HUDA Beauty Mauve Obsessions Review

HUDA Beauty Mauve Obsessions Palette

The HUDA Beauty Mauve Obsessions Eyeshadow palette was one of the add ons offered by Ipsy last month. As such I purchased it for $12. The retail for the palette is $27. Given the size of the palette, I kind of thing $27 is a little on the pricey side however these days it seems like all eyeshadow palettes are a little on the pricey side, so its a regular complaint.

Cost aside for the moment, I really did enjoy this palette. I like that it is small enough to easy slip into a travel case. Many of my palettes are kind of large for that and as a consequence I usually end up traveling with single eyeshadows which can be interesting to arrange in a strange bathroom. So the small size is really convenient.

Interior: The top right shimmer shade has some kick back as you can see but the others really don’t which I like.

The palette also has a large mirror which I really like as well. The over all packaging is that super sturdy cardboard that everyone seems to use these days and I tend to prefer over a lot of the plastic ones.

Now on to the shadows themselves.

I purchased this one because I noticed that I have a decided lack of deeper reddish tones in my collection. A lot of the shadow palettes I have seem to favor lighter pink additions. I was eyeing several red themed palettes prior to this and thought this looked like a good option. And with the $12 add on price I was willing to take the risk.

One thing I liked right off of the bat with this palette was that while there are a couple of shimmer shades, there is also more than one matte shade. Don’t get me wrong, I like the shimmer, but I like it as a bit of an accent piece. I see a lot of makeup tutorials and they show the super glitzy shadow creations, and personally I love looking at them. I think they look fun. I just don’t think I’m going to wear them in my everyday life.

I freely admit, I am not the best swatcher in the land

Admittedly, there have been times where I have tried out one of those looks, especially if I am having plotting issues. Recently I was trying to find a suitable poison for my murder to use to use against her victims and was having a hard time deciding, so I took an eyeshadow break and did a wild gold and glittery look while I debated the merits of various prescription drugs as murder weapons. Unfortunately, I later forgot I had the shadow on when I went to the post office and got a rather strange look from the counter clerk. It almost looked as though he thought I was trying to conceal my identity. He kept looking at the wanted posters on the cork board.

But I digress.

This palette has plenty of shades I can use every day (without freaking out the postman) and even the shimmer shades are wearable for everyday looks. The darker tones are really blendable, although the super mauve in the lower right hand corner does require a bit of work.

There was a little fading throughout the day, but over all the look remained more or less the same as when I put it on. I can see myself getting a lot of use out of this one. So I was super happy with my $12 purchase and even though I think the $27 retail price is a little on the high side, I have to admit, I probably would pay it. It is one of those rare palettes where I will use all of the colors and not just stick to one favorite block using it to pan while the others look pristine. (I have a couple of those). So over all, I think this is a pretty good palette for those looking to enter the mauve range of things. Is it the most exciting palette I’ve seen? No. However, it is easy to work with, has everyday shades and the shadow stays in place throughout the day. Sometimes everyday use beats exciting. This is one of those times.

Weight loss Regime Survival Tip #9: Herbs and Spices

Basil

You hear it all the time on cooking shoes. “Fat is Flavor.” You know what eliminates blandness? If you watch any cooking competitions you do. The answer is salt.

Fat and salt, two of the the things that make food taste good. I get it, I do. Fat helps us digest the nutrients in things like vegetables and helps us get the nutrition we need to run these big brains of ours that separate us from the lower primates swinging through the jungle. Salt helps us retain moisture so that our mostly water bodies don’t dry into dust in the hot hot sun.

I get it, I like my big brain and I hope it is many, many years before I turn into a pile of dust. In moderation, both of these things are good. The fact that in the past very little related to my diet was done in moderation is what got me in the shape I am today.

Lemongrass

So fat and salt are cut way back as I work towards finding a more sustainable daily diet. The elimination of those two things are why most people consider diet food to be bland and tasteless.

Actually, my big issue with diet food is usually the artificial sweeteners. Most of them are far too sweet for me even if they don’t have that chemical aftertaste. But as I mentioned before I am not much of a sweet person.

You know what I am though? A gardener.

More importantly I am a gardener who who loves the grocery store’s spice section. I have found that if I bump up my herbs and spices, I can generally cut down on a lot of my salt and fat. In addition, herbs and spices don’t generally have a lot of calories. While I still put a small pinch of salt in my rice when I make it (about half of what I used to use), I make it with water instead of chicken stock and when it is done I mix in chopped cilantro and squeeze a wedge of lime over it. I then top it with peas, and sprinkle with mint. Sometimes I’ll add a bit of feta, but I limit it because of the salt. As long as I appropriately measure the rice, it’s a decent lunch.

