Allure Beauty Box September 2020 Unboxing

This was an interesting beauty box to open this month. The entire time I was opening it and taking items out I couldn’t help but remember that this is the last of its kind. Currently the Allure Beauty Box is $15 ($16.80 with tax). In October they will start costing $23 (I’m guessing between $24 and $25 with tax). I find this really interesting. $20 seems to be some sort of threshold in beauty boxes. Under twenty is one category, over twenty is something else. It should be an interesting change to watch. They will be going from the realm of Birchbox to costing more than Glossy Box and Look Fantastic but slightly less than Boxycharm and IPSY Plus. I have no doubt the cost was carefully chosen. It will be interesting to see how they compare as they move forward.

But what does the last $15 Allure Beauty Box hold?

Seven items this month as it turns out.

The first item is a full sized Wander Beauty mascara called unlashed. It retails for $24. While I like a lot of Wander Beauty Products (Foundation and Eyeshadow) the last mascara I tried from them was kind of average. It wasn’t noticeably spectacular. Don’t get me wrong, it was a good mascara. It didn’t flake or smear. It was a good working mascara. It just wasn’t noticeable for lengthening or volume or curling. It wasn’t a stand out, just a good solid chorus member. I don’t object to having a good solid chorus member on my team. And if this proves to be another good trustworthy stalwart product, I have no objections welcoming it into my collection. The other Wander Mascara I have is currently on its way out so I can compare them before it goes.

One of the amusing things about this box is that two of the items it contains are also currently in my empties bin. The first is the La Roche Posay Anthelios 50 Ultra Light Sunscreen Fluid. I had a tube exactly this size before I started trying out the Polaar sunscreen. It was enough to cover my face for two or three days actually before the tube ran out. I was going to review it when I did my August empties bin but I forgot to write that post so next week there will be an August and September Empties bin post. Incidentally, today is the last day of their fall sale if you are interested in their products. I’ll past the code below.

Fall Sale: Enjoy 20% Off all Orders + 2 Deluxe Sample with Orders $65+. Use Code: FALLSALE. Valid: 9/18- 9/22.

I really liked this sunscreen. It was light enough that I didn’t mind applying it to my face. It sat well under my makeup as well. Interestingly it is recommended that you shake the product before applying. Even though it is a tube, you need to squeeze it a little and mix it up before applying as it does tend to separate in the tube. I honestly don’t mind having another tube of this sun screen to keep on hand. It will probably end up in my purse though.

The second product that is also in my empties bin is the Elemis Pro-Collagen Cleansing Balm. It is the travel size. That is exactly the same size I had before and I was more than happy to see it reappear. It is one of my favorite cleansing balms. It makes my skin fantastically soft and delightfully clean. And it takes so little to remove an entire day’s makeup that it will last a while. So I am thrilled to see it. Also this is the last day of an Elemis Promotion as well in case you are interested. Get a Free 3-Piece Pro-Collagen PM set with orders of $150+ with code DREAM1 or Size up with $250+ and code DREAM2 at Elemis. (Valid 9/19 – 9/22)

This month I received an ELF Highlighting Brush in my box (full sixe $4). The options were between Elf and NYX (the NYX was the Pro Contour Brush). I have to say I was very impressed by the quality of the brush.

It actually felt like a better quality brush than the $24 brush I received in the Boxyluxe box this month. Admittedly I haven’t tried either out so that test is still to come. But for a $4 brush I was floored by the quality feel of it. I’ll be testing it out this week and letting you know with my makeup bag this week how it performed.

Receive 10% off when you place your order through the e.l.f. app and redeem code ELFAPP at checkout

Next there was an eyeliner from Cleo Noir. The full size costs $18. I am not sure if this is a full sized or not. While it seems a little short for a full sized eyeliner, it is a twist up and they always seem to be a little short. There is a lot of product in it so it will last a while even if it isn’t full sized. And if you are wondering why I’m not doing my usual ‘sigh, its an eyeliner’ it is because it is not another black eyeliner.

Those I seem to be stockpiling incase there is an eyeliner emergency. Like several punk bands losing their luggage on the way to a festival. This is a purple eyeliner. I haven’t tried the brand before and I am am looking forward to giving a purple eyeliner a go. This week’s shadow palette is a bit more on the neutral side, but next week I may choose a more colorful one just so I can give this a trial run.

There was a sheet mask in my Allure Beauty box this month as well. I think most month’s there is some sort of sheet mask. This month I received the Glam up Revitalizing Japanese Sake Sheet Mask. (it costs $9.98 for a ten pack). It was one of two masks I could have received. The other was a Soothing Aloe from the same brand. As I’ve tried soothing aloe masks before (and in face hace one in my masking drawer) but never tried a Sake based mask, I am okay with my option. And I am always willing to try out a new sheet mask.

Finally we come to item number seven. It is the Waterless Dry Conditioner. Now me and dry shampoo are pretty tight. Once again I am almost out of my favorite Klorane and need to reorder. I have however never used dry conditioner.

NEW! Klorane’s Award Winning Dry Shampoo NOW in Jumbo Size!

Part of me is interested, and part of me thinks this might be a bad idea. Dry shampoo takes the greasy look out of unwashed hair by absorbing the excess oils. Conditioner in general provides shine and body to hair. I’m not so sure about adding shine on a no wash day. It might undo the anti grease factor the dry shampoo achieved.

Or it could be a fabulous new product I decide to add to my hair care collection. I don’t know. I do know it is going to be interesting to try out. It is a little odd though that in the pamphlet provided it shows both the waterless dry shampoo and the conditioner and labels them step one and step two. I think you have to use a dry shampoo before using a dry conditioner. At least that is my take away. I’ll have to visit the website before spritzing away.

Over all I am pretty pleased with this box. I know that the travel size of the Elemis Cleansing balm is around $15. (It may be $16). Which means that I paid for the Elemis and got everything else for free on top of it. At least that’s how my brain sorts it, because I would have just ordered it for the Elemis and be happy with whatever came with it if I am being truly honest. However, this month it also came with several other fun new things to try out so I am really happy with this as a $15 subscription box. But as I said at the beginning, this is the last time this box will be $15. October 1st it becomes a $23 Beauty box. Expectations will shift and things could get very interesting.It should be fun to see.

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The Daily: September 21st, 2020

Oh my darlings, autumn has arrived! Well, okay technically it officially arrives tomorrow I believe, but last night I was startled out of a sound sleep by the sound of the heat actually kicking on. It didn’t stay on long, just about an hour or so and then it clicked back off. But it left that first run of the season scent lingering in the air which made me think the house was on fire for the remainder of the night.

So I didn’t exactly get much sleep.

And had fire related nightmares.

But it was worth losing a little sleep to be able to walk today and not turn into a sweaty pile of goo. For the first time in a few months I actually finished my regular walk and then looked at the walking trail extension, contemplating taking it.

Unfortunately Monday always comes with a long to do list so I decided against it. However tonight when I set up tomorrow’s schedule I might be building in the extension to my plan for the day, because if anything tomorrow is supposed to be a few degrees cooler. Dare I dream that the summer’s heat is finally broken?

