The Daily: January 18th, 2021

Happy Martin Luther King Jr. Day. I hope everyone is having a good one. My baby doll has the day off today so I am having a short day myself and then running amuck with him. well, amuck, grocery shopping. Sort of the same thing really.

This week i decided to start my day a little earlier. I actually got up at six am and got my workout in early. I know I say that like I planned it. In reality, I didn’t sleep well and dozed off and on. At six am I decided falling back to sleep wasn’t possible and so I turned off my alarm and got up.

I have been getting up a little earlier each week for the past few weeks in an effort to train myself to get up and do my excercises before I start the day as it is actually easier for me to remember to do them if I start my day with them. I can usually fit in a walk during the day as it is a good brain clearing exercise for me. The non-walking workouts either go into my day forst thing or they just don’t make it in at all.

Adam, my favorite Halloween mug. Inside he says “You’re the Ghoolest” It makes me smile.

So insomnia or not I figured going ahead and getting up at six am could help set the theme for the week. while I doubt I will ever be a morning person, for now I think it might be a necessity to at least imitate one. I can’t say the exercise actually made me more awake. I was sweaty and my heart rate was up. But as soon as I cooled down that wakefulness faded. Perhaps in time it will stay longer. For today, there was coffee.

I’ll admit I grabbed my favorite halloween mug and Frankenstein’s monster did make me feel better. Did you know in the book, his name is Adam? Just a little bit of trivia from me to you.

I will say that getting in the exercise first thing did make me feel rather virtuous. But don’t worry, I won’t let it go to my head. And now, I’m going to take a few hours off and enjoy the rest of the MLK Holiday with my baby doll. I hope you have a fabulous rest of the day and I’ll see you bright and early tomorrow. Well early at least. I think it may take a few weeks of early morning habits before bright enters the picture. Until tomorrow, my darlings. I’m off to play hooky.

Hair masking with Cry Baby from The Mane Club NYC

Recently I received a package of items from the Mane Club to try out and review.  The first item I tried out was the One Hit Wonder 10-in-1 leave in spray and it was a fantastic product (and super affordable). As soon as I tried it I could not wait to try the other products. I also really like the brand in general. They only do hair products and all their products are not only vegan and cruelty free but they are affordably priced. The One Hit Wonder for example is only $8 and the bottle will last quite some time.

But this is not about the fabulous product I’ve already tried. This is about The Cry Baby Repairing Hair mask.

In the box Mane Club sent there were three hair masks (I later ended up with another two in a Glossy Box Mystery box).  So there was quite the selection to choose from when I went to do my weekly hair mask.

Before I get into the first of the masks let me tell you a little bit about my hair.  My hair (at the moment) is long enough to reach my bra strap.  While I was having it trimmed regularly at my salon, at this point I let it grow until it annoys me or looks really bad on the ends then I follow the Brad Mundo basic hair trimming method (using the rubber bands) to take off the ends so it is more reasonable in length.  I did have layers in my hair in 2019. There are no layers now.  I miss the layers.

I do not trust my hair cutting skills enough to try putting in the layers myself and so until I find a new salon, no layers. My salon closed last January and my stylist moved far far away. (They upped the rental price on the building for the salon before the world went haywire and the salon owner decided to retire instead of renewing. The building has since sat empty.)

My hair is currently dyed.  Currently I have a very faded box dye in my hair, which means I have really long roots and a strange poof ball of straggling grays on the top of my head.  Luckily, the box dye was close enough to my natural color that the roots aren’t that dramatic in real life.  They are quite apparent when the back of my head is photographed and the camera light bounces off of them. I have a kit coming from e-salon that contains custom dye so I will soon be rid of both.


But then my hair will again be color treated.

The one thing that having to do things like trim my own hair has done (besides giving me a lot more respect for my stylist – don’t get me wrong, I respected her before because I knew I could not do what she did, now I just think there should be a holiday: National Stylists day) is force me to pay attention to the condition of my hair even more. 

My hair is slightly on the thicker side and while I wear it tied up for exercise, when down I tend to use a variety of heat tools on it and let’s face it, generally abuse it in the name of styling. This year, like everyone  else in the world, I went out a lot less. And so I styled my hair a lot less.  The reason that I have no more layers is that I also started trimming off more and more of the damaged ends.

I figured I might want to take the extended break from styling and use the time to get everything healthy. Then when I find a new stylist I can present them with a healthy head of hair to work with even if there is no actual identifiable cut and style left. It will be a blank slate of healthy hair. I still have some issues, and some of them will remain because even though i style less, I still love my heat tools, but I am getting my hair in shape.

One of the ways I am doing this is through hair masks. At the moment, I am doing one mask a week, generally on Saturdays. Once a week feels like I am doing a good thing for my hair and not like I am over doing it.

Because I still have some damaged ends, I decided to start with the Cry Baby Repairing Mask (retail $3). According to the Mane Club’s product page…

Hey babe, turn that frown upside down. Wash your worries away and treat yourself to this repairing hair mask

MANE PAYOFF:  Repairs, Reduces Breakage,  Deeply Conditions

SCENT: Citrus

DIRECTIONS: Apply this goop to clean, wet hair, leave on for up to 5 minutes and rinse. Each package contains 2-3 uses.

I know this is going to sound strange to say, but I really like the fact that they let me know right on the package that I can get 2-3 uses out of the packet instead of it being a one use mask.   I like knowing how much I should expect to apply. I also like knowing that I shouldn’t just take the packet into the shower and attempt to use all of it in one sitting. That is a really nice thing to know.

The wide tab at the top makes it easy to grip and tear with no heartache, even with wet hands

Now I will say that tear open packets, the shower and me are not a trifecta of happiness.  However, since I know this is not a one use packet (because they told me in advance) I employed a little trick.

I opened the packet prior to my shower, took an empty jar that once held face cream and squeezed the mask into the jar.  (The jar I used once housed Volition’s Celery Green Cream. It is a fantastic moisturizer, especially in the warmer months. It also has a really tightly sealable lid and is excellent repurposed for this. A tight lid is key to this trick working).

This way it is easy to use and I have an airtight container to keep the extra mask safe from either drying out or contaminants. I find this really helps as I really only use hair masks once a week.  A week in an open foil packet can seriously compromise a product. Plus, there is no wasted products since I am not tempted to use too much when opening it in the shower.

