Five Summertime Essentials

As summertime settles in and looks as though it will stretch on into forever, I always find there are some products that I simply can’t do without. Many of them in one size or another find their way into my purse and end up traveling with me wherever i go in the summer months. These are my current top five summer must haves.

1- Sunscreen: Always a number one item and always in need. My current favorite is the Volition Prismatic Luminizing Shield SPF 50. It is described as the sunscreen for people who don’t like sunscreen and I have to admit I was in that camp for a long time. I simply hated the feel of sunscreen. I would use a spray as little as i could get away with and probably did some sun damage to myself because of it. especially since I would often forget to apply it. This sunscreen sits with my skincare and is applied as the last step of my morning skincare routine. Getting in the habit of adding it each morning regardless of what i am doing has done wonders for me. I still add an extra coat of spray sunscreen before going on my walk, but i like having that security under my makeup each day. While this is the original version, they now also make a mineral version.

2- Dry Shampoo: For me Klorane is my favorite. I’ve tried other versions and some have been good, others not so good. I always come back to Klorane. This did come with a cap but somehow i always loose the caps within a day or two of opening them. (I am beginning to suspect one day I’ll move the furniture around and find them having a party under my bed.) You may notice that this is the Dry Shampoo with Oat Milk (extra Gentle) rather than my usual Nettle infused for dark hair. While the nettle infused is fantastic for darker hair, leaves less white residue and is my go to dry shampoo when I need winter touch ups, I tend to lean into the Oat Milk version in the summertime. It does leave a little bit more white cast than the nettle for dark hair, but it is gentler on my hair. The white brushes out quickly and easily. I am not saying the Nettle is harsh, it isn’t. But in the summer my bangs can get very oily looking very fast so I find myself reaching for dry shampoo to keep them looking good far more often than at any other time of the year, so I switch to the most gentle version available. Thus far, I have had very good results with this system.

3- Spray Thermal Water: To be honest, I used to think that thermal water was just for people sunning themselves pool side. I thought of it as something a bit extra rather than essential. Then I picked up a bottle to add to my bag for a pool party. I didn’t use it at the pool party, but when I got home I had it so I thought I’d use it. I fell in love and it has become a summer staple. While this travel size Uriage Eau Thermal is the one I keep in my purse, I also keep a bottle by the garden door. It is hot in the summer time and I sweat. With the high humidity, the sweat doesn’t evaporate and cool you off like it does in less humid climates. It just rolls down your skin leaving salt deposits on your skin. For me that always makes me feel both tight and itchy as well as hot and sweaty.

A quick spray of thermal water helps alleviate that. The water is far cooler than both the air temp and my skin temp so it is a quick but gentle cool down. I am one of those people who gets massive headaches if i am hot and sweaty outside and then go inside where it is air conditioned. I have to cool down a little first or that headache will more or less last the rest of the day. The thermal water helps. The water cools me down and it washes off some of the salt left behind so my skin doesn’t feel as tight and itchy. I personally like the fine spray of the Uriage as well as the slight scent of the minerals in the water.

4- Lip Mask: While I often think of dry chapped lips as a winter time affliction, it can be an issue for me in the summertime. I find I generally need a lip scrub more in the winter, where as a frequent application of a good lip mask will keep my lips from becoming overly dry in the summer. For me as soon as they start to chap I will pick at them absently when i am working. i never mean to and i yell at myself fiercely when I do, but by then the damage is already done and my lips are painful and need time to heal.

The best thing i can do is to not let them get to a stage where they ae dry enough to pick at. My current favorite lip mask is the Tatcha Kissu Lip Mask. There is very little scent and no taste to it. While it is fantastic at night, a little dose during the day doesn’t go amiss. I will generally put a light coat on in the morning and let it soak into the skin before I do my makeup for the day. I do wile off the excess before I apply my lipstick. Often times i will just wear the lip mask as a gloss if I have a more natural look going on. It is a lightweight mask with heavy duty hydration and very little stickiness to it.

5- Sunglasses: I have reached an age where I am in a full out battle with the fine lines around my eyes. I know they are there and I know over time they will deepen because that is just the way that life works. However I am determined to put up as much of a fight as I can/ I know the Resistance will loose the war, I just want to draw out the battle as long as I can. while this has lead many plumping agents into my skincare line up, it has also led to a proliferation of sunglasses. Moving around in the sun without them causes me to squint, wearing them helps me not squint.

My current favorite pair are these aviator style pair from Tomahawk shades Marksman Class. I love the fact that the bottom of the lens is slightly flattened as this is a good shape for my face. My favorite feature though is the fact that the lenses are actually amber tinted. This means the sunglasses are cutting the glare but in their own way brightening the world around me rather than casting the world into shade. They are excellent for driving and it means that if i am outside and going from a sunny spot to a shaded one, i can still leave them in place since I don’t have to lift them out of the way when shade makes things slightly darker.

The Daily: March 10th, 2022

Good afternoon my darlings and Happy Dry Shampoo Day. Yes, that’s right March 10th is Dry Shampoo Day. Which I find kind of interesting. I tend to use loads of dry shampoo during the summer months, just to keep my bangs from looking greasy mid afternoon given the heat and humidity in my area. I do give my hair (and scalp) a break for much of the winter, but generally around March when Dry Shampoo Day rolls around I am ready to order my summer stock. Which is handy as my favorite dry shampoo s 30% off.

Actually Klorane has a full stop 30% off(CODE: NDSD30) so I may just order the eye makeup remover I love from them as well when I put in the order. I know I reviewed it a while back but it is still the best eye makeup remover I have tried. It not only took off the eye makeup but when it got into my eyes and contacts it didn’t make my contacts fuzzy with oils. they are disposable contacts and generally if makeup remover gets on them i have to change the contacts.

Not so with the Klorane. I am trying to remind myself of this so that I will add it to the cart when I order my dry shampoo. last time I got so excited about the sale i forgot. This time I will remember. I’ll link the sale down below for anyone interested. Klorane is a really good brand in general and have many things other than Dry shampoo that are worth checking out if that isn’t your thing.

Oh and I almost forgot Klorane is celebrating by releasing a Volumizing Dry Shampoo with Flax. You can read all about it here. And if you are looking to shop the sale code is NDSD30

The full sale is:

Get 30% off your purchase of a full-sized Dry Shampoo from March 10th through March 14th with code NDSD30.

· Additionally, from March 15th through March 31st, purchases of $50 and more will receive their choice of a FREE Travel Sized Dry Shampoo with code FREEGIFT.

Fabulous isn’t it?

There is also another excitement today. As many of you may recall, I love to garden and this year I started a lot of seeds early. Today I got to pick my first basil of the season. So for lunch I had a tomato and basil salad. Sliced Cherry tomatoes, julienned basil, pinch of salt dash of balsamic. It is essentially a caprese salad without the mozzarella.

Later in the summer I’ll add the cheese but for the first basil of the season, I wanted to be very basil forward. While I love the basil, it also helps me sort of determine the flavor of the basil. I planted several varieties out but when i shifted them from the seed beds to pots I forgot to mark which was which and needed to figure it out by flavor. It was the Genovese. In case you are wondering.

