The Skincare Lineup: November 4th, 2022

I realized after I took the above picture I forgot to add in the Tatcha Lip mask and the MZ eye cream but did grab the two items that I will be rolling in over the weekend, the Beekman 1802 Collagen Booster and the OGEE Hydraganics Velvet Botanical Moisturizer. I did a first use test with the Beekman Collagen Booster and liked it, but forgot to use it this week. With the moisturizer I finished the sample i was using and will be using the OGEE to replace it tonight, so a first use post will be up on Monday, you know, after I actually use it. So think of those two as spoilers for what is coming into the line up next week, i suppose. But let’s jump into the products I used this week.

Cleanser: Glam Glow Supercleanse Clearing Cream to Foam Cleanser

Exfoliator: Kate Somerville Exfolikate Intensive Exfoliating Treatment

Toner: Elemis Superfood Fruit Vinegar Liquid Glow

Serum: Ole Henriksen Truth Serum

Eye cream: MZ skin Eye cream

Moisturizer: Tatcha The Dewy Skin cream

Night Time Moisturizer: Tatcha Indigo Overnight Repair

Lip Mask: Tatcha Kissu lip mask

The Glamglow cleanser really brings up the buried clogged pores. I have actually been really impressed by it. Its a good cleanser in general and then it helps bring things to the surface. It might not be the cleanser I would want to use just before I planned to go to an event because it does pull things to the surface, but if you were planning an event in say a month’s time, i think this would be an excellent cleanser to get your skin ready.

pairing it with an exfoliator has helped a lot with dealing with the things the cleanser brings up. This Kate Somerville is listed as intense and that is what it is. The max time you should have it on your face is 2 minutes and while I did manage to keep it on for two minutes, I was not going to keep it on for any longer than two minutes. My skin was a bit red after but that faded quickly (within a few minutes of rinsing it off). And then my skin looked great after. it looked even better the next morning. I used it Friday evening and then again on Tuesday. I know it says you can use it up to three times a week, but twice a week is plenty for me. I’ll use it again tonight and then again on Tuesday and be pleased with it. This far it has been a really good treatment, especially paired with the cleanser.

Because the cleanser has charcoal in it, the toner pads are never really going to look spotless after I use them. But it is only the hint of charcoal on the toner pads and not left over makeup (just a gray tinge no foundation, blush, lipstick or eyeshadow colors)This Elemis is a really good toner, the thing to remember though is not to press too hard on the top or you can dispense too much product. And put the toner pad on top of the dispenser so you don’t have a fountain. whoile it is a good toner in general, I really like the scent.

One pump of the Ole Henriksen is all I need from the Truth serum. I think it is doing well to brighten my skin. It has only been a week so it has minimal results, but I love that it absorbs so quickly and leaves no sticky residue behind after it dries. It is a little sticky until it dries and then poof no stick and skin that has fully absorbed the serum. I do miss a collagen serum though which is why i will be adding one. (especially since i already have it open).

The last three products are all Tatcha, the lip mask I love and will continue using and repurchasing, the night cream and the day cream. Lets talk about the Dewy skin cream first. It is a lot of moisture. It is thick, rich and hydrating. If you have dry skin your skin will love it. I have normal to combination skin that is entering the dry phase of the year. This is the time of year i can use it. Any other time of the year it is too much on the moisture level. As it is I applied the moisturizer and then had to let it sit. For me it took a while to absorb. It was worth it as my skin felt great after it absorbed, but it was not a quick process. It is the last step in my morning skincare routine so after I applied the moisturizer I could have my coffee and answer e-mails, generally starting my day, but I had to wait for it to absorb before I could apply makeup over it. I did notice that I did not need my pre makeup base of Embryolisse when using this moisturizer. By the time it did absorb and I started my makeup my skin was as hydrated as it needed to be.

I will say though that I did not have this problem when i use the water cream. i know it isn’t much of a problem but it is something to note. while I do like this Dewy cream, I think for me, because of my skin type and absorption time I would use this as a night cream rather than a day cream. My skin lust leans more towards the Water Cream from Tatcha than it does this one. And finding things like that out is why I use the samples to begin with. it lets me know which cream I might want to use in the future. If repurchased this would be a night cream for me, and the water cream a day cream. this sample is now empty though so I will be switching moisturizers this evening.

Speaking of night creams I was using the Tatcha Indigo Overnight repair. I still have some left (as well as a second sample size of this cream) so it will continue into the next week. Unlike most of Tatcha’s other products this has no scent to it. The Indigo cream is thick and it feels thick when applied. However it actually absorbs faster than the dewy cream. I think that something in the Dewy nature of that cream makes it absorb slower. Quite Honestly of all of the tatcha moisturizers i have tried this is my favorite. It is also the one I am mostly likely to buy in a full size. I know they have kits and skincare bundles. I am goin to be looking into them soon (for my purchase and the holiday postings) but I may look seriously at the Indigo line because of this cream. It is the right level of moisture for me at night and it is something I will happily continue using.