I would like to point out that I am not complaining about the mask being in a foil packet. Why?  Because it is a three dollar mask.  Hair masks can get really pricy. Mane Club is an Indie brand that is committed to making their products affordable.  I’m sure packaging like this helps.  And I am okay with that. 

Also the mask packet even though it is a foil packet has a large enough pull tab that even with wet hands it is super easy to grab and open. It’s the shampoo and conditioner ones that get me (but I will leave my rant out of this for now.

the hair mask in the jar

Plus, I have a lot of empty glass moisturizer containers and I love reusing them.  Most of them will be used to start seeds in my greenhouse this spring, but I am perfectly happy repurchasing a pretty face cream jar for a nice hair mask.  And it is glass so it can be cleaned out and reused repeatedly with no problems.  I just use masking tape to mark the product that is currently in it so there is no confusion.

And because I am taking pictures, I decided to do this hair mask at my desk instead of in the shower. I wet my hair down with a spray bottle of water, applied it in my bathroom, pinned my hair up and then watched a You Tube video for the five minutes I needed to let it sit.  Then I went to take a shower to wash it off.

my set up with mask spray with water and a hair clip

I personally love the claw style clips for when I am doing something like this with my hair.  They hold everything up and because they are almost entirely plastic you can take them directly into the shower with you, rinse product off of them and then leave them to dry and be ready for another use.  They are at almost every drug store I’ve ever been to and are relatively inexpensive.  They also last a really long time.  I think I’ve had this one about five years and it is still going strong. The spray bottle was in the travel section of target and cost about a dollar. It is good for this kind of masking application, but sometimes I wake up and my bangs are crazy so it is good for taming them in the morning too.

But back to the mask.  The mask is thick and creamy.  It claims to be citrus scented and I do smell some orange and lime in there. There is also a bit of coconut mixed in and so it smells vaguely Pina Colada –esque. As you can see from the product remaining in the jar (Picture Below), I probably have about two more uses worth of product left, so I would say two to three uses is bang on and makes it more or less a dollar per use. 

wet hair

When applying the Cry Baby Mask (or any hair mask really), I like to start off with a heavy dose of mask on the roots of my hair, then turn my head upside down and add a heavy dose to my ends.  Then I go in and add product to the rest of the hair and massage it into the roots before twisting my hair into a mass at the top of my head. I find it gets the most product in the places it needs to be.  Just lay a towel on the floor to catch water drips and possible product. You don’t want your floor tiles super slick and turning into a falling hazard.

There lies danger.

I concentrate on the ends and roots first

The mask washed out pretty easily after five minutes. No real scrubbing or rubbing needed.  I just turned on the shower spray and ran my fingers through to make certain the water washed it all out.  As I still have not replaced my hairdryer, I combed through with my detangling brush and then let it dry naturally.  I specifically did not use a detangling spray even though this is not a detangling mask, I wanted to know how my hair felt with just this mask.

mask in

The brush went through my hair well, and while there was some hair left behind on the brush. When I looked at the hairs, most of them showed some sign of damage so I am guessing that the more damaged hairs just sort of evacuated my head in the face of the mask.  And to be honest there weren’t that many hairs in the detangling brush, I just found it interesting that they were the more damaged ones.

So was there improvement in the condition of my hair?  I would say that my hair does feel healthier.  I think though that like skin care, hair care needs repeated uses in order to see a real effect.  However, my hair is nice and healthy looking with a nice shine. There is no heavy residue left and my hair does not feel weighted down.  It also smells more like lime as my hair dried and less like Pina Coladas.

easy comb through after washing and still wet

The scent is very subtle in dried hair so it isn’t overpowering, which I appreciate .  This turned out to be a really good hair mask for me and I will certainly use up the other two applications left in the jar. 

mask left over after one application

I would certainly advise that you get a container to hold the extra portions of the mask, just for convenience sake and because when you squeeze it out of the packet with clean dry hands you can make certain to get every drop of product out of the foil packet and this doesn’t seem like a mask that should go to waste.  Just make certain you have a jar with a tight fitting lid so it doesn’t dry out and that you label the jar.

It may only be $3, but quite frankly it performed as well, if not better than some of the more expensive masks I’ve tried. It is one I will definitely put on my list for repeat use and ordering.   I can tell you I am so looking forward to trying out the remaining masks.  I’m also happy I have a second Cry Baby mask from a subscription box just waiting to be used. This is a mask I don’t mind keeping multiples of around.

Ipsy Glam Bag Plus January Unboxing

January Ipsy Glam Bag Plus

Welcome to Monday morning my darlings. I hope all went fabulously well for your weekend and you are ready to go for a new week.  This weekend my IPSY Glam Bag Plus arrived.  As you might remember, I was a part of the IPSY Ultimate subscription tier.  That tier ended in January and I signed up for the IPSY Glam Bag X. What that means is that the Glam Bag X will arrive quarterly (the first month is February) and the non X months I will be receiving the Glam Bag Plus.

The Glam Bag Plus is a $25 per month subscription and in the plus you receive five full sized items.  Two of the items are chosen for you and on the 2nd of the month, you get to go in for choice and pick three items. While I really like the idea of being able to choose so many items in the bag, I have to say that this month’s selection was not exactly exciting.  As shipping was a huge issue in December I am willing to grant that the supply chain might be a little wonky at the moment.  I will hope that upcoming choices get better.

Now all of IPSY’s tiers come with some sort of bag.  The Ultimate and the regular glam bag each came with makeup bags.  For some reason the Plus tier comes with a drawstring bag. The Theme this month was Dream It and the bag does reflect that.  It is a sort of blue hombre drawstring with fabric printed with the word dream. It’s fine, but it is really just a cheap drawstring bag.  To be honest I will chuck it into a drawer and the next time I travel I’ll use it to put underwear in.  Otherwise it will live in the bottom of a drawer. I wouldn’t really put anything heavier than underwear in it because I would worry that a heavy object would just drop through the bottom.

