Mid-week Mask in a flash with Borghese

Normally I stick to sheet masks for my mid week masking moments but as i skipped last week’s face mask Friday, I felt that a little something extra was called for. And then i remembered that I set aside a couple of 3-5 minute masks Somehow they don’t tend to feel right for my moment of Friday relaxation. Perhaps because they take only 3-5 minutes instead of giving me the full fifteen to take a breather and regroup before the final push to end the work week and stat the weekend.

I do like these sorts of masks, but they are more suited to the work day trial. And now that I have whittled down my sheet mask collection to something more manageable, I feel that the time is right. And so today we have the Borghese Roma Advanced Fango Active Mud Mask for Face and Body. I opted for just the face today. i did test it on my arm though (on Monday) just to make sure there was no adverse reaction.

I always think of Flash masks as being a little stronger because they require so little time on the skin, so they are ones i will always test on my inner arm before using on my face. I also left it on my arm for ten minutes (well past the time of the mask). I’d like to say that part of that was to really make sure it wouldn’t cause problems but in all honesty the phone rang and by the time I dealt with the call it was ten minutes. So, not really intentional but because there was no adverse reaction I felt it would be okay.

Let’s look at our 3-5 minute wear time flash mask from Borghese…

first applied

Everything you love about our Italian spa inspired Classic Fango Active Mud, with added advanced benefits! This detoxifying mud mask helps counteract environmental pollution with a blend of powerful survivalist plant extracts. Exfoliates skin and helps minimize the appearance of pores and fine lines.

I have a sample size that came in a subscription box (either Look Fantastic or Glossy Box, I can’t remember.) It is 0.5 ounces. On the website there is a 2.7 oz version sold for $20 and there is also a 7.5 ounce jar of the mask offered for $50. The largest one is in a glass jar with a mason jar like lid on it. I think if I were getting it to use as a body mask that would appeal to me. The 2.7 ounce mask is in a container that looks like a larger version of the sample size. Personally I like the look of this jar. I don’t know why but the jars with the slightly pinched in sides so it is a little more hourglass shaped always just look a little classier to me. I have no idea why. Perhaps i just like the shape.

after 5 minutes

Regardless of how I feel about the jar, it is what is inside that counts.

In the other flash masks I have tried, they were either a gel like consistency or they were charcoal based. I don’t know why but the fact that this one was bright green sort of surprised me. In the ingredients there is ginseng root and avocado listed which is where I think the green comes from. The bentonite clay is sort of a grayish color as would be the mushrooms in the mix I would think. There is also almond oil in the blend. I say that because you can sort of smell the almond in the mix. The scent has almond and ginseng as the forward notes with a sort of back note of avocado. It is a very fresh and clean scent.

clean again and the pic I will use for comparison after I’ve used the jar of mask up completely.

I did notice that when I first opened it the mask was a brighter green and it turned a little bit darker by the time I finished applying it. While I don’t think it will go bad as fast as an avocado as there are stabilizers in it, the slight change makes me think this isn’t a mask I want to let sit around too long. It does have a 12 month shelf life listed on the bottom of the jar though. So we will see.

Applying it on the face was quick and easy. It smoothed on well. There are no solid particulates and it is a smooth and creamy mask. I was very impressed not only by how easy it was to apply but by how little I actually needed to use in order to cover my face. Usually with sample sized masks I can get one or two uses out of them and that’s it. This one I think I will be able to get significantly more from.

The three minute wear time also makes it really good for mid day masking. I applied the mask and set the timer, then I actually made the bed and took out the trash. By then the timer was going off so i was able to take the mask off. It doesn’t really dry down all that much. I think that between the almond oil and the avocado there is enough oily fats to keep it from drying down. It stays in place while moving around with the mask on and then wipes off with a damp wash cloth. This made it easy to wear while doing things and quick and easy to remove.

When I took it off, my skin felt fresh and clean. It was a very good first use. While it didn’t magically erase the lines that time is starting to etch into my skin, it did make my skin look and feel really good. Certainly good enough that i will have no problem using this mask again. In fact I might continue using this mask (as recommended) until the container is empty just to see if there are any longer term results. As it is just the way my face feels will have me coming back to this mask. Over all the Borghese Advanced Fango Active Mud Mask is a hit, even if i still don’t know why there is Fango in the name. If anyone knows could you let me know in the comments, I looked all over the website and can’t find a single clue. And that will bug me. the mask however was very nice for a mid-week masking moment. Since I plan to continue using the mask to see if there are longer results, we’ll also call this a first review post. we’ll talk again when I have reached the bottom of the jar. Hopefully by then I will have uncovered the Fango mystery as well. Stay tuned my darlings.



A break out taming cleanser with Dr. Brandt

Dr. Brandt Pores No More Pore Purifying Cleanser

I will admit that I was a little nervous about trying out this cleanser. While I love Dr. Brandt Products and have several favorites from the brand, I am always cautious where salicylic acid.

