Let’s talk about the tummy…

I know it isn’t a sexy topic and it isn’t a particularly fun one, but sometimes things need to be discussed. Over the years I have suffered from bouts of bloating and constipation. I have tried numerous changes to my eating habits over the years to deal with it.

Oddly enough with as much time and energy as i spend working towards healthy weight loss most of my ‘diets’ over the years have been attempts to deal with the uncomfortable bloating and tummy troubles. I’ve gone from Vegan to Caveman diet and pretty much everything in between. What I ended up landing on was a well balanced diet incorporating all of the food groups, limiting saturated fats and sugars (which seems to work best for me). I also ended up understanding that my gut sometimes simply takes a long time to process foods.

And that, it turns out, isn’t an issue with my diet it is simply how my body works. Mostly I just understand that and live with it. it is an annoyance sometimes, but not a huge health concern so I count myself pretty lucky all in all.

A while back I was sent a sample of Phillips Colon Heath daily Prebiotic 4-in 1 Symptom defense. The sample was sent by Influenster and I liked it enough that I ended up purchasing it on my own and have since kept purchasing it. According to the product page…

Phillips’® Colon Health® Probiotic has three types of specially selected probiotics that: Help replenish good bacteria in the digestive system, including in the colon*, Help defend against occasional digestive issues and support the health of your colon*, Phillips’® Colon Health® Probiotic provides 4-in-1 Symptom Defense™ against occasional:* Gas, Bloating, Constipation, and Diarrhea. Unlike some other brands, Phillips’® Colon Health® Probiotic promises 1.5 billion CFUs at time of expiry.

The capsules are easy to swallow and not overly large. I took one each morning with a bit of toast and that was good for me. Now for me, my body has a way of trapping rather than releasing so I suffer from the bloating and constipation elements. The first few days my body had a grand release shall we say. I stuck close to the bathroom and I can honestly say I have never burped that much in my entire life.

For me I will often get a bubble of gas that feels like it is trapped between the end of my sternum and the top of my stomach and it will sit there rather painfully for a few hours before it slowly dissipates. The first few days of taking this Colon Health Probiotic an hour after the pill went down, the bubble of air came up. The burbs rivaled those produced by teenage boys with a shaken up two liter of soda on hand. I didn’t attempt to recite the alphabet during release, mostly because I was very surprised. Usually burping for me is very difficult.

And given the name Colon Health I expected all the effects to be on the other end of the system.

To be fair it helped on that end as well.

After a couple of days when I was beginning to suspect that taking the probiotic would mean always being within ten feet of a restroom, everything leveled out. My restroom visits returned to normal. However I didn’t have the internal build up or bouts of constipation. Once my body had a good spring cleaning everything just ran smoothly.

I know this isn’t a particularly fun topic to talk about, however it can be useful. Was the bloating a life threatening issue? No, but when it occurred it made me feel miserable. For me this was a simple fix that made me feel a million times better. Now clearly this is not meant as any sort of medical advice, so if you have major issues definitely talk to your doctor and follow their advice. For me and the simple bloating and constipation issues, this was a simple fix that meant a world of difference. And I really wish despite this being a not so pretty subject, someone sat me down and talked to me about this earlier. If any of the above issues are ones you have, I hope this little bit helps you out or at least gives you an avenue to explore.

Going Backstage with the Dior Concealer

Concealer isn’t a product I tend to talk about much. The reason is that I have found it hard to find one that doesn’t end up creasing on me or that will blend in well with my skin. I really hate when you can tell a spot is lighter because there is concealer on it and I really don’t like when it settles into lines and makes them more prominent. Time will eventually make them impossible to conceal, I don’t need a concealer attempting to spot light them.

This Dior Backstage Face and Body Flash Perfector concealer came to me through Influenster. As always though, my opinions are my own and let me tell you, my opinions of this concealer are high.

The shade I have is 2CR. It is a little lighter than my skin tone but blends in beautifully. It also lasts all day without creasing. I tend to use it around my eyes and on a few slightly darker spots on my face. I apply it and then blend it in with a makeup sponge. and yes, i apply my concealer before I apply my foundation. I have always done this and I find it gives me more of a blended finish with the concealer not standing out on it’s own that way.

dot don’t swipe, then blend a little goes a long way

This concealer has a slightly floral scent to it which was a pleasant surprise. it isn’t a heavy scent, but it is certainly not a concealer scent. Which honestly made it more pleasant to use. I am not a huge fan of the scent of most concealers.


The applicator is a small brush rather than a doe foot and I really liked using it. The trick with this concealer though is to remember that a little goes a long way. Dot this concealer on your skin, don’t use massive swipes. A dot will cover far more than you expect.

blended full face

This is one of the best concealers I have used in a while and I will be reaching for it often and using every last drop. I’m hoping the tone can be flexible during the summer months so I can continue to use it even as my skin tans. If not, this is one of those products I would consider having multiple shades of in my makeup drawer.

