Face Mask Friday: Jant Blanc Aloe Essential Sheet Mask

Growing up my mom always kept an aloe plant in the house.  I’d like to say it was a beautiful plant allowed to grow to majestic proportions, but our aloe plant always looked a little rough around the edges.

It was well cared for and certainly allowed to grow large and healthy.  However it has lots of marks showing where pieces were sliced off.  It was an aloe plant that had been through the wars.

In our house, small rashes from nettle stings to poison ivy were treated with a quick rub of alow to get rid of the itch and the sting.  Burns from those incurred while cooking to sunburns were likewise treated with aloe. 

Summertime was a bad time for our aloe plant growing up.  Almost anytime I ended up coming back from swimming I would be given a piece of aloe leaf to rub across my face, especially across the bridge of my nose.

If you smile, serum gets on your lips.

While I keep an aloe plant in my house, and have pretty much since I left home. It doesn’t get as much of a work out.  Occasionally a kitchen burn will be cause for a trimming.  A few springs back massive sunburns on my legs caused the largest leaves to be harvested from the plant.  But over all it has been left in peace.

This year the summer has been brutal and despite my best intentions, My face has gotten far more sun than I intended.  Instead of stripping my aloe plant bare (especially as it is just now starting to recover from my sunburn hack down)I am turning to a sheet mask.  The Aloe Essential Sheet mask from Jant Blanc to be more precise.

This mask is from Facetory.  (Incidentally I do have a coupon code for them it is MSMIMSY15 if you are going shopping you can save additional by using it. And yes I get points towards products if you do use it so if that makes you uncomfortable feel free to skip the code, no problems from me)They have several subscription tiers available if you are interested in a subscription.  I like their service as it is a great way to try a bunch of different sheet mask out.  There are a lot of sheet masks out there.  Some I have tried and thought this is okay but not something I would bother with again.  Others become staples for anytime my skin needs a little pick me up. Through the Facetory subscription I have tried bunches of sheet masks and have started building a list of masks I really like.  I’ve also found a few brands that I enjoy so it has been a good experience.  If the subscription is not for you, I would still suggest going to visit their site, especially on Mondays.  Every Monday they have a selection of sheet mask available for one dollar.  I tend to visit with my list of masks that I like on hand and when the ones I like rotate into the sales I stock up.

This Aloe mask I have used before and will certainly use again.  When you open it, the mask smells of Aloe.  It feels as soothing as aloe on the skin and after removing the mask my skin feels like it has had an aloe pack pressed on top of it for fifteen minutes. 

I know shocking right.  An aloe mask is aloe-tastic.

But it really is.  Despite wearing sunscreen, my skin takes a beating from the summer sun.  A little extra care isn’t a bad thing.  Today I put on the aloe mask and was transported back to my childhood in the best way.  Most of the details of this mask are written in Korean.  I neither speak nor read Korean.  But I can say that my skin is very happy with the Aloe that was in this mask and next time the Jant Blanc Aloe mask comes up on the Face tory $1 Monday list, I will be stocking up.

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The Skincare Line Up: July 30th, 2021

The full line up of products

This week was an interesting one with my skincare line up.  I made a few changes, some planned and some just sort of happened.  Part of the change is due to weather and my time spent outside.  I’ve been limiting it more this week than I have before so things have been adjusting. Shall we take a deeper look?

The Day time Products

Daytime Skin Care

Deodorant: Dove O% Deodorant

Cleanser: Balance Me Pre and Probiotic Cleansing Milk

Toner: Murad Hydrating Toner

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

  • Currently on sale for 40% off

Serum: Byroe Bell Pepper serum

Eye Cream: ESPA 24 Hour Replenishing Eye Moisturizer

Moisturizer: OSEA Atmosphere Protection Cream

Sunscreen: Coola Sun Silk Drops Sunscreen

Toothpaste: Crest Gum Detoxify Deep Clean

Okay, let’s talk about the changes. First up is the deodorant. Put simply I ran out of my Naticve deodorant.  I made a note to pick up a new one and then forgot.  So I ended up with the Dove 0% deodorant.  It is free of many of the same things that Native is free of.  And I usually like dove antiperspirant.  So it was a bit of a no brainer. I was prepared for the sweat.  I was not prepared for the stink.  I was a bit stinkier than I liked this week.  I will concede that this was a brutal heat week so it does push most products to the breaking point.  The stink wasn’t bad, at least no one remarked on it.  But I was not a fan.  And actually on the day when I did have my big meeting, I went with the Dove Antiperspirant I have as back up.   Think I am going to try using the Dove when I am working inside and use the antiperspirant at the gym, at least until I’ve used up more product.  I just don’t like wasting product.  However I doubt I will get through this product and   I certainly won’t be picking it up again.  I love Dove, but this one was a fail for me.

Also a fail, the Balance Me Cleansing Milk.  It works well but it is like washing your face with furniture polish.  Using I, I found myself thinking of reasons to not wash my face.  Finally I just gave in and went back to using the Korres.  (it is listed in the night time line up.  So at least I was washing my face at night).  I love the thought behind the Balance Me products and when I use them they work really well.  I just can’t take the scent for most of them.  A couple of their serums I can push past the scent and use anyway.  This cleanser is not one of them.  I do not like it and to be honest, I will not be finishing the sample.  I am done with it and it will not return.

