The Make Up Bag: December 24th, 2020

The Make up Bag used December 19th- 25th

Welcome my darlings once again to the weekly makeup bag. Here, I list out all the products I used this week and let you know what I think of them.  I know, some of you may be asking, why do I fill a makeup bag every week instead of just choosing each product for the day? 

Well, some days I do add in items, for instance if I have an outfit I decided to wear that simply needs a different lipstick, I will dip back into my dressing table for an extra product. Occasionally something will run out or go horribly wrong and need to be replaced.  But for the most part what I choose initially for the bag is what I use throughout the week.

So why?

The main reason is one of choice.  I am not at my best first thing.  While I will never be a morning person, coffee does help me out.  However, faced with a dressing table filled with a variety of products, I sometimes stare dumbly at them, not knowing which to choose.  Even if I am just looking at five black eyeliners. And sometimes I get ready in a rush.  In both instances, I tend to grab the first items I see and go with them.  Then I put them back in the front of drawers.  So the next time I’m in a rush, I grab the same products.

As I like variety in my products, as well as using all of the items I have, I decided that once a week I would pack a bag full of products to use, that way I didn’t have to start of my day with pre coffee decision making.  Thus far it has worked out really well for me. I can rotate through products so that I am never bored, try new things, or if something is close to being used up completely, keep it out so that it can be finished without lingering in the bottom of a drawer with barely any product left.

I’ve found it a really useful method and I will be keeping it up for quite a while I think.

So, now that you know the reasoning behind the makeup bag, let’s talk about what I used this week.

I have to say, it was a bit of a mix. I tried many new products this week so there were a lot of surprises.  We will start off on a positive note and go with the Viseart Palette.  I received the Neutral Mattes Palette in my Boxycharm Premium box this month and I have to say, this palette justified keeping the subscription. 

I was planning on keeping it anyway, but I was thrilled to get this palette and try it out and I absolutely love the way it performed. It is highly pigmented so start lightly and try to build.  This Viseart Link will take you to my full review. But the end result is that I adored this palette and will be keeping it around for a long time.

It is however a matte palette and when I tried out the black shadow I found I wanted just a little bit of shimmer.  I also wanted a reason to try out my Bobbi Brown Long Wear Cream shadow stick in the shade Golden Pink.  It came in my Birchbox Advent Calendar and thus far the time had not been right to give it a try.  This week, the time was right, so I used it as s shimmer to work with the Black from the Viseart palette.  Wow.  Just wow.  It went on smoothly either over the plain eyelid or over a powder shadow, stayed in place all day long and didn’t crease or transfer on me.  I was super thrilled to use this and will need to remember it, and possibly look at other colors.  I want to at least get one more to see how it blends with other cream shadows, but it worked really well over powder.  I will be reaching for it a lot.

The Marcelle CC Cream Golden Glow I used this week was a sample and it is unfortunately not something I will be reaching for in the future.  Luckily the sample will be used up by the end of the week so no product will be wasted, but I will not be picking up a full sized version.   It is an excellent color corrector and it did give the skin a golden glow. 

However, it also settled into my fine lines and made me look much more tired than I actually was.  I would really prefer my makeup products not to emphasize my fine lines. So while a decent product in many respects, the CC golden glow is not for me.  I will stick with Marcelle’s mascara and moisturizer in the future.

elf primer and my almost gone No. 7 powder

For my primer this week I ended up reaching for my e.l.f. Poreless Putty Primer.  It is an excellent primer in general and really does a good job filling in the pores and turning my face into a smooth canvas.  I worked with it this week in an effort to try and correct the one flaw of the Marcelle CC Cream. 

While it really helped in most places, towards the end of the day the CC cream still emphasized the lines under my eyes.  For all else, the Putty Primer actually helped stop the CC Cream from showing a lot of the fine lines that it was showing without the primer.  So This was definitely a good week for the e.l.f  Poreless Putty Primer. It is a makeup bag repeat visitor and will remain so until the product is through.  Then it will be replaced.

Speaking of using products up, It is almost time to say goodbye to my No7 Pressed powder.  It has served me well, but alas, it is now only a slender ring of product around the outside of the completely exposed metal pan. Technically, I will be keeping it in the makeup bag for the rest of the week and possibly into the beginning of next, but I doubt it has enough product to last the full week, let alone next.

Even if this does last the week to be included in next week’s makeup bag I will be choosing a backup powder for when this finally runs out.  I love the formula on the No 7 pressed powder and will be picking another compact of it up again.  However at the moment I have several powders that I have ignored in favor of my No. 7 and I want to give them a chance to shine.  Or to prevent shine, really. So I am going to do my best to try not to immediately repurchase this once it is empty.  I suspect that on my next Target run a new one might somehow find its way into my cart, but I am going to try to resist.

I did have a loose powder in my makeup bag this week as well.  This week I used the Smashbox Photo Finish Fresh Setting powder. It is called fresh because essentially it is a solid lump of powder with a grater.  You turn the grater and the fresh loose powder appears. The product is good and there is a lot less spillage since you only grind up the powder you need when you need it, however the dial is really hard to turn if you have any product or water on your hands.  Then it becomes too slick to turn and you are just out of luck. I think if you had any sort of mobility issues related to your hands (like arthritis) you would want to steer clear of this product.  Which is a shame, the powder is really good.  It just requires dry hands and a certain level of physical dexterity to use. The concept is fun though.

This week most of my face products came from the True + Luscious Lucky Glow Face Palette. It too was a Boxycharm item this month, but unlike the Viseart, there are mixed results.

In fact it makes me feel a little like Goldilocks and the three bears.

 Let’s start with the bronzers.  There are two.  One warm toned (Good Fortune) and one cool toned (Serenity).  Both tend to disappear on the skin.  I had to work seriously hard to get them to show up on my skin.  Maybe if I had really fair skin, this would work for me, but even though I do not have the darkest skin tone in the world, I was too dark for it to apply well. At best, the bronzers are good for taming down the blush.

Unlike the bronzers, the blush (Royal Flush)comes on strong and highly pigmented.  After using the bronzers, this was quite the surprise. The first time I used this I ended up with a serious case of clown face.  It is a very pink tone, which isn’t my favorite to begin with, but it is also highly pigmented. So I was VERY Pink. And had to wash my face and start over again for the day.  I had a video call that day so leaving it wasn’t an option. 

Then there are the three Highlighters.

If you remember your three bears, you know we’ve had our too soft, and our too hard, so you know what comes next.

That’s right, the highlighters were the , um, highlight of the palette. All three were soft and buttery, applied well and stayed in place all day.  I could go light or bright with them and had no issues.  Pots of Gold is a bright gold shade, Heaven Sent is a silvery shade (even though it looks kind of bronze in the pan) and the speckled Triple Sevens is a warm rose gold shade that worked perfectly for me. In fact Triple Sevens is the jackpot of the palette.  I would by the shade in a single pan to use repeatedly. The other two highlighters, while good, weren’t unique enough for me to want to by them separately.  If there was a highlighter palette with the three of these in it, I would happily use all three, but the only one I would buy on its own is the Triple Sevens.

My mascara this week was from Beauty for Real.  I’ve used it before and as always I am surprised by how well I like it.  I am used to fluffy brushed mascaras but this one has a really small brush on the end of the wand.  I was certain I was going to hate it.  Then I used it. 

I do not hate it. 

Quite the opposite in fact.  The little brush lets me get to the base of my lashes and the formula really works at lengthening the lashes.  Because I can get to the very base of the lashes I was able to make my lashes look a lot more full than I expected.  Plus the small want is really good for lower lashes as well. I will happily continue to use this mascara.

I did not use an eyeliner this week.  I chose one but I was having so much fun with the eyeshadow that I forgot to reach for it.  So I will keep the eyeliner in the makeup bag and use it next week.  I did however use an eyebrow pencil this week. My bangs are still long enough that I doubt anyone noticed but  I used the RealHer brow pencil and I really enjoyed it.  It is a great formula and has an easy to use fine tip.  

the RealHer brow pencil and assorted lip products

RealHer also made an appearance with my lip products this week.  I used the RealHer lip liner in the shade I am confident.  It is a nice creamy lip liner that stays in place well.  The reason I reached for it was because of my BareMinerals lipstick. It is the new Mineralist formula that came in my Macy’s Beauty Box this month and I was so excited to get to try the formula.

