Perfume Review: Fresh by Zents

Have you ever used a scent and you know that you know the scent from somewhere but you just can’t place it?  That is what happened to me this week.  As you may remember I am working my way through the Zent’s Sample Scent collection which they very kindly sent over to me for review.  The collection has 10 scents in it and I highly recommend picking it up (retail $22) if you are interested in any of the Zents Eau de Toilettes. 

Each week I am reaching into the bag and pulling out one of the vials at random so that I can try them all.  I am actually having a lot of fun treating it as a mystery bag and reaching in to see what surprise scent the week holds for me. 

This week’s scent was called Fresh.  While the Sample Collection does come with a card detailing the scents and the website lays out all of the scent notes beautifully, I like to spritz and sniff and then wear a scent for a few days before looking up the details. This week, that about drove me crazy.

I spritzed, I sniffed and I knew I knew the scent from somewhere.  I just could not remember where I knew it from.  The Fresh Eau de Toilette is well…fresh… and sweet and fairly shoots the word spring into the brain.  It is, as the name implies a very Fresh scent. It is the scent of new blossoms and warmer weather that has yet to reach the stage where it makes you sweat.  It is like that early spring day where it isn’t too terribly warm yet but warm enough that you can open all of your windows and blow the winter stuffiness out of every corner of the house.

It is a very clean scent and I really do like it, yet it is still a familiar one.  Finally I couldn’t take it any more and had to go to the website.  According to Zents the Eau de Toilette Fresh is…

Soothing & Innocent
linden blossom, cucumber, heliotrope, lemon, ambrette

Sparked by the fusion of healing and art, ZENTS FRESH Eau de Toilette becomes a potent potion as it reacts with your body’s natural chemistry. You are the artist, crafting a unique essence that invokes what is in your heart, inviting love, beauty, and joy, and drawing all of life’s most cherished gifts into the present moment. Apply FRESH Eau de Toilette on pulse points and heart area. Your radiance and warmth will bring the scent to life and make it uniquely yours.

ZENTS FRESH Eau de Toilette is pure perfection on its own. It is also fully compatible with other scents and products in the collection.

Zents

As with all of the Zents scents, you can blend them to create your own unique scent, which is something I am looking forward to doing once I finish trying them out individually.  I will say that I can smell the linden blossom and the heliotrope.  I think the lemon and the cucumber aid in the freshness of the scent and keep the florals from becoming too cloying.  I had no mental scent depiction of ambrette, but according to The Perfume Society it is…

” Musky, slightly sweet – and maybe a hint of Cognac in there…?  That’s what you’ll get when you smell ambrette, an aromatic medicinal plant (musk mallow) which is native to India and used particularly in Ayurvedic medicine.”

The Perfume Society

I’m not entirely certain I get the cognac in there, but there is something that does help mellow down the florals. I will say though that I was still a bit confused as to why it smelled so familiar until I talked to my mom.  She reminded me that my Great Aunt Olive had linden trees and loads of heliotropes throughout the yard and that when I was little I spent hours playing in the yard. As I can think of no other reason for it to be so familiar, I’m guessing the scent memory lingers.  I remember the flowers and flowering trees but other than purple and white I couldn’t tell you what they were.  I always love the way memory and scent work together. 

While it did give me momentary confusion I have to say I really did enjoy this scent.  It was also the perfect time to pull it out of the bag.  It was spring in a scent and this is the perfect time for it to be worn. It is a lovely fresh scent that I really enjoy.

Like the rest of the Zents scents that I have tried, the scent comes on strong with the first spritz but than almost as though it is embarrassed by its outburst it retreats back to hug the skin.  The slight alcohol scent fades immediately and you are left with a scent that stays close to the skin, perfuming your personal space but not traveling to visit others.  It is a personal scent and one that could easily be worn in an office environment without causing those who may be sensitive to the scents of others trouble. 

I would also say that this is much more of a day time scent than anything else.  This scent is time in the sun, not dinner by candlelight. Or even a drink with friends after work. The day time is where this scent shines, even when like today with the rain sheeting down, the sun really doesn’t. It is lightly floral and sweet with a vegetal citrusy tang that is probably the lemon and the cucumber at work. Fresh is the sort of scent that makes you want to plan picnics before the summer heat rises and this is the perfect time of year for it. I am very glad that this was the week it emerged from the bag of Eau de Toilette samples and I can not wait to see what the Zents collection has in store for me next week.


If you are still looking for the perfect Mother’s day gift, I highly recommend checking out Zents Mother’s day Gift Guide. They have all sorts of gift bags and bundles to provide a relaxing spa like day. I ended up sending my mother the Collection of Petal Bath truffles this year. Normally she loves Oolong but lately she has been talking about trying something different so I thought it would suit her. It is hard to go wrong with the lightly floral scent, soothing epsom salts and silky shea butter. They have plenty of other options however is this isn’t the scent for you.

The Daily: May 4th, 2021

Good afternoon my darlings, I hope you are doing well and staying dry. I spent a large part of my day dealing with the flood waters of doom. Yesterday around four in the afternoon it started raining and quite frankly hasn’t stopped since. Its the sort of rain that makes you think that maybe you should have started building your own Ark. Sure the neighbors might complain and you’d have to spend some time figuring out how long a cubit actually is, but at the moment starting construction just seems sensible.

While our house is high and dry the street has turned to a river. Needless to say there will be no walking trail today as the streets turned River all empty into the park turned lake. Because there was also the potential for hail I ended up erecting a lean to defense for my newly planted seedlings. I was so proud to have finally gotten them into the garden this past weekend that letting the hail flatten them wasn’t an option. Our garden now boasts old woolen army blankets supported by tomato trellises. I’d feel odd about it if on of my neighbors wasn’t using a giant tarp to protect their garden and another turned one of those round plastic dog houses into a plant shelter.

