The Daily: October 13th, 2020

Well I won’t go as far as to call this afternoon sunny, but at least it isn’t raining and the walking path dried up enough that I could actually get a walk in. Yup, the floods receded, leaving scads of dead crawfish and flogs scattered across the walk way. The midges swarmed, the scavengers swooped and I managed to avoid sliding down the hill on my butt as my foot hit a patch of still slick mud.

It was a near thing though.

But I triumphed.

Well I got my walk in anyway.

It is still humid so I returned soaked in my own sweat and smelling vaguely of bad shellfish. Mostly from what the cuffs of my jeans picked up. They (and everything else I was wearing) went straight into the washing machine and i went straight into the shower.

I will say though, it was a nice test for the new deodorant. My stash of Dove powder scented solids finally ran out so I decided to give a new deodorant a try for a while. I tried a natural deodorant from Speak for a while (mostly because it came in my Petit Vour Box) and I really liked it, other than the fact that it came in a can and I had to apply it with my fingers. It performed better than I expected. I know they are planning to have the same product out in a stick form soon and I keep looking out for it, but haven’t seen it yet.

I still had my stash of regular deodorants to get through so I there was no rush. But now I have cleared out my stock pile (there was a two for one sale of two packs around the time the pandemic started causing people to stock up and self isolate so I picked up two two packs) so instead of just replacing as usual, I decided to give the brand Native a try. I picked up the Cucumber and Mint. I wanted to try the seasonal blood orange and clove but it is only available online. If the cucumber and mint turns out okay then I may have to place an order for some backups.

I picked it up last week, but with the rain cancelling most of my walking time it didn’t get a really good workout until today. While the cucumber mint scent fades pretty quickly, when I got back from my walk my underarms were actually less stinky than the rest of my clothes. In a few days, when the scavengers have cleared away the sun aired creek bed smorgasbord I will try again and see how it fares without the external stench to compete with. But so far, so good. I’ll keep you posted on how it goes in case any of you are looking into all natural deodorant. I also saw when at the store they had versions with no plastic as an alternative. so if i do decide this works for me there are plenty of routes to take. which i find fun and fabulous.

Other than the deodorant test it has been pretty quiet. Which is nice. A good solid workday without massive excitement is rather appreciated. i am quite happy to have the most exciting part of the day my deodorant test.I know the quiet won’t last, it never does. So I enjoy it while i can. And I happily got my walk in – fish guts and all. And as a bonus, at least this time, no startled birds dropped any fish on me from above. Once was more than enough for that.

I hope you got whatever sort of day you most needed today as well.

Cruelty-Free Beauty Box

Trying out the Codex Beauty Bia Exfoliating Wash

I am a big fan of exfoliants.  I tend to use them about once a week, occasionally twice, depending on my skincare needs.  While there are several that claim they can be used daily, it is rare to find one that actually can be used daily without causing too much exfoliation to the skin.  The Codex Beauty Bia Exfoliating Wash claims to be a…

Gentle everyday cleanser that lightly exfoliates and tones skin. Bia Exfoliating Wash lightly exfoliates and tones skin, making it gentle enough for everyday use. Jojoba grains provide exfoliation without irritating the skin and castor oil helps clear pores and impurities and evens the appearance of skin tone. This wash never leaves skin feeling tight or dry and is clinically proven to improve the appearance of skin flakiness. Scent: Uplifting Grapefruit and Elderflower

I received this in a subscription box (Glossy Box actually) and I have to say the daily cleanser/exfoliate was a combo that I found interesting.  The deluxe sample was enough for me to use twice a day for two weeks.  It is a cream consistency with the particulates (the jojoba grains) suspended in the product.

I have to say that it was gentle enough that I could use it twice daily without feeling like my skin was being scrubbed raw. It actually did no damage and did exfoliate well. It is an extremely gentle exfoliate.  You can feel the jojoba grains in the product but they tend to break down a bit as you wash rather than break your skin down and stay solid hard particles.  I had no fears that I was doing any damage to my skin while using it.

The cleanser aspect of the product foamed well when rubbed into the skin, but not extravagantly. this is not a suds galore product. It is more of an exfoliating product that also cleanses. The cleansing part is very much secondary to the exfoliation, but at the same time I didn’t feel as though I needed to go back and wash my face after rinsing off the Codex exfoliating wash which is a big plus. Typically with exfoliates I use an oil or cleansing balm to remove makeup, then exfoliate if I am going to and then use a cleanser. This did eliminate the need for an additional cleanser.

So it cleansed nicely and exfoliated well, achieving both of it’s stated goals. I appreciate that. The only drawback I had with this product was the scent.  While it claims to be a grapefruit and elderflower blend, what I got was mostly castor oil with a slight citrusy back note.

It isn’t a bad scent, but I don’t think it is for me.  I can always tell when a product is really good but the scent isn’t for me (other than the scent) because I will reach for it and sigh. I know it’s just me in the bathroom so there is no one I need to be dramatic for, but it is something I always do. Good products with scents I don’t care for get the sigh, because I want to use them, I just can’t get past the scent.

