Is Harmony the Key to Face Mask Friday?

This week I chose one of the prettiest jars in my face mask collection to try out. This is the Keys Soulcare Harmony mask. It is from Alicia Keys’ skincare line. I’ve heard the company has now branched out into a natural look makeup line and I can’t wait to investigate that, but first, there is the face mask.

It is Friday after all and honestly, fifteen minutes of calm, relaxing quiet sound about perfect to me. The last two days have been a bit intense. One of the companies I do some freelance writing for had a computer malfunction and several documents were lost so we’ve been playing who has what version and (my favorite game “Is this the final edit or did we change that thing we were thinking about changing but undecided about?”

As some of the edits had only one or two word choices tweaked it required going through every line of a large document to make sure everyone was happy with the final edit. And I was reminded of why backups are fabulous.

So a harmonious face mask sounded fantastic. According to the website this Harmony Mask is…

A purifying and hydrating charcoal face mask scented with soothing sandalwood and formulated with Manuka honey and gold foil. Purifies and hydrates the skin, Soothes, calms, and balances the skin, Renews the skin’s radiance, Relaxes the mind and encourages stillness

Keys Soulcare
pre mask

As I mentioned before the jar is just lovely. it is purple glass that looks black in most of the photographs. It is shaped like an old fashioned ink well and feels good in the hand. It is an expensive looking container, yet this mask is only $30. It feels like it should cost a lot more.

On opening the jar, the mask itself is a little less pretty looking. It is sort of this gray green brown color that is honestly not that appealing. The scent isn’t exactly enthralling either to be honest. It has a bit of the sandalwood scent to it, but it actually smells a bit like an old school cold remedy that my grand parents or even great grandparents would insist would clear up whatever you had if you just slather enough of it on you. Other than some old school medicinal scent, I don’t know quite what else to term it.

mask on

It isn’t a bad scent. I’m not put off by it, but it isn’t one of those scents where you think, “wow I can’t wait to spend the next fifteen minutes smelling like that!”

So I applied the mask. It applied well but with the shape of the jar, I think that once the product level drops getting the last of the mask from the jar might prove a little problematic. I like the look of the jar, but that shape always makes the last product taken out hard to reach. But for now, it is fine and the jar is pretty.

after fifteen minutes

The scent dims as it is applied and it feels like a soothing clay mask. There is no tingling, or itching or real tightening down of the mask as you wear it for fifteen minutes. After fifteen minutes it looks a little drier, but relatively unchanged. It does dry down enough that adding a little water before wiping it off with a warm damp washcloth is your best bet. It isn’t difficult to remove but adding that extra moisture back before taking it off is a good thing.

And what happened when i removed it?

Well my skin did feel soft and nourished. The mask rinsed away clean without leaving any sort of residue on the skin, but my skin was hydrated. It is not an overly hydrating mask so I didn’t feel greasy. I didn’t really have any major irritations on my skin to see if it was soothing, but my skin did feel really nice when the mask was washed off. I felt extra clean as though any excess oils were washed away. It didn’t strip my skin, just left it really clean feeling.

post mask clean

I really liked it. As hydrating masks go, it was hydrating but not too hydrating for this time of the year. At this time of year I need the too much sun hydrating mask not the winter cold and HVAC leaving my skin gasping for moisture type of face mask. And this worked quite well. The scent may not be the most fantastic in the world, but it isn’t unpleasant and the effects of the mask more than make up for it. I will look forward to using this Keys Soulcare Harmony Mask again.

But for now, it is back to work to close out this Friday and end this very long week. I hope you have a fantastic weekend providing you exactly what you need, exciting if you want or quiet if you need. Either way I hope you recharge and I will see you back here bright and early Monday morning.

Keys Soulcare

The Skincare Line Up: June 10th, 2022

Today is going to be pretty quick and easy. The only change made to the line up was the addition of the Tatcha Kissu Lip Mask. So I have gone ahead and combined the list

The Morning Line Up

Cleanser: Clove and Hallow Cloud Powder Gentle Waterless Cleanser

Makeup Remover: Yensa CBD Superfood Dual Cleansing Oil

Toner: Elemis Soothing Apricot Toner

Eye cream: Sunday Riley Five Star Eye Cream

Day Cream: Embryolisse Lait Creme Fluide

Serum: Vitabrid C12 Wrinkle Serum

Facial Oil: Pili Ani Ageless Concentrate

Night Cream: Elemis Superfood Midnight Facial Nourishing Sleeping Cream (Tuesdays and Thursdays)

Lip Treatment: Tatcha Kissu Lip Mask

To be honest it is a simple review this week. The only thing new was the Tatcha and it is fantastic. Everything else in the line up is working well also. It is kind of interesting though. The Pili Ani is almost done. It won’t last the weekend actually. It is a fantastic oil and I am going to put it on the list to try out in a full size. The Elemis toner I love and it too will finish out this week. It is lightly apricot and works fantastically well. It too will be purchased in a full size at some point.

The line up this week is full of really good products. Clove and Hallow has proven to be a summer time life saver as I can use it for day and night time face washes but also if I sweat during the day and just need a quick wash, it is gentle enough that I don’t feel as though I have overused it. The Sunday Riley eye cream I have used for quite a while now. I will use it until it is done and then add it to the repurchase list. It absorbs fast and doesn’t clog my pores.

The Embryolisse is the perfect summer weight moisturizer. I only need the night mask from Elemis a couple of times a week, and even then only when I spent way too much time in the sun. This week with all of the rain I only used it once.