Don’t worry, everything is more positive from here on out.  I decided that I would use the Elemis eye mask at night, but that I would rotate in some of my eye cream samples for day time use.  Even though they are small, I use so little eye cream each day that it takes forever just to get through a sample size.  Which is fine, I actually like that kind of value in a product.  However I do have a substantial pile of eye cream samples I need to work on using up.  Since the Elemis is a large jar (no complaints, it is a fabulous product and I’m glad I get to use it a long time.) I will be spending a log time working through it.  So I’ll use it at night and try other things in the day.

The current sample is an ESPA product.  (They have a big sale on now if anyone is interested, the link will take you to it).  I really enjoy ESPA products but I have to admit, I have mostly used their Hair products.  (Highly recommend their Pink Mud Scalp mask).  This eye cream is proving just as good as their hair care products.  I am very much enjoying it.  The sample tube is a pretty full one so I think it will last long enough for me to get a really good impression of the product.  For the moment, my first impressions are really positive.

The moisturizer I am currently using as my day cream is the OSEA Atmosphere Protection cream.  I rotated it in because the Air repair moisturizer was just too thick and heavy a cream for me to use during the day.  This is much lighter and my skin seems really happy with the change.  This is my first OSEA moisturizer actually.  Generally if I am purchasing an OSEA product it is their cleanser. It smells exactly like a lemon lime slush from Sonic, and works fantastically.  I’m hoping this moisturizer, despite not smelling quite as yummy as the cleanser, will work just as well.  OSEA is a great natural brand and I love that their products come in beautiful frosted glass bottles.  The frosted protects the cream as well as looking pretty and the glass just feels super lux.

The rest of the products in the lineup are continuations and I am quite pleased with how they are working out.  This morning I used the very last drop of the Coola Silk Serum Sunscreen and am very sad that it is now empty.  I will be putting it on the repurchase list as I really enjoyed it. It absorbed well without breaking me out and prevented sun damage.  It was a great sunscreen.  I have a couple of other sample sunscreens to try out so hopefully they will work just as well.

The Nighttime Line up

Nighttime Skin Care

Makeup Remover: Peach Pudding Makeup Cleanser from Peach Slices

Cleanser: Korres Foaming Cream Cleanser Pre + Probiotics Greek Yoghurt

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: Elemis Pro-Collagen Eye Revive Mask

Moisturizer: Air Repair Complexion Boosting Moisturizer

Lips: Bite Beauty Agave Lip Mask (in Maple), no lip scrub

Night Mask: Wander Beauty Do Not Disturb Overnight repair serum

Toothpaste: Crest Gum Detoxify Deep Clean

There is only one change to the night time line up and that is the addition of the Herbal Dynamics Beauty Hyaluronic Acid Serum.  I tried it a while ago when the brand sent it over in a package.  I used every last drop, loved it, put it on my repurchase list and have now in fact repurchased it.  It is a fantastic serum.  I’ve noticed more lines appearing due to both time and more time spent in the sun so it is time to call in the big guns.  Yup, Hyaluronic acid. My skin responds really well to it and so I have added it back in.  I love that one pump gives me enough product to cover my entire face.  A second pump covers my neck and upper chest.  Since I have finished up my latest bottle of the Dermelect Self-esteem Serum, I will be using this on both the face and neck.  Both sections of skin need all the help they can get.  The serum looks like clear water, but comes out as a gel like consistency and is less runny than a lot of serums.  It also absorbs fairly quickly which also makes me happy.  It is early days with this serum, but I have used it before and the last bottle worked fabulously, so I am happy to trust a second one will work just as well. Plus it is nice to actually order something from my reordering list.

Used but not daily

In other skincare

Ole Henriksen Phat Glow Facial

Hey Honey Come Clean Propolis and Minerals Facial Scrub

In other skin care this week I am still using the Phat Glow Facial twice a week.  The product is still fabulous but that pump is going to drive me bonkers.  The lower the product level drops in the container the stiffer the pump is and the harder I have to work to get the product out.  Has anyone else had this problem?  I went looking on line but all I could find were raves about the product.  Which admittedly, the product is quite fabulous.  I just wonder if I got a faulty pump since no one else is mentioning it. So use is continuing, product fabulous, packaging needs work.

In addition this week I have an exfoliator I have added to the list of products.  I know, there are chemical exfoliates in the Ole Henricksen, but this is a physical exfoliator.  It is a gentle one.  I don’t use a lot of physical exfoliators, but I do like using them on occasion.  This one is gentle enough that I have no problem incorporating it into my routine.  I love the brand Hey Honey.  Their Good Morning Honey Silk Serum is one I fell in love with a long time ago.  I actually have a backup in my skin care drawer waiting until I have cleared out a few of the products I haven’t tried before.  As soon as I feel I’ve tried enough new, I will break it out.  Actually I have quite a few sample sized moisturizers as well as masks from Hey Honey that I might rotate into use soon.  But that is another story.  I opened this Come Clean Exfoliating scrub because after the deep pore cleans from Go-to Skincare’s The Removalist Mask I wanted a physical exfoliator.  I used it as an excuse to open this one. 