Fingers crossed. I could do with a nice long stretch of autumnal weather. I’m not a huge fan of the cold but after this summer I am all for it. If autumn doesn’t feel like hanging on I am perfectly okay with slipping straight into winter. I am just ready to see this beast of a summer end.

You know what else I really wanted to see end? My time without a scale. I was ready for it too. Even if I ended up a few pounds during my free form dieting I was prepared, I just wanted to actually see what the numbers were. And I would like to say that technically the thirty days was up on the 18th so I was just going to weigh myself on the 25th as the first Friday after my 30 days without a scale was done. I felt virtuous in convincing myself to wait until Friday. It was an easy virtue to hold to as the scale still isn’t back in the house.

However the second cousin I was avoiding the scale in support of as she wrestles with her eating disorder and scale obsession informed me that it was the calendar month, not thirty days and that the end of September is when I get the scale back. I was pretty sure it was a test to see if I was as focused on the scale as she thinks everyone one really is even though they hide it (an ongoing conversation) so I breezily said, Oh Okay I’ll just do my official weigh in on October second then, no sweat.

She looked shocked, her mother looked relieved and I was told later that it was indeed a set up no one managed to tell me of in advance because she just knew I was obsessed with the scale too and was waiting to pounce with an AH HA, J’accuse moment.

Family, huh?

So my curiosity will wait another week. I’m about 70% sure it won’t eat me alive before then. On the bright side, at least this week is filled with lovely weather in which I can walk outside without turning into a complete sweat ball. I can live with that.

Testing out the Timeless Skincare Hyaluronic Acid + Vitamin C Serum

Timeless Skincare recently gifted me a set of products to try out and review.  While these were gifted to me the reviews are my own opinions. This is not a sponsored post. I’m sure you recall me mentioning the HA (Hyaluronic Acid) Spray that was also in the package they sent over.  I’ve been using it in my Weekly Makeup Bag for the last two weeks and absolutely loving it.  But as I like to give skin care a full thirty days where possible before I make a determination, it still has another two weeks of use before I give you my final thoughts. You can see my initial impressions post by clicking here if you would like.

The only reason I mention it is that the HA Spray is listed in the product description as a lighter version of the Hyaluronic Acid + Vitamin C Serum, which I’m reviewing today after a full thirty days of use.

So if you are looking at the ingredients list and thinking to yourself, wow that sounds familiar, then first of all congrats on paying attention to ingredients lists. Give yourself a gold star. Second, it is pretty much the same list.  The spray has cucumber extract added to it to give it the just from the spa scent (and cucumber extract benefits).  There are other scents with the spray as well, but as this is the serum review I’ll leave that for that post.

First let’s look at what the product claims and then we’ll get to the ingredients and my use. So first off…

Kick start your daily skin care routine with this essential serum. Vitamin C with its powerful antioxidants is the first line of defense for your skin as it brightens, clarifies and protects. Matrixyl 3000™ rebuilds collagen and firm skin, and Hyaluronic Acid pumps up the moisture levels. Your face appears luminous and bright, giving you that well rested, ‘just had a full night’s sleep’ effect. 

Recommended For All skin types, every day

Hyaluronic Acid + Vitamin C Serum is composed of a 5% concentration of Vitamin C, a 1.5% concentration of Matrixyl 3000™ with an added 1% concentration of Hyaluronic Acid. The combination of hyaluronic acid with the best vitamin c serum for oily skin provides a super hydra-boosting serum brightens skin with natural vitamins and essential anti-aging ingredients, while replenishing skin volume and smoothing fine lines and wrinkles

Apply 2-3 drops to fingertips and smooth evenly onto cleansed skin, preferably at night-time. For external use only. Sunscreen use recommended after application.

Timeless Promise: Paraben Free, Fragrance and Dye Free, Cruelty Free, More actives, less chemicals, Made in the USA

Ingredients

Water, Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate, Aloe Barbadensis, Glycerin, Hyaluronic Acid, Matrixyl 3000™, Benzylalcohol, Dehydroacetic Acid.

Timeless Skincare

As the product is meant to hydrate I am not surprised water is the first ingredient on the list.  In fact, I would be pretty shocked if it wasn’t.  Most skincare products do have it as their first ingredient, which makes sense.  If a product is supposed to put moisture in the skin, it has to have moisture to give.

Magnesium ascorbyl phosphate is the vitamin C element that is mentioned in the description in case you are wondering why vitamin c isn’t plainly labeled on the ingredients list.  According to the Derm Store this is a form of Vitamin C that not only protects skin from free radicals and helps hydrate but it helps with hyper pigmentation and stimulates collagen. The link is actually to the Derm Stores full article which goes into much greater detail about this form of Vitamin C for those interested.  Personally, I think it is pretty interesting.

Aloe Barbadensis is essentially Aloe Vera.  I am a big fan of this.  It is an anti-inflammatory agent essentially.  I can personally attest to this.  Every house I lived in as a child had an aloe plant in it.  Sunburns, and non-sun burns, poison ivy, and any kind of itchy bite or skin inflammation saw a bit of the aloe plant snapped off and rubbed on the skin.  I was very glad this spring that I kept of the practice of keeping an aloe plant around when I got my massive sun burn this spring. It was icy cold and super soothing. My poor aloe plant is almost fully recovered from the ordeal. Needless to say I am very glad to see it in my skin care, especially since I have been spending so much time in the sun this summer.

Glycerin is a humectant, which essentially means it is what pulls the moisture into the skin and kind of locks it down.  It is pretty common in a lot of moisturizing products and kind of expected. The Hyaluronic Acid is also expected since this is a hyaluronic acid based product.  HA reduces fine lines and causes the skin to retain moisture, essentially plumping the skin to do away with fine lines.  It is not an acid as in evil villain slowly lowering you into a bubbling vat while spilling all of the details of his nefarious plot sort of acid.

As the TM by the term in the ingredients list implies the Matryxl 3000 is a proprietary substance but here is the simple break down of what the  Timeless Skin care Site had to say about it…

Matrixyl 3000 is an ultimate collagen booster derived synthetically and comprised of two skin active peptides, palmitoyl oligopeptide and palmitoyl-tetrapeptide-7. These two active ingredients stimulate the skin and work with the skin to enhance its natural anti-aging properties.

Timeless Blog Article

If you click on the site link it will take you to a more fulsome discussion of this ingredient, but the above is essentially the summation.

This leads us to the last two listed ingredients: Benzylalcohol, Dehydroacetic Acid. Benzylalcohol is a preservative designed to kill microbes and Dehydroacetic Acid is a non-toxic ingredient used as a fungicide and bactericide.  It’s job is to prevent the growth of microorganisms. So essentially these last two ingredients keep the product from spoiling and from mold and microbes from growing inside the product.  I am okay with that. I prefer all my skin care to not go rancid on me. 

Five drops of the product in hand

And that is it for ingredients.  There are eight of them.  Two designed to prevent spoilage and the rest to do the job for which the serum was designed. Overall not a bad list.  I have used quite a few products where breaking down every ingredient (even in the short non-scientific way I did here) would not be possible. I really like that no extras were added just to be added.