In case you are wondering products that don’t work well but smell nice, don’t get the sigh. Those just get moved along. I think the sigh is a sign of disappointment, either for the product of for my inability to get past the scent to use the product that works well. Because let’s face it, I know me. I am very scent oriented. I may know this (or any other) product works well, but if I don’t like the scent I am just not going to reach for it. I can power through a sample, but not a full sized bottle.

While I think the Codex Beauty Bia Exfoliating Wash itself is nice and it does an excellent job of cleansing and exfoliating the skin, I don’t think I could take the scent of the product every day. 

I kept hoping I would get used to it, but somehow, I never did. Which is a shame.  It really is a great product and I love that it is a gentle enough exfoliating wash to be used daily.  It is one of the few products I’ve tried that have made that claim and been able to live up to it. I love that it uses natural ingredients and plant based preservatives. I love their sustainability ambitions.

But for me, the scent is the killer. I tried very hard, but I just can’t get past it.  So sadly, while an excellent product, a full sized purchase will not be in my near future. If I purchased it, the tube would just sit there because I would find excuses not to use it.  I will however, keep the efficacy of the product in mind and look at other products from the brand in the hopes that they work just as well but have a different scent to them.



October 2020 Glossy Box Beauty Box Unboxing

This month Glossy Box has two boxes that were possibilities, Enchanted Spirit and Midnight Fantasy.  Clearly I received the Enchanted Spirit and I have to say the box is lovely.  Normally, I reuse these boxes for storage, but this one I am actually going to be using to ship some Christmas presents.  I think the twelve year old I plan to send it to will adore the box and put it to good use. 

Glossy Box is a $21 per month subscription box but if you sign up for a year (which I did) you get the box for $18 per month.  You are still charged monthly, which I like so you don’t have to come up with a year’s worth of subscription fees at once. If you are a new subscriber you can sign up and get your first box for $16 with the code BEAUTYTALES.

Thus far I have found it to be well worth the price. And because of the box, the ribbon and the tissue paper it always feels like unwrapping a gift. The pamphlet that comes with it is also substantial and breaks down each item by cost as well as how to use it, how much the full size will cost and where the full size can be purchased. It is a very well thought out pamphlet.

The items and pamphlet

I will say that this month there was one disappointment with the box.  I’ll cover it first and get it out of the way.  This month the Deluxe Mini KVD Vegan Beauty Studded Kiss Lip Cream Lipstick in the shade Love Craft (retail $14) was missing when my box arrived. 

I searched high and low, but alas it was nowhere to be found.  Which is a shame.  I like the KVD Vegan Beauty formula and from the picture in the pamphlet the color was one I would wear.  I have contacted Glossy Box about it and they will be sending out a replacement for it. I think it might be a different lipstick, but it is still a lip product so I’m okay with that.

So we move on to what actually arrived in the box.  First up, is the Ona New York Spotlight Radiant Glow Gel mask (retail $9).  It is a sheet mask.  I actually really like the gel sheet masks so I’m sure I will have fun testing this one out. I’ve never heard of Ona before so it will be my first experience with the brand which is nice. I love finding new companies as well as new products to try.

The next item out of the box was a full sized Earth Harbor Aurora Superfood Luminance Ampule (retail $32).  It is designed to soothe redness and reduce dullness in the skin.  I have never heard of the brand Earth Harbor, but I am a big fan of serums, essences and ampules so I look forward to testing out this.  I love that it is a full sized product too as that gives me ample time to try it out on my skin.  Especially since I’ve never heard of the brand before.  As the product seems very reasonably priced if I like it I may have to look deeper into the brand. I also like that it does include cannabis sativa as I have been trying out more and more products including the ingredient. It is actually an interesting ingredient. Some companies use it well, and for others it seems to be just the ingredient d’jour. It will be interesting to see what category this falls into. And yes at some point soon I will be doing a cannabis sativa, CBD ingredient run down in full.

One brand I know I like and was happy to see is Generation Clay.  That’s right, another tube of the Generation Clay Ultra-Violet Brightening Purple Clay mask ( retail $14.44) has appeared on my doorstep.  It is most certainly welcome.  While it is termed a deluxe mini, it is quite a large tube.  I actually just finished a tube of the Charcoal mask and it is labeled a deluxe sample and so much smaller It was 15mL while this sits at 50 mL.  This is one of those products I know I’ll use and am always happy to see. I know there are two masks in this box, but honestly I can’t be mad at it. they are two very different masks, a gel sheet mask and a clay based mask. I know I’ll use them both so I am okay with having them both.

The final product in my Glossy Box this month was the Ciate London Loose Translucent setting powder.  (retail $18.98).  While there is a little flash back in pictures from this powder, it is a really good powder that I am happy to have around. 

It is a smaller size than the full sized version (obviously, as it is a deluxe mini) but there is still quite a lot of product in the container (7g of product versus 15 g of the full size).  And personally I really like using the deluxe minis of powder to travel with since they take up less space and contain a lot of product.  At the moment I have several open powders so I am going to set it aside for later use. 

I might end up using it in my everyday makeup bag, or it might end up in my travel bag.  At the moment, I disassembled my travel bag because I know I won’t be traveling for a while and didn’t want the products to go bad waiting.  Anything open I’ve worked on using up anything sealed I’ve left temporarily sealed.  For now the powder will wait until I have at least worked through a couple of open powders. But I am very happy to have it in my dressing table.

