The Daily: March 22nd, 2023

Good afternoon my darlings. I am happy to report that it is actually 49 degrees and I no longer fear for the lives of my spring flowers. It is however raining and the park is flooded so there will be indoor workouts instead of walking for today and possibly tomorrow, but no ice, so that I can live with.

I don’t know why these late frosts really bother me Possibly because it was more than a little late frost. Mostly I think it is because the week before I just started noticing that all of the trees in our yard started to have that green haze to them. You know the one? When you look directly at the tree it looks brown and winter barren, but if you look at it out of the corner of your eye, the tiny little green buds all over it give it a hazy green look. It isn’t quite budding but it has that breath before budding.

Almost but not quite spring. And then comes the late frost. It was worse this year than usual, but still not terribly unexpected and yet it always gets me.

Oh well. Soon it will be actual spring and things will get planted out into the garden and then it will be a race to get them to grow before the scorching summer sun arrives and early morning watering becomes mandatory. My older neighbor who I see walking in the park has repeatedly informed me that this summer will be a scorcher. He claims to know because of all the signs. He won’t tell me what those signs are but he gives me the wide eyes and frowny face paired with the slow head shake every time he brings it up.

He also seems incapable of passing me without making a comment on the weather. I offer a polite nod and smile but he has this need to say a few words every time we pass. He doesn’t want to stop and talk, but he just has to say a couple of words about the weather.

I think when I am older and people nod and respectfully listen to me when we pass in the park I am going to find a non-weather related topic to mention in passing. Just a sentence drop as the people I pass are trying to be polite. I’m thinking of going with Yetis. I’m sure i can cobble together enough small Yeti conversational sentences for walks in the park. Yeti sightings. Yeti aplasia issues. The shrinking of Yeti held territory due to the increasing Big Foot population and global climate change.

And yes, these are the sorts of things I think about. But for now, let’s get into makeup.

Today’s Look:

Pre Makeup Base: Embryolisse Lait Creme Sensitive

Primer: Tatcha Liquid silk canvas

Foundation: Elf Acne Fighting Foundation

Bronzer: Trestique bronzing stick

Blush: Axiology Color Cream Multi Use stick

Setting Powder: Beseme Cosmetics Aurora 1959 Pink Setting Powder

Eyeshadow: Charlotte Tilbury Hollywood Diva Lights Palette

Mascara: Anastasia Beverly Hills Lash Brag Mascara

Lips: Tatcha tinted Kissu Lip Mask

The Embryolisse is a great way to start your makeup. I apply a thin amount about ten minutes before I start in on my makeup. It plumps the skin with moisture and preps it for application. Plus it has that very nostalgic scent. The formula hasn’t really changed since the 1950s and both my mother and grandmother used this as their day time moisturizer for huge swaths of my life so it has a very distinctive scent memory for me. Plus I like doing something nice for my skin just before I put on makeup.

You know I love the Tatcha Balm primer so much that I keep forgetting to reach for the liquid version. I really like this one too, mostly because it applies as a liquid but as you put it on it feels almost exactly like the balm as you smooth it over the skin. It is also a travel size that I picked up to try out. So it is sort of like a sample and I am trying to use up samples this month. i just keep forgetting I have this so i don’t use it as much. I have to say the older i get the more important a good primer is. It really helps keep foundation from automatically seeking out the fine lines.

I went with the Elf acne Fighting foundation today. of the elf foundations this one is my favorite and the one I will repurchase. while I am not constantly fighting the acne battle these days, there is just a nice lightweight feel to this formula that I really enjoy. It is one of elf’s best.

Again I stuck with favorites for bronzer and blush. I love my Trestique bronzer. For me this and the lip crayons are the best the brand has to offer. Other items are okay, but those are their hero products in my opinion, and the ones I keep repurchasing.

This Axiology Color cream is rapidly becoming my favorite cream blush. I think as I try out other cream blushes I will be bouncing between using it and the others. It is a creamy formula and in a pinch it can be used for lips and eyes. Plus it is a completely paper packaging so once I am through with it the package can be rinsed out and recycled. How fab is that?

I am loving this Beseme powder as well. Yes I know I chose all products I love today. I’ll try to stop saying that. I think though that I tried for so long to find a replacement pink powder that I just get happy every time I pick this up. tomorrow though I need to return to using up the last of the ABH powder. i want to finish it up before the end of the month so I need to use it pretty much the rest of the month to do so. The ABH Lash Brag mascara is always fabulous. Big fluffy wand, big fluffy lashes.

Charlotte Tilbury was the eyeshadow i went with. I have to say it is an expensive little eyeshadow quad so I will probably only buy one and just use it until it is gone. I bought this one on sale. I don’t mind paying more for a full palette, but it is a bit pricy given that it is a quad. That being said the shadows are really good quality and it is really easy to use. Yu start at the upper left and then work around the quad clockwise and then boom you are done. I always get more or less the same look, but it takes so little time and always looks good. For a quick morning palette or a travel bag, this is a really great quad. And I am glad i purchased it. I am also glad I picked it up on sale. And yes it really is that it is a quad that bothers me about the price.

