Its a pore clearing Face Mask Friday

Welcome my darlings once again to Face mask Friday.  As my fever earlier this week seems to have brought out a spate of bumpy clogged pores, I am going with a tried and true clearing mask for me.  It is the Herbal Dynamics Beauty Chamomile and Cacao Clearing Clay Mask. And yes, it smells like chocolate.  I know I’ve talked about this mask before so I will link here to the full ingredient break down. 

This mask is one I keep coming back to because it really does draw out the under the surface blemishes.  At the same time, it isn’t a mask I can use every week.  It is a somewhat intense mask.  Often what I do with it, it put a little strip of mask over my problem areas instead of my whole face because often times it is a little too much for my entire face.  Of course when my whole face needs a clear out it is perfect.

I can not smile even though I want to, my face mask won’t let me.

The mask is clay based so I do have sort of the stony faced bank robber look to me when I wear it, which is odd because the entire time I’m wearing it I am very much enjoying the scent of cocoa. The mask does tingle a bit.  Part of that is the drying aspect and part ingredients. I know that once I remove the mask everything will look more or less the same.  Then about five minutes later I’ll look in the mirror and parts of my skin will look a little red.  If I wait another five minutes then the redness is all gone.  What I noticed is that the parts that do get red are the parts that don’t really have any clogged pores for the mask to work on.  It’s why I usually use this mask as a spot treatment on red spots and bumpy texture.

By the time I go to do my skin care this evening, the redness will be a memory and the parts that were red will feel smooth and silky soft.  The parts that had bumpy clogged pores or blemishes that were thinking of coming out but were being really slow about it, will have risen.  It is not a good look, but once all of those blemishes break the surface and emerge from their hiding places deep under the skin, they can be dealt with.  Peace out Acne Dots Can be deployed as can salicylic acid based cleansers. And after a few days of work, I know my skin will be smooth and clear. 

little bit of red post masking

It is why when I do use this mask it is a bit strategic.  This weekend, gardening is the main goal.  It is time to put in the carrot seed in the back bed and start bringing the seedlings out of the greenhouse to harden in the sun during the day. They aren’t yet ready to spend the night outside. And this year I picked up these really cool carrot seeds.  The seed type is called Parisian. And it grows these little round carrot balls instead of long carrots.  We don’t have a deep bed so I’m hoping this will work. I would love to have fresh carrots this year.

But that is sort of irrelevant at the moment.  The point is that the back garden isn’t going to care if my face is dealing with mass break outs.  So it is the perfect time to deal with them.  Today the Clearing mask, tomorrow the breakouts.

If you are going to use this mask, or any clay mask really, I highly recommend getting one of those silicone masking spatulas.  I picked one up very cheaply on Amazon for less than a dollar.  I also have a more expensive one ($12), they both work more or less the same.  The $12 one is better materials and will probably last longer but that is really the only difference. They don’t have to be expensive tools to work.  The thing is, using them, while it feels a bit extra, actually helps you use less product so in the long run, it can keep you from running short of your favorite products.

While this mask can be worn for 10-15 minutes, I recommend doing a test spot to see how you are going to react to it and then starting off with less time, especially if you have sensitive skin. When it is dry I find it best to use a little water to loosen up the clay before you try washing it off. Just kind of pat some water onto it, or use a soft bristled brush to brush water over it to get the clay to loosen so you don’t have to scrub that hard to rinse.  If you do use a brush, go lightly as the point is to loosen the bask not scrub your skin.

There wasn’t a lot of Zen in my mask today. My baby doll is working from home today and when he is in the house masking becomes a sort of amusement for him.  He grew up with brothers and his mother had her own off limit’s bathroom so all this “fluffy” stuff is alien territory for him.  Some things he likes, some things he actively mocks.  And lets face it some things he actively mocks he really likes. Seriously, if you heard him mocking bath salts, bath fizzes and bubble bath, you would never suspect him of having his own private stash. He hasn’t tried any face masks but he finds them oddly fascinating. Also he thinks anything mud or clay based he can make up by taking a hose to a clay patch in the backyard. He keeps threatening to start his own skin care line called Mystic Mud. Don’t worry, I won’t let him.

But that was my face mask for this Friday.  No candles or musical interludes with eyes shut and thoughts adrift. Just a good pore cleanse and empty threats about the skin care line my baby doll will never create. Fun and in its own way, a little relaxing.


Herbal Dynamics Beauty has a deal going right now with 25% off their Hyaluronic Acid based products just use code APRIL25 the sale ends on April 15th. Happy shopping

Herbal Dynamics Beauty

The Skin Care Line Up: April 9th, 2021

It is time once again for the weekly skincare line up.  Above are all the products used this week (don’t worry they weren’t all used at once.)  You may notice that there a few missing from last week.  Lately I have been testing a Versed Press Restart Retinol, an Earth Harbor Marina Biome Balancing Ampule and using up the last of my Sunday Riley Good Genes. Usually I use the retinol followed by the ampule (oil) for extra moisture on Tuesday and Thursday nights and then add the Good Genes for some AHA balance the morning after. This Tuesday I was out of commission and I think I might have washed my face because I was overly sweaty and felt gunky.  I didn’t do much else.  By Thursday the excess sweating caused breakouts so I decided that I was just going to skip the retinol and friends this week and for my face mask Friday go in with my clearing mask and then once my skin settles down return to the retinol trial. So that is why those products are absent.  I did however add a vitamin C powder to my night time ritual and I will get to that when we reach the evening.