In the end even though I was missing a lipstick (which is being addressed) I really liked this month’s Glossy Box.  All of the products are ones I will use.  There are a couple of brands I have never tried like Ona and Earth Harbor and a couple of long term favorites.  Over all, not a bad mix of makeup and skincare. 

The full price of the Glossy Box is $21 but like I said earlier I get it for $18 as an annual subscriber and new subscribers can get their first box for $16 with the code BEAUTYTALES.  My annual subscription runs through July and I have no problem keeping this box until then and more than likely well beyond.  The value of the products included comes to $88.42.  And that does include the missing lipstick. As all of the products are ones I will use, and the lipstick is being replaced, there is no need to subtract anything from the value. I’ll keep you posted on the lipstick and what it turns out to be, but for now I’m giving Glossy Box the benefit of the doubt and feel confident they will deal with the issue. I’ll have to update you as that moves forward.  Over all I am very happy with my October Glossy Box.

Incidentally, Glossy Box also has their annual Advent Calendar available for purchase. They tend to sell out very quickly. You can click on the link just above to go to the Advent Calendar page (all other links take you to the subscription box). The advent calendar is $99 but subscribers get a $10 discount. Plus if you are a subscriber you can also put your Glossie credit towards the purchase of the advent calender. Just something to think about if you are looking to purchase an advent calendar this year. I am planning a post (to be up on October 19th) focused on the 2020 advent calendars so stay tuned. i just wanted to mention this one now as the Glossy Box Advent Calendar sells out quickly.



The Daily: October 12, 2020

I know it is super early for the daily post but it is a strange day. Today is a holiday for my babydoll and it is pouring down buckets of rain. So all of the things he planned to do have gone by the wayside and he has asked if I wanted to play hooky and join him in a movie marathon.

And yes, yes I do.

Plus he made the puppy dog eyes which I can’t resist.

This morning I spent some time with the Wii Fit since I knew that even if the rain stopped the park would be flooded and thwart any attempt at using the walking trail. I am also monitoring my calories to make certain I don’t go over the non-walking day calorie count. It is kind of the best I can hope for fitness wise today.

So I will very shortly be turning off my computer for the day and taking advantage of the holiday. Partially, because I want to spend time with my baby and partially because he has already been in my office every twenty minutes with a new comment or question because he just doesn’t know what to do with himself. So the odds of me getting any work done this afternoon even if I decline the movie marathon are slim to none.

Sometimes it is just best to lean into the distractions and accept it.

And I don’t mind spending time with my baby.

I just need to resist the snacking. As long as there is no snacking, I shall be fine. Since I am preparing a big lunch salad which always fills me up just before we start our movie marathon, I should be okay. Plus there are almost no snacks in the house. I made certain not to pick them up last time we went shopping so they wouldn’t be here when the inclination to snack struck. And I know for a fact that yesterday my babydoll polished off his bag of emergency doritos. which he would only do if there was nothing left. I think my current snack foods include a small container of grapes (all that’s left of the bunch) and a kiwi fruit. So I should be well able to stay within my calories.

Its sort of like planning.

Oh and for those looking into more at home fitness, Prosource fit has restocked their Kettlebells. For a long time they were having trouble keeping them stocked because everyone was trying to build their own home gym (and they are affordably priced and high quality). But they have finally restocked and have all the sizes you could possibly desire in store. I mostly mention this because I have been planning on picking up some of their kettlebells for my own use and have thus far been thwarted by out of stock items. So they are now instock for those who, like me may have been previously thwarted.

And on that note, I am off, first to make a large lunch salad and then to indulge in a movie marathon with my baby. It feels quite decadent for a rainy Monday afternoon. But I am okay with the occasional decadence. For once I am not only caught up on my work, but actually ahead of schedule. And so I am off to enjoy. I’ll be back in the morning.

strength and toning equipment

Trying out Korres Nourishing Probiotic Gel Cream

As we move closer and closer to the Black Friday/Cyber Monday sales, I am concentrating on the sample sized products in my collection.  Not only does it clear out a lot of the sample sizes from my skin care drawer before they expire, but it lets me know which products I want to actually try a full sized version of in upcoming skin care trials.

And so I pulled the Korres Nourishing Probiotic Gel-Cream from my skin care drawer and decided to give it a shot.  According to the product page…

The ultimate hydrating, gel-cream moisturizer with protein-boosting Greek yoghurt for a plumped, healthy looking bounce to your skin that lasts all day.

The unique whipped texture of this nourishing moisturizer immediately melts into skin and unlocks time-released hydration for 48 hours without clogging pores. While clinically-proven microbiome-friendly technology provides a skin veil for your ultimate healthy glow.