And yes, it was delicious. The first leaves picked are always so delicate inn flavor. Later when potted outside and the leaves allowed to grow large the flavor will strengthen, but right now it is quite delicate and delicious.

Today’s Look:

Primer: Marc Jacobs Undercover Blurfection Primer (currently on sale at Sephora for $23)

Foundation: Wander Beauty Nude Illusion Liquid Foundation

Bronzer: Ciate London Bamboo Bronzer

Blush: No 7 Damson Mist Blush

Highlight: Jecca Blac Glow Drops

Powder: Fenty Beauty Pro Filter in Cashew

Eyeshadow: Defiance By Karmela Cosmetics

Mascara: Stila Huge Extreme Lash Mascara

Lips: Wet ‘n Wild in Sand Storm

Setting Spray: Benefit Cosmetics the Porefessional SuperSetter

Okay, lets get into todays products, because this was an interesting one. First up the Marc Jacobs Primer. This primer is clear and has an almost jelly like quality about it. It feels almost like a thinned out Vaseline when applied to the skin. It isn’t sticky though and glides on well. It feels weightless and is really good at blurring out pores without adding any pigment to the skin. Even though it is a coconut primer, the scent is now barely there in my product. It was really only noticeable when I first opened it. I enjoy the primer but it does need a minute to settle in and get comfortable, otherwise it will blend in with your foundation.

The Wander beauty is an old favorite. It performs well and lasts throughout my day. My day (wearing makeup generally doesn’t go past about nine hours – when testing it I found this foundation shows wear at about the 12th hour of wear, for those of you with longer makeup wear times). My only issue is that when you pull the doe foot applicator out, there is always a small spray of tiny droplets that come out as the doe foot pops free. I know that the seal keeps the product fresh, but that spray is fine and forgettable, until you put your hand or some papers or something in it and then they make their presence known. So just put down a wash cloth and open the foundation over it and you will be fine. And it really is a beautiful foundation. My bottle is only about half full so I will be reaching for it more often to use up the bottle. And yes, it is on my list of foundations to replace, even with the spray.

The Ciate Bronzer is not terribly pigmented but it is buildable. I like it because it is really easy to work with. I will usually lean towards buildable over pigmented. I prefer to be in control. Plus I don’t tend to go for dramatic bronze and contouring so often highly pigmented products are simply too much for me. This works and it comes in an adorable compact. It just makes me happy to look at.

The blush from No 7 is also a winner, but i tend not to reach for it. While it applies well and blends out nicely I always look at the product through the clear front and think ‘Bright’ then reach for something else. It looks brighter and more pink than it is. So I need to stop passing it by because of it’s looks. I know I like it, especially since if i don’t like a blush it immediately gets passed along. It is a good product, I just need to remember that and reach for it more often.

The Jecca Balc glow drops do make a really good highlighter. They are even better if you put them all over the face underneath a flat matte foundation. If you have a matte primer and a matte foundation, a drop of this between the two is fantastic. It is a product well worht having around. I prefer the champagne because of my skin tone, but the rose petal works well for a variety of tones and is also really nice. Plus I love having multi use porducts.

The Fenty powder is one of those powders that is okay but not something I will repurchase when it is done. It’s primary benefit is that it is one of my non translucent setting powders so if a foundation is too light I can use it to a subtle adjustment. The powder itself is okay. It is in fact kind of generic. The lid sticks a bit when I turn it and I have to make certain there is no product on my hands or my fingers will slide and it will be impossible to open. It is just the slick metal. I would personally put some decorative ridges around the side to prevent slippage, but no one asked me to redesign their packaging. Inside there is an inner lid, which I like, However it keeps the powder from flying out when you pen it, however there is enough of a gap between the inner lid and the holes that when you peel the inner lid up, there is already product that has escaped the holes. I think I may have actually spilled more product than i used. it is more useful to me in the spring as I need more subtle foundation adjustments than bronzers provide as my skin starts to tan. Then summer hits and I just switch products and forget about this powder until the fall.

Today was the first use of the Defiance palette. It is a good daily color selection for me and I think playing with it will be fun. It is the kind of palette I could turn into an everyday palette. If I like it. the jury is still out on that. i had a little trouble with blending this morning and the shimmer didn’t show up at all until I rolled in the setting spray and wet the brush down. It worked better. I will be testing this palette all week next week (and possibly longer). For a first use, I will say that it was interesting and that I am looking forward to playing with it.

The Stila Mascara I love. You already know that. It is rapidly becoming my go to favorite. the name is a bit much, but I can’t deny the results so if they want to double up their adjectives they can go ahead.

The lipstick I used today was the wet ‘n wild that came i my look fantastic box. I like it. I have used Cinnamon Spice from the line for a while and in fact had to repurchase it a while back because I used it down to a nub. It is nice to have a more neutral shade in the same great formula.

And finally the setting spray I rolled out today was the Porefessional Super setter. It is one of my favorites because of the fine mist and the ability to seal makeup on for longer. The fine mist is my favorite part though. It works especially well if you are trying to coax shimmers onto eyeshadow brushes so it will probably stay out as I test the Defiance palette.

And that was my look for today. Over all it is a good day for me. My lunch celebrated the first basil of the season and one of my favorite brands is celebrating Dry Shampoo Day with 30% off. Plus I did manage to take some interesting products from my drawer. what more could I ask?

I know someone to complete the rest of today’s paperwork for me. It would be great, but we can’t have everything can we my darlings? So it is back to work for me to hopefully clear out some space before the end of the day. Wish me luck!

It’s Travel Time for Makeup and Skincare

Ah yes, my darlings it is travel time. Time to pick out makeup and skin care products to take with me on my trip. I know this sounds totally dorky, but I really love picking out travel products. It forces me to slim down my choices with makeup, taking only what I will need for the trip and it allows me to try out an entire range of samples that I have been stashing in the drawer and waiting for an excuse to try out. With my travel I have a rule with packing. I can either take two small makeup bags (think the IPSY Glam Bag size) and place skin care in one and makeup in the other or I can take one larger makeup bag.

Hair care always gets stashed in a separate bag regardless, mostly because those items are often wet from the shower. That will be a second post. I actually did pretty good paring down the makeup this year. I have a harder time at Christmas as when I go home there are more gatherings. But I am still proud of myself. Let’s take a quick look at the makeup I am bringing along and why.

The Travel Makeup:

  • Primer: Elf Poreless Putty Primer: This is a great primer to just smooth out the rough edges. Plus I am almost finished with it and am hoping to use it up soon. Don’t worry a replacement has already been ordered. Partially because ELF has a huge sale going on right now and I couldn’t resist a restock. Not only is this a good primer, but it is a good travel primer. It performs well and because it is a cream it won’t spill or get a punctured tube. It is neat as well as fabulous.

