Weekly Weight: 204.4 lbs

July 31st, 2020

While I’m not going to say thank you to the rabbit who dug the hole I stepped into and twisted my ankle, I will say that this particular cloud had a very bright silver lining. While the dip in my weight this week is only 0.4 lbs, it is actually a significant 0.4 lbs for me.

When I started this journey, I was doing calorie counting and exercise. My biggest issue was portion control and remembering to get out of my desk chair and move about more often. As I figured out how many calories were in each meal I was preparing, I stopped logging my food each day. I thought to myself, I know this, why would I put the same thing down that I put down two weeks ago?

For the most part, I was okay. I knew how many calories each item I made included and I was growing accustomed to the portion sizes I needed to see on my plate. When I tried out a new recipe, I broke it down. I just didn’t bother with the older ones. Over all between walking and the gym, I was burning enough calories that little discrepancies in plating didn’t cause too much damage.

Even when I lost the gym, I was still moving around a lot so it wasn’t that big an issue, or so I thought. I blamed my recent plateau on stress and more junk food making an appearance as my baby stress shopped. I’m not entirely certain why he thinks there will be a Dorito shortage in the upcoming future, but it seems he does. Despite the fact that we didn’t keep them in the house before I started trying to lose weight, now they are an essential item.

But that is another story.

Last week, I stepped into a rabbit hole in the yard and twisted my ankle. It wasn’t a break thank god, but I did significant damage. Yesterday was the first day I could actually manage a walk and it was a very short one. Most of my movement this week has involved chair dancing with my arm weights. (and yes I am still loving my ProsourceFit ones)

Because my movement wasn’t what it had been, I monitored my caloric intake more closely. I even went back to my favorite standby the My Fitness Pal app. It has a pretty good food data base and lets me put together recipes that I make repeatedly so that I don’t have to enter the same items over and over again. Their exercise database is okay. Individual exercises are fine. If you do ten squats of 20 pushups it is fine.

If you are doing a you tube video you have to sit down and sort of break out the exercises and then see what fits. The bonus is that if you find a workout you like once you break it down you can save it. Its kind of the same process as building a recipe in their system, kind of a pain to put it in but fantastic once you do. (by the way, this isn’t sponsored, I just found their app most convenient when I was trying a bunch out in the beginning of my journey. Plus the app is free to download, you can upgrade but the free version works really well so I never saw the need.)

This week I recorded everything I ate and watched my calories like a hawk. I realized how far I slid off my plan as well. I increased my exercise, but also increased my intake. They weren’t balancing. I think I needed the refresher. And I remembered one of my favorite ways to use the system, which might help you out. What I like to do, since we generally make a weekly meal plan, is to figure out my largest meals first so I can see how many calories they are going to take, and then plan around them. So on Sunday after we figure out what dinners for the week are going to look like, I enter my weeknight dinners into the appropriate days. I find it easier to then adjust the rest of my caloric intake based on the activity I do that day. I just find it a really helpful planning tool. I got away from using it, but not being able to move much this week brought it back. I think I’m going to be using it again to help get myself back on track. I find it oddly less stressful to just input the meals and let the app keep track of my calories.

So there we have it, not thanking the rabbits, but not planning an Elmer Fudd like excursion in the back yard either.

So the stats…

Starting weight: 246.0 lbs

Weight last week: 204.8 lbs

Weight this week: 204.4 lbs

Weight lost this week: 0.4 lbs

Weight lost over all: 41.6 lbs

Weight left to lose (apx): 81.4 lbs

So over all not a bad week. While the scale isn’t the end all be all, it is nice to see it confirm my choices in taking control of my food again. If you are trying to lose, I hope this helps. Sometimes, you just need a check in to remind you to stay on track instead of drift.


strength and toning equipment

The Workout Waffle: July 14th, 2020

Yes, those are my penguin socks paired with the ankle weights.

While I stopped the Weight Loss Survival Tips Posts, I have really missed the weekly waffle about weight loss so I decided to add it back in.  While I like mentioning my workouts in my Friday Weekly Weight post, I feel that is more of just an accountability post to keep me motivated so don’t just throw in the towel mixed in with a post-game recap for the week. That way I feel I’ve done something even if the scale doesn’t move that week (or moves in the wrong direction).

This is just more of a chat really.

So lately, I have been doing some of the Chloe Ting Work outs from YouTube.  I know there seems to be a huge number of people following along with her programs. But they are good programs and they are free, I started doing the 28 day shred and sort of pared it down.  I’ve been starting the mornings with her warm up and one full exercise video and then I’m kind of done. (there are 4-5 videos recommended per day in the shred program).  I was trying to do them, but it was a bit much for me to do them all.

I’ve reached the conclusion that I am not a person who shreds.

I chip away. Like a sculptor.  A curmudgeonly one who can only deal with so much perky before my coffee. And man is she perky.