The formula is rich and creamy and feels amazing on the lips.  It is a traditional style lipstick so it does need reapplying, but it is worth it.  The formula in no way dried out my lips and felt really comfortable to wear. My only issue was the color.  It is a little more pink than I like my lipsticks and wearing the RealHer lip liner underneath darkened it just enough to work for me.  I will be seeking out a different shade of this lipstick soon. I really like the formula of it.

Liner on the left and then swatched top to bottom we have Bareminerals, Nudestix and Giorgio Armani

The lip liner actually worked well with the NudeStix lip crayon I had in my makeup bag this week as well. The Nude Stix is in the shade posh and it was almost a perfect match for the lip liner.  I really appreciated that as lip liners really help me out with lip crayons.  I don’t know if it is the shape of the crayon or what, but with lip crayons I need a liner to keep the edges neat. It’s not a reflection of the product, it is definitely user error. The liner kept the user in check so there was no error.  I liked the color as it was a sort of pinky nude that worked well with my skin tones.  It isn’t the longest lasting formula and so it has to be reapplied in the same way you would reapply a traditional lipstick, but it felt very comfortable to wear and I think I will get a lot of use out of it. I also thing I like it better than their liquid lipsticks.

As you may recall I had a Grande Liquid Lip product in my Macy’s bag and I was very excited to try it out.  Unfortunately the wand either lost it’s head in manufacturing or snapped off somewhere in the tube.  Either way, I just had a stick of a wand that was useless.  The opening is too small for a cotton swab and none of my brushes would fit inside so I was unable to try it. I was really looking forward to trying out the formula.  I have heard both good and bad things about the liquid lip and wanted to try it for myself.  I’ve only used Grande Cosmetics’ Lash products (their Grande Lash mascara is really good) and I was looking forward to testing a lip product. I will set it aside and look for a brush that fits, but alas I did not find one this week.

And the final lip product I used this week was the tiniest most adorable liquid lip sample I have ever seen.   It is the Giorgio Armani Liquid Lip Maestro in the shade Cedar (206).  It came as a bonus in my final Allure Beauty Box (I cancelled my subscription).  I’ve never tried any lip products from Giorgio Armani so I was happy to have a chance, no matter how small the tube.  The formula applied well.  It dries down but not all the way.  When you press your lips together it still feels wet even hours later.  However after about ten minutes I took a sip of my coffee and there was no lip print left behind. It dries enough not to transfer but not enough to dry out your lips. 

It does fade throughout the day so a mid-day reapplication wouldn’t go amiss, but it still retain some color by the end of the day. The color was a sort of terra cotta, maybe a little darker, but with a definite slight orange tint.  While not my favorite color, it did work well enough, and because of the formula I was willing to use it anyway. It is a tiny sample though.  So I think I might put it to the side so I can use it in my upcoming lip series.  In the new year I will be doing more posts detailing the wear and feel of various lip products in more depth (and with more photos) than I can do here without this being even more of a massive post than it is.

Speaking of massive, this one has grown in length.  Luckily there is only one final product to talk about and that is the Lise Watier Magnifix setting spray.  As a setting spray it works well.  It does make your face very wet though so once applied, you need to take a minute or two to dry off before applying eyeliner mascara and lipstick. (I apply all three after I use a setting spray to avoid running). Other than the wait time, it sets well, smells nice and has the added benefit of antioxidants included in the spray.  I like a little skin care with my setting sprays. Over all I liked it and will happily keep it in rotation.  However I will not use this one when I am in a rush.  It is not a quick drying product.

And so with that we finish this week’s makeup bag.  It was quite the variety as far as reactions go. Next week should be interesting as I am packing two separate Makeup bags, one for the week and one specifically for new year’s eve. Both will post on December 31st, so stay tuned.

Lilfox - available at

Glossy Box December 2020 Unboxing

The December 2020 Glossy Box

It is time once again for the unboxing extravaganza to begin.  It seems that regardless of when anything was mailed, almost everything came in at the same time this month.  A few of my subscription boxes are still MIA, but hopefully that will soon be sorted out.

This month I was very pleased to see my Glossy Box arrive.  It is one of my favorite subscriptions as it always has a variety of items and while there are some familiar favorites, there are often brands I have never heard of or have only heard of but never had a chance to try.   Normally Glossy Box is $21 per month, however if you sign up for a yearly subscription, you pay only $18 per month(which is what I have)  They still charge you monthly so you don’t have to pay for the entire year at once which is really nice. You still pay the monthly $18 fee. So it is a great way to save some money.  I like it, especially as I know it is a subscription box I want to keep. If you are interested, you can get your first box or only $16 with the code DECEMBER16.

In another unique twist, GLOSSYBOX subscribers collect Glossy Credit every month by answering surveys and writing reviews about the products inside the box. This Credit can be redeemed at online beauty retailer, saving you money on 100s of big-name beauty brands like Natasha Denona, Erno Laszlo and Caudalie.

Personally, I am saving up my Glossy credit.  I’m trying to decide if I want to put it towards the Peter Thomas Roth Hungarian Thermal Water mineral moisturizer  or the Chantecaille Foundation. Both are products I really want to pick up, and both are sold on the Look Fantastic Website. Admittedly something else may catch my eye.

Decisions, decisions.

But I’ll decide that in a little while, for now, there is the December Glossy Box.

So what was in this month’s box?  Let’s find out.

This month’s Edition is ‘The Best Time of the year’ and the contents are supposed to be worth over $80. Right off the bat I have to say the box is stunning.While I like the typical pink and black of the usual Glossy Boxes,  I have to say I really like the look of this box.  And as always, the box is sturdy enough to be reused.  As I need another storage box for my holiday ornaments, I think this one may fit the bill So I am pleased to have it. I also like that the ribbon was designed to match the theme as well. Between the ribbon and the tissue paper it feels like unwrapping a present each month. The thought that goes into the packaging just makes it feel special.

So what is the first item inside?  First out of the box is Nudestix Gel Color Lip & Cheek Balm  in the shade Posh. (retail $26).  It is a nice pinky neutral shade that suits me quite well actually. I’ve tried a Nudestix liquid lip before, but never the crayon. 

swatch of the Nude Stix

Despite the dual use claim, I doubt I will use this as a check color. Part of it is the color, but I think part of it is the stick shape.  It seems to lean more towards the lips.  Who knows though, maybe once I start using it, I will see that it is good on the cheeks.  I’ll let you know in a future makeup bag post.

MineTan Coffee Scrub (retail $15) was the second item in my box this month.  I’ve tried coffee scrubs before, although not from this brand.  I really like them in general as they are wonderfully exfoliating.  I imagine the sweet almond and macadamia oils in this one will be especially nice on the skin making it soft even as it exfoliates.  I was very happy to see this and look forward to giving it a go. 

One thing to remember with the coffee scrubs is that they are messy.  You are basically turning your shower into a coffee pot as the hot water hits the grounds.  It is easiest to just plan to clean out the shower right after using the coffee scrubs rather than wait. At least that is what I found.  We also put a little drainer hat over the drain in our shower to protect the pipes from anything in the water and it really comes in handy for filtering the larger ground particles out without letting them potentially stop the drain. (It also helps when bath products like bombs have bits of stuff in them.)  My house was built in the 1940s so we tend to try and look out for the plumbing as much as possible.

The third item in the box this month was the Youth To The People Adaptogen Deep Moisture Cream (retail $18).  It is a deluxe Mini and kind of adorable.  I’ve tried a few Youth To the People products and I am always good to see it reappear.  Each time I think, ‘I need a full size of that to try out.’  I think the one I tried last time was slightly different, so I will get a first impression of this moisturizer, and after a first impression, I’ll compare it to the other one and see which moisturizer from the brand I want to try in a full sized trial. I know one of them will be tried, just not which.

I have tried the Christophe Robin Cleansing Purifying Scrub with Sea Salt (retail $8.49). (the full sized jar is normally $53 but currently Look Fantastic has it on sale for $42.40 if you are interested.) It too is a deluxe mini. 

I think a jar of this came my way from another subscription box.  I both loved and was disappointed by this scrub all at the same time.  The formula left my hair gloriously smooth and soft, however the scrub itself had particles that were too large to get through my hair to my scalp. (I have somewhat thick hair). As I use a lot of dry shampoo, and other products, there can be a bit of buildup on the scalp and I generally use products like this to cleanse the scalp as well as the hair.  In all fairness to the product, my cousin also got a sample in one of her subscription boxes at the same time (she and I have similar hair issues and subscription boxes actually) and she said hers didn’t have the larger particles that mine did.  So possibly my last jar was a one off and this one will be fabulous all the way through.  I would love it if it worked on my scalp as my hair really loved it. My fingers are crossed.

