The Daily: January 10th, 2023

I will be honest, today, I was not reeling the makeup my darlings. I woke up fairly well with no allergy sinus issues which was a really nice thing. With the weather bouncing up and down my sinuses have not been happy. The weather shifts and they clog up. Anyway, today the temperature dropped and there was (and still is) fog. I thought it would burn off by noon, but it hasn’t. I think it is because of the big temp drop and the high humidity. (If I am remembering my third grade life science classes correctly. Yesterday it was in the fifties and damp and today it is in the thirties and still damp. Hence the fog.

My brain felt a bit foggy too which I hoped my morning exercises would push to the side. They got my blood flowing but my brain still feels a bit foggy. And my muscles are sore. I’m still adapting to this new work out and my muscles are not exactly thrilled with me. By the time they stop being sore, it is time to go another round. in time they will adapt but at the moment, they are not happy.

Given the muscles soreness and the internal fog I decided to do something nice for myself today as well. I am working at my desk today with a mound of paperwork but there are no meetings and no scheduled phone calls. It is just me an my computer today. So I decided to do a hair mask. In general I love hair masks and while I often use them post shampoo as an extra bout of conditioning, or occasionally for twenty minutes before I step into the shower, I tend to avoid the overnight hair masks.

I just can’t stand the mask covered hair on my neck. I have tried sleeping in a cap with my hair bundled under it or tied in a knot but it never works. I don’t like wearing an overnight hair mask. It not only feels icky but my brain some how thinks of all of the calamities that could arrive in the night and how I could end up running from some sort of natural disaster with my hair in greasy mask filled hunks. And yes I know in a natural disaster there are much more important things to think about but somehow putting on the mask makes me think that now, NOW is the time disaster will strike.

And so what I do with the overnight masks is I use them during the day. Somehow my brain thinks I can see a natural disaster coming if there is day light. I know, it is not logical. But there it is.

So with overnight masks I chose a day (like today) where I don’t have to be anywhere and then I put this mask on and wear it while at my desk. It isn;t the most attractive look but it gives me all of the benefits without the ick. I put this one on after applying my morning skincare and will rinse it off after eight hours (between 3:30 and 4 pm). I love the results of the overnight mask, just not the overnight part. This is a mask I haven’t used before. It is the Amika Dream Routine Overnight mask. I really enjoy the scent. I let you know tomorrow how I feel about the actual mask itself. There is a clip holding my hair up off of my neck and a band keeping my mask coated bangs off my face. It isn’t a lovely look, but it gets the job done. And hopefully, the hair mask will be worth it.

As for me today, there was morning exercise, skin care and hair mask applied and then a day spent working at my desk. This afternoon will bring more of the same with the hair mask rinsed out mid afternoon. It is a quiet Tuesday but as last year had very little quiet about it, I kind of relish the nice quiet days. And if I can get a little self care in during them, even better.



Quick Fixes and Foot Detoxing…

This is the time of year where I hear the word Detox a lot.  There is the understandable versions.  I indulge over the holidays as do a lot of people.  Each January I hear that people are giving up alcohol, sugar, caffeine and a host of other things.  This desire for a new year detox seems to be a part of the same impulse that causes New Year’s Resolutions.  And I get that, I want to be better in the coming year than I was in the year past.  Every year that is my goal.  Some years I make it, others I don’t, but it is an ongoing goal.

One of the things I noticed since I started trying to lose weight is that there are a lot of quick fixes out there.  I honestly didn’t realize it until I started looking for elements to include in my own weight loss.  My plan, if you are curious is to monitor my caloric intake and to include more exercises so that I can burn more calories than I consume.  It sounds easy but there is a balance to it, even though the concept is simple.

And while it sounds simple, it is actually rather hard to do day in and day out.  There are hidden pitfalls and one thing you really learn about along the way is yourself.  There is far more introspection to weight loss than I actually expected.  Motivating myself alone requires that I know myself to know what it is I would consider an acceptable reward if I will just get my butt up and do the required exercise. 

And every step along the way it seems that someone is offering a short cut.  And the short cut is always attractive.  Why do a lot of hard work and mental evaluation when you can take one easy pill before bedtime and let your fat float away on the night taken away by magic fat stealing elves?

