The Daily: January 20th, 2022

Good afternoon my darlings. Today, is a wet, cold and nasty sort of day. The air has that raw feeling that means even walking to the mail box is going to make the insides of your nose burn. Today, I am not going anywhere. Well actually no one in my house is going anywhere. Yesterday one of the people where my babydoll works tested positive and since he spent the better part of last week in meetings with that person, there was the possibility of contamination. So yesterday afternoon was testing all around, today is a work from home day and tomorrow, there will hopefully be results.

It is the only test I’ve ever wanted to get a negative grade on.

But if there is a day not to leave the house on, this would be it. we started off the morning with rain, worked in a little snow for a bit, fell back into sleet with what I think might have actually been small bits of hail from the way they were bouncing off of the street and now we are actually back to rain. Regardless of anything else, today is a day to stay inside.

And to justify putting whipped cream on the hot cocoa.

okay technically it is always justified, but I may have added a little extra dollop today. it felt like an extra dollop kind of day. And yes, I am calling that my afternoon snack.

and yes I left my reading glasses on my head. They are the Thin Optics and pretty much with me everyday

Readers + Slimline Phone Case for ALL iPhone 13 models available now!

Today’s look:

Primer: Lys Secure Skin Gripping Serum Primer

Foundation: Revolution Fast Base Foundation Stick

  • currently Revolution is having a sale and these foundation sticks are 2 for 3

Bronzer/Blush/highlight/powder: Cover FX Perfector Face palette

Eyeshadow: ABH Subculture palette

Mascara: Stila Huge extreme Lash Mascara

Lips: Yensa Super 8 Lip oil in Pink Shine

I’ll be honest, I opened my eyeshadow palette drawer, saw the Subculture palette and decided today I just wanted to use it. I know it is discontinued and I know a lot of people hate it. I still love this palette and will probably use it until I hit pan. I can tell you the shimmer shade electric that I am wearing today already has a really big dip in it. I will be so sorry when that shade is used up. Despite everyone’s whining about this palette, I really love it. so today, I pulled it from the drawer.

In keeping with discontinued makeup, I think that the Cover FX palette I am using is also discontinued. It no longer shows up on the Cover FX website and everywhere else it is out of stock. Which is usually a good indicator. The above link will take you to the Cover FX palette page. They do have a really lovely looking trio in their palette listings. It is currently their only palette listed. I think it is also the one recently featured on Boxy Charm. Regardless, I used this palette today because it was quick and easy and I knew I wanted to spend more time with the eyeshadow.

I am still testing out the LYS primer. when i used it with the serum Foundation I could really feel the grip as I blended my foundation out. Then with the Ciate London Foundation it wasn’t really noticeable. Today I used the Revolution Stick foundation which I love and is currently on sale at Revolution along with a boat load of other products (the link above will take you there if you are interested). The gripping nature of the primer was definitely noticeable as I began to blend. It didn’t affect the blending but you could practically hear the deadbolts being thrown as the primer locked on. My foundation hasn’t gone anywhere today and I suspect it isn’t going anywhere until I break out my Makeup Eraser. I am not sure why I felt it with both the stick and the serum foundations but not the regular one, but it was defiantly gripping today. I’ll be trying it with other foundations as well. I have a water based and an oil based I want to try it with to see if that makes a difference. I have to admit I am kind of intrigued. This is a bit more exciting than I thought a primer trial was going to be. Don; get me wrong I love primer but usually trying them out is very straightforward.

To end on a straightforward note, I used the Stila Mascara (love it but I promise I’ll switch it up next week so I use different products) and the Yensa Super 8 lip oil. I love this lip oil. Nice shine with a hint of color, pleasant scent and a massive hit of hydration for the lips. What else could you want in a lip oil? I know, plumping, but nothing is perfect right. this is still my favorite lip oil. I had to actually hide it from myself so I would use other lip oils. Not that they aren’t good, they just aren’t this.

And so with that, we end the make up for the day and get back to work. I really love the way my eyes came out today and it is nice to shake myself out of my basic brown rut. Admittedly the last two palettes I tested heavily featured browns, so perhaps it wasn’t all my fault. have a great rest of the day. And if you would, keep your fingers crossed for a negative test for me, eh?

The Daily: January 19th, 2022

Today my darlings is a day of no makeup. It is the day where i am paying for the short stretch of quiet I had yesterday. Apparently it was just the calm before the storm. The complete silence was the forces of chaos merely gathering strength. This morning, the phone has been ringing off the hook.

Well okay, text messages have been beeping like crazy.