The chicken I had last night was coated in a mix of fat free yogurt blended with cumin, dried oregano from my garden, a bit of curry powder and a dash of cayenne before being baked. I served it with a salad with fresh mint and basil mixed in with the romain, cucumbers and fresh tomatoes. Let me tell you, It was yummy. Both the chicken and salad.

Mint gone Wild

Fat may be flavor, but if you are trying to limit your intake, reach for fresh herbs and spices. They can keep you from suffering bland, boring meals and as you mix and match both ingredients and amounts you can find something that is uniquely you and maybe something you haven’t tried before. I know that since I’ve been using more spices I generally search for ways to use up a jar I’ve already purchased.

I’ve found a lot of odd food combos and dishes that I never heard of. I’ll admit, some have proven disastrous. Others have become house favorites. Over all the good have outweighed the bad. Occasionally I still get strange looks at meal time, but the longer I push on, the more used to my experiments the rest of the house becomes. So I get seed packets and pots full of dirt to keep the herbs happy and peruse the spice aisle hoping to spot something I’ve never tried that looks like fun.

Do I still crave the salt and fat? Sometimes. And sometimes I give in. Herbs and spices aren’t better than fat and salt. Well health wise they may be, but not in taste. This isn’t going to taste better, but it does taste good. Its a change, but lets face it, if what I was doing worked, then I wouldn’t be on a diet.

At least with the new recipes and spice quest it is not a bland change. And it may be dieting, but it is also a bit of an adventure.

Ear Fleek July 2019 Review

Ear Fleek July 2019

I know this is my least expensive subscription, But I have to say, it is the one that brings me the most consistent smiles. The basic subscription is $3.49 per month. You can either choose one of three categories (Fun, Minimalist or Boho) or you can go with the anything goes category and be surprised. And all their earrings are nickel free, so no itchy ear, at least for me anyway which is usually my big issue with cheap earrings.

I chose the Anything goes and have so far been happy with that decision. This month’s earrings aren’t ones I would normally choose for myself. In a store I would normally see them, think ‘pretty’ and then keep going.

However once they are on, I kind of like them. They swing with my movements and the rings sometimes jangle a bit in a pleasing way. It is not what I would have chosen, but I also kind of like the fact that they aren’t what I would have chosen. I have a tendency to get into a bit of a rut and will grab the same pair of earrings over and over from my dressing table.

When I get a new pair of earrings I almost feel like I have to wear them. (or if they are really something I wouldn’t wear, pass them on) Letting them sit unworn makes me feel as though I wasted my money, even if it was a low price.

I think it is definitely a good thing to shake myself out of my rut every now and again. And $3.49 is a pretty low cost to do it consistently. Plus it’s always a bit of a surprise. I tend to forget that the earrings are on their way and just get a pleasant surprise when I open my mail box. And pleasant surprises aren’t a bad thing either. I know that Ear Fleek has a premium category now where you can pay $9.93 for a more expensive pair of earrings. I’m sure that is nice too, but I kind of like my lower cost tier. I would pay more attention to $9 going out of my account each month than I would $3 and I think I would judge the earrings more harshly. This is just …fun. Even if I get a pair I don’t like, I just can’t be mad at it.

If you are interested in more particulars I am posting my referral link below. I think I get points if you use it. If you don’t want to use it no problem. Just go to earfleek.com.

Referral Code: https://www.earfleek.com/refer/Valer-ZFJBDCGZ

Weekly Weight: 215.4

I find it strange to see that number after last week. I know I spent the week getting back onto my normal routine and I worked my butt off. I also know some of the weight gain was probably due to all the salt put into restaurant foods. But still I see a drop of over four lbs in a week and I am suspicious.

I actually checked the batteries in the digital scale.

I started questioning digital scales.

Are gears more trustworthy?

More reliable?

Then I snapped the picture, left the bathroom and decided to just be happy with the loss.

After all, on my last doctor’s visit I was weighed and came home, going straight to the scale to see how far off my scale was from the doctor’s office one and it was only .2 lbs of difference.

I know, I’m a dork. But I like to know my tools are accurate.

And more accurate or not, in my mind the doctor’s mechanical scale with the clunky metal weights sliding across the bar to thunk into place are more official. Which makes them more real.

Sometimes, perception is everything.

So my own neuroses aside, I am super happy that I am back on track. It makes all the sweat worth it. And believe me, there was sweat this week. Not only did I do my normal workouts, but because we’ve had so much rain I thought the ground would be nice and soft (we have a heavy sort of soil/clay here that makes digging a real chore unless the ground is soaked).

