Sick Day

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

The Daily: March 31st, 2021

Power! At the moment I have it. It is a flickering thing though so I am going to keep today’s post very short. April rain may bring May showers but March’s rain brings fallen trees and downed power lines. we lost power for a large chunk of the day

. Outside there are large trucks and teams of people trying their best. All the rain loosened the earth and trees that weren’t as firmly anchored as one might expect have decided to hit the ground like fainting victorian ladies. As one lovely tree in my neighbors yard hit the ground all of the pink and white petals fluttered like snow. Considering the temperatures are about to plummet (according to the weather man) I hope it isn’t a sign of things to come.

My tulips finally flowered and I would like to keep them. Last year the rabbits thought they looked like lovely little treats and nipped them off the stems so the fact that they have stayed on the stems this year is kind of amazing. well some of them stayed on the stems. three have been chewed off by the fluffy bunny brigade. I;m hoping the freeze doesn’t do them in.

I may spend the afternoon working on figuring out how to protect them. I spent most of the morning contemplating the slowly thawing freezer. Meals may be interesting for a bit. With thunder and lightning rolling in again, the lights are flickering and the sounds of buzz saws outside are momentarily silenced. I think I am going to call it a day and end this post.

the gym was closed as they lost power and walking was clearly not an option. Thus far calories are on point but dinner may be on the interesting side. with luck normality may be restored in the morning. Okay thunder rattling windows. I’ll catch you up tomorrow. Stay safe my darlings.

Flash Sale Alert

I just got an e-mail saying Makeup Eraser is having a flash sale (one day, today the day before St. Patrick’s day) and that their Neon Green St. Patrick’s day themed Makeup Eraser is on sale for 50% off with the code LUCKYME. Personally, I think the color is irrelevant as all Makeup Erasers work fantastically well. Just figured if you were looking to pick one up, you might be interested. Just click on the add below and don’t forget to use your code LUCKYME Happy Shopping!

Makeup Eraser

The Daily: March 8th, 2021

Good afternoon my darlings. You have no idea how happy I was this morning when I turned on the computer and had internet. The internet here went down late last thursday. The company got everything running about eight thirty Friday morning, but around noon it went down again and stayed down most of the weekend. It was kind of funny actually (mostly because we more or less accepted that the internet was down and found other things to do) but we would be connected for an hour or two here and there and then it would go out again.There were utility vans crawling through our neighborhood on every street. It was like we were all being watched by the Feds in some sort of police procedural.

As the worst thing that happened this weekend is one of my neighbors’ dogs getting loose and her running down the street after them, I imagine it would make a pretty boring drama. By about three on Sunday everything was fixed and my neighbor got her dog under control (he’s an 8 month old Boxer puppy so control is more of a relative term – temporarily corralled might be a better description).

And then everyone left the neighborhood. I have no idea what was actually wrong with the internet and to be honest, I’m not entirely sure they knew either.

But it is fixed so I can’t complain.

I didn’t get much done in the way of exercise this weekend, but I did get a good long walk in today so I feel less like a dedicated editing lump. I am so close to the final edits of my latest novel that I can taste it. Soon SOOOOOOn it will be done and dusted. The Annual Smashwords Read and E-book Week sale started Sunday and runs through March 13th. The link will take you to my books but there are literally thousands of authors to choose from and nearly every topic represented. My books are 50% off. Even if my books aren’t to your tastes there are deep discounts and it is a great way to not only find a great read and a new favorite author, but but a way to support independent authors in general.

Once change that I am making to my site is that I am going to post a what I’m wearing today makeup post rather than the weekly makeup bag. Don’t worry I’ll try to keep it short. The reason is that I want a little less constriction in my makeup. I want to be able to pick something out and just play with it because that day i felt like playing with that particular makeup. For new items I’ll still give them a week of trial before I actually post my full feelings about them so somethings will still last a week.

Today I started with the Ole Henriksen Banana Bright Primer. it is a great formula and I felt in need of a little brightening. I then used the Becca Luminous Aqua Foundation. It is one of my favorite primers but with Becca closing up shop it will soon be no more. I was trying to decide if I wanted to pick up one more bottle before it is gone for good or not. I think what I am going to try to do is just use this bottle up and then bid it a fond farewell. That is the plan at least. It is a great foundation though. As the bottle reaches its end there is always the possibility I’ll decide to pick up another bottle. I have a while before I get there as the bottle is about half full at the moment. If I reach the end of the bottle before September when they are scheduled to close I may pick up a bottle, I may not. The foundation was excellent though.

Today’s look (I skipped the jewelry today as I tend to tug on earrings when I edit.

Bronzer was the Nars Laguna. I am trying to use the sample up so you may be seeing it relatively frequently in these daily posts for a while. The bluesh was the Patrick Ta Blush. It was new last week (it came in the IPSY Glam Bag X and I couldn’t resist using it again this morning. it was just so shiny. I added the Wanderess Glow Highlighter from Wander Beauty which paired well with it. It is such a soft and subtly highlighter and I really prefer that sort of look to the blinding bling of many other highlighters. Not that there isn’t space for that, I just wasn’t feeling it today. This suit my mood a lot better.

My eyeshadow Palette was the Little Briar Rose palette from Storybook Cosmetics. I used the shade Woodlands as a base, the mauvy tone of Grimm and then topped it with Talia. The mattes performed beautifully as always, the shimmers were fine for about an hour and then I noticed a trail of glitter descending down the side of my nose and edging my under eyes.