The K-GLO Smoothing Coconut Bio-Cellulose Eye Mask (retail $6)was next out of the box and I have to say, I am intrigued.  I am really like the feel of the bio-cellulose masks in general.  They tend to adhere well to the skin and not slide around as much as some of the other masks can. From the packaging images it looks like this mask is shaped like an eye mask from a super hero/villain costume. It just goes around the eyes.  I’ve had under eye masks before but I’ve not used one like this.  And we all know I am always ready to try

The final item listed in the brochure that came with the box was from CBDFX (retail $9.99).  It was either a lavender or a peppermint foot mask.  We’ve been sent products from CBDFX before and I was excited to have a mask for my feet.  My feet can always use a little more love.  However, as you can see in the photo, the mask I received was from CBDFX, it was just the Rose face Mask instead of a foot mask.  I’ll use it, because I love masks in general and the CBDFX ones are nice.  I just would have preferred to try out the foot mask.

So in the end my December Glossy box had one makeup item, one bath item, one hair item, a moisturizer and an eye and face mask. It ended up with a retail value of $83.47. I consider that a pretty decent return on my investment in the box.  In addition, all of the products in the box are ones I will use.  There is nothing that will be wasted. So over all I am pretty happy with this box.  A little disappointed about the foot mask, but a I do like the CBDFX face masks, it is a minor disappointment. And mistakes happen.

I’m okay with the substitution because it is still from the same brand and something I will use. And so we close out the year with another nice box from Glossy Box.  Because I have a yearly subscription, I am signed up for the box until July, but I think ever were I not obligated, I would continue to get this subscription box into the new year. I can’t wait to see what they come up with for January.

Cooling down with Sunday Riley Ice (Ceramide Moisturizing Cream)

I have a hit or miss relationship with Sunday Riley.  I know there are those who adore every product and those who despise every product.  I am oddly in the middle. Some I like, some I don’t. I tend to be that way with most brands actually. While I have tried many serums, oils and cleansers (with varying levels of success), prior to this I only used one moisturizer and that was the Sunday Riley CEO Vitamin C moisturizer.  It made my loves and repurchase list. Although for me it is a better cream in the winter as the thickness of the cream’s texture is just a little too heavy for summertime wear for me.

But this is not a post about the Vitamin C moisturizer it is a post about the sample sized jar of Sunday Riley’s Ice Ceramide Moisturizing Cream.

First off, this is a little jar.  I’m sure you can tell from the photos.  I do not have massive hands, the jar is just small. It is a sample size.  I do love the fact that it does just look like a miniaturized version of the full sized jar though.  And although I forgot to take a picture of the sample when first opened, it was packed with product. 

There are no hidden bubbles or divots, it was all product. And what there was in the jar lasted me five days (using morning and evening). While five days isn’t enough of a length of time to see any major results, it is enough of a time to give me a good feel for the cream and decide whether or not I wanted to try it for a longer time with the full sized jar. But before we get into my impressions, let’s look at what the product claims.

Ceramide-enriched moisturizer replenishes the skin with lasting hydration and strengthens the skin’s natural moisture barrier against environmental stressors responsible for premature aging. Skin stays smooth, balanced and ageless-looking throughout the day. 

Rich but lightweight, this dual action moisturizer uses beetroot and coconut extract to pull hydration into the skin, while ceramides, vitamin F, and pomegranate sterols strengthen the skin’s natural moisture barrier, sealing in moisture. Together, skin is glowing, baby-smooth, and deeply hydrated. Best for Normal to Dry Skin. Sulfate-free, paraben-free, gluten-free, soy-free, and phthalate-free.

Ingredients: Extract Blend [Water/Eau/Aqua, Chondrus Crispus (Red Algae) Extract], Squalane, C13-15 Alkane (from Sugarcane), Glycerin, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Wax, Lanolin Alcohol, Tri(Polyglyceryl-3/Lauryl) Hydrogenated Trilinoleate, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Fruit Extract, Ceramide NP, Ceramide EOP, Ceramide AP, Sodium Hyaluronate, Linoleic Acid, Oleic Acid, Palmitic Acid, Linolenic Acid, Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Sweet Almond) Fruit Extract, Fructooligosaccharides, Beta Vulgaris (Beet) Root Extract, Shea Butter Ethyl Esters, Prunus Armeniaca (Apricot) Fruit Extract, Pimpinella Anisum (Anise) Fruit Extract, Rubus Idaeus (Raspberry) Fruit Extract, Vanilla Planifolia Fruit Extract, Cucumis Melo (Melon) Fruit Extract, Punica Granatum Sterols, Rosa Damascena Flower Oil, Ananas Sativus (Pineapple) Fruit Extract, Cinnamomum Cassia Leaf Oil, Ricinus Communis (Castor) Seed Oil, Rhus Verniciflua Peel Wax/Rhus Succedanea Fruit Wax, Sodium Lauroyl Lactylate, Sodium Polyacryloyldimethyl Taurate, Triethyl Citrate, Tapioca Starch, Sodium Benzoate, Potassium Sorbate, Sodium Phytate, Magnesium Stearate, Magnesium Aspartate, Pentylene Glycol, Tocopherol, Phytosphingosine, Cholesterol, Lithothamnion Calcareum Extract, Zinc Gluconate, Stearic Acid, Copper Gluconate, Phenoxyethanol, Polymethylsilsesquioxane, Xanthan Gum, Carbomer.

Sunday Riley

Okay first of all the fact that squalene is high on the listed ingredients makes me happy.  This is one of those ingredients my skin really likes and I have started looking for.  It isn’t a requirement for my skin care, but it always makes me happy to see. And yes even though it is now a plant derived ingredient, I like to think of sharks splashing moisture at my face and threatening wrinkles with their sharp teeth. That’s just my process.

But now that we can see what the moisturizer is supposed to do, let’s look at the actual product. It is a thick yellowish cream and if you’ve read any of my posts you know the first thing I did was sniff it to see what it smelled like. (FYI the Sunday Riley Vitamin C Cream smells like a creamsicle). 

This moisturizer smells like old fashioned cold cream.  Seriously, it smells like the cold cream my grandmother and mother both used when I was little. I would love to have a more descriptive term for it, but it was one of those things that is so tied to a sense memory that I have a hard time separating it out. I’m sure there is someone who can look at the ingredients list and say yeah, ‘that’s what is smells like, that ingredient right there’, but to me it just smells like the cold cream the two of them both used when I was little.

Nostalgia just hijacked my senses.

It is a thicker cream and it is clearly designed for drier skin.  I know I’ve mentioned it before, but my skin sits right on the balancing line of what is strangely called ‘normal’ .  What this means is that in warm humid weather my skin leans towards the oily side, but not too terribly far and then in the cooler, drier months it leans towards the dry side, but again not too terribly far. Occasionally I can be called combination as my T-zone starts to get a little oily mid day.

It means my skin care very much changes out with the seasons.  What I like in the summer I cannot deal with in the winter and vice versa. It is also dependant on location, each time I move I need to develop an entirely new skin care regimen. It is one reason I will always be trying out new skin care (even though no moves are planned in the near future). Which is fine, I enjoy testing out new products.

Where I live the air is just starting to dry out and become cool.  For me this was a petty ideal time to test this moisturizer, and why I pulled it out of my skin care drawer now. I like to give products their best chance at success. what can I say, I’d rather rave in delight than rant in disappointment.

While the cream is thick, it absorbs into the skin well.  What I found myself doing was putting the moisturizer on my hand, rubbing my hands together and then applying it to my face.  This is one of those moisturizers that seems to apply better as it warms up a little.  Just the rubbing together of my hands was enough.  If I didn’t use this method, I just dotted it on my face and had white streaks until it warmed up and I rubbed it in.  The rubbing my hands together first just let me spend less time rubbing my face.  Although even then, there wasn’t a massive amount of rubbing involved to get it to absorb.  As I said before it did absorb really well, it just needs to warm up a bit.

It took five days of twice a day use to go through the sample sized jar. I did use more at night than I did during the day. For me, I found that during the day it was slightly too moisturizing for my skin.  However it was a very good night cream. In fact for me, it was an excellent night cream.  While slightly too heavy for day time use, it was absolutely fantastic at night.  It was then that I could feel the lightweight moisture claimed in the description working to my benefit.