So I went toe to toe with a cluster of bindweed that has been giving me fits ever since we moved in. Well, shovel to toe anyway, or root maybe since it doesn’t have toes. Like my weight, chipping away at it has been slow, but steady progress. While the rain did help, I think that plant reaches down and wraps its roots around the world’s bones.

Anyway, the official stats:

Starting Weight: 246 lbs

Last week’s weight: 219.8 lbs

This week’s Weight: 215.4 lbs

This week’s loss: 4.4 lbs

Total Weight loss thus far: 30.6 lbs

Only 92.4 lbs left to go. (or somewhere there about)

I hope everyone reading this had a great week and is expecting a fabulous weekend. I’ve got a quiet one planned. I’m turning my first batch of tomatoes into sauce and freezing a boatload of basil. (after blending it with olive oil and putting it into ice trays) Then I’m drying sheet pans full of oregano and sage. So my house will smell absolutely fabulous by monday. Afterwards, I plan to curl up with a good book, inhale deeply of the richly scented air and take some much needed downtime. Sometimes that is even more needed than the exciting weekends. At least for me. Whatever you do, I hope you enjoy yourself.

IPSY Skin Care Mystery Bag Review

IPSY $12 Mystery Skin Care Bag

Earlier this month IPSY advertised a five sample skin care product filled mystery bag for $12.  As I am always looking for the best skin care products, I decided to purchase the bag and see what it held. The package came in at the same time as my regular IPSY bag, so shipping was fine. It was well packaged and came in a gold bubble envelope instead of a pink one. The bag itself looks like one of the regular $10 IPSY bags and in fact spoilers for next month (August) show that it is the same (or too close to distinguish as different from internet pics) to the bag that the regular IPSY products will fill.

One thing that I didn’t like was that there was no card to let you know about the products in the bag.  Since it is a separately sold product and not one of their monthly subscriptions, there is no break out information on their site about the products in your bag.  With no card in the bag, if you want more information, you have to look up each product individually (which I did).  While most of them are self-explanatory (creams are used as creams, cleansers as cleansers) I like extra information and I did have some questions before I used a couple of the products. 

In addition, I have been using the products for the last few weeks so that I can get an accurate feel for them since skin care usually takes a few weeks to get an accurate picture of how they work.  As they were sample sized, two weeks used all of them up.

So without further ado, let’s get inside the bag.

First up is the Belief: The True Cream Aqua bomb.  Full size retails for $62. It is described as:

A comforting cushiony moisturizing cream that provides dry, flaky, and dull skin with a flood of intense 26-hour hydration, leaving it supple, smooth, and deeply nourished. Ideal for normal to dry skin types.

I don’t have especially oily skin.  I occasionally claim combination, but I think I am actually more in the normal range.  This was too much hydration for me. I used miniscule amounts, barely covering my skin and it took forever to soak in enough for me to continue doing the rest of my makeup. If you have a routine where you can put your morning moisturizer on and then wait an hour to do the rest of your face, then this is fine.  It just took a while to soak in. 

On the plus side, since I was using so little, the really small amount of product in the jar did last a while. I could see this being of more use to me in the winter when my skin is dryer, but it is not good now. If I were to get another sample of this, I think I would hold off trying it until the weather changes and I do my seasonal skin care shift.  I think that is when this product would save the day. It has no real smell and it does hydrate, however I do not think I would be paying the $62 price for a full sized jar anytime soon.

APTO skincare Nourishing Mask blue spirulina with a full size price of $16, was the next sample to come out of my mystery bag. In general, I love masks.  There are very few I don’t end up giving positive reviews for.  I love the way my skin feels after using them, I love the time out using them provides to me. This one however, I didn’t really care for.  After washing it off, my skin felt waxy and I had to use a cleansing product to make my face feel clean again. Usually once a mask is washed off a light splash of water and a towel pat dry and I am good.  With this I had to wash my face. Not good and not going on my favorites list.

At this point in my bag I was feeling pretty low, however the next product made up for it. The Feel Renewed Pumpkin Walnut Facial cleanser made the bag worth buying. It is listed as a deep skin treatment with gentle exfoliation and a full size bottle costs $28.

Normally, I am concerned when they list walnut as it can be super abrasive, but this product uses walnut powder so the pieces are pulverized super small.  It does exactly what it claims.  It is a very gentle exfoliate that can be used daily (at least by me) with no issues.  It smelled great, left my skin silky and clean (always good in a cleanser). I really liked it and will definitely be putting it on my to be purchased list.

