The Daily: September 28th, 2021

You know I really do try to make plans. Like actual ones. Sometimes, the world just sort of intervenes.

Yesterday afternoon I received a all from my oral surgeon’s office about my implant check up. Earlier this summer I had a crown snap off, breaking off the tooth with it and sending me into a world of pain I did not know existed. I had to have the fragments of the tooth removed and an implant post inserted by the oral surgeon so the implant had a place to lock into. Apparently it screws into the post which is why my babydoll calls it a robo tooth.

However before the final robo tooth can be installed by my dentist, the post had to sit for three months and then be checked over by the oral surgeon. There were scheduling difficulties as illness of varying types (including the garden variety common cold) swept through the dental community.

It shouldn’t be surprising considering as there is usually a flu season scheduling hiccup in the dental world here, but with all that is going on people are being extra careful (which I appreciate as they will be poking around inside my mouth) and schedules have gone all wonky. The appointment call yesterday was to tell me there was a cancellation for today that I could have instead of my rescheduled one later in October.

I jumped on it.

while the robo tooth is far enough back not to be in my smile line, it kind of drives me crazy and I want the tooth filled in. The flash of metal (and the gap) bothers me a lot, especially when I am brushing my teeth. even if no one else sees it regularly. And I can’t get it filled until the oral surgeon gives it the thumbs up. Which he will hopefully do this afternoon.

So there will be no makeup today. I generally find it pointless to wear makeup to the dentist’s office. Between the gloved fingers, x-ray stretching and potential drooling, I find it better to just go au natural. I do however use my lip mask during the day though. I tend to apply and extra coating of my night time lip mask during the day and let it sit until I go to the dentist. then I wipe it off so my lips are hydrated but not slick with product. The current one is the Laniege lip mask in Berry (I kind of want the new peppermint they have out, but it will take me a really long time to get through the berry). Its actually quite nice. I generally find this keeps my lips from drying out and cracking as much. Especially in the winter.

Not that it is winter yet, but I do this even in the summer. Just my way of helping my lips deal with dentistry. So this morning I went on a long walk, got all of the absolutely necessary paperwork done and now am off to the dentist. Hopefully the thumbs up won’t take terribly long and I can do a little work this evening, but right now I’m just so thrilled I don’t have to wait another three weeks to have the inspection that I am willing to work late the rest of the week to make up for it. I’m good with that.

So, heigh ho, heigh ho, it’s off to the oral surgeon’s we go.

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It’s time to exfoliate!

It’s time to exfoliate!

I know the world is often leery of the word exfoliate. Many people fall into the only chemical exfoliators please.  Just give me the AHAs and get out.  (Or whatever their chemical exfoliate of choice is, there are many to choose from after all.) And there are some who are physical exfoliation only. And there are some who feel horror at the thought of their non-chosen choice or at either actually as they feel neither is necessary.

Personally, I use both.  While I am still experimenting with the chemical varieties, as I have not been playing with them long.  I have used physical exfoliators since I as a teenager.  And let me tell you, some of those early physical exfoliators were rough. 


With physical exfoliates there are two main things you want to watch out for.  The first is large harsh particles.  The larger, harsher bits can actually cause micro tears in the skin and that isn’t something anyone wants.  The most often culprit is walnut shell.  While powdered walnut or walnut extract can be fine, generally walnut shell is going to be a little on the harsh side.  If you take a bit of the exfoliate between your fingers and rub, you shouldn’t feel like there are hard pebbles in the mix.  If there are and you can dent them with your fingernail then you should be fine, if they are hard solid things, you might want to think twice about it. 

Or at least that is my rule of thumb. (Literally as I use my thumbnail).

I also do not have overly sensitive skin, so keep that in mind too.

The second thing you have to watch out with physical exfoliation is overdoing it.  I generally use a physical exfoliator at best once a week, and really often only once a month.  I use my exfoliators sparingly and generally when I just feel I need a bit of a scrub down.

For those who have been following my ongoing skincare use and evaluation, you know that a few weeks back I had some product reaction followed by hormonal breakouts which led to the incorporation of blemish fighting products loaded with salicylic acid. While great for fighting breakouts it does tend to dry the skin out a little bit.  Which isn’t surprising really when you think about it as it is drying out the blemish and there for the skin around it gets dry too. 

Plus as the blemish itself dries out if can leave flaky bits .

I generally find that just as things more or less finish up healing, I need a good physical exfoliant to scrub me down a bit.  I am currently reaching for the Kaoilin Micro Exfoliant from Annmarie Skincare. It came in a sample set that Annmarie skincare sent to me. I personally love this sample kit.  Actually I really like most of Annmarie’s sample kits.  They generally bundle a few of their products in sample size and offer them for a small price.  (This bundle of three: Kaolin micro exfoliant, charcoal cacao mask, and pearl illuminating mask retails for $12.99). Then you get a coupon code with the bundle that lets you take most if not all of the sample price off of a purchase.  While this bundle was sent to me by the brand I tend to pick up their sample bundles quite often.  (Less so now because I am trying to work through my skincare backups and clear a few things out).  The trick for me is deciding which product I actually want to order because I really like the brand. I love poking around their samples section on their website.