Although to be honest if you are seeing magical fat stealing elves, you might want to double check what sort of pill you actually took.

The same holds true for items like the Detox Foot Patches.  Oh I would love if slapping an herb filled packet on the bottom of my foot pulled out all of the harmful toxins in my body and left my innards factory fresh. But I don’t really believe it.  It sounds too good to be true.  And usually that is the clue that it probably isn’t true.  And when I looked into this Detox Foot Patch, the Mayo Clinic agreed with me.

…There’s no reliable evidence that detox foot pads work…no scientific studies have been published that show that detox foot pads work…As with anything that sounds too good to be true, your best bet is to wait for scientific evidence that proves a claim before investing your time and money…

Mayo Clinic website

The link will take you to the full post on the Mayo Clinic site if you are interested in reading it.  So why would I try the Detox Foot Patches

Curiosity and as a reminder to myself. 

I added this to my cart a while ago when I picked up a bunch of things from the Shop Miss A site.  So it was only a dollar and I can waste a single dollar on an amusement and mental reminder for myself. And honestly Shop Miss A has a lot of items that I may have seen in more expensive formats and want to try out but don’t know if they will work for me.  Sometimes it is to try it out in an expensive way before I commit to something pricier.  Sometimes the inexpensive item just proves fantastic so I don’t go back for a more expensive one.  For example the silicone scalp massager (super fantastic and worth way more than a dollar).  But I am getting off track.

I figured I could try this Detox Foot Patch out without spending a lot of money.  The concept is simple.  You attach it to your clean foot by peeling off the stickers and then go to sleep.  When you wake up the patch has absorbed all of the toxins from your body and can be peeled off and discarded.  Not exactly like magical fat stealing elves, but close enough.

The package suggests that you add socks over the patches to keep it in place.  I had to add them to keep the patches from peeling off and the stickers getting caught in the bed sheets. And boy did they look impressive. In the morning the clean looking patch was filled with dark green gunk.  And it was damp so it looked very impressive.  Until I realized that with socks on over the patches it was a pretty sure bet that the dampness on the patches was simple sweat. 

And while the dark patches looked impressive, so do mood rings and color changing lipstick if you don’t look at the formula.  I am sure that the combination of oxygen, sweat and body heat activate whatever is in the packet overnight.  The main reason being that the packet is exactly the same size as it was when I went to bed.  If it absorbed anything in the night I think it would have grown just a little bit larger.  It didn’t, there was just a color change.

Now I tried these as just a little bit of fun.  I didn’t expect a magical purification of my body.  And I only spend $1 on it.  But for me it also serves as a reminder going into the new year.  This year I am still working on getting myself to a healthy weight and I am sure there will be many short cuts to weight loss advertised to me in various ways. That is inevitable. 

And they will be attractive as losing weight is hard work.  Having this reminder that many of those short cuts are smoke and mirrors and even if they provide some benefits in the short term, they are not long term fixes really helps me out.  Their benefits are ephemeral. Once I stop taking the magic pill the weight will come back. And I will have to take it off again.  It is the same with any other internal change you want to make.  There are quick fixes galore out there and all most of them do is take your money. In the end there is no substitute for putting in the work. 

While using this Detox foot patch was fun, for me it is a reminder to pay attention and not fall for gimmicks in an effort to see big results fast.  If you are looking at starting a healthier you in the new year program, I hope you too will remember this not only when you are putting your plan together but moving forward.  And if you are going to try out a gimmick, do it for fun and don’t get discouraged when the magic as seen on television results don’t manifest in your old home.



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

The Daily: November 28th, 2022

Good afternoon my darlings. The first Monday back from a holiday always seems a little strange. I think it is because at the end of each day I tend to make a checklist for the following morning (or for Mondays if it is a Friday). However when I go on holiday (even if it is only a day long holiday) I don’t make a list as I like to clear my brain and not think about what i have to do when I get back. I find if I make a to do list for when i return, I tend to think about all of the things I have to do when I return rather than just putting things out of my head and enjoying my time off.

