Dr. Lipp Original Nipple Balm

Dr. Lipp Original Nipple Balm is one of those products that I always think of as a sort of super intense lip balm. I think part of that is because the brand is Dr. Lipp and the other part is because I have always only used sample sized tubes of this nipple balm.

According to the website…

Original Nipple Balm: For Dry Skin, Luscious Lips and Glossy Bits

Famous for its gloriously thick, ultra-long lasting & instant hydrating effect! Historically used as a nipple balm, Dr.Lipp’s luxurious formula will rebalance, hydrate, nourish, soothe, plump and even help heal all types of dry, sore, cracked, itchy or sensitive skin anywhere. One product, one ingredient, 100’s of uses. Where you apply it is your business…

The full size is 15 ml and retails for $14.50. The size I always seem to pick up is 3 ml. It also has a lip style applicator whereas the full size looks more like a tube of hand cream and has a flat top. Personally I like the shape of the small applicator.

It is perfectly shaped to apply product to the lips and it limits the amount of product that comes out. Plus as it is plastic, you can wipe it off when you are done and it is all neat and tidy.

This is not a light weight product. When you put it on it has a vaseline like quality to it. The product is thick and it is present. It is not vaseline however. And I personally live the ingredient list. Want to hear it?

Ingredients: Lanolin.

Yup, that’s it. One ingredient. Now lanolin is derived from sheep so it is not vegan, however the sheep are not killed to get the lanolin. Some people who use lanolin do develop a wool sensitivity and if you are allergic to wool you should avoid it. I like that it is a natural product with no petroleum based products included.

I don’t use it a lot, but it is one of those products that is excellent for dry chapped lips. What I like to do is apply it, and let it sit for about an hour and then wipe off anything that remains on my lips after that hour. If I am going to be in a cold and possibly windy environment I will put it on before leaving the house and just leave it on my lips, because it also protects against chapping.

bare lips on the left, product applied on the right.

I just can’t leave it on my lips for long periods of time without wanting to wipe it off. The longer I wear it the more I find myself rubbing my lips. Which sort of helps rub it in, but if my lip are really rough it can lead me to start picking at them. Worn alone though it is a very shiny lip gloss. More nourishing than most lip glosses, but still looking like a lip gloss.

With the Dr. Lipps, I can apply it, wait an hour, rub it in a little bit and then wipe off the excess and I feel a distinct softening of the dry lips. It is a really good product. Especially before applying a lip product. It is nice to have that nourishment under the lips. I get a lot of use out of the sample size in the winter. Although if I am going out, I will use it as part of my pre makeup ritual. I apply this, wait then wipe it off, then apply a lip plumper, wait and wipe the lip plumper off and then o my makeup. I find it really helps give me smooth lips for lipstick application.

While the full size is $14.50 I don’t ever see myself buying the full size as I really only use it on my lips. They do sell a six pack of full lippie sized tubes (8 ml) for $38 which I would probably pick up instead of the one large one. To be honest, the six pack would last me the entire year if I kept it all. The last time I purchased it, I kept two and gave the others to family members.

And when I went on their website I found they now make a tinted version as well. the link is for the three pack which appears to be all of the tints they make. They are sold separately. I find the tinted versions interesting and out of curiosity I may end up picking one of those up to try. Because of the weighty feel of the lip product I wipe it off before apply lipstick. But I have been known to wear heavy lip products if I like the color and it wears well, so I suspect I would either really like or really hate the tinted versions of this. I have no idea which way that would go. I’ll be placing the tinted version on my to try list and will find out.

For now I am happy with the untinted version and while this is a sample, I have purchased the lippie sized before and would again even if i wouldn’t pick up the large squeeze tube. I simply don’t find myself using it anywhere but on the lips. That’s really the only reason.


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Trying out Perricone, MD’s No Makeup Lipstick

Perricone, MD No Makeup Lipstick

I love lip products.  I do.  And I am an equal opportunity lip product lover.  I like lip scrubs and lip masks.  I love lip balms, liquid lips and bullet style lipsticks.  There is virtually no category of lip product that I am not a fan of trying out.  From Vampy to neutral and everything in between, I am willing to try it.  Sometimes the color may not be to my taste and sometimes the formula isn’t one I like, but I am willing to try it.

You know what else I like?  Skincare.

So when I received this Perricone, MD No  Makeup lipstick in a BoxyCharm box, I was happy to give it a go.  There was only once concern. I’ve used Perricone, MD Products before and when they put an expiration date on a product, they are generally serious about it.  I know there were a lot of complaints when Boxy Charm sent them out because of the rapidly approaching expiration date on these lip products.  I think that some people even complained of mold already on their product.

expiration date on bottom

When I opened my lipstick I looked it over carefully to make certain there was no issue with mine because of the reports. There was not a speck of anything untoward on the product, despite the box looking beaten up.  It did however have an expiration date of December 2020 on the bottom of the tube. I do love that Perricone clearly makes that date for consumers. I really appreciate it.

Typically there is more than a six month turn around with these products.  Given its arrival and it’s date, I had just six months to try it out and I would be keeping an eye out for mold the entire time.  Because of this, I kept the Perricone MD No Makeup Lipstick in the bathroom, next to the sink so that I could remember to use it.  Regardless of whatever other products I chose for my makeup bag that week.  I was determined to use as much of this product as possible and to decide if it was worth picking up on my own.

Before we get to my thoughts, let’s hear what the product is supposed to do.