More accurate, I’ll admit, but a text beep lacks the same sense of urgency that a phone call has. I know it is the norm these days, I get far more text messages than I get phone calls. But I think that there is something less urgent in a text message as compared to a phone call. With a text you can take a second to frame your thoughts into actual words that you type into the phone. With a phone you can just call and spill the freak out directly from your own lips without having to make it clear and concise.

I think that might be why I think of phone calls as more emergency driven than texts. Or maybe it is just that when I sit down to write, the act of writing anything from a novel to a text helps to clarify my thoughts better than just speaking. When explaining something (especially without notes) I can ramble. When I write, I have to at least take a split second to frame the thought, and then I can see the words down in front of me and can tweak them.

Oh speaking of planning with words. On my writer’s website (Ten-til Midnight.com) I have a new Subscriber’s only section ($5 per month and access to all subscriber content) On Monday’s in January we are doing a Novel Planning Workshop that will spill into actual novel writing (and then later editing and moving towards publishing). I am writing a novel along with the workshop so you can actually watch my novel grow since I’ll be posting that as well. In a sort of how the sausage is made for novels. In addition there are Wednesday write ins with exercises to help you think through the various parts of your first novel and as an extra bonus each Friday there is a chapter from a book in an as yet unreleased series The first book in the Series is The Ties that Bind. This link will take you to the list of subscribers only content if you’d like to take a look (it was started at the beginning of January so it is still growing. If you are interested in writing or reading, then I hope you will follow the links. Its turning into a lot of fun actually.

But fun aside, it is time to get back to work. Today’s makeup was skipped but i will take the two minutes (plus clean up time needed) for the Wednesday mask. I’m on week two of the Juice Beauty Bamboo Pore Refining Mask. It may be a short time for a mask, but i think later this afternoon, it will be a very much welcome break.

But for now, it is back to the fast and furiously incoming text messages. Happy Wednesday my darlings!

Sparitual

The Daily: January 18th, 2022

Good afternoon my darlings. Today there was sun. And ice. But I still managed a short walk. I waited until the thermometer reached a whopping 33 degrees and I started to hear dripping. Then I went on my walk. As clouds are already rolling in for the next band of bad weather I suspect it might be my only walk this week. The weather is supposed to be a mix of rain and snow for the rest of the week and into the weekend. So I am glad I got the walk in when I did, even if it was a bit wet, cold and slippy.

I actually feel better for having been out and about. I certainly feel wide awake.

Other than that it has been pretty quiet. Just me sitting quietly at my desk and working. It actually feels a little strange to have nothing happening. The snow is sort of muffling things and everyone is keeping indoors so there are no sounds out on the street.

Not a creature is stirring.

The phone is not ringing.

There was no one in the park.

While I am getting a lot of work done, it kind of feels like I am the only person in the world. Or maybe I am so used to interruptions throughout my day that it just feels strange without them. I’m sure something will come along soon, so I am going to actually try to get as much done in the quiet while I can.

Today’s Look:

Primer: LYS Secure Skin Gripping Primer

Foundation Ciate London The Extraordinary Foundation

Bronzer/blush/highlighter: LA Splash Moonlight Glow Face Palette

Powder: bareMinerals Mineral Veil

Eyeshadow: Athr Beauty Desert Sunset Palette

Mascara: Stila Huge Extreme Lash Mascara

Lips: Skin Chemists Rose Quartz Youth Defense Lip Plump

Today I tested out the Lys Primer with the Ciate London Foundation. I really love this foundation, but I think at the moment it is a hair too dark for my winter skin. The formula is still nice, I just need one shade lighter. oddly I didn’t feel the same gripping effect with the foundation that I felt with the serum foundation yesterday. Yesterday I could feel the primer pretty much locking on to the serum formula. Perhaps it wasn’t as noticeable with a thicker formula of foundation. I’m sure it will still hold everything in place, I just didn’t feel the gripping factor.

Just one shade of shadow today, Desert Sand

I am also not really feeling the La Splash palette. The bronzer is okay but not fabulous. I think if I had a lighter skin tone it would work better. I am not terribly tan, especially not at this time of year, but the bronzer might work better if I were paler. By contrast, the blush might work better if I had much darker skin. While I had to go heavy handed just to get the bronzer to apply, even the lightest touches made bright pigments appear on my cheeks. I went with the more neutral blush in the palette today and it was still blush-tastic. The bronzer is barely pigmented, the blush is highly pigmented and the highlight is actually kind of okay. Using the palette makes me feel a bit like Goldilocks.