We also had a drain pipe come loose in the night so I spent time on a ladder reattaching it so that water didn’t fall directly down to the foundation. And yes, today I am calling that my exercise. Climbing a ladder is like a stair climber and as I still had to work over my head to reattach the down pout I know my upper arms will be sore. Then there was the running through the yard and the hauling of plant protection equipment. I’m pretty sure i can call that some sort of workout circuit. At least that is how I am marking it down. And once it was complete I got to come back into the house dry off and actually put on my makeup for the day. which was kind of relaxing.

Primer: Marc Jacobs Under Cover Blur-fection

  • Marc Jacobs is still having a sale currently this primer which normally retails for $39 is on sale for $27.30. Its a 30% off sitewide sale.

Foundation: Kosas Tinted Face oil

Bronzer: Marc Jacobs HI FI Filter

  • usually $49 but currently $29 with the sale

Blush: Ciate London Marbled Light

Powder: Pacifica Cherry Velvety Matte Translucent

Highlighter: Illamasqua Beyond Powder in OMG

  • This Highlighter is currently on sale. Usually it is $45 but at the moment it is $36

Eyeshadow Palette: Wet ‘n Wild My Glamour Squad

  • while this palette (retail $5.99) is not on sale Wet ‘n Wild has a pretty big sale going on on their site now. This link will take you to their sales page. Their 10 piece pro brush set with the really nice traveling case is only $35.75 (usually $54.99). There are other deals too that was just the one that struck me.

Mascara: Wander Beauty Unlashed Volume and Curl Mascara

Lips: Sugar Coat by Sugar Rush in Sprinkle

I am still testing out the Marc Jacobs Primer and seeing how it performs with foundations. Today’s foundation was the Kosas Tinted face oil. I tend to go light when applying it and since right now I don’t have a lot of blemishes going on, I was fine with it. It is a foundation I choose when i want a light covering. As always I loved using the Marc Jacobs Hi Fi Filter as my bronzer. I will use that until I hit pan and then I will repurchase it. I might pick it up as just a bronzer next time as I don’t really do a lot of heavy contouring so the lighter shade just occasionally gets used to mellow out over enthusiastic blush. I do like having the option of the lighter contour though. well, either way it isn’t a decision I have to make today as there is still plenty of product.

Today’s blush was the Marbled light from Ciate london and I really like it. It is buildable rather than in your face pink so I don’t worry about applying too much too fast. I also ended up reaching for my Illamasqua highlighter again today. I think I might have overdone it a little on one side because the sun played peek a boo for a minute before the storm clouds rolled back in so the light had a strange shift to it. I’ll have to go into the artificial light of the bathroom to balance everything out in a bit.

I did reach for my Wet ‘n Wild My Glamour Squad palette. It may be one of the least expensive palettes I own, but it always performs so well for me. The colors blend out fairly easily and they are relatively well pigmented. I just find them easy to work with and I like the variation of the shades in this palette as well.

I used the Sugar Coat by Sugar Rush Liquid Lipstick today. It is in the shade Sprinkle which is a nice neutral color. Since I had so much going on with the eyes I didn’t want to go too poppy with the lips. This is an interesting formula. It never dries down all of the way so my lips don’t get super dry however after it sets even though it feels a little wet to my lips, it doesn’t leave any lip prints which I really like. I know that Sugar Rush is a sister brand to Tarte. i don’t actually think I’ve tried any tart lipsticks though so I am not sure how the formula compares. I’ve tried many other Tarte products, but somehow the lips escaped me. I may have to correct that. Not that I need an excuse to pick up another lippie. But I will take the excuse.

And so that was me today. I ran around the yard like a crazy person trying to keep plants safe and hopefully burned off a few calories doing so. I watched my nabors go crazy for the same reason as well as exercise their creativity and I made sure the water sheeting off ouf out roof goes into the yard instead of into the foundation. Not quite what i had planned when i woke up today, but I am still going to call it a successful day nonetheless. I hope wherever you are, your day is as successful and fabulous.

Caudalie

Reviewing the 111Skin Y Theorem Day Cream

Anyone who has read my posts for any length of time knows that I love trying new skincare.  Because of this I often try samples to see how they perform.  I find this saves both on money and waste.  After all regardless of the price there is no point in purchasing something that you won’t use.  While samples can’t tell you the whole story, they can give you an idea of how the product will work.  They can let you know if you like the feel of it, or if you are going to have any reactions to it. 

Somewhere along the way I managed to test a sample size of the 111Skin Y Theorem Day Cream NacY2.  I’m guessing it was a subscription box, but I have no idea which one or when it arrived. I tend to put my samples in a plastic container and just reach in when I want to try something new or set up a travel bag. But one morning I did pull the sample from the container and tried it until it was gone. If memory serves it lasted a little over a week. During that week, I liked it enough that I put it on my ‘to test in a full sized version’ list. For the past six weeks or so I have actually been using the full sized version of this day cream. And I am now ready to give my thoughts on it. 

First let’s look at the official description.

The vitamin, antioxidant, and Hyaluronic Acid-infused formula plumps and revitalizes the complexion while keeping the skin feeling hydrated and nourished. This rich Day Cream works to infuse the skin with anti-ageing active ingredients whilst providing a protective barrier to shield the skin from harmful aggressors. Ideal for people who work in polluted or urban surroundings, the Y Theorem Day Cream NAC Y2 is formulated to reduce the effects of environmental aggressors.

NAC Y2: A fusion of three ingredients that all improve antioxidant levels, providing the optimum environment for collagen and elastin production and reducing the effects of environmental damage. HYALURONIC ACID: A humectant naturally occurring in our bodies that captures and retains moisture in the skin, improving hydration and causing a plumping effect. VITAMIN COMPLEX: A potent combination of Vitamin A, C, E, F and H to help repair damaged skin and protect against environmental pollution.