The mattes are still fantastic. The pale pink of Thorn is my favorite and a color I would reach for continuously. This palette is so bulky that for a while it got shoved to the back of my drawer and lost. I am so happy I found it when I reordered again. I skipped the eyeliner today but topped my eyes with the Wet ‘n Wild Big Poppa Mascara, which I am liking more and more with each use. The liquid lip was from NARS but to be honest I can’t tell you what shade. It is old enough that the shade name has worn off the bottom. It is also starting to get clumpy so this will be my last use of this Nars Lip. It is sadly time to bid it farewell. Have no fear though, NARS lip products will return. I adore NARS so there is no fear the brand itself won’t make many returns in many forms. I set everything in place with the Pore Professional Supper Setter. I will probably be using this continuously for a while because it is both a good spray and it leaks when I lay it on it’s side in the drawer. So I will use it and then work on another setting spray to avoid making a mess.

I was very happy with my hair today actually. You may remember that last week I opened the Bad Attitude Hair mask from The Mane Club. For the test I used it alone to see how it performed. There are however three uses per packet and I used it again this weekend. This time I Also added the One Hit Wonder spray as a heat protectant and used the hair dryer. SO much more volume. I’m still glad I tested it on it’s own the first time, but this works wonders when you add a blow dryer with it. So that is today’s look. I hope you like the altered format of the daily rather than weekly makeup post. Please let me know your feelings. I really like that it allows me the chance to play around a bit more.

So today is pretty much on a roll. I got my workout in and am watching my calories. The internet is working and the editing continues. Over all, not too bad a Monday.

Opening a box from Pinch Me

If you are like me then when you’ve scrolled through Instagram you have probably come across the Pinch Me posts. I am not entirely certain when they started appearing on my feed, but they have been a presence for a while. Like Influenster, you can sign up for free and then once you fill out a profile, they will suggest samples for you to try out and review. I figured why not give it a try.

Now here’s the thing. I signed up for any sample they suggested (except pet food as at the moment, I don’t have a pet) I did not go for the items that required I sign up for another service. I just went for the suggested samples they were willing to send me without me purchasing a magazine subscription. (That seems to be what they want to sell me, magazines. You might get a different suggestion, but they feel that is for me.)

In my profile I said I was interested in health and beauty items. I also said that I didn’t want food items and I especially didn’t want candy. If you’ve ever seen the ads, they have quite a lot of nice health and beauty items available. So it was encouraging.

I received four items in my box.

The first was a pack of Gummy Bears. I like Gummy Bears. I especially like that the clear looking ones always turn out to be unexpectedly tropical in flavor. I know it, but I never really expect it. Or I didn’t this time. It has however been a long time since I had Gummy Bears. They were nice. And the sample pack was just the right size for a snack.

The second item was a pack of Blue Diamond Smokehouse Almonds. I like almonds and I like the brand Blue Diamond. The size is the perfect size for snacking on the go.

The Smokehouse flavor was however disappointing. It tasted like someone put salt and liquid smoke on the almonds. It made them slightly spongy in texture and not all that flavorful. While I will buy Blue Diamond in the future, I will stay away from the smoke house.

And yes I know that by just accepting the samples I’ve probably let their algorithm know that I lied when I said I didn’t want candy. But this was a test. I may play around with it, especially as the next two items were more relevant.

The third item was in fact very much appreciated. It is the Bausch and Lomb Bio True Multi Purpose solution. I wear contacts (and reading glasses actually) My eyesight has never been the best. I started out with coke bottle lenses, then moved to the thinnest lenses the glass makers could do. I had the hard contact lenses and then I gratefully moved into soft lenses when they became available.

Oddly my reading glasses has been the same trajectory. I picked up a cheap pair just to see if they’d help and when they did I got progressively better and thinner ones. (Highly recommend the Thin Optics if you are looking for a pair of lightweight readers). However this is about contacts, or at least contact solution.

Bausch and Lomb are generally my go to brand anyway but I hadn’t tried out this Bio True formula. I just finished my regular bottle and was ready to open a new on when this appeared so it was fabulous timing. I was very impressed with it. I spend a lot of time at the computer and my contacts do dry out. This actually kept them from feeling dry at all. (I’ve used it about a week at this point.). I am very impressed. Next time I purchase solution, I may switch to this formula. I really have been enjoying it.

The last item in my box I had never heard of before. I have no idea if it is a new product or one that I just somehow missed seeing before. It is the Kub Wipes Premium Dry cotton Wipes.They are made from 100% plant based fibers (which I would assume cotton wipes were made from, but it basically refers to additives) there are no chemicals, fragrances or preservatives and they are recyclable. They are soft with a slight texture and dispense like tissues from the box (which is a cardboard that can be recycled as well. They are billed as “Thicker than a tissue, cleaner than a towel, softer than paper”

I have to say they score on all those points. Because of poth the softness and texture, they were great at cleaning up eyeshadow fall out. And to be honest I did use my handy dandy water spritzer to wert the edge and use it damp as well as dry. It did a really good job when I used it during makeup application. I do like makeup wipes but I have gotten into the habit of not using them because of the waste. The fact that these can be recycled makes me feel a little bit better about them. I think I would still use them sparingly, but I could see myself purchasing these kub wipes on my own. I do find their little cotton man mascot thing a little on the creepy side. I don’t know why, anyone I’ve asked says he’s cute. But I find him slightly creepy. Not as creepy as the robot lady on the Vodka bottles but still kind of creepy. It is a good cotton wipe to have around though.

So there you have it, the four items I was sent. Two weren’t in my profile and two actually were. I can’t say I really mind the Gummy Bears or Almonds (even though the almonds were disappointing). I do find it amusing to compare the reality of the boxes with the images from Instagram. So I did. I think I will continue to circle through and see if I can work my way into more products that actually fit my profile by selectively choosing instead of accepting for the next round, but this was my Pinch Me Box.