While I haven’t used the Vitabrid C12 long enough to actually see results, it feels nice on my skin and absorbs quickly so i am happy to keep using it and to give it the time it needs to show me if there are positive results from continued use.

All in all there is absolutely nothing I can complain about with any of the products in use. As a couple of them will be used up this week there will be some new additions coming in and a few of the items should reach a point where results start to show, but for now, things are just steady on. It isn’t the most exciting review of the week, but sometimes it is just nice to float through on an even platform. And that is where I am this week with skincare. Everything is working just fine with no real issues.

I can’t complain and honestly that is not a bad thing.

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First Use of the Tatcha Kissu Lip Mask

This Tatcha Kissu Lip mask has been on my list to try for a while now and I decided now was the time. Now we all know, I love my lip products. And lip masks are one of my absolute favorite ones. I know, they surprisingly rank higher than lipstick on my personal list. let the gasps commence.

While it is easy to think of lip masks in the winter where icy winds casus daily chapping, I often find them of great use in the summer. My lips don’t chap in the summer in the same way they chap in the winter. I know that sounds a little weird. In the winter if not taken care of my lips will get dry and crack in painful chapping. In the summer time though, my lips will get dry spots on them from too much time in the sun rather then the same chapping that they get in the winter.

My only theory on this is that with the heating on the air is over all drier inside as well as the exterior exposure and in the summer time the air where I live is so humid that it is never quite the level of dryness that chaps my lips. I’m sure there is a more logical or medical based explanation. but that is my working theory. I’d be happy to be corrected, but it does mean that I deal with my lip health, shall we say, differently.

the product was all the way to the top of the glass

First off I use a lip scrub in the summer time. I don’t bother in the winter because all my lips need then is a moisture bomb, not a scrub. My current lip scrub of choice is the Hanalei Sugar Lip Scrub. It works well and it smells like lemonade. Which I rather enjoy. It also scrubs without overly drying my lips more since it has it’s own oil inside.

The Lip scrub I need to pair with a lip mask.

From all descriptions the Tatcha lip mask sounded like it would be perfect for the summer. It is a Jelly lip mask, which I hoped would feel lighter and it has squalene inside which all of my skin tends to react well to using. According to the Tatcha website this mask is…

Elegant, non-sticky jelly melts into skin and layers on to comfort, hydrate, and lock in moisture. Plumps the look of fine lines and wrinkles for a supple, firm look. Restores essential moisture to flaky, parched lips for a smooth, soft texture.

The three key ingredients are Japanese Peach Extract: A traditional Japanese beauty secret used centuries ago to help repair damaged lips. Works with orange peel extract to revitalize and calm irritation, Japanese Camellia Oil: Rich in oleic acid, vitamins, and nourishing Omegas 3, 6, and 9, this featherweight oil has been prized in Asia for centuries for its superb ability to help seal in moisture, and Squalane: All-natural squalane works instantly to richly moisturize and improve the skin barrier, locking in moisture and minimizing dryness all day. The weightless emollient absorbs easily without clogging pores or leaving behind an oily residue.


The jar is a clear glass jar that shows off the delicate pink mask inside. The jar comes with a little golden spatula. I think that this might come in more useful as I delve deeper into the jar. Although it is fine now. It is very easy to scoop too much mask with the spatula though. You really need to just surface glide across the top to get enough product. If using a finger instead of the spatula it is a bare tap of the surface to get enough product on your finger tip.

First applied

When I first opened the jar I thought there was a plastic sheet on the top (incase you notice the divots. There isn’t one. The product goes all the way up to the top. The lid is tight fitting enough that I am not worried about it drying out at all. And honestly I love that it is completely full. There are no air pockets making the jar half empty. It is completely full of product.

I also like that very little product is actually needed to apply on the lips. It means this little jar is going to last me a long time, even with continuous use. Which my budget likes. I don’t mind spending more on good products, but I am always happy when they last a while. And even happier when they work well. Although to be honest, this mask was $28 which isn’t a terribly outrageous price (Laniege lip masks are about $25 and those tend to be my standard jarred lip masks – smaller tubes of lip masks are cheaper of course, but in size the Laneige is the closest to the Tatcha in product amount that I regularly use)

After 20 minutes (The lighting difference is natural sunlight vs. artificial)

So, how does it work?

Well the full review will have to wait until a month of use has passed but for a first use, this went really well. I used my lip scrub to remove the flaky bits and then rinsed and dried my lips, applying the mask over it (I didn’t want the il from the lip scrub affecting perception). The Tatcha Kissu lip mask is slightly sticky to the touch. when applied and spread on the lips it feels a little sticky at first, almost like a lip gloss. Thee is almost no scent to it. There is a light scent that might be peachy, but it is gone so fast it is hard to identify.

I am perfectly fine with a lip mask having no scent as a scented lip mask can be a bit much. As the lips are located right under the nose, any scent, if lingering, can become a bit much. while the light scent was there when I opened the jar, it was gone by the time I applied it to my lips and not noticeable at all as I wore it.

The mask was a little lip gloss sticky when applied and it had a lip gloss shine to it. The stickiness faded after a minute or two and after twenty minutes I took the second picture of my lips. The shine faded and while my lips felt hydrated it no longer felt as though I was wearing anything on them.

