The Daily: April 15th, 2021

Today we celebrate! At least in my house. This morning my babydoll work up feeling back to his old self. The fever was gone, the aches were gone and the world of our home is now righting itself. This week workouts took a back seat and I walked when I could. Mostly I watched my calories. Tonight will be interesting though. My babydoll has already started thinking about what he wants to eat. It is never a good sign when he starts planning dinner at nine in the morning. So I’m going to have to play calories by ear. I have a meal planned involving salmon with a brown sugar maple glaze and roasted brussels sprouts. We will see if we actually get around to that.

Today I was able to go on a longer walk, but I still decided to stick closer to home for the day and just skip the gym. My baby is working from home today. Which is how i know he has spent a chunk of time thinking about food and adjusting tonight’s meal plan. I am a bit behind on my schedule so having the extra time to get some work done is not a bad thing either. I might manage to make it into the gym tomorrow though but that is realistically going to depend on how much I am able to catch up on today. Admittedly if I get on the scale and there was an increase, I might just rearrange the schedule to go to the gym anyway just to catch up on some of my calorie burning. But I will find that out in the morning. For now, we press on with today.

Today’s look:

Primer: YSL Touche Eclat Blur Primer

Foundation: Kristofer Buckle Triplicity Foundation Stick

Bronzer: Space Case Fakeation on Mars Bronzer

Blush: Benefit Cosmetics Gold Rush Blush

Highlighter: Illamasqua beyond Powder Highlighter in OMG

Powder: Ciate London Extraordinary Translucent Powder

Eyeshadow: Elf Bite size Palette in Cream and sugar

Mascara: Beauty for Real Mascara

Lips: Wet ‘n Wild Megalast in Cinnamon Spice.

Again I went for the super easy look. I left the Kristofer Buckle Triplicity foundation stick out on the dressing table so I just went ahead and used it again today. It’s not a hardship. I love the foundation and a couple of swipes followed by a quick blend and I was done. The Space Case bronzer is a great buildable formula. If you are worried about going too dark with your bronzer then this is a bronzer that you might want to look into. It takes some building up so it is an effort to go too dark and once in place it lasts all day.

The Benefit Gold Rush blush falls into this category too. While you can actually get too much, it is a lower pigmented, buildable formula and even though it has a glittering look to it in the beginning, the over spray wears off and it is a nice soft pink. The illamasqua is a light golden glow rather than a streak of blinding light, which I prefer and it is one of the reasons I consistently reach for it.

I am always surprised by the Beauty for Real mascara. It has such a dinky little wand that I don’t expect big things from it. I’ve used it enough that the tube is getting really close to empty and still every time I am surprised by how well it applies and performs. I know it is only a short while before I have to release it to the empties bin, but it is definitely a mascara I will pick up again. It was an unexpected surprise.

No surprise is how well the elf Bite Sized palette works. The colors in each of them are well thought out and work well together. The formula is great and you can easily pick it up, do your eye makeup and be done. No muss no fuss. I have two of them and to be honest, because they are only $3 eah I am thinking about getting some of the others, even the colors I don’t use as much. I generally pick browns and shades of reds – mostly mauve- for my shadows. I want to play more with color and I think that the bite sized palettes might be a fun and inexpensive way to do that. It is something I will be looking into.

And of course I used my Wet ‘n wild Cinnamon Spice lipstick today. i figured the eye look was quiet enough I could punch up the lip color. I personally love the lip color. By about mid afternoon though the lip stick is a little on the dry side so I top it with a lip balm. The one I’ve been testing is the Bali Balm lip balm. I’m not a fan and my review will be up soon. however it is keeping my lips from drying out with the lipstick. Interestingly this lipstick wasn’t as dry the other times i’ve used it. This is the first time I’ve noticed any real dryness. It isn’t bad, it is just something not note. A quick swipe of a lip balm is all it takes, but if you have dry lips naturally you might want to think about keeping a lip balm handy. Other wise I love the color and the formula is very long wearing and creamy to apply. I’ve had this lipstick for about two months now so I will be following it’s progress to see if it changes as I move forward. It’s a color i will happily use, I am just not certain how it will age at this point. So we shall see.

I’m sure all of you know that Mother’s day is right around the corner and that means Mother’s day sales are heating up. Here’s a few that have come to my attention that you might want to take advantage of.

From NUXE: Discover our Powerful Anti-Ageing correction serum and get your Jade Roller for free! Valid: 12th April – 25th April (*T&C’s apply.)

From Kusshi: To celebrate all the wonderful Moms in our lives, Kusshi has commissioned an L.A. artist to create a small batch of hand-painted, one-of-a-kind KUSSHI bags to celebrate “Mama.” To sweeten the gift, we will be including a FREE Zip Out Liner with the purchase of every MAMA bag. MAMA Bags are available in our Signature size in Black and Camel Leather. We will upload images to page of each of the bags


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The Zents Eau De Toilette Sample Collection

This collection was sent to me for review by Zents. My opinions however are my own.

Scent is a very subjective thing and one scent that attracts me, may not be suitable for another person. It is probably the reason that so many perfumes exist in the world. Personally I rotate through scents, choosing the scent to go with the day, time of tay, activity or season. many people I know choose a signature scent and stick with it for years.

Whichever category you fall into, or even if you have your own category somewhere in between, there are few places in the realm of beauty where testing out a product before you purchase it are more important. I remember I met a woman who smelled fantastic. Several years later, when I came across the perfume for sale, I bought it remembering how much I liked it on her. Perhaps it was time, situation or season but on me the scent was a disaster.

Now I try samples for a few days at least before I buy a scent. Generally a week will let me know if it is something I want to use for an entire bottle. And usually that is the length of time a perfume sample will last.

So wehen Zents sent their Eau de Toilette Sampler set for me to try, I was thrilled.

In my posts I generally use the term perfume and for this upcoming slate of reviews I am going to try to break myself of this habit because these are not Eau de parfums, they are eau de toilettes.

So what is the difference?

Very simply put, an eau de toilette has less perfume oil in it so it is designed to be a lighter scent than a perfume. This is very much in keeping with the Zents line of products.

While they have an array of scented products in varying aromas (they also have a completely unscented line called Unzented).Their scents are delicate and designed for people who like light touches of scent or who are generally sensitive to scent but don’t want completely unscented products.