And so my darlings, that is my skincare line up this week. Next week there will be a new moisturizer and an added serum, but most of these products will be continuing on. At the moment all of them are performing well. It will be interesting to see how they perform over time and what the actual results will be once they have been used long enough to cause effects. Which is of course one of the reasons I write this post. But that is something only time can reveal. And so we move forward continuing to use the products until all is revealed.

or until I have to send them to the empties bin. But for the line up this week that is all. Have a great Friday everyone.

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Perfume Review: Prism by Wokeheart

As you all know by now I love perfumes. I love the opportunity to tailor the scent of the world around me to suit my mood and my day. Sometimes I do this with candles (Incidentally, Paddywax has just released their new Aura collection for those interested in fantastic candles in reusable containers.), sometimes I do this with scented oils, but a lot of the time i do this with perfumes.

I know some people like to find their signature scent, but I personally like to build a scent library. Maybe it is because I am so scent oriented but I really like to adjust my scent to the time of year, my mood, or what I am doing. But I don’t go off an purchase scents randomly, first because that would be a lot of money and second because I am somewhat picky about my scents and perfumes are one category where purchasing something without trying it first can be a real waste.

While I do like samples of perfumes the amount in sample containers can be somewhat variable. It’s one of the reasons I absolutely adore my ScentBox subscription. each order is a one month long supply of the perfume so you can really get a good use out of it and decide if that is the scent for you.

At the moment My Scent Box subscription is paused. I will never cancel it, but i did need to take a little break. mostly because i had a box of sample perfumes that was over flowing. You know the kind that generally come as a gift with purchase or are picked up randomly. I put them in a box and try them one at a time to see if they are worth investigating further. the ones I like the best usually end up going on the ScentBox list as a secondary test and from there to possible purchse.

It is my system.

But I have almost emptied the box and I am hoping to once again start up my Scent box membership. When I dipped my hand in to try something new I found two small roller ball scents in the bottom of the box. Both are from Wokeheart. One is Prism and the other is called Sunlit Sensations. Prism is the one I decided to try this week. (I’ll probably try out Sunlit Sensations next week), The picture at the top of the post is from the Wokeheart website to show the full sized bottle.

I must also confess that I adore perfume descriptions. Sometimes they sound like the plots for romance novels, other times like the start of an adventure store and occasionally like a sustainability manifesto. Occasionally you will get a combination of all three. because I know words have a strong hold on my imagination, I insist on samples. If i didn’t then i would not only have far more perfumes than any one person would ever want to wear but descriptions and scent preferences don’t always line up. Still I love the descriptions.

Shall we see what Prism’s descriptions

Powerful and elegant, the Wakeheart PRISM fragrance is cool and sweet, with fresh notes of pear and iced berries, and an undertone of Vanilla. It’s subtle, yet memorable – molding to your personal aura, and elevating your every day scent.

TOP: Green Anjou Pears, MIDDLE: Iced Juniper Berries, Magnolia Blossoms, DRY: Vanilla Oakmoss

Wokeheart

I did try the scent before I looked up the description because I wanted to give it a fair shot. While I love perfume descriptions they sometimes conjure up visions that don’t match the scent. The version of Prism that I have is a rollerball. I have noticed that scent applies differently with a roller ball than with a spray. Don’t get me wrong, the roller ball doesn’t change the scent, it is just that a spray atomizes it so that while some of it goes on the wrist, a lot of the scent goes in the air. what that means is that with the roller ball, far more scent goes on you, but the room at large where you apply it is less affected.

Sometimes that matters, sometimes it doesn’t.

With Prism, it does. I applied it to one wrist using the roller ball and then rubbed my wrists together. The scent came on strong, very strong. It took about fifteen minutes for the scent to die down to a wearable scent. It was an overwhelmingly powerful scent. After those fifteen minutes it was fine and it was a wearable fragrance that I could wear all day long and even have a nice light scent by the end of the day. But those first fifteen minutes were rough.

However, when i did go on the website, I found spray samples and I found a spray bottle, but I did not find a roller ball. I don’t know if someone else realized that the roller ball was a bit too intense an application for the scent or what, but it appears not to be a format they use. As much as i like roller balls, I think this would be a scent that would have a much softer application with a spray. i am just mentioning this because it was such a noticeable impact. i would go lightly with your application and see how the spray works.

