While I’m not going to say thank you to the rabbit who dug the hole I stepped into and twisted my ankle, I will say that this particular cloud had a very bright silver lining. While the dip in my weight this week is only 0.4 lbs, it is actually a significant 0.4 lbs for me.
When I started this journey, I was doing calorie counting and exercise. My biggest issue was portion control and remembering to get out of my desk chair and move about more often. As I figured out how many calories were in each meal I was preparing, I stopped logging my food each day. I thought to myself, I know this, why would I put the same thing down that I put down two weeks ago?
For the most part, I was okay. I knew how many calories each item I made included and I was growing accustomed to the portion sizes I needed to see on my plate. When I tried out a new recipe, I broke it down. I just didn’t bother with the older ones. Over all between walking and the gym, I was burning enough calories that little discrepancies in plating didn’t cause too much damage.
Even when I lost the gym, I was still moving around a lot so it wasn’t that big an issue, or so I thought. I blamed my recent plateau on stress and more junk food making an appearance as my baby stress shopped. I’m not entirely certain why he thinks there will be a Dorito shortage in the upcoming future, but it seems he does. Despite the fact that we didn’t keep them in the house before I started trying to lose weight, now they are an essential item.
But that is another story.
Last week, I stepped into a rabbit hole in the yard and twisted my ankle. It wasn’t a break thank god, but I did significant damage. Yesterday was the first day I could actually manage a walk and it was a very short one. Most of my movement this week has involved chair dancing with my arm weights. (and yes I am still loving my ProsourceFit ones)
Because my movement wasn’t what it had been, I monitored my caloric intake more closely. I even went back to my favorite standby the My Fitness Pal app. It has a pretty good food data base and lets me put together recipes that I make repeatedly so that I don’t have to enter the same items over and over again. Their exercise database is okay. Individual exercises are fine. If you do ten squats of 20 pushups it is fine.
If you are doing a you tube video you have to sit down and sort of break out the exercises and then see what fits. The bonus is that if you find a workout you like once you break it down you can save it. Its kind of the same process as building a recipe in their system, kind of a pain to put it in but fantastic once you do. (by the way, this isn’t sponsored, I just found their app most convenient when I was trying a bunch out in the beginning of my journey. Plus the app is free to download, you can upgrade but the free version works really well so I never saw the need.)
This week I recorded everything I ate and watched my calories like a hawk. I realized how far I slid off my plan as well. I increased my exercise, but also increased my intake. They weren’t balancing. I think I needed the refresher. And I remembered one of my favorite ways to use the system, which might help you out. What I like to do, since we generally make a weekly meal plan, is to figure out my largest meals first so I can see how many calories they are going to take, and then plan around them. So on Sunday after we figure out what dinners for the week are going to look like, I enter my weeknight dinners into the appropriate days. I find it easier to then adjust the rest of my caloric intake based on the activity I do that day. I just find it a really helpful planning tool. I got away from using it, but not being able to move much this week brought it back. I think I’m going to be using it again to help get myself back on track. I find it oddly less stressful to just input the meals and let the app keep track of my calories.
So there we have it, not thanking the rabbits, but not planning an Elmer Fudd like excursion in the back yard either.
So the stats…
Starting weight: 246.0 lbs
Weight last week: 204.8 lbs
Weight this week: 204.4 lbs
Weight lost this week: 0.4 lbs
Weight lost over all: 41.6 lbs
Weight left to lose (apx): 81.4 lbs
So over all not a bad week. While the scale isn’t the end all be all, it is nice to see it confirm my choices in taking control of my food again. If you are trying to lose, I hope this helps. Sometimes, you just need a check in to remind you to stay on track instead of drift.
This is one of those eye shadow palettes I received in an IPSY box several months back. While I have tried and liked Makeup Geek shadows before, when I got this palette, I wasn’t exactly feeling it. I think when I got it, the weather was cold and nasty and this just wasn’t the color scheme I was wanting to reach for.
This week when I picked it up out of the drawer, I kind of liked it a bit better. To be honest I had a lot of fun with this palette. It has been a crazy week and to be honest, I didn’t have a lot of time to spare. My eyeshadow looks this week ended up mostly being me choosing one color, dabbing it a little on the outer edge of my eye where I wanted the pigment a little darker and then using a second clean brush to blow out the color across the lids. The colors work excellently well for this. The trick is to remember they are HIGHLY pigmented.
Seriously a little dab will do you.
In the first row we have Peaches, Prosecco, Bellini and Nectar (L to R). Prosecco is the one shimmer shade in this row and it is butter soft. It can be used to accent any of the other colors. I generally found that after I blew out the color across the lids, I could lighten the inner corner with Prosecco and just be done. The mattes, especially Bellini, tend to be a little on the powdery side if you use too much. I recommend lightly dipping in with a flat brush, placing the color where you want it darkest and then switching to a fluffy blending brush.
The second row of colors: Cheers, Juicy, Cocktail and Venice (L to R) are again three mattes and a shimmer shade. The shimmer is Cheers and it is a gorgeous copper. I know I have a weakness for coppers. Again, the shimmer is butter soft while the mattes are a little powdery. In fact with this palette it is better to remember that the darker the color, the more powder kick up there will be. Remembering that will help a lot, especially if you are reaching for the shade Venice. Because it is a Peach palette all of the colors except Cocktail and Venice have peachy undertones. For me this made it a very good summer palette.
While I think the lower row could be used for a more fall look (and to be honest I didn’t reach for them a lot this week as I was doing a lot more lighter looks), for me this palette just reads summer more than anything else. I don’t mind that actually. I naturally tend to gravitate towards more fall colors so in the summer, I generally find myself struggling to figure out what kind of shadows I want to wear. This palette fills a definite gap in my collection. The colors are nice and relatively easy to work with, once you get used to how pigmented they are, and I am happy to keep this around in my collection and possibly look at picking up more Make Up Geek Shadows in the future. As I’ve had some not so great palettes lately, I am especially glad to find this one. When dealing with my palette collection, my palate needed a bit of a cleansing. and this provided it. Thanks Makeup Geek.
