Macy’s February 2021 Beauty Box Unboxing

The card, the bag and the pink tissue roll of goodies for the February 2021 Macy’s Beauty Box

I know it is March, but my February Beauty Box from Macy’s finally arrived.  It is however not the last of the subscriptions to arrive as I am still waiting for Petit Vour and EarFleek to arrive.So even though February has departed, we have a few late arrivals to cover.

Macy’s Beauty box is a $15 per month subscription and in the subscription box you are supposed to receive five deluxe Sample size items and I believe you are supposed to get a bag of some sort each month as well. In December the bag was replaced by a set of plastic travel sized containers (which was actually pretty nice) and in January since it was a hair care themed beauty line up they replaced the bag with a mini flat iron. As I already have a mini flat iron I passed it to my mom and she is absolutely loving it. It was kind of an amazing thing to get in a $15 Beauty Bag.

The Canvas Bag

This month the canvas draw string bag is a little less exciting, but to be fair it is a really sturdy and well-made canvas bag.  It actually put Ipsy’s Glam Bag Plus draw string bags to shame and that is a $25 beauty bag.

But the bag is really just a little something extra. 

This month’s bag celebrates ‘skin-gredients’ and features items  ‘Grounded in skin loving ingredients from mother nature. So let’s see what was inside.

The first item is the Elemis Papaya Enzyme Peel. (currently Lovely Skin has this Mask on sale for 20% off if you follow the link it will take you there. I’m not sure how long the sale will last but I am always excited to see Elemis on sale so I thought I’d share).  You know I love the brand Elemis.  Every product I have tried from them has done amazing things for my skin.  And actually this Papaya Enzyme peel was in my Look Fantastic Box this month as well.  In addition, that was the box I received two of due to my own miscalculations and so I now have three of these trial sized tubes.  The three of them may be enough product to do a full skin care review. Regardless of future reviews, I am always happy to see Elemis in any beauty bag.

Do you know what I am also happy to see? Caudalie.  The Vino Perfect Radiance serum was in this bag and I am never upset about seeing it.  I’ve tied it before and really liked it.  I have a couple of other Caudalie serums and really enjoy them.  At the moment the Beauty Elixir is in my skin care line up and I have to say it has been a great edition to the skin care shelf.  

Next up is the First Aid Beauty Ultra repair cream.  I have a love/hate relationship with First Aid Beauty.  Well actually it isn’t a love/ hate relationship it’s more of a love/meh relationship.  The products I like from them I really really love and the products I don’t like aren’t bad they are just meh.I tried a tiny sample of this cream before (it lasted two weeks) and I ended up putting it on my to be purchased in the full size list.  This tube is packed full and I am very happy to have this appear in my beauty bag this month. 

The next item in the February Beauty Bag is from Perricone MD.  It is the soothing and hydrating eye cream. To be honest the only thing I have ever tried from Perricone has been the no makeup makeup lipstick.  It was an excellent product and one I reordered once it ran out.  I look forward to trying the eye cream.  The eye cream I am currently working with isn’t really making me happy, so it is nice to have another one in the wings.

I’ll admit I have only heard of Sundari before and never actually tried any of their products.  I am also not entirely certain how to use an eye oil, but I now have the Sundari Chamomile Eye oil in my collection.  According to the little pamphlet it is suppose to smooth skin and combat fine lines.  My guess is that you either use it in place of a n eye cream or to boost your current eye cream. I will be looking at more information before I open it and if it is an eye cream booster I may be putting it to work soon. 

The final item in my bag this month is a perfume sample from the brand Clean it is the Galbanum and Rain Fragrance.  I’m not entirely certain what a Galbanum is so I will have to look that up before I give it a week’s trial.  Right now I am testing a group of Perfumes from Kierin NYC Perfumes, but this will definitely go into the lineup of perfumes to be sampled in my never ending quest to build a scent library.

All in all I have to say I am very pleased by the selections in the February Macy’s Beauty Box.  I wish it didn’t have to spend so much time hanging out in a Georgia Post office, but I am glad it is here now.  I received two items from brands I adore (Elemis and Caudalie) One cream that I know I like, two skin care items I have never tried and am looking forward to giving a go and a new perfume to try out. This was an excellent $15 bag. And I can’t wait to see what turns up in March’s Beauty bag.

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Limited Edition Lunar New Year Pro Collagen Marine Cream

The Spring 2021 Eyeshadow Palette Declutter

<y collection of Eyeshadow Palettes All laid out so I can actually see them

I am generally not a big decluttering fan.  I generally don’t purchase a lot of extras and wait until I use things up before I purchase more.  It is why I keep my lists of things I want to pick up handy so that once I use things up I can move on to new things I want.  I do this primarily because my big addiction is really skin care and if you keep skin care too long it can easily go bad on you. 

However with so many subscription boxes, eyeshadow palettes arrive on my doorstep with great frequency.  I have one drawer in my dresser where I store them.  I like to keep them in one row so I don’t forget about them.  Recently I noticed that drawer was getting very overcrowded and I was forgetting I had things.  Part of that was that face palettes were getting mixed in and lost in the craziness. Part of it was disorganization and part of it was that I had palettes I just wasn’t using anymore that were taking up space.

So I decided to do a declutter.  I am not going minimalist, but I am getting rid of a few items.  I probably should have been more cut throat, but there were some I just wasn’t ready to part with. I will sort through them again in the fall, but for now this is what I am getting rid of. It doesn’t mean these items are bad.  Some of them are quite good, but I find that I am no longer reaching for them or I have the same colors in a formula I like a little bit better.  All of them will be cleaned up and passed along to family and close friends who will get use out of them before the products expire. 

Over all, I am getting rid of eight eyeshadow palettes which, is about 15% of my eyeshadow palette collection.  Here is a brief run down. 