The serum comes in a blue glass bottle with a glass dropper. Despite the fact that the Hyaluronic Acid +Vitamin C Serum only costs $20.95, it feels super lux in the hand.  The glass is nice in the hand and the dropper is well made.  With glass bottles like this I have a love hate relationship with the color of the bottle.  I love that it is a solid color that prevents light from getting in and ruining the product, but I hate not knowing how much I used. The product is clear and odorless.  If you have a problem with scent in your skin care then you will be thrilled with this.  There is absolutely no scent to it.

Now while the website says it is ideally used in the evenings, the box it came in suggested morning and evening use.  So I used it in the morning and in the evening. I know that sun sensitivity with some serums can be an issue, but I didn’t have any sort of problems with it.  That being said, when I go outside I have SPF 50 sunscreen (courtesy of my Volition sunscreen) on my face and as extra security I have been topping all of my skin (arms, legs, and face) with a spray sunscreen (Neutrogena Beach Defense) in SPF 30.  So the sunscreen may have something to do with the non-reaction in the sun.

But I’m not giving up my sunscreen to check.   

I try not to deliberately try for skin damage.

The recommended usage is three to four drops.  I generally found that three covered my face perfectly well, my skin sucking the serum in almost immediately upon contact.

Seriously, it disappeared like magic. 

Since I like to bring my serums down my neck and onto my upper chest, I used five drops and it covered everything beautifully.  This is a serum you are going to want to dispense in your hand and then apply to the face.  If you try to use a cotton round, or any other cloth applicator, it will absorb into the cloth and you will just sort of lose the product.  Definitely apply it with your hands.  Any product that doesn’t go into your face will sink into your hands.  Which is not a bad thing.  Even in a glancing application, the serum has actually smoothed out a lot of my gardening based rough spots on my hands. I know that isn’t its intent, but it isn’t a bad side effect.  

I did take before and after photos of my face in an effort to see the difference thirty days made.  I know the difference is slight in only a month, but I did notice a smoothing out of my skin in the mouth and eye area.  I even noticed a slight reduction in what I like to call my stress crack – the line across the center of my forehead. It isn’t shrunk to nothing (I doubt very much that anything would completely erase it) but it hasn’t gotten bigger and it is a little less noticeable. The hyperpigmentation on my forehead is slightly lighter.

The differences I’ve noticed are really kind of hard to see in a photo. For one, my skin feels less dry.  As I am walking more instead of going to the gym, I am spending more time outside.  Between the walking and the gardening, the sun takes its toll.  While using this serum I’ve had to use less moisturizer to keep the sun dryness at bay. and I have been noticing a lot less clogged pores lately.

Don’t get me wrong, I think somehow I also assembled a crack team of products for this round of testing as in the past month a lot of my skin issues have cleared up. While this serum isn’t solely responsible for my skin’s improvement, it was a really big help.  The dark spots left by acne scarring haven’t really diminished so dealing with skin discoloration due to scarring may not be this serum’s strong suit despite the vitamin c, but it is excellent with retaining moisture and plumping up fine lines.  So two out of three isn’t bad.

I do have a second serum that was sent to me by Timeless Skincare.  It is the 20% Vitamin C + E and Ferulic Acid.  It is designed more for the pigmentation so I will be giving it a go.  In my month long trial using it morning and evening, I used up about half of the 1oz bottle of HA serum that was sent to me. I am going to switch to using it just in the evenings (which should give me another two months of testing with the serum, plus I don’t want the left over to go to waste and I really enjoyed using it so have no problem whatsoever in using every drop). 

I am going to then test the more heavily vitamin C serum during the day and see if that works better on my hyperpigmentation.  I have high hopes that the combination of the two serums will do well with my skin. Of course I won’t know until I try.  Which I will do starting tomorrow morning. 

Until then, I have to say I have really enjoyed this serum and am very glad Timeless Skincare sent it over to me to test out and review.  It is a serum I will be purchasing on my own in the future. I may even have to look into ther DIY Beauty Box in the near future as well. Thus far I am enjoying the products I’ve used well enough that rying out more from this brand seems like a really good idea.

BoxyLuxe September 2020 Unboxing

My September Boxy Luxe Box has arrived.  The Boxy Luxe is a quarterly upgrade to the regular box. Four times a Year, March, June, September and December to be exact, there is an extra cost for those who sign up for the Boxy Luxe and instead of your regular box for $25 you pay an additional charge (Bringing the cost up to $50 for that month) and you get a luxe box. The theme this month was Glam Vibes although to be honest, my box this month felt more like Spa Vibes. But maybe that is just me and partially due to my choices.

In Luxe months you get to choose two items in your box.  This month the two items I chose were the Byroe Tomato Serum (retail $150) and the Osea Malibu Atmosphere protection Cream (retail $48).

For those who think that the brand Byroe might be slightly familiar, a previous Boxycharm box featured a toner from the company.  I did not get it in my box, but this time when add ons opened up I saw it listed in possible items and snapped it up as an extra for $12. I also added the Grace and Stella Eye gel patches.

I am really starting to like eye masks in general.  This rag weed season they have been a life saver.  I haven’t tried the Grace and Stella ones but the add-on section had a twelve pack for $6 and I couldn’t resist. Plus I also blazed through my supply this month and needed a restock.  Since I like Grace and Stella it was kind of a win for me.  I got to restock my eye mask supply, checking out the masks from a brand I really enjoy and I got to add the toner I was hoping to get in an earlier month’s box but didn’t.

But that was my unexpected shopping spree and not the box.  This month I received the Byroe Tomato Serum which I am looking forward to testing out. (although seriously, when am I not happy to test a serum out? They are a weakness of mine).

The Osea Atmosphere protection cream I was very excited to see as a choice as well.  I really like Osea products.  They are clean, vegan and non-toxic.  The cleanser is amazing so I am pleased to try out the moisturizer that goes with the cleanser.  I also have a travel sized bottle of the cleanser that I will be using when I test out this moisturizer. If any additional add ons feature the Osea cleanser I will be snapping those up.  The cleanser is pretty expensive (I think it is around $44) for a cleanser so I tend to pick up travel sized and sales of it whenever I can.

There was a third skin care item in my boxyluxe this month ant it is the 111Skin Rose Gold Brightening Facial Treatment Mask (retail $135).  It is a five pack. I don’t know if you remember but a while ago I tried this mask and the accompanying eye gel masks from 111 Skin.  The under eye mask was fantastic, but I wasn’t overly impressed with the face masks.

They were good, but not as good as the price would lead you to expect.  It was a single mask I tried out though, maybe with repeated use I will feel differently about the mask.  I have been trying out a lot of 111Skinproducts recently and it is always interesting.  Some of them work really well and it is easy to see why they are so expensive.  Some work well, but are on the same level with much more affordable products and are hard to justify in terms of expense and others I like less then much less costly products. It is one of those brands that really runs the gamut with me. But over all I really do like their products. So we will see which category these fall into when I have five to use instead of just the one.  I will say though, for the record, while I may be on the fence with the face masks, the black eye masks from 111Skin are definitely worth the cost. If you ever see them, I highly recommend picking them up. Those may be pricey too, but they are worth their price.