Normally this is where I would post a foundation review. This week I didn’t use a new foundation, but decided to dip back into some already open ones. Actually, I’m probably going to be rotating thorough open ones for a few weeks just so I can use more of the open products that I like. During these foundation trials I have found some good ones I don’t want them to go to waste.
This week when I went to make my selection for foundation I ended up reaching for the Pretty Vulgar Lava Water Foundation. That’s the link to my initial review and at the moment, I can’t really think of anything new to add except that I was happy to use it again this week. Thus far I’ve been pretty happy with most Pretty Vulgar products I’ve tried. Even if I did pick up their Feathers mascara just for looks, it turned out to be a really great product.
So, since the foundation was a repeat. I’m going to talk about a new primer instead.
Well new to me, some of you may have tried this one out before, but when running to Target to restock a few necessities I saw it on the shelf whereas I hadn’t seen it before, so I don’t think it’s been out a terribly long time.
Now I have to say, I love a good primer.
I love the way it can smooth out your skin so that foundation applies smoothly, requires less product and lasts longer. Typically I go for pore filling primers, but I don’t mind branching out. And I’ll admit, this one did amuse me. Plus it was only $8 so I figured it was worth a try. Even if it does mean I’ve had old Cypress Hill songs running through my head all week. Luckily no one takes notice of the songs I hum to myself as I get ready or I’d probably be called out on repeating some of the lyrics.
So what are this primer’s claims?
This hemp-derived cannabis sativa seed oil primer nourishes and preps your skin. A creamy primer that absorbs quickly into the skin to soothe and hydrate, conditioning your skin before makeup application. Perfect for all skin types.
Key Ingredients: Hemp Seed Oil – An amino-rich formula that helps nourish, hydrate and condition the skin. Vitamins A and C – Antioxidants known to help brighten skin’s appearance.
We all know, I love my vitamin C. There were also a list of positives for cannabis sativa seed oil praising its calming effects as well as a reminder that this contains neither THC nor CBD. While I am new to using a lot of CBD products, hemp seed oil based products aren’t all that new. They have been around for ages. I remember seeing them on the shelves of health food stores when I was little. I believe it was used to soothe skin irritations.
I’m pretty sure hemp seed doesn’t have the same CBD type calming effects, but it does tend to calm down skin irritations, which usually puts me in a better frame of mind anyway. I could be wrong about that as I am neither a dermatologist nor a chemist (or a botanist for that matter). It could be that the old folks I remember talking about hemp seed oil simply didn’t discuss mood elevating properties. (They were more deal with the nettle stings and complain about the state of the world rather than seeking mood elevators. Not that they minded a bit of the recreational, but they did love to complain. If griping was an olympic sport, they would have taken the gold.)
I will say I really like the fact that when I looked up the ingredients, the hemp seed oil was the second ingredient, which means it is in a rather high concentration. I always like to see the main ingredient a product is advertising be high up in the ingredients list. For those new to reading ingredients lists on skin care and cosmetics products companies are required to list the products in descending order of concentration until they get to about the 1% level. So the higher on the list, the more of the ingredient there is. Once they get down to the 1% mark they can list the remaining ingredients in any order they want.
The product comes in a nice tube with a flat cap so it stands upright. It is dispensed through a pump. The picture shows one full pump. I found I needed two to cover my entire face completely. The formula is very interesting and not something I am used to seeing in a primer. It is more of a cream formula.
When applied to the face it feels almost like a moisturizer. The white disappears as the product is absorbed into the skin and the primer does create a nice even layer. I think I needed more of it because a portion does absorb into the skin. What remains is slightly sticky, which in a primer is not a bad thing. I wore the primer with my foundation and, since I already knew and liked the foundation, there were a few days I just wore the primer with a dusting of powder over it.
As you can see in the photos above, there wasn’t much difference to the skin with or without the primer. There is a slight matifying look but that is all. It has no tint or blemish hiding capabilities, but it does smooth the skin. It just doesn’t hide much.
The primer performed well under the foundation and when used with the powder alone, I found it really gripped onto the powder, keeping it in place longer. The formula didn’t dry out my skin or make it overly greasy. I will say that I am currently testing out a light day cream as my daily moisturizer. Once I applied my moisturizer, I tend to let it sit while I have a cup of coffee. Then once at least a little caffeinated, I return to put my makeup on. Trust me no one wants me trying to apply eyeliner before my first cup. Done this way, my moisturizer had a few moments to sink in before I applied the primer.
I did try applying the primer right over the moisturizer and it worked okay, but not great. I think if I was using a heavier moisturizer it would have been a mess. Given the hydrating nature of the primer, I think either waiting for your moisturizer to settle or leaving off your moisturizer (depending on your skin type) might be the best plan. If you have super dry skin, that might not be an issue for you. For everyone else, give the moisturizer some time to settle first. While this primer isn’t the pore filler I am accustomed to using, it is over all a really good primer. It did its job, smoothing out skin and holding my makeup in place. I am quite happy to have it in my collection, especially for good skin days where I don’t use foundation and just go with powder, and I think that I would definitely purchase this again.
In fact they have a hemp based skin care trial sized kit for $15 that I might be trying out soon.
It includes many of their available skin care products from their line. I think once this primer gets a little lower in the tube, I will pick it up and do a bit of a full on skin care trial with the primer as the topper for the skincare line. But that will be another post further down the road. For now, I am just going to keep this primer around.
And a happy national Lipstick day to each and every one of you. I hope you are flaunting your favorite shades today. While my lips are clad in my favorite Kristopher Buckle Cashmere lip in Bardot (it wasn’t in my make up bag again this week, but I couldn’t resist bringing it out in celebration today) let me tell you about this month’s Petit Vour Box.
