The Daily: October 18th, 2021

Today my darlings has been quite the mix. It was a rather exciting weekend actually. My mother came up so I got to spend some time with her. As I haven’t seen her in quite some time it was very nice. There was over eating though, mostly because I was paying more attention to my company than what i was actually eating. I’ll admit, I grazed more than I should have. It just reminds me that i need to remember not to do that over the upcoming holidays.

Admittedly I did wake up this morning dreaming of salad.

There was a lot of rich food over the weekend and a salad sounds super fabulous. Actually we are having salad for dinner tonight. I think mine might end up being on the plain side because it really is the fresh lettuce and spinach that I am craving.

I also woke up today with itchy watery eyes and a runny nose. The heater turned on for the first time last night so i think that may be part of it. The other part is that the outside temps actually dropped to autumn like temperatures in the night. We went from about 70 degrees to the mid-50s. Drops like that always set off my nose. There have also been random bouts of sneezing.

So makeup today was a bit of a bust. I actually tried some Grace and Stella under eye patches to take down some of the puffiness. They are actually some of the best for allergy puffiness by the way, at least among the ones I’ve tried. I have no affiliation with them I just really like the way those patches work. Unfortunately I actually sneezed them off. which was not really very helpful.

So Instead I have my Jade Roller in the fridge and periodically take it out to use under my eyes instead. I may have new makeup I want to try, but today is not the day to try it.

I did get something fun in the mail today though. If you’ve been following my skincare line up, then you know I have been using an Essence from Missha. It is a Korean Brand and the Product is the Time Revolution Artemisia Treatment essence. The brand sent the essence over for me to try out and review, and i fell in love. It is good during the skincare line up, but I found it was extra fantastic for when I spent too much time in the sun or one of my other products prompted some sun sensitivity. Absolutely fantastic to sooth the skin. That and the fact that my babydoll started using it for some of his skin irritations meant that the bottle emptied out faster than I thought.

So I ordered another one. And it came in today’s mail!

With nearly everything else taking forever to get through the post this more or less just zipped through. I felt like giving the postman gold stars. I know he personally didn’t escort it from the company to me, but I still think he deserves an award.

Because my babydoll will use medicinal products from the medicine cabinet but never use “skincare” products I’m putting this bottle into the medicine cabinet. Bath products I can just sort of sneak into the bathroom and he’ll just use what is there. (Currently a Dr. Squach soap and some products from Huron, incase you are interested) and the bath bombs he likes to think are there for me and that he is just helping to use them up because there are so many (I have a jar I keep filled). Actually we are now officially into bath weather so I have moved the bath salts into a more accessible location (I have a wide variety of those from various subscription boxes as well as the Kniepps that I keep stocked) and I am ordering more Bath truffles from Zents. I’m getting the mandarin for me and after smelling the eau de toilette I used last week, my baby doll wants the Ore Bath Truffles to try out, so we’ll be ordering a few of those as well. I especially like to get those stocked before the craziness of the holidays begins. It is always nice to know I have something relaxing on hand to destress.

So there is no makeup today, but hopefully tomorrow the heater will have settled down and the sneezing will be less and I will actually get to try out some of the new makeup. Since so many subscriptions have been so skincare heavy lately I am really excited to try out some new makeup products. Just not today.

Spellbound by the October 2021 BoxyCharm Premium Box

Good morning my darlings and welcome to a bright and crisp Monday morning. Today it actually felt like October when I woke up. Early October , but still the dew was frosting the tips of the grass so I think we can safely say summer is behind us.

This weekend my October BoxyCharm Premium box arrived and there is a lot to talk about. There are changes with Boxycharm as well as the box. The major change is that this is the last month that this box will cost $35. Starting November 1st the cost will increase to $39.99 per month. I know they are just trying to get around saying $40, but really that’s what it is.

Part of the increase is due to shipping charges being raised. And I get that. They have also promised new changes. At the moment the only official change is the changing of the name Add ons and Pop up to Drop Shop. But I am willing to give them a few months to see what other changes they might come up with. The price increase is not an automatic end for me. Officially I usually make my do I keep or do I let go decisions about subscriptions after I receive Decembers boxes and before I am charged for January. So that gives me two months of receiving Boxycharm at the higher price to see if I still want to keep the subscription.

I’m okay with that. Two months is a decent time to see about possible changes and to listen for some upcoming ones. So I feel I will be better able to make a decision then. While Boxycharm has had its ups and downs, over all it is a subscription I enjoy. If it continues to be one I enjoy, I’ll keep it. It is really a very simple equation in the end.

But what was in this month’s box? Let’s see shall we?

Let’s start with the two items I chose. First off though I would like to mention a change to the premium choice this month. With premium you are allowed to choose two items. Usually the categories are a mix of items, but this month the first category was all skincare and the second was all makeup. Which I kind of liked. I don’t like mentally debating with myself between the skin care item and a makeup item. I like that the choice was separated out.

The first item I chose was a skincare item and it was the 111Skin Antioxidant Energising Essence (retail $100). In general I like 111Skin. Sometimes they are a bit over priced and sometimes I find the price justified. It really depends on the product. For me their worst products still work well with my skin so I never really mind getting something from the brand. And this is somewhat timely as well. I have been using the Missha Time Revolution Artemisia Essence. I love it not only as an essence but as a general skin soother. The bottle I am using actually emptied this morning. Partially because I am now no longer the only person using it. My Babydoll likes it as well. Which is why I went ahead and ordered a second bottle. It will go in the medicine cabinet, mostly because he will uses something to sooth his skin if he can think of it as medicine rather than skin care, but that is a battle I have been fighting for years with him. Now I just put the skin care for him in the medicine cabinet and he’ll use it.

Regardless, I am ready to try out a new essence and am happy to have this one on hand. It will be rotated into the line up soon. Probably this evening, actually.

The second Item I chose was the Lys No Limits Matte Bronzer (retail $18). I really like the sleek triangular packaging and can not wait to give it a go. It just looks so nice in the package. It is also a pretty large pan so it should last a while even if I decide I love it and want to use it every day. And I haven’t tried anything from the brand before. It is always fun to try out new brands. As it seems like it is really well priced, I am hoping I like it and possibly like other items form the brand.