In the initial spray of Prism it was a vaguely floral slightly fruity scent bomb. It was too strong ti pick out much. As it died back there were scents of pear and magnolia discernable in the scent. I really like the scent of pear in perfumes. It is fruity, but not as overly sweet as some fruit notes can be. And paired with magnolia you are going to want to watch that sweetness.

This was a good blend of the magnolia and the pear. The scent leans more towards the floral than the fruity. I would have personally preferred something that leaned more into the pear as I prefer it to the magnolia, but it was a bright summery floral. Looking in the description I think the vanilla moss was supposed to provide a touch of earthiness to the mix and perhaps that is why it isn’t as sweet as it could be but if it does deepen the scent, it doesn’t really impart anything noticeable to it.

The scent is light and summery and would work well in an outdoor setting. It is certainly a day time scent, but it isn’t one i would wear to an office. Even though the scent died back after a little while of wear, it is not a skin hugging scent. it is the sort of scent that likes to travel around making friends and enemies. (depending on how scent sensitive your cubicle neighbors are).it is a scent that conjures up garden parties and Easter egg hunts.

It is a nice scent, but for me it is a little too floral. I love the pear and if it were stronger, with maybe something a little more earthy to ground the magnolia, this would be more suitable for my personal wearing. As it is, I know at least three people who this scent would suit. While I wore it for a week, there is still plenty of scent left in the bottle and as it is a glass bottle with a roller ball, the container can easily be reused once it has been used up. I think the size would make a perfect travel tag along. For someone else though as I just can’t deal with that much magnolia. However the blend does make me excited to try out the second fragrance in this set. That however is a story for next week.

Afternoon Tea: Matcha from The Art of Tea

When I was little we had a family friend who made Matcha flavored gelato. At the time Matcha wasn’t something that was very common or well known. It wasn’t something you could get at Starbucks. Of course since this was the early 1980s Starbucks was still something you could only get in Seattle (I think their first location outside Seattle was in 1987).

For me this was an eye opening experience. While I liked the occasional sweet as much as any other kid, there were a lot of things that i always found too sweet for my taste. This Matcha Gelato was delicately flavored. The gelato part was rich and creamy but the mix was only lightly sweetened. The grassy notes came through and I thought it was amazing. She made it only once a year and it was a treat that i always looked forward to when she brought it over. Each portion was a small rounded mound of gelato served in a small blue porcelain bowl that I’m pretty sure spent the rest of the year being used to serve soy sauce.

Time of course passes and not only did Starbucks spread through out the land (and many others) Matcha became much more available and began turning up everywhere. In many places where it is served cold, it is also served far too sweet for me to enjoy and so I switched to the hot version.

After being introduced to Matcha in gelato, it took me a little while to adjust to the flavor in a hot beverage, but now it is one of my favorite teas.

This Matcha from the Art of Tea came in the Sampler kit i am working my way through and contains just two ingredients: Organic Matcha and Organic Sencha Green Tea. It is listed as having a bright grassy flavor and medium caffeine. For me the medium caffeine is the perfect level for an afternoon treat. It is enough of a pick me up, but not enough to make me feel jittery.

the flavor nots are spot on it has those clean grassy notes that i love so much. With only a one minute brew time it was a quick and easy treat. After a sip of the Matcha tea straight, I added a pinch of sugar and a dash of cream. The additions were enough to take me back to that first Matcha Flavored Gelato, although with far fewer calories.

While I appreciated the flight of memory, the slight additions made me think of the gelato and so the cup of tea felt like so much more substantial and decadent. While I would definitely enjoy this tea as simply as an undoctored cup of tea, I did enjoy the touch of sweetness and creaminess. Although to be honest, a part of me wants to get several packets of this tea and break out my gelato recipe and infuse the cream with the matcha from the Art of Tea, recreating a childhood favorite. As a hot tea or a later gelato infusion, I can honestly say I will be ordering this tea again. I may even order the matcha tumbler or even the ceremonial matcha set they have on offer on the Art of Tea site. While the Ceremonial set plays into my love of glassware, I really do think the double glass walled tumbler with the on the go matcha packets will also be a purchase in my near future.

Let’s Talk about the Natura Murumuru Hair Mask

I have tried a lot of hair products over the years. A lot of them have been sample sizes. I love sample sized hair products, from masks to shampoos and conditioners. I do not mind spending a little extra on hair products if i like the product. However at the same time I have found some fantastic hair products that are relatively inexpensive.