What I really like about their products is that they have collections of scent. For example I am currently using (and loving) the Mandarin Balancing Shampoo. I know that they have a Mandarin Bath truffle (which i’ve ordered many times) and the scent matches. There are other Mandarin scented products in the line and in the Sample set there is a Mandarin Scent that you can clearly also purchase in a full sized bottle of Eau de Toilette. o if you are a person who likes to coordinate your personal scents rather than worrying about potential clashes. If you are looking to mix them up, then they are light enough to blend really well.

With some of their products, it is easy to tell what the scent will be like. Mandarin, unsurprisingly smells of Mandarins. I’m sure when I get to them the Fig and Pear eau de Toilettes will smell of Figs and Pears. But they have other scents in the line that aren’t immediately clear how they will smell. They have descriptions to give you some idea, but there is nothing like smelling them yourself to let you understand not only how the scent smells, but how it smells on you. Eau de Toilettes labeled Water, Sun, and Earth are tantalizing and stir all sorts of possibilities in the mind, but to know if they are for me, I need to try them.

And thankfully in this sampleter set Zents sent my way, all of them are included. All ten scents from their collection are in the Sampler set. The set retails for $22 and each of the ten samples contains 1.5 ml worth of product. Typically the sampler set comes in a lovely box, however according to the site the boxes are temporarily out of stock. So the sets come in small organza pouches instead. I am fine with the swap. While I o reuse most boxes in the garden compost, having less cardboard to deal with is not a bad thing and the pouch is certainly nice enough to be reused. I also like the fact that the samples are in the bag and it is hard to tell which is which. I think with sample boxes i have the tendency to start at one end and work my way to the other. This is like a weekly surprise.

Because oh yes my darlings I am trying them all. I will spend a week with each scent and after my week, let you know my thoughts and opinions. My plan is to reach in and pick one randomly each week as I work my way through them. I’ll read through the descriptions after I;ve had a day or two with the scent but i would like to react to them with as little expectation as possible. this way i can decide how i feel about them before I see anothers comments.

There are cards that come with the kit and each scent is listed out with a short description. I am going to try and be good and not look at the cards. I love that included with the kit are white paper sample sticks. Because lets face it, sometimes no matter how fantastic a brand is, some scents are just not for you. Having the sticks there can let you sniff before spritzing the wrist so you know if it is something you would want to wear for the res of the day without actually having to wear it the rest of the day.

There is something also interesting when you look on the web page for the sample set. If you look through the description you will come to a tab marked Tips. Click on it and you will find…

BESPOKE Eau de Toilettes are pure perfection on their own. They are also fully compatible with other scents and products in the collection. We recommend blending or layering up to three of your favorite scents… there is no wrong combination.

Please recycle the box and vials after use.

Zents

This is one of those things you can do with some Eau de Toilettes that you can’t do with a perfume, at least none that I’ve tried. You can blend the scents a little to make something that is perfect for you.Because of it’s lighter perfume oil content, the toilette products really lend themselves to that. In my first pass I will be trying them each alone. However each vial tends to have enough product for more than a week so after running through them individually I may look at combining them.

I have to admit, the mad scientist in me is really looking forward to that.

But that is a little ways off as we have ten weeks of scents to try out first. While I am sure there will be some highs and some lows, as the scents are widely varied. I have to say as a sample set, I really like this package. It not only has a wide array of scents, but because the cents of their Eau de Toilettes are replicated in their other products, I can know for certain that if Sun or Ore appeals to me as a Eau de Toilette, then would probably like it as a lotion or a bath truffle. So this is a scent test in the broadest of possible terms. I can hardly wait to get started.

In fact I am not waiting. I am going to jiggle the pretty organza bag, open the top and reach in blind to see what scent I will be wearing after my shower today and for the rest of the week. Ready?

Okay, the vial my hand closed on was Earth. I’m setting it aside to begin the trial after bathing and I’ll see you back here next week to let you know my thoughts. See you then.

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Trying out Yves Saint Laurent Touche Eclat Blur Primer

In the April Macy’s Beauty box there was a sample of the Yves Saint Laurent Touch Eclat Blur primer. Personally i was thrilled to see it. I think everyone and their neighbor knows by this point that I love primers. A while back this particular primer seemed to be the darling of everyone. It was featured on makeup reviews and collections, people reviewed and raved about it.

But then silence.

I don’t know if the reviews came out around the product’s release or if it there was a domino effect of reviews and once one person reviewed it everyone decided they had to as well. But after the furor, silence.

It is easy to see why they would want to review it. Have you seen the full bottle? I know I have the small sample size pictured here and it really doesn’t do it justice. The links will take you to the site and well lit photos of the full sized bottle so you can see it in all it’s glory if you like. (I am not an affiliate and I get nothing from those links, in case you were wondering, they are just links to the product page for those who want more official info).

There is just something about gold flakes suspended in a clear medium that just looks amazing.

It also made me want it, even just to look at.

The wand applicator

Oddly the gold flakes were also what made me cautions about buying it. Well that and the price. This YSL Primer retails for $52.

And I had no desire to go around with gold flakes coating my face. Admittedly, it made me think of the old stories of Incan Kings or priests decorating themselves with gold dust and then diving into sacred lakes. At least I think that’s the story. I quickly realized that should I be gold and glittery I would just look like a bad extra for a Twilight film.

Luckily, neither occurred and the gold flakes weren’t a concern.

Now, I have been lucky enough to try a few YSL makeup products before and I really did love them. The lipstick in particular I remember using down until there was only a nub left and I had to use a brush to get the last dregs of the pruct out. I think the last use was merely a bare wash of color and a memory. It was a particularly flattering shade of red and I still dream about it. I also tried a small sample of the Touche Eclat Foundation and really enjoyed it. It was only enough product for two uses but it was a fantastic foundation both times I tried it. Despite these ventures, I am not all that familiar with the YSL product line. So let’s take a bit of a closer look.

Touche Elcat Blur Primer preps skin for foundation application, creating an improved, refined appearance: pores seem to be minimized, skin texture feels smoother, and skin tone is more even. It’s enriched with four nourishing oils—corn oil, apricot kernel oil, passiflora oil, and rice bran oil—to leave skin feeling incredibly soft without a greasy residue. Packed with blur technology, this universal primer provides a subtle, golden shimmer for ultimate luminosity.

