Calm and Clean

In the September Boxy Luxe I received the Cuccio Somatology Yogahhh! Calm and Clean Epsom Salt Hand and body wash with Lavender oil. I know, that is quite a name. And to be honest, i wasn’t certain about using the same product on my hands as my body.

I know. it is all skin, but the skin of my hands sees a bit more activity than some of my other parts and needs a slightly different product. But I am always game to try something new.

So, I looked the product up on the website…

CALM + CLEAN EPSOM SALT HAND + BODY WASH gently cleanses without dehydrating the skin.  Using the finest ingredients, Epsom Salt helps muscles feel reinvigorated and reenergized after the most intense of workouts.  The combination of Pro-Vitamin B5 + Shea Butter help keep your skin feeling moisturized post-shower.  Enjoy the soothing essential oil blend of Lavender Oil to help wash away stress and worry from the day, leaving the mind, body and spirit completely calm, renewed + restored.

I like epsom salts. When I was little we kept a jar of them in the house. Anytime you had a skin irritation such as poison ivy, you rinsed off any remaining oils from the plant (so they didn’t spread elsewhere) and then got to spend a large chunk of time soaking in a bath heavily laden with epsom salts. Because that is the trick with them. The longer you soaked, the better they worked. But you have to soak to get the benefits.

clear product in hand

I’m sure there are some benefits to putting them in a soap that you use and rinse off quickly, but given my past experience with epsom salts, I am not completely sold on this. However I’m guessing that the calm part of the title relates more towards the lavender oil.

And boy does this have some lavender oil in it. The only reason I am certain it is not pure lavender oil in the bottle is that it does foam slightly when you use it. Otherwise, it smells like lavender oil. Very strong lavender oil.

I like lavender but this was just a bit much for me scent wise. Still I figured the water would dilute it and so I put it to the test. I started with the shower. Here I used it like body wash. The hot water helped bring out the scent of the lavender before washing it away, which I didn’t particularly care for, but I managed. As a body wash, I didn’t particularly care for it.

It lathers slightly but not a lot. When rinsed, my skin did feel softer but it also felt like a little oily film was left behind. Combined with the scent, this was not a bath time product I enjoyed. While I don’t require massive amounts of foam from my products, I do want them to rinse off cleanly.

But there are two uses listed on the bottle. Hand and body, remember?

So I tried it on the hands.

the foaming action

The lavender scent was a bit much, but as I was only using it on my hands, the scent was not too overpowering. Because of so much hand washing and hand sanitizer, the oil aspect of this hand soap was appreciated. The skin of my hands really appreciated it. It didn’t dry my skin like my usual antibacterial soap. I still use my antibacterial soap when touching anything that came from out of the house, but it is nice to have a milder soap around for just normal handwashing, like if you just spilled honey onto your fingers when you made tea. So for those purposes it was nice to have around and I will certainly keep it around until it is used up.

It is however a product that retails for $39.95. As a body wash I didn’t care for it and while it is nice to have as a hand soap. I could just as easily use regular soap and then apply hand cream. For me to spend nearly $40 on this product it would have needed to be amazing. It did not come in as amazing, it came in as tolerable. So I will use it, and quite possibly reuse the bottle because it is a nice blue pump bottle (in fact the bottle is kind of my favorite part of the product), but I will not be purchasing a replacement.

La Roche-Posay- ACD

Treating my tootsies with e-cooking’s overnight Foot Cream

e-cooking’s overnight foot cream in its natural habitat – the night stand

I will be the first to admit that I put my feet through a lot. Not only do they support me through every activity, but I walk them nearly to death in my quest to lose weight. My main exercise, especially since I stopped going to the gym, has been walking. although truth be told even regular exercise inside the house, whether it is a work out video, wii fit or even just stripping down the beds so the sheets can be washed, my feet carry me through.

And I often forget this.

Usually a blister of some sort causes me to take notice of my feet and at that point I realize that I have very badly neglected them and begin a routine designed to make it up to them. (Then of course I slack off until I realize that I’m going to be wearing shoes that display my feet or another blister appears and the process begins again).

Because so many body creams are simply not designed for feet, I generally find one product that works and keep buying it. Quite a few years ago I picked up a Soap & Glory Foot cream that worked well and so I kept buying it. It is also what I use to compare newer products that I have tried. Thus far, nothing has displaced it as my go to foot cream.

inner lid

However when the e-cooking Overnight Foot Cream came in my October Look Fantastic Beauty Box, I was cautiously excited. I’ve tried other e-cooking products and found them to be really good. They seem to be one of those brands no one really talks about, but very quietly, competently and consistently puts out really good products. They are like the range of products you either know about and look for, or they float past your radar without making a blip on the screen.

At least that has been my experience. Maybe someone else gets bombarded with ads for them, but it sure isn’t me. Although my metrics for internet searches is kind of messed up. I do a lot of research for fiction writing. A couple of months ago I was researching a few things for a murder mystery and the computer just kept sending me boatloads of ads for criminal lawyers.

I think it was trying to help me.

But that is beside the point.

Foot cream is the point.

the product (after 2 weeks of use)

So, to the foot cream. The sample of the Overnight Foot Cream comes in a lovely glass jar with a nice simple label. I find it quite attractive actually. I really like that it has the inner lid on it as well. But as attractive as it is, it is what is inside that counts. So according to the product page…

It doesn’t matter how beautiful your sandals are if your feet aren’t well-cared-for. This is why we have developed a night cream that removes hard skin and moisturises the skin at the same time. The Overnight Foot Cream has a cooling antibacterial effect that protects against infections and has a lovely, fresh aroma of natural Eucalyptus.

The Overnight Foot Cream is created to work its magic whilst you sleep.

Ecooking’s Overnight Foot Cream also contains:

  • 15% Natural Carbamide (urea) improves hydration and treats dryness. It also has an anti-microbial effect.
  • Natural Lactic Acid – from the AHA (Alpha Hydroxy Acid) family – exfoliates and removes dead skin cells whilst boosting collagen production.
  • Eucalyptus Globulus Essential Oil increases blood circulation, leaving a fresh aroma and slight cooling sensation on the skin.
  • Natural Sodium PCA to improve the skin’s ability to absorb moisture.
  • Natural Menthol cools the skin.
  • Organic Sesamum Indicum Seed Oil moisturises the skin.
  • Natural Panthenol improves hydration.
  • Dermasoft Decalact acts as an active anti-microbial.
  • Organic Almond Oil softens and nourishes the skin.
  • Organic Glycerin keeps the skin moist.