A solid-to-serum lipstick with a sheer wash of natural color and mineral-based, broad spectrum SPF 15. Formulated with neuropeptides and hyaluronic acid, this lightweight-yet-nourishing formula helps to moisturize, resulting in visibly smoother, plumper lips over time. CONSISTENCY: Lightweight; SCENT: Vanilla

ACTIVE INGREDIENT: Zinc Oxide (7.5%)

INACTIVE INGREDIENTS: Polyglyceryl-2 Diisostearate, Polyethylene, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Tridecyl Trimellitate, Octyldodecanol, Hydrogenated Jojoba Oil, Synthetic Wax, Mango Butter Dimer Dilinoleyl Esters/Dimer Dilinoleate Copolymer, VP/Eicosene Copolymer, Ethylhexyl Palmitate, Silica, Beeswax/Cera Alba, C10-30 Cholesterol/Lanosterol Esters, Ozokerite, VP/Hexadecene Copolymer, Butylene/Ethylene/Styrene Copolymer, Ethylene/Propylene/Styrene Copolymer, Vanillin, Palmitoyl Tripeptide-1, Tocopheryl Acetate, Argania Spinosa Kernel Oil, Vegetable Oil, Bisabolol, Sodium Hyaluronate, BHT, Isostearic Acid, Glyceryl Isostearate, Isopropyl Titanium Triisostearate, Polyhydroxystearic Acid, Tribehenin, Silica Dimethyl Silylate, Sorbitan Isostearate, Butylene Glycol, Pentylene Glycol. May Contain: Titanium Dioxide (CI 77891), Red 7 Lake (CI 15850), Iron Oxides (CI 77491, CI 77492, CI 77499), Red 33 (CI 17200), Yellow 5 Lake (CI 19140), Red 28 Lake (CI 45410), Blue 1 Lake (CI 42090)

Perricone, MD

Okay, so let’s look at the actual product.  While it claims the scent is vanilla, it is a very light scent and not very sweet.  To be honest it smells like a bullet lipstick you might have stored next to a potent vanilla scented product for too long rather than something that is vanilla in itself.

swatch

It has a flat top rather than the traditional bullet shape, but it applies more or less the same.  I swatched it on my hand to get a feel for it.  With each pass a little more color is deposited so its color is buildable, but only to a point. Three passess will each add more color, but after that third pass the color remains the same.  You are adding more product, but not deepening the color. 

It is a true sheer and really has a my lips, but better look to it. Personally, I really enjoyed this color on my low makeup days.  The color is natural, but it does give a bit of shine to the lips.  It isn’t sticky at all.  The formula felt really comfortable to wear.

Since the color is so light, it doesn’t really transfer to the rim of the coffee mug.  It is a little curve of print on a clear glass but it is just a smudge with no color transfer.  The issue is that it doesn’t last long.  It either wipes off or absorbs rather quickly.  The dryer your lips, the more quickly it is gone, so I lean towards absorbs. Which means if you want it to look good, then you have to either apply it just before you need it to look good or commit to reapplying it constantly throughout the day.

white mold beginning to show

I ended up using this No Makeup lipstick when the lippie shades I chose for that week’s makeup bag didn’t suit the look I came up with.  I also applied it just before going on my walks as extra moisture and sun protection for my lips.  There the staying power was less of an issue than the protection it provided with moisture and SPF. Given that jojoba oil is pretty high on the list of ingredients, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that the more often I used this lipstick, the softer and more moisturized my lips felt.  In that case it did live up to its claims.  My lips felt really good. 

In addition, I also used this product when I used too many drying liquid lipsticks in a row and my lips needed a break.  This was an excellent product for that.  I will say that despite my best intentions, there were weeks where I either forgot to use this lipstick or I was enjoying the products I put in my weekly makeup bag so much that I just didn’t reach for it. Because I like lighter lip products in the warmer months and darker, richer colors when it gets cold, I used it more in the summer. When I looked at it prior to this post, I realized that I did use a decent amount of product in the six months that I had it on my sink. 

No product on the left, the lip product on the right. slight tint, good non-sticky gloss

I think that is more due to the fact that on the days I did apply it, I had to apply it constantly throughout the day rather than using it a lot of days.

The issue is now that when I roll the product up, there are white streaks appearing that I am pretty sure are mold.  Which means that while there is product left, it is no longer usable product. This makes me very sad as it is such a good lipstick.

The question is, is this product good enough to purchase and return to my collection of products?

To be honest, I don’t think I would repurchase this.  It is very moisturizing, but I have other lip products that are moisturizing.  It has SPF for the lips, but I have other spf infused lip products.  I love the sheer color and the way it feels on the lips, but I can get the same, if not better, sheer lip color from my Trestique lip sheers (Currently Trestique has a 30% off sale going on in ase you are interested) with the added benefit of not having to constantly reapply the product.  

For a $30 lip product, I expected more than this Perricone, MD No Makeup Lipstick delivered.  It does not earn a $30 price tag in my opinion.  On top of that, even though I am fairly certain that Perricone gives you more than a six month window to use this product, I think it is a product that I would only really reach for in the summer months.  I think if I picked another tube of this up in the spring. I would use it in the spring and summer, return it to my dressing table in the autumn and then find that it was not usable the following spring. I don’t have confidence in my ability or willingness to use up this product before it goes bad.

While it is a good product, and I am happy I had a chance to try it, I don’t think it is worth the price and I would not repurchase it.


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Is Manna Kadar’s Lip Bliss Lip Mask Bliss for my lips?

I love lip masks.  Actually I love most lip products.  Which may account for why I love lip masks so much.  Many of my favorite lipsticks can leave dry and damaged lips in their wake.  I try to counterbalance this with lip balms (Huge fan of Jersey Shore Cosmetics Lip Balm). And Lip scrubs (currently liking the Milk Makeup lip Scrub), lip masks (all-time favorite the Agave+ overnight lip mask from Bite Beauty).

I tend to wear a lip mask to bed almost every night and I also try to remember to put them on when I am doing my face masks.  I know that does sound a bit excessive but at this time of year my lips naturally dry out and my love of liquid lipsticks doesn’t help matters.

So when I received the Manna Kadar Lip Bliss Lip mask in my November Allure Beauty Box I was happy to have another lip mask to try out.  I’ve tried quite a few Manna Kadar products before, often with mixed results.  I am quite fond of their blush formula but only mildly enthused by their lip products.  So I had my fingers crossed when trying this mask out. So what should I expect from the Manna Kadar Lip Bliss Lip Mask?