By contrast the Real Chemist lip plumper made me feel like I had just been to the dentist. this is a lip plumper that just came in my Look Fantastic box. I’ve never tried the brand or even heard of them,. but I do love lip plumpers. This one smells minty when opened. Once on the lips however it kind of smells like that numbing agent the dentist swabs on your gums just before injecting you with Novocain. It isn’t a bad scent in and of itself, but putting it on made me think my dentist might be sneaking around somewhere.

Not that he sneaks anywhere. He is a very nice man and a very good dentist. And I will not cast aspersions.

But the scent is just dental visit associated and not something I really want in my daily life. The plumping was rather nice, but the association may mean I just don’t reach for it.

And those are the highlights (and low lights) of today’s makeup. And as I wrap this up, my phone has started going bonkers as several messages come in all at once. Apparently there are other people in the world and they have decided to get in touch with me all at once. So I am going to reply, because I think all of the messages deal with the same issue, and something tells me my period of quiet productivity has now come to an end. I hope the rest of your day is absolutely fantastic.

Alyaka Beauty Advent Calendar Luxe 2021

The Daily: January 17th, 2022

Welcome my darlings to MLK Day. I hope you are having a happy one. For us, it is snowy, icy and the county officials have all suggested that everyone stay inside and don’t drive around any more than they have to. Earlier I took a walk down to the walking trail. Sometimes it is nice to walk in snowy weather. this was not one of those days. This is a day for staying inside.

The main reason isn’t actually the snow. Sunday started out wet and just above freezing. Then the temps dropped and the rain turned to snow. The issue is that it is a layer of snow with a layer of ice just beneath. The walking trail is quite hilly and I almost went sliding down the first hill and into the still swollen creek. About that time the snow started up again.

It wasn’t pretty. Its the sort of wet snow that comes down like damp duck feathers and splatters like someone is actually spitting on you. So I decided that outside was not the place I needed to be. The sun is supposed to be out tomorrow. And the temps are supposed to rise just high enough that wen I try to walk my feet will crunch through the ice rather than send me sliding. An extra day without a walk won’t kill me.

Whereas sliding on the ice just might.

So I am doing one of my favorite activities at this time of year. Going through seed catalogs and making plans for the spring. while it will be a while before things get planted out, I Start the sees in my indoor green house in the sunroom and once they reach a certain stage get them slowly ready for their garden debut. I try to grow them as sturdy as possible inside, with visits outside to harden, before actually planting them out so they have their best shot of surviving and growing fabulous. Given some of the weather fits and starts the last few springs have had here, I like to hedge my bets so I get the plants as hardy as possible and I grow them in stages so if I put the first sets out and get hammered by a late frost I have a few back ups.

To be honest, this year I have much more of a garden plan than usual. last year so many of my plants just didn’t survive that i thought this year I’d take a little more time to think things through.

And since today is a holiday, I am going to take off a little early and take some time to peruse the catalogs. This year, I think I might try to grow celery. I like to try something new every year.

Today’s Look:

Primer: Lys Secure Skin Gripping Serum Primer

Foundation: No 7 Lift and Luminate Triple Action Serum Foundation

Bronzer/Blush/Highlight: LA Splash Moonlight Glow Face Palette

Powder: bareMinerals Mineral Veil

Eyeshadow: Athr Beauty Sunset palette

Mascara: Stila Huge Extreme Lash Mascara

Lips Evio Beauty lip pencil

Today I started testing both the LYS primer and the La Splash palette. The Eyeshadow palette, mascara and lip liner are completing their testing actually and I’m fairly certain I know how i feel about all of them. The Stila mascara and Evio lip liner are now in my new favorites category while the eyeshadow palette is a bit more complicated. Truthfully I may have to break it down shadow by shadow. Today I used Desert Sand over most of my lids and tried (with minimum degrees of success) to use the shimmer After Glow with it. Desert Sand was easy to work with but powdery and requiring a bit of clean up. After Glow was a bit of a pain. I think those are the last two shades I had to try in the palette. I’ll still play around with it this week, but my review should be up on Thursday if you want the full break down.

I went with one of my favorite Foundations today since I am testing a new primer. The No 7 Lift and Luminate does not disappoint. Plus I know how it works. And combining it with this primer, I could feel the gripping action of the primer. It didn’t prevent this foundation from applying the way I wanted it, but the gripping was noticeable. This is a serum foundation so that might have helped with application. I will be testing out different formulas with the primer over the test. I was surprised that the gripping was so noticeable during foundation application, so seeing how the different formulas perform with it will be interesting. I do like it with the serum style foundation though.