The next item in my box is the Fenty Beauty Killawatt highlighter (retail $36).  I think everyone got one of the highlighters this month.  Mine is the dual shade in the shades Ginger Binge and Moscow Mule.  They are both rosy tones that actually suit me well.  I am very pleased with the shade I received. I like this a lot better than the gold one I received as part of the Fenty Box a while ago. That one just did not work well with my skin tone and was kind of chunky. I tried using it as an eyeshadow like everyone suggested when it didn’t work as a highlight for them, but I didn’t care for that either. Not only did it migrate down my nose gilding it like a reverse contour but it also was chunky enough that it scratched my eye. That was not fun. This is not only a better color for me but it has a much finer consistency to it. It doesn’t feel as chunky to the touch so I think I will get a lot more use out of it than the ill fated gold one.

I am also thrilled by the Hipdot Zion Eyeshadow Palette I received this month.  I picked up the Hipdot’s Sponge Bob palette for a younger cousin of mine as a gift a while ago and she absolutely loves it. While I like Sponge Bob (and used to watch the show with her), the colors weren’t ones that I would gravitate towards using while they are definitely in her wheel house.  This palette is definitely more in my color scheme and one that I will enjoy trying out. So I am very happy with that. 

Then we come to the next three products.  First, there is the Cuccio Somatology yogahhh calm and clean Epsom Salt Hand and body wash with Lavender oil.  (retail $39.95).  While I will try it in the bath, I really think this looks like a hand soap dispenser.

Which is fine.  With all the handwashing at our house, a nice hand soap is not a bad thing to have around. I just can’t honestly say I am all that excited by it. Maybe I will try it out and it will end up being something fabulous. I’ve never tried anything from the brand before, but I will keep an open mind. Maybe I will fall in love and seek it out in the future. We shall see.

Next up is the Persona Cosmetics Power Brush retail $24).  Now, I like brushes, I use a variety of them on a daily basis.  I am not a fan of this.  First off, I hate dual ended brushes. I really do.  I store my brushes in jars, so one end is always going to be in the jar.  Sometimes it gets squished, and sometimes I forget it has the second end, but I rarely use both ends.  Even if the brush is good. 

Because whatever end I put back in the jar will get product all over the other brush handles and the jar and when I take out any brushes whatever was on that brush when I put it away will be all over my hands. So I don’t like them. The bristles feel nice, not excellent, but nice.  The handle feels super cheap and it in no way feels like a $24 brush. So it is somewhat disappointing. 

Perhaps I will use one end of it and like it enough that I ignore my hatred of dual ended brushes and use one end a lot. Perhaps I will like it so much that give it its own space where I can use both ends without contaminating other brushes.  Stranger things have happened. But on first glance it feels super lightweight and cheap. 

This brings us to the final item and that is the Teami Blends Tea tumbler (retail $24). And I’m happy to end on a more positive note.  It looks nice and well set up. I like the double walls and the clear plastic. I drink a lot of tea in the afternoons and since I grow a lot of herbs, I tend to have a lot of loose tea around.  I think the set-up of the strainer is interesting and rather conveniently placed at the top to keep the herbs from being sipped up. I also think it is appropriately priced.

I also suspect the wrist strap is going to drive me bonkers rather than being thought of as a usable feature though.  Unless it’s use is to drive me crazy by clicking against the plastic every time I use it. Don’t get me wrong, I can see its function, I just don’t think I will be using the strap very often. So it might be quickly removed.

To be honest this is one of the things I really like about subscription boxes.  If shopping I might not have picked this up.  Having it here, I can see how well designed it is and I can see I am probably going to get a lot of use out of it. I may even have to try the teami brand teas to see how they work as well. 

Tea and coffee always go over well in our house.  We keep an entire pantry shelf stocked with both and are always looking to branch out.  This year in my garden only the mint grew well. Everything else fried to a crisp in the heat no matter how much I watered it.  As a consequence while we have jars of both dried peppermint and dried chocolate peppermint, we are rather low on the other herbals.  We have a lot of empty jars this year so we will need to purchase more tea than usual.

But ordering tea is for a later time.

To be honest, the only disappointment this month was the dual ended brush and even that was more of a personal dislike rather than a full upset.  There are a few companies where I do get excited for Hand soap.  Molton Brown is one of them.  I would squeal excitedly at their hand soap houlf it ever arrive on my doorstep in a subscription package. (Incidentally I believe Molton Brown is 15% off on the Look Fantastic site today.  I’m running out of bath gel and was looking to restock and saw the sale. I ordered the Rhubarb and Rose. It’s my absolute favorite as the tart rhubarb knocks down the sweet of the floral so something lovely and refreshing. Admittedly, I will give the Cuccio a try before opening a new product once the new product arrives). Perhaps once I try this, I will feel the same about this brand. 

I am tickled pink by the Osea moisturizer and very happy with the Byroe serum.  I am also happy with everything else.  And as a return on investment for my $50 purchase price I ended up with $486.95 worth of items.  They are all things I will use (even if I only use one end of the brush) so quite frankly this was a really good month.  As the last two Boxy Luxe months weren’t exactly my favorites it is really nice to have a good month. This month Boxy Premium really stepped up as well.  I don’t know if pandemic based adjusted shipping threw them for a complete loop, but if it did, they seem to have gotten things worked out. 

I am still considering dropping down to one Boxy charm box in January so I can try out new subscriptions without being overwhelmed with product, but at the moment I’m not sure which I am planning to drop.  I think part of it may depend on the Allure box. This is the last month the Allure box is the regular box.  Next month they go up in price and their price point puts them about even with the regular boxycharm box.  They might fall flat and be the subscription box I drop in January or they might make giving up one of the boxycharm boxes a lot easier. Starting in October there will be a more direct comparison between the two.  It will be interesting to see where that ends up landing. For now I am quite pleased with this quarter’s BoxyLuxe Box.


Molton Brown (US)

The Friday Facemask and Generation Clay’s Detoxifying Charcoal

Welcome once again to the Friday Face Mask.  Today I am taking my masking break a little early as I have some conference calls later and want to be refreshed before hand. 

Today’s Mask?

Generation Clay Detoxifying Charcoal Australian Clay Mask.

I know, you have heard me talk about Generation Clay before.  The Ultra violet Brightening Purple Clay mask is one I routinely return to and I am also a big fan of their Urban Defense Purifying Pink Clay Mask.  Oddly enough, I have never tried their Detoxifying Charcoal Australian Clay mask before.  The only reason I can think of for letting it go so long without trying it out is that I stocked up on the purple Brightening mask and didn’t get around to branching out.  Now, even though I have a larger size of the brightening mask I am not opening it until I have given other masks a chance.

Which is fine because I love trying out new masks.

In case you go looking for this mask it looks as though Generation Clay is a sister line to Generation Skin.    The website where I found the masks listed was Generation Skin. I couldn’t find a separate Generation Clay website so I don’t know if they merged or not. There is always the possibility that it was always Generation Skin and I somehow missed that, but the mask line is still labeled Generation Clay. I’m in no way affiliated with the company and this isn’t a sponsored post, I just like and tend to repurchase their masks.

So, charcoal.