Vegan and dermatologically tested.

Okay that’s a lot, but essentially it means that the cream is supposed to provide intense moisture to dry and calloused feet as well as killing microbes. I can get behind that. I would also like to say that while I like the little jar and think it is very lovely, the one issue I had with it was scooping the cream out as I tended to get too much in one sitting. The full sized version? Yeah, it has a pump so it isn’t a problem.

The product it semf smells of menthol. I am not a huge fan of the scent, but it goes on my feet, then I put socks on so after application, there is no issue with scent from me. And to be fair, because I associate mentol with Vicks Vapor Rub it felt like I was giving my fet something medicinal.

After one night, I could see a softening of the calluses and moisture returning to the dry spots. It wasn;t a miracle cream, but there was moisture overnight. After a week of steady use, there was no dryness in general and my calluses were much softened. While my feet will never be fabulously lovely and baby bottom smooth, after all the abuse I heaped on them this summer, they needed some care before the winter dryness set in.

Because that is their real enemy.

The calluses I can deal with and I can even live with the few dry patches, however once the winter sets in, dry callus tends to crack and crack painfully if something isn’t done about it. hile not an overnight miracle worker, with consistent use, this is a really good product. To be honest, it works as well, if not better than, the Soap & Glory Cream which is my standard for comparison. In addition, the ingredients are ones I feel more comfortable with putting on my skin. It is a more expensive cream at $38 per bottle, but as the trial sized 30 mL jar is still more than half full after two weeks of use, I think the 100 mL full sized bottle would get me completely through the winter. It is a good product, with good ingredients and I would have no problem repurchasing this Overnight Foot Cream from e-cooking.


The Daily: October 20th, 2020

At the moment my darlings I am feeling quite proud of myself. While procrastination is something I am very much prone to, this time not procrastinating actually helped me out. On Friday I did my voting early figuring the lines were going to be bad no matter when I went so I might as well get it over with.

And the lines were long.

And it took more time than I wanted to spend in line.

But i did it.

Today, my babydoll took some time off work to go and vote since the early voting is still open (its a two week window here in case you were wondering.)

The lines were long.

In fact longer.

It took him twice as long to vote today as it did for me to vote on Friday.

So even though I skipped my Friday Face mask I am so pleased that I ended up going as early as i could.

Beyond feeling tickled pink with myself for not procrastinating, did manage to get a walk in. Apparently my pleasure at voting early caused the sky to rain on my parade, literally.

well literal rain. Not literal parade. I think even my neighbors might take issue if I marched along with a band leaders baton down the walking trail. Of course as long as i didn’t have the band and the elephants following me, they might not, who knows.

The air felt humid but didn’t look like it was going to rain, so i went on my walk. I reached the furthest point of my walk, turned around to head back and that’s when the skies opened up. Rain ga-loushed (and yes I said Ga-loushed. Take that spell check.) out of the sky in buckets. And it lasted until I was about forty feet from my house. Then it tapered off. When I put my hand on my front door to open it, the rain came to a stop and the sun peeked back out.

I know it’s just the weather, but it’s hard not to take that personally.

Luckily my baby doll finished voting by then and so I was the only one soaked. The whole voting thing sort of stressed him (the line was not terribly well managed and I think he was worried he wouldn’t make it in to vote on time and have to go through the whole thing again) out, so I’m making him consolation deviled eggs.

I know he likes deviled eggs, but I really think he likes when they are put on the old cut glass egg platter. Whenever he has felt stressed, he likes when he gets something fancy to make up for it. And to his credit as soon as I told him I would make the eggs for him, he got the platter out of the back of the cabinet and washed it. It was my grandmothers and we only use it once every couple of years at best. I think he just didn’t want to risk me just putting them on a plate. So dinner tonight is a large spinach salad with a side of deviled eggs, on a fancy cut glass platter. Luckily, most of the eggs will be going towards someone else’s belly.

Shop Our Holiday Gift Set available now at! The Big Chill is the perfect way to Unwind this Winter — 3 pieces for just $16.99!

Sampling Coconut Water Cream from First Aid Beauty

I’ll be honest, I let this First Aid Beauty Coconut Water Cream moisturizer linger in the drawer.  Each time I reached in to try out a new product, my hand would pass over it.  I passed on it only for the sake of the word coconut. 

I know it is foolish, but there were so many coconut scented products in my world this summer that I felt a little coconutty myself.  It was the scent of the summer.  Admittedly, this summer was the Summer of 2020 so I’m not sure it really wants that association.

But most of the coconut scented products have been taken out of my skin care drawer and to be honest I have very few trial sized moisturizers left in the drawer.  I have an entire box full of serums to test out, but I am getting down to the larger moisturizers so soon I will be going back into the one month long trials and leaving these short tests behind.

It was time to bring the First Aid Beauty Coconut Water Cream out of the drawer and give it a try. So what should I expect?

Oil-free refreshingly light water cream moisturizer infused with skin nourishing Coconut Water hydrocharges your skin with a burst of electrolyte-rich moisture for softer, smoother, healthier-looking skin. Rich in electrolytes, amino acids, enzymes, antioxidants and phytonutrients, Coconut Water is known as nature’s perfect hydrator. This non-comedogenic formula absorbs immediately into skin while hydrocharging, to make it appear softer, smoother and more plumped. The oil-free formula is boosted by a combination of Sodium Hyaluronate and Alteromonas Ferment Filtrate to help reinforce skin’s moisture, protect against exposure to the elements and leave skin appearing smooth, soft and plumped.