If asked hands down what my favorite hair product was I would have to say it is The One hit Wonder by The Mane Club which costs a whopping $8 per bottle and is something i almost always have on hand. If i run out, then I have an order of it coming. Admittedly my second favorite product is the Christophe Robin Sea Salt Scalp scrub which retails for $53 (They actually have some great holiday bundles and sales, which is when I usually stock up.)

The truth is, some formulas work for me and some don’t, regardless of price and I like trying them out to see how i feel abotu them before I commit to full sized versions.

and then there is Natura. Specifically the Natura Ekos Restoring Hair Mask from the Murumuru Line. It is both vegan and fair trade and costs $34. I have tried products from this Murumuru line before. In fact i have tried the shampoo and conditioner set pictured above with the hair mask that is the focus of this post. The shampoo and conditioner of this set are quite honestly fabulous. The product has a light spicy but clean scent that I love. It is a real break from the floral scents that crop up so often in hair products. They work well, lather nicely and rinse out clean. When I use them the scent faded as my hair dried and once dry my hair felt like silk. I had no tangles and could run a comb through it easily wet or dry.

I know, you are thinking, what’s the catch? Why isn’t this a standard set of products?

Packaging.

The shape of the bottles in the samples are, well, bottle shaped. With the shampoo it is fine but it does make the conditioner really hard to get out of the bottle. I know what you are thinking, these are only sample sizes. I have tried the full size and while there is a little more give in the bottles when they are full size, the conditioner is still a bit of a struggle to get out of the bottle.

Enter the hair mask from the line. It is, all things told, a more intense version of the conditioner. It has the same lovely scent and it made my hair soft as silk and free of tangles. It did provide a little bit of moisture, bit it wasn’t overly greasy.

Hair masks I do use only once a week and this is no exception. While the conditioner would be fine to use every time I washed my hair, the Murumuru Hair mask is a little too deeply conditioning to be used more than once a week. I am however okay with that. Fr me though it does make an interesting pair. when i used the hair mak i decided to use the Murumuru Shampoo from Natura with the hair mask as I needed a shampoo and I had this set from a subscription box. Because the Hair mask from the line comes in a squeeze tube it is much easier to apply. To be honest i really like the formula of the hair mask enough to use it on a routine basis.

While I do have several hair mask samples to work through, this is definitely a contender for reordering in a full size. However i think I will order the Hair mask and the shampoo together. I enjoy both and as the scents are the same, there is no scent clashing between products. Even though I would happily use this shampoo on a daily basis, I know i wouldn’t want to fight with the conditioner bottle. Ordering the shampoo and keeping it to use with the hair mask would give me the best of the line. The same silky easy to manage tangle free hair, and no need to fight the shape of the bottle to get the product out. It would be a nice once a week treat during use. I think it would be hard to pair this scent with anything else, but keeping the shampoo and the hair mask as partners would work. And my hair would be very happy. I just need to skip the conditioner.



I wanna Kissu, Plum

While the Tatcha Kissu Lip mask in its original format is one of my favorite lip masks, Tatcha recently came out with a second version of their lip mask; the Limited Edition Tatcha Kissu Lip mask in Plum. It is actually slightly tinted. As we are entering the season of dry lips I thought this would be a good chance to try it out, so I ordered it.

Like the original Kissu Lip mask it comes in a small jar and costs $28.Both the original and tinted versions are the same price and size. If interested, they are also sold as a set for $50. I have been using the original Kissu mask for quite sometime now. Very little of the product is needed and it is a fantastic overnight mask. I apply it on my lips and the product absorbs well. It is a fantastic way to fight off chapped and dry lips.

I have this horrid tendency to pick at my lips when they become chapped so the best thing for me is to not let them get dry and chapped in the first place, so lip masks are one of my favorite things. Used nightly I think the original jar of the Tacha Kissu mask will last at least a year. I have made a dent in the product over time, but like I said so littel is actually needed that it is well worth the price.

So how does this new Limited Edition tinted plum variety stack up?

First the tint…

This subtle hue was inspired by the Japanese plum blossom, which adorns this special jar. Known as ume-no-hana in Japan, these buds signify the coming of spring. They come to life in the winter frost, and have long been associated with endurance, health, and inner strength.

The tint is very subtle. I would call it a lightly tinted lip balm. On the lips it blends into a my lips but better look. I made a swatch on my hand as it is the best way to actually see that there is a tint to the product.

It looks far brighter on the fingertip or on the hand than it does on the lips It has a slightly less jelly like consistency than the original version. I don’t know if it is the tint added to it that does it, but it feels more lip balm and less gel.