Yes, I do the workouts before my coffee.  I’ve found if I get up, go to the bathroom and put on workout clothes before I’m actually consciously awake, then I can just go into the workout before I’ve realized it.  Then halfway through, I promise myself buckets of coffee if I complete it without stopping. It’s how I get them over with each morning. (I still walk during the day, which I like, it is just the work out vid I have to tackle while half asleep)

Trickery and bribery folks. It’s a winning combo.

I can’t honestly say I miss the gym, but I will say that I do miss scheduling leaving my desk.  Plus, I did kind of like the machines. They were unnatural, but gave me story ideas for torture devices and provided people watching opportunities.

Although I am pretty sure that’s not supposed to be the point.

While I have been walking a lot lately, when it isn’t hot enough to melt the skin off my bones (yet oddly enough leave the fat behind), I’ve also been playing around with my leg weights. I actually picked up a set from ProsourceFit (I’ve linked them below if you are interested, they carry all sorts of fantastic home workout gear. I’ve been steadily adding to my collection since the arrival of Covid) and they have been a life saver.  I got the medium size leg/arm weights because they fit both my ankles and arms and instead of leaving them in the sunroom with my workout gear, I take them into the office with me. 

ProsourceFit

I allow myself to drink coffee only until ten in the morning. But the coffee pot is in the kitchen, not my office.  So I keep the leg weights on as long as I am drinking coffee.  Sometimes I do extra leg kicks and lifts (standing ones) when I move between kitchen and office.

After ten I take them off and feel light as a feather when walking around. Oddly enough, I find myself moving around a bit more just to enjoy the sensation while it lasts.  

Then throughout the day, I use the weights for my arms.  I don’t wear them constantly, that would be a bit much.  But sometimes I need to think through some wording or plan out a phone call or something and then I put them on my wrists and either do arm circles or arm lifts for a minute while I’m thinking. My arms still look a little chicken wing-esque, but I think it is helping. I know when people think of weights they generally tend to go kettle bells and dumbbells and weight balls, and I do use those, but I also really like the ankle/arm weights.

I am collecting a lot more home workout gear during quarantine actually. Some, good, some bad. Some I bought on a whim and now love, like the leg/arm weights.

It somehow doesn’t feel like I’m using weights with them, if that makes sense.  When they are on my legs I just feel like I am slogging through a heavy snow or something.

And yes sometimes that comes with one of the old nature show voices in my head

…And here we see the wild Mimsy as she makes her way across the frozen tundra in search of the elusive caffeine, a necessary component for her survival.  She will make this trek repeatedly, replenishing her inner storehouse so she can survive yet another day of seemingly endless conference calls discussing at length an issue that can be summed up in two sentences because others have become addicted to video conferencing… 

With the arms it just feels like I’m trying to distract my brain so I can think up the right words to use for whatever it is I’m actually doing, even if my muscles are sore the next morning. I’m sure it doesn’t burn a whole lot of calories, but I can feel it in my muscles and I’m pretty sure the wobbly chicken arms are wobbling less.

So that’s something. 

Plus when you take them off the Velcro makes a very satisfying ripping sound (without actually ripping anything). I have no idea why that is so satisfying, but it really is.

Now, if only I could get my baby doll to stop bringing home piles of snacks every time he goes out then I’ll be okay.  We were doing really good before Covid about not getting snacks, but stress and shopping once a month made each visit out of the house feel like an excursion.  When the two of us go together it is fine, but when he goes out alone, he comes back loaded with things not on the list.  For a while I was doing good resisting, and then the sneaky snack foods started creeping in a few bits at a time.  I think that is why even with increasing my workouts, my weight loss had plateaued during lock down.  Now that I’ve realized it, I’m starting to get it under control so hopefully soon I won’t feel like I’m standing still anymore and the weight will once again start to come off. 

So there you have it, my first Workout Waffle. I’m going to try to post these once a week, either Tuesday or Wednesdays. Mostly because I really miss talking to you about weight loss and workout stuff now that I’m not doing the weekly tip. I hope you enjoy them as well.


yoga gear

Confessions of a Rebel B*tch, Please Perfume Review

Let’s hear it for strategic placement.

I feel like it has been forever and a day since I have posted a perfume review. They arrive, I wear them I make notes and then I get distracted by something shiny like a befuddled magpie spotting an aluminium can.

This particular perfume came to me via my Scentbird subscription.  It is a monthly perfumes subscription in which you receive 0.27 ounces of a particular scent (you get to choose the ones you want and set up your queue. It costs $14.95 per month and while the first perfume comes with a reusable travel sprayer, the subsequent ones come in the above pictured strategically placed cardboard tube. Sometimes I end up choosing a great scent, other times I am let down, but either way I have a month’s supply of any particular scent I order to use and decide if I want to invest in a full bottle. If you like perfume, you can easily see how much money this saves. Now I only buy the perfumes I know I will wear based on the fact that I did wear them for a month rather than just a few spritzes from a tiny sample where I hope for the best.