Get the Hydration & Exfoliation set to love your skin! $12.99 with free shipping

Annmarie Skincare is a clean skincare brand and one of my favorite things about them (besides their products) is that if you go on their website and click on their blog, scrolling down to their about the brand not only gets you news about their new releases and such but it also gets you to their annual sustainability report. They publish one each year, obviously, and you can what they are doing each year and see how it meshes with your thoughts on clean and sustainable.

I’ve noticed every brand seems to draw that line a little differently so I really appreciate being able to see in detail where they draw their lines (which quite honestly are pretty good)

the sample sized exfoliator

But feeling good about the brand and liking the actual product are not always the same thing.  There are several brands out there whose ethos I like, but whose products fall short of the mark.  I cheer them on and keep my fingers crossed, but their products aren’t quite there yet. You know those brands. The ones you really want to like, but just don’t end up using?

I’ve never really had that problem with Annmarie skincare and I didn’t have that problem with this exfoliator. 

*Aloe barbadensis (aloe vera) leaf juice, *Cocos nucifera (coconut) oil, [Sodium lauryl glucose carboxylate, Lauryl glucoside (saponified oils of coconut oil and plant starches/sugars)], *Glycerin (vegetable derived), *Diatomaceous earth (silica crystals), *Montmorillonite (green kaolin clay), Populus tremuloides (aspen) bark extract, Camellia sinensis (green tea) leaf extract, Essential oils [Lavandula angustifolia (lavender), Salvia officinalis (sage), Cymbopogon schoenanthus (lemongrass)], Xanthan gum (wood pulp derived).*Organically grown or wildcrafted

Wildcrafted: A selection of the herbs used in our line are hand picked in the mountains where they grow wild—this is the definition of wildcrafted. When we use wildcrafted herbs, we know that no commercial farming methods have been used, and that the plants are hearty, vibrant and full of skin-nourishing nutrients.

Annmarie Skincare

The Kaolin Micro Exfoliant doesn’t look that appealing in the jar. It is a tannish mud color. The scent is surprisingly of rosemary, at least to me. There is some aloe type scent helping to balance it a little bit but it is very rosemary to me. It isn’t overpowering but it does have an herbal/medicinal scent to it. I was expecting more of a clay scent to it if I am honest. Or something more earthy at least given the color, but it is a bright herbal scent instead.

Which I’m not mad about at all.

a small ammout goes a long way

The texture is of very fine grained sand and there are no hard particles or lumps in the mix. Very little product is actually needed. I dipped my finger into the small jar, rubbed the resulting product on the fist two fingers of each hand and then applied it to my face. I concentrated on the places where I get blocked pores and on the areas that have just healed from break outs, but that little bit of product is just enough to cover my entire face.

This is especially nice as it means that this small sample sized jar has more than enough product to last over a month. At the moment I am exfoliating once a week. If I use it less, then it will last longer, but for now that is where I am for this time of year and my skin’s concerns.

The product rinsed off cleanly and easily and I have to say I really like the way my skin feels after being rinsed off. Any dry flakiness is gone and my skin is smooth. I like to follow my physical exfoliators with a good oil and this time I used the Anti-aging oil from Annmarie. One drop is all that is needed as it is pretty spreadable stuff. I’ll be honest, the oil is my least favorite Annmarie product and the only one I don’t tend to reorder. I’ll use it if it is around because it is a nice formula, but it is too intensely herbal and medicinal scented even for me. It is a good oil, but once again my nose gets me in trouble.

Thus far it is the only product I don’t absolutely love from the brand, so I am okay with that.

But I do like to follow my exfoliation with a small amount of some sort of facial oil. I know it isn’t science but there is a part of my brain that thinks that now I’ve exfoliated my skin may be more accepting of products so I always add a good quality facial oil. Whether that is true or not I don’t know, but it works with my skin.

For me, the Kaolin Micro Exfoliant was a triumph and it certainly goes on the list of Annmarie Skincare products to reorder. It is gentle enough that I could use it more than once a week if I felt the need, but I will probably stick to my once a week approach. It does nothing I don’t want and everything I do want in an exfoliator and it has no bad stuff in the mix for me to worry about. Over all, its a definite win.

$12.99 Pure & Proven Trial Set: Kaolin Micro Exfoliant, Illuminating Pearl Mask, Charcoal Cacao Mask

$12.99 Pure & Proven Trio

The Daily: September 27th, 2021

Good afternoon my darlings, I hope you had a fantastic weekend. Around here we spent it mostly chopping down a tree and hauling the wood away. The trees weren’t huge and they were lovely trees but they were planted in the wrong location. Namely too near the water main. If it is a choice between the lovely Japanese Maple and having unimpeded running water into the house, I’m afraid the water wins. We’ll be planting replacement trees elsewhere. I know we talked about just moving these, but there was some sort of problem with moving them. I can’t recall what, but we needed to buy more trees instead.

On the plus side we now have mulch.

I know not the most exciting thing to hear about but as I’ve never really thought about how to take down a tree, let alone two (regardless of the size) it was kind of interesting to be a part of. I also think it counts as several weight lifting exercises in one. There was a lot of lifting and carrying involved. Since me and the chain saw aren’t the best of friends, I opted for hauling tree parts away. My back shoulders and the front of my thighs certainly feel the effort of tree removal.

I’m just glad we completed the task post summer heat and pre winter chill.

To each thing it’s season, eh?