And finally we have the lips. The regular Kissu mask is part of my night time skincare line up but I keep forgetting I have this tinted version. I don’t know if it is the tint, but it feels more like a lip gloss than a lip mask. It works like a lip mask and gives my lips a nice tint as well as excellent hydration. I need to start wearing it more as a lip gloss, especially going into the lower makeup days of summer.

And that my darlings is me on this dreary and rainy (but surprisingly warmer) Wednesday afternoon. I hope wherever you are you are having a grand mid week adventure.

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Hello Ganic, It’s time for mid week masking

As you know I am trying to whittle down my collection of sheet masks, determining which ones I want to purchase in larger packs and which ones just need to be cleared out before they go bad. At this point I have to admit that a lot of the sheet masks left in my collection are rose infused or rose scented.

While I don’t mind rose, I am picky about the type of rose that I like. You can give me pretty much anything rose scented from the brand Nuxe or even Dior and I am fine with the scent because it is light and tends to smell more like skincare that was placed near something rose scented for a while rather than actually infused with the rose scent.

When I went into the sheet mask box today, I found that because I tend to avoid the rose scented masks, I have a lot of them. I wasn’t feeling rose today so I dug through the box and came up with a non-rose scented sheet mask. And then I saw that it was a pore refining mask and I got happy. A lot of the masks left are also hydrating, and while I like hydrating masks it is nice to have a change so double win today.

Well win if I like the mask.

first applied

This is the Helloganic 1 a day Grain mask. Finding information about it was interesting. There were a couple of UK Sites that offered it The only place I could find it for sale in the US was on Amazon so that is where the links and product information are from. If you are reading this outside the US you may have better luck finding it. So according to Amazon…

Vegan Certified : HelloGanic is a 100% vegan green market and lifestyle beauty brand that brings healthy energy to everyone with carefully selected fresh raw materials and refreshing imagination. Eucalyptus sheet : Sheets are made from eucalyptus trees. Since eucalyptus grows well in the tropics and dry plains, we focused on an idea – “Tree that gives life.” We have developed products that provide a feeling of freshness and moisture. Strict quality standards : Each mask is produced according to very strict quality standards and excellent technologies such as a natural preservation system and low-temperature aging method. Full of GREEN ingredients : Just as a daily nutrient is required to maintain our health, Helloganic masks are filled with freshness and nutrients from green food needed for our skin every day.

after 15 min

I really like that these are made with eucalyptus sheets. It feels like cotton and to be honest, I thought it was cotton. if they can make wood feel like cotton power to them. It even says eucalyptus sheet on the packet although any UK sites I looked at claimed it was cotton. Since what is on the package says Eucalyptus I will go with that as the mask material.

Don’t you just hate when there is conflicting information?

Regardless, the mask lays across the skin well and adheres to all of the cures of the face without bunching up or sticking out. which is the goal regardless of base material. The scent of the mask is interesting. While the sheet mask lists Adlay Black Bean as the main ingredient it smells vaguely like oatmeal to me. Perhaps it is that I do not know much about the Adlay black bean.

A quick search for the Adlay Black bean netted me information about the ingredent…Adlay traditionally has long been used in China for the treatment of warts, chapped skin, rheumatism, neuralgia, and inflammatory diseases. – National Library of Medicine

All of the other searches listed teas and even black bean burgers.

So it smells a bit like oatmeal and a bit like skincare. Which is fine for a sheet mask. I like both oatmeal and skincare. The mask is juicy when it comes out of the pouch and I did have to wipe a bit of serum off of my hands and neck After that it didn’t seem inclined to drip.

Before on left and after on right

As I wore it I could feel a cool tingling over my skin. It wasn’t unpleasant but it was a noticeable thing. I wore the sheet mask for fifteen minutes while sitting at my desk answering e-mails. After fifteen minutes I returned to the bathroom to remove the mask. The part of the mask under my nose dried down and I could tell it was not cotton. When dry it simply didn’t feel like cotton.

The rest of the sheet mask was still damp but it was clear my skin absorbed most of the serum. What little remained I patted into the skin. My skin felt very chilled. It actually felt as though I had been standing in front of an open fridge peering into the depths for the last fifteen minutes. The coolness remained for a full ten minutes after the mask was removed. It was well after the serum absorbed in and my skin was dry. It still remained cool to the touch.

As often i will use cool things like jade rollers to calm inflammation and irritation down without recourse to actual items from the medicine cabinet, I think if I had been suffering from any irritation this would have significantly reduced it merely through the cooling effect. beyond that my skin felt really soft and smooth. The serum was a little sticky before it dried down and was fully absorbed. That took a few minutes after I removed the mask to fully soak in. If you can put up with the slight stickiness for that length of time then there is a nice pay off of soft nourished skin.

I enjoyed this mask far more than I expected to. I honestly wasn’t certain what sort of effect beans would have on my skin, but in this mask it works. I will happily repurchase this Helloganic sheet mask.

Green Tea, Rose, Banana & Coconut sheet masks

The Daily: March 21st, 2023

March just keeps chugging along doesn’t it. Today the freeze warning is still in effect but according to all sources I can find, it is supposed to warm up in the morning. I know tulips are fairly hardy but I do fear for their safety. they are no longer glazed and looking like ice sculptures and they don’t look wilted yet so I have hopes they will come through this snap in tact. Oddly the leaves are now starting to come out on my blackberry bush. They are small leaves teased out but the warm front before this current cold snap and now looking like they are regretting their optimism, but still they are there.