And I am not sorry at all.  It smells like fruit and nearly good enough to eat.  Don’t worry, I won’t be eating it.  Only a little bit of product is needed to get a fantastic clean and it feels wonderful on the skin.  The package recommends applying it and then wetting the skin for a better clean.  I found the formula just a little too stiff for me to enjoy that, so I wet my face first (just a little) and then applied the product worked it in and then added more water.  The little bit of water on the damp skin really helps it to get going and then more water activates it more fully.  Since it is now open, I will be using this once a week.  Which trust me, isn’t a hardship.  I could probably get away with using it more often, but with the Ole Henriksen mask working with chemical exfoliates, I think caution is in order.  So The Phat Glow Facial is Tuesday and Thursday and the Hey Honey come Clean is a Saturday use product.  I feel this gives me enough space between product usage so I am not over doing it, but still enough that the products do what they are supposed to do. And again, I am always happy to have Hey Honey back on my list of products in use.

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Weekly Weight:

The Scale: July 30th, 2021

Yesterday around 9 am someone one driving a backhoe took out two bundles of fiber optics in my area. So we have been without internet since then. In addition atms and credit card readers haven’t been functioning either. I am just glad that I did not need to get gas today as things have been a little unsettled. Still we move on…

This week was all about traffic and heat management.  The heat reached brutal temperatures this week.  Anything growing is now crispy and brown.  I water my plants just as the sun is going down to give them a fighting chance of absorbing some water before the sun broils it away.  Even then my garden plants has polka dotted leaves because the dew condenses on them and then before it has a chance to be absorbed the sun comes up and uses the droplets as magnifiers to burn the leaves below. 

It’s like plant torture.

Nature.  She is brutal.

So even if I were still walking outside, this week was definitely a no go for the walking trail.  I don’t know if my skin is considered more delicate than the plat leaves in my garden, but I do know I have the ability to take me and the sweat droplets the sun could possibly magnify on my skin inside.

So I do.

And I think I have found a way around the massive construction projects in my area so the drive is not sucking up massive amounts of time. 

If only Spectrum could get itself in gear and not cut my internet connection for long stretches of time, things would be going pretty well.  Despite it being the time of month where bloated and crampy are my bywords, I managed to get my workouts in and am chipping off a little bit more of the weight I am carrying.  Slowly I am edging into the land of the healthy weight.  It is a long journey, but my feet are still on the path so that is a very good thing.  Admittedly, losing another pound feels pretty good too.

The Stats:

Starting weight: 246.0 lbs

Last week’s Weight: 219.6 lbs

This Week’s Weight: 218.4 lbs

Lost this week: 1.2 lbs

Lost thus far: 27.6 lbs

And so that is it for my weekly check in for my weight loss journey.  I don’t know how useful this is to those reading this post, but for me posting this and requiring myself to sit down and think about what I did during the week, how I feel about it and seeing the effects as the weight ships off slowly really helps me out.  It keeps me on track more than you will ever know and I really appreciate you being a part of that.  So thanks and have a great Friday.

At-home Keratin Treatments

Testing out the Billion Dollar Brushes

The brush set, new and just out of the package

Recently, Billion Dollar Beauty sent a package over and contained in that package was the Pro-Brush Essentials Kit. I have been using the kit ever since to determine how I feel about them and how they work.  I absolutely love testing out new makeup brushes, especially when they are in a pre arranged kit like this.  Not only is it fun to try out new brushes, but I always end up learning something about how I actually apply makeup when I do. 

I think it is because I’m testing I am not just reaching for whichever brush I want automatically from my stash of brushes but using a specific set so I have to focus. The set in general is a lovely one to focus on.  It is black and gold with gray bristles.  The bristles are soft and well attached.  I had absolutely no issues with bristles falling out.  The quality is very nice. 

I really like that they are infused with charcoal.  It doesn’t add any dust to your face (if that is a concern), but it is infused into the bristles.  Charcoal has anti-microbial properties in it which quite honestly I think is genius in a makeup brush.  I am pretty good about washing my brushes, but in all honesty I generally wash the ones I’m using once a week.  Otherwise I use  a color switch. Having a little help in keeping the microbes in check between washes is definitely something I can get behind.

Plus, I’m pretty sure it is also what gives the bristles their cool gray color, which personally I am partial to. I also like that the bristles are synthetic and cruelty free. 

As I go through the six brushes in the kit, I am going to use the name that is inscribed on the brush itself as they don’t have numbers.

Powder Brush

Powder Brush: It is nice and fluffy and applies powder products well.  I started off using it for my powder, but I found I generally I wanted to use another brush for powder instead.  I absolutely loved this brush for applying blush. So I ended up using it as my blush brush and I really enjoyed it as a blush brush.  It applied product well and then was dense enough that I could use it to help blend in the blush.