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  • Foundation: Revolution Fast Base Foundation Stick: It is a great foundation and I really like traveling with a stick foundation over a liquid one. No spillage or breakage to worry about. this foundation can look a little shiny in the midafternoon, so have not only the powder in my makeup bag, but I have a compact in my purse. I know, it bends the rules a little, but I’m okay with that.

  • Pur 4-in 1 Skin Perfection Powders Face Palette: I chose this palette because I like all of the products in there and having all of my powders in one is a really good travel plan. It also has a hard case that will protect the powders on their journey. Is it my absolute favorite palette? No. It is good and I don’t mind using it for a long weekend though. It also has the powder, blush, bronzer and highlight. My other palettes don’t have quite the same mix. Several of them have multiple blushes or highlights or bronzers. This has all four so it is easy to pack. Plus it has a nice large mirror in case I end up putting on my makeup in a small corner of the kitchen table. This tends to happen more than I expect.

  • Eyeshadow: No 7 Pink Blossom Trio and the Ciate Trend Edit palette: I know, I probably should have chosen just one. The No 7 gives me a quick solid look, which as I am never certain how much time I will have to get ready when I am with the family is always appreciated. The Ciate London Palette has a few more pops of color but the colors complement the No 7 well. So I can use the No 7 and then maybe brighten it with the Ciate. or just swap them out by day. Both palettes are small and encased in sturdy plastic so I know they will travel well and give me enough variation for the length of the trip.
  • Mascara: Tarte Lights Camera Lashes and YSL Volume Effect: I know, two mascaras. Both are samples and neither have a whole lot of product left in them, so I suspect they will be used up during the trip. I have both so I won’t run out of mascara and because I like both. I do suspect that the trip will finish out both tubes of sample sized mascara though.

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  • Lips: Elf Sheer Slick, wet ‘n Wild Megalast Lipstick in Cinnamon Spice, bareMinerals Liquid Lip in Pout, and Colourpop So Juicy Plumping Gloss: Yup that’s right, four lip products. And yes there is still a lip balm in my purse. and probably another couple of lip products as well. however I did choose the lip products carefully. All of them are ones I like so that is a no brainer. The ELF is a light wash of color for a barely there look. The wet ‘n wild is a deeper berry shade that is more dramatic and the bareMinerals is a pink toned neutral. Which means I have my shade ranges covered with this lot. The colourpop plumping gloss is to make mattes shiny and to plump my lips if I choose. Or to just be a clear gloss if I decide not to use a lot of lipstick.

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See I may have gone a little heavy on the included lip products, but I chose them for a reason and even though a few more may find their way into my purse, I am pretty happy with my selection and the reasoning behind it. I was a little less cutthroat with my skincare items. There is a little less reasoning as far as products go. I had samples and I chose a sample for each category. Most of the products I’ve never used before and am using this as an excuse to try them. Others I’ve used before. Soooo.

The Travel Skincare:

  • Toner: Thayers Rose Petal Toner: Don’t worry I am not packing the whole bottle. Its why I have the travel bottle from my in-flight products packing kit next to the full sized bottle. I will fill the bottle and for extra safety tape the top shut during travel. Also it will go in with my hair care items, just incase it leaks. It shouldn’t but I like to be prepared.
  • Elemis Cleansing Balm: I know and love it and I picked up the travel size just for traveling. It is kind of my go to when traveling.

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  • Klorane waterproof eye makeup remover: I am a big fan of this eye makeup remover. I actually have a large bottle of this but I keep the smaller sample size for traveling and just refill it. It always takes the makeup off and doesn’t cause the eyes to sting.
  • Tatcha Soft Cream Cleanser: Never tried it but it came in an IPSY a while ago and it was the only sample sized cleanser I had on hand. I’m actually quite looking forward to trying it out.
  • May Coop Raw Sauce: This is an essence. I picked it up the last time I went to the Peach and Lily website because it looked interesting and I thought I would give it a try.

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  • Elemis Pro Collagen Marine Cream Anti Aging Day Cream: I know I’ve tried it before, I loved it before, but as so many of the products in the line up are new to me I thought I’d have at least a moisturizer that I knew and loved. If all else fails, I’ll still have a moisturizer.

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  • Filorga Age Purify intensive serum: I figured I would try this out as a day time serum. The tube feels quite light so I made certain to include both a night time serum and an oil in the mix.

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  • BareMinerals Ageless Night Concentrate: I plan to use this as my night time serum. As it is a retinol I am packing an oil to use just in case. I am actually very excited about this serum. I’ve used BareMinerals makeup products for years but I’ve never tried out any of their skin care, so I am very much looking forward to using this.
  • Akar Soothe Face oil: When using retinols it is always good to have an oil around to calm down the skin if necessary. Plus if I run out of day time serum I can sub it in with no issues. Or so I hope.
  • Hey Honey Look into my Eyes Eye Mask: I found this floating in the bottom of my samples drawer and thought why not. I also have three Hey Honey Moisturizer samples I need to try. But that is for another time. I really like Hey Honey. The items I have tried from them have been really good. I’m hoping this one will be as well.
  • Sunday Riley Broad Spectrum Light Hearted Sunscreen: I keep forgetting to rotate this in to try out. I’ve been using up my Neutrogena spray sunscreen and applying it whenever I leave the house. But I have wanted to give this a try so now seems like the right time.

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And finally I have two types of Eyemasks: Klorane’s Cornflower infused eye masks and Grace And Stella’ Energizing Eye masks. I love them both and when traveling home they are necessary. there are many dogs. I love them and they love me. My sinuses are less enthused. it is not allergies, just a change in environment and my eyes get puffy. These are amazing products to use to depuff. Especially since I love playing with the dogs. For me, they are essential Holiday Travel kit.

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And that my darlings is the list of makeup and Skincare items going into my travel bag. By using a bunch of samples and strategically choosing my makeup, i fit it all into one bag. The brushes will be going in a different bag, as will the hair care, but that is just par for course. I have the thrill of trying out all new products and the added benefit of clearing out some space in my samples drawer. So it is kind of like an extra win for me. the closer we get to New Year’s Eve the more I want to clear out samples and partially used products. Partly because it makes things look neat and clean and partly because it makes me feel I am opening myself up to whatever the new year brings. and this makes me feel like I am getting a good start on that.

Face Mask Friday: Klorane Smoothing & Soothing Eye patches

Good afternoon my darlings and welcome to another face mask Friday. I have something special today. Klorane just released a new product. It is the Smoothing and Soothing eye patches and they sent a box to me to try out.

I know most of the time I am going on and on about their fabulous dry shampoo (which to be fair is pretty fabulous), but one of my favorite products from the brand is actually their waterproof eye makeup remover. You are probably wondering why that is relevant. Well, it is the Cornflower Waterproof eye makeup remover. And these eye patches are Cornflower and hyaluronic acid infused.

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While I always love hyaluronic acid, especially around the fine lines around my eyes, I’ve noticed that the Cornflower waterproof eye makeup remover tends to not only take off all eye makeup and not sting my eyes, or cloud my contacts, but it tends to leave the skin feeling soft and nourished instead of stripped. Which is actually quite an accomplishment considering it’s job is to take off waterproof makeup.