Admittedly sometimes, my selections aren’t the best. I can actually lose myself for hours just reading the descriptions.  The words draw me in every time and I find myself thinking, oh yes that is the sort of exotic life…er perfume that attracts me.

Those marketing folks are good.

Admittedly, I also collect a lot of books about the incense and spice trade of yore too. 

Go figure?

This scent was from the Brand Confessions of a Rebel. I’ve purchased form them before and in general like their scents. Their descriptions are less romantically inclined and tend to match their fragrance names actually.

So what did Confessions of a Rebel have to say about this scent B*tch, Please?

In-your-face fruit notes like blackcurrant mingle with jasmine petals, weaving a decadent web tinged with an element of sass. Bold, brash, and unafraid to bare it all, creamy sandalwood and skin musk evoke a carefree, confident kind of vibe. You know exactly who you are, and you are, in fact, the f*cking boss.

Confessions of a Rebel

Okay so perhaps this time, the marketing wasn’t designed to whisk me off to far off locales.  As much as I love perfume descriptions it was the scent combination that got me and the knowledge that it is a good brand. It is supposed to have notes of Black Currant, Jasmine, Sandalwood and musk. To me, the combination sounded delightful. 

In fact, it is quite delightful.  There is a juicy fruitiness that is more earthy than sweet.  There are light floral notes from the jasmine that are tempered by the spice of sandalwood.  It is very well balanced and I loved spraying it on my wrist.  There is something clean and fresh about it, and yes, something a little powerful. 

My only problem is that it doesn’t last long.  You have an hour, two tops before the scent fades.  I don’t know if that is meant to be a metaphor or not. I do know that I like the perfume and despite the fading scent, I will consider this a possibility for a full purchase.  It is a scent I wouldn’t wear to work expecting a full day of wear out of it, but something I would keep in my purse to spritz as I was leaving the building to meet someone or just before I left the house for dinner out.  I think the scent would be fine for a dinner out actually as it stays close to the skin instead of spreading out to clash with the scent of the meal. 

Name and description aside, it is  a very seductive scent.

But then again, they say power is seductive too.

I may wear this out, but I think I would also wear it for a night in. It’s just that sort of scent.

FragranceNet.com
Great Perfume Gifts at Sale Prices Under $25 at FragranceNet.com

New Book Release: Nameless

New Book release

Time now for a bit of shameless self promotion. Don’t worry, I’ll keep this one short and sweet. My latest book is now available. If you are interested in checking it out I’ve posted the information below. Nameless is the first book in a new epic fantasy series. Enjoy!

Nameless

In Pontuse, the Capitol City of Balosh, noble lords employ assistants to amuse and entertain them as well as to distract others from their shortcomings and intentions. Despite being an orphan without a name, Nameless holds the prize position of Assistant to Prince Roland, heir to the throne of Balosh.  While he dances and performs acrobatic feats to distract from Roland’s often less than regal nature, things aren’t exactly what they seem.  The Queen looks at Nameless with growing anger and hatred despite his bet efforts to please and when the Prince is sent to the neighboring Kingdom of Genarai to negotiate a treaty, she arranges for an assassin to eliminate Nameless from the Prince’s retinue. The threat sends him down an unexpected path leading him to his past and a possible new future. Can he elude death long enough to reclaim his own long forgotten name, or will he forever be Nameless.

You can find Nameless as well as links to all of my other books HERE.

Cleaning up with Versed Cleansing Balm

The jar of Versed Day Dissolve Cleansing Balm

I’ll admit, it took me a little while to warm to this cleansing balm. The scent is slightly reminiscent of Vicks Vapor rub which made me feel as though I was misusing the balm at first. It is a light scent and quickly dissipates. So I opened the jar and then waited a moment and the scent was faded enough not to be a concern.

I picked it up because I really enjoy a double cleanse and I had several friends who were raving about it. When I was perusing the shelves at Target, I saw it and thought , ‘I’m almost out of cleansing balm,’ so I bought it.

I know, I can feel your jealousy of my shopping prowess and foresite.

So home I went.

Then I looked up the product while using the last of my Farmacy Cleansing Balm. (That jar is now a gold DIY planter, if you remember an earlier post). According to the Versed Website product page…

From the moment you twist open the cap, this cleansing balm smells like a spa. That’s the eucalyptus and clove leaf oil—not artificial fragrance. This face wash in balm form melts away makeup and impurities without stripping moisture from your skin (thank you, vitamin E). As you massage it into your skin with wet fingertips, the oil-based formula softens to create a light, gentle milk that rinses clean with no oily residue (the kind that may have turned you off from cleansing balms in the past). Don’t forget to wash into your hairline and along your jawline. Those often-overlooked areas are prone to breakouts. It’s the perfect start to your PM wind-down ritual and especially useful as a first cleanse for you double-cleansers out there.