Oh yes my darlings, it too finally came in the mail. There are two levels to this subscription, the Petit Vour beauty Box and the Beauty Box plus (Plus has 5-7 travel and full sized items for $25 per month). My subscription is for the regular Petit Vour beauty box and features four cruelty free items each month. You get the occasional full sized item, but most are deluxe samples.
The box is $16 per month and this is actually my second month receiving the box and thus far I am really liking it. Last month I found an exfoliating scrub I never would have come across on my own and that I have now placed on my to be ordered again list. It was from B kind and I really like how gentle, yet effective it was. The link is to my full review. The product can be purchased both at the company site or on the Petit Vour site. I know they have a points system for rewards based on purchases but I haven’t had the subscription long enough to play around with it.
But on to this month’s box. The first Item is from Province Apothecary and it is a deluxe sized cleanser and makeup remover (retail $20). As I am almost finished with my Elemis Cleansing Balm, it is pretty good timing to have this arrive now.
The big decision is whether I want to squirrel away the remaining Elemis and start testing the Province Apothecary or just bite the bullet, finish the Elemis and let it go. Either way, this will soon take its place in my bathroom next to my Make up Eraser and we will see how well it removes make up. With luck I’ll like it just as much as the Elemis.
The second item in my box this month is the Antonym Cosmetics Natural Waterproof Eye Pencil.(retail $19)It is a brown eye pencil, which I have to admit I don’t have a lot of. It is a standard pencil format, which isn’t my favorite, but the product did feel nice on my hand and not too sharp feeling so it should be fine.
In addition it has its own rather substantial pencil sharpener on the end. So when it gets dull I won’t have to go looking for a sharpener. It’s always nice to avoid a panicked search for a missing tool when you are half made up. It arrived too late to be in this week’s make up bag, but perhaps I’ll put it into the bag for a trial next week.
The third Item actually came in two little potted containers. It is the Ursa major flash mask. (retail $12). I’m not entirely certain if that means each pot is one use or what so I will have to investigate before I use them.
I like the idea of a three minute mask, especially if it matches the claims of increasing firmness and restoring luminosity. I’m not going to give up my fifteen minute relaxation time each Friday with my face masks, but perhaps a mid-week pick me up for my skin wouldn’t be a bad thing. Perhaps I’ll make it a self care reward for making it through a particularly grueling work out.
Finally there is a Sea Clay Body mask (retail $8) from Formulary. I have to say I am intrigued by the thought of slathering myself in sea clay, spa style, but the package suggests it is most effective on the neck, back and décolletage, so perhaps I will reign myself in. As my décolletage has taken a beating due to my propensity for v-necked shirts while working in the garden, it wouldn’t be a bad thing to treat that particular section of my body to an extra special treat.
All in all, I am really pleased with my subscription this month. It is my second month and just like the first, I received items I will definitely use and want to try. My plan was originally to test out this subscription for three months to see if I like it. I suspect I will not only keep this subscription past the three month mark, but if it continues to be such an excellent selection, around month six I may be considering upgrading to the Plus level of the beauty box, especially if I decide to let other beauty boxes go. For now however I am just going to use my products and report back. Who knows, I might find another new favorite.
Despite the normal arrival schedule of my subscription boxes it seems that they all came at once this month, and all at the end of the month rather than scattered about somewhere in the middle. So after feeling ignored by the post office I now feel that they are showering me with gifts.
Technically gifts I paid for as I pay for my subscription boxes, but let’s just enjoy the showering of goodies, shall we?
For those interested in the technicalities, Glossy box is a monthly beauty subscription where you get a lovely box sent to you each month filled with a mix of five deluxe samples and full sized beauty items.
In case you are counting and thinking, that’s more than five items, no your count is not off. This month we received an extra treat and received six items. Your math is just fine.
The box is usually $21 per month, however if you sign up for a year you can get the box for $18 per month and you will still be charged monthly instead of having to pay in one lump sum. This is actually the option I chose, after just a couple of months I knew I wanted to keep getting the box and they also have a tendency to sell out quickly (the Aloha box is completely sold out already but August looks FANTASTIC). If you are interested in trying it out, you can get 25% off your first box by using the code GET25GLOSSY. The code expires August first.
Oh and if you do sign up, remember to rate your items. You get points for the reviews (about $0.40 worth per review) and the money can be spent on the Look Fantastic site (FYI Look Fantastic is currently running a 20% off lipsticks for the week since the 29th is National lipstick day just use code LIPS20 the sale runs through August 3rd). The points are not used on a segment of their site or a few select items, but the whole site. You can apply it to whatever you decide to purchase. And they have a really large online store. It’s really a nice little perk as you can save up your review cash for items you actually want rather than limiting yourself to a few select points items.
August is Glossy’s Birthday month so they have some surprises planned. But before we get into that, let’s see what came in the July box.
This month was the Glossy box Aloha theme with everything you need to feel like you are in paradise without getting on a plane. As I suspect it will be quite a while before I get on a plane, I’m okay with that.
First up, is the Soothing Hawaiian Facial oil from Monu Professional skincare. It is a deluxe mini and is described as a gentle facial oil that provides the ideal treatment to relax and comfort irritated and sensitive skin. I have to say, between masks and stress, my skin is plenty irritated so this should be interesting to try.
The second item in my Aloha Glossy Box is the full sized Exfoliating Dual Texture Scrubber from Daily Concepts (retail $12). I actually already have one of these and am super happy to have a backup. I really like this scrubber.
It has a simple strap for your hand so it is easy to slip on and off and to change from hand to hand. It is much easier to use than the scrubbing mit I’ve tried in the past. It is the perfect size to fit comfortably in my hand and I only takes a little bit of body wash to lather it into a full froth. I really like the gentle exfoliation side. This is one of those products I picked up on a whim a while ago and really liked. So I am always happy to have a back up of it.
