few that I I really need to be winter pale to pull off. Having a blush that can transition, along with three highlighter pans to rotate though as the seasons shift is a really helpful thing for me. I will of course test out that theory when the sun and summer returns my tan to me, but I suspect this is going to be an everyday palette that I reach for given it’s versatility.

Over all this Beauty Bakerie Cotton Candy and Champagne Blushlighter Palette turned out to be a great everyday palette I can reach for regardless of season.

New at Beauty Bakerie! Eyescream Anything Is Popsicle! Shop Now at beautybakerie.com!

Using the Pores No More Luminizing Primer from Dr. Brandt Skincare

If you have followed my posts for any length of times then you probably know two things about me. (you probably know more, but we’ll go with two for now.) I love primers and I don’t like to look too glowy. I think there is a point where glowy looks just greasy, especially on me. Some people can pull it off, I am not one of them. It drives me a little crazy.

I do like a little bit of illumination underneath my foundation though as i think it does help make the more matte foundations look a little less mask like. Finding that balance often makes me feel a bit like Goldilocks. This Dr. Brandt Luminizer Primer actually strikes a good balance for me. It brings the glow, but it is so much more than just the glow.

It is from the Pores No More Line of Dr. Brandt products. I’ve tried several products from this line in the past and in fact have a cleanser from the line slated to start after my current cleanser is finished. All of the products I have tried from this line I have really enjoyed. So before I started, this I had high expectations.

And spoiler alert, this primer met and even exceeded my expectations.

The scent of this primer lets you know it comes from a skin care brand. It very much has that skincare/makeup combo scent to it. I actually like that scent but I just don’t have a better description for it. There is squalene listed in the ingredients list and I think that is part of the skincare scent, at least it is similar enough to many other squalene based products I’ve tried that it is the scent I associate with squalene. I’ve never actually scented squalene on it’s own.

According to the description on the website…

pores no more® LUMINIZER PRIMER is a lightweight silky cream that creates a glowing, flawless complexion with or without makeup, blurs the look of pores and imperfections, provides a smooth canvas for seamless long-wear foundation application. For clients concerned with enlarged pores, lack of radiance, skin color and texture imperfections. All skin types.

Dr. Brandt

The cream of this primer is slightly tinted which helps with the blurring of the pores. And it does blur the pores really well. The slight tint is also really good at taking down slight redness and uneven skin tone. It isn’t a thick coat, it is a subtle shift. I don’t have the red of rosatia to my skin, just a slight ruddiness I like to blend out when putting on makeup . For me this worked really well. It also covered the slightly darker spots on my skin as well. For me it was all I needed at the moment. I wanted it to mostly blur out the pores which it did well. In essence this primer provides a really good neutral base on which to put your makeup.

Which let’s face it, is mostly the point of primer. So job well done.

One extra benefit I noticed was that there was not a lot of clogged pores with this primer. While I tend to only wear makeup for about six to eight hours a day, during the holidays all of my makeup wear time gets extended. This primer was able to go under long wear foundation, and look beautiful well past the length of time i usually wear my makeup. So I was well pleased with this Dr. Brandt Luminizer Primer and will happily continue to wear it.

25% Off Micro and Cleansing – all about being clean for the new year

Afternoon Tea: English Breakfast from Art of Tea

This my darlings is the last tea from the Sampler pack of teas from The Art of Tea that I will be trying.  Some of you may be doing some quick math in your heads and realizing that this is only the sixth tea I have tried from this selection of eight.

Look at you go with your memory and math.

The reason I won’t be trying the last two remaining teas is bergamot.  

Bergamot and I are not good friends. 

While there are occasional perfumes that incorporate it that I can tolerate, I can not drink it.  First of all it smells like perfume.  Which in my book is reason enough not to consume it.  Second, I have a slight allergy to it so my body doesn’t like it any more than my palette. Both my babydoll and my mother love it so the tea will not go to waste, I simply won’t be the one enjoying it.  