It is something I will be monitoring. But right now, this Back Stage Concealer is a two thumbs way up product. Way to go Dior. And thanks Influenster.

Challans de Paris

The Daily: April 11th, 2022

Good afternoon my darlings. I hope you had a fantastic weekend. Ours was a quiet one, which was nice after last week’s company and the upcoming Easter Festivities. It was nice to have a break. Since pollen was high and stuffy noses abounded it was also an excuse to sort of stay in and just veg out. I had planned to get a little bit of planting done, but we had a cold snap that prevented it. I should know better, we never plant anything out of doors before Easter here. Even though April 11th is usually our last recorded frost day, we almost invariably have coldness appear on Easter morning.

Probably because the stores insist on selling Easter dresses made of thing summer weight fabric. Of course my Easter dress is thicker material so I won’t freeze so perhaps Easter will be sunny. I am wearing open toed shoes though which the Weather Warden’s might see as a taunt and decide to send snow.

At least that’s how I think weather tends to work. It only really snows when I’ve committed to wearing something that shouldn’t be worn in the snow. Or so it seems.

But there was little time spent outside this weekend. Truthfully, I stayed in and binge watched Halo on Paramount+. I also searched their upcoming movies. I heard the Lost City was out and I was trying to figure out when I could actually make it to the theaters to see and I found out that it was going to be coming to Paramount+ at some point soon so I went looking for dates. I didn’t find any but I am hoping it is soon. Mostly because I couldn’t figure out a time when going to the theater was going to be possible.

With the Easter Weekend coming up, time is going to be a bit too tight to allow it. Usually if it is a movie I want to see but my babydoll doesn’t, I’ll slip off to watch it during the day. (I love when I get the theater almost completely to myself. it only happens in the winter, once school lets out the day time will be packed, but with Spring Break ending I have a little time where it is possible.) Just not right now.

So shall we jump into today’s look?

Pre-Makeup Base: Embryolisse Lait Creme Concentre

Primer: Yensa Tone Up Primer Essential Glow

Foundation: Yensa BC Full Coverage Foundation with SPF40

Concealer: Dior Backstage Flash Perfecter Concealer

Bronzer: Ciate London Bamboo Bronzer

Blush: Benefit Cosmetics Gold Rush Blush

Highlighter: Model Co Highlighting Shimmer Whip

Eyeshadow: Lime Crime Prelude Exposed Palette

Mascara: Blinc UltraVolume Tubing Mascara

This was a fun trial. The two Yensa Products were just sent to me by the brand to try out for the purpose of review and the Dior Concealer was sent to me by Influenster. As always my thoughts are my own.

Actually I chose a Yensa product for my IPSY plus bag this month and I’ll be getting the new Silk Serum Foundation so it will be nice to try the BC cream and the serum foundation out close together.

The Yensa Primer I have used before and have purchased multiple times. Although the packaging has shifted over time, I have gone through at least three bottles of this primer. It is fantastically pore filling and makeup gripping. I generally wear it under a matte foundation and it keeps it from looking too heavy, providing a soft glow. For me paired with the foundation it was a little more glow-y than I usually go. It was a nice change of pace (and I got several complements on it today when I had to nip out for a meeting), but I think I am going to try a more matte primer with this foundation to see how it performs. I think it is a case of one or the other for me. I like the glow of the primer with a matte foundation and I like the glow of the foundation with a matte primer, but the two combined was a little too much for me. If you like glow-y this might be a good combination for you.

I Will be trying out this foundation all this week and into next, and then posting a full review, so i will be rotating primers throughout anyway, I just couldn’t resist using the new tube of a long term favorite.

The concealer was also a first use favorite. While I have used Dior skincare, with the exception of their lip products (which I love) I haven’t tried any Dior Makeup products. This was interesting. A little dab will do so use the product sparingly. It spreads out well and sheers into the skin well, at least for this first trial. I really like the fact that it is a brush rather than a doe foot as it gave me better control. While I use concealer on various parts of my face i especially use it on my eye lids as a shadow base. Mostly because I just notice that skin is darker (slightly) than the rest of my skin so it helps to blend. Right now I am dealing with allergies so no product was going to deal with the bags under my eyes, but I did like how this performed for a first use. I am looking forward to continuing it’s trial.

While the Benefit Blush, Ciate Bronzer, Lime Crime Palette and bareMinerals lippie are all favorites I reach for constantly, I am still testing out the Model Co highlighter and the blinc Mascara. The model co is interesting. I think it shows up best when paired with all matte products. When used with anything slightly dewy or glowy it disapears.

The Blink mascara is really nice though. Super long lashes that last all day. When taking my makeup off I do find myself reaching for the Klorane Cornflower waterproof Eye makeup remover. It is gentle but takes off the mascara better than anything else. This mascara may resist flaking, but it also resists the makeup balms. It did not resist Klorane. I don’t think it is actually waterproof (although i will look that up) but I did need to call in the waterproof makeup remover to get it completely off. So that is something to remember.