The Northern Light Smoothing Fluid from Polaar was in this month’s box. It is a deluxe mini (retail $22) and I admit, I had to do a little more digging. From the various descriptions it sounds like it is more of a serum than a cream.
I haven’t opened it yet as I am already testing a serum and a cream and don’t want to open it until I al actually ready to give it a try. It had vitamin c in it and is supposed to give you tighter pores and a more refined skin surface while protecting you from pollutants. To me it sounds like a serum and I am always happy to have another serum to try. I believe last month we received sunscreen from Polaar.
There were two deluxe sachets of the Hask Monoi Coconut Oil conditioner in this month’s box. Like the Daily Concepts, this is a product I have seen and used before.
It is essentially a hair mask and my hair always comes out soft and shiny with both this and the Argon oil masks. Even though it says the scent is coconut and gardenias, it isn’t overpowering and it is well worth the ten minute wait. Especially if you’ve been taking your hair out into the summer sun.
The Palm Balm from The Beauty Crop was a full sized item as well this month (retail $21).
It is a 2 in 1 product which always has me suspicious, because I usually find that when a product tries for multiple uses it doesn’t often succeed. But I am still willing to try. This is a dual lip and blush in a peachy rose shade. I’ve seen The Beauty Crop around, but I haven’t actually tried any of their products so this will be fun. The box actually came early enough that I was able to add this to this week’s Make up Bag so I’ll be reviewing it on friday and sharing my thoughts then.
Finally, the extra treat came from Freeman Beauty. It is the Hawaiian Black salt Peel off mask. It has three to four uses in the re sealable container. I’m never sad about getting a mask in one of my beauty boxes. I used to get Freeman masks all the time as they were a brand always available at my local drug store. I will admit it has been a while since I’ve used them though. I am looking forward to seeing if they’ve changed.
I have to say this was a pretty interesting selection this month. Everything seemed to go with the theme and all of the products are ones I am either excited to have around or looking forward to trying out.
I will say though that I am glad that despite there being no break in the temperatures in sight, August leads us more into the autumn themed items. Well, with luck anyway. In an attempt to bring vacations to us it seems that there has been a lot of coconut scented items aimed in my direction. Don’t get me wrong I like coconut. It’s not one of my top five scents but I do like it. I just feel like I have been bombarded with it this year. In addition all the staycation themes sort of remind me that my actual vacation plans were cancelled. And I’m kind of ready to not think about that for a while.
Its a bit like when people try too hard to cheer you up. Its appreciated, but at some point you are just ready to be over it.
I suspect I am just ready for fall. This has been a pretty brutal summer weather wise (and other wise) and I’m just ready for it to end. I’ve started gazing longingly at some of my sweaters the other day. Admittedly, fall is my favorite time of year and it won’t feel like fall outside until at least mid to late September but at least next month might not be as coconut scented. Unfortunately it means people will soon be gushing about pumpkin spice. I know its a fall scent and it has it’s devotees, but I am really not one of them. I’m an apple cider and mulled wine kind of girl. And I have to admit, I like my coffee to taste like coffee.
And while August is too hot for sweaters, cider and mulled wine, it is the gate way to fall. Soon the summer will end. Still there is much to do before then so it is not quite time to pack away the sandals yet. Still, August with Glossy box looks like it is shaping up to be a good one, and I can’t wait.
My Look Fantastic box finally arrived and I couldn’t be happier. Look Fantastic is a $19 per month beauty box. This is actually my second box from them, although I’ve been ordering things from their site for a while. They have a really large on-line store and are tend to run monthly specials. Many of them start right now, for example from now until August 3rd there is 25% off Staycation Essentials with brands like Christophe Robin, St. Tropez, Westlab, to name a few. The link will take you to the full list of included products (its a long one). Plus, staring tomorrow (July 28th) and running through August 3rd there is a 25% off select Serums with code SERUM25. The list includes brands like NIOD, Elizabeth Arden, PIXI, and FARMACY.
In addition to their regular beauty box they also have occasional special edit boxes. The most recent one was with Sarah Chapman Skincare. It was announced only a few days ago and when I went to look up details this morning, it was already listed as being sold out. I’m sorry I didn’t mention it earlier. I honestly didn’t think it would sell out that fast. I figured since it went on sale on July 24th that it would still be available on Monday, but alas it is not. Since they sell out so fast, I’ll try to get info posted as soon as I find out about it next time, because they do the limited editions fairly regularly and they are always excellent boxes.
So on to the July Box. First off this month was a return to the regular box format. Last month, came in a reusable travel pouch. Although I have to say, the Look Fantastic box is quite sturdy on its own and I will be reusing it for storage, so I’m perfectly fine with the regular box. The theme this month was Sunkissed with items specially curated for the ultimate at-home pamper in the sunshine!
So what was in my box?
Well, the first item I pulled out of the box was actually makeup. It was the Sleek Matte Me lippie in the shade French Fancy (retail $6.13). I have to say the shade is a little too pink for me but I have seen Sleek liquid lips around for a while and just never gotten around to using them.
I also like that it is a full sized liquid lip. While I don’t mind getting the trial sized liquid lips, I generally find they dry out fast and while you get an idea of how the formula works on your lips you don’t get a clear picture of how the product lasts, which for lip products you want as they tend to be around a while.
There is no real reason I never actually tried the Sleek lips, I just didn’t know anything about them even though I have played around with Sleek eyeshadows. I’m happy I now get to try the formula. I also like when there is one makeup item even if it is a skin care themed month.
