Weekly Weight: 228.3 lbs

I know the scale isn’t everything. The numbers do not define me and it is all about how I feel and finding a healthy weight. However that being said after a few weeks of back and forth and small nudges of zero point somethings. I did the happy dance this morning.

Admittedly it is a small bathroom so I also hit my funny bone on the sink, but still, it was a happy dance.

I know the weight loss is good, and I am always going to be thrilled when it is a week where I lose more than three pounds, but it is more than that. with my weight loss I have been in a rut lately. I put in the effort but nothing seems to change. I know that this happens periodically and i just need to tweak things. Unfortunately this time it wasn’t my body getting used to a new level of food and exercise it was that things beyond my control kept knocking me off my plan.

Now I will be the first to admit that yesterday my plans were sent into a wood chipper and sprayed across the landscape in an effort to conceal the crime against planning. However my food and exercise plan stayed in tact for the week.

So this morning’s weigh in felt like a much needed validation that if I just keep sticking with it and getting back up every time I get knocked down things will progress.

You have no idea how much I needed that. Or if you read this often, maybe you do. It felt like such a huge win.

The stats

Starting Weight: 246.0 lbs

Last week’s Weight: 231.7 lbs

This week’s Weight: 228.3 lbs

Lost this week: 3.4 lbs

Lost thus far: 17.7 lbs

I know there is still a long way to go but for the first time in a long while it feels like I am actually moving forward instead of standing still. The scale may not be the end all be all but sometimes it can provide much needed validation. I am going into my Friday feeling better than I have for quite some time. This was exactly the pick me up I needed.

The Daily: March 16th, 2023

Oh my darlings have you ever planned a very logical course of events and then watched them spiral completely out of control?

I started today off with a plan. It was a good plan. I worked late last night clearing off the morning schedule and getting ready for the plan. I was on top of things. You see with everything going on there have been some things that we’ve been kind of putting off. Things that kind of need to be done during the workday and not on weekends. A nice laundry list of things from getting new contact lenses to routine vehicle maintenance.

Some of them could have been done on the weekend I suppose but sometimes the weekdays are less crowded so its easier. Anyway we had a list. It wasn’t a really long list. Usually I’ll take things like this down one at a time but there were more than usual and some were quite delayed so I made my plan.

The auto mechanics is on the far side of town, and actually a little outside of town if I am honest. So I figured I’d start there, getting in when they first opened and then working my way back. So instead of my normal morning routine I washed my face, slapped on my skincare and filled a travel mug with coffee. I then headed out across town hoping to beat the morning traffic.

I was only partially successful and it took longer than I planned.

In fact everything took longer than I planned.

Every. Single. Thing.

I don’t know if i was overly ambitious or if if everyone had the same thought i did and a similar list of things to accomplish, but it was a mad house. I planned to be out two maybe three hours. At the latest I planned to be back around lunch time. Maybe. I just walked in a few minutes ago. My very late lunch (a tomato basil sipping soup from Campbell’s Yes Well line in case you are interested) is in the microwave. I will have my soup and then I will check my e-mail. Following that, I will be starting the process of making dinner. we are having stromboli tonight and I need to make the dough.

there is no makeup today. It feels like there was no real day today.

I am also fairly certain that I am the only one in the entire State of Tennessee who not only possesses a working turn signal on their vehicle but also has the understanding of how to use it. I could be wrong, but at the moment I really doubt it.

I am now going to take some deep breaths and then I am going to have my soup. I hope your day went a little more to plan than mine did.

Using the Axiology Lip to Lid Balmies

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

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

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

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

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

And both are more in keeping with skincare than makeup.


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

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

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

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

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

First, let’s talk eyes.

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

The cheeks were interesting.

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

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

And finally the lips.

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

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

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

Axiology Beauty

Creative Storage Solutions

Sometimes you just come up with a creative solution to an ongoing problem and you are just so tickled with yourself that you have to share. I know this isn’t rocket science and I can’t be the first to think of it, but I am just simply so ticked with my solution that I just have to let you know.

While we do have more than one bathroom in the house, the bathroom that I use to get ready is a small powder room. It has the commode to the right, a pedestal sink under a mirror and a small shelf where my skincare resides. On the pedestal sink there is space for my toothbrush and toothpaste on one side and soap to wash my hands with on the other.

I find it best if the soap and toothbrush never meet.

Thats it, that is the space.

Which leaves me in a bit of a pickle. Namely that I need a place to store my hair tools and accoutrements as well as a place to put my Makeup Erasers post use.

And then i saw it.

The metal shower rack. This one is rose gold and comes from TJ Maxx. You can pick them up pretty much anywhere bathroom accessories are sold. It is now one of my favorite things in the house. I got an over the door hook to support the weight of everything and prevent it from falling. The small facial brush that I use to loosen dried down mud masks has a stick on hook. I was not trusting a stick on hook with this rack.