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The Make Up Bag: December 4th, 2020

The Make up Bag used November 30th – December 4th, 2020

Welcome my darlings to the weekly makeup bag post where I go through all of the products I chose to use throughout the week and let you know how I felt about them.

While the foundation and eyeshadow palette  each had their own posts yesterday I will recap them here again for you (with links to the full reviews). The foundation this week was the Ulta Beauty Youthful Glow Foundation serum Drops.  It was an early test in my foundation trials and I forgot that I actually had it.  I took it out this week and remembered exactly how much I really enjoyed using it.  To be honest, now that I have it out, I am thinking about keeping it around for another week before returning it to the dressing table to choose another foundation.

The eyeshadow Palette was the Tuscany Palette from Nomad Cosmetics Italian line.  I liked the colors and loved the way they stayed around all day, but was less thrilled by the powdery fall out from all of the shades. Once the fall out was dealt with, I really did enjoy using the palette.

My primer this week was the Stila Sheer Illumination lingerie soufflé primer. I like this primer.  The whipped texture made it very light weight against the skin and it turned my skin into a nice smooth canvas for my foundation. The pink melted away blending my skin into a more uniform color rather than just giving it a pink hue which I really liked. And of course the decorative jar is delightful.

It worked fairly well with the Ulta foundation.  It is more moisturizing than pore filling, but it does a decent job with the pore filling as well with creamier foundations.  The Ulta Foundation needed a little more pore filling than the Stila offered, but it was almost there.  If I keep the Ulta foundation out for another week I may try a more pore filling primer. But I was pleased to use this primer and look forward to the next time it leaves the dressing table for my makeup bag rotation.

Becca highlight, NARS Bronzer, Benefit Mascara

My bronzer this week is the NARS Laguna Bronzer (it is the small pan in the photo to the left).  It is a sample size that I have been working towards using up.  I try to stick to the rule of not purchasing a full size until I have used the sample size up completely. I really love this bronzer, and even rotating it in and out of my makeup bag it is starting to get a very noticeable dip in the center of the pan.  I’m not certain if you can see it in the photo, but you can certainly feel it. Not picking up a full sized one during the Black Friday/Cyber Monday sales has been so difficult.  But I feel I can finish this sample up this year as I suspect with a few more uses I will start seeing pan and then it (or something comparable from Nars) will be at the top of my list for next year’s sales.

I had to do the same talking out of purchasing with my lipstick this week. The one I used the most this week is sample sized as well. It is the Bite lipstick in the shade Rhubarb. I love this lipstick, but the sample size means that it often rolls to the shadows and hides. It is a fantastic color on me and it doesn’t dry out my lips.  It is a regular bullet style lipstick so it won’t last the entire day without touch ups, but I don’t mind that.  I have to add that the lipstick smells good and even tastes good.  I know that sounds strange to say, but as it is a product that goes on your lips, it does matter.  It is a comfortable formula and I really enjoy it.  I also suspect that once I break and buy one, I am going to buy several. I have two liquid lipsticks from Bite that I enjoy, but this color and formula of the bullet lipsticks are just fantastic. I am almost out of the Agave lip mask from Bite as well and will need to re order soon.  At the moment I am testing out a different lip mask and thus far it has only sharpened my appreciation for Bite Beauty’s night time lip mask. But that is a different story (the lip mask review will be posted next week if you are interested.) I will easily be able to use up this lipstick. And I will be keeping it out on the dressing table so that I don’t forget it. Then when used up, I will reorder it and possibly some of it’s friends so that it doesn’t get lonely. I wouldn’t want my lipstick to get lonely. I just hope it is still available. When looking into the Bite Beauty Lipsticks, I found a lot of lip crayons listed on their site and I found an entire section dealing with a create your own custom shade of lipstick, both at the factory and at home, but I couldn’t find the lipsticks. This will require some research. The Bite Beauty sale is still going on (the link will take you there) so I may have to pick up a lip crayon and test it out. Regardless I will be looking into the lipstick further and get back to you. Fingers crossed it is still available.

While we are on lips, the other two lip products I used this week were the Dose of Colors Liquid lip in stone that I have been trying to use up.  It is getting there.  I think I have a few more weeks of steady use and then it is done.  It is a pretty old liquid lip and I do actually have a replacement already waiting because it is one of my go-to nude shades. At the moment I am wishing I had ordered a Bite Beauty replace ment and just held it in the wings until I finished the sample but I am more worried about the clean and natural ingredients in a bullet lipstick going bad if kept to long than in a sealed liquid lip. so I didn’t.

My third and final lip product this week was the Jersey Shore Cosmetics Lip balm in the scent Pomegranate. It is a really good lip balm. The Jersey Shore Cosmetics Lip balms tend to be the only lip balms i really keep stocked. Others show up from subscription boxes, but this is my staple.

I tend to periodically sign up for the Jersey Shore Cosmetics Lip balm monthly subscription through Crate Joy (the link will take you to the crate joy subscription info).  I have a hard time finding the subscription on the JSC website, but it is super easy to find on Crate Joy.  It’s a subscription I keep for a few months to stock up on lip balms and then cancel while I work my way through them. I’m pretty sure I am covered through January on lip balms so I will probably re subscribe in either January or February.  It is a really good subscription and a great product, it’s just not a subscription I need to keep all the time. I have been using the subscription off and on for the past four or five years and have never had a problem with them. And each subscription comes with a little surprise. There was a stick of sunscreen one month this past summer and once the pandemic got started, a free mask was tucked in. Speaking of masks, this lip balm has been a really good thing to wear under them too actually. Surprisingly as my face is getting the masknee from the mask, my lips are feeling oddly dry. This lip balm has really helped and it doesn’t get all over the inside of my mask which is also nice. And if you are looking to support a black owned brand, this is a good one to go for. Of course even if that isn’t a factor for you, it is an excellent lip balm and I usually have one within reach.