The next item I pulled out of the box was also a makeup item. This was the Benefit Cosmetics Georgia Golden Peach Blush. (retail $30). I have the Benefit Gold Rush Blush and I absolutely love the formula. So for me this was spectacular to see and I am really hoping the color works well for my skin. I will be trying it out soon. I am also happy to see makeup items in this month’s box. While I have a deep love affair with skincare, I have so much of it right now that I really just wanted something new in the makeup category.

Continuing with the makeup, I aloo received the Tarte Maneater Plumping Gloss (retail $19). I love a good pluming gloss and while I have never tried a tarte lip product I do like other products from them And to be honest one of my favorite mascaras from them is from the Maneater line. And if my recent lip declutter wasn’t enough of a clue, I really like lip products. So over all, not a bad choice for my box.

Dipping back into skincare we have the Perricone MD Vitamin C Ester Citrus Brightening Cleanser (retail $35). I can always use a good cleanser. It is the one category I am always guaranteed to plow through as I use cleansers at least twice a day. I also like Vitamin C and I am a fan of the brand Perricone. Their eye cream is fantastic and I really like their no makeup makeup lip gloss line. I’ve never tried their cleanser, but am happy to give it a go.

And finally we come to the Dew of the Gods Filla Collagen Under eye pads (retail $20). I’ve never heard of Dew of the Gods, but they seem to have a lot of products in the Boxy add ons or rather the Drop Shop, this month. I am a fan of under eye masks as they are lifesavers during allergy season. The ones I tend to use are depuffing and a fall and spring staple for me. I’ve not used collagen ones, but i am willing to give them a go. i like that there are ten in the container and that it is a metal tin so that I can keep them together more easily. Also i just like little metal tins.

So over all this was my BoxyCharm Premium this month. I was rather pleased with it. My $35 brought me $222 worth of products if you are looking at a strictly monetary exchange. More importantly to me, the items are ones that I will use and that I am actually looking forward to using. While I do want there to be value for my money the use is the better value for me. I like to see trusted brands and I like to be surprised by new ones. I like to see products that interest or excite me and I like to find things that I might not have found or picked up on my own. All of these are the reasons I buy subscription boxes and this month, Boxycharm ticked all of these boxes for me. It will be interesting to see how things proceed as we move into November, but for now I am willing to keep my subscription and see what Boxycharm has planned.

Face Mask Friday: Let’s talk Thanaka

This is a sponsored post, however the thoughts and opinions are all my own.

Usually I try out a different face mask each week, some because they are new to me and I want to try them out and others because they address a certain skin care issue I have at that moment. October is a little different. This month I am trying out the Healing Bark Golden Tree Bark Mask. I am using it daily for thirty days.

One of the reasons that I can do this is that the mask can be used daily rather than just one or two times a week. To be honest I really like taking an entire month with a mask and may do this again as I am finding that i am learning more about the mask when focusing on one rather than rotating through several. Also like every other item of skincare, a mask takes time to work. Results are very rarely immediate.

In addition to getting to know the mask on a daily basis, I am finding that I really like the scheduled masking time in each day. On Fridays I usually take a little time out to apply a face mask and relax a bit. I light a candle and listen to music while I let my thoughts drift. During the week, I tend to use this mask in the evening. Because of it, I have been taking off my makeup earlier and letting my skin breathe more, which I’m sure has helped. This is the end of the second solid week of using the Golden Tree Bark Mask and while last week I talked about playing around with the application process, this week I wanted to talk ingredients.

Bare skin makeup newly removed

Technically that word didn’t need to be plural. there is one ingredient in the Golden Tree Bark Mask and that is the dried and ground bark of the Thanaka Tree. That’s right, there is only one ingredient. This powder is turned into a paste by adding water to the mask in your house. I suggest using a deeper bowl to mix your mask as it takes quite a bit of stirring.

But why is the Thanaka Tree Bark a good thing to put on your face?

The ground bark has been used for centuries in places like Myanmar. When I went to look into it I came across this fantastic National geographic article that covers the history far better than I could and is a very good read besides. The wood is believed to be antibacterial. It soften skin and helps clear up rashes and blemishes. It also works as sunscreen.

There are three active ingredients contained in Thanaka bark; Coumarin, Arbutin and Marmesin.

Mask on and dried down

Lets look at Coumarin first. Coumarin is a colorless crystalline solid with a sweet odor resembling the scent of vanilla and a bitter taste. It is found in many plants, where it may serve as a chemical defense against predators. While I found many arguments against eating it in large quantities, it is a vegan ingredient that is used in heaps of cosmetics. It can cause some sensitivity. I have been using this mask every day for two weeks straight and have had no sensitivity issues. Basically this is the antioxidant part of the Thanaka bark.

I should also mention here that while many of the websites had cautions against overuse of Coumarin it was always as a specific ingredient, usually ingested, and most of the time seemed to be on it’s own. No one mentioned it as having issues inside the Thanaka bark or applied topically. I don’t know if that is a concentration issue or if it just isn’t a problem in the naturally occurring compound in the bark or simply that it is used topically. The only reason I mention it is that for those with sensitive skin you should definitely do a test patch before use as it may cause sensitivity. Oddly enough, this mask has helped with some of my sun sensitivity issues rather than causing me sensitivity, so it might not be an issue. But do a test patch just in case.

And maybe don’t eat your face masks, which is sort of a good general rule…

Arbutin is used to even skin tone and is actually used in a host of products all designed to lighten skin pigmentation and fight hyperpigmentation. There are both natural and synthetic versions and I counted at least fifty separate products that contained Arbutin in some form or another from brands like Paula’s Choice Radiance Skin Renewal Mask to GenOptics Aura Essence Skin Brightener from SK II and Skincuticals Discoloration Defense. It is simply a compound that helps to even skin tone and helps with hyperpigmentation.

mask freshly removed

Marmesin works as a sunscreen actually protecting the skin from UV rays. It also helps fight signs of aging. It also is a rich source of Vitamin E, I know that vitamin E is really good at softening scar tissue and helping the skin to heal, so I suspect that is probably helpful with the anti-aging elements of the product.