Ingredients: AQUA / WATER / EAU, ISOPROPYL MYRISTATE, PEG-40 HYDROGENATED CASTOR OIL, CAPRYLIC / CAPRIC TRIGLYCERIDE, PEG-100 STEARATE, GLYCERIN, BENZYL ALCOHOL, ORYZA SATIVA BRAN (RICE / RIZ) OIL, OLEA EUROPAEA (OLIVE) OIL, SODIUM HYALURONATE, CARBOMER, PEG-7 HYDROGENATED CASTOR OIL, SODIUM HYDROXIDE, POLYSORBATE 20, RETINYL PALMITATE, TOCOPHEROL, LINOLEIC ACID, STEARIC ACID, SODIUM ASCORBYL PHOSPHATE, AESCULUS HIPPOCASTANUM EXTRACT, ACETYL CYSTEINE, FRAGRANCE / PARFUM.

PARABEN, PARAFFIN, SILICONE AND SULPHATE FREE.

111Skin

So let’s look at that a little deeper at a few of the top listed ingredients.  Water, I think we are all familiar with and know it needs to be in any skincare that seeks to plump the skin.  After all it is hydration that helps with the plumping and the water has to come from somewhere. It is much better coming from the cream than deeper in your skin. ISOPROPYL MYRISTATE is an emollient and it helps the skin retain moisture.

PEG-40 HYDROGENATED CASTOR OIL I actually find kind of interesting.  I’ll admit I went a little science crazy in the deep dive of this ingredient but don’t worry I’ll keep it short (and provide a link or two for those interested.  Put simply it is too large a molecule to be absorbed into the skin and so it stays on top and stops moisture from leaving.  I found that really interesting.  I’m used to sing ingredients that help lock moisture into the skin as they absorb but I never really thought about having something that doesn’t penetrate the skin preventing moisture from leaving. 

It makes sense and I am certain other moisturizers use it, I just never thought about it and I don’t think it has been a part of any other moisturizers I have broken down before.  So I found it a bit fascinating.  This is one of the best articles I found to most concisely explain it if you want more information.

CAPRYLIC / CAPRIC TRIGLYCERIDE is coconut oil mixed with a glycerin and it helps both to smooth skin and soften it. In fact most of the ingredients on this list are used to both smooth and soften skin as well as work as antioxidants.

To be honest I really like this moisturizer for a couple of different reasons.  The first is that it is a day cream.  I know this sounds a little strange, but walk with me on this one for a minute.  I know that the thought of having one cream that you can use for both day and night time use is a good plan. However I am noticing that my skin needs different things in the day time and night time.  During the day I need a moisturizer that absorbs well, doesn’t clog pores and doesn’t make me feel greasy when I work out.  So during the day I need something on the lighter end of the spectrum. 

At night, especially in the winter when we have the heater running and the air in the house becomes drier, I need a heavier cream to get me through the night. I am not opposed to putting a sleeping mask over my moisturizer, but I would really rather have a good night cream and just occasionally add a sleeping mask to my routine.

This 111Skin Y Theorem Day cream worked really well in that aspect.  It is too light for me to use during the night but was perfect for me to use during the day.  It absorbed well and I quite frankly had no real problems during my trial of the cream.  It has a light clean fragrance that fades into the background and becomes a ‘skincare’ scent rather than something you can identify by scent profile (ie. cucumber, rose and so on). So there were no scent issues.  The moisturizer absorbed well and fairly quickly.  I have been using it for the past six weeks and we have been having an unusually cold spring.

In the past week warmth has returned.  This past weekend I actually got some of my seedlings finally transferred out of the greenhouse and into the garden. As a reference point usually that is something I do the weekend after Easter where I live. As it is warming up, I find I am having more problems with the cream absorbing.  I have been having a little bit of a greasy feel to my skin which is not something that happened at all in cooler temperatures.  I have a week or two left of the 111Skin Y Theorem moisturizer left in the jar and I suspect as the temperatures increase I will find it a little more greasy.  This cream seems to be a very good moisturizer when the weather is cool, not so much when the weather turns warm. 

I could be wrong (lord knows I have been wrong many, many times before) but I suspect it has something to do with the PEG-40 Hydrogenated Castor oil. According to all of the information I found, it is designed to sit on top of the skin.  In cooler weather this isn’t an issue, as the temperatures rise you can feel something sitting on the skin and for me it feels a little greasy.  Don’t get me wrong, it is not a major grease bomb, but it is noticeable to me.  I’ve had to pat my t zone with powder mid afternoon just a little bit more now that the central heating is not running.

You will notice that there are no before and after pictures with my skin and this cream. Part of that is because I accidentally deleted the photos in my grand spring purge. (I was so excited to make space on my hard drive that I simply didn’t think about what I needed to keep.) The other reason is that while this moisturizer did moisturize, any real work done on reducing fine lines I am pretty sure was done by other products. The hyaluronic acid in this moisturizer may have contributed, but serums and eye creams did the heavy lifting. This is a moisturizer and an environmental defense shield, it is not amazing at dealing with fine lines.

Over all, I do like this Day cream and I am very glad that I did try it in the full size.  I think that if I were to purchase this 111Skin Y Theorem Day cream again, I would do so knowing that it would be a moisturizer I would use in the cooler months and that I would need to pair it with some heavy duty anti-aging serums. Everything else has its season, why shouldn’t moisturizer. So in conclusion, yes I would repurchase this moisturizer, but I would be strategic as to when in the year I used it and what products I used it with so as to use it to its best advantage.

The SkinStore has some fantastic deals going on right now that you might want to take advantage of along with the applicable codes.

Express Shipping WYS $70+ on Mother’s Day Shop! Code: EXPRESS Valid: NOW-5/5 6PM EST
25% off SPF! Code: SPF25 Valid: NOW -5/10 6PM EST
25% off Fragrances! Code: FRAG25 Valid: NOW -5/10 6PM EST



The Daily: May 3rd, 2021

Good afternoon my darlings. Strange things are afoot in the neighborhood today. The house of Agnes is getting a makeover. A strange man with a tool kit has been meandering around the outside of the house fixing things and a short while ago a couple of people went into the back yard hauled the collected tree limbs and other piled logs away from the shed. It was kind of interesting. I looked out every time i passed by the window and got to see a small boat emerge from the tree limbs.