All in all I was quite pleased with how things came out today. It was more glow-y than I am used to but sometimes it is nice to shake things up a bit. And I did get several complements on how I looked today so that was nice as well. But now it is back to work for me. I hope the rest of your Monday goes fantastically well.

Perfume Review: Summer Daze Limited Edition from Calvin Klein’s Eternity Line

This perfume was sent to be by Influenster for the purpose of review all thoughts and opinions on the product are my own. According to Influenster this is a limited Edition Scent by Calvin Klein. I don’t know if it is actually available yet as I could not find a direct link to this specific scent anywhere. Given the name I suspect that it will be released for the upcoming season, but that is only a guess. This Link will take you to the general Calvin Klein Perfume page where hopefully at some point there ill be more official information listed.

Because I couldn’t find any description of the scent, we are left with just my impressions. There are no carefully worded descriptions intending to whisk you off to a life more glamorous with simply a spritz from the bottle. While I am perfectly capable of making my mind up without these descriptions, I do miss them. Maybe it is the writer in me. At some point I am just going to take one of the perfume ads and use the description as a story starter.

Somehow I feel confident that it will end up being a murder mystery.

But for now there was no description that I could find. Summer Daze from Calvin Klein comes in a slim and lovely squared off glass bottle. Personally I like the look of the delicate peach liquid in the clear glass topped by the silver. the design is almost architectural. I’m not entirely sure how that goes with the Summer Daze name, but I like the look of it.

when I sprayed it, at first I thought I wasn’t going to like it. This is a scent that comes out of the bottle like an enraged bull charging a matador. It is not subtle and one spritz made me think I was going to spend the rest of the day engulfed in a scent of cloud that people could smell coming around the corner.

This intensity, thankfully, doesn’t last. After about ten to fifteen minutes the scent quieted down. It pulled in closer to the skin and stopped trying to announce it’s presence to the world. Half an hour in and someone would have to invade my personal space if they wanted a whiff of my cologne.

I thought this meant that it was going to fade away to nothing, however once it reached that personal stage of scent saturation, it stopped fading. I had about five hours of scent, noticeable to me without pressing my wrist to my nose. After about hour five, the scent started noticeably fading.

But what is this scent. It is a light floral with somewhat fruity notes. I would guess that the florals probably lean more towards Jasmine and with the fruits I would guess some blend of mandarin, apricot and possibly peach. The scent is not overly sweet. In fact there is very little sweetness in it. Sometimes when scents lean into the fruity aspects they can get a bit cloying. This is balanced by some sort of earthy note that I just cant’ name. It is there more to tame the other elements than to be a scent in and of itself.

I would say that this is an adult scent but not an overly mature scent. If I had to pick a woman to wear this I would say she is in her thirties. The scent is something i could see being worn in the day time and edging into the evening. It is not an overly sensual scent. It is fun without being to little girlish. Like the name implies, I think it is more seasonal than divided by time of day. You could wear it all day, but I think it is a scent that leanse into the warmer months of the year. Appropriate for something called Summer Daze.

Honestly I quite enjoyed it and I am very glad that Influenster sent this Calvin Klein Summer Daze to me to review. I think I will get a lot of use out of this scent as the temperatures rise and the winter fades. I am pleased to have it in my collection.

Snacktime: Ritz Cheese Crispers

Today I have a snack sent to me by Influenster. They sent out a Ritz Vox box and two packets of their Cheese Crispers was inside. They have two flavors apparently, one is Cheese and the other is Four Cheese and Herb. Both of the packets in my box were Cheese flavored.

The packets are 100 calories per bag which fits them right into the perfect snacking zone for me. I’ll be honest though, I was a little nervous about snacking on Ritz. Like a lot of people I grew up with the cracker. It is a great platform for other items, cheese, sausage ore even peanut butter. It has a buttery crunch that I enjoy, but I’ve never eaten the crackers on their own as a snack.

The most I’ve done with them other than as a platform for other things is as a decadent bread crumb. Seriously, if you are looking for something rich and buttery to use in an item where you need bread crumbs, they work fantastically.

However when I opened this packet, I found they weren’t quite licke Ritz crackers. They were flattened and thinner. Like the name suggests, they are Crispier as well. It is essentially a snack on its own rather than a cracker in search of a topping.

While pressed flat, they do have some bubbles of air in them which does make the texture light and crunchy. They retain some of that Ritz buttery-ness however they have an intense Cheese flavor to them as well. Because of the texture they don’t feel as heavy as eating a handful of the regular crackers. This is definitely a snack on its own.

Personally I really enjoyed it.

I only got to eat the one bag though. As they were the same flavor, my babydoll took the other bag and after scarfing them down informed me that “we can get these again.” Which means they will be added to a grocery list in the near future. I was very impressed with not only the lightness and the crispiness bit the flavor of these. I think that while we will definitely be picking up the Cheese flavor again, I might pick up the four cheese and herb flavor to try as well. All in all, they made a great snack. Quite a satisfying 100 calories in my mid afternoon.