Today’s Look:

Primer: Yves Saint Laurent Touche Eclat Primer

Foundation: NYX Professional Makeup Bare with me Tinted Skin Veil

Bronzer: Ciate London Bamboo Bronzer

Blush: Illamasqua Colour Veil Gel Blusher

-currently on sale on the Illamasqua site

Eyeshadow: Elf Bite Sized Cream and Sugar Palette

Mascara: Pretty Vulgar The Feathers Mascara

Lipstick: Clinique Almost Lipstick in Black Honey

Setting Spray Lise Watier Magnifix Setting Spray

I know, My plan was to use a few certain products either to continue testing them or to use them up. I just got so annoyed with the YC Collection liquid blush that I just picked up different products. Except for the setting spray. That I think I have only two or three more uses of so I want to finish it out. My YC Collection blushed came in an IPSY bag and they seem to be drying out remarkably fast. I don’t know if I just got an older product or if I might had accidentally not closed one of them all the way but the liquid has noticeably thickened since I opened them a week ago.

So I just went with a different set of products. Today I really just wanted something simple and quick, which it why I chose the products I did. I have only a little bit of the YSL Primer left so I figured I’d use it as it is a sample i want to use up. I like the primer I’m just not sure I like it enough to pay the large price tag for the primer. It is a good primer. It gently illuminates under a matte foundation and it holds face products in place well. It doesn’t do any pore filling or cancellation of redness. While I like an illuminating primer now and again, it is pore filling and redness cancelation that I tend to lean towards. Illumination just isn’t my go to. While this does it well, and I would love to use this more often, I think this is a wait until a sale or make it a spouge purchase for a special event. It isn’t something I would reach for everyday even though I do like it. It does have a lovely scent to it though, which I enjoy.

The NYX Skin Veil always works well for me. It is great when i want something simple and quick. It blends well and I don’t have to actually think about it. which is kind of what i was going for today.

The Ciate Bronzer works well with a skin veil and BB cream type formula because it is not highly pigmented. It is a buildable formula. As the NYX is a more natural finish, the buildable formula was definitely the way to go today.

I also used the Colour Veil from Illamasqua because it is a softer, more gentle blusher. It is a thick jelly formula and a little dab will do. It sheers out into a soft wash of color that I really like. It also goes well with the lighter more natural looking foundations and it stays in place all day.

The Elf Bite sized palette is a long time favorite and of the few I have I do find myself reaching for the Cream and sugar one the most often. It is just a good everyday work palette. And the shades were chosen so it is super easy to work with. Everything just makes sense for in a rush application.

Finally I went with the Clinique lipstick sample that was in this month’s Macy’s subscription. This is the first time I’ve used it and quite honestly it reminds me of the ELF Sheer Slick. It has the same level of pigmentation. It feels a little waxier, almost as though it feels more like a bullet lipstick on the lips. The color is of a sheer lip gloss. I like it and I think I will use it, but I’m not sure I would purchase the full size.

And those my darlings are the highlights from todays look. I used quite a few products I love and even added a new one in. Mostly I just went for what was quick and easy as I am racing towards the end of the month deadlines. Its always the month’s with only thirty days that get me. I don’t know why. It’s not like one day makes as big a difference, yet in the months with only thirty days, I always feel like I am scrambling in that last week. But, such is life. And the race to the end of the month must continue. And so it is back to work I go.

For those looking for a stylish new look QUAY is having a BOGO Sale. It is Sitewide. Enjoy some of QUAY’s top-rated styles, including High Key, After Hours and Nightfall, and don’t forget to shop earrings, bracelets and necklaces! This promotion will be live through October 3rd. Just click the link below and it will take you to the QUAY site. Happy Shopping.

Let’s talk Pollution Defense

Thee are a lot of hair care products out there. Some work to control your frizz despite the high humidity, others give you shine and body. Some work to keep your hair less tangled and others protect it from heat.

With each of these it is usually fairly easy to see if they work. If it reduces frizz then you will have less frizz. If it detangles, there will be fewer tangles, if it protects from heat there will be less heat damage. It isn’t rocket science.

Pollution defense in hair care is something a little different. It is a little harder to pin down as far as effectiveness. I think that is the reason I let the Grow Gorgeous Defense Anti-pollution leave in spray sit on my hair care shelf for so long. In general I am a big fan of the brand. Their shampoos and conditioners are absolutely fantastic. The scent is a bit strong, but once you get used to it, then it just feels a bit like a salon scent. And the scent is worth getting used to. Their thickening shampoo really thickens. and it leaves the lair feeling luxuriously soft and easy to manage. There have been other Grow Gorgeous products I’ve used and all have worked fantastically well. I really did just put off using this because I wasn’t certain of how to evaluate it. How to tell if it was in fact doing anything for my hair.

So lets start with the product description…

Pollution can wreak havoc with your hair, but Grow Gorgeous Defence Anti-Pollution Leave-In Spray aims to shield your strands from the harm urban areas can cause. Protecting against environmental aggressors as well as fading colour and heat, the spray is a handy 3-in-1 product.

Added to care for your scalp, Green Tea Extract helps healthy hair to grow with extra shine. Acting as a protective barrier, a Polysaccharide Matrix works to keep locks free from harmful pollutants. Organic Sunflower Sprout and Tarra Tannins are blended expertly to combat harm caused by urban life while Panthenol detangles and hydrates, making hair softer and easier to brush.

The anti-pollution spray is ideal for those with hair on the greasier side that often has a build up of products.

Free from gluten, parabens, sulphates, silicones, phthalates and mineral oils.