Ingredients: Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Fruit Juice, Glucose, Maltodextrin, Aqua (Water, Eau), Dimethicone, Cyclopentasiloxane, Sodium Acrylate/Sodium Acryloyldimethyl Taurate Copolymer, Cocos Nu-cifera (Coconut) Fruit Extract, Alteromonas Ferment Filtrate, Pyrus Malus (Apple) Fruit Extract, Prunus Armeniaca (Apricot) Fruit Extract, Vanilla Planifolia Fruit Extract, Sodium Hyaluronate, Sea Salt (Maris Sal, Sal Marin), Lycium Barbarum Fruit Extract, Glycyrrhiza Glabra (Licorice) Root Extract, Chrysanthemum Parthenium (Feverfew) Extract, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Dip-teryx Odorata Seed Extract, Coffea Arabica (Coffee) Seed Extract, Caprylyl Glycol, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Butylene Glycol, Hydrogenated Polydecene, Dimethicone Cross-polymer, Dipropylene Glycol, Cetyl Diglyceryl Tris(Trimethylsiloxy)silylethyl Dimethicone, Phe-noxyethanol, Laureth-8.

First Aid Beauty

Okay first off, I don’t see anything in the ingredients list that cause me any concern which I am very happy about.  And so we open the little tube of product.  As you can see from the photo the cream is a clearish jelly like consistency.

To my utter delight it did not smell like coconut.

I have to admit, I did a little happy dance.  I was committed to trying the product regardless, but the fact that there was no coconut scent made me happy.  (while I do actually like coconut, I just got buried in the scent this summer. I actually do like the scent of coconut I just don’t want EVERYTHING to smell like coconut or months on end.)

It actually smells vaguely candy like.  Actually, you know those candy necklaces and bracelets you could get as a kid?  That’s the kind of candy it smells like.

So happy with the scent, I applied it to my face.  Let me tell you, I am in love.  It blended into my skin like a dream.  My skin was soft and hydrated and not sticky or greasy at all. The sample tube only had enough product for about a week and a half of use, and trust me, I used it all. Which is why the tube in the top photo loos very squished.

While this trial wasn’t enough to determine any actual effects on the skin long term, it was enough to let me know I want a full sized tub of it to try out.  I also want to apologize for not trying this sooner and I will be adding the $34 full size to my full skin care trial as soon as I am able. 

I may have other moisturizers to test out and work through, but I will be circling back to this Coconut Water Cream by FAB.  I actually enjoyed using this sample more than I have enjoyed some of the more higher priced moisturizers I have tried. 

I also think it was helped out by the time of year.  It is my skin’s traditional transitioning time.  This provided the kind of light weight moisture that is definitely appropriate for this time of year. I still have summer oily spots and a few dry spots brought out by the turning on of the central heat. It is the bane of skin that is balanced on that thin line they call ‘normal’. In the summer I am normal leaning to oily, in the winter I am normal leaning towards dry, which means spring and fall I flip flop between dry and oily depending on the weather of the day. This past week we had rain and sun, high and low humidity and temperatures ranging from the mid-fifties to the upper seventies. This moisturizer handled it all beautifully.  So oh yeah, this is going on my list for a full sized trial.

Allure Beauty Box October 2020 Unboxing

The October 2020 Allure Beauty Box

Okay my darlings, buckle up this is going to be an interesting unboxing. The highly anticipated October Allure box has arrived. As you can see above, the box itself has changed. No longer is it the reusable box of yore but a cardboard mailer.

This was the first month of the NEW Allure Beauty Box if you will remember.  Originally It was a $15 subscription box which put it into competition with both Birchbox ($15)  and the Regular IPSY Glam Bag ($12). In October the price of the Allure Beauty Box went up to $23 per month.  With the price increase you are guaranteed six or more products valued at $100 or more (previously 5 products with a $70+ value) and at least three full sized items (previously 2).

While both Boxy Charm and IPSY have $25 boxes, those boxes are all full sized items (5 full sized items).  By contrast, Look Fantastic ($19/ month) has a mix of full and deluxe sample sized items as does GlossyBox ($21/ month).  Since I get BoxyCharm Premium and IPSY Ultimate instead of the regular boxes (and because of the sample and full sized mix) I am going to be comparing the new Allure Box to this month’s Look Fantastic and Glossy Box as they are its closest competitors. Just remember they are both slightly less in cost.

So let’s talk about what arrived this month.

Item number one is the The Nue Co Topical C (full size) (Retail $70). It is a vitamin C powder that you add to a moisturizer or mix with a little water.  According to the little write up in the magazine the powder is supposed to help prevent it from being too heavy on the skin. 

I can’t say I’ve ever had issues with serums being too heavy.  Moisturizers and occasionally oils, yes, but not really serums, but I can see the logic.  If you add it to your moisturizer, it is like you are only layering one product (sort of) onto your skin. I’m game to try it as I do like Vitamin C serums and I have never tried it in powder form. I am just going to have to look it up on the brands website to get more information when I do.  The Allure booklet tells you only what one of their beauty editors thought of it and doesn’t give you a lot of product information.

The next item in the box is the Verso Super Eye Serum (full size) (retail $65).  I like Verso products in general.  I’ve used several before and find it to be a really good brand. I pick them up now and again from Alyaka when they have sales. As far as eye cream goes, it is a good size and one that would take me quite a while to get through.  I have no complaints about that. Speaking of Alyaka, they too have an Advent Calendar out (and I forgot to add it to my advent post yesterday. I knew as soon as I posted I would find more, anyway you can click on the link to see it. It looks kind of amazing and Alyaka specializes in vegan and cruelty free beauty products. The advert with the photo of products is posted at the bottom of this post if you want to get a look at the goodies offered)

Alyaka Beauty Advent Calendar Luxe 2020

The third full sized item is the Static Nails Liquid Glass Lacquer in Irene (full size) (retail $16). It looks to be a nice color and one I will use.  I like nail polishes. As I recently purged several no longer usable nail polishes from my collection I have plenty of space for it. 

However, it does not look full sized.  It may be full sized, but if it is I would take issue with Static Nails.  Since it is hard to get a visual on it by itself, I put it with two other nail polishes.  The Smith and Cult which retails for $18 and which came in a $15 Birch Box and a Nails Inc which came in a Glossy Box. It may be a pretty color, but it does not look full sized. Of course I haven’t tried it. It could be the best nail polish I’ve ever tried where one coat performs unexpected feats of magic. I don’t know and won’t until I try it. Yhis is however an unboxing. I sometimes forget to report back about nail polishes, but this one, I will be remembering to review. As you can tell in some of thes photos, I really need to take off my old polish and repaint them so a review may be coming fairly soon.