And blackberries always mean summer to me. So I am hoping for a bumper crop this year. I’ve already got my netting handy so at the first sign of fruiting I can protect the bush from the predations of the birds. I am actually curious as to how that will play out this year.

Usually we have problems with voles, squirrels and birds in our yard. This year the issue has been more of a feral cat situation (in the neighborhood and not just our yard) and all other wildlife seems to be giving our patch a wide berth because of it. We usually have a lot of nesting birds near us so it will be interesting to see how things progress.

It is my own little live action nature documentary.

My only role is to protect my garden otherwise I just watch it play out and occasionally scare off the cats. Last year most wildlife viewed my garden as an all you can eat salad buffet. Until this past fall when the cats decided it was a squirrel buffet with vegetable garnish. And the more the feral cat’s multiply the more my babydoll starts looking at pictures of terriers. I’m pretty sure he watched Crufts this year thinking about what kind of dog would work best against some of the rather large neighborhood cats.

Some of them are really large.

I’m not so sure I want to take that active a roll in the nature documentary that is our yard. At the moment I have a bottle of soapy water that is eco friendly and keeps bugs from eating most of my plants and chicken wire to keep things out of the garden beds. That is about as active as I plan to get. Tastes bad but isn’t actually poison and won’t hurt the ground as well as physical barricades like netting and wire. I might go as far as something that makes noise, but I am not up for all out warfare.

All of that is several months away of course as we are now struggling to get above freezing and my seedlings are in my greenhouse safe and sound from all predators and the weather. But the appearance of the blackberry leaves has started the planning.

Today’s Look

Pre Makeup Base: Embryolisse Lait Creme Sensitive

Primer: YSL Touche Eclat Blurring Primer

Foundation: Hide Invisible Foundation

Bronzer/Blush/Highlight/Eyeshadow: Wander Beauty Getaway eye and Face Palette

Setting Powder: Beseme Cosmetics Pink powder

Mascara: Thrive Causmetics Mascara

Brows: Grande Cosmetics Brow-Fill Volumizing Brow Gel

Lips: Serephine Botanicals Lip Gloss and OFRA Lip Gloss in myth

I really like how everything turned out today. My plan this moth is to work through the sample sized primers and I have had this primer for a long time. Each time I think I am done with itI realize there is still just a little bit more left in the bottle and I keep it around. And even though I used it today there is still just a little bit more left in the bottle so I will continue to use it. Even though it is hard to get out of the bottle. I really love this YSL primer. I know it was all the rage a while back with everyone saying fabulous things about it and then it fell off the radar and now people say it’s time has passed, but I love this primer. It does such a beautiful job of blurring things out. And while the gold flakes are a bit much, when I use this primer under heavier matte foundation, it tends to look a bit less heavy. Even if it isn’t sparkly. I have tried several YSL makeup items and thus far this is the only one I’ve tried that I will repurchase.

This HIDE foundation is pretty good as well. It helps that it is in the perfect shade for my skin. I also know that it expires in August and so I am trying to keep it in rotation so that when August arrives I have used all of it. It is a weightless foundation that blends out so well.

Most of my face products came from the Wander Beauty Palette today. It is my first use of this palette. That bronzer is very pigmented. As is the blush. I suggest going lightly into the pan. I will say that both blend out really well, but they are more pigmented than they look.

The eyeshadows too are pigmented. I used Villa as a base, Boardwalk to darken the corners and Day dream as my shimmer. It was quick and easy to use and honestly I think I may have found my next favorite travel palette. The whole thing worked really well for me and took so little time to use. It isn’t the broadest spectrum of looks and I think I will probably end up with the same look each time I open the palette, but for a weekend trip, that isn’t a bad thing. And the size is great for a small makeup bag.

The Beseme Setting powder is amazing. I can already see myself getting refills for this compact for a long time to come. My quest for a replacement pink setting powder might have just ended because this just works so well without looking powdery.

The Thrive mascara gave me long lashes today that worked well. I might pair this with a thickening mascara in the future but for long lashes I really like this.

As for the lips. I tried the Seraphine and while I liked the color it was a little too sticky for me. I have this OFRA lipgloss that is just a little too light for me to wear on it’s own. It does make an excellent topper though. So I used it to top the Seraphine. It lightened the color a bit which I don’t mind but it also took away the stickiness from the other lip gloss. Th9is is definitely a pairing I will be using in the future.

So this is me today. Honestly I am really happy with the way things have turned out. It’s not dramatic, but then my looks rarely are. It is nice and casual yet when I had to take a video call earlier it didn’t look out of place. it was casual yet office friendly I suppose. Which is kind of where my makeup really lives. I play with the glitters and things at night and on weekends, but really day in and day out, casual and office appropriate is my lane. And I am happy with that. Especially for a Tuesday.

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Wander Beauty

Snacktime: Righteous Felon Street Taco Inspired Craft Jerky

That’s right my darlings it is snack time once again. For me to stay on track and not reach dinner time starving and ready to eat far more than what I know my allotted portion should be, I need an afternoon snack. Now here is the thing. I always make sure there are minimal limitations on my snacks.

