Time for the Magic Hour

Tea has always played a huge role in my family. we have those who do not deviate from black tea and who will, if you let them, go on a tirade against Earl Gray and the addition of “perfume” to the tea time offerings. Thee are also those who adore the Earl and stand by him refuting the tirade. There are those who prefer herbal and those who will start the day with black tea and move into herbal after 2pm.

In my house there was always a pot of coffee brewing, but in times of crisis, the kettle was put on. Peppermint tea was for upset stomachs and lemon for fevers or just feeling blah. My grandmother even had a blend of teas to take down monthly cramps (and it was labeled Monthly Tea in the cabinet). I have no idea what was in it but it worked fantastically well.

Mixed into the tea was the array of tea things. Decorative silver tea strainers. Art deco sugar bowls with little silver tongs for sugar cubes and an array of canisters from metal to glass and porcelain. While I do love tea and always have plenty on hand, my brew collection and paraphernalia is limited compared to other sectors throughout the family. One of my great Aunts informed me she was leaving me her tea pot because I simply didn’t have one suitable for company.

that’s right, my house only has the one teapot. (Gasp in horror, i know you want to.)

Actually when i pointed this out (with arched eyebrows, mostly drawn in as they were overplucked decades ago if you want the full picture), it was noted that our house had two stove top espresso pots. I pointed out I had one and my babydoll had one and when households were combined we had two. This actually caused unrestrained horror as they realized he had previously been living in a house with NO TEAPOT. He was stunned to realize how tragic this actually was. (I have a lot of older relatives, Prior to my parents generation each section of the family had between 8-12 kids. Its a lot of great Aunts although not as many as there used to be…admittedly those that remain are the terrors of their retirement/assisted living facilities.)

Anyway, because of the family – and my own use- I am always looking for tea related gifts. A lot of my older relatives don’t want to accumulate things any more which makes things like new teas to try perfect. I have a few standard tea subscriptions I maintain for gifts, but i also like to try new ones. I came across this one for Magic Hour Teas and thought I would give it a try.

They have many different tiers of subscriptions. They also have a one time tea order. I went with the one time tea order just to test it out. The tea that comes with it is the same as in the monthly tea box I am not entirely certain if everything is the same as what is in the large Monthly tea subscription. I believe it is, but the descriptions tend to focus more on the tea. Let’s go through the basic details.

The subscriptions, each has a one time purchase option so if you are not sure about the tea and want to try it out, or are unsure how much tea you are going to drink in a monthly subscription, you can try a one time use instead of signing up to a recurring subscription. The one time order is a little more expensive than the subscription, because it is a one time order. the prices listed are for the subscriptions. Their tiers are:

Box with Violet Glass Apothecary Jar (60-75 cups): $62.70

Box with Luxe Pouch (60-70 cups): $41.80

Box with Violet Glass travel Jar (10-15 cups): $25.65

Box with Sample Pouch (10-15 cups): $20.90

All of the boxes include a ceremonial tea item. I went with the one time box with the Apothecary jar. The Magic Hour Tea this month (not sure it is April or May) is called Queen of Kyoto. it is described as a Kyoto Grown Sencha with jasmine and rose blossoms spring Apricots and cherries.

While I have not brewed a cup yet, I did take the stopper out to sniff as I was curious if it would be more floral or fruity. It smelled sweetly mouthwatering. It actually smelled juicy. I tend to drink tea in the afternoons and usually add a dollop of honey to the cup. This smells like it might be sweet enough to not need any sweetener. I am actually really looking forward to trying it out. But for the moment let’s proceed with the unboxing.

The glass apothecary jar is lovely and it is full of tea. It is well stoppered so the glass isn’t rattling around in the upper opening so the tea is secured from air. Regardless of the container, keeping the air out is key and this does that well and looks very good doing it.

In addition to the glass jar there was a pouch of tea. This one was the Blue Butterfly tea Solstice Moon. while the Main jar of tea had a postcard about the tea, there was nothing in the packet that came with the box about this tea. I don’t know if they always put a secondary tea with the box or not. I will send an e-mail to the company and ask.

There were a lot of papers in the box. There was a small set of four stickers so you could mark your tea based on the caffeine levels. There was a page for a Tea sensory journal if you want to take notes on the tea you are drinking for your own records. which I find kind of neat actually. Actually all of the information on the papers is kind of neat. There is a phases of the moon chard and a pamphlet about all of the rest of the collections they offer.