So I started this morning without my to do list and ended up creating it over coffee instead of at the end of the day. Which felt really strange to start the day with an end of day thing. But nevertheless, I did it and started my day.

Even with the mental shift, I love the first Monday after Thanksgiving. After Thanksgiving we spend the weekend eating left overs (and because my mother picked up a 22 lbs turkey, there were lots of left overs)Then Sunday we drove home and had a take out dinner. Today I will be making out the grocery list and meal plan for the week and we will restock our very empty fridge. Which means that tonight we will get back to normal eating. The real MVP of Thanksgiving is butter. I think it is more so this year.

We had several vegetarians and a couple of vegans this year and since we want it to be a feast for everyone there were plenty of things for them to eat, but because I am not a vegetarian, I leaned into the veggie dishes that did have butter (and often bacon) so no one would run short. And yes I did make the case for just having no butter (or bacon) in the veg dishes so all were for everyone. The way some of the older folks reacted was akin to telling a group of small children that you kidnapped Santa and put him in the basement until Mrs. Claus pays the ransom.

Not that I would kidnap anyone.

And I don’t have a basement.

So everything was a little heavier than usual. But I had a salad for lunch today.

It was glorious.

The first salad after thanksgiving I always picture the raw spinach sort of clearing out the layer of butter coating my insides. Like a vegetal toothbrush.

It was a good visit though. It is nice to be home again though and in addition to getting back to my normal eating habits, We are past Thanksgiving so I can break out some of the annual holiday treats. The first was the Native Body Wash in Candy Cane. I love peppermint and would use this all year long if I could, but alas is is only sold in the holiday season. The body wash is an okay body wash, but not spectacular. The scent though is fabulous. So I roll in a body scrub every couple of days as well. But I love the scent and will revel in it for as long a it lasts. This year I also picked up a few holiday masks. So I am going to use those to help me get into the holiday spirit.

Today is also Cyber Monday. I take advantage of all of the Black Friday sales and have been shopping for the last month or so just to get things mailed out (we also took a bunch of wrapped gifts and transferred them to other vehicles to go under other trees for those who won’t be back for Christmas. Plus my mom LOVES having a tree with packages under it, so I shop early and bring wrapped things down so that she can have the full look she loves and so that I don’t forget things during holiday travel).

But cyber Monday, I tend to realize I have picked up all of the gifts I need to buy and then I pick up things I need. This morning I was actually drawn to Glossy Box as they have their advent calendars at 50% off. I was going to only buy one advent calendar for myself this year. (I actually bought three for gifts – Elemis (35% off Cyber week), Molton Brown (cyber Monday sale 25%, sitewide) and the OPI). I know everyone loves the grand opening posts with advent calendars, but I really enjoy opening them like advent calendars one door at a time. The one I ordered this year was the Look Fantastic one (I rotate which one I order each year). And I’ll be showing each door in a short post throughout December, Hopefully. It is supposed to arrive today actually. It had been an effort to get it here. I will be relieved when it finally arrives. I think I have had twenty separate e-mails about this calendar since October. I ordered it in September when it first became available.

I think that might be why i ordered the Glossy Box Advent Calendar this morning. It was 50% off so that was enticing, but I also wanted an advent calendar that didn’t cause me angst before it arrived. I know it won’t be here by December 1st so it it doesn’t feel like there is a deadline with it. I know no one docks you for not starting your advent calendar on December first, but since I ordered it in September I was thrilled with my pre planning. Anyway that was my congrats on getting all of the other holiday shopping done and where it needs to be gift to myself.

And the weather is beautiful today so I went on two extra long walks. That helped burn off some of the accumulated butter as well.

I did skip makeup today though. All of the butter and sugar had an adverse effect on my skin. Plus I wore my makeup longer than usual during the time I was home. So when we arrived home yesterday after unpacking i gave myself a purifying face mask and am just letting my skin breath today. Well breathe with some Zitsticka Killa patches on. (this is the time of year I keep them stocked for) I’ll take the patches off before i head to the grocery store. But they are a life saver today. And so that is my Monday after Thanksgiving. Not too bad all things considered. Exhausted, but otherwise doing okay and enjoying getting back to normal with a bit more Holiday Spirit. Happy Monday.