While it is a good ingredient to clear up and dry out clogged pores and break outs, things change now that I am not a teenager. When I was a teen I could use the most heavily salicylic acid based products and have no problems. As I have gotten older, they still work really well for clearing up breakouts but those sort of products also dry out my skin. Still I did need to work on clearing out some minor break outs and I do like Dr. Brandt.

I also figured that I had enough moisturizers that it might not be a problem. And so I started using the Dr. Brandt Pores No More Pore Purifying Cleanser . While I would normally start with a first use post, with products like this it generally takes a few days before any sort of issues start to occur. So instead of doing a first use post I waited and let time pass as I used this cleanser. First off let’s look at the product page.

pores no more® PORE PURIFYING CLEANSER is non-drying gel that cleanses, purifies and dissolves excess oil, residue, debris. Removes excess sebum for less shine. Exfoliates dead skin cells and helps minimize the appearance of pores.

It is a pretty straight forward description. When you check out the ingredients list you will see that while Salicylic acid is one of the first ingredients. Tea tree oil and white willow bark are also in the list.

With those ingredients the first thing that is noticeable is the scent. This cleanser smells highly medicinal. As white willow bark was traditionally used in the making of aspirin, that isn’t unexpected. I will say that I think it’s inclusion helped to reduce some of the pain and inflammation of some of the more painful break outs.

The cleanser itself is a clear gel that I applied to a damp skin. I like that the gel is thick enough that it can be seen where it is applied on the face. That is one of the things I like in a cleanser. I really like to be able to see where I put it before I start massaging the cleanser in and then rinse it away. I like knowing where the cleanser is going and that I am putting it in the places where I need it the most, especially with a product like this.

before on left after a week on the right. the breakouts are small they were cleared away though and my skin is not dried out.

It applied well and I did feel that the slight pain from inflamed breakouts faded with the use of the cleanser, more so with each use actually. The cleanser rinses away clean and I have not seen any dry patches. With Salicylic acid based cleansers if it is going to dry out patches of the skin it will do so within a week. This showed no signs of going there and within that week the few small break outs that I had cleared up. As an adult, finding a product that will work with my skin, clearing up the occasional break outs and yet not drying out my skin has been difficult. While this is a good cleanser, I don’t think that I need to use it on a daily basis. I like that I can use it on a daily basis, but for me, my breakouts are small occasional things. A week of using this cleanser has cleared up the break outs I had. While I will be keeping this cleanser around, it will rotate in and out of my line up as needed. The Dr. Brandt Pores No More Pore Purifying Cleanser may not be an everyday use sort of product for me, but it is certainly one I will keep around.

Dr Brandt Skincare

The Skincare Line up: February 3rd, 2023

Welcome once again to the weekly skincare line up. Here we take a look at all of the products I am currently using in their natural habitat. Actually it is more of talking about how well they play with others. Because let’s face it, I simply don’t use a single product in isolation. I am using it as part of a routine. So let’s look at the items in the routine shall we. Oh and for those you you tilting your heads, the shelf is straight, I just tilted the camera to try and get the best angle. I didn’t realize quite how off kilter it was until I sat down. Hopefully it doesn’t knock anyone off balance.

Makeup Remover: Beekman 1802 Makeup Melting Cleansing Balm

Cleanser: Dr. Brandt Pores No More Pore Purifying Cleanser

Toner: Perricone MD High Potency Face Finishing Firming Toner (sent by BzzAgent for review)

Essence: Missha Time Revolution The First essence (currently 30% off on the brand site)

Serum: Elemis Pro Collagen Renewal Serum

Retinol: Kate Somerville Retinol Vitamin C

Moisturizer: ESPA Optimal Skin Pro Moisturizer

Eye cream: Byroe Tea Time Eye gel

Okay we have some continuing favorites and some new additions, let’s just go through the list. First, the Beekman 1802 Makeup Remover. It is really good and gentle on the skin. It does make my contacts cloudy if it gets in the eyes but the cloudy film is easily rinsed away with a dash of saline. I meant to add an eye makeup remover to the mix but forgot. Still it works well and I like it.

The Dr. Brandt Pores no more is a fantastic cleanser. It smells very medicated (salicylic acid). I was worried that it might be a bit drying because of that but thus far that hasn’t been a concern. i think because I was already worried about dryness from the central heat I took steps to add enough moisture that it hasn’t been a problem. i think that If I wasn’t using such a really good moisturizer than I might need to alternate with a different cleanser and to be honest i am thinking of trying to use up some sample cleansers by using them in the morning and this at night. I may do that this week if I remember. I think I have about four sample sizes that I want to clear out. I’ll double check later.

For now, since I already mentioned it, This ESPA moisturizer is fantastic I don’t need much because it is a rich moisturizing formula but that does mean I will be using it for quite some time. It has been a little over a month now and I am not quite halfway through the container. I will happily use this for as long as it lasts and then mark it for repurchase. it is a thick formula that feels light on the skin. It needs to warm up to melt in so there are a couple of white streaks when you first apply it, but the white fates almost immediately as it warms to skin temp. And it smells like a fresh sort of candy. It is just absolutely delightful all around.