The English Breakfast tea of today is black tea.  That’s it.  That is the entire ingredient’s list.  One of the other remaining teas is black tea with bergamot oil and the other is black tea, bergamot oil and one other thing.  So This English Breakfast tea is similar, it just doesn’t contain any of the things I don’t like.  

I do really like black tea.  One set of my grandparents had it for breakfast every day and throughout the day while the other side consumed buckets of coffee.  Both scents are comforting to me and I enjoy the taste.  Herbal teas were used when there was some sort of ailment.  Peppermint teas settled a stomach ache while other tea blends were used for colds, fevers, headaches and other things.  There was always the collection of jars of dried herbs in the pantry for just such occasions and my family tended to reach for them before any store bought remedies.  

While I no longer just associate the scent of herbal tea with illness and ailments, I still find the scent of a good black tea comforting.  And this is a good black tea.  It is kind of interesting to describe actually.  Black tea smells like black tea.  It is one of those things that other things get compared to, like coffee or the taste of chicken.  It is a standard familiar taste and smell.  It is simply black tea.  It is breakfast with my grandparents and the scent of it makes me long for a soft boiled egg with toast soldiers.  

This tea brewed up black and strong and made a 12 ounce cup of tea.  I found it delightful and somehow more fresh than many of the black teas that I can get where I live. The last time I bought black tea from the grocery store it tasted old.  I don’t think it gets a lot of turn over throughout the year.  So for me, this is a good alternative and something that I will be ordering in the future.  Because having the means for a simply good cup of tea on hand is always a good idea.  Even if I still want the soft boiled egg to go with it.

For those looking to stock up on this or any other of the fabulous teas they offer The Art of Tea has a 25% off sale going on with the code BFCM2022.

Mid Week Masking With Santa

As my skin is still recovering from the excess of thanksgiving and i am still trying to use up the stash of sheet masks before the new year (yes I know I intentionally bought a Christmas themed sheet mask, thus adding rather than subtracting), I decided to go with the sheet mask today.  The Fantasy Santa Purifying Sheet Mask is from the Masque Bar which I really like and one of the reasons I want to sort through my collection is that I want to actually reorder some of the ones I like from them. By the way they have some spectacular Holiday masking collections this year.. They are great for personal use, stocking stuffers or holiday masking. When we get together there is usually a quiet day where we all break out some face masks and put on a movie. Everyone brings a couple of masks and we put them in a batch. I tend to split my sheet mask purchases between Facetory and the Masque bar.  They are both good but tend to carry different things.  

I also decided that I was going to go ahead and use the lip mask from Vitamasques (Candy Cane Lip Probiotic Deep Repair) I purchased today as well.  Somehow no matter what I do, when I travel my lips always get a bit dry and rough.  I think it is actually the travel.  Travel by car isn’t as bad as travel by plane for my lips.  Perhaps it is just more encapsulated air. I tend to use lip products before I travel and then at night before bed after I have arrived, but it is the travel in between that gets me.  And I always tuck a lip balm in my pocket for the drive, but then I forget about it, so it is really my own fault.  

Regardless, a lip mask today sounded good.  It should come as no surprise that the lip sheet mask I picked up was a candy cane themed one.  I am a sucker for peppermint.  I absolutely despise spearmint, but adore peppermint.  ANd this is the time of year when peppermint shines.  As a general rule, I don’t care for the lip sheet masks.  A lot of them that I have tried have been either the gel like material used for under eye patches, which is too heavy to actually stay on the contours of my lips for the duration of the masking time (at least the ones I’ve tried) or the paper is too thick and won’t adhere to the contours either.  I had a real problem with the Rodial ones with that actually.  The serum was fantastic but the paper would only stick to my face on the sides of my lips and bubbled up over them which more or less defeated the purpose of using it.  