Again, I think that is just my skin type. I could wear it both in the day and at night, I just preferred it at night.  If I had slightly drier skin I think I could wear it during the day and be very happy.  If I had slightly more oily skin I would only be able to wear it at night. Like me, this moisturizer sems to balance on a very fine line between skin types.

But the big question remains.  Would I purchase a full size of this cream to try out in a full on test?

Conditionally, yes.

The condition is that I would purchase this moisturizer, but I would wear it as a night cream and use something else during the day.  For me I think this Sunday Riley Ice Ceramide Moisturizing Cream would make a very good night cream.  As I have mostly been testing out light weight gel creams lately (not by design it just happens to have worked out that way) and they tend to work well as day creams, it is nice to have the possibility of a night cream on the horizon.  I’ve tried several night creams that I like, but none recently that I love.  I would most definitely be willing to give this a go to see if it would stand up to nightly use for a full trial. For me, this is a product that will go on my list for a future trial.

Trying out Kylie Skin Foaming Face Wash

With my Elemis Foaming Face cleanser I found out that I really liked foaming face cleansers.  There is something just plain fun about them.  However, a cleanser has to be more than just fun.  It has to work.  

What I look for in a cleanser is that it removes dirt and/or makeup from my face without stripping the skin of its natural moisture. I don’t want the cleanser drying my skin.  While I like the foaming cleansers, I am not picky about my form.  I like a wide variety of cleansers, from gel to oil, foaming and non foaming alike, and as I tend to go through cleansers on a regular basis, I am always open to trying new ones out.

When I am testing a cleanser, I first look at what it is designed to do. Does it claim to remove makeup? If so then I’ll try washing my face without using a makeup remover first.  Then I’ll try it in conjunction with other products, like cleansing balms and exfoliates.

This Kylie Skin Foaming Face Cleanser came in a BoxyCharm box a while ago and I am just now getting around to trying it out.  I’ve never tried anything from Kylie Jenner (not even her lip products which given how much I love lip products even I find surprising).  So I came at this with a blank slate. I deliberately did not read any reviews and comments regarding the product as I wanted to form my own opinion.

Now according to the product page…

Our luxurious foaming face wash is infused with ultra-nourishing kiwi seed oil, packed with Vitamin C and E to help maintain moisture and improve elasticity. This gentle formula cleanses skin by helping to remove dirt, oil and makeup for a fresh, bright complexion.

KEY FEATURES:Glycerin: A humectant that helps balance the moisture in your skin. If your skin is dry, it will draw in moisture and if your skin is oily, it will help decrease the oily appearance of your skin,Mild, gentle cleansing ingredients: Derived from coconut. Gentle & effective. Kiwi Seed Oil: An antioxidant. Kiwi seed oil is a rich source of Vitamin C & E that helps hydrate and brighten skin, Lightly Fragranced


Water/Aqua/Eau, Potassium Cocoyl Glycinate, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Potassium Cocoate, Glycerin, Hydroxyacetophenone, 1,2-Hexanediol, Caprylyl Glycol, Trisodium Ethylenediamine Disuccinate, Citric Acid, Polyquaternium-39, Fragrance (Parfum), Sodium Benzoate, Actinidia Chinensis (Kiwi) Seed Oil, Sodium Hyaluronate, Phenoxyethanol


My first test with this cleanser was with a full face of makeup on.  It did an okay job with the shadow and oddly enough mascara, but left a lot of foundation behind.  But not being able to remove all my makeup is not a deal breaker for me since I tend to double cleanse. 

cotton round with just toner on it

So I used a makeup remover, which quite frankly took off all of my makeup.  I was testing out the Provence Apothecary moisturizing oil cleanser (which worked quite well – the cotton round with toner I just after was much cleaner than I expected.  There will be a full post about it next week.) I then used the foaming cleanser.  My skin felt a little dry afterwards but not uncomfortably dry.

The third test was with the above mentioned cleansing oil, followed by an exfoliant.  I used the BKind Face Scrub as I know it leaves a slightly waxy feeling behind on my skin, despite bring a fantastic and gentle exfoliant. The waxy feel left behind by the scrub was only partially washed away. The photos showed nothing but when I ran my hand across my face, it was strange.  Parts were waxy parts were completely clean. 

After going over my washed face

Thinking I might have done something odd when washing my face I tried the same procedure other nights (not consecutively as that would be too much exfoliation but over time).  The same thing happened, but it wasn’t always in the same spots. So I don’t think it was the way I was washing my face.

The end result was that I didn’t like this face wash. This is not the cleanser for me.  Not only did it not work well with my skin, but I had issues with the scent.  I know a lot of you out there are thinking ‘I knew scent would come up sometime’. 

What can I say, I am a scent oriented person.

In the description it says lightly fragranced.  This foaming face wash is lightly fragranced in the same way a department store around the holidays is lightly fragranced. 

There is no ignoring this scent.

And the scent is not one I would call pretty.  I tried identifying what scent they were going for (i.e. rose, cucumber, coconut, that sort of thing).  The only thing I got was that it smells exactly like the industrial hand soap used in several of the office buildings in which I have worked. It is not a scent I enjoy and it is not a scent I enjoy putting on my face. It is why I cut the trial short.  Usually I can use a product for a month before reporting on it and then continue using it up even if it isn’t my absolute favorite.  I just don’t like wasting product.

I got two weeks of testing (the bare minimum I use for a test) before I couldn’t take it.  I was actually looking for reasons not to wash my face.  Mostly by taking my cleansing oil pump into the shower with me. I have a younger (second)cousin who adores Kylie Jenner so I’m passing this along for her to use so it won’t be wasted, it just won’t be used by me.  If I want a foaming cleanser, I’m heading to Elemis. Incidentally, they have their end of summer sale going on right now if you are looking to stock up. Personally, I think they are a much better choice.

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Putting Freeman’s Psssst! Deep Clean Dry Shampoo for Oily Hair to the test

In the summer time, dry shampoo is my friend. While it is an acquaintance during the winter, in the summertime we are super close.  Recently I came back from my walk looking like a melted mess.  While I tie up my hair when I walk, upon returning I let my hair down to kind of dry off. So I did not go out of the house looking as crazy as these photos. 

On this particular day, my plan had been to cool down and then take a shower before putting on my makeup and getting to work (I generally walk in the mornings before I start work.  The hope is to beat the heat, but as you can guess from the pics the heat and humidity often win).

To be honest it was a day I didn’t need to be anywhere but at my computer.  I had no calls, video or otherwise scheduled and planned to work out a plot difficulty some of my characters were having.  So I sort of moseyed to the desk that morning and allowed myself to cool off completely. 

The greasy mess

However just as I decided it was shower time, the phone rang and a video call was rescheduled. There was no time for a shower and I looked an unholy fright.  Or like I just received an unholy fright. I’m pretty sure if I threw on a muumuu and ran out of the house screaming and waving my hands in the air my neighbors would suspect some sort of demon invasion.

Or squirrels.

Occasionally they get into the houses around here through the attics.

Okay, they’d probably suspect squirrels and not demons.

I would suspect demons.

coated with product

But that’s not the point.  The point is that I wasn’t video call ready and there was no time for a shower.  So I deployed the dry shampoo.  The one I grabbed was the Freeman dry shampoo with pink clay and peppermint. It came in a Glossy Box and I hadn’t gotten around to trying it out.

Glossy Box:
20% off 3 month subscriptions! Use code 20OFF3

To be honest, if I had been thinking clearly I would have gone for a tried and true product instead of testing out a new one, but I clearly wasn’t thinking, just reacting.

So what is the point of the pink clay and peppermint?  According to Freeman…

Freeman Psssst! Deep Clean Dry Shampoo for Oily Hair is your go-to for instantly clean, healthy-looking and nourished hair in-between washes. This weightless formula with natural ingredients, including ultra-fine rice starch, absorbs oil without any build-up.

Psssst! Dry Shampoo is 100% free of parabens, phthalates, sulfates and not tested on animals.