Ingredients: aqua/water/eau, propanediol, glycerin, sodium acrylates copolymer, c13-15 alkane, caprylic/capric/myristic/stearic triglyceride, coco caprylate,hexyldecyl stearate, passiflora incarnata seed oil, aloe barbadensis leaf juice powder, algin,alpha-glucan oligosaccharide, ascorbic acid, behenyl alcohol, bisabolol, caprylyl glycol,cellulose gum, cetearyl alcohol, chlorella vulgaris extract, disodium phosphate, glyceryl caprylate, glyceryl polyacrylate, glyceryl stearate citrate, hydrogenated ethylhexyl olivate, hydrogenated olive oil unsaponifiables, hydrolyzed sodium hyaluronate, lactic acid,lactobacillus, laminaria digitata extract, lecithin, lonicera caprifolium (honeysuckle)flower extract, lonicera japonica (honeysuckle) flower extract, maltodextrin, maris aqua/sea water/eau de mer, menthyl lactate, microcrystalline cellulose, panthenol,pentylene glycol, phenethyl alcohol, polyacrylate crosspolymer-6, polyglyceryl-3 diisostearate, polymnia sonchifolia root juice, potassium phosphate, pullulan, saccharide isomerate, salvia hispanica seed oil, serine, sodium carboxymethyl beta-glucan, sodium hyaluronate, tetrasodium glutamate diacetate, tocopheryl acetate, trehalose, tridecane,undecane, urea, xanthan gum, yogurt, yogurt powder, zingiber officinale (ginger) root extract, benzyl alcohol, phenoxyethanol, salicylic acid, sorbic acid, parfum/fragrance.

Korres.com

I have been a big fan of Korres for years.  I adore their pomegranate moisturizer and have purchased it multiple times in the past. I have tried and enjoyed many of their masks including the mask from this probiotic line.  That one I actually keep refrigerated and enjoy cold on the skin. So I anticipated really enjoying this sample and adding it to the list of products I wanted to test in their full sized versions.

Alas, it is not to be.

the gel cream

While the cream is nourishing and very light weight against the skin, I think it is designed for someone with much dryer skin than I have.  While the gel cream is a light weight texture and does absorb well, I found myself reducing the amount I put on my skin with each use so that I didn’t feel greasy.  I think if you had very dry skin, this would be an excellent product.  I do not have skin that dry. It didn’t break me out or clog my pores, it was simply too hydrating.

In addition, there is the scent.  The Probiotic line is yogurt based.  Which oddly enough I like in the mask, but did not like in the moisturizer.  They smell very similar, but I think because I keep the mask cold, the scent didn’t bother me.  With the moisturizer, the scent kept making me think that milk had spoiled.  I will say that when I put the moisturizer in the fridge and then tried it, I was fine. Still overly hydrating for my skin type, but my nose didn’t pick up as much scent. I think the scent of the yogurt just made me think it was bad if it wasn’t cold. Also, while I like the mask from the probiotic line, I only use that specific mask when I know my skin needs extra moisture.  Like the Gel-cream it is very moisturizing and something that I don’t use a lot. I will use it more in the winter than I did in the summer. It is excellent on dry skin or sun damaged skin, but too moisturizing to be used routinely for me. 

The gel-cream has the same issue.

So although I love the brand and will continue to purchase other products from them (specifically everything in the Pomegranate line), the Nourishing Probiotic Gel cream is not for me.  The scent and my skin type make it one that I will pass on instead of picking up a full sized version.  It is one I will still recommend that those with dry skin check out. You might have better luck with it than I did.

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Unboxing the October BoxyCharm Premium

This month I decided to do something different with my Boxy Charm account.  For a while now I have been signed up for both Boxy Charm and Boxy Charm Premium, with Boxy Luxe once a quarter.  I decided to pair this down so I cancelled my regular Boxy Charm and Boxy Luxe and just retained the Boxy Charm Premium subscription.  It is $35 per month.

The reasons I retained this one and not the others is that I went back through previous boxes and realized that over all I was happier with the products I received in the Boxy Premium box more often than the regular box.  They more consistently had products I wanted.  Plus, I also realized that most of the items that I liked in the other boxes were offered for sale at discounted prices from either the add ons or the Boxy Pop up. So chances were pretty good that if I saw a product I really liked that I didn’t receive, I could pick it up then. So I chose the subscription box that had the most items I favored and figured there was a good chance I could just pick up anything else I really wanted in the add ons. we’ll see how that ends up working out.

So this is my first month with just one Boxy Charm subscription.  I have to say, it was an interesting box this month.  First off the box arrived looking like someone decided to use it for an impromptu soccer game.  It was beaten up and one side was re-taped somewhere in transit.  I was quite nervous when I opened the box and I have to admit, I went straight for the eyeshadow palette. 

This month I received the Illuminati Cosmetics x ISA Eyes Shadow Palette (retail $48).  Surprisingly not a single shadow was damaged.  No breaks no cracks no crumbles.  I have to say I was shocked it was in such good condition. 

I am also surprised at how much I like the color story of the palette.  When I saw sneak peeks of the palette, I wasn’t that impressed.  However in person, it looks like an arrangement of shadows I would use and just looking at it I was able to come up with several ideas of how to put looks together.  Hopefully the formula proves to be as appealing as the colors.

I was somewhat disappointed to find that even though the insert card listed the Clarins Instant Smooth Perfecting Touch primer (retail $39), it was missing from my box.  While the shadow palette made it through unscathed, the Clarins was MIA. I was kind of sad as I was really looking forward to trying it out.  I did contact Boxy Charm and they immediately sent out a replacement product.  However, the replacement they sent was the Murad Toner not the Clarins.  They were apparently out of the Clarins.  That is nothing against the Murad Toner, I’m sure it is a lovely product.  I’m just a little disappointed.