There is however little about the actual box itself. While there is a lot of paper, I would like just a little card that gives the month of the box and the items that are part of the subscription. While I can figure out that the Blue Butterfly tea is a part of the box (because it is inside) I am not sure why it is in the box. Does it complement the other tea? does it balance it in some way? Meant for a different time of day? I don’t know. And I want to.

While I find the phases of the moon interesting and will be pinning it up in my office, I would like more about the actual subscription items.

Included with the teas was a tea towel. I am guessing that this is the ceremonial item for this month’s box. It is a nice tea towel that features cranes and Cherry Blossoms. There are cherries in the tea and the towel looks like it could be referencing Kyoto, again, there are no details.

Despite the lack of details I am very pleased with this box and can’t wait to try out both of the teas. I want to look into their magic hour tea club and find out what that is all about and if I like the teas I very much think I will end up subscribing to the subscription. I might actually go for the Glass travel jar level mainly because I vary my teas a lot and having 60-75 cups worth of one tea delivered monthly might be a bit overwhelming. I think the fifteen cup range would be good for me. I do hope that there is the possibility of reordering the teas that are in the subscription box. If I do find a favorite I want to be able to go back into their store and reorder, especially if I have company coming and the tea is something they might like.

But then again, I do love these apothecary jars and as every other spare container in the house has been pressed into service to contain my dried mint, there is always going to be a way to reuse them. Time will tell on that. But for now, I am very pleased with this box from The Magic Hour. It is a subscription I will be looking into in greater depth moving forward.

Weekly Weight: April 28th, 2023

I have to admit this week has not been the best for me physically. I didn’t over eat, if anything i think I had several days where I didn’t actually meet my calories because I simply didn’t feel like eating. I started off strong with my workouts but then that took a bit of a nose dive.

This week saw the arrival of the annual spring cold.

It isn’t a debilitating illness and an over the counter cold remedy is all I need, but it means I move slow, my nose is runny my eyes are watery and exercise isn’t a priority. For me this cold is always strange compared to any other sickness I might get. usually when i get sick my body just craves sleep. With this cold, I don’t feel like sleeping. I don’t feel extra tired I just feel like there are a few days where I move in slow motion.

And spend larger chunks of time on the couch. This weekend will feature marathon television sessions. I plan to start with binging episodes of Criminal Minds and when I am tired of serial killers I want to try a few episodes of the So Help Me Todd show that is now on Paramount+. I’m told it is pretty goods so that should be fun to try out.

I know it is not much of a weekend plan, but it will allow me to rest even if I don’t want to sleep and then I can start my body to recover and hopefully shake free of the last of this cold by Monday. And then I can get back to my regularly scheduled life. At my regularly scheduled pace.

Sometimes in dieting and in life, you have to know when to give your body a break. This is my body telling me that we can start the exercises back up on Monday. The walks will wait. Normality will resume. Just not today.

The Skincare Lineup: March 31st, 2023

welcome to the weekly skincare line up. Here I get the chance to discuss all of the skincare items I have going and how they are working as a team. This is my favorite post of the week and I am always excited to put it together. While there will be more in depth looks at individual products in other posts I love being able to look at them as a group since that is how they are used. I have had some products that worked really well on their own but once they met certain products there were issues.

This week though everything is sort of rolling along,. I think it is because this week there was very little in the way of change. I will have a bit more change next week as more products rotate out. March I concentrated on using up a lot of samples. Some categories of things I still have a lot of samples in that I want to try out and use up. I also have some full sized products I really want to try as well. I am also thinking of doing a skincare brand focused line up. While I know I still have some samples to use in the following week I will be thinking about it this weekend and trying to see which way I want to lean in the next little while. But for now…

The Daytime Line Up

Cleanser: Byroe Kiwi Detox Gel Cleanser

Toner: The Porefessional Tight n’ toned Toner from Benefit Cosmetics

Serum: Depology Matrixyl 3000Collagent Boosting Serum

Eyecream: Byroe Truffle Eye Cream

Moisturizer: Miss Flower and Mr. Honey propolis Rejuvenating Lotion from Banilla, Co

Let’s start with the Byroe Cleanser. It is a good cleanse. It cleans without stripping and cleanses well. It is definitely good and if it came in a subscription box I would certainly use it again. I don’t think it is good enough to justify the price. It is 2.14 ox/65 mL and retails for $38. Which I know that is not a bad price for a cleanser,. If it was a 4-5 oz bottle then I would think the price was suitable. It is a good cleanser, it just isn’t anything really notable.