The one real limitation is that I try to stick to under 150 calories. I prefer around 130, but I don’t want to go over 150 at all for my afternoon snack. This calorie range makes me feel like I am getting something substantial, and when I start to make dinner I am not snacking on some of the ingredients as I cook and thus adding unknown calories to my plate.

Snacking is actually one of the most useful dieting tools I have come up with. One snack with 150 or less calories in it. That it my only restriction. I know some of you are thinking, well if those are the only restrictions then what’s to stop you from reaching for really bad candies and other empty calories?

Oddly enough, i did worry about that when I first started adding the snack in. Then I realized it is almost self regulating. Around Easter one of my favorite treats are marshmallow peeps. I don’t know if you have ever looked at the container but a box of five is listed as one serving and the calorie count on that is 140 cal. which means it technically fits. And there will be at least one time every spring where I will roll in a box of peeps and call it a snack.

I will only do it once a year though. Not because it is a special treat, but because after that one treat my stomach really doesn’t want to take in that much sugar again for a whole other year. I don’t feel satisfied, I feel vaguely ill. After a while of snacking, i will find myself reaching for things that I know are good for me even if the junk stuff is available simply because that is the stuff that I want.

So snacktime is anything I want to eat that will fill me up in a way that makes me feel satisfied but has less than 150 calories. After a while of doing this you learn what falls into that category and what doesn’t and automatically reach for the things that have the right calorie count but won’t satisfy you until dinner. At least with me. it did take a while and occasionally something sneaks through but for the most part. Once I start paying attention I will crave an apple over a sugary sweet.

But sometimes, my body wants meat. We generally have one meal per week that uses meat (and it is usually a weekend thing and often it is in the colder weather, fish and chicken dominate the warmer months for our ‘meat’ meals). Occasionally though I just get a meat craving and when i do I want to make sure that I go with good quality items.

I have been ordering from Righteous Felon for a while. Their quality is top notch. I tend to stick to the pouches of meat snacks so I can measure out what I actually want to eat in that moment. This is my first stick from them. Even though it is only 100 calories per stick I generally find myself satisfied with only about half of the stick. But with the sticks I will eat the whole thing.

Recently Righteous Felon released some new flavors. I added a couple of them to my order this time and I could not resist the Street Taco Inspired Al Pastor and Pineapple Pork stick. It has 100 calories only 4 g of sugar and a full 8 g of protein. I generally find that protein really helps me fell fuller longer when I use it as a snack.

I know I could go the protein bar route, and sometimes I do, but a lot of the protein bars are just too sweet for me. This is not sweet. It does have a little sweet tang from the pineapple, but it also has a little bit of a spicy heat. the heat is mild. The spices don’t make it spicy, they make it spiced. and it is spiced exactly like a really good al pastor taco.

It is delicious and the only thing wrong is that it makes me look around to see where the chips and guacamole ran off to. It is fully flavored and tastes exactly like what it is, pork with pineapple and al pastor seasonings. It is a winner. The flavor is great, the protein is enough to keep me going and to let me prepare dinner without snacking on the elements as I cook and the calories are sitting at a lovely 100.will this unseat Darth Garlic as my go to Righteous Felon treat? Probably not, but it will be added to the list of Items I will purchase again on my next order.

Nails: Ohora Semicured Gel Nails

This week I did something different. I went with the Ohora Semi-cured Gel nails. I have always liked the thought of gel nails, but at the same time I was leery of the thickness of them and the fact that you had to get someone else to put them on and take them off.

At the moment, Ohora has a sale. Buy three and get one free on select designs.

I will occasionally wear press on nails for events but for me they aren’t an everyday thing. I simply spend way too much time typing for them to be comfortable. I do have pretty good natural nails, I just can’t let them grow past a certain point because the clicking on the keyboard irritates me and I find working with them a little clunky. I some how equated gel nails to more or less the same thing.

The Ohora semi-cured Gel nails are something different though. They come in a package and look like nail stickers. Basically that is what they are. Each pack contains enough for two manicures. There are two sheets of sixteen nails . So you have sizes to choose from and there are one or two you can sort of practice with if you mess up.

I expected to mess up more than I did. I actually didn’t mess up any of the nails to the point where I couldn’t use them.

before trim

There is one piece of specialized equipment needed. It is the gel lamp to harden the gel nails and make them fully cured. Right now with your first order you can get the gel lamp for free. They do sell them independently for $20. This was my first order from them so I did get the gel lamp. It has a USB port and it folds up to save space. If you press the button in then the blue lights go on for 45 seconds and your fingers get a little warm as the nails cure. Then after 45 seconds it goes off. If you want a longer cure you hold the button down a little longer and it will go on for 60 seconds. I really like the fact that it automatically turns off when it is done.

I really wanted to make sure they were done so I went with the 60 second cure which worked perfectly.

I did have some concerns with my right hand so I started with my left. For me I peeled the sticker off the back, placed it on the nail, tripped the sticker down and then proceeded to the second nail. You want to leave them a little longer than the nail. After I had all of the nail stickers on each hand I cured the hand. The gel became harder and stiffer and felt like actual nails. I then took the nail file to the tops of the gel nails and filed them down so everything was smooth and even. I was very impressed with the way they turned out actually.

my trimming wasn’t the best

But then came the nails for the right hand. I was thrilled that there were a few extra nails because I expected to make a mess when putting everything on my right hand. The stickers themselves were not hard to apply. It was the trimming I was really worried about. I do not have left handed scissors and even with left handed scissors I am not so very good at cutting things with my left hand. After trimming them down my left hand looked quite a bit more jagged than my left hand had.