This one was thin enough paper and it was well saturated with serum so it stuck right on.  There was a slight scent of peppermint but to be honest if the mask wasn’t covered with candy canes I really wouldn’t have thought ‘peppermint’.  Or Candy Cane.  It did adhere well, but the mouth slit was sort of useless.  I apologize for any serial killer vibes you may get from the pic but since it adhered so well I didn’t want to disturb it by doing something as radical as smiling.  

One of the ways I have found to keep a lip mask in place is to apply a sheet mask over it and so onto the face went Santa.  At least it is supposed to be santa.  Perhaps if I let the lower half with the beard hang down it would look more like the jolly old elf but with it tucked against my skin (and with the lip mask on under) I think I look more like some strange sort of clown who strayed too far from a very cut rate circus.  

It was somehow less holiday inspiring than I hoped it would be. 

But the mask was on and both it and the lip mask were sitting well against the skin.  The face mask had a slight I am skin care scent to it with maybe a hint of pine.  I set the timer for fifteen minutes and then took to my desk to check e-mails. 

While I love the down time of masking, the beauty of sheet masks is that they can be worn at the desk. (and sine I work at home I do either take the makeup off before I put them on or I used them pre makeup or I just skip the makeup that day and go for skincare.

After fifteen minutes, the masks looked the same.  They were both saturated enough that they weren’t going to dry out in fifteen minutes.  I peeled the face mask off first and found that while there was still serum left on my skin a lot had absorbed and by the time I disposed of it and peeled off the lip mask most of the serum left on the skin absorbed as well.  It was actually quite nice.  A lot of masks tell you to pat the remaining serum into the skin but a lot of the time I jst pat it off with a towel because my skin has absorbed as much as it can.  Maybe my skin was extra thirsty or maybe this serum just absorbed or even evaporated.  Not sure.  Post travel it could go either way.  It generally takes a week or so for my skin to settle back in.  

My skin did feel quite nice after the mask.  It is a purifying mask so it will be interesting to see if in the next few hours, or even tomorrow morning if there are a spate of clogged pores rising to the surface.   We shall see.

But then there are the lips.  The deep repair mask did deeply hydrate my lips.  Not a rough or dry spot was to be seen.  Although I didn;t see any terms that made me think this was a lip plumping mask, my lips do feel like they have been plumped.  They might not look any bigger but they have that estranged stretched feeling that you get when you use a good lip plumper.  There was some tingling about 5 or so minutes in but it was mild and it faded quickly.  The feeling of being plumped remained though.  

Overall, I have to say I did like the masks.  While I don’t think that Santa and his candy cane lips will be around for the year, I think that both brands will consistently have these types of masks.  While I will need to wait to see the effects of the sheet mask in the morning, I liked how it felt and wouldn’t mind using it another time.  With the lip mask, I was very impressed with the way it actually stuck to my lips.  It was the first lip mask I have used that actually remained on the area it was supposed to cover.  And while I wasn’t expecting any lip plumping there is no denying that my lips are fully hydrated and feel soft with no dry rough spots.  And for me that is a big win and a reason to repurchase.

Green Tea, Rose, Banana & Coconut sheet masks

Let’s talk about the Scalp Massager

I have seen a multitude of videos touting the benefits of these toothy scalp massager tools. I’ll admit I was intrigued. When I saw that there was one for sale on the Shop Miss A site, I went ahead and bought it. Like most things on the Shop Miss A site it was $1. I figured that for a $1.88 cost I could try it out and see how I liked it. If I didn’t or if it proved to be something I wasn’t going to use, then, well, I only spent a $1.88.

The bristles are bendy silicone spikes. They are the same length, but the width varies. The thicker spikes are on the outside and the thinner ones inside the ring of spikes. The handle fits well around my hand and has grooves for my fingers. This is especially important as it is used in the shower with shampoo in the hair,. Soap and water make things a bit slick. This is easy to hold onto in the shower with shampoo lathered in my locks.