Feeling happy with the cleanser I moved on to the First Aide Beauty coconut skin smoothie priming moisturizer.  A full sized bottle costs $28.  The product description is:

Formulated with Coconut Water and other superfood ingredients, this natural, complexion-enhancing moisturizer instantly brightens, hydrates and smooths in one simple step, while helping blur the appearance of pores and imperfections.

Makeup meets skincare with this two-in-one moisturizer and makeup-gripping primer. Formulated with superfood ingredients that are rich in vital proteins, electrolytes and minerals and infused with a natural coconut scent, this priming moisturizer hydrates and smooths skin as light-reflecting Micro-Pearls impart a subtle, dewy luminosity. The result is beautiful, healthy-looking skin when worn alone and long-lasting makeup when used as a prep step.

First of all, I detected no coconut smell at all.  It did however lack the brand’s signature nasty smell.  Actually, the last couple of products I’ve tried from them have lacked it, so maybe they fixed it.

As a primer it works well. It is sticky enough to help grip the products layered over it.  There was very little blurring that I could see and I saw no dewy luminosity. Once on the skin it becomes invisible and helps other makeup last longer.  I’m not sold on the moisturizing aspect, but it is a fairly decent basic primer.   It is light weight which I really like in the summer and it did its main job.  While I wouldn’t mind using it again, it isn’t going to make my must haves list.

The final product in my mystery bag was the Purlisse Watermelon energizing two minute polishing peel. The full size retails for $24.  I love Purlisse and their Watermelon Aqua Balm is fantastic.  So I was happy to see this product.

It smells exactly like a watermelon jolly rancher, which I kinda like. It works well which I was surprised by for a two minute use time.  However, it does what it says and after using it my skin felt like glass.  I was thrilled.  There is one issue I have with it though.  The packaging states it can be used morning and evening.  I really hope they meant that it doesn’t matter what time of day you use it, but the wording leads me to believe you are supposed to use it twice a day. While I loved this product, it is the kind of exfoliator that I would only use once a week. More often than that would clearly be too much. That being said, I would definitely add this to my weekly routine and as you use such a small amount only once a week it would last a long time. I am fine with the $24 price on it and could easily make space on my shelf for it.

Overall, I am glad I purchased this bag.  There were a couple of products that weren’t for me. Finding that out now, will keep me from purchasing them later to test on my own, so I can’t say that is a waste.  In addition, there were a couple of products I will be adding to my personal wish list for later purchase.  In my world of skin care, that is always a win.

Weight loss Regime Survival Tip #8: Opinions

Opinions

Everyone has an opinion. I’m sure you know the old saying regarding that, so I won’t add it here. The thing is when you are trying to lose weight, you will hear them all. The obvious ones regard diets. I have lost track of conversations that have started along the lines of

“Oh I see you’ve lost weight recently, what are you doing South Beach? I’m doing South Beach and I absolutely love it.”

I chose South Beach at random.  I harbor no particular dislike for them.  You can substitute any other diet/ healthy lifestyle choice here.  At this point I’ve pretty much heard them all, from Paleo to vegan/plant based. I’ve heard carbs being demonized and avocados being praised.

I’m not saying there isn’t merit in each of them.

What I am saying is that people espouse their favorite one with the same fanatical look and enthusiasm  as though they have joined some form of cult. As a larger person once I started showing signs of weight loss, everyone wanted me to either testify on their behalf or join them in their gustatory crusade. You would not believe the number of people who were really upset by my basic diet and exercise approach.

Now, if you use a set diet plan taken from the cosmos of diet plans out there, I am not criticizing in the least.  Every body is different and if you find something that works for you, use it. Personally I grew up in a house where fad diets came and went with a regular routine.

When she was little, my mom was so skinny, her doctor set out a menu plan to help her gain weight so she would remain healthy.  All her life, she has been a skinny woman. I take after my father’s side of the family and was a pudgy child who thinned out as I reached my teen years. Seeing my pudge as condemnation of her abilities as a mother, the battle commenced.  Each fad diet was tested out as a weapon in her campaign.

I remember when bread was replaced with the original hockey puck style rice cakes.  A spoonful of wheat germ was added to everything possible and I ate cottage cheese until I was sure it was going to come out of my ears.  Each plan came with a lecture about the health benefits and magical weight loss properties of the system or ingredient. There were more diets and fads of course, until my growth spurt and subsequent thinning out.  The entire experience left me very leery of any publicized diet plan and or magic food.

As an amusing aside, my mother is now in her seventies and is starting to get a little pudge around her middle for the first time ever. She noticed her jeans were a little tight, got on the scale and was aghast at the ten pound increase. She immediately joined Weight Watchers and in very short order shed the extra ten pounds.  She also roped all of her friends into joining with her and after noticing I was losing weight called and gave me a two hour sales speech on the program and why I should join her.

