The Make Up Bag: March 5th, 2021

Welcome once again to the Weekly makeup bag post.  I have a surprise for you this week.  I have decided that this may be my last makeup bag post for a while.  I had several revelations this week and it has led to a few changes and proposed changed.  For a while things may be a bit unsettled as I shake them out and play around with them.

Now don’t worry, I will still be discussing makeup, however I am going to try to add my list of products and a picture of what I did with them to my Daily posts. While I started the Makeup bag as a way to not get overwhelmed by the number of products and so that I could rotate them well, lately I have been finding it is a little too regimented for me. 

Take my foundation this week.  This week I used the Neutrogena Healthy Skin Cream foundation.  I am glad I did, however it is more of a full coverage foundation than I usually use.  It prompted me to do a more elaborate eye look  with the Huda Beauty Palette than I have done with eyeshadow in a while. Which I really liked. 

However mid way through the week I found myself wanting a lighter look, both with the shadow and with the foundation.  I found I could still get the lighter look with the Huda Beauty Palette, but I needed to switch out my foundation.  I ended up pulling the NYX Bare With Me foundation in to help out. I really enjoy both foundations, but I want to be able to decide what look I feel like wearing that day rather than just limiting myself to what was in the bag.  I’m sure there will be weeks where I use the same product repeatedly, but I want that to be a choice, not a requirement.

Bare faced left, One of my full face looks for this week.This used the Neutrogena foundation

The second reason is that I have several sample sizes that I want to use up before I purchase the full size of the product.  To do so I will need to use them more often.  In addition sometimes when new things come in I want to try them right away rather than waiting a week.  So I am going to try adding the makeup to the Daily post and we will see how that works out.  I’ll still break out new products as they arrive into full posts, since I love doing my reviews but This post will be altered starting next week.

A softer look, only swapping out the foundation and lip. This used the NYX foundation and the Fenty Lip Gloss

This week however I had a bag full of products that were either new to me or ones I don’t reach for very often.  The first new product was the primer.  I used the Illamasqua Beyond the Veil PrimerThis link will take you to my full review, but I have to say, I liked it, but I think I prefer the regular Hydra Veil Primer from Illamasqua.  Both are nice, I just have more fun with the clear jelly.

The foundation I mentioned was the Neutrogena Cream foundation.  It is nice and more full coverage than I expected.  It felt a little greasy going on but once blended in the greasiness faded.  It is a little light for my skin tone, but it did lead me to a less natural look than usual. Which was a nice change of pace.  I did swap it out several days for the NYX Bare with Me mostly because I really do like a lighter look during the day when I am working. As always I adored the NYX foundation formula. It feels like you are wearing nothing at all and does a great job covering what I wanted covered.

For my bronzer I dipped back into the Ace Beaute Bronzer palette.  I’ll admit I pulled this one out because I was doing a declutter of my bronzer/ face palettes this week and I honestly couldn’t remember if I liked it enough to keep or not.  So I tried it.  And I did like it better than I thought I did. It actually worked really well for me and it is one that I will be keeping and using more often.

My blush came in the Glam Bag X from IPSY and it was the Patrick Ta Monochromatic moment blush.  This is my first Patrick Ta blush and I think I will have to write out a full post on it.  I thought it was going to be too light for me and it was more pinky in tone than I usually prefer, but it worked well and I very much enjoyed using  it this week.  It is a huge blush so I think it is going to last me a really long time.

For highlighter I pulled the Huda Beauty Highlighting palette in Pink Sands out of the drawer.  I’ll be honest, I forgot about it.  It was buried in my eyeshadow drawer and I found it when I was decluttering and organizing.

I really enjoyed using it this week as it is a really good set of highlighters.  I can tell that if used on a regular basis, I will drift to the deep gold toned product more than anything else.  The silvery one and the brighter gold were just too bright for me and the pink faded into my skin tone with very little to show for it.  The gold, was amazing. I could very much see purchasing that as an individual highlighter.

My concealer was the Maybelline Age rewind concealer I love this formula. It is hands down the best drugstore formula I have tried.  It doesn’t crease and accentuate my fine lines and it is a fantastic lid primer.  I have had it long enough though that I think I may need to keep using it up so that I can use it before it expires.  Once it does I will be buying a new one. I just want to use as much of this product up as a I can before I have to repurchase it.

My eyeliner was the Ciate London Stamp and Drag eyeliner.  The formula of the liner is good and it is the same formula in their other eyeliners, which I like. The main reason I put it in the bag this week was that I wanted to play around with the stamp.  Some days were better than others but like anything else, with practice I got better at using it.  Once I did, I found I really liked it.

My setting powder was a sample size from Lottie London.  This was my first Lottie London product and I have to say, I am not a fan. The powder was well powdery on the skin and left a white cast.  I actually felt bad about saying other powders left a white cast after using this. 

small holes that became clogged very quickly

In addition, there are only three really small holes to get the powder out of so it took FOREVER to get enough product through them.  I am sure there are more holes in them for the full size, at least I really hope so, but the powder drove me bonkers and about midweek I swapped it for the Ciate London Extraordinary Setting powder.  I enjoyed it much more.

For my pressed powder, I have to admit, I opened a new compact of No7 Perfect Light Pressed powder.  I know I said I was going to wait, but I couldn’t.  It was just right there calling to me and I succumbed.  So I opened it and remembered how much I actually love that pressed powder.  It never looks powdery and absorbs oil with a quick mid-day pat. I was very happy to see it again.

As I mentioned before my Eyeshadow Palette this week was the Huda Beauty Rose Gold Remastered palette.  It also came in the Glam Bag X and quite frankly makes me very excited to see what comes in May’s box. This link will take you to the full post but the quick summation is that I absolutely loved it.