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It’s Face Mask Friday with Dew of the Gods

I know, this Dew of the Gods Fijifuji Collagen Whip Mask is not a new to me mask,. I reviewed it a few weeks ago when I used and opened it for the first time. You can see that post here if you are interested. I have used this mask several times since then. I have to say there was something about the mask that made me think that it would dry out in the container rather quickly. Thus far that hasn’t happened. I know it has been open less than a month, so it really shouldn’t have dried out by now.

And it hasn’t.

However There was something about this clay mask that just looked as though it needed to be used in a timely manner. I suppose that applies to all skin care but when clay masks dry out you realize that clay is what they use to make pottery and old school mud bricks. I suppose technically they use mud for mud bricks, but i have had several dried out clay masks that make me think of bricks.

I have used this mask a number of times since my first use, so the container has been opened and closed several times. Which I think is important. It means that the mass has been exposed, at least as long as it takes to apply the mask and put the lid back on. So it hasn’t simply been sitting sealed on the shelf. Admittedly I have had masks dry out while still sitting sealed on the shelf. Which is why I try to go through them in an timely manner these days.

And actually that was one of the reasons I chose this mask today. Soon I will be taking out all of the partially used masks and I will go mask-tastic crazy in the run up to new year’s as I clear out the open and partially used sample sizes.

But I couldn’t resist using this again, as well as comparing it to the original opening use of the mask.

The container is a very lovely clear plastic that shows off the blue of the mask inside well. They contrasted it with the yellow of the lid. While attractive, it also seals really tightly which helps preserve the mask. Using it today, there has been no change since the first use. The Dew of the Gods Fijifuji Collagen Whip Mask applies smoothly and easily. It feels cool on the skin, smooths out with little effort and covers with not a lot of product.

At first the mask just feels cool, then it starts to tingle a little. I was worried that the tingling would grow more intense but it doesn’t. It does last though. The tingling remained at more or less the same level as it started. it was only as i was getting ready to wash it off that the tingling started to fade. I can’t actually decide if it is something in the mask that causes the tingling or if it is the mask drying out.

In the fifteen minutes that I wore the mask, it only partially dried out. And even then it wasn’t the intense chip me off with a stone chisel that some of the clay masks can get. I suppose that too argues for the longevity of the mask as well.

And I realize that this post seems intensely focused on the drying out of the mask. I’m sorry about that. I think I am so focused on that aspect because the container feels as though it is so much larger than my other clay masks and it seems to use so little with each use. While I love both of those factors, especially as i really like this face mask and how smooth it leaves my skin. I want it to last longer.

I also had to throw out two masks this morning when I went to look at my masks and plan my end of year clear out. So I suppose it is on my mind. I just hate wasting good product.

I’ll try to be less obsessive.

I do like this mask and my skin does feel great after using it. I won’t be using it for a while though as i descend into the land of clear outs. It was a good mask to use today though. It doesn’t dry all the way down but it also doesn’t drip, so I was able to lay back and sort of relax for the fifteen minutes that I wore the mask. Which was a nice change. Usually i do relax with the mask, however lately I have been reaching for masks that I can wear while either moving around the house or sitting at my desk. While this mask can be worn while in motion, even if it does look like a Meso-American death mask made of turquoise.

But today I took the fifteen minutes and used it to decompress. To be honest as much as I enjoyed the mask, having those 15 minutes to mentally relax and take a breather were worth far more than the skin benefits. Don’t get me wrong, I will always love the skin benefits and this Dew of the Gods Mask has them, but as far as self care goes, taking a little time to breath is priceless. And today, that’s what I got. Along with a does of whipped vitamins. I call that a win.

Hydro Gel Charcoal Eye Mask (1 Pair)

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Holiday Bundle: Soap and Glory

Each year without fail I pick up some sort of Soap and Glory Bundle. What is kind of amusing is that each year my purchase is driven by one factor. I look at all of their packages and bundles and then I purchase whichever one has the full sized Heel Genius inside of it.