Moving on we come to the La Roche-Posay Lipikar Balm AP + Body Cream. It’s a sample so there is no price given for it, but the full 400 mL size is $19.99 and the sample is 15 mL so basic math gives us a value of $0.75. 

Now, I like La Roche-Posay products.  Their sunscreen is really good and very lightweight on the face and their cleanser is amazing for anyone with sensitive skin.  Well, it is good in general, even if you don’t have sensitive skin. (Incidentally their 20% off sale starts tomorrow, I’ll post reminders, but on 10/21 use the code EXCLUSIVE20, on 10/22-23 use code HURRY, and on 10/24 use the code SURPRISE to get 20% plus two deluxe samples.)

Enjoy 4 deluxe samples of your choice on orders $65+ Bonus! Free makeup pouch with orders $95+. Valid: 10/15-10/20.

Since you can now pick up an array of the brand’s products in Walgreens I tend to run out and pick it up when I find myself low on cleansers and don’t have another one lined up.  It is consistently good. I have even used this moisturizer before. 

This exact same size was given out as a free sample from Walgreens when the brand first started being sold there. It is a good moisturizer.  I prefer it on my body rather than my face as I find it a little heavy on the face, but it is a good product. As Allure claims that they are the box that sends products you can’t find anywhere else,  I can’t say I am wowed by its presence.

in this box

The same goes for the Dr Jartt Ceramidin Cream sample (again basic math $48 for full sized 50 ml Tube, sample size is10 mL with a value of $9.60) .  It’s a nice cream.  I’ve tried it before.  I’ve even had a sample of it from Allure before.

compared to previous sample

Admittedly the previous sample was a bit smaller in size.  But I have had so many samples of this cream from so many different sources that I have lost count of the number of times I’ve used or passed on these tubes of cream. Because it has been repeated so many times by so many different boxes, it doesn’t feel all that special.  And quite frankly it is an okay cream that I will probably not be picking up in the full sized versions any time soon. As this was their first higher priced box, I would have expected them to try to make it a little more special.

I will say that the Sigma Liquid Lipstick in Venom did feel special (full size $20, sample $4).  It is a beautiful color and I can not wait to try out the formula. I’m okay with it being a sample size. 

Would I have preferred the full size?  Of course.  If given the chance I would have made the lippie a full sized and the nail polish a travel sized.  As the nail polish already looks travel sized it probably would have looked ridiculous any smaller though.

My next items was the Wilma Schumann Hydrating Collagen Eye Pads (1 pair)($18 for 5 sets, 1 pair is $3.60).  I like eye masks and I am always willing to have another pair to try.  I have no complaints about this product. I look forward to using it and hope it turns out to be something I enjoy using.

The Rusk PUREMIX Native Fig Replenishing Shampoo & Conditioner I sort of have an issue with (at Ulta it is $26 for the set – here the math gets fun, 12 ounces is 354.882 mL the shampoo and conditioner are both 12 ounces so combined for $26 you get 709.762 mL. There is 10 Ml of shampoo and another 10 of conditioner in the foil packet which means the foil packet is valued at $0.73).

Again this is nothing against the brand.  I have used many Rusk Products before and I enjoy almost anything fig so that’s not the problem.  The problem is that it is a foil packet. 

First, of all I hate foil packets of shampoo and conditioner in general.  For me there is no middle line with that. There is no ‘well it is a really pricey product and this is a cost effective way to try it.’ No, I’ll let you get away with that for serums and well most any other product really, just not shampoo and conditioner.

I don’t care how good the dotted line is, opening them in the shower with wet hands is always a pain so if you don’t remember to cut them open before you get in the shower it just becomes a struggle.  And you have to separate the shampoo and conditioner first, otherwise you end up squirting both into your hand at the same time.  However, when you separate them, sometimes the packets tear weirdly and you end up with shampoo dribbling out of the side of the packet.  And then you have too much product to use in one sitting and if you try to keep it for your next shower so you don’t waste it then sometimes the edges dry out and get nasty so you just throw it away, or someone else uses the shower, ends up setting their shampoo on top of your semi flat foil packet thinking you just accidentally left the empty in the shower, thus causing a spluge of product on the wall.

No, no shampoo and conditioner foil packets.

I can tolerate foil packets for other products, but absolutely hate them for shampoo and conditioner.

But pet peeve aside, when you get a foil packet, it always feels like an extra.  Something they threw in as a bonus item. Now, it is the eight product in the box and technically could be considered as an addition.  It is listed as an item on the site and advertised as such not as a bonus.  It is even listed as a sponsored item. 

While the value is there, the included products having a value of $169.68, and there were more than the six promised items and technically three were full sized, it still felt like a $15 box and not a $23 one. 

By contrast Look Fantastic had six items this month and Glossy Box had five. These links will take you to my reviews of the boxes if you want to do a more indepth comparison of items. The value of the $21 Glossy Box was $91.44 and the $19 Look Fantastic Box had a value of $76.11. Despite this, both Glossy Box and Look Fantastic felt far more lux than this upgraded $23 box.

It isn’t one major thing, but a lot of little things that make me feel this way.  To be honest, once I received the box, I went ahead and called to cancel before the next box.  They did offer me a deal.  For the next two months I would get the old price.  So November and December I would receive the same box for $15 instead of the upgraded fee.  I suppose they are planning to get better and hope to convince me to stay when the deal is over.

I accepted the terms and they charged November’s box right away so I have prepaid ($15) for November.  I will then pay December regularly (still at $15).  That will give me two more boxes to decide if it is worth keeping around. As I was planning to reassess my subscriptions in December/January, I am fine with that. If they step up in the next two months, I may keep the subscription, if they don’t then I may cancel.

However, an interesting thing happened shortly after I had my conversation with Allure about my subscription.  I received an e-mail saying that the new price of $23 will take effect December 1st.  I don’t know if this means that enough people cancelled that they had to rethink the box or what.  I know that anyone else I talked to about their box this month was not happy so I imagine there was a lot of push back.