I will be reaching for it quite often. The formulas were pigmented, soft, blendable and they stayed in place all day.  Plus look at those colors. They just say Mimsy all over them

For this new and mostly new bag, I opened the Pat McGrath Fetisheyes Mascara.  I know it was an excuse, but I took it.  It is a really good mascara. It didn’t flake and it thickened and lengthened beautifully.  It is a mascara that I will enjoy using to the very last drop.  Provided I can get to the very last drop within six months.  I am going to try though. While it is good and I will enjoy using it, it isn’t such a fantastic formula that I will feel compelled to repurchase it though. It is good enough to use and if it happened to be on an IPSY ad on I would add it on. I’m just not sure I’d pay $30 for it. There are so many really good mascaras out there that do exactly what this does, some with even better performances that I’m just not sure that price is justified. I am very happy I actually got to try a Pat McGrath product but when this is used up, I won’t be buying it again.

My brows were also a new product this week and that was the Marcelle Nano Eyebrow Pencil.  It came in a Birchbox a while back and I decided now was the time to try it.  Marcelle is a brand that is hit or miss for me.  Sometimes it is fabulous, and sometimes it fizzles. This, I have to say was a hit.  The formula was good.  It wasn’t too dry or chalky and the color worked well with my brows.  I am going to have to sit down and do some serious maintenance on my brows, but the product was nice.

For the lips I had two products this week.  The first was the About Face liquid lipstick in Take Aim. (it is what I am wearing in the top photo above)  It is a lovely dark and highly pigmented shade and one I will get a lot of use from. When ordering remember that the outer glass packaging is frosted so the product looks lighter in the packaging than it is coming out. As a liquid lip it went on smoothly and dried down really fast.  It wasn’t terribly drying on the lips but once it dried down it wasn’t moving anywhere. It stayed in place all day.  I t moved around a little when I ate something a little greasy, but that is something that happens with most liquid lips.  It was very comfortable formula to wear and I was quite impressed.

The second lip product I had around this week was the Fenty Beauty Gloss Bomb in Diamond Milk Lip Gloss. (It is in the photo of the softer makeup day pictured above.)I really enjoy using this lip gloss it feels really juicy on the lips but not super sticky.  As a gloss you have to re-apply it periodically if you want the shine to remain, however even when it wears off my lips feel as though they had an extra burst of hydration.  I like the formula.  I often forget I have this lip gloss though because it is slightly too wide to stand up in my lip stick holder so it goes into the drawer.  I might have to figure out a way to keep it out so that I don’t forget it.

To lock everything in place, I used the Pore Professional Super setter Spray.  While it is something I have used before and enjoy, it is a relatively new product and so I decided it counted.  Besides I didn’t have a new to me setting spray to try out and as I have several open that I am trying to use up and clear out, I didn’t think it a good plan to go and buy a new one.

So that was this week’s make up bag.  Next week I will start with the smaller daily posts instead of the weekly one.  If it goes well, I’ll continue and if it doesn’t I will return to this format or try something else.  It may be in a state of flux for a while. As always feel free to let me know what you think and if you see me mention a product that you want broken out in a more full individual post let me know.   For now I am off to editing land and will see everyone back here later today for Face Mask Friday.  See you then.

Currently Bite Beauty has a couple of things going on you might be interested in. I’ll post them below.

Online Exclusive Upswing Duo virtual bundle: Get the Bundle for $39 (a $53 value) .

Receive 25% off sitewide with code AFTERPAYDAY. Valid 3/25-3/28.

Weekly Weight: 217.8 lbs

The Scale: March 5th, 2021

I’m a little late getting started today as the internet was down. It has been flickering on and off since it came back so we’ll see just how long it actually lats today. My hopes aren’t high, but my fingers are crossed. And, no you are not seeing things, this week’s weight is exactly the same as last week’s. 

To be honest, I know this is purely my fault.  I am working on final edits this week and getting ready for next week’s annual Read an E-book Week Book Sale.  My goal was to have the new book out at the start of the sale.  I am running slightly behind so I have been racing to catch up. with luck it will still be out next week, just not at the start of the sale.

As a consequence, pretty much everything has taken a backseat.  Walks were done, but they were shorter than usual and exercises done, but only by the bare minimum.  Having my meal plan in place really helped me out as it kept my calories on point.  All I had to do was stick to the plan and I was good.  It was actually the saving grace of the week.  It is why this was a no gain week.

Meal Plans ROCK!

If you are trying to stick to any kind of nutritional plan (dieting or otherwise) or even if you are just looking to save time I highly recommend putting one in place. It takes a little time to think it through on the weekend before you go shopping, but you save time throughout the week. And I’ve noticed our grocery bill has gone down a little as well because I think things through and incorporate what we have in the fridge at the time into the meal plan (because I look in the fridge when I am writing it) and so only pick up the ingredients needed to be added to what we already have on hand. So those are the things that are on the list to buy. It saves time, money and keeps food from going to waste. If there is one dieting/lifestyle tip I could give everyone that would be it. It is kind of a drag to get started but once it is habit it is an amazing thing.

I could in part blame my lack of walking on the postal service.  My shoes were wearing thin on the bottoms and I ordered a new pair of shoes.  They came in yesterday evening. They were delayed quite substantially however and my big toe is dangerously close to pushing through the bottom of the shoe.  As a consequence I did take it easy.

I’ll admit blaming the post is a bit of a cop out though, so I’ll just admit my focus was elsewhere.

The stats:

Starting Weight: 246.0 lbs

Last Week’s Weight: 217.8 lbs

This week’s weight: 217.8 lbs

Lost this week: 0.0 lbs

Lost in total thus far: 28.2 lbs

While I’m taking blame, I must admit that until this book is out, it will probably remain my focus.  I’m hoping to be released no later than Wednesday.  After its release the walks will get longer and the focus will shift but realistically, until it is done, the workouts aren’t my push. Sometimes life just takes over and I have to accept that.