While I like the effect, I am very curious to see how this ends up working with the eye patches, especially in conjunction with the hyaluronic acid. According to the website…

In just 15 minutes, soothing hydrogel eye patches visibly reduce signs of fatigue and under-eye puffiness, diminish the appearance of dark circles and visibly smooth fine lines.


Personally I love eye patches, and the hydra gel ones are rapidly becoming my favorite style. Whenever allergies hit, my eyes get very puffy (as well as itchy and watery, but that can’t really be helped with eye patches)The eye patches really help with the puffiness. When things get really bad, putting them in the fridge for an hour or so before putting them on my eyes really knocks the puffiness out.


While it was tempting to put these in the fridge, I decided my first trial of them would be straight out of the box. while I am not suffering from massive allergies we are in the throes of the first regular heating use of the season. The first few weeks the heating is on, my eyes tend to be a little puffy. I think they are reacting to whatever might have sat in the vents when the system wasn’t being used. So eyepatches are a welcome relief right now.

Eye Patches on

This box comes with seven sets of eye patches (retail $26). Each set is encapsulated in its own container. I kind of like that actually. My eyes also tend to get puffy when I travel and having them in separate containers that are easy to slip into a travel bag is not a bad thing. The container is a durable enough plastic that it should be able to travel quite easily.

There is no real scent to the eye masks and there isn’t a lot of extra fluid. The packaging is damp with a few beads of moisture on them after the patches are removed but there is no dripping. Which is really nice as I like to sit up when wearing the eye masks. I like wearing them at my desk while I work.

After 15 minutes

The patches, which look like big blue commas stick to the skin well and don’t slide around. They aren’t sticky or anything, it is just the moisture and gel texture keeping them in place. Given that they have hyaluronic acid in them, I placed the fat part of the comma over the fine lines at the side of my eyes. Expecting miracles after fifteen minutes is pointless, but I think every little bit helps.

As it is skin care, even if it isn’t a full face mask, I made certain I wasn’t wearing any makeup when I put the eye masks on. I left them in place for the recommended fifteen minutes and I have to say my eyes do feel refreshed. The skin under my eyes feels soft and hydrated and yes, I think the bags under my eyes are slightly less than they were before.

All in all I am rather impressed with my first use of these patches. I will certainly use the ones in this box although I will probably mark at least one to slide into my travel bag for Thanksgiving. I really like the soothing cornflower mixed with the smoothing hyaluronic acid. With that combo, I can very easily see these Klorane Smoothing and Soothing Eye Patches as a repeat purchase and an essential element in my fight against seasonal allergy puffiness.

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The Shampoo Surprise

As many of you know I was working through a bottle of the Zents Mandarin Shampoo and the Water Conditioner. They were quite fabulous and I highly recommend both of them. If you are especially sensitive to scented products, this might be a good treat for you. While they are scented, the scent is mild and fleeting, a brief delightful whiff before they are gone.

I posted a final wrap up about the Mandarin Shampoo, but because I use less conditioner than I use shampoo (due to masks and leave in conditioners rotating in and out of my routine) I still had some Zents Water Balancing Conditioner left over.

I also have several sample sized shampoos in my collection that I want to try out and see if a full bottle trial is for me. I thought this was a perfect opportunity.

It didn’t go as planned.

The first shampoo I tried was the SOLU Clarifying shampoo from Davines. I have tried a couple of shampoos from the brand before and they worked out pretty well for me. So I had high hopes. I expected that I would think it was a good shampoo and then debate over whether the scent was right for me and try to decide if I wanted to try a bottle.

My shampoo and conditioner list is a bit all over the place. Color Wow Color security Shampoo and conditioner are on the list of favorites as is Suave Rosemary and Mint. I really enjoy both products. If a product makes it onto the list then it is because I have tried it and liked it enough to buy it again. I have a lot of hair and it is pretty thick. When it is healthy, I feel pretty. When it is not doing well I feel bad. I know this about myself and don’t mind spending extra money on hair products. Also if a cheaper hair care product works well, I will roll that into my routine. (I think Suave Shampoo currently runs about $2.99 a bottle). what matters is that it works and it feels good.

Admittedly when I am not testing a shampoo or conditioner, I tend to use the cheaper products during the week and then after my weekly workouts are through I ‘treat’ myself to a pricier shampoo and conditioner. Kind of like giving myself a home salon visit.

But that is beside the point.

My hair is long and thick. It desperately needs a cut, but I am holding off until the heat breaks in September and I can start wearing it down more routinely. It is dyed. I get the eSalon Custom Hair kit once every four months. In between I use the root touch up to keep the roots covered. Over all it is, at the moment fairly healthy. Part of that is because I haven’t been going out much in the past year (obviously) and styling has mostly involved a bit of the Color Wow Dream Coat to keep the humidity from turning me into a frizz ball.

One of the products I use routinely is the Mane Club’s One Hit wonder spray. While it is a fantastic heat protectant I have been using it mostly as a detangler and letting my hair air dry for the most part. I also use a leave in conditioner on the ends (partially because they need the help as I have been putting off the hair cut and while the ends aren’t really split they tend to get a bit dryer than the rest of my hair.)

I know that is a lot of background for a shampoo sample.

The thing is, the SOLU Clarifying Shampoo stripped my hair. I very quickly used up the last of my conditioner, finding myself using more of it to balance it out. I also found myself Using the One hit Wonder Spray more because my hair kept getting tangled. At the moment I am using both the Klorane Mango leave in conditioner and the Mango Hair mask.

With the leave in conditioner I was using a pea sized amount on the ends of my hair. I tend to use a little more in the winter, but in the summer, this is usually enough for me. With this shampoo I realized I was using a quarter sized dollop of the leave in conditioner.

In addition, I was using the Mango Hair Mask from Klorane more often. Typically I use a mask on my hair once a week. It is a nice treat for my hair but it isn’t overly moisturizing so my hair is healthy but not bombarded with product. I know I reviewed this Mango Mask from Klorane before, but I just want to reiterate, it is a really good mask. So is the leave in conditioner by the way.

however with this SOLU Shampoo I was masking mid week because I felt my hair needed a little extra help. I realized how much extra product I was using (mostly because I had to re-order my One Hit Wonder and I hadn’t expected to for a while – It is an $8 product so as fabulous as it is, it doesn’t break the bank, but each bottle lasts a pretty long time too) and I stopped using the shampoo. It is definitely a no buy for me.

I was kind of irritated that I let my desire not to waste product have me using the shampoo longer than I did, so instead of breaking out the next single sample of shampoo I planned to try, I went right for the Kerastase.

I have a Sephora Insider’s account and each year you can choose a small birthday gift product. I chose the Kerastase Nutritive Shampoo and Conditioner set. I’ve used Kerastase products a number of times and I absolutely love the brand. In the last few years I have tended to go more for their Genesis line than anything else. (although the Serum Fortifiant has to be one of my favorite products from the brand. It is pricy but you use so little that it lasts for a really long time).