A lot of what i found out about the Thanaka tree I found HERE on a website dedicated to the tree and its properties. It isn’t associated with the brand in any way and is a very interesting read. Essentially the bark has been used a really long time to really good effect. That seems to be the general break down of the Thanaka bark.

Essentially this bark, dried, ground to a paste and applied to the skin has been used as a cosmetic, blemish treatment and sunscreen for about 2000 years, from what the various sources I looked at claimed. I’ve listed several in this article should you want to look up some more information. I actually went down a rabbit hole of research as I found a strain of Cancer research documentation.

As that seemed like a bit much for a face mask post, I left that off. It was a fascinating exploration though. While this is a one ingredient product, the three naturally occurring compounds in the wood make it an interesting blend that is much more complex than it first appears. While I have only been using this mask for two weeks at this point, I have noticed that the texture of my skin has improved quite a bit and when the nice days tempt me out to spend a little more time outside than i planned, I haven’t suffered as much irritation to the skin. Typically I will get a little sun sensitive at the end of the summer as though even with sunblock my skin is just done with the sun. While there have been many days whether weather kept me in the house, on the days it didn’t I extended my time outside. And my skin hasn’t been suffering for it.

At two weeks into my month Long trial I am about half way through the container of The Golden Tree Bark Mask sent to me by Healing Bark. So I’m guessing the mask will last just until the end of the month. Each jar retails for $14.99. In general $14.99 is a really good price for a facemask. Considering that it is all product and you just add your own water to mix up the amount you need, I think that is a great deal. while i have seen some improvement in my skin texture and am really beginning to snjoy the ritual of the evening face mask, I have not done a side by side comparison of photos yet. All of the photos are from today’s making. I am not looking at the first day’s masking photos until the end because I want ti to be a surprise. I am really rooting for visible improvement though. Right now i am happy with the improved texture, fewer blemishes and lessened sun sensitivity. But I still can’t wait to see the final pictures.

For now I am happy with this mask and more than happy to continue wearing it for another two weeks to see how thirty days with a face mask turns out.

The Skincare Line up: October 15th, 2021

And so another week of skincare comes to an end. This week the line up looks a bit different than last week. I had several products reach the end of their lives and I had some others roll into the line up. I was able to stagger them so not all products started on the same day. I generally find that having at least a day between adding products into the line up really helps keep my skin from freaking out. So let’s see what changed this week.

The Daytime Line Up

Deodorant: Native Blackberry and Green Tea Deodorant

Cleanser: Ren Clean Skincare Perfect Canvas Clean Jelly Oil Cleanser

Toner: Murad Hydrating Toner

Essence: Time Revolution Artemisia Treatment Essence from Missha

Serum: Vitabrid C12 Dual Drop Serum

Moisturizer: Seed Phytonutrients Light Weight Facial Lotion

Eye cream: Verso Super eye Serum with retinol 8

Sunscreen: Shiseido Ultimate Sun protector Lotion SPF 50

Toothpaste: Crest Gum Detoxify Toothpaste

While I was sad to finish up the Annmarie Cleanser and Serum, both of which will be coming back to me at some point, I was happy to try out two new items. I have seen Ren products around and I’ve heard of them for quite a while but this was my first experience with a Ren product. This cleanser comes out as a clear gel and has a quite lovely scent actually. The scent is slightly almond-y and reminds me a bit of marzipan. It doesn’t smell as sweet so I still felt like i was getting a good fresh clean. I liked how it performed this week and am happy to keep using it. It was a bit harder to squeeze out of the tube than I thought it would be. The formula was nice though so the first week was a success.

Actually most of the new products had a good first week.

The Vitabrid C12 Serum is nice. I really like having vitamin C in my line up so i am very happy with a vitamin c forward serum. My skin absorbed the serum well and I really liked the thick consistency of it. I’m not a fan of watery serums. This one had some body to it and while a week won’t show you much difference, I think my skin might just be a little bit brighter. Even if that is my imagination,. I am happy to continue using it.

This week also saw the arrival of a new eye cream. This is the Verso Super Eye serum with Retinol 8. I know I am a big believer in letting skincare settle in and work over time and not looking for immediate results, but i have to say I was very pleased with my eyes this week. In the daily posts when i take close up pictures of my eyes, I actually did notice an improvement in the fine lines around my eyes. So I am cautiously pleased with this eye cream. Time will tell if there is actual lasting benefits, but at the moment I am very pleased with this in my line up.

And then we come to the sunscreen. And I am sad to say there is a minor hiccup. I love the formula. I love the way it applies and I love how easily it blends into the skin. I love that I had no clogged pores. Do you know what i don’t love? Can you guess? That’s right, the scent. This sunscreen is so perfume-y that I didn’t really want to wear it. It isn’t just perfume-y, but it is a scent that lasts. It doesn’t dissipate after the sunscreen is applied, the scent lingers. The bottle was completely full and after a week of use the sample bottle is about half empty so I will use this a second week, but because of the scent i won’t be buying a full size. Which is a real shame. It is a great product and if it came in an unscented variety I would snap it up. I may look for an unscented variety, but this one is far too scented for me. This one I will use and let go. But it was good enough that I will fight though the second week to continue using it and I will comb through the Shishido sight to see if an unscented version is available.

The Night time line Up

Makeup Remover: Makeup Eraser Cloth

Cleanser: Ren Clean Skincare Perfect Canvas Clean Jelly Oil Cleanser

Toner: Neutralyze exfoliation Toner Pads

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

Serum: Vitabrid C 12 Dual Drop Serum

Eye Cream: Verso Super Eye Serum

Lips: Laneige Lip Sleeping Mask in Berry

Night Mask: Elemis Peptide 4 Plumping Pillow Facial

Toothpaste: Crest Gum Detoxify Deep Clean

This week many of the products that I used in the morning I also went with at night. At the moment few of the products I am using are sample size so I thought it better to just focus on the full sized items. I might add an extra serum next week, but for the moment I am good with the Vitabrid C12 serum. I think I’ll wait until I really know how it performs before seeing about additions.