Suitable for vegans.

Grow Gorgeous

While Polysaccharide Matrix sounds enormously fantastic in a sci-fi kind of way, I have no clue how to evaluate it. So I am going to fall back on the claims that I can look into. These seem to be protecting against fading color and heat, adding extra shine and detangling and hydrating making hair easier to brush.

My color is new enough that I haven’t really noticed any fading. I don’t know if this product helped in that regard but it certainly didn’t hinder. My eSalon custom dye is really good about not fading for a long stretch of time. And really by the time it doe start to look faded I have usually already been spraying my roots with root touch up for at least a month. Incidentally, I know I have said this before but I love the fact that eSalon always matches the root touch up to the custom color. It’s also how I know that the dye takes a long time to fade. when my root touch up no longer matches my hair color, it is time to dye again.

So that’s a positive for my custom color, but not really something I can observe well in the Defense Spray. Because this does work as a heat protector (and the summer heat is fading) I did do a little curling of my hair while testing out this spray to see how it works. At the moment my hair is long enough and heavy enough that the curls only stayed in a couple of hours but this isn’t a style keeping product. And there was no heat damage to the hair.

while I didn’t do a lot of styling, I do like to run a comb through my hair to get out any tangles and this worked really well as a detangling spray. There was no problem with knots and snarls. The comb passed through the hair well. In addition, my hair had a great shine without looking greasy or weighed down.

Quite honestly, I liked this product. It made my hair look great without weighing it down. It managed to achieve everything that it said it would do, at least as far as I could test it, and I have to say I like the fresh from the salon scent that it gave to my hair in general. It is a nice product. I would happily buy this again. Currently it is actually on sale at the Skinstore. They periodically put Grow Gorgeous products on sale and I tend to stock up on them when they do. Usually this spray is $20 but right now you can get it for half price. And you all know i love a good deal on the products I know work.

Happy Hour: Pumpkin Loaf Cake

Good afternoon my darlings. I know, you are thinking to yourself that something is out of whack. First the face mask for Friday was skipped and now the Happy Hour post is coming in a little early. Don’t worry, there is no day drinking involved.

the reason for the swap is that we have friends who are driving through town tonight. They are only stopping for a little while, but they are stopping. while the drinks will all be non-alcoholic because of the driving, I am making a special Pumpkin Loaf cake for us all to enjoy.

I also spent a chunk of this afternoon doing an emergency company clean so that’s why the face mask zen time was cut. it’s not that the house was a complete wreck, but it wasn’t company clean.

Now it is.

And the Pumpkin cake is on it’s way.

adding the paper to the bottom lets you easily lift it out of the pan to cool

My babydoll calls this pumpkin bread as it is baked in a bread pan, but the truth is, it is really a cake and calling it bread is really is kind of a misnomer. It is baked in a bread pan and it is delicious. There are a lot of ingredients but it is super simple to actually make up. The longest part of this is the baking time though as it does take 80-90 minutes in the oven.


2 1/2 cups of AP flour

2 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

1 tsp freshly ground nutmeg

1/2 tsp ground cloves

2 tsp Kosher salt

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

2 large eggs

1 can (15 oz) pureed pumpkin

2 Tblsp freshly grated ginger

1 1/2 cups sugar = a tsp more for dusting the top of the batter

1 cup olive oil

Okay I’m going to break this down nice and easy.

Preheat your oven to 325 degrees

  • Take a small bowl and put your flour, nutmeg, cinnamon, salt, baking powder, baking soda and cloves into the bowl. mix them together so the spies are blended throughout the flour.
  • Take a large mixing bowl and put your pumpkin, grated ginger, and eggs into the bowl. Mix it up.
  • Add 1 1/2 cups of sugar to the pumpkin mix and blend it in really well.
  • With your mixer running drizzle in your olive oil until it is all incorporated and there are no separated oily spots.
  • At this point, put the mixer away and use a spoon or silicone spatula to mix.
  • Fold in half of your dry ingredients from your small bowl into your wet pumpkin mix.
  • Once they are incorporated, fold in the other half. Only mix until you don’t see any more dry bits. Try not to over mix it or it will become stodgy.
  • Take your bread tin and spray it with nonstick spray. Then put in strips of parchment paper so that you can easily lift it out of the pan. It is really helpful. the cooking spray will help the cake release, but the paper to grab hold of and just lift means you get to keep the lovely domed top in tact.
  • Once the paper is in, pour the batter into the pan. smooth over the top with your spatula and then sprinkle the sugar on top. This gives it a great carnalized crunch. You really only need about a tablespoon. However my baby doll came home as I was getting ready to sprinkle and put it in the oven and he decided to add extra. So we now have extra sugar on top.
  • Put your pan into the oven and bake at 325 for 80-90 minutes. Our oven takes 90 but you are going to want to bake it until a knife can be inserted into the center and pulled out cleanly. if any batter sticks to it, leave it in a few minutes more. Don’t forget to rotate your pan midway through the bake so that everything backs evenly.
  • when it comes out, use the paper strips to lift it out and then let it cool on a wire rack until it is cool enough to cut without collapsing.

The waiting is the hardest part. I personally love this recipe. we like the extra spices but if you like things a little less spice filled you can lower the amounts if you want. Or if you don’t have enough nutmeg and cinnamon, add more. This is just the mix we prefer. sometimes I’ll even put a little cardamom into the mix. Once you have the basics, the spices are yours to play with. But now my darlings I must leave you. Company is coming. Have a great weekend, whatever you choose to do.