So…

Daytime skin care

Deodorant: Native Water Lily and Orchid

Cleanser: La Roche Posay Toleriane Purifying Foam Cleanser (end of week 3)

Toning Essence: Byroe Bitter Greens Toning Essence (end of week 2)

Serum: Loreal Midnight Serum (end of week 3)

Eye Cream: Perricone MD Smoothing and Hydrating Eye Cream (end of week 3)

Moisturizer: 111Skin Y Theorem Day Cream (end of week 3)

Sunscreen: Volition Prismatic Luminizing Shield in SPF 50

And in case you are wondering, yes that is the order in which I apply them.  The moisturizer needs a little time to settle before I apply my sunscreen but the sunscreen is the last element to my morning skin care.  I am currently using the Volition prismatic luminizing shield in SPF 50 (and have been for a while and will continue to do so for an even longer while).  This is billed as the sunscreen for people who don’t like sunscreen and I have to say I fall into that category. This sunscreen looks like skin care and lives with my skin care and so I put it on with my skin care so that I don’t forget.  It is very light weight and goes on like a moisturizer and doesn’t break me out. 

And because I very much just go down the line with my skin care in the morning, because it lives on the skin care shelf, I don’t forget it.  I am the first to admit that before my coffee I function on Autopilot.  I wash my face, pat it dry, go to the kitchen to turn on the coffee pot and return to the bathroom to finish with my skin care while the coffee brews. Anything that isn’t in the lineup gets forgotten.  Making sure the sunscreen lives there means I don’t forget it. The big trick right now is remembering to take it down my neck to my upper chest.  Enough of my shirts have v necks that I was getting some sun damage to the upper chest last summer because I couldn’t remember.  This year I am remembering.

I know that is a lot of time spent on sunscreen but we are getting into warmer weather now so more time is spent outside.  Plus I was utterly horrified but the Vogue interview with Gwyneth Paltrow on her skincare regime. But enough has been said about that dose of misinformation.  Just remember to wear your sunscreen. My morning skin care has remained the same since last week.  Several of the products I am using are approaching the end of three weeks of use. Most skin care needs at least thirty days of use before you see any results.  While I try to remember to post pictures of my bare skin in these posts each week (I took them last week but forgot to post them like a dingbat) Once I’ve used a product for over a month I’ll start to post the before and afters with the full product review. Thus far I have no major issues with my morning routine.

A quick update on the native Deodorant. The temps are starting to climb and as you know when I switched to the natural deodorant I had huge issues with wet underarms.  No stink but very large sweat stains.  They were large enough that pit stains didn’t do them justice.  After a while they started getting smaller.  I think part of that was my body adjusting to a deodorant instead of an anti-perspirant. At the same time thought the weather was cooling off.  It is now warming up and there has not been a return of the overly dramatic wetness. High summer will be the true test but I feel my body has adjusted.  I’ll keep you posted as the weather warms and I spend more time working in the garden.

Night time Skincare

Makeup Remover:  CBD Superfood Dual Cleansing Oil from Yensa

Cleanser: La Roche Posay Toleriane Purifying Foam Cleanser  (end of week 3)

( I didn’t wear waterproof eye makeup this week so I didn’t need the separate eye makeup remover from Klorane)

Toner Akar Skin Balance Toning Mist (end of week 2)

Serum: Loreal Midnight Serum (end of week 3)

Eye Cream: Perricone MD Smoothing and Hydrating Eye Cream (end of week 3)

Moisturizer: SYS Superfood for Your Skin Moisturizing Cream in Prickly Pear (end of week 2)

Vitamin C Powder: The Nue Co Topical C Powder

Neck serum: Dermelect Self Esteem Beauty Sleep Serum

Lips: Bite Beauty Agave Lip Mask (in Maple) – this week I didn’t use a lip scrub.

Last week I finished off the Clean It Zero cleansing balm and so this week I rolled the Yensa CBD Super Food Dual Ceansing Oil into the line up to take it’s place.  You may notice that it is half full.  It is a good cleansing oil and it really does work well with my skin.  However the scent is very strongly CBD oil.  Some products are a surprise “Oh there’s CBD in this, I never would have known” . 

Bare skin at the end of the week

This is not one of those.

Blindfolded you could sniff it and know there was CBD in it.   I did a full review of it and you can read the full review here if you’d like.  It is a good product.  After I used and reviews it, I set the oil to the side.  While I don’t mind the scent of CBD after a while it does get to me.  It is a good product sold at a decent price it just has a potent scent. I will be using this and hopefully using it up.  I will not be repurchasing it.  I like cleansing oils as the first step in my double cleanse but there are other oils that work just as well, are comparably priced and don’t have a scent I have to power through.

mug shot to the side to show off those crows feet

With the exception of the Vitamin C powder all of the other products are holdovers from last week.  I am surprised that the SYS Superfood Moisturizing cream is still going strong.  Since I am using a Day cream as my primary moisturizer 9and the 111Skin Y Theorem is definitely a day cream with my skin) I decided to work through some of my sample sizes in the evening. I thought I would only have enough product for two weeks in this sample sized tube, but I am now at the end of week two and there looks to be enough product for another two weeks so I may get a long enough trial to do a full review of it.  I am still on the fence about the product so I am happy to have a little longer to decide.

and mug shot to the other side

Last night was the first time I added in the Nue Cos Topical C powder.  I noticed that my IPSY this month had something from the Nue Co (and no it hasn’t arrived yet, I just checked the site) and I thought it sounded familiar.  So I looked in my skin care drawer and found the overlooked powder.  Since I finished the Vitamin C from Herbal Beauty Dynamics that I was using I decided to add it in.  The product mixes in with my nightly moisturizer.  It was interesting last night, but it was the first night I used it and so it is far too early to say other than interesting.

The only other thing to report is that since I have been using the Agave lip mask from Bite Beauty in Maple I have not needed the lip scrub each week.  I was using the lip scrub once a week.  Now I think it is knocked back to once a month, which I am good with.  Also the maple scent has caused my babydoll to suggest we have pancakes and waffles more often despite the fact that he says he can’t smell it. Not that it means much in terms of skin care, but it has been an interesting morning trend. And that is the current state of my skincare this week. Everything is chugging alone and pancakes have been requested. I hope you have a great Friday and I will see you back her later for the Friday Face Mask.