I know, not the best decision making process. However it is mine. This isn’t to say I don’t like the other products in the bundle. This $40 gift set for example comes with several products I like.

Pinkly the Best Includes:

Clean On Me Hydrating Body Wash 500ml

The Scrub Of Your Life Exfoliating Body Scrub 200ml 

The Righteous Butter Body Butter 300ml

Hand Food Hydrating Hand Cream 125ml

Heel Genius Foot Cream 125 ml

Face Soap Clarity Face Wash

Reusable Soap & Glory white and pink tin

The Clean on me Hydrating Body Wash and Scrub of Your Life are two products I purchase for my shower every so often. I like the scent and the effectiveness. The scrub of your life is quite exfoliation-tastic, although not overly harsh on the skin. Because of the exfoliation I can’t use it daily, but for a couple of times a week it is fabulous.

My mother loves the Righteous Body Butter and Hand Cream so those two items will be passed on as stocking stuffers. I have never tried the clarity face wash from the brand so i am looking forward to giving that a go. and truthfully the Tin is going straight into my laundry room. I have a collection of dryer balls, which I absolutely love, but I need a container to corral them in and this will quite frankly work perfectly.

So nothing in this gift set will go to waste.

But I did purchase it for the Heel Genius Foot Cream.

I am posting about this as part of the Holiday Gifts posts not only because this and many other Soap and Glory Products and Bundles make great gifts, but as a reminder that sometimes great products do not have to break the bank.

This Heel Genius Foot cream costs only about $7 and it is the best foot cream I have ever used. It is a drug store product although my local Walgreens tends to run out of this on a regular basis so picking it up is always hit or miss. Hence the reason I specifically make a point to pick it up at the holidays. I do a lot of walking and my feet really take a beating. I have tried a lot of pricier items but in the end, i always come back to this. I have forgotten about foot care for several months and then realized suddenly that i am going to be wearing open shoes where people will be assaulted with my heavily calloused feet and rolled in this Heel Genius for an emergency rescue.

An hour before bed, when I am settled and reading in bed before sleep, I will slather my feet with this cream and pull on a pair of socks. (I can’t sleep in socks for some reason so I take the hour before bed to do this and then peel the socks off just before sleep.) Three nights of this and my callouses are softened, A week and my feet are soft and hydrated. Every time.

Sometimes we get caught up in the new and expensive and we forget the old reliable, and inexpensive products. This is a reliably good product and it deserves to be remembered. And if you can get a squadron of other nice products at the same time, even better.

This year, for me, The Heel Genius was found in the Pinkly the Best Holiday set from Soap and Glory. (Surprisingly though on the official website it is not listed as included in the kit so that may just be a US version.) Each year this is a treat to myself and each year I really enjoy it. It is my self care moment before the craziness of the holidays arrives. Some of the products I will pass on to those I know will love them but most I will keep for myself. It is Happy Holiday to me and I am well pleased.

Tea Time with Green Pomegranate from The Art of Tea

You know, there are several things I like about having an afternoon tea during the work day. First off is that the tea gives me a moment of quiet calm to reflect on how the day is going and to look at my schedule. While the tea steeps I can look over my to do list and see what still needs to be done and prioritize the remainder of my afternoon.

In addition, because I don’t really add much, if anything to my tea, it is a very low cal way to fill me up to keep me from snacking mid afternoon. Some afternoons there are snacks, but on the afternoons when i have tea, I tend to skip them as I am full of tea.

I also like having that something warm when it is cold and blustery outside and as the weather is once again leaning away from summer, I think I am going to enjoy that even more.

Plus I get to use some of the pottery and china I haven’t used in a while. (I couldn’t find my exact teapot for sale, but the English Tea shop does have plenty of sets of tea for one if you are interested. They are on sale and were the place with the most variety that I found when I went looking for a version of mine) Today’s pot and cup combo was actually perfect for The Art of Tea’s Green Pomegranate blend. The pot sits on top of the cup making it nice and neat for desk top use.

This Green Pomegranate Tea Blend is described as…

TASTING NOTES: FRESH, SWEET, TART

Sweeten your senses with a tart and tangy rush to the palate from this pomegranate green tea. Select organic green tea is hand tossed in a large wok, dried to perfection, then carefully blended with organic raspberries and essence of pomegranate.