Now I did this fires test in the day mostly because i wanted to see what was happening, however I did wear the mask to bed at night. I applied it, had my usual half hour of reading before sleep and then went to sleep. I was worried that because the mask disappeared so quickly that it wouldn’t nourish through the night. I needn’t have worried. The next morning my lips were soft and nourished and completely hydrated. While I am sure that there will be greater effects after a month of use, One (okay technically two times) of use makes me very hopeful that this will be the perfect summer lip mask for me. It is light weight, with no over bearing scent and it appears to hydrate well. As a first use, this went fantastically well.

Samples I am so looking forward to trying out.

And when I ordered, I received three samples of other Tatcha products I’ve wanted to try out, so even though the point was to find a fantastic summer weight lip mask (which I think I might have done) I also get to try out a couple of products that were on my to try list before I place another order. I know, a lot of companies send samples with their orders so that isn’t shocking.

However i am tickled that when they showed the list of samples available and I got to choose three there were actually three available on the list that were on my personal to try list and now I get to try them before I purchase in the full sized. (they were the Liquid Silk Canvas Primer, the Silk Powder and The Rice Polish (Deep), in case you were wondering. So often when you get to check out the samples aren’t ones you wanted to try or hadn’t tried, at least for me anyway so that was just an extra bonus. All in all I was happy with my purchase and can’t wait to see how this Tatcha Kissu Lip Mask performs over the next thirty days.


Another Claydate for Face Mask Friday

Today I decided to return to the Dew of the Gods Claydate Hya-activated Pink Clay Mask. A few of you may recall I tried it out a few weeks ago. It is a good mask if you are looking to have a bit of a pre clear out. It isn’t a major pore cleansing mask. It doesn’t get deep down, but it will sort of clear out the surface layer of what is on your skin.

For me, this week has been sweat and layers of sunscreen. While my skin is in relatively good shape, I just felt like a little deep cleansing without a lot of rough exfoliation. dew of the Gods fir the bill. While I know in the next few hours there may be a few clogged pores rising to the surface, there won’t me a major eruption of clogs being drawn to the surface like I would get with a deep pore clearing mask, Like Herbal Dynamics Chamomile and Cacao Clearing Mask. If you are looking for a deep clean and an attempt to bring all of your deeply buried clogged pores to the surface, that is one I highly recommend.

However, I didn’t feel I needed that. Like I said, my skin is in relatively good condition this week, but my skin did take a bit of abuse and felt a bit gunky. This mask worked well as a quick, slightly deeper than surface clear out. It got deeper than a regular cleanser, but not too deep.

This is however not a relaxing mask to wear, The entire ten minutes it was on my face, I felt a tingling. It isn’t a harsh tingling but it is noticeable. It is the sort of tingling that while it doesn’t get any worse as it stays longer, I am very aware that I don’t want to fall asleep and leave this mask on too long level of tingling.

so there was no laying back and relaxing with my eyes shut. There was a load of laundry settled in the wash and a scroll through new book releases. which was kind of relaxing in it’s own way. I always feel relieved when i can put all of my sweaty work out clothes in the wash. By the end of the week I am convinced that something evil is going on in the hamper so getting them clean, folded and back in the drawer always makes me feel better.

Before masking on the left, after masking on the right

My skin felt better after the ten minutes as well. I think one of my favorite parts about this mask is that it is a clay mask, which comes with all of the benefits of oil clearing gunk removing clay, but it never dries down to a crisp shell. Which means I can smile when wearing it, and more importantly I can use a damp wash cloth to wipe it off my skin. Afterwards I splashed a bit of water on my face to clear off the last of the residue and then patted the skin dry.

As you can see in the above photographs, There isn’t really much difference in the appearance of my skin from pre mask to post, but it feels wonderfully clean. It is a deeper clean than just using a cleanser, but not a deep enough clean that it will cause me to spend all weekend clearing away the newly risen blemishes. It just sort of purges all the gunk from the week so that they don’t become problems later down the road.

Which is not a bad thing.

In fact it is a very good thing.

I am still undecided as to whether or not I want to make this a month of masking and try it a couple of times a week for an entire month. while I think it would probably be good for my skin, I think it also might be a waste of the mask. This isn’t a mask I really want to use throughout the week. It is a once in a while sort of mask that I just use when I want my skin to feel freshly renewed. And yes it would be a good feeling to have every day, but I think that as we are going into warmer weather, now might be the time for a more moisturizing mask to shine, with masks like the Claydate from The Dew of the Gods subbing in once every few weeks. .

Today it was the perfect mask for me as it obliterate any hold over from the wet sunscreen dust cloud issue from yesterday. Sure my cleansers last night and this morning really took care of it, but now I feel clean enough that it is only a distant memory, my skin soft, revived and ready to finish out the week and take on the weekend. And that is a pretty good result from a face mask.


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The Skincare Line up: June 3rd, 2022

Good morning my darlings and welcome to my favorite post of the week. Here I get to talk all about the skincare I’m using and how I feel about it currently. Later of course once I’ve use a product for long enough to see whether or not there are effects there will be full reviews on the products, but for now it is a casual update as to how things are working. And I do like to talk about skincare.

bare skin complete with puffy eyes

I forgot to add them in the last couple of posts, but today I have added a photo showing my current bare skin, makeup free face. It is just there for reference. As a side note pollen is very high today so none of the skincare products can actually be blamed for not taking down my puffy eyes. I have a jade roller in the fridge that I am periodically taking out to roll over my skin in an effort to help take down the puff. It actually works. I use it, then when it is warm and my eyes feel a little better I return it to the fridge to use later in the day.