I know I had the Vella Box subscription for a while (GREAT Candle subscription by the way) and their candles came in canvas drawstring bags and I was always happy to get them because there are many uses I could put them to.  They were however made of heavy canvas with double stitching to reinforce the seams. This is not the same thing. So the bag is cute but of limited use and really adds nothing to the subscription, whereas the makeup bags added a little value.  In fact I signed up for the regular ($12) Ipsy Glam Bag as well because I like the makeup bags.  The small ones are excellent to use inside a large purse to keep things organized as well as useful for makeup bags. While I signed up this month and the January bag will be coming in later, I really did it because the February Glam bag pouch just looks so adorable.  How long I keep the subscription will really depend, but I will be getting the regular IPSY bag both this month and next, at least in part because of the bags.

But enough about the bags, let’s look at the products. All five are full sized items. I’ll go over the two items chosen for me first and then go over the items that I chose. The first item that was chosen for me was the Farsali Unicorn Essence (retail $54).  I have tried the Farsali setting spray before, and in fact it is still in my dressing table.  It is not my favorite setting spray due to the scent.  It is however beautiful to look at.  I remember the unicorn essence getting a lot of rave reviews a few years ago, but haven’t heard anything about it since.  In the description the product is described as being a protective treatment before moisturizer and a skin smoothing primer before makeup.  It looks like a serum.  I haven’t opened it because once you open a serum the clock starts ticking on it.  I am finishing up a skin care trial right now (in fact I will be posting on the Herbal Dynamics Hyaluronic Acid serum later this week, Wednesday actually if all goes to schedule).  It will be interesting to see if it falls into the serum or primer category once I begin using it.

The second item chosen for me was the Thrive Causemetics Brilliant eye opener in Aurora. (retail $24). I’m not terribly certain what an eye opener is, however this is a shadow stick.  I like Thrive Causemetics in general, their lip gloss is one of my go to products and I used up one of their mascaras and have a second unopened tube waiting in my dressing table for me to use. 

It was a good formula, good enough for me to repurchase.  So I am glad to have something else to try from the brand. Swatched on the hands the formula feels creamy and gives a nice silver tinted shimmer.  I will have to see how it performs on the eyes before I make a determination, but from the swatch I am cautiously optimistic.

And now we get to the three items I chose. The first of my choice items was the Laura Geller Quench and Tint Hydrating Foundation ($34). I know more foundation, but I couldn’t resist.  I’ve heard good things about the foundation and wanted to try it out.  Also the selection was limited and I thought I might actually get some use out of the foundation.

The second item I chose was the Item Beauty Cheek Money Duo in Mood Vibez (retail $18) which is a compact containing two shades of bronzer, one warm toned and one cool toned.  I’m pretty sure the cool toned is meant for contouring not bronzing, but I don’t really do a lot of contouring.  To be honest I chose it because I was curious about the brand. It is a brand that has come out of Tik Tok and has gotten both positive and negative comments about its origins.  That basically sums up what I kno0w about Item Beauty. So since I use bronzer, I thought I’d give this one a try to see what my thoughts are on it.  While there are some products and companies I tend to avoid because of personal choices, I tend not to judge a product until I’ve tried it, regardless of its origins.  So, we will see how it works out. 

The third product I chose this month was the Vitabrid C12  Daily C vitamin foaming cleanser (retail $32). It is infused with vitamin C and kaolin clay, both items I like and routinely use. And surprisingly considering how much skincare subscription boxes have been leaning towards in the past few months, I have less cleanser than I have any other category.  I suppose I also use that category more than any other so cleansers tend to clear out pretty fast, but it doesn’t seem to be a popular category to add to subscription boxes.  At least I get less of it. So I added it to the box.  In my line up of items to choose from this month there were several items from this brand.  It is the only place I’ve heard of it.  Perhaps it is a newer brand or perhaps it is one that just flew under my radar.  Either way, I am always on the lookout for a good cleanser.

So in the end my retail value was $162 for the $25 beauty box. This makes it a pretty good value.  I received several items that I am interested in trying and one that I had not even heard of previously.  I like the mix of the familiar and the unknown because part of the subscription box appeal, for me anyway, is discovering something I might not have found on my own.  I like the slightly out of my comfort zone feel of having brands I am familiar with as well as newer ones. The selection of items wasn’t the greatest and I’m hoping that improves as shipping improves, it is annoying but I am willing to give them a pass on that.  The bag… well I said all I feel like saying on the bag and while the bags that come with future boxes will be in the pictures unless they are substantially more special than this one, they won’t be mentioned further. I am sure I will use the products I received so the value is definitely there for me.  It feels a little less because I am coming to the Glam Bag Plus from the Ultimate, but I’ll get over that, because all in all it was a good bag.

I am also excited to see what comes in the very first Glam Bag X next month. I think they are planning to have a different person curate it each quarter.  This first one is being Curated by Patrick Ta and it is supposed to have a value up to $428.  IPSY has been talking up this new subscription level since November so it will be interesting to see if it holds up to the hype.  I’m trying not to look at too many spoilers since I don’t want to get too focused on specific products in case they are variations. That way if I don’t get that specific variation I won’t be instantly disappointed. Plus, I kind of like the surprise of it all. Lets just hope that the Glam Bag X starts off better than the IPSY Ultimate did.  While the Ultimate finally became a really good bag, it had a really rough start.  Hopefully IPSY has worked out their system and this new X level starts off with a bang.  Fingers crossed.

Nuxe is having a Blue Monday sale: Blue Monday Free 30ml HP WYS $50 & Winter sales – Save up to 30% on selected products The sale is only for January 18th. I personally love their Insta Masque line and will be swinging by to pick up a jar of the exfoliating Instamasque.And possibly the soothing one. They are excellent three minute face masks that do wonders for the skin.

Happy Hour: The Grand Royal Fizz & Popcorn

Welcome to Happy Hour my darlings!  You have made it through the week and now it is time to relax. Your favorite snazzy cocktail lounge may not be open, but your kitchen is. And there is something to be said for kicking off your shoes and getting comfortable at home after a long week.

Tonight my babydoll and I are settling in with a Fizz.  I know some of you saw the name and immediately thought champagne.

Not tonight though.  Tonight we will be imbibing a drink called a Fizz that has nothing to do with champagne. It is called a fizz because of the added carbonated water.  The fizz isn’t around much these days but was apparently all the rage in the US between 1900 and 1940. Which is quite a long time for a drink to remain on the to be ordered list and so fashionable or not, it deserves respect.