The Skincare Line Up: September 24th, 2021

Good morning my darlings and welcome to the weekly skincare line up. Here we discuss all of the products currently in motion in my line up. This week there isn’t a whole lot of change, but as many of you may recall from the recent posts, the weather is starting to change where I live and the products will do the same. Well, some of them. I have a couple of products I have actually been holding off trying out because I knew it was the wrong time of year for them and soon, soon they will be brought to the light. But let us first look at what we’ve got going on right now shall we?

The Daytime Line Up

Deodorant: Native Blackberry and Green Tea Deodorant

Cleanser: Annmarie Skincare Aloe Herb Cleanser (use code FALL25 for 25% off)

Toner: Murad Hydrating Toner

Essence: Time Revolution Artemisia Treatment Essence from Missha

Serum: Annmarie Skincare Anti Aging Serum (usually $60, currently $45 on sale)

Eye Cream: ESPA 24 Hour Replenishing Eye Moisturizer

Moisturizer: Seed Phytonutrients Light Weight Facial Lotion

Sunscreen: Volition Prismatic Luminizing Shield in SPF 50

Facial Spray: Caudalie Beauty Elixir

Toothpaste: Crest Gum Detoxify Toothpaste

Okay lets take a look at the line up. The Native deodorant is doing very well. This week there was not a lot of exercise due to rain and when I finally did get out and walk, the weather was cool enough that the deodorant was not put to the ultimate test. I think from here until Spring the deodorant can more or less coast.

There were two Annmarie skincare products in the morning line up. the first is the Aloe Herb Cleanser. It has a bright lemon verbena scent that just really suits the morning. It is a good gentle clean that really takes off the remnants of my night time treatments and just leaves me with good clean skin and a scent that wakes me up. it is the scent that makes me want to use it in the morning as to me it is more of a wake up scent then a get ready for bed one, so that’s how I use it.

As for the Annmarie Serum, that too has a nice wake up and shine herbal scent to it although this has a bit more rosemary in it I think. The serum is thick, but it absorbs fairly quickly. Only a little bit is needed so I am only about half way through the sample sized bottle of the anti-aging serum. My skin loves it and I am happy to use out the rest of the bottle and add it to my repurchasing in the future list.

This week I didn’t find myself reaching for the toner in the morning. I’m not entirely certain why. I used it at night, but not during the day. I enjoyed the Missha Time Revolution essence though. even without the need to do sun damage repair. My skin drank it in and then the serums went on top. It worked very nicely and I really enjoy the product.

The ESPA eye cream I love as well but my sample size is almost out. I may be able to squeak out a use tonight, but tomorrow morning a new eye cream will have to be opened. While I like trying new things I am very sad to see this one emptied as it worked really well for my skin. I saw a reduction in the fine lines around my eyes and it is definitely a repeat purchase for me. The purchase will have to hold off for a while though as I have many eye cream samples to work my way through. For a time it seemed like i was getting eye creams in every subscription. Now of course they’ve tapered off. I’m sure in a month or so it will be a different product that seems to be flooding the subscription boxes. But such is life. For now, I have plenty of eye creams to use, but when I do get around to buying more, the ESPA one is actually the top of my list.

Now to the Seed moisturizer. It is a nice bottle and I love the pump. It is a great lightweight day cream. My skin likes it. My nose does not. It smells like damp hemp rope that has been sitting in the heat in the back of the shed for too long. The scent does fade after you apply it. I am pretty sure my nose can take using it until the bottle is empty, but I don’t think I would repurchase it. There are other products that work just as well, if not better, that my nose doesn’t mind my skin using. I would lean more towards repurchasing them than I would this. It is just a good light weight moisturizer though.

The Night time line Up

Makeup Remover: Makeup Eraser Cloth

Cleanser: Rodial Dragon’s Blood Cleansing water and Comfort Zone Remedy Cream to oil Ultra Gentle Cleanser

Toner: Murad Hydrating Toner

Essence: Time Revolution Artemisia Treatment Essence from Missha (Gifted by brand)

Serum: Herbal Dynamics Beauty Hyaluronic Acid62% Hydrating Serum

Eye Cream: ESPA 24 Hour Replenishing Eye Moisturizer

Acne Treatment and Moisturizer: Neutralyze Renewal Complex Blemish Control and anti-aging moisturizing cream

Lips: Laneige Lip Sleeping Mask in Berry

Night Mask: Elemis Peptide 4 Plumping Pillow Facial

Toothpaste: Crest Gum Detoxify Deep Clean

Okay, this week I mostly used the Makeup Eraser to take off my makeup. I then went in with the Rodial Draggon’s Blood Cleansing water and a reusable round to take off anything remaining. The Rodail works like any other Micellar water. To be honest i see no difference between it and any other micellar water I’ve tried. There are Rodial products that I would certainly spent the extra money on, but this cleansing water isn’t one of them. It is good, it just isn’t better than any other micellar water. Now if we were talking about the Rodial Sculpting gel it would be a different story. I LOVE that stuff and snap it up in any size. I’ve actually got a could of sample sizes in my skin care drawer waiting for me to use them. That is worth the Rodial price. This water, is not.