It’s time to give your lips a little spa time. Manna Kadar Lip Bliss Lip Mask contains emollients to give dry lips a little hydration, and vitamins to aid in the appearance of softer, smoother looking lips. Not only is Lip Bliss Lip Mask a soothing and hydrating balm, If you have dry cuticles, a little dab can help moisturize dry nail beds.

Key Benefits: Moisturizing formula, Antioxidants for ultimate soothing, Helps prevent chapped and flaky lips, Emollients for super hydration

A nice shine, but nothing sunk in to moisturize

Okay so now fully apprised of what the product is, I opened it.  The applicator is a nice wand which is quite nice.  Most other masks I tend to use my finger for applying.  It is really a nice change to have an actual applicator.

The scent is sweet and lightly fruity.  It isn’t overpowering but it is noticeable, especially as the lips are located right under the nose.  I found the scent quite pleasing. 

My first test of the lip mask was during the day.  I applied a coat and let it sit while I worked at my desk.  It applies like lip gloss, not only because of the applicator, but because of the formula.  It sat on my lips like a lip gloss.

Time passed, and still it sat. 

Several hours later I wiped the product off, thinking I might have applied too much and the excess was sitting on top of my lips.  There was no noticeable change to my lips. 

So I thought that maybe I hadn’t let it sit long enough.  Thus began the overnight test.  I applied the Manna Kadar Lip Bliss lip mask just before bed and let it st on my lips overnight.

And it sat on my lips overnight.  In the morning I wiped it off and my lips were the same.  The dry spots were the same as before.  So I tried this for a week, every night.

There was no change.  This product sits on the lips like a lip gloss.  I can see that sort of formula keeping the lips from becoming further chapped by putting a protective coating over them, but no more so than an ordinary lip gloss. And as per the suggestions, I tried it on my nails. I wouldn’t recommend it. The product sat on the skin there too and inot only did it not help my cuticles, but it got everywhere.

I will continue to use the Manna Kadar Lip Bliss Lip Mask over the lip formulas I have that tend to be a little drying but I won’t be using it as a standalone lip mask and when it runs out, I won’t be repurchasing it.  For me this lip mask was a complete failure.


Sparitual

Using the Milk Kush Lip Scrub

Is there a category of lip product that I do not like? I’m not sure.  From lip balms to lip masks, I am a big fan.  However, when it comes to lip scrubs, not all of them are equal.  I have tried several that were too harsh, left too much oil and residue on my lips, or left none and felt that I was just running sandpaper over my lips.

While I like exfoliating my lips, I draw the line at sandpaper. 

Lips are one of the few body parts that needs a little assistance when shedding the excess skin, hence the need for lip scrubs in case you were wondering.  And who doesn’t need a little papmpering for their lips now and again?

Most lip scrubs come in little jars.  While I willingly use several of this variety, I am more partial to the ones that look like lip products.  And no it isn’t the shiny lipstick like exterior I am drawn to, Although it does make storing them with the lipsticks easier. I like this style because it means I don’t have to dip my finger into the pot of product and potentially contaminate the jar.   With the stick like scrubs the product just needs to be rolled up and applied.  The trick is that many of the stick ones tend to be drier because of the form they take. I am pleased to see more of them appearing on the market and hope this trend continues.

The left side has the lip scrub on the lips and the right simply has the exfoliate wiped off with one swipe of the washcloth.

The Kush Lip Scrub from Milk Makeup manages to strike a really good balance between nurturing oil and exfoliation.  It is neither too wet or too dry.  The exfoliate it rather fine as well so there isn’t a lot of harsh scrubbing.  And when you have finished you can just pat away the excess particles without having to rinse them off. 

I had one lip scrub that was really heavy on the product left behind.  So many sugar particles were left behind that I had to actually rinse it off my lips and then the rinsing took the moisturizing oil so the product felt a bit pointless. While I did have to brush off the excess particles one swipe did it and then it was all good. The nurturing oils stayed behind.

This lip balm smells of peppermint, does an excellent job and personally I like that it has a magnetic cap.  I don’t know why that amuses me, but it does.  I like feeling the lid pull back into place with a click.

Is it my favorite lip scrub? No. That title still belongs to my Hanalei lip scrub, but this does come in a close second.  And to be honest even though it is a close second, I have been reaching for it more often as the Hanalei is in a jar rather than in a stick format. The difference between the two products isn’t that wide a gap and the format of the Milk Makeup product makes me want to use it more. It is one of those times where packaging actually is a benefit to the product. Do I need the magnetic cap? No but it is fun. More importantly is the ease of use that the tube provides along with the good product inside. I enjoy having it around and will continue to use it. Would I pick it up again? Yes. I tend to use lip scrubs once a week and replace them once they have been used up. I like the peppermint scent, and the way the product itself. It is an excellent product that I really enjoy keeping around. While this product will last me a while I have one cousin who is a vegan and fond of peppermint who might be getting one of these in her christmas stocking this year as well.


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The Make Up Bag: September 18th, 2020

The Make up Bag Used September 12th – 18th

This was a strange week.  I had plans, chose the full array of products, and then with the first use of the QMS Medicosmetics Active Glow Tinted Day Cream, those plans went out the window.  I really liked using the QMS Active Glow, and the link will take you to my full review if you would like to check it out.  However, it was very much a no make up makeup. Attempting to use a full eyeshadow palette or regular lipstick just sort of looked foolish with it.  So I decided it was going to be a very minimalist week.

First off, there was the sunscreen.  While there were two in my bag this week, the Volition Prismatic Luminizing shield (my absolute favorite) and the Polaar Fluide Solaire, I used them in different ways. 

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The Volition went on my face and the Polaar, which I found a little heavy on my face, went on to my neck and upper chest where my t-shirts often expose the skin to the full punishing rays of the sun.  As sunscreen I like them both, but as I don’t really care for the Polaar on my face, I use it on my neck.

While I could just use the Volition on both my neck and face, I haven’t found any other sunscreen I like on my face so this lets me use other sunscreens and reserve the Volition strictly for my face. It makes it last a bit longer and this week I certainly had space for both tubes in my makeup bag.