You know how much I love primers.

Speaking of disappointments, I might as well mention the other disappointment of the box.  This month I received a pair of MAC Cosmetics 43 Lashes (retail $18).  They look lovely.  MAC is a good brand with many fine products.  I do not wear lashes.  I do not like lashes and in every survey Boxy Charm sends me I ask them never to send me lashes. So this product will be passed on.

Also being passed on is the Laura Geller Fifty Kisses Lip Locking Liquid Color (retail $21).  The formula is fine.  It isn’t the most long lasting liquid lip, but it isn’t drying and the colors are generally very nice.  I have a couple that I routinely use.  The one I received in this month’s box is in an orange shade that is particularly unappealing on me.  That’s the reason I didn’t swatch it for this post.  I’m just leaving it sealed and sending it to someone who might like it more.  It is a pretty good formula, not my favorite, but good.  I just can’t take the color.

Next up is the Go-To Skincare Exfoliating Swipeys (retail $35).  They are pre moistened toner pads designed to exfoliate.  I had something similar from Elemis which I loved and am currently using a version from First Aid Beauty, which I don’t particularly care for.  Since these pre-moistened pads tend to start drying out as soon as you open them, I am leaving them sealed until I finish out the First Aid Beauty.  Perhaps knowing there is another version to try as soon as I finish these will make me more diligent in using them.

Finally we come to the item I chose in this month’s box and I have to say it looks to be the hero of the box.  It is the Kosas Tinted Face Oil Foundation (retail $42). I have wanted to try this for a while and in fact I have been eyeing the Alyaka Kosas sampler kit for months. 

The only reason I haven’t ordered it is because I wanted to work through my open foundations first and eliminated some of them from the dressing table before adding more. Incidentally the Alyaka sampler kits are great ways to try out brands to see if you like their products before you purchase a full size of anything. I have gotten a couple in the past and highly recommend them. Incidentally, if clean beauty is your thing (or even if you just like high quality products) the Alyaka Advent Calendar looks amazing this year. I’ve put the link below, you can also click on it to just go to their site.

But now I have a full sized foundation oil from Kosas to try out , so clearly it was meant to be.  So let’s look at the box as a whole.  For my $35 my box was to contain $203 worth of product.  The $39 Clarins was missing but it is being replaced by Murad which I’m guessing has a similar value so I will leave that in the end price. It is just delayed arrival. Mac ($18) and Laura Geller ($21) are both being passed on so I get no real value from them.  Which leaves me with $164 worth of products that I will actually use. 

I know that is a different way of calculating price, but I decided that for me, this is a better way to decide what is of value to me.  While I did cancel the regular Boxy Charm (and Luxe) subscription, at the end of the year I will be evaluating all of my subscription boxes to see what is worth keeping and what I might want to let go.  There are several boxes out there that I want to try, but getting them all would just bury me in products and cost far too much.  So any product I intend to pass on without using, is going to get a $0 value in my estimations as I try to figure out what subscription to keep, what to modify and what I just want to cancel.  To be honest, while I like the eyeshadow palette and will enjoy trying it out, the Kosas foundation is the star.  I wanted to try it and now I have it to try. 

Would this be a different conversation if the Clarins product was in the box?  Possibly. But I am willing to lay the fault of the Clarins with the Postal service rather than Boxycharm and enjoy the products that I do like from this box.  Hopefully next month will be a bit better.

Alyaka Beauty Advent Calendar Luxe 2020

Time for a little golden self care – rose gold that is…

welcome once again to the Friday face mask. Now I know what you are thinking, and yes, I’ve reviewed this mask before. But this time I did something interesting. One of my Boxy Charm boxes had a five pack of the 111Skin Rose Gold Brightening Facial Treatment Masks. So I thought, huh, I wasn’t sold on the mask the first time, but most skin care requires repeat uses for results. I give other skin care products time to prove themselves, why not masks?

Why not use it multiple times to see if I really like it?

So since I usually do masks Monday and Wednesday evenings as well as Friday afternoon, this week I decided to use three of my five masks. That’s right I went all in to try out the mask. So what should I expect?

Originally created as limited-edition item, this mask has grown into a global cult product and a staple in the 111SKIN collection. Containing 24k Gold and Damask Rose, this mask works both to illuminate and calm the skin for a party-ready glow. Used by supermodels, celebrities and influencers – this is a must-have in any skincare arsenal.

Apply the mask to dry, clean skin. Wear for 20 minutes. Use up to three times per week, and for longer durations when extra hydration is needed. 

So I washed my face. Then, I took the mask out of the pouch and unfolded it. I placed it on my face, which did require a bit of negotiation as it was very slick and tended to slide. As you can see from the photos, it didn’t adhere well to certain parts of my face. I think it wanted a face that was bigger than mine and was grumpy about my average sized head.

The strange look is me trying feeling it slide lower around my mouth and not wanting to taste the serum

I could tell right away it wasn’t going to stay so I hustled over to my bed, grabbed my ipod and lay down. The Pogues provided today’s relaxation soundtrack in case you were wondering.