In essence activated charcoal is supposed to be able to suck up the excess oils from your skin.  As clay is also supposed to draw impurities out of your skin as well, it seems like a pretty nice combo.  If you are interested in learning more about charcoal in skin care (in an easily broken down way), I’d suggest checking out this post by Lab Muffin.  I really like her posts actually. And she explains activated charcoal a lot better than I can.

But what should I expect when I apply it to my face?

GENERATION CLAY Detoxifying Charcoal Clay Mask is packed with all-natural
Activated Charcoal. Unlike the black ashy stuff you BBQ with, this kind of charcoal
detoxifies your skin by working like a magnet to draw out dirt, toxins, and impurities.
It’s paired with Cucumber, Marshmallow and Aloe Vera to soothe, and oil-absorbing
Witch Hazel to minimize pores. The result offers a deep clean that keeps breakouts
and blackheads at bay.

Cucumber, marshmallow and witch hazel are all on my list of skin care BFFs.  Growing up we used witch hazel as toner to clear out the pores and reduce pimples. And I have always had good luck using marshmallow based products to reduce redness and irritation. Cucumber I just always think of as refreshing, but I am sure there are some skin care benefits I don’t know about them. Even not knowing the details I like cucumber in my skin care.

Wet Mask

And I am all for a deeper clean.  So, on to the face the mask goes. It is a clay mask and it feels like cool wet clay going on.  As you can see in the photo of the newly applied mask, I can still smile when it is wet.  As it dries over my fifteen minute stretch, I lose the ability to smile and therefore look a little like some sort of grumpy clay based supervillain.

But no matter. 

The mask was applied, I lay down for the fifteen minutes it needed to do its thing and put my ipod on shuffle because I didn’t have anything I was really set on listening to. So my masking play list went from The Offspring to Mozart to Me First and the Gimmie Gimmies.  Which was a little disconcerting.

Note to future self, choose a play list. Or at least stick to one genre.

dried mask, frozen in place face

But in fifteen minutes, brain slightly disordered and mask mostly dry I returned to the bathroom and washed the mask off.  This is one of those masks where a wet brush is not a bad thing to have.  What I tend to do is wet the brush, run it over the mask lightly, saturating the mask, but not scratching the skin.  Then when it is loosened up, I wash it off completely and pat the skin dry. It also helps keep you from splashing charcoal colored water all over the sink and turning a fifteen minute mask into fifteen minuses of masking and twenty minutes of clean up.

Incidentally, the shiny lips are my Bite Beauty Agave Mask at work. Just because the mask won’t let me smile doesn’t mean I can’t show my lips some love.

So did my skin feel clearer and cleaner with my black heads disappearing like magic?

Or science that looks like magic I suppose.

clean skin

My skin wasn’t magically blemish free, but it did feel cleaner and the blemishes I currently have feel a little more dried out. One of my deeper clogged pores that has been driving me crazy as I’ve been trying to get it to come to the surface so it can be cleared out, is just about breaking the surface.  It is at the level now that after my conference call I can apply a Peace Out Acne Dot to it and let it sit for the rest of the day and actually get it cleared out. I can say it wasn’t nearly that raised earlier.  For that alone I would be happy with this mask.

It didn’t really do a lot for the non-blemish areas, or at least no more than any other mask.  I think what I might do however is use this in a multi masking plan.  I really do prefer the Purple Generation Clay mask all over my face.  I think in the future I might use the charcoal mask over the blemishes and the Purple brightening on the rest of my skin.  That might actually put the best properties of each to the best possible use.

But as always, the final question is, would I purchase this mask again?  The answer is yes I would. Like the other two clay masks from Generation Clay I would not mind keeping this on hand.  In fact I think they sell a three pack with one of each in the pack for a bundled savings.  Now that I’ve tried all three, this trio might end up on my restocking list.


Peace Out Skincare

The Make Up Bag: September 18th, 2020

The Make up Bag Used September 12th – 18th

This was a strange week.  I had plans, chose the full array of products, and then with the first use of the QMS Medicosmetics Active Glow Tinted Day Cream, those plans went out the window.  I really liked using the QMS Active Glow, and the link will take you to my full review if you would like to check it out.  However, it was very much a no make up makeup. Attempting to use a full eyeshadow palette or regular lipstick just sort of looked foolish with it.  So I decided it was going to be a very minimalist week.

First off, there was the sunscreen.  While there were two in my bag this week, the Volition Prismatic Luminizing shield (my absolute favorite) and the Polaar Fluide Solaire, I used them in different ways. 

Prismatic Luminizing Shield SPF 50|Free Shipping, Free Returns & Free Sampling

The Volition went on my face and the Polaar, which I found a little heavy on my face, went on to my neck and upper chest where my t-shirts often expose the skin to the full punishing rays of the sun.  As sunscreen I like them both, but as I don’t really care for the Polaar on my face, I use it on my neck.

While I could just use the Volition on both my neck and face, I haven’t found any other sunscreen I like on my face so this lets me use other sunscreens and reserve the Volition strictly for my face. It makes it last a bit longer and this week I certainly had space for both tubes in my makeup bag.

Because the QMS is so luminous on the skin, I definitely needed my setting powder this month. Since I was using limited products on my face, I went with the Becca Pink Haze Setting powder.  The QMS evened my skin tone and the Becca Pink Haze brought some color to the skin while still maintaining the no makeup look. 

It was just a healthy glow to the skin more than anything else.  Of the Becca Powders I’ve tried I think this may be one of my favorites.  To keep it from looking powdery once I applied it I used my damp Huda Beauty Makeup sponge to kind of tap it down and take away the excess. 

I really like the flat section of this makeup sponge.  I really didn’t think it would make that much of a difference, but it really has.  I know other makeup sponges have that feature as well, but that combined with the texture of the Huda Beauty sponge make it one I reach for the most.

Over all the QMS Active Glow mixed with the Becca Pink Haze gave me a really healthy natural look all week. And it didn’t get rubbed off by my face mask which was nice.

While I steered away from both bronzer and highlighter this week, my blush was called into action. Actually I’ve called this blush into action quite a few times and it is starting to get a very distinct divot in the center. This week I used my Gold Rush Blush from Benefit as my eyeshadow. 

Get a free Benefit lunch bag with orders $60+! Use code: PRETTYPICNIC. Valid through 9/21.

It gave me a slight color to the lids to add definition without looking like it was really there. The slight gold shimmer to the blush made it look like I did something but wasn’t trying too hard. Which was kind of the look I was going for this week.  It worked beautifully in this capacity.

These powders were set into place with my HA Spray from Timeless Skincare.  It was sent to me for a trial and this was the second week I put it into use.  I am still absolutely loving it.  The cucumber scent is amazingly refreshing and I like it almost as much as I like the spray. It makes my day feel spa like (and yes it is mostly because I am very scent oriented.)

It kept the powders into place (which is what a setting spray is asked to do) and it has good for my skin ingredients.  I was very happy to use it a second week.

With the powders in place and locked down for the day I reached for my Scandal Eyes Wow Wings Mascara from Rimmel.  Rimmel is a long time favorite drug store brand of mine.  Their powders and mascaras have always found a place in my world. 