Over all it is a well designed tool.

But does it have a point or is it just another pointless bit of kit taking up space in the shower?

While the description on the Shop Miss A site was limited to Scalp Massager, it is identical to the Vegamour GRO Revitalizing scalp massager ($16) at least in the photos so I went with their description as to what I might expect from this tool.

Give your scalp the love and care it deserves! The GRO Scalp Revitalizing Massager features a series of bristles that stimulate the scalp and boost scalp health, providing both an exhilarating scalp massage and relaxing experience. Ideal for all hair types, this hand-held massager can be used on a dry scalp, or to work in your Vegamour hair growth serums, foams, or shampoos. Safe for color-treated, bleached or chemically treated hair, Suitable for all hair types, Can be used on both wet or dry hair

Vegamour

I’ll admit I have no way to really test scalp health but I do know that after I use a scalp scrub my scalp does feel good and my hair feels healthier and logically it makes sense to keep your scalp in good health. So I had high hopes going into this.

First I tried it with dry hair. I made certain to try it after I had several events where i did things to my hair (hot tools, heat protection spray, styling cream, etc) There was nothing in my hair at the time, product-wise, but my hair had been through a lot in the week of the dry scalp trial. I do not have an overly dry scalp and I have never had a problem with dandruff but I did notice that after I used it, there were tiny little bits of stuff. As I was using it to massage my scalp and I didn’t have anything in my hair at the time, I am guessing that it was knocked loose from my scalp.

As gross as that sounds.

I did try to take a picture, but the little bits were more things felt rather than seen. If I pulled my hair up to my eyes I could see little bumps of stuff on my hair (not a lot but enough that I could feel it with my fingers). I simply couldn’t get the camera close enough to pick up anything. it kept fuzzing the photo out. I will need a more intense lens. And to be fair it was something more felt than seen.

I did really enjoy the feeling of the bristles on my scalp though. It really was a very nice massage. It did tangle up my hair a bit on the ends. And the bits freaked me out so I went immediately into the shower.

while it clearly did something on dry hair, and I think if I was messaging a scalp serum into my hair, dry hair would be a fine use for this massager. For me however it was better on wet hair. Perhaps because I would use the teeth to comb through my hair periodically under the spray, I didn’t get a much tangling when I used it in the shower. The shape of the handle kept oit from shifting about too much and I didn’t slip or slide with it in the shower.

With shampoo it worked beautifully well. The lather was intensified in the shampoo and because I have thick hair, the action of the brush allowed both the shampoo to get right down to the roots of the hair and the water to actually get in and rinse out the shampoo more efficiently. It also felt amazing on the scalp.

It did nothing for me with conditioner or a conditioning hair mask, however paired with a scalp mask it was fantastic. I used it with my favorite Christophe Robin Sea Salt Scalp Scrub and it was utterly fantastic. I needed less product because the scalp massager helped get the scalp scrub deeper through the forest of my hair. It also drastically increased the foam. It was lather-tastic.

In truth it halved the amount of product I needed to use to get the best results. While I love this hair mask, it is not an inexpensive product. Full price for it is $53. which is why i tend to buy it on sale. (Incidentally, the Christophe Robin site has this mask for 40% off right now. So it is only $31.80 and yes, I stocked up.) The fact that this massager lets me get the same results with half of the product means my jar will last a lot longer. While I may need a microscope to see what is actually going on with my scalp and some sort of photo lens to see the microscopic bits that I’m pretty sure left my scalp, only needing half of the product to achieve the same great hair is a result i can stand behind. It also makes this $1 hair tool from the Shop Miss A website, far more valuable than it seems.