That leaves the one new item in the night as the Neutralyze toner pads. I was very impressed with them this week. I think I actually like these more than I like the serum (and I liked the serum quite a bit.) The toner pads have a serum on them as well and I think it is very similar to the serum, however because they are exfoliating toner pads, the serum isn’t quite as sticky. It is still a little sticky, which is why I used them at night. However I do have fewer clogged pores and this is the time of month where I generally get hormonal breakouts. Yet, no current break outs and fewer clogged pores. So I am very pleased to be using this right now. It is it’s first week of use but thus far it is holding its own. My skin has no dried out spots and my problem areas aren’t much of a problem at the moment. which is always a nice thing to say.

Again it is a new to the line up product, so I’ll have to see how it performs over time but week one was pretty smooth. Hopefully it will continue the good work. I love when i can say nice things about products.

Admittedly I still have to give this week’s MVP status to the Verso Super Eye Serum. I really like the way the fine lines around my eyes look. Or rather don’t look since several of them aren’t visible. That is a result I am quite happy with.

And that was this week’s line up. It was shorter than usual as I am now using most of the same products in both the morning and the evening. And of course the newer products are still in the first stages of trial. As all the existing products in the line up are really doing well there isn’t much to say about them.

Weekly Weight: 213.8 lbs

The Scale: October 15th, 2021

Good morning my darlings and welcome to another weekly weigh in. again, slowly but surely I am nibbling away at the weight. It isn’t a massive weight loss I grant you and it isn’t a quick loss either. But you know, I’m kind of happy with that.

I know a part of me wants to drink a magic potion and wake up the next morning at my target healthy weight, or at least somewhere in that range as I don’t actually have a set number. But it just doesn’t work that way. Kind of a bummer and totally not what celeb photos make you think, but it is the reality.

And honestly, if I did have a massive dramatic weight loss I think I would go to my doctor’s office and camp out on his steps until they did tests on everyone of my internal organs. Because that is not right.

the way I figure it, it took me a while to put on all of this extra weigh, so it is going to take me a while to take it off again. As long as I keep working towards a healthier me, I am happy with it.

You may wonder why I feel the need to say that as after all I did have a loss this week and not a gain. I ran into a couple of people I hadn’t seen in a while. I should point out that they aren’t close friends. I know them, but we don’t really hang out, even before the mess that was 2020 occurred. They were just people I know well enough to be polite to in public. After the greetings and how have you beens we split up and a couple of women split off to go in a separate direction and they made a snide comment weight.

Now I should point out it might not have been directed at me. While I have been on an up and down rollercoaster, a couple of the people I was with added a bit more weight in the past year as normal systems changed. But meant for me or not it really got me quite angry. We were in a library so yelling after them was ill advised but I thought about it. Then the librarian looked at me and I let it go.

While I am mentally at a point where those kind of comments just anger me rather than tear me down, the comment really affected one of the other women. This led to a bit of a longer conversation outside than I planned, but it was well worth it.

So I just wanted to take a moment and remind all of you out there that your weight, gain, loss, neither or both are part of your health. And unless you share it with someone, then it is no one else’s business. If you are losing weight for yourself then it is your journey to go on. Take people with you if you want. In a sense these posts are me taking you all along with me and sharing some of the details i pick up that might help you out along your own journey. But don’t let another persons opinions about your path tear you down.

And conversely if you see someone who is working to lose weight, unless invited in to talk to them leave them alone. I’ve had people offer me comments I know that they thought were uplifting and positive but they aren’t always taken the way you intend them.

For example I was on a walk once towards the very beginning of my weight loss plan. I hadn’t lost anything and was still actually trying to convince my bod that the hill on the walking trail wouldn’t actually kill me. For the first month or so I had visions of a Jack and Jill sort of scenario with that hill. Minus Jack of course. However on the first day I managed to make it up to the top of the hill without feeling like I needed to just utterly collapse a sweet old woman on a bicycle stopped to talk to me.

“I just love to see obese people exercising, well done.”

First of all I don’t care how medically accurate the word obese is, you don’t say it to a total stranger. It is the sort of word that gets stuck in a persons head and circles around for far too long. Second what do you say to that?

“I love seeing old ladies on bicycles so i know their knees still work?”

Of course not. Besides I was too stunned to actually reply before she was off on her bike and waving merrily at me as she left. And I know she felt good about offering the comment. I know she thought she was being encouraging. That she did a good thing.

She didn’t.

She made me cry.

When I was feeling good about getting up the hill.

So seriously, unless invited to comment, don’t. You’d think that would just be good manners, but apparently it isn’t. Juet recognize that it isn’t any of your business and let it go. And if you are the recipient of such comments, know that their comments, good of ill, have more to say about the person making them than they do about you.

Okay that was a bit more of a rant than I planned. Essentially it can be summed up as I am happy with my current slow and steady pace. I know, a lont way to go for a simple statement. It’s just that sort of morning.

The Stats:

Starting Weight: 246.0 lbs

Last week’s Weight: 214.6 lbs

This week’s Weight: 213.8 lbs

Lost this week: 0.8 lbs

Lost thus far: 32.2 lbs

So there we have it my darlings. I am happy to be making slow and steady progress and annoyed by insensitive comments of others. the annoyance will fade as it is only a minor irritation. I know I am doing what is right for my body and I am on a path to a healthier me. And in the end, that is what really matters.

The Daily: October 14th, 2021

Oh my darlings, today has been somewhat erratic. I tried for a walk, but by the time I got my shoes laced, the phone was ringing. It hasn’t really stopped. In addition a call I thought was a regular conference call turned out to be a video one so I ended up doing a five minute makeup look.