Challans de Paris

Weekly Weight: 216.4 lbs

The Scale: April 9th, 2021

Welcome once again to the Weekly Weigh in.  As you can see, my scale has returned to the bathroom once again.  It went on walk about last week as it was needed elsewhere to weigh postage. It has now returned to weigh me and against all odds I am one pound less than I was the last time I stepped upon its surface.

Given that this week was topsy turvy at best I am very pleased with those results.  My goal is about a pound a week and for the past few months, well the past year actually, I haven’t actually hit that goal very often and in fact did some back sliding. 

But now that I am vaccinated I am going back to the gym with more confidence.  Although still wearing a mask and not actually venturing into the enclosed space of the locker room.  That’s right, I arrive in my work out clothes, leave in my somewhat sweatier workout clothes and shower when I get home.  I consider it a test for my deodorant. If no one runs away screaming as I make my way to the car, then congrats the deodorant is still working. With Easter feasts and vaccine issues, I didn’t actually get to the gym this week.  I am hoping to get back into a schedule next week. 

Admittedly there is one more foreseeable bump in the road.  Monday my babydoll gets his second vaccine. I don’t know if it will affect him as it did me, but it might.  The thing is that when I don’t feel well I want to be left alone to sleep.  When he gets sick, he really wants to be the center of attention. So there may be a bit of a shuffle, but hopefully I will be able to get back into a normal schedule. 

I know the scale doesn’t really matter and that it really is how you feel about yourself that counts and I really do feel pretty god about myself.  But I have to be honest, I really want to step on the scale and see my weight start with a one instead of a two. And it will happen. It may happen slowly but it will happen.

And at least if it happens slowly I won’t have those giant excess folds of skin people talk about from quick weight loss.  My loss is anything but quick. Still I digress.

To the Stats!

Starting Weight: 246.0 lbs

Last week’s weight 217.4 lbs

This week’s weight: 216.4 lbs

Change this week: loss of 1.0 lbs

Lost over all thus far: 29.6 lbs

So we chug along slowly but surely. My sneakers are doing the same.  This is the end of the fifth week of use and they are still doing well. 

They are significantly more mud stained than before as I attempted a walk yesterday and slid down a mud covered incline.  I did not think it was a mud covered incline however I was wrong.  Luckily through my tactical use of the pinwheel method of balance I managed to keep my feet under me.  Ah yes, I was grace in motion. Poised and in control.  And if Don Quixote had seen me I would have a lance stuck in my belly button.  I was very much a windmill. But at least I was not a mud covered windmill.  So that is something. And with that, we start Friday.


For those combining a love of skincare and the necessity of working out, Elemis has you covered. They have teamed up with Sweaty Betty for a collaboration. You know how much I love Elemis Products. I have nerve had a product from the brand that I didn’t like. I admit, I don’t know much about Sweaty Betty so I will have to investigar, but this does sound like my kind of collab and I though you might be interested in hearing about it too. I really like their cleansing balms and I currently have a back up of their CIC Calm Cleansing Foam in my skin care drawer. Both are excellent products.

Feel powerful and empowered from the outside in with this exclusive collection of active skin and bodycare essentials in collaboration with Sweaty Betty. Includes: Pro-Collagen Energising Marine Cleanser 150ml – Full Size Superfood CICA Calm Cleansing Foam 50ml Dynamic Resurfacing Facial Pads – 14 pads Superfood Kefir-Tea Mist 100ml – Full Size Superfood CICA Calm Hydration Juice 20ml Skin Nourishing Shower Cream 100ml Warm-Up Massage Balm 150ml – Full Size Exclusive Sweaty Betty Utility Essentials Wash Bag

Elemis x Sweaty Betty Post Workout Perfection Collection

The Daily: April 8th, 2021

Good afternoon my darlings. Do you see what I see on this rainy and somewhat dreary Thursday? It is a delightful bag from Zents. They very kindly sent over some lovely items for me to try out and review for you. If you have never heard of Zents, they are a company that makes bath and body products. I’ve used their bath truffles before and they are amazing. The scents are fantastic and as they have both Epsom salts and Shea butter in them they are excellent for soaking your muscles and making your skin silky soft. Growing up any time we had muscle issues or aches and pains my mother dropped epsom salts into the bath tub for us as a general soak, so everytime I see them in a bath time treat I am just tickled. Of course the super soft Shea butter doesn’t hurt any. Nor do their scents. I’m partial to the mandarin while my mother swears by the Oolong.

That shouldn’t be much of a surprise as if it has a scent even vaguely reminiscent of tea it shoots right to the top of her scent preference list. I’m pretty sure you could get her to buy a muscle car if you replaced the new car scent with the scent of tea. (In case you are one of the many who has never met my mother, she is not a muscle car sort of person)

I like the fact that while they smell absolutely amazing they are all about the gentle aromas, so you aren’t being hit over the head with scent. They also have unscented too if you prefer to skip the aromas. I have to say i was very excited to peer inside. While I routinely pick up their bath truffles I haven’t actually tried anything else from the brand. I know that sounds strange but I have several brands I do that with. I find something I like and then just keep reordering without poking around on the site and trying new stuff. I tend to do the same at restaurants. I know my favorite item on the menu of each restaurant I like and that is what I order at the at place. I’m working on it.

Today Zents sent a shampoo and conditioner set, the Shampoo in my favorite Mandarin Scent and conditioner in the scent Water which sounds intriguing and their Eau de Toilette Sample set. It contains ten scent samples and oh my darlings you know how much I love trying out new perfumes and scents. In the case of Zents it is actually a little more than just trying out the eau de toilette scents though. The scents used in the actual scents are also the scents of the bath products. For example while the conditioner they scent is called Water, there is also a scent called Water, as well as a bath truffle with the same scent profile.

