The Daily: June 9th, 2022

Have you ever had a day start out one way and morph completely in just a few hours? I started off nice and quiet today. I did my yoga while thunder boomed and rain lashed down. Which oddly made it feel much more exciting. I showered and dried my hair. I applied my makeup and even managed a piece of toast for breakfast before the world went pear shaped.

Apparently other people are having computer issues today. I have back up documents and am having to work on some updates on the fly today. So this is going to be a quick post. Since I’ve already been stopped twice while trying to write this, I am going to go ahead and jump into the daily makeup in the hopes of completing this post before the next revisions (I’m waiting for someone to read through the batch I finished.) So…

Today’s Look:

Primer: Yensa Tone Up Primer

Foundation: KVD Vegan Beauty Lock It Powder Foundation

Bronzer: Buxom Cosmetics Staycation Vibes Bronzer

Blush: Illamasqua Gel Blusher

Eyeshadow: Lime Crime Exposed Prelude Palette

Mascara: Wander Beauty Unlashed Mascara

Brows: Billion Dollar Brows Brow Pomade in Taupe

Lips: Thrive Causmetics lip gloss (Ashley)

I really enjoy the KVD Powder foundation but it can get a little intensely matte. If paired with a semi-glow-y primer like the Yensa it is a beautiful pairing. The only thing you have to watch out for (as with any powder foundation) is giving the primer time to settle in a bit. Also this is not a foundation where you want a super sticky primer. The powder adheres strangely and you get patchy spots. But I find that with any powder foundation. This was a good pairing and I am happy to take the KVD powder foundation out for summer. It is a great light weight summer product and for me, this foundation is back in season. I love it in the summer, but tend to think it looks dry in the winter. I think that is more my skin than anything else though. Happy to use it all summer long.

The Buxom and Illamasqua, what can I say? Two of my favorite products and because I didn’t put them away the last time I used them they were out on the table and just easy to pick up. They are both great products that I will use to pan and then reorder.

I chose the Lime Crime Palette today partially because I love it and it always looks good, but partially because I am trying to decide if I want to pick up the immortals palette. After reminding myself how good this formula is, I really do. It does mean that I need to do an eyeshadow declutter. My shadow drawer is already over flowing and I refuse to have more than I can keep in the space. I also get a little overwhelmed by too many palettes. I look at the drawer and just end up grabbing whichever is on top without looking at any other one and I really enjoy choosing from among the palettes rather than freaking myself out.

this is one of my favorite palettes for blendability, pigmentation and color selection

I actually took my brow pomade out today. there is only a little left so I need to reorder. I love the BDB formula for brow pomade. And they have added new items to their Beauty box kits. They now have more shades and magnetic brushes that go inside them. I may have to do some adding on to my kit when I reorder my pomade

And finally I just wanted a clear gloss and the Thrive was handy. It is a nice formula and there isn’t a whole lot left so I am trying to use it up.

I know that is a quick run down and I’m sure I missed a bunch, but it is just one of those days where the running doesn’t stop. The end result is I liked all of the products i used and am happy with my look today. But now it is back to work for me. Fingers crossed that all the issues are settled today and don’t spill over to Friday and the weekend. Have a great Thursday my darlings.

The Daily: October 12th, 2021

Good afternoon my darlings. Today is a hazy but not too bad day. Humidity is high but temps are low. Oddly enough I think the humidity helped my walks today. I know that sounds strange but after the park floods and then dries out there is an abundance of mold and what not in the air and dried to dust on the walking path itself. With each step the dried stuff is crunched under foot and released into the air. I think that was what made yesterday such a puffy eyed misery. Today there is actually enough humidity in the air to kind of weigh down the dust.

A quick rain that doesn’t cause flooding will wash it all away, but for now the humidity is helping. I never really thought humidity would be my friend. It makes me feel a little guilty for all my summer time complaints.

Only a little bit though.

I did manage to get my walk in today without sneezing and sniffling my way through it, which was a nice bonus. I had one eye looking at the sky though as those clouds look like they want to rain, despite the weatherman’s assurances that we have a couple of non-rainy days on the way.

they’ve lied before.

Except for the walk though, I am keeping pretty close to the desk today. I have my regular work, but there is also a lot of work that needs to get done before the new year. I know that sounds strange to say, but I have a kind of big expansion planned for my writing site, Ten ’til Midnight, in January so I’m trying to get all of my ducks in a row for that before the craziness of the holiday’s descend. I’m sure there will be more about that as we get closer as the prep work is taking up more of my mental space.

Have you ever noticed that about big projects? Once they are actually in motion it is much more manageable than in the few months before. I know part of that is working out all of the logistics so that the actual implementation can roll out smoothly and part of the crazy is planning for possible issues that might or might not arise, but even though it is a lot of work once it gets started, I always breathe a heavy sigh of relieve after the launch.

But there are a host of things to get through before that particular relief can be felt. For now it is a lot of planning and organization.

Today’s look:

Primer: Urban Decay Optical Illusion Primer

Foundation: Wet ‘n Wild Tinted Hydrator

Bronzer: Trestique Bronzing Stick

Blush: Billion Dollar Beauty Blush in Amour

Highlighter: Billion Dollar Beauty in Mystic

Brows: Billion Dollar Brows Pomade in Taupe

Eyes: Billion Dollar Beauty Eyeshadows

Lips: bareMinerals Mineralist lip gloss in Sincerity

Mascara: Pretty Vulgar The Feathers

The primer, as you know is one I am trying to use up because it is discontinued. I love it, but I need to clear it out. while I am sure I will end up trading it out, I do want to concentrate on using it up so it will be hanging around for a bit.

The wet ‘n Wild Tinted hydrator is a product I love. The tube is shorter than most of my other products so it often gets over looked, but it is super comfortable to wear and it blends in well. i always start to apply it and think wow this is way too light, then it just blends beautifully. I also love the fact that both hyaluronic acid and squalane are mixed into the formula. I don’t know the concentration or if it actually does anything within the formula but my skin really likes both of these things when I use them in skincare so I am not adverse to potentially having them here. Plus this formula just feels really good to wear.