I am going to be monitoring my shoes a bit more closely though.  I believe I am going to try to add in a photo of them each week so I can better determine how they are wearing. Like the old shoes, these are New Balance.  They discontinued my old style so it is a new style to try out and we will see how well they last. I haven’t had any issues with the New Balance interiors, so it is mostly the sole wearing out that I need to watch.  The old style I had generally lasted three  months before they were unwearable.  Let’s see how long these go for, shall we?

The untouched soles of my new sneakers

So there we have the first of the shoe pictures. These are the untouched ones that have yet to see a walk. Don’t they look so pretty? Pretty won’t last.We’ll see how they made it through their first week next Friday. So bask in the pretty unmarked soles now for next week, they will have seen quite a few miles.

The Daily: March 4th, 2021

Good afternoon my darlings. While this morning was cold and gloomy, this afternoon has been warm and glorious. I managed to get my afternoon walk in. Sadly I don’t have the time to extend it today as I am close to having my final edits done on a new manuscript. It needs the bulk of my attention.

Manuscripts get needy like that towards the end.

So only the one walk. I’m hoping that tomorrow I will reach a point where more of a break is possible. I’m also hoping the weather holds. I may have to still work this weekend, but having good weather to walk in when I take breaks would be nice. I’ll have to look at the mornings forecast to see what the weekend weather holds. But I have my fingers crossed.

I have to admit, after realizing The Candy Club was having a 50% off sale on their monthly boxes, I ended up signing up for one. I got the Fun sized box which is normally $29.99 for $15. No tax, no shipping. The trick is that it ships 30 days after ordering. While waiting is such sweet sorrow, I was hoping I would somehow get the box before the sale ended so I could review it for you so there would be a better chance of knowing what you would get before you ordered. I don’t think the sale will last that long though. So I’m just letting you know in case you were interested in trying it out.

Oh also something with a time limit. Huda Beauty has Mystery boxes available. The large costs$89 and has 8 items with a retail value of $269 and the small is $49 with 4 items and a retail value of $119. Each comes with a cute little makeup bag. They are only on sale for two days. I think today is day one of the two days. If you are interested, you might want to snag one before they disappear.

Those ae the two really time limited sales I know about. Hopefully if you are interested you can take advantage of the discounts.

As for me, I have a boatload of editing before I can call it a day. I took a little extra time today to put together a marinade. We are having Tikka masala tofu tonight for dinner and the longer the tofu sits in the marinade the better it will be. Just remember if you use tofu for this get the extra firm and press as much water out of it as you can so it soaks up more of the flavor. Personally I really like it, especially as I crisp it up a bit in the pan. With me the only issue I had with tofu was with texture. Browning it with that marinade takes the texture away. I am not fooled into thinking it is meat, but it eliminates the smooth and slightly rubbery exterior my tongue doesn’t approve of. With that gone, I’m happy with it. So dinner is partially prepped, my walk is done and I am getting back to work and dreaming of sour candies. Not a bad thursday all in all.

Playing around with the Huda Beauty Rose Gold Remastered Eyeshadow Palette

The Rose Gold Remastered Palette Untouched

This week i used the Huda Beauty Rose Gold Remastered Palette as my eyeshadow palette. I have used the smaller Huda Beauty Obsessions Palettes in the past (I have two in my collection) and I really liked the formula. I don’t reach for them a lot, or haven’t recently, mostly because they are small and they ended up getting buried. This is my first full sized Huda Beauty Eyeshadow Palette.I don’t know what the original was like, so I can’t compare it to the newer version, I can only tell you my thoughts on this one.

Personally, I loved using the remastered rose this week. Recently I have been doing very simple one and done looks or adding one shade and then topping it with a bit of shimmer and calling the look done. With this palette I wanted to spend time playing with it and layering the shadows. But let’s look at the shadows.

The top row is all shimmers.They are butter soft and perform really well. I have no idea why they have divots carved into them as that seems really strange to me. Perhaps it is a factor of the machine pressing the formula or the product was so soft it pressed better that way, or maybe they were even trying to put less product in the pan. I don’t know. I do know that even with a dry brush, these shimmers applied well and performed magnificently. There was only minor fall out and usually that occurred when I didn’t tap my brush off enough before applying them. I did not end up with glitter cheeks because of these shadows. Towards the end of the day I did have a slight crease across my eye, but it is where I have small hoods in my lids and quite frankly the only formulas that don’t give me a line by the end of the day are liquids and even then there are only a few that can perform like that. The line was very slight and I think I am the onl one who noticed it.

The second row is composed of half matte and half shimmer shades. What I found interesting about the matte shades in this row is that Risque (far left) felt more solid to the touch than the other formulas. The other two mattes were soft and butter, almost as soft as the above shimmers. The shade Risque did not feel this way, however it performed just as well as the others. The eye image is of just Risque on the lid. I did one tap into the pan and one swipe across the eyes.

As you can see, the shade is highly pigmented and despite the swiping motion there is little color fall out. While I did try playing around with this palette without adding my face products first, I have to be honest, my eyeshadow is one of the last things I do. I end with Eyeshadow, Mascara and then lip products.

I generally use setting spray after the shadow but before the mascara. It is the way I have alwyas done my make up. I know most people do the eyes first and then work their way out, but the habit of the lifetime makes me always feel like I am missing a step if I do it that way. I will say that because I received cleansing wipes from my Refreshments subscription and actually have them on hand, I am playing with my eyeshadow more and when I play with it more, I do apply shadow first and then face products. It I know what look I am going to do, I do the face first. The wipes make it easy to play and clean up fall out and tidy edges, I just don’t like the waste of them. But there you have it. I also have to sya it has been a while since I’ve had a palette that made me want to play. this one makes me want to play around with shadow.