While bareMinerals always pulls through, the powder was especially helpful today in blending the LA Splash Blush. while the bronzer wasn’t all that pigmented, the blush made up for it in spades. It was clown cheek pink and took a while to blend. The issue is I think it might have blended itself out. Which might be my fault. After the light bronzer I was expecting light blush so I went with the brighter of the two blushes and might have been heavy handed. And then I might have blended too much. There are two blushes. The other is more neutral in tone. I might try that one tomorrow or just go into the bright one with a lighter hand to see what happens. There is a bronzer in the palette, but to be honest i can’t remember if I put it on. Or if it was destroyed with the blush blending. The blush sort of knocked everything else out of my brain. But I will be dipping back into the palette to see how it performs when I am not surprised by it.

And that was my look for the day. It got me through my shortened workday and part holiday and will no doubt last through my seed catalog flipping. once seeds arrive, I’ll probably start posting more regularly about the garden, but don’t worry, I’ll keep it separate and not mix it in with the daily so much. I just always get excited when the seed catalogs arrive.

Happy Hour: Blue Cheese Bacon Bread

Ah my darlings, Friday is nearly complete. The work week is done and soon the feet will be clad in fuzzy socks and propped up on the footstool. My baby and I will finally have the chance to sit down together and unwind.

Getting back to work after the holidays was especially hard this year as the bad weather hit just as we were starting to get back to the normal daily grind. Even though it was January, we were previously having 70 degree days so ice storms and snow fall took everyone by surprise. It also delayed projects, rescheduled appointments and a host of other things. For both of us this week was all about catching up and getting things back on track. We both had a lot of late nights this week.

Which makes the Friday wind down extra special. Tonight’s treat is Blue Cheese Bacon Bread. Each week I make a loaf of regular bread to be used for sandwiches throughout the week. This week I doubled the recipe used one half to make the regular loaf and the other to make the blue cheese bacon one. The recipe list is the single one with the ingredients for one loaf. This bread does freeze really well though. Just let it cool completely, wrap it in plastic wrap and then add a layer of tin foil and it will keep well in the freezer. when you want to use it take it out and let it thaw completely before using. We tend to take the loaves out in the morning before work and then they are ready by dinnertime.

What I like about the recipe is that it is easy to do when working from home. There is about ten minutes of activity, then a forty five minute waiting period. Then another five minutes of activity, with another forty five minute rest followed by a forty five minute bake. I like to use it to focus on activities. For example i had a couple of tasks I was putting off so I took one forty five minute wait and one task and tried to finish it before I had to go back to the kitchen. Then when I returned I took down another task I’d been putting off. It is kind of a nice way to clear off things i’d been putting off doing. Plus I get a delicious treat at the end of it.

pulling away from the sides in the mixer

Ingredients

3 cups AP flour + pinch

1 Tablespoon unsalted butter, melted

1 Tablespoon yeast

3/4 cup warm water

1/2 cup milk, room temp (I like to put it in the microwave for 15 seconds to take the fridge chill off rather than leaving it out)

1/2 tsp sugar + pinch

1 Tablespoon Honey

1 Table spoon salt

half a cup of cooked bacon crumbled (you can use store bought bacon bits if you don’ want to cook bacon, just get the ones that look like real pieces of bacon (mostly for texture)

half a cup of blue cheese crumbles

Steps:

piled in the center before folding in.
  • stir the yeast together with the 3/4 cup of water and add the pinch of sugar and pinch of salt to the mix (to feed the yeast) Set it in a warm place until it is foamy (10-15 min)
  • If using a stand mixer, using the dough hook: Add the flour, salt and sugar to the bowl of the mixer. When the yeast is foamy add the entire bowl of yeast mix to the flour, then add the milk, melted butter and honey. Turn the mixer on the lowest speed for 3 minutes while the dry and wet ingredients come together. When it no longer looks like flour will fly everywhere, increase the speed just a little bit (for mind it is no higher than three lines and well below medium speed. You are bringing your dough together not beating it into submission). When it forms a ball and pulls away from the sides, turn the mixer off.
  • If mixing by hand, once your yeast is foamy combine everything except the blue cheese and the bacon into a bowl and bring it together to form a ball.
  • If your dough ball is sticky, regardless of mixer or no mixer mixing, dust it with a little bit of flour and knead it just until it comes together to form a smooth ball.
  • Lightly grease a bowl (I tend to just use a spray bottle of oil on the bowl from my stand mixer) and put the dough in the bowl. Cover and let sit for 45 minutes.
  • After 45 min, come back, take your ball of dough out of the mixer (If making regular bread with no flavorings (i.e. bacon and blue cheese) then just put the dough into a well greased bread pan, cover and let sit for 45 min.) For the blue cheese and bacon bread. put the risen dough on a floured work surface and stretch it out as though you were making a pizza (don’t throw it in the air, just stretch on the table and try not to press too much air out. put the blue cheese and bacon crumbles in the center. fold the sides over the fillings, covering them completely. Knead the dough a few times to work the blue cheese and bacon into the dough. Then you can either put it in a loaf pan or make a free formed size on a greased sheet pan. Cover and let sit for 45 min.
  • Just before the 45 min rest is over, preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Make sure the rack is in the middle of the oven.
  • When the 45 minute rest is done, put the loaf in the oven and bake for 45 minutes. When it sounds hollow as out tap it with a knife, it is ready to be removed.
all rolled up, slashes in the top so it looks nice when it comes out