I love the trestique bronzer and will us it until it is gone and then repurchase the now refillable version. As this is my third Trestique Bronzing stick I have no doubts that it will be a refillable product that I will in fact refill. The bareMinerals lippie and the Pretty Vulgar mascara are also favorites. They are fabulous and will be used until finished and then repurchased.

Pretty much everything else came from my Billion Dollar Beauty Box today. You can pick up these set boxes from Billion Dollar Beauty or simply build your own. They sent one of them to me and i liked it enough that I ended up adding a couple of eyeshadows to it. The blush is a light buildable formula that works really well, especially if you are going with a tinted moisturizer or a BB cream. It is easy to just cause a light bush or build to something more intense. The highlighter too can go from subtle to stunning very easily. I think I find it more impressive today than usual because I have been using the Beauty Bakerie Palette as I test it out. That one tends to loose its color and just leave trails of glitter behind. This one from Billion dollar Beauty, retains its sheen no matter how much you sheer it out and there is no glitter trail.

And while I don’t care for their powdered brow product, their brow pomade is rapidly becoming my go to product for brows.

Over all it was a quick and easy look that works well for me. I know it is still a pretty basic office look, but lets fact it, I spend a lot of time in an office environment. I appreciate the spectacular looks and occasionally try to replicate them, but but good everyday work looks are kind of my zone.

I’m okay with that.

But for now it is back to work for me. I have to admit, even with the increased work load, I am rather enjoying the planning. It has actually brought several of my office organizational issues to light though so I may have to do a desk renovation or remodel before the new year hits. Sometimes an ounce of planning and organization can stave off major catastrophes. At least that’s my plan.

The Daily: September 14th, 2021

Good afternoon my darlings. I hope Tuesday is going well for you. As for me it has taken me away from my desk for far longer than I actually intended today, but that’s okay. It does mean that I only got one short walk in this morning, despite increasingly nice weather and I will probably have to end up working a little later than I planned.

But only by about an hour or two. And then I’ll be back on schedule. Which is a nice way to hit mid week actually.

All in all I am pretty happy with the way this week is shaping up. Busy but not overwhelming is kind of how I like my work week to go, you know. You don’t want time hanging on you and you don’t want to feel like you can’t catch your breath. Or at least that is how I like things. I will say something I am not liking is this eyeshadow. Let’s get into that actually.

Today’s look:

Primer: Illamasqua Hydra Veil Primer

Foundation KVD Lock – it powder Foundation

Bronzer: Ace Beaute Bronzed in Paradise Palette

Blush/Highlight: Doucce Posh Powder Palette

Powder: Becca Pink Haze Powder

Eyebrows: Billion Dollar Beauty Brow Pomade in Taupe

Eyeshadow: Steve Laurent Wild Thing Palette

Mascara: Its So Big by Elizabeth Mott

Lipstick: Ciate London WonderWand Lipstick

Setting Spray Lise Watier Magnifix

Okay, first off we have the primer. It is one of the ones in a larger container that I forgot to list in my primer declutter. I really like the Illamasqua Primer it is a clear jelly and very little is actually needed so a container lasts a really long time. To use you scoop out the jelly with the little spoon attached to the interior lid and put it in the palm of your hand. The heat from your skin melts it and you just apply it like a moisturizer. You need to let it sit for a moment on the skin and dry down a little. once it is no longer wet it is still a little sticky and really locks makeup into place. This is the original one which I personally prefer over the Beyond the Veil version.

With today’s foundation it was especially important that the primer dry down. I used the KVD lock it powder foundation and while it is a good foundation if the primer is still wet then it can streak a little because it is powder on wet skin. Wait a second to let the primer settle and there are no issues. In fact these two work really well together. This is actually the only powder foundation I’ve tried that I actually really like. The problem is that it often gets put with the powders and forgotten about. I really do need to remember it more often because it really is a good light weight yet nicely covering foundation.

I am liking the Doucce palette more and more as I use it. It is a buildable formula with the blush which I really like. You can layer it until you get the look you like instead of having to worry about looking like a clown. The highlighters aren’t my favorite but they do blend fairly well.

Actually everything really worked well for me today except the eyeshadow. well that is not entirely true. The shimmers, once I sprayed a brush with setting spray to dampen it, worked well. It did nothing with a dry brush but was fine with a wet one. It’s just the mattes that are a problem. Today I went straight for the darkest shadow in the palette. Yup, the one that looks black. It is not very pigmented and it applies in streaks. I am not a fan. I also wanted a lighter color to put in the crease but the one lighter matte just matched my skin tone and disappeared. I know I planned to use this the rest of the week but quite frankly I don’t like it enough to use the rest of the week. I am going to clean it with disinfectant wipes and put it in the decluttered pile. I simply don’t want to reach for it again.

None of the colors are unique. The mattes are really hard to work with and the shimmers are just okay, but again not unique shades. It may be listed as the Wild Think Palette but it is very tame, very boring and not really something I want to use. Perhaps someone with better skills can make better use of it, but I am letting it go.

And with that, I am also going back to work. I hope whatever you have planned for the day goes well and you end up exactly where you want to be by the end of the day. Persona;;y, I’m just happy my day seems to be going according to plan. After the upsets of the summer, I think Fall might actually provide a stretch of smooth sailing.

Complete range of Hair-Care products - Damila

The Daily: August 23rd, 2021

Welcome to another Monday afternoon. I hope that everyone had a fantastic weekend. I know that my Friday posts sounded a little off. I skipped both the masking and Happy Hour posts out of necessity and I know I sounded a little off.

My babydoll is subject to nasty sinus infections that can very quickly spread into his chest and lungs. His current sinus issues went from bad to very bad in a very short space of time (hence the doctor’s visit of Friday) and as the Delta variant has been most virulent in our area I was a bit of a panicked mess until the doctor officially declared it only a sinus infection.

Now calmness can return. He slept most of the weekend and needed to be babied, but things are resuming their normal course. The panic has subsided and I apologize if I sounded like a loony on Friday.

Speaking of normal rhythms though, most of the schools in our area are back in session for the fall semester, even if some of them are on line. The summer veg is almost completely spent and this week I will be pulling out the remains of the plants this week, and you know what that means?