But moving on we have one more row to go.

This third row is composed of all mattes. In case you are wondering about the difference with the photo, the flash kept going off when I took it. For some reason it wouldn’t go off with the other two sets of swatches but no matter what I did it always went off with this set. so the image is different.

The formula however is the same, and as you can see from the swatches, they look almost creamy. The shades were butter and soft and applied fantastically well. I had no trouble with streaking or patchiness, even from the black. Generally, I find that the darker the shade the more patchiness can be a problem. I simply didn’t have that issue with this palette. Black truffle applied well, blended into the other shadows and layered beautifully.

I know usually i have at least one criticism of the palate, one thing that didn’t work for me or slightly annoyed me. Honestly, i can’t really think of one. These shades of the Huda Beauty Rose Gold Remastered Palette are completely in my wheelhouse, they are nicely and thoughtfully arranged, and user friendly. They blend well, stay put and provide great color pay off. Quite frankly those are usually my priorities when looking at an eyeshadow palette. I very much enjoyed using this palette this week and will continue using it for a long time to come. It may sound overly enthusiastic, but really, I can’t complain.

Huda Beauty

Going Beyond the Veil with Illamasqua

The Illamasqua beyond the Veil Primer

In general I like primers.  Okay, let me correct that. I adore primers.  I think it is a holdover from my painting days.  I there is just something about the thought of a properly prepared canvas that just makes me think all is right with the world. 

Even on days when I only wear powder and skip the foundation, I reach for primer first.  It is just a habit.  I have noticed that as I’ve gotten older, primer has been much more of a staple in preparing the canvas of my face for makeup application.  Over time my pores seem to have enlarged and there are so many fine lines that just need a little bit of filling before the foundation goes over them.  For this primer is my go to product.

Sample on the left, full size on the right

Typically I also like the brand Illamasqua.  I think at this point powder and foundation are the only two products from them that I haven’t actually tried.  For me their products always work really well.  And In case you were wondering, both of their powder and foundations are on my list of products to try.

So when the new Illamasqua primer, Beyond the Veil, appeared in my Look Fantastic Box I was thrilled.  This was also the Look Fantastic Box I accidentally ordered twice, so I ended up with two samples of this primer. The second is still sealed in its little box.  The first went into my makeup bag this week. First off, I love the look of the jars. There is just something really pleasing about the shape of them.

comparing the products

Now I have used the Hydra Veil Primer from Illamasqua repeatedly.  I tried it first in the sample size and then moved on to the full size (which is now in my dressing table). I really like it.  The difference between the Hydra Veil and the beyond the Veil primers is that Beyond the Veil has Illamasqua’s Beyond Powder blended in.

(I know it gets a little confusing but the links in that paragraph will take you to each individual product so you can see them all separately in more professionally lit photos. Because of the products themselves photographing them was really hard to do. They reflected light in really crazy ways.)

I was very curious as to how this world work.  Would it eliminate the need for powder?  Would the primer be more concealing? Or more powdery? What about texture? So many questions. Let’s find some answers.

First there is a difference in coloring.  The Hydra Veil Primer has no color to it whatsoever. It is a clear jelly like substance.  I always have fun playing with it when I take it out.  I love that once you scoop out a little bit of the formula it leaves a little chunk of jelly missing, but by the time you’ve applied it to your face, the surface of the container has smoothed out again so that it looks like none was taken.  It’s a little thing, but it always makes me feel like I am opening a new product every time I open it.

The Beyond the Veil has the same tendencies but it is a beige color.  The color goes away or blends into the skin, when applied, but in the jar, I can’t lie, it looks more like an overly set, and possibly split, custard because of the color.  There is something slightly off putting about the color and about scooping it out.  It reacts the same way as the clear version, but somehow with the color I always find myself sort of making the icky face at it.

Childish I know, but there it is.

The original is completely liquified by the heat of your hands. The Beyond the Veil melts a little but not all the way down to liquid. It is more of a thin paste. It is thinner than other primers, almost a foundation like consistency.   Once that happens I am fine with the color.  It is just the initial scooping out of the jar that gets me. It is fine once it is out of the jar. Despite the slight change in texture, and not melting to a complete liquid, it applies like the original primer, however it is a slightly dryer formula. 

The Hydra Veil is a very wet formula.  When you apply it, you need a moment to let it dry and set.  Personally I don’t mind it as I tend to apply my powder directly over it and then put foundation on top.  I find this gives me an excellent base.  As the Hydra Veil dries down it becomes slightly sticky and locks the powder into place giving me a fantastic matte base that doesn’t look powdery.

I thought there was the possibility that with the powder blended in, the Beyond the Veil might eliminate the need for powder. It does not. It is less wet than the Hydra Veil and dries down a little more quickly because of it.  It also dries to the same slightly sticky consistency that the regular Beyond the Veil Primer reaches.  I still applied my powder over it and then moved on to foundation.

No primer on the left, primer on the right

What the Beyond the Veil does is it helps over redness and minor blemishes better than the regular Hydra Veil because of its tint.  Because of this I found myself using less concealer this week as I worked my way through the primer. Because of the wet shine in the above photos, I’m not sure how much of the covering aspect it shows. It didn’t affect my use of powder, but I really only needed the concealer under my eyes and on my lids to prep them for eyeshadow. 