The Byroe eye cream though is really good. It works well hydrating the skin and doesn’t clog pores around the eyes, which I have a problem with. The funny thing is that there are two Byroe Eye creams. The truffle one retails for $110 and the Tea Time (which I like a lot better) retails for$76. I would use both in a heart beat but the one I would be willing to pay for is the Tea time. They are both very good but the other is just better.

The Depology serum is good at whatever the price and size. I really like the serum I know their eye patches get all the hype and they are good, but this serum is better mostly because I will consistently use it. I have this one in my line up and when i travel i will betaking the travel size with me.

The Banilla co rejuvenating lotion is really nice. It smells of honey, but in a light fresh way not a sweetly cloying one. It is light enough to use as a day cream. It is too light to use at night. Using this lotion reminded me that I absolutely loved the sample of the moisturizer I used from the brand so I ordered the full size since they had it on sale. It just came in and a part of me wants to rotate it in right away, partially so I can compare it to the lotion version and partially because the container is so pretty. That will be an upcoming decision.

And then we have the only new product in the morning line up this week. the benefit toner. I love benefit blushes, primers and mascara. They have now launched a skincare line up. This sample size was an IPSY add on so I put it in my cart because I was simply curious about a makeup company making skin care. It pumps out of the bottle as a foam. I think the foaming part is a bit unnecessary, but it does eliminate the need for a cotton toner pad so that is nice. You apply it with your hands.

It is a really good toner actually. It is supposed to tighten the pores as well as clear them out. They are clearer and thus less noticeable at least so the toner is doing something. I enjoy the feel of it on my skin. As a toner it works. I’m still not sure I like the foaming though. It was the first week of use so I will get back to you on how I feel after a bit more time.

The Night Time Line Up

Makeup Remover: Elemis Pro Collagen Cleansing Balm

Cleanser: Byroe Kiwi Detox Gel Cleanser

Toner: The Porefessional Tight n’ toned Toner from Benefit Cosmetics

Serum: L’Occitane Immortalle Reset Serum

Moisturizer: First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Cream

Sleeping Mask Omorovicza Midnight Radiance Mask

Lips mask: Tatcha Kissu Lip mask

I will always love my Elemis Cleansing Balm. it is just so good at removing makeup while leaving the skin soft and nourished instead of stripped bare. There ae different varieties that work for all different skin types. The original is really what works best for me. I know they do sell trios of the travel sized cleansers like this one if you ae interested in trying out the different varieties. that is how I first tried them actually. I picked up a trio at Christmas one year, tried all three and decided which one I liked best. I think one of them i ended up passing along. but I used the other two. I cant remember exactly but i do love this cleansing balm.

The L’occitane serum is working really well for my skin. it is soft and hydrated. I think I would need to try it for longer than this sample will survive to see real results (even though the ads say results are instant after one use) but I like it enough on my skin that I am willing to put this on the full sized list of items to try out.

The First Aid Beauty Ultra repair has been a great night cream for me. It is now too heavy for me to wear in the day but it is great at night. The bottle is almost empty though. so I will be finishing it up and rolling something else in this week. I have used a full size of this before so this was just to use up the sample of a good product I knew I liked rather than a trial, but it is definitely something i will purchase again. It works as a day and night cream in the winter and a night cream all of the rest of the year. at least for me. My skin is combination/normal in case you are wondering. I lean drier in the winter and more oily in the summer. It means that most skin care ends up being seasonal for me.

The Omorovicza is only used twice a week so it still has product in it. Which makes me happy. I really love this. It is a light weight gel that melts to liquid with the heat of your skin and absorbs easily giving al night moisture. If I didn’t have several other night creams lines up to test i would purchase this now so that I didn’t run the risk of running out. It is a good night mask for those nights when you need just a little extra hit of moisture. And with our temperatures bouncing up and down the thermometer it has been a really big help in keeping things balanced.

Then of course we finish off with the Tatcha. It is my favorite lip mask. Only a little is needed with each application so this little jar lasts a long time. I will probably be setting it to the side to try out or use up a few other products soon, but for not, I get to use it another week.

And that my darlings is the weekly skincare. There was little dram with everything working as it should an no unexpected interactions. But as my skin is better when there is no drama I am perfectly fine with that. considering I have been spending the month focused primarily on samples I am surprised it has gone this smoothly actually. I also can’t talk about too many clear results because nothing lasts long enough to really show them. Skin care generally takes about 30 days before results start to actually show. None of these samples is lasting a full thirty days. But many of them have given me indications of what I can expect from the product and that allows me to decide if i want to try out a full sized version. Which is helpful in it’s own way. And so the skin care rolls on. I hope you enjoyed this as much as I did.