Okay as I’ve said before, I love a double cleanse. I love knowing that by the time I get to my toner, the cotton round is merely adding toner to my face and not taking away the last of my makeup residue. When I am testing out regular cleansers, I test them first without any other products, then only with my Makeup Eraser and then in conjunction with a cleansing balm. Just in case you were wondering.

As I already mentioned, my first whiff of this cleanser reminded me of Vicks Vapor Rub, which I’m blaming on the eucalyptus. It’s not a bad scent, but not my favorite. It does however go away quickly and is easily forgotten. If you love the scent you can stick your nose in and inhale. My mom loves the scent of Vicks and will use any opportunity to smear it on the throat, chest and under her nose. I always put together a Birthday Beauty Bag for her with fun Beauty products she might not have picked up on her own, but that I think she might have fun playing with and come September I will be picking up a jar of this Versed Day Dissolve to put in her bag.

Shop Versed’s Cleansing Balm online starting at $7.99! Free Shipping on all orders $35+!

You know until I started writing these posts, I really didn’t realize how scent oriented I actually was.

Weird huh?

But moving on, because even I know scent isn’t everything.

I first tried this product as directed. I used wet fingertips to massage it into my skin. I was fine until I got to the eye area. Face products, gone, lipstick melted into a red haze that made me look like I’d been making out with a circus clown after far too much to drink, yup. It worked super well on all of it. And I will say that it took off eye makeup in a snap as well.

The problem was the wet fingers.

Let me explain. I wear contacts. In fact I am blind as a bat without them. Typically I put my contacts in before applying makeup and take them out after I’ve removed my makeup. My general habit it to remove my makeup at the end of the day, wash my face and then spend an hour or two doing wind down things, checking the following day’s schedule, figuring out if I actually have clean socks or if I will be wearing sandals in the snow, that sort of thing. Then I take out my contacts and apply the serums, oils and night creams I wear before bed.

With the wet fingers, small, nay miniscule, bits of the cleansing balm were sliding into the corners of my eyes as I was removing mascara and I ended up with small blurry spots on my contacts. It took a surprising amount of effort to get the cleansing balm off the contacts. I think because while an excellent product, saline solution isn’t really designed for removing oil. My contacts are disposable so it was actually easier to replace them rather than scrub them.

But since I really liked the cleansing balm for its cleansing ability and the soft skin it left behind post cleanse, I had a good think about it and decided to try something out. I used dry fingers and started by removing my eye make-up. I rubbed and the makeup melted, even the mascara. then to make sure it was just the balm removing the makeup and not the Makeup Eraser, I used a plain dry washcloth to wipe off the oil from around the eye area. It went off super easily and took all the eye makeup with it.

One eye on, one eye off using the dry method

Then I wet my fingers and took down the rest of my face.

Makeup all gone

That was really my only complaint with the product and really, it was insanely easy to solve. I would suggest using something like a Makeup Eraser or a Halo pad or something to wipe off the oil and melted makeup rather than a washcloth. Unless you keep a washcloth that you don’t mind getting stained with eye makeup. While most makeup washes out pretty easily, once you get eyeshadow glitter in the washcloth fibers it sticks around through multiple washes and months of use, returning when you least expect it. The other day my babydoll heaved a heavy sigh and asked why there was now glitter in his beard from a washcloth he took from the linen cupboard. So I’m trying to get better about keeping things seperate.

Makeup Eraser:

20% OFF YOUR ENTIRE PURCHASE! Use code: ECOFRIENDLY20

So would I recommend this product?

Yes, I would. My only real issue was with my contacts and that was solved by starting with eye make up removal and dry fingers. Also using a dry cloth to wipe the oil away so when you wash off the rest, nothing flows in. I should also point out there was absolutely no pain or discomfort when it did wash into my eye, just a little blurry spot on my contact lens. If you don’t wear contacts, you will have no problem. And if you keep the eyes dry, again no problem. It melts makeup away, leaves your skin super soft from the Vitamin E, and doesn’t require any harsh scrubbing. I picked up my 2.3 oz / 67 g jar at Target for $17.99 which considering the cost of many other cleansing balms and the amount of product you get in this jar, makes it a really good deal. Very little product is used each night so it will last a really long time. I used less than a thumbnail’s size of product to take down all of my makeup. While I will be repurchasing this sometime in the future for myself, I feel really good about adding it to my Mother’s Birthday Beauty Bag as well. not only will she really love the scent, but I know she will like the way it works as well.


Toners 728x90

EssenHERB Toner Pad review

Recently I received a trial sized pack of EssenHerb’s Tea Tree 90 Toner Pad. While I like toners and have been using them in one form or another since I was a teenager, the only pre-packaged toner pads I ever used were the acne fighting ones. Normally I use a bottle and cotton rounds. I have no real problem with the prepackaged ones in general, I have just never gravitated towards them. As for Tea Tree oil. I have tried it on my hair before, but not as a skin care product, so I was intrigued.