Without fillings, this makes a really good white sandwich bread. The fillings are of course your own choice. Try to go for fillings that don’t have a lot of moisture in them and you can’t go wrong. we often turn this loaf into cheddar and jalapeno bread or walnut and fig. It also makes great cinnamon and raisin bread. If you are going to start adding wet ingredients, reduce the amount of water you use with the yeast to keep it from getting soggy or cook out some of the moisturize from the ingredients. When I use this bread recipe for a mushroom, sage and onion bread, I cook both the mushrooms and onions ahead of time to reduce the moisture so that i can leave the recipe as it is.

the final loaf

Tonight I used blue cheese and bacon and I will pair it with a nice crisp hard apple cider. I find it pairs well with the blue cheese and cuts through the fattiness of the bacon. Sometimes I will even serve this bread with crisp slices on granny smith apple on top. It makes a great snack as well as a happy hour treat. Whatever you do tonight, I hope you take some time to rest and regroup and just allow yourself the space to breath. Have a great weekend.

Creatives to Promote Hint Still

The Daily: January 13th, 2022

Good afternoon my darlings and welcome to another clear but cold day. The walk this morning was brisk as the winds have picked up a bit and the weatherman claims that rains are on the way. Because of that I may try and sneak in an extra walk this afternoon.

As much as I don’t really care for the cold, I do love watching the larger fluffier dogs as they are walked in the park when it is colder. During the summer they all walk with their heads hanging low as though they are being led to the gallows, but now, they are frolicking and attempting to steal the disks from all of the disk golfers using the park’s course.

No offense to the players, but I am mentally cheering the dogs on.

I got to use my new electric tooth brush from Oral B last night and again this morning. Again, I know it is a strange thing to be excited about but I was. Boy that is a powerful toothbrush. I was not quite expecting that power from the get go. I thought there might be a lower speed, but no, it is one one speed only. The Destroyer of Plaque speed.

I like it. I wasn’t expecting it to be quite that powerful, but I kind of like it. I am very pleased with my purchase and my very minty fresh mouth. Although I’m pretty sure Crest is responsible for the minty fresh part as I am still using my fabulous Crest toothpaste. It is a pretty god combination. Like a power couple for my teeth.

Today’s Look:

Primer: Glam Glow Super mattify Primer

Foundation: Revolution Fast Base Foundation Stick

Bronzer/Blush/highlight/finishing powder: Cover FX Perfector Face Palette

Eyes: Maybelline Color Tattoo Gel shadows in Knock out and Golden Girl

Lips: Persona Lip liner in 90210 and Buxom Cosmetics Plumping lipstick in Fly Girl

You know I didn’t realize until I started listing products that I completely forgot to apply mascara today. I blame the phone. I managed to get almost everything on except lips and mascara when it rang. I answered it, pulled up the documents needed, answered the questions and then after my call put on my lip products completely forgetting about the mascara.

Today I opened the drawer and the first thing that caught my eye was the Glam Glow primer. I really love this primer in the summer time. If you know you are going to be slightly sweaty, this is a good primer to grab. it is designed to mattify oily skin and for me the summertime is it’s moment in the spotlight. When looking for products I realized I had never tested this primer when it wasn’t summertime warm. So I decided to try it out today to see if the mattifying dried me out. It didn’t and quite honestly I really like the way it feels on my skin. Thus far I haven’t had any dry looking spots due to it’s matifying nature so this may be a primer i use for more than just the summer.

in the drawer next to the Glam Glow primer was the Revolution foundation stick. I went ahead and used it. This is the perfect shade for me. It blends so well into my skin and is super quick and easy to use. I originally purchased it just to have something that wouldn’t spill when I travel but it is a good all round foundation that I do need to reach for more often.