Aside from the allergies, I’m rather happy with the way my skin looks this week. There are no major blemishes and the wrinkle fighting products are currently holding their own. So without further ado, into the skincare we dive.

The Morning Line Up

Cleanser: Clove and Hallow Cloud Powder Gentle Waterless Cleanser

Toner: Elemis Soothing Apricot Toner

Eye cream: Sunday Riley Five Star Eye Cream

Day Cream: Embryolisse Lait Creme Fluide

Serum: Vitabrid C12 Wrinkle Serum

All of these products were in motion last week and I am happily using them again this week. The Clove and Hallow waterless cleanser is quite lovely. It has that vanilla mango powder scent to it and is a really gentle yet effective cleanser. Gentle is actually the most important bit right now as it isn’t just morning and night when i need a face wash. while I still have morning and night routines, as I am walking in the mornings and attempting to add some strength training exercises in the late afternoons, there are times (especially post walk) where my skin just feels sweaty and salty and kind of gross. A tiny pinch of this cleansing powder mixed with water after I get in from my walk cleanses the skin but is just the right amount of gentle not to overly cleanse my skin. while it is a powder and not much product so it will last a while, a part of me wants to just keep it as the post work out cleanser, hoarding it for during the day necessities. It is a fantastic face wash so i am still using it in my day and night time routines, but hoarding it is a thought because it is so gentle. It is also from a clean and sustainable brand so that makes me feel even better about using it.

The slightly sweet and fruity apricot toner from Elemis pairs oddly well with the cleanser scent wise. it is like a skincare smoothie of apricot and mango. Plus it is a really good toner. It is light and refreshing and really only needs a little bit to be effective.

The Sunday Riley eye cream has been in use for a while. It absorbs fast, isn’t greasy and doesn’t clog my pores. I haven’t noticed any new lines forming which is nice. And the finer lines are a little plumped out so they sort of disappear which is also fantastic. Over all it is a good eye cream and i will probably use it until the tube is empty. It is also a product I will purchase again.

This is the third Embryolisse product from the Lait Creme line. It is the Fluide and it is the perfect summer weight day cream. This is it’s second week I believe and I really do like it . I am noticing that a couple of times a week I need a little extra night time moisture so I have rolled in a night cream for twice a week. That seems to be enough to balance it out. Other than that, it absorbs well, moisturizes and causes no irritation or clogged pores. It actually is close to a creamy water cream in consistency. One pump is all i need for day time wear on my face. A second pump covers my neck and upper chest. I am actually still tickled at the order in which I ended up testing them. I had three of the embryolisse creams and somehow they fell into the perfect, winter/spring/summer sequence as far as moisturizers go. Somedays, it’s the little things that are just fabulous.

I started using the Vitabrid C12 serum towards the end of last week (last Thursday I believe) so it has only been a little over a week with the serum. It isn’t long enough to see results yet since most skincare needs at least thirty days, but I do like the creamy consistency of the serum and the way it absorbs into the skin. It is a non-greasy formula and there is no scent to the serum. And after applying, my skin feels really soft. I like using it and am really hoping there are some sort of visible results by the time a month of use has passed since I am enjoying using it.

But that is the day time, shall we go into the night?

The Night Time Line up

Makeup Remover: Yensa CBD Superfood Dual Cleansing Oil

Cleanser: Clove and Hallow Cloud Powder Gentle Waterless Cleanser

Toner: Elemis Soothing Apricot Toner and Alpha H Liquid Gold (every other night)

Eye cream: Sunday Riley Five Star Eye Cream

Day Cream: Embryolisse Lait Creme Fluide

Facial Oil: Pili Ani Ageless Concentrate

Night Cream: Elemis Superfood Midnight Facial Nourishing Sleeping Cream (Tuesdays and Thursdays)

Okay a lot of the products were covered above so I won’t repeat the descriptions here. I’ve been using the Yensa CBD cleansing oil to remove my makeup and it does a really good job. It sometimes misses a bit of mascara but as that comes off with the Clove and Hallow I use right after that isn’t a problem. It’s also why I am a big fan of two cleansers in a line up at night. I really like to make sure all of my makeup is off before i sleep.

On Monday, wednesday and Friday I replace my regular toner with the Alpha H. It is a glycolic acid exfoliating toner so you aren’t supposed to use it more than every other night. I was using it, then I had a break and this week I went back to using it. The first day back it stung like it had the first time I used it. The second time the sting faded and I’m sure when i use it tonight the sting will be gone. It is a light stinging sensation (I’ve actually had face masks that tingled more). And the stinging was just with that initial use. If you have really sensitive skin, I would test it on your inner arm a couple of times before deciding if you want to use this on your face. I think it is worth it and I really like the gentle exfoliation of the skin.

The Pili Ani oil is a tiny little bottle and since I really only need one drop on my face at a time, it is actually lasting. This is it’s second week and I still have product in the bottle. I am hoping it will last the full four weeks. This oil absorbs well and has a slightly nutty scent to it. My skin drinks it in and feels soft and hydrated after. It is especially nice on the nights after I use the Glycolic acid toner. This is a product I am definitely adding to the list of products to try in the full size.

And finally the Elemis Super food midnight facial. I am using it twice a week for extra moisture. With the Embryolisse cream it is all I need actually. I notice I need it after sweating more in the sun. It is a nice little boost. It smells a bit like candy. it is sweet and fruity. It kind of reminds me of the old Fruit Stripe Gum. It is that kind of scent. And kind of nice to apply right before bed. The cream melts into the skin so it isn’t smeared all over the pillow and it really provides great moisture. It is a product i am happy to add into my skincare line up. This is it’s first week so I am sure I’ll have more to say as time goes on. for now, I just like it.