Soph x Revolution Ultra Eyeshadows: 

This is a nice palette that performs well but I just find that all of the colors I like in this palette I have replicated in outer palettes.  The only one I don’t have elsewhere is the shimmery green called Pine Tree.  As you can see it is the only shadow that actually looks like it has been touched.  Which is mostly because I will pull this palette out just for that color.  All of the shadows are soft and buttery, but I really do only reach for this for Pine Tree, so I am going to pass it along and see if I can find the one color I want elsewhere.

Autobalm Pic Perfect from The Balm:

Again, these shadows are great formulas.  All except the one cream base called Neutral Primer.  I despise that product.  It doesn’t perform well and it collects fall out from other shadows so it always looks dirty.  The shadows work really well and I will be picking up St. Charles elsewhere, possibly in a single shadow.  I never reach for this palette mostly because of the metal container.  While I think it looks adorable, it is really hard to open and each time I look at it, I recall how I have split several nails trying to open it and just pass it by in favor of another palette.  So it never gets used. I will pass this on to someone who will really enjoy playing with it and not mind the container.  I will be getting a single of St. Charles though and I still love The Balm formulas, just not this palette. It’s a cute idea that just doesn’t work.

Doucce Freematic Palette:

I love the way this palette looks and the way that it is magnetic and can be replaced.  I really like the highlighter and the shimmery maroon shade in the lower row.  That shade is absolutely stunning. However, I don’t like the other shadows.  They just didn’t work for me.  I have other highlighters that I like as well and I did find a shadow that almost identically matched the maroon shade I love, so I am passing this on.  It is actually going to my mom.  She has been looking for a good magnetic palette and I think she will really like this one.  I also have a blush that goes with the freematic system that I am passing on to her unopened as it can be used with this set up.  I know these are her colors and I know it will be well loved so it is no hardship to pass it on.

Complex Culture Full Time Eyeshadow Palette:

The palette itself is lovely.  It feels really luxe in the hand.  I just didn’t like the shadows.  They didn’t perform well for me and I simply don’t see myself reaching for this palette.  Therefore I am passing it on to someone who might get better use out of it.  I would rather dome one take it in looking new and shiny then let it knock around the drawer for a few months while I dither about trying to make it work because the outside is so pretty.  And truthfully even if I did make the shadows work, none of them are unique.  I have all of these shades in other formulas that I like more.  So decluttered the palette gets.

Deck of Scarlet Edition 04:

This is an interesting palette.  It is more of an all in one palette.  The two cream products on the side are lip products and as you can see I liked one of the,  I actually used a bit of the purple lipstick to mix with the neutral one.  The shadows are nice as is the blush, but I simply don’t reach for this palette.  It was great when I was going on a quick over night trip because it has everything combined, but it is so limited that I quickly get bored with it and just forget about it.  To be honest I may have to check on the dates of this as it may be too expired to risk passing along. 

Pur Festival: 

Again this is kind of old and I am simply not reaching for it any more.  I liked how it performed and the shadows were great.  I really liked that red glitter shade and the hot pink under a brown smokey eye was absolutely fantastic.  However it is old and I’m not reaching for it and to be honest when I pulled it out of the drawer to look at, there was a not so pleasant scent coming from it.  I believe that regardless of the date on the palette, these shadows are expired and should not be worn. I still like Pur Shadows though, this palette however must go.

LA Splash Magic Eyeshadow Palette:

I love the colors, but absolutely hated the formulas.  They were patchy and difficult to work with.  This is one of those palettes that makes me a little sad as it looks so ready to be my everyday palette, but just failed miserably.  I really wish it had performed better.  Perhaps someone with more skills can work with it, but the patchiness was just too much for me to overcome.  And I do have these shades in different palettes.  Still it made me sad as it is a good everyday mix of colors and is the perfect travel size.

Laura Geller Central Park State of Mind:

I know, technically this is a face palette. I’m still including it in the bunch because of the eyeshadows. I liked the Cherry Hill rose shimmer and I liked the blush.  The other shadows and the highlighter I didn’t care for.  As you can tell from the state of this palette the mattes have a lot of fall out.  It looks far more used than it actually is.  All of the shadows, including Cherry Hill I have elsewhere so those are not a loss.  I really did like the blush shade though and will have to look and see if Laura Geller has that shade of blush elsewhere. It was a great color and performed really well. It is the one thing I will miss in getting rid of this palette.

So there you have it, the eight palettes that I am decluttering from my collection.  All had their highs and lows and now it is time for them to be passed along.  Those that can still be used will be sent to close family and friends who will use them after they are cleaned up and sanitized.  The ones that are expired will be dealt with, as much of them going to recycling as possible. A friend of mine actually does uses powdered products in his art and jewelry making. He grinds them up and used them as pigments mixed with epoxy and resins so I might see if he wants the expired ones as they will still be useful but cause no harm to the skin. Plus I like to think of the glitter eyeshadows of the Pur Palette encased in a ring or pendant. It makes me happy that they can still be used and still look beautiful.

Even though I didn’t get rid of a lot, taking everything out and looking at what I have, reminded me of what was in the drawer and let me think about what I really was going to use.  I found several palettes that were buried that I want to use again as now I can find them.  Mostly his gave me the chance to reorganize the drawer and put everything where I can see it so that I am not always reaching for the same item all the time. It wasn’t a massive declutter, I know, but it suited me and I am very happy with what has been done.

Volition Beauty

Happy Hour: Pinot Noir and Honey Goat Cheese

Welcome once again to Happy Hour. This week was long and there was much grease filled carnage earlier in the week so we decided to tone down happy hour to wine and cheese.  In this my babydoll decided to help me out. 

In his way.