Foundation Brush

Foundation Brush: I’ll be honest, I didn’t like using this for foundation.  For my foundation, I really wanted a densely packed brush like the one I usually use and I did end up rotating in my 999 Master Blender from Bdellium tools.  However I loved this brush for dealing with loose setting powder.  I found I could use less powder and really control where I put it when I used this brush.  For me, that is what this flat brush was made for. It swept away any eyeshadow fall out and was then used for the powder.

Contour Brush

Contour Brush: This worked well with any powder bronzer or contour I paired with it.  I was very pleased with its performance.  The angled edge was perfect for applying across my cheeks and it really helped blend the product well.  It wasn’t as good for my cream based products.  When I tried it with the creams I generally found I blended better with my fingertips.  Admittedly I usually find I blend cream products better with my fingertips.   But for powder products it worked really well.

Eyebrow Brush

Eyebrow Brush:  This worked perfectly as you would expect. This size brush is always fantastic for the eyebrows.  It worked well with both powder and cream products.  It paired with the Billion Dollar Brows Pomade is a fantastic duo for me. I found that once cleaned off, this brush worked really well for lipstick application.  I have a couple of cream lipstick pans that it worked well with.  I also have a couple of lipsticks that I’ve worn down to that they no longer give the best angle during application, so it is easier to use a brush to get the clear lines.  A brush like this is especially useful if you have a deep red or berry shade that sometimes gets a little messy when you apply it.  Using a small angled brush can give you so much more control.  This little brush worked well for both lipsticks and its designated eyebrow status.  It is a style of brush I always find a use for so I’m not surprised that I liked having another one in my collection.

Highlighter Brush

Highlighter Brush:  I’ll be honest, until I looked at the handle to write this up, I didn’t realize this was a highlighter brush.  I tend to apply my highlighter with my fingertips.  I don’t like a bright blazing highlighter strip but more of a blended in glow and fingers work the best for me. This brush I have been using as an eyeshadow brush and it is a really good blending brush and just all round eyeshadow brush.  In fact partnered with the actual Eyeshadow Brush in the kit, the two brushes were all I really needed to do my eyes.  Now I do have a rather tame eyeshadow look as I lean more towards everyday looks than the super creative ones.  I actually envy the super creative looks. Occasionally I try to emulate them at home when I am just playing around.  Usually that ends up with me looking like I got into some sort of bizarre fight and ended up the loser. Or they will look fantastic when my eyes are closed but then everything is hidden when I open my eyes because they are somewhat hooded.

The point is that for an everyday look, the Highlighter brush was the perfect general all round eyeshadow brush.

Eyeshadow Brush

Eyeshadow Brush: the last brush in the Essentials kit and the one I used for shimmers.  It worked well with shimmer application and when called upon it helped blend fairly well.  It isn’t as thick as the Highlighter brush so I often called upon the highlighter brush for blending, but the eyeshadow brush did a really good job.  With some shadows and glitters it needed to be damp to work well but the brush worked well either damp or dry with no bristle fall out.  I had some eyeshadows that I played around with that required a lid primer and this eyeshadow brush worked well applying the lid primer to the lisd as well as blending it into place.  Then it had to be washed, but after washing it was as good as before and fantastic with the shimmers.

Overall I thought this was a really good mix of brushes.  It is a nice kit that gave most of what I wanted when putting together my makeup.  I added a different foundation brush because I prefer a kabuki style brush for foundation, however the foundation brush in this kit will definitely become part of my everyday makeup kit in a different capacity. I really enjoyed the use of the flat foundation brush, just not with my foundation. Other than that, the only thing missing from this kit is spoolie to finish off your eyebrows.  And as I have quite a few of those around, many attached to eyebrow products, it was no real problem at all.



The Daily: July 28th, 2021

When you start on a healthy lifestyle plan, especially if the plan involves losing weight, there are a few basic habits that you get into. One of them is frood planning. In general I am pretty good at this. I plan my food for the week and have one healthy snack option lined up for the day to combat cravings.

The problem is that for the past year, my meetings have predominantly been taken over the phone or on the computer. I didn’t have to drive across town to a meeting and worried about getting delayed and hungry along the way. And so when I had a meeting scheduled for today I completely spaced about throwing a protein bar in my bag so that if I was hungry by the time my meeting ended I could nosh on it instead of getting pulled in by the long like of drive-thru restaurants on the way from the meeting to the house.

Plus I forgot breakfast. And my meeting ran long. I did get in my workout before the meeting, which while good, sadly added to the issue.

It was the perfect storm.

I ended up with a container of medium fries from McDonald’s.

And let me tell you…It was delicious!

I can’t even remember the last time I had french fries. They weren’t what I planned, but they were very much appreciated.

This meeting was a bit strange actually. I think people have gotten out of the habit of meeting in person and haven’t quite made the mental switch to remembering that everyone else isn’t on the other side of the screen.

Although trust me, it would have been nice to have a mute button.

So the workout was done, and extra calories were consumed. Tomorrow I’ll tack on a little extra to my workout to make up for it. For now I am just happy to cool off for a bit.