No. 7 Pressed powder and Josephine eyeliner

This week the pan is showing a lot more in my favorite No. 7 pressed powder.  I’m keeping it in my makeup bag until it has been completely used up.  Mostly because I know it is starting to show pan and there is always the temptation to have it last a little longer by using other products in between.  It isn’t a terribly expensive product so I replacing it isn’t a hardship, but I have several other powders open at the moment, several of which I tend to forget I have in favor of the No. 7.  So I am going to try, and try very hard, not to replace this immediately after it goes so that I can make some headway in using up other products. It is really the danger of favorites.  The fact that it I know on sale is making it even harder to resist.  At least with the sample sizes I still have the product to use, which makes resistance easier. But I am going to do my best to try.

e.l.f. setting powder and Julep blush

My loose setting powder this week was the elf HD powder.  It is a good translucent setting powder that sets the makeup and doesn’t cause a white cast in photos.  At least it hasn’t ever done so on me.  I also like the twist top so that you can seal up the holes the powder shakes through when you aren’t using it so that the powder stays in the base of the container until you are ready to use it without spilling everywhere.  I have to say, this year, elf has been killing it with the products. Those Bite Sized palettes alone are worth giving the brand a look over if you haven’t done so in a while. Personally I ordered several items as I was putting together small makeup bags for some of the just getting into makeup girls in my family this year and I also got pulled into their gift sets. Those gift sets are rally a good deal. I picked up several for others and was so tempted by the Rose Gold Matte Lip Vault for myself. I resisted during my gift buying spree, but I suspect i will circle back once the last holiday package has been sent to its destination via post. Its the lips, my darlings, the lip products get me every time.

For my blush this week I went with Julep’s Your Happy Look Pore Minimizing Blush in the shade Rosewood. I really like the buildability of this blush.  It goes on fairly softly and lets you layer until you reach the desired pigment level. I really do like the darker color and I thought that as my tan faded I would be less able to wear it.  But that proved not to be the case, the shade still looked flattering on me so I think this is one that I might be able to wear year round. As I really like the blush I am very pleased to learn this.  I was almost certain the darker shade would look more clown like than I wanted and I am very happy to be proven wrong. As a quick note, while the link above will take you to the Julep site (and they are still having a large sale you might want to check out) when I poked around looking for this blush I couldn’t find it anywhere. I send an e-mail to Julep but have yet to hear back. I will keep you posted on it (also I’m checking because I really like the blush) There were more skin care related items advertised which actually distracted me for a while as I haven’t tried any of Julep’s skincare and the only thing that pulls me in more than lipstick is skincare. But I will keep looking for the blush so an update will hopefully be arriving soon.

For my highlight this week I went with a highlighter I completely forgot I had.  It is the Becca Bronzed Amber Shimmering Skin Perfector (pictured with the Bronzer near the top of this post).  The name makes me think that it was probably designated for some other use than highlighter but on me the bronze tones work really well as a subtle highlight. I really love the subtle golden highlight. I do it’s like candle light against your skin rather than a spot light. Perhaps I’m just more of a candle light sort of person.  Regardless, I really enjoyed using this and I am sorry I forgot I had it. In fact I enjoyed it so much that i really want to check out some of their other tones. they have quite a few. I know they have been around a while and as I generally like Becca products I have seen them, but highlighters, while beautiful, never drew me in like other makeup categories so I don’t have as many of them.

The eyeliner I used in this week’s bag was the Josephine Cosmetics black liquid liner that came in my November Petit Vour Box. The point tapered down and let me do either thin or thick lines with ease.  The pen was smooth and didn’t skip. The product didn’t sink into my fine lines and it stayed in place all day.  Over all I was very impressed with it. Until November I had not heard of the brand before so I had no expectations.  This performed really well.  I have a liquid shadow from the brand that I think I might try out in next week’s bag so I can get a better feel for the brand.  If it performs as well as the eyeliner, it may be a brand I keep my eye on.

This week I skipped the eyebrow products as I had an ingrown hair and irritation. I really miss Jasmine, the lady who threaded my eyebrows.  I should not be left alone with them. I am fairly certain I am the cause of the damage. So I just used a clean spoolie to keep them in line.  Luckily my bangs need a severe trip at this point so my eyebrows weren’t really visible.  I am going to have to trim them soon.  Hair cutting is not my strong suit, but needs must.

Finally we wrap up the eyes with a sample size of the They’re Real Mascara from Benefit Cosmetics.  It came in my Birchbox for November (and a second one in the Birchbox Advent Calendar. I hadn’t actually tried this one.  Which shouldn’t come as a surprise as I generally just pick up the Bad Gal Bang and don’t look at the others.  While this won’t replace Bad Gal in my affections, I did actually really like it.  It did a great job of lengthening the lashes and it didn’t flake or smudge once dry.  I am happy to have it and a back up.  As it is a sample of mascara, it will only last two to three weeks so I might just keep it around for a bit to use it up.  With sample mascaras, I tend to use them and then lose them in the depths of the drawer. Then several months have passed and I find I have several half empty trial sized tubes and have to play the game “Which of these products is too dried and clumpy to use?” I know, not the best game show name.  I’ll work on the title before pitching it to the network.

To finish, I used the Farsali Setting spray. The Rose Gold Skin mist is beautiful to look at with shimmering gold flakes and it does a decent job setting the makeup.  The scent is not my favorite, which is why I often leave it in the drawer instead of using it.  But as my setting spray rotation now includes a setting spray that smells like fresh paint, I now find the scent less problematic than I once did.  It is a good product, and I don’t mind using it.  I will be keeping it in rotation for the moment so it will get used. Because of the scent I probably won’t be repurchasing it, but the product works well.