This week I also used the Comfort Zone gentle cleanser. It falls into the okay category for me. It is fine. There is no real scent to it and if cleanses the skin without a lot of residue but now that the sample is done, I probably won’t think about it again. It gets the job done, but it isn’t something I’d look for.

The Herbal Dynamics Beauty Hyaluronic serum I love. i am much happier with using it only at night. I don’t know if it was the cause of sun sensitivity or if it was another product, but I have no issues with it at night. I only need one pump for my face so that is what I am using. I am just below the half way mark on the bottle and already contemplating ordering a replacement. I’m trying to resist as I have several more serums I want to try out, but it is really hard since it is such a great serum.

And now we come to the Neutralyze. I am going to have to write a full post to do this product justice. It knocked my breakouts out very quickly. I have never had such breakouts cleared away this quickly before. I was very impressed. It is definitely going in my once a month product usage, but I am still using it for spot treatments on certain areas of my face and I thus far haven’t had any issues with the over drying of the skin.

Part of that may be the Caudalie Spray. My skin loves the elixer, but my nose isn’t a fan of the scent. Knowing it is good for me, especially when I am using a potentially drying acne cream, I go ahead and use it. if it had a different scent I would use it more, but i content myself with using it only as long as I use the salicylic acid based products. Great product, very medicinal scent.

Using the Elemis Pillow facial has helped as well. Because I have to use the Neutralyze at least an hour before bed, I have been applying a light layer of the Elemis just before bed and it has worked really well. Over all I am really pleased with the combination of products.

So that was this week in skin care. Some of the products weren’t my favorites, others are on the repeat purchase list. I’ve used up one of my sample cleansers and finished out a fabulous eye cream. All in all, not a bad week.

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Weekly Weight: 215.2 lbs

The Scale: September 24th, 2021

I know, some of you are filled with a sense of Deja vu. Yes, this is exactly the weight I was last week. I can’t actually be mad at it thought. Yes, I would like progress, but this week was a very rainy one and aside from my strange garbage can chase through the thunderstorm it wasn’t a very active week.

Yesterday was really the only day I got a walk in. The rest of the week I did a couple of work outs with the weights and a bit of yoga, but to be honest it was more from a sense of needing to move than it was an attempt at working out. My body just needed a little bit of motion.

I did watch my calories though. I followed my meal plan, including snacks (While I did test out the Verb Energy Bar this week, the rest of the week’s snacks were Cranberry Jalapeno Beef Sticks from Chomps. I really like the sweet heat actually).

Even though i always want that weight to go down, it is a little bit of a victory in that I managed to hold my own on a week where there was little physical exercise. I’m taking that as ,my positive to the scale stalling. I also think that it is going to be a bit of a push to get my weight lower. This is still the range where it likes to plateau so I am going to be watching and working on it. I’m not worried because I know this week wasn’t great, but I will still monitor it.

For now I am taking the didn’t gain in the rain victory. It may not be happy dance worthy, but it is a good thing nonetheless.

The Stats:

Starting weight: 246.0 lbs

Last Week’s Weight: 215.2 lbs

This week’s weight: 215.2 lbs

Change this week: 0.0 lbs

Lost thus far: 30.8 lbs

So no gains for the week and I stuck to my meal plan. There are certainly worse ways to go into a Friday. In fact, I feel pretty good going into this Friday. Part of it is the weather. I know. It is gorgeous out and the weather just calls me to go out to walk. I think this coming week, my walking workout will be more of a joy and less of a chore. And knowing that is a pretty good feeling too.


The Daily: September 23rd, 2021

Oh my darlings, you see that bright ball of yellow in the sky?  It’s the sun! That’s right, today is sunny and bright.  In addition, the temperatures have dropped and the floodwaters have receded from the walking trail. Being outside was glorious.

I know that people always talk about the magic of spring time and the glory of the world being reborn but here when the summer heat is scorching and has a stranglehold on the world, autumn always feels a bit like a miracle.

For the first time since March I was able to go on a walk and not have sweat pouring out of me. It wasn’t just walking for exercise, it was walking for the pleasure of enjoying the world. I saw a green snake sunning himself on a rock and rabbits scattering into the undergrowth as they heard my footsteps. I got to see people on their bicycles and runners smiling instead of grimacing as though they were preparing to be sent marching across a field of battle.

I think my favorite sight on my walk today was one of my neighbors. She has a husky who had some sort of post car accident hip surgery. For therapy the dog has to walk a couple of times a day regardless of anything else going on. For the past few weeks he has walked with his head down and tail between his legs as though he was being led to the gallows. Today, his tail was wagging and he was alert and sniffing. And his owner didn’t look guilty for making him walk.

I’ll concede that spring is wonderful and as a gardener I love seeing my seeds push up and out of the earth, becoming actual plants. But these first days of autumn when the heat finally breaks just feel so miraculous. I went on a walk earlier and I am pretty sure that this afternoon, there will be another walk. I can say that because i am not sweating as much I want to push myself, but the truth is, these are the days I most want to be outside. It is remembering to stay inside at my desk in order to get my work done that is the difficulty.