Because the QMS is so luminous on the skin, I definitely needed my setting powder this month. Since I was using limited products on my face, I went with the Becca Pink Haze Setting powder.  The QMS evened my skin tone and the Becca Pink Haze brought some color to the skin while still maintaining the no makeup look. 

It was just a healthy glow to the skin more than anything else.  Of the Becca Powders I’ve tried I think this may be one of my favorites.  To keep it from looking powdery once I applied it I used my damp Huda Beauty Makeup sponge to kind of tap it down and take away the excess. 

I really like the flat section of this makeup sponge.  I really didn’t think it would make that much of a difference, but it really has.  I know other makeup sponges have that feature as well, but that combined with the texture of the Huda Beauty sponge make it one I reach for the most.

Over all the QMS Active Glow mixed with the Becca Pink Haze gave me a really healthy natural look all week. And it didn’t get rubbed off by my face mask which was nice.

While I steered away from both bronzer and highlighter this week, my blush was called into action. Actually I’ve called this blush into action quite a few times and it is starting to get a very distinct divot in the center. This week I used my Gold Rush Blush from Benefit as my eyeshadow. 

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It gave me a slight color to the lids to add definition without looking like it was really there. The slight gold shimmer to the blush made it look like I did something but wasn’t trying too hard. Which was kind of the look I was going for this week.  It worked beautifully in this capacity.

These powders were set into place with my HA Spray from Timeless Skincare.  It was sent to me for a trial and this was the second week I put it into use.  I am still absolutely loving it.  The cucumber scent is amazingly refreshing and I like it almost as much as I like the spray. It makes my day feel spa like (and yes it is mostly because I am very scent oriented.)

It kept the powders into place (which is what a setting spray is asked to do) and it has good for my skin ingredients.  I was very happy to use it a second week.

With the powders in place and locked down for the day I reached for my Scandal Eyes Wow Wings Mascara from Rimmel.  Rimmel is a long time favorite drug store brand of mine.  Their powders and mascaras have always found a place in my world. 

The wand on this particular mascara is shaped to give you maximum lash lift towards the outer corners of your eyes.  I really enjoy this mascara.  Alas it is reaching the end of its life.  It has reached the six month mark and not only is it time to let it go, but after six months of use the little left remaining in the tube is beginning to get a little clumpy. 

the mascara wand from Rimmel

As it was perfect for six months I’m okay with it going clumpy when it reaches it’s expiration date.  If it didn’t I’d be tempted to keep it past it’s expiration date.  The clumps force me to get rid of it. It is a mascara that I will be repurchasing again in the near future.  It gave me very dramatic lashes and didn’t flake on me.

And finally we come to the lips.Even in a minimal make up week, I still ended up with three lip products.  The first is the Bite beauty Agave Lip mask in Maple. Most days I wore this at least part of the day.  Mostly around two ish when I was starting to think that snacking sounded like a good idea. 

The maple scent makes me feel as though I have already enjoyed a treat and therefore don’t need a second one. Which helps curb a lot of my snacking cravings.  It also keeps my lips nice and soft, which I’m sure is more the marketing plan for the product. At least I don’t think – Bite Beauty – Helps keep you from stuffing your face with potato chips mid afternoon – is their new campaign slogan.

NEW! Agave+ Pre-Makeup Lip Serum

While I used this tube a lot, it barely shows a dent because so very little is actually needed to cover the lips.  It is one of those fantastic products that seems like you can use forever and never run out and then magically one day it is empty.  Then you stare at the empty tube in shock wondering how it could be empty. At least that is my take, you need so little it always seems like there is enough for just one more use in it.

my two main lip products this week

The second lip product I didn’t like as much.  It is the Alamar Cosmetics lip gloss in birthday suit.  It looked good on and it smelled nice, but it was very sticky feeling on the lips.  I know that most lip glosses have a somewhat sticky feel to them, but this seemed a little extra sticky.  It does look nice though.  I think this is one of those lip glosses that will end up in my purse so that if I have to apply it before giving a speech or taking a photo it can be applied, but it isn’t one I will be turning to often. Looks nice but doesn’t feel nice.

My third and final product looked nice, felt nice and smelled nice.  I think it also did some nice things for my lips too.  It is the Yensa Super 8 Lip oil in the shade pink shine.  While it gives a nice gloss to the lips, it isn’t sticky (cause it’s a lip oil). It also isn’t greasy, which I was worried about. 

Despite looking toxic-ly red in the tube it really only gave a delicate tint of color to the lips.  And throughout the day it sort of absorbed into the lips making my lips feel smother and better than before I applied it, which is not something I usually get with lip products.  The oils were quite nourishing.  I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised that I like it as I have had good luck with this Yensa Line.  The Primer has long been a favorite of mine and last week I tried out their foundation and really liked it.  So for me anyway the Super 8 line from Yensa is super indeed. And to be honest, I kind of want to pick up the entire line of lip oils. Which as much as I love lip products is really rare for me to say about an entire line. But I really liked this lip oil.

lip swatches, Yensa on top and Alamar on bottom

So that my darlings was my minimal makeup bag this week. No primer, no bronzer or highlight. It was a simple quick and easy routine.  With the exception of the sticky lip gloss and the realization that I had to say goodbye to a well loved mascara, it was a pretty good week.

Because the summer is ending, I am going to be going through my foundation and foundation like products and pulling the darker ones.  These I want to use before my skin starts losing it’s tan.  I can’t remember if I have any I haven’t tried yet that are in the darker range.  If there are I will go with those first, but I think I might have gotten all of them.  I now I have some new winter shades to test But that is still a little while off.  O next week might be a primer review rather than a foundation one. Or maybe there will be something else that jumps out of my make up bag and decides it wants to be singled out. I’ll have to see what makes it into my make up bag before I can tell.   Either way, that is the end of this week’s make up bag.


Paula's Choice UK

My Current Skin Care Line Up

I know I talk a lot about different products, but I thought you might find it interesting to see the full regime as it stands now.  First off, I ought to say that I have a staggered rotation system for skin care. I like to have an older product I’ve been using for a while roll into my trial for a new product so that I’m not changing out every item at the same time. 