Key Ingredients: Pink Clay: Absorbs impurities from scalp and hair, Peppermint: Cools and refreshes

At the moment I just needed grease be gone, but I was willing to be refreshed.  So I sprayed away. I have to say, in my opinion, it doesn’t smell like peppermint.  Or pink clay for that matter.  Oddly enough it smells a bit like pink grapefruit.  You know the sweet kind you don’t really have to add sugar to? To me that is what is smelled like. Hich I don’t mind, I actually liked the scent, I just found it surprising.

non crazy for an unscheduled meeting

But smell wasn’t the immediately important factor. After all it was a video call.  I just needed to look good.  Once I was through with the call I could take a shower. I could always open a window and clear the sweat scented air out of my office later.(although I wasn’t too bad actually as I used one of my Busy Beauty Showerless wipes prior. They have been a lifesaver this summer.)

I sprayed (a lot) the dry shampoo.  While there was a temporary white cast to my hair, I don’t mind generally as the dry shampoos that leave white on my hair generally work the best at oil absorption.  I just have to brush it out really well. And with dark hair, unless you find a dry shampoo specifically formulated for dark hair, you are going to get white in your hair. Klorane actually has a dry shampoo for dark hair and it works really well and is one of my favorites (when I remember to order it instead of the regular one. Either works and is my standard for comparison.

Klorane Dry Shampoo with Oat Milk

Which I did.  I brushed like mad, got all the white out and looked passable for my video call.  Is it my favorite dry shampoo? No. Both Klorane and IGK are better. However, in an emergency this is a great product to have on hand.  Especially if you only need to temporarily look good.  I did use a boatload of product though.  My call lasted a little over an hour and after ending the call my scalp was starting to get a bit itchy.  Once the video call ended I had a couple of catch up/ planning calls to make before I could step away for my much needed shower.

All told I had the product in for about two and a half hours.  My scalp was very itchy, but the time I opened the windows and turned on the fan to air out the office as I went to shower. I believe the itchy scalp is my own fault for over doing it on the product.  I have since used it in a normal fashion with no itchiness. The itchiness was the result of an emergency pile up.

I also asked one of my friends who was on the call with me if she noticed anything strange.  She didn’t so I managed to pull off looking normal. Well as normal as I get, anyway.

When I washed out the mass product from my hair, I had no problems at all.  I’m currently using Tressemme Shampoo and conditioner in my shower and they knocked out the remnants of the dry shampoo no problem.  I deliberately didn’t use any form of hair mask or leave in conditioner to see how my scalp looked.  There was no residue after a good simple wash which I appreciated.  Because if I didn’t get a residue from that much over usage, I’m not going to get it with a regular spray down.

I can’t say I’ve seen any really nourishing aspects to the dry shampoo, Klorane definitely has Freeman beat there. With the Korane I will use it at night just before bed and then brush it out the next morning. I tried that with the Freeman and my scalp did get a bit itchy. Not as bad for product overload, but not something I wanted to sleep with. Quick touch ups and emergency blast are this product’s strong suits and it does both of those really well.

I hate to say this but I was surprised by how well this product worked.  And no, it isn’t because I favor higher priced items.  (This is a $6.99 item at its highest – I saw it listed in several places for less).  The reason I am surprised it worked so well is because I have always associated Freeman with face masks. I honestly didn’t realize they did anything else until I got this product.  And to be fair I probably wouldn’t have realized it if the product hadn’t come in my Glossy Box. 

Now of course the next time I am in Target, I will be perusing the Freeman section to see if it is carried.  I used up about half of my sample sized bottle for the one meeting so I doubt the remainder will last long.  However, the summer temperatures are still clinging on and although I walk early, sometimes it isn’t early enough to avoid the sweaty catastrophe. And there is always the possibility of another video call schedule change.  I can easily spend $6.99 for an emergency stash of dry shampoo designed to promote the illusion that I am unruffled by sudden changes to my work day and have everything completely together in my world.  After all, they can’t see the fluffy bunny socks I’ve got on my feet under the desk.

Reviewing Two NUXE products

These two NUXE products came to me in the July Glossy Box, I believe.  I can recall seeing the NUXE brand before but I don’t think I’ve ever tried anything from them until now.  The first item is the Nuxe Crème Prodigieuse Boost Multi-Correctional Gel Cream for Normal to Combination skin.  

While my sample size contained 15ml worth of product and lasted almost exactly two weeks, the full sized version is 40 ml and retails for $25.15 on the Glossy Box site. The odd pricing is due to currency conversion I believe.  In case you are wondering (I know I was because I had to look it up) Prodigieuse means excellent in French.

the cream is super light weight and absorbs quickly with no greasy film

So what is this excellent cream? According to the product information it is… 

Refreshing care that rejuvenates the skin and corrects the issues caused by stress, fatigue and pollution. The Boost Multi-Correction Gel Cream preserves and supports the skin’s natural balance, easing the signs of ageing and providing a smoother, matt finish. Utilises a formula rich in natural active ingredients: jasmine, calendula, cellular sugar and hyaluronic acid. It contains 92% Natural Origin Ingredients and is Vegan Friendly. To use: Apply mornings to the face, neck and décolleté.

Ingredients: ingredients : aqua/water, alcohol denat., glycerin, phenyl trimethicone, hydroxyethyl acrylate/sodium acryloyldimethyl taurate copolymer, propylheptyl caprylate, silica, parfum/fragrance, phenoxyethanol, ethylhexylglycerin, acrylates/c10-30 alkyl acrylate crosspolymer, ribose, sodium gluconate, xanthan gum, butylene glycol, sodium hyaluronate, polysorbate 60, sorbitan isostearate, pentylene glycol, jasminum officinale (jasmine) flower extract, sodium hydroxide, faex extract/yeast extract, mica, ci 77491/iron oxides, calendula officinalis flower extract, tocopherol, benzyl salicylate, linalool, citronellol, alpha-isomethyl ionone, geraniol [n3904/a]

I like that it is a day cream.  Mostly because when I tried it, the cream wasn’t heavy enough to give me as much moisture as my skin needs at night.  I also like the focus.  Since I know my skin has different needs in the day and at night I like that the moisturizer knows it as well and concentrates on one thing at a time instead of trying to be an all round moisturizer.  I think the extremes of this summer have made me rethink my skin care a lot and I am starting to separate out items I use in the day and those I use at night a bit more than I have in the past.

That being said I am not a fan of the denatured alcohol in the moisturizer.  I’m not a fan of it in my skin care in general and really don’t like seeing it as the second ingredient.  As I’m sure you are aware, the higher up in the ingredients list, the more concentrated the amount in the product.  Ingredients are listed from most active to least until they get to be about 1% and then they can be listed in any order so it is generally the top ten ingredients you have to pay attention to.

The cream was nice on my skin though, I will give it that.  I am glad I was only using it once a day though.  While the cream absorbed well and wasn’t greasy, in fact it worked really well on my skin. The thing that got me was the scent.  It is fairly highly scented.  Even though the scent was stronger than I like, I didn’t really mind it, mostly for a nostalgia factor.  It smelled exactly like the skin care my grandmother used to use.  That is in no way a slam, she always had great skin and I’m not saying it smells old lady-ish.  I’m saying it reminds me of my grandmother.  She loved any skin care products that were scented with rose and this certainly fits the bill.  In fact given her love of French skincare it is entirely possible that she did use this cream or an early predecessor of it.  I think the company has been around since the early 1990s and she adored trying new skin care products.  I actually get my love of testing them from her.

But whether or not she used this cream or not, the scent is so reminiscent of her that I enjoyed it even though it was a stronger scent than I like in my skin care.  If you are sensitive to scent this might be something to take into consideration. Truthfully if denatured alcohol weren’t the second ingredient in the list, I would rank this cream really highly as a day cream.  It was non-irritating to existing breakouts, didn’t cause additional ones and made my skin feel soft and lovely.  It has however been drilled into my head that denatured alcohol is bad for the skin long term even if there are short term benefits.  It is only the fact that moisturizer sits on your skin far longer than most other product (toners, face wash) that gives me pause.  And honestly, I liked this day cream enough that I may have to look further into skin care and denatured alcohol before I am willing to cut it completely from my list of products to repurchase.  Because I need to do more research, I’m putting this in the maybe category for repurchasing.

The second NUXE item sent in my Glossy Box however goes straight to the top of reordering.  And that is the Nuxe Insta-masque.  The 50ml full size retails for $22.25 and it is a definite repurchase for me.  This mask is designed…

With an ultra-sensory gel texture, the mask turns into oil to exfoliate and even out the skin, instantly getting smooth skin and a luminous complexion. Suitable for all skin types, including the most sensitive ones. Contains 98.3% of ingredients of natural origin.

slightly foamy with water

While this too lists Rose as a primary ingredient, the scent is much milder and perhaps mitigated by the macademia.  The mask looks like jelly in the jar, albeit a light pink jelly.  Where it touched my damp skin during application it turned a little white and then faded to almost clear on the skin.  I let it sit for two minutes while I brushed my teeth, then I wet my hands, rubbed them on my face and the jelly turned white and slightly foamy. 