So some things don’t really change.

In addition to those offering planning advice and a cult like experience, there are those who will feel the need to comment on your weight loss. I don’t know why.  I like to give them the benefit of the doubt and say they are trying to be helpful, but some of the comments are just strange.  Most of them are meant to be encouraging, although sometimes they hit you in ways others did not expect.

The one that got me came from a little old lady riding a bike in the park where I like to walk. She is in her 80s by my guess and rides almost every day.  I always see her and think, ‘I hope I can still ride my bike at 80.’  Now, I don’t say it aloud as that would be ageist and might offend. I have no need to offend a stranger in the park.  It would be rude. So I nod and smile as I pass her and keep my thoughts to myself. 

Now as I saw her, she saw me.  One day she stopped and turned to me.  She said, “I love when I see obese people actually exercising.  It makes me think you all won’t die of diabetes. I just want to say good for you. Keep it up.”  She then turned and pedaled away.

First of all the word obese nearly stopped my heart. I made peace with the word fat.  I am fat, I own that.  I am aware my weight officially puts me into the obese category.  But I had not made my peace with that and I hope to be out of obese range before ever making my peace with that. Perhaps when I have reached a healthy weight I can look back and use it as a descriptor for my former self, but that time has not yet arrived.  And I will probably still use the term fat. It seems friendlier somehow.

I know she meant it as an encouraging complement, but her words irritated me for the rest of the day. It was a densely packed comment and I found myself obsessing over every word she chose to add to it. ‘Cause let’s face, there is a lot going on in that statement.

When I see her in the park though, I still smile and nod and keep my mouth shut, hoping she does the same. Thus far it has worked. My thoughts are not so friendly though, but I keep them behind my teeth. I do the same with all of the other complements and encouragements that although meant well, seem just a tinge backhanded when they come out of other people’s mouths.

I know that’s a long way to go to come to a survival tip, so I’ll try to condense it.  Everyone has an opinion when it comes to dieting and weight loss.  Some opinions come with an agenda, some are meant well, others are mean spirited.  All are born of some internal mechanism that in the end, has nothing to do with you. Find what works for you, stick with it to reach your goals and when the opinions of others fly at you, take it as gracefully as you can in the moment, even if you vent later. Most importantly, let it roll off of you.  Don’t internalize it and let it affect your journey.

Lip Monthly July 2019 review

Lip Monthly July 2019

Lip Monthly is a $12.95 per month subscription.  It charges on the first of the month and ships around the fifteenth.  In the little reusable bag, you get four full sized lip products. While there was a card with the products this month, it didn’t list the prices so I had to look them up on the manufacturer’s sites.  I have to say I was not overly enthused about this month’s selections.

My first Item was by Floss My New Favorite Lip Gloss in the shade LAX.  Full price on their site is $16.  I will say it is a nice lip gloss.  It is a little too sticky to be my new favorite lip gloss though. It’s a decent enough formula, however the color is kind of a pinky brown.  I wouldn’t wear it on its own, but I think it could be used to tone down a more vibrant lipstick.  I have the feeling I will use it occasionally, but it won’t be my go to and will probably end up lost in the back of the drawer.

Next up, I received the Bellavera Cosmetics Matte liquid lipstick in the shade Taupe Nude. Full price for the product is $16.  I love matte lipsticks and I especially love matte liquid lipsticks.  This had a great formula, but it matched my skin almost exactly so that my lips completely disappeared.  There is no way I will get any use out of this product. Which is a shame.  I wouldn’t mind trying a different shade of this brand, but I couldn’t tell how long this would last as I immediately wiped it off. I really wish I hadn’t tried it on my lips so I could pass it along to someone else, but I can’t. Besides I’m not entirely sure who I know that would be able or willing to wear this shade. Still I feel kind of wasteful.

Also in my bag this month was a Kab cosmetics lip liner in the shade funfetti (retail $12). It’s an okay lip liner.  It doesn’t have the smoothest formula and I had to go over the skips a few times for coverage. Given that it is also on the orange-y side of pink despite the end cap looking more mauve-y, I probably won’t be using this product much either.

And finally we come to the Mannakadar diamond dust in Pixie (Full price $15). The product description from the Mannakadar website is:

Add a touch of sparkle and shine to your make-up game with this shimmering treat. The rollerball packaging guarantees smooth, easy application and long-lasting colour without any mess or fuss. Plus, it works on eyes, face, and even lips if you’re feeling experimental.