For example I am currently testing three Timeless Skin products (gifted to me by Timeless Skin for testing and review purposes for which I am extremely grateful).  The Hyaluronic Acid Serum I have been using for two weeks now (Labor day started week three so I will be reviewing it on the 21st after 30 days of use), while the while the Squalane Oil from Timeless skin is just starting its second week of use and the HA Spray is on its first full week of use.

The same can also be said for my Purlisse Blue Lotus 4-in-1 Cleansing Milk.  I used it for a month but will use it a little bit longer since I just started with the HA spray. I’ll use the same cleanser while I figure out how everything reacts and then I’ll start a new cleanser trial.  I generally find that staggering new products keeps my skin from freaking out with the new so I get a more accurate opinion about how things work.

Now I do have one disclaimer, my skin care routine is slightly jumbled a bit because I am trying to get in several workouts  and don’t want to just sweat off my products, so I’ll try to put those in here as well.

current cleanser

In the mornings, on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, I am trying to get in about twenty minutes of strength and flexibility training.  This is mostly with youtube videos, wii fit and yoga.  It is done in doors and because I have the tendency to talk myself out of it, I find it is easier to start with the workout before I’m fully awake.  So on those mornings I splash water on my face to rinse off the remnants of my night cream, towel off and after dressing, do my planned work out.

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After I turn on the coffee pot and cool down a bit, I start in on my morning skin care. I start by washing my face, currently with the Purlisse Blue Lotus 4-in-1 Cleansing milk. 

Toner

I then use a toner.  I just finished the Akar Balancing Toning Mist and am now trying the Pixi Skin Treats Clarity Tonic.  Typically with Pixi I tend to go for their exfoliating toners so this was a new one for me.  While early in my use thus far I have been liking it.

serum

After toning I use a serum on my face, neck and decollete.  Currently, the serum I am trying out is the Timeless Hyaluronic Acid Serum.  And I did remember to take before pictures this time so I will have before and after photos from 30 days of use. 

I’ve actually noticed a positive change actually, but I will get into details with the full review.  At the moment I can say that I really like this serum and am turning into a pretty big fan of Hyaluronic Acid in skincare.

After I apply the serum, I brush my teeth while it takes it’s time settling in.  While this serum sinks in fast, I really like to give it a little extra time to settle in before I move on. You can probably see it in the background of the above photo but I am a big fan of the Aquafresh Extreme Clean toothpaste.  It has been my go-to for years.  I like the taste better than I like the regular aqua fresh.  Although sometimes the foaming can be a bit much.  But it is a good toothpaste.

eyecream

Then once I have wiped up all of the toothpaste fall out, I apply my eye cream.  Currently I am using the Glossy box Skin Care Eye Boost Cream (I’ve almost finished my month of use so a review will be coming soon).  With eye cream I not only use it around my eyes, but on the fine lines around my lips. 

The same formulation that helps eye cream work on the delicate tissue around the eyes also helps it on the fine lines around the lips. It was one of my grandmother’s favorite tricks and one I use increasingly as I get older.  In its own way that skin is just as delicate as the eyes and a little extra help in fighting those lines doesn’t hurt.

Squalane Oil

After the eye cream I use the oil.  At the moment I am using the Timeless 100% Squalane oil.  Oddly enough, I am finding that I can use it both morning and night unlike many other oils which I have only been able to use at night.  I think it’s because squalane’s main purpose is to simply lock in moisture and it really is just one type of oil (it’s also a really affordable oil as these things go). I’ve just started using it so I’ll have to see how it works moving forward.  Right now I am really enjoying it.  I use three drops and apply it to my skin and then follow with my moisturizer. I like applying the oil first rather than blending it in with the moisturizer. No real reason, it is just what I prefer.

moisturizer

The moisturizer I am currently using is the Dior Dream Skin Capture Totale. It was sent to me by Influenster and comes in a refillable container.  I can already tell you I am going to want to get a refill.

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At the moment it is running about even in my moisturizer preferences with the Peter Thomas Roth Hungarian Thermal Water Mineral Rich Moisturizer and the Volition Celery Green Cream. 

Those three may be my top three moisturizers of 2020 at this point.  Still the year is not over.

sunscreen

Speaking of Volition, after I apply the moisturizer I top it off with my Volition Prismatic Luminizing shield with SPF 50. I keep trying other sunscreens and I keep going back to this one.

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You will notice there is a second sunscreen in the picture however.  This is the Polaar Fluide Solaire also with SPF 50. While it is a good sunscreen, I don’t like it on my face.  It feels just a little too heavy.  It is perfect for my neck and upper chest where v-neck t-shirts expose the skin and I have really been enjoying using it there to give my skin some extra protection. 

lip masks, the maple day cream is in the tube and the night mask is in the jar.

I then add my Bite Beauty Agave Lip mask in the scent Maple to my lips.  It really does smell like maple syrup.  And it tasks kind of like it too.  I generally find that not only does it keep my lips wonderfully soft but the scent makes me feel like I’ve already indulged in some delectable treat and thus makes it less likely that I will feel like snacking.  I sort of feel Like I’ve already snacked.

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And skin care done I sit at my desk and get a few hours of work done.  I don’t put makeup on at this point as my meetings tend to be in the afternoon and I still have my daily walk to get through.  All my skin care has a couple of hours to soak in though. 

Then I take my walk.  Before I leave the house I spray myself all over with a spray sunblock.  I’m partial to one from Neutrogena. Even with the sunblock underneath, I like to be extra careful, especially after my bad burn earlier in the spring.

In general I sweat profusely during my walks.  Which is fine.  I like to think of the seat as encouraging my weight loss.  However I am a mess when I return.  While I often employ the Busy Beauty Showerless wipes to get me through until I can take my evening shower, and have various ways of dealing with my hair, my face is a different matter. 

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If I don’t wash my face after my walk I am just going to feel gross the rest of the day.  But I don’t want to strip my skin.  So I tend to use a gentle cleanser that will just wash away the sweat (and sometimes pollen) residue from my walk in the park/walking trail. 