Okay the essence is also fabulous. this isn’t the first time i have used this essence and it won’t be the last time. It really opens the pores up so they can make the best use of the rest of the skin care. And even though we are way out of order on the products, I will add that the Byroe Eye cream is one of my favorite products as well. it is one of the best eye creams I have tried in a while. The gel formula absorbs well and I am seeing a reduction in my fine lines.

I know it all sounds fabulous. And it is, but now I want to talk about Kate Somerville and Perricone MD. They have been a very interesting pair. Individually I am really enjoying them both. The Kate Somerville Retinol is something i used twice a week. I’ve gone with Tuesdays and Thursdays and when I use it, I really enjoy it. my skin sucks it in. I apply it, wait a few hours and then just before bed apply my moisturizer over it, because it just isn’t quite enough moisture for my skin. If your skin is more on the oily side you may not need a moisturizer on top. For me at this time of year i do.

the Perricone MD Toner is new. It is an exfoliating toner. It as actually quite nice. My skin feels very fresh after using it, but the rose oil in it is very soothing so unlike other exfoliating toners my skin doesn’t feel extra naked and stripped. it feels clean and ready to move into other skin care. It does have AHAs which make my skin red for a moment after application. the red then fades in less than a minute and I am good.

The Kate Somerville Retinol also makes my skin red for a moment. it takes a little longer to fade, but it does and then my skin looks great.

on their own both are great products. If I try to use them both on the same night, no matter how many products are between the application of the toner and the retinol, my face gets really red and slightly prickly. It feels a little hot. While the feeling fades and my skin calms down, I do not care for it. So on the nights I use the Kate Somerville, I don’t use the Perricone MD. If I separate them than my skin is fabulous and I get the benefits of both. They just don’t want to play well together on my skin. that was the only issue i had with any of the products. On their own everything on this list is proving to be something my skin enjoys. But Kate Somerville and Perricone MD are not playing well together so I am separating them. thus far that has been all it has taken to get them both to settle in and work fabulously. Hopefully, that will continue. It will be something I monitor moving forward. And so the skincare line up proceeds for another week. I will see you back here next week to see how things progress. As we are just passing the 30 day mark for most of these products soon there will be updated results, with luck. Stay tuned my darlings and have a fantastic Friday.

bareMinerals

The Daily: January 31st, 2023

Hello my darlings and welcome to a cold and rainy Tuesday afternoon. Today there is something in the air that is just making me stuffy and puffy. I have the air purifier running and it is helping loads. Since sneezing has been a recurring theme for today and that never bodes well for makeup and I am not leaving the house today, I opted for a no makeup day.

However since i am also skipping the mid week face mask, I decided to do something a little different. A while ago I received this pack of Bright Eyes Eye Gels from Beauty Bio in a subscription box. While I adore eye masks for their depuffing nature on the back of the pack it also lists using them on the sides of your mouth to reduce lines.

So in the absence of makeup I decided to go for that as well. And so I added them to my face and got some work done while I let them soak in. This is one of those days where I really decide to monitor my calories more than participate in any activity.

I know I will feel a bit twitchy later in the day, but it is more a breathing is hard kind of day and even though I know the exercise will do the rest of my body good, when my sinuses get like this even when I take medicine exercise makes my nose drip and my head feel like it is going to explode.

So some days the body takes a back seat. And I monitor my calories very closely.

The Beauty Bio eye gels were worn for fifteen minutes. I have to say my under eyes feel great. I feel less puffy and bleary eyed. While there is hydration on the skin to the sides of my mouth I think I would have to repeatedly use them on a daily basis if I was going to see much in the way of reduction.

It is an interesting thought and I can see where they would conceivably work. I just think it needs repeated applications in order to show results. And to be honest there are a few minor results. My eyes are a little less puffy. Actually they are a great deal less puffy. I think when I look in the mirror I think, still puffy. It is when I see the photos that I realize the change. Also Yes, they are different eyes from the before and after. Both were equally puffy before, I just somehow forgot which eye I took the picture of in the first place. The depuffing stands though.

And now for the mouth.

Sorry the image gets fuzzed out. It is in focus I just had to crop it down to show the mouth and the lines and then when the cropped par t is blown up it gets fuzzy. As you can see there is a reduction in the lines. And I think consistent use would bring them down. I also sneezed off the ones by by mouth a couple of times. They are not as stable by the side of the mouth as they are under the eyes.

While nice, I just think these eye gels will be better used as eye gels. Beauty Bio does make a nice eye gel though so I am happy to keep wearing them for that. The depuffing was better than i expected and I will certainly be using them again.

I know this wasn’t my normal daily, but to be honest, it was a nice break from work to sit with the masks. I was just in a non makeup mood. I do feel more awake now, so that is something. And now, it is back to work for me. Don’t worry. Soon the rain will pass, the allergens it stirred up will leave the air and all will return to normal. Today, it is just me and the skincare. Have a great rest of Tuesday my darlings!