The autumn manicure.

As much as I love painting my nails, during the summer it is petty much a lost cause. Even the best polishes will be chipped in less than two days. In the summer time I mostly concentrate on nail health. I use cuticle oils and nail strengtheners and mostly just let my nails breathe and try not to do too much damage. At the moment they are rather short because of the garden work. But this weekend, once the garden is through, there will be the annual autumn manicure. Hands will be soaked in oiled water. Exfoliated and buffed, my hands will get the at home royal treatment. I have even been saving a hand mask for the autumnal manicure. I might use that This Friday along with the face mask. The heat may not have broken, but my hands are taking advantage of the calendar date.

I am very much looking forward to it.

Of course it also means that I need to catch up on all of the things I promised myself I would do for fall. This year the chief among them was get my desk organized. It is still too hot to put away some of my summer essentials like the Avene Thermal Water spray that lives by the back door all summer long or the Color Wow Dream Coat which is pretty much single handedly keeping the humidity from turning my hair into a frizz ball every afternoon, however it is time to start thinking about getting the autumn and winter products out. Soon the closet clear out will begin and any item that gave its all for my summer wardrobe and can’t last another summer will be removed from service, even if it isn’t quite time to haul out the sweaters. I at least need to sit down and make a list of all the things that need to change in the near future. The garden is always the kick off. Once spent plants are removed and taken to compost, the Autumn Manicure signals the start of fall transitioning. I may need to make that list tonight. especially as the autumn sales have already started.

Today’s Look:

Primer: Vesca Soft Sun Radiant Skin Primer

Foundation: Matte and Poreless from Maybelline Fit Me

Bronzer: NARS Bronzer in Laguna

Blush: Floss Lip and Cheek Tint

Highlighter: Illamasqua Beyond Powder in OMG

Powder: Smashbox Photo Finish Fresh Setting powder

Brows: Billion Dollar Beauty Brow Pomade in Taupe

Eyeshadow: KVD eyeshadow paired with illamasqua highlighter

Mascara: They’re real from Benefit Cosmetics

Lips KAB Hydrating Lip Oil

Setting Spray: Farsali Rose Gold Skin Mist

The first thing you will notice is that I ended up annoyed with the length of my bangs. It will be late September before the heat breaks and I go to get my hair cut, but I just couldn’t wait that long. they grow fast so I am sure they will be a good length when I do go to the salon. They are still damp in this photo as I sprayed them down with water and then trimmed them. They are also a bit uneven. I’m waiting until they fully dry before trimming again. They are longer when wet and i don’t want to cut them too short.

So you can actually see my brows today. And I ended up using the Billion Dollar Brows pomade. It is rapidly becoming my go to brow product. I rather enjoy it . I was a little heavy handed today, but I like the product.

the majority of products were actually chose because I wanted to give the Vesca Primer another go. Last week I tried it under the Purlisse illuminating bb cream and it was just too much glow. So today I chose a matte foundation and pretty much all products that I know well enough to know I like how they perform.

The Vesca gives a nice glow under the matte foundation but it is thin enough that it is almost like a liquid highlighter. there is no pore filling or redness cancelation with it. I like the way it looks paired with a matte foundation, but I am not sure how often i will reach for it. Generally if I am reaching for an illuminating primer I go for something that also has something else to it. I’m not entirely certain this does. I’ll keep working with it though to see how it performs this week with different products. i just wanted to try it today with products I know well and use often.

The NARS is slowly exposing more of the pan and will soon make it’s way out of my makeup rotation. i just want to keep it in until it is officially used up. I like the formula and the color so at some point I will be repurchasing it. I’m just excited to be hitting pan and finally letting it go.

Speaking of letting go. the They’re Real mascara is almost empty as well and soon it too will be leaving for the empties bin. I think I might have enough to use tomorrow but then I’ll have to let it go. While it is a nice formula, I prefer both the They’re real Magnetic Lengthening Mascara and the Bad Gal Bang Mascara. Both of those are on my repurchase list. I am trying to clear out all of the older mascaras and the mascaras in my unopened drawer before I purchase any though. I suspect that i will get pulled into the holiday kits from Benefit again this year as I almost always do, so I’m sure there will be at least another Benefit Cosmetics Mascara coming soon.

But that is more or less it for me today. I’m still trying to decide how I feel about the KAB lip oil so I’ll have to get back to you on that. At the moment it just feels like a lip oil. It will feature off and on this week as I try it out. So I’ll report back later. But for now, it is back to work for me. I hope your Monday is going swimmingly. Until tomorrow.


Back to Healthy Habits & Back to School

Chomps

The Daily: August 16th, 2021

Have you ever been so relieved that something is fixed that you don’t really care that you sort of feel a bit stupid for not seeing the solution yourself? That is kind of how I feel today. As you may recall, my computer decided to do some wonky things recently. Most notably it decided that I was not allowed to access my photos. (Which is why the linked Pinterest has looked a little odd the last few weeks, in case you were wondering). To get around this I had to bounce from computer to Ipad to get everything posted. It worked well enough, but it was a major time drain.

Then Friday around two there was just a major melt down and I once again called in the Calvary.

Apparently during the year my babydoll worked from home, our home computer was networked into his office data base. When he went back to working in the office, I’m pretty sure it was disconnected. Or maybe temporarily disabled. Anyway with cases once again on the rise, someone decided to relink the at home connections for certain key people incase at home work was brought back for a while. They had a really hard time getting it up and running at first and there was a lag time so I think they were trying to avoid another week of lost productivity while connections were reestablished.

The end result is that part of my files were somehow locked into their system. As i don’t work for them. I didn’t have access. I found this out when my babydoll called from his office and put their IT guy on. I handed the phone to my friend currently fixing my computer. Two or three clicks on either end and the problem was sorted. I was also asked about a couple of before and after’s for my skincare images and was able to recommend a couple of products, namely the Herbal Dynamics Beauty Hyaluronic Serum and the Elemis Eye revive mask.

So I suppose everyone got something out of it.