Testing the scents in the eau de toilette sample set is also going to help me branch out of my comfort zone when it comes to other products on the site, like the bath truffles. I generally only order the Mandarin for me and the Oolong for my mother because I know those scents and that I really like them. Now I can smell them as scent and decide if I also want to try them as bath products. As well as scent too of course. I can’t wait to start trying them out. And now I am extra glad I decided to use up a shampoo sample instead of starting a whole new bottle. Because now the sample shampoo is gone and I can just start with this. woot. what a nice Thursday surprise.

As I mentioned before it is a kind of rainy and dreary day. so there is no walking on the walking trail for me. And I’m still trying to catch up a bit from taking a day off so lunch was cheese and crackers at the desk and dinner is a salad. Spinach themed mostly. A little bit of extra iron is not a bad thing right now.

I did manage to take a little time and do my makeup today so I am feeling a little bit more normal. No fever and normal rhythms returning. I did go for a relatively quick and simple look today.

Today’s Look

Primer: Urban Decay Optical Illusion Complexion Primer

Foundation: No 7 Lift and Luminate Triple Action Serum Foundation

Bronzer: Marc Jacobs Hi Fi Filter

Blush: bareMinerals Bounce and Blur Blush

Highlighter: Fenty Beauty Killamatt Highlighter in Ginger Binge and Moscow Mule

Powders: Elf Loose translucent setting powder and No 7 Perfect Light Pressed powder

Eye shadow: Butter London Natural Goddess Palette

Mascara: Big Poppa from Wet ‘n Wild

Lip: Kristofer Buckle in Bardot

Setting Spray: The Porefessional Super Setter from Benefit Cosmetics

I used a mix of old favorites and products I am still on the fence about. Since I have been testing the No 7 foundation it was on the top of my dressing table so I just picked it up naturally. It is a good foundation and it will probably go into my list of favorites as I can easily see myself reaching for it often. The Urban Decay Optical Illusion Primer I picked up because it is a full on primer. It is like spackle for the face when you are feeling less than skintastic.

My skin was doing really well, despite the increased masking at the gym and then after my vaccination I had just a massive fever. I was sweating less like a sinner in church and more like I had organized and set plans in motion to overthrow the devil and take up the reigns of the demonic domain.

While my fever did break and the sweat stopped, it left behind a spate of blemishes that have started rising to the surface. I think that deep sweat just pulled everything and anything to the surface. I was going to try a new mask tomorrow for face mask Friday but at this point I believe I am going to have to break out my Herbal Dynamics Beauty Chamomile and Cacao Clearing mask to set my skin straight. I love trying new products, but sometimes you have to go for the tried and true.

Incidentally you can currently get 25% off at Herbal Dynamics Beauty with the code NEWSKIN25. The deal starts today. I’m not sure how long it will last. Usually they give 20% off for new orders so this is just a little bit extra in case you are interested.

Most of the other products today fall into the tried and true category. The Marc Jacobs I will use until I hit pan and then repurchase and I just adore the buildability of the bareMinerals blush. I will be reaching fot it a lot, not just because I love it but because it is a sample size. I want to purchase the full size but my general rule is that I can’t buy the full size until I use up the sample. Admittedly this sample is already showing a distinct wear curve in the center of the pan.

The two products I was on the fence about were the highlighter and the eyeshadow palette. The highlighter is Fenty Beauty and good quality but when applied it is a bit too pink and makes me feel like I am just adding extra blush with a little bit of sparkle. I may leave it out this weekend and just play around with it. I love the colors, but I think I may like them more as eyeshadows rather than highlighters. I think if I pair it with a mauve or pin eyeshadow it could make a quick and easy combo, especially for traveling. I’m just not sure the highlighter works as a highlighter for me.

The butter London Natural Goddess is an interesting one. I really like the formula of these shadows but I don’t reach for it often. I tend to forget abut it honestly. It has two mattes and four shimmers. One of the mattes is a teal blue shade I don’t like so the only matte I use is the brown. And then I just vary the brown with a shimmer or two. Today i used the pink shade (Queen in the center) nd the with silver shade of Enchantress on my inner corner with the one brown matte, Temptress as my, well, matte. every look I make with this palette is just a variation of the shimmers against the brown. I always like what look I come up with but I always sort of know how it is going to look. there is something to be said for that though. I always reach for the palette thinking, ‘you know I really don’t use this enough and should probably pass it along.” and then I use it and thing “oh I love this shadow formula.” Oddly Butter London’s formulas aren’t always consistent. I like the formula of this palette much better than I like the Teddy Boy Palette. For now the palette stays But I do need to start reaching for it more.

And that my darlings is how today is shaping up. It isn’t the most dramatic of days, but it is shaping up to be a return to normality, and that is something I can get behind.

Herbal Dynamics Beauty

Testing out the Ciate London Eye Luster Cream Eyeshadows

I will admit, I am not a makeup artist. I am probably the farthest thing from a makeup artist. I am just someone who likes playing around with makeup. And quite frankly, there are a lot more of us non professionals than there are professionals. There are certain products though that I approach with a certain amount of caution because they seem like you probably need professional level skill to deal with properly.

For me liquid eyeshadows have always sort of fallen into that realm. I can play around with shadows and feel confident that I will eventually come up with something i like. Most of my looks tend to be toned down and in the professional range because the reality is that I spend a lot more of my times in meetings than I do attending parties. but I do like to play around, especially when I am not expected to look professional. Thats when the wild colors, glitter and shine come out.

While I am fine with powder and cream, it is the liquid shadows that I am hesitant with. I have a couple of the Stila liquid shadows and I tend to use them at new years, or forget I own them. I really want to get more comfortable with them so I am making an effort to at the very least play with them over the weekends, so you may see them appearing more and more often (especially as I think my Stila ones are drying out).

To start with I tried the Ciate London Eye Luster Cream shadows. The one with the Gold cap came in a recent IPSy I believe. The one in the black cap I have had for a while and can’t remember where I got it. the packaging is slightly different so it may be old packaging. The newer one is called Cupid (gold lid) and I can not find a shade name or number on the one with the black lid.