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First Use Perricone MD High Potency Face Finishing and Firming Toner

This product was sent to be by BzzAgent for the purpose of review. As always my thoughts and opinions are my own.

Everything I have used from Perricone MD I have really enjoyed. One was actually a makeup Item. It was the No Makeup Lipstick. It has a light really natural look wash of color and SPF 15 mixed in. I tend to forget that lips need sunscreen too and when I when I know I am going to be out in the sun, this lipstick is a life saver. Just make sure your pay attention to the expiration date, because when this product expires it is done.

The other two items I used were skincare. Both were eye creams and both were really good. The Hypoallergenic CBD Sensitive Skin Hydrating eye cream was really nice however the Cold Plasma firming eye cream was out of this world fantastic. So I was absolutely thrilled when BzzAgent sent this bottle to me to try. The Perricone MD High Potency Face Finishing and Firming Toner is…

This daily, rose-scented lightweight toner gently sloughs off dead skin cells & unclogs pores of impurities, oil & dirt while visibly tightening, smoothing & reducing the look of enlarged pores for a firmer, more refined, even-looking complexion. Revitalizes, hydrates & soothes, leaving skin looking radiant, refreshed & healthy.

This is a first use post, so the pictures in this post are really going to be a base line for comparison after thirty days. There were some notables from the first use though so lets get into that.

It is, first off, a toner. Toners are used after you wash and dry tour face to make suer that every drop of dirt, makeup and other gunk is gone from your skin before you continue. The best toners also have extra skincare properties. The toner pad I am using is reusable and light blue. While my skin was clean with the first use, I did notice that there was a slight darkening to the toner pad after use that is deeper than just the wetness of the product on the pad. That is generally what happens when I use an exfoliating toner or really any chemical exfoliant actually. I’m guessing it is the dead skin cells and other particles being removed. (I will pick up a small pack of disposable cotton rounds for a better look in the follow up post. with both the color and nap of the reusable rounds the details are lost if you aren’t in person.

The scent is Rose, but it is a light, natural scented rose. If you really have an aversion to rose scents you won’t like it, but for me it was light enough and it dissipated quickly enough that I didn’t have to worry about the scent for too long.

There are AHAs (Alpha Hydroxy Acid) in the toner. AHA’s are really good chemical exfoliants. My skin always reacts well to it. Initially I do get a little pinking of my skin. So I will look flushed right after I use it and then the flushed feeling/look will fade. This was no different. I applied the toner to my skin and about the time I set the toner pad down, my face started to flush.

The red flush lasted only the length of time that it took for the toner to dry down on the skin. This isn’t a product you wash off, it is one that you let dry down and then continue on with your skin care. After my skin dried I did run my fingers over my skin to see how it felt when it was dry, Many items with AHAs can leave your skin feeling a bit sticky.

This did not feel sticky at all. The toner dried down and my skin felt silky soft. usually after I apply an AHA my skin is more than ready for a moisturizer. To me it always feels as though with the older dead skin and gunk cleared off the new skin feels just a little too exposed, Like someone unexpectedly pulled the blankets off of you on a cold morning when you weren’t quite ready to get up. I think of adding the moisturizer right after like adding on thick fuzzy socks to suddenly cold feet.

Except that i didn’t have that feeling with this Perricone MD High Potency Face Finishing and Firming Toner. I think that might be the soothing effect of the rose water. I know rose does help soothe and settle my skin, which is why I was not really surprised that the AHA redness disappeared so quickly. I thought it was probably due to the rose and it’s vitamin C infused goodness, which it probably was. But that some goodness also made my skin feel comforted after the exfoliation. I still applied the rest of my skincare but my skin felt clean and soft instead of cleaned and stripped back.

I can say that with a single use I know it is a good toner. For the other skin care benefits, only time will tell. But I am more than happy to keep using this toner and hope that with regular use the other skincare benefits will come along. For now, this is how my skin stands as the Perricone trial begins. It will be interesting to see the thirty day comparison photos’ as the product really settles down to work. But for now I am just happy with its use as a toner. I am hoping for good results though. And I will admit that hopes are high, not only from how the first day turned out but because I hae always had fabulous results from the brand.

LovelySkin Valentine's Day Gift Guide 2023

Something Smells Yummy…It’s Face Mask Friday with Yensa

As far as physical exfoliation masks go, this Pumpkin Tumeric 2-in-1 Radiance Polishing Mask from Yensa is one of my favorites. it is a mask I will always come back to.

First there is the fact that I just plain like physical exfoliators. There is something deeply satisfying about them to me. Don’t get me wrong I love the chemical exfoliators too, (let’s face it I enjoy most skincare) but there is kjust something about physical exfoliators.