INGREDIENTS: CYCLOPENTASILOXANE . DIMETHICONE CROSSPOLYMER . PARFUM / FRAGRANCE . ZEA MAYS OIL / CORN OIL . PRUNUS ARMENIACA KERNEL OIL / APRICOT KERNEL OIL . PASSIFLORA EDULIS OIL / PASSIFLORA EDULIS SEED OIL . ORYZA SATIVA BRAN OIL / RICE BRAN OIL . CALCIUM SODIUM BOROSILICATE . SILICA . TIN OXIDE . [+/- MAY CONTAIN: CI 77891 / TITANIUM DIOXIDE . CI 77491 / IRON OXIDES] . (F.I.L. B166500/2) 

Yves Saint Laurent Website

As you can see, very high up on the ingredients list you can see our good buddy dimethicone crosspolymer which means that this is definitely a silicone based primer. As a consequence, I chose silicone based foundations this week. As we all remember, like goes with like. I didn’t see a reason to set the primer up for failure but trying to pair it with a water based foundation.

While the primer does go on feeling a little slippy, a lot of the slippiness fades as the primer settles. I know the temptation when getting ready is to apply your primer and go straight into your foundation. Don’t. Your primer, whichever primer you are using, needs a minute to settle. If you rush the process it will just sort of mix with the foundation and you won’t get the coverage you were expecting. So give it it’s minute to settle in. The add foundation.

I will say I did like this primer on my skin. It felt really nice. I had no adverse reactions. Even though there are four oils, my skin did not feel oily. My skin tends to ride that strange balance line irritatingly called normal which means that whether I lean oily or dry depends on the season. Right now I am coming out of the driest season for my skin. I am edging out of dry as the humidity levels climb. Knowing my skin, I think that the only time I might have an issue with this primer is in high summer when I am at my oiliest and the humidity level in my area is 80% minimum each day. Other than that section of time where my skin isn’t happy with many products, I think I would be fine to use this primer.

While that is a bit specifice, how a product works for you does depend on your skin. To broaden it generally I would say that unless you had really oily skin, you probably wouldn’t have issues with this primer.

No primer on the left, just primer on the right.

It doesn’t make the face glitter. However I did see some evening out and a bit of a glow going on which was nice. There was a small reduction in the visibility of my pores, but i think I am just more accustomed to seeing more pore filling primers on my face. I really did like the blurring effect of this primer.

The primer sat well on the skin and it worked well with all of the foundations I used with it. I did find that in most of them it actually extended the life of my foundation by a few hours. Which is definitely not a bad thing. In short this primer did everything it claimed and then just a little bit more.

It was all things considered, a very good primer. My one issue with it was the applicator wand. It is pictured in this post, as I was trying to show the product. However it is important to remember that the full size comes with a pump and not the wand.

I don’t like the wand for applying because to apply you either have to have the wand in contact with your hands or with the skin of your face. while I wash both before applying makeup, the wand still makes it easier to contaminate than a pump would. As I said the full size doesn’t have this. However since the sample does, I am probably going to work on using it up sooner rather than rotating it evenly with my other primers. I really wish i could keep it longer, but that wand makes me nervous about what could mix in with the product and I’d rather just use it up.

Like I said before it is a good product. It is also a pricy one. Can you get other primers that do something similar? Yes. I have several blurring primers in my collection at this very moment, some of them even clear. None with the gold flakes though. This is a luxury product. If you are looking to splurge on a luxury item, then i would say that this Yves Saint Laurent Touche Eclat Blur Primer is a good one to splurge on.

It does everything it claims to do and does it well. It feels great on the skin, has almost no fragrance to it and looks gorgeous in the packaging. having a full sized bottle of this primer sitting on my dressing table would be lovely. And when I next splurge on a luxury item, this may be the one I go for. It might be a toss up between the Touche Eclat Primer and the foundation from the same line as they are both lovely and on my list for spurge purchases. The end result is that this YSL Touche Eclat Blur Primer is certainly a product i would enjoy using as much as I enjoy looking at.


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The Daily: April 14th, 2021

Well my darlings, while my vaccine reaction took only a day to wear off, my babydoll is having a little bit of a harder time with it. It isn’t a more severe reaction, in fact it is a lot less severe. Mine was just a fever blitz where as his fever has been low grade and filled with lots of muscle ache and exhaustion. It is better than yesterday though so I think we are coming out of it. It did mean that again, I am sticking close to home instead of running across town to the gym. I got in a morning walk and I’m doing good with my calorie count but I’m just kind of holding steady. Even if I get back to the Gym Thursday or Friday I don’t expect much of a loss this week. And honestly my goal is just to sort of not gain this week. which I think is certainly feasible.

I did get myself a new treat though. I’m sure anyone paying attention to their health has heard that drinking water is really good for you. One of the way’s I encourage myself to drink water is by using a pretty glass. This weekend I picked up this set of four champagne glasses. They are from the Rachel Zoe Collection. I know they are designed for champagne, but they fit really nicely in the hand And why should I reserve such fabulous glasses just for champagne? Carbonated water looks just as festive. And if you fill the glass up to one finger’s with from the rim it is exactly eight ounces. Perhaps it is my shallow side coming out, but I adore pretty glassware. Actually I just adore glass, but that is a whole other discussion. And if I can harness that love of beauty to get myself to drink more water then I consider it a strength and not a weakness. Plus these glasses really do feel good in the hand.

So I have new water/champagne glasses. I’m sure you will see them crop up in future drinks posts and while there are several cocktails I can think of that would look stunning, they were actually purchased with water in mind. And look quite stunning with water I might add.

Today’s Look:

Primer: YSL Touch Eclat blurring primer

Foundation: Kristofer Buckle Triplicity Foundation stick

Bronzer: Nars in Laguna

Blush: bareMinerals Bounce and Blur in Mauve Sunrise

Powder: No 7 Perfect Light Pressed powder

Eyeshadow: Huda Beauty Rose Gold Remastered Palette

Mascara: Pat McGrath Fetish Eyes Mascara

Lips Roen Beauty Kiss my Liquid Lip Balm in Charlie

I’ll be honest, today I chose products that were easy to work with. I didn’t want to fuss or fiddle with anything. I had things to do so quick and easy worked. Again I used the YSL primer and will be posting my review tomorrow. The foundation was a no brainer. The Kristofer Buckle Triplicity Foundation stick is quick, easy and fabulous.

I put a stripe on each cheek, one down the nose, one across the forehead and another across the chin. Then do a quick blend with my 999 Master Blender Foundation brush and boom, done. no muss no fuss. It blends in like a dream and the formula is creamy enough that it doesn’t need to be warmed up. I think this is the second stick of this Foundation I have purchased and I am about half way through it. It is just a really good foundation to have around. Even though it has a priming core, I need a pore filling primer because I just like the extra layer of primer (and I no longer have 20 year old skin), but it really is a fantastic foundation stick.