Personally, if I was increasing the price of a subscription I would make sure to knock it out of the park the first few months so people would get comfortable with the new price increase. Mostly because there are a lot of people who can justify a $15 box but who might be skeptical of something over $20.  This was not an out of the park hit.  There was no home run. And I will spend the next two months with a very critical eye to the box to see if it will be worth the price increase or if this box will not be following me into the new year.

Alyaka Beauty Advent Calendar Luxe 2020

The Daily: October 19th, 2020

Today was one of those beautiful fall days. Sun shining, air slightly crisp but not cold, humidity low. Everyone and their dog was at the walking trail today. Especially if they had dogs. I have to admit, I felt a little bad for the dogs.

The weather was fine enough to bring out a bunch of disc golfers to the course that criss crosses the walking trail. Discs were flying through the air and you could see the eyes of every single dog follow their arcs.

The words “Not your Frisbee,” came out of nearly every dog owners mouth more times than I could count. When one disc landed in the creek that runs parallel to the trail one lovely Newfoundland (maybe a year or two old at best) decided he just couldn’t take it any more. There was a cry of “Bernie, No” as a large black mound of fur sprinted past me and took a gleeful, flying leap into the water.

I was luckily out of the splash zone. The disc golfers were happy to have him retrieve it. Less happy when he returned to shore and they realized Bernie had no intention of giving it back. I walked on as Bernie created mayhem.

I have no idea who won, but I seriously hope it is Bernie.

So I got my walk in, plus a pretty good laugh. Overall, not too bad for a Monday.

Advent Calendars

I know some of you are thinking, ‘It’s October.  We haven’t gone through Halloween or Thanksgiving yet.’ (Well, US Thanksgiving anyway, I hope all my friends up north in Canada had a Fantastic Thanksgiving). 

I know, it seems a bit early for the holiday festivities, but Advent Calendars fall into a strange window of shopping times. 

For one thing generally you start opening them December first.  Well, at least in my house.  I know a lot of people get the calendars and open all the little doors and drawers at once.  That always feels a bit like cheating to me since the point is to get one little surprise each day.

Plus, I know a lot of people get advent calendars for friends and family as holiday gifts.  Many of them are perfect for those building a makeup collection or who want to try out a variety of skin care items. I have a couple I want to pick up and send so that they can be opened once a day starting December first so I’m in the order early category. 

And in addition to the regular holiday season, for my family this season is chock a block full of birthdays.  So September, generally kicks off my gift buying extravaganza. Or at least I start planning in September and procrastinate until October and then try to race to get everything picked up before Thanksgiving so that I can get it to where it needs to be.  At this time of year, me and the post office are friends.  They drop packages off, I often do some quick repackaging and then take it back to the post office to be sent on.

It’s a process.

I also wanted to put this post up a little earlier than I planned because some advent calendars have started selling out already and I wanted to let anyone reading know about them in time to maybe snatch up the ones they wanted before they sell out. This list is by no means exhaustive.  Every time I look around I see another advent calendar I didn’t know about cropping up.  These are just a few that caught my eye that I thought you might find interesting.

Okay, I picked the ones I found most interesting and am likely to purchase.

Some I will be getting as gifts for others, and some I am trying to justify splurging on for myself. I sort of have a game with those.  If I get all my holiday shopping done and still have money left over and the ones I like aren’t sold out, I can pick up one advent calendar for myself. Don’t get me wrong, there are way more that I actually want, in fact I kind of want all of the ones on the list, but I can only justify picking up one for myself each year. And it is an agonizing decision making process too as there are definitely several I really really want to buy this year.

So let’s start with a brief mention of the Advent Calendar that has already sold out.  This is the Look Fantastic Advent Calendar.  I know, so sad and I will not taunt you with details of its fabulocity. Although looking at the details you can see why it sold out quickly.  Luckily Look Fantastic has also released the 2020 Beauty Chest. I’ll list the details below with the other advent calendars (even though it isn’t actually one.  Luckily it has some of the same fantastic products inside. So The Beauty Chest will take the place of the Look Fantastic Advent Calender in the list below.

So the list…

Look Fantastic Beauty Chest: $130 with a $530 value. You can use the code  BCNEW to get $20 off the Beauty Chest when you purchase a 3, 6, or 12 month beauty box subscription.  I have to say this has consistently been one of my favorite subscriptions each month.  Brands in the Beauty Chest include : Kevyn Aucoin, Elemis, Eve Lom & many more. (I saw what looked like a full sized Elemis Marine Cream in the display of products which was really nice to see.)

Friends & Family Sale! Up to 30% Off Sitewide. Use code FAMILY

Glossy Box: This year’s Advent Calendar arrives as a beautiful Glossy pink and metallic gold box with a marble swirl design. Each product comes individually boxed. Filled with 26 beauty treats, this year’s limited edition collection is worth over $550 and will retail at $89 for subscribers and $99 for non-subscribers. It has 20 full size products and 6 deluxe minis from brands such as Iconic London, Wander Beauty, Tarte Cosmetics, Banila Co, Rodial, and even the newly launched GLOSSYBOX Skincare. From the image on the advert it looked as though one of the Iconic London Products was a full sized Palette.

Elemis: 25 Days of Spectacular Skin Advent Calendar – The Ultimate Countdown $250.00 with a retail value of $559.00. This festive season reawaken your sense of wonder with the ultimate spectacle in beauty advent. Welcome to twenty-five days of the finest scientific innovation for face and body. Packed with our award-winning superstars, it’s pure skincare theatre.

Shop Now!

You know I love Elemis products and I have to admit, I have been stalking this website since the calendar information was released.  I love that they list all of the products and let you know the size of each so you can decide.