It seems that with the setting spray we have reached the end of the Makeup bag for the week.  It was a surprisingly good week.  Not one of the products I used were problematic and several exceeded expectations. I love when that happens.  Next week while I am keeping my powder and foundation I will be trading out everything else.  It may be a strange mix as I think I want to give my odd collection of liquid eyeshadows a try.  Since most of them are on the dazzling metallic side, I suspect one of them will end up being part of my New Year’s glam look so I want to see how they perform.  I’ll have to choose the rest of the bag around them.

And speaking of makeup bags…Kusshi has a new one out for the holidays. It is red on the outside and leopard print on the inside (they also have a black one with leopard print on the inside (which is the one I ordered for my mother as she isn’t a huge fan of red – personally i adore red, but there you have it). While animal prints aren’t what i tend to be drawn to (I have been eyeing their signature makeup bag for months trying to decide between it and the Vacationer though). My mother adores leopard print (ADORES IT!) and as she has been using the same make up bag for longer than she can remember, I picked it up for her this year. (Seriously, I asked her how long she’d had it and she couldn’t remember. the zipper toggle had been replaced by a safety pin and the inside so stained it looked spotted – there was a liquid liner incident. She wasn’t holding on to it for sentimentality, she just hadn’t gotten around to replacing it. I checked to make sure I wasn’t causing issues by ordering a new one.) I checked out one a friend owned and they are good quality, long lasting bags that are designed to keep things organized. So I know she’ll be happy for a long time to come. Now I just need to make my decision between the Signature and the Vacationer.

Birchbox Advent Calendar Unboxing

This will be an interesting post. It is sort of an advent calendar review, but sort of not.  I received this Advent Calendar as an incentive for signing up for Birchbox for a year.  I’m uncertain if the promotion still holds, but the code for that was ADVENT.

When the advent calendar shipped, it shipped with my first birchbox in a large box.  There was no information with the calendar, no product listing, no retail value.  Nothing. When I went to look up the Birchbox advent calendar I found this wasn’t the one that was listed (which in any event appears to be sold out. The link will take you to the advent calendar for 2020 so perhaps this was last year’s calendar.) It was listed as costing $35 and it had the same number of doors as mine did. So I’ll go with a $35 price estimate. I was okay with the change in box as the actual box I received seems to be a much better quality.  The current one listed has cut out doors that you open and the one I received had drawers.  It also has a magnetic closure and is quite sturdy. It is also much prettier. (There is a lot of shine to it so I apologize in advance for some of the glare in the pics.)

But as my mother always told me, it’s inside that counts.  

There are fourteen days in the advent calendar (for reasons I can’t actually name.) It seems an odd number, but as I was expecting twelve I’ll consider it a bonus.

So let us see what is inside the $35 incentive Advent Calendar from Birchbox.

Day 1: The first item out was one quite familiar to me from Birchboxes of yore. (I had a subscription for years before canceling and now rejoining) it is the MAC Strobe Cream. I have lost count of how many of these little tubes I have had over time. I’m not upset by it, but it isn’t exactly exciting.  Still it is day one.

Day 2: Kiehls Calendula Serum infused water cream was in the second box.  I generally like Kiehl’s products and I am always happy to try out a new moisturizer.  This one looks familiar so I am not certain if I have used it before or not.  If I have it was probably only once as it isn’t all that familiar.

Day 3: Ceramidin cream from Dr. Jartt is very familiar.  In fact I have two other small tubes of this sitting in my skin care drawer at the moment.  If I add this tube to those I might actually have enough of the cream to use it for a full month.  It is a good cream, but often seen in subscription boxes.

Day 4: I was happy to see the Dr Lipp Original Nipple Balm.  It is really a good product to use over the winter.  It is the perfect size to drop into a small purse and it is excellent at healing dry chapped lips. I am very happy to have another tube of this come my way.

Day 5: Was actually a full sized product and a lip product as well.  It was the full sized Jouer lip gloss sheer pigment (shade oxford street).  On the hand it swatches as a light pink gloss.  I’m sure on the lips it will just fade to a gloss, the color mostly unnoticeable on me. I am happy to see it and both pleased and surprised at the full sized item appearing.

top swatch is the Jouer lip (day 5), center is the shadow (day 13) and bottom is the eyeliner (day 14)

Day 6: The Whal Myung Serum anti-oxidant rejuvenating serum I haven’t tried before.  I’ve tried their Skin Elixir before and remember really like it so I am happy to give this one a try and I really do love serums so I am happy to try a new one. I think I may actually have an extra Skin elixir in my skin care drawer so I may retry it and see if the two work together. either way it looks like i am going to be spending time on the Whal Myung site as the bottles are really hard to read and don’t contain a lot of information.

Day 7: The Glow Recipe Blueberry Bounce cleanser I have tried before.  It is not a bad cleanser.  It cleans well and I will use it, it just isn’t the sort of cleanser I will rush out to buy a full size of once I use it.

There is nothing bad about it, it just isn’t spectacular. It does smell like those strawberry shortcake dolls from the 1980s though.  Strawberry Shortcake’s Blueberry friend anyway.  I am pleased to see a cleanser in general as it is a category that often gets forgotten.

Day 8: Briogeo Farewell Frizz blow dry perfection and heat protectant is the item that appears on Day eight and while it is an often seen sample, I am happy to have it.  I like the Briogeo products and have no issue using this one.

Day 9: The Benefit They’re Real lengthening mascara from Day 9 was also in my November Birchbox, but I have been using it this week and as I like the formula I am not opposed to having a second one in holding. 