My plan was to do a goat cheese and honey melt.  To put it quite simply you put goat cheese in an oven proof ramekin, drape honey over it and put it under the broiler just long enough for the honey to bubble a little and the goat cheese to soften.  Then you take it out and try not to burn your fingers as you greedily spoon it over crackers.  It is delicious.  I usually pair it with a chardonnay (or any wine with citrusy notes) it is one of those dishes perfect for that evening that has a bit of a chill but followed a warm day.

However before I could go out, my babydoll stopped at the store and picked up a honey goat cheese and a bottle of Pinot Noir. (I mentioned I needed to pick up wine and cheese for the Friday Happy Hour so he helped me out by picking them up for me.)  The goat cheese has honey in it so there was no need to add anything.  This particular one is from the Public’s Deli. I’m guessing that is the brand.

Because the honey was already added and I hadn’t tried this before, we went with the standard unwrap and serve method rather than actually heating anything up.  As a bonus it let me use my Boska Cheese knife.  We picked up a set a while back and I have to say they are really nice cheese knives.  The handle and blade are all one piece so you don’t have to worry about the blade coming loose and they are just so elegantly shaped.

The cheese itself was interesting.  The honey made it lightly sweet but was mixed well enough that the honey did not become cloying. The sweet tamed the kind of goat-y funk that goat cheese can have but it was still in that tangy goat cheese realm. 

Over all it was actually a really good cheese, even if if wasn’t what I was expecting (or what i would serve with this wine). To be honest if I were to get this cheese again (which I would ) I think I would crumble it into a small oven proof dish and sprinkle finely diced jalapenos on it and then heat it up until the jalapenos were fragrant and sinking into the softened goat cheese.  I think a little vegetal heat would go well with this cheese and I think heating it slightly would prove to be beneficial to the melding process flavor-wise even though goat cheese isn’t a great melting cheese.

But that is for another time.

To go with this cheese was the wine my baby doll picked up.  He picked up a Chateau Souverain Pinot Noir 2018.  When I asked him why he chose this wine, he said…

“There was a couple doing the polite public arguing over by the Chardonnay and a couple of people without masks breathing on the bottles in the area so I picked one I didn’t think we tried before and hadn’t been breathed on.”

Not exactly how I usually pick wines, but somedays that is just what happens.

So this is tonight’s wine.

According to the Chateau Souverain website…

Chateau Souverain Pinot Noir 2018 opens with dark red fruit aromas reminiscent of cherry and raspberry. Notes of fresh blueberries are complemented by hints of clove and vanilla. The wine finishes with cleansing acidity and a fruit-driven balance that gives the wine a polished sense of elegance.

Chateau Souverain

I love how wine descriptions and perfume descriptions share so many similarities.  All of the notes mentioned are ones I like, so lets see what actually comes out in the bottle. 

First off, this is a screw top bottle rather than a corked one.  While I generally go for corked I know there is nothing wrong with the screw tops.  I just really like the act of using the corkscrew to open the wine before pouring.  I have had several screw top bottle wines that I did enjoy.  I’ve also had several that I didn’t, although truthfully I could say the same about wines with corks. I only mention it because of the scent.

One thing that I notice happens with a lot of screw top wines is they get a scent.  When you first open them, the scent tends to be bitter and highly acidic and slightly sour. The first sniff makes you think the wine has gone off. I don’t know why, but it seems to happen to red wines with screw tops often enough to be noticeable.  I have also noticed that the initial scent doesn’t have a lot to do with the wine. Usually the wine hasn’t gone off and it is just that initial scent so you have to actually taste it to find out about the wine.  It is best to pour it into the glass and sniff then.  The bitter acidity of that first scent dissipates and then you get the scent of the wine. Perhaps it has something to do with the wine splashing against the metal cap. I don’t know. But this wine had it when opened and lost it once poured.

There is still a slightly acidic scent to the wine in the glass, but it is mellowed with fruit and spice notes. In drinking it, I noticed the clove and vanilla mentioned. The vanilla is a very light hint hiding behind the clove. There was a deeper hint of cherry, but it was more bitter cherry than sweet cherry. It was cherry with a bite.

In a five star rating system I would probably give it a three.  It is nice to drink, but not spectacular.  I would also use it in a beef stew.  I think the fat and heaviness of the beef would actually work well with the flavors of the wine when cooked down. And as it is nice to drink a glass with a portion of the stew would not be amiss. I think that it would actually do really well in a beef stew, especially one that leaned into the sort of warm spices you find in Moroccan type flavors. There the wine would be a distinct asset to the flavor of the stew.

In a happy hour setting, I probably wouldn’t serve this wine with goat’s cheese again, honeyed or otherwise. The goat’s cheese was a little too tangy to suit this wine, even with the sweetness the honey brings.  I would also not go with too pungent a cheese. 

I would probably serve this with a triple cream brie served on baguette rounds and topped with a cherry compote. The cheese is mild and the bread unspiced so it wouldn’t compete with the flavors of the wine.  The cherry compote would bring out the fruity flavors and dim down the acidity.

I would pick up this wine again to drink although I usually prefer something more rounded and less acidic (which is why it only receives a three on my rating system). I think pairing it with the brie and cherry compote would work to bring out the fruiter aspects of the wine and not make it so spice forward. As the store near us carries the wine it is easy to pick up and as it costs $9.99 it is not a break the bank price, so I am fairly certain it will make a return trip to our house sometime in the future. It may not be a special occasion wine, but it is a good solid affordable wine.


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Balance Me for Face Mask Friday

Balance Me AHA Glow Mask

Today my darlings we are going for another Balance Me Product for Face mask Friday.  This brand.  Oh this brand.  At this point I have tried a multitude of their products.  And here are the two basic truths. 

They work really well.

I can’t get past the scent.

Seriously. 

I tried the Vitamin C serum.  It worked really well. The formula was excellent on the skin.

It also smelled exactly like Lemon Scented Pledge.