Today’s Look:

Primer: Benefit Cosmetics Porefessional Primer

Foundation: Tom Ford Traceless Soft Matte Foundation

Blush/Bronzer/highlight: The Ultimate Glow Getter Cheek Trio from Real Her

Powder: ABH Setting powder

Mascara: Marc Jacobs Velvet Noir Mascara

Lips: Bodyography lip pencil in Rosewood with YSL Lip Gloss over it

Setting Spray: Farsali Rose Gold Facial Mist

I know, some of you are looking at the list and thinking I forgot to put eyeshadow down. I didn’t. Today I just dusted a bit of blush over my lids and trusted my mascara to distract from the lack of eyeshadow. I think the Marc Jacobs had quite enough pop on it’s own.

And in case you are wondering, this is the post meeting and drive across town while eating french fries look. I started with my hair down, it was too hot so on the way home I twisted it up in the back with a clip. I added more lip gloss before the picture was taken.

Quite frankly I am impressed everything wasn’t sweated off my face. The back of my shirt was damp when I got home but the make up was in tact. Partial credit I will give to both Benefit and Tom Ford but I have to say, I think the ABH setting powder deserves a bit of credit. It locked everything down and even though it looked a little powder when I left for my meeting, the powdery look disappeared once the sun hit my skin. I may not be able to count on that in the winter, but it was a big help today.

If you are looking to stock up for fall the sale is still going on at Marc Jacobs Beauty. The Velvet Noir is on sale for $17.50 (that’s what I’m wearing today and it is consistently one of my favorite mascaras.)

In addition Benefit Cosmetics also has a sale going on. It started yesterday and runs through August 13th. If you are looking to stock up on Benefit products now is certainly the time. The link below will take you to the sale. Happy shopping!

Summer SALE-abration! Get up to 60% off bestsellers, value sets, and more! Valid through 8/13.

Trying out the Ritual of Jing

I am a big believer in trying new products. I know anyone who reads this regularly sees me swap out makeup, skincare and even hair care products. I make a list of what I like so I can repurchase them and use them again and I make a list of products to never purchase again. Often the category I forget about is the bath.

while I generally don’t take a lot of baths once the weather warms and tend to shelve a lot of my soaks and bath fizzies until the weather turns, I still try out different bathing products on a regular basis. One of the products I have been trying recently has been the Rituals Ritual of Jing Mild Body Scrub.

Now, I love a good body scrub. In fact since I have been exercising more , I like the body scrubs more as well. Oddly enough, I use them more in the summer time than I do in the winter. In the winter I will tend to use a dry brush before I get into the shower or bath. (Actually I tend to use the dry brush, and then shower. If I am having a bath I still take a really short shower first to rinse off before sitting in the bathtub. That way I rinse the dirt of the day off before I sink into the fragrant water- in case you were wondering)

My dry brush comes from SpaRitual in case you were wondering. I picked it up last fall as an experiment to see if I liked dry brushing and used it all winter. I really enjoyed it. The pristles are stiff enough to get the circulation going but not stout enough to be scratchy feeling. (Which was a problem with a brush I tired initially). I was actually tickled to find the brush on their site as previously I only went to the site for their nail polish. They have a really good Vegan nail polish line actually. Although now that I found the brush I really need to expand my poking around on their website instead of getting sidetracked by the nails.

initial product dispense

Although speaking of getting sidetracked…

Back to the bath.

Anyway the point is, I don’t use the dry brush in the summer because in the summer time I tend to be amp mand sweaty when i go in for my evening shower. So I just don’t use the dry brush in the summer. (I know, it was a long way to go to get there)

In the summer I use body scrubs in the shower. Again not all scrubs are created equal. Some are too harsh, others leave too much residue behind. With Rituals I have only tried their body wash before so their scrub was a new thing for me. Used to the foam of their body wash the cream that came out of the tube was thick and at first, looked like a cream body wash. The grain of the exfoliating particles is quite fine. I tried to spread it out in my hand so that you can hopefully see some of the texture.

It is like very fine sand. It isn’t as harsh as sand though and does a pretty good job of scrubbing without being too harsh. It also rinses off cleanly with out leaving a residue or a sandy feel to the skin.

spread out to show the bamboo texture

According to the website, this was the goal of the formula.

Treat yourself to the most relaxing exfoliation experience ever with this body scrub from The Ritual of Jing. Composed of ultra-fine bamboo particles and a rich cream base, the scrub gently yet thoroughly removes dead skin cells and hydrates without leaving the skin feeling greasy. The cream base promotes the absorption of valuable active ingredients and makes the scrub suitable to use on more sensitive areas such as your neck and cleavage.

Rituals Website

Incidentally , this product is on sale on the Rituals site for $13.50 for the full sized jar. I’m not an affiliate and clicking the link does nothing for me, in case you are wondering. it is just where I went to get information about the product. I saw it is on sale and I think it might be a site wide sale but I am not certain. Just something to be aware of if you are shopping.

While I will say that the scrub does exactly what it claims to do, something you might want to be aware of is that the scent is strong. I think it is more noticeable to me now because I have been using the Zents Shampoo and Conditioner, both of which are designed to have very delicate scents. But even so, the scent of this product is noticeable. I find the scent pleasant. It is a slightly floral, slightly spicy product with maybe a hint of coconut at the back. I can’t actually pin down exactly what it smells like. I looked at the ingredients list and while I can tell it has shea butter in it, more from feel than scent, I am not certain what lotus flower of jujuba fruit smell like. I would just describe it as creamy, with slightly floral, slightly spicy notes.