The exfoliation is mild, it didn’t irritate any of my break outs and it rinsed away super cleanly and easily.  My skin felt amazingly soft and refreshed. I used it once a week, which is generally how I use exfoliators.  There are few I would use daily even though some actually suggest it.  This product recommends once or twice a week. 

Not sure if you can see much of a difference, but I could certainly feel it. Oh and in case you are wondering the slight redness to my skin is mostly because the water I rinsed with was really, really cold.

Once was perfect for me.  I was very sad when this container was empty.  It is definitely on my repurchase list.  Unfortunately I am working through the products that I have and not buying new ones until I’ve used up existing ones so it might be a while before I get around to repurchasing this, but repurchase I will.  The moisturizer maybe on a maybe list, but I have no qualms about using this Inta-masque repeatedly in the future.

As I mentioned before, both of these products came to me in a glossy box. If you are interested in trying out new products before you commit to buying the full sized versions, this might be a subscription box you might want to look into.  They generally have deals for the first box in your subscription and thus far, I have not been disappointed by any box I’ve received from them. The current offer, at the time of writing this is $22 off 6 or 12 month subscription with the code 22OFF (valid: 8/17-8/23). There are of course other perks, such as 20% off their newly launched skin care products.  I’ve been using their eye cream (which came in August’s box) and thus far am really liking it. I’ll post a full review after a month of use, but it does give me hope that the rest of their skin care line is going to be worth checking out. Anyway if you are interested you can check out Glossy Box below.

The Make Up Bag: July 24th, 2020

The Make Up Bag used the week of July 18th – 24th

This week’s makeup bag was a little different than usual for me.  I recently ordered the Kristofer Buckle Vanity Collection #2 as a means to try several more products from the brand and it arrived in time to be incorporated in the bag. So while not every item in the bag comes from Kristofer Buckle, it does lean heavily in that direction.  I’ll cover those products first. 

The first item was the Triplicity Perfecting Foundation Stick.  Clicking on the link will take you to the full review I posted yesterday.  The short version is that I really liked this formula.  It is a great foundation and may be one of my favorite stick foundation formulas.  It is soft and creamy and feels more like I am applying moisturizer to the skin than applying foundation.  I was very pleased with it and will be ordering it again in the future.

The loose setting powder included in the Vanity collection was a good setting powder.  There are very few powders I absolutely don’t like, so I’m sort of an easy sell on powders.  It is finely milled and really locked my makeup into place. 

I did notice that it tended to leave a bit of a white cast.  I counteracted that by using extra fixing spray, the I heart Revolution Fixing Spray in Peaches and Cream is the one I am still working through at the moment. It is an excellent setting spray. 

What I did was spray the Revolution spray over the powder and then pat the powder down with a makeup sponge.  This eliminated the white cast.  While it is a good powder, I can’t say it is my absolute favorite. If asked if I would purchase it again, I would have to give it a maybe.

The next element in the Vanity Collection was the mascara.  I really liked this mascara.  It is more lengthening than volumizing which is surprising as it is listed as a volumizing mascara, but it is really lengthening and it doesn’t flake or smudge once dry.  I had no problems with this mascara lasting all day.  It is a good product I would definitely pick up again.

Affiliate Exclusive | 35% Off Vanity Kits

Gel liner from Kristofer Buckle on the left and the Brow pencil from Il Makiage on the right,

I am not entirely certain I would pick up the gel eyeliner.  The end that so interested me turned out to be a smudger.  Which is nice to have.  The gel eyeliner is a gel eyeliner.  It is black, it glides on smoothly and stays in place.  It is very much like most good gel liners. I will continue to use it and if another came my way I would have no problem using it again, but it isn’t any better or worse than any other gel liner.  The built in smudger is a nice feature though.

Last but certainly not least was the lipstick.  The lipstick in the Vanity kit was the Cashmere slip longwear lipstick. This is the reason I purchased the entire kit.  Seiously, The lipstick is $18 on its own and while the Vanity Kits are normally $28, with the sale the kit cost me $18.94 so I essentially paid full price for a lipstick and got everything else with it.  (The sale incidentally runs through July 31st.  You can use the code EXCLUSIVE35 to get 35% off.  There is also a BOGO sale going on with the Vanity kits so if you are looking to stock up, now is the time). 

Lip swatches. My favorite Bardot on the top with the lipstick that came in the kit, Renaissance on the bottom (the top had one swipe of product, the bottom two)

While I can’t say I liked the color Renaissance, as much as I like the shade Bardot (hands down my favorite lipstick at the moment) as it is slightly more pink then I favor. It has the same formula which makes me confident in buying other lipsticks in the line. 

It is creamy and non drying and while the pink did become more muted as the day wore on, it remained on my lips for the entire day.  Just check the foundation wear photos if you want to see just how well it lasted, I didn’t reapply the lipstick once throughout the day. It only lost a little pigmentation but mostly retained its color. Incidentally in the swatches to the left I wanted to show just how fully the lipstick covered, the top thinner looking swatch had only one swipe across the hand while I used two on the lower swatch. The second swipe filled in all the lines the first one missed.

While I will be buying Bardot repeatedly for the near future, I now feel confident in the Cashmere Slip formula to stock up on all of the shades they offer.  And to wish they offered more shades.  It really is a super comfortable formula to wear. And yes I went ahead and added Bardot to the bag as well and just swapped between the two lipsticks for the week. I just couldn’t resist.

So that was the Vanity collection #2 from Kristofer Buckle that made up the bulk of the Makeup bag this week, but clearly they weren’t the only items. I mentioned the I Heart Revolution Fixing spray I am trying to use up.  It is a really good fixing spray but it is old enough now that I can’t remember when I bought it, so I will be using it consistently until it’s gone.  I may take a break now and then when I need a change of scent fort the week, but for now, it goes back in the bag for next week.

The Sakura + Sage Vegan Eyeshadow and Blush Palette from Seraphine botanicals was in my bag this week as well.  The link will take you to the full review.  The simple truth is I didn’t really like the blushes and only liked one of the eyeshadows.  If you find the pink shimmer shade in Sparkle from Seraphine botanicals, I recommend snapping it up.  It was the only thing I liked in the palette and recommend giving the rest of it a hard pass.

The Too Faced Chocolate Gold Soleil returned to my bag this week as my bronzer and I liked using it just as much this time around as I have before.  I also brought back the No PoreBlem Primer from Touch in Sol. Both are fantastic products that will return to my dressing table and then rotate back into a future Makeup bag.

Ofra in glazed doughnut and the Chocolate Gold Bronzer from Too Faced.

Also making a return was the Biillion dollar brows highlighter and concealer duo stick.  It works well and this week I paired it with the Il Makiage eyebrow pencil.  The pencil in the shade Truffles worked well with me although slightly on the darker side of what I like.  I received it in my July IPSY bag and I like it enough to keep it in rotation. There is plenty of product in the pencil so time will tell if I like it enough to purchase when it is used up, but for now, I enjoy using it.

My highlighter this week was from OFRA in the shade Glazed Doughnut.  It is a fantastic highlighter.  It can go from blinding to subtle depending on your mood and how you blend.  I loved using it this week and will look forward to its reappearance in future weeks.  OFRA is an interesting brand for me in general. I love their highlighters and liquid lipsticks but find their blushes a bit on the powdery side.  They work well and are highly pigmented, but they are just messy enough that I find myself not wanting to reach for them all that often.   Maybe I’ll put an OFRA lipstick in next week’s bag. 

Finally we reach the standard item that will be in my bag consistently until I run out and then it will be reordered.  Strictly speaking I should have mentioned it first as it goes under everything else.  It is the Volition Prismatic Luminizing shield in SPF 50. That’s right my darlings, sunscreen.

My favorite sunscreen. 

Already I am sensing the bottle is starting to feel a bit light so I have gone ahead and reordered it so that a replacement will be on hand. This is one product, I will not risk running out of.