This is one that feels like very fine grain sand suspended in a gel. It smooths on fairly easily but you can tell there is some exfoliation that this mask is going to provide. According to the Yensa website…

Yensa

The gel that the particles are suspended in soothes and brightens while you let it sit. It is actually quite a good brightening mask even though I do reach for it mostly for the exfoliation. This is a mask that sits on the skin for fifteen to twenty minutes. Sitting with the mask is like sitting in a bakery during the autumn. the scent is so reminiscent of my favorite pumpkin muffins that it actually makes me hungry wearing it.

After about the first five minutes with this mask on my face I am starting to wonder if we have the ingredients in the house to make the muffins. It is by far the most delicious smelling mask I have ever used. Just don’t try and taste it. Inhale the fragrance, don’t eat the mask.

After 15 minutes of contemplating muffins and the possibility of making them tonight, I went to the bathroom to wash off the mask. Before rinsing off, massage the mask in circles a little bit to get the full effect of the exfoliation. I tend to massage a bit first and then when I am rinsing I rub the mask off in circles as I use water to splash it off. It gives me a little extra exfoliation and rinses the mask away at the same time.

Once removed I pat my skin dry and enjoy the freshly scrubbed feeling.

The mask claims that it can be used 2-3 times a week. While it is a gentle enough scrub that you could use it that many times, I generally only use physical exfoliators about once a week. i find that gives me the best scrub without over doing it. I find this is also perfect for when I have clogged pores that I have just managed to coax to the surface. This really helps clear the bumps away before they have a change to become full on brake outs, thus helping to keep my skin clear.

This is a mask I return to often and always keep on hand. In fact this tube has only a few more uses in it and already, there is a replacement waiting in the wings. If you are looking for a delicious smelling, fantastically exfoliating face mask, The Yensa Pumpkin Turmeric is definitely one to look into.

The Skincare Lineup: January 27, 2023

And so we reach the end of another week. And it is time once again for my favorite post, the skin care line up. While I do like posting about the individual items, this post is all about how the items i use on my face work as a team. Because let’s face it, I don’t use just one item in isolation. Many of my items are approaching the 30 day mark of use and soon I will e able to look at actual results. I love skin care, but it isn’t a magic potion. It takes time and consistent use to show results. And generally you only start seeing changes after 30 days. So, soon sooooon… But until then, we have mostly the continuing products and one brand new cleanser. I have also put a picture of my face sans makeup because honestly, I think my skin looks fabulous this week. Even with the baggy allergy eyes. So lets get into it shall we?

Makeup Remover: Beekman 1802 Makeup Melting Cleansing Balm

Cleanser: Dr. Brandt Pores No More Pore Purifying Cleanser

Exfoliator: Elemis Blackcurrant Jelly Exfoliator

Toner: Elemis Superfood Fruit Vinegar Toner

Essence: Missha Time Revolution The First essence (currently 30% off on the brand site)

Serum: Elemis Pro Collagen Renewal Serum

Retinol: Kate Somerville Retinol Vitamin C

Moisturizer: ESPA Optimal Skin Pro Moisturizer

Eye cream: Byroe Tea Time Eye gel

Lips: Tatcha Kissu Overnight Lip Mask

Okay let’s start from the top. The Beekman cleansing balm is good. It takes very little to actually remove the makeup. It is a bit crumbly so the spatula isn’t used to you don’t contaminate the product with your fingers but an actual necessity for getting it out of the jar. And luckily it has it’s own holder on the top of the jar so it is less likely to get lost. while i like this cleanser and how the crumbly bits melt to oil, I don’t like it to remove my eye makeup. It tends to make my contacts a bit cloudy. It rinses away with a little saline solution but i think next week I am going to try an eye makeup remover separately. I have a couple in the drawer as well as a few micellar waters so I might try one of those.

I was using a sample sized cleanser and it is finished. I pulled this Dr. Brandt one out of the drawer to try next. I seem to have a lot of cleansers waiting to be used. I think there was just a run of them from subscription boxes for a while. I don’t mind that actually as I do go through them pretty fast. While I did like the clean I got from this Dr. Brandt, I think I am going to have to watch it. It smelled medicated when I tried it and after I washed my face, I looked at the tube. The smell alerted me but the label does mention salicylic acid and white willow bark, which was I was smelling. Sometimes that can dry me out. I have been using this for three days at this point and there is no signs of drying but it is something I will monitor. Thus far it is just a really good clean.

I am almost out of the Black Currant Jelly exfoliator. I have loved using it. I just don’t think it will last the week. I tend to use a little more product than I should but it is now at the six week mark of use so I can’t really complain. I really like this daily exfoliator.

The Elemis Toner is slowly but surely being used. I am just past the half way point in the bottle. It is kind of funny but with the toner, essence and the Elemis Serum not a lot of product is used with each use so it takes a while for it to show that it is being used and then all of a sudden you see it. I really like this toner. It smells a bit like fermented cider and I kind of dig the scent. It also takes care of any stray makeup bits that the cleanser might have missed.