Everything else I know I have talked about before and they are products I really enjoy using and don’t have to think too much about. The No 7 Powder is a standard for me. it is the powder I judge other powders against. And it has outperformed some rather high end powders. The Huda Beauty Palette i have only had a few more months but the formula of the shadows is excellent and each time I pull the palette out I want to play with it more. I intended to do just a quick swipe of mauve but then I just couldn’t stop. And you know I can’t resist bronze shades. I am just a sucker for a good bronze shadow.

The Pat McGrath Fetisheyes mascara is good, but I don’t I don’t think it is good enough to warrant it’s price tag. There are quite a few less expensive mascaras that I actually like better. It is good enough to use, use up and if it comes my way in a subscription box, use again, but I wouldn’t repurchase it on it’s own.

The Roen Beauty Kiss My lip Balm in Charlie is a product I am kind of n the fence about. I like the color but it is a little stickier than I like my lip balms. And despite the name my babydoll hates when I kiss him while wearing it. I have noticed though that even after it wears off, my lips are softer and more hydrated than they were when I put it on. I think it is one of those lip products I will have to choose when and where I want to wear it. It will be an infrequent use or only worn when working at home alone at my desk kind of product.

So that was me today. I didn’t get around to jewelry or the gym, but I got a lot done and have thus far made four pots of tea. the fifth is brewing as we speak. And I need to check on it. So this is where I leave you my darlings. I hope you have a fantastic afternoon.

SodaStream USA, inc

Unboxing the April 2021 Ipsy Glam Bag Plus

IPSY, oh IPSY.  This was not your month. With the IPSY Glam Bag Plus the cost is $25 and you get five full sized items.  Two are picked for you and three you get to choose.  The subscription tier comes with a drawstring bag instead of a makeup bag.  In my opinion it is not really worth mentioning. So that is all I will say about it.

So we are going to jump into the products.  We’ll start with the items IPSY chose for me.  The first item was a set of Beau Gachis eyeshadow Brushes.  Now this is nothing against the brand.  I actually have several of their brushes already in my collection.  They are nice brushes.  Quite sturdy and durable. Work well with pigments. 

However, last month IPSY chose a set of eyeshadow brushes for my box. And in one of the tiers where I could choose an item the only item I hadn’t received in that column was a set of eyeshadow brushes.  So last month I received two sets of eyeshadow brushes and this month I get another set.  One set has already made it to my mom who wanted new eyeshadow brushes so I’m good, but still. I like brushes and in fact could use a few new face brushes.  I’m pretty set on shadow brushes at the moment.

When I first saw the line up on April 2nd I sent them a message and the reply essentially told me that I needed to check my beauty profile. The message made it sound more or less like them choosing eyeshadow brushes for me two months in a row was somehow my fault.

Which I didn’t appreciate.

It made me feel quite a bit salty in fact.

The brushes are fine though.  I will either eventually use them or the set will end up in a Christmas stocking. It isn’t like brushes expire, so I’m essentially fine with that.  I was just annoyed by the e-mail exchange.

On a happier note, the second item they chose for me was the Pixi by Petra Flawless Beauty Primer.  You know I love Primers and I have tried several items from Pixi that I like.  However I tend to stick to their skincare. 

I really like their Clarity Toner. I’ve gone through two bottles and it is on my list to repurchase once I work through the few toners I have in my collection. I had to deliberately not repurchase it while I work through some other products. I also have an eyeshadow duo from them that I like (but tend to forget about and need to use more). I am pleased to try some more makeup products from the brand.

Now we get into the three items I chose. The selection wasn’t as poor as it was last month.  I didn’t have any problems choosing.  There was no agonizing over options.  Each tier had one product that I was like, ‘Yeah, that’ll do.’ I chose nice products that I will use and am looking forward to trying out, but usually there is a bit of a choice debate and often I will go into the add ons and purchase one of the items I didn’t choose when I had to make my decision.  That wasn’t an issue this month.  I didn’t buy any add ons and my selection was easy.

I chose the Nue Co’s The Pill All in 1 Serum.  It is a serum that runs heavily to hyaluronic acid which my skin loves.  At the moment I am using the Vitamin C Powder from The Nue Co and I Am really liking it, so I have high hopes for this this serum and look forward to testing it out.

I did also get a second serum.  It is the Vitabrid C12 Vitamin C Dual Drop Serum.  I have a cleanser from Vitabrid in my to try drawer and I thought a serum to go with it would at least give me two things from the brand to try.  I’m going to pair them up and eventually roll them into the line up.  I’ve never tried the brand before and really only seen it here so I am curious to see how it performs.

And now we reach the final item.  I chose the Honest Co’s Cream Foundation. I figured I had plenty of skin care so it would be nice to try out.  I love testing out foundations and I do like cream foundations.

Oh what’s that you say, you didn’t see it in the unboxing of products shown above?  That’s because when I opened my box they did not send the Honest Co Foundation, they sent the Item Beauty Bronzer in Cheek Money.

If some of you think this sounds familiar, you apparently have a better memory than IPSY. I received this exact bronzer several months back.  To do a quick recap, the packaging is lovely.  The product is horrible and the lovely compact now resides in my purse so I can use the pretty mirror without worrying about what happens to the poorly performing product.

And I sent a message to customer service.  I am waiting for a reply.  You know it is bad when you contact customer service twice in one month.

Normally I like IPSY.  They are one of my tried and true subscription boxes.  I almost never have any trouble with them. I have had the subscription in one form or another for over four years and not counting this month I’ve had to contact their customer service team three times. 

Once for a broken eyeshadow, once for a broken lipstick and once because my box held four repeat items out of the five in the box. 

All three were positive experiences.  The broken items were replaced asap and upon realizing that most of my box was repeat they apologized and I think gave me points.  I appreciated the apology more than the points to be honest, although points are always nice. I’m hoping my beginning of April e-mail from them was just a one off with someone having a bad day.  As I really do enjoy IPSY I’m willing to shake off one bad month.  The products (baring the Item Beauty Repeat) are all ones I am looking forward to trying out, so it isn’t a bad month, it was just customer service that got under my skin. Despite all of my grousing, it was a decent, if not spectacular month.


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First Impressions: Zents Mandarin Balancing Shampoo and Water Hydrating Conditioner

Last week I was sent a lovely package from the brand Zents.  It included a collection of samples from their Eau de Toilette collection (ten scents in all) and a set of their Mandarin Balancing Shampoo and Water Hydrating Conditioner. While I will get to the perfumes, each in their turn, it is time to begin the shampoo and conditioner trial.