Because this is a set and I knew I liked the products, I was planning to hold off on using them while I tried out some new things. However if there was a time for a nutritive blast for my hair, this was it. So I opened the package. While the Mango Klorane line will take you on an instant tropical vacation, the Kerastase products whisk you off to a high end salon. The scent of the products is salon-esque and As I used them i could practically hearing a qualified stylist clucking over my not terminating my shampoo trial earlier. It didn’t help that I also trimmed my bangs a little too short a few days prior so i could feel the imaginary expert’s disappointment as at least my shampoo mistake could be corrected.

The Kerastase Nutritive shampoo smelled of the salon and create a thick rich lather. I rinsed it away and applied the conditioner. Again, there was the salon scent. I let it sit as I shaved my legs and gave the rest of me a wash. I actually just picked up the Olay Fresh Outlast Orchid and Black Currant Body Wash. Not only is it a fantastically hydrating body wash, but the scent oddly enough really complemented the Kerastase, which I hadn’t expected but found rather nice.

I rinsed out the conditioner, let my hair dry naturally and added no leave in conditioners or detangling sprays. I then took a fine toothed comb to see what the results would me.

Silk. That was the result. My hair felt like silk and there were no knots or snarls. When my hair is this long it almost always gets some snarls when I comb it out for the first time after air drying.

Not this time.

There were no tangles, my hair had body, the faded highlights from my last dye (it is time for a new eSalon custom color order)were teased out. My hair looked good and felt like silk. The salon scent faded back as my hair dried, although my babydoll said I still smelled ‘fancy’.

So I learned that while I don’t have issues with other davines products (even though they aren’t my favorite) the SOLU Clarifying shampoo is not for me. I learned that while I can make up for an overly clarifying shampoo with a Klorane hair mask and leave in conditioner double punch, I should really just stop trying to use up the shampoo that isn’t working. I have also learned that it is never a bad thing to have a little Kerastase on hand. My hair is now back to feeling fantastic and as a result, I feel really good.

It’s Hair Mask Time with Klorane

Klorane Nourishing mask with Mango

I’ll admit, I was a little skeptical when I opened the package from Klorane and saw a lot of Mango themed products. Don’t get me wrong, I love mango. It is a frequently purchased fruit in my household. I was however worried it would be either a little too tropical or too sweet or even too perfume-y.

If you’ve eaten mangos then you know mangos can fall into all of those categories. Some are ripe and delicious, some have a more pronounced vanilla flavor than others and others really do stray into the perfume section. With those, i tend to pair them with honey and yogurt in a smoothie. I find the greek yoghurt really tames down that flavor.

But this wasn’t about taste, it was about scent. Specifically the scent of the Klorane Nourishing Mask with Mango.

Still, I like Klorane products and I like mango. Perhaps it would be a good pairing. So I tried it out.

You know what? It was. The mask has a lovely tropical scent to it, but it is not overpowering. It is present, but it doesn’t dominate. And the scent dimms once it is actually on the hair. Once the product was applied to my hair I could close my eyes and feel as though a mango plant with ripe fruit was planted outside of my shower, but not feel like I was swimming in a smoothie, if that makes sense. It was just the right amount of scent. In addition the scent didn’t last past the shower. There was a light sweet scent to my hair when it was dry, but it wasn’t extra mango tastic wherever I went. which I kind of appreciate. In fact I think it is aptly named. It is a nourishing mask with mango, not a mango mask.

But although scent is a major factor to me, the product has to work. According to the website…

This 2-in-1 deep conditioning treatment provides long-lasting nourishment and hydration to dry, dehydrated hair. The plant-based mask seals in moisture and adds shine, without the weight. Can be used as an overnight mask.

  • Deeply nourishes the hair without weighing it down
  • Provides long-lasting hydration, softness and shine
  • Multi-use for an in shower treatment or overnight deep nourishment
  • Hair’s ability to lock-in moisture is strengthened
  • 8x more concentrated than conditioner
  • 98% natural origin ingredients
  • Biodegradable. Vegan
  • 100% recycled and recyclable jar

The fact that it is biodegradable and that the jar is not only 100% recycled but also recyclable, made me very happy. I’ve gotten in the habit of reusing any skin or haircare product container that can be reused but I am thrilled to see that it can be recycled if I don’t find another use for it. (A lot of my containers are now used for seed starting in the spring. Yogurt containers too, in case you were wondering.)

To test this I did first use it in the shower and then again I used it as an overnight mask. First the shower.

As I stated above, it had a pleasant but not overwhelming scent when used on wet hair.My hair was soft and shiny after using it and felt very hydrated. It has a thick consistency, like a soft butter, but it fairly melts into the hair with no harsh rubbing needed. I did find that when using this mask, you need to skip the conditioner. I know that is probably a no-brainer for most of you out there, but I get into the habit of shampoo, then conditioner followed by whatever else I am doing. When using this mask in the shower, skip the conditioner. Pair it with your favorite clarifying shampoo and then apply the mask after washing.

I tried it with my clarifying shampoo and it worked well. I also tried it with the Christophe Robin Cleansing Purifying scrub with sea salt. When used the scrub replaces shampoo. Adding the Klorane nourishing mask right after in place of conditioner is just an amazing tag team duo for a little extra fabulousness.

But it pairs well with any shampoo,really, just skip your conditioner.

Trying it as an overnight mask was interesting. I have long and rather thick hair. So I applied it to the dry strands, twisted them up and put on a shower cap not only to keep the hair in place while I slept, but to keep it from getting all over my pillow (instead of staying in my hair).

The next morning I washed it out. My hair did feel nice and silky soft and well nourished. It might have felt a slight bit more nourished than when I used it in the shower, but to be honest, I couldn’t tell that much of a difference in my hair from when i just used it in the shower. The additional time did let the product sink in a little bit more so that was nice. I also needed slightly less product.

At the moment though my hair is fairly healthy. I think if I had a lot of damage from hot styling tools and other intense damage the overnight mask would have been fantastic as it would give my hair time to absorb it. I can see using this mask overnight when I did have some intense damage to take care of. However I think for me, if i am going to leave it on a longer period of time I would pick a day when I was working alone at my desk (or a weekend day) and apply it in the morning and rinse it out in the evening.

Part of that is that I just don’t like sleeping with masks on my hair. well actually it isn’t the mask I mind, it’s the shower cap. I think that the desk method would work better for me. I think I would use the mask over a longer period to deal with more damage or if it was a day or two before I was going somewhere and wanted my hair to look absolutely fabulous. As it is, I will happily use this mask in my once a week hair masking (usually Saturdays) until the mask is used up. And then I will repurchase it. The Klorane Nourishing Hair Mask with Mango worked as fantastically as every other Klorane product I’ve tried and I am now much less hesitant to try out all of the other mango scented products that were sent to me. I have a couple of shampoo samples I want to clear out, but soon, I will see how the mango shampoo stacks up to the mango mask. If it keeps pace, I will be a happy camper indeed.