I picked this up thinking it was probably going to be something I tried a few times and then forgot about. Instead it has become a part of my hair washing routine and the means of extending the life of a product i like. While i will look out for long term benefits over the next few months, in the short term I can say, my hair feels fantastic, I use less product and more of the product I use gets rinsed out as the tool helps separated things so the rinse water can get in. On top of all that, I get a really nice relaxing scalp massage every time i wash my hair. For that alone I would repurchase this Scalp massaging tool. I would also pick it up at Shop Miss A. It is a great tool of good quality and $1.88 is really hard to beat.



Using the Beekman 1802 Milk Wash

This Beekman 1802 Milk Wash Exfoliating Jelly Cleanser came to me in the Beekman 1802 Subscription box (Winter 2022). I was delighted as I wanted to try out this cleanser. You know I love a good exfoliation and to be honest there is something just delicious about a good cleanser. I may be a complete weirdo but I love the feeling pof a freshly cleansed face. It is that moment after patting your skin dry. Before you apply any sort of serums of moisturizers and before so much as a speck of dust can settle on the skin that just feels absolutely amazing to me.

Provided of course that it is a good cleanser.

According to the Beekman 1802 website…

Our AHA- and BHA-powered Milk Wash instantly transforms from a light jelly formula into a deep-cleansing milk to dissolve makeup, deeply purify, and exfoliate without abrasive scrubs. This multi-action cleanser helps draw out oil-based debris and is Kind to your skin, leaving it feeling silky, soft, and moisturized, rather than dry and tight.

Benefits: Removes makeup including water-resistant formulas, Deep cleanses and exfoliates for clearer, brighter skin, Helps control oily skin, clears pores, and resurfaces

Beekman 1802

I have been using this Milk Wash for a while now, primarily as a night time cleanser. I have a different cleanser for the morning that I am finishing up, but the two of them worked well together. I did try it for a few days as my only cleanser and it was gentle enough to use twice a day. And perhaps when i finish the current morning cleanser i will use this twice a day. I don’t think my skin will take any harm from extended twice a day use. (my current morning cleanser is a clarifying one so it brings clogged pores to the surface so I use it in the morning and then this in the evening to clear away the risen clogs).

Let’s start with the packaging. It is a slender rounded tube of product. While the tube is slick, the lettering is raised and that actually provides a slight bit of grip. I think that if I used it with wet hands then I would want a couple of ridges to grip it,. but I rarely used it with wet hands (more on that in a moment.). I am not terribly fond of the dispenser pump. Its size means that you have to pick up the bottle to dispense rather than leaving it sitting on the sink and pumping into your hand. It does pump well, but you have to pick it up and tilt it to use. I am half way down on the product level but I suspect it will become interesting as the product drops lower.

The cleanser is clear and because of the pump shoots out in jelly like strings. I feel like I have to pump a lot to get the amount of product i need. That isn’t a deal breaker it is just something of note. There is no scent to the product, at least not any I can sniff out. As most of the Beekman 1802 products don’t have much of a scent unless clearly marked as scented I sort of expected it.

To apply you put this cleanser on dry skin and rub it all over your face. then you wet your face. It foams (slightly) and then you massage it some more before rinsing off. With the product on I look wet and shiny. It is after all a clear product. I tried to get a picture of the slight foam as well. Cameras and wet hands are always fun.

Photo op aside, I do like this method of applying a cleanser. My hands are dry when I pump and apply the product so there is no slippage, I can see where I am applying everything and make sure all of my skin gets that good exfoliation. I while I do like foam in my cleansers, I am fine with the low foam especially a my skin feels nice and soft and refreshed once i rinse it off.

where this cleanser falls down is with makeup. If you are wearing a full face of makeup, this will take off the setting spray and powder well and some of your bronzer and blusher. Some of the foundation may come off as well. When you go to use your toner post cleanse it will look like you still had a full face of foundation on after you cleanse. If you wash with this same jelly cleanse a second time, it will take off the foundation and your toner pad will give you a thumbs up.

Or whatever passes for a thumbs up from a makeup free toner pad.