Actually I think it might have taken me three. But it worked out. Tonight’s dinner is a baked potato with broccoli, bacon bits and a scant scattering of cheddar over the top. The cheese I have to measure because it is so easy to over shoot the calories where cheddar cheese is involved. I understand why it is so caloric, but it always knocks me back a step to see it when I start grating it. While most foods I have repeated enough and measured enough that I can generally eyeball them, the cheddar is one thing I always have to measure. Otherwise I will talk myself into believing that a half a cup looks just like it could be 2 tablespoons.

Ah cheese, my eternal weakness.

Today’s Look:

Primer: Urban Decay Optical Illusion Primer

Foundation: Revolution Fast Base Foundation Stick

Bronzer: Ace Beaute Bronzed in Paradise Palette

Blush: bareminerals Bounce and Blur Blush

Highlighter: Illamasqua beyond Powder in OMG

Powder: Becca Pink Haze

Eyes: Ace Beaute Bronzed in Paradise Palette

Mascara: Roen Cake Lash Mascara

Lips: Elf Sheer Stick in Black Cherry

Okay the Urban Decay Primer and Becca Pink Haze Powder are both discontinued and I am trying to use them up. I love them both and wish they could be repurchased, but they can’t. So I will use them up and let them go.

The Roen Mascara is one I am currently testing out. I used it for the first time yesterday and liked it. Today I am even more impressed. It is not a dramatic mascara. There isn’t a lot of lengthening or volumizing. It does feel light on the lashes and won’t weigh them down during the work day and is actually a pretty good workday mascara. If going out, I would add a more dramatic mascara on top of it (I don’t do fake lashes, trust me, its for everyone’s benefit). However the mascara isn’t clumping or flaking and it is light enough that i can forget I am wearing it. And my lashes still look pretty good.

I didn’t choose an eyeshadow palette today because I was moving at speed. Instead I used the bronzer palette as, well bronzer, and then I took the darkest shade, which is actually a nice reddish brown and just swiped a bit across my eyelids. It is a lovely color and probably the only reason i was able to get my face on in time for the call.

Over all this look was designed to make me look less like i rolled out of bed and was working in my pajamas. I think I managed to clear that bar. Okay, it wasn’t a high bar, but I think I successfully cleared it. I also think mornings like this are what stick foundations were really designed for. I love traveling with the stick foundations but when you are in a rush they make life so much easier. The Revolution Fast base is a creamy formula that matches my skin tone so it was especially easy to grab and go.

Stripes across the face and then a quick blend with my 999Master Blender from Bdellium Tools and boom, done. I do love that foundation brush. I keep meaning to reach for a different foundation brush so that by the end of the week it isn’t so gunky (I clean my brushes on Saturday) but somehow I never do. Each Saturday I remind myself I do have other foundation brushes to use, but still I don’t reach for them. I actually have one I keep meaning to test out, but keep forgetting. I might actually have to hide my Masterblender. Just for a bit.

I also think I need to give it a deep clean. Maybe I’ll give it a deep clean tonight so that it will still be damp tomorrow and I’ll have to reach for a different foundation brush. Ah self trickery, sometimes quite useful.

At the moment the Master blender is on sale. Usually it is $16 but at the moment it is only $11.20. As it is the best foundation brush I have, I highly recommend it if you’re looking for a new foundation brush.

And with that I will leave you and get back to work. My plan for the day got a little off kilter but I think I have time enough to rein it in and hit Friday morning on schedule. As we have company coming this weekend, Friday also includes a bit of cleaning, so knowing it will be added makes that schedule just a little bit more important. After all we can’t let guests see toothpaste spatter in the sinks can we? Also I spilled some setting powder a few days ago so it looks like my bathroom is quite dusty. (I thought the lid was on, but it wasn’t actually screwed on just sitting on top.) And no one likes a dusty bathroom. There are worse things of course, but I’ll take down the problems I have. And for now, my problems are in the form of paperwork. So back to it for me and bathroom deep clean (company edit) tomorrow. Enjoy the rest of your afternoon.

Snacktime: Candy Club Grapefruit Slices

That’s right my darlings, you read that right, I said candy. I know what you are thinking, ‘Mimsy, weren’t you working on losing some weight? How exactly does the candy play a roll here?’

So glad you asked.

Here is the thing, yes I am trying to lose weight and yes, Candy isn’t something I indulge in often. In fact even though I am slowly eating most of the crunchy and savory items from my Tokyo Treats Box, most of the candy in it was passed on to someone else. Mostly because I am more of a savory sort of person.

See here is the deal. Yes I try to limit things like sugar and I tend to avoid empty calories, part of my “dieting” is building a healthy and sustainable life. For me that means that I do not really demonize anything. I try for moderation instead. There are a few candy’s that I like to eat, but I only have them once in a while and I portion them out.

Snacks for me are a little varied. while I do prefer something that feels substantial like a Chomps Stick (the Cranberry habanero is my favorite) or even an energy bar (kind of groovin’ on the Orange Cranberry Energy Cubes from E 3 Foods at the moment – I love that you can easily break one bar into three squares and control how much you eat.) I do occasionally have a treat.

I still stick to the basic guidelines though. A snack is no less than 50 calories and no more than 120. Generally if it is less than 50 calories then I don’t feel like it is enough and either tend to eat more than I should for a snack or go looking for something else. the something else usually ends up blowing my calorie count.

I know not all calories are the same. A snack like a Chomps stick will leave me feeling full and satisfied while candy is a momentary pleasure that doesn’t really stick with me. So when I substitute something like candy for my afternoon snack I make certain that dinner is a simple well contained unit that I can’t over eat. Sometimes I make meals designed to have left overs so that they can be frozen and on nights where things get busy we can have an easy meal relatively quickly.

if I make candy a snack, then I don’t do that. Tonight is actually a salad night. Everything is measured and counted and once assembled, I will have one salad, no leftovers. So there will be no over eating on seconds. Mostly because there are no seconds. Its a simple system.