Prismatic Luminizing Shield SPF 50|Free Shipping, Free Returns & Free Sampling

So we reach the end of another week’s Makeup bag, the good, the bad, the mediocre.  I hope my thoughts help you when deciding what you want to add to your personal collection. Or at least provide a momentary amusement as you go along with your day. As for me, I’m off to make up for time I lost when it was simply too hot to work this week. 

Our newly repaired air conditioner is functioning perfectly and humming along keeping the house cool and my office from turning into a hot box in the mid afternoon sun. If my lips wouldn’t burn on the hot metal, I’d really consider kissing out air conditioning unit.  As it is, I’ll just used the extended work hours to get things done.  Have a good day and hopefully I’ll see you back here later this afternoon for the Friday Face mask. (Hanesbrands Inc.)

IPSY Ultimate Review: July 2020

Despite looking like someone sat on it, everything in my box arrived intact.

This month I felt as though I was stalking the post office when it came to subscription boxes.  Especially with IPSY.  I received the shipping notice on the 7th of the month but then nothing else.  I kept checking back and nothing was updating.  Finally, I checked in with USPS and they claimed to be waiting for it to be dropped off. They never updated. I’m pretty sure even a few days after I received my box they are still claiming to wait for it.

I know everyone else has been going through similar things this month as well as it seems nothing is really coming  in on time (with the exception of my Kristopher Buckle package which came much faster than I actually expected it to. Maybe they know something no one else does.)

But finally it arrived and I can stop trying to pull up the tracking information.  I think IPSY might have also switched delivery services as a different one from usual was listed.  But none of that is the point.  Shipping has more in common with a spin of the Wheel of Fortune game show wheel than a regulated system these days.

IPSY is a monthly beauty subscription service.  They have several tiers.  I receive the IPSY Ultimate box which includes one make  up bag, eight full sized items and four deluxe sample sized items for the price of $50.  This is the first year of this particular tier and it had been a bumpy year.  They seem to be getting better lately so lets see what this month’s long awaited bag looks like.

The bag itself is interesting.  It is square, which is a bit unusual and it is quite roomy.  The design isn’t my favorite and I don’t really like that it doesn’t have a handle on it, but it is fine.  I probably won’t be keeping it.  My mother’s church puts together toiletry and self care kits for the homeless who use their soup kitchen and they are always looking for little bags to contain the items so any bag I don’t keep ends up donated there. So even if I don’t like it, the bag won’t be wasted.

The first full sized item in my bag this moth was the AWAKE Glow Pill Super Serum (retail $39). I love serums so I am always pleased to have a new one to try out.  I believe AWAKE is a sister brand to Tarte, but I could be mistaken on that. 

Either way I have never tried this serum and look forward to testing it out.  It claims to be a light weight gel that makes skin softer and more hydrated as well as banishing fine lines, pores and dark spots.  Sounds like a tall order but I am looking forward to trying it out.

The next item in my bag this month are the Beauty For Real SHADOW STX 24-7 Eyeshadow Duo in Midnight Marathon and Ever Starstruck (retail $38). Since My IPSY box came in Friday afternoon I decided to add these and the Seraphine Botanicals Sakura + Sage Vegan Eyeshadow & Blush Palette (retail $42) to my Make up bag for the week.  I’ve never used shadow sticks before so this should be fun. They are both shimmer shades so I’d have to pair them with something else.

I kind of wish one was matte so I could make a better attempt at a single look with just the stix but I will at least get to see how they fare with other shadows.  I’ve also never tried Seraphine Botanicals before.  I know they’ve been around in IPSY bags before but somehow they never seem to end up in my bag until now.  So now I get to try them.

I am also adding the Il Makiage Brow Pen in the shade Truffles (retail $22) and the OFRA Highlighter in the shade Glazed Doughnut (retail $30) to my makeup bag this week.  While most of the items in my makeup bag this week are from the Kristopher Buckle Collection, these items will help fill in the gaps for items that didn’t come in the kit. Plus, I get to use some of the newly arrived items instead of waiting until next week. So bonus for me.

This month I also received a full sized set of 8 Hair masks from Foxybae (retail $28.95). I’m not entirely sold on the individual packaging, but I tend to really like Foxybae Hair products.  Their Flaminglow leave in conditioner is well worth picking up.So I am definitely looking forward to trying this out.

I was very pleased to see a full sized Purlisse Beauty Blue Lotus product in my box this month.  I was doubly pleased as the 4~in~1 Cleansing Milk (retail $36) is the only item in the Blue Lotus line that I haven’t tried.  It was the one element left out of my full trial of Blue Lotus and I am happy to fill in the gap.

The last full sized item in my IPSY Ultimate box this month was the CIATÉ LONDON

Watermelon Burst Hydrating Primer (retail $28).  It was the item I selected, because you know I love my primers. Plus it was the best of the offered options when it came time to choose.  Incidentally for those of you who get IPSY a reminder, choice day for August’s bag is this week, July 23rd actually.  They always have choice up at 9 am EST. I love that it is a consistent time.  After the befuddlement with Boxy’s choice day this month, it is extra appreciated.

So I have yet another Ciate London product in my growing collection.  At this point I think the only categories I am missing are an eyebrow product and a bronzer.  I’ll have to check but if that is the case I may have to order them and then just do a full face of Ciate in my weekly makeup bag.

So now that we’ve covered the full sized items it is on to the four deluxe sample sizes.  These aren’t listed with prices so alas I can not offer them to you.  But I can tell you what they are.

First up is the Belif  The True Cream Moisturizing Bomb. I am always happy to have another moisturizer on hand to try, even if it is a small size.  I am almost finished with my Volition Celery Green Cream so I’m going to have to choose my next moisturizer soon anyway. 

It will have a lot to live up to as I really liked the Volition Cream. I am not sure if I’ll use the Belif moisturizer next, but I think I may choose one of the trial sizes I have stashed away.  I noticed the other day I am getting quite the collection of mini moisturizers in my skincare drawer. They usually have enough product for two weeks in them so I might try to work my way through them and see if any of them deserve a full sized month long trial.

But that is a decision for later. Moving on with IPSY I received a perfume sample from Catherine Malandrino this month.  It is in the scent Special Moments.  I’ve tried a perfume from her before so I am pleased to try another one. 

I also like that it is a good sized sample and not one of those tiny little tubes.  There is plenty for a week long trial and I am always happy to try out a new perfume.  I actually have several perfumes I need to post reviews of as well. I really need to catch up on posting those.

My third sample this month is the Jayjun USA Green Tea Eye Gel Patch (Set of 3). I like that there is a set of three because it lets me get an accurate opinion through multiple uses. With skin care items often you need more than one trial to see if you really like it. Otherwise its more of a first impression than anything else.

Then finally, last but not least there is something for the shower.  This month I received a sample sized packet of The Coffee Scrub in French Vanilla.  I’ve seen this floating around for several months but it has never appeared in my bag.  I’m pleased I finally get a chance to try it. 

Over all I have to say I am rather pleased with my products this month.  It is a pretty varied selection of products which I kind of like.  It is a mix of makeup, skincare, hair care and body care. Some of the items I’ve seen floating around the IPSY-verse for a while, but they have never been in my bags before. 

I suspect that they are clearing out older inventory.  I know they have a major summer sale going on right now so perhaps that will clear out all of the familiar items and bring in new selections. 

Although I have to say some of the items in my box this month weren’t ones I’ve seen in IPSY in prior months.  I can’t say there is any one item that sent me over the moon this month.  There was no real wow factor item, but they all look like good items I will be happy to give a try.  And to be honest, I’m shopping less as I’m staying in more so it’s nice to have a new variety of items to try out. I think I’m actually appreciating my subscription boxes more now that I’m not going to Ulta to try out their testers or browsing the drug store aisles.

I think that, more than the delayed postal system is why I’ve been stalking the postal service on line this month. I’ll try not to check the tracking so obsessively next month.  Possibly. No promises.

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Reviewing the Elemis Pro-Collagen Cleansing Balm

The Elemis Pro-Collagen Cleansing Balm in the travel size

In last month’s Glossy Box I received  a travel size of the Elemis Pro-Collagen Cleansing Balm (full size retails for $65). I love cleansers and I really like Elemis so I was very happy to see it. In addition, it arrived when I had only a few days left of my Versed Cleansing balm remaining in the jar.  While I have several cleansing oils I have been trying recently, I had no spare cleansing balm around.  I pretty much resolved to finish the Versed Cleansing Balm and just use the oils until I reduced the number I had enough to feel virtuous, and then pick up a cleansing balm.  Admittedly, I hadn’t yet decided which one I wanted to pick up. 