The Daily: February 20th, 2023

No daily today my darlings. It is President’s day and my babydoll and I are going out shopping. Mostly to price appliances. And then there is some massive yardwork to get through. And grocery shopping.

Okay we sort of took the weekend off and decided our holiday day was the day to do chores. And so I am off. Normality, or whatever passes for it, will resume tomorrow Have a good day!

Tools of the trade

There are makeup tools I use every day. There are brushes I pull out of the big jar ‘o brushes consistently and tool I always have to hand when I sit down to do my makeup. I thought it would be a fun thing to sit down and talk about a few of them.

The first item on my list has to be the No Crease Hair clips. I use them everyday to pin my bangs back while I do my makeup because I simply can’t stand having my hair in my face when i am putting on my makeup. These make sure the hair is out of the way without adding any strange lines to my bangs. I highly recommend using them wherever you pick them up. I just reordered a set from Shop Miss A. I love them, but tend to lose them frequently so the $1 price tag for three clips helps me out. They have multiple colors, this time i chose black.

Item number two is a good makeup sponge. Even though I generally use a foundation brush for my foundation, I find a good sponge will help smooth out lines from the brush, plus some foundations just apply better with a makeup sponge. I also use them to apply a lot of setting powders. The ones I am currently using are the Blending Eggs from Beauty Bakerie. Not only are they adorable in the egg carton container, but they have just the right firmness for me. I am kind of Goldilocks when it comes to makeup sponges. Some are too firm and some are too soft. I tend to lean into the firm side of things. The too soft ones I just don’t like. The Beauty Bakerie ones have just the right amount of firmness for me.

Also a necessity is the color switch. Mine comes from Sephora (or did a long time ago). They are available plenty of places. Shop Miss A actually has some nice ones. I ordered several to put in makeup bags for stocking stuffers this Christmas actually. No matter how many brushes in the jar there are a few I just keep reaching for and this lets me switch colors while applying and thus leave me with fewer brushes to wash.

Speaking of brushes, my current favorites come from several different brands. Lets start with my two powder brushes. The Flat topped one is from Alamar Cosmetics. It is listed as a bronzer brush but I find it works with setting powders really well. When I need a fluffier brush, I am currently reaching for the Complex Culture Plush Powder Brush. Between the two of them they work well for me.

The Foundation Brush I have been reaching for more and more is the Yensa Foundation brush. the bristles are dense enough and the right length for me. The handle also fits well in my hand and its angled shape and size make it easy to manover.

The bronzer brush I am using is the LR 331 Flat Angle Brush from Laruce. I find the dense bristles and curved shape work really well with my cheekbones. I am able to apply bronzer well with it an because it is narrow, I can use it with pans of varying sizes.

There are two Brushes from Billion Dollar Brushes in my automatically reach for pile. One is the flat foundation brush. I honestly never use it for foundation unless it is a powder foundation. It is great with powders in general. I tend to use it for patting setting powders over under eye concealer and I use it for powdered blush application. In general it is just a good all round brush to have around. The other Billion Dollar Brush I keep around is the small angled Brush. it is Labeled Eyebrow brush and i often use it for my eyebrows. It is great for carving out the underside of the brows with a highlighter and it is also good for adding a small spot of bright shadow in the inner corner of your eyelid to brighten your eyes an make them look bigger.

There are five eyeshadow brushes that I find myself reaching for and to be honest, they are all Luxie Brushes. One of them i am not entirely sure is made any more, but it is my favorite. It is the Tapered Blender that was originally part of the DC Collab for the Wonder Woman Collection. I have used it so much that the number has worn off and the handle now looks mottled because the paint has worn off in places. It was released when the first Wonder Woman movie came out several years ago and I use it everyday to blend my shadows. The handle is showing wear but the brush is still going strong. The Lxie 237 Blending is the right size for most of my shadow applications when I am going for an all over the lid look. I use this one a lot and if I am doing a one and done shadow look, this is the brush I reach for. The 213 Eye Shading brush (the pink one) is lflat but fluffy and it is great for applying darker shadows on the outer edge of the eye and then blending them inward. The 211 Concealer is also flat but thinner and I tend to use it for applying shimmer shades. And finally the 221 Flat definer has a sharp flat end that is great for applying shadows along the lash line or or using shadows as though they were eyeliner. It has become a brush I reach for a lot actually.

And so my darlings these are a few of my favorite tools and the ones I find essential in my everyday makeup. If you are just getting started with makeup or looking to expand, I hope it helps you out. For me, I like to take an occasional inventory of what i actually use. It changes from year to year as I try out new products or change up the way I do my makeup look. But for now, this is my essentials kit.