The Skincare Line up: June 4th, 2021


Good morning my darlings and welcome back to the weekly skincare line up. Here I look at all of the products currently in use and discuss a little bit about how I feel about them at the moment. Later of course there will be an in depth discussion of each product and their ingredients as well as their results. This is more of a progress report. An sadly, we had one item which wasn’t making progress and had to be removed. But I’ll get to that in turn. While pictured above are all of the players currently in circulation through the skin care line up, not all of them are used at the same time. So as always, I’ll break them out by use. First, it’s time for the daytime players.

Daytime Skin Care

Deodorant: Native Powder and Cotton Deodorant

Cleanser: La Roche Posay Toleriane Purifying Foam Cleanser

Toning Essence: Byroe Bitter Greens Toning Essence

Serum: Peach and Lily Glass Skin Refining Serum

Eye Cream: Elemis Pro-Collagen Eye Revive Mask

Moisturizer: First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Oil Control Moisturizer

  • okay not only can you get 20% off FAB products on the Skinstore’s website with the code EXCLUSIVE but, FAB has a $1m commitment to helping pay off student loans. As those can be a beast I think it is a fabulous thing to do.The link will take you to the Skinstore’s page (for the 20% off) but there are links and more information there as well if you are interested.

Eye Serum: Dior Capture Totale Super Potent Eye Serum

Sunscreen: Volition Prismatic Luminizing Shield in SPF 50

Looking at the above list and comparing it with last week’s you may notice a few changes.  While many of the products have been in use for quite a while (the deodorant, the cleanser, the essence and the sunscreen) and are still performing as well as they did at the beginning of their place in the lineup.  There are a few newer items.  The Peach and Lily Glass Skin Refining Serum and the Elemis Pro Collagen Eye Revive Mask are each in their second week of use.  Thus far they are both performing well.  There is no clogging of the pores and my skin seems to really like them.  I generally find that with the Peach and Lily, if my skin isn’t completely dry then the serum has a slight tendency to get a little foamy when it touches the wet spots.  This is just something to watch and not really a problem.

I was however having problems with the moisturizer.  I was using the Farsali Rose Gold Elixir.  It was a very wet formula that took a really long time to dry on my skin no matter how little I used.  T was also highly fragranced which wasn’t my favorite thing.  My plan was to only use the Farsali at night when I had more time for my skin care and could let it absorb.  So I took the First Aid Beauty moisturizer out in order to use it during the day.  The First Aid Beauty moisturizer ended up being really nice.  It absorbs quickly with no greasy film and leaves my skin soft and hydrated.  For me, when my skin is becoming oilier in the summer months, this is the perfect time for the oil control moisturizer.  I feared it might be drying on my skin, but this far that hasn’t been an issue.  As I continue with it, I will be monitoring it.

The issue was that with the excellent performance of the First Aid Beauty, it really made the Farsali feel so much worse on my skin.  It felt wet and sticky and as the week progressed I just stopped using it and ‘accidentally’ started reaching for the FAB moisturizer at night instead.  Since it is open and I don’t feel comfortable passing it on right now, I am going to use it up on my drier skin like elbows and knees so it won’t be wasted.  It is just too wet a formula for my skin.  I didn’t use it long enough to actually see if it produced any sort of results.  It may end up being a fabulous cream for those of you with really dry skin.  However for me, it just doesn’t suit my skin type and forcing myself to use it is just going to lead to trouble.

The other new addition to the lineup came from Influenster.  It is the Dior Capture Totale Super Potent Eye Serum.  It has a light scent to it that just pings on my nose as a ‘skincare scent’ but the scent fades fast.  It is like a light skin care floral.  Thus far I am really loving it.  The serum is meant to be worn under eye cream and I have been wearing it under the Elemis Pro-Collagen Eye mask. There were a couple of days where I skipped the Elemis to really get a feel for how the Dior worked on it’s own.  Separately it seems to work really well.  Paired with the Elemis which also works really well, the products are really fantastic.  I am very happy with the feel of them on my skin and can’t wait to see what difference thirty days with the product brings.  This is only the end of the first week though so stay tuned.

And so now we look to the night.

Night time Skincare

Makeup Remover: Elemis Pro-Collagen Cleansing Balm

Cleanser: La Roche Posay Toleriane Purifying Foam Cleanser

Toner: Byroe Bitter Greens Toning Essence

Serum: Peach and Lily Glass Skin Refining Serum

Eye Cream: Elemis Pro-Collagen Eye Revive Mask

Moisturizer: First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Oil Control Moisturizer

Eye Serum: Dior Capture Totale Super Potent Eye Serum

Neck serum: Dermelect Self Esteem Beauty Sleep Serum

Lips: Bite Beauty Agave Lip Mask (in Maple) – this week I didn’t use a lip scrub.