I like the scent and it does fade once you wash off the scrub, but it is a very present scent when you are bathing. If you are sensitive to scents, you just might want to bear that in mind. In fact that is something I would say about Rituals products across the board. I like them and they work really well for me, but I always think of them scent first and use second. If scent doesn’t bother you, their products always work well. In fact they work almost exactly as they are listed on their website. What they say they do, they do. And as scented as their products are, they are rarely sweet and floral. So many of the bath products I have tried out have been scented like candy or flowers that it is nice to have something that leans more into the spicy realm. Even if my babydoll does occasionally borrow the rituals products when I leave them in the shower. It is a nice change from the typical bath products. In the end I think that this is a product I would definitely repurchase.

60% off Vegan Nail Lacquers, use code: GOODBYE. Runs until inventory is out

Sparitual

The Daily: July 27th, 2021

Good afternoon my darlings. I hope your tuesday is going well. Mine got a little bit out of hand earlier. I started a task I though would take maybe ten minutes and ended up spending three hours on it. It is a fascinating project, just not what i had planned for the day.

So the rest of the afternoon will be spent playing catch up.

This is what happens when I don’t make a to do list and just wing it. Normally I make a list and just sort of check things off as I go along. It keeps me on track and is oddly satisfying. Even on a day when i feel like I haven’t really accomplished much, I can look back at the list and see ots of little things with strike through marks on them and it makes me feel better.

Admittedly even if I remembered to make the list today it might not have helped since the item I would have tried to check off took longer.

But i still wish I made the list.

Other than that things are going well. I managed to get my work out in and I think I have the traffic situation nailed. I spent some time on google maps last night and found a small back road. At the moment it has no construction on it so even though it adds a few minutes to my normal drive it is only about 2 or 3 and it is a consistent 2 or 3 instead of 3 one day and 20 another day.

It is actually ridiculous how proud of myself I feel for working that out. But proud I am.

Today I didn’t get around to putting together any sort of makeup look. Instead since I am feeling good in my skin, I have a pic post morning face wash for you. My hair is just tied up out of the way and has had nothing done to it, including just brushing my bangs. But I thought that as my main thought as I was putting my makeup on yesterday was that I really liked how my skin looked, I would go ahead and just post a picture of nothing but skin. Think of it as a little piece of reality in a photoshop mad world.

I know, the hair is a mess, but I can live with that. I am just happy with my skin. Plus even though my nose and cheeks are a bit on the red side still I have for the most part recovered from the sun damage from earlier this month. I got way too much sun in way to short a time. But my skin is recovering nicely, I think. I’m pretty sure my nose will be reddish until October though. It usually turns out that way. Even with the double layer of sunscreen I put on it. I think my nose ends up with more sunscreen than anything else. But I suppose it sticks out more than the rest of my face so it takes a heavier beating of sun rays.

I hope that you have a fabulous day, whatever your day entails. As for me it is back to work with an eye to actually catching up on the things I missed doing this morning. Wish me luck.


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Unboxing the July 2021 Glossy Box

Guess what?  My Glossy Box for the month of July finally arrived.  This is actually the second month in a row that they were late getting things shipped.  I actually don’t mind that much, especially as they sent me a message letting me know that it was going to be shipped later. I think they had some kind of product shipping delays because one of the items in the box isn’t what is listed in the booklet.  I also know August is usually a really big month for them as it is their Birthday month so I’m guessing planning for that might have taken some time away.

(In the spirit of full disclosure, the Glossy Box Link in this post is my referral code link so if you happen to join Glossy Box, I think I get glossy points.)

Regardless the box is here.  For those that don’t know Glossy Box is a monthly Beauty Box subscription.  It is usually a $21 per month subscription but if you sign up for a year then you can get it for $18 per month.  With the yearly subscription you can still pay for it each month instead of one lump sum.  If you are not a subscriber you can use the code TREASURE16 to get your first box for $16. 

Let’s talk about the substitute item first.  In this month’s treasure themed box, the first item listed was an eyeshadow duo from Cleo Noir.   Have tried several things from them in the past and really like the quality of their products.  I haven’t tried their eyeshadow and it would have been nice to give it a try. 

blush swatch

Instead I received a small illuminating blush from Ciate London.  I can’t actually be mad about that as I have a deeper blush from Ciate London and it is one of my favorite blushes.  I don’t mind having a new one in a different shade at all.  I know I will end up using it. 

The second item is one of the full sized items and it is a brush duo from Elaina Badro. (I couldn’t find this exact set to link to so the link is just to their general website). One is a blender and one is an eyebrow brush.  Both brushes I will use.  They are a lovely aqua color and appear to be quite good quality.  They are listed as having a retail value of $34 which I think is a bit pricey for two eye brushes. Its more what I would expect for a larger face brush. But they are pretty and of good quality so I will use them. 

The next item is a sheet mask from Purlisse.  It is from their Blue Lotus line, the Blue Lotus and Seaweed Treatment Mask to be exact..  I have always had good luck with products from the line and I’m sure I will like this mask as well.  I don’t get all that excited about sheet masks, but I do like them. And I like Purlisse.  So all in all not a bad edition to the box.