The next item in my Look Fantastic box this month was the Erno Laszlo Multi-Task Eye Serum Mask (retail $7.17). I am always happy to see Erno Laszlo skincare in one of my subscription boxes. Their Firmarine Night Cream is one of my absolute favorite creams for helping to tighten loose skin in the chin and neck area. (As I’ve been losing weight this is an ongoing off/on concern for me) I’ve never tried their eye serum masks though so I am looking forward to giving it a go and reporting back to you about it.
This month also had a So Eco Large Eye Shader Brush (retail $9.22) in the box. I have never heard of the brand before but the bush feels good in my hand and I will certainly give it a go. It feels rather sturdy.
According to the package it is also made from bamboo with recycled aluminium & synthetic bristles, is Cruelty-Free & Vegan Friendly and has sustainably sourced packaging. In addition, the company plants 1 Tree Planted for Every 100 Products Sold. Not bad claims for a little brush. Hopefully, it will work as good as it sounds.
There were two products from NUXE in the July Look Fantastic this month. The first is the Crème Prodigeuse Boost Multi-Corrective Gel Cream and the second is the Insta-Masque Exfoliating (retail $20.90)
I’ll admit I had to look the Prodigeuse Boost Multi-Corrective Gel Cream up. In case you are wondering Prodigeuse just means extraordinary in French. And it is a day cream. As it is a large enough size that I could probably get at least two weeks’ worth of use out if it, especially if I use a different night cream, I will be testing it and writing up a review later. I really like that it is listed as a day cream. A lot of creams are listed as for day and night use but I’ve found my skin tends to need different creams during the day and at night sometimes, especially in the summertime. Plus I just finished my current day cream so I am more than ready to try a new one.
I am very happy to see both of these products actually, as I have seen NUXE around but I have never gotten around to trying it.
I will also be trying the exfoliating mask as well. I’m sure if you’ve read my posts for any length of time then you know I love exfoliators as well and will be happy to test it out. In fact one of the only things I like more than exfoliators in the skin care world is Vitamin C serums.
And lo and behold there is a Balance Me Vitamin C Serum (retail $13.52) in the July box as well. It’s like they know me. So I will of course give this serum a try and see how my skin likes it compared to other Vitamin C serums. At this point, I’ve tried out a lot of them it seems, some good, some mediocre and some that didn’t appear to do much of anything. It will be fun to see where this lands on the spectrum.
Finally we come to the last item in the July Look Fantastic box. It is the Le Couvent des Minimes Aqua Sacrae/Aqua Mysteri Soap (Retail $6.15). Oddly enough I just finished up my dispenser of Dirty Cow liquid soap so I was looking for another soap to take its place.
Given the amount of hand washing we’ve been doing lately soap just sort of does a brief pass through our house. I’m going to put this in the back powder room where I get ready in the mornings rather in the main traffic area in the hopes it might last a little longer, but I suspect that despite the fact it is a pretty good size it will not last long. I think the packaging is pretty so that might end up sticking around longer.
At least the size is large enough that I can get a feel for how well the product would do with my skin. I have to say, the extra hand washing has caused me to reevaluate both soaps and hand creams lately.
I had a supply of both soaps and lotions before the pandemic hit (both cheap and expensive) and had no problem using whichever I happened to pick up, but the skin on my hands has gotten dryer from all the washing and I have to say, I’ve been keeping track of products that help and products that don’t. Interestingly enough it hasn’t always been the expensive ones that come out on top. There has been a pretty good range of good and bad from all ends of the price spectrum.
I know that sounds strange, but soaps and hand lotions were always just there before. I used body lotion when I stepped out of the shower or bath and my hands were moisturized when I applied it. Hand lotion was something I used once in a while throughout the winter when my hands got extra dry. I keep a small bottle in my purse and trade it out regularly but don’t really think about it. Soap was something to kill bacteria. Neither were items I gave very much thought to. Isn’t it funny how things rise to your consciousness?
But that is another topic. For now we return to the Look Fantastic Box for July. I have to say I am pleased with the products in the box. I think the selection was nice and well thought out. I’m not entirely sure why a liquid lipstick was paired with a eyeshadow shading brush as that seems a little incongruous. However, I enjoy having both items so I won’t poke it too much. As far as value goes, I think I got a pretty good deal there too. For my $19 I received $63.09 worth of products. And in case you are wondering why most of the products aren’t listed in round figures, I’m pretty sure it is the currency conversion.
Personally, I always like to see things like $6.13 as a price. $5.99 always sounds like a marketing ploy in my head and $6.00 sounds very general, almost like it was plucked randomly from the air. Somehow $6.13 makes it sound like someone thought about it.
I know it is just the conversion altering the price tag assigned to it, but something in my brain still thinks – wow that’s exact, someone must have really thought that through. I think it’s the part of me that spent too long making budgets balance. Don’t worry, I don’t let that section of my brain make major life decisions.
So that was my July Look Fantastic and I have to say I am quite happy with it. Everything inside is something I will use and a couple of the items like the Sleek liquid lip and the Erno Laszlo Eye serum mask are things I am really looking forward to trying. (seriously though, if looking for a good firming Night mask, take a look at their Firmarine Night cream, really good stuff. Oddly enough I think I might have first purchased it through the Look Fantastic site during one of their skin care sales).
As I mentioned at the beginning of this post, Look Fantastic has some excellent upcoming sales this month on their site. I’ll keep posting them through the month so if you are looking to stock up on a favorite or try something new you can take advantage of the sales. I am so sorry I didn’t post the Limited Edition box info before the box sold out.
If it’s any consolation, I was going to order it myself and didn’t get a chance. Next time, I’ll know to pounce and pounce fast. (or are all pounces by definition fast? Can you do a slow pounce? Regardless there will be pouncing.) Like a tiger… who likes skincare. Okay, the metaphor needs work, but you get the idea.