The wand on this particular mascara is shaped to give you maximum lash lift towards the outer corners of your eyes.  I really enjoy this mascara.  Alas it is reaching the end of its life.  It has reached the six month mark and not only is it time to let it go, but after six months of use the little left remaining in the tube is beginning to get a little clumpy. 

the mascara wand from Rimmel

As it was perfect for six months I’m okay with it going clumpy when it reaches it’s expiration date.  If it didn’t I’d be tempted to keep it past it’s expiration date.  The clumps force me to get rid of it. It is a mascara that I will be repurchasing again in the near future.  It gave me very dramatic lashes and didn’t flake on me.

And finally we come to the lips.Even in a minimal make up week, I still ended up with three lip products.  The first is the Bite beauty Agave Lip mask in Maple. Most days I wore this at least part of the day.  Mostly around two ish when I was starting to think that snacking sounded like a good idea. 

The maple scent makes me feel as though I have already enjoyed a treat and therefore don’t need a second one. Which helps curb a lot of my snacking cravings.  It also keeps my lips nice and soft, which I’m sure is more the marketing plan for the product. At least I don’t think – Bite Beauty – Helps keep you from stuffing your face with potato chips mid afternoon – is their new campaign slogan.

NEW! Agave+ Pre-Makeup Lip Serum

While I used this tube a lot, it barely shows a dent because so very little is actually needed to cover the lips.  It is one of those fantastic products that seems like you can use forever and never run out and then magically one day it is empty.  Then you stare at the empty tube in shock wondering how it could be empty. At least that is my take, you need so little it always seems like there is enough for just one more use in it.

my two main lip products this week

The second lip product I didn’t like as much.  It is the Alamar Cosmetics lip gloss in birthday suit.  It looked good on and it smelled nice, but it was very sticky feeling on the lips.  I know that most lip glosses have a somewhat sticky feel to them, but this seemed a little extra sticky.  It does look nice though.  I think this is one of those lip glosses that will end up in my purse so that if I have to apply it before giving a speech or taking a photo it can be applied, but it isn’t one I will be turning to often. Looks nice but doesn’t feel nice.

My third and final product looked nice, felt nice and smelled nice.  I think it also did some nice things for my lips too.  It is the Yensa Super 8 Lip oil in the shade pink shine.  While it gives a nice gloss to the lips, it isn’t sticky (cause it’s a lip oil). It also isn’t greasy, which I was worried about. 

Despite looking toxic-ly red in the tube it really only gave a delicate tint of color to the lips.  And throughout the day it sort of absorbed into the lips making my lips feel smother and better than before I applied it, which is not something I usually get with lip products.  The oils were quite nourishing.  I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised that I like it as I have had good luck with this Yensa Line.  The Primer has long been a favorite of mine and last week I tried out their foundation and really liked it.  So for me anyway the Super 8 line from Yensa is super indeed. And to be honest, I kind of want to pick up the entire line of lip oils. Which as much as I love lip products is really rare for me to say about an entire line. But I really liked this lip oil.

lip swatches, Yensa on top and Alamar on bottom

So that my darlings was my minimal makeup bag this week. No primer, no bronzer or highlight. It was a simple quick and easy routine.  With the exception of the sticky lip gloss and the realization that I had to say goodbye to a well loved mascara, it was a pretty good week.

Because the summer is ending, I am going to be going through my foundation and foundation like products and pulling the darker ones.  These I want to use before my skin starts losing it’s tan.  I can’t remember if I have any I haven’t tried yet that are in the darker range.  If there are I will go with those first, but I think I might have gotten all of them.  I now I have some new winter shades to test But that is still a little while off.  O next week might be a primer review rather than a foundation one. Or maybe there will be something else that jumps out of my make up bag and decides it wants to be singled out. I’ll have to see what makes it into my make up bag before I can tell.   Either way, that is the end of this week’s make up bag.


Paula's Choice UK

Weekly Weight: Fourth week no scale

I have to say I am somewhat relieved to see the title. More than anything the curiosity is eating me alive. Living without a scale for a month has been a bit of a trial. I’m glad I did it, and I learned several things about myself in the process, some of which will help me moving forward, others are things I really just need to keep an eye on.

I’ve learned that lists are really handy to keep me moving and motivated. I’ve learned that sometimes my body will let me know when it is not happy with my bad decisions. I’ve also learned that weekends are my weak spots. During the week I am very good at writing down my calories, getting my workouts in and generally staying on track. Once the clock hits end of work on Friday evening, I am not that great at remembering any of those things.

My brain sort of says ‘weekend’ and then shuts off. Part of it is that I am not at my desk as much over the weekend, so logging things in is harder to remember. At my desk I have a note pad set up to jot things down and make sure they are logged. On weekends, I lose that. I think that is also where I miss the scale the most. I really like having that friday accountability. There is no wiggle room. The scale shows the numbers to you in bold numbers. There is no interpretation of feelings. Just the numbers.

Good or bad, those numbers help me on the weekend. If I did well I can talk myself out of a little something extra because I haven’t earned it, and if the numbers are good I can use them to talk myself out of a little something extra because I don’t want to undo all the work I did the week before. without that I sort of drift.

It makes me very worried that this month without the scale I did put on weight. So the 25th is looming large in my mind as the first day back on the scale.

And this past thirty days wasn’t the most placid of months for me either. Admittedly when I had the bank issues with someone hacking my account after dealing with it instead of stress eating I spent time researching voodoo dolls. So that is something at least. Still the stress was strong this month.

I did learn that while I use the scale and it’s number to keep me motivated, the end weight goal is really nit that important to me. I put up the number because it was within the doctor approved healthy range and it was exactly half of my starting weight and thus made a fun goal. But beyond that, it didn’t mean all that much to me.

Also through conversations with a family member who is recovering from an eating disorder, with therapy, I’ve learned to explain why I use the scale as a tool and will continue to use it in a way that is acceptable to her and compatible with my telling her that the scale should not be relied upon for a holy grail number. Its also why I am no longer going to put up a goal number and just continue on my weight loss until I am within a healthy range and not to achieve a specific number.

So over all this month has been a good thing. I will still be relieved to get my scale back (I sent it out of the house so I wouldn’t be tempted to cheat). Even if I did gain weight, which I will consider acceptable this month (even if I don’t really like the possibility) I will be very happy to know my current weight. Its the curiosity that is really getting to me. But for both family and self, it was definitely worth taking a month away from the scale to think about why and how I want to use it moving forward. I don’t now who out there is in the same weight loss boat as I am, but I hope these posts have helped you as well. I will be keeping up my daily posts next week. I might even keep them as a regular feature moving forward. Feel fee to let me know if you’d like to see them continue.

The Daily: September 17th, 2020

Not a lot of walking done today. In fact no walking done today. I woke up this morning and it was pouring buckets. It has yet to stop, so I’m guessing that even if it does, there will be no walking tomorrow either because the park will be flooded.

As a consequence I am counting up my calories and hoping for the best.

The real issue though is that on days when I can’t actually walk, I start to feel twitchy. I am just used to the walking being a part of my day now that my body really starts to miss it. Today I noticed I was getting fidgety and I couldn’t quite figure out why. They I realized the figets started about the same time that I would normally go on my morning walk.