The boat has been buried since before we moved into the house and as her shed can be seen from the window over the kitchen sink we always speculated as to whether it was a boat or just a trailer. Only the hitch was visible. It is now most definitely a boat.

While Agnes wandered over here a few months ago, she hasn’t been seen much in the past year. Admittedly no one has really been seen much in the past year so that’s really not an indicator. I suspect though that Agnes might be moving into an assisted care facility or with a family member soon. The way they are tidying the house is the same sort of tidying that people tend to do just before they look at selling it. even though I don’t see her much it will be sad to lose Agnes as a neighbor.

But that is enough nosiness from me. If I happen to see one of the family members I know in the next few day maybe I’ll know more. For now I’ll just leave it be. It is good to know that it is a boat behind the house though.

Today I got my weights in at the gym but by the time it came to do cardio, all of the available machines were full and there were so many people in the gym that I began to feel twitchy. I decided to brave the off and on spitting rain of the walking trail instead. It was not really raining but the air was so saturated that it felt like I was pushing through water with every step. I got home and every article of clothing was damp and sticking to me. I was just going to rinse off but I did the full shower instead. I also decided against makeup today as I will be going in and out of the house this afternoon and suspect anything I put on my face will just make me look like I am melting. It usually happens more in the summertime, but today is just humid enough and just warm enough that I’m pretty sure the melting look would occur. So it is fresh faced for the day.

I know that mother’s day is approaching and the sales are everywhere this year. Here are a few things you might want to take a look at, whether you are looking for a gift or to stock up your own products.

Benefit Cosmetics

Friends & Family sale! Get 20% off sitewide and free shipping on all orders with code: FRIENDS. Valid 5/3-5/6.

Mane Club Hair Mask Bundles now $15 for a limited time. I highly recommend Cry Baby and Bad Attitude and if you are on the site, pick up a bottle of the One Hit Wonder Spray. Trust me, you’ll thank me.

Bad hair? We don’t know her. Mane Club is a Vegan + Cruelty Free collection of conditioning and styling products that put in all the work so you don’t

And eSalon is only $15 for a limited time so if you are looking to try a custom hair color now is most definitely the time.

Finally No 7 is having a Friends and Family Event. Happy Shopping!



Using the La Roche Posay Toleriane Purifying Foaming Cleanser

Cleanser is one of those skin care categories that is always there. I may forget to add my vitamin C or decide to skip my toner, but every morning and every night, I wash my face. I tend to do a double cleanse, removing my makeup with one product before I actually move into the daily cleanser.

So while this La Roche Posay Toleriane Purifying Face Cleanser does remove dirt and makeup, I tend to use it to remove the last traces rather than apply on top of a full face of makeup. I like for my toner pads to be as clean as possible when I use them post cleansing. And this certainly does the trick.

It is also mild enough that if I come back from the gym and a quick splash of water just won’t do it for me, I can use this mid day and not worry about overly washing my skin.

Creamy on damp skin

While it is a foaming cleanser, it comes out of the pump in a liquid form. What I really like is that the liquid is thick and you only need one pump to wash your entire face. When applied to the skin it actually applies like a cream. If you look at the picture you can see that you can apply it to your face and see where the cleanser is, making sure to get your entire face, without having it drip off.

I know that sounds like a weird thing to like, but I really do like that. I like knowing that i didn’t miss a spot. The foaming part comes with the water added on top of it. (I tried to get a picture of this but the bubbles kept sliding off). With the ability to make certain that I covered every spot and the foaming taking the dirt away with the bubbles, I always feel like I am getting a good clean.

With cleansers I always feel a little off when talking about ingredients. There are some, like salicylic acid that are great for breakouts and can, if over used, dry out your skin, however for the most part, cleansers don’t stay on your skin all that long and while I appreciate that the ingredients are in there, I am never really sure they are doing too much given the length of time they are on the skin.

Foamy with water

Having said that, this cleanser does have niacinamides, which I do like in my skin care, and like more the older I get. Niacinamides help build keratin to keep skin firm and smooth. I don’t know how effective they are in a cleanser, but I like the thought of them there. If you have a sensitivity to them, just keep in mind that they are there and that might not make this cleanser for you. I also like that it is sulfate free and fragrance free as even if I may wonder about the effectiveness of the ingredients, I do know that repeated use of fragrance can cause sensitivity and I am not a big fan of sulfates. Although I shouldn’t be surprised it isn’t in here. Toleriane is a line that is designed to be used for sensitive skin and specifically avoids using many allergens. While I am not overly sensitive, because of the gym I do wash my face more and find that the sensitive skin formulas do really help me out with preventing me from overdoing it while rinsing off the workout.

For me this La Roche Posay Toleriane Purifying Foaming Facial Cleanser is one that I return to quite often. While I do often order it from the La Roche Posay site, I like that it is also a cleanser that I can pick up at both Target and Walgreens if I need to. As I mentioned at the beginning, I may skip out on a toner or serum here and there, but I always use a cleanser. Occasionally I have run out when I thought I had a back up waiting in the drawer or I’ll try a product that just doesn’t work for me and needs to be swapped out immediately. I like having a cleanser I know will work for my skin available in a place I can easily run out to if need be. I still tend to order on line, but if necessary i can pick it up locally. It is definitely an extra perk.

Also a perk is the price. A 400 ml bottle of this cleanser is $14.99. I find this to be a pretty decent price for a cleanser in general. However, one pump is all that you need to wash your face each time and if you look at the top picture I have used about a third of the bottle in six weeks of steady use. That means each bottle i can get a solid 18 weeks worth of use from, which isn’t too shabby. Effectiveness, gentleness, price and availability all combine to make this a cleanser I will repeatedly purchase.


La Roche-Posay- ACD

Shop our exclusive Ultra-Sensitive Skin Value Set including a Toleriane Ultra Moisturizer, Night Cream, and Eye Cream for only $70! Offer cannot be combined with other discounts or promotion codes.