Today’s Look:

Primer: Urban Decay Optical Illusion Primer

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Foundation: IPKN BB cream

Bronzer: Too Faced Chocolate Soliel

Blush: YC Collection Liquid Blush

Highlighter: Milk and Honey Palette from Beauty Bakerie

Powder: Becca Pink Haze setting Powder

Brows: Brow Bar by Reema

Eyeshadow: Natasha Denona Cranberry Palette

Mascara: Its So Big by Elizabeth Mott

Lips: Roen Lip gloss in Charlie

Setting Spray Lise Watier Magnifix

Today is an interesting mix of things I am trying out and things I am trying to use up. The urban Decay Primer, as much as I love it, has been discontinued so It is on the to use up list. The same thing goes for the Becca Pink Haze Setting Powder. I love it but Becca has closed it’s doors and so the brand as well as the product is no more and thus I am using up my setting powder. I will actually ty to find a new pink setting powder though as I really like the healthy glow it can bring to my skin, especially in the winter months. The Lise Watier Setting Spray is another item i will be using up and not repurchasing. It is a fine setting spray, just not my favorite because the spray is a little clunky and tends to leave splatters.

I’ve used the Elizabeth Mott Mascara before. It falls into the category of okay but not great. I don’t have any problems with it, but it isn’t special. I don’t look at it and thing, I want to use that it makes my lashes so… Because it doesn’t. I look at it and think: “Well Its open so I might as well use it so it doesn’t go bad.” So I will use it and then let it go without repurchasing.

The two faced Bronzer I love and would repurchase. The Natasha Denona I like but tend to forget I have because it is a small enough palette that it hides in the shadows. It is highly pigmented and blends really well. I went a little heavy on the cranberry shade as I forgot how pigmented it actually was. But now that I’ve use it I know it is something that for the fall and winter I will be reaching for more often.

The YC Collection blushes I don’t think I will be reaching for much after I am finished trying them out. They are okay and once you get used to working with them, they are fine. However I have only had them open for about a week and the liquid already feels thicker when it comes out of the tubes. I only open the blush to dot on my cheek and then I close it up again so I’m not leaving it open for long periods of time, but they are still starting to feel a little thicker.

I am a huge fan of the IPKN BB Cream. It is light weight and when blended with a foundation brush I am getting a few streaks, however the makeup sponge blends them out really well and really easily so that isn’t much of a concern. And the product is blending beautifully. It also has a surprising amount of redness coverage. I’ll be posting a review with pictures next week. I didn’t want to post it today as I feel I haven’t really worn it enough times yet, but this far I am liking it.

I am also really liking this Brow Bar Kit by Reema. The gold case is sleek and lovely, the mirror large and useful and the tools are pretty good as well. I am liking the brow powder and the under brow contour shade and will be using this for a bit to get a better feel of the products. Thus far i am liking it and I think it will also travel well.

Finally we come to the lips. The gloss shade is nice. It isn’t too heavy and the formula is not too sticky on the lips. It is however a very minty smelling formula. I put it on and POW! Supermint. Oddly enough there is no mint taste to it. It is all scent. The gloss has no actual taste to it. I know, tasting your makeup isn’t usually a thing, but it is a lip product. And with a scent that strong I expected a taste. It tastes of nothing.

Overall I am pretty happy with how everything turned out today. I know there are a few repeats as I use products up and clear them out of my dressing table, but that is life my darlings. It can’t be all new products everyday. I think that amount of waste would surely kill something deep inside me. So we take the new with the old and use up products before moving on. Hopefully learning a few things along the way. And now I am going to try and tackle the last of my day’s paperwork so that I can slip out into the sun again and enjoy another walk before the sun goes down. Have a great day and i will see you back here bright and early tomorrow.

Snacktime: Verb Energy: Peppermint Mocha

Yes it is time to turn our attention once more towards snacking. As you may recall I ordered a four bar variety pack from Verb Energy a while ago. I adore variety packs, especially if they are a product I don’t know much about. And until I ordered the pack I only knew what I saw on the website.

And that was that Verb Energy bars are vegan, have only 90 calories and have as much caffeine as an espresso. All of which sounds pretty good to me.

As part of keeping on track with my calories, I like to have a snack in the mid-afternoon. I generally find that a small snack can not only make me feel like I have had a special treat but also keep me from over indulging at dinner time. while I have no real rules for my snacks I generally find that they have to be more than 50 calories for them to make any impact and I like to keep them under 120 calories so they don’t get out of hand.

All in all that is a pretty wide range.

In addition there are many afternoons when i find myself dragging. A little hit of caffeine wouldn’t be a bad thing.

However how thins sound on paper and how they taste in real life are two entirely different things. As I mentioned, I ordered the four pack of bars. This is actually the fourth of the pack. The last one. The salted peanut butter was far too salty and dry for my taste and made me very thirsty. It’s taste was okay (it tasted like a no bake cookie) but not something I would go back for very often. the second bar was the blueberry Crisp which was dry and crumbly and had a taste I couldn’t stand. The third one I actually liked. It was the double chocolate.

And while I know some of you are rolling your eyes and saying ‘Oh, she liked the CHOCOLATE one’, the truth is that the flavor was strong enough to remain dominant so that it actually tasted like what it was supposed to and not like the base components of the energy bar. In addition it had more moisture to it. So I could eat it without feeling like I needed to pound back several glasses of water.

while I welcome the chance to include more water in my day, I don’t think that eating something that dries out my tongue is the way to do it. Of the previous three bars, the only one I would purchase is the Double chocolate one.

But this leads us to the Peppermint Mocha. I’ll be honest, this is the one I was most interested to try. I love peppermint and I think that peppermint and mocha are both strong enough flavors to triumph over the base flavors of the energy bar. And as a side note it isn’t that i don’t like the base notes. The base flavor isn’t bad, but it tastes like floury oats mixed with brown rice and agave which isn’t really my choice for an energy bar.