I suppose there are worse habits to form.

Tomorrow morning may start with an extra video work out in an effort to preemptively burn off some of the twitchiness.

I did get a lot done today though which is nice. It was a very productive day withitems being checked off my to do list with careless abandon. I think that has been one of my favorite things I have learned during my time with out a scale. Using the to do lists to just write down everything I need to do (including logging my calories) and then drawing a line through them has made me feel like have gotten a lot done. It makes me feel far more accomplished than I perhaps have a right to feel. Mostly it has kept me organized enough to work on several projects at once without losing track of any of them which has been nice.

I broke a couple of larger projects into small tasks and then put tasks from each of the projects on my to do lists each day. It has let me feel like I am moving forward on all of them without letting any one of them fall to the wayside, or without letting one of them take over completely. That has actually been my problem in the past. I’ll work on one project trying to get a lot done on it and then other things I need to take care of slide off the radar. Then I switch and try to make up ground on that one, which causes all the others to fall behind. This way i keep everyone moving forward at a steady pace. who knew all it too was a little thought and a to do list to keep me on track?Or that just striking through a completed task would make me feel so good.

And because of the rain and my inability to go on my walks I am flying through my to do lists. So O feel industrious and yet jittery at the same time. A strange feeling, but at least I know why. Its when I get jittery for no reason that I start to worry. So no worries, just the wiggles. And if they occur tomorrow there might be a short yoga session before the Friday face mask.


Testing out the Dermelect Cosmeceuticals XL Lash Volumizer Eyelash Booster Formula

While I didn’t end up using an eyeshadow palette this week, my month long trial of the Dermelect Cosmeceuticals XL Lash Volumizer Eyelash Booster Formula has come to a close so I figured, its sort of eye related, perhaps it out to go here. So while there is no eyeshadow palette review this week, her is a little something for those still interested in the eyes.

While I may not always wear a full face of makeup, I wear mascara every day and I have since about the eighth grade. I don’t use false eyelashes, I just never really felt comfortable with them.  But I love long thick lashes.  So I am always trying out new mascaras. Because of this I often worry about my lashes.  While they aren’t noticeably sparce, I fear I may damage them with products. 

When I received the Dermelect XL Lash Volumizer in a subscription box I was thrilled to try it out.  I’ve used Dermelect before and really liked their formula.  Their Self Esteem line is really good. I absolutely loved the serum designed solely for my neck. As silly as it sounds it really helped when I started to lose weight and had looser skin.  It helped tighten it back up relatively quickly which made me feel better about my weight loss and want to keep going.

But first we need to go over what to expect from the Lash Volumizer.

Unlock the potential of your lashes. Target thin, weak, brittle lashes and transform them to appear thicker, fuller and stronger. By combining a rich trio of multi-peptides, this specially formulated conditioning treatment works to bolster, moisturize and fortify the lashes with unbeatable coverage and volume.

Formulated with a strengthening trio of active multi-peptides: Sympeptide XLash- a Lipo-Oligopeptide that contributes to the enhancement of eyelash length and density, Capixyl- A Biomimetic peptide combined with a red clover extract to promote a healthier-looking appearance of stronger and thicker lashes, Widelash- a Biotinoyl Tripeptide that functions as an eyelash conditioner to successfully coat the lashes in moisture and nourishment.

Excellent for eyebrows too!

Apply once a day, at bedtime, apply to clean, dry lashes from root to tip. Allow to dry before applying any other products near the eye. Leave on to act overnight. No need to remove in morning. Can also be applied to clean, dry eyebrows.

Ingredients: Water (Aqua), Glycerin, Butylene Glycol, Glycereth-26, Acetyl Tetrapeptide-3, Trifolium Pratense (Clover) Flower Extract, Myristoyl Pentapeptide-17, Biotinoyl Tripeptide-1, Panthenol, Dextran, 1,2-Hexanediol, Caprylyl Glycol, PVP, Xanthan Gum, Polysorbate 20, Benzoic Acid, Ethylhexylglycerin, Sodium Benzoate, Phenoxyethanol, Titanium Dioxide (CI 77891)

Dermelect.com

First off, I didn’t use it on my brows. I figured I’d concentrate on my lashes as my brows are more than willing to grow on their own.

I like the thought of conditioning my lashes, especially after the things I put them through with the eyelash curler and the mascara.  It seems only right that I take care of them.  After all I treat my hair to conditioning masks after torturing it with a flat iron, so this was sort of the same.  At least in my mind.  It was like a leave in conditioner for my eye lashes.  And if they get longer and fuller during the process then even better.

So on t the lashes it went, every night for the past month. 

It is an interesting product to apply. When you open it, it oddly enough smells like eyelash glue.  Even though I don’t wear lashes, I do periodically try them out hoping that eventually I will find one I really like to wear. I am both repelled and fascinated by them in equal measure. But that is another topic, and possibly one for a therapist.

So it smells like lash glue. It even looks a little like glue on the want.  It is slightly white in color and has a thin consistency.  I thought it might turn my lashes white when applied, but it did not.  In fact I couldn’t tell any product was applied when I put it on.  I think the first couple of days I might have applied extra product as I tried to figure out if any was actually on the lashes.  Honestly the only way I could tell that the product had been applied was when I fluttered my lashes and the felt slightly damp when I closed them. Which was fine.  I applied the product, batted my eyes at myself in the mirror and then brushed my teeth.  Long before I finished brushing my teeth the lashes were dry.

the wand with product on it

I left it on overnight and let it work it’s magic.

At no time did I have any issues with eye irritation or itchiness.  While the photos were taken at the beginning of the month and the end of the month long trial, I’m not certain how much of a difference shows. I think they might be slightly longer than at the start. 

I can tell you I had less lash fall out after a week of use than I usually have with my eye lashes and they feel soft and nourished rather than having slightly dry and brittle ends.

before and afters of the Lashes with the Dermelect XL Lash Volumizer

For this alone I will be continuing to use this product even though the month long trial has ended.  Whether or not my lashes are actually longer is questionable. Perhaps in this arena they will show more improvement over a longer time, maybe sixty or ninety days.  As there is still plenty of product left in the tube, I will continue to use it and report back if there is further lash growth.

Even without the noticeable growth, there is noticeable health to the lashes and that is what may not show in the photographs but can definitely be felt in person.  And to me that is more important.  I can name at least half a dozen really good volumizing and lengthening mascaras all of which I have no problem using, but I don’t have anything to condition my lashes and make them naturally stronger and healthier.  Until now. And that is where this product shines.


Daily Deal

QMS Medicosmetics Active Glow Tinted Day Cream

To be honest, I wasn’t entirely certain what to expect from this product.  QMS Medicosmetics is a rather pricey brand and I’ve had my issues with them before.  The Lip Line corrector did very little for me and the eye cream was too heavy and clogged my pores rather badly. However I heard very good things about this from a cousin, who has similar skin to mine and also had issues with the eye cream.  So when I saw it as an option during Boxy Charm Choice I clicked on it.  I figured maybe the third time is the charm.

Before we get into my experiences and thoughts, let’s see what the product page has to say.