The Daily: January 18th, 2023

Good afternoon my darlings. I hope you are having a fantastic day. Today, I can’t lie has been a bit on the busy side. I spent much of yesterday on the phone with my mother. She now has her prosthetic hand and was as thrilled as a toddler on christmas morning. You know when they talk to you and are so excited that they get out of breath and have an hour long run on sentence? Well that was my mother. Odd in a woman in her seventies, but still kind of adorable.

everything works and she is starting her lessons in control. When she tried to pick up a cup she crushed it so she has been warned not to try shaking anyone’s hand for a while. It was also suggested she avoid using her good china. I think she spent the day showing off her new arm. I think she also might be trying on clothes to see what works well with it because she has sent six pictures today all with her wearing different shirts. I find it adorable.

And after last year it is really nice to see her excited about something.

It does mean that I am running a little behind on things, but I consider that perfectly acceptable.

Yesterday I also received two separate subscription boxes. My Boxy Charm Premium arrived and the Chic Beauty Box from November/December arrived. I was trying it out to see if I liked it and with it being so late I put the membership on hold until I received the box. It is still on hold and I am definitely skipping the January/February Box. I’ll decide in February if I want to get the March/April box or just cancel. I couldn’t resist using several items from those boxes in todays look so you will see some of those below. The full boxes I have up on Instagram. There is a link in the side bar if you want to see them.

Speaking of subscription boxes, Smartass and Sass is having a 60% off sale through January 20th. I tend to get their t-shirts to use for workouts as they make me feel better. Sometimes I like their boxes and sometimes I don’t so I tend to pick up the items I like in their on-line store rather than subscribe to the boxes, mostly because I know I won’t use some of the items. But I do love certain items and I did place an order for a few things. As they arrive and I put them to use I’ll use them and share my thoughts. If you have a slightly sarcastic and bent sense of humor, you might want to check them out. They also have some discounted boxes in the sale so if you are thinking about a box, you could try one of those and see if you like it before committing to the subscription. I love their t-shirt subscription but prefer to pick and choose with the items. with the occasional box when things just appeal to me. I actually ended up getting some smartass gifts from them for friends this year as well. Anyway, big sale if you are interested and it runs through January 20th.

Today’s Look

Primer: Marc Jacobs Under (Cover) Blurfection Pimer (discontinued and from the Use Up Box)

Foundation: HIDE Invisible Oil Free Medium to Full Coverage Foundation

Bronzer: Fenty Beauty Sun Stalk R Bronzer and Highlight Palette

Blush: NARS Unwrapped Orgasm Blush Duo (I used Orgasm today)

Powder: By Terry Hyaluronic Acid Hydra Setting Powder

Eyeshadow: Dominique Cosmetics Unconditional Palette

Mascara: Milk Makeup Kush Mascara

Brows: GrandeBrow Fill

Lips: Laura Mercier Rouge Essentials Beige In Time (70) Lipstick

Okay we start with the Primer, love it, it is discontinued and I am so close to using it up. It actually worked well today. But since it is no longer in production, I will say no more about it.

As I mentioned above I am using a lot of Subscription box products today, starting with the foundation. I have never tried anything from HIDE before. It is a $30 foundation that has the word luxury all over the packaging and the website. The container is white plastic that looks a little on the cheap side. I haven’t looked into it and there may be a good reason for it, but the container feels kind of cheap. Also while the white boxy look with black lettering is nice and editorial in a photo, this is my first use and I already have streaks of foundation on the white. I suspect I will have to clean it after each use. That being said, I actually kind of love the foundation. It is a first wear, but it is wearing well. It blended beautifully and felt light. Thus far I am not having any settling issues. I’ll keep working but thus far it is performing impressively even if the container doesn’t look that Luxe.

The Fenty Beauty palette I like. It has a range of bronzers and while there is only one I can use now and one that I will probably transition to in the summer, they also make nice shadows. The two shimmer shades are good shadows but really poor highlights.

In the Chic Beauty Box was the NARS. I had the Orgasm Blush when it first came out and I used it down to pan. It is a beautiful shade that just works so well with my skin tone. The other shade in the duo I may be able to use in the summer but not now. I am fine with that. the pans are large and I adore the shade I am using. It also reminds me that I need to replace my NARS Bronzer. It too I used down to pan. NARS was one of those brands I turned to as a staple for the longest time and then slowly forgot about. For the last few months they have started edging back into my consciousness. I am actually quite happy to see them return. (And if you get a chance their reformulated lipsticks are well worth picking up).