This week I have been using green grapes as my afternoon snack. One cup is about 105 calories if you were curious. And yes, I do measure them into a measuring cup. Today I decided it was time to break out the Candy Club. You can order the individual containers or you can subscribe to their subscription service. It is a really great subscription and it lets you choose sweet or sour as your main focus for your box. I chose sour, and most of it was, but there were also some sweet in there as well. You can also order the individual treats you like, I just like trying new things that I might not have picked out for myself. Which is why I like most subscription boxes and variety packs when it comes down to it. I like a little surprise in my treats. Candy Club always surprises me.

I love the subscription, but it is one I dip into and then back out of a lot, which is why I don’t review it on a consistent basis (although there are a few subscription posts for it). The box is good and I like the variety. The Grapefruit slices were in my last box. Each of the candies are contained in screw top containers which keep the candy fresh until you open them and If my baby doll doesn’t find my secret stash and eat the candy collection then they last a while without going stale.

The best part (besides eating the candy) is that the jars have clearly labeled calorie counters and it tells you how many pieces are in a serving. Since five pieces is 100 calories, five pieces is my treat. The grapefruit slices are great. they are fruit, a little sour and a little sweet. It isn’t mout puckeringly sour, but it is a tang. I think they are moving up the ranks to be one of my favorite candies. But only one day a week for candy and today was that day. Tomorrow, it’s back to the grapes.

But the treat was a nice break.

Candy Club - Hello Fall

The Daily: October 13th, 2021

Oh my darlings the sun is shining, my nose is not sniffilly and while it is still above normal temps for this time of year, the heat and humidity aren’t bad. All this means that i took a really long walk this morning. I did come back all sweaty but after a brief cool down I jumped in the shower and actually used up the last of my Annmarie Skincare shampoo and conditioner set. I was actually quite impressed with it. I’ll be posting my full review next week, but while I did test the shampoo with the hair dryer, for the most part I can let my hair air dry and just run a brush through it. And the less I have to do with my hair on a daily basis, the healthier my hair stays.

Which also meant that i got to keep my hair up in a towel while I put on my makeup today. I know it doesn’t sound like much, but I have bangs and when I pull them back to put on my makeup they tend to take a lot of fixing after. this way the hair was already back and then once the products were applied, I could just let the hair down. Much less wonky. Today was interesting for me, product wise. Hold on, let me list the products first, then we’ll dive in.

Today’s Look:

Hair still damp from the shower

Primer: Urban Decay Optical Illusion Primer

  • currently they are having a graduated sale. buying one item gives you 20% off, 2 gives you 25% and three is 30% and the Naked Cyber Palette is out now.

Foundation: Ciate London Extraordinary foundation

  • currently they have a sale on where you can get 3 Glitter Flip Lippies for $25 (usually they are $19 each)

Bronzer: Too Faced Cocoa Contour Palette (also used for powder)

Blush: bareMinerals Bounce and Blur Blush

Highlighter: Illamasqua Beyond Powder in OMG

  • currently you get a free Beyond Powder when you spend $60

Eyeshadow: Tuscany Palette by Nomad

Mascara: Roen Cake Lash in Black

Lips: Buxom Full Force Lip Plumping Lipstick in Fly Girl with YSL lipstick layered over it

Setting Spray: Benefit Cosmetics Porefessional Supper Setter Setting Spray

Okay for the usual suspects, I am using up the primer as it has been discontinued. Still love it so this is like the long goodbye. The bareMinerals Bounce and Blur Blush may be my absolute favorite blush. I can dip in with a finger, apply it and blend to the color I want. I do absolutely love the formula. And this color works for my skin tone. Its Mauve Sunrise if you are wondering. I also really love the Benefit setting spray. the mist is fine and light, the smell, is well the same scent as their primer, and it works well. I do have to keep it standing upright as when it is put on it’s side it tends to leak. Otherwise it is super fab.

I like the shadow, but I have to say i am super pleased by the fewer fine lines showing around my eyes. currently using Verso Super Eye serum FYI

Now, to play time. we are in the time of year where my skin tone is shifting. (my skins needs are shifting as well, but that is something to discuss elsewhere.) Even if the heat hadn’t faded, the rain has been keeping me inside more. My tan is fading. Some foundations are reaching the, so sorry, see you next year phase, others I think I might be able to use longer. A lot of the summer I lean into BB creams and tinted moisturizers as they work well in the summer when i just want something light. The Ciate London Foundation is really a good one for me in the summer, partially because it feels as light as a BB cream, but still works as a medium coverage foundation.

Medium is kind of my sweet spot with foundations. I really like the formula and not only is the color good but the tones suit my undertones really well. As it blends really well, I want to see how long I can wear it before my skin lightens enough that I think it is too dark a product. This is one of the few foundations where I will actually buy it in a summer and winter shade as I really like it so I want to find out when I need to do the switch so I can figure out what shade I need to get me through the paler shades of me. So this foundation will be bouncing in and out of rotation as i try to figure that out. For now it seems to still be fine. and I like wearing it.

The Cocoa Contour palette I reached for also partially because I find palettes to be much better options during the fading tan and beginning tan phases of the year. I can adjust the bronze to suit my skin much more easily. Today I went light on the darkest shade, but think I might soon have to switch. Part of the reason I pulled this palette up though is that it has a row of non-shimmer highlights and I noticed the light medium is somewhat similar to my Becca Pink Haze setting powder. I was hoping that it might be a good option. So I tried it. It worked well-ish but not as good as the Pink Haze. So the search continues for a replacement. I think at least one of my other highlighter palettes has a pink powder so I might try that as well.

I also like using this palette as the Too Faced Packaging feels lux and smells like candy. It is just a fun palette to use.

My eyeshadow palette I chose because I am still on the fence about it. It barely squeaked through my last declutter as I generally only reach for the light pink shade of La Bella Vita. It performs well. The darker brown of Passaggiata isn’t quite so fabulous. It tends to be a bit patch. Once you work with it, the combo of the two can give you a rather soft look, which i really liked. Honestly I need to play around with this palette more to see if i do in fact like it enough to keep it long term. Usually I really like Nomad shadows. I adore the Berlin Underground palette. this one I need to think about.