Lightweight, sheer, colour adaptive cream with vitamins. Helps to blur imperfections to reveal visibly glowing, even skin. The combination of a skin-perfecting light tint and hydrating formula make this an ideal day cream.

This sheer cream combines hydration with a complexion restoring tint.

Enriched with vitamins, this day cream is ideal for indoor days for a refreshed no-makeup, natural look or under makeup to even the complexion. Its clever tint is designed to work with every tone and its moisturizing ingredients help to firm and smooth the skin.

Ingredients

Aqua (Water), Decyl Oleate, Glyceryl Stearate, Butylene Glycol, Oryza Sativa (Rice) Bran Oil, Propylene Glycol, Isoamyl p-Methoxycinnamate, Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate, PEG-8 Distearate, Steareth-2, Cetearyl Alcohol, PEG-30 Stearate, Glycerin, Panthenol, Methyl Gluceth-20, Tocopheryl Acetate , Sericin , Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Seed Extract, Chlorella Vulgaris Extract, Retinyl Palmitate, Maris Aqua (Sea Water), Hydrolyzed Algin, Oryzanol, Tocopherol, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Galactoarabinan, Lecithin, Inulin Lauryl Carbamate, Sodium Phytate, Citric Acid, Hydrogenated Palm Glycerides Citrate, Silica, Xanthan Gum, Ascorbyl Palmitate, Glyceryl Oleate, Alcohol, PEG-40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Dimethicone, BHT, Parfum, Ethylhexylglycerin, Phenoxyethanol, Piroctone Olamine, Potassium Sorbate, Benzyl Salicylate, Citronellol, Eugenol, Alpha-Isomethyl Ionone, Coumarin, Linalool, Limonene, Titanium Dioxide (CI 77891), Yellow Iron Oxide (CI 77492), Red Iron Oxide (CI 77491), Black Iron Oxide (CI 77499)

QMS Medicosmetics

Normally I don’t include foundation ingredients lists (although to be fair I am not certain why I never have so maybe I will include them in the future) but it seemed like the right thing to do since skin care benefits were being claimed.

I had to try this product several different ways to see how it felt best to use this for me and to get a feel for the formula.  My skin tends to be in the what is called the normal to combination range.  In the summer I lean a little oily (especially in the t-zone) in the winter I lean a little to the dry, at least in my current climate.  I’ve lived other places where I was normal to dry year round or normal to oily year round. I really am sort of balanced on that dividing line which is why I end up with seasonal skin care.

First, let’s cover this as a day cream.  I tried it without my moisturizer under it and I tried layering it over my moisturizer. While it applied like a moisturizer, I did not like wearing it on it’s own. Without the moisturizing layer it felt oddly drying. However with the moisturizer underneath, I found I had to add less moisturizer to my skin when I followed with this.  Currently I am testing out the Dior Dream Skin Moisturizer. While I will be posting a review soon, I have used it long enough to know how it performs. 

On days without the QMS Active Glow, I used two pumps of the moisturizer, let it sit and then once absorbed went about my makeup application. If I used two pumps when I was using the QMS Active Glow, it was too much moisturizer. I’m pretty sure this is how I ended up with break outs on my chin this week.

amount of product used

If I used one pump of moisturizer and then applied the QMS after it absorbed, things went really well.  So I believe that the QMS Active Glow Tinted Day Cream does provide moisture to the skin, it just didn’t provide enough for my skin. Although I have no way of testing to see if the enriched vitamins were in facet absorbed I will say that with the exception of the chin break out while I was figuring out application, my skin looked and felt really good this week.

But I didn’t really use this as just a moisturizer.  I used it as my “foundation product” of the week. So how did it do in that capacity?

Well, first of all I have to say that it smells more like a foundation product than it does a moisturizer.  It smells like a healthy vitamin enriched foundation (no paint smells here) but still like a foundation product rather than a moisturizer. If I were categorizing products in a blind scent test, that is the category I would put it in, even though I am not exactly certain what the actual scent is composed of.

the glow with no powder

The tube has a pump dispenser which I like as it keeps the product away from air and light.  The pump worked easily.  I generally found I needed two pumps to cover my face.  Applying it was interesting.  It didn’t really care for the foundation brush so I applied it with my hands like a moisturizer.  This worked well. I then went in with my HUDA Beauty Sponge and made certain to smooth it out near my eyes.  That flat and pointed side was perfect for that and it was just the right light touch this product needed. 

For coverage, the tinted day cream was extremely light, but it immediately evened out my skin tone. It also made me extremely glowy.  I’m not a huge fan of the glowy look, but a quick powder took care of the glow.  I know I’m not a fan of the glow, but it felt really strange with this product. I think because it has the glow of a glowy foundation, but doesn’t react on the skin like a regular foundation.  It was almost like someone put glow drops in my moisturizer. So that I found a little strange.

My skin with just the QMS and a quick hit of powder. No red spots showing

However I have no other complaints.

Seriously, that was it’s one flaw.  It absorbed into the skin like a moisturizer so there was no worries about it cracking along the moving parts of the face or settling into fine lines.  It was almost non-existent on the skin in terms of feel, yet when I went to wash my face at night I found that it stuck with me throughout the day.  The even tones lasted all day and  as I applied the powder when the QMS Active Glow was still damp on the skin, it locked the loose powder into place.

It did however affect my entire makeup routine.  While I’ll get into that on Friday with my weekly Makeup bag post, most of the products I pulled this week I didn’t use because with the light coverage of this product, they felt like over kill.  I ended up using a loose setting powder with a pink tone which gave my skin all of the color it needed and then I used a light sweep of blush on my eyelids instead of eyeshadow as the eyeshadow palette I chose this week was simply too much. I also ended up switching out my lipsticks for balms and glosses.

This QMS Active Glow is perfect for a light, no makeup day, but it is not something you can build up.  I did try a foundation on top of it and in that instance the QMS felt more like a really good primer.  It gave me the even skin tone under my foundation so my foundation didn’t have to work that hard.  However, I have several primers that do just as well so it felt like a waste to just add foundation on top of this when it really worked well on its own. I do like the fact that if I was having a no makeup day and suddenly have to go somewhere I can just apply foundation on top of what I am wearing without having to scrub down, which is nice. Especially as I tend to go from working alone at my desk for long stretches of time to the occasional meeting.  Also because it is a moisturizer, it didn’t really have any issues rubbing off on my mask, which was extra nice.

I have to say in the end I am quite pleased to have this product in my collection.  It threw off my entire makeup bag this week, but it is going to be well used.  Because the tint is so light and designed to be used by multiple skin tones, I can use it year round without having to find a different shade and my skin reacted well to it.  The glow part I didn’t care for but it was very easily toned down into something wearable and I can see this being pulled out of my dressing table a lot in the future. Because of it, I don’t have an eyeshadow palette review ready to post right after this, because I really didn’t get to wear the eyeshadow this week. But I consider that a small sacrifice (and I’ll fill in a different post later this afternoon).  Apparently with QMS Medicosmeticals, the third time really was the charm. As long as the rest of my wek doesn’t start to resemble the Goldilocks story, I can live with that.


Huda Beauty