I tried their Bakuchiol Serum. (Bakuchiol is like retinol but doesn’t give you the same sensitivity to sunlight.) I loved the way it worked on my skin and even in a small sample tube I saw some decent results.

It smelled like high end floor cleaner. The floral kind.

For me this is the curse of Balance Me products.  My nose gets me every time. I was however excited to see this in one of my subscription boxes though, because it is a mask. And I know I love masks.  I love them in all shapes and sizes.  Even if there are some I won’t try more than once, I will try most of them at least once. 

Oh speaking of masks, Facetory is having a massive Spring Sale.  I’ll put the link below but if you are looking to stock up, now is the time to hit them up.  Fabulous products and while they are usually affordable anyway, the sale just makes them super fabulous. I highly recommend checking them out. I use the four-ever fresh mask subscription but they also sell individual skin care products (not just masks).

Four-ever Fresh Subscription!

But back to the AHA Glo Mask from Balance Me.  Why was I so excited to get a mask from them? Because masks aren’t worn every day. The thing with the other two products I mentioned is that they have to be used on a consistent daily basis to achieve results.  I knew that no matter how good they were the scent would still make using them a chore and I would seek out other products. At this point in my life I know this about myself.  I’ve tried to use good products whose scent I just don’t like and it just doesn’t work out, no matter how much I tell myself that this time will be different. There are just so many other products to choose from.

With a mask I am hoping that it works as well as all the other Balance me Products but that even if I am not as fond of the scent as I might be, it will be okay because it isn’t an everyday use product.

So are you ready?

Then it is masking time?! (and yes the theme song that I am now singing is oddly  enough based on the Adam West Era Batman song. Sing it with me…da na na na na na na na Mask Time!)

Okay now that we are all on the same page it is time to dispense the mask. It is white.  It is creamy and while it does have a citrusy scent that leans towards lemon and an underlying tone that makes me think floor cleaner, it is actually not bad.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m not picking it up in a body butter scent, but it is a lot less strong than any of their other products have been. 

Oh my darlings, could this be the Balance Me product I enjoy?

Let’s apply and see.

I applied it to the face in a thin layer. The scent is a little stronger when applied but it still isn’t too bad.  The timer is set for fifteen minutes and While normally I lie down and relax, een if my thoughts aren’t as zen like as are usually encouraged, today I have several e-mail I need to type up so I will unfortunately be sitting at my desk.

Applied

But if you are missing your candles I suggest bouncing on over to Paddywax.  The last of their holiday scents (I adore the spicier candles and stock up on pre spring sales each year) are now all listed on their sale page AND they just released a line of incense called HAZE if that is more your thing than candles. I tend to lean more towards candles, but some of the incense scents are quite tempting.

Okay everyone back from the Paddywax site?  Excellent.  I finished my emails and the timer has dinged so off to the bathroom I go.

Much of the mask has absorbed which is usually a good sign.  According to the Balance me website …

After fifteen minutes

Restore radiance with our triple-action chemical exfoliation. Packed with a bio-active blend of fruit acids including glycolic, lactic and malic for maximum efficacy, our face mask will brighten, deeply purify, plump, and reveal a natural, more youthful, luminous glow in less than 15 minutes. To boost the formulation, we’ve blended with Kaolin Clay to draw out impurities and maintain the skin’s natural moisture barrier to lock in hydration and combat potential irritants.

RESULTS: Brightens, plumps and deeply purifies. Expect a natural, more youthful complexion.

Here are my before and afters.

makeup newly removed on the left, mask freshly taken off on the right (the red is partially because the water was really cold)

I have to say it was easy to wash off and quite enjoyable to wear.  I would say my skin looks a little brighter.  Most skin care requires repeated use for differences to be obvious.  While I don’t think my sample size will give me repeated use results, I do have enough in the tube for about two more applications.  I think what I may do is try this out on Monday and Wednesday for my masking and see if there is any greater difference.  I don’t think I’ll see major differences with such a short trial length, but there might be a few more details I can find out.  The detail I am most interested to see is if I am relieved that the tube is used up or wishing there was more in it.  Balance me is a relatively affordable brand.   A full sized 50 Ml tube is $29 (although it is only $21.95 on the Allbeauty site – I love their everyday discounts).

Which means that if the scent doesn’t get to me and I see some slight results, this may be the first Balance Me Sample I’ve tried that I am willing to put on my try in the full size list.  And honestly because I so liked the effects of the other products and couldn’t take the scent, I suspect that if the scent doesn’t make me want to avoid this by the end of the product then I may just give the full size a more complete try to make up for my noses rejection of the others. But that is something I’ll have to get back to you on.  For now, this AHA Glow Mask from Balance Me is a definite maybe.



The Make Up Bag: February 26th, 2021

The Makeup Bag used February 20th – 26th, 2021

This week’s makeup bag was a strange one. I wanted to test a flat top foundation brush (from F.A.R.A.H this is the link to the review if you are interested) so I chose five separate foundations for the week. I chose five that I really like and know how they perform for me so that it would be easier to test the brush.  It also meant that I didn’t consistently use any single foundation this week.  It was kind of a fun change. It also gave me an excuse to use several of my favorite foundations.

The Foundations this week

All of the foundations I used this week I really liked.  I used the powder Foundation of KVD Vegan Beauty.  This one is really good if you are in a rush as you just brush it on like powder, add a dash of blush and go.  I also used my Kristofer Buckle Triplicity Foundation.  I will pretty much use any excuse to go ahead and add that to my makeup bag as it is a really nice, really easy formula.  My excuse was that the stick formula makes it a cream foundation. 

I actually had a cream foundation in my dressing table and quite frankly I forgot all about it.  It is the Neutrogena Healthy Skin Compact Makeup.  I used it, really liked it, put it in the drawer and forgot it.  I think I may keep this one out this week to use it a bit more.   For my liquid foundations I used the e.l.f Acne Fighting foundation and the Pretty Vulgar Cool AF Lava Water Foundation.  I love both of them and will reuse them until they are gone and then repurchase. 