The April Empties

The Empties of April

Welcome my darlings to the beginning of a whole new month.  As we do every month, we take a peer into the depths of the empties bin to look at products that were used up and give them a brief evaluation. This month didn’t have a massive amount of empties, but there were some interesting ones.Let’s see which of these products deserves to make a return.

First up is the Kneipp Mineral Bath Salt Deep Breathe Pine and Fir.  This one technically isn’t my empty it is my babydoll’s.  This is his favorite scent of the Kneipp Bath Salts and it appeared in my empties bin because he knows I go through the bin at the end of the month and he wants me to reorder it for him.  He loves bath salts but never orders them himself.  So I will be reordering this for him.  I will also be getting a jar for myself.  I am partial to the Dream Away Scent so I will be reordering that. I was actually waiting until he ran out to order new Bath Salts.

The Native Water Lily and Orchid Deodorant finally reached its final use.  While I like Native Deodorant I am not entirely sure about this scent.  There is something a little perfume-y about it that I don’t like in a deodorant.  I repurchased the Native Deodorant in the scent Powder and clean cotton and it is a scent that I much prefer.  At the moment I am doing a full year of the Native Deodorant so I can get a feel for it in all seasons.  In the fall I will reevaluate.  

I very much enjoyed using the Clean it Zero Cleansing Balm by Banila Co.  It worked well on my skin.  My only issue was it did sort of sting a little when it got into my eyes.  I actually didn’t have this problem with the Original Banila Co Clean It Zero Cleansing Balm that I tried.  This one was in the green container while the original was in the pink container.  I’m not certain what the difference in the formula was, but I would buy the Pink Original cleansing Balm container before this one as I like it slightly better.

I very much want to repurchase the GlamGlow Super mud Clearing treatment and am having to hold myself back until I use up a few more of my masks.  I have several that are partially used and several I really need to finish up and clear out. Once I’ve made a little more space, I will be ordering a full size of this mask.  I really enjoyed using it.  I’m not always the biggest fan of Glamglow, but they certainly had a winner with this one.  My skin felt soft and several of my clogged pores were unclogged.  It is a very good mask.

The bareMinerals Be Pure Be Dewy mask duo is an interesting tale.  It was a mask that I have had for a while and I tended to only reach for the Be Pure.  Realizing the Be pure was almost used up I took it out of the drawer and made an effort to use up the Be bure and the Be Dewy side.  The jar is gorgeous and I will be reusing it elsewhere but as far as masks go I would repurchase the Be Pure in a heartbeat.  I am less enthused by the Be Dewy.  There wasn’t anything wrong with it, the mask just didn’t appeal to me.  So I would half repurchase this.  And since the masks are sold separately, it’s not a problem.

Lord Jones High CBD Formula Body Lotion came to me in a Boxy Charm a while ago.  I really like the pump, but the cream was only so so for me.  It absorbed well and wasn’t greasy but it also wasn’t that special.  I found myself using it in order to use it up rather than because I wanted to use it. I didn’t want to waste it, because it is a decent cream, but it isn’t good enough for me to repurchase again. Especially not at a $60 retail price. It just wasn’t worth the price tag for me.  There are many body lotions that I would prefer to use before purchasing this one.

The Dionis Goat Milk Hand Cream in Vanilla bean surprised me.  There was no goaty-ness to it and it was super hydrating.  It absorbed relatively quickly and it really worked well with over washed hands.  The faux vanilla scent is a bit strong and overpowering, but it fades quickly.  The formula was good enough and I don’t mind the scent all that much so I would definitely consider buying this hand cream again.  I might try out different scents to find something not quite as sweet but the formula was great.

Speaking of scent, the Rahua Classic Shampoo and conditioner set will not be repurchased in a full size due to it’s scent.  The products worked well but the scent was strong and it lingered in the hair.  It did not fade and Quite honestly I did not enjoy the scent of it.  The formula was fabulous, but I will not be purchasing the full sized versions.

Sys Superfood 4 your skin Moisturizing Cream Prickly Pear Probiotic also got me with scent.  It is a decent enough moisturizer, although I think it would be more of a summer weight rather than a winter moisturizer.  It is light weight and absorbs easily.  My skin liked it and the scent was nice.  However the scent of prickly pear just didn’t really suit the cream.  It made me think that my skin was sticky even when it wasn’t. I think it is because I associate the scent of prickly pear with cocktails more than skincare. The cream was nice and would especially be nice in the coming warmer months, but with the scent it just isn’t for me.

The All in One Egg Mellow Cream from too cool for school was a moisturizer sample that I just finished up. (when I went to the site for the link I found it is actually currently on sale on the Too Cool For School Website, the link will take you there) It is thick enough to be used at night and in the winter, has  pleasant scent to it and absorbed well into the skin without clogging pores. 

I was very impressed by it and will be trying this out in a full size.  I won’t be trying it out until the fall though.  I think the formula of this suits my skin better in the cooler temps and when trying out products I do like to give them their best shot.  I think this might be a little too thick for summertime wear for my skin.  So I will try it again when the temperatures cool back off.

The Sunday Riley Good Genes All in one Lactic Acid treatment I would use in any weather.  I really like how it performed on my skin. 

Shop Bestsellers

The scent is somewhat reminiscent of a lemon scented cleaner but this product works well enough for me that I can ignore that and still use it.  If I didn’t have other products I wanted to test out in my skincare drawer already awaiting testing I would have ordered this as soon as the product was empty.  Well, that’s not entirely true.  It is a bit pricey so when it reached the halfway mark I would start looking for sales and upcoming holidays and hoping the product lasted until then.  It is a really good formula and I love the way AHA’s work well with my skin to sweep away old skin cells and leave fresh looking skin behind.  And this was gentle enough that it worked really well for me.

And now we come to the makeup products in the empties bin.  Oh yes my darlings, there are a few of these.  The first however isn’t so much as empty as old and clumpy.  Sadly I did not use it up.  Mostly because I used it, didn’t like it and every time I tried to use it again I liked it less and less. The Mellow tinted Brow Gel  was not my favorite formula.  It was heavy and made me feel like my eyebrows were crispy and crunchy.  Not my favorite feeling.  I will not be repurchasing this.