Mascara is one of those products I use constantly.  Even if I have no other makeup on I will generally be wearing mascara and something on my lips. And since the little tubes generally only last a couple of weeks they are easy to use up.

Day 10: Lancome Advanced genifique eye cream appeared on the tenth day.  I have to confess, I don’t recall ever actually trying a Lancome product before.  I’ve seen them around for a long time and I think I have seen this sample floating around in subscription boxes but it has never landed in mine.  I am very happy to have the chance to give it a try.

Day 11: Currently I have a tube of the Amika Supernova Moisture shine cream in my hair care collection.  It is unopened as I was trying to use up some of the previously opened products. 

As I have had good luck with Amika products in the past I am fine with having another one.  I am also getting close to having a few more empty hair care products so soon it will be time to rotate in a new one. Perhaps this will be it.

Day 12: Or perhaps the Davines All in one Milk from Day twelve will be opened next. The information on the label basically says it can be used for everything.  I’m guessing it is hair related.  I will have to look it up before I open it and start spritzing away.

And finally we come to the two long boxes at the bottom of the Advent Calender. 

Day 13: The first of the long boxes  contained the Bobby Brown Long wear cream shadow stick.  I was really happy to see it. It is the perfect holiday shine and I am really looking forward to trying out a Bobby Brown eyeshadow.  I’ve tried their primer and fell in love with it, but never a shadow.  So it will be fun to try this one out. And yes I keep turning my hand to see the way the shadow catches the light.  It looks stunning on the hand and I can’t wait to try it on the eyes.

Finally we reach the last drawer.

Day 14: Inside I find the Tartest Double take eyeliner.  Tarte is a great brand.  Ending on a black eyeliner is maybe not the most spectacular way to end an Advent Calendar but who knows, maybe they just couldn’t top the Bobby Brown Shadow Stick.  It is a good liner (although in swatches it looks like it bleeds a bit so I’ll have to see how it works on the eyes). I would have just reversed the order, putting the shadow at the end and the eyeliner as number 13 so you end on more of a high, but that’s just me.

So this was the Birchbox Advent Calendar I received.  I’m guessing that like the other it sold for $35.  There are several products that I am happy to try out and several I am familiar with from previous Birchboxes. It was a little strange seeing such large boxes with such small items inside.  None of the items were wrapped in tissue paper and each of them sort of rattled around in its large box.   While the packaging was spiffy, it was a lot like getting a couple of regular boxes and a couple of bonus items.

Am I happy with it?  Well yes, because I got it for free for signing up for a yearly subscription.  As a promotional incentive it was good. I enjoyed it and I am happy I signed up to receive it.

Will I be seeking out Birchbox when I next buy an advent calendar? No.

While I like several of the products and look forward to using them, only the Bobby Brown long wear cream shadow stick had a wow factor.  This is nothing against any of the products or brands represented (several of which I adore) but almost everything in this advent calendar was something I’d seen in a previous birchbox, either from my boxes or someone else’s. Because of that it felt a bit like an end of the year cupboard clear out more than a thoughtfully designed product.

So there you have my thoughts on the Birchbox Advent calendar, at least the one they were giving away as part of the sign up bonus.  Again, it is different from the one they sold so I don’t know how the products varied, but I did enjoy my box and the unboxing and will look forward to trying the products out in the near future.

The Sales, Oh the Sales…

Good morning my darlings, I hope you are doing fabulously well on this Tuesday.  As you may have noticed I have been trying to include sales information for the Black Friday Sales on each post.  I know at this time of year when you may be buying gifts for others or stocking up on your own favorites sales can really help. There are a few items each year that I only purchase during the holiday sales. Partially because it is then on sale, but partially because it is the season where I feel like splurging on that little something extra that might seem like a bit much during the rest of the year. Plus there are a few things that only come out at this time of year.  (Personally I think peppermint is a year round scent/flavor, but apparently I am in the minority.)

Despite attempting to work the sales into my regular posts, there are just too many of them this year. So I decided on a single post blitz. While I am certain there will be sales that I miss (and will continue to cover in upcoming posts), I wanted to provide you with a sort of sales cheat sheet.  

I’ll try to keep it clean and just list the facts so this doesn’t become a mile long. But I thought it might be helpful to you to have a quick list to check. Personally, I have trouble remembering who is having sales when unless I see it.

As it says at the top of the blog, some of these codes are affiliate links (although quite frankly, most aren’t). For those that are, if you click and then buy, I make a very small commission (I make nothing if you just click) which goes to help support this blog. If you don’t feel comfortable clicking on the links, no problems my darlings.  Just use the information to help you in your shopping.

Okay so, just the facts.

Alyaka: 20% off purchase over $20: code FRIDAY20, 25% off purchase over $125: Code FRIDAY25

Urban Decay Friends and Fanatics Sale 30% off with code UDFANS30

skynICELANDCurrently there is <a href="http://<a href="https://shareasale.com/u.cfm?d=720860&m=97130&u=2299402&afftrack=">Pre Black Friday 20% Off20% for the Pre Black Friday Sale with code: PREBLKFRIDAY, Black Friday Weekend <a href="http://<a href="https://shareasale.com/u.cfm?d=720860&m=97130&u=2299402&afftrack=">Pre Black Friday 20% Off25% Off Sitewide: Code: BLKFRIDAY Sale runs 11/27 -11/29

Elemis: 30% Off Spectacular enjoy a FREE day or night gift at checkout, when you spend $125 after discount.* Use code: SURPRISE

NARS Friends and Family Sale: 20% off site wide, 30% off $150+ use code HOLIDAY

Clove and Hollow: BLACK FRIDAY WEEKEND (including Cyber Monday) –30% OFF SITEWIDE, including on all our limited edition holiday launches, -Spend $100+, get a FREE Deluxe Sample of our bestselling facial oil, The Everything Oil

Hum Nutrition: The best time of the year is here! Save up to 50% OFF during HUM Nutrition’s holiday sitewide sale. Offer applies to orders $29+ and is valid now through 11/30. Use code SITEWIDE

Challas de Paris’: Get an EXTRA 20% OFF Black Friday Sale using the special link – THIS LINK –

Black Friday Special extra 20% Savings to Select Consumers!