The bottom hooks are perfect for holding my straightener (Complex Culture currently, still trying to decide if i like it.)My hair dryer (Conair, I like it but there are some things I might change) and my blow out brush (also Conair and utterly fabulous. I will be doing a post on it soon). The bottom hooks also give me a great place to store my Makeup Erasers. I can hang them up wet and they will dry before I toss them in the laundry. I like to make sure they are dry before putting them in the hamper. Plus it stores the unused ones so I know when I need to get a move on with my laundry.

The next row up is great for storing the items I need for cleaning my makeup brushes actually. The blue box is a solid brush cleanser and the watermelon slice is the riged pad I use in the cleaning process. I also have my headbands for pulling my hair back when washing my face here. My current favorite is the striped one from vintage cosmetics.

Top row stores my Dry Shampoo (Klorane), my heat protectant spray (The Mane Club’s One Hit Wonder) my current sunscreen (Coola Sun Silk Drops – so light weight and fabulous), the heat mat I use to put my hot hair tools on so I don’t scorch anything. I put it down on the closed toilet lid. This one I picked up from Shop Miss A and it is fabulous. I love that it can roll up and store so easily. I also have my Comper LED light device up on this shelf, mostly because it was just easier to put it there. I really am loving that device.

I know, the shower rack on the back of the door isn’t a shattering piece of innovation, but for me it is the best storage solution I have found to keep my hair tools in check in a small bathroom. It is a simple fix to a problem that has plagued me for years because there has never been a really good place to put my hair tools. Now I have one. So I thought I’d share in case any of you are struggling with space and take the opportunity to talk about a few of my in use products. Personally, it makes me giggle anytime I think about it.

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The Daily: March 15th, 2023

Beware the Ides of March….Beware…especially if you think you might be betrayed by a friend. But who really plans for betrayal anyway? No betrayal for me today, Just a day at the desk. I am feeling significantly less stuffy and puffy today though which is nice.

I also had a fight with my bangs. They did not not want to behave. And in the end they won and I am resigned to them just looking slightly crazy. And yes I adjusted my position in the photo so you can’t see that a section of my bangs kept threatening to rise up like it is testifying in church.

Although I’m not sure me falling asleep with wet hair is testifiable material.

I did just get a package in today that I am super excited about. I’ve started ordering restocks of things because I realized not only did I need my spring orders but I was out of a lot of things. I think everything has been so chaotic that things slipped through the cracks. And while I was doing my restocking I popped on to the Beseme Cosmetics site. They do a lot of vintage style cosmetics. 1950s lipstick, cake mascara, that sort of thing. They also have collaborations that are just fabulous. A while back I picked up the Sleeping Beauty Collaboration for my Aunt who was over the moon about it and then I picked up the I love Lucy Collab for my godmother who is a HUGE I love Lucy fan.

I got to see a grown woman squeal when she opened that one which was nice. And very surprising.

The thing is that their collabs do not last long. Half the time they are sold out by the time I find out about it and go to the site to look. So I have started lurking. Or maybe stalking is a better term. I pop into the site routinely because they have great formulas and their collabs make such fabulous gifts. The makeup is long since used up but my aunt still uses the hand mirror I picked up with the collection. Which is something I love, they have items that outlast the makeup so it feels more gift like.

Anyway no new collabs but a I was there I saw the pressed powder compact. it is refillable and one of the refills was pink powder. So I scooped it up, along with a pot of their cream blush. It comes in a gorgeous metal container that is red and gold. Anyway the package arrived today. It arrived after I put on my makeup so i didn’t use it today. I thought about it, but decided adding it on top of what I was already wearing was not the greatest idea. If you have been following me for any length of time you might recall I have been searching for a pink powder to replace my no longer being products Becca Pink Haze setting powder. I have my fingers crossed that this is it. And even if it isn’t the compact is a slimline perfect for my purse and refillable. So it will be fabulous no matter what.

I will start playing with them tomorrow but I couldn’t help but gush as they came i before this post went up.

But on with today’s makeup, before I have to get back to work.

Today’s Look

Primer: Basic Beauty Smooth and Blur Primer

Foundation: Beauty Blender Bounce Liquid Whip Foundation

Bronzer: Milk Makeup Bronzing Stick

Blush: Jane Iredale Blush Stick

Setting Powder: Anastasia Beverly Hills Translucent Setting powder

Eyeshadow: Too Faced Better than Chocolate Shadow Palette

Mascara: Pur Fully Charged Mascara

Brows Grande Brow-fill

Lips Seraphine Botanicals Long Lasting Vegan Lip in Cherimoya and Fig

Okay let’s jump in because today was interesting. This was the second use of the Basic beauty primer. I think if I had more texture to my skin then maybe I would like this. It does make my skin smooth and soft, but it doesn’t really do much of anything else. It isn’t gripping, It doesn’t really feel hydrating. It doesn’t color correct or really do much blurring. It is just smoothing. And as my skin is pretty good right now, that doesn’t really do much for me. I’ll use it tomorrow again which will empty out the small tube but I don’t think this will be a full sized purchase.

I did choose a foundation that works well on it’s own with this primer and the Beauty Blender foundation does work really well on it’s own. I can tell that I am not wearing a line filling primer underneath, but I think it still looks nice.