Post work out cleanser

The cleanser I have consistently used for a while has been the Olay Cleanse Gentle Foaming Cleanser.  It is an excellent oil free, no frills cleanser that just makes my skin feel less gunky after a good sweat. 

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To be honest I have been using this as my post workout cleanser since I started my weight loss journey.  I have lost track of how many times I have used up and replaced this bottle. It is also the cleanser I grab when another cleanser is giving me problems because I know it is effective and reliable. So I use it after my walks.

post workout serum

Something new I am trying, because it came to me in an IPSY box, is the 111Skin Cryo ATP Sports Booster.  It is a serum you are supposed to use after a workout.  So because I wanted to see how it worked, I have started adding it to my skin after my quick wash with the Olay.  Previously I just did the quick wash and then moved into my makeup.

After the 111Skin has had a few minutes to settle in, I apply my makeup for the day.  While I usually end with a setting spray, the HA Spray with Matrixyl 3000 sent to me by Timeless claims to be able to be used as a setting spray as well as being skin care, so this week I started using it to set my makeup.  There will be more on that later this week.  But I will tell you now that is it wonderfully refreshing and smells like cucumbers.

skin care based setting spray

And then I go about my day.

At the end of the day I use a cleansing balm or oil to remove my makeup and then I use a cleanser like the Purlisse.  I just finished the Province Apothecary Moisturizing Cleansing oil and tonight I will start using the Kahina Giving Beauty Oil Cleanser.  It too came in a Petit Vour Box and I am looking forward to testing it out. 

upcoming cleansing oil/makeup remover

Often times I will remove my makeup after dinner and then use a mask of some sort while reading or watching television or you tube.  With my mask I will apply the Bite Beauty Agave Nighttime lip therapy mask to my lips.  It is more intense than the maple one I use in the mornings, although with less of a scent. 

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It also keeps me from snacking while watching television.  I know it is technically supposed to be left on over night, and sometimes I will re apply it just before I lay down but I find when I am watching movies or television with my babydoll in the evenings I am tempted to snack.  This really keeps me from snacking, even after the face mask is removed.

Eventually, I will migrate to the bedroom.  I do my night time skin care before I start to read in bed.  Once or twice a week I will use an exfoliator.  At the moment I am using the Avant Gentle Rose Beautifying Face Exfoliant.  It is an extremely gentle physical exfoliate but I don’t like to use them too often lest it damage the skin. 

exfoliation

After the exfoliate is rinsed off (on the nights I use it) I go back in with my toner, followed by serum, teeth brushing, eye cream, oil and moisturizer. Depending on the moisturizer I am using I will either use the same one I use during the day or a night cream.  The Dior is good for both day and night, but on a few days where I have been outside a bit longer, I replace my moisturizer with a night cream.  Currently I am trying out the Glow Recipe Avocado Melt Retinol Sleeping mask.  I only use it a couple of times a week.

Then I read in bed for an hour or two and go to sleep.

night cream

I know, that’s a lot of different steps to my skin care.  Personally, I enjoy the ritual of it and I really like taking the time to work on my skin.  At the moment, my skin is doing really well.  Most of my acne has faded. I still have a few clogged pores where my mask presses into my face, but really that is a combination of mask and sweat.  Some combination of elements in the last week has really been doing my skin well. 

This is another reason I like rotating products.  I can check in with my skin and see what I was using when things start to get better and I can monitor it as I stop using certain products and see where things change.  I helps me to figure out what is actually working and what is not.  It is also why I am not opposed to taking extra time in my routine.  To be honest, written out it looks like it takes a lot longer than it actually does.  It only really takes me about twenty minutes in the morning and then another twenty at night (not counting the mask) so it isn’t really as onerous as it looks on paper.

But there you have it.  Even though some of the products rotate out, the sequence and system remains more or less the same.  There are always changes based on products though.  Sometimes the oil I’m testing is one I only want to wear at night and so I skip it in the morning.  Sometimes I will try two different serums, one at night and one in the day because one reacts poorly to the sun. Sometimes my skin needs more or less exfoliation.  But in general, this is my daily skin care regime.



Let there be lip Balm

The May Jersey Shore Cosmetics Lip Balm Subscription

I know I have mentioned it time and time again, but my favorite anti-snacking device involves lip products. Currently, as outside time is limited, I have a selection of lipsticks, lip glosses, lip oils and limp plumpers arranged on my desk in front of my computer monitor. 

While I love lip products, sometimes the choices I make when shopping (or what comes in a subscription box) aren’t the colors I gravitate towards when actually applying my makeup for the day.  As a consequence what I have started doing is lining up the shades that just don’t work for me, but whose formula I would like to test before investing in the purchase of another from the company, on my desk.  These off colors are my test subjects.  I apply them while looking into my compact and then forget the color while seeing if I like the formula.  As I have some really interesting colors in this selection there have been some interesting reactions when my baby doll asks if I want to join him for lunch.

It also keeps me from just using my Kristopher Buckle Cashmere Lip (Bardot, fav everyday color hands down) down until it is nothing but a nubbin when it is just me and a computer monitor. So that’s a plus.

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Oddly enough this makes my lip balm even more important.

In the morning after applying my skin care, my final touch is to apply some lip balm to my lips.  At the end of the day, I apply another coat after my final tooth brush of the day. While I also use masks, scrubs and oils on my lips, I generally find that a morning and night application of lip balm helps my lips recover from whatever drying effects some of my tester lip products have had during the day.

This is only one of the reasons the Jersey Shore Cosmetics Lip Balm subscription is one of my favorites.  For $10 (with a $3 shipping charge) they send you four lip balms per month.  Sometimes they’ll include a pigmented lip balm, sometimes not.  The subscription is mailed out between the first and the fifth and  renews on the 11th of the month.  So if you ordered on May 14th for example, they would charge you immediately, but you would get the June subscription and then on June 11th they would charge you for July’s package.  As their lip balms usually cost about $12 each, it is a pretty good deal. 