I decided to call it an experiment and put my hand under the gel lamp. The nails cured and then i went to work with the file. Because they were messier they took longer to file. Unless you are ambidextrous or do this often then that is just what is going to happen. One hand is naturally going to take a little longer than the others. In the end though, they looked really nice and I am thrilled with the way they turned out. I am having no problems with the nails as I work. It feels like my own nails with polish on them.

The color I chose was called N Felice. I chose it because I really like the subtle soft gray with the sparkle at the base of the nail bed. I also liked the more dramatic colors with the sparkle, but these seem suited for daily use. I love that the glitter is encapsulated so when i run my finger over the top of the nail it is smooth and there is no glitter fall out as I work. there will be no shedding of glitter causing unwarranted sparkles.

I think for me, these are actually a better alternative than false nails as I don’t feel like they are false and can work with them as though they were natural nails. Perhaps that is what gel nails do. All of the ones I have seen looked a little thick and heavy for my liking. These are light and feel durable. As I just put them on, there is no wear showing, however time will tell. If they still look good next Tuesday I will do a check in and leave them in place. The cost for these ranges between $14-16 per pack. Each pack will give you two full manicures. So that is about $7-8 per manicure. Which isn’t bad at all. Now that I have the gel lamp I am going to be looking into more of these to have around for different occasions. I love the look of them. Time will tell how long they last, but even if they just look good for a weekend event, that is well worth the price. At the moment, I am quite honestly in love with these Ohora Semi-cured gel nails. ho would have thought it would be this easy to do at home?

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The Daily: March 20th, 2023

In a season of yo yo weather, this weekend we had snow. Not a lot, just enough for people to step outside and marvel as the the tulips and late daffodils became frosted. I am not opposed to cold this deep into March. Mostly because of Easter. I remember every Easter I shivered and was freezing in my pretty summery Easter dress.

Admittedly so was every other little girl in church. Why do you do that? Everyone knows that Easter morning is going to be cold. And yet every year Easter dresses are made of thin summer weight cloth. Which you have to wear winter tights under and cover up with a coat. My Easter dress usually had a cardigan I would wear because they would take the coat off when you got to church so you could show off your pretty Easter dress. Unfortunately at our church they decided to stop running the heat because March was so warm and the building would be frigid on Easter morning.

Every Easter service I went to started off with a comment about the sudden cold snap that was so unexpected.

I think it might have been some sort of endurance test for little girls.

But I digress. Snow in March isn’t that unexpected. It only feels really strange because we had those 80 degree days in January and February. It feels like instead of progression from one season to another they decided to take all of the weather possible for the entire season and shove it into a blender before doling it out randomly.

We did get alerts for record lows all weekend so that made it feel extra strange. And all of the garden chores we had lined up were postponed. Soon my shallot and onion seedlings are going to have to go out though. They are getting to the point where the ground is necessary. They are strong enough to withstand a little cold, so I’m hoping when things warm up on Wednesday they will stay warm for long enough to let me get them out and established. I can cover them overnight after that, I just need them to have a little time before settling in.

This weekend we did start the Spring cleaning. As you might have guessed it did not include the opening of windows and airing out of the house. That, will wait for a weekend without snow. In between I ended up binge watching the Mayor of Kingston on Paramount+. It’s pretty good. I wasn’t sure I would like it but I needed a break from some of the other things I have been watching so I gave it a try. I didn’t get through the whole series but I got enough episodes watched that I am kind of hooked so I will watch the rest of the season at least. I know not terribly productive, but there was cleaning and snow. And now today is back to work.

Today’s Look

Pre Makeup Base: Embryolisse Lait Creme Sensitive

Primer: Tatcha The Silk Canvas Primer

Foundation: Yensa BC Skin on Skin Foundation

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Bronzer: Trestique Refillable Bronzer stick

Blush: Jane Iredale Blush Stick

Setting Powder: Beseme Cosmetics Aurora Pink Blush

Eyeshadow: Dominique Cosmetics Unconditional Palette

Mascara: Benefit Cosmetics They’re Real Extreme Lengthening magnetic mascara

Brows: Grande Cosmetics Brow Fill Volumizing brow gel

Lips: RMS Lip Gloss in Darling Lane

Setting Spray: Ciate London Watermelon Burst setting spray

Today my skin was feeling a little bit dry. I think it is mostly due to the weather changes. So I went in with my Embryolisse first. It is just a great hit of extra hydration before the makeup goes on and I really love it. And yes I did lose the cap to this so I am using a pencil eraser as a stopper and will be working to finish this cream and pick up a new one. It is something I always have on hand.

The Tatcha is my favorite primer and to be honest I went for the primer, foundation and bronzer because I wanted quick easy and good. These three are among my favorites. Tatcha blend out the fine lines making my skin looks smooth, the Yensa is light weight and fabulous and the Trestique is a dream to blend. The Yensa is a bit glowy so I use a setting powder to tame it as well as to set it and I am fine with how it turns out every time.