Personally I’m just glad I can access everything I need to on my computer. I just can’t believe I didn’t see the extra network added. It would have been a clue that something was going on. But you live and learn.

Today’s Look:

Primer: Tatcha Silk Canvas Primer

Foundation: Purlisse Radiant Glow Illumination BB Cream

Powder: Smashbox Photofinish Powder

Bronzer: NARS in Laguna

Blush: Doucce in 61 RSVP

Highlighter: About Face liquid highlight in Shaken or Stirred

Eyeshadow: Norvina Vol 1

Mascara: Florence Built to Lash in Black Mascara

Brows: Billion Dollar Brows Pomade in Taupe

Lip: Billion Dollar Beauty Lips in toffee

Setting Spray: Farsali Rose Gold Facial Mist

Earrings: Mariz Jewelry

Today I tried to use either new or newer to me products as well as products I am trying to use up. It provided a really interesting mix. So let’s start at the top. The Tatcha Primer came in this months’ IPSY Glam Bag X and I was over the moon to see it. I’ve used it before and it is on my to repurchase list, but it is one of those expensive primers I can’t justify purchasing until I use up several of my other really good (but less expensive) products. I admit, I couldn’t help but use it right away. I love the scent of it. I am pretty sure it is Japanese peach, but I could be wrong. It is the same scent that a lot of Tatcha products have and personally I really enjoy it. I also really enjoy how the product works. very little is needed so the primer should last for quite a while. I tend to concentrate on the areas of larger pores for best use of the product. It is a primer well worth splurging on.

The Purlsse Radiant Glow BB Cream is nice. I started using it last week and I am pretty sure the sample tube will be empty by the end of the week. I am okay with that actually. I love the formula, but I really like the original BB Cream better than the illuminating one. Although with a matte primer it isn’t too glowy. It is just a preference thing. The product itself is really nice and works well for me. I would just go with the regular.

The pan is slowly growing in the Nars Bronzer. I think the silver pan showing is just smaller than the size of a quarter. Given that it is a sample size I am confident I can use the entire thing up. I am actually quite surprised at how long the mini lasted actually.

The Doucce Blush is new to me. I used IPSY Points to pick up the Posh Powder Palette and this is the first of the products I’ve tried in the palette. I have tried Doucce products before. The products are pretty good. I passed on the magnetic palette I had from them because I had all of the colors in formulas I liked better so I just wasn’t using it. I passed the palette on to my mother. The shades are perfect for her and I think she has actually hit pan on one of the eyeshadows. This blush is best called buildable. It goes on very light and you have to sort of layer it. to get the color you want. It is more subtle than many of my other blushes and I think it would be very suited for a low makeup day. in fact I could see it very easily used in an everyday makeup look. Today however I am testing the Norvina Vol 1 palette.

That palette is many things, subtle and neutral are not the terms it can lay claim to. The colors are bright and even if you tap off the brush all of them scatter pigment. The shadow got a little bit out of hand today. I think that I am going to have to use my smaller brushes to apply some of them. Tomorrow instead of reaching for my standard blending brushes I will go for the smaller ones and see if that works out better for application. I think that because they are so pigmented I feel a little bit out of control when applying them. Perhaps with smaller brushes I will feel more in control.

The Florence Mascara was not the mascara to use with this eyeshadow palette. This is a very low key mascara. It darkens the lashes beautifully. Bit it doesn’t lengthen or volumize. This is the sort of mascara you can wear with a low key shadow look. if you are just dusting a bit of bronzer or blush across your lids and then hitting the lashes with mascara, this might be a good one. This shadow, needs a more dramatic lash than this mascara can provide. As I just recently removed several mascaras from use, I am starting to roll new ones in, This was a first use and I think I am going to wait to use it again. I’ll think it could be a decent everyday mascara, but it simply doesn’t work with this dramatic eyeshadow and judging it along side it is a bit unfair. So I’ll pair it with a more toned down look to see how I feel about it then.

The lips and brows came from Billion Dollar Beauty. I really like both formulas. The more neutral lip seemed to work well for me today, I certainly didn’t need to go reaching for any of my red lipsticks. This is a neutral pink tone that worked quite well. I love using it in the Beauty Box Magnetic Palette from Billion Dollar Beauty, but I would also like to get a small compact where I could put the small square pan with maybe a travel lip brush. Kind of like the old bulled lipstick case my grandmother used to use. It clipped on the side of a bullet lipstick and had a flip up mirror and a small brush clipped onto the side. The brush was in a little sheath like a sword. I think the sheath came apart for cleaning. The whole thing had an Art Deco enameled design on it and I remember being fascinated when I was little. I would love a little case like that for this lipstick. I really like the lipstick pans and love the control of applying them with a brush, but it is harder to just slip into the purse. Just a small magnetic compact with a travel brush clipped to the side would be perfect. If anyone has ever heard of a place selling something like that, let me know. i would love to pick it up.

But that is another story.

This was my first time using the About Face Liquid highlighter and i really liked it. Very little is need. I dispensed a drop onto my hand, dipped a finger in and applied it that way. I could have blended less and it would have stood out more but i love how blending in just gives a subtle gold to the skin. I don’t know if it comes out in the photo, but I really like the in person look. This is the second About Face Item I’ve tried, the other being lip paint and thus far i have really been impressed with the products.

The final two products are ones I am trying to use up. One is the Smashbox photofinish setting powder. It is the one where you have to twist in order to get fresh powder. It is nice in concept but the dial is hard to turn if you have anything on your hands or have freshly washed hands and sometimes it sticks. I like the powder, and I even like the fresh powder concept. it is just the dial that I don’t like. if you have any mobility issues, like arthritis I would stay away from this product. Somedays it turns well, other days it is a real struggle, and I don’t really have any hand mobility issues. So even though it is a good powder, it isn’t worth the fight so I won’t be repurchasing it when I am through with it.

The Farsali Setting spray as well will be a use and let go rather than repurchase. It sets makeup well enough and the gold flakes are pretty but I just don’t care for the scent. I will use it until it is gone and then not replace it.