I think I may now have a handle on the By Terry Powder. The trick is to one, apply it with a fluffy brush, and two tap it on your wrist before putting it to your face. if you go straight in then the brush leaves a powder mark you have to get off. Tapping it once just puts the mark on your wrist not your face. Makes application much easier.

Dominique Cosmetics has also been coming out with some winners. I adore their cream blush and reach for it quite frequently. This Shadow Palette came in my boxy and it is a first use. It does had a gold glitter shade that has already started leaving a trail across the table. I avoided it today but I used pretty much all of the other shades. They are quite pigmented and the brush does need to be tapped off before application, but they do blend beautifully. I think it is a really good selection and the mix works well. The shadows complement each other and it is a really well thought out palette. It is also a good selection to go into February and Valentines Day with so that is nice.

The Milk mascara performed beautifully. And I am kind of in love with the Grande Brow Fill. If goes on easily and not clumpy. It adds a slight tint to the brows as well a a little gel to hold them in place. They are staying in place without feeling crunchy which is also nice. In general I love Grande Cosmetics products so it isn’t a surprise but it is always good to find another product from the brand I like. (Their Lash regrowth serum is absolutely fantastic, I used it when I ripped out my lashes in an ill fated false lash glue accident and I recommend it highly.)

And finally the lip. I Like Laura Mercier and this is a nice neutral shade for me. It is a very creamy formula that does leave a trail of lip prints behind. It will also need to be reapplied around lunch time. But it isn’t sticky, just very creamy so if you are having dry lip issues, this might be one formula to look into.

And that is me my darlings. Over all I am pleased with how things turned out, and while I have no problems with why large sections of my day were lost yesterday, it does leave me playing catch up today. And so now I will leave you and return to the ever present paperwork. Have a great day.

Trying out the Venus Immortals Palette From Lime Crime

For the past week or so I have been playing around with the Venus Immortals Palette from Lime Crime. I’ll admit I sort of stalked this palette on line for a while before deciding to purchase it. I have the Venus Exposed Palette and it is one of my favorite go to palettes if i want something quick and easy to work with. The colors are nice and it can give me great everyday looks or lean into drama with very little effort.

I know this Immortals Palette wasn’t going to be the same thing. I knew looking at it that this was not going to be an everyday palette. But I liked the color story and to be honest I was awash with a sea of neutrals palettes and this just appealed to me. Then in my stalking phase I saw they had a sale and I purchased it.

This was an interesting palette to work with actually. But because of the color story, it is not a quick and easy palette to work with, at least not for me. Let’s talk about the mattes first. There are four: Unseen, Unveil, Ash and Cameo. While Cameo looks a little beige in the pan, it applies white on the skin. Ash is a very light gray. Both of these lighter mattes blend really well. All of the shadows (matte and shimmer) are a bit powdery on the brush but if you tap off the brush there is no fall out during application.

Ash and Cameo can be blended out for a soft and subtle look. Unseen and Unveil are not subtle. They are very pigmented and even though Unveil swatches as a dark reddish brown on the lid it looks almost black. It just looks like a slightly less deep black than the black of Unseen.

When applied, Unseen can be a little patchy but it does blend well and settles in. There is a slight fading throughout the day, but at the end of a work day I still had eyeshadow on. It didn’t disappear.

Technically there are four shimmers, but the white of marble behaves a little differently so I really want to put that in a different category. I’m just not sure what category to put it into. But we’ll get to that in a minute, first the other three shimmers. They feel soft to the touch and like the mattes, the brush needs to be tapped off to get rid of some of the loose powder.

The Silver of Hail is stunning on the lid and is a stand out. It shimmers like foil when it is on the lid. The darker gold of Echo is actually one of my favorites and paired with the darker colors it is metallic but a bit more subtle than Hail. The darker tones of the old gold really work well with the darker shades.

Moth is more of an everyday work day shimmer. It pairs well with Unveil, but is almost too subtle to be with this palette. It really feels like it should be paired with some softer mattes. The other shadows in this palette are very bold and direct, but Moth is softer and tends to get a bit lost.

And then there is marble. It is the most powdery of the shades, but again tapping off the excess works well. It applies bright whit and glittery, but when you blend it the white fades down a bit and you can actually pull a light sheen of glitter over the lid.

This isn’t the boldest of looks but you can see how Marble was used to tone down the other shades and add a little sparkle over the top of them. The base shadows are Ash overlaid with Unseen at the outer edge and Cameo in the inner corner. then marble was blended over the top.