It isn’t a major difference, but I did notice that the original felt a little heavier on the lips in comparison to the plum version. If worn at night my lips are softer and well moisturized with both. However i often feel like the original Kissu Lip mask needs to sit over night and be given the time to absorb instead of being worn during the day. The Plum Kissu mask from Tatcha had a more day time feel to it

It seems to absorb just a slight bit faster and is lighter on the lips. I feel like it is the sort of lip mask I want to keep on my dask and apply throughout the day if my lips are in need of a little moisture, where as the original Kissu lip mask I want to keep on my night stand to apply just before bed.

Which quite frankly is perfect for me. we are entering winter and it is the wime to have a go to lip product waiting for my desk. I like having something reliabal in rach that I can put on before I go on my walks outside and something i can add to my lips once I settle down at my dask. I like haveing something that can go over whatever lip product I am wearing and this mask has had no adverse reactions with any of my lipsticks.

With the original mask I would occasionally put it onto my lips after my morning moisturizer and let it sit until I was ready for applying my makeup, then i would wipe it off. With the plum, I applied a light coat and let it sit the same amount of time and didn’t have to wipe my lips before applying lipstick. while the tint in the lip mask doesn’t preclude the Plum Kissu mask being worn at night, I think the lighter formula makes it ideal for day time wear. And for me, I am happy to split duties, wearing the original at night and rolling in the Plum Kissu Lip mask for the day time wear. It makes both products last longer and keeps my lips soft and hydrated throughout the winter. For me, this is a definite winner.

Tatcha

The Skincare Lineup: October 28th, 2022

Last week I had a full line up of the Eight Saint’s discovery kit. There were a few products in there that i liked enough to try out in the full size and at the beginning of the week I used up the last of the products in the containers and rolled in this week’s line up. When I can I like to roll in a product at a time rather than start all new products on the exact same day. I find it keeps my skin from freaking out over too much change and it also helps me know which product or interaction between products is causing any issues if they arise.

So some of these products have had a few more days in the line up than others. In fact last night was my first night with both the eye cream and the night time moisturizer. The eye cream I have had before but the night cream is completely new. still, let’s dive into the line up, shall we?

Cleanser: Glam Glow Supercleanse Clearing Cream to Foam Cleanser

Exfoliator: Kate Somerville Exfolikate Intensive Exfoliating Treatment

Toner: Elemis Superfood Fruit Vinegar Liquid Glow

Serum: Ole Henriksen Truth Serum

Eye cream: MZ skin Eye cream

Moisturizer: Tatcha The Dewy Skin cream

Night Time Moisturizer: Tatcha Indigo Overnight Repair

Lip Mask: Tatcha Kissu lip mask

While I did a first use review on this cleanser, after a few days I am noticing some effects that I think are based on it’s use. This is a clearing cleanser and has a lot in common with the clearing masks from Glamglow. As I am using it, I am noticing that there are clogged pores being brought to the surface. As some of them are quite deep and I have been trying to bring up for a while, I am quite pleased by this development. I liked the cleanser just for the clean it gave my skin, but I really like this aspect of it.

It is also why I have rolled in the Exfolikate from Kate Somerville. I did a first use of this but then I set it aside as the Eight Saints had an Exfoliator in the kit and I wanted to see how it worked. Now I will be rolling this back in for regular use and I am hoping it works well with the cleanser to clear away some of my deeply clogged pores. It is in the line up, but first use back in the line up will be tonight.

Elemis is one of my favorite brands. Every product I have tried from them has worked well for my skin and I have never had any adverse effects. I am always willing to try another of their products. Mostly because I am positive it will not break me out. This toner has a scent that is like apricot with a vinegar back to it. Given the name that makes a lot of sense. It is a good toner and I really like the dispenser for it. Just remember to put the cotton pad, or reusable round over the the hole in the top before pressing down or the toner will fountain up. I find one pump is all I actually need for the amount of product I need on my face so I imagine I will get a lot of use out of this bottle.

The Ole Henriksen I used for the first time this morning as I was finishing out the serum from Eight Saints. One pump was more than enough to cover my face and neck. This Vitamin C serum absorbs quickly with no stickiness and it is quite a lovely glass bottle on top of that. I think I am really going to get a good use out if this. I think i might roll in a collagen serum to pair with this as well, but thus far, I like it.

This MZ Skin Eye cream I have used before. I received it in a subscription box, tried it, liked it and then set it aside for some reason. I can’t remember what. Since it was open I rolled it back into the line up to use up. This far I am liking it. It is a thick cream. I think it is a little over priced, but I do like that it is a thick cream that absorbs well and quickly into the skin. Who knows, with regular use I may see that it is worth its rather large price tag. For now I am happy using it.