So that was my makeup today. I tried out a lot of new to me products as well as worked on using up some older ones. Over all I am fairly pleased with how things worked out. Admittedly with my computer fixed I am just pleased in general about how my day is going.

I tell the computer to do and it does it without causing issues? How fabulous! I am personally going to bask in that fabulousness. I hope you have something fabulous for your Monday as well. I think you deserve it.



The Daily: August 11th, 2021

Well my darlings, today I avoided the gym and braved the walking trail instead. The reason being the drastic number of increased cases in my area. And the fact that even though my gym has reinstated their masking policy, very few people are following it and it isn’t really being enforced.

Plus I’ve seen how perfunctory some of my fellow gym members are when wiping down equipment. So I decided the walking trail it would be. I went a little before ten this morning and thought, this won’t be too bad.

It kind of was.

I tried to get a few things done before going on the walk and it was a bad idea. I think I am going to have to get up, wash my face, put on sunscreen and go for the walk first thing until I go back to the gym. The heat actually wasn’t that bad but I was soaked by the time I got back to the house. Clothes went directly into the washing machine so they didn’t stink up the closet via the laundry basket. There was an impromptu laundry run post walk. Well post shower actually. I cooled down a bit, took the shower and then ran the laundry. Even though I can’t run the laundry every day I think my walking clothes are going directly into the machine post walk. So we again shuffle the schedule a bit until the numbers drop and the gym gets its act together.

But at least I got the walk in.

Today’s Look:

Primer: Ole Henriksen Banana Bright Face Primer

Foundation: Tom Ford Traceless Soft Matte Foundation

Bronzer: NARS Bronzer in Laguna Beach

Blush: Billion Dollar Beauty Blush in Amour

Highlighter: Billion Dollar Beauty Highlighter in Mystic

Powder: No 7 Perfect Light Pressed powder

Brows: Billion Dollar Beauty Brow Pomade in Taupe

Mascara: Marc Jacobs Velvet Noir Mascara

  • still currently on sale

Eyeshadow: RealHer Dreams so Big Eyeshadow Duo paired with Moon Eyeshadow From Billion Dollar Beauty

Lips: Zoeva Powerful Lip Twist in Rhea

Setting Spray: Farsali Rose Gold Facial Spray

Necklace from the Rachel Zoe Collection

I am actually really pleased with the way things turned out today, look wise. I think the neutral look of everything else really should have been paired with a stronger lip, but I wanted to test out the Zoeva Lip Twist. When I did the swatch with the product, the tip bend because it was a really soft formula. Even though I was gentle in applying it, the tip fell completely off within seconds of being touched to my lip. It does have a sharpener on the end, but I didn’t use it. I rolled out the product so a little flat edge was above the tube and used it that way. It applied well in that instance and I think because of the softness of the formula, I will not actually sharpen it. I will just roll up the product a little bit at a time and use it that way. I actually like the color. It is a nude that I can wear without my lips completely disappearing into my face, which is a nice shade to have. If you use this product though, be aware it is very soft. It applies creamy though and lasts for quite a while. It wears off like a moisturized bullet lipstick formula but it doesn’t flake, it doesn’t actually dry down enough to flake. So plan to reapply after lunch.

The second item that is new to me is the eyeshadow Duo from RealHer. The shades are Imagine and Ambition. One is essentially a matte brown and the other a rosy shimmer. I liked how they performed. The matte applied well and blended easily. It did crease a little bit towards the end of the day, but I do have hooded eyes and I didn’t use a lid primer. The shimmer was okay with a dry brush but better with a wet brush. I really like this quad and would definitely consider taking it with me on my travels in place of a larger palette. I would add concealer to my lids before using it again though. I don’t think it needs a full on lid primer, but a little help from concealer might help stop the minor end of day creasing.

I did add a touch of Moon to brighten up the corners. I would add that to the travel bag as well. The Moon Shadow and the Brow Pomade may be my favorite Billion Dollar Beauty Products. actually think the Brow Pomade may be my favorite brow product at the moment. It is in my BDB magnetic palette right now. While I love the palette and frequently use the mirror on it, I think I am going to move the brow pomade out of the kit. I put it too close to the highlighter and now it has a smattering of dust on it. I think that as soon as my NARS sample sized bronzer is empty, I may use that as a single container for the Brow Pomade as it is just the right size for a single pan.

At the moment have a full finger tips worth of pan showing in the NARS. Now that the pan is showing it seems to be going quickly. I don’t know why I find that oddly fulfilling but I do.

The Farsali setting spray is almost to the half way point. It is sparkly, it is in a lovely glass bottle, but I don’t really care for the scent and I don’t think it performs terribly well. It performs well enough that I’ll use it up, but it isn’t something I will repurchase. I think that fact is highlighted more by the fact that every other product I used today is one that I would repurchase. And that includes the so soft Zoeva. Once you accept that the tip will break off and apply with the flat side, it is a good lip product. As is everything else I used today.

Actually I have been trying not to use my No 7 powder so much so that I can clear out some of the other products in my collection. It is hands down my favorite powder, drug store or otherwise. I think part of it is the formula and part of it is that the tones of the Medium really suit my skin tone. The tan may deepen or fade depending on the time of year, but the No 7 goes with the tone of it really well. I just need to work on using up and clearing out some other products.

And because I am trying to mention my jewelry as well, the necklace is from the Rachel Zoe Collection. I picked it up at TJ Maxx actually. I have a weakness for thin chains with a small charm on them. This one was just flashy enough for me. I actually quite like it. And with that, it is back to work for me. I hope the rest of your day is fantastic.



Testing out the Billion Dollar Brushes

The brush set, new and just out of the package

Recently, Billion Dollar Beauty sent a package over and contained in that package was the Pro-Brush Essentials Kit. I have been using the kit ever since to determine how I feel about them and how they work.  I absolutely love testing out new makeup brushes, especially when they are in a pre arranged kit like this.  Not only is it fun to try out new brushes, but I always end up learning something about how I actually apply makeup when I do. 

I think it is because I’m testing I am not just reaching for whichever brush I want automatically from my stash of brushes but using a specific set so I have to focus. The set in general is a lovely one to focus on.  It is black and gold with gray bristles.  The bristles are soft and well attached.  I had absolutely no issues with bristles falling out.  The quality is very nice. 