Night Mask: Bloom Effects Royal Tulip Nectar Night Mask

Most of the changes that affect the night time routine have already been discussed as they are also part of the day time routine.  The First Aid Beauty replaced Farsali.  The Dior Eye Serum was added. In addition since I finished out the Akar Toner last week, I started using the Byroe Toning Essence in both my morning and evening routines.

I also finished out the Yensa CBD Cleansing oil last week so this week I rotated in the Elemis Pro-Collagen Cleansing Balm. I use the original one but they have several different types. I have used it before and it is one of my favorite cleansing balms. It is a travel size that I have had in my travel kit for a while now so I wanted to actually use it up. It is a fantastic product so it is no hardship to use it, but I was worried about it getting old. So it was sifted out of my travel bag for use now.  I’d rather just purchase new travel products closer to the time o my next travel rather than have it go bad waiting for me to travel.  Currently my next planned travel is for Thanksgiving, so there is time.  But I really do like the formula of this Cleansing Balm.  I have purchased it many times in the past and no matter what other product I end up using, this is one that I always end up coming back to.

But not all products are used everyday, so…

In other Skincare…

Versed Press Restart Gentle Retinol Serum

Herbivore Prism AHA + BHA Glow Facial

Go-to Skin Care Face Hero Facial Oil

Last week I finished the Earth Harbor Marina oil so I started using this travel size of the Go-to Skincare Face Hero Face oil.  It too was taken from my travel bag and rolled into use so that it wouldn’t spoil waiting for my next travel.  I initially rolled it in to use after the Sunday evening Masking with the Herbivore Prism Glow Facial but once the Marina Oil was used up I started using it after my Tuesday/Thursday Retinol with the Versed Press Restart.  I personally like this oil it is one of my favorite basic sort of oils.  It doesn’t promise anything fancy, it just provides extra moisture lock down after treatments like exfoliation (whether chemical or physical).  I’ve never had any reactions to ut and it works well with all exfoliates that I’ve tried. 

The Versed Press Restart is gentle enough that it hasn’t caused any sun sensitivity thus far and The Prism Glow Facial from Herbivore is a nice Sunday evening addition to my skin care line up.  It makes my skin soft.  But at the moment I haven’t noticed any other changes.  I’m going to continue using it and after a month of uses see how the photos compare to the initial ones I took.  At the moment I am happy with the softness of the skin, but I don’t really see much in terms of glow.  Perhaps though, time will help.

And that my darlings is the skincare line up for this week.  I adjusted a few products and their usage and I got rid of a moisturizer that simply didn’t suit my skin. 


Trying out the imPress Color Press On Manicure from Kiss

This box of Kiss imPress Color Press on Manicure was sent to me by Influenster. To be honest, I would never have picked them up on my own. I have always done my own nails. I love picking out the colors and polishing them on my own. Because there are seasons where work in the garden tends to destroy my nails, I like to take my manicure time as a time to put oil on my cuticles and treat my hands to an extra moisturizing lotion. I even have a sheet mask for my hands waiting in the wings for when the early season gardening gets to be too much for my hands.

while this work does do a number on my hands, it also has consequences for my nails. Part of my manicure attention is to deal with little nicks and dings to my nails before the nails can end up splitting painfully down to the bed. Nail polishes don’t last and my nails, while nice and long in the winter, don’t tend to make it through the spring.

I have in the past tried press on nails for when I went out in the summer, but i never felt confident enough in the glue used to hold them on and always suspected that they would pop off at an inopportune moment, possibly ending up in the coleslaw. I don’t know why I always picture them landing in the coleslaw, but that is my mental image. None have ever landed in food, but they have been known to not adhere as well as I like, often leaving me with half a manicure.

Then of course are the other kinds of fake nails which can actually damage the nails themselves. While my nails do take a beating during the planting season, they are overall fairly healthy so I didn’t want to risk damaging them for the sake of having long nails. In addition there is a limit to how long I can have my nails and still be able to type on my keyboard effectively. As a good chunk of my workday is spent writing at a computer my nail length has a limit beyond which they really can’t go without making me somewhat ineffective.

I accidentally chose a thumb that was a little too big for this hand, but otherwise I really enjoyed them

However when the impress Color Press on Manicure arrived I decided to give it a try.The color (Petal Pink) is a dusty Rose that actually matches one of my favorite nail polishes. The kit comes with 30 nails and to be honest I had to dump them all out on the flat of my desk to find out which sizes were appropriate for which finger. The box recommends putting the nails on all of your fingers first and then doubling back to your thumbs. Once you start applying them it is easy to see why. The glue tabs are pre attached to each nail and you really need your thumbs to help peel the backing from the glue.

Once pressed into place, these nails stayed where they were put. For me they were also just the right length. It took me a few minutes to get used to them as they are longer than my actual nails. However the length of them isn’t too bad. They are actually at the upper end of what I can use to type. Anything longer would cause me issues at the keyboard. These nails are my upper limit for nails.