While two uses will get your makeup off whether it is waterproof makeup or not, I consider this a waste of a good cleanser. Use a make up remover to take off your makeup. Then the cleanser will get every last flake of anything your makeup remover left behind AND your actual skin will get the benefits of the exfoliating aspect of this exfoliating Jelly Cleanser. Using a cleanser like this to take off your makeup is just a waste of product. Yeah, it will get the job done if you don’t have a makeup remover, but you will use at least twice as much product and all of the goodness in the cleanser will be aimed at removing the makeup rather than helping out your skin.

When I did try to skip the makeup remover step, my skin was clean, but it wasn’t as soft and it didn’t feel as deeply cleansed as it did when I just took off my makeup first. To get the full benefit of this product, remove your makeup first and then let your skin dry from the makeup removal. Then you will get the full benefit of the cleanser.

Personally I really enjoyed this cleanser. My thoughts about the pump are minor since the pump does work adequately. At this time of year I find myself eating more sweets and fatty foods and my skin shows the change in diet before my waste line can even react. Also because of various events I find myself wearing makeup for longer periods than I do the rest of the year. Having a daily cleanser that is a gentle exfoliator really helps keep down the seasonal blemishes and makes my skin feel good without over drying or over exfoliating. I am very impressed with this cleanser and will happily finish the bottle and put it on my reorder list. For those looking to order this (or any other Beekman 1802 product) when I pulled up the links for this post I saw their current cyber week sale is up to 30% off on products (I think it depends on how much you purchase, the more you buy the more you save sort of deal. I’m not an affiliate so this is just what I saw on the site). They also have 24 hour deals where they rotate through different sales for different items. As there are several products I like from them I might keep an eye out and see if any of my faves are up in that window. If nothing else I will definitely be stocking up on their sunscreen and this Milk Wash exfoliating Jelly Cleanser.

Trying out the Cuccio Pause Meditation Mist in Peppermint and Sage

This item recently came to me in a Kinder Subscription box. If you are into clean beauty products it is a subscription you might want to check out. It has only clean products and is vegan as well. This Pause Meditation mist is from the brand Cuccio. A while back I tried one of their hand soaps and I really enjoyed it.

I Love the blue glass spray bottle however I will say I was uncertain what exactly a meditation mist was, so I looked it up.

WHAT IT IS: CALMING RITUAL.  A meditation mist made to help calm the senses and prepare for the best of meditation sessions.  Can also be used as a pillow spray or a mid-day mist of calm.

PAUSE Meditation Mist calms the mind and body in moments.  Using the finest ingredients, no artificial fragrance and all natural essential oils to help relax, leaving the mind, body and spirit completely calm, renewed + restored.  

I am not big on meditation. I now others who love it and meditate routinely. I envy them actually. Any time I try to meditate story ideas pop into my head. Some how I don’t think plotting out a locked door murder mystery is quite the intent of meditation. It is usually where my brain goes when I try though. Which is odd since I don’t write a lot of murder mysteries. And yet anytime I try to meditate, that is where my brain goes.

cuccio

And so I used it as a pillow spray.

It was fantastic. For me any time I have tried a pillow spray bad things have happened. For some reason the two scents most often used in pillow sprays are bergamot and lavender. The bergamot makes me sneeze and for some reason lavender doesn’t calm me down like it does some people. It makes me feel like there is something I forgot to do but can’t remember and then I get anxious thinking it might be important.

Peppermint on the other hand I love and sage is one of my favorites. I always have a pot growing in my sun room and often pinch a leaf just to get the scent on my skin. I like that these two are combined in this spray actually. The sage takes some of the sweetness off of the peppermint and the peppermint takes some of the medicinal/thanksgiving stuffing, scent off of the sage.

It is quite a delightful pairing actually.

the mister on this spray is a powerful mist. One spray on the pillow will do for the night.