I know some of you may be familiar with my shampoo and conditioner process and others are just tuning in.  If you are new welcome, if you have been here before, welcome back. While a first test of a shampoo and conditioner can tell you if it is something you want to try or if it is definitely not for you, I typically find that often as I use the product sin my hair my opinion sometimes changes.  I’ve tried several shampoos that I adored on first use, but by the time I made it midway through the bottle I was ready to chuck it. I’ve tried a couple that didn’t thrill me at first, but by the end of the bottle I was sad to see the bottle emptied.

So I tend to do multiple posts about a shampoo and conditioner set as I work my way through the bottle.  That way I am actually fair to the product. The first of the posts is the First Impression post where I am just getting to know the products, the second is posted when I am about halfway through the bottle and the third will be at the end of the bottle when there is no more product.  Sometimes I reach the end sad at the empty, other times relieved.

So this is the first of three posts on the Zents Mandarin Balancing Shampoo and Water Hydrating Conditioner.

First off, I like the pump bottles.  I really like the way they dispense the product and I like that I can tell the levels of product.  If I like and routinely use a product, then I like to reorder it before it actually runs out and bottles like this let me do exactly that. It isn’t a major thing, but it is something that I like.

I have been a big fan of Zents Bath Truffles for a while now.  Mandarin is actually my favorite scent for those actually. The products in the line from shampoo to body wash and bath truffles are designed specifically for those who are sensitive to scent. 

Use code ZENTS15 for 15% off site-wide! Shop now!

While the owner and founder’s inspirational story can be found on the website, I’m not going to repeat it here, mostly because it is just very well written there.  I highly encourage you to read about the foundation of the brand.  There is one line that I have to quote because I really just loved it.

“We call our scents our “liquid memories” because they draw upon the brain’s powerful ability to connect scent to memory. With our scents we can relive our favorite moments.”

Zents

While I absolutely love scents, a lot of the time my sense of smell will help me determine whether or not I like a product.  Just recently I tested a perfume from Kierin NYC that I had a hard time actually describing because it smelled exactly like sitting in the sunroom with my mother when I was a child.  It was actually difficult for me to sit down and break that perfume into actual scent components.

While I do like scent, when it comes to a lot of hair products I often have some issues.  My hair is long, it is thick and it traps scents.  Sometimes it is an acivity scent,  If I am working in the kitchen and slow cooking items I will often carry that scent around with me.  Sometimes I like the scents of hair products, other items I don’t but whatever they are, they will usually stick with me for a while so I do judge shampoos and conditioners first on scent and then on how they work.  I know that sounds kind of strange but If I don’t like th scent I won’t use it no matter how good the product works.  I recently tested a shampoo and conditioner set like that.  The product worked well but the scent was not only strong and not to my liking, but it overpowered everything else.  I couldn’t wear perfume or even scented lotion because it clashed with the scent of my hair.

Now because I have used the Mandarin Bath Truffle I was prepared for the scent of the mandarin Shampoo.  I was wondering how different it would be.  The result is not different.  The scent is, as one would expect, orange. However it reminds me of the frozen pops my mom would make when we were kids.  Not the store bought kind but the kind where she just poured juice into reusable plastic pops and put it into the freezer.  We had a juicer when I was growing up and for frozen treats my mom would juice whatever fruit was in season. 

When it came to oranges, even frozen, you could smell the scent of orange.  It was blunted by the cold of the frozen pop, but you could still get a whiff of it.  That was the strength of the orange. When I dispensed it into my hand.  It was there, but not over powering.  When I applied it to my hair and began lathering, the scent was a little stronger, partially because it was closer to my nose and partially because of the steam in the air. I always find heat tends to intensify scents, at least to me.

When I rinsed my hair, the suds slipped off down the drain taking most of the orange scent with them. 

Then of course, came the conditioner.

The conditioner is not Mandarin scented, so it isn’t reinforcing the orange scent, which I liked. The scent of the conditioner is called Water.  I’ll admit, when the scent of water comes to mind it is a fifty/fifty shot if my brain goes to the beach or the mountains.  Part of me thinks of the ocean and the other part thinks of the cool green scent that always lingers around swift moving streams in the mountains where  I used to hike.  I read the description to see which I should expect.  The description of Water is…

WATER: Refreshing & Renewing: blue chamomile, coriander, lemon, mint, anise

Luxurious, color-safe WATER Conditioner nourishes all types of hair, delivering intensive moisture with 100% organic shea butter. Rich jojoba extract guards against sun damage and imparts manageability. Icelandic moss and Sunflower Oil fortify the hair and protect against breakage. WATER Conditioner leaves hair full, vibrant, and lustrous.

I’ll admit, I thought those scents would make it a bit strong as those are some pretty potent scent notes.  If you do a lot of baking, you know that those scents can easily dominate. They don’t. And it isn’t the massive scent bomb I feared. It is a light delicate fragrance.  The lemon and mint I can detect a little in the freshness that is leant to the floral that I am guessing is the blue chamomile.  It is lightly floral, with fresh notes and just a hint of spice. 

I’ll admit, I didn’t get the hind of spice until I washed it out.  And once the conditioner was in, I no longer had any hint of orange.   It is like the conditioner said, ‘thank you for coming’ and sent the scent on its way.  Not that the conditioner lingered for much longer.  Most of the scent dissipated when the conditioner rinsed out. By the time I stepped out of the shower, my hair just smelled clean.  I couldn’t detect anything but clean hair.  I got my babydoll to sniff and he asked if I was trying to trick him because there was nothing in my hair. 

As this was the first impressions of the shampoo and conditioner, I towel dried my hair and let it air dry naturally.  I put no additional products in it.  Since whenever I dry my hair I use a heat protectant spray, I didn’t use my hair dryer.  I also added no leave in conditioners and even skipped this week’s hair mask.

Don’t get me wrong, I will be using those items moving forward, but for the first impression, it was the Zents Mandarin Balancing Shampoo and Water Hydrating conditioner only. I also held off dying my hair (even though my new eSalon kit had just arrived) so that the products would stand alone. 

And wow, did it stand. 

When my hair was dry I ran my fingers through it to see how tangled things were likely to become. I had no tangles and my hair felt luxuriously soft. It felt light and not weighed down and I had fewer fly aways than usual.  In the photograph in this post, my hair is air dried and brushed through.  There is no styling as both the styling and styling products might skew the first thoughts.  I have to say I was very pleased with how my hair looked and felt with just a simple brush through after air drying.  As I make my way through the bottles I will do a dive into ingredients and discuss some of the ingredients that I think my hair is responding to as well as talking about how they continue to respond to the shampoo and conditioner.  There will of course be other products used so I’ll get to see how they interact with each other. But thus far in this first impression, I am absolutely thrilled with my hair. I can’t wait to see how this plays out as I work my way through the bottle.