The week of use ended up using up my sample size of primer. I do have a second one and I will be using that at some point in the future. Over all I really did like using the Beyond the Veil Primer this week.  It did well eliminating redness and minor sunspots, letting me skip the concealer for face application, it dried down relatively quickly and locked my powder and foundation into place really well.  It is not pore filling but it is slightly sticky and keeps everything set and does a good job of preventing the product overlaying it from settling into fine lines. The above pictures may not look dramatic, but it did wear really well and help out the other makeup products I used this week.

The only drawback I can see is that color in the jar.  Getting it out of the jar is really unappealing.  Once out it is fine and it is a good product to use, it is just that initial jump. Perhaps it would look different in the full size, I don’t know.

While I will still lean more towards using the regular Hydra Veil, I have to say on days where I have a lot of redness that I want to conceal I would have no problem reaching for this hydrating primer.  I might not look into the jar when I scoop it out, but I will certainly use it.

The Daily: March 3rd, 2021

I’ll admit, I may have been a bit of a slug today. I got up a little late and sort of dragged through my morning. I sort did my morning work out, but I put so little effort into I that I don’t really think it actually counts. Most of my efforts have gone into writing and clearing the desk for writing today. I am reaching the end of a manuscript and am fine tuning my edits. So I’m trying to get everything else squared away so I can focus and make certain every last comma is exactly where I want it to me.

Generally when I reach this stage, I tend to let everything else slide until the final draft is complete. Tonight’s dinner is going to be baked potatoes, mostly because it takes so little time to just put them in the oven. And then they can be doctored to individual tastes. As Potatoes are always welcome around here, it isn’t a hardship and I personally appreciate at least one dinner during the week that I just don’t have to think about. For me baked potatoes are an easy out.

I will admit I was tempted away from my editing by the Wine of the Month Club’s sale listing for longer than I planned.

Winter Sale! Get $30 off The International Wine of the Month Club. Rare, hard to find wines. Use code SAVE30 on a prepaid 12 shipment order

So I did spend a little time perusing their selections. Spending so much time in the house this past year depleted out reserve of ordered wines, which was quite a feat. We had quite a bit stashed for family holiday events as well as our weekly happy hour, but prior to last year we had only about one Happy Hour at home a month and the rest were out at various restaurants. Now they are almost exclusively at home. Hence the depletion of the reserve.

At the moment there is no reserve wine in the cabinet. Which sort of explains last week’s unplanned selection. Although I do personally like the ‘Hey I’ve never tried this one before’ approach to local wine purchasing.

If nothing else it is quite an experience. There have been some unexpectedly good finds, plenty of mediocre ones, a few that were better off used as salad dressing components, and the occasional surprising stunner. Our local liquor store is known for their array of hard liquors and the extremely wide variety of beers – they are not known for their wines. So it is always surprising to find the items they stock. I have no idea how they stock because their wine selection is really all over the place. Truthfully even with the occasional off bottle, shopping for wines there is like a bizarre treasure hunt. The hunt is as amusing as the wine, often more so.

Although finding reputable wines in general is a good idea. House guests don’t always appreciate my personal adventure quests which is why they are often kept for Happy Hour. So looking for good wines I spent some time on the Wine of the Moth Club’s site. Several selections looked really nice and like ones I’d enjoy trying. And yes I am calling it work related searching as I might end up reviewing them for my Happy Hour post, but mostly it was making a list for personal wine cabinet purposes.

Just don’t tell anyone.

And I’ll keep mum about how long you spent scrolling through Instagram this afternoon.



But now it is back to editing for me. I put the Wine of the Month Club info above in case you are interested in stocking your own cellar. I’m actually thinking of adding one of the monthly subscriptions to my list, but i haven’t figured out which one I want to go with yet. And of course as soon as I pull up the site, my baby doll points out they also have a Chocolate of the Month Club. While he likes wine, he ADORES chocolate. I suspect if I get one subscription, I’ll end up needing to get both. That is the way things go around here. Admittedly, he is still drooling over The Candy Club (incidentally they have a 50% off your first box deal going at the moment as well which you might want to check out) so I might be able to get one month of the Wine Club in before he notices there is no chocolate. I have no illusions about that lasting though. Birthdays and anniversaries my baby may sometimes forget, but he never forgets the possibility of chocolate.

Perfume Review: Nitro Noir from Kierin NYC

Recently Kierin NYC sent to me a Perfume Discovery Kit.  It contained four 2 ml perfumes to try, which is enough product to wear for a couple of weeks. I love when perfume companies do discovery kits as they let me try out the perfumes to see which one is for me. 

While there are a lot of scents I like, there are a lot of scents that sound good when you read them and then don’t really work for you when you try them on. The Kierin NYC Discovery kit is offered for $20 on their site, but (and this is the really cool thing) when you order the discovery kit they give you a code so that when you order a full size of whatever perfume you ,like, you get $20 off that purchase. 

The full sized bottle made from recycled glass

That’s right, the cost of the kit rolls right into the perfume purchase.  Plus with the discovery kit you get a 10 ml bottle of their latest fragrance release. The bottles pictured are the 10 Ml and the full sized bottle of their latest release which at this time is Rose Ink. I’ll be saving that review for once I have worked my way through the discovery kit, I just couldn’t resist showing the bottle.  It is 100% recycled glass and coated white so the perfume is protect from sunlight.  Personally I love the look of the bottles.

But now it is time for the perfume.

The Discovery kit contains four perfumes.  Last week I reviewed the first of them, 10 a.m. Flirt, and I really liked the scent. Now it is time for Nitro Noir.

According to the Kierin NYC website Nitro Noir is…

Impossible To Resist

The 10 ml size of perfume

Nitro Noir is a remarkable and decadent scent. It is spicy, intoxicating and hypnotic. Designed for the individualist looking to get noticed in a crowd, but made for more than going out. 