I wanted two products in each category but I only had the one powder foundation.  The KVD Vegan Beauty powder foundation is one I also need to reach for more often.  As you can see I have the old packaging on it and should probably use it up.  In certain lights you can see the outline of pan beginning to show through so I’m pretty confident I can use it up this year, even with switching out my foundations.  I just need to remember to keep it on the list.

While the focus was on the foundation this week, it clearly wasn’t the only product I used.  For primer I used the last of my Benefit Porefessional Pearl Primer.  It was the last of the sample and now it will journey to the empties bin. I like the primer and will be purchasing it in the full size as soon as I’ve cleared out a few of my primers. A could of them are actually pretty close to being used up so it shouldn’t be too terribly long.

Benefit also supplied my setting spray this week.  I used the Porefessional Super Setter.  I love the fine mist a d setting power of this setting spray.  But why am I mentioning it this early in the post, you might ask? Good question.  Normally I end with the setting spray, but things got a little discombobulated this week. Plus, I also had to use it with my eyeshadow. 

This week I used the Teddy Boy eyeshadow palette from Butter London.  The shimmers didn’t really show up terribly well unless I wet my brush or finger for application so it was the Porefessional Supper setter to the rescue.  While I ended up using it to set my face, it also helped out my eyeshadow palette.  This link will take you to the full Teddy Boy Palette review.  It isn’t my favorite palette but it is different from anything else I have in my collection, so I am okay with keeping it a while. It survived my Spring Declutter.  We’ll see what happens next time I sort through my palettes.

I used my Pretty Vulgar concealer this week.  It is a really good concealer and it worked well as a eyeshadow primer as well.  I think the tube is now about half empty.  It isn’t low enough that I need to keep it around to use up, so I’ll trade it out next week, but it is about at the halfway point which makes me sad as it is one of my favorites.  I may have to do a full face of Pretty Vulgar makeup before it goes out.  This is one of those brands that I have almost a full face of products to use.  At least as long as the concealer lasts.

My bronzer and blush were both trial sizes this week.  I used my NARS in the shade Laguna as my bronzer and my bareMinerals Bounce and Blur Blush in the shade Mauve Sunset as my blush.  I adore both of these products and I have to say this year you will be seeing a lot more of these tow samples because I won’t allow myself to purchase the full size until I use the samples up. 

Mostly because I know that once I have the full size, I won’t actually use the samples any more and they will be wasted.  Plus I know that if I can use the samples up then I will definitely use the full size.  With these two it isn’t a hardship as I really enjoy both products.  In fact I fall more in love with the bareMinerals Bounce and Blur each time I use it. It is the absolute best of both powder and cream blushes combined into one. They are both very bendable and ae easy to work with. I highly recommend both of them.

I had a pressed powder from e.l.f and a loose powder from Ciate London this week.  With the Ciate London Extraordinary Setting Powder, I used the translucent version.  I like the fact that it doesn’t have the coconut scent that the Vacaay powder does, but quite frankly I prefer the Everyday Vacaay version, even with the coconut.  I actually have an unopened container in my drawer, but I wanted to use this travel size up first. 

The regular extraordinary powder can leave a little white on the skin if you aren’t careful.  The Vacaay version doesn’t have this issue.  As long as you go back in with a brush it is fine, I just thought it a little odd that one had the smidge and the other didn’t.  The e.l.f. pressed powder also had this issue. I really like the formula of the elf HD pressed powder though as one it is in place it really keeps the shine from coming through and doesn’t look powdery. I think in the future with the elf I would get the tinted powder rather than the translucent.  I like the formula but the translucent does tend to be a little too white on my skin. 

My eyeliner this week was the Tarte Double Take eyeliner.  One end is a liquid pen and the other is a soft pencil.  I enjoyed both sides this week and will certainly be using this again.  Which is a bonus for me as I have a second unopened liner that came in this month’s Boxycharm waiting for me to finish this one. While I did an eyeshadow palette declutter I think my next declutter may end up being eyeliners.  I at least need to separate the open ones from the others so that I can use some of them up.  The issue is that I really don’t wear eyeliner all that much and when I do I tend to reach for my reliable Eyeko more than anything else.  I think I might have actually use the last Eyeko I had up completely. I’m pretty sure that is what prompted me to gram a different eyeliner this week. But I am glad I did as I enjoyed the Tarte Double Take. 

This week I used the Hourglass brow pencil and it was a good formula.  The pencil is starting to dry out a little, or at least it no longer seems as comfortable to apply as it did when I first got it.  When I looked at the amount of product left in the pencil though, it is getting pretty low.  The Hourglass eyeliner may be sticking around in my makeup bag for a while as I try to use it up.  While I still enjoy using it, I can tell a difference from when I first used it to now.  I think that if you are going to use this brow pencil then you need to buy it and just use it until it is gone and don’t let it hang around.  It is nice, but it doesn’t have the greatest longevity.

No mascara on the left, mascara on the right.

This week my mascara was actually two mascaras.  I picked out the Kristofer Buckle Mascara to use as it has been open a while and while it gave me the length I wanted it wasn’t performing as well as it usually does.  I think it is just reaching the end of its life.  This one has been open for five months.  And I think this will be its last turn through the makeup bag. Sadly when I went on the site to capture a link so that you could go find it for yourselves should you be interested, this mascara was not listed on the site at all. I don’t know if they are doing things to the formula or releasing a new mascara so I will have to dive deep and find out. As I’ll soon need to repurchase my Kristofer Buckle Triplicity Foundation, I will be popping in and out of the site anyway.)