I actually had my first Gin Fizz in New Orleans where it was once massively popular.  There are still places that serve it, but I don’t think they are as popular anymore. Which is a shame as I recall it being delicious. Like fashion, drinks fall in and out of favor.  It is one of the reasons I like old cocktail manuals.  You can see what was popular when and get a taste of a different era as well as branching out from your own personal tried and true drink of choice.

It’s always nice to have options.

Tonight’s fizz is still gin based. And unlike my martini it will have the dickens shaken out of it.  While you can still taste the components of the gin, it is a background note to the other ingredients. So…To the recipe.

To a martini shaker add:

The juice of half a lemon (about a tablespoon)

½ Tablespoon of powdered (icing) sugar

1 shot of gin (I use the large side of the jigger since mine is double sided. The big side can contain two ounces, the small 1 oz)

1-2 tablespoons of maraschino cherry juice to taste (I prefer mine closer to 1 than 2, but that is a taste call)

The juice of half a lime (about half a tablespoon)

I tablespoon of cream

Once everything is inside the shaker add the top and shake it until it is thoroughly mixed.  Strain it into a glass and top off with soda water (I use the water from my Soda Stream rather than getting any separate soda water).  Be very careful when adding the water and go slow.

Actually that wasn’t warning enough.

GO SLOW when adding the water.

The foam rises quickly on this drink

It’s like adding root beer to ice cream to make a float.  The cream in the drink meets the bubbles in the water and creates a foam.  You can very easily shoot up past the top of your glass and make a mess. To garnish I just dropped a maraschino cherry into the glass.  It sinks to the bottom of course, but then at the end of the drink you get a gin soaked maraschino cherry, so that’s not a bad thing.

The glass is of course your call. I love the shape of this glass. I have no idea where I picked it up but it fits comfortably in the hand and I really find the shape of it pleasing. For those looking at measurements This is exactly an eight ounce glass. Clearly the foam takes you a little past the rim but if you fill the glass with water and stop pouring before you risk sloshing over the sides it fits exactly 8 oz.

But it is happy hour and it isn’t all about the drinks, there is food to consider as well.

When deciding what to serve with this, my baby doll and I tossed around ideas.  It sounded sweet and so we thought something salty would do well with it.  I was all up for a kitchen creation, but he suggested popcorn and I have to say it sounded just about perfect. So with our cold sweet drink, we went with hot, salty popcorn.

The botanical bite of the gin kept the drink from being overly sweet.  It was however a sweet drink and to be honest, I don’t think I’d want more than one. It seems like a drink where one is delightful and two is a bit too much sugar. I am however not an overly sweet person. I tend to lean more savory. A friend of mine who normally leans into sweet cocktails said that she could easily have several. She also said she would probably regret having several later on, but that they are easy to drink.

Since the point is to have one drink at the end of the week with my baby, I’m perfectly fine with the fact that I can only have one without wanting another. This is about a slight indulgence, not over indulgence after all.

I would make it again and I would still make certain to serve it with something salty.  The popcorn worked perfectly and was super simple since we went with a microwaved bag. Our weekly home happy hour is more about a delightful treat for us at the end of a week than it is about needing to be over the top.  Don’t get me wrong, some weeks, I do go a bit over the top.  This week, there was no need.  The cocktail was the star and it just needed a backup singer rather than someone to sing a duet.

My budby popcorn was happy to in the role of supporting cast to the diva drink. And really with fast moving foam like that, you know the drink is a diva.

I don’t know what you have planned tonight, but I hope you take some time out to slow down, and take a moment for a few simple pleasures at the end of the work week. The week is done and happy hour is the brief pause at the end. Like a period at the end of a sentence.  This week the punctuation was the Grand Royal Fizz, or at least this version of it. Hopefully next week’s will be just as fun, even if it isn’t cherry flavored.

No Fine Print Wine

Cool Down and Drop Kick with the Face Mask Friday

Good afternoon my darlings and welcome to the Friday face mask.  Today was a sheet mask kind of day.  I love masks but somedays are not meant for the wash off kind of masks.  This was one of those days.  This was a sheet mask day.  In fact it was a Cool Down Drop Kick kind of masking day. 

That’s right is was time to try the Haruharu mask that came in one of my Facetory Boxes.  For those who don’t know, Facetory is a sheet mask subscription.  I absolutely love it because it lets me try all sorts of different sheet masks so I can build a list of those I want to re order.  It also lets me reorder the ones I like. Sheet masks can pile up though, especially if you have any subscription boxes and Face Tory is super easy to pause. If you are drowning in masks you just press a button and skip the month.  They have different numbers of subscriptions.  I use the Four pack masking subscription as that is the right amount for me. 

Four-ever Fresh Subscription!

They also have other skin care products and non-sheet masks and you don’t actually have to be a member of the subscription service to order from them.  Even if you don’t sign up for a subscription, I highly recommend signing up for their free newsletter.  They’ll send you e-mails about deals that way. And every Monday they have a selection of masks reduced to a $1. The newsletter lets you know which ones.  Some of my favorites have made the rotation list into the $1 Monday lists so I think it is well worth checking out.

The only issue I have with some of the masks is that most of the information is in Korean.  I do not happen to be able to read Korean so sometimes I have to sort of guess as to what the mask is for.  This one actually says soothing and Maqui berry in English.  Hich would provide me with more information if I knew what a maqui berry was.

According to Healthline: Maqui berry (Aristotelia chilensis) is an exotic, dark-purple fruit that grows wild in South America. It’s mainly harvested by the native Mapuche Indians of Chile, who have used the leaves, stems and berries medicinally for thousands of years 

When I took the mask out, it smells somewhat grape like. Beyond that the only other English on the package is Cool Down Drop Kick.

I will say the mask, right out of the package is quite juicy with serum.  On the face it feels instantly cooling.  The extra serum means that the mask sticks well to the face.  Even though it felt oversaturated, no serum ran down my face once it was on.  I did have to wipe off my hands, but the mask didn’t drip.

So mask in place I lay down closed my eyes and listened to my ipod. Today was actually a Beethoven kind of day.  I know, surprise. But that was what appealed when I scrolled through my play lists. So I relaxed and I listened.