For most of my face products I went with the Cover FX palette. It is an old favorite. Again, even though I love the way it performs, I don’t reach for it much. The reason is the blush. It is just not my favorite shade of blush. Everything else about this palette works well for me but every time I open it, my eyes go to the blush and i change my mind. Which i am trying to get over because I do like all of the other products in the palette. It is just the blush shade. And yes I know that this palette comes in other shades with a different blush, but oddly enough while I like those blushes better, the other powders don’t work so well for me. It is one of those times I really wish this was a magnetic palette just so I could swap out the blush. It isn’t a bad color and I can make it work, it just isn’t my favorite.

the eyeshadows I picked out mostly because I couldn’t remember the last time I used them and since I was on a kick of using products I hadn’t reached for in a while I went with them. Plus I also wanted to make sure they hadn’t dried out. Knock out is still performing fantastically and as I applied it I remembered how much I really liked it. Golden Girl I don’t reach for a lot because the gold is a little bright for me. It was slightly dried out but I put a tiny drop of face oil on the top, closed it up for about fifteen minutes, came back and it was fine to apply. It still isn’t my favorite color but i like knowing that I can still use it when I decide it suits my look. If you are rehydrating a gel shadow, just remember to use a very small drop of face oil to do so. It isn’t the time to go overboard. And use one that you know works well with your skin. I went with the Malin + Goetz Recovery Oil as my skin loves it and a little extra recovery oil on my lids doesn’t really hurt anything.

Because the Personal Lip liner is too dry to wear on it’s own and the Buxom lipstick is too light a shade and makes my lips disappear if I wear it on it’s own, I pared them together today and I absolutely love the paring. The colors go well and I really love any excuse to use the Buxom Plumping Lipstick. I love the formula of the Full Force Lipstick, I just thought the color would be slightly darker when I purchased it. The lip liner fixed the color and I am a happy camper.

And with that, I am heading back to work. I hope your Thursday rolls along smoothly and hits Friday with smooth sailing into the weekend.

Malin+Goetz

The Daily: January 12th, 2022

Good afternoon my darlings. Today was a hard start for me. I woke up and hit the snooze alarm as many times as I possibly could get away with. And then I wished for at least another fifteen more minutes. Alas it was not to be. Instead I dragged myself out of bed and completed all of my morning tasks while downing as much coffee as was conceivably possible.

Which was an entire pot actually. It was the Amora Medium Roast actually. And it was quite lovely. I know that the just launched a selection of teas on their website. I may have to order some of them to try out. They do make great coffee though. And today was definitely a coffee day.

It was also a walking day. The sun is out and while it is cold enough to require bundling up, it isn’t actually that bad outside. There is less humidity in the air, and the wind is almost non-existent. And without that wind, the temps seemed much higher than they actually were. So I ended up on two much longer walks than I planned. Considering I have barely had a chance to stretch my legs for the last week or so, I can’t really regret either of the walks. It did mean I had to jettison anything extra about my day in order to stay on top of the to do list.

Sadly, makeup was one of the things I let go. I figured no one was going to see me unless they spotted me on my walk and as it is Wednesday I am also going to be using my Juice Beauty Bamboo Mask (This month I am using it Monday and Wednesday to try it out) so I cut out the time needed to apply and then later remove my makeup for the mask. which helped make up the time lost during the walk. My body feels a little bit better even if there is no makeup to share.

On my return from my second walk I did have a package waiting for me though. It is my new Oral B electric toothbrush. I know, not exactly glamorous but I have been looking forward to it’s arrival. I used to use an electric toothbrush and I loved it, but then it died and I never replaced it. It was a battery operated model and at some point it just stopped working. When Oral B had a sale I decided it was time to get a new one. This one doesn’t have batteries, just a charging stand. And it is charging as we speak getting ready for my post dinner brush.

And yeah, I do kind of find that exciting.

But that has been my day. Fabulous walking conditions, excitement over new teas at Amora Coffee, an upcoming mask and a new electric toothbrush. Mixed in with lots of paperwork. It may not have been a fireworks kind of day, but over all, it’s a pretty good one thus far.

Keys Soulcare

The Daily: January 11th, 2022

Good afternoon my darlings. I am pleased as punch to report that only the barest of sniffles remains. while the sniffling remains annoying, my head no longer feels as though it was stuffed with wool and then soaked with water. It is a full and heavy feeling I don’t wish on anyone. Thinking felt a bit like wading through mud. Now I am splashing through puddles.