And I kind of needed something relaxing. Today two of my subscription boxes came in. I was thrilled. Since I figured it would take at least a week before any arrived I was very pleased. I opened them and discovered each of them was missing an item. Seriously, not just one item missing from one box, but both boxes each missing an item. I contacted both boxes and in both cases customer service was ready to leap into action, on that front I have no complaints. everyone was fantastic.

It was just disapointing.

And took a little extra time I had planned to do something else.

But losing time seems to be the general theme of the day. I lost time this morning when my happy dance was derailed by the police arriving for my neighbor and then my walk took twice as long as everyone had to stop me and ask if I knew what was going on because I am one of the closest neighbors. You’d think by now that they’d realize I never know what’s going on. I am the last link on the gossip chain. i’ve even heard gossip about myself that I didn’t know.

It wasn’t true though. Alas, I am not in charge of programing at any television network. I’m pretty sure no one wants me deciding what is on television. I have a couple of scripts I wrote, but that is as close to ‘programing’ as I get.

After 20 minutes, head is tilted to help control sliding

Incidentally, the deal with my neighbor is that he was arrested a few months back but due to the pandemic he was sent home under house arrest. Apparently there was a hearing or something last week and he declined to show up so someone was sent to help him with his carpool needs. I have no idea what the details are, but I’m sure one of my neighbors will come up with details at some point.

But I let it all go as I relaxed. Then after twenty minutes I stood up and had to hustle to the bathroom. The mask, which wasn’t dripping with serum when I applied it, had dried significantly and was losing it’s will to stay on my face.

As I said I have been using these masks all week and this is the third application. This loss of cohesion seems to be a common theme. The foil packet remains smeared with serum but the mask holds only enough for use. Any extra serum has to be scavenged from the packet. Its as though the mask material rejects the serum. which is a shame, the serum itself is nice. I would not mind having it in a bottle to apply with a dropper. The mask material though does not seem to be as big a fan.

At the end of the week I am left with the same thoughts I had when I first tried the mask. It is nice, I’d use it again if it came my way, but it’s not worth the price. It didn’t stick to my face. I had no choice but to lay down so it wouldn’t slide off and quite frankly I’ve had $3 masks that are as good, if not better in terms of results. 111skin has several really nice products that very much are worth their hefty price tag. This just isn’t one of them.



The Make Up Bag: October 9th, 2020

The Make up Bag used October 3rd – 9th, 2020

So tell me my darlings, can anyone spot the theme to this week’s make up bag? That’s right, this week I when I pulled out my mostly used up tube of elf tinted foundation I realized I had a lot of e.l.f. products in my dressing table. I decided to see how many I had and to see if I could actually get a full makeup bag out of them. I came close, but as you can tell it isn’t entirely elf based.

One of the other reasons I did this is because I already know that I am going to be getting a few elf products for people as christmas gifts this year. So very soon I am going to be putting in an order. I figured since I knew I would be putting in an order, I might as well go through what I had, see what I liked, what I didn’t have but wanted to try and what I wasn’t all that fond of. So this is an elf themed bag this week.

So let’s start with the primer. I actually own two primers from elf, the puff puff primer and the putty poreless primer. The puff is more of a hydrating primer and I was really feeling the pore filling this week. I like both and would repurchase them both. The truth is though that I tend to forget I have the putty primer for long stretches and then suddenly remember it is there, try it and fall in love all over again.

I need to start reaching for it more because I’ve had it a while and I don’t want it to go bad. I will say that a little goes a long way (which is why it lasts so long even if you don’t forget it) and it really fills the pores in well and gives you a nice smooth canvas on which to apply the makeup.

this week and next week’s foundations

Speaking of, this week’s foundation product was the elf tinted moisturizer. After not finding a link for it on line in yesterday’s post, I found it was discontinued. I am sad because it was a really good product. I did go out and pick up a replacement to try out. It isn’t quite the same but next week I will be trying out the elf acne fighting foundation. A friend of mine who tried both said it felt a lot like the tinted moisturizer on the skin. Since I still have a little of the tinted moisturizer left I can actually do a side by side comparison this week which will be fun. So stay tuned.

Next we move into a compact that is a bronzer and highlighter duo. At least I think that is what it is, there were no markings on the package. It if had a sticker it is gone. Of the pair I really liked the bronzer. It is really pigmented though so remember to tread lightly.

It does blend out really well so if you accidentally go a little dark with your first stripe you aren’t stuck with just a dark strip or having to start over. Once I realized how pigmented it was, I really enjoyed using it. I will be reaching for this compact more just to use the bronzer.

I will not be using the highlighter next to it. That I didn’t like. It disappeared instantly on the skin leaving no visible trace. occasionally throughout the day I would get the flash of one sparkle and that was it. It was not a good product, even for me who likes a subtle glow rather than a blinding flash.

I think this might be an older formula though. I know this year elf has been reformulating a lot of their products. While I will happily use this bronzer down to pan, I might try picking up a new highlighter when i place my order to see if I like the updated formula better.

the Benefit blush, wet ‘n wild brow kit and Doucce Mascara

As I found I did not have an elf blush (I don’t know how I missed that) I just grabbed one of my favorite blushes, the Benefit Gold Rush blush. It is a nice pink that I know I will still be able to wear as I lose my tan. the gold shimmer look to it, was mostly over spray and tends to go away once you start using the product. My skin does also react well with gold tones though, which it has even without the sparkle.