To bulk up the fading Kristofer Buckle I called in the Ciate London WonderWand.  This is not the first time I used this mascara and it won’t be the last.  It is fabulously thickening, which made it the perfect pairing for Kristofer Buckle’s Lengthening.  Together they were a great tag team. I may not be able to purchase the Kristofer Buckle again, depending on availability, but I will very much be repurchasing the Ciate London Wonder Wand Mascara. I have a second unopened ciate london mascara in my dressing table so I may compare the two to see if I like one better than the other before I buy it. As the Wonder Wand is getting low on product, I may have to do that test sooner rather than later.

My look for the day (the bangs were not behaving)

And finally the lips.  This week I used the Gel Color lip and cheek Balm crayon in Posh from Nudestix.  While I would not use this shade on my cheeks it made a fantastic neutral lip crayon that was surprisingly long lasting.  It wore off a bit at lunch time but surprisingly is hung on most of the day with a single morning application. 

I know I sound a bit surprised but I tried a liquid lip from Nude sticks a while back and I really didn’t care for it so I am surprised by how much I really enjoyed this lip crayon. I suppose it goes to show you can’t judge an entire brand on one product. I was quite impressed with this nudestix crayon.  I know this came in either a Look Fantastic or a Glossy Box a while back but I can’t remember if I used it or not.  Even if I didn’t I am glad I used it this week as I really enjoyed it and will be reaching for it again.

This week was mostly about the foundations as I worked with the brush to see how it performed.  As a consequence I chose products that for the most part I knew wouldn’t give me much trouble.  Next week I have almost an entire bag full of new products to try. In fact I am going to see how many new products I have and put most of them in the bag.  So while this week was a bag full of good solid products, next week is going to be much more of an experiment. I can’t wait to see how it ends.


If you ae looking for brushes, Bdellium is having a sale. The link will take you to sale pages. I’ve really enjoyed all of the brushes that I’ve used from them and find them to be of consistently good quality. They also have a wide variety of styles so you can usually find the brush you ae looking for in their stock.

Weekly Weight: 217.8 lbs

The Scale February 26th, 2021

Good morning my darlings and welcome to the weekly weigh in.  I won’t lie I was somewhat nervous stepping on the scale this morning.  This week there was Pizza and wings and I full expected to have gained.  The fact that I lost a little makes me happy.  It also means that I am on track with my exercises.  I managed a walk each day this week and with the exception of Wednesday morning where the grease monster took over my belly, I managed to do my short list of exercises each day.  Four out of five days isn’t bad.  Next week I am trying for five days straight. 

This week as things are moving along a little easier I will be keeping more or less the same schedule as before, adding in the Wii when I can, and getting into the habit of doing those few set exercises every day.  I know this plan does make the weekly workouts posted a little on the boring side, but I don’t really need my workout plan to be exciting.  I need oit to be something consistent that I can incorporate into my daily habits.  Once that is done, I’ll increase them a little at a time.

At the moment the strength in doing a small workout each day is that it takes so little time and is really easy to add in. I think increasing it slowly is the way to go, at least for me. At least that is my plan.  I’m sure at some point my plan will change, because it so often does, but as long as I keep moving and keep my calories in check I don’t think that matters.  I’m not training for a marathon or racing towards a goal. So taking my weight down in short little nibbles without getting discouraged enough to quit all together is where my goals lie.  As long as I never actually stop, I can go as slow as I want.  And even though I had a speed bump this week, I still managed to make the numbers go down a little. So that counts for something.

And yes the slow and steady does make me feel like a turtle.  Personally, I’m okay t=with that.  I like turtles.

So to the stats…

Starting Weight: 246.0 lbs

Last week: 218.2 lbs

This week: 217.8 lbs

Lost this week: 0.4 lbs

Lost in total thus far: 28.2 lbs

So it may not be much weight lost this week but I am going to keep putting one foot in front of the other.  I have my meal plan in place and my baby doll and I have discussed why maybe a small container of candy or pretzels might be a better rotten day treat than a giant pizza and a boat load of wings.  Mostly because the sodium sky rocketed his blood pressure so his body rejected it more than mine did. I’d be happier if reason made more of an impact, but I will take it.  Especially now that his blood pressure is back under control. I will always love pizza and wings, but I think next time, I will bake the wings myself and mix up my own pizza dough.  I actually have recipes I like for both so it isn’t like we are excluding them from our lives.  I just can’t have them ready for pick up in fifteen minutes when my baby has an impulse.  They require planning. But they also allow me a little more control. Even if I am the turtle, control is good.

justmysize.com (Hanesbrands Inc.)

The Daily: February 25th, 2021

Good afternoon my darlings. The sun is shining, the weather is warm and I had a fantastic walk. I am still hoping to make up for the pizza and wings of earlier this week, but over all I feel pretty good about it. My life is never going to be about restrictive dieting. While I am losing weight to reach and maintain a healthy weight loss and I want exercise to be a daily part of my life, I am not going to make it the center of my life.

Life happens around fitness.

My goal is moderation in my enjoyment of things. I’ll admit, I went a little overboard on the pizza and wings this week, and my belly made me pay the price as even when I have indulged in heavy food lately it has all been homemade heavy food. I think it was the level of salt and grease from the takeout that really did me in. As most of the indulgences I’ve had in the near past have all been ones I baked or cooked myself it really does make a difference. I didn’t think it would but apparently my belly thinks otherwise.

I think that treats for a while will either be home made or something in small moderation. Especially as moderation is my goal. My babydoll who is also losing weight to get healthy along side me (and because his doctor informed him it was a good idea) suggested candy as it generally comes in smaller containers that can be more easily meted out. He suggested that I might want to add that to my subscription box list as he thinks it is way better than skincare. While I will agree that candy is nice (I do have a weakness for sour versions while I live with Mr. Sweet Tooth Chocoholic) my love of skin care will not be dimmed.