While I love my Milk Makeup bronzer, I think my sample is starting to dry out. I can actually feel it becoming more difficult to blend. It is nearing the end of the product so that does have something to do with it, but it does have me concerned about picking up the full size. I think this is a bronzer that you use when it is your only bronzer. While the sample is on the way out, I think I may have to use a few more products up before I am ready to purchase the full size. I think it is a product that just needs to be consistently used.

This was my first use of the Jane Iredale Blush stick. My thoughts are really positive about it. The blush blends well and is really creamy. I do have to blend one cheek at a time it feels like it wants to set if I apply it on both and then blend. But that isn’t unusual. It will be interesting to see how it wears. I only did a light application so I’ll have to play around and see how well it builds.

I like the ABH Setting powder, which is fortunate as I have an unopened backup in my drawer. I wish it had an inner lid to keep it from getting so messy, but otherwise it is fine. I think if i keep using this I might actually finish it by the end of the month. I like the powder but it is a big powder so it feels like an accomplishment. Plus it has been opened for a while now.

This was my first use of the Too faced Better Than Chocolate and I predictable went for the browns and bronze. They worked well. they applied smoothly and blended nicely with no real fall out to speak of. I think I may have to use a wet brush with the shimmers but thus far, I like the formula.

This Pur Mascara is done. This was the last of the product in the tube. It is a decent every day mascara. it isn’t spectacular but it is reliable in the lengthening department. I don’t think I am going to be purchasing the full size.

I am really loving the Grande Brow Fill as it covers in my patchy parts of my brows with no problem and holds everything in place all day.

And then we reach the lips. I like the color and I love the way this liquid lip applied. It is however the stickiest lip formula I have used in a while. Seriously the sticky doesn’t go away. Seraphine Botanicals is one of those brands that I really want to like. They always look good and I am always excited to try them but then some how there is always one element that makes me think no, this isn’t for me. This lippie has a great color and applies well and evenly. It smells good and has no taste to it. But that stickiness is hard to get over.

And that my darlings is me today. It was a bit hit or miss today, but in the end, it doesn’t look half bad. It was definitely a bit more up and down than my usual makeup,. But then i did try some new things. Which is kind of the fun of makeup. But now it is back to work for me. Have a great Wednesday.

Trying out the Montrax Heated Eye Mask

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

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

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

flat, adjustable light weight strap

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

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

contours with memory foam

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

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

port for cord and heating element

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

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

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

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

scent port

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

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

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

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

Perfume Review: Plum in Cognac by Scents of Wood

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Especially when they smell fabulous.

The Daily: March 14th, 2023

I don’t know why the time change hit me harder today than yesterday but today, even though I got up on time and did my exercises I just feel really draggy. I am sure it will go away, however as I am on my own facing a computer screen for the day, I decided that makeup on an exhausted face was just too much. So I declared it a skincare kind of day.

I know that this is due to the time change, but I also know that as spring progresses there will be a few skincare days due to allergies. I have already restocked my eye masks for the spring onslaught. Once everything arrives I will put up my restocking for spring in case anyone is interested. For today, I turned to 111Skin and the Rose Gold Brightening Facial Treatment mask.

I will admit, it is not the most attractive look, but these masks are fantastic. It has a light skincare scent that has been kissed with rose so it isn’t overpowering. To me it just smells really fresh. It feels cool on the skin and it has enough serum in it to keep it in place without dripping all over the place. There are a few drips when you first put it on but I wipe them off my neck before leaving the bathroom and then have no issues. While the bits around the chin will do a little flopping as I wear this mask, the rest of it stays in place the entire masking time.

My skin feels soft and hydrated after I wear this mask and I actually feel more awake once it has been on my skin a while. I don’t know if it is the cooling element or the skin care bits but I really do feel much more awake and ready to face the world once I have used this 111Skin Mask.

I know this is not the first time I have worn this and it won’t be the last. They are one of those sheet masks that I will always keep in stock. I know I need to branch out and try some of the other sheet masks they make, but every time I reorder I always end up picking up these and calling it a day. I need to make a conscious effort when I am already stocked with these masks to o on their site and pick up a few from different lines.

But I do kind of fall into a habit with brands and cherry pick the ones I know I like. I know I like this mask, so it is the one I always repurchase. I think that might be one of the reasons I really like subscription boxes. Sometimes they end up sending me my favorite from a brand, but other times I’ll end up with something I have never tried simply because it isn’t the one thing I order from the brand.

A little more self introspection than I planned, but there we have it. I am on track with my food and exercise today, and I am taking advantage of a day alone at the computer to do a little extra skincare. That’s kind of my Tuesday. How’s yours going?

Is the IPSY Beauty Boost worth the money?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Unboxing the IPSY Glam Bag Plus for March 2023

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

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

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

But now On to the Last ever Glam Bag Plus!

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

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

Shall we look at the first product I chose?

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

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

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

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

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

Peach & Lily 100% Worry Free Skincare