And that my darlings is my skincare line up for the week. To be honest there is nothing bad to report. Nothing caused problems and nothing is something I plan to avoid. You may notice that I didn’t include my sunscreen on here. My sample ran out so I went back to using my Spray Neutrogena sunscreen instead of adding something else to the line up. I ordered a couple of products and hope they will be coming in soon. This week I am going to rummage because I think I have a few more samples to try out in sunscreen and I am hoping they last until my orders come in. Otherwise, things are rolling along pretty well as we slide into summer. My skin feels and looks good and I like the products I’m using. I’m sure at some point that might change, but for now I feel like I am on a roll.


The Skincare Line Up: May 27th, 2022

Good morning my darlings and welcome to another Friday Skincare line up. This week I used up several travel products and rolled in some new ones. I still have a few of the travel ones to work through, so it is still a bit of a mix. But there was enough differentiation that we will be going back to separate day and night time lines, even though a lot of the products were used at both times. Also you will see the Alpha H Liquid Gold in the full line up but it was not broken down this week because I honestly forgot to use it. It was behind the Embryolisse bottle and I just didn’t see it and forgot about it. The Embryolisse is a pump so I don’t have to pick it up, hence the no moving of the bottle. I didn’t see it until I lined things up for pics and had a “wait a minute… Moment. So next week it will be back. Until then…

The Morning Line Up

Cleanser: Clove and Hallow Cloud Powder Gentle Waterless Cleanser

Toner: Elemis Soothing Apricot Toner

Eye cream: Sunday Riley Five Star Eye Cream

Day Cream: Embryolisse Lait Creme Fluide

Serum: Vitabrid C12 Wrinkle Serum

Sunscreen: Elta MD Skincare UV Sheet Broad Spectrum SPF 50+

I am really loving the Clove and Hallow Cloud Powder. The trick is to blend some of the water in with your fingers rather than just putting your hands together and rubbing. When I just add water and put my hands together I end up with a cloud of product puffing back at me. So just cup it in one hand, add a little water and then make sure it is all wet by blending with your fingers before adding more water and rubbing your hands together. It saves a lot of mess. But it is a great cleanser and has a very light vanilla-y mango powder scent to it. It fades away almost instantly though so it isn’t strong at all. And I am really using very little of the powder with each wash so I know it will last a while.

The Elemis toner I love. It smells fresh and fruity and really helps when I have been in the sun all day. I am about a third through the bottle so it will obviously be staying as i work through it. I think this is definitely a toner i will be repurchasing.

The sunday Riley eye cream is really nice. It absorbs well and quickly and thus far it hasn’t clogged any of the pores around my eyes. (I tend to have a problem with that so it is something i watch) Over all a good eye cream. I can’t say I’ve seen spectacular results, but it has been good at reducing some of the minor lines.

I am hoping the Vitabrid will take down more of the fine lines for me. I just added it yesterday so I can’t really say there has been much of an instant reaction. It is a creamy serum, which I wasn’t expecting. I don’t mind it, but it was a bit of a surprise. The glass bottle is kind of heavy in the hand, in a good way and there is absolutely no scent that i could detect from the serum. It felt really nice yesterday and this morning. it absorbed well but it is a new to the line up product so I can’t say there are any results at the moment.

This week was the start of the Embryolisse Lait Creme Fluide trial. I’ve been trying the various products in their Lait Creme line. I have to say this is definitely the summer weight moisturizer. While I like it as a day creame I think that a couple of times a week I might want to roll in a night cream. It is very light and perfect for the hot weather, but I think a little night time boost might not be bad. I don’t think I’d need a night cream more than once or twice a week, but i think having one on hand might not be a bad thing.

There is a little Elta MD sunscreen left in the tube and this week I will finish it out. It has no scent which I like and it is water resistant, however it takes a lot of rubbing to massage it into your face enough that there is no white cast. It is a pretty decent sunscreen, but the massaging is a bit much. I don’t think this is going to be my regular sunscreen. I will finish using up the tube this week though.

The Night Time Line up

Makeup Remover: Yensa CBD Superfood Dual Cleansing Oil

Cleanser: Clove and Hallow Cloud Powder Gentle Waterless Cleanser

Toner: Elemis Soothing Apricot Toner

Eye cream: Sunday Riley Five Star Eye Cream

Day Cream: Embryolisse Lait Creme Fluide

Facial Oil: Pili Ani Ageless Concentrate

Okay there are only two products used at night that weren’t used during the day. the first is the Yensa Cleansing oil that I used to remove my makeup. it does really well with removing makeup but it is definitely a cleanser I want added to a double cleanse. I know it takes off the makeup, but I think there is something in my brain that just wants to wash the oil off even if there is no real residue from cleansing with the oil. Its a mental hiccup. I have used this product before and I really do like it. It is however one that you need to use as soon as you open it. It isn’t something to try out then set to the side and come back to later. When you first open it it has a very light scent. If you let it sit too long then the scent will gradually get stronger. It isn’t a bad scent but it is a very CBD type scent. It will still work well but it will be CBD -tastic in scent. I really like the pump dispenser and that only two pumps gets rid of all my makeup. It is just a makeup remover I will be using until it is gone. There will be no setting it aside to try something else.