I actually attempted a short walk today. More because I just had to get out rather than because i was ready to resume normal exercise. Alas, the park was still flooded from our recent, snow/rain/ice storm adventures. And while I might be tempted to wade through the shallows in warmer weather, in 25 degree temps, I’m going to give it a bit of a pass.

It isn’t too much of a loss today though as I still have a lot to catch up on from the holiday, power outages and feeling poorly. None if those three helped my productivity levels. And now I am playing catch up. Ah well, it is the way of the world is it not? And in addition it is January. In January I always promise myself I am going to be a much better/healthier/more productive/more organized and well more everything sort of person. So I always try a bunch of things that sound like a good idea at the time.

It is kind of an interesting process really. I try a bunch of new things in January. a few stick, a few fall by the wayside and a few are revamped for February. Generally by the end of February new habits are created and by June the habits I’ve kept are just a part of daily life. It’s kind of nice. And it lets me try new things and build the habits I want to keep at a pace I can sustain. I’m still in the try everything phase. At the end of January there will be some updates as to what sticks around moving forward.

I find it much more honest than starting January off with a ‘This year I will…’ And if there is anyone I want to be honest with, it is myself. And you guys of course, but I do try to avoid lying to myself, especially when I know it is a lie. Or I suppose misleading because I always believe on January first that this is the year i can do anything. Then reality starts intruding and Understanding or self awareness maybe, dawns in February. So technically it isn’t lying, just misleading. which is also something I want to avoid.

But that is enough time inside my head for one post, let’s switch to what’s on my face instead.

Today’s Look:

Primer: LYS Secure Skin Gripping Serum Primer

Foundation: Bite Beauty Changemaker Super charged Micellar Foundation

Bronzer: Viseart Bronze Noix

Blush: Ciate London Marbled Light Blush

Powder: bareMinerals Mineral Veil

Eyeshadow: Athr Beauty Desert Sunset Palette

Mascara: Stila Huge Extreme Lash Mascara

Brows: Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Pomade Soft Brown

Lips: Persona Cosmetics lip liner in 90210

Okay I couldn’t resist opening the LYS primer. I had to know if it was going to be more of a serum or a primer and I figured by now I knew how the Bite Beauty Foundation was going to perform well enough to try out a new foundation. When dispensed in the hand, this primer came out like a serum. I put it into my palms and then rubbed them together and applied it onto my skin. Once applied, it is a gripping primer. It becomes very grippy and sticky. I have no doubt that it will keep the makeup in place. And it seems to be working well. I think this is definitely a primer that has skincare, and not a serum that works like a primer. I would never use this just as a serum. It also worked well with the foundation.

The Viseart bronzer is definitely more of a buildable formula than a pigmented one, which I happen to enjoy. A lot more of my bronzers are highly pigmented and have to be applied with a lighter hand then blended out. It is nice to have a more buildable formula. Plus I think the shade works well for me.

The Ciate Blush I love, but haven’t been reaching for as much because I thought it was more of a summer shade for me. It seems to be working well for me today. I like how it turned out. It was a bit more pigmented on my not so summer tanned skin, but it blended beautifully so I am fine with the shade.

The finishing powder helped with the darker shade as well and I have to say I am pleased to once again have the bareminerals mineral veil around again. It is just a fine powder that sits well and wears well throughout the day without looking powdery.

The Stila mascara is a definite winner but from here, we start swimming in more murky waters. Let’s start with the eyeshadow. I had high hopes for this Athr Beauty palette yesterday as the brown applied really well. Today the pink shade worked well but the black in the palette was patchy. I was able to blend it well enough, but I called in the dark brown again to help (and to see if I was mistaken yesterday) and it did a good job repairing the patchiness. The brown is a much smoother applying formula than the black for some reason. Also the rosy bronze shadow pairs well with the pink tone but it is flakier than the warmer bronze I used yesterday so there was more fall out. This is a palette I definitely need to play with more to get a feel for it. Each shade seems to have it’s own set of issues.

Because I trimmed my bangs I once again started reaching for eyebrow products and decided to give this ABH Dip Brow a try. It applies quite well actually, I just think the soft brown shade may be a shade too dark for me. It is a pretty good formula though and I may play around with it a bit more

And then we wrap up with the Persona Cosmetics lip liner. The shade works for me, the texture is creamy but it is definitely a lip liner. Applying it on the lips dries them out very quickly. I do like the shad and the creaminess of the formula but it is not a lip liner to be worn on it’s own. Especially not in the winter when lips are already dry, I will try it again tomorrow with a lipstick and see how it performs then. But on it’s own, the creaminess of application quickly gives way to dry lips.