Likewise the Verso eye cream is nice to have as well.  I like Verso.  They are a great clean brand.  The eye cream is a deluxe size and as it takes so little eye cream when you use it, I know I will take a really long time to work through this.  I actually have two additional Verso Eye cream samples in my collection so I may just end up passing this one on. 

It is a good eye cream though.  Also if you are into clean skincare, they are a brand you might want to check out as they are usually reliably good. Their foaming cleanser is actually fantastic if you are looking for a clean cleanser to try.

Finally there is a travel sized spray bottle of Batiste Volumizing dry shampoo.  I know lots of people rave about it and it is a decent dry shampoo.  It does leave a white cast and it has a very strong floral and slightly chemical scent, but it is a nice drug store option.  In the days before my local drug store started carrying Cake Dry Shampoo, if I ran out of Klorane and needed something quick, he Batiste is the option I would go for. 

Now that Cake products are available near me I would grab it instead.  But this makes a good affordable option available in many local stores.  My issue isn’t really the white cast (which can be brushed out) but the scent and the fact that always leaves my hair looking a little too dry. It no longer looks greasy but it does have a lot of fly aways.  If I don’t use a dash of something like Moroccan Oil on my hands over my hair then I look like I am standing too close to an electrical charge.  Which always struck me as a strange combination of elements.  My hair is greasy so I dry shampoo it, then have to apply oil to make it less dry.  It works in a pinch and lord knows I love Moroccan oil (although I always get the light weight Moroccan oil despite having thick hair.  I find it works better on my fine hairs.)

But that is really beside the point.  The Batiste is a good emergency back up product.

I don’t know about this month.  Usually Glossy Box is one of my favorite subscriptions and even when Boxycharm and Ipsy have gone off track I can count on being excited by Glossy box.  This month was just sort of blah. Maybe it is because I pretty much know every product in the box this month.  Usually there is at least one item I have never heard of or never had a chance to try.  The products are still good, it just lacks a bit of the excitement of discovery that I have come to associate with Glossy box.

However not every month is going to be a subscription box’s best month and as Glossy Box so rarely disappoints , I’m willing to give this too them and hope they are back on track next month. And as next month is their 10th birthday month I am sure they will do something special for it.  The August spoiler they have in this month’s brochure lists an Elemis product in next month’s box.  It looks like the Pro Collagen moisturizer.  So already next month is looking exciting.  After all when am I not excited to see an Elemis product?


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The Daily: July 26th, 2021

Success! Well partially, at least as far as creative driving goes. Today i managed to get myself in gear early enough to beat the construction traffic and so it took only the normal amount of drive time to get to the gym. I am going to have to play around with the drive back though as it was a full forty-five minutes.

I know some of you are thinking that forty-five minutes is fantastic and that your drive anywhere takes longer, but when the drive usually takes eighteen minutes, the forty-five feels like a lot. But at least I managed one end of the drie successfully. And I got in my monday workout as planned.

As just the thought of walking outside sends sweat rolling down my spine, the walking trail isn’t really an option today.

I’m doing fairly good on my calories today. Lunch ended up being a tomato basil salad. It was going to have Mozzarella in it but after even a brief period outside I just couldn’t face dairy. I know those of you who know me well are gasping in shock. I am oh so fond of cheese of all varieties. But this is one of those days where lighter is better and anything heavier is going to come after the sun goes down. and even then, it is debatable. So it was tomato and basil salad with a few dashes of balsamic and a sprinkle of truffle salt. The slight eartiness in the salt makes if feel oddly more satisfying than without, even though it is really a very light touch. I don’t use a lot, because I am not using a lot of salt, but as odd as it sounds, that tiny little earthy note helps trick my brain into thinking that I just ate something much heartier than I did.

and I will take all the tricks i can get.

Before I get into today’s look, I just want to say, I am very happy with the way my skin looks today. I know that is an odd segway as I usually discuss skincare on Friday’s with the line up, but My Friday Face Mask was a Pore refining one from Go-To SkinCare (The Removalist). It is supposed to clear out pores. I felt very happy with it after using it Friday, but pore clearing masks are often best seen a few days after. I used the mask friday and then used a hyaluronic acid serum right after. The next day I used a light physical exfoliator (I tend to use them only once a month or so). And today I feel like my skin looks really nice. Which is the best look of all.

Today’s Look:

Primer: Marc Jacobs Undercover Blur Perfector

  • currently on sale for $19.50 (down from $39)

Foundation: Elf Acne Fighting Foundation

Powder/Bronzer/Blush/Highlight: PUR 4-in-1 perfecting Powders face palette

Brows: Billion Dollar Beauty brow cream in taupe

Eyeshadow: Golden Hour Palette from Beauty for Real

Mascara: Pretty Vulgar The Feathers

Lipstick: MAC Bated Breath

Setting Spray: ABH Dewy Set

Jewelry: Mariz Jewelry

Today I went quick and easy with most of the products, choosing ones I know and love like PUR palette, Marc Jacobs Primer and Elf Foundation. The Billion Dollar Beauty Brow Cream is also very much growing on me. And you know I love The Feathers Mascara. The two things I wa testing today were the Beauty for Real eyeshadow palette and the ABH Setting spray.