The black lidded one is the top swatch and Cupid is the lower. For lack of an official name, I am just going to call the top one silver. In the new shades I think it matches the one called Ice. Both of these shadows performed the exact same way so even if the packaging changed, the product did not.

For my first use I attempted an all over the lid look to see how maximum coverage came out. I also used a dark powder shadow underneath to see how well it played with powder shadows since realistically, I will be wearing it in conjunction with a powder shadow. I tend to use shimmers as accents not all over the lid shades, but I extended the accent so to speak for this trial.

When I first applied it, I blinked while it was still wet. I have hooded eyes so there was an immediate line across the lid. I tried again and fanned the eye until dry. Confident that the lid was dry I blinked a bit and moved on to the second eye. If I let it dry, there were no lines and the shadow did give me decent coverage.

Throughout the day as the shadow continued to dry I ended up with little flakes of glitter decorating my cheeks. It was clear that the shadow wore away where my lids rubbed but for the most part it still looked okay. My cheeks were a bit on the shiny side. While I liked the color, as the shadow dried my lid started to itch so it was really hard not to rub my eyes. When I did, my knuckle came away with glitter and the shadow was no longer on my eye.

It was kind of the itching that got me. On other attempts at using the shadow I used it as accent marks. I dotted it on the inner corner in a true small dot and it looked great with no itchiness and no flaking. I used a small angled brush to play around with using it as a liner, both over and under the eyes. It worked well and there was no itching or fall out.

I think that is the trick with this eye luster. It isn’t really meant to guild the entire eye in color. Don’t get me wrong I love the shade cupid and if it had some of the glitter removed and it was just a cream eyeshadow I would definitely try using it across the lids. I just think that the glitter filled cream doesn’t do terribly well across large expanses of lid. This is an accent color. It looks good on the lid, but it doesn’t feel all that spectacular. Which is kind of interesting as I have a potted shadow topper from Ciate that I absolutely love all over the lids. This is a formula I will reach for to do the inner corner and to use as a shining liner, not is an all over lid shade. I like having it around, but it is also nice to know when I can reach for it and when i need to pass it by. Ovr all I am happy to have these Eye Lusters from Ciate in my collection. While they might not be for everyday wear, I am now confident enough that I can use just a dot or a dash here and there to brighten up a look while still looking appropriately professional. There will of course still be more playing around.



Foundation Review: No 7 Lift and Luminate Triple Action Serum Foundation with SPF 15

As you know, I love testing new foundations. Or at least new to me foundations. There are so many foundations out there. And while occasionally I will catch one at first release, often I see the release and then mentally bookmark it as something to try later on. Sometimes it takes me a while to work my way around to it.

I started my foundation quest because the foundation I was using at the time finished and I found it had been discontinued. I have long since found many other foundations I really enjoy using so that I can rotate through products and not worry too badly if one of them gets discontinued as I am not focused entirely on one favorite. What I have also found is that I really enjoy a wide variety of products. Foundations come in all sorts of formulas and textures as well as coverage levels and I find that somedays I just prefer one formula over another.

I kind of like having the variety.

I still intend to keep the number of products to a level where I can actually see some progress in the container so that I don’t have millions of products hanging around. Not that there aren’t a million products I want to try, I just want to be able to use the products instead of waste them. So I am trying to be selective about when I add new foundations to my dressing table to try. I added the No7 Lift & Luminate TRIPLE ACTION  Serum because I noticed that while I have quite a large number of tinted moisturizers, I really don’t have a lot of actual foundations. Plus when I passed this on the shelf I looked, said “Oh that looks nice” and even though I wasn’t intending to buy foundation it magically ended up in my cart.

Magically.

pump top

Given how much I adore the No7 Perfect Light pressed powder, I knew it was only a matter of time before I branched out into other products and I am happy to try this foundation. According to the No 7 Website the No7 Lift & Luminate TRIPLE ACTION  Serum

is…

Formulated with the clinically proven anti-aging ingredients from our No7 Lift & Luminate TRIPLE ACTION  Serum, this foundation instantly reduces the appearance of lines and wrinkles,  skin looks firmer and appears more even.  Skin is left with a radiant, more healthy-looking glow.

  • Optical blurrers and light-reflecting particles instantly minimize the appearance of the signs of skin aging by reflecting light away from fine lines and wrinkles.
  • Broad Spectrum SPF 15 protects skin from the aging effects of the sun.
  • Flexible formula moves with skin and doesn’t migrate into fine lines and wrinkles

If you look at the ingredients list you will see that Caprylyl methicone is the second ingredient. Generally speaking if the second or third ingredient in your foundation ends in either cone or siloxane. Its a quick way to see if you are dealing with a water or silicone based foundation. I know some people try to avoid the silicone based foundations. Personally, I like both. The only thing to remember is that like goes with like. If you are going to use a silicone based foundation, then go with a silicone based primer. And if using a water based foundation, go with a water based primer.

While some can be mixed, the two products often separate from each other and that’s not really good for anyone. There are of course oil based products as well, in both foundations and primers. In general I find it best to avoid attempting to mix oil and water. If you’ve ever made salad dressing, you know, you can shake it all you want, the moment you stop, there will be some separation. While this has significantly less shaking, there is a separation.

I do have an oil based foundation that I like. I generally find that if I use a primer where the silicone element is really far down the list, meaning it is in small concentration, then it will usually be fine with an oil based foundation. I don’t think I actually know of an oil based primer. I might have to look into that.

But that is not now. Now is the time for the No 7 Lift and Luminate Triple Action Serum Foundation. With the name serum in the title, I thought it would be a thinner consistency. It is a thicker almost mousse like consistency when dispensed on the hand. While unexpected, I have to admit I really did like the way it blended into the skin. The thickness, spread out so I really needed only two pumps to achieve maximum coverage. The foundation felt weightless on my skin and played well with the primers I chose (i chose silicone based primers, but i used a different one each time I applied the foundation and I used primers I was familiar with). There was no issue with any of the primers.