Over all I really enjoyed using this palette however it is not a quick palette to use. I didn’t pick it up and instinctively go for a certain shadow. I had to actually think about what i wanted and where I wanted the shadows. It is also not a palette I would use as an everyday work palette. The shadows will last on the lid all day, but because I had to think about the application it took a little longer to apply and for me the color story is a bit too bold for the office. It is a palette I will enjoy sitting down with and taking my time to play with. All of the shades are lovely and to be honest I will reach for this Marble shade to put over other eye looks. This Venus Immortals Palette form Lime Crime isn’t one I will pick up when I need to get out of the door in a hurry, however it is one I am happy to have in my collection and one i will look forward to playing with.

Holiday Shopping Guide: The Art of Tea

Once again we delve into the gifting possibilities for the season, this time with the Art of Tea. As you are probably aware I have been working my way through the Tea Discovery Kit (pictured above). It comes with eight sachets of varying blends in an adorable wooden box. The Tea Travel bundle is the Discovery kit with a travel tumbler.

Thus far i have tried out four of the eight teas in the package and really enjoyed all of them. My two favorites have been the White Coconut Creme which i think would make a fantastic tea to serve with a desert at the end of a long meal and the Matcha which was just a stunning tea.

For those interested in Matcha and wanting to get either more traditional with it, or provide something just a little bit extra special for the matcha lover on your holiday list, there are several options. You can purchase the matcha teabags, or a canister of the ceremonial style of Matcha tea. There are even at home ceremonial matcha mixing bowls and whisks for those looking for an elevated experience.

there are travel tumblers and on the go Matchasticks as well that look like very interesting gifts, and to be honest as much as I adore the ceremonial bowls (and really any pottery), I am looking at the glass tumbler for day to day use. in addition to the glass tumblers for an elevated travel experience, The Art of Tea also has various tea accoutrements like glassware, tea strainers, mugs and tea sets. All well worth looking into.

There are of course holiday bundles as well. Sets that offer a few holiday themed teas not available during the rest of the year and delightful additions to the holiday. White Winter Chai, Butterscotch, pumpkin pie and Dark chocolate peppermint. I picked up a canister of it last year and I would be remiss if i just stuck to the teas. I brought a canister of it home with me last Christmas and it was a big hit. At our house we always used to have hot chocolate spiked with peppermint schnapps for the holidays. while we still do, there are a lot of people who either don’t or can’t drink alcohol. Last Christmas we had three pregnant ladies and one older gentleman who’s prescriptions prohibited consumption. I actually preferred it as it had the peppermint I wanted, but it didn’t have the alcohol tang to it. The tea was also a little bit lighter. I should confess I also added whipped cream for the richness.

This year while I will be picking up a cannister of the dark chocolate peppermint, I will probably also pick up the Apple Pie Blend. I have a fondness for the warming spices of the season. I love that you can buy the cannisters either separately or in bundles. I have several people on my list who love the holiday teas and I am always looking for a good hostess gift that is an alternative to wine. For me one of these holiday canisters with a bow on it is a great alternative hostess gift to that bottle of wine. For the past few years there haven’t been as many gatherings but this year it seems like everyone is making up for it. so having a few ready to go gifts is never a bad thing at this time of year.

Of course for the gift that keeps on giving, you can’t beat The Art of Tea’s Tea Club. It is a a monthly subscription. You can choose the frequency (3, 6 or 12 months) as well as the caffeine level, and style (tea bag, looseleaf). It is a really good subscription and I have purchased it for relatives in the past. It is especially useful if you have the relatives who are either trying not to accumulate more things in their houses or who live far away. The two people I generally get this for live on the other side of the country and don’t really travel any more. This is a gift I can get sent to them with no trouble. In addition it isn’t just a holiday gift as it keeps coming throughout the year. It is a great way to make sure someone knows they aren’t forgotten once the holiday ends. It also increases communication as I generally get a phone call as soon as the package arrives. (My great Aunt Olive insists on calling me as soon as the box comes in, then opening each bag, sniffing it and telling me what time of day the blend would be perfect for. Come to think of it, I do the same thing with the blends i pick up. so I suppose it is either a family trait or some sort of learned family habit. either way, it is a gift I know she will enjoy.

If you have a tea drinker on your list, whether they are a long term tea aficionado or someone just beginning to dabble in the wild world of teas, it is well worth taking a look at the holiday sets and blends of the year when making out your gift list. While I know there are a few I will be getting this year, i also know that i will be picking up several cannisters just to take with me as hostess gifts once the holiday celebrations begin. They are just handy to have around and i know that with as much tea as we drink in this house if any of them don’t get handed out, we will always happily use them ourselves.