So this worked out perfectly for me.

Enter the Elemis Pro Collagen Cleansing Balm. 

It is a travel sized product, which I have to say I don’t mind so much since I hadn’t used it before and wasn’t sure if I’d like it. While I like the brand, it is rare that I like everything a brand makes so I am always prepared for the one product I don’t like from a line.

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It is a rather large travel size (coming in at 20g/0.7 oz), especially since I found I didn’t need  to use a lot of product. I have to say I really like that even the travel size comes in a glass jar rather than a plastic one. But, packaging aside, what should you expect from this product?

This No.1 Bestselling cleansing balm deep cleanses and leaves skin supremely soft. Luxurious Rose and Mimosa waxes are infused with nourishing Elderberry, Starflower and Optimega™ oils and supercharged with anti-aging algae, Padina Pavonica.

This rich balm contains 9 essential oils that lift away dirt and leave skin soft and clean. It is also intensely nourishing and contains powerful marine actives proven to firm your skin.

Perfect to use on a daily basis as a deep cleansing balm or weekly as a nourishing facial mask.

Okay, I like cleansing balms, but I adore masks.  And if you are going to claim that it works well as a mask, I’m going to try it as a mask.  But first, I will try it as a cleansing balm.

Cause it’s a cleansing balm.

When you open the jar the rose and mimosa make their presence felt.  It is a rather more aggressively floral scent than I was expecting. It also has an odd scent I tend to associate with products that have any form of marine based compound in the, mixed it.   

I’ve found the scent with Elemis products before and I’ve also had a similar aroma from Algenist products.  Since both of them tend to use marine compounds, I’m guessing that is what that scent is, although I could be completely off base. This is just what my nose tells me.   It isn’t a bad scent, in fact I really like it, however if you are sensitive to fragrances this might be something to take into consideration. 

I will say it is a bit jarring after using the Versed Cleansing Balm. While I enjoyed usung that one, it has a scent that reminds me of Vick’s Vapor Rub. Not bad, but something I wasn’t initially expecting. This doesn’t smell medicinal in anyway, which I really like.

The cleansing balm is more creamy than I expected as well. It reminds me of the consistency of whipped honey or maybe just melted fresh beeswax. Although it is in no way waxy or sticky like those products, I’m just not quite certain what other substance to compare it to. Most other bams seem to come out of the jar as kind of a wazy solid like you scraped your nail across a candle and then melt hinto your hand. This comes out more cream like from the start. It is far softer than a lot of other balms I’ve tried and scoops out super easily. In fact, it is really easy to pick up more than you actually need.   The scent dissipates well once on the skin and isn’t as overpowering as it is in the jar. So if you don’t find the scent off putting in the jar, then you will be fine with it on the skin, fragrance-wise.

Because of its consistency the balm massages into the skin easily and really well and removes makeup while leaving the skin soft.  When I ran a damp cotton round over my skin after using it and rinsing off my face, I only had the marks from my finger’s pressure on the round, not left over makeup. I put a little dab on my finger tips and massaged it into my closed eyelids to get the shadow and mascara off and had no problem with it seeping into my eyes and making my contacts foggy. (which has happened before with cleansing balms and oils).

So I was pleased I didn’t have to take my contacts out before washing my face. I know that sounds a little strange but I am blind as a bat without my contacts so doing my skin care routine without them is a little difficult. I can either choose to stumble blindly through the routine, trusting the blur in the mirror is actually me and that I have chosen the correct products in the order I really want to use them, or I have to play the on and off game with my glasses. So I was happy I could just keep my contacts in with no problems.

The cleansing balm rinses off clean and if I didn’t want to do a double cleanse, this is the product I found myself reaching for.  It is a one and done make up remover. That was good for nights where I just wanted to shorten my routine and flop into bed rather than extended and luxuriate in skin care. Some nights I enjoy the drawn out routine, other nights, I just want to sleep.

Since my skin felt so good after using it, you know I had to try it out as a mask.  As expected from using it as a cleansing balm, the product absorbed well into the skin.  I waited fifteen minutes as I would with any mask and then I rinsed it off. My skin did feel soft, but to be honest it didn’t feel any softer than when I just used the product as a cleansing balm. I think using this as a mask, is sort of a waste of product. I would much rather just use it as a cleansing balm. 

There is one thing I noticed though. A few days before using this  product, I sliced my finger open in a kitchen accident.  (I was putting away dishes and someone put a knife into the drying wrack upside down. No stitches were needed but it was not pleasant. 

Anyway, the cut reached the point where it was scabbed over in a thin line of hard tissue and I had to remind myself not to pick at it because it was sort of ridge like and annoying, but still healing.  Just to see what would happen, when I used the cleansing balm as a mask, I rubbed a little onto the hard tissue and let it sit for the fifteen minutes I wore the mask.  When I rinsed off the mask, I washed my hand.  The hard tissue was significantly softer and remained so.  While I wouldn’t recommend using this as any form of medical thing, I can say it does have a softening effect on rough and hard skin. I think if I had any rough patches on my face I would rub it in and let it sit as more of a spot treatment than a mask.

I really enjoyed using this product and I expect that at some point it will make a reappearance.  At the moment I am using what remains sparingly as I really don’t want to reach the bottom of the jar. I’m also eagerly anticipating the other new products that might come in my next subscription box.

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Confessions of a Rebel B*tch, Please Perfume Review

Let’s hear it for strategic placement.

I feel like it has been forever and a day since I have posted a perfume review. They arrive, I wear them I make notes and then I get distracted by something shiny like a befuddled magpie spotting an aluminium can.

This particular perfume came to me via my Scentbird subscription.  It is a monthly perfumes subscription in which you receive 0.27 ounces of a particular scent (you get to choose the ones you want and set up your queue. It costs $14.95 per month and while the first perfume comes with a reusable travel sprayer, the subsequent ones come in the above pictured strategically placed cardboard tube. Sometimes I end up choosing a great scent, other times I am let down, but either way I have a month’s supply of any particular scent I order to use and decide if I want to invest in a full bottle. If you like perfume, you can easily see how much money this saves. Now I only buy the perfumes I know I will wear based on the fact that I did wear them for a month rather than just a few spritzes from a tiny sample where I hope for the best.

Admittedly sometimes, my selections aren’t the best. I can actually lose myself for hours just reading the descriptions.  The words draw me in every time and I find myself thinking, oh yes that is the sort of exotic life…er perfume that attracts me.

Those marketing folks are good.

Admittedly, I also collect a lot of books about the incense and spice trade of yore too. 

Go figure?

This scent was from the Brand Confessions of a Rebel. I’ve purchased form them before and in general like their scents. Their descriptions are less romantically inclined and tend to match their fragrance names actually.

So what did Confessions of a Rebel have to say about this scent B*tch, Please?

In-your-face fruit notes like blackcurrant mingle with jasmine petals, weaving a decadent web tinged with an element of sass. Bold, brash, and unafraid to bare it all, creamy sandalwood and skin musk evoke a carefree, confident kind of vibe. You know exactly who you are, and you are, in fact, the f*cking boss.

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Okay so perhaps this time, the marketing wasn’t designed to whisk me off to far off locales.  As much as I love perfume descriptions it was the scent combination that got me and the knowledge that it is a good brand. It is supposed to have notes of Black Currant, Jasmine, Sandalwood and musk. To me, the combination sounded delightful. 

In fact, it is quite delightful.  There is a juicy fruitiness that is more earthy than sweet.  There are light floral notes from the jasmine that are tempered by the spice of sandalwood.  It is very well balanced and I loved spraying it on my wrist.  There is something clean and fresh about it, and yes, something a little powerful. 

My only problem is that it doesn’t last long.  You have an hour, two tops before the scent fades.  I don’t know if that is meant to be a metaphor or not. I do know that I like the perfume and despite the fading scent, I will consider this a possibility for a full purchase.  It is a scent I wouldn’t wear to work expecting a full day of wear out of it, but something I would keep in my purse to spritz as I was leaving the building to meet someone or just before I left the house for dinner out.  I think the scent would be fine for a dinner out actually as it stays close to the skin instead of spreading out to clash with the scent of the meal. 

Name and description aside, it is  a very seductive scent.

But then again, they say power is seductive too.

I may wear this out, but I think I would also wear it for a night in. It’s just that sort of scent.
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