*Due to global supply chain shortages, we are currently unable to source raspberry bits, and therefore, are not able to include raspberry bits in this blend. Please note that the flavor profile will remain unchanged and that we will return to our original recipe as soon as possible. Thank you for your understanding and patience.

The Art of Tea

So alas, my blend did not have raspberry bits in it, however, it did have the distinct taste of raspberry. In fact, the dry tea back smelled very much of raspberry. What was interesting is as the tea steeped, notes of pomegranate began to rise. when I poured out the first cup, the tea smelled of both of the fruits and I thought that it was going to be a little sweet.

It has a tiny bit of fruity sweetness, but the pomegranate has that tart taste to it. The raspberry seemed to provide the greener notes. It was more like the scent you get from raspberry leaves than the actual fruit. While I drank my cup plain today, I could see where a little dab of honey would be a good addition to the cup. We have a local honey in our pantry right now that I think would be a little too strong of a taste to blend with this mix. I think it might over power it. I think a honey from the spring, maybe orange or apple blossom based, would probably work best with this mix. i would again keep the additions light with just a tiny drop of honey though.

I don’t know where you are but here, the spring honey is lighter in taste than the summer honey is. I think yours may depend on what grows in your area (and when). I know the Art of tea sells honey sticks, but I haven’t actually tried them. I love honey sticks and our local producer has honey sticks in the spring and not later in the summer, so I usually stock up then, but I ran out actually. (we also use a lot of honey when we are sick and this summer’s bout of covid sort of knocked out our honey stash as we tried to combat sore throats.)

I didn’t add anything to today’s tea and I really did enjoy the tart, almost dry taste that was left on my tongue. I know that is a strange way to describe it but with really tart fruits, like pomegranate I always seem to have an almost dry sensation on my tongue after consuming. This tea produced that. I know this tea was supposed to have raspberry bits and I think that if they were added it would give this tea blend a sweetness rather than the greenness of the leaves. While I am sure I would like it, I really enjoyed this cup. while the Coconut Crème I can see myself serving for desert, this Green Pomegranate is the sort of fruity but not overly sweet type of tea that I prefer. And at only medium caffeine, it won’t make me jittery as I go back to work this afternoon. All in all a good, well rounded tea blend.

Using the Final Depology Derma Face Sculpting Mask

Recently Depology sent over a box of products for me to try out for the purpose of review. Among them were the Depology Derma Face Sculpting Masks. These are masks designed specifically for your lower jaw line. According to the product page…

The Dēpology Sculpting Mask is infused with essential ingredients to tone and firm your chin, jowl and jawline. Designed with a soft yet firm textured cloth, this mask can be worn whilst getting ready in the morning.

Depology

And so I have been wearing them every other day, which is the recommended use. And this is the last mask in the pack so I thought it would be the perfect time to go over the experience.

First there is the mask itself. It is as the description suggests, a soft, yet firm textured cloth. It comes with a backing on it and when the backing is peeled off, the cloth has a very sticky side. While you do have to watch out for the mask sticking to itself, it is easy to peel off skin and hair. So if you happen to get little bits of hair caught in the mask, it isn’t going to rip the hair out or leave sticky goo in your hair.

the mask

This is actually important because you are using this in the morning before work and you don’t want to be trying to get something out out your hair, and because to wear the mask it does need to be looped over the ears where it will almost always come in contact with hair.

while the mask will stick to itself, it is easy to pull apart. And the stickiness keeps it in place on the skin. This is a mask for you lower jaw and it would be pointless if the mask didn’t stick to your lower jaw. any sagging and the mask is not touching the skin and therefore useless.

There was no sagging. I wore the mask for thirty minutes each use and had no issues with it sagging. It fit snuggly, yet comfortably and stayed exactly where I put it. I’ll admit, the first few time I wore the mask I did feel a little silly, but I got over it with each use.

the mask on

there is no scent to this mask at all. So if you are sensitive to scent you are all good. The full ingredients list is fairly short.