I was very pleased with the way it applied. Now I do want to say something about the sunscreen element in the foundation. while I like having SPF in my foundation as a sort of extra bonus, I still wear sunscreen underneath it. The SPF 15 in this foundation is not a replacement for the Spf I apply at the end of my skincare routine. Not only is my sunscreen (favorite Prismatic Luminous Shield by Volition Beauty) SPF 50 but to get the full sunscreen protection in a foundation, you have to apply a lot of product to your face. If you want a really good visual representation of this I highly recommend checking out Wayne Goss’s Video: This is How much Foundation You Need Daily (if relying on the SPF in your foundation as sunscreen). It is not something you will soon forget.

The SPF in this foundation is a nice little bonus and I like it, but it is not something to rely on.

I would say this coverage falls right into my sweet spot of medium coverage. I like being able to see a few of my dominant freckles though the foundation. In fact I kind of freaks me out when i can’t. I think that is why I don’t really care for full coverage foundations. I lose some of the visual markers that make me feel like me.

This was a very good medium coverage foundation though. While blemishes, red and dark spots, were covered, I could still see some of my dominant freckles. But this foundation isn’t just about coverage. It is about covering those pesky fine lines. It is supposed to have a flexible formula that moves with the skin and doesn’t sink in and emphasize fine lines. I have to say i was very pleased with how it performed over the course of a day.

I took these pictures one of the days I wore the foundation. They were taken about twelve hours apart. Yes, my hair has been pulled back and the light is different as I took the first photo in natural light and the other after dark in my bathroom. But I think you can see that the foundation held up really well. Clearly it has worn down a bit as my freckles are more pronounced and I am a bit shinier.

While I didn’t powder my nose on this day, I did spend a lot of time with a mask on, so I’m not entirely certain the shine is just from normal wear or if the mask rubbed some of it off. Usually I do touch up my face with powder mid day, on this day I didn’t so there is extra shine and I was wearing a mask, and to top it off this was the day I wore the foundation for the longest. I know lots of foundations tout 36 hour coverage, but to be quite honest, I don’t usually wear my make up that long at a stretch. Generally if I am up for 36 hours strait it probably isn’t my makeup I’m worrying about.

Twelve hours was somewhat of a stretch for me as eight to occasionally ten is kind of my limit of foundation wear time. It was also why I chose this day to photograph as it was kind of an extreme wear test for me. Unless something extraordinarily unexpected happens, this is about the limit of time I would expect a foundation to work on me.

And to be honest, I am perfectly happy with the way this foundation wore during that twelve hours. There was some wear obviously, but lines were not emphasized and I still felt like I looked okay. I very much enjoyed the No 7 Lift and Luminate Triple Action Serum Foundation. I purchased it at Target for $15.99. I know that if you order from the No 7 Website, new customers can get 20% off their first purchase which kind of makes a good , affordable drug store option even more affordable. Plus right now they have an extra Fresh and Fabulous set (value $22) for those who spend $59 or more on the site. AND they are having a Friends and Family Sale which you might want to check out (I’ll put useful links below). In makeup, I highly recommend both my favorite Perfect Light pressed powder and this Lift and Luminate Triple Action Serum Foundation. I think this is a drug store option I am going to keep around for a while.


30% off Sitewide and Mask GWP with code MASK



The Daily: April 7th, 2021

Today has certainly kept me hopping. Yesterday was an unexpected sick day for me (although if I had been thinking I would have sort of planned for some side effects since everyone else I know has had them.) Today I’m feeling better. My fever broke sometime in the night and while my arms are still a little on the achy side I no longer feel like my bones are undergoing some sort of medieval torture.

I think my hands were actually the worst with that. My finger joints really hurt. Luckily that was all gone when i woke up. As are the other flu like symptoms. Only the slight stiffness and soreness in the arms remains. It now just feels like I did a particularly hard work out with weights the day before. Not pleasant, but not debilitating.

It is however why I am taking the rest of the week off from the gym. I’ll start back again on Monday. I’m just going to add a few days of recuperation to my slate before I return. I think that might be for the best. I did go on a walk today though and it was nice to get out into the sunshine. I was going to wait for a bit on the walking but we have rain coming our way so I’m not entirely certain how much walking will be a possibility the rest of the week. I may go to the gym just for the treadmill if the rain returns in force and floods the park, but I am staying away from the weights circuit.

Yesterday my stomach was a delicate thing so not many calories were consumed. Today I’m still not very hungry so I am just sort of seeing where things stand. I went for soup for lunch and it seems to be sitting well but I only managed half a bowl. At the moment I think keeping track of calories isn’t really a goal. I expect at some point my appetite will come roaring back and I’ll make up for everything that I missed, but right now I’m just taking it as it goes.

Most of today has been spent at my desk catching up and to be honest, I haven’t even gotten around to putting on makeup today. I moisturized and then dusted my face with some Kristofer Buckle translucent setting powder so I wouldn’t be shiny and called it good. I think I might have reached for a lip balm at some point. I’m good with that today. There were no meetings, phone or otherwise and my monitor doesn’t actually care what I look like. Somedays, you just have to let things go. Today I am just calling a skin care day. I’ll use a face mask later so it will all work out. I may even try telling myself that leaving off the makeup was intentional and not because I got caught up in dealing with a bunch of e-mails.

One Month of PMD Daily Clean: Was it worth it?

While I have had this PMD Clean for a while, I’ll be honest, I only occasionally used it. I tended to forget about it. Which I find a little amusing actually. I used to have A Foreo Vibrating facial cleansing tool and I used it twice daily without fail. Then came the last move and it was lost. Several of our boxes were destroyed and a couple were missing. I lost most of my perfume collection, hair tools and sadly my Foreo. I know I should have put it in my carry on but it was already full so I packed it with the bath stuff instead. Big mistake.