Contents: Pro-Collagen Marine Cream 50ml Full Size,Pro-Collagen Hydra-Gel Masks (1=1), Pro-Collagen Cleansing Balm 20g + Cleansing Cloth, Pro-Collagen Eye Renewal 5ml, Pro-Collagen Oxygenating Night Cream 15ml, Pro-Collagen Marine Oil 5ml, ULTRA SMART Pro-Collagen Complex⋅12 Serum 4ml, Dynamic Resurfacing Facial Wash 30ml, Dynamic Resurfacing Pads 14 pads, NEW Peptide4 Overnight Radiance Peel 10ml, Peptide4 Plumping Pillow Facial 15ml, Peptide4 Adaptive Day Cream 15ml, Peptide4 Thousand Flower Mask 15ml, Superfood Vital Veggie Mask 15ml, Superfood Blackcurrant Jelly, Exfoliator 15ml, Superfood Day Cream 20ml, Superfood Night Cream 20ml, Superfood CICA Calm Hydration Juice 20ml,Soothing Apricot Toner 50ml, Papaya Enzyme Peel 15ml, Herbal Lavender Repair Mask 15ml, Frangipani Monoi Body Oil 35ml, Frangipani Monoi Shower Cream 50ml, Frangipani Monoi Body Cream 50ml, Sea Lavender & Samphire Body Cream 50ml

Elemis Website

Frangipani Monoi Shower Cream

Transform your bathing routine by enveloping your body in this truly luxurious wash. Th… [More]

Price: $40.00

Several of those items are staples in my skin care drawer and others are on my list of things I really want to try out.  In general I have had fantastic luck with the Superfood line of products and I highly recommend the Dynamic Resurfacing pads.

The next item on the list is not strictly an advent calendar. Benefit does have an advent Calendar this year, but in all fairness I think the Benefit Holiday sets are a much better deal. You can follow the links and get to the advent calendar as well, but I was very impressed with the holiday sets and thought them more appealing They have several to choose from.

  • Your B. Right to Party skincare & brow care holiday value set for only $44 – a $90 value
  • BADgal to the Bone face & eye holiday value set for only $30 – a $68 value!
  • Cheers My Dears! holiday value set for only $50 – a $112 value!
  • Party Curl eyes, brows & face holiday value set for only $40 – a $93 value!
  • Cheers My Dears! holiday value set for only $50 – a $111 value!
  • Beauty Thrills eyes, brows & face mini holiday value set for only $20 – a $40 value!
  • BYOB: Bring Your Own Beauty eyes, brows & face holiday value set for only $40 – a $92 value!

As Bad Gal Bang remains one of my favorite mascaras I have to say I am drawn to the Bad Gal to the Bone value set. Which as the mascara is $35 on its own seems like a very good deal.

NYX – Has two advent calendars out this year – the 24-Day Holiday Countdown  available for $55 and the 12-Day Lipstick Countdown, Available for $40. Anyone who has read this knows that I am leaning towards the lipstick countdown.  I really like the NYX formula on their lip products and am always looking for new lip products. 

In addition I am sadly going to have to part with a few of my lippies before new years and will be looking for replacements. I do have at least one person on my list who is just starting to play with makeup (young teen) and as I generally find NYX cosmetics to be reliably good (I am currently loving the Bare with Me Tinted Skin Veil) and I know she likes NYX the few NYX products she has tried I will probably be picking up the Holiday Countdown Calendar for her as well.

E.L.F.: The E.L.F Tastic 12 day advent Calendar is a $55 value for $45 and includes the best sellers Includes our best-sellers, Poreless Putty Primer, Ride or Die Lip Balm, Bite-size Eyeshadow and Liquid Glitter Eyeshadow there is Free Shipping on orders of $15 or more and with each $25 or more purchases there is a free gift.  I have both the Poreless putty Primer and two of the Bite sized palettes in my dressing table and I highly recommend both.

While liquid eyeshadow is only an occasional thing for me, the Ride or Die Lip balm is on my list of things to order from E.L.F. this year.  I am ordering several of the Bite sized palettes and lip tints for stocking stuffers and figured I would just add it onto the list.  I will more than likely add on the advent calendar as well once I start placing my orders. While I have included the link to the site here, be forewarned if you just google this, there is an ELF Advent Calendar that is associated with the Will Ferrell Movie ELF that will also come up. So look before you click. And yes I did click on the first one I saw and then thought “When did will Ferrell start advertising makeup?” Yeah there are days, right?

Revolution: Advent Calendar was $70, but is currently on sale for $55. Get ready for the Revolution Beauty 2020 Advent Calendar! Featuring 25 exclusive makeup products and accessories… behind each door you’ll find a Revolution favourite, an exclusive shade or maybe something completely new which no one else had! With 25 doors of joy, this advent calendar to gift yourself or someone else for the perfect countdown to Christmas

SPOILER ALERT… This set includes:  1. Exclusive matte lipstick, 2. Exclusive matte lipstick, 3. Exclusive jelly gloss, 4. Exclusive jelly gloss, 5. Exclusive lip gloss, 6. Exclusive lip gloss, 7. Exclusive lip liner, 8. Exclusive cream eyeshadow, 9. Exclusive cream eyeshadow, 10. New scrunchie, 11. Exclusive pressed highlighter, 12. Exclusive pressed blusher, 13. Exclusive pressed baking powder, 14. Exclusive brow crayon, 15. Exclusive brow pencil, 16. Exclusive clear brow gel. 17. Exclusive eye liner pencil, 18. Exclusive eye primer, 19. Exclusive make up brush, 20. Exclusive make up brush, 21. Exclusive make up brush, 22. Exclusive make up brush, 23. Exclusive mirror, 24. Exclusive 7 pan shadow palette, 25. Exclusive reloaded palette

Many of the items look to be full sized and I love the fact that not only do you get a full face of makeup, but you get brushes with the products. I honestly haven’t heard a lot about this calendar this year, but what I have seen makes me want to investigate further.

Molton Brown Advent Calendar – $250.00 WORTH $324 – Celebrate in style this year and count down to the joyful Christmas day with our sensational luxury advent calendar, filled with intriguing fragrances, bathing classics and much more. Inspired by the liberating glamour of the Roaring Twenties, this elegant calendar shimmers with holographic foil to evoke a 1920s chandelier. With a striking new design, it’s secured by a hidden magnet and opens from the side to reveal your 24 stellar indulgences.