First of course, let’s take a look at the product claims so expectations can be made.

Interestingly, finding the site proved complex. I generally like to get my product information from the company website instead of a secondary one, but in this case the website I found that looked like it traced back to the company was all in Korean. Alas I can not read Korean. Not even a smidge.

So I had to go to a secondary site, in this case that also proved interesting. I found several sites that offered the trial size that I was testing. I also found a couple of sites offering a full sized bottle of the toner in a bottle without the added pads. I found a cream whose packaging and branding were nearly identical to the image on the front of the pack. Finally I found a site offering the full sized product for a retail price of $31.57. This is where I got the product description. Incidentally if you are interested in just the toner without the pads it retails for $22.47 and you can click here to get you to that site. (and yes those are the prices on the site, I’m guessing it was converted from a different currency and no one wanted to round out the numbers.)

So the product info:

(This is a) Dual Function: Whitening & Anti-wrinkle Ultra-adherent calming pad with tea-tree toner that helps balance oil & water, moisturizes and soothes your irritated skin. 90% Melaleuca Alternifolia(Tea Tree) Leaf Extract, 1% Oryza Sative (Rice) Bran Extract, Contains Botanical Complex Extract

Pretty simple in its claims, but what I found intriguing was the how to use section which is:

How to use: Place on forehead, cheek and chin, remove after 10 to 15 minutes, then tap lightly to absorb. or On a busy morning, put the pad on your skin and try to remove the pad after the hair dryer. Helps makeup boosting.

The very thin individual pads. They are difficult to separate and you can’t use them as you would cotton rounds as they roll up.

Normally, I apply the toner to the cotton round and wipe it around my face. I was unprepared for the mask like timing of this product. I will say though, that the toner pads included in the package are designed for the sit and leave on application method rather than the simply apply to the skin method. If you try to wipe them across the skin, the thin pads roll up and are absolutely useless. they are simply too thin to use in that format.

I will say that I don’t often have an extra fifteen minutes in the morning to sit with toner pads on my face. Their secondary recommendation for busy mornings involving a hair dryer to speed up the process is interesting, and I will admit, I tried it.

First I tried the regular method of applying the toner pads to my skin and letting it sit for fifteen minutes. I will admit I did not do this in the morning, but rather at night when I had a little more time and wasn’t trying to get out of the door. It feels very much like having sections of a sheet mask on your face. As they dry, the edges tend to curl up a little. Mostly they stay moist though, it is just the edges that dry out towards the end of the fifteen minutes.

Toner pads applied to the face. In my opinion they leave a lot of skin bare. Plus I couldn’t get one to stay on my nose.

After sitting for fifteen minutes, I removed the pads from my face and patted in the remaining serum. My skin felt a little sticky but either the serum soaking the pads evaporated or my skin soaked it in as they were no longer dripping wet when I removed them.

Next (on a different evening) I tried the blow dry the applied toner pads. I did not care for this method as even on low heat I didn’t like directing that much direct heat to my skin. It shaved off a little time for the toner pads to sit, but it was cumbersome and somewhat annoying to have to haul out the hair dryer for my face. Also as I pull my bangs back with a headband when using skin care, the blow dryer just insured they were standing up when I was done.

Finally, as I used all of the toner pads, I applied some of the serum to my regular cotton rounds and applied it to my face in traditional toner style.

As a toner (with the cotton rounds) it is not bad. I liked the scent of the tea tree oil and my skin felt nourished. I applied extra and patted it into the skin as well and I did like it. When leaving it to sit with the pads on my face left the sections under the pads feeling a little sticky and over saturated and the rest of my face sort of dry. I think it is a pretty decent toner serum over all, but I can’t get down with those pads. If I was specifically targeting a dark spot, I might get more use out of them, but I tone my face in both the morning and the evening and not only is this more of a spot treatment, it is a lengthy one. While I might consider purchasing a bottle of the toner on its own to see how the tea tree essence works with my skin, I am going to have to pass on these toner pads. this product is not for me.


Quick note, one of the products I use consistently is the Makeup Eraser. It is reusable and long lasting and one of the things I started using after I stopped using makeup wipes. Anyway, I am posting a couple of codes you might find useful if you are interested in trying it out. Both are from Makeup Eraser. They come in a range of colors and styles and they help keep you from ruining your washcloths. Hope they help anyone shopping.

Morning Kisses MakeUp Eraser ONLY $14! Save 30% with code: TAKEOFF30

BUY 1 GET 1 50% OFF! Use code: BYEBYEWIPES

Face Mask Friday: Take Away the Drama

Today for my weekly face mask, I tried this Take Away the Drama Peel off Mask from the brand Hey Honey (retail $49). I have to say, Take Away the Drama might not be the best name for this mask because there was plenty of drama when I went to peel it off.

It has been a while since I used a peel off mask, with the exception of the Draw it all out mask.  I don’t count that one because it peels off easily with no pulling and doesn’t really feel like a peel off mask. This Hey Honey mask, not so much.