Once certain I could work in them, I wore the set for a week solid. At no time did any of the nails even shift let alone fall off. The paint on the nails didn’t chip at all and they looked exactly the same at the end of the week as they did at the beginning. At the end of the week I took them off. Because of their staying power I feared the damage they might do coming off. The box does give you a small wooden orange stick to pry them off should you need it. The instructions also recommend using a little bit of nail polish remover to get them off if they aren’t peeling off on their own.I have one of those nail polish remover dips in the jar so I dipped a nail in, pulled it out and the nail came off easily. There was a little bit of glue residue on my nail, but it easily wiped off with more nail polish remover. They were easy on and easy off while looking lovely in between.

Because this was sent to my by influenster I didn’t pay for them however I did go and look them up once i decided to try them out. On the ImPress manicure site the sets of nails are offered for $8.99. They are also sold at Ulta and Target for a slightly lower price ($7.39) but Ulta and Target don’t seem to have as wide a variety as offered on the imPress website. They just seem to have the basics. Which is fine. I really like the basics actually. Although on the website they do have an OPI collection I couldn’t resist looking into as I really like OPI Nails. The gray of Suzi talks with her hands may end up coming to me soon.

Also when I looked on the site, imPress is having a Memorial day Sale. From now until memorial day you can get free shipping with the code SHIPFREE. It looks like normally they only ship free if you spend more than $25. I am not affiliated with them, I just saw the code on the site and thought I’d share.

While wearing these on a daily basis isn’t something I think I would do, partially because they would be wrecked in the garden and they do make a slight clicking noise when I type with them. I can very easily see keeping a collection of these around for when I go out. I can very easily see myself using them when my own nails have taken a beating and I want my hands to look presentable when going out somewhere. I would never have chosen to pick these up on my own but I really like them and can easily see myself stocking them for an instant manicure. I am very pleased with the way they performed and I know I won’t have any fear of losing these in the coleslaw.

Tom Ford Traceless Soft Matte Foundation

This Tom Ford Traceless Matte Foundation was sent to be by Influenster for the purpose of review. For the past week I have been wearing it as my foundation. I varied it with other products to see how it performed. most notably varied the primer I paired it with. While I have tried (and very much enjoyed) Tom Ford’s eyeshadow quads before this was my first face product from the brand.

I apply in spots and then blend with a brush

According to the official Tom Ford website this foundation is…





I think that to determine improvement of skin texture I would have to treat the foundation trial as I would a skin care trial and give it a full thirty days in order to check results. So I can’t speak to that claim. I will say that I found it to be non-cakey, in fact it melted into my skin really well and felt weightless while wearing it.

I used one pump which covered my face completely and provided a good medium coverage. I tend to be a medium coverage sort of person so I saw no reason to wear full coverage during the day. Last saturday I did play around trying to make it full coverage and I did achieve that, but I really don’t like wearing full coverage so I generally stuck with one pump. It is however buildable to full (It took three pumps to reach the density of full coverage.)

small bit of settling around the corner of the mouth (picture taken after 8 hours of wear)

This week it hasn’t been terribly warm but it has been quite humid and I didn’t have issues with the humidity affecting the foundation. Most days I wear foundation for about eight hours. There was one day where I wore it for eleven hours, mostly to test the ten hour claim. After about five hours I needed to blot my t-zone with a light dusting of powder but it wasn’t a heavy shine, just a light one.

The one issue I had was with settling into lines around my mouth. When I used an illuminating or blurring primer, by the end of the day the foundation settled slightly into the lines around my mouth. If I used a pore filling primer and made sure those areas were covered, then I didn’t have any issues. I think that this is definitely a foundation where you might want to choose your primer carefully. The settling of the lines didn’t actually occur until after hour six. So if you wanted to use an illuminating primer with this foundation, just know you have a bit of a time limit. The two primers that I own that worked best with the foundation were the E.L.F. Poreless Putty Primer and the Benefit Cosmetics Porefessional Primer. Both kept the lines from appearing.

Over all I was very impressed with the way this foundation performed. It has a serum like consistency so it is quite liquid when you dispense it and it applies easily to the skin. I like the soft matte as it isn’t a hard matte foundation so it has some glow to it. That is especially nice as I needed to wear a pore filling primer rather than an illuminating one. I enjoyed using this foundation and will continue to use it until the product is gone. In addition I will put it on my list of products that I would consider repurchasing. It is a higher end product (retail $88) but I have to say, I think it actually is worth it’s price tag.


Perfume Review: Oscar de la Renta: Bella Blanca

This Bella Blanca Perfume by Oscar de la Renta was sent to me by Influenster for the purpose of review and I couldn’t be happier. In the past they have sent sample sized perfumes, which turned out to be okay as they were not perfumes I enjoyed enough to work through a full bottle there was no disappointment in the sample size. This was a little different.