The Daily: September 20th, 2022

Good afternoon my darlings. This is going to be a quick post today. My babydoll had a flat tire malfunction on his way to work so I started my day with an auto rescue. I then went straight into errands that need to be done before I leave Friday morning.

I think I’ve driven more today than I have in the past month actually.

I am home for about ten more minutes and then it is back out into the wide world. I figured so much of my day was already spent on errands I might as well go ahead and knock them all out so that I don’t have to worry about them the rest of the week. My hair is in a messy ponytail and most of my face is covered by a face mask, so I didn’t actually bother with any form of makeup today.

We’re just going to call it a skin care focused kind of day. But now I must run. Tomorrow there will be makeup and I will talk about the products that are going to be traveling with me. I hope the rest of your day is simply fabulous. But now I must brave the grocery store so at least a few dishes can be made and put in the freezer so my babydoll doesn’t try living off frozen burritos while I am gone. I’ll see you back here tomorrow.

Oh before I go, Besame Cosmetics just launched a Disney Villains’ collection. It is gorgeous. The Ursula compact is absolutely stunning. I highly recommend taking a look at the collection. All of their products are quality and their collections are amazing. When it launched I picked up the Sleeping Beauty Collection for my godmother (she adores Sleeping Beauty) and she still uses the mirror from that on a daily basis. Anyway there is also a discount code they gave me to share. It is Valerie20 with will give you 20% off the Disney Villains collection for the next 30 days.

Perfume Review: Sauvage by Dior

I know technically this Sauvage by Dior a cologne and not a perfume, however there are several designated male scents that I enjoy and I see no reason to allow a sample to linger in my box of samples simply because it is oriented towards males. Plus if my babydoll wears it, the scent will become a part of my world so I might as well see if I like it before I will still call it a cologne in this post though, for the most part.

This scent sample came to me in a subscription box. Macy’s I believe. They have since cut back on their perfume samples but there were two in every subscription box for a while and I am still working my way through the accumulated collection. In general I am a fan of Dior products. I love several of their skincare products and I am currently in love with their concealer. Their scents however have been a little hit or miss for me. I seem to find the ones that skew either too young or too old for me but never something just right. Admittedly i have only used samples that happen to fall into my lap, if I were to make an effort and try out a wider range I might find more I like, so that could just be my perception.

Regardless, for a while I felt like this Sauvage cologne was pursuing me. Every time I turned around there was another commercial for it. I’m sure you’ve seen it. Or at least i hope I’m not just being targeted. It is the commercial that tends to feature Johnny Depp and Wolves. For a while, every time I went on line for something there would be an add. It was a part of any commercial break. It was simply everywhere.

So I finally broke down, took the sample out of the box and gave it a try. According to the website…

Fran├žois Demachy, Dior Perfumer-Creator, drew inspiration from the desert at the magical twilight hour. Mixed with the coolness of the night, the burning desert air exudes profound scents. A moment tinted with a thick blue that unleashes the wildest instincts. At the hour when the wolves come out and the sky is set ablaze, a new magic unfolds.


Okay if I were just reading the description I would fall for it. The description sounds delightful.

In person, not so much. In fact I could only wear it once before I had to set it aside. I know that is not normally the reaction and normally it is not enough for an evaluation, however, In spritz on the wrist lasted all day long, well into the night and the next morning was still detectable in the hallway.

It is also heavy with bergamot which I did not do well with. I will say it has some staying power. I took a shower and it was still potent on my wrists when I finished toweling off. It is a scent that stays with you.

Here is the thing, and I mean no disrespect to Mr. Demachy and his desert imagery, but it smells like a more expensive version of Brut. It smells like someone took Brut and decided to use higher quality ingredients to make it. It reminds me of my grandfather and his friends. And oddly enough has more of an aftershave back note to the scent than a regular cologne. At least That is my take on it.

While I will admit there is some nostalgic quality to it. It does smell very much like a very specific point in my childhood, It is not a scent I will keep around, either for me or my babydoll to wear. (He thought it smelled like the barbershop where his grandfather used to get his hair cut and was not interested in wearing it either.)

If this is a scent that appeals to you, remember that a little goes a long way. It will last a really long time and it is a scent that makes a lasting impression on your environment. It is not something that stays close to your skin for an intimate scent but something that comes noisily into a room fills up all the spaces and stays well after you leave. Sauvage is quite savage, but not in a good way.