Initially, I tried it on my lips and I think for a night out, especially over a deep mauve lip, it would be spectacular.  After reading the description I tried it on my eyes and it worked as a light dusting of sparkle over my shadow. I really like the roller ball aspect of it. And in the four hours I wore the product, it stayed put and didn’t migrate anywhere.

It also amused the checkout lady at the grocery store, since that’s where I went when I left the house after forgetting I put it on, but I’m sure they have seen stranger things.

I was a little worried about this product because at first I thought it was a tube of loose glitter and I knew that would go everywhere.  But the roller ball contains it, applies it smoothly, and when I washed it off, it came off cleanly.  I wasn’t finding glitter everywhere for the next few days (which can be a problem with glitter based products).

Who knew the glitter based product would be my favorite?

I’m used to Summer shades included in subscription boxes being too pink or too orange for me.  I tend to gravitate towards plum/wine or true reds which are generally considered more winter shades.  I didn’t really expect the explosion of brown this month.

My plan was to evaluate my subscriptions in January, but this subscription hasn’t thrilled me for two months running. If it doesn’t get better in the next month or two I may have to cancel. I find this sad as I love lip products and had high hopes for this one. But who knows, maybe next month will thrill me into doing a happy dance. Only time will tell. Meanwhile, I may research other lip based subscriptions.

If interested, you can find more information about the Lip Monthly Subscription at lipmonthly.com

IPSY Glam Bag July 2019 Review

IPSY Glam Bag 2019

For those who don’t know the Regular IPSY bag is $10/ month,  charges on the 1st, ships between the 6th and the 10th (later if you have ad-ons). Add ons can be chosen on the 2nd you can add up to three add ons (full size is $12, deluxe samples $3). These ship with your bag so there is no additional shipping charge. I not only like the no additional shipping, but I really like the set price. This month I got the HUDA Beauty Mauve obsessions palette as an add-on but I will be reviewing it separately. As for what came in my bag…

First up is the MÍDFLOWER Hyaluronic Acid Moisturizing Mask.  It is a sheet mask although it was a little different.  The texture is different and instead of wearing it for a set time, you keep it on until it starts to dry out. It was a little strange, but when I took it off, my skin was fabulously hydrated, which is the point of the mask. 

Next came the PACIFICA BEAUTY Bronzer Blush Duo.  It is adorable and has a mirror on the back. I like the concept of the combo in one palette (mostly because I have a small bathroom and space is always an issue).  I wanted to like it.  But I just didn’t. Its kind of a consistent theme with me for this brand. I suspect that despite its claim of buildability, the product is just too light for my skin tone.  I am going to pass it on to a more fair skinned friend and see if she does better with it, but for me, I could have swirled circular clown markings on my cheeks and you wouldn’t have been able to tell.

On to the next product which was BENEFIT COSMETICS Roller Lash Curling Mascara in Black. I love benefit cosmetics, I use mascara pretty much every day and I have three of these sitting in my drawer.  Two I believe from IPSY. I think the other one was from Birchbox. It’s a good product, but I will be passing it along to someone else.

THEBALM COSMETICS Eyeshadow in The Rundown came out of my bag next and as always the packaging made me smile.  The color is nice, the formula is great.  Despite the great looking packaging though, a part of me wishes I could pop it out and put it in a magnetic palette.  The singular eyeshadows I can’t put in a palette tend to get lost in the back of the drawer. But I like it and as long as it is on the counter I will remember to use it.

Finally I pulled from my bag a COLOR CLUB Nail Polish in Mrs. Robinson. It is pigmented.  It is long lasting.  It is also a bright pink I will never wear.  My 10 year old niece loves it though so it will be put to good use. Admittedly she thinks Mrs. Robinson was the nosy neighbor in the re-runs of three’s company and I declined to explain The Graduate to her.  Hopefully no one else will either and her mother won’t yell at me.

Over all this wasn’t the greatest bag. It was okay, but most of it will be passed on to someone else.  Hopefully they will find it of more use than I do. I’ve noticed they occasionally have dud months, but at least they are few and far between. Fingers crossed that next month is better.

Weekly Weight: 219.8

July 19, 2019

In case you are wondering, this is why I start each of the weekly weight posts with the not so lovely picture of the scale. I know its a bad picture. It would be so easy to lie if I didn’t force myself to post it though. Because trust me, I didn’t want to see those numbers this morning, let alone share them with anyone. But, this was my week.

So yeah. Let’s discuss shall we.

I knew at the beginning of this weight loss journey that it wouldn’t be just a straightforward descent into a healthy weight zone. My slow and steady progress was just going to take too long a time to not encounter the random disruptions caused by life. I knew there would be a few steps backwards every now and again. Admittedly prior to this, backwards meant either one or two pounds added because of a day of sin or two weeks staring at the same numbers on the scale while they steadfastly refused to move. A five pound gain is a bit harder to take in stride. Still there is nothing to do but move on.