The last item is the Pili Ani Ageless skincare concentrate. It is a facial oil and as such only a small amount is needed. Two drops is all that is needed. So even though it is a tiny little bottle, it will be hanging around another week. The oil has a slightly nutty scent to it. It does take a while to absorb in, but once it does it leaves no sticky or greasy residue on the skin and after applying it my skin feels really great. I haven’t noticed any real changes, but I haven’t been using it long (and probably don’t have enough in the bottle to use it long enough to see any changes) but my skin feels soft and hydrated after using it. I don’t know too much about it, but I have to say that given how it has performed this week, I would consider trying it out in a full sized bottle. It feels great on the skin and I do love oils that don’t leave you feeling oily.

And that was this week in my skincare line up. In the coming week I will lose an item or two and continue working with others. I think there is enough variety in product amounts that I will be able to slowly incorporate new things. I always prefer that to starting an entirely new line up at one time. So the skincare continues. Have a great Friday. Save 20% OFF Sitewide

Using the ESPA Refining Skin Polish

I have a life long weakness for physical exfoliators. There is just something so refreshing and even exhilarating about their use. It is a moment where dead skin cells and any residue of any other product is buffed away from the skin and you are left with just clean fresh skin.

At least if you are using a good exfoliator.

while there are many exfoliators that say for daily use on them, I haven’t really found an independent exfoliator that I would consider using on a daily basis. The only one I can think of that i would use on a daily basis is the Olay exfoliating cleanser from their Regenerist line as the exfoliation is sprinkled lightly enough through the cleanser that daily use isn’t an issue. And while I highly recommend the Olay cleanser, this is not what we are hear to talk about.

the scrub, creamy with fine particles

We are here to discuss a separate exfoliating product. With these my personal use may vary, some I can use once a week, others once a month. It is very easy to over exfoliate your skin, so it is best to tread lightly. I also look for a product with fine particles. I find the finer particles much more gentle on my skin and whether it is true or not I like to think that the finer particles get into every little nook and cranny that some of the larger particle exfoliates miss.

So on to today’s trial. Recently I have been using the ESPA Refining Skin Polish. ESPA is one of those brands that I absolutely love, but for the most part I have tried their body and hair products. Their intensive Pink Hair and Scalp Mud mask is absolutely fantastic and I tend to get it for myself as one of my birthday spa treats. I am also a huge fan of their Ginger and Thyme shampoo and conditioner which comes in low waste pouches. (On my birthday I treat myself to an at home spa day with some of my favorite products, speak of as my birthday is in June I’ll need to get that order in soon.)

polish on

As I have had good luck with the non face products from ESPA I was very much looking forward to trying out this exfoliating facial polish. And it didn’t disappoint. According to the brand this exfoliator is…

A deeply cleansing, super-fine exfoliator that leaves skin feeling refined and smooth. Spherical Diatomaceous Earth exfoliates to help clear pores, lift impurities and balance uneven tone, while nourishing Rose Damascena and Shea Butter soften skin revealing a smooth and radiant complexion.


I know some of you see the rose damascena in the description and immediately clenched up. Rose can be over used and there are some rose products that I just have to avoid because they are so rosy that I find them over powering. This exfoliator does have a rose scent, however it is very light and dissipates quickly. In addition, this is not a product you keep on for long periods of time. It is applied to damp skin, massaged in circles for a bit of exfoliation and then rinsed off. The scent goes down the drain with the product and doesn’t linger in the air at all.

skin post wash

The exfoliation particles are super fine. There were no harsh chunks. It applied easily and felt really good going onto the skin. I personally like to spread it out gently over the skin so I can make certain my entire face is covered. Then I massage a little in small circular motions all over the face before rinsing.

The only thing you have to watch out for with super fine particles is that it does take a bit of rinsing to wash all of the particles off. For me this was just a little extra splashing about and then I was done. I patted my skin dry and looked in the mirror to see the effects. To me my skin looked brighter and less dull, but then I always think that after a good exfoliation.

The part that did have me worried was the shea butter. While I love shea butter on my skin, sometimes when exfoliators use it, it can leave a bit of a residue on the skin. This didn’t. The shea butter absorbed instead of leaving a film on the skin and my skin felt both clean and moisturized. While I probably wouldn’t use this more than once every other week due to my skins needs, if you are in need of more exfoliation, I think you could easily roll this in a s a once a week product without over exfoliating. It exfoliates without drying or stripping the skin. After using, my skin felt fantastic and I am looking forward to using this exfoliator until the sample is completely empty. After that, I will definitely be repurchasing this ESPA Refining Skin Polish in a full size.

First use of the Comper Smarkin 4-in 1 Beauty Device

This device was gifted to me from the brand for the purpose of review, however all opinions and thoughts are my own. I have to say I was tickled to be able to try out this device. The Comper Smarkin 4-in-1 Beauty device is a skincare/treatment device that you link to an app in your cell phone. While you can operate it manually just by pressing the buttons on the device, with the app you can set up a treatment program and the phone automatically transitions the device between the different modes. It also keeps track of the treatments and reminds you when it is time to use the device again so it is easy to keep up with a regime.

easy to use buttons, soft grip texture and the device fits well in the hand

But that is getting a bit ahead of ourselves. First what does the Comper Smarkin 4-in-1 device do? According to the website this device gives you…”Professional Treatments At Home
An advanced, smart skincare tool that brings forth a new generation of skin treatment and improvement via RF, EMS, MASS, and LED.”