I really like that they are infused with charcoal.  It doesn’t add any dust to your face (if that is a concern), but it is infused into the bristles.  Charcoal has anti-microbial properties in it which quite honestly I think is genius in a makeup brush.  I am pretty good about washing my brushes, but in all honesty I generally wash the ones I’m using once a week.  Otherwise I use  a color switch. Having a little help in keeping the microbes in check between washes is definitely something I can get behind.

Plus, I’m pretty sure it is also what gives the bristles their cool gray color, which personally I am partial to. I also like that the bristles are synthetic and cruelty free. 

As I go through the six brushes in the kit, I am going to use the name that is inscribed on the brush itself as they don’t have numbers.

Powder Brush

Powder Brush: It is nice and fluffy and applies powder products well.  I started off using it for my powder, but I found I generally I wanted to use another brush for powder instead.  I absolutely loved this brush for applying blush. So I ended up using it as my blush brush and I really enjoyed it as a blush brush.  It applied product well and then was dense enough that I could use it to help blend in the blush.

Foundation Brush

Foundation Brush: I’ll be honest, I didn’t like using this for foundation.  For my foundation, I really wanted a densely packed brush like the one I usually use and I did end up rotating in my 999 Master Blender from Bdellium tools.  However I loved this brush for dealing with loose setting powder.  I found I could use less powder and really control where I put it when I used this brush.  For me, that is what this flat brush was made for. It swept away any eyeshadow fall out and was then used for the powder.

Contour Brush

Contour Brush: This worked well with any powder bronzer or contour I paired with it.  I was very pleased with its performance.  The angled edge was perfect for applying across my cheeks and it really helped blend the product well.  It wasn’t as good for my cream based products.  When I tried it with the creams I generally found I blended better with my fingertips.  Admittedly I usually find I blend cream products better with my fingertips.   But for powder products it worked really well.

Eyebrow Brush

Eyebrow Brush:  This worked perfectly as you would expect. This size brush is always fantastic for the eyebrows.  It worked well with both powder and cream products.  It paired with the Billion Dollar Brows Pomade is a fantastic duo for me. I found that once cleaned off, this brush worked really well for lipstick application.  I have a couple of cream lipstick pans that it worked well with.  I also have a couple of lipsticks that I’ve worn down to that they no longer give the best angle during application, so it is easier to use a brush to get the clear lines.  A brush like this is especially useful if you have a deep red or berry shade that sometimes gets a little messy when you apply it.  Using a small angled brush can give you so much more control.  This little brush worked well for both lipsticks and its designated eyebrow status.  It is a style of brush I always find a use for so I’m not surprised that I liked having another one in my collection.

Highlighter Brush

Highlighter Brush:  I’ll be honest, until I looked at the handle to write this up, I didn’t realize this was a highlighter brush.  I tend to apply my highlighter with my fingertips.  I don’t like a bright blazing highlighter strip but more of a blended in glow and fingers work the best for me. This brush I have been using as an eyeshadow brush and it is a really good blending brush and just all round eyeshadow brush.  In fact partnered with the actual Eyeshadow Brush in the kit, the two brushes were all I really needed to do my eyes.  Now I do have a rather tame eyeshadow look as I lean more towards everyday looks than the super creative ones.  I actually envy the super creative looks. Occasionally I try to emulate them at home when I am just playing around.  Usually that ends up with me looking like I got into some sort of bizarre fight and ended up the loser. Or they will look fantastic when my eyes are closed but then everything is hidden when I open my eyes because they are somewhat hooded.

The point is that for an everyday look, the Highlighter brush was the perfect general all round eyeshadow brush.

Eyeshadow Brush

Eyeshadow Brush: the last brush in the Essentials kit and the one I used for shimmers.  It worked well with shimmer application and when called upon it helped blend fairly well.  It isn’t as thick as the Highlighter brush so I often called upon the highlighter brush for blending, but the eyeshadow brush did a really good job.  With some shadows and glitters it needed to be damp to work well but the brush worked well either damp or dry with no bristle fall out.  I had some eyeshadows that I played around with that required a lid primer and this eyeshadow brush worked well applying the lid primer to the lisd as well as blending it into place.  Then it had to be washed, but after washing it was as good as before and fantastic with the shimmers.

Overall I thought this was a really good mix of brushes.  It is a nice kit that gave most of what I wanted when putting together my makeup.  I added a different foundation brush because I prefer a kabuki style brush for foundation, however the foundation brush in this kit will definitely become part of my everyday makeup kit in a different capacity. I really enjoyed the use of the flat foundation brush, just not with my foundation. Other than that, the only thing missing from this kit is spoolie to finish off your eyebrows.  And as I have quite a few of those around, many attached to eyebrow products, it was no real problem at all.



The Daily: July 26th, 2021

Success! Well partially, at least as far as creative driving goes. Today i managed to get myself in gear early enough to beat the construction traffic and so it took only the normal amount of drive time to get to the gym. I am going to have to play around with the drive back though as it was a full forty-five minutes.

I know some of you are thinking that forty-five minutes is fantastic and that your drive anywhere takes longer, but when the drive usually takes eighteen minutes, the forty-five feels like a lot. But at least I managed one end of the drie successfully. And I got in my monday workout as planned.

As just the thought of walking outside sends sweat rolling down my spine, the walking trail isn’t really an option today.

I’m doing fairly good on my calories today. Lunch ended up being a tomato basil salad. It was going to have Mozzarella in it but after even a brief period outside I just couldn’t face dairy. I know those of you who know me well are gasping in shock. I am oh so fond of cheese of all varieties. But this is one of those days where lighter is better and anything heavier is going to come after the sun goes down. and even then, it is debatable. So it was tomato and basil salad with a few dashes of balsamic and a sprinkle of truffle salt. The slight eartiness in the salt makes if feel oddly more satisfying than without, even though it is really a very light touch. I don’t use a lot, because I am not using a lot of salt, but as odd as it sounds, that tiny little earthy note helps trick my brain into thinking that I just ate something much heartier than I did.

and I will take all the tricks i can get.