Full Ingredients: Water, Algae (Seaweed) Extract, Glycerin, Anthocyanins, Sodium Polyacrylate, Tocopherol (Vitamin E).

The water is in the mix because the mask is hydrating your skin so the moisture has to come from somewhere. It is better to come from the product than your skin. Seaweed also helps to hydrate the skin and can also help remove dead skin cells so your skin looks brighter. Glycerin is also a humectant, which means it draws moisture from the air and into the skin so it too is there for hydration. Anthocyanins are generally thought to be antioxidant and anti inflammatory. Sodium Polyacrylate is a synthetic polymer that helps stabilize everything and Tocopherol (Vitamin E) is a fat soluble anti oxidant that can help protect the skin from free radicals.

And that is the sum total of the ingredients. It is a combination of things that is designed to help hydrate and protect the skin. The band itself gives you some lifting time and I think over time would show some pretty decent results, a but like remembering to use your Gua Sha each day and seeing results from the consistent lifting.

before trial left, post trial right

In the pictures you can see my face before I started the mask and when I took the last mask off. I’ll grant you there is not a lot of difference, but there are some small changes. I did use the masks for a relatively short time. While there are some small changes, I expect that if I were to continue using these Depology Derma Face Sculpting Masks for an extended period of time, like a month or more, the effects would become much more noticeable. Like all skin care it requires repeated and consistent use.

So the end result of this trial is to ask if i would be willing to try more of these masks, using them more often. The answer is yes. I know there is nothing harmful in them, I rather enjoyed using them actually once I got used to them and I have seen some small changes in my skin and jawline since using them. I think these Depology Derma Face Sculpting Masks are well worth giving a try.

Trying out the Milk Primer from Beekman 1802

Recently I signed up for the Beekman 1802 Quarterly Subscription Box. (It is $65 per quarter and one of the most beautiful subscription boxes I have opened). while I really like the look of the box and the products, a subscription box is only worth the money if the products are ones you want to use. Since it is a brand specific subscription, all of the products coming from Beekman 1802, I am going to be working hard to try out all of the items before the next quarter. I want to get a feel for the products and how they perform before I commit to having more of them arriving every few months.

As I just finished my latest bottle of sunscreen (Volition Luminizing Shield, one of my all time favorites) I decided to start with the Milk Primer SPF 35 sunscreen primer. I know, Milk Primer doesn’t sound like sunscreen, but it is. According to the Beekman 1802 website…

one pump dispensed

Your one step for summer skincare is here! Beekman 1802’s Milk Primer is the only goat milk sunscreen to combine a weightless formula with SPF 35. Formulated with natural mineral Zinc Oxide, this 3-in-1 mineral sunscreen, moisturizer, and makeup primer acts like a physical shield against harmful UV rays and blue light while leaving skin brighter and more hydrated. It’s also pregnancy safe and completely oxybenzone-free and won’t damage coral reefs or irritate sensitive skin. Provides daily defense with SPF 35 broad-spectrum sun protection. Sheer application brightens skin and helps to blur the appearance of pores and blemishes. Perfects skin for makeup application or that flawless no-makeup look by minimizing the appearance of pores with a velvety, matte finish. Silky, oil-free formula feels weightless.

First of all, let’s take a look at the bottle. It is pretty. I love the frosted glass bottle and I really like that it is a pump product. And while it is aesthetically pleasing (all of their products are actually) I find it easier not to fiddle with extra caps when applying most skincare. I like that the bottle looks like skincare rather than just sunscreen. I can put it in my skincare line up and just use it as the last step in my skincare rather than something I have to remember to put on before I go outside. while I do keep a bottle of spray sunscreen stationed by the door for use just before I leave, I really like adding in sunscreen as part of my skincare. If it becomes a part of the skincare habit I forget less.

the slight white cast before it warms up, as you can tell it is already starting to warm up and lose the white.

I know that says more about me than anything else.

The glass bottle lets me see how much product it left, which I also like. It also makes it apparent that this sunscreen needs to be shaken up before use. which is easy enough. Pick it up, shake and then pump out what is needed. Easy peasy.