I actually went looking and while there are several chocolate based subscriptions, some of which look really nice in my search I came across a company called the Candy Club. I actually started drooling when I saw the Blue Raspberry Sour Belts. That is actually one of my weakness candies and the container is right there on the front page. That and oddly the Haribo Peach circles. I have a hard time resisting those as well. I like the fact though that the Candy Club has to be ordered, therefore I can crave it and order it but then I have to wait for it to come in and when it does I can eat it in moderation. If I can pick it up at the store then generally I am craving it and will go through the entire bag quickly. Sometimes the delay is my friend. I think more information needs to be found about the Candy Club. Research needs to be done.

In moderation of course.

For now, lunch was soup with a side salad and tonight’s dinner is going to be asparagus. For the first time this season it was at the store and while the plant is only little nubbins in the back of my garden the bundle at the grocery store was too hard to ignore. So dinner tonight is asparagus.

I haven’t had it since last spring and am already making the nom nom noises at my desk thinking about it. I know in most stores it is there year round, but even though I am willing to sneak in a bunch early, I generally only eat what grows here, when it grows here, so there is a limited window and this is a seasonal treat. There will also be a piece of salmon with it, but tonight it is all about the asparagus.

And yes I realize how silly it is hat the two treats mentioned are in season asparagus and blue raspberry sour candies. What can I say, i like what I like. As long as I remember to like it in moderation, everything will be fine.


Testing the Teddy Boy Eyeshadow Palette from Butter London

I picked up the Butter London Teddy Boy eyeshadow palette from one of the Boxy Charm Pop ups a while ago.  There was a debacle with delivery and when it arrived I was kind of exhausted by it and put it into my shadow drawer.  There I promptly forgot it.  Over the weekend I did a shadow palette declutter (Post on that will be going up Monday) and found it again and realized I had not actually tried it.  So it went into my makeup bag to try this week.

There are nine pans five of them are shimmer and four are mattes.  For the look for this post I started with my pretty Vulgar concealer as my lid primer.  I then used the neutral shade of Simon (top row Middle) all over the lids.  Simon went on well and it matched my skin tone perfectly.  I then added a light bit of Graham (the dark brown bottom row center).  Over this I added the blue of Freddie (top row left hand side). And then I used the Shimmer Archie (third row Left hand side).

It is a very simple look but it illustrates the colors in this palette fairly well.  This is a more cool toned palette than I am used to using and the colors do come off very muted.  I have another Butter London palette and it too has a brown color similar to Graham but in a warm tone. 

Layered mattes

It looks much richer when applied because it is a warmer tone.  Otherwise the mattes in this palette did apply fairly well.  They are buildable, to a point. 

They will never be saturated colors.  I don’t think any cool toned palette I have ever tried ended up with saturated colors. 

Something in the formulation of those cool tones means that the color tends to be less saturated, at least in my experience.  The dark almost Navy blue of Rupert (bottom row Left side) was a little patchy when applied.  It smoked out well on the corner of the eye, but there were patches if I tried to sweep it across the whole lid.

Left eye applied with a wet brush, right eye with the damp finger tip
row 1 swatches l to r:Freddie, Simon , Nick

With the shimmers, they barely applied with a dry brush.  Wetting the brush really helped with the application and quite frankly applying them with a wet finger tip worked the best. 

This is not a buttery soft formula.  It is somewhat hard in the pan.  It does take a little working with to get used to applying them, but once I worked with them a bit I was fine. 

Is it my favorite palette? No, I can’t say that it is. 

Row 2: l to r: Francis, Billy, Nigel

However I don’t have a lot of cool tones in my shadows and many of the shades in this palette are ones I don’t have elsewhere.  I like the shape of the palette and the way it opened from the center.  Because they are pressed so hard into the pan, there is little fall out when I applied the shades and I have to say once I applied the shade it stayed there all day. 

row 3: Archie, Graham, Rupert

There was a little creasing towards the end of the day, but the shadows stayed in place.  They were fairly muted when they went on and they remained fairly muted when the day was through. 

There were some definite high points.  I think the only reasons that I wouldn’t automatically reach for this palette a lot stem mostly from the fact that it is rare that I want cool tones.  Occasionally I really do like them and I am glad to have this palette in my collection for those times. 

It is unique in the shades (at least as far as my collection goes) and works well, just don’t expect it to be something it isn’t and it is a good little palette.


Klorane USA

Testing out the Flat Foundation Brush from F.A.R.A.H Beauty

I am a big fan of the flat foundation brush.  Even though my usual 999 Master Blender from Bdellium tools has a truncated handle, it is essentially a flat topped foundation brush. It is however densely packed. 

While I love my master blender, I have been on sort of a quest to find a long handled flat topped foundation brush that I enjoy using.  Part of the reason is that a couple of my favorite foundations come in foundation sticks.  While the Kristofer Buckle Foundation stick is my absolute favorite, I also enjoy the NARS (which sadly I think has been discontinued. I have mine down to a tiny nub and went to look at replacing it and it is no more) and ABH Foundation sticks

Most of the time when I apply stick foundation, I draw lines on my face with the foundation and then blend.  This is mostly because when I run the master blender over the top of them to pick up product the large oval size of it picks up too much product. It is simply too much surface area.

I know some of you think this is a bit too particular, but the truth is that I have had smaller flat topped foundation brushes in the past where I could swipe the brush over the top of a stick foundation and apply a very sheer coverage to my face.  It uses less product and I can build it up if I want to. Unfortunately the flat topped brush I was using (once upon a time) has long gone from my dressing table and I can’t remember the brand.  To be honest, I believe the brand may no longer exist.

So there is the quest. 

This month I received a Flat top Foundation Brush in my IPSY Glam bag and I thought, wow, this could be the shortest quest ever.