I know, some of you went, wow that’s nice and some of you are looking at the letters and thinking only a few of them sound vaguely familiar. I had to look them up to be certain myself, so lets do a quick break down.

RF is radio frequency and Radio Frequency (RF) can heat the dermis layer evenly over a larger area. It stimulates collagen regeneration, reduces wrinkles and provides immediate lifting and tightening.

EMS is a micro current(EMS) promotes a deep movement of muscles and enhance blood circulation. It tightens the skin for facial lifting and helps improve skin’s contour, tones, fine lines and puffiness.

records use

LED light therapy repairs cells and capillaries, balances facial water and oil levels, helps to eliminate acne, reduces pigment issues and heals UV damage. While MASS is short for massage and through micro-vibration massage at a certain frequency, Skin Massage(MASS) enhances the skin absorption and becomes a perfect match with other skin care products.

So essentially this device is designed through it’s different programs (each with three levels of intensity) is designed to reduce wrinkles and puffiness. lift tighten stimulate collagen regeneration and reduce acne and pigmentation. I can pretty much get behind all of that actually, although it is a long list and I was curious as to how complicated it would be to set up.

easy to follow program leads you through the treatments with timing counting down

It turns out it was very simple to set up. The user manual came with step by step set up instructions. My app was downloaded to my phone via google Play and took seconds to install. It is easily named Comper Health App. I plugged in the device, turned it on and synced it with the program. What I like is that should you decide to purchase any other Comper device (they have many interesting looking ones), it looks like they can all be linked via the same app, Which means that you don’t have to download a bunch of different apps and you can keep all of the monitoring information in one place for reference. I really like the ease of the set up.

Once linked I was lead through a bunch of different questions about my skin. Once I inputted all of my information (It is multiple choice and no personal data other than skin conditions and issues are asked), they system sets up a recommended treatment regimen and frequency.

Hyaluronic acid serum to pair with the device

And that’s it, you can start using it right away. It is recommended that you use a Hyaluronic acid serum with the device partially because the serum is good for the conditions it treats, and partially because applying a serum with the device helps it glide more smoothly over the skin. While Comper did send me their HA serum, which I rather like, any HA serum can be used. I really like knowing that as it is an HA serum, many versions of which I have in my skincare arsenal already waiting to be used, I don’t have to worry about running out of a specific one and not being able to use the device.

skin before treatment begins, front view

So on to the first use. I entered the app and simply pressed the start button. The device reminded me my skin needed to be clean, dry and the serum needed to be applied to the head of the device. It then waited for me to accomplish these tasks and when I was ready I pressed the button marked ready, made sure the device was turned on and let the phone connect with the device. It did and lights went on and a buzzing sounded. My first treatment combined the Massage and the radio frequency. It was warm and quite pleasant actually. In addition, the device walked me through the motions and the time I needed to use those motions.

At the bottom of the screen I could see how long the full treatment would last and at the top I could see how long this particular segment would last. In between there was a face showing the exact placement and movements I needed to use at that time. With each shift, the device prompted me and shifted the image on screen. It was extremely easy to use and and fears I had of maintaining a complicated ritual faded away. It is one of the most user friendly devices I have tried out.

Side view 1

The treatment started at the forehead and worked it’s way down in predictable motions, slowly moving to the jaw line and neck. Once the neck had been treated the system told me it was time to move to the second treatment. It adjusted the device settings for me and I began the LED therapy. It again led me through the motions and I completed them effortlessly. At the end the device shifted to the EMS. I have to admit I was a little worried about the micro current. I thought it might hurt, it didn’t. The device started me on the lowest setting and it felt like there was a current running into my skin but there was no sort of shock with it.

side view 2 (photos are all before to compare with at the end of 30 days

Now clearly with one use there were no striking visual changes. I will say that my skin felt warm and invigorated as well as oddly rested. I know invigorated and rested shouldn’t pair together but it was rested the way your skin feels after you’ve laid a hot wash cloth over your face for a bit and invigorated as though you splashed something like eucalyptus on your face. My face felt really good even if one use wasn’t enough to show any changes. I have included the before pictures with this post so that when I get to the end of thirty days of use I can show any actual changes in my skin.

To be honest, I have high hopes. In part my hopes are because of the movement in the device use. A lot of them are similar to the movements I used when trying out the Gua Sha stone on my face. That too is a sculpting tool and even without the techno bits, I received really good results using it. This incorporates the same movements along with the techno bits mentioned above so I expect there will be significant improvements at the end of the month. As with all skincare tools, devices, treatments, and products, consistent use is the best way to see any form or results. So I will consistently use this for the next month and get back with you at the end of the thirty day trial to see how well this device performed and how it felt to use it for the duration. As I very much enjoyed this first us, I can honestly say I am looking forward to continuing to put the Comper Smarkin 4-in-1 Beauty Device through it’s paces.

Using the Mitchell and Peach English Leaf Body Oil

This Mitchell and Peach English Leaf Body Oil came to me via a Boxy Charm. To be honest I had never heard of Mitchell and Peach, however it is the season for body oils. At least in my opinion. In the winter I go for heavier creams which my dry winter skin soaks in.

As the temperatures rise, I tend to prefer body oils. For me it feels like they absorb much more rabidly and hydrate really well. I prefer to use them right after my shower when the heat from the shower has opened my pores. I basically towel off and then apply instead of body lotion.

This year the warmer weather snuck up on me. I was prepared for it, then we got snow and I had to hustle back into my winter clothes. Then just as I thought temps were again on the rise, we had another cold snap. So I am late stocking up on my warmer weather products as it seemed that every time I thought about it, the cold would return.