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The Daily: July 20th, 2021

Oh the days before deadlines, when the world is compressed into two lists: what has to get done and everything else. Luckily, I put the gym in the has to get done category and managed to sneak it in before things got busy.

This week i am trying to walk at the gym instead of on the walking trail. I’ve spent just a little too much time in the sun for my liking. Admittedly my skin looks very patchwork at the moment. My arms neck and face are quite browned but my legs are still fish belly white. I’m starting in with at least one of the sunless tanners tonight so hopefully my legs will soon be a little less fishbelly. I’m also hoping they don’t go full oompa loompa as well, but that will have to be a wait and see moment.

Today’s lunch was a lovely homemade caprese salad. While I got to use my own basil for it, I had to use store-bought tomatoes as mine are still green on the vine. It tends to be one of my favorite summertime lunches as it is quick and easy to make and since i lean more heavily on the tomatoes than I do the mozzarella it isn’t all that highly caloric. And of course well within my portion of calories. So for food and exercise i am on track.

And when I got home from the gym, there was a package waiting for me.

Isn’t it lovely? All full of Klorane goodies. While I use lots of the dry shampoo and waterproof eye makeup remover, there are a lot of products in here I have never tried. In fact the only thing in this box I’;ve tried is the mango hair mask. Everytime I order from Klorane they send samples with the order (which is how I tried out the waterproof eye makeup remover) and the mango hair mask was one I’ve received a number of times. It smells delicious and really helps with dried split ends. It also makes the bath smell like a tropical smoothie. I always end up craving a mango smoothie after rinsing it out. While I have gone through many sample sizes I am thrilled to have a full size of the mask as well as several other products to try out.

Today’s Look:

Primer: Illamasqua Hydra Veil Primer

Foundation: NYX Bare With Me Tinted Skin Veil

Bronzer: Marc Jacobs Insta Marc Hifi filter

Blush: Billion Dollar Beauty Shade Amour

Highlighter: Billion Dollar Beauty Shade Mystic

Brows: Billion Dollar Beauty Cream Brow in Taupe

Lips: Billion Dollar Beauty in Macaroon

Powder ABH Loose setting powder

Eyeshadow: Billion Dollar Beauty in Moon and Norvina Pro Pigment Palette Vol 1

Mascara: Fenty Beauty Full Frontal Mascara

Setting Spray ABH Dewy Set Setting Spray

Earrings: Mariz Jewelry

The Illamasqua primer is just perfect for the summer. It is light weight and pretty much disappears into the skin, while both hydrating and locking down the makeup layered on top of it. It does go on a bit wet so you need to put it on and then give it a minute to dry down before moving forward with your foundation. I know the brand came out with a Beyond the veil primer that mixes the beyond powder into the primer, but quite frankly I prefer the original Hydra Veil Primer. It is just very light and fresh and feels like nothing once in place.

On top of it I layered another product that feels like nothing on the skin. And that was the NYX Bare With Me tinted skin Veil. I am down to half a tube of this foundation product and I will be buying it again once it runs out. It takes down the redness and evens skin tone but feels weightless and looks natural on the skin.It is just enough to even things out and if you are having a good skin day, this is a good product to use.It provides just enough help to make your skin look great.

The blush from Billion Dollar Beauty I like just as much as I did yesterday. I think the highlighter is actually growing on me. I still prefer using a gold or pink toned highlighter as I think they work better with my skin, but this silvery one is really good for putting under neath the eyebrows. It lightens them up but doesn’t look like too much. I rather enjoyed using it there today.

Today I also used the Norvena palette to change up the look. While I chose a bright pink and the black to try out in that palette I used the Billion Dollar Beauty eye shadow in Moon for my inner corners. I was very impressed with the way it blended with the other shades. It’s pigmentation held its own with the ABH formula. It blended nicely and while I don’t think I will ever really grow fond of just the shade all over my lids it is one that I will consistently reach for to place in the inner corner. It works really well with the darkest black the Novina Palette had to offer. With the Norvina palette, the black was highly pigmented. It also had loads of fall out even after you tap the brush. It stays in place once it is there, but there is fall out during application.

The Fenty Beauty Mascara is reaching the end of its life. I’ll be using it off and on for the next week, but it is starting to get that hollow sound mascaras get when they are close to being finished. To be honest, it isn’t my favorite formula and I probably won’t be purchasing it again. It isn’t a bad mascara. It is a fine everyday mascara but there really is nothing all that special about it. It is fine, but not fantastic. Since I have mascaras I enjoy a lot more, this won’t make the repurchasing list.

For the lips I again used a Billion Dollar Beauty pan, this one in Macaroon. The shade i think is a little too light for me, but the formula is fantastic.It applies well and barely feels like it is there.

Finally I used the ABH Setting Powder and Dewy Set setting spray. The powder did look a little powdery, but that could be because I have such a light foundation product on today. Because it was a little powdery, the dewyness of the setting spray worked really well and the two balanced out. I want to try both with a foundation that is more than a tinted moisturizer, but I think I actually like them both. Which is quite nice to learn. I don’t think the dewy spray will be too dewy.

The Daily: July 14th, 2021

Good Afternoon my darlings. or should I say, Happy Bastille day. I just received an Email from Klorane announcing the one Day Bastile Sale they have going on so I thought I’d let you know before I forget. The deal is listed below but this link will take you to the site.

Today has been a good day for me. I made my to do list and have been checking items off left and right. Unfortunately I left my walk to a little bit later than I should have and came home a sweaty mess. The temps may technically be down a bit but the humidity. Oh my darlings the humidity is what kills you.

I feel a bit like a dehydrated camel. I’ve gone through two of the Soda Stream bottles just trying to bring my hydration levels back to even. I also think that even though some of my walks have been earlier, I feel like combine with the garden I am just getting too much sun. I use sunscreen, but I still feel like it might be a bit much.

I think that this weekend I may look at some schedule shuffling so that I can make the time to go to the gym and use the treadmill there, even on my typically non-gym days, at least until the summer sun diminishes some. I know I mentioned thinking about doing that in early June but never got around to it. I am beginning to suspect i really should have moved on that then.

However today I get to wear one of my new pairs of earrings. I just got in three new pairs (and a ring) from Mariz Artisan Hand Crafted Jewelry. I felt like I deserved a little sparkle today so I went with the Odessa Earring. I love the way the earring looks and I love that it can be worn two ways. The earring comes in two pieces, the stud that goes through the lobe and the additional fan design. The fan design has two holes to put the stud through so it can be adjusted if you have big earlobes. To be honest, I never thought about different sized ear lobes before. But I love the earrings and they provided the perfect amount of bling for me today. And if I decide there is too much bling, I can take off the fan and just wear the stud. I’ve been going through my earrings lately and found I don’t actually have very many matching studs. I seem to have lost a lot of the matching sets. Perhaps they are hanging out somewhere with the missing socks that I can’t find.