But I am getting ahead of myself.

First, the claim is simple, this mask…

…exfoliates to lift away impurities and drama.

the mask is so pretty in the hand

So no real mega claims then. To the mask.  In the hand it is a gorgeous copper color. I love the color and I have to admit, I was secretly thrilled that I was going to get to smear this lovely shade on my skin. It is shimmery and metallic and I just loved it.  It also has a slight grainy texture for exfoliation.  So on to the face it went.

It looks less lovely on the skin.  I personally think I look a bit like I’m in a bad production of the Wizard of Oz and got drafted when the Tinman fell mysteriously ill and they were running low on paint and needed a quick substitute from the art room.

please excuse the slightly serial killer-y look on my face, it was already starting to dry stiffly and I was trying not to crack.

(Yeah I should point out that one set of my grandparents grew up in Vaudevillian families touring and doing comedy sketches and despite leaving the theater they always encouraged participation in the arts.  As a result I spent a lot of time back stage as a child. My specialty was last second fixes for emergencies. In case you are wondering)

So I sat with my faux tinman get up on until the mask was dry and then I went to peel it off.

Like I said, it’s been a while since I used a true peel off mask. My face is no longer immune to the sting.  I remember a section of time where I did use them quite often and after a while, they aren’t that bad.  I’m not sure if you get used to it or if you no longer have any facial hair for the mask to rip off, but they don’t hurt as much after a while.

That was not the case with this one.  Oh, Hey Honey, I peeled and felt like I was ripping my skin off. If removing drama means that it brings the drama out of you, then it did its job. 

I laughed. I cried.  I tried to decide if there was a way I could go through life with half of the mask still welded to my skin, Phantom of the Opera style, instead of taking it off.  I considered a life of crime and other masked adventures.

Finally, I sucked it up and took the mask the rest of the way off.

Boy was my face red. 

Literally.

Lobster red.

But smooth as silk.  I had a couple of blackheads prior to the mask.  They were gone. It worked like an over grown nose strip. I’d say that my face was blemish free, but I couldn’t really tell under the boiled lobster façade.  I could only tell my skin was smooth.

Baby’s rump smooth.

It took about two hours for the redness to go away, but once it did, my skin looked fantastic. I just had to wait out the redness. (I put the mask on before lunch)

I suppose the big question is, would I use this mask again?

Yes actually, yes I would.  I will wait for the memory of the pain to dim and I will not plan to go out after I do the mask, keeping my schedule clear and myself away from the public until the lobster red fades, but I would do it again.

Beauty and pain, man.  Beauty and pain. Sometimes you just can’t escape the dynamic duo.

Shop LXMI Today.

Buxom Cosmetics

Face Mask Friday: Soap and Glory No Clogs Allowed

No clogs allowed, and yes I took the pic after applying the mask thus explaining what is all over my hands.

Because this afternoon is going to be crazy with last minute Christmas things, I decided to do my relaxing and masking early in preparation for the afternoon to come. This way I at least can start the insanity off from a point of calm. So a-masking we shall go. This was one of the items that I picked up in my recent Soap and Glory purchasing spree.  There was a sale and I’ll admit a self-heating mask sounded intriguing.  It also sounded suspiciously chemically laden, but in the end I couldn’t resist the lure.  Would it heat up?  Would it unclog my pores? Could it cause me to run screaming into the night?

I had to know.

I know, curiosity killed the cat.

But I also know the end of that rhyme.

Satisfaction brought it back.

So would I be satisfied?

Let’s find out, shall we?

First the website claims.

No Clogs Allowed™ is perfect for weekly use on areas prone to blackhead build-up or more often as a deep-oil-emulsifying face mask and all-round scrubby WONDER! – 1-minute Hot Poreclear™ Technology – a fast-acting, smoothing and polishing blend of micropumice, salicylic acid and hot clay,  Glycerin – to help skin feel soft and supple,  Surface-polishing micro beads.

Okay now we all know what to expect.  According to the back of the tube, the mask should be applied to dry skin, then with wet hands you massage it in to activate, it flashes hot, then you let it sit for five minutes before you wipe it off with a wet washcloth.

Right.

Applying the mask it felt like slightly grainy clay. Since it has micropumice and clay in the make up, this was not a surprise. I will say the pumice is very micro and not harsh at all. Then the moment of truth came and water met the mask.

the self-heating was very warm indeed.

Oh my, it was certainly a hot flash.

At first I worried it was getting too hot, then it stopped just before it got too hot. I let it sit for the recommended five minutes, then returned to the bathroom.  Foolishly I tried to rinse it off before removing it with a washcloth. The water brought out residual bursts of heat, but nothing like that initial blast. The reason they recommend removing it with a wash cloth though is that the water just sort of glides right off the mask.  I think it’s the glycerin.  It acts a protective wax sealant against too much water.

So I realized I needed to follow instructions.