Which I’m pretty sure the company knows as they don’t sell the base flavor but mix in other flavors. So to the Peppermint Mocha, Batman!

Ingredients: Gluten-Free Oats, Organic Agave, Almond Butter (Almonds), Brown Sugar, Organic Crisp Brown Rice, Organic Quinoa Crisp, Cocoa, Natural Flavors, Organic Green Tea Caffeine, Sea Salt

First off, the bar is much more moist than the other bars. Even the Double Chocolate. It actually came out of the package in one piece and not cracked. It has a very peppermint-y mocha scent to it. The scent is however stronger than the taste. it does taste of peppermint and mocha. However it is more like I stored the plain bar in a box with an open container of mocha powder and an open box of peppermint tea leaves. It is like the scent partially penetrated the outer layer of the bar but didn’t go all the way in.

After chewing and swallowing the bar, the flavor is very much a brown rice and agave mix. which isn’t bad, but not really my thing. I don’t believe that this is going to be an energy bar i reorder any time soon.

Of the four I tried, only the double chocolate actually tasted like the flavor it was supposed to taste like. I think that there was enough cocoa in it to penetrate all the layers of the bar and dominate the flavor. The other flavors just couldn’t compete with the mix in the base bar. Which is strange with this one as peppermint usually takes over anything it is a part of. With this, it was only surface flavor and I was left with brown rice and agave.

I think this does reaffirm my love of the variety pack though. Out of the pack of four I found one that I liked enough to reorder and three that I have no desire to try again. In theory, this bar should have been my go too as on paper everything sounded designed to suit me. But some times, you just have to try things in person so you can really know for sure. And now I know. If I order a bag, it will be the Double Chocolate.

My Little Mascara Club

Lips and Lather September 2021 Unboxing

I know my darlings, you thought that the unboxings for September were over. But even as I am contemplating letting several subscriptions go in the future, I am always on the look out for a few fun and fabulous ones. I came across this one and thought it sounded like something fun to try. So the last subscription review for the month is a brand new to me one.

Lips and Lather is a rather easy to understand subscription. For $13 you receive a lip balm and handmade artisan soap. They do ship world wide but it costs more if you are out of the country ($25 for international). Hence the name Lips and Lather. I really just came across the site looking for some Birthday soaps for my mother and saw the subscription box and went, “Oh that could be fun to try.”

I know, sometimes it is extremely easy to get me.

The company is a small business called Cut the Crap Organics. There is a short bio about the owner, Krista, on the About page but it doesn’t give a whole ;lot about the company.

The Lip Balm

On their website they have a lip balm for sale for $3.50 so I am guessing that is the retail price for the lip balm in the subscription. Their handmade soaps sell for $10 on the site. They have other organic products as well, but I mostly focused on the soap and lip balm. Honestly, it is a good price for both items and the subscription gives you a small discount off retail price, plus there is no added shipping or tax, you just pay the $13.

The subscription charges the day you order it and pretty much from then on, that is the day the subscription renews. At least that is how it seemed on the site. As this is my first month, I’ll keep you updated if that proves not to be the case. I kind of like that because you can choose more or less when you want the subscription to charge and or arrive. Most of my subscriptions charge at the beginning of the month (although when they arrive is anyone’s guess at this point) so for me it is nice to have something mid month.

There are a couple of discounts currently on the site at the moment:

The soap

-Free Shipping to the US on all orders over $35.00, Get one FREE Pumpkin Spice Latte Lip Balm: Add to cart and use code PSLTIME through the month of September and take 20% off all Handmade Soap with code SUMMERSALE

I have to say quite a few of their soaps look interesting as well as several of their other items listed, but for now we’ll focus on the soap and lip balm.

The card enclosed gives the theme for the September box as “the indulgent last breakfast before you take the healthy foods only” approach to your meals. So the lip balm is in the scent Blueberry Muffin. The lip balm itself is white with no color to it. It smells a bit blueberry and for an odd reason reminds me of the Fruit Stripe gum. You know the one with the Zebra on the package that always smells so nice, but loses flavor almost immediately?

Soap ingredients

The lip balm smells like a blueberry version of that for some reason. When you apply it, the balm is creamy and not overly waxy. There is the light taste of blueberries initially, but it fades quickly. It does leave the lips nice and hydrated, which is nice.

The soap is lovely to look at. It looks like a foaming cappuccino and has decorative coffee beans and a doughnut floating on the top. It is supposed to be coffee and doughnut scented. I get the slight hint of coffee, but mostly what I smell is a mix of castor and olive oil. Interestingly enough, once wet the soap smells a bit more almond-y than anything else. It lathers well and once the suds were rinsed off, my hands just smelled clean. There was no scent residue, or soap residue either, on them.

A quick lather

All in all I am rather pleased. I wish the scent of coffee was a little stronger as the castor oil scent isn’t my favorite, but it fades quickly so there isn’t really much of an issue.

The blueberry scent lasts longer and I like that scent so I’m fine with that. I like the look of the soap and it will be interesting to see how it wears. I will be keeping this at the very least for a second month, so when the next month’s subscription comes in I’ll give you an update on how this soap lasted through out the month. For now, I am happy I gave the Lips and Lather subscription a trial.