My moisturizer is currently a deluxe sample of the Tatcha Dewy skin. I know and love the Water cream. I have tried the Dewy Skin cream and for most of the year it is too much moisture for my skin. (I am normal to combo skin wise). the Tatcha Water Cream is great for me, but in the winter I find I can only use it during the day and at night it is not enough. With the weather cooling down and the heat clicking on more and more often, this is proving to be a good daytime moisturizer for me right now. The scent is a little strong, but it is a scent I like so I don’t mind. It is the same scent as The Silk Canvas Primer actually. My only issue right now is that it does take a little while to absorb into the skin. I generally find myself finishing with the moisturizer and then letting it settle with a cup or two of coffee before i attempt to put my makeup over it. It is a moisturizer that on me at least needs time to settle in.

I had only one use of this Indigo cream thus far but I do like it. It is fragrance free so if you have issues with scent this might be something to look into. It is a thick cream, but oddly it absorbs faster than the Dewy Cream. I had no issues with it absorbing, My skin drank it in and this morning I was pleased with how soft my skin felt. It was a first use, so my skin could have been just extra dry for the night, but I have no problem continuing to use it and see how it works over time. while this is a deluxe sample, I do have a second deluxe sample that I might just roll into use right after this one. It will clear out some samples and give me a better idea of how the night cream works.

Also I am using the Tatcha samples now so I can get a better feel for them before I dive into their skincare kits. They have several that are available throughout the year, but there are more kits coming for the holidays so I am trying to decide which products I would really like to look at purchasing in the full size.

And finally we round out the line up with another Tatcha product. That’s right, it is the lip mask. I love this lip mask and while in the warmer months I will occasionally skip lip treatments at night, I find using a mask like this every night helps prevent the winter chapped lips. For me this is important because in general I tend to find that i will pick at my lips once they get dry. I don’t do it intentionally, it is something I do when i am working on something else and not thinking. It causes a lot of trouble. So it is is much better for me if they never reach that chapped stage. It is why the nightly lip mask from now until Easter is a key facet of my skincare regimen.

And so my darlings that is me today. Or this week technically. All of these products will be with me going into next week (and beyond actually as they are just started)I am actually quite pleased with how all of them are performing actually so i have no problems continuing to use them. And tonight I will roll the Exfoliator into the routine on a regular basis. And so on we go. Have a great Friday everyone.

Ole Henriksen

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Snacktime with Quick Breaks

As we get into the holiday season gatherings start to happen and celebrational foods come out. the recipes deemed too high caloric to be included in the kitchen during the rest of the year are dusted off and used.

It doesn’t help that the cooler weather is here and in addition to wanting to feel warm and cozy there is the stress of holiday planning, whether rearranging your schedule to drive to family or risking life and limb to stock the fridge for the big meal.

Racing around to find the perfect gift, the perfect turkey and fighting the crowds that seemed to have multiplied and gone insane. Sometimes the insanity is over the last turkey of an appropriate size, other times over that year’s hottest toy.

Last year, I saw two older women almost come to blows over the last shrimp ring at the grocery on December 31st.

All of which helps justify the larger meals and richer foods.

One thing that I have found that really helps me out is having small ready made snacks available in my fridge during the season of feasting (no matter what series of holidays you celebrate). In the past I have gone into holiday gatherings thinking, ‘well this is the only time of year I get to enjoy this, so I might as well make the most of it and then get back to normal tomorrow.’

I have found the weight slipping back on easily with this method. I then work to get it back off, but i would rather not add it back in the first place. That is where the pre made snacks come in. sometimes I make them up myself and have the little containers in the fridge, and i probably will do that again this year. However I found these Quick Breaks at the grocery store and decided to give them a try. They had different varieties and all have the same 180 calorie contents.

This one I picked up has sharp yellow cheddar, dried cherry flavored cranberries and cashews. The cheddar is a decently sharp cheddar. It probably won’t be winning any awards but it is tasty and it works well with the other components. The cherry flavored cranberries are both sweet and tart. The cashews could have used a little more salt as they were slightly on the bland side, but they were tasty, and I can see why they wanted to limit the salt content.

All in all it was a good snack.

There were three packs of snacks in the container and the entire three pack kit costs $3.29.

While I will still often make my own small kits from items in my pantry, when time gets crunched and I need to make sure there is something in the fridge, I will certainly pick up these quick kits again. Having something like this that can take the edge off the hunger, lets me enjoy the richer more high caloric foods the season brings with a little bit more restraint. It lets me enjoy a smaller taste and it is much better for my waistline than going into a very heavy meal having not eaten all day. With a little something in my stomach I can enjoy without going off the rails. For me that makes these Quick Breaks from Food Lion well worth the price.