As I lay down, he mask almost felt like it was getting colder and colder.  It was kind of fun, in an odd sort of way.  After fifteen minutes I turned Beethoven off and returned to the bathroom. There was no noticeable drying of the mask.  It appeared just as soaked as when I applied it.  Once removed there was a lot of serum on my skin. I rubbed as much of it as I could into the skin but had to wipe some off in the end.  Once my skin was patted dry, I have to say I really liked it.  I felt super refreshed as though my skin just pounded back an energy drink.  It was kind of nice actually.  The skin felt soft and clean, but it was mostly the feeling of suddenly being wide awake that this mask provided.  That is I think this masks strong suit. I didn’t feel terrible soothed, but I did feel invigorated.  I feel ready to tackle the rest of my day.  And so that is where I will be going now.  Later I’ll return for the Friday Night Happy Hour post, but for now, I am going to finish out my workweek feeling energized and revived.  I also think that this mask is going to go on my list of masks to reorder. I don’t think it is one I would use often, but I can definitely see the perks of keeping it around for occasional use.

The Curateur Subscription box has launched a new Welcome Box for you to try out the Subscription. The Welcome Box costs $25 (instead of the usual $99 of the full subscription box) It includes the best sellers and member favorites: Kat Burki Form Control Marine Collagen Gel (retails at $160), Carly Cushnie Grey Horizon Ombre Scarf (retails at $150), Anastasia Beverly Hills Liquid Glow (retails at $25), and Eddie Borgo Supra Link Necklace Gift With Purchase (retails at $350).

Those who sign up for the welcome box receive the same member benefits that seasonal members enjoy (you can find them listed on the website) and the box will roll into the normal seasonal subscription in Spring of 2021. I haven’t heard any spoilers from the Spring box but their past boxes look really amazing, so I’m sure the Spring one will be as well. The Welcome Boxes go on sale to day and I expect they will run out quickly.

The Makeup Bag: January 15th, 2021

The Makeup Bag used January 9th – 15th, 2021

Welcome my darlings once again to the weekly makeup bag. It was an interesting mix of products this week.  Some are tried and true favorites while others were first time uses. The tarte Maracuja tinted Hydrator was a new use product.  The link will take you to the full review. It was only a sample  because I wanted to see how I felt about the product before committing to the full size.  I absolutely loved the way it performed this week and have added the tinted tarte to my future purchases list.

Look ma, nothing on my face

As it was a moisturizer the tarte tinted moisturizer was, well, moisturizing.  Unfortunately so was my primer. This week I had a new Studio Makeup Silk Hydration Face Primer in my bag to try.  It is very hydrating.  So much so that I really couldn’t wear it with my chosen foundation product this week without being far too overly hydrated.  I had to call in my e.l.f. poreless putty primer instead. It is a tried and true and it was easy to press it into service again this week when I was overly hydrated.

Just the primer

I think that the Studio Makeup  primer may be good under a foundation that is especially drying, but it was a bit too much hydration with an already hydrating skin tint.  I may set it aside to try at a time when I do have a more drying foundation rather than pass judgment on it now.

foundation application

The Julep Cushion complexion was added to my makeup bag as my concealer of the week and it did a great job as always.  It covered and didn’t crease throughout the day. It is kind of fun that it is a cushion applicator though.  I really don’t like the cushion applicators. 

Concealer and yes I realize I am getting the superman curl on the center of my forehead, although not being a superhero, it doesn’t quite curl automatically.

There is no real reason I can point to but I just don’t care for them.  However the formula of my two favorite concealers both have the sponge top applicators rather than wands.  My two favorites are the Julep that I used this week and the Revolution Fast base concealer in case you were wondering.  Both have those soft cushion tops. So clearly I don’t mind the applicator enough not to use the product. The Julep concealer is a really good formula so I use it. Pretty simple really.

My bronzer this week was an Anastasia Beverly Hills Bronzer that I picked up and then forgot I owned.  I don’t actually recall using it before now even though I must have purchased it sometime before. I Think because it is a small dark compact and it was placed towards the back of the drawer it got lost in the shadows.  So I am going to call it a new to me product. It is a highly pigmented bronzer and quite frankly may be a little dark for me at this time of year.

Bronzed and blushed

You may notice I appear a bit overly bronzed in these pictures.  The day I took them I went a little too heavy handed with the bronzer.  I actually liked the way the bronzer performed, however I think it may be more of a summertime use product for me.  Even though it looks to be the same shade as many of my other bronzers, because it is so highly pigmented, it comes across darker on the skin.

As this is my only ABH Bronzer, I’m not sure if that is standard or not but I think I might pick up a shade lighter than what I want and see how that works out.   As this one looks like the shade I want in the pan but is too dark, perhaps a shade too light will be just right.  At least that is my current theory. I’ll have to see how it plays out in practice.

The Blush Divot increases

My blush this week was one of my recurring favorites. I used the Benefit Cosmetics Gold Rush Blush.  On top of the highly pigmented bronzer it almost disappeared.  However in general I really like this blush.  It isn’t as sparkly now that the overspray is gone and it is just a nice blush with gold undertones that really suits my skin tones.  I really like that it is buildable rather than highly pigmented.  Buildable blushes keep me from inadvertently creating clown face.  I can not be trusted with highly pigmented blushes.  This buildable formula is one I reach for a lot, which is why it has a deepening divot in the center of the pan.

For highlighter this week I went with Ofra’s Blissful. I am a big fan of this one.  It has the rose gold undertones that make the highlighter look pink on the fingertip, but blends in to a soft warmth on my skin.  I prefer the warm glow to the bright spotlight.  It is an Ofra Highlighter so it is quite pigmented but because of the tones it is easily blended into something more subtle.  And in case you are wondering, yes I do apply my highlighter with my fingertips.  I haven’t found a brush that applies the highlighter quite the way I like it.  I should probably experiment more with brushes and highlighter but to be honest I generally don’t think of it until after I’ve used my finger to apply it.

Swatches: Blissful Highlight top, Caramel Lip Middle and Infuse Lip bottom, both lips by BITE BEAUTY

I did pull two powders this week, one loose and one pressed.  The loose powder was the Smashbox photo finish fresh setting powder and to be honest, I didn’t actually use it this week.  It has a tint to the powder that is normally very nice, however with the extra dark bronzer this week, I ended up feeling like it was too much, so I just used the pressed powder on my face this week. 

The pressed powder I used this week was a samples size of the Bye Bye Pores Pressed by It Cosmetics.  It came in an Ipsy bag and this was my first time using it.  I like that the pan size of the sample made it easy to get my brush into it.  It is a nice powder.  It worked well and it did help lighten up my aggressive bronzing a little bit.  I can’t say that it gave me an airbrushed finish. 