Otherwise the Black Friday sale is 50% off  (If I read that right you get 50% off for the sale but if you use the select link there is an extra 20% off – I think that means a total of up to 70% off on some products. I’ve got an e-mail in to double check but haven’t yet received an answer, if I get one and it changes I’ll post the details.)

Dr. Squatch BLACK FRIDAY SALE: Up to 50% off Holiday Sale & 20% Off Sitewide With Code: SAVE20 – 11/27 ONLY and the Dr. Squatch Black Friday Sale EXTENSION: Up to 50% off Holiday Sale & 20% Off Sitewide With Code: SAVE20 – Offer Valid 11/28-11/29

Bite Beauty: Cyber Week Event – Clean Beauty with Byte | 35% off SITEWIDE! Starts 11/25 – Ends 11/30.

AmorePacific: Black Friday is here! Enjoy 30% off Best Sellers and treat yourself to our top rated skincare heroes! Promotion starts on 11/25 at 3am EST and ends on 11/30 at 2:59EST

KVD Vegan Beauty: BLACK FRIDAY EPIC-SCALE SALE | TAKE 30% OFF EVERYTHING INCLUDING SALE ITEMS, Starts 11/25 – Ends 11/29. No code necessary.

KristoferBuckle: Use Code BF40 for 40% Off + Free Shipping Site Wide at Kristofer Buckle! Starting 11/25 – 12/30

KIERIN NYC Black Friday Sale! Get 20% Off Sitewide with Code GET20!

Benefit Cosmetics Black Friday Sale! Score 25% off sitewide and free shipping on your order!* Use code: FRIYAY. Valid through 11/28

Huda Beauty Black Friday Sale. Up to 50% off SITEWIDE– exclusions apply

Julep: Black Friday – 25% Off Site-Wide on orders of $25+ with coupon code “BF25”. Include free shipping on orders of $35+. Running 11/25-11/28, Black Friday – 50% Off Site-Wide with free shipping on orders of $50+ with coupon code “BF50”. Running 11/25-11/28, Cyber Monday – Get $20 off orders of $40+ with free gift and shipping. Use coupon code “CM20”. Running 11/29 – 12/1

U Beauty: Shop U Beauty’s award-winning skincare with 20% off site wide. Use promo code EARLYBF

Revolution Beauty: Black Friday Promo is here! Up to 50% off no code needed Expires Sunday 29th November

FragranceNet: Holiday Clearance sale with up to 80% off

Wet n Wild is currently offering a free bag with a $10 skincare purchase, free gift with $30 purchase and free shipping over $15.

La Roche Posay: Black Friday Sale: 25% Off All Orders + Free Shipping with Orders $65+. Use Code: BESTDEAL. Valid: 11/25-11/27

Cowshed are offering up to 30% off on your favourites this month

Vichy Laboratories: Black Friday: 25% off + Free Shipping on Orders $50+ with Code: THANKYOU25. Valid:11/23-11/30. And  Save up to 25%: 10% off 1 item, 15% off 2 items, 25% off 3 items with Code: HEALTHYSKIN. Valid:11/30-12/6.

Nuxe: 15% Off Sitewide no code needed, discount automatically applied at checkout

Shop with No7 and receive 25% Off Sitewide! Code: 25OFF

SpaBreaks: Use Code: SPABF to get : 10% off online bookings, 15% off gift vouchers from November 25th – 29th

Coravin: 50% off the Coravin Model Six Limited Edition Mica! Was $399, now just $199!

Real her: 11/16-11/26: Give thanks to your family and friends with half off all matte lipsticks with code GIVINGTHANKS. 11/26-11/27: Buy any pencil lip liner, get any Matte Lipstick of choice for free using code FRIDAYBOGO. 11/28: Celebrating Small Business Saturday with $5 OFF SITEWIDE 24 HOURS ONLY using code SHOPSMALL. Thank you to all for your continued love and support! 11/26-11/30: Black Friday/Cyber Monday specials: Get the Holiday Lip Cube for only $49.99! Valued at $256 USD! No code needed!

Fork and Melon: Save 20% off all 16oz sizes of Fine Cleansing Wash & Rich Hydrating Cream. No code needed. And Save 15% off sitewide with purchases of $75 or more. Use code: BFCM15 at checkout.

Molton Brown: Black Friday Sale! 25% OFF Sitewide + FREE Shipping. Shop now to save on all bath, body, hand and home collections. Valid: 11/26 – 11/29

Sol de Janeiro: Get 20% OFF Every Purchase of $50 or more this holiday season. 11/23/2020 at 9am until 11/30/2020

SiO Beauty: 25% Off All Products with Code: CYBER25

OLEHedricksen: It’s Cyber Week! Get your hygge on: 30% off sitewide. Plus, free U.S. shipping on all orders. No code needed. Offer applies in cart. Ends 11/30/20.

Premium Jane: 35% off  11/25-12/03 with the code: BFCM35

Lovely Skin: From 11/21 – 11/25: Up to 33% Doorbusters + Amazing Free Gifts and free 2-3 Day Shipping on Most Orders

Lime Crime: Save 30% off sitewide. Cannot be combined with any other offers or discounts, prices as marked. Ends 12/1/2020 11:59 pst, while supplies last.