Today’s Look:

Primer: Glamglow mattifying Primer

Foundation: Ciate London Extraordinary Foundation

Face Palette: PUR 4-in-1 perfecting powders

Eyeshadow: Otherworldly by Fluide

Mascara: The Feathers by Pretty Vulgar

Lips: MAC in Bated Breath

Jewelry: Odessa Earrings By Mariz Artisan Hand Crafted Jewelry

Today is the last day of my Glam Glow Primer Trial. Tomorrow i will post the full review of it as well as start rotating other primers back into my routine. Over all I think it is a pretty decent primer, but I also think it is very much a summer primer. At least for me.

The Ciate London Foundation is an all year for me and just an easy pick. I actually went for easy today with the foundation, eyeshadow and face palette. All are items I love using. Today’s test was really the MAC Lipstick. I’ve been doing a sort of rolling evaluation and declutter and am trying to slowly whittle down several categories of product. I am actually getting rid of a couple of MAC lipsticks because the colors don’t suit me, but i really think I like this shade. it is a pretty nice neutral. And as I know I have several neutrals I am going to have no choice but to get rid of, I think I may keep this one. Plus i love the MAC formula. I always have. They were the first non-drugstore lipstick I ever bought and I have a huge weakness for them. Usually i only stick with the few whose shades I know I like, but lately both IPSY and Boxycharm have been sending MAC lippies. Several in shades that are unfortunately not for me. And so I will have to let a few go, even though it sort of pains me a bit.

Actually getting rid of most lipsticks pains me. I just love lip products. And I always think i can use a lip pencil to modify the color, or maybe layer the products to change the color. I’m always more of a work with it to make it better rather than purge sort of person when it comes to lips. Although given the state of my lip product drawer I may be reaching a point where an actual deep down declutter is necessary.

But happily, that is a thought to contemplate another day. For now, it is back to work for me. So Happy Bastille Day to one and all.

It’s an Earth Day Giveaway!

An assortment of Klorane Dry Shampoos including the new Eco Friendly packaging

Recently Klorane sent a box of their fabulous Dry shampoo products to me. As you know from reading this they are my go to dry shampoo brand. I loved their Oat infused Dry shampoo for years and have recently switched to the Nettle infused Dry Shampoo for Dark hair. It is designed for oily hair and has saved me from looking completely wrecked more times than I can count.

In addition, they have a new eco friendly bottle that you squeeze to spray out rather than press a dispenser to spray. I have actually set my beloved Nettle Infused for dark hair to the side in order to try it out and will have my review up soon.

I was going to hold the giveaway until I posted the review, but when I saw Klorane’s Earth day Press release I just couldn’t resist. Let me share it with you.

Klorane, the environmentally-friendly French pharmacy favorite is pleased to share that we’re celebrating Earth Month (it’s one of our favorites)! The Klorane Botanical Foundation has the mission of preserving biodiversity, plant life and green spaces by sharing botanical knowledge around the world, empowering citizens to become change-makers in their communities. In an effort to advance this mission, with every Klorane purchase made, a portion of sales goes to support the foundation’s Budding Botanist grant program, which will support KidsGardening – a non-profit dedicated to improving children’s lives through gardening.

Since 2018, over fifteen Budding Botanist grant packages were awarded to high schools in need across the USA. Our grant winners experienced a:

  • 91% improvement in environmental attitudes
  • 80% increase in community spirit
  • 75% increase in leadership

The Budding Botanist program has impacted 600,00 children globally and 13,000 children in the US are educated about botany. In addition to this education, the Foundation fervently protects endangered plant species through concrete action, such as by planting 10,000 desert date trees each year to build the Great Green Wall in Senegal, or 10,000 olive trees in the Peloponnese after disastrous forest fires. It’s not just about the products but about the change that we can collectively make to make our Earth a better place and it starts with education!

To celebrate Earth Day, we’re offering consumers with 20% off any purchase using code: EARTHLOVE (offer is live from April 22nd – April 26th).

They also sent along top ten gardening activities for parents and kids which I will post in a second post to keep this one from being immense.

The press release just made me so happy that Klorane was one of my most consistently ordered from brands that I just couldn’t hold back the giveaway any longer. So here is the deal: Two lucky winners will get to try an assortment of Klorane products including the new eco friendly version. All you have to do is:

  • Comment below an earth friendly activity you are doing, whether it is gardening, planting a tree, using a refillable water bottle or just using fewer disposable products in your makeup routine.
  • Be sure to follow this blog (follow tabs are at the top of the page in the right sidebar)
  • Leave some way to contact you (if you don’t want to post that on the site you can DM me on Instagram with a contact – @msmimsy1)
  • You must be 18+ to enter or have the permission of a parent or guardian since winning will involve providing me with a shipping address.
  • You must be located in the continental US (for shipping purposes, sorry about that)
  • The two winners will be chosen randomly and contacted. And if all goes well, the winners will be announced on May 6th, 2021.

Good luck to all who choose to enter. I am so excited to host my first giveaway and can’t wait to hear from you. And if you are interested in the Botanist Program, the above links will take you there. In addition there is that great sale to take advantage of. While I love Klorane’s dry shampoo, I highly recommend their waterproof eye makeup remover as well. It is a fantastic product that doesn’t sting the eyes and removes waterproof mascara like a dream. Happy Earth Day My darlings!

Klorane USA

Skin Care Line up: March 12th, 2021

Products in Use March 12th, 2021

Good morning my darlings. I thought it was time to do a bit of a skin care line up. This week there are a lot of sample sizes so this will be a lot of first impressions. Some of the products lasted long enough to earn a full review, and those will be posted as individual reviews. I just wanted to go over what was in my line up,. When I add products I tend to stagger them so that I don’t start a whole new routine at the same time. Also, even though there are a lot of products in this line up, they aren’t used all at the same time. Some I use in the day, some at night, some I only use a few times a week. But lets get into it, shall we?

There are two makeup removers in this week’s line up. The first is the Klorane Waterproof Eye Makeup Remover. The link will take you to the full review if you are interested. It is not only effective at gently removing eye makeup but even if it gets in your eyes it doesn’t sting and it doesn’t coat your contacts with an oily film that clouds your vision. I’m a big fan. I tend to use it on the eye makeup that doesn’t just come off with my wet Makeup Eraser. There aren’t a lot of products like that, so it takes a while to use u even a sample size. I will be picking up the full size when it runs out.

The Makeup remover oil I used this week was the MAC Cleanse off oil. It is in the regular formula. I really like it. What I tend to do is put it on a dry face full of makeup, rub it in to break down the makeup, then rinse it off and then go in with the wet Makeup Eraser to take off every little bit. Then if needed go back in with the Klorane. I know it seems like a lot, but it is sort of my system. I have about two to three uses left in the bottle and then the MAC will be no more. I like it and I wouldn’t mind using it again. I think I’m going to roll in the Clean it Zero Cleansing Balm to take its place when it is finished.

Once the makeup is removed I go in with a cleanser. My cleanser this week was the Amore Pacific Treatment Enzyme Peel Cleansing Powder. And Oh my darlings, I am in love. Don’t let the name fool you. It may have a gentle exfoliant in it but the powder melts with a drop of water and rubbing your hands together productse foam. There is no grit whatsoever with this product.