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If you aren’t a gold toned fan, you might want to go with a different blush like the Dandelion one. That is a nice pink without the gold undertones. I had that blush before I picked up this one and I used it down to pan before letting it go. So even though i would have liked to try out an elf blush this week, I used not having one as an excuse to use one of my favorites and just put elf blush on my shopping list.

My powders this week were both elf. One is loose and the other is pressed. I like both but I do find that after I have set my face I need spray my fixing spray and then tap with my makeup sponge in order to make certain there are no white spots from the translucent powder. It isn’t much, and a quick tap down is fine. I didn’t have this problem when I powdered my nose mid day in my t-zone, just with initial application. There was no flash back on camera though and the powder doesn’t look cakey and stays all day so I am okay with tamping it down. I do like the twist and lock mechanism on the inside of the loose powder as it keeps the powder from getting everywhere when you aren’t using it.

The slight white powder gave me more of a legit excuse to use my HA Spray from Timeless Skincare this week. I’ve used this spray for a month now and I am still blown away by how much I like it.

Don’t get me wrong, there are many other sprays I’ve tried that locked in my makeup and did it well, I just really like that this locks in my makeup and has skin care benefits to boot. In all honesty I will be using this until it runs out and then ordering it in a different scent to try out. I currently have my eye on the orange. I don’t know if it will be as good as the cucumber, but I am willing to give it a try.

For my eyes I went with the two elf bite sized shadow palettes this week. I ended up reaching for ‘rose water’ more, because the pink tones spoke to me, but I went for the ‘cream and sugar’ more when I wanted to wear the red lip rather than the sheer gloss. I liked both but which I wore was just lip dependent this week. I only have two elf lip products so I just bounced between them and chose the shadow accordingly. I like both so it wasn’t a hardship.

The liner was a potted black liner that came with a brush. I like the liner. I find that I really like using either the liquid liners you dip a brush into or the cream that you dip a brush into more than the pen style liners. The pen liners are quick, but I find I do better with my liner when I dip a brush into product.

Maybe it is because I am the one choosing the brush. This potted eyeliner cream came with a brush but I opted not to use it. there was nothing wrong with it, the handle of the brush was just short. I find I have more control with a longer brush. If the handle was longer I would have use it as the bristles were nice and it gave me a nice line.

At the moment I am keeping my wet ‘n wild brow kit in my makeup bag. I would like to try and elf brow product as I have never tried any of their brow products. I’m not even sure they have any, it is something I will look into.

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I like the one shade I use in the brow kit and am finding I like powdered brow products more than I thought I did. So I will keep using this kit and try to find my single shade in the wet ‘n wild formula when it runs out so that I don’t waste the other two products which I don’t use. I will also be looking into other brow products. This year was the year of foundation, maybe next year will be the great brow test. who knows?

The mascara I used this week was the Doucce Punk Volumizer mascara. It is one of those mascaras that has a really fluffy brush so you have high expectations. Its an okay mascara. If I got it again, I would use it, but I wouldn’t go out and purchase it. I’ve been using it off and on for the past few months and it is now at the end of it’s life span. Not only is it of an age where it needs to be disposed of, but it is starting to clump in the tube. So this will be the last use for this particular mascara in my makeup bag. I will not be repurchasing it. Should it arrive in a makeup bag, I might use it if I don’t have a lot of mascaras open or waiting to be opened, but chances are, I would just pass it along.

And so we come to the lips. The first is one I’ve used and reviewed for you before. It is the liquid lip in the shade Red Vixen. I really like this shade. It is pigmented, dries well without making your lips feel dry and desiccated and stays in place a long time. And when it does go away it fades quietly around the edges instead of just going crumbly which I personally prefer.

lip swatches, liquid lip on top and the sheer on the bottom

The second lippie was the elf sheer slick. It is a newer product and one I picked up recently but hadn’t gotten around to trying. The one I picked up is Black Cherry and was the darkest my store offered. It has no real scent to it and it is a sheer wash of color. It is shiny and glossy but not sticky. It is a roll up product and the clear packaging lets you see just how much you have left.

As a gloss it doesn’t have much staying power, I’ve never met a gloss that did. It however feels really comfortable on the lips and I will be using it a lot, especially on low makeup days in the winter. In the winter I tend to either go for barely there makeup looks or full vampy lips. I seem to have no in between during the cold months.

To be honest, I am actually considering picking up the full range of the sheer slicks so I have them all. It is rare that I say that with a line, but I think I might see how many lip products I have and then make out my order. It will be the last thing on the list so I may have to pick them up one at a time, but I could definitely see me getting the entire line.

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So that was this week’s make up bag. Next week I know I have a direct foundation comparison but I haven’t yet picked out the other products to go with it. Maybe I’ll pick out new products i have yet to try, maybe I will use upcoming sales to revisit old favorites. I won’t know until I start to fill the bag. I can’t wait to see how it turns out.

e.l.f. cosmetics

Weekly Weight: 218.2 lbs

The Scale, October 9th, 2020

I know I am running a little behind today, but this morning has been a little surreal. I got up and stripped down to step on the scale. I stepped on the scale, took the picture and wiggled in a little happy dance. I may not believe that the scale’s numbers are the end all be all of my life but it is nice to have some validation of my efforts.