Eau de Parfum:  Premium quality with 20% Fragrance concentration. Comes as a Natural Spray.

Clean & Conscious: This product is cruelty-free, vegan, eco-friendly, sustainably sourced, recyclable and free of toxins, parabens, phthalates, unnecessary dyes and stabilizers. Made with natural sugar cane alcohol. 

KIERIN CARES: Proud to be one of the very few perfume brands certified 100% Vegan & Cruelty Free by PETA.  

Nitro Noir Sample from the discovery kit.

Fragrance made in the USA. 

Vibe:  Intoxicating – Hypnotic 

Olfactive Harmony: Chypre – Floral – Gourmand

Key Ingredients:  Italian Bergamot – Pink Berries – Orris – Patchouli

Perfumer: Mathieu Nardin, known for combining artisanal techniques with modern materials and new innovations.

This premium niche eau de parfum is an “artfully crafted scent collage with signature vibes.” 

Now for those who are looking at that and thinking, most of that I get, but there is one word I am unfamiliar with, I got you. According to Wikipedia Chypre is…

Chypre (pronounced [ʃipʁ] or [ʃipχ]) is the name of a family (or concept) of perfumes that are characterised by an accord composed of citrus top notes, a middle centered on cistus labdanum, and a mossy-animalic set of basenotes derived from oakmoss.

And I have to say that I find it appropriate here.  While I get the dominant scent of Patchouli in the mix there is a slight citrus note to the scent and there is an almost mossy scent balancing it out.  The citrus note for some reason pings as tangerine to my nose rather than anything else. Perhaps that is the Italian Bergamot mixing in, I’m not sure. Nitro Noir does have that sweet tang I associate more with tangerines though.

There is also an odd fruity scent as well that sort of reminds me of pears. It is a very light back note and looking at the list of intended notes I’m not entirely certain where that note is coming from. I have to say I am not getting a whole lot of floral notes. which I’m actually fine with. While I like floral perfumes, I also like a break from florals and this is certainly a break from florals.

Like the 10 a.m. Flirt, this perfume comes on strong, but given a moment or two to settle down and Nitro Noir starts to hug the skin a bit more.  It does travel a bit more than the 10 a.m. Flirt thought.  With the 10 a.m. Flirt a person would need to be very close in order to inhale the scent of your perfume.  Nitro Noir will be noticed in casual conversation.

It isn’t something you would scent from around the corner, It does not dominate a room. It isn’t overpowering but noticeable.  Because of that I would not wear it to the office.  Not only does it take up space, but the scent does lean more evening than it does daytime office work, at least for me. 

The mossy notes, which I think might be the Orris, give it a bit of a fresh scent that is lightly green (at least to my nose which admittedly sometimes converts scents to colors) so it isn’t as heavy as some of the patchouli influenced perfumes can be, especially blended with bergamot. 

Nitro Noir is a scent I would wear to an event or out to a club, it is probably not one I would wear to dinner.  It would be appropriate to wear at dinner time, I just don’t think I’d want to wear it when focusing on food.  Drinks, and appetizers yes, an actual meal not so much.

One thing I like to do with scents when I am wearing them is close my eyes and inhale and picture the scent in a scene.  When I do that with this, I can picture a glass of red wine in my hand as I stand on a patio in the early evening at a party. In my mind I also picture the warmth of an early summer evening where the heat of the day has gone but the residual heat keeps anyone from getting cold. In addition to warmth there is a level of sophistication to the scent.

While a bit picturesque I think Nitro Noir is a perfume that does go well with warm nights rather than cool days. 

Despite the decided lack of warmth right now, I did enjoy wearing it this past week.  It is a perfume that will last the duration of the day, should you choose to wear it throughout the day. This is the second perfume I have tried from the Discovery kit and thus far both have had the same longevity to the scent.  Hopefully that will be something that is standard throughout Kierin NYC’s perfume line. While I generally choose perfumes for their scents, I really like when I can apply a scent when I want it and have it last without having to reapply midday.

Even though I wouldn’t normally wear this in the day time, it is nice to know it will last.  In this trial, I wore it for the full day and had only minor scent fading throughout the course of the eight hour day.

I generally work alone and when I partner with people it tends to be over the computer or on the phone, so there was no one to object to any scent I felt like wearing. 

It is however more of a cocktail party scent.  It is warm and sensuous and more suited to after office hours.  For me it is also something I would wear more often when the weather warms, or at least when I want my mind to think of warmer settings.  I’ll admit, I had more thoughts of warm summer evenings this week than I have in a while.  Over all, Nitro Noir was a rather enjoyable scent and I look forward to discovering the other scents the Discovery Kit has to offer.

Petit Vour February 2021 Unboxing

I believe the final February subscription box has now arrived. It’s actually not surprising it is Petit Vour as they don’t ship until about the 20th and as February was a short month, it is not unusual for there to be a little overlap. I just find it kind of fun that I’m already getting e-mail shipping notices for some of the March boxes. Honestly with February this happens every year regardless. the short month just plays havoc with everyone and if feels like February’s boxes barely arrive before march is on the doorstep. Since January always feels like it takes forever it sort of feels like February tries to accelerate to make up for it. But speaking of moving on…

It is time for the February Petit Vour unboxing. For those that don’t know, Petit Vour is  a cruelty Free subscription box that costs $18 per month.  They do have a Petit Vour Plus that costs $25 per month.  I have not tried that one so I can’t vouch for it.  The regular Petit Vour box contains four items that are generally deluxe sized samples with the occasional full sized item thrown in.  While I really do enjoy this subscription, this will be my last Petit Vour box for a while. I will continue to shop on their site as they offer really good deals on lots of clean products that I really enjoy. I am certain I will be back at some point for the box as well, but I needed to take a little break from it. 