Black Friday Savings! Get 30% off sitewide and Free GWP with orders $50+ plus free shipping! Ends 12/1/20, some exclusions apply

Peace Out Skincare: Use code ‘GIVETHANKS25’ for 25% Off Sitewide + Free Shipping!

Versed: Shop the NEW Limited Edition Holiday Bundles from Versed and Get up to 25% Off Your Favorite Versed Products!

I know that while that was a really long list (and not adding comments about some of my favorite products from each of the brands above was really hard, but would have made the list mammoth as I can’t resist adding details) but I also know that is only the tip of the iceberg as far as sales go. I also know that as soon as I hit post I will think of at least three that I forgot to add. So as incomplete as it is, I hope the list helps some of you as you are getting ready to shop. Happy Shopping!

Pur 4-in-1 Skin perfecting powders face palette

The Pur 4-in-1 skin perfecting face palette came in the November Boxy Charm. Even though the review only went up yesterday, the box actually arrived last Friday so I was able to add a few items to my makeup bag this week, most notably this palette. Now I know what some of you are thinking. Mimsy, didn’t you do a Pur 4-in-1 review before? Yes, I reviewed the foundation from this line. And as a reminder I absolutely hated it. I had a sample tube and for some reason it just did not work out for me. It highlighted my pores and lines without a primer but then it didn’t want to work with any of the primers I tried.

This palette however is a different story. It is from the same line but I had much better results.

The palette as you can see has four pans.Starting on the left is the pressed powder, then the bronzer, blush and highlight at the end. Now when I apply the products, I start with the bronzer, then go to the blush, followed by the highlight and then top off with the powder. So that is the order I’m going to take you through the products.

So first up, the bronzer. First off with this bronzer, choose your brush carefully. Or at least choose it based on how you want to apply the product.

With the bronzer, brush choice matters

I picked up a densely packed bristle brush the first go round with this bronzer and had deep dark brown on my face as a consequence. It came out highly pigmented and while it did blend in, it took a while to blend. With a looser fluffier brush, I was able to dip into the pan, apply lightly and build up to the shade I wanted. This is one of those products where the tool does make a world of difference. Now if you are going for a more dramatic contour like bronze look with your bronzer, you could achieve it with the dense brush and if you contour your nose, I would suggest getting a smaller densely packed brush to use for contouring the nose. If you want to start soft and build up. Go with the fluffier bronzer brush. The bronzer is highly pigmented. Once I got used to that, i really ended up liking it.

Because the bronzer came out so strong I was expecting the blush to do the same thing. It did not. The blush applies lightly and has to be built up a bit. It required a second adjustment on my part but after that I found I really liked it. It is a lighter pink shade that works for my edging into winter skin and blends out really well. It is just not extremely pigmented. As I would rather build up my blush rather than have to work to tone it down, I really ended up liking it.

The highlight is a nice gold shade that blended into my skin tones well and gave a light glow to the skin. Is it my favorite? No. I have highlighters I prefer over this one. However it is a decent highlighter and if I put this palette in a travel bag and forgot to add a single highlighter seperately to my travel bag, I wouldn’t have a problem just using the one in the palette. It isn’t one I would reach for on it’s own, but it is not one I would avoid using.

To finish off the look was the powder. To apply it I used a flat top powder brush rather than my super fluffy one. Mostly because if I tried to use my super fluffy one I would have gotten bronzer mixed in with the powder. The flat one fit better given the size of the pan and it worked well with applying it. I liked the powder. Is it a powder I would reach for on its own? Probably not. My favorite No. 7 perfecting powder is a petter formula. However it is not one I would avoid either. If I pulled out this palette I would not feel the need to pull out a seperate powder for the makeup bag.

Just foundation on the left and all the products applied on the right. I didn’t go heavy on the makeup for most of the week so the difference isn’t that dramatic.

I would probably use the bronzer and blush on their own, while I wouldn’t pull the powder and highlight. That doesn’t mean those two pans of product are bad, they aren’t. They just aren’t my favorites. However as a palette I could pull this out of the dressing table, put it into my makeup bag and not have to add other products. And that my darlings is the reason you get a palette. It is so that you can get multiple products in one thing without having to gather up a bunch of products.

As a palette, this works. I really enjoyed using it and would enjoy using it again. While I broke it down by pan, when I reach for this I will plan on using all four of the pans in it. It is rare that I can actually say that about a face palette and I have to say I am very pleased to have this in my collection.


BeautyCareChoices.com

The Daily: October 27th, 2020

Coming in a little late today, but finally here. it is one of those days that has just kept me hopping. I managed a short walk early this morning and it was a very good thing as the phone rang off the hook and it seemed I needed to talk to at least half of the people I know.

None of the phone calls were in my plan for the day, and I hadn’t intended on leaving the house either, but I did both. I also ended up picking up a chicken salad sandwich for lunch somewhere. The chicken salad was good and I’m sure not that bad calorically speaking, but it was served on a croissant, or at least something pretending to be a croissant. It was butter laden, or at least greasy enough to seem so.

I would have been fine if it was a good croissant. I would have just marked down the calories and made up for it later. But it wasn’t. It was soggy flabby and greasy. I still marked down the calories and will try to balance it, but if I’m going to have to work off the calories, I’d rather have been delighted with the food. Its like the same thing I learned at the beginning of my diet with cheese. I may be able to calorically eat a lot of low fat skim milk cheese as compared to the slim sliver of triple cream brie, but I’d rather have the slim sliver than the block.

At least the chicken salad was good.

And tomorrow will be a back to normal day. At least I hope so.

But now I must start dinner and leave you for the evening. I hope you have a good one tonight. We are watching Ready or Not as our next Halloween marathon movie. Should be a fun night.