I really love having an essence in my routine and this Missha one is a good one. It makes my skin feel like it is open and ready to receive skincare. Which is sort of the point of an essence.

The Elemis serum is making my skin feel soft and simply fabulous. I know, I tend to be a big fan of Elemis products and have been for a long time. This is a good serum thus far. My skin looked bright and clear and i am seeing a small reduction in some of my fine lines. plus the soft skin it leaves behind is amazing.

I have the Kate Somerville Retinol in my line up and I have been using it on Tuesdays and Thursdays. This week I have to confess, I didn’t remember to use it. Tuesday got crazy and then all day Thursday I somehow thought it was Wednesday. So it is in the line up, but this week, I just didn’t reach for it.

the more I use the Byroe and ESPA products the more I like them I am approaching a month of use with each of them and they will be with me for quite a while. The ESPA is not even half way empty and so little of the eye cream is needed with each use that it will last a long time. I have a sample of a different Byroe eye cream that I may pause this at some point to try out, but I really want to see what this eye cream can do. I am already seeing small improvements and I think with further use I will continue to do so. I did remember to take preliminary picks so in another week or so I will do after photos and we can do a side by side comparison, but at the moment I am loving the way my skin looks and feels. and honestly that is the best think i can say about any skincare line up. This is a winter moisturizer for me, so I did start using it at the prefect time. I love it when a skincare line up just works, don’t you. I don’t mind drama elsewhere in my life but I don’t care for it in skin care unless it is , Wow I think my skin looks great. And at the moment, that is the kind of drama i have because at the moment I do feel that wow, my skin does look and feel great. Let’s hope it continues.



Trying out the Ouai Body Creme

I love trial sized samples of body cream. I think it is because I am a little bit picky. I will try and use most any creme but what I am willing to purchase is a very narrow window of products.

There are several things I look at. One is the speed of absorption. This oddly enough used to not be one of my top priorities. I think because of the rise of hand sanitizer while running errands it has risen to become more important. I noticed, as I’m sure most of you have, that hand sanitizer dries out my hands horribly. It especially does a number on my cuticles. And dry and cracked cuticles are very painful. I type and use my hands way too much for this to be acceptable. So In my purse I always carry both hand sanitizer and some form of hand or body lotion.

I then hit my hands with the one two munch of hand sanitizer and then hand or body lotion. Often I do this just as I reach my car post shopping. Which means if I have a cream that takes a while to sink in then I have to wait so that my hands aren’t slick on the wheel.

The second thing I look for is hydration of course. When it sinks in to my skin how does it feel. Are my hands soft and hydrated or do they feel greasy? If the cream leaves my hands greasy then i will wash off my hands, and the cream, making applying the cream rather pointless.

And finally I look for scent. While I enjoy a lot of scents, I am well aware that others around me have a sensitivity. So I like something that has a softer scent, or if it has a stronger scent (which I personally don’t mind) I want to know how long the scent lasts and how far it travels.

If I am alone or if it is just me and my babydoll, I can go all out with scent and there is no problem. if we have scent sensitive company or I am going to a meeting, I need to know that I will not cause a scent offensive.

This is one of the reasons I adore sample sizes. i can test them out to see if a full jar is something I want to look at purchasing or if the sample needs to be used up and sent on it’s way.

I had high hopes for this OUAI Body Creme sample. It is in the scent Melrose Place. I have tried this scent from Ouai in a shampoo, conditioner, body wash and scalp scrub. It is a rose scent, but it is a very upscale rose infused scent. It is more reminiscent of French skincare than it is of most rose scented products. In the shampoo and conditioner, the scent lasted as long as the product was in use and then washed down the drain. It lasted a little longer with the scrub and the body wash, but the scent was still rather mild after I toweled off post shower. It did stay in my hair a little longer, but it was a very subtle scent that I think only I noticed. No one else seemed to notice.

I will also say that all of the products from this line performed really well and are ones I would repurchase. The shampoo and conditioner set especially. My hair really loved it. So I was very excited by the body creme.

The container has both an outer and an interior lid, which I always find helps keep the product fresher longer. It was less necessary in the trial size, but still appreciated. The cream is not an overly thick one. But it is a standard body cream texture and consistency.

It smoothed onto the skin beautifully and melted in. The consistency was fantastic. There was no harsh rubbing or massaging to get the cream to absorb. My skin was left hydrated but not greasy in anyway. My skin simply felt soft and hydrated.

So on the first two points this cream gets two thumbs way up.

The issue is the scent. I still enjoy the Melrose Place scent. It is a lovely scent. It is far more intense of a scent in the Body cream than in any other product. I enjoyed it when I used it post shower. It made the entire bathroom smell very expensive and luxurious. The fact that the cream absorbed so well leaving my skin so soft made me feel extra pampered.

The problem is that the scent didn’t fade. It is a scent that lasted. Noticeably. Part of this I think is that as a body cream it goes over a larger area than just a shampoo. Plus it is also not rinsed off in the shower. The scent lasted for several hours. While this was fine when I was at home it was less so when I went out. Some people didn’t mind it and in fact I was asked what perfume I was wearing as someone else liked it.