And analyze.

Each time the downward slope of loss has been interrupted, I have found it useful to figure out why. Sometimes it means I need to change something, other times it was just something I had to ride out. In case you are wondering I am one of those people who even if I don’t eat during stress, my body will pull poundage from the air. I’m sure its some sort of scientific miracle, but it is one I can do without.

This five pound gain is really no mystery, scientific or otherwise, but I’ll break it down anyway.

So, last weekend I went out of town. I left Friday and returned Monday. I was meeting up with friends I hadn’t seen in a while. Some for four years others for much much longer. The gathering involved a long road trip into a small town. We were in a hotel and the town boasted three restaurants and one liquor store. I’m sure it had many other fine amenities, but I did not see them.

From Friday lunch through Monday lunch, all of my meals came from these three restaurants. There was little choice in the matter, it was what was there. In one I tried ordering a salad. It consisted of iceberg lettuce and what looked to be about three pieces of fried chicken laid out over the top. The dressing, which could not be ordered on the side, involved buttermilk. Healthy options were not their specialty. In all fairness though, it was really good fried chicken. Frying things is their specialty.

In the end, I made the best choices I could and accepted that for the most part, it was out of my control.

In addition it was a gathering of friends whom the world pulled apart in different directions. And it was one where no one brought their kids. Everyone was an adult, responsible for only themselves, if only for a little while. It was kind of amusing to see all of the bed time calls being made and the responsible adults the offspring were left with questioned for problems and concerns. Then once the electronic tucking in was done, phones were put away and the alcohol came out as time rolled backwards, at least it felt that way.

I don’t mean to say it was wild and crazy, it was by most standards very tame. But habitual adult habits were ignored and there was much wine as we sat up talking until two in the morning.

I did, incidentally bring my work out clothes as the hotel had a small gym. However they were having water issues in the ceiling and the removable acoustic tiles were piled on the treadmill instead of in their metal grid while maintenance fiddled with overhead pipes. A sign on the door read ‘out of order’ so no luck for me. Pouring rain, courtesy of Barry or at least nominally associated with him, prevented normal walking outside.

So to sum up, lots of food that I normally don’t eat, irregular hours, more wine than I’ve had in a really long time and no work outs. I’m kind of surprised I only gained five pounds to be honest.

Do I regret it?

Not for a second.

Would I do it again?

Absolutely.

I know this isn’t a regular thing. The odds of us gathering again like this anytime in the next five years is slim to none. Life cast us all far and wide and gave us busy lives. This downtime together was a rarity and a time to live in the moment.

I will admit that I did learn something. Well several somethings actually, but a few of them I am sworn not to repeat. The something I can share is about me. It has been a while since I’ve indulged like this. Usually my indulgence is related to my one favorite holiday dish served at a family event that I know has five sticks of butter in it (because I looked at the recipe), but I can’t ignore. Oh, Granny B the things you do in the kitchen are criminal. Delicious, but criminal. Thank god its only once a year.

But indulgence was the theme, and through it I realized how much my eating habits had changed. Not only could I not finish the large plates of food often placed before me, but come tuesday, no matter how much restraint I showed when dining, I was a roly poly with a full and achy belly. I felt like utter crap all week. This morning was the first morning that I got up and started to feel normal again.

Today, I will finally be caught up from my time away and will get back to my normal workout schedule. This afternoon, I will menu plan for next week and I will once again be in control.

I wish I had some sort of traveling while dieting advice to give, but every attempt I made to try and stay sort of on track, failed miserably and I just accepted that this was a one off weekend. If anything, that would be my advice. Sometimes things are just out of your control and you have to accept it, dust yourself off and start fresh once the dust settles. That’s what I am doing and that is what I will continue to do no matter how many times I get knocked back. Honestly though, as much as I enjoyed myself, I hope not to get knocked back this hard again for a long time.

So to the stats.

Starting Weight: 246 lbs

Weight Last week: 214.8

Weight this week: 219.8

Weight change: 5 lbs gain.

Total loss: 26.2 lbs

I suppose its a good thing I didn’t have a chance to get my 30 lbs reward yet. Soon though. Soon.