The blush is the Jane Iredale. It is a cream blush stick. The white tube already has foundation stains on it. The product is nice though. It does need a little warming up to blend out properly but once it is warm it is really good. Warming it just takes holding it in your hand for a five to ten count, then it is fine.

Then there is this Beseme powder. You know I have been looking for a good pink powder since Becca went under and the Pink Haze was no more. This is it. It is a pressed powder instead of a loose one, but I don’t mind that. I picked up the slim line compact from Beseme. It is refillable and all of their powder pans fit inside. I went with the pink toned one from the 1950s and it was exactly what I have been looking for. It goes on well without looking powdery and the pink tone brightens winter sallow skin. It also set the foundation well. And I love that it is refillable and not terrible expensive. Plus this compact reminds me of something my grandmother carried in her purse so I love having it around. In general I love the styling of Beseme’s products as well as the products themselves. I am definitely going to be using and refilling this for a while.

I am so tickled to have finally found the powder I have been looking for.

This Dominique Cosmetics palette is a six pan palette. It is really well thought out for easy use. I used the lighter pink as a base, added the crimson to the outer edge and blended, then added the shimmer with the matte white to the inner corner. I did not use the glitter today as I wasn’t feeling the glitter (it also is the only shade with fall out) but I used everything else. It is a great quick palette that performs well. I need to remember to take it out more.

I love my benefit mascara. this and Bad Gal Bang are my favorites so I have no problem reaching for either. The lips today were a lip gloss that I vaguely remember trying out but couldn’t remember how I felt. So I decided to give it a try. the color is nice, It is more pigmented than I expected. It feels like a cross between a lip gloss and a lip balm on the lips. It was sticky slightly at first but that went away almost immediately. It doesn’t dry down at all and does leave lip prints everywhere. The color wears off but even after the color is gone my lips feel hydrated. I think this too is a product I am going to have to remember to reach for more often.

And that my darlings is me today. Personally I like how things turned out. And I am over the moon about the Beseme powder. But now it is back to earth and the continuation of the regularly scheduled work day. Hope you are having a good Monday my darlings.

The Depology Travel Set

A while ago Depology sent over several product for me to try out. They had some really great eye patches and really good chin lifting items, but the item for me that was the mega winner in the collection was the Matrixyl 3000 Collagen Boosting Serum. The bottle of serum they sent lasted six weeks and and I really saw a fantastic improvement in my skin texture while using it. It was amazing in reducing my fine lines.

In case you have never heard of Matrixyl 3000 it is …formed from two peptides that work synergistically to restore and maintain the skin’s youthful appearance by signaling to cells to produce more collagen. This serum combines this with Hyaluronic acid which I think you all know my skin loves and aloe which is not only a fantastic skin softening ingredient but it also soothes skin irritations.

When i used this serum I really enjoyed it.

Now Depology has come up with a travel set. This is the Depology Matrixyl Travel set to be precise For just ten dollars more you can get one full sized bottle of the Matrixyl 3000 Collagen Boosting serum along with a travel sized bottle. For me this is an amazing thing.

I love my skin care, I know you know this by now. And I love having multiple steps in my skincare regime. I know a lot of people really prefer the one or two multifunctional items to simplify and streamline. I get that, but that isn’t really me. I have noticed over the years that many multifunctional items only to one or possibly two of the things they claim to do well. The others they are listed as performing they are only so so with. If given the option I will choose three separate products that each do one thing really well over something that is okay with three things.

Plus I like options. I like to be able to target issues. If my skin is looking a little dull, maybe this is the day to lean into the Vitamin C brightening serum. Those fine lines looking a little deeper than I like? maybe today is the plumping serums day to shine. I like to be able to look at my skin, see what issues I want to address and then address them directly.

It is however a problem when traveling. I have had enough travel mishaps with tossed about luggage, bathrooms with no counter space or shared with someone who is a little less careful with glass bottles than he should be to not like traveling with full sized bottles of certain products. With Serums I will especially reach for a travel size or even a sample when packing rather than a full size. I love having that option. I am going to be rotating this full sized bottle into my routine as I am in need of a serum at the moment. While I usually host Easter, this year there is a schedule mishap so while there will be a small Easter celebration at my place, the following weekend we are travelling down for a large scale family thing this year.

I will still be cooking the family meal, I will just be using someone else’s kitchen to do it. One the weekend after actual Easter.

Which means that this travel set comes at the the most opportune time. I can start the regular sized bottle in the line up and then just rotate in the travel size when i pack to hit the road. For me, that makes this Depology Travel Set of Matrixyl 3000 Collagen Boosting Serum a winner.

For more information about how to use Matrixyl 3000 this is an excellent site to visit and for a full run down on what benefits Matrixyl 3000 is supposed to provide for your skin you can read more here. I personally love knowing what a product is supposed to accomplish before I go testing it out I like to wallow in all of the little details and I find these sorts of informational posts helpful to read through.

Unboxing the March 2023 Scentbox

As many of you may recall I am a big fan of scent. I am not really a signature scent sort of person. I know a lot of people who are, but I am more of a scent library sort of person. I wear fragrance for me and I use it to match my mood, frame of mind, season or simply because on this day THAT scent smells like something I want to surround myself with.