It Bye Bye Pores Powder

It worked like any other powder.  To be honest it was okay but not likely to make my favorites list.  The No 7 pressed powder is what I compare powders to and if I had to choose between them it would be an easy choice to go with the No. 7 Perfect light instead of the It Cosmetics. This is going to be one of those samples that I will use and then not replace once it is gone.

My eyeshadow palette this week was from Complex Culture.  The link will take you to the full review.  While it looks like a color scheme I would wholeheartedly embrace, I did not care for how it performed. It is beautiful, but it just didn’t work for me. In the photo below you can see some of the fall out. The glittery descent got worse as the day went on. I was not a fan.

The shadow fall out was a big issue, especially with the shimmers

My brow pencil this week was from Il Makiage.  And yes I did use a brow pencil this week.  This pencil is a little stiff and the color comes off a little cool toned for me.  I’ll still use it, but it is not my favorite formula of brow pencil. It is actually one of the few Il Makiage products I don’t like. And when it runs out, I will not be replacing it.

So let’s talk eyeliner. I know recently I haven’t been wearing a lot of eyeliner.  This week I had a fun one to play with though.  It was the Stamp and Drag from Ciate London. (at the moment it is on sale actually. Ciate London is having a pretty big sale with loads of products 40% off it is well worth checking out.)

I have never been a really big winged eyeliner sort of person.  I tend to do a little flick rather than an actual wing, when I bother at all. Part of that is my eye shape.  I have slightly hooded lids and sometimes when I get crazy with the liner it is all you can see and it can make my eyes look too heavy.

Stamp end of the Stamp and Drag

This Ciate liner was fun to play with.  I won’t lie, at first I made a mess with it.  Let me explain.  The stamp and drag eyeliner is a dual ended liner.  One end is a pen style liner and the other is a stamp used to create a wing. Pretty straight forward.  When you stamp the liner you need to make sure you put it in the right place, because it is staying where you put it. I’d suggest practicing. There were a couple of days where at least one of my eyes had a strange double winged look to it because I stamped wrongly and tried to correct.  I suggest using the stamp first and then going in with the liner so you can use the liner to fudge the lines a little but if you have to. The liner itself is with picking up even if you don’t play with the stamp. Although the stamp is fun.

The key to this liner my darlings is practice  The liner itself is easy to use, the stamp placement though. It takes practice. By the end of the week, I had it more or less down and I didn’t look as lopsided as I did earlier in the week. The formula of the liner is really good on both sides of the liner.  It is very pigmented black and it stayed in place all day with no smudging or fading. Give it a second to dry and it isn’t going anywhere the rest of the day.  I was very impressed with the liner and thought the stamp was fun once I got the hang of it.

Because I used a black eyeliner this week I used my Milk Makeup gel liner.  I have no idea what shade it is officially but it is a cream color, softer than a straight white liner and I used it in my water line.  I find it helps keep my eyes from looking heavy when I have darker makeup on the lids when I line the water line in a lighter color like this.  I put it to good use this week and as always I remembered how much I really like the gel formula of the Milk Makeup liners.  They are long lasting , glide on easily and stay in place.  It is a really good formula that doesn’t tug at the skin of the eye like a lot of pencil liners can do. I need to look into getting more shades of this actually. I just have so many black eyeliners that it doesn’t always occur to me to go eyeliner shopping (even if I am not buying black eyeliner)

For mascara this week I used the last of my Marc Jacobs Velvet Noir mascara.  It is a sample size and alas it has given me it’s all. The Marc Jacobs Velvet Noir is one of my top five mascaras, possibly even number one actually.  I love the formula which doesn’t flake or peel and I love the fat fluffy wand.  This is not the first tube of this mascara I have taken down and it won’t be the last.  However it is now empty and must make the journey to the empties bin.  This is not goodbye, merely a parting until we meet again.  Because oh yes my darlings, this Marc Jacobs mascara will definitely be repurchased.

No mascara on the left, Mascara applied in the picture on the right

For my lips this week I used a Bodyography lip liner.  It isn’t my favorite formula as it is somewhat stiff and tends to dry the lips.  However the shade Rosewood was perfect with my two Bite Beauty liquefied lips. To help with the Bodyography I hold it in my hand for a minute of so to let my body heat warm the product up. Once warm it glides on a lot more smoothly. It is a pencil though so it is always going to be a little stiff. If you take a breather to warm it up though it works so much better.

I used two Bite Beauty Liquid lipsticks this week. One was the lighter shade Caramel and the other was the darker shade Infuse.  Both are from the Amuse Bouche line. The rosewood pencil shade works well outlining the lips for Infuse and under the Caramel shade I used it all over the lips to darken the lippie a bit more.  It is just a bit too light a shade for me.  It is an excellent formula though. 

I originally planned to break the lipsticks out in their own post as I did with huda Beauty, but when I went to look up details on the Bite Beauty website, I couldn’t find them.  I really hope the Amuse Bouche line has not been discontinued, but I fear it might. At the moment the only place I could find the liquified lips was at Sephora (I’m not in any way affiliated with Sephora but the link will take you to their sales page) and they are listed at 75% off. Which does mean that you can pick up the remaining colores relatively inexpensively if you are interested. I love both the liquefied version and the more traditional lipstick formula from the line.  I sent an e-mail to Bite Beauty’s customer service to find out more information, but have yet to hear back.  I’ll let you know when I hear back,  At the moment I am hoping they have not been discontinued as I really enjoy the formula.

What I ended up with (prior to fixing my hair)

And finally we land on the setting spray.  I had plans to switch out my setting spray this week but found myself reaching for the Pore Professional Super Setter once again despite my intentions.  It is currently my strongest setting spray and with the eyeshadow palette’s tendency to migrate I wanted as much staying power as I could get.  Plus I just absolutely love the mister on this.  It is a pump but it comes out like a light aerosol. It is just a fantastic product I really enjoy using. 