The Daily: April 13th, 2021

Today has been an interesting day. My babydoll got his second vaccine shot yesterday and today he is partially down for the count. He is achy and feverish but can’t seem to fall asleep. He has spent the bulk of the day in bed. But doesn’t really seem to want to stay there. He also wants to be on the couch. He also wants someone to pay attention to him. Mostly he wasn’t someone to listen while he recounts how bad he actually feels.

It is kind of the opposite of how I am when I am sick. when I don’t feel well I want to hole up and pretend the rest of the world does not exist. I’m just glad we didn’t get out vaccines on the same day or I think one of us would not make it out alive. Him being sick is somewhat exhausting. But I love him. And so I am making another pot of tea. And listening to how bad he feels.

Which to be fair, is pretty bad.

I managed a walk, but there is no way to get to the gym today. That is simply not going to happen. My calories are back to normal though so that is something. I just need to burn off the massive amount of Mexican food this past weekend held.

I know it was my choice to eat it, but it was so good it was hard to resist.

I am happy though that last night I went ahead and used my latest shipment from eSalon to dye my hair again. the grays were really kind of driving me crazy. They aren’t a cool little strp or anything just a weird little poof of straggly grays sticking out of my roots. I postponed dying it again so that I could see how the Color Wow Color Security Shampoo worked on my color treated hair and so that I could try the root touch up. Both worked really well by the way, but it was time to re-dye the hair.

Since I am starting a new Shampoo and Conditioner Trial and the conditioner with the eSalon dye is really good, I tried the Zents Shampoo and Conditioner set before dying my hair so my first thoughts would be untainted. That post will be up tomorrow. I used the shampoo and conditioner for the first time last Friday so i could have a couple of days to check out the first wash. Today my makeup was relatively simple, sort of.

Today’s Look:

Primer: YSL Touche eclat Blurring Primer

Foundation: Wet ‘n Wild Tinted Hydrator with Hyaluronic Acid

Bronzer: Julep So Radiant Diamond Powder bronzer

Blush: Julep Pore Minimizing Blush

Powder NARS pressed powder in Eden

Highlighter Steve Laurent Prosecco Please

Mascara: Wander Beauty Unlashed Mascara

Eyeshadow: Enlighten Palette by IBY

Lips Milk Makeup Astro Glo Oil Lip and Cheek Tint

You may noticed there is little eyeshadow showing. I tried to use the green ish purple shimmer called Wealth in the Enlighten Palette and it did not end well. You can still see some of it around my eyes, but I wiped most of it off. I like the Enlighten Palette, it has soft pastel shades. The shimmers are great. The mattes, not so much. It is one I need to sit down and play around with, nt one I should try to use in a hurry. I hurried and there was color shift glitter everywhere. It was a pretty shade but I messed up big time. I will take the time to practice and play with it because i really like the shimmers, but that day is not today.

I tend to forget I have the Milk Makeup Glow oil lip and Cheek tint. I have two in different shades. They are really good on the lips. Hydrating without being sticky. They are pointless on the cheeks. The color shows up with the first stripe and then disappears as you blend. So unless you want one solid stripe across your cheek, use it on your lips. It is excellent on the lips.

The Steve Laurent Highlighter I often forget as well. It feels wet to the touch but applies dry. If you use a brush the highlighter disappears so you really do need to apply it with your finger tip.

Everything else performed really well. I am always amazed by how well the Wet ‘n wild Tinted hydrator performs. I always dot int onto my face and think ‘That’s going to be too light’ then I blend and it melts into the skin leaving my skin looking like my skin only better. It is a really good tinted moisturizer (the hyaluronic acid doesn’t hurt either) and i think that I will be wearing it a lot more in the summer as it is so light weight.

So that is my day, a failed eyeshadow plan and an under the weather babydoll. And now the kettle is boiling and I hear a moan from someone who doesn’t want to get off the couch. It is amazing how he can make that sound like a death rattle. At least it is a 24 hour thing. Twelve more hours and we should be in the clear and normality can once again resume.

LovelySkin

Let’s talk reusable…

For a while now I have been trying to reduce the amount of waste I produce. Some of it has taken only a bare minimum of thought. Packing boxes shredded and added to the garden compost or to lay under garden beds to prevent weeds from poking through. Refillable water bottles. I have to say as I do like carbonated water, my Soda Stream has been fantastic for this. I use the Soda Stream to make the bubbles and dispense it into an actual glass to drink instead of actually drinking from the Soda Stream bottle which causes that bottle to last a bit longer as well. To be honest I just use the carbonated water, I haven’t tried any of their actual flavors although I keep meaning to. I might put that on my list next time we reorder tanks.

However, while I lower the level of disposable water bottles and for the most part contain the trash from most of my subscription boxes, my bathroom does produce a lot of waste. I have been working to combat that. While I adore the ease of makeup wipes (well the good ones anyway) I have stopped using them.. Occasionally I will get a pack in a subscription box, and i can’t lie, they are usually a treat. They really are quite convenient. However, I have stopped purchasing them individually.

Instead I use my Makeup Eraser, they come in all shapes and sizes. I generally have one that has no makeup on it that I use for general touch ups (both wet and dry) and I use another Makeup Eraser to take off the makeup. At the end of the week I will use the one I kept clean to remove that day’s makeup and then chuck everything into the wash. I really want to get a set of the smaller seven packs of makeup erasers so that I can start each day with a fresh one, but the system I am currently using works really well.

The next item that I have been working on eliminating are the disposable cotton rounds. I use quite a few of them in a day. I’ve tried several different types of rounds but none of them worked quite right to replace the rounds for me until I received the Magnitone Wipe Out Swipes in a Look Fantastic box. I recently (as in arrived yesterday) received another set in a Birchbox so I now have six to rotate around. I’ll probably still order a full set of six ($20 on Birchbox – I can’t find the small Swipes anywhere else. The makeup removing cloths are everywhere, but not the Swipes)

So why do I like the Magnitone Wipe out Swipes?