This month was an exceptional one as in addition to my four lip balms, I received a small silver heart necklace with the word Mom inscribed on it for mother’s day and a reusable (non-medical grade) face mask. I appreciate both the sentiment and the safety concern. My baby and I will soon make a trip out to the grocery store to forage for fresh veg and I will be wearing both the lip balm and the face mask then.

Then of course there are the lip balms.

Two are plain lip balms, one scented like strawberry and one scented like pomegranate. They are both perfect scents for this early spring when warmth is still a fleeting thing.  They bring to mind long days in the sun (although for me with an extra layer of sunscreen to prevent a burning repeat).

The third lip balm is the Super Sativa.  I have to say I am getting more and more enthused by some of the CBD products lately.  While there are several products out there that seem like a stretch, I have found a few that I really like using lately. The Yensa CBD infused cleansing oil comes to mind actually.

I tried this same lip balm last fall and through the winter.  It was a little more solid than the other formulas but once it warmed up a little it was one of my favorites.  The Jersey Shore Cosmetics lip balms do tend to be a little soft, but the Sativa one was stout enough that I could keep it in my pocket when running around outside, so it was close to hand all winter.  As a consequence it was used up first.  Because of this trait, I suspect I will save it for winter again and have safely sequestered it in my dressing table for later use.

What I tend to do with this subscription is keep it for a few months running, building up a stash of lip balms and then once I start to feel overwhelmed by my stash, I cancel the subscription for a few months and work on using up the lip balms I have.  Then when I run low again, I rejoin and start the process over again.  While some disappear in the wash or in the bottom of a purse never to be seen again, I am generally pretty good about only keeping one open at a time.

The fourth lip balm in this subscription is usually something a little fun.  This month it was the Moon Glow Silver Lip Highlighter. It can be worn alone or with lipstick and it has a little shimmer to it.  It smells like peppermint actually and tingles slightly on the lips.  It isn’t glittery, just sort of a lip balm with a little extra shimmer.  Because I was curious, it was the first one I opened and I have no problem using it as a general lip balm. I love that it has both Argan oil and aloe in the product so even though it is a shimmer product it is super hydrating. I’ve actually been paring it with some of my dryer liquid lipsticks. I find if I put it on, give the lip balm a minute or two to settle and then apply one of my more drying formulas of liquid lips over it, my lips don’t dry out as much. The highlight is actually covered by the matte of the lipstick so I still get a matte lip. Unless I put the highlight over the lip again after the lippie has dried down. I’m actually finding it super helpful in making some of the lip formulas I wasn’t very enthused by work for me.

highlight on hand

Admittedly, my baby doll thinks I look fancy when I wear this one to bed at night.

But he doesn’t have a problem with the texture when I kiss him, so it’s all right.

That is one of the other reasons I keep coming back to this subscription.  There are many products that my baby thinks feel slimy when I wear them and then kiss him.  And yes he makes the scrunched up face when he says it. 

Every time. 

He doesn’t think that these feel slimy so I don’t get the ‘Oooh slimy,’ comment. It’s a small thing, but to me, it matters.

Incidentally, while it is easier to find than it once was, sometimes it is hard to find this subscription on the Jersey Shore Cosmetics Home page. I tend to sign up through crate joy for this one (partially because when I reach my cancellation stage it is super easy to deal with). 

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If you don’t want to use cratejoy, I’d still suggest going through them to the Jersey Shore Cosmetics Site because oddly that has proven the easiest way for me to find the subscription link on their site. It’s sort of a strange back door, but it works and is worth the effort.


Under Eye Balm

So, Is Algenist a Genius? Testing two products from their Genius line

The Algenist Ultimate Anti Aging Eye Cream and Liquid Collagen lip from the Genius line

Recently I ended up with two Algenist products in my testing line up, both from different sources, but both part of the Algernist Genius line.  The first was the Algenist Genius Ultimate Anti-aging eye cream (retail $74, although I got it on sale.).  The reason I ended up purchasing it was a friendly recommendation given to me by a stranger when I was out shopping for eye cream. I was having trouble deciding on a product and the helpful stranger suggested this one.  I took the recommendation and after a trip to the cashier I took it home.

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The second product came to me via Scentbird and no, it isn’t a perfume.  Scentbird also offers various skincare and makeup items that you can add to your queue in lieu of a perfume that month.  In March, I decided to forgo my monthly perfume trial and try the option and from their line up I chose the Algenist Genius Liquid Collagen lip to try out. It looked interesting and we all know I am totally down for anything designed to make my lipstick look better. So I received this product instead of perfume from Scentbird this month. I didn’t review the Scentbird subscription box right away as I wanted to have time to try the products.

So with two separate products from the same line ready for testing, I decided I needed to find out what made them genius.

Or at least why they thought of themselves as such.

So to the product page my darlings!

As far as I can tell it is called the genius line because it is born from biotechnology using super fantastic algae and is safe and clean, hypoallergenic and formulated for all skin types. It is also free of a whole bunch of not so good for you things including coal tar, mineral oil and petroleums.  There is actually a long list of what they don’t use, which made me quite happy to see. As far as I can tell though those guidelines apply to all of their products and not just the genius line.

So we look at the products.  Unfortunately, all things are not equal.  I liked the eye cream and did not like the lip treatment.  Let’s go with the best first though and start with the eye cream.

According to its product page, the Algenist Ultimate Anti-Aging Eye cream…

This vegan eye cream delivers unparalleled benefits through a combination of naturally sourced and sustainably produced Alguronic Acid and Microalgae Oil. Alguronic Acid helps increase skin’s smoothness, and Microalgae Oil works to replenish the eye contour moisture while improving the skin’s luminosity. The formula also includes a plant-based collagen and a Persian silk tree extract to visibly firm and lift the upper eyelid, nourish and smooth skin around the delicate eye area. 