This was my first run with the Roen Mascara. Its fine. It is black mascara and thus far it hasn’t flaked or faded. It lengthens a little but not a lot and doesn’t really thicken. I like it a lot better than the Florence by Mills, because it doesn’t require as much work to apply (Florence needed a couple of applications) since it only needs one application, but it isn’t a spectacular lash moment. It is a good office mascara. At least that is how it seems with this first use. It is in rotation and we will see how it performs over time. At the moment it isn’t bad.

I layered the lips. I really like the Buxom plumping lipstick. it plumps and lasts a long time. The shade does make my lips disappear into my face though as it is similar to my skin tone. So I dotted the YSL over it. The shade is slightly on the transparent side and a little too pink for me to enjoy on it’s own. The neutral tames the tan and locks the color into place longer than the YSL would last on it’s own. Plus the YSL feels a little bit waxy to me.

I am a big fan of the Buxom lipstick and I tend to use this one as a base for a lot of other colors that need a slight tweak to them. I could blame subscription boxes for my sometimes not so great color selection but the truth is I am the queen of picking the wrong lipstick when I shop. Somehow between the store and home the colors never turn out quite how I thought they would. I have a lot of almost right lip products. Its why the Buxom is such a trouper even though the shade on its own makes my lips disappear. It blends well with every product I’ve tried it with and it keeps my wrong lipstick purchases from being a waste.

So today had a lot of play in it as I worked with the products. Over all i don’t think the look came out too badly. But now it is back to work for me. Wednesday always makes me feel like I am running behind. So it is best to get back to it. I hope your Wednesday is fabulous and that you reach the end of the day in triumph and can coast all the way to the weekend.

Let’s talk Birchbox, October 2021 Unboxing

Oh my darlings, the October Birchbox has arrived. And with it, decision time. Last year I signed up for a full year’s commitment to the Birchbox Subscription. The agreement to keep it for an entire year meant that I paid $13 ($14.27 with tax) instead of the regular $15. I was still able to pay month to month, which was something I really liked. I just had to agree to continue paying for twelve months. And the October 2021 box is box number 12 of the subscription. So in addition to looking at this month’s post, I will be looking back over all of the boxes for the past year to decide if I want to keep this subscription for another full year or if I want to go month to month or if I just want to let it go completely.

Before we look at the big decision, let’s start with this month’s box. As always there is a selection that is made on the 27th of the month. At this point in time the selection process is choosing one item from four options and letting Birchbox build your box around it, choosing their curated box or paying your subscription fee and letting that fee go towards the purchase of something from their on-line store instead of getting that month’s box.

I chose the curated box because I didn’t know if I was staying so I didn’t want to go with credit and I didn’t really like any of the four options given to me. Thee were also two items in the curated box that I was curious about.

The first item in the box that interested me was the Strawberry and Poppy Seed Natural Cleansing Bar from Dr. Botanicals. In general I don’t go for cleansing bars when looking for facial cleansers. The one exception is the black soap from Erno Laszlo. I absolutely love that cleansing bar. It is the only one that has won me over. However, I have been receiving more Dr. Botanicals products in subscription boxes lately and they have been killing it. I have been very impressed by the brand. I also like that they are not an expensive brand. While I like many expensive products and with skin, hair and body products I don’t mind spending the extra money to get what i want, it is always nice to have a good reliable moderately priced brand that you can turn to. And honestly for me that brand is rapidly turning into Dr. Botanicals.

This cleansing bar was the first thing I smelled as well as the first item I took out of the box. A waft of strawberry and poppy seed greeted me as I opened the box. It was kind of nice.

The second item that I really wanted to try was the Sunday Riley Light Hearted SPF 30 Daily Sunscreen. I am always looking for a few good sunscreens. I love my Volition Prismatic Luminizer, but it is nice to have options. and I really like the brand Sunday Riley. My skin tends to do well with most of the products I have tried. I actually have several that I will repeatedly repurchase. Good Genes actually tops the list. Fantastic AHA. I think the sunscreen might be a new release. I haven’t heard of it before, so I am glad to try it out.

The third item in my box is the Comfort Zone Hydramemory cream. It is a moisturizer with hyaluronic acid in it. And we all know I love my hyaluronic acid. Or more accurately speaking the fine lines around my eyes and the stress crack across my forehead really like hyaluronic acid. I have tried many Comfort Zone Products in the past but honestly can’t remember if this is one of them.

Comfort Zone for me is one of those brands that works well enough that I can’t complain about them but not great enough for me to really remember them. They tend to fall into my category of ‘I’ll use them if they are here but i won’t go looking for them.’

It isn’t a great category, but it isn’t a bad one. I will put this in my samples drawer and at some point I will use it. I’m sure it will be fine. Not spectacular, but fine. Because of my designation I tend to fid Comfort Zone Products priced a bit high. On the card the full sized version of this is listed for $68. I find that a little high for something not bad, but easily outpaced by many drug store products.

In this month’s box there was a Gel-ous Cool Down Wash off mask from Fila. Now perhaps this is a well known skincare brand I have never heard of, but when I hear Fila I think Sportswear, most specifically shoes. This skincare has the same logo on it so I’m guessing the sportswear company branched out. I’ll have to do a bit more research, but I do like masks so this could be interesting to try.

And finally we have the Balance Me Radiance Face Oil. I have a bit of a past with Balance me. I have received many samples of various products and they always work really well. My skin loves them and is happy. My nose hates them and is miserable. I am a very scent oriented person and with every balance me product there is always a point where my nose just can’t take it. I love their samples because it is good skincare so I want to use it but I can only take the scent for the duration of the sample not in he full size. But I haven’t tried their oils. Usually I wait until I am ready to use a product before opening it and trying it out, but I am getting ready to need an oil so I thought I might as well just go with this one. Plus I was too curious not to open it.

The product is a roller ball which I really like in an oil. I would love if more facial oils came with roller ball applicators. I rolled out a little on my hand and it does have a slightly herbal scent with possibly a hemp note to it. At least i think that was hemp. I’ll double check once I start using it. But whatever it is, the scent is lighter than most of their products and I actually like it. If it works as well as the other products Balance Me produces then we might have a winner. I am happy I get to try this out.