The scent of the sunscreen is light. It does have a slightly zinc-y scent to it, but it fades pretty quickly. In fact once it has been rubbed in the scent more or less disappears. I put the sunscreen in my hands, rub my hands together and then apply it to my face. I generally find that this helps the product warm up a little. As it warms to skin temperature it melts into the skin. Until it warms, it is white on the skin. There is very little rubbing needed, it is just the heat of the skin that makes it disappear. No harsh rubbing is needed.

I used this sunscreen after my moisturizer and had no issues with it absorbing in. I did need to wait until my skin absorbed the moisturizer, but that was it.

As for the Beekman 1802 Milk Primer working to blur pores and act like a primer… I can’t say I saw much use in that department. For me it didn’t really work as a makeup primer. It is however a sunscreen that sat well under my makeup products. After my skin absorbed it, it felt lightweight and non greasy, in fact it was easy to forget it was there. Primer and foundation (as well as the rest of my makeup) went over it as though it wasn’t there.

It didn’t have any effect on any of the makeup products I used over it. I have had some sunscreens that did cause foundation issues, this just simply isn’t one of them. And while I have a lot of primers I like to wear and very few sunscreens i enjoy using routinely, i am more pleased with this Milk Primer working as a sunscreen than I am with it not being a fabulous primer. Over all I was impressed with this sunscreen. It didn’t clog my pores, melted into the skin without leaving me feeling greasy, worked well with both my skincare and makeup and had little to no scent. This Milk Primer gives me great hopes for the rest of the Beekman 1802 products from the subscription box. Thus far this brand trial is off to a great start.



A little ray of sunshine with Mio Future Proof Body Butter

There is something about the scent of orange that just says it is going to be a bright sunshine-y day. Maybe it is all of the Florida based orange juice commercials. I don’t know. But in the scent department Mio Future Proof Body Butter delivers an intense orange scent.

which isn’t really much of a surprise.

I tried the Mio Body wash a while back and it too was orange-tastic. It was also a really good body wash that I have repurchased. Actually my brother loved it so I tended to get it for him. It was actually the perfect body wash for him. He didn’t like a lot of the heavy ‘many’ scents like forest and mountain that a lot of people put with men’s bath products and he didn’t like buying the kid’s body wash with the dinosaur head on the top either. He did love citrus so this was a nice alternative for him. I tended to add it into my cart every time I picked something up from the Look Fantastic site.

thick cream and this amount covered both hands and forearms.

But this is about the Body Butter. It does have the same intense scent to it, and while the scent does remain on the skin after use, the scent of the body butter doesn’t really travel. It may stay in the air for a little bit in the room where you apply it, but it fades pretty fast. However after a few hours you can still lift your hand to your nose and smell the orange scent. The thing I like about this is that it isn’t an overly sweet orange scent.

It does remind me of orange juice when I sniff it, but there is some sort of spice in there that keeps it from feeling sweet and sticky (at least mentally sticky – sometimes when things are overly sweet my brain thinks of them as sticky by association.) I can’t really say what spice if any is mixed in because it does just smell of orange to me, but it isn’t overly sweet.

quickly absorbed with no greasy skin left behind.

As for hydration,. it does that pretty well too. The cream is a little thick and when you first massage it into the skin there are a few white streaks, but they are quickly absorbed and what is left behind is freshly hydrated skin that doesn’t feel greasy. What I like is that I can slip this tube into my purse and know that not only is the scent not going to irritate anyone (because it doesn’t travel far enough to irritate anyone) and that after sanitizing my hands I can massage a dollop into my hands to keep them from becoming overly dry and cracked and then just go. The absorption rate is quick enough that I can apply while running errands and then not have to worry about my hands being too slick on the steering wheel.

I was very impressed with this body lotion. I did try it on my post skin shower as it is a body butter and not just a hand lotion. It worked well right after the shower. It took a little longer to absorb in on freshly washed skin (but I am using a hydrating body wash at the moment) but the absorption was still relatively quick. I will personally be using the last of this tube as a hand cream to carry in my purse, but i would definitely consider a full size of the Mio Future Proof Body Butter for my post shower moisturization in the future.