So what is in the February Petit Vour Box?

Well the first item up is from a brand that pops up routinely in the Petit Vour Box and that is K Voss.  This time it is the K Voss Perfecting primer. It claims to be a multi use illuminating primer that naturally adjusts to your skin tone.  As I have an ongoing love affair with the primer category, I am very much looking forward to trying this out. I think it may end up in next week’s make up bag.

The second item in this month’s box is also from a brand we see quite often.  Personally I have an unsteady relationship with the brand Goldfaden, MD.  Everything about it says I should like ti and I always approach with high hopes.  Only occasionally are those hopes realized. 

This month I received the Goldfaden, MD Doctor’s Scrub which is an exfoliate.   I love exfoliants as much as I love primers.  I actually tried a full size of this a while back and if I remember correctly it was a good exfoliate but it was also the kind of exfoliate you only use once a month at most.  I could be wrong, I will have to check my notes, but I believe that is the case. It is a small enough sample that I can easily test it again to confirm.  I’ll keep you updated on that once I take it out to try.

lip swatch

There was actually a second makeup item in the box this month ant it is the lip color pencil from the brand Slate Cosmetics.  The name sounds vaguely familiar but I don’t think I have ever actually tried them. I tried looking up the lip pencil but only found skincare on their site. i will do my best to find out more information before I use it and report back to you.  I am always up for trying a new lip product and when I swatched it the color seemed nice.  So I will add it to the products to put in the makeup bag for testing. I find the fact that I can’t find much about it on line rather intriguing.

And finally we have the fourth item in the box and that is Davids Premium Natural Toothpaste.  I’ve seen the toothpaste around, but never tried it before.  In general, I am a Crest girl at least as far as Toothpaste and whitening strops go.  I tend to go with Listerine for my mouthwash.  I am however almost out of my Crest toothpaste so perhaps I will give this a trial instead of repurchasing my standard tube.

One think I like about this subscription box is that they so often send items I would never think of picking up on my own. Often times I find brands that I’ve never heard of or only heard of and never tried.  A few of my new favorites have come out of this subscription box like the Akar Balancing Toning Mist and the Bkind exfoliating scrub of course Bkind also now has a Papaya Enzyme Scrub and as I am really liking the Elemis Papaya Mask so I may have to give that a try as well soon, but that is another story. 

I really like both and would not have found either on my own. While I am taking a break from this box for a little while, it is only so that I can try out other subscription boxes, not because I don’t like it.  This is a box I will definitely be circling back to in the future. But for now, I must bid a fond adieu until we meet again.

Cruelty-Free Beauty Box

The Daily: March 2nd, 2021

Good afternoon my darlings. Today has just been chugging right along. Calories are on point, exercises complete. All is well on the fitness front.

I am however quite sad to find out that the cosmetics brand Becca is soon to be no more.Several years ago they were purchased by the Estee Lauder company and now as the company is rearranging themselves they have decided to close down the brand. They are closing officially in September. This article from Allure goes into the details should you be interested in learning more. I love the Pink Haze setting powder and their Aqua Luminous foundation is a great affordable full coverage foundation.

Almost every other foundation I use is lighter in coverage. The other full coverage foundation I adore is the Koh Gen Do Maifanshi Aqua Foundation which, while utterly fabulous (and if I am being honest, better than the Becca), at $77 tends to fall more into the luxury cosmetics rather than the more affordable ones like Becca. Don’t get me wrong the Koh Gen Doh is very much worth the price and one of the best foundations I’ve ever tried, I just like having foundations in different price ranges available in my dressing table.

Plus the last time I picked one foundation and just continuously used it, the product was discontinued and I began my grand foundation quest, so having several products I like as well as my absolute favorites on hand isn’t a bad thing.

In case you are wondering, Koh Gen Do, Kosas Tinted Face Oil and Elf Acne Fighting Foundation kind of stand at that top tier for me at the moment. Becca was with them, but no longer.

I suppose I will just have to try more foundations to find one to replace it. Not exactly a hardship, I know. I just need to resist the urge to stock up before September. Well, maybe one bottle. The harder thing is going to be finding a replacement for the Pink Haze setting powder. It is just really good at bringing a healthy glow to winter pallid skin. and in making me look healthy when I’ve spent too long at the computer in an effort to finish a project. I suppose that may be a new quest as well as I don’t actually have anything really comparable to it. It is in a category all it’s own.

However as disappointed as I am to hear of Becca Cosmetics closing, there was a nice announcement today as well. The brand NUXE is having a sale for the entire month of March. It is a buy two get 25% off sale now through March 31st. There is no code needed and the discount is applied at checkout. Which I like because I am always forgetting to put in the codes. I love when the discount is automatic. I adore the Insta Masques from Nuxe. They are two minute masks that are amazing. I love putting them on and then letting them sit while brushing my teeth. Then I just rinse them off, easy peasy. The exfoliating one leaves my skin silky smooth and doesn’t strip it at all. It is very gentle I think that now might be the time for me to stock up. You too of course if you are interested in them. (the other Insta masques are good too, but you know I can not resist a good exfoliator).

So a brand I like is departing and a different brand I love is having a sale. It isn’t quite equilibrium in my personal beauty world, but it is close. And some days close is all you can really hope for.

Getting a Bad Attitude with The Mane Club

As I’ve mentioned before each Saturday I treat my hair to a hair mask.  The mask I choose generally coincides with my hair’s needs.  Too much dry shampoo that week?  Let’s look into a scalp scrub.  Hair looking a little dull?  Why not something to bulk up the shine?