I am also the sort of person who can very easily fall in love with perfume descriptions. I love how some whisk you away to exotic locations, or whisper thoughts of a life far more exciting. Don’t get me wrong. I love the thought of racing across the desert sands or walking on moonlit beaches on tropical islands as much as the next person. But those sort of things are not my everyday life. Scents that can make me feel like I am there when I am really at home making sure the laundry gets done so I don’t run out of clean socks mid week are actually the perfect escape. A momentary transportation.

And it makes me happy.

However I have read enough perfume descriptors to know that what they describe isn’t always what my nose picks up. Especially when the fragrance hits my skin. There are some scents that are amazing when spritzed into the air and some that smell fantastic when someone else is wearing them. But sometimes it just smells different when I apply it to my own skin. There is ascent my mother wears that smells amazing on her. I tried it on my skin and the result was not pleasant.

Which means that you have to try a scent on yourself before you can decide if it is for you. Once of my favorite methods is through scent subscriptions. Each subscription offers a little something different and many of them have changed as of late. So I am trying out a few to get the feel for them and see the pros and cons of each. While I will discuss this perfume when I get around to trying it, i wanted this post to be about the subscription itself.

So this is Scentbox. There is a deep discount on your first order. I believe the current offer is the first month for $9.72 and then after that it is $16.95 per month. Oddly this seems to be the current cost for almost all of the scent subscriptions I have seen. There are a few cents difference here and there but that does seem to be in the middle of the range. Scentbox charges on the seventh of the month and ships out on the 14th of the month. I always receive my scent within four to five days. This month it arrived on the 17th.

What do you get for that price? You get a one month supply of scent. It is ).27 oz. You can choose the one scent a month option or expand to two or even three scents per month. If you choose two scents per month it is $28.95 per month and if you go with three it is $40.95.

Scent box also has three categories to choose from. There is the Standard ($16.95), Premium ($21.95), and platinum ($30.95) categories. I understand that there are perfumes in different price ranges and that it is going to cost more per sample for those, But I have to say that I am not a big fan of this sort of break out. I have the Standard subscription and there are plenty of scents that i want to try in that category. I have no issues with the selection. There are however scents in the other categories I wouldn’t mind trying as well. I wish that they would just put a small price increase on the Premium and platinum scents instead of having the category break out. I would rather pay a one time fee for a higher cost scent than have categories.

The reason is that I get to search the available scents and pick which one I want each month. I know that if I start to see perfumes in the premium category I want to try and then switch to premium, I will never again choose a scent from the standard selection because I am already paying the premium fee. I don’t think they give you a discount if that month you made a standard selection even though you have a premium subscription. I would rather pay a one time fee if I found a scent in one of the other categories that I wanted to try.

What I do like is that with each order I do earn Scentbucks which can be put towards the purchase of a full sized item or more scents. This too has changed, It was $2.24 and it is onw $1.70 for the monthly Standard subscription. The amount of scent bucks you receive is based on what you spend. They don’t expire so you can save them up and thus lower the cost of purchasing a full sized bottle of something that you tried and loved.

I also like that they have body care as well as home scents (Like candles) and if you decide you have enough perfume at the moment you can swap out one of your fragrances with something else, like a candle that month.

With each scent you get a metal travel case. You get a new case each month which is really nice. And it is not an extra cost. As I will often reuse these and put scents from other places into the container for travel I really like that. I really do like having a case with every scent. While it is good for travel or just adding a scent to your purse, it also makes storing the scents a lot easier. Some scents I use up faster than others so some stay around longer than the month intended. It is really nice to be able to store them in the case.

This month is a sleek gray and silver which I really like the look of.

In addition to the scent you will get a Scent of the month card. Each month Scent box chooses a scent of the month. If you have no scent lined up in your roster, that would be what you receive. I rarely go with the scent of the month, preferring to make my own selections. I have occasionally gotten one of these cards and like the description enough that I have added it to my list for later. I do which they would also include the card for the scent I actually ordered that month.

This month’s selection for me was L’Extase by Nina Ricci. The info card I received was for Selena Gomez EDP on one side and Jimmy Choo Man on the other side (for their Cologne of the month) I have to say that the Jimmy Choo Man sounds more like something I would like than the perfume of the month and there is the possibility I will put it on my list. And as I would have honestly just passed it by had I not seen the card, then I am glad they put it in with my subscription.

Also included in my box is a return label. I am in love with this facet of Scentbox. The return. If you get something you thought you might like and you absolutely hate it, you can return it. As long as most of the scent is still in the container there are no questions asked. You just send it back and they will send you the next item on your list.

When I first started my perfume journey I would occasionally fumble with my selections. Part of my issue is that I can take both patchouli and bergamot in small doses or as part of a blend but if there is too much of either then it doesn’t matter what it smells like i will be sneezing my head off the entire time i wear it. As both are very common ingredients in perfumes I have to kind of watch my selections. I didn’t actually realize that until I started trying out more scents so it was something I learned about myself as well.

I have had to use the return policy a couple of times but each time it was easy and had no issues at all.