The brush as it arrived

The Flat Top foundation brush in question is from F.A.R.A.H By name it is the Flat Foundation 615 F and retails for $16 on the F.A.R.A.H site.  With F.A.R.A.H brushes I’ve had some good luck and some bad.  I’ve had an eyeshadow brush I loved (and still use) and I’ve had one that I hated. I’ve had a contour brush I loved and a powder rush I didn’t.  On the whole it is pretty even as to likes and dislikes with their brushes.

According to the site:

F.A.R.A.H brush heads have 100% Vegan synthetic luxury bristles for supreme application. Handles designed for ultimate comfort. Easy to use:  Dip your Flat Foundation 615F Brush into your favorite foundation and apply using a gentle tapping motion to the face for a flawless airbrush finish. Designed with 100% synthetic bristles. This brush is specifically made to be used with powders and cream foundations.

This week in order to test out the foundation brush I pulled several foundations from my collection. I pulled a KVD Vegan Beauty Powder blush, Kristofer Buckle Triplicity Foundation stick, Neutrogena Cream Foundation, E.l.f. Acne Fighting foundation and my Pretty Vulgar Cool AF Lava Water Foundation.  I figured this gave me an array of products to work with and see how I liked the brush. I used a different foundation each day and washed the brush each evening to let it dry overnight and so that it was clean for each application.

All of the foundations I have used before and really enjoy using. I also know how they work on my face with normal application.

The first up was the KVD Powder Foundation.  With this product the Foundation worked really well.  It gave a wonderful finish to the application process.  Powder foundations are this brushes strong suit.  It made me very hopeful that this would be a good brush. 

Loose Bristles

I don’t know how well this photo shows the small hairs, but after a first use, there were a couple of loose hairs.  I cut the ends off rather than pulling them out so as not to loosen the brush from the handle.

Incidentally, I really like the use of the tapered handle.  The slim handle made it easy to maneuver and use.  The metal did get a little slick if I had product on my hands.  As I often apply primer with my finger, this is not an uncommon occurrence and so I had to wipe off my hands really well before using the brush or the slick hands made the metal a little slippy. A few grooves cut into the handle would actually make it perform a lot better. As it is, the handle does feel good in the hand.

Next up I tried the Kristofer Buckle with this brush.  I tried picking up the formula from the top of the tube, but the bristles were a little too soft and didn’t pick up a lot of product unless I dug in too much.  It they were more densely packed or about half an inch shorter it would have worked better with this application.  As it was, the brush simply was too bendy to pick up much product. When I applied the stick to my face in streaks this flat foundation brush did a good job of blending the cream product in.  It took a little longer than I’m used to but it did work well.

It did not work well with either the e.l.f acne fighting Foundation or the Pretty Vulgar Cool AF. The e.l.f is more of a medium coverage and the Pretty Vulgar is medium to full coverage.  Streaks were left in the foundation and I had to go back in and smooth them out with my Master Blender and my Huda Beauty Makeup sponge.  It is simply not dense enough to work well with the liquid foundations without leaving streaks. 

Streaks showing in the foundation across my cheek

In all fairness the product description does say that cream and powder products are this brush’s wheel house.  I would describe the Kristofer Buckle Triplicity Foundation stick as a cream product and the KVD Vegan Beauty Powder foundation was of course, a powder.  These are the two products that this foundation brush worked with the best. 

It was only after the first use that it shed any bristles.  I’m thinking that first use just knocked a couple of them use.  While it doesn’t argue for the longevity of the brush, after that initial use, even with the four washes this week no further bristles were lost. To be honest, I will be reaching for this brush when I wear a powder foundation.  I have a couple and that is where this brush will be deployed. 

While it worked well enough in blending the Stick foundation and I’m sure would work well blending in any cream foundation it probably won’t be the brush I reach for when I do use the cream foundations. Last but not least, I used the Neutrogena cream foundation in my drawer and I did try swirling it in the product and applying it as well.  I had the same problem picking it up with the brush.  The brush is either not dense enough or it needs shorter bristles. It blended in the Neutrogena cream foundation well enough, but I still had to apply it with my finger.

As the point of the brush is to take it from the pan to the face without fingertip application, I won’t be using it for cream based products. The Flat Foundation Brush from F.A.R.A.H makes a good powder foundation brush, but in general, that is the only time I am reaching for this where foundations are concerned.  After my last wash of the brush I tried it with powder in general and it worked like a dream when applying both pressed powder and loose translucent setting powder. The bristles make it ideal for powder application, everything else is a bit of a strain.  I don’t mind having an extra powder brush so I’m not bothered by this and will get a lot of use out if it.  It just won’t be with foundation, so my flat foundation brush quest must continue.


Makeup Eraser

The Daily: February 24th, 2021

Oh my darlings, it is confession time. Yesterday I was doing fairly well keeping on track. I had my exercises done and my walking in. I had a nice salad for lunch and I was doing good.

And then my baby doll came home with pizza and wings.

They are my kryptonite.

He apparently had a bad day and wanted comfort food.

It was delicious. So bad for me, but so delicious.

There are a lot of foods that once I stopped eating them regularly my taste buds adjusted and I realized the crap food was actually not as good a I thought. Those then become easy to avoid because they don’t taste as good.

Pizza and wings are not in that category. At least not for me. They are now a rare treat that just tastes more delicious since I don’t have them that often.

The same does not hold true for the following day. My belly has what I should best describe as a food hangover. My taste buds and brain may still be relishing the memory but my belly feels the effects. It is not happy with me. I felt like a bloated wale on the beach this morning. And I did skip my morning exercises. I did get my walk in because it is gloriously sunny right now, but I kind of felt sweaty and gross. And not in the normal workout kind of sweaty. More of the my body is trying to purce last night’s grease kind of way. Not pleasant. It is a good reminder to take things in moderation though. And apparently I still need that reminder pounded into my brain.

So there is my confession. Tomorrow I will be back to normal and not a roly poly grease filled mess. Today, I will suffer for my culinary sins.