I am pretty sure it won’t be coming back until October at this point.

Having never heard of Mitchell and Peach (or this product) I looked them up. Accoding to the brand this body oil…

The newest addition to the Mitchell and Peach collection, this expertly blended body oil was inspired by the lush, verdant countryside of the Foxbury Farm estate in Kent, England.

The nourishing formulation, containing natural oils and Vitamin E, is delicately scented with a ‘green floral’ fragrance possessing both cut-leaf freshness and intriguing depth.

Mitchell and Peach
the open top

While I have never been to Foxbury Farm and to be honest my visits to Britain haven’t been to Kent either, I can say that this Body Oil has a very green scent to it. I know, it isn’t helpful when I describe scents as colors. Sometimes the wires just get crossed.

It has a fresh scent to the oil that is like the first scent of a green leaf emerging from a tree. If you sniff the branch where the tree is starting to bud out, before it gets the particular scent of the plant type and is still just new growth, that is more or less the scent of the oil.

It is a light scent that is refreshing after a hot shower, the scent feels a bit cooling actually as it reminds me of an early spring morning which is generally cooler than my shower. Applying it produces a delightful mental fission, at least in me anyway.

I love that there is vitamin E in the oil as it is a great softening agent for the skin and my skin really enjoyed it. Thus far this has been a great addition to the body care line up.

However, while I adore the glass bottle, I don’t really like the lid. It is not the easiest to twist off with damp hands (it also has condensation from the humid air of the bath and is wet itself) and post application it is harder to get into place with my then oily hands.

Normally this isn’t too big of an issue, I can set the bottle to the side, wash and dry my hands and then put the cap back on. The issue is that it is an open top under the cap. There is no regulator and I do not have the largest bathroom in the world. I have almost knocked this over a couple of times. And it really world be a shame to waste it.

I also don’t like the open top for dispensing the product. It is better now that I have used a bit and the bottle isn’t full. It is easier to control the pour when then bottle isn’t completely full. The open top means that you really have to watch how you pour it into your hand as it is very easy to use too much. Too much of a body oil makes you feel greasy. Applying a smaller amount that the skin can absorb easily makes the skin soft and hydrated.

Over all, I really did like this Body oil and will continue to use it until it is gone. Would I purchase it on my own? Yes actually I would. I would however replace the cap with one that would let me control the dispensing of the product a little bit better. I a actually fairly certain I have a cap from another bottle that would fit. I will be trying it out as a replacement later. Beyond that one minor detail, this Mitchell and Peach English Leaf Body Oil is a great product and it makes me want to further investigate the Mitchell and Peach Brand.


Travel Skincare for May 2022

When traveling I often take a break from my regular skincare and use it as a time to try out some of my samples, especially if they are smaller ones that can be used up during the time I am traveling. This weekend I will be traveling home. Some of the products I will be taking with me for this weekend are full size. In fact there are two full sixed items.

The first full size going with me is the Sunday Riley 5 Star Eye Cream. The tube is small enough that it won’t cause issues when traveling and when I looked I didn’t have any sample sized eye creams that I could use up in the duration of a weekend, so since this is already opened and in use, I decided to take it with me.

The second full sized item I am taking with me is the Clove And Hallow Cloud Powder. This is not only a new to me product it is a new to the market product. Clove and Hallow sent this new release product to me to try out and review. So I will be taking it with me. It is a powder cleanser that you add water to so I think it will be nice to actually travel with it. I actually tried it out this morning and really liked it. My first use review will be up early next week, but thus far it has made a really good impression.

I wanted to include a makeup remover and while I will be rolling up my Makeup eraser and putting it with my makeup bag, I will also be taking my travel sized Elemis Cleansing Balm. It is a great Cleansing Balm and it is also the only travel sized cleansing balm I have at the moment

Elemis is also represented in my Soothing Apricot toner. It just came in a subscription box and I have been wanting to use it, however it is also travel size, which none of my other toners are at this point. So it jumped to the front of the travel line and is in my skincare bag this weekend.

For my day time moisturizer I will be trying out the Tiny tube of Augustine Bader The Rich Cream. To be honest. even using it only for day time use over the weekend I am not sure if it will last the entire weekend so I added the Verso Hydrating cream to the mix as back up in case the moisturizer runs out.

For night cream I have added a tube of the One Kind Dream Cream. I had two tubes of this tried them out and thought it was okay but probably not something I would repurchase. Then I got another sample sized tube in a different box. Rather than let it linger in the bottom of the drawer, I am going to just take it with me. It is a decent night time moisturizer, just not my favorite. And in truth I think I might have used it at the wrong time of year. I tried it out just as the weather was really cooling down this past fall and I think it just didn’t provide enough moisture for night time use. I think that as it is warming up, it might be a better time to try it again and see if weather was a factor. So into the skincare bag it goes.

And finally I have the deluxe sample of the elta MD Skincare Uv Sheer Broad Spectrum Sunscreen. I know I need sunscreen, this one is travel sized and I have never tried the brand before. As I know my mother always has extra sunscreen floating around the house, if it really turns out not to work for me, I know there will be plenty of back up handy. Which makes it the perfect time to test.

And that is the skincare I will be traveling with this weekend. Some of it I am certain will end up being used up while I am home and others might last a few days after my return. I like the compact nature of the items I chose and the fact that some of them are completely new to me. It will be interesting to see how they perform.