Friday Face Mask: Ultra Violet Brightening Purple Clay Mask
Hello my darlings and welcome once again to the Friday Face mask. Today I decided to go with the Generation Clay Ultra Violet Brightening Purple Clay mask. This is one of those masks that I’ve had several times before, but only in the small trial sized tubes. They come up frequently in IPSY sales (usually sold for $3 on their own or paired with something else). When I see it, I tend to snap it up to keep on hand. I really need to get around to picking up a full sized version as I really do like it. It is on my list of masks to pick up as soon as I whittle down my stash. I’ve had several Generation Clay masks before (the pink clay one was one of my first reviews I believe.) All of their products are good, at least the ones I’ve tried. (and no this is not sponsored)
In the summertime, I really like clay masks in general. I think it is partially because of the cooling effect of the clay. This one especially feels cool and refreshing on the skin. And let me tell you, today needs a little cool and refreshing. Although I’m pretty sure cooling down in the heat isn’t quite why the mask was designed. According to the website…
Perfectly on point in a shade of Pantone’s Colour of the Year’s Ultra Violet, our Generation ClayTM Ultra Violet Brightening Purple Clay Mask is packed with locally sourced superfruit, Davidson plum. A gentle, natural version of skin-exfoliating alpha-hydroxy acid (AHA), the hardworking beauty hero rejuvenates dull, tired skin while lightening dark circles and pigmentation.
The mask goes on purple (and easily using my favorite low cost tool; the silicone mask brush) It dries to a lighter purple as it dries down. With clay masks one of the hardest parts is getting them to rinse off. While this does dry down to a crispy shell, what I tend to do is use a face brush to loosen it. The face brush is way too harsh to use on my skin normally, but when I wet it down, I can lightly run it over the surface of the clay mask putting moisture back into the mask and allowing it to be rinsed off easily. I don’t use a lot of pressure and stop brushing before I reach the skin.
A friend of mine is a dermatologist and I have heard many a rant about the harsh bristles. I think the brush came in a holiday gift basket one year so I didn’t go out and purchase it separately but I see them in the Dollar Tree periodically. It is a handy little tool to have around, just not for actually washing my face.
Once dried down, re moistened and rinsed off, I gently pat my skin dry. While I like using this mask, I don’t recommend using it before going out. What I’ve noticed is that in addition to brightening the skin (which it does really well) this mask tends to bring blemishes to the surface of the skin.
When I have clogged pores or pimples that are just under the surface of my skin and won’t actually rise so I can let it heal and send it on its way, this mask tends to bring them to the surface. Maybe it is the drying effect of the clay, maybe it is the AHA exfoliate. I don’t know, but I know that for me it works. Sometimes I will use the mask as a spot treatment, just masking over places I want blemishes to rise to the surface. For me that is often in the curve of my lower orbital bone so I end up looking like a bizarre imitation football player who couldn’t find the jar of whatever black stripes they put under their eyes. Sometimes I add the chin in for a strange purple clay goatee look. Generally I do this when I am in the house alone though as some things don’t need the mockery of others.
So, even though my skin does look brighter afterwards, it isn’t a mask I wear when I’m going out. Luckily my baby and I have a Friday night in planned. My order from Napa Cabs came in (I haven’t signed up for their subscription service – 2 bottles per month starting at $50, but we do like to order from them occasionally. To be honest as they have a better wine selection than many of the places near us, I’ve been considering the subscription. For now we just place an order every few months) and my baby requested a meat and potatoes meal tonight. Literally, actually.
We are grilling a steak (it is enormous so we will only make the one and split it between us – it was the only beef in the store when we went shopping) and I am roasting potatoes with a little sprinkle of salt and hot curry powder. We’ll also have a side salad to go with it. I’ll just have to decide which bottle from the order goes best with curry coated potatoes and steak. Luckily, it’s mostly a box of mixed reds as we tend to lean towards red, so it shouldn’t be too difficult to find something suitable. I just can’t remember what we ordered this time around. I tend to order and then forget so it’s always a surprise.
Then after dinner we have a creature feature movie night planned. I know that The Thing has already been taken out and is ready to go into the DVD player. I heard my baby giggle as he selected it. I lean towards Vincent Price, but he loves his monster flicks. Where we go from there is anyone’s guess. I suspect it will be The Tingler as it suits both of us and we haven’t watched it in a while. Admittedly, we don’t have the fun, gimmicky seats, but I’m sure we’ll make do.
For now it is back to work for me. Only a little more to go and this new book I’m working out will be complete. Final edits are never my favorite, but at least they are almost done. I hope you have a great rest of the day, with whatever you plan to do and have a fantastic weekend planned.
This week’s makeup bag was a little different than usual for me. I recently ordered the Kristofer Buckle Vanity Collection #2 as a means to try several more products from the brand and it arrived in time to be incorporated in the bag. So while not every item in the bag comes from Kristofer Buckle, it does lean heavily in that direction. I’ll cover those products first.
The first item was the Triplicity Perfecting Foundation Stick. Clicking on the link will take you to the full review I posted yesterday. The short version is that I really liked this formula. It is a great foundation and may be one of my favorite stick foundation formulas. It is soft and creamy and feels more like I am applying moisturizer to the skin than applying foundation. I was very pleased with it and will be ordering it again in the future.
The loose setting powder included in the Vanity collection was a good setting powder. There are very few powders I absolutely don’t like, so I’m sort of an easy sell on powders. It is finely milled and really locked my makeup into place.
I did notice that it tended to leave a bit of a white cast. I counteracted that by using extra fixing spray, the I heart Revolution Fixing Spray in Peaches and Cream is the one I am still working through at the moment. It is an excellent setting spray.
What I did was spray the Revolution spray over the powder and then pat the powder down with a makeup sponge. This eliminated the white cast. While it is a good powder, I can’t say it is my absolute favorite. If asked if I would purchase it again, I would have to give it a maybe.