Turns out following the instructions worked.

Who knew?

It took a while to rinse out the wash cloth though and after rinsing it out I still added it to the laundry rather than hanging it up for another use because I didn’t trust the product still caught in the cloth. My skin was very smooth once the mask was removed. The micropumice worked as an exfoliator and the areas where I had pore congestion were significantly less congested.

While I have other exfoliating masks and products I like a great deal more. I do not have anything I really like to use on those few areas where my pores consistently clog. This worked really well on flushing those out and calming the under the skin breakouts.  While I don’t think I will use this as a full face mask again, I really think that using it as a spot treatment for those more congested areas is a really good use for this product.  So in the end it isn’t my favorite mask, but it will be joining the spot treatment team.  For that reason I am really glad I gave into my curiosity and gave the self-heating mask a try.


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The Travel Bag

November 2019 Travel Bag contents

It’s that time.  The laundry gets done early, the sheets are freshly washed so beds will be fresh upon my return and I haul out the samples or travel sized products I’ve set aside for possible inclusion in my travel bag.

When I travel, especially for a short holiday like thanksgiving, I really only like to take one bag of personal gear. The reason is that in addition to presents for people I might not see at Christmas, things my mother asked me to pick up or bring down, and of course the cooler filled with the thanksgiving baked goods there is little enough space left. So I like to minimize where I can.

Some of the items are simple.  I have a travel sized toothpaste and a foldable toothbrush. Both were purchased at Target in their trial/travel items section. I think they were each $0.99. Now I know what you are thinking, a toothbrush?  You couldn’t find room for a regular tooth brush?  The truth is, I could. Seriously, it’s a toothbrush. Of course there was room. And I’m not traveling without it. I may go a day or two without washing my hair, but not without brushing my teeth. However, the Thanksgiving trip lasts until Sunday. On Sunday morning I will pack up everything except the shampoo, conditioner, tooth brush and tooth paste and get my bag ready to go.  We will all have one last breakfast together and then the plan is to make sure the shampoo and conditioner bottles are dry (or have not been stolen, ehm I mean appropriated by curious relatives), then I brush my teeth and pack the tooth brush and toothpaste before loading.

At least that is the plan.

More often than not, the shampoo and conditioner will have been borrowed by someone who forgot theirs, ran out, or thought my hair looked nice and wanted to give my products a try because I ‘always pick out the best stuff’.  There are three potential culprits, possibly four depending on who my brother is dating (in defense of his girlfriends’ past, that is usually a forgot or run out situation, acquisitive curiosity is usually for blood related family members).  And usually after I brush my teeth for the last time, I either end up going looking for the shampoo (always pointless) or my Baby started loading the bags while I was in the bathroom or some other last minute calamity occurred and both toothbrush and tooth paste get left behind.

They are never seen again.

Hence the cheap toothbrush and travel sized toothpaste.

The disappearing shampoo and conditioner are travel sized as well because I don’t want to pack the big bottles in the small bag.  They vary, some times I take samples from subscription boxes, sometimes the drug store.  This year I went with Trestique (from target as well, I had a shopping venture this weekend).  I have used this shampoo/conditioner duo before I really like the way it makes my hair feel.  It is soft without feeling weighed down. I still put a travel sized bottle of leave in conditioner in the bag, but it is mostly to tame fly always rather than to fully condition my hair. This year the leave in conditioner is Eve-Nye Satin Dream. It came in this month’s IPSY bag.  I tried it once to see if I liked it.  It seemed nice so I will give it a further try over the holiday and beyond so I can make a full judgment on the product.

The next basic element to my travel bag is the deodorant.  I went with my old standby Dove powder scent.  Sometimes I get a different scent as there are several that I am fond of, however there are two people at this year’s gathering who are sensitive to scents and it is better to tone down as many as possible.  (You will notice, there are no travel sized perfumes in the bag this year.)

Moving on I am trying out the Love, Peace and Planet Shower gel on this trip. I have not use the body wash before, although I really liked their shampoo and conditioner so I am looking forward to trying this out.  And If all else fails, there is always extra soap at my Mom’s house.

While the Thayers Toner I bought I while ago has since been used up, I  repurchased both a full and travel sized bottle when shopping and the travel size will be going with me,  I am aware that my return to witch hazel will be noticed and mocked, but it is too good a product to let simple familial joking stop me.

If you remember the great non-liquid foundation trial of the autumn, you might remember that NArs Velvet Foundation Stick came out ahead.  It will be joining me as will a travel size of one of my favorite primers, the Urban Decay Optical Illusion Primer.  It has a slight pink tone on the skin which works well for me and goes well under foundation.  It also can be worn alone should I decide not to apply foundation, which I like.