It was kind of a mess.

I somehow never got around to replacing my Foreo even though I always intended to. I think the washing machine and dryer went belly up about the same time the reimbursement check from the movers came through so we ended up using the money to replace them since they were more immediate concerns. Sometimes in life, you have to make the adult choice.

The PMD Clean came to me in a Boxycharm a while ago. I thought “Great I can use this and then get the UFO sonic masking tool from Foreo instead.” I have to admit, I’ve had my eye on that since it came out. Given my love of masks are you surprised? And of course now I also want to try out the new Bear Facial Toner too. I swear they have come out with some really interesting products that I just want to try. A lot of facial tools I kind of avoid because they look a little bit scary, but these just sort of pull me in and say try me. But that is not the point to this post. Admittedly sooner or later I will make several purchases and it will no doubt be the subject of a later post.

To the PMD clean.

So I set the PMD Clean up in my bathroom and then promptly forgot about it. Now, to decide if it is worth keeping around I moved it front and center and used it twice daily for a month in order to find out. So lets look first at what the website has to day about it.

The PMD Clean is a smart facial cleansing device. With over 7,000 vibrations per minute, our SonicGlow™ technology not only ensures a deep cleanse, but operates at a perfect frequency to lift, firm, and tone problem areas for a more youthful appearance.

PMD Website

Okay, not the most elaborate description. The website further goes on to tell you that to use with a cleanser you apply the cleanser to the tool, and then apply to the face. The back of the head of the tool is supposed to be useful for massaging in serums and moisturizers. The bottom of the tool is rounded and I believe it is supposed to be useful for something or other but it wasn’t on the site and I’m not sure where I heard that. The device also comes with a little stand.

Let’s address the stand first to get it out of the way. It is nice and small and fits the bottom of the PMD Clean perfectly. However if you don’t fit the device in just right then it will fall over. It is kind of annoying when your hands are wet from rinsing your face or covered with product from applying moisturizer or serum. I usually just lay the tool down and then fit it back into the stand once I was done. However you have to dry off the tool before you fit it in the stand otherwise the stand gets gunky really quickly.

I like that it is battery operated and waterproof. While a part of me really prefers rechargeable tools over battery powered ones, the lack of a charging port means I can comfortably take this into the shower with me. Sometimes I like to apply makeup remover just before I step in the shower and then rinse it off when I shower. So I find that beneficial.

I like the thought of the four settings but to be honest, I really just chose one setting and used it everytime I picked up the tool. The options are nice, but I didn’t really use them. This month used the PMD Clean with makeup removers, both oil and balm, cleansers, moisturizers and serums. And yes I washed the head after each one.

Front side

While the site recommends applying the cleansing product to the tool and then putting the tool to your face, I found this didn’t work the best for me. I found that if I applied the product to my face and then used the tool it worked better for me. Perhaps that is personal preference, but I really didn’t like the way the product dripped when I lifted the tool to my face. I felt like it applied well to the tool when it was horizontal but once lifted upright gravity took hold and product was wasted and things got messy.

So I very quickly learned to apply the product to my face and then reach for the tool. Using it this way also insured I had proper product coverage on my face. Because it is silicone the tool does not absorb product but there is no measuring it out either. Applying it to the wand first meant that where I touched it to my face was the area that received the most product. So I had to add more product.

As I said before I did use the Foreo before and I didn’t really have that problem, but I think that is due to the surface area being so much larger. I applied the product to the top and it still rolled down the surface, there was just more surface so it didn’t drip off.

back side of PMD Clean

When applying the product to my face I used the exact same amount of product that I would normally use. There was not a lessening of product usage. With cleansers, both makeup removers and general cleansers, I used the front of the wand head. To be honest, I really liked using it. I am not entirely certain it made the products work better, but I did find that once I reached for the tool I spent more time working the cleanser into my skin. Using it extended the length of time I used the product and I think because of that I felt the products “worked better” than they did without the tool.

Do I think that it is going to make a bad product better? No. I think that using the PMD Clean tool caused me to spend more time washing my face than I would without it. I enjoyed the vibrations on my face. One interesting result is due to it being allergy season. Using the intense vibration of the PMD Clean tool on my sinus area when i was all blocked up helped loosen things up a bit so that after i rinsed off my face I ended up blowing my nose. Not to be too gross about it, it seemed to shake out the snot a bit. So I was a little less congested. Which I appreciated. And yes there were mornings where after I finished washing my face I pressed the tool against my blocked sinuses just to help clear my nose out.

But that isn’t the point of the tool.

Just the cleanser on damp skin

With cleansers I noticed that I got more foam out of the cleansers than I normally would. Which I kind of like. I’m currently using the La Roche Posay Toleriane Foaming cleanser. It goes on creamy to damp skin and then as you begin to rinse it foams up to wash away dirt and makeup residue. I saw a lot more foam on my skin when I used the PMD Clean than when I didn’t. Just something to note.

However, this tool has a flip side to the head. A flat side with a series of bumpy lines. This side of the tool is supposed to help apply moisturizer and serums. I’ll be honest, I hated this aspect of the tool. It worked fine on the fleshier parts of my face like my cheeks but it didn’t feel pleasant on my forehead or around my nose. I tried using it a couple of times and then just switched back to using the front side of the tool. I didn’t really like using the tool with moisturizer, but I did like using it with serums.

Increased foam with the PMD Clean

Again the reason is time. When you apply serums generally you need to wait a bit before moving on to the next step of your skin care routine. (Mine has many steps). The time lets your skin absorb the serum fully before you move on. Often I am guilty of rushing this step. When I used the PMD Clean tool, I automatically gave myself the time. Again the vibrations may have encouraged the product to absorb more fully, but I just don’t know. I do know that because I took more time, the serum had more time to fully absorb before I moved on.