The next element in the Vanity Collection was the mascara. I really liked this mascara. It is more lengthening than volumizing which is surprising as it is listed as a volumizing mascara, but it is really lengthening and it doesn’t flake or smudge once dry. I had no problems with this mascara lasting all day. It is a good product I would definitely pick up again.
I am not entirely certain I would pick up the gel eyeliner. The end that so interested me turned out to be a smudger. Which is nice to have. The gel eyeliner is a gel eyeliner. It is black, it glides on smoothly and stays in place. It is very much like most good gel liners. I will continue to use it and if another came my way I would have no problem using it again, but it isn’t any better or worse than any other gel liner. The built in smudger is a nice feature though.
Last but certainly not least was the lipstick. The lipstick in the Vanity kit was the Cashmere slip longwear lipstick. This is the reason I purchased the entire kit. Seiously, The lipstick is $18 on its own and while the Vanity Kits are normally $28, with the sale the kit cost me $18.94 so I essentially paid full price for a lipstick and got everything else with it. (The sale incidentally runs through July 31st. You can use the code EXCLUSIVE35 to get 35% off. There is also a BOGO sale going on with the Vanity kits so if you are looking to stock up, now is the time).
While I can’t say I liked the color Renaissance, as much as I like the shade Bardot (hands down my favorite lipstick at the moment) as it is slightly more pink then I favor. It has the same formula which makes me confident in buying other lipsticks in the line.
It is creamy and non drying and while the pink did become more muted as the day wore on, it remained on my lips for the entire day. Just check the foundation wear photos if you want to see just how well it lasted, I didn’t reapply the lipstick once throughout the day. It only lost a little pigmentation but mostly retained its color. Incidentally in the swatches to the left I wanted to show just how fully the lipstick covered, the top thinner looking swatch had only one swipe across the hand while I used two on the lower swatch. The second swipe filled in all the lines the first one missed.
While I will be buying Bardot repeatedly for the near future, I now feel confident in the Cashmere Slip formula to stock up on all of the shades they offer. And to wish they offered more shades. It really is a super comfortable formula to wear. And yes I went ahead and added Bardot to the bag as well and just swapped between the two lipsticks for the week. I just couldn’t resist.
So that was the Vanity collection #2 from Kristofer Buckle that made up the bulk of the Makeup bag this week, but clearly they weren’t the only items. I mentioned the I Heart Revolution Fixing spray I am trying to use up. It is a really good fixing spray but it is old enough now that I can’t remember when I bought it, so I will be using it consistently until it’s gone. I may take a break now and then when I need a change of scent fort the week, but for now, it goes back in the bag for next week.
The Sakura + Sage Vegan Eyeshadow and Blush Palette from Seraphine botanicals was in my bag this week as well. The link will take you to the full review. The simple truth is I didn’t really like the blushes and only liked one of the eyeshadows. If you find the pink shimmer shade in Sparkle from Seraphine botanicals, I recommend snapping it up. It was the only thing I liked in the palette and recommend giving the rest of it a hard pass.
The Too Faced Chocolate Gold Soleil returned to my bag this week as my bronzer and I liked using it just as much this time around as I have before. I also brought back the No PoreBlem Primer from Touch in Sol. Both are fantastic products that will return to my dressing table and then rotate back into a future Makeup bag.
Also making a return was the Biillion dollar brows highlighter and concealer duo stick. It works well and this week I paired it with the Il Makiage eyebrow pencil. The pencil in the shade Truffles worked well with me although slightly on the darker side of what I like. I received it in my July IPSY bag and I like it enough to keep it in rotation. There is plenty of product in the pencil so time will tell if I like it enough to purchase when it is used up, but for now, I enjoy using it.
My highlighter this week was from OFRA in the shade Glazed Doughnut. It is a fantastic highlighter. It can go from blinding to subtle depending on your mood and how you blend. I loved using it this week and will look forward to its reappearance in future weeks. OFRA is an interesting brand for me in general. I love their highlighters and liquid lipsticks but find their blushes a bit on the powdery side. They work well and are highly pigmented, but they are just messy enough that I find myself not wanting to reach for them all that often. Maybe I’ll put an OFRA lipstick in next week’s bag.
Finally we reach the standard item that will be in my bag consistently until I run out and then it will be reordered. Strictly speaking I should have mentioned it first as it goes under everything else. It is the Volition Prismatic Luminizing shield in SPF 50. That’s right my darlings, sunscreen.
My favorite sunscreen.
Already I am sensing the bottle is starting to feel a bit light so I have gone ahead and reordered it so that a replacement will be on hand. This is one product, I will not risk running out of.
So we reach the end of another week’s Makeup bag, the good, the bad, the mediocre. I hope my thoughts help you when deciding what you want to add to your personal collection. Or at least provide a momentary amusement as you go along with your day. As for me, I’m off to make up for time I lost when it was simply too hot to work this week.
Our newly repaired air conditioner is functioning perfectly and humming along keeping the house cool and my office from turning into a hot box in the mid afternoon sun. If my lips wouldn’t burn on the hot metal, I’d really consider kissing out air conditioning unit. As it is, I’ll just used the extended work hours to get things done. Have a good day and hopefully I’ll see you back here later this afternoon for the Friday Face mask.
In case you are wondering, yes that is exactly the weight from last week. But it is official. I found a bit of fluff stuck under the battery. Apparently someone checked the batteries while it was in my baby doll’s office (they were shipping a few things from the archives and needed an extra scale). Anyway the bit of fluff, small though it was, ended up being enough to throw its measurements out of whack when I tried to weigh me last friday.
However this week I had to go to the doctor’s office.
The bunnies got me.
Or at least the holes in the yard got me. I stepped in one and wrenched my ankle. It swelled to the size of a grapefruit so I went and had it checked out just in case. Nothing is broken but appearently in addition to twisting the ankle I bruised the bone (on a rock on the ground next to the bunny hole), which is why it felt like more than just a twisted ankle. So I’ll take it easy this weekend and next week ease into a workout that doesn’t involve too much activity for my right ankle.