The first is the size. You can see in the photo the size of the Magnitone Swipes compared to other replaceable rounds that I have tried. The Magnitone rounds are the same size as a normal cotton round, while the other reusable wipes are much larger. Now I know that sounds strange, but bigger isn’t always better. The larger rounds are a bit too large to use for things like toner (my primary use for the cotton rounds) They roll up when used and just aren’t as easy because they are too large. At the same time, they are too small to remove makeup. The larger rounds are just an awkward to use size and if I am going to replace the rounds I needed something that worked as well.

The Magnitone Swipes are the same size as the cotton rounds. So that starts off as a plus. They are very soft on the skin. My one issue with them is that they can be a little too absorbent. I have found with things like toner, putting the product on the cloth just means you have to use a little more product. At the moment I am using a spray toner So it isn’t an issue, I spray my face and use the round to pat it in and make sure there is no excess. With Essences, the other item I generally use rounds to apply, I’ve actually stopped using any rounds and dispensed the essence into my hand then applied it to my face. I’ve just found that any essence absorbed is too much. it doesn’t matter if it is a reusable round or not, I just use my hands so that if anything else absorbs the essence products it is my hands and not some sort of cloth.

In general the most difficult thing I have found about switching to reusable products like the Magnitone Swipes and Makeup Erasers is finding a place to put the used ones. I just keep a small plastic container under the sink and drop the used ones in along with my washcloths which I change out during the week as well. I find that it gives the washcloths and used rounds and Makeup Erasers a place to live and to dry out.

The drying is the big issue. I didn’t want to add the wet cloth to my laundry basket. In the plastic bin they can dry out together and not cause musty moldy sorts of issues. I just need to remember to add it to the laundry when I am ready to wash. I will say that while the set that just arrived is new, I have been using and washing the Magnitone Rounds I have for over a month now (they came in February) and they have come out of the general wash looking as clean as new and with no wear showing at this point. I’m sure there will come one wash too many and they will need to be replaced, but for the moment, they are holding up quite well.

There are a multitude of reusable products out there that can help you cut down on waste. These are some of the ones that really work the best for me. I clearly haven’t tried all of the products out there and will no doubt try more, but this is what works for me right now. I’m sure you will find what works for you. If there is one piece of advice that I would give to anyone who is trying to use more reusable products in their bathroom routine it is to find a designated landing spot for the used reusable items to stay between use and washing. when the reusable pads came in just added them to the jar where I was keeping cotton rounds and didn’t think about it until I had a pile of used rounds and nowhere to put them. For a while I wasn’t using them simply because I didn’t like piling them up behind the fawcett and didn’t want to ut damp cloth in the laundry basket. Having that designated spot to put them really helps incorporate the reusable rounds into a process. Once you have a process it can become routine. Routines become habits and before you know it, reusable is the way you live.

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Makeup Eraser

SodaStream USA, inc

Birchbox April 2021 Unboxing

This was an interesting box this month for me. But before we get into it, let’s go over what Birchbox is, what it costs and what i should expect. So Birchbox is a monthly beauty subscription. They send samples with the occasional full sized item thrown in. They are often kind of mocked for the small size of some of their samples. To be honest some of them are ridiculously tiny. Recently I’ve gotten small samples but none of the really tiny ones. The cost varies depending on if you get a month to month subscription, a six month subscription or an annual subscription. They usually have deals running about the subscription and I ended up signing up for a year subscription in November of 2020 because of their signing bonus which at the time was an advent calendar.

Because I signed up for a year I pay $13 per month ($14,27 with tax). If you sign up for six months then it is $14 (with tax) and if you go month to month it is $15 per month. If you are looking at subscription comparisons in terms of which one that you want to spend your money on, the Macy’s box, which I also get is $15. It also charges tax so the month to month cost for Birchbox and Macy’s are the same. I just reviewed Macy’s April Box if you’d like to look at it for comparison.

So now that we know what we are looking at, let’s get into it.

Usually Birchbox comes in a sturdy cardboard box. This month, due to Earth Day Celebrations it came in a reusable Stasher bag. I have to say I like this much better, although i doubt it will be repeated. I have been wanting to try a Stasher bag for a while. They are reusable bags that can go in the microwave, freezer and even in the oven. So it isn’t just a good storage item it is multi functional. And yes, I will be putting it to the test to see how it works so stay tuned for that review once I’ve put it through its paces.

However as fantastic as the Stasher bag is, it isn’t one of the five items in the box this month. The first item in the box is the only item that I knew would be in the box. Usually Birchbox gives you a multitude of choices and options, this month you could either trade in your box for points or a natural deodorant kit or you could choose the color of your Re.fil refillable Beauty Balm. I wanted the Stasher bag so I didn’t trade in the box and I am happy with my Native deodorant so I chose a green case for my refillable beauty balm.

I’ll admit, I was kind of annoyed that that was my choice. Don’t get me wrong, I love the idea of reducing waste and have been taking steps to reduce it in my own life. I use Makeup Erasers rather than disposable makeup wipes. I’ve started using washable faial rounds instead of disposable cotton rounds. And I can see that having a reusable balm would cut down on a lot of plastic waste. But the thing is, I have a lot of balms and part of reducing waste is using what you have instead of buying new, so I would have chosen something other than a balm if given the option.

I am also leary of reusable balms like this. I like the concept, but often times the product isn’t one I want to repurchase. Clearly I haven’t tried this one, so I don’t know how it performs, but if I am going to keep this around and reuse it repeatedly, it needs to be a good product, not just a good package. I actually have my fingers crossed that it will be a good product as it is a sturdy and reusable looking container.

But the jury is still out.

There is no deliberation on the second item. The second item in my box was a box of 2 Magnitone London Wipe Out Swipes. I couldn’t be more pleased. I received a set of these in a Look Fantastic Box and then accidentally ended up with two of the same boxes so I have four of these that I currently use. I really like them and am happy to add two more to the collection. They will immediately be put into rotation. They aren’t perfect, they do have some issues to get used to, but I really like them.

I also like that Birchbox has them listed for sale. You can buy a six pack for $20. One of the reasons I haven’t posted a review of these is because I couldn’t find them listed for sale in the US. I found other products from Magnitone london that I could buy, but not these swipes. Now I know at least one place I can buy them. So i am very thrilled about those.

The next item is a Comfort Zone Remedy Cream to Oil Ultra Gentle Cleanser. I like cleansers and we don’t always see a lot of them in subscription boxes so I don’t mind seeing it. The cleanser has at best two uses in the tube which is enough to let me know if I like the fragrance and if I have any initial reactions. It isn’t really enough to let me know how I’m going to like it on my skin.