Trying out the Coraline Palette from Revolution Beauty

It has been a while since I have tried out a Revolution Beauty Palette. It isn’t because i don;t like them, I do actually and there are several that have caught my attention. However Revolution Beauty is one of those brands that I always picked up when I was in Ulta and not something I ordered. So if my local Ulta carried it, then I picked it up. Although to be completely honest the last time i was in Ulta I ran in to pick up a replacement for my Revolution Fast Base Foundation Stick (I love that stick formula foundation). And then I mostly walked in picked out the one i knew was in my shade and then went to the counter to pay. I was on a time crunch and so I didn’t look around.

However recently it came to my notice that many of my hair clips and sticks are showing a lot of wear. I tend to look at them, decide they are too worn and set them aside when what I needed to do was replace them. So I saw the two dragonflies and thought they would be fabulous and ordered the Coraline palette as well, since it too looked fabulous, and unlike the neutral palettes I have been reaching for as of late.

I liked that this palette opens to the side like a book and lays flat. Often with these smaller ones they lift up but don’t bend over all the way. Since this just opens like a book it is easy. The shades are purples and blacks with a bit of blue. One of the blacks has some sparkle but they tend to look the same when applied. The purples are various degrees of pigmentation. All of the mattes apply just a little bit streaky. However with a clean blender brush the streaks do blend out into a nice smooth color.

even if you don’t usually use and eyelid primer, I would go ahead and use one with this palette as the colors are far less streaky with a primer underneath. Also the reddish purple of Tunnel will stain your lids less if you use a shadow primer (or even just a concealer) underneath. It isn;t a major staining but your lids will look a little pink the next day.

the silver of dreaming was really the only disapointing shadow

the only shadow I had trouble with was the silver of Dreaming. It feels harder in the pan and it is not up to the pigment level of the rest of the pan. I would have loved a really good silver, especially given the theme of the palette, but this one just didn’t work for me. It was honestly the only disappointment for me.

For me part of the value is that I like the book Coraline (as well as the movie). This palette gives me the same aesthetic I love and I would keep it as a collector. It also has shadows that I don;t have a lot of. I do not in general have a lot of deep purple shadows. So I like having a few around. So for me this palette is worth it. The shadows are of decent quality and I enjoy using them. the streakiness of application is easily fixed by a blending brush and the shadows look good on the eyelid. For me the theme has more value than the shadows alone though so if you purchase something like this you will need to make your own judgement call about it. But personally I am happy to have this Coraline Palette in my collection and I would buy it again.



Using the Living Proof Full Shampoo and Conditioner

This set of shampoo and conditioner from Living proof came to me in a Fab Fit Fun Box. Living Proof is not a new to me brand. In fact i used to use it all of the time. I have in fact used this shampoo and conditioner before. It has however been a long time. Currently my go to brand for Full and thickened hair is Grow Gorgeous and their Intense duo of Shampoo and Conditioner. I tend to stock up on them whenever there is a sale on the Look Fantastic Website actually. They are the brand I tend to use all winter when my hair just needs a little lift. I can’t use it here in the summer because the humidity and extra fullness inducing shampoo simply o not mix.

Because of the size of these bottles I packed them to go with me when i went home for two weeks. I used the shampoo and conditioner a few times before I left to make certain they still worked well, used them there and brought them home to finish out. There is only a little left in each bottle proving these small bottles lasted about six weeks.

full and shiny

Here was the interesting thing I noticed, perhaps because i used them both here and elsewhere. The fullness I got from the shampoo differed based on the water I was using. Both my house and my mom’s house have good water. I think hers is a little softer than mine is. In addition they have different showerheads though. Hers has a a large shower head with a lot of finer more direct sprays and mine has larger holes so it is a denser stream of water.

I know it sounds really strange, but it seemed to make a difference in my hair. Her this living Proof Shampoo worked well. My hair was a little more full the day of the shower. there were fewer fly aways and my hair was nice and manageable. It felt soft and clean. With the water and showerhead at my mom’s house, my hair really felt a great deal thicker and fuller. It was still soft and manageable. However with the water at my mother’s house this Living Proof Set gave me almost the same level as the Grow Gorgeous Intense that I so love. However used at my house, the result was not as dramatic. I found this a very interesting trial.

fewer flyaways

I liked the living Proof Full Shampoo and conditioner here. It did well with my hair and I would certainly use it again. But it was not the absolute best. When used with softer water and a different showerhead, I really liked this set a lot more. There was a noticeable difference based on the location of use. I had not actually expected that. Since I wasn’t anticipating testing shampoo while at my Mother’s house, i didn’t take any pictures. I will be going back for thanksgiving though and while this set will have been well and truly used up by then I will make certain to take my Grow Gorgeous Set with me and take pictures to see if it too changes in performance (I may sneak a smaller sample set down with me as well and do a second product trial as well since I will be there long enough.