Includes: Day 1: Vintage With Elderflower Festive Bauble 2.5fl oz, Day 2: Vintage With Elderflower Body Lotion 1.7fl oz, Day 3: Jasmine & Sun Rose Exquisite Bathing Oil 1.5fl oz, Day 4: Vintage With Elderflower Eau de Toilette 0.2fl oz, Day 5: Delicious Rhubarb & Rose Hand Cream 1.4fl oz, Day 6: Coastal Cypress & Sea Fennel Bath Salts 25g, Day 7: Coastal Cypress & Sea Fennel Fine Liquid Hand Wash 1.7fl oz, Day 8: Geranium Nefertum Bath & Shower Gel 1.7fl oz, Day 9: Muddled Plum Eau de Toilette 0.2fl oz, Day 10: Orange & Bergamot Radiant Body Oil 1.5fl oz, Day 11: Orange & Bergamot Hand Cream 1.4fl oz, Day 12: Heavenly Gingerlily Bath & Shower Gel 1.7fl oz, Day 13: Heavenly Gingerlily Body Lotion 1.7fl oz, Day 14: Muddled Plum Festive Bauble 2.5fl oz, Day 15: Vitamin Lipsaver 0.3fl oz, Day 16: Delicious Rhubarb & Rose Festive Bauble 2.5fl oz, Day 17: Volumising Shampoo With Kumudu 1.7fl oz, Day 18: Volumising Conditioner With Kumudu 1.7fl oz, Day 19: Fiery Pink Pepper Hand Cream 1.4fl oz, Day 20: Jasmine & Sun Rose Bath & Shower Gel 1.7fl oz, Day 21: Anti-fatigue Bai Ji Eye Gel 0.5fl oz, Day 22: Heavenly Gingerlily Caressing Body Oil 1.5fl oz, Day 23: Fiery Pink Pepper Festive Bauble 2.5fl oz, Day 24: Coastal Cypress & Sea Fennel Eau de Toilette 0.2fl oz

Molton Brown Website

This is another Advent Calendar I have been sort of on line stalking since its release was announced. Not only is it gorgeous but I absolutely adore their shower gels. I keep promising myself I am going to pick up the bath gel sampler pack so I can make a list of the scents I like, but then I just go on the site and reorder the Rhubarb and Rose every time.

Seriously, Every Time.

It is sweet but tart, the rhubarb really balancing out the rose so it isn’t overly floral and cloying. It is one of my top bath time products. I have never tried out any of their shampoos or conditioners and keep meaning to try them out as well. This advent calendar looks like a fantastic way to try out a lot of their products from different lines. This is actually one of the contenders for the calendar I want to buy once my holiday (and birthday) gift buying extravaganza is complete.

For now I think I am going to end this advent calendar post. More because it is getting rather long than because I ran out of Advent Calendars. I’m sure in the next few weeks I will find more that I just feel have to be mentioned and as we get closer to the Black Friday/Cyber Monday sales more and more holiday shopping themed posts will appear. Hopefully you will find them useful when you go to do your own shopping, whether it’s for yourself or someone special on your list.

Sunny side up with 20% Vitamin C + E Ferulic Acid Serum from Timeless Skincare

A while back Timeless Skincare graciously gifted me with several of their products to try and I have been putting them to the test.  I slowly rotated each one into my skin care routine, so as not to bombard my skin with all new ingredients.  The fourth and final product from my Timeless Skin Care trial was the 20% Vitamin C + E and F Acid (retail . $25.95). I have been using it for one month straight. 

But before we get into how I felt about the serum, let’s look at what it claims on the product page…

Give your skin a mega dose of Vitamin C. Our 20% Vitamin C + E + Ferulic Acid serum brightens skin, builds collagen and evens out tone. Enhanced with Vitamin E & Ferulic Acid, this serum is a great pick me up for dull, discolored and stressed skin, while providing 24/7 protection against environmental pollutants. Recommended For: All skin types. As always Timeless Skincare is Paraben Free, Fragrance and Dye Free, Cruelty Free, has More actives, less chemicals and is Made in the USA.

Ingredients: Water, Ethoxydiglycol, L-Ascorbic Acid, Propylene Glycol, Alpha Tocopherol, Polysorbate 80, Panthenol, Ferulic Acid, Sodium Hyaluronate, Benzylalcohol, Dehydroacetic Acid.

Timeless Skincare
the pump top

One thing I love about the Timeless skincare products I have tried is that their ingredients lists are not a mile long.  Admittedly this one has some tongue twister words so lets take a moment to break them down.  (As a reminder I am not a medical professional of any kind and I am certainly not a dermatologist, I am just a skin care enthusiast who really likes to try and understand what it is I am putting on my face.  At the end of this post I’ll like a few articles for those who want to look into more professional assessments of the ingredients I am breaking down. )

So first up there is water.  I am always happy to see that.  While many ingredients can lock down moisture, they need moisture to lock down, otherwise they are just sort of sealing in what you have and not adding anything.

the product in hand

Next up is the Ethoxydiglycol.  While a mouthful of syllables its purpose is to dissolve ingredients, increase the efficacy of the other active ingredients in the serum.  One of the ingredients it is increasing the efficacy of is the L-Ascorbic Acid which is a form of vitamin C very often used in skin care because it is a potent antioxidant and skin-soothing agent that can improve the appearance of signs of aging.

The Propylene Glycol acts as a humectant which means it secures the water and takes it to the outer layer of your skin.

Alpha Tocopherol is the Vitamin E listed in the name of the product and it also acts as an antioxidant  while Polysorbate 80 attracts and suspends oils, dirt, and other impurities that have accumulated on the skin and wash them away.  So essentially, if my understanding is correct the Vitamin E helps pull the bad things in your skin to the surface and the Polysorbate 80 acts as the bouncer who kicks them out of Club Dermatitis.

Full face before the trial (L) at the end of one month (R).

Panthenol softens and sooths the skin and helps it build up a barrier against water loss.

Ferulic Acid, the F mentioned on the product label, is an antioxidant that works to boost the effects of other antioxidants and  Sodium Hyaluronate helps to restore the skin’s moisture, promoting a more revitalized and youthful complexion. 