I have to say, I am a big fan of this eye cream. It is a plain, white cream with almost no scent other then ‘I’m a cream’ scent. It is thicker than I expected and I worried that it might clog my pores as some of the thicker eye creams have been known to do.  However, it did not.  I’ve been using this product for a month now and I have had no problems with clogged pores.  The eye cream does make the skin feel super soft and hydrated.  I think this is partially because of the shea butter included rather high up on the ingredients list. I like that it is thick enough that I can put it on my eyelids as directed without worrying about it traveling down and stinging my eyes. 

There was no eye stinging with this product. 

Where this product really shines though, is during allergy season.  As the pollen count rises, the puffiness of my under eyes increases.  The trees began their annual pollen parade shortly before I started using this eye cream and they were a bit on the puffy side when I started.  I noticed a reduction in the puffiness after a few days of use even though the pollen count was steadily on the rise.

My only issue with this product is that it is in a small jar and it is a thick cream.  I know I also like that it is a thick cream, but here’s the deal. It is thick enough that if you rub your finger across the top to collect some product to use, you get only a little on your finger as it just presses down. You have to sort of scoop a little bit up with your nail.in order to use it. Personally I don’t like sticking my fingers into face creams for fear of accidentally contaminating the entire thing.

I ended up putting one of the scoops from an old mask to use with this product as I was getting product under my nails with it and it was going to waste.  This is not a product I want to waste.  Also it is a small jar and my little plastic scoop was a little too big for it so I had to be careful not to scoop out too much.  A tiny little scoop/spoon included with this product would make it just about perfect.

On the other hand, the Liquid Collagen lip is far from perfect. First, let’s see what it is supposed to do.

applicator

A vegan lip treatment to help deliver fuller, smoother-looking lips in 10 days*. This unique dual phase lip treatment suspends botanical lip enhancers and hundreds of beads of Microalgae Oil in collagen water. The unique formula visibly smooth lips and improve lip definition for a more youthful appearance. Formulated with plant collagen, and Algenist’s naturally sourced and sustainably produced Alguronic Acid. Apply with soothing and cooling ceramic tip applicator.

dispensed

Okay, the packaging is nice and really well thought out.  The plastic applicator is shaped perfectly and when you twist the top to dispense the product, the absolute perfect amount of product comes out.  Seriously it is just enough to coat the lips and no more. The packaging is perfectly well thought out.

And it looks pretty.

It is comprised of golden drops of oil suspended in a gel.  You hold it up to the light and it almost glows.

But as we all know, looks aren’t everything.

So I applied the product to my lips.  It has no scent and it glides on like a lip gloss. As it was on my lips, I did taste the product. It is a very bizarre taste.  I am going to describe this to the best of my ability, but I am not sure how good that is.  So, the taste. 

Okay imagine you go to the dentist and have a lot of Novocain as they are working on your mouth.  They finish, wipe off your lips and send you home.  Eventually the drugs wear off and you can take out the pads they shoved in your mouth to make you look like a chipmunk (and not bite your cheek without realizing it). Now think of the first time you lick your lips after that. You know that post Novocain taste your lips have? The slight non-taste that is still a taste?

That’s what this tastes like.

And yes I had to think about that for a while and it is still the best description I could come up with. Now you know why I don’t write poetry.

Okay so moving past the taste.  At first, my lips just felt wet.  After a couple of minutes it started to absorb and my lips felt warm. Really warm. Not run for the wash cloth warm, more like you put a few too many sliced jalapenos in your sandwich warm.

And yes, I put jalapenos in my grilled cheese. They are yummy.

The warmth died down faster than jalapeno juice though, so I was relieved.  Also about the time my lips stopped feeling hot, when I touched them they felt dry to the touch even though I still thought they were wet. I will say they looked a little smoother and I was able to easily apply lipstick over them.  I used a lipstick that was almost at the end of its life in case it contaminated it, but I still applied lipstick over it with no problems.  In fact it looked really good.

I know you’re thinking, Mimsy, you said you didn’t like it, what’s the deal?

Okay here’s the deal.  The one time use was fine.  It worked exactly as it was supposed to. But it is a product that is supposed to work over time.  According to the application directions you are supposed to apply it once in the am and once in the pm and you should see results in ten days. That is the recommended usage.

So I used as directed. 

I applied it both am and pm. The heat I felt that first day did not occur with repeat applications. I don’t know if my lips adjusted or what, but there was no further heat.  There was chapping.  By day three the corners of my lips were red and raw and I had to discontinue use.  If I realized it was the lip product causing the chapping I would have discontinued use earlier.  I thought it was just the wind so I applied more Chapstick.

It was not the wind and I apologize for blaming it.  I also apologize for telling the Chapstick it was not doing its job.  It was, I was just torpedoing it without realizing it. Please don’t hold it against me dear Chapstick, as I will need you in both the upcoming summer sun and the cold winter to follow. I’m sorry I was so rude.

So there you have it. It’s a Genius family where one child seems to have sucked all the brains out of the other one. The liquid collagen is still pretty and perhaps I had some sort of reaction to one of the ingredients (a case I will be investigating), and someone else would have better luck with it than me. I can however say, it is definitely not a repurchase for me. I might try using it again on a one time basis if I need to look good going out (although heaven only knows when I will next leave my house). But I will not use it routinely and I won’t repurchase. 

The Ultimate Anti-aging eye cream however is fantastic and definitely something I will be repurchasing. For now I am less than halfway through the jar and still have at least one other eye cream in the line up to test. But it still goes on the list.

I also am going to sit down with as complete an ingredients list as I can to see if I just had an allergic reaction and if I did, what I had the reaction to. I find this very important as I saw many crossovers from the eye cream and lip treatment when I looked through them. I find this important generally because I like to know if I am allergic to something, but also because I had so much success with the eye cream that I want to try out other cream products in this line to see if they are comparable. To be honest, after I make my comparison ingredients list, this may be a case where I get samples of other products in the line to try before committing to a full sized version, just in case. every product line has some flaws and I’m hoping that for me the lip treatment was it. So not only will I be repurchasing the eye cream but I will more than likely be trying out more products from the Genius line and hoping it is a family of virtuosos, with just one errant child.


Algenist