The Trestique Vegan Color+contour cheek stick In Brazilian Bronze will be repurchased and probably repurchased over and over again.  It is such a great formula and so easy to use.  A quick swipe on each cheek, a quick blend and you are done. It is a creamy formula that blends in really easily.  It’s probably why I used it up so fast.  This was the second bronzing stick from Trestique I have used and it certainly won’t be the last. It will definitely be seen again.

To finish up, I had two mascaras in my Empties bin this month the Beauty For Real Hi-Def mascara and the Ciate London Wonderwand Mascara.  Both are mascaras I would reorder.  I have tried several Ciate Mascaras and I think the Wonderwand is my favorite from the brand.  It thickens and volumizes beautifully. As for the Beauty For Real, it really surprised me. It has such a small wand that I was certain I would hate it.  But I didn’t.  The formula was fantastic and the product was wonderfully lengthening.  I would definitely reorder it.  Both of those mascaras made it onto the to be reordered list.

Don’t you love ending on a high note?

Those my darlings are the Empties of April.  There were some good and some not so good.  I really like sitting down at the end of the month and seeing what it is I actually managed to use up and how I feel about it.  There are a lot of products that I will try and think are good, but it is the ones that I keep reaching for even after the initial excitement of the new fades that I need to remember to put on my hits list. And for me it really helps to line the products up before they head out to recycling, reuse, and trash to see which ones I am disappointed to let go.  Plus, I feel a sense of accomplishment when I finally manage to work through something like the Lord Jones Body Lotion that I wasn’t too crazy about to begin with. I know that sounds a little strange but it helps me and hopefully this little rundown helps you out when looking at what products you want to give a go in your own personal routine.


Looking to stock up on your favorite products or try something new? Why not pop over to All Beauty? They have a really good sale on French Skin care at the moment – up to 65% off – and they carry a lot of different brands including a large selection of Payot products. I tried the Payot Creme Glacee and really enjoyed it. I have my eye on several other products I may try and scoop up while the sale is going on.

They also have the new Kérastase Curl Manifesto for coily and curly hair (and you know how much I love their Genesis line), a large selection of Neom Organics products and even the Dermalogica Extreme Moisture Melting Masque (while supplies last) Their selection is really large and their prices are really good. If you are looking sto stock up you might want to check them out.




Happy Hour: Hummus and Truly Hard Seltzer

Hummus served with cucumber slices

Welcome to the end of the week my darlings. We finally made it. Shuck those work clothes, put on something comfy and prop your feet up.

Today I was feeling the need for something light and summery. Both in food and drink. So I went with a homemade hummus and cucumber slices and a Strawberry lemonade Hard Seltzer from Truly Hard Seltzer.

Now I have a confession. This was my first hard seltzer. I know the shockwaves are felt around the world. The truth is that when I look for alcoholic drinks I go for wine, gin or tequila. It never even occurs to me to look at the hard seltzer. There was something about the strawberry lemonade that just appealed to me so I decided to try it.

According to the label it has 5% alcohol by volume, 100 calories, 1 g of sugar and 3 g of carbs. As almost every muscle in my body is sore from the new workout regime this week, low cal, and low sugar sounded kind of ideal. And I do love strawberry lemonade. I make big pitchers of the non alcoholic variety to keep in my fridge all summer long. while I make the lemonade in the regular way, I leave out the sugar and then make a strawberry simple syrup to sweeten it. Using the simple syrup gets the pulp and seeds out while keeping the flavor and sweetness. You can always choose to add alcohol later if you want but in a tall glass filled with ice it is fabulous on it;s own.

But how did this Truly hard seltzer version taste?

Not bad. It is like a flavored water, the scent being stronger than the taste. In fact if there was no alcohol in it I would consider it a really nicely flavored seltzer water. There is however alcohol in it. Which you need to remember and not drink it like water. For me, putting it in the nice glass helped because I sipped it. I tend to drink liquids fast when i drink them in the can. (sodas, water, V8, if I drink from the can I just drink faster so glasses slow me down). I think it would be a really bad idea to drink this fast.

I don’t know how many of you are new to Hard seltzer, but I recommend sipping. It is easy to forget it isn’t flavored water.

The one issue I had with this is that it made my tongue feel dry. I know that sounds a little strange, but it is true. My tongue could feel the alcohol more than taste it and so my tongue felt dry. It wasn’t a bad thing, just a strange one that I wasn’t expecting.

Luckily, I had something on hand to make me feel a little less dry. And that was tonight’s happy hour snack, homemade hummus served with freshly sliced cucumbers. It is one of the easiest things to make. The trick is to make it the night before and let it sit in the fridge overnight so the flavors can mellow. I made mine a little more lemon forward because I like the lemon flavor with the cucumber slices. If serving with crackers I tend to take out a Tablespoon of the lemon juice. When you first make this you will be tempted to try it right away and then you might feel like adjusting the seasoning. Let it sit overnight and then the next day adjust if you feel it needs more salt. To make this, you will need a food processor. if you have one, it is super easy. Ready?

Ingredients

1 can chickpeas, drained

1/4 cup lemon juice

2 Tablespoons olive oil

1 and a half Tablespoons tahini

2 garlic cloves peeled

1/2 tsp kosher salt

1/2 tsp black pepper.

  • Put everything into the food processor.
  • blend until a smooth paste forms
  • Spoon into a bowl.
  • Cover bowl and refrigerate over night
  • taste and adjust seasonings and serve with cucumber slices or pita chips.