As with any subscription there are pros and cons. In the case of Scentbox, the pros definitely outweigh the cons. It is a good subscription with a wide variety to choose from and if you are just starting out on a scent based journey it is a great way to try scents you may not try otherwise. I have taken risks on scents I might not have purchased if I had to pay the full fee and been surprised by what iI did like as well as what I didn’t. It has been an experience getting to know the scents I like in an affordable way and it helps build my confidence so that I know what I look for in a perfume when i go shopping. it is an education in scent. And something I really enjoy.

The Skincare Line Up: March 17th, 2023

Good morning my darlings. It is time once again to look at the skincare used this week. To be honest, there weren’t a lot of changes this week, however three of these products are now completely empty and will need to be replaced tonight. So changes are coming. Shall we see where we stand and how everything performed?

The Daytime Line Up

Cleanser: Byroe Kiwi Detox Gel Cleanser

Serum: Bare Minerals Long Life Herb Serum

Eyecream: Byroe Truffle Eye Cream

Moisturizer: First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Cream

There is just enough liquid in the Bioderma bottle to remove the last of my makeup tonight. Technically it should have been in the night time line up, but for some reason I put it with the day time crew. it is a good micellular water and worked really well at getting the makeup off. It was a very gentle way to cleanse mascara from lashes as well. there was nothing harsh about it.

While I have been going through my sample items to clear them out, I looked but did not find a sample sized cleanser. I’m sure I have some, i just couldn’t find it on the morning my last sample ran out. This Byroe cleanser was the smallest tube of cleanser i had in the wings so I went with it as my option. It is a good gel cleanser. It doesn’t smell of kiwi which is slightly disappointing as I think that would be a lovely refreshing way to start the morning. It has little beady bits like kiwi seeds in it. There are enough to be noticed but not really enough that it feels like an intentional exfoliating option. I’m not entirely sure they do much, but maybe time will tell.

The Byroe Truffle Eye serum is still doing well. It doesn’t clog the pores and it has a skin softening effect. I think I have been using it long enough that I should start seeing results soon. it is thus far a good eye cream. Not my favorite, but a good cream.

This was the last use of the bareMinerals Serum. It was a lovely herbal scented serum that absorbed well and made my skin feel soft. Beyond that I didn’t really see any results. The serum I had lasted two weeks and typically you need thirty days to see real results so I may have to use it longer. I am not opposed to trying it out for a longer period and i probably will at some point because I like bareMinerals products in general, but there is nothing that made me want to immediately go out and purchase it.

I was going to pick out a different Day cream but a I have a night mask in the line up that I am using a couple of times a week, I figured this would be good for both day and night use and I could limit the number of products open. I really like this First Aid Beauty moisturizer. It is actually one of my favorite FAB products. I’ve used it before and I will certainly use it again. I really do enjoy it for both day and night time use. I do have to add that we are going through a cold snap right now. I think it might be a little too hydrating for me to use in the day once the weather warms up, but even then as a night cream it works really well.

The Night Time Line Up

Makeup Remover:Bioderma Purifying Cleansing Micelle Solution

Cleanser: Byroe Kiwi Detox Gel Cleanser

Toner: Perricone MD Face Finishing and Firming Toner

Serum: Replenix Age Restore Night Time Therapy

Moisturizer: First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Cream

Sleeping Mask Omorovicza Midnight Radiance Mask

Lips mask: Tatcha Kissu Lip mask

The Perricone MD toner is really a nice gentle exfoliator. I am on the lower end of the product now with maybe a week or two left of use and I have really enjoyed using it. It is definitely something I would get again. It is kind of interesting that when I first started to use it there was a lot of gunk on the toner pad when I was finished as it exfoliated all the dead skin cells. As time went on there is less gunk on the toner pad. Not because it stopped working but because it is routinely taking them off as they arrive and so there is no build up. It is a good product that bears consistent use.

The Replenix is almost completely out of product. Actually I say that to make myself feel better. It was sputtering last night when I applied it and I know I will press the dispenser tonight and there will be little to nothing that comes out. I will still try though as it was a really good serum. It absorbed quickly and my skin felt like silk when it was on. I would love to get a full size and see how it performs over time. It is certainly on my list of full sized future trials.

I am 100% certain I never pronounce Omorovicza correctly, but I will still always try because I adore the brand’s products. This sleeping mask is used twice a week and there is only a little needed to cover the entire face. It is a gel formula that feels very lightweight on the skin. I love the way it makes my skin feel. It is an extra boost of moisture but it also seems to perk my skin up so I wake up looking better than I did when i went to bed. And isn’t that always the goal? If I had my way I would never run out of this cream.

And then as always we end with the Tatcha Lip mask. The divot inside is deep, but there is still plenty of product. I am actually quite amazed by how long this has lasted. I am also really glad it came with a small spoon. while the spoon wasn’t really needed at first I am getting to the point where it is easier to use it to get out the product. So I am glad I have it.

So for now, this is the line up. I will need new serums and a new makeup remover at the very least for next week’s line up. I can’t wait to see what I pull from the samples box to try out next.

Weekly Weight: 228.3 lbs

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

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

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

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

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

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

The stats

Starting Weight: 246.0 lbs

Last week’s Weight: 231.7 lbs

This week’s Weight: 228.3 lbs

Lost this week: 3.4 lbs

Lost thus far: 17.7 lbs

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