It is something to remember when testing hair care products though. Water can make the difference between a product working well and a product working excellently. For me how I feel about this Living Proof Set is very location dependent.



Trying out the jewelry from Shop Miss A

Recently I picked up a variety of items from Shop Miss A. I was actually especially interested in their jewelry selection. Mostly because $1 -$1.88 seeped a bit hard to believe. I chose a variety of items from necklaces to rings to earrings.

Here is the thing. I love good jewelry. I have several pricier pieces that I tend to wear when I go out. I tend to keep them for someplace special because the pieces are special. And the last think I want to do is lose an expensive piece of jewelry while running errands or taking a walk. Plus I have the tendency to fiddle with my jewelry throughout the day. I am especially hard on necklaces. I tend to get ones with little charms on them and slide them back and forth along the chain as I think about the wording for e-mails and articles.

To be honest though, I like inexpensive jewelry for day time use as I don’t tend not worry about it as much. My big concern is Nickle, If it is in the earrings or necklaces I break out in a rash. So for me the inexpensive jewelry section of the Shop Miss A website looked especially interesting.

adjustable on right

I have a weakness for rings so I ordered three. One is an epoxy resin ring, one is an adjustable ring and the third was just a slid metal ring. I thought the rhinestone studded snake was adorable. There is no sizing chart so you just order the ring and get what you get. (It is also why i wanted to see three different styles. The amber colored resin ring fit perfectly on my pointing finger and I think it actually fits well there. Given the size of the ring it is where I would want to wear it. I always feel vaguely evil queen like when I have a chunky ring on my pointing finger. It is solid and sturdy. It has been knocked about for the past few weeks and still looks to be in good shape.

three layered necklace

In this picture I didn’t adjust the adjustable ring and it fit my ring finger slightly snuggly. My ring finger is between a six and a half and a seven depending on how much salt I have in my system. The metal is a decent enough quality that I don’t think it is going to come to any harm with the adjusting of the size.

There is only a limited amount the ring will go in though. There is not a wide gap between the separated elements. Yu are looking at maybe shrinking it half a size while you should be able to enlarge it one, maybe two sizes with no problem. As I thought the ring would be good for my nieces as a little stocking stuffer, I am going to have to check their finger sizes before ordering anything.

The nonadjustable ring is a good fir for my middle finger. I admit, I am not a middle finger ring wearing person. I also don’t wear pinkie rings, but every other finger is fair game for rings. My guess is that this would make this a seven to a seven and a half in sizing. Probably closer to a seven. I can wear it on my ring finger but it is loose and it kept turning around. The metal is decent quality and though my hands got banged around a bit, none of the stones fell out of the ring.

broken chain at the weak point where the two chain sizes meet

The necklaces were interesting. What i found with all of the ones I purchased was that the charms on the necklaces were of decent quality, but the chains were on the cheaper side. If I was going to get this for someone else as a potential stocking stuffer, I would purchase the necklace and then pick up a better quality chain elsewhere. Then do a little but of at home surgery. As one of my chains has already broken, the charm has been relocated to a sturdier chain and I still enjoy wearing it. I am a bit hard on necklaces with charms on them though. The chains in the triple layer were a little better quality, but I also don’t play with them as much. The weak point is the section of chain near that catch. Where the thin chain of the necklace meets the larger looped chain so you can adjust the length is where the weak spot is and where the chains broke.

Of the lot, the earrings were the best quality. They are sturdy and didn’t make my ears itch so there is no nickel. the looked good on and felt good on. They were actually a complete surprise. Of the lot of them, the earrings are the ones most likely to be slipped into a stocking. they hace soft plastic stoppers on the posts, the posts are in securely and the posts themselves didn’t bend or cause any distress. Over all I was very pleased with them

In facet I was pleased with all of the jewelry from Shop Miss A. The necklace chains were the big disappointment, but I do have excess chains to string charms on and the charms were of decent quality so that I don’t mind for everyday wear. The only issue with the rings is the potential sizing issue. They two were of decent everyday wearable quality.

I know I sound a little bit shocked but while these aren’t showroom pieces I honestly didn’t expect this good a quality for $1 per piece. All of the pieces I picked up were $1. The only exception being that three pairs of the earrings came as one set and the set was $1. While I would never call this my good jewelry it is good enough for everyday use and I will personally get a lot of use out of the pieces and keep my eye on the daily arrivals page for items that suit my taste. Shop Miss A is a great, inexpensive way to fill in your everyday jewelry. Just watch out for the chains.