Before I get into today’s look, I just want to say, I am very happy with the way my skin looks today. I know that is an odd segway as I usually discuss skincare on Friday’s with the line up, but My Friday Face Mask was a Pore refining one from Go-To SkinCare (The Removalist). It is supposed to clear out pores. I felt very happy with it after using it Friday, but pore clearing masks are often best seen a few days after. I used the mask friday and then used a hyaluronic acid serum right after. The next day I used a light physical exfoliator (I tend to use them only once a month or so). And today I feel like my skin looks really nice. Which is the best look of all.

Today’s Look:

Primer: Marc Jacobs Undercover Blur Perfector

  • currently on sale for $19.50 (down from $39)

Foundation: Elf Acne Fighting Foundation

Powder/Bronzer/Blush/Highlight: PUR 4-in-1 perfecting Powders face palette

Brows: Billion Dollar Beauty brow cream in taupe

Eyeshadow: Golden Hour Palette from Beauty for Real

Mascara: Pretty Vulgar The Feathers

Lipstick: MAC Bated Breath

Setting Spray: ABH Dewy Set

Jewelry: Mariz Jewelry

Today I went quick and easy with most of the products, choosing ones I know and love like PUR palette, Marc Jacobs Primer and Elf Foundation. The Billion Dollar Beauty Brow Cream is also very much growing on me. And you know I love The Feathers Mascara. The two things I wa testing today were the Beauty for Real eyeshadow palette and the ABH Setting spray.

With the palette, the mattes blended well but dropped a lot of excess powder everywhere and the shimmers needed a damp brush to really shine. I’ll be playing with it throughout the week but thus far i like the way it blends but I’m not so thrilled with the fall out. we’ll see how it works.

With regards to the setting spray. I have been using the ABH Dewy Set with the ABH setting powder. The powder is a little powdery so I wasn’t sure if the dewy spray was just offsetting the powderyness of the powder or if it was a kind of dewy I could live with when I didn’t need to tame down the powder. If that makes sense. Today I just used the powder in the PUR palette. It is a good powder that doesn’t need something to settle it down. While the ABH Dewy Spray does have a bit of a shine to it, it is more of a fresh faced look rather than an overly dewy wet kind of look.

While I like the spray and I don’t mind the dewiness, I think this spray is one that I will like even more when my skin enters it’s winter dry phase. Then matte products tend to make me look dry and a spray like this could come in handy. I like it now, but I think I will like it even more later. Which is a very good thing to know.

Over all I am very pleased with how my look turned out today. My hair is clipped up to keep me cool, but the earrings are a little bit of shine to make my Monday sparkle. Over all, not to shabby. Admittedly, I am mostly really happy with my skin at the moment, so I would probably be happy with most products today. Good skin days make most makeup an easy sell. Luckily most of the items I’ve sued enough before to know I like them even when my skin is acting up. I just like them better now.

Challans de Paris

The Billion Dollar Box

The Billion Dollar Box with pans

Recently Billion Dollar Beauty sent a package to me that included their Billion Dollar Box as well as several pans of product to go inside. This week I have been using both the box and the products. The products have worked well and to be honest, the brow cream is actually one of my favorites and one I will not only keep using but repurchase when it runs out.

However this post is not about the products in the box, but rather the box itself. The box retails for only $9.99 and on the website it is described as…

The Billion Dollar Box® is a customizable, sustainable and convenient solution to traditional makeup palettes. Create the palette that speaks to YOU and choose from over 35 different Billion Dollar Beauty® makeup pans including brows, eyes, lips and cheeks. Buy once, refill for life. BDB cosmetic pans are sold without excess packaging, unlike traditional makeup palettes.  The magnetic base holds each product in place keeping your makeup mess-free and organized inside one box.

  • Magnetic base holds makeup pans in place
  • Billion Dollar Beauty® makeup pans sold separately
  • Made with 30% PCR plastic
  • Includes mirror and kickstand for application on-the-go
  • Patent Pending
the kickstand

In case you were wondering, all of the pans from brows to eyeshadows and face products sell for $3.99. While BDB sent two eyeshadow pans in the package, I have actually ordered a couple of other shades to try out as well so I can get a feel for the darker shadows (hence why the review of those will be later). As I mentioned above, thus far all of the products have performed well.

The mirror on this box is a good size and it has a very sturdy kick stand for support. It is prone to collecting fingerprints as it is the box lid, but is easy to wipe off. On the sides of the box are two curved cut outs to lift the lid off of the box. I’ll be honest, the first time I took the lid off the box, I broke a nail getting it open. It is a very tight fit. However as I continued to open and close the box, the fit, while still tight, opened easier. It was just that initial factory fresh box that was a little hard to open up.

The entire back of the box is magnetic and is quite strong. I moved the palette around the house and even put it in my purse when going grocery shopping and none of the pans moved even a bit. I know it sounds strange to test the magnet, but even though the mirror is thick and sits on the ridge inside the palette, it still leaves quite a lot of space between the mirror back and the pans, so if one was knocked loose because of a less powerful magnet then it would bounce around a bit and make a mess of the other pans.

blush removed to show the fall out around it caused by the larger brush

Thankfully, this was not an issue. As the mirror has no cover, i would suggest putting it inside a bag when traveling with it to prevent the mirror from getting damaged. In this case, the drawstring bags from IPSY might actually come in handy.

Using the products in the pan I had a couple of concerns The first was if the depth at which the pans sit is deeper than most magnetic palettes due to the mirror sitting in the box, and I wondered if that would make a difference in application. I found myself picking up the pan to dip into it vertically more than I did with other palettes. It wasn’t a conscious choice just something that happened as I put my makeup on. Blush and highlighter I worked with the pan flat and then picked up the palette to apply shadow, brows and lips. I think this adjustment may have been due to the depth at which the pans sat, verses a usual palette, but it wasn’t really a difficulty and I didn’t really have to lift it up to use, I just found myself doing so. Once I realized I was doing it, i stopped and deliberately used it lying flat and it worked well.