I can honestly say if i saw this in the store i probably would have walked right by. Receiving it in a Kinder subscription box means that I had it on hand and thought I might a well try it. So I did. And I liked it. In fact there is a good chance I will be purchasing this again in the near future. It is nice to have a pillow spray that doesn’t smell of bergamot and lavender and helps send me off to sleep with sweet fresh scents. This was an unexpected surprise for me and one I am happy to add to my bedtime rituals.

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My Favorite New Travel Item

Let me introduce you to my favorite new travel item, The soap Sheet packet from SOS Studios on the Shop Miss A site. I know soap sheets are not a stunningly new item in the world, they have been around a while. However this is my first real experience with them.

I picked this set up from Shop Miss A a while back when I went and just decided to order a whole lot that interested me from the site. As pretty much everything is a dollar it is a shopping spree where I got a lot for very little money. And I found several items I will most certainly be ordering again.

To be honest, I slipped this set of soap sheets into my order simply because I was curious. I’d heard of soap sheets bet never tried them/. The Shop Miss A site had many scents to choose from and I went with the Peach. And to be fair the soap sheets smell like peach. Slightly. Mostly they smell like soap that might have once been placed next to some peaches.

The sheets are thin and feel a bit like wax paper. I put one in my hand and then added water. The sheet starts to dissolve almost immediately. one quick hand rub and the sheet dissolved into bubbles. I rubbed my hands together, washing them and then rinsing them off.

Any peach scent went down the drain with the suds and my hands were just left freshly washed. I suspect that would happen with any scent that you tried these soap sheets in. Some might be stronger than others but i am pretty sure it is the soap that will count.

It is just soap. It isn’t a moisturizing soap, nor is it a terribly drying one. I did end up using hand cream after using the soap, but as after washing my hands I generally sprayed hand sanitizer on them, the lotion was more to do with the hand sanitizer than the soap sheets.

While I was traveling for Thanksgiving and this did let me avoid the mostly empty soap dispensers in the restrooms on the drive. While I was home I ended up washing my hands a lot more than when I was here. There were several children with stick fingers around, mostly because we had a make your own caramel apple event on the Saturday post thanksgiving while several parents went out shopping. There were also several people who had recent operations moving in and out of my visit so the washing and sanitizing was intense. Beyond that, this was an amazingly useful product to have on hand, not just for the trip but in everyday life.

I may have purchased this set of soap sheets from Shop Miss A on a whim, but it is now one of my favorite items and I will be stocking up so that I can keep one in my purse, one in the car and one in my travel kit. Sometimes it is the simple things that make all the difference.



Perfume Review: Pinrose Secret Genius

This Pinrose Sweet Genius perfume came in my IPSY Glam Bag X this month. It was one of my choice items. From the description it seemed like it was either going to be something that I liked or something that one of my Aunts would enjoy. It was a description that could lean either way. And really with perfume descriptions they can only give you a very limited idea of what the perfume will smell like on you.

Don’t get me wrong, I love perfume descriptions. They are pieces of writing that are designed specifically to conjure images of lives you might want to live. The descriptions can whisk you off to a life of adventure as you travel the Silk Road. They can describe a glamorous life lounging in an exclusive Mediterranean Resort. They can make you think adventure, love, sex, drama and excitement.

Which is the reason those descriptions exist.

And there are days when I would love to go on one of those adventures, even if I can only get as close as spritzing my wrist and inhaling between answering e-mails and making the weekly meal plan.

Which is the allure of perfumes.

But I have noticed that some perfumes I love in the bottle and adore when I smell them on other people, don’t smell the same when i wear them. Perhaps it is body chemistry or atmosphere. Honestly, I kind of like that about perfumes, even if it is a bit frustrating at times. I really like that even if a hundred other women wear the same scent I chose to apply, it will smell subtly different on each of us. There is something about that I really like.

It is also why I tend to lean into perfume samples. (And I am now down to only one sample size left in my perfume sample box so I have officially restarted by ScentBox Subscription. I am so excited by that actually, both to be restarting my subscription and that I am finally at the bottom of my samples box).