However as I reached for my clothes and began to dress, still bobbing my head to an impromptu happy dance. To the tune of “two pounds gone, oh yeah, two pounds gone, the sweat was worth it.”

Okay calling it a tune might be stretching the truth and possibly be an insult to music in general. But I was dancing to it nonetheless. When suddenly my bedroom was filled with flashing blue lights.

Sadly my first thought was “My dancing’s not that bad”.

I then realized I was still half naked and that if the police were indeed hunting me down for some unknown misdeed then I wanted to be fully clothed. So I finished dressing very quickly.

Turns out the police did not want to take me in for crimes against music. They were here for one of my neighbors. Incidentally the neighbor whose radio caused me to think i was going insane earlier in the week.

I have no idea what is up. In general I live in a pretty quiet neighborhood. Its one of those neighborhoods that is in the process of transitioning. We have a lot of folks who have lived here for fifty years and if they leave they are either going to an assisted living facility or the funeral home. Then we have a couple of young families with really little kids. Excitement in my neighborhood generally means an ambulance and the start of the house finding a new owner or my neighbor with dementia accusing one of the other neighbors of stealing her fudge pops.

For diabolical purposes I’m certain.

But I’m sure later I will find out what is going on with the neighbor and the police. with everyone working from home more (at least those that aren’t retired) gossip spreads along the walking trail even with everyone more than six feet away. which also means it is spread loudly to over come both distance and masks so you get to hear everything. I now know gossip about people I’ve never met. it’s kind of fun.

Anyway, that is for later. At the moment, I am happy my sweat paid off and my weight is going back down. Two pounds is a great loss for me this week and quite frankly provided me with the encouragement I needed to keep going. The weight gain from the month without a scale really got me down. this makes me want to continue. So to the new and improved stats!

Starting weight: 246 lbs

Last week’s Weight: 220.2 lbs

This week’s weight: 218.2 lbs

Lost this week: 2 lbs

Lost in total: 27.8 lbs

I am no longer putting a goal weight as I am just going to work at chipping away the excess until I feel healthy and am in a healthy weight range according to my doctor. I can use the scale as a tool without being ruled by it. And I can still enjoy the two lbs loss happy dance. It is not even illegal, as far as I know.

The Daily: October 8th, 2020

Sleep. Such a beautiful thing. And last night, I managed to find it. So too, apparently did my neighbor. Or if he didn’t then at least his late night driving around the neighborhood was sans radio.

It was bliss.

Actually I was tired enough that I woke up feeling like someone hit me with a brick in the middle of the night. I also woke up in the same position as when I went to sleep, which almost never happens. I think I just conked out.

But I felt a lot better. My walk today did not feel as though my feet were made of lead. Which I consider a bonus for my workouts.

Less appealing was the humidity. The temps may still be low but the humidity went sky high today so I was sweating buckets. I kept telling myself it was good for the skin and that sweating purges toxins. I think I might have tried telling myself I was getting that post exercise glow. That lie didn’t last as I looked in the mirror when I got back to the house. There was no post work out glow. I just looked like a drowned rat.

So I cooled off, took a shower and decided I earned the trip to the drug store to look for replacement e.l.f. foundations. It turned into a bit more of a saga than I anticipated. I struck out at three drug stores and ended up at Target. But I found one of the products I was looking for. I also found out the one I loved has been discontinued. This week I’ll have to see if the new one stacks up against the replacement. They aren’t the same. One was a tinted moisturizer and the other is an acne fighting foundation. The link will take you to it if you want specifics early. I’ll spend some time poking around on the elf site later and see if I missed anything. At the moment elf has free shipping with orders over $15 in case you are looking to shop. I have to say it was really hard not to pick up other products while I was at Target. It is one of my downfalls. I tend to pick up an item when I see it or need it and then when I go onto the site to take advantage of the sales I realize I have already picked up all I wanted. So I’m trying to control the impulse buying and the need for the immediate so that i can just add in my wishlist when I do bulk orders for the holidays. I already know I will be ordering at lest three of the Bite sized palettes this holiday season. Seriously, good eyeshadow for $3, can we say stocking stuffers for thirteen year olds? I think we can.

Its actually amazing. I started adding things up and then I had to call parents to double check my ages because I thought I might have gotten them wrong. There are a surprising number of twelve and thirteen year olds on my list this year. I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised as everyone starting having kids at the same time. I just didn’t realize that we were entering the land of the teenager.

Fun stuff, and a not to bad day in total. I slept, I walked, I recorded my calories and I am maintaining the stance that I sweated out toxins. I don’t know what those toxins would be but I feel confident I sewated them out. I may not be able to convince myself of the post work out glow thanks to the mirror, but I am sticking with the toxin removal. It makes me feel better about the sweat fest. Now I am off to rehydrate and to finish out the last of my day. Tomorrow morning I am back on the scale and we will see if I managed to take a step forward.

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