The second concern I had was the mix of powder and cream products in the same palette. I worried that there would be fall out from the powder into the cream products. In this case the blush was the product with the most fall out. I’m pretty sure this is because I used a larger brush to apply it. The the shadows, brows and lips were all dipped into with smaller brushes and I tend to apply highlighter with my fingertips so there were no real problems with any of them. As you can see there is some powder fall out from the blush.

To make sure it didn’t get into the cream products, I simply moved them lower in the palette and away from the powder. Even with the fall out, the powder spray was minimal. I think my blush brush is just slightly wider than the pan and that is what caused the corona of powder around the pan. It means I didn’t evenly space the pans as they do in the advertisements, but giving the blush a little extra room seemed to work. I had no contamination issues this entire week.

the clearly marked pan

Even though I really enjoy the products sent over, I do have other magnetic pans and when I tried them in this box, they worked just as well as the products designed for the box. So if you had one eyeshadow you wanted to add that BDB didn’t have in their dhade range you could. Or if there was a specific product you were trying to ue up. Or whatever, it could be added. It is a very versatile palette as there are no designated cut outs for specific pans. I will say though that I love the way these pans are labelled. Each pan, whether for lips, eyes or face has a full label on the back. There is no wondering which shade of eyeshadow you are using. For me the cream brow was my stand out favorite and one I will certainly be reordering. Because of their clear labels, when the pan reaches a stage where reordering is needed, I can easily flip it over and see the shade with no issue.

I know that sounds like a little thing, but I have several magnetic pans that have small numbers printed on the back of them and no other information. A couple of them I can’t even remember what brand they are. Reordering would require first a magnifying glass to find the numbers and then a search to find the brand. These pans are all clearly labeled and can easily be reordered. I personally really appreciate that.

While my palette was of the build your own variety, BDB has put together beauty bundles that you can purchase with the pans already picked out. The Rustic Vacation bundle is a little more earthy in tone, while the tropical vacation bundle is a bit brighter. So even if you are uncomfortable picking out each individual product, you could start with the bindles and then add one or two items of your own choosing as you grow more comfortable with the products. Or if you find you just want to try a brighter lipstick. it is extremely easy to personalize.

I really enjoyed this palette and I think that once I start traveling again (at Thanksgiving is the plan this year) it will go with me. When visiting family the mirrors are in the bathroom and bathroom space is limited. Given the house is always crowded at the holidays, time in the bathrooms are limited as well. Having a stand up mirror will be a huge help in getting ready without causing a traffic jam. Over all it is a well thought out box and one I will use often and purchase replacement products for. I think the plastic is sturdy enough to last a while and the magnet is strong enough to keep everything in it’s place. My only concern is finding a cover for the mirror during travel, but as that is easily accomplished with an IPSY bag or even a thick winter sock, it really isn’t much of a concern at all.





The Daily: July 21st, 2021

Good afternoon my darlings. I hope your week is going swimmingly. I am still racing to meet my deadline, but I did manage the gym today for a short period of time. I cut it short because the gym was rather crowded today. While I could get all of the machines for my strength training, the treadmills were all occupied and I didn’t feel like hanging around until one came free. I think that I am going to try for an evening walk. I’ll still coat myself in sunscreen, but I’ll also add a layer of bug spray on top as the problem with walking in the evening is the mosquitos.

As soon as it looks like the sun might be going down, they come out in swarms.

But that will be a timing issue for later. Right now, I at least managed my scheduled workout. I also managed to clean up and get my makeup on. Because I’m planning on staying at my desk for the rest of the day I took the opportunity to let my hair stay down for a bit. At this point it is simply too hot to wear it down outside of the house. So since I am inside I took the opportunity to let it down. And yes, I really need to get to the salon and have a professional do some shaping at the very least. I had layers, they grew out. I tried putting a few layers in myself, it was a disaster. Thankfully those layers have now grown out. So A professional is needed. That will come in the fall. At the moment my ability to tie my hair up and out of the way is of more import than styling. Although you can’t really see them, today’s earrings are also from Mariz jewelry. They are the plain gold version of the sparkly fans I picked up from them. While i like the glitter, I kind of prefer the lower key look of the plain gold for everyday wear.

Today’s Look:

Primer: Clarins Instant smooth perfecting touch Primer

Foundation: Ciate London Extraordinary Foundation

Bronzer: Trestique Vegan Bronzing stick

Blush/Highlight/lips/brows: Billion Dollar Beauty

Shadow: Billion Dollar Beauty and KVD Beauty

Powder: ABH Loose setting powder

Setting Spray: ABH Dewy Set

Mascara: Pat McGrath Labs FetishEyes mascara

Lip liner: Huda Beauty in Trophy wife

Everytime I use the Clarin primer I am reminded how much I really do like it. It isn’t one that seems to get a lot of hype, but I really like the way it feels and performs. I am about halfway through the container at this point. Very little is needed so it will last a while longer, but it is a definite repurchase item for me. if you are interested it is currently on sale at All Beauty.

The Ciate London Foundation is also in my top list of products. I’ve been using it a lot more lately partially because I love the formula and partially because the shade matches my summer skin better than many of my other products.

while I am still testing out the Billion Dollar Beauty Box and assorted products sent to me with it, I amd also testing out a set of Billion Dollar Beauty Brushes and I wanted to try them with the cream formula of my Trestique Bronzing stick. So that is the bronzer I chose, although it isn’t a hardship.

I am finding that the ABH Powder and Setting spray work well together. The Powder seems to lean a bit towards the powdery side of things, but the Dewyness of the setting spray balances it out to keep it from looking powdery. Tomorrow i might switch setting sprays to see if any setting spray counteracts it or if it is the Dewy part of the spray that balances. I’ll also have to pick a day and switch out powders to see if the spray is too dewy without the drier look powder. But those are experiments for another day. At the moment I am pretty pleased with how things came out. As I found the lipstick in the Billion Dollar Beauty a little too light for me, I used the Huda Beauty Lip Contour to help adjust the shade. As the liner is too dry on it’s own, covering it with the lipstick really works well. The color is altered and the lipstick keeps the liner from being too dry. I am really liking the combo.