When I received the bottle I thought the name sounded familiar. Okay, my first thought was, what a beautiful bottle. My second was that it sounded familiar. It turned out that I reviewed a sample of the Oscar de la Renta Bella Rosa a while back. The sample size was used up and when I checked my list of perfumes to pick up, it did make the list. I also went back and checked the full review I made of the Bella Rosa (This link will take you to it). Clearly, I liked it enough to put it on the list to purchase for my collection, but had not yet gotten around to picking up the full sized bottle.

It turned out that I did like it but I found it didn’t last long. the review made me want to try the Bella Blanca a lot more. But as you know, I enjoy perfume descriptions as much (and in some cases more than) the scents they describe. So let’s see how Bella Blanca is described.





Okay I’ll admit the Hazmat restriction notice amused me. I’m also remembering why I wasn’t too enthused by their descriptions. Most perfumes tend to offer you some sort of descriptive vision that makes you believe your life will be transformed by the scent. Timeless and feminine is an extremely straight forward claim.

So what about the perfume?

I spritzed, I sniffed and I wore the perfume for a week. The Jasmine is certainly present as is a bit of the mandarin. I’m guessing that the slight fruity note comes from the combination of mandarin and Peach Skin Musk, listed in the Dry category.

It is a floral perfume with fruity notes. Even though white roses are listed, it is not a rosy scent. It is lightly sweet, but not cloying. It is also sweet in an adult way instead of a young girl way, if that makes sense. I can close my eyes and see someone in their twenties and thirties (on up) wearing it, but I couldn’t see it being worn by a teenager. It is adults only, but not older adult. It is a scent I would buy for me, but not for my grandmother.

In fact, I liked it quite a bit and will definitely add it to my repurchase list.

Whereas the Bella Rosa seemed to thrive in the spring, I could almost see this as a year round scent. The scent of it doesn’t transport me to a specific season. It is a day time friendly perfume, but I could also see spritzing it on before leaving the house for an evening out. It is a very versatile scent. While I tend to have almost a library of scents based on seasonal and time of day appropriateness, I don’t have a lot of scents that transition from one to the other. This is one I could see wearing during the day and then refreshing just before going out.

When sprayed, the scent comes on strong. If you give it a moment, it settles back down. The scent clings to you and once it settles against your skin, it is a very personal scent. It is not one that projects into the space of others. It does fade down throughout the day and by the end of the work day is only a bare whisper of a memory. Like Bella Rosa it lasts longer as a personal scent if you spray cloth rather than skin. But it does last a bit longer than the Bella Rosa on the skin which I think is an improvement.

If wearing it from day to night, add a second application for the night. Because it sticks so close to the skin, it can be worn in a restaurant without interfering with the scent of the meal. I know that sounds strange to say, but i have some perfumes that I would wear out to a club, but wouldn’t wear out to dinner because they might clash with the meal. But then again I feel that half of the meal is in enjoyment and anticipation of the scents wafting from kitchen and plate, so that may be more of a personal taste.

Bottle detail

I am very happy with this perfume. I really enjoyed the scent and love that it is a year round one that can transition from day to night as the category is a very big gap in my collection, now much smaller. The bottle is also beautiful as part of my perfume display. I am very happy to have and wear this perfume and I am so pleased that Influenster decided to send it to me. I will happily use every drop.

If you are in the market for perfumes Sobelia has a sale going on for Valentines day. from now until February 8th, 2021 you can take an extra 10% off their already discounted prices using the code LOVE. (and yes they do stock Bella Blanc, I checked)

Shop Sobelia Perfumes Today!

Perfume Review: Voce Viva by Valentino

Voce Viva by Valentino

It has been a while since I have done a perfume review and I have missed them.  This summer I spent so much time working in the garden that I stopped wearing a lot of perfumes. They made me targets for bugs.  Apparently, the mosquitos in my area are huge Cartier fans.  I forgot I had it on one afternoon when I stopped to pull weeds and by the time I came in my wrists were bracelet-ed with bites.

Then I tried to use up some of my samples, most of which I already reviewed so there were no new ones to talk about.

Until now…

This Voce Viva perfume sample from Valentino came in the mail.  I believe it is from Influenster.  There were no markings on the mailer and usually when Influenster sends stuff they have campaign information with the product.  This had nothing.  It was just a perfume sample in a box.

The black box of arrival

Seriously, plain black box outside, perfume and card within.  No other info. But for the purpose of disclosure, I believe it was influenster that sent the sample.

The information I found on the perfume came from the Ulta website and according to the page…

Valentino Voce Viva Eau de Parfum is a radiant floral perfume that combines the sound of your voice and scent of your fragrance to celebrate every woman. Like a voice, a woman’s fragrance is personal, intimate and leaves a trace. The harmony of a blooming floral bouquet, made addictive and powerful through an unexpected crystal moss accord. Celebrating every woman’s voice.

Voice of a generation, Lady Gaga has inspired millions of people around the world for more than a decade, and is the ambassadress of VOCE VIVA. With Valentino, the singer shares more than her Italian origins. A symbol of respect for individualities, and for everyone to find their place, Lady Gaga speaks to the same values as those of Valentino.