And now my darlings, it is back to work for me. I hope the rest of your day is utterly fantastic.





The Daily: January 10th, 2022

Happy Monday my darlings. I have to admit, I am still dragging a bit today. I slept a large chunk of the weekend away, which is probably for the best, even if it isn’t the most exciting thing. I ended up Binging The Mayor of Kingstown on Paramount + for a large chunk of time that I was away. I interspersed this with RuPaul’s Drag race actually. I’m not entirely certain what the combo says about me, but for a weekend with a head cold, it worked for me.

I am feeling a lot better actually. Like I said there was sleep but not much of anything else. And to be honest, there won’t really be much walking today either. I went to the mailbox to get the mail earlier and my lungs and sinuses were not pleased with me. The cold is waning, but still not ready to be set aside.

On the plus side though the sneezing and water eyes have ebbed so I actually applied my makeup today with a reasonable chance of it staying on. And for some reason I just decided today was a red lip day and everything else had to just sort of go with it.

Maybe red lipstick just makes me feel happy.

Today’s Look:

Primer: Clarins Instant Smooth Perfecting Touch Primer

Foundation: Bite Beauty ChangeMaker Foundation

Bronzer: Viseart Bronze Noix

Blush: bareMinerals Bounce and Blur Blush

Powder: bareMinerals Mineral Veil

Eyeshadow Palette: Athr Beauty Desert Sunset Palette

Mascara: Stila Huge Extreme Lash Mascara

Lips: Dose of Colors Date Night

Today was an interesting mix of products. I decided that i wanted to go with a red lip and then I realized I hadn’t used the Dose of Colors red in a while. I like the color, although I think I’d like it just a hair darker. I like the Dose’s formula stays put but it also tends to dry out my lips, which is why I don’t wear it a lot any more. It is one of those formulas that was perfect when I was running from meeting to meeting and knew that I wouldn’t have a chance to stop and touch up. It is fabulous at staying in place. It does dry the lips out though, so I always keep a lip balm to top it off with periodically through out the day. And then tonight I’ll do a lip scrub and put on my lip mask to makeup for the day’s dryness. Beyond the dryness the one issue I have with this is that I don’t currently have a matching lip liner. It really needs one or it seeps into the fine lines around the lips. Or at least it does on me.

The Clarins Foundation, I love. It is an excellent pore filling primer and the slightly pink tint in it works well for me, especially today when I am a bit post cold pale. It also worked well with the Bite Beauty Foundation. Now that i have started putting it on with a makeup sponge, I really like this foundation. It just took a little bit of time time figure out. Which is why I like to use a foundation for at least a week before I make up my mind about it. I know, it isn’t as dramatic as a one time use, but I get a better feel for the product.

I am starting to get a feel for the Viseart Bronzer. while it is very bendable and the pan size is great, It isn’t very pigmented. I don’t mind that a it allows for buildability and I don’t do a lot of really hard lines of bronze or contour. I really like the feel of the formula. I also kind of like the little packaging too. I like the way it unfolds and I think it would be a great travel bronzer.

The bareMinerals Blush is hands down one of my favorite formulas of blush and The Mineral veil is an old favorite I am happy to get the chance to use again.

The Stila mascara is rapidly rising to the top of my mascaras list. It is just a really good mascara for length and volume.

This was my first use of the Athr Beauty palette. Today I went with the simple darkest brown and a touch of bronzy gold. The Dark brown was very powdery. Today I applied shadow after the face makeup. I think in the future I will need to do the eyes first then the face with this palette. The first use went well. The one matte worked well with the one shimmer. The dark brown was quite pigmented but blended out nicely. And it worked well with the gold. So I have high hopes as I move forward with the palette. I just need to remember it is powdery enough to reverse the order in which I apply my makeup and I will be fine.

And with the face done, it is time to get back to work. This month I am using the Juice Beauty Pore Refining Mask on Mondays and Wednesdays (with the usual Face Mask Friday Post on Fridays.)My first test of that will be at the end of the day. So for a while, we will be skipping the sheet masks as I give Juice Beauty a full trial. But again, that is for later. For now, it is back to work for me. I hope your Monday is going beautifully well.

The Daily: January 6th, 2022

Hello my darlings, this is going to be a quick post. we have a line of winter storms coming through bringing, rain, ice and snow. The ice is the problem and it is causing widespread power outages and internet failures. So this is just a quick post to let you know that you haven’t been forgotten and that hopefully things will have settled down by the morning. Fingers crossed and stay warm out there. Now is the time to break out the hot chocolate.