Moving forward I will use the PMD Clean wand with cleansers, both makeup removing products and general cleansers, and I will use it with serums. I saw no benefit to using it with a moisturizer. I also only like the front side of the tool. I can see the thought behind the back side and even the rounded nubby bottom, but I didn’t enjoy using them. I only used the main side of the PMD Clean. It is like the multiple speeds, they are good in theory but in practice i just didn’t really need them. I chose my speed and stuck with it just as I chose the side of the tool I wanted to use.

The wand shape is nice and easy to hold. It is an easy to use tool and I will continue using it. Truthfully though I might end up getting some sort of tooth brush stand and using that as a holder rather than the little plastic stand it comes with. The precise balancing needed to keep it upright is going to drive me mad one morning if I don’t. Do I think that the wand shape is an improvement over the traditional shape of the Foreo? Not really. I would prefer more surface area and I think even the Foreo minis have more surface area.

The PMD Clean is a good skincare tool. Do I think it magically makes your skin perfect and blemish free? No. But I do think it encourages you to spend a little extra time letting your products work, which as we are mostly talking about cleansers, can lead to better skin.


La Roche-Posay- ACD

Perfume Review: Clean Reserve from the Avant Garden Collection: Galbanum & Rain

This perfume sample came to me in a Macy’s beauty box. I believe it was two months ago. As I was trying out a bunch of Kierin NYC Perfumes (Highly recommend their discovery kit and perfumes), I put it to the side and this week the trial began. Well actually the trial began last week but the week long trial ends today. Which is kind of a good thing as the sample vial was only about half full when I received it and now there are only a few drops left in the sample tube. I’m pretty sure the reason they are left is because I didn’t wear any perfume yesterday.

Yesterday the vaccine took me down and I essentially felt like I had a week’s worth of the Flu condensed into twenty four hours. I’m happy to have the vaccine, but that was a rough twenty four hours.

But back to the perfume.

I’ve wanted to try a Clean Beauty Perfume for a while now, and I’ll admit it is for superficial reasons. I really like the look of the bottles. I find them very aesthetically pleasing.And I hoped that the pleasing looking bottle would contain an equally pleasing scent. While there are many bottles out there that I like, I won’t purchase them if the perfume isn’t something I would wear. I just admire the bottles from afar.

But now I have a sample to test of the Clean Beauty Reserve: Galbanum and Rain from their Avant Garden Collection so I can see if the perfume does suit me. And so I spritzed and sniffed. At first there was a slight alcohol scent, but that dissipated quickly and then my brain converted the scent that remained into the word green. Seriously, I asked my brain: “Barin what does it smell like?” And it said “Green”.

Sometimes my brain likes to think that scents and tastes are colors.

I know, not always helpful.

I can usually work past it though. After about an hour my brain changed it to ‘Floral Green’ s it is a very floral based perfume. A little while later my brain finally spit out the words, “with Patchouli”. I know floral green with patchouli is probably not the best description.

Perhaps before I continue we had better check in with the official site.

Restorative renewal. Energizing realignment. Tantalize your senses with a tropical bouquet. Top Notes: Sichuan Pepper, Star Anise, Watery Effect; Middle Notes: Incense Galbanum; Base Notes: White Moss, Clearwood Patchouli, Haitian Vetiver

Behind The Scent: Patchouli notes highlight that earthy musk aroma profile you’re after. We chose to partner with a company that sources sustainable Patchouli from Indonesia in support of their program that supports the local farmers. Vetiver is a tropical grass commonly cultivated for its strong and fast-growing roots, which can grow 3 to 4 meters deep. Not only is Vetiver highly tolerant to droughts, but it also helps protect against soil erosion. We made the choice to partner with a company that sources sustainable Vetiver from Haiti in support of their program which provides education and health care for the farmers and their families.

Ha! Go Brain Go! well at least with the Patchouli. To be honest the only thing I can really scent is Patchouli sort of reigned in with a green, somewhat general floral scent. I can’t really pick out any distinct florals. The Sichuan Pepper Star Anise are completely missing for me and I’m not even sure how to guess what a watery effect smells like.

While the scent doesn’t travel far, only scenting the air directly around you, it is a somewhat heavy perfume. The florals may be on the lighter side, but that Patchouli does add some weight. Because of that I would call this a night time scent rather than a daytime one. It isn’t one I would choose for the work day. I also probably wouldn’t wear it to dinner as I think the scent might interfere with and probably clash with the scents of the food.

The scent may not travel, but it does linger in a scent bubble around you. And it does last all day long. It does not fade. One spritz and you have your own private scent bubble for as long as you wear it. Oddly, I fell asleep wearing it one day because I applied it after my shower. The next morning I sniffed my wrist and not only was it still there but it was faded into a much lighter scent that i liked much more.

While the scent is nice, I think it is too heavy a scent for me. I really do like the green notes and while Patchouli isn’t my favorite scent in the world, it does work well here, tempered as it is with the green scents around it. Because of the weight to the scent I don’t think i will be adding it to my collection, However the fact that I do like the scent over all makes me want to try some of their other perfumes.

The names are intriguing in this collection and some of the combinations in both this collection and others look like scents i would definitely be interested in trying out. I think that because of my thoughts on this perfume, I would definitely have to try these perfumes in sample form before I’d feel comfortable buying them. Which, quite honestly is something nice to know about a brand. While this Clean Beauty Perfume is not for me, I will be trying out other samples from them because I like the thought of their scent combinations. And who knows, maybe one of those pretty bottles will be in my collection. It just won’t be this one.


Shop Sobelia Women’s Perfumes Today!


Shop Sobelia Perfumes Today!

Sick Day

Good Morning my darlings. As you may recall yesterday I had my second vaccine shot. Today I woke up achy, flashing hot and cold and am struggling to keep my eyes open for more than five minutes. So I am going back to bed and declaring today a sick day. I hope all of you have an excellent day and I will see you tomorrow when hopefully I will have slept off the side effects. Have a great day my darlings.