Seriously, that’s it. It is light and summery. The lemon pairs well with the cucumber slices and with the Strawberry Lemonade Hard Seltzer chosen as tonight’s beverage. My favorite thing about this dip is that i almost always have all of the ingredients in the pantry and fridge so i can easily make this in a hurry without adding a lot to the grocery list. It also works as a great base. You can play around with spices to give it some heat. You can blend roasted red peppers into it. It is excellent on it’s own but it is also easy to play around with. I actually like to use it in sandwiches actually. I’ll spread a layer on my bread and then layer cucumbers radish slices and mung beans on it for an excellent lunch time treat. the veggies give you a nice crisp bite to the sandwich. Sometimes I’ll even quick pickle the cucumbers. I’ll put the cucumber slices in a bowl with a Tablespoon of grated ginger, and then add equal parts mirin and rice wine vinegar. shake them up a bit so the slices are covered. leave them in the fridge for half an hour and then add them to your sandwich. It is fabulously fresh and delicious. It will probably also be tomorrow’s sandwich at my house, providing any of the hummus lasts through the evening. No matter how big a bach I make, it always disappears fast.



A Peel off Clay Mask for Friday

I am not always a fan of peel off masks. There are a few that I like, but for the most part they seem to traumatize the skin with few benefits. I always have high hopes for them because I like the thought of not having to rinse off the mask at the end. I am however a huge fan of the clay mask, even with the washing up. In fact there are very few clay masks that I have tried that I have not liked.

The only issue is that they are often messy.

This month in my April Glossy Box there was a French Pink Clay Pore Clearing Peel Off mask from Freeman. I like pore clearing masks and I like clay masks. If they could be combined with the lack of washing up from a peel off mask then this would be a fantastic find.

Now I have had Freeman products before. They are offered for sale at Target (among other places) are relatively inexpensive and generally fun. In fact that is how I usually think of Freeman products. They are generally fun. They are sht sort of thing you use for a group sleep over because they are good for almost everyone. I’ve never had a lot of major skin care benefits from them though. They are fun to use but I have never used them and then thought, wow my skin is fabulous I really need to keep this on hand.

But I am willing to confess that I have not used everything by them so at some point I may find something wow in their product line. And really a Peel off Clay mask is something I find appealing. So I put it onto my face and then lay down to wait. I was going to light candles and put on music, but I didn’t. Instead I ended up falling asleep.

It has been a long week and I should have known better than to lay down, still I did.

red with not much pore clearing

The mask was completely dry when I went to the bathroom to take it off. I haven’t used a peel off mask for a while and let me tell you, this hurt coming off. Admittedly that could be because I left it on too long. It could also be because I haven’t used a peel off mask in a while and am no longer used to them. Because it was completely dry it came off in more or less one sheet. so while somewhat painful it was easy to remove.

While my skin was red it was from the action of pulling, not from any chemical irritation. I will say though that there was really no pore clearing that I could see. My skin was soft but I think it was partially because the mask ripped out a bunch of fine hairs more than any actual skin care properties. I think in general this falls into the fun category and not in the category where I expect actual skincare benefits out of it. Freeman did not impress. If I am going to go with a peel off mask, I’m probably going to go with the Hey Honey Take off the Drama Peeling mask, it may have hurt when peeling off but the skincare benefits were unmistakable. This was not worth the pain.

Sparitual

The Skincare Lineup: April 30th, 2021

The complete line up (with my reusable rounds newly washed in Thursday’s laundry and peeping out of the container which is slightly too small but I like it)

Welcome to the friday skincare line up, my darlings. Most things were still in use from last week but there are a few updates and a couple of changes coming. Let’s take a look

The Day time players

Daytime Skin Care

Deodorant: Native Powder and Cotton Deodorant

Cleanser: La Roche Posay Toleriane Purifying Foam Cleanser (end of week 6)

Toning Essence: Byroe Bitter Greens Toning Essence (end of week 5)

Serum: Loreal Midnight Serum (end of week 6)

Eye Cream: Perricone MD Smoothing and Hydrating Eye Cream (end of week 6)

Moisturizer: 111Skin Y Theorem Day Cream (end of week 6)

Sunscreen: Volition Prismatic Luminizing Shield in SPF 50

While I adore my Volition sunscreen, I have a sunscreen sample I want to test in the upcoming wee, so even though it is my standard and I will be returning, I want to give another product a try. You can never have too many sunscreens on your personal approved list. And as summer approaches and more time is spent outside, I want to get my summer preparations underway. For me that means new sunglasses, baybe a new beach towel, hopefully a gardening hat (although that quest has been ongoing) and definitely a number of sunscreens to use. I may have to actually hide the Volition so I don’t reach for it automatically.

The La Roche Posay cleanser I am still loving. Which isn’t a surprise as it is not a new to me product. I have pulled this in and out of my routine for years. It is a reliable formula, gentle on the skin and you only need one pump to wash the face. Slowly the left of product is going down, but I’m really in no rush to use it up.

I still like the scent of the Byroe and the way the Essence opens my skin up to receive the products. This is the second essence i;’ve tried and I really like it. One drop is all that is needed so it will last a while, but i need to think about adding essences permanently into my skin care line up as a category since I can really notice a difference when I use them.

I am ending week six with the L’oreal Paris Midnight Serum. The review will definately be up next week. I think I have enough serum to make it through next week but I don’t think i will make it past next week. despite the name the serum is used both morning and night. To be honest, I will not be terribly upset about reaching the end of this serum.

I will be sad to see the end of the Perricone Eye cream though. I thought it would run out this week, but so little product is needed that it is still going. I know that I have the sample in the squeeze tube, but I actually like eye cream in these tubes better because I use only what I need. I often find that when eye cream comes in a jar I tend to over use the product. This tube lets me dispense just the small amount I actually need which I really like.

My 111Skin moisturizer is also still going strong. I think I have about two week’s worth of product left in the jar. I tested this moisturizer out as a sample size and liked it enough to use the full size jar. It is interesting to see the changes in opinion from the sample to the full sized jar. I still like the cream, but my opinions are definitely more complex. With the sample you have only a short window to judge the feel of it on your skin, the scent and any initial sensitivities to the formula. It is only after a thirty day use that actual results can be seen and this has been interesting for me. It has also made me look at my list of samples that i have tried, liked and want to try in a full size in a new light.