It looks like there will be much chair dancing with arm weights in my future. maybe I will put together that work out sound track after all.
It was a crazy week. Our air condition was not up to the temperatures and went kerflooey. It was bearable in the day time in parts of the house with the fans running although I did end up with a more or less ongoing heat headache. Sleeping was the issue as it was hard to stay asleep in the heat.
But the repair man came. We were low on coolant although he couldn’t find a leak so he filled it and we will be monitoring it. We’re hoping for about five more years before we have to replace it.
When the air came back on I wanted to hug the masked repair man. I didn’t, but I wanted to. And last night in the newly chilled house, my baby and I went to bed early and slept like we had been clubbed over the head. It was glorious.
So while heat made my workouts early and rabbits kept the workouts mild I didn’t actually gain any weight. So I’m calling that a win. And the weight is official. I was weighed in at the doctor’s office and when I came home I immediately went to my scale to see the difference between the two and it registered the exact same weight as the doctor’s office. So things are officially calibrated. or as official as I plan to get. I’m sure there is some mathematical equation to determine why my scale should have registered slightly different due to time and distance, but I don’t care. It is close enough for me and as the only thing I really want the scale for is to monitor progress I’m good. Well actually the only thing I want it to do is to let me know when I get under the two hundred pound mark and that my weight starts with a one but I also want to know it isn’t a big fat liar when it does. So I remain happy.
So to the stats!
Starting Weight: 246.0lbs
Last week’s weight: who knows
This week’s weight: 204.8 lbs
Weight lost thus far: 41.2 lbs
Weight left to lose (apx.): 81.8 lbs
I will get there. or in some approximation of there soon. I didn’t think the lockdown would throw me off as badly as it did but it seems like I’ve mostly been holding my own rather than losing. I had a lovely conversation with my doctor about that too when I went to the doctor, so I might have to thank the bunnies. Or at least not chase them with the hose so much. Once my ankle is less tender, I have a plan for a few changes. So we will see how it goes.
And I will leave this post with a reminder that for those of you who are looking for something new to read, the Smashwords Annual Summer Sale is still going on. It runs through July 31st. Many of my books are 50% off right now with some of them even being free. And if my books aren’t to your taste, no worries, there are literally thousands of authors participating in the sale so I am sure you will find something to your taste. My newest book will, alas not come out until August, but there are still books galore. And yes I will put in a shameless plug when my book is finally out (I’m super proud of it). But if you are looking for a new read, I highly suggest the book sale. the above link will take you to my books but to get to the general site just go to smashwords.com.
The palette I used as my primary shadow palette this week was the Sakura + Sage Vegan Eyeshadow and Blush Palette from Seraphine Botanicals. It came to me courtesy of my July IPSY Bag and I not only used it as my eyeshadow but as my blush as well this week.
I really like face palettes. I know this is more of an eyeshadow palette with blush attached, but I’m still counting it. One of the reasons I like them is that I get ready each morning in a bathroom that is more correctly speaking, a powder room. There is no shower or bath so I can apply my morning face without interruption from others getting ready for their day. The powder room is also out of the flow of morning traffic in my house as well so that helps cut down the interruptions. But it is a powder room with a pedestal style sink and one small shelf to hold my skin care and makeup. This is why my products live in the dressing table and rotate into the make up bag I take to the bathroom each week.
And in case you are wondering, the dressing table is situated in a place of strange light so my makeup always comes out looking peculiar if I try to put it on at the dressing table. It is however where I do my hair which is why sometimes my hair looks crazy when I take pictures of my makeup. All of which is I’m sure more than you wanted to know. So, to the palette my darlings!
The palette itself is pretty and of a good manageable size. On the inside there is a mirror of a pretty decent size. Useful for traveling, but as I was working in the bathroom with a large mirror, I didn’t need it. It did bother me a little that the top flap doesn’t fold all the way back unless you hold it down so the palette sits flat when opened. To be honest, that would be of more use to me on a daily basis than the extra mirror.
In this palette there are two blushes. I’ve swatched them here with Azalea on the left and Dawn on the right. (the full palette interior is shown below)
As you can see Azalea is pink and Dawn is more of a golden tone. It looks tan in the palette. To be honest when I first swatched it, I thought Dawn might be a highlighter. It is not. While it looks golden in the swatch on the cheeks, at least my cheeks, it disappears without even a whisper of shimmer. It was pointless for me to use. Azalea worked fine on the cheeks. It is a very light formula so it is buildable more than pigmented. To get the swatched I rubbed my finger over the pan quite a bit. But buildable is fine, especially in a blush. It is a bit more of a pink tone than I prefer, but blended out it was okay. It isn’t one of my top formulas, but it was fine. By the end of the day though it more or less disappeared from the skin. It is a look good for a few hours formula, not an all day wear one.
So on to the shadows.
There are two mattes in the palette. Pecan (the lighter brown) and Chicory, the darker brown shade. I wasn’t a fan of either. They were patchy and hard to work with. The bonus was that there was little powdery fall out but as there was little color all around, it wasn’t much of a benefit.
The shimmer shades were a different story. Carob (2nd swatch) was very pigmented but tended to have a lot of fall out both on the brush and throughout the day. Filigree (1st swatch) worked well and generally stayed put. Sparkle (4th swatch pink color) worked like a dream. It was pigmented, went onto the lids well and stayed exactly where it was put all day long. Silver (last swatch on right) did nothing but leave glitter on my cheeks for the rest of the afternoon. I even used my fantastic Pretty Vulgar Eyelid Primer to try and get them to stay. It helped a little but by the end of the day, most of the eye look ghosted. If looking to buy this palette, my thoughts would be look for Sparkle as a single shadow and forget the rest. Sparkle is a seriously fantastic formula. Everything else can be left behind.