While this is a larger size, 30 mL, I think this was an IPSY size rather than the full size. The full size on the Pinrose site is 50mLThe actual bottle you would purchase is in the picture to the left. I like the look of the bottle. It is nice and sleek looking which I always think is a classy look in a perfume bottles. I also like the cut corner look of the edges. It’s not fully faceted but it is a nod in that direction.

But a beautiful bottle is one thing, what is the product like? My plan was to spray it once and if it seemed like a scent I liked I would continue with a personal test. if I didn’t like the scent I would pass it along. Because I am not the only one in my family who enjoys perfume we often pass perfumes from one to another. I am not the only one who has picked up a scent based on a description only to find out the actual scent didn’t work for me. Luckily we each have different enough tastes that what one of us doesn’t like someone else will.

Oddly we also have a contingency of family who are very scent sensitive so for holidays no one wears any perfume, so I figured the week before I headed home would be a nice time to indulge in a perfume trial. As you can probably tell, I ended up liking the perfume so I tried it for the full week and I will be keeping this bottle in my collection.

But before we get to that, lets look at the description…

An intoxicating blend of caramel, Madagascan vanilla and sandalwood.

Sophisticated sugar? Yes. Syrup? No. That’s the brilliance of Secret Genius; luscious caramel and vanilla notes rendered so sheer they’re almost diaphanous. Like a dulcet voice it draws you in… eager to whisper sweet nothings.

Fragrance Family: Warm & Spicy Gourmand
Top Notes: Mandarin, Bergamot
Heart: Caramel, White Chocolate, Jasmine 
Dry Down: Madagascan Vanilla, Cedarwood, Sandalwood 
Perfumer: Harry Fremont

 ALL PINROSE PRODUCTS ARE CLEAN, VEGAN AND CRUELTY FREE.

Pinrose

Now if you have read many of my posts you know that the item on that list that gave me pause it was the bergamot. Luckily for me, it is not a prominent scent. This perfume comes on a bit strong so spray and let it dry a moment. Vanilla is the scent I get first and foremost. It is a sweet vanilla and I’m pretty sure it is the caramel scent. However as it settles in there are some spicy notes that rise. The cedar wood comes through for me. I think the sandalwood is more of a background note. It is a sweet yet wood spice scent for most of the day. As it starts to fade the vanilla remains and the Jasmine starts to kick in.

I found this an interesting scent to wear. It started off sweet that made me think of wearing it to a barbeque or a picnic, then as the cedar notes kicked in it felt more sultry and less day time. It felt more like a scent i would wear for an evening out. Then as the jasmine started to rise (towards the end of the day) it once again felt like a day time perfume.

I’ve never had a day time perfume turn into a night time perfume and then back into a daytime perfume before. I prefer the more sultry night time scent, but I like the sweet and floral bookends as well. It stays longest in that sultry zone so i would probably classify this as a night time scent.

I think it is too heavy a scent to wear into an office during the day. Even the lighter day time ends to it, seem to lead my brain to out door events like barbeques or picnics. It just doesn’t feel like an office scent to me. It does have a good longevity to it. I spritzed in the morning and could still detect the scent when I was getting ready for my evening shower.

This is not a scent that will proceed you down the hallway by a mile, but it isn’t one that sticks close to the skin and doesn’t travel. It is a scent that a person standing in front of you for a chat will smell. It is not an outlandish travel scent cloud, but it isn’t one that just hugs the skin. which is another reason I would probably not wear it to an office. To be honest it is the sort of perfume intensity that makes me think of old mystery movies of novels. When the detective comes into an empty room and remarks that the faintest trace of a perfume was evident in the air but soon disappeared.

that is this sort of scent.

So don’t get involved in any locked room murder mysteries while wearing the Pinrose Sweet Genius perfume, and you should be fine.