And so that my darlings was this week’s makeup bag.  We had some highs and some lows. I tested new to me products and trotted out old favorites. And I have to admit, I had a boatload of fun playing with the Ciate Stamp and Drag. It is a great product, but it was also just fun to play around with. But now the makeup bag must be emptied and items either returned to the dressing table or to the empties bin.  And a new bag must be assembled for the upcoming week. Next week I have absolutely no meetings scheduled so it will just be me at my computer for the day.  I’m not sure if I should go low makeup casual or pull out my brightest glittery eyeshadows to play with. Maybe I’ll pull a mix so I can decide each day whether I want to be low key or super glam.  Either way it should be interesting.

As many of you may be aware, Monday is Martin Luther King Day and while it should be celebrated all on it’s own, MLK Day also brings sales. I already mentioned the Ciate London sale (which is technically a winter sale rather than an MLK one) where you can get 40% off a ton of products. But

Look Fantastic is also having a 25% off Sitewide + Up to Extra 10% with the Code EXTRA from now until January 19th, Plus there is up to 70% off clearance items.

Grande Cosmetics is also having a MLK Day 20% Off Sitewide With Code: TAKE20 that you might want to check out as well. I’ll post more throughout the day, but those are three sales that you might want to take a look into if you are stocking up or just looking for something new.

Weekly Weight: 220.0 lbs

The Scale: January 15th, 2021

Today I am pleased I lost some of the weight I gained over the holidays.  I am happy I lost over a pound this week. 

I didn’t always get my workouts it. Or at least not my full ones but I did manage to keep on track with my calories.  So that was a pretty big deal.  And I’ll admit, there were days this week I really didn’t want to.  I’ve been waking up sore and stiff and I couldn’t figure out what was happening. 

I foolishly started checking medical websites. After ten minutes I thought I was dying. Then I realized most of the symptoms didn’t match anything I had. The worst was when I thought it could be a heart attack and so I listened for my heart to see if it was beating okay and if there were any chest pains. 

Then I realized that to listen I was holding my breath, which was starting to cause chest pains until I released it.

It turned out it really was pillow and possibly mattress related.  We did a pillow swap and while the muscles still ache, I can tell it isn’t as bad as yesterday. New pillows will be ordered this weekend and the great mattress replacement quest will begin.

But as health related as that is, it is not the point of this post.

Although I will leave you with the recommendation that if you are going to look at medical websites, have someone with you to tell you when you are being crazy.  Don’t search them when you are alone or you will make yourself crazy.

But back to the weight. Less exercise but maintaining my calorie count helped.  I don’t know why I’m shocked as it is basic logic. Yet somehow, I am. 

So to the stats!

Starting weight: 246.0 lbs

Last week’s Weight: 221.2 lbs

This week’s weight: 220.0 lbs

This week’s loss: 1.2 lbs

Lost thus far: 26.0 lbs

So I am going into the weekend feeling slightly foolish for my reaction to medical websites but over a pound lighter than last week. It doesn’t erase the feeling of foolishness, but it helps. I hope everyone has a fantastic Friday. And uses the buddy system for medical websites.!

The Daily: January 14th, 2021

Good afternoon my darlings I hope your day today has been absolutely fabulous. This morning I woke up with a sore neck and shoulder and a slight headache (mostly from the sore neck) So I skipped my morning workout.

Oddly, enough my babydoll also woke up a bit stiff. we were both mystified, but went about our days. About an hour ago he texted me from the office.

‘I think it might be the pillows.’

After some thought I realized it has been quite some time since we replaced our pillows and looking at them now, I realize they are a great deal flatter than they were when we purchased them. I think we may have found the culprit. I may have unnecessarily blamed certain workouts for my sore neck muscles. The pillows need to be replaced anyway so we will replace them and see if the problem is solved. Fingers crossed that the solution is found.

So tonight there will be online pillow shopping. I suspect a new mattress is not far away either. we picked this one up when we were both at our heaviest and it has now has some indentations that don’t match us any more.

So that will be another fun discussion.

But we are going to start with the pillows and see where we end up.

My walk was a short one today again because of the cold. I know that makes me sound a bit wimpy but it isn’t exactly the cold I mind. it is the damp cold I mind. The cold I have no problem walking in. I just bundle up really well and I’m off. Right now we have high humidity and low temps. It means that we get pretty silver white frosting on everything each morning, but it also means that after about five minutes breathing outside my lungs inform me that they would prefer i return to the house. They have never liked the cold damp. It is days like this that I really miss the gym.

But with my stiff neck, I probably wouldn’t have gone to the gym today had that been an option. So a little icy hot on my neck and it is back to work for me. Then tonight we order pillows and talk about a new mattress. perhaps I will add some decorative pillow cases as well. I was poking around on Boldloft and they have some really cute ones for valentines day. I always like to do a little something for the house on valentines day. It isn’t the full on holiday decorations, but just a little something. And the pillow cases are absolutely adorable.

Of course so are the glasses. and mugs. This is the glass set I have been eyeing a while. It is adorable and perfect for Valentine’s day. Many of their items are marked down at the moment so it isn’t a bad time to place an order.

Maybe when I order pillows I’ll order pillow cases as well as part of a bed refresh moment. Not sure i can justify the glasses as anything other than an early valentines. Luckily, my babydoll loves Valentines day. Okay, mostly he loves the fact that he can buy big boxes of chocolate and people smile sweetly at him instead of judging him.

I should point out that I only get one or two pieces of the chocolate. He is our household chocolate fiend. But me ordering glasses will remind him that Valentines day aka the chocolate extravaganza approaches, making him happy as we start researching new mattresses. New mattresses, while a necessity every now and again, don’t make him as happy as chocolate.

But such is life.

And now i will get back to it. I will see you bright and early tomorrow for the weekly weigh in. I’m hoping I have started to lose some of the holiday weight.

Shop Lime Crime

Complex Culture Full Time Eyeshadow Palette

Buckle up my darlings, because this is going to be a bumpy ride. this Full Time eyeshadow Palette from Complex Culture arrived in my December Ipsy Box. I believe it is edit 2. It has a hard plastic case, that is quite beautiful and sleek. The packaging feels quite luxurious. It is also sturdy enough that I would have no problems worrying over it during travel. The shiny surface does collect fingerprints quickly though.

But it is what’s inside that counts.

So what is inside?

Nine eyeshadow colors.Four shimmers, and five mattes. While the shadows are grouped together in rows that run top to bottom, when I swatched them I went left to right across the rows without thinking. So even though Cream, Chestnut and Rose gold are grouped together under the category of Dinner Party. the first set of swatches is actually Cream, Toast and Silver.