While I have always indulged in hair masks when I can, it was always sort of an afterthought. In the past year I have been on my own with my hair (aka sans stylist) and as a consequence I’ve had to pay more attention to it than I usually do. While I’m not sure trimming my own bangs can be considered a plus, in fact, I am pretty sure I am getting worse at trimming them as time goes on, the hair masks are a benefit. Because I can’t just make an appointment to deal with whatever is going on with my hair, I have started evaluating it like I do my skin and treating it according to need, hence the pre hair masking self questionnaire. Hair masks have really been a lifesaver and I am now in a routine of the once a week evaluation.

This week I pulled the Bad Attitude Volumizing and deep conditioning mask from my collection of products to try because my hair was feeling a little flat.  I believe this one came to me in a Glossy Box Mystery Box a while ago. Glossy Box remains one of my favorite subscriptions and while they don’t do their mystery boxes often, they do have limited edition boxes come out routinely. The next one is the Glossy Easter Egg which looks fantastic. But more on that later, back to the mask.

It is a Mane Club Hair mask and I have generally found that my hair reacts really, really well with Mane Club Products and my frugal side loves that they are only $3 each (they sent a package to me a while ago with products to try and I have been loving all of them.  Incidentally, their One Hit Wonder Spray I repeatedly mention and adore is  also featured in the buzzfeed Article – 25 Hair Products That Come Recommended From Hairstylists – It is number thirteen, I personally think it should have been number one, but that’s just me, maybe they had to build up to its fabulousness.)

So what does this volumizing mask do? I know a very unnecessary question, but let’s see what the product information has to say anyway shall we?

Hey babe, we’ll help keep your attitude and hair in check with this volumizing hair mask.


• Volumizes

• Strengthens

• Deeply Conditions

SCENT: Peaches

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

The Mane Club

All of their hair masks that I have tried have given me three consistent uses and even though this was my first time using this mask, I know I have enough product for two more uses.  As always when faced with a packet like this, I dispense it into a separate container.  I generally find that the jar is not only easier to use, but also lets me more easily see how much product I am using so I don’t go overboard and try to use the entire packet in one sitting.

This time, I used an old Sunday Riley CEO Vitamin C Moisturizer jar.  It is a nice cream by the way, especially at night.  I’ve used it several times in the past and probably will use it again. The formula is good, the scent is like an orange creamsicle and the jar is also nice solid glass making it reusable. The mask fit perfectly inside. 

What I like to do with five minute masks is to wet my hair down with a spray bottle (this one came from my local Target.  They have them generally in the hair care or travel container sections.  I have found it is really useful  for a variety of things and rather inexpensive to boot.  I generally keep plain water in it and if nothing else spray down my comb to run through my bangs when I wake up and they are all wonky. It’s a super quick life saver.

But it is also good for hair masks. 

So I sprayed down my hair until it was wet (I put a towel on the floor first so it was not wet) and then I applied the mask to my hair, used the clip to wrap it up on top of my head and let it sit for five minutes. 

my non hair dryer drying procedure. I know, soooo high tech

Actually it took me almost exactly five minutes to gather my fresh clothes, go into the bathroom strip down and let the shower water heat up. Then I rinsed the hair mask out and let it air dry.

Because it is a volumizing mask I didn’t want to use my hair dryer to give it extra bulk it might not have.  I also didn’t want to add a heat protectorate spry over it in case it adjusted the product as well.  The first time testing a mask I like to just use the mask.

So that is what I did. 

I kept my hair in the towel for a bit to keep it from dripping, then let it air dry and ran a brush through the then dry locks.

I have to say my hair feels thicker.  It also feels silky soft.  There are a few fly aways so I will be taming them with the One Hit Wonder when I go to use my Revlon Curling Brush on my hair to actually style it. But I have to say that as always I am thoroughly impressed with The Mane Club. 

Pre mask on the left, post mask on the right. The slight curl in the left is due to holdove styling while the right side has only been dried and brushed not styled.

I was expecting volume and even with the note about deep conditioning on the label, some how that didn’t register at all. I only saw the volume. While I like the name Bad Attitude and I think it suitable, I think that because of the name I really had it in the back of my head that tangles and possible frizziness would go along with the volume. They don’t. I think it is just the word bad hat put the thoughts there. The conditioning aspect is really nice. It is also really hard to show in static photos, or in anything not in person really. It is a touch thing. My hair feels really soft and nourished.

And yes I did get volume. I also need to remember to wear light colored shirts when taking hair pics so things show up better. My hair was thicker and fuller after using the mask and to be honest, as strange as this sounds it really showed up when I wore my hair in a high ponytail. The ends didn’t look as thin and I was actually asked if I filled my hair out with anything. This mask is definitely going on my list of products to be ordered again. Which means that as far as hair masks go, I am sitting at three for three. That is a really good success rate.

I know I sound really surprised. I shouldn’t at this point, they make great products. I think that I’ve been a bit conditioned into believing that price equals quality and that expensive is always better. Truthfully with the exception of the t-shirts on their site, no product they currently offer is over $10. The masks are all $3 each (and you get three uses out of each) and their fabulous One Hit Wonder is only $8 and it leaves more expensive products in the dust. I still see the low price and am shocked by how well it works. I’ll get over it, but this is one hair care brand I am going to pay attention to even when I do finally begin the quest for a new hair stylist (my salon closed before the pandemic due to a rent increase and my stylist moved with her husband across the country – Colorado I think, but I could be wrong).So even when the world shifts back into a more regular everyday pattern I may be on my own with my hair care for a while.It is good to know what products I can trust while I search out a new stylist.

Incidentally, The One Hit Wonder is the March Product of the month for The Main Club. You might want to check it out, and maybe pick up a few hair masks while you are there. I can personally recommend Cry Baby, The Expert and Bad Attitude. I’m sure once I try more, my recommendations list will grow. It’s just that sort of company.