With the palette, the mattes blended well but dropped a lot of excess powder everywhere and the shimmers needed a damp brush to really shine. I’ll be playing with it throughout the week but thus far i like the way it blends but I’m not so thrilled with the fall out. we’ll see how it works.

With regards to the setting spray. I have been using the ABH Dewy Set with the ABH setting powder. The powder is a little powdery so I wasn’t sure if the dewy spray was just offsetting the powderyness of the powder or if it was a kind of dewy I could live with when I didn’t need to tame down the powder. If that makes sense. Today I just used the powder in the PUR palette. It is a good powder that doesn’t need something to settle it down. While the ABH Dewy Spray does have a bit of a shine to it, it is more of a fresh faced look rather than an overly dewy wet kind of look.

While I like the spray and I don’t mind the dewiness, I think this spray is one that I will like even more when my skin enters it’s winter dry phase. Then matte products tend to make me look dry and a spray like this could come in handy. I like it now, but I think I will like it even more later. Which is a very good thing to know.

Over all I am very pleased with how my look turned out today. My hair is clipped up to keep me cool, but the earrings are a little bit of shine to make my Monday sparkle. Over all, not to shabby. Admittedly, I am mostly really happy with my skin at the moment, so I would probably be happy with most products today. Good skin days make most makeup an easy sell. Luckily most of the items I’ve sued enough before to know I like them even when my skin is acting up. I just like them better now.

Challans de Paris

Snacktime: Chomps Salt & Pepper Venison Stick

Each day I try to have a little afternoon snack. It really helps me to feel like I am full between meals and it keeps me on track with my calories. In general I find that if I don’t have an afternoon snack then I tend to overeat at dinner time, or even feel cheated in my portion size.

snacking helps me feel better about the smaller portions.

Recently Chomps sent a package full of goodies for me to try and I have been rotating them into my snack time routine. Currently I am working my way through the variety pack. I am a huge fan of variety packs, especially with a brand that has tastes that are unfamiliar to me. Prior to this I tried the original Beef Sticks from Chomps but none of their variety of flavors. With a variety pack I can try all of the types and decide which ones I really enjoy eating and then repurchase larger packages of those. There are eight sticks in the variety pack, each a different type. And if you look at the standard variety pack and know that some of the flavors aren’t for you, you can always build your own variety pack.

Thus far, I’ve actually really enjoyed all of the ones I’ve tried. I will admit, I was a little nervous when I pulled this stick from the box. I really enjoy venison actually. While we moved around a lot when I was a child at one point we lived in an area where deer had to be hunted just to keep the population in check. My family didn’t hunt but we did have a neighbor who often brought home more than he could eat so we worked out a deal with him so nothing went to waste.

So I have fond memories of the taste of venison. I also have some pretty pore memories. It can very easily go from a lovely game meat to something you want to hide in your napkin and slip to the dog when no one is paying attention.

However the venison part of the Chomps stick wasn’t what concerned me. It was the pepper. I will use black pepper as a seasoning, but I really don’t like the taste of it. When I go for spice, I want the vegital heat of a jalapeno or a serrano rather than black pepper. It has caused some issues at our house as my babydoll’s favorite meal involves steak au poivre (pepper crusted steak) and I always think, why would you do that to a poor defenseless steak when you can baste it with garlic butter instead? It is an ongoing in house issue.

Luckily we don’t have steak all that often so it is mostly a verbal debate. But that is beside the point.

So today was the Salt and Pepper Venison stick from Chomps. I was pleasantly surprised. The pepper is a little too black pepper forward for me, but it doesn’t completely overwhelm the taste of the venison. The venison is well seasoned and the stick has the snap outer edge you would expect with a soft interior. The meat is slightly gamey a you would expect (and I personally like) but it isn’t mealy or stringy.

As with all Chomps products the meat is grass fed and finished. The stick contains zero sugar, 9 grams of protein and is only 90 calories. The stick is filling enough to count as the perfect size for a mid day snack without blowing out my calorie count.

While it was nice, I have to say it is still a little pepper forward for me to really enjoy. So for me I would not personally order a large box of these. Hower, my babydoll had a bite of this Chomps Salt and Pepper Venison Stick and has declared it his favorite thus far. (he has been trying them along with me so I can order snacks for him as well). As I mentioned before he likes pepper a lot more than I do, so this is one we will be ordering for him rather than me. I don’t actually mind that actually. Finding snacks for him that aren’t chips or cookies has been a challenge. He loves his sweet and he loves his salt. Luckily this counts as a ‘salty’ snack and he is thrilled that he will be getting a box all to himself. He grew up with two older brothers both of whom have similar tastes to him so anytime he gets a treat he doesn’t have to share he is thrilled.

So the pepper isn’t for me, but the texture of the meat and the quality of the venison I found quite impressive. If you are interested in trying them out, they have a sale going on for back to school it is 20% and a great way to stock up on good snacks.

Back to Healthy Habits & Back to School

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