A few months ago I used a Murad Cleanser that I loved for about a week and then found my skin dried out and flaky in week two. (It isn’t actually Murad’s fault, I didn’t realizing it was an acne wash for oily skin. It is great for one time use here and there for me but not a daily cleanser. It is fantastic for drying out oily, acne prone skin though). So I can get an initial impression. I think I may have heard of comfort zone but I can’t recall trying anything from them. So it will be interesting to see what I think of the one day use.

I have tried Grace and Stella before many times. Their under eye masks are one of my absolute favorites. This month I received a small Rose Water Facial Mist. I sprayed it and while I like rose, this was a little much for me. I am sure it is a fabulous product, but I know I wouldn’t use it because of the scent so I will be passing it along.

Finally there was a sheet mask from Vitamasques in my box. It is the Hydrate Blue Agave Sustainable Sheet mask. I’ve used Vitamasques before and liked them. I think I have one currently in my masking collection that I was planning to use this week actually. I don’t know the difference between their regular sheet masks and their sustainable ones. What I might do is use the regular sheet mask for my Wednesday evening face mask and then use the Sustainable sheet Mask on Friday and do a comparison between the two. I figure using them that close together will at least let me know the difference as there won’t be too much time between uses.

So that was the April 2021 Birchbox. To be honest I love the Magnitone Wiper Out Swipes and know that I will use them. I love the Stasher bag and know I will use it. I am pleased with the sheet mask and feel kind of okay about the cleanser and Beauty Balm. Maybe I’ll be more excited once I try them out. While I love the swipes I really have to say I am most excited about the Stasher. Overall this wasn’t the most exciting box. It was okay but not spectacular and mostly saved by the Stasher. But that’s okay. Not every box is going to be fantastic. This one was just mediocre. I am signed up for Birchbox until November when i will have to decide if I am going to keep it for another year or let it go. seeing the good, bad and mediocre boxes throughout the year will certainly help me decide if this is a box I plan to keep long term or one I will need to let go so that I can try a different one.

And either way, I will end up using the Magnitone Wipe Out Swipes daily and get to see if the Stasher actually does all that it claims. So that’s something.


My Little Mascara Club

The Daily: April 12th, 2021

Good afternoon my darlings, I hope your Monday is going well. My babydoll is currently on his way home from getting the second shot of his vaccine so I have a feeling that my calm and smooth day is about to become a little less calm. But at least this morning was productive.

I planned to go to the gym but the weather was so nice that I just went on an extra long walk instead. We are in that small space of time where the winter chill is gone, the rains have backed off and the summer heat has not yet taken over. It is a very short window and I am going to take advantage of it as much as possible.

I am however getting back into my calorie counting. This weekend it sort of went out the window. On Saturday my babydoll said “You know we haven’t had food from that nice family run mexican place down the street in a while.’ And so we ordered Mexican Food. And when he says a while, he means well before lock down. It is a very good restaurant but the portion sizes are enormous, as well as inexpensive. when we both started trying to lose weight we still went there but found that we could share an appetizer and both be full enough to call it a meal. The problem is that when my baby called the order in he forgot that and decided that we could always have left overs on Sunday. which we did. So we both over ate on both Saturday and Sunday. I couldn’t even estimate the calorie count this weekend.

So tonight I am having salad. I’d like to say it is just because I need to get back on track with my calories but the truth is after the heavy meals this weekend I really just want a salad. Leafy greens just sound like a fantastic idea. There will also probably be another walk this afternoon. Other than that I am just working away at the desk today. Nice and quiet. At least until my babydoll gets home. Then it is anyone’s guess what will happen.

Wonky bangs today

Today’s look

Primer: YSL Touche Eclat Blur Primer

Foundation: Elf Acne Fighting Foundation

Bronzer/Blush/Highlight/Powder: PUR 4 in one skin perfecting Face Palette

Eyeshadow: Zoeva Caramel Melange

Mascara: Ciate London Wonderwand

Lips: Maybelline SuperStay Ink Crayon in Stay Exceptional with the Fenty Beauty Gloss Bomb in Diamond Milk as a topper

This was my first use of the YSL Primer which came in my April Macy’s bag. I’ll admit i was a little worried about the gold flakes but I did not end up looking like an extra from Twilight. The formula blurred and gave me a nice glow. It is very silicone-y to the touch and I really don’t like the strange little applicator wand. The full size comes with a pump though so that is just an issue with the sample size. Thus far I am really liking it. It sits well under the foundation. Despite being one of the least expensive foundations I own, the elf acne fighting foundation is actually one of my favorites. I especially like it as Friday I used a clearing mask to bring up buried blemishes and spent the weekend trying to get them taken care of.

I tend to forget I have the PUr Face palette. I think I used it the week it came in, liked it and then put it in a drawer and forgot about it. I have a tendency to do that with face palettes. Which I really want to work on. Some of my favorite face products are in my face palettes so I need to remember to switch them into rotation more.

The Caramel Melange palette from Zoeva is also one I don’t reach for much. I like it though. The shadows always perform well. The issue is that every look I create turned out more or less the same. The mattes are just so similar that the palette gets boring very quickly. I think when I used it initially for a week, I just ended up getting really bored with it and haven’t really reached for it since. The formula of the shadows are really nice though, it just doesn’t have a lot of variance on the tones. The bronze shimmer is fantastic though. It is a fabulous shade and one I really enjoy using. It’s called Liquid Center. Since I always reach for it, I decided not to use it today and kind of wish I had as it would add a bit more spark to the look. The darkest shade Edible gGem always comes out a little patchy, but every other shade is soft, buttery and blendable. I think it looked okay in the end, but certainly not my favorite look.

The mascara is actually the last of my Ciate London Wonderwand. I really liked it. It lengthens and thickens the lashes really well and didn’t peel or flake during the day. This sample sized tube is now completely empty (it made the hollow popping sound as I was putting it on today) and will be making its way to the empties bin. It will be repurchased in a full size though at a later date.

This weekend I reorganized my lip products, mostly to see what was expired and to remind myself of shades i don’t reach for often enough. I ended up pulling the Maybelline Superstay Ink Crayon out. I like the formula and how it feels on the lips but I always think it looks a little too pink until i put it on. I really like it on my lips. The Gloss Bomb from Fenty Beauty is another I don’t reach for often because I tend to forget it. It is just a little too wide to sit in my lippie display rack so it goes into the drawer and gets forgotten. It is a great formula though and I need to keep it out so I use it more often. In general I am not a huge fan of Fenty products. I generally find them okay but not spectacular. This Gloss Bomb is one of the few Fenty Products that I have tried that I actually really like. So I need to remember to use it more.


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