Row 1: L to R, Cream, Toast, Silver

I have to say I am not terribly enthused by the groupings, hyust looking at them. Dinner Party looks like it might be nice as does cocktail party but Surprise party just didn’t work for me as a grouping. In practice, that wasn’t how I reached for the shades. I found rose gold went better with the cool matte tones of Cocktail Party and Honey went better with the warmer Dinner Party shades.

Row 2 L to R: Chestnut Chocolate, Redwood

Of the mattes, my favorite actually came from the Surprise party line up and that was Rosewood. I found it to be the most pigmented of the bunch and the least patchy when applied.

I was not a big fan of the mattes in general. They look patchy on the swatches, they were really powdery in the pan and even tapping the brush off left a lot of fall out to tidy up. In addition the coverage was spotty. I could apply a matte shade to my lids and then blink a few times and a small patch of lid was cleared.

3rd row L to R: Rose Gold, Honey and Bronzed

When I used my trusty Pretty Vulgar Lid Primer it helped, but not much. It just seemed to make the line across my lid sharper. Ido have slightly hooded eyes, so i can see where it is rubbing off, however I don’t have this problem with every shadow so I can’t just blame my eye shape.

Glitter fall out at the start of the day

Plus, the Pretty vulgar Lid primer is like super glue for shadow. If it couldn’t hold it in place, nothing was going to.

The fall out from the shimmers was even worse. I had glitter dusted cheeks all week long with this palette. I started the morning thinking, okay a few flakes aren’t bad but by the end of the day I looked like a low rent version of a Twilight style Vampire. while that look has it’s place, it wasn’t what I was going for.

Patchy across the center after applying all over the lid.

While I will concede that the matte color choices work well and can be layered quite effectively (minus the above issues) the shimmers weren’t that spectacular a choice. Silver and Bronzed looked identical on the eye. Bronzed might have had a slightly more gunmetal looking swatch, but the difference was lost on the lid. Rose gold was only a slightly warmer silver. The gold looked gold, so that was different.

I had high hopes for this eyeshadow palette. And my hopes weren’t based solely on the beautiful packaging. I’ll admit, that did draw me in. the reason my hopes were high is that I have several brushes from the brand Complex Culture and the brushes are really well made and I frequently use them. Their powder brush has become a staple in my makeup bag. I somehow thought that their makeup products would be as good as their brushes. I was wrong, at least as far as this eyeshadow palette goes. It is a beautiful packaging but I really did not enjoy using it this week. I thought I would because the matte colors are really amung my go to shades, but sadly, it just didn’t work out for me.


Testing a tiny Tarte Foundation

Okay, so it is officially a tinted hydrator from tarte and not an actual foundation. This week the Tarte Maracuja Tinted Hydrator served as my foundation product. Please ignore the nails. If I wear nail polish too long they get this pinkish look to them. So when they get the look, I take off the polish and let them breath until the pink is gone I also paper them with cuticle oils and other nice things but right now my nails are in the ‘just breathe’ stage of post polish removal.

In case you are wondering about the tiny size, let me explain. This is one of IPSY’s $3 samples that you can add on to your Glam Bag each month. I actually chose this one and the tart Shape Tape Concealer that I tried a few Make Up Bags ago from the IPSY ad ons. I know it is a small sample, but it has lasted the entire week.

tarte on hand

The reason I picked up these samples is quite simple. For a long time tarte was one of my go-to makeup brands. I occasionally branched out for Urban Decay and Mac but most of my makeup was tarte. I still use my small tarte travel palette any time I travel as I absolutely love the formula, but at this point I have only one small blush and the base tape primer in my collection left from my tarte products. Everything else I used up.

And then I started trying new products from other brands.

When I saw the Shape Tape Concealer sample and realized how long it had been since I tried tarte face products I snapped it up along with the Maracuja Tinted Hydrator. I found the concealer creased on me more than I remembered, which is probably because I have more creases. It was excellent everywhere but on my eyes and I used it up. While I had used tarte foundation before I had never used this specific product. so I came to it fresh and hoped it performed as well as their face products usually do for me.

According to tarte the Maracuja Tinted Hydrator…

  • delivers 12-hr hydration & wear
  • naturally radiant finish that looks & feels like skin
  • skin-loving formula delivers light-buildable coverage
  • helps minimize appearance of imperfections 

All of those things are things I look for in a tinted moisturizer. And I have to say, it delivered on all fronts. The product went on smoothly and blended in easily. my skin drank it in and as this is the driest time of the year for my skin, I appreciated the extra moisture. It did look and feel like a better version of my skin and it lasted all day with no problems.

dotted on face (i had the moisturizing primer on this day)

I found one layer of coverage was fine for me. I had no real desire to build it up as one application covered all of my skin issues beautifully. Plus as it was such a small sample I wanted as many days as possible to test it out.

I found out that it works okay on the skin without a primer beneath it. It doesn’t give me as much pore blurring as I would like. Since I love primers this wasn’t an issue. The issue came with which primers I chose. In my makeup bag this week I had a hydrating primer. While the hydrating primer might work well with a more drying foundation, it wasn’t the best with the tarte tinted moisturizer. It went on well in the morning but I was always super shiny by mid day when I used it.

just blended in with no concealer (moisturizing primer underneath)

When I switched to the e.l.f. poreless putty primer to see if it was the foundation or the primer that was causing the shine, it was definitely the primer and not the foundation. Because this is a tinted moisturizer and provides moisture to the skin, I needed to stay away from hydrating primers when i used it. A pore minimizing primer worked beautifully and really made the tarte tinted hydrator work so much better.

While nice on it’s own, the right primer just took this product up a notch. I very much enjoyed using this product this week and because I played around with the sample I now feel confident in ordering a full sized version of this. This shade actually worked well for me, so I will have to check to see what the shade actually is. I couldn’t find it on the tube but it should be recorded in my IPSY orders. Spending the $3 on the sample means I know my $29 won’t be wasted when I pick up the full size. It’s one of the reason I love samples. However, sadly this sample has given it’s very last drop of product in it time serving in this week’s makeup bag. And so I will have to send it on it’s way to the empties bin. But I definitely see a full size of the Tarte Maracuja Tinted Hydrator in my future.