The Trestique bronzing stick is also making the travel. While it will not replace the Tarte Park Avenue Princess on my dressing table, it is smaller, works well and comes with its own brush so into the bag it goes. Along with it, my Revolution Concealer, which is both a concealer and an eyelid primer for me. I am taking the best of brows pencil with me as well.  It was in the brow kit from November’s Ipsy as well and while it is not the greatest of eyebrow pencils it works decently and I like the spoolie.  Truthfully it is not the best and while I will use it on this trip, at the end it might find it no longer has a place in my make-up drawer. We shall see.  This is more or less its trial by fire, its attempt to secure a spot in my routine.

Continuing with the Eye area, I am bringing home the Tartelette Tease Palette and the Mark Jacobs Velvet Noir Volumizing Mascara. The tarte shadows have always worked well for me and this small travel palette has enough of a range that I can use it for the four day trip without a problem. It won’t be the most exciting look with such a small range of colors, but I do know once I apply them, the look will stay in place all day. The Mark Jacobs mascara is currently in my absolute favorites list. As mascaras pile up when you get subscription boxes, I am currently working through my supply.  However the first one I purchase after whittling down my stash will be this one.  It is a $23 mascara which isn’t hugely expensive and I really like both the formula and applicator. It will be on my best of this year (complete with pictures) so stay tuned.

I am still working with the cream blush in the Natasha Denona Palette that was in Boxy Premium. I’m finding the cream easier to work with than I thought, but will share my review after I’ve had a little longer with it. (my getting sick put me behind on testing products).

My standby powder will also be making the trip.  While I love loose powders, I don’t travel with them.  My Rimmel London Matte Powder is a pressed powder that I frequently use down to pan, regardless of what other products are in my selection and I have lost count of the number of times I have repurchased it.  It is another favorite of mine.

In the realm of skin care, I am taking the Kehls Deep Pore Cleanser. I believe I have used this before and liked it, but I will give you my thoughts on it when I return.  I am still testing the Juice Beauty serum and eye cream and will continue to do so while I travel.  My moisturizer for this trip is the tiny Youth to the People whipped moisturizer.  I started using it last week when I finished my jar of Korres and surprisingly I think there might actually be enough cream to get me through a two week trial.  If there is I’ll post a review.  If not, I’ll probably pick up a full jar to try out for a full review as it seems like a decent product thus far.

For the lips I have three options in my bag, the Colourpop Dr. Facilier lipstick, the Becca Champagne gloss and the more or less clear Colourpop So Juicy Plumping gloss. Limiting myself to three was really hard, but I think these three will do for now.  Admittedly there is the possibility of a couple more being added, just in case last minute.

Beyond that I have the Sephora color switch so I don’t have to bring a lot of brushes or a brush cleaner and of course my trusty contact lens carrying case.  I found this one  super cheap on Wish actually and bought it just to see.  I think it was a just pay shipping item.  I have to say I really do like it. It has a lens case, with the two sides in different colors rather than a simple letter to delineate right from left.  I appreciate that because without my contacts I am really blind.  The colors I can always see, the letters not so much.  The kit also comes with a small bottle for solution so I don’t have to lug my large bottle, tweezers and a little plastic doodad that lets you put your contact in without shoving your finger into your eyeball.

So my darlings, that is the travel bag for Thanksgiving 2019. It has some tried and true, some basic necessities and some things I am trying out.  It also has a few things that will probably not return with me for one reason or another. All in all, I am pretty happy with the mix. I hope all of you have safe travels and don’t find yourselves stranded anywhere due to weather. Just remember, family is family.  Sometimes they are delightful and sometimes they appropriate your stuff when you aren’t looking.  Pack accordingly and don’t set traps in the bathroom for thieves.  You know the dog will just set them off at three am and you will get the blame. Cause let’s face it, in my family if anyone is attempting to set a trap, it’s probably going to be me.  Let the holiday season begin.

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What you’ll find here…

Thanks for joining me! What you will find here are my honest opinions of various subscription boxes, products and yes, even myself. I have a love of subscription boxes and thought, why not post my opinions of them and the products they contain. There will also be individual product reviews as well as we continue on.

In addition, I am in the process of losing weight. I hit the new year at 246 lbs and decided I didn’t like it. I also didn’t like the way my feet and knees ached when I got up in the morning and asked them simply to carry me from the bed to the bathroom. So my weight loss began.

This morning I clocked in at 220 lbs. While proud of myself for beginning this journey, I realized that I still have a long way to go and that it might be interesting to keep track of it and see what I learn about myself and the world as I go. I also thought that if I was reviewing products, I might as well review myself and the process of my weight loss as I go.

There will me no fad diets, although I might review various things that come my way now and again like cleansing shakes and weight loss teas. For the most part my diet plan consists of eating less and exercising more. I watch my calories, both in and out and have a goal of losing 1-2 lbs a week. Which makes this a very long trip indeed.

I will be posting a weekly weigh in, subscription box and product reviews, tips, and quite possibly a few recipes for the things I’m eating along the way. In short, it is the random collection of this thing called life. Hopefully you will find it enjoyable to follow along. Welcome.

Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton

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