”I believe today that the true power is to be able share emotions.” – Pierpaolo Piccioli, Maison Valentino Creative Director

Bottle design on right

About The Bottle: A sleek glass bottle; square and notched on the sides, reveals the light passing through its golden-hued scent allowing a V of light to emerge. The emblematic Valentino Rock stud highlights the cap and collar, portraying a modern edgy personality. This iconic Valentino perfume bottle is signed by a vibrant red.

Fragrance Family: Floral, Scent Type: Woody

Key Notes: Top – Italian bergamot essence, mandarin essence; Middle – orange blossom absolute, golden gardenia accord; Base – crystal moss accord, vanilla, tonka bean

As always, I love perfume descriptions.  They can take you away to magical lands if you aren’t careful.  Sometimes I think that I enjoy perfume descriptions almost as much as I enjoy the perfumes themselves.  Sometimes more. Plus there are the bottles themselves. I do love a well designed perfume bottle.

I had high hopes for this perfume after reading the description.  And from hearing that this was inspired by Lady Gaga. I thought if anything, that might make it innovative and new. While Bergamot is not a scent I am fond of, I adore orange blossom and mandarin essence. My only issue with them was that combined with the vanilla, gardenia and tonka bean it could be too sweet. I crossed my fingers and hoped.

When sprayed on the wrist it is very Bergamot forward and it is very sweet. There are light traces of orange mixed in, but it is mostly bergamot and sweet that I smell.  It is also a very heavy perfume.  This is not a light and airy scent.

One spritz on the wrist and I had to kind of air out a little before getting into an enclosed space.  There was a bit of an alcohol smell upon first application, but it faded after a minute of waving my wrists around in the air.

It is the sort of scent that envelopes you and fills the air around you. I tend to prefer my scents to stick close to the skin, almost like a secret scent just for me and those I allow into my personal space. 

This scent is a presence in any room. It will get noticed.

It will not be ignored.

It is not a scent I would consider wearing to an office or in an elevator. Unless you were a character from the cast of Dynasty. The original one not the remake, this scent needs 1980s shoulder pads. It is too potent to sit in an office all day.

After a couple of hours  it fades back a bit, but I sprayed it on my wrist in the morning and it was still noticeable when I went to take my evening shower. It is a scent that lingers.

To me the scent seems a little unbalanced.  It is too aggressively sweet, almost cloyingly floral.  It feels as though it needs one earthier element to balance it out. 

Now while I am not a bergamot fan, I will say that this perfume does smell very expensive. I don’t know what element that is, but something about it pings as expensive on my personal sniff-o-meter. It is also a very mature scent.  When I close my eyes and picture who I would think about purchasing this scent for, it would be my grandmother.  It is a little too mature for me to even think about purchasing for my mother. 

It isn’t that the perfume smells ‘old’.

It’s profile is just more reminiscent of a perfume from the 1940s than it is of what I would think of as a more modern scent.  I could not wear this, and I don’t think any of my cousins or sisters in law would either.  It isn’t something I could see my nieces wear or even my mother or aunts.  I could see my grandmother wearing it. Because of the 1940’s sort of bend to the scent, that seems the right age appropriate level for it.

Not that my grandmother was a circa 1980s Dynasty type character.

While I have appreciated several Valentino scents in the past, (Valentina by Valentino for example, is still floral and sweet, but somehow better balanced and more modern/classic in scent, at least in my opinion), this one is not for me.  Admittedly putting it on does make me feel like I ought to be a Dynasty character.

But no one wants me striding into a law office in a 1980s ladies power suit and heels demanding to know what you think you are doing with my Daddy’s company. Mostly because my Daddy didn’t own a company. Although I will admit it is a fun, if fleeting mental image.

I am happy I got to try a sample, but I don’t think that it will be added to my perfume collection any time soon. Which is a shame as it is such a pretty bottle.  Fantasies aside, the scent just isn’t for me. If you are looking to add this perfume to your collection at Ulta.com the 1.7 oz bottle retails for $100. I think it also sells at Nordstroms and Macy’s.

If, like me, you love perfumes and can never limit yourself to just one, I would like to suggest you take a moment and visit Sobelia’s website.  They have simply oodles of perfume (600 famous brands and over 7,000 different products currently in stock) and at discounted rates. For example a 50mL bottle of Valentina is currently $58.99 instead of $96.80.

And from now until December 12th if you spend $60 you can get $5 off with the code CHRISTMAS5, or $10 off a $100 purchase with the code CHRISTMAS10.  So if you are looking for a gift for a perfume lover in your life, or simply adding to your own collection, now is a pretty good time to give the site a look over.  Personally, I think I will be adding several to my collection this year.  In the past year I tested several samples I really liked and a few that I have been thinking of purchasing.  The first bottle I am planning to pick up is my reward for losing ten more pounds so I will have to wait for a little bit, but there is no reason you can’t take advantage of the holiday sale.