When I used this cream I didn’t add a perfume, so it was just the scent of the cream they noticed. The scent does soften a little after about half an hour, but it is a noticeable scent for quite a while. It is something to be aware of. It performs beautifully though. It absorbs well and quickly leaving no greasy residue and really soft skin. It is however highly fragranced and something that you need to keep in mind. For me, the performance makes it something that I will repurchase. The scent means that I will apply it only at night when I get out of the shower and not something I will wear when I have meetings or am visiting with scent sensitive family members. It is a luxurious feel and scent to the bathroom, but it does lean into the rose realm. If you have issues with rose, this might not be for you. I think they do make an unscented one you might want to look into. For me, I enjoyed using it. I also enjoyed seeing how the same scent performed differently in a variety of products. I somehow hadn’t expected Ouai’s body cream scent to be so much stronger than the other products from the Melrose Place line up.

Aceology for Face Mask Friday!

That’s right folks. It is Friday and I am actually getting to do my Friday Face Mask on Friday! why does that feel like such an accomplishment? I think it is because the last two Fridays have been maskus inturuptus. I also thought that with everything that was going on, I might have to skip this week’s as well. But no, it’s masking time.

Each Friday I like to give myself a little bit of a masking break. It is sort of the fifteen minute self care reward for staying on top of things and making sure life runs smoothly both in work at on the home front. It is just me in the house and I can take those fifteen minutes and lay back, clear my head and breathe. On an ideal Friday I will apply the face mask, light a candle and put on some music.

But no radio, Truest me, go radio free music for this because nothing interrupts your fifteen minutes of calm more than a breaking news cast announcement. It is never going to be a good breaking announcement. No one is going to interrupt your music to tell you that something good happened. Good announcements wait for a regularly scheduled broadcast. Personally I would love a good interruption.

‘Good afternoon folks, sorry to interrupt your music, but we just took a survey and at this very moment, no one is doing anything bad to anyone else anywhere! That’s right, we have a lull in all ongoing battlefields and all serial killers and despotic dictators are taking a lunch break, We’ll have follow up news of this spontaneous peace invasion at eleven along with a basket full of puppies. Don’t worry, no one abused them and they all have good homes, we just brought them in to celebrate.’

Wouldn’t that be lovely for a Friday afternoon when you are feeling good about getting your e-mails and files out as well as making sure the laundry was done? So we dare to dream, but until then, no radio for the calm making fifteen.

Today while I did manage to get the laundry done and I am catching up on everything that was slaw this week for one thing or another, i am wearing a mask while answering e-mails today. It is one of the perks of working from home and not having any video calls scheduled.

Today I went with the Aceology Brightening Treatment mask. As you can see from the tube, I have used this before. Quite a few times before. In general I am not a huge fan of peel off masks, but I will say the pain with this one is minimum and my skin always feels good about this. I just make sure I don’t put it too close to my eyes. while I like to avoid pulling at the delicate skin around the eye area, the part that always makes me cry is the part over my upper lip. It always peels off really quickly but somehow the part right under my nostrils, no matter how quickly it removes, it always brings a little tear to my eye.

The mask itself smells fresh and clean and smooths on well. While a lot of time I will review masks when i use them for the first time (and I did do a first use post of this when I first used it), I really like reviewing the same mask when it is at the end of it’s life. This tube probably has one to two more uses out of it, but it has been opened a while. The container is like a paint tube and that has kept the mask from drying out. There is a little dried crispy bit at the edge of the lid where I didn’t clean it off as well as I should have in my last use, but otherwise the mask is the same as when I first opened it. It hasn’t dried in the tube or gone bad. And if you look at the frist use post, you will see it is dated for February, 2022. I will finish this mask sometime this month, so it lasted for me about a year.

This isn’t a mask I reach for a lot or use on a regular basis. Partially because it is a peel off, and partially because I tend to prefer anti-aging or pore clearing masks to brightening ones. But every time I have reached for this it has been good. You may also notice when flicking through my past posts that around the same time that I picked up this Aceology Mask I picked up the Aceology Lifting Mask, Detoxifying Mask, and Firming Treatment Mask. All of those were peel off masks and all were used up within two months of opening. So it is more about me not reaching for brightening masks as often than the fact that it is a peel off mask. I will say I did try a sample of the Rose Petal Mask (not a peel off mask) and it was phenomenal. Let my skin feeling like a rose petal. So in general Aceology just makes good face masks, peel off or other wise (and yes their Green tea Mask is on my list to try this year. Rose Petal and the Detoxifying mask are also on the repurchase list.)