October was a pretty good box. In general this year, Birchbox has been pretty good. I have received several samples that I have enjoyed trying, some were brands or products I’d never heard of and would never have found on my own. There were however a lot of repeats. Part of that may be this year as many subscription boxes have struggled. However I had a Birchbox subscription before and well before the current issues started repeats were an issue with Birchbox.

I’m fairly certain the whittled down choice options are also due to current circumstances. When I opened my subscription there were between two and three box options as well as the four samples to choose from. There was also a product swap where a full sized item instead of your box was an option. As this year has gone on more and more of the options have dropped off. while it is understandable, it does affect my perception of the choices. That is as much a reality as shipping issues.

The biggest issue however is the cost I pay. I know the difference between $13 and $15 isn’t that great. But at $15 I start comparing it to other $15 boxes, like Macy’s Beauty Box. That is a $15 box and in a side by side comparison, Macy’s usually comes out on top and Birchbox feels like it is lacking something. With the $13 price my brain things, ‘well yeah, but it costs less.’ I have no problem paying $13 for this box. I feel that it is worth that price. I do feel that if I were to pay $15 each month I would constantly be making the comparison and i would become dissatisfied.

So for me a month to month option isn’t an option. For me to keep this box I would have to sign up for another full year. With so many other subscriptions that I want to try, I don’t think I will be signing up for another annual subscription to Birchbox. I think it is time to let this subscription go. At some point I may come back to it, as it is a good little box. But for me October will be my last Birchbox for a while. It is time to try something new.

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The Daily: October 12th, 2021

Good afternoon my darlings. Today is a hazy but not too bad day. Humidity is high but temps are low. Oddly enough I think the humidity helped my walks today. I know that sounds strange but after the park floods and then dries out there is an abundance of mold and what not in the air and dried to dust on the walking path itself. With each step the dried stuff is crunched under foot and released into the air. I think that was what made yesterday such a puffy eyed misery. Today there is actually enough humidity in the air to kind of weigh down the dust.

A quick rain that doesn’t cause flooding will wash it all away, but for now the humidity is helping. I never really thought humidity would be my friend. It makes me feel a little guilty for all my summer time complaints.

Only a little bit though.

I did manage to get my walk in today without sneezing and sniffling my way through it, which was a nice bonus. I had one eye looking at the sky though as those clouds look like they want to rain, despite the weatherman’s assurances that we have a couple of non-rainy days on the way.

they’ve lied before.

Except for the walk though, I am keeping pretty close to the desk today. I have my regular work, but there is also a lot of work that needs to get done before the new year. I know that sounds strange to say, but I have a kind of big expansion planned for my writing site, Ten ’til Midnight, in January so I’m trying to get all of my ducks in a row for that before the craziness of the holiday’s descend. I’m sure there will be more about that as we get closer as the prep work is taking up more of my mental space.

Have you ever noticed that about big projects? Once they are actually in motion it is much more manageable than in the few months before. I know part of that is working out all of the logistics so that the actual implementation can roll out smoothly and part of the crazy is planning for possible issues that might or might not arise, but even though it is a lot of work once it gets started, I always breathe a heavy sigh of relieve after the launch.

But there are a host of things to get through before that particular relief can be felt. For now it is a lot of planning and organization.

Today’s look:

Primer: Urban Decay Optical Illusion Primer

Foundation: Wet ‘n Wild Tinted Hydrator

Bronzer: Trestique Bronzing Stick

Blush: Billion Dollar Beauty Blush in Amour

Highlighter: Billion Dollar Beauty in Mystic

Brows: Billion Dollar Brows Pomade in Taupe

Eyes: Billion Dollar Beauty Eyeshadows

Lips: bareMinerals Mineralist lip gloss in Sincerity

Mascara: Pretty Vulgar The Feathers

The primer, as you know is one I am trying to use up because it is discontinued. I love it, but I need to clear it out. while I am sure I will end up trading it out, I do want to concentrate on using it up so it will be hanging around for a bit.

The wet ‘n Wild Tinted hydrator is a product I love. The tube is shorter than most of my other products so it often gets over looked, but it is super comfortable to wear and it blends in well. i always start to apply it and think wow this is way too light, then it just blends beautifully. I also love the fact that both hyaluronic acid and squalane are mixed into the formula. I don’t know the concentration or if it actually does anything within the formula but my skin really likes both of these things when I use them in skincare so I am not adverse to potentially having them here. Plus this formula just feels really good to wear.

I love the trestique bronzer and will us it until it is gone and then repurchase the now refillable version. As this is my third Trestique Bronzing stick I have no doubts that it will be a refillable product that I will in fact refill. The bareMinerals lippie and the Pretty Vulgar mascara are also favorites. They are fabulous and will be used until finished and then repurchased.

Pretty much everything else came from my Billion Dollar Beauty Box today. You can pick up these set boxes from Billion Dollar Beauty or simply build your own. They sent one of them to me and i liked it enough that I ended up adding a couple of eyeshadows to it. The blush is a light buildable formula that works really well, especially if you are going with a tinted moisturizer or a BB cream. It is easy to just cause a light bush or build to something more intense. The highlighter too can go from subtle to stunning very easily. I think I find it more impressive today than usual because I have been using the Beauty Bakerie Palette as I test it out. That one tends to loose its color and just leave trails of glitter behind. This one from Billion dollar Beauty, retains its sheen no matter how much you sheer it out and there is no glitter trail.

And while I don’t care for their powdered brow product, their brow pomade is rapidly becoming my go to product for brows.

Over all it was a quick and easy look that works well for me. I know it is still a pretty basic office look, but lets fact it, I spend a lot of time in an office environment. I appreciate the spectacular looks and occasionally try to replicate them, but but good everyday work looks are kind of my zone.

I’m okay with that.

But for now it is back to work for me. I have to admit, even with the increased work load, I am rather enjoying the planning. It has actually brought several of my office organizational issues to light though so I may have to do a desk renovation or remodel before the new year hits. Sometimes an ounce of planning and organization can stave off major catastrophes. At least that’s my plan.