But now we need to move into the night…

Night time Skincare

Makeup Remover:  CBD Superfood Dual Cleansing Oil from Yensa

Cleanser: La Roche Posay Toleriane Purifying Foam Cleanser

( I didn’t wear waterproof eye makeup this week so I didn’t need the separate eye makeup remover from Klorane)

Toner Akar Skin Balance Toning Mist (end of week 3)

Serum: Loreal Midnight Serum

Eye Cream: Perricone MD Smoothing and Hydrating Eye Cream

Moisturizer: All in one Egg Mellow Cream from Too Cool For School

Vitamin C Powder: The Nue Co Topical C (end of week 1)

Neck serum: Dermelect Self Esteem Beauty Sleep Serum

Lips: Bite Beauty Agave Lip Mask (in Maple) – this week I didn’t use a lip scrub.

Slowly I am using up the Yensa CBD cleansing oil. It is a good product, I just don’t care for the scent. I am determined to use it up though. I won’t be repurchasing it, even though it is a really good cleansing oil. The scent is really just too much for me.

Now that I have found that just a little spritz is all that is needed from the Akar toning mist, I am feeling better about it. For me it is still a night time product rather than a day time one because it does tend to get a little sticky and takes a little longer to sink into the skin than I like in the morning.

this week even though I put the Nue Co Topical C powder on the list, I forgot to use it. I could justify it as the week of testing the All in One Mellow Cream Moisturizer, but the truth is I just forgot it. I need to put it front and center so that I do remember to use it.

I did use the Too Cool For School Moisturizer sample this week and in fact I used it right up. I have enough for tonight, but then the tube will be heading off to the empties bin. I have seen the brand around but never picked them up. i think that it is because of moisturizer snobbery on my part. They are an affordable moisturizer so in my head I think I downplayed them. It is a good moisturizer and one that i would like to try in the full size. It is a little on the thick side though. I am very glad that i used it as a night cream more than a day one. I think in the winter time I could have used it during the day, but as temperatures heat up it is a little too thick and rich for me to use as a day cream. It was excellent at night and I didn’t need to add a night mask or extra night cream which was nice. While I am putting this on the list to try in a full size, I will probably wait until the temperatures dip again in the autumn to try it out so that I can give it its best chance of success. I see no reason to try and sabotage a product.

In other Skincare…

Versed Press Restart Gentle Retinol Serum

Earth Harbor Marina Biome Brightening Ampule

This week I used the Versed Retinol once instead of twice. And since I use the oil after the retinol I used the Marina oil once as well. Usually I use the chemical exfoliant Tuesdays and Thursdays, but this thursday was my dentist trip and novocaine extravaganza. To be honest last night I washed my face and slapped a little cream on before crawling into bed. It was not the night for a drawn out skin care routine. Usually i like the longer skin care routine, especially at night. It is how I slowly wind down my day and I like to take my time with it. last night i just wanted the day over. I do like how the Versed Press Restart works with my skin though so I will keep using it.

And that was this week in skincare. Not a lot was different from last week but changes are on the horizon. Full reviews will be posted soon and the line up will have some new additions starting Saturday. It will be interesting to see what the new changes bring.

If you are looking to stock up on your favorite skincare or pick up something for someone special, Lovely Skin is having a really big sale. You can click the banner below to be taken to the site. They have a wide variety of skincare from great brands and I have never had a problem with any order I’ve had from them. I love taking advantage of their sales and will probably poke around a bit on the site later.

LovelySkin

Weekly Weight: 216.8 lbs

The Scale: April 30th, 2021

Good morning my darlings and welcome to Friday morning. It has been a rough week for me. I apologize if I have been off all week. In addition to starting the new workout schedule I had the dentist this week. I know that doesn’t sound like a lot, but I have a slight phobia about the dentist. It isn’t rational. He is a lovely man. In fact all of my dentists have been lovely people. the phobia is entirely irrational.

As soon as I make a dental appointment, the nightmares start. I alternate between two actually. There is one where the dentist slips and plunges one of the dental tools into my eye by mistake blinding me. And yes in the dream he usuallty slips on a banana peel just for that extra ludacris effect. although the second one is worse as far as logic goes. In that dream the dentist pulls out a tooth, finds it is deeply attached and keeps tugging, finally pulling my brain out of the tooth’s roots as though it was some sort of bizarre imitation of the Egyptian’s mummification ritual. I know that given the shape of the human skull and how things are actually connected that is beyond ridiculous but still, the dream haunts me.

It means the days leading up to the dentist I don’t get a lot of sleep, and then i am cranky due to lack of sleep and my own annoyance with myself at the dreams. Add in the new work out and I am just kind of toasted.

But things turned out okay yesterday. I wasn’t blinded and my brains weren’t ripped out in a pseudo mummification process. I had a fairly good night’s sleep last night so I am starting to feel more like me again. which is always nice. And despite everything I managed to shave off a little weight this week and I think I might have a pretty good handle on my schedule so i won’t get backed up next week. At least that is the plan.

To the stats!

Weekly Weight

Last week: To the Stats!

Starting Weight: 246.0 lbs

Last week’s weight 217.2 lbs

This week’s weight:   216.8

Change this week:  lost 0.4 lbs

Lost over all thus far: 29.2 lbs

Okay slowly but surely moving forward. I know the new routine isn’t mgic but I did hope for a little bit more weight lost. I think stress may have thrown me a bit. But progress is still progress. And when I actually get to 30 lbs lost I will be doing the happy dance. It will be long and it will probably have no rhythm as my brain tries to mash up several different songs, but I will dance.

In other updates: The shoes.

A little more wear on the toes As you can see, it is not a comparison photo. I went into my folder this morning and realized in my grand purge I erased the photos. However I think i still have them on my i-pod. I’ll be going in this weekend and seeing if I can track them down. I haven’t cleaned that file out yet and as I deleted several of my before and after photos for skin care I am really hoping they are still tucked away. So fingers crossed that i will have the before and after photos when the shoes are finally word though. At the moment though they are perfectly worn in and not worn out so i have time. I believe we are coming up on the three month mark for the shoes and their use so so far, so good.