One thing I like about this mask is that I don’t have to set a timer. Which I like when working at my desk. I can just reach up and see if it is dry, if not, I continue to work. In general it is still worn for about 15 minutes, but the trick with all peeling masks is that you have to let them dry so you can peel them off. any parts that are still damp, simply won’t peel off and you will end up with a mess. It is both a lesson in patience and in restraint as you really can’t put the mask on too thickly and thus waste product because you will just have to sit forever trying to wait for it to dry, Because of the dampness in the air today it took closer to twenty minutes for dry time and there were a couple of tiny spots that were still wet as you can see in the photo.

when peeling there is always a moment when the mask comes off and your skin reacts to having the mask peeled off of your face. It will get red and feel hot. Or at least mine does. I tend to look a little sunburned post peel off mask. The color doesn’t last. it is mostly my skin’s reaction to having all of the baby fine hairs on my face being yanked at once. When I removed the Aceology Brightening Treatment Mask it was no different. Then, the redness faded my skin felt smooth, clean, nourished and yes, just a little bit brighter.


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The Skincare Lineup: January 20th, 2023

Welcome once again to my favorite post of the week. That’s right my darlings it is time to talk about skincare. Today I left everything on my bathroom skincare shelf instead of moving it to the desk so I apologize if not all of the labels can be seen. The Kate Somerville is especially hidden. But I’ll list everything out below and we’ll take a look at how everything is performing in a group setting. so….

Makeup Remover: Beekman 1802 Makeup Melting Cleansing Balm

Cleanser: Medic8 Micellar Mousse

Exfoliator: Elemis Blackcurrant Jelly Exfoliator

Toner: Elemis Superfood Fruit Vinegar Toner

Essence: Missha Time Revolution The First essence (currently 30% off on the brand site)

Serum: Elemis Pro Collagen Renewal Serum

Retinol: Kate Somerville Retinol Vitamin C

Moisturizer: ESPA Optimal Skin Pro Moisturizer

Eye cream: Byroe Tea Time Eye gel

Lips: Tatcha Kissu Overnight Lip Mask

My Crest toothpaste seems to have also made an appearance. The Deep clean is my favorite and to be honest the only toothpaste I really use. I get samples of toothpastes and I will try them out, but I none of them perform like Crest so I always return.

The Beekman 1802 Makeup removing balm is paired with my Makeup Eraser to get all of my make up off. It is a stiffer balm than I am used to and really needs that spatula to remove the product. It melts into a more oil consistency as you use it but it is a bit crumbly when first taken out so the spatula is needed. The scent is going for unscented I think. It smells a bit aloe-y. All said, I’m not a huge fan of the scent but it works well enough.

The same can be said for the Medic8 Cleanser. It works well enough but isn’t my favorite. Luckily for me this was it’s last week of use. It is a fine cleanser. Foam isn’t my favorite application for a cleanser as I like to be able to see where I put it and the foam isn’t very good at that. It also smells a bit like furniture polish. It is the scent that is harder for me to get over. it is a good cleanser and I am glad I tried the sample, but I am also glad the sample is now empty. It isn’t going to be a repurchase for me.

There are three Elemis Products in the line up. I adore the blackcurrant exfoliator. It is the perfect gentle exfoliator for day to day use. It smells like nothing but works like a dream. The toner is also fabulous, It smells like fermented cider which I like. I also like how it removes any scrap of left over makeup. The Elemis Serum is entering it’s third week of use (i rolled it in just before the first post in which it appeared for those of you looking at the calendar). it feels good and only takes 5 drops to cover the face. I am hoping to see signs of effectiveness soon.

I love this Missha essence. In the summertime I tend to lean towards their Artemisia Essence because it is soothing after being in the sun, but this one is just fantastic for opening the pores to receive more skincare. I can always feel the difference when I leave it off and always love when I go back to it.

The Kate Somerville Retinol is a Tuesday Thursday product. I do get a little red flush after I apply it but the flush fades after a few minutes. It does claim to be a moisturizer but I find if I don’t moisturize after my skin feels really dry in the morning. I think that might be the retinol (and the central heating). I tend to apply the Retinlo and wait about an hour or so and then go in with my moisturizer just before bed.

The ESPA moisturizer is perfect for this time of year and perfect with the retinol. It provides just the right amount of moisture for me. I suspect in warmer months I would use it as a night cream but for this time of year it works both day and night. It also helps keep the retinol fry drying my skin.

I adore this BYROE eye cream. for me it is interesting. I love the bitter greens toner they make but everything else I’ve tried from the brand has been okay but not my favorite. this eye cream joins the short list of items I will always pick up from Byroe. The tea time eye cream and the bitter greens essence toner ae the only items on the list, but two is plenty.

And as always I wrap up with my chapped lip savior, the Tatcha Kissu lip mask. With this as a nightly lip mask I have not had any chapping of my lips this year. I love the jelly texture and will happily repurchase this anytime my level drops too low.

And that my darlings is this week’s skincare line up. Plus toothpaste. As everything is still in motion from last week it isn’t a big surprise. But we are nearing the thirty day mark for a few products so that is exciting. And next week we have a whole new cleanser to try. For now things are chugging along and honestly I am rather happy when my skin cae has no drama.

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