IPSY Glam Bag Plus July 2019 review

IPSY Glam Bag Plus July 2019

My Ipsy Glam Bag Plus arrived (it was delayed because I used some points to add a couple of things to the box).  For those who don’t know the IPSY Glam Bag Plus is $25/month, there are various add on’s you can choose (up to three).  These products are discounted with full sized items costing $12 and sample sizes costing $3.  I really like that they are a set price.  I actually got a Huda Beauty eyeshadow palette as an add on which I will be reviewing separately once I get a chance to play with it.  My weekend away took over most of Friday and Monday so I have been playing catch up all week and haven’t gotten more than a chance to gaze at it longingly and speculate.  The Ipsy Glam Bag Plus (like regular Ipsy) charges your account on the 1st and ships between the 6th and the 10th each month.

So on to the products.

First up is  the HUDA BEAUTY 3D Highlighter Palette in Pink Sands. I’m not going to lie, I was slightly intimidated by this product.  It seems to believe I have way more skills than I actually possess. It looks a bit more professional than I actually get. I like that inside the lid of the package they have the order of the products and a little blurb about what they are used for. I also like the fact that each of the squares of product are good sized.  They look to be about the same size as they would be if I ordered them separately which makes me feel like I am getting a good value. While I will use the product, I doubt I will be using them all at the same time. My looks are just not that sophisticated. Three of the products are powder formulas and one is cream.  The powders are fantastic and I will be using them routinely.  Not so fond of the cream based one, but that is more of a personal preference.  Me and cream based face products don’t really get along.  I can manage eyeshadows but blushes, bronzers and highlighters just mean I will very shortly look like I escaped a circus. In the end I am very pleased with this product and really glad it is in my selection.

HUDA Beauty Highlighter Palette

Next up we have the PURLISSE Matcha Green Tea Antioxidant Priming Moisturizer.  I like the thought of a priming moisturizer, especially in the summer when products tend to do better with fewer layers. I tested the product and it seemed to work well for one time use.  As with this sort of thing, I need to try it consistently for a little while so I will have to report back later my opinions on it.  I recently received the Ipsy skin care bag so I am currently trying those products.  As they are sample sized, they should run out next week and I will let you know my opinions about them in a later post, then begin my trial of the Purlisse.  Since I still have my sheet masks I may to a week or two of just Purlisse skin care to see what happens. But that is another post. I can say that any other Purlisse product I’ve tried has been a winner so I am optimistic.

Next out of the box was Liquid Lash Extensions Mascara™ in Brynn from THRIVE CAUSEMETICS. Their claim:

This curling, lengthening mascara formula does exactly what it says—a single swipe made our skimpy lashes look like extensions.

And I have to say it works really well.  My lashes were long and thick when using them and I will use this product until it is gone.  I can’t say that I’d buy it as I currently am working my way through a boatload of mascaras and as new ones come in regularly I haven’t actually had to buy mascara in years, despite using it every day. I can’t see that changing anytime soon.  But it is a good product. Admittedly the Orchid Stem Cell Complex™ claim on the packaging makes me feel like I am part of a science experiment.

But there are worse things.

 Next, we have PIXI BY PETRA Glow Mist. I have to say I am not a huge fan of the dewy look.  Especially in the summer time.  No matter how light weight, it makes me feel like I am greasy. It does have a nice smell though and I put it in the fridge to keep it cool and spray it on my face and neck when I come in from working in the garden.  It smells nice and works great for an instant refreshing cool down.  Just make sure you label it as ‘not food’. 

I know you wouldn’t think that would be an issue, but the other day I had to explain it was not some sort of spray on vinaigrette and then had to do a side by side comparison between the mister and my reusable homemade salad dressing bottle. (Which incidentally had homemade Caesar dressing in it and has a pour spout instead of a mist spray. It does have a green top though which seems to be where the confusion lay.) End result, the mister now has a strip of masking tape on it with the words ‘not food’ printed on it with a sharpie.

Live and learn, huh?

The final thing in this month’s box was the NAKED COSMETICS 4-Piece Pigment Set.  I can honestly say I have never looked at a makeup product before and said ‘this is going to cause issues’ right away. 

Until now. 

Usually I wait a bit before making that sort of statement as I like to give products a fair chance first. I have never used loose pigments before and I can so see this making a huge mess.  I’ve blocked out some time this weekend to play around with them though, so maybe I’ll get the hang of it.  The colors look nice and if I can work with them I will be thrilled. With a finger dip they came out well.  I will have to see how well I can play with them before I make a judgement call on these though. I like the mix and match idea and the fact that you can blend the powders together to make your own shade.  I can just see me getting into trouble with this. So again, I’ll have to get back to you with an opinion on this product.

All in all, it was a pretty good month.  In the Ipsy vs. Boxy I want to say Boxy edged ahead by just a little bit.  Mostly that is because while both had good products, the ones that came in the Boxy Charm July box are ones I will reach for more consistently. But it was close. Which, in my opinion, is a very good thing.