The scent is light and clean. It is that slightly fruity, slightly floral category that many Asian based skin care products seem to have. I’ve noticed it in both Amore Pacific and Tatcha ones. Personally I can’t tell if it is a fruit or a flower or a combination of the two that produces the scent. I really like it and the scent is very light and fades quickly, but it is present. I usually like Amore Pacific products and this was no exception. This is definitely a product I will be picking up in a full size for a full on trial. I liked it for the two week’s I’ve used it and think I would be very happy using it over a longer period.

I can not say the same about my toner. This week (and actually for several weeks prior) I used the Youth to the People Kombucha + 11% AHA Exfoliant Power toner. I was excited because with the AHA’s I didn’t feel the need to roll in an AHA product to use the morning after I’ve used my retinol. I figured this had it covered. It may have, but I did not enjoy this toner. I’m sure the scent could probably be chalked up to the Kombucha but to my nose it kept smelling like rubbing alcohol and I just didn’t like that.

toner and moisturizer

It also made my skin feel very sticky. It was not a feeling I cared for in a toner. I reached the end of the bottle yesterday so this morning I rolled in my Akar Balancing Toning mist to replace it. I used a sample of the Akar and liked t enough to pick up a full size so this is the full size. After a month of use I’ll post a full review. The Youth to the people Kombucha + 11% AHA Exfoliant Power toner I will not be picking up in a full size.

For the past few weeks I’ve been using an essence in my daily routine. I used the Real Ferment Micro Essence Neo Gen Dermalogy. There is still enough product in the bottle that I might be able to use it another week, if so it will have given me five full weeks of use so there will be a full review soon. If you are wondering what an essence is then let me simply explain.

An essence is a product that opens your pores and makes them more receptive to accepting the skin care products that follow. I will be using this product until it is gone. I will probably pick up a full size but it might be a while as I want to try out other essences as well. This was my first so I want more of a sampling to compare it to before I make that decision. Previously I was using it before my toner, but I really didn’t like the feel of that particular toner so I sort of used the essence to take it away. I know, not the best, but that is why the toner is not returning.

In case you ae wondering about order. I was always taught to go lightest to heaviest with products. So I tend to go with Serum, eye cream, moisturizer. On the nights when I use retinol, I don’t use my serum and use it in place of it, but i follow with facial oil for extra moisture and then later go in with a night cream just before bed. The mornings after I use retinol i use an AHA product. The AHA products sweep away all the dead skin cells the retinol evicted the night before.

My serum in this line up was the Skyn Iceland Icelandic Youth Serum with Red Algae and I can unequivocally say I will be picking up a full size of this product. My skin reacted really well to it and I loved the way it made my skin feel. The sample was tantalizingly tiny though. I managed a little over a week with it, mostly because I was also using a retinol.

The Retinol I used was the La Roche Posay B3 Retinol Serum. It too was a tantalizingly small sample but I really enjoyed using it. It is another product i will definitely be picking up in the full size. My skin was clear and smooth (with one exception which I’ll cover in a bit) the entire time I used this. I know it was also a combination of products, but I think this did play a role. I only used the retinol twice a week because I am spending a lot more time in the sun. I am getting my garden ready for spring and retinol do make the skin a little more sensitive. I also need to look at getting a gardening hat actually.

This wasn’t too sensitizing actually. I had no redness appear after spending time in the sun, but as I’ve spent the winter indoors and am likely to burn now in any event I like to be careful. After the spring sun burn last year that took me down, I am being extra careful. The tube was emptied and completely flattened in my last ues so I will be rotating a full size of the Versed Press Restart Gentle Retinol Serum. Truthfully I went to pick up the Lo Roche Posay from my local Target when I went figuring I might as well just roll the sample into a full sized trial, but they were out. And then I saw the Versed bottle and bought it. I like Versed products so we will see how it does. I will be purchasing a full sized version of the La Roche Posay however.

I like to wear oil after my retinol to ensure moisture is locked in and this week I used the last of my Malin+Goetz Recovery Oil. I think this is either my second or third bottle. I also have a spare in my skin care drawer so I will clearly be using it again. I really like it. I will be trying out another oil this coming week though as I have several samples sent in subscription boxes that I want to try. I will be rotating in the Earth Harbor Marina Biome Brightening oil into the line up.

One product that I have to say I am getting rid of even though there is product left in the tube is the Avant Pro Radiance Brightening Eye Final Touch. I’ve been using it a while and to be honest I just don’t like it. I like several Avant Products, but this is not one of them. Under my eyes I ended up getting a lot more clogged pores. While I am used to a few here and there, they were mostly gone before I started using this eye cream and now they have all multiplied. Even though there is product left, I am done with it and will rotate in a Perricone MD Eye cream tonight to take its place.

I also did not like my moisturizer. It too was from Youth to The People. I’ve liked YTTP moisturizers in the past but this one just didn’t work for me. It was the Youth to the People Adaptogen Deep Moisture Cream. It was not only not as moisturizing as I like but it took a really long time to absorb in. It was a lot of wait for very little pay off. I will not be picking up a full size for a full scale trial and am happy to see it go. The jar is now empty and I think I am going to rotate in the 111Skin Y Theorem Day cream. I tried a sample and really liked it so now it is time to see what the full size can do.

My night Cream was Dr. botanicals Pomegranate Sleeping Mask. It is a much larger product than the others but i don’t think it is a full size. I will use the last of it and I think that I will reach for a full size in the future. The scent is light and fades away almost immediately. It is a thick gream and I used it every other night. On those nights I used it to replace my moisturizer. I actually liked it more than the moisturizer so that wasn’t a problem. I still have a few more days, possibly even a week before it runs out so I will be finishing it up. The cream is the sort that needs to be warmed up in the hands before applying it to the face. Even then there will be some white streaks, but they absorb in with very little rubbing, which I like. I think that I would pick up a full sized tube of this in the future. it is a good basic night mask. It provides moisture and in the dry winter that is a good thing. It doesn’t have any real anti aging properties which i am leaning towards more and more, but it is an excellent moisturizer.

I know this has gotten really long but we are almost done.

I like a lip scrub and a lip moisturizer on my lips before bed. I used the Milk Makeup Kush Lip Scrub and Milk Makeup Kush Lip Glaze in this line up. I am almost out of scrub and will use it until it is gone. I am likewise almost out of the lip glaze. Both will be used until they are gone and be repurchased. This link will take you to my full review.

And finally for my neck I used the Dermelect Self-Esteem Beauty Sleep Serum. I’ve used it before, I will use it again and thus far it is the best product I have found to help eliminate the loose chicken skin on my neck I am very please with it and foresee multiple purchases in the future.

This week’s post was a little long because I had so many sample sizes I wanted to do a first impressions of. I am sorry for the length. Hopefully next weeks will be more manageable. Over all there were plenty of wins and a few losses. In general it wasn’t a bad week and it will be interesting to see how things change as I start rolling new products in. That is always the really interesting part,