And finally we get to Benzylalcohol, whose chief function in cosmetics is as a preservative, and it’s among the least sensitizing preservatives in use and  Dehydroacetic Acid a non-toxic ingredient used to keep the product from spoiling and acts as a fungicide and bactericide .  Not very sexy ingredients to end the list with but very necessary.  After all there is nothing good about expired skin care.

While those are some very scientific words, the end result is that the ingredients are used to lock in moisture, while sending in a team of antioxidants and promoting healthy youthful looking skin.

While youthful looking skin may be a judgment call, I can say that my skin feels hydrated and soft.  I had no issues with clogged pores or redness with the sun as can sometimes happen with Vitamin C based products (at least it has happened to me a couple of times).

The scarring and sun damage on my cheek before the trial (L) after one month (R)

The product is in a yellow colored plastic dispenser.  The color of the container keeps the sunlight away from the product, which I appreciate, but it also prevents me from knowing how much product remains.  Foolishly I forgot to weigh it before I started my trial.  Unlike the other serums and oils, I’ve tried from Timeless Skincare, it does not come with a dropper, but has a pump that you press to dispense the serum.  I’m guessing it is to keep as much air out of the product as possible. 

One pump is all that I needed to cover my face.  The product absorbed into my skin quickly and easily.  As you can see in the photo it is clear and despite the fact that Panthenol often has a floral scent to it, this serum has almost no scent to it at all.  If you stick your nose right down into it, you might smell something, but then you have to be close enough that you risk inhaling the serum.  I do not recommend inhaling the serum.

I don’t think anyone recommends inhaling any serum actually.

But it means that for those of you sensitive to scent, there will be no problem.  I will say the photos aren’t as dramatic as with the Hyaluronic Acid serum.  In the front facing before and after photos you can see that some of the sun discoloration on my forehead has been reduced and in the side photo showing the scarring on my cheek, you can see a little fading as well.  There is more fading in the sun damage than in the scaring, but there is some noticeable fading. You have to remember that with skin care thirty days of use is generally when you start to see results.  I think that if I continue using this product, over time I would see more fading of the damage as the active ingredients went to work on my skin.  It is less dramatic than its HA counterpart, but still a very nice serum.  And to the touch my skin feels softer and more hydrated, which doesn’t show up as clearly in the photos. 

So will I continue to use this serum?  Yes.  I will be using it up completely.  Will I place this on my to be ordered list? Yes I think I will.  I have other serums in my skin care drawer I want to try, some of them Vitamin C based, but thus far this 20% Vitamin C + E and Ferulic serum has worked really well with my skin and is in the top five of the vitamin C products I have tried before. I am very happy that I got a chance to try this product out and share my thoughts on it. For those of you interested in more scientific break downs of some of the ingredients I listed out, you might want to look into and the Derm Review.

SodaStream USA, inc

Ipsy Ultimate October 2020 unboxing

Today we start off the week with the arrival of the IPSY Ultimate Glam Box.  Ipsy has three tiers of Glam Bags (the Glam Bag – $12, The Glam Bag Plus – $25 and the Ultimate Glam Bag – $50).  Inside this bag I am supposed to receive eight full sized products, four deluxe samples and a makeup bag.

This month’s makeup bag is very much on theme for the month, which is Magic, and has a pseudo mystical gold design emblazoned on a black background.  The material is a nice faux leather type product and the zipper is nice with a gold toggle that does not feel flimsy. 

Makeup items replace the mystical symbols.  It feels an looks nice and lux.  I will say that as much as I like the look of it, I find these square makeup bags useful more for storing items like headbands rather than useful for makeup. 

They are good for travel, but I tend to put things like bathing products (shampoo, body wash) or skin care items in them rather than makeup.  I just find the shape harder to work with when dealing with makeup items. It is a good size for travel skin care and bath products though so I am happy to have it.

I will say that this is the month where the pandemic seems to have caught up with IPSY.  This October, I received three repeat items and a couple of the items were clearly ones that have been circulating in the IPSY-verse for a while.  IPSY sent me a nice e-mail basically saying ‘Sorry, Pandemic’, and then gave me some points to redeem to make up for the repeats.  The points are nice, but as everything in the redeem points section is something I already have, I’m going to hold onto them for a while. I’m guessing that’s also due to the pandemic. As long as I get to use them before they expire, I’m okay with waiting. Which is also why I currently have a lot of points.

But let’s get into what I received, shall we?

My first full sized item is the Air Repair Skincare Super Hydrating Eye cream (retail $24.50). I have tried Air repair moisturizer before and I really liked it.  I have not tried their eye cream and I’m sure I will enjoy trying it out at some point.  I am happy the tube looks to be packed with product as well so when I do get around to it, I will be able to do a full test.  I have several eye creams awaiting their turn for trial at the moment.  Because it takes so long to actually work through a tube of eye cream, it will take me a while to get to this one though.

The next item out of my bag was my first deluxe sample sized item and it is the Barefoot Venus The Vanilla Effect Instant Hand repair.  I know hand sanitizer is doing a number on everyone’s skin, but it seems like every subscription box has used this as an excuse to send hand creams. I literally have a box of hand creams to try out. 

I’m also sending them to people as stocking stuffers this year as well just to share the wealth because there is only so much hand cream I can use. I’m sure it is lovely hand cream, but I deliberately checked rarely send this to me, so having another hand cream appear is not exactly thrilling.  Still, at least it was a deluxe sample size and not a full sized product.

One of the products that has been seen in many people’s IPSY Bags but has never appeared in mine before is the Dominique Cosmetic Sweater Weather Eyeshadow Palette (retail $29). I like the shadows I’ve tried from Dominique Cosmetics before but usually don’t like the color stories and have a hard time figuring out what look to do.  This one looks like the color story is leading down a very clear path.  Despite the name, the pastels make me think spring more than fall. I also think $29 for such a small palette is a bit much, but I do look forward to giving it a go.

Another product that I am pretty certain everyone else except me has gotten before is the Dr. Brandt Skincare PoreDermabrasion (retail $58). I have seen it a number of times on lots of reviews, but I have never received it before.  As I like Dr. Brandt products in general, I’m happy to finally get to give it a go.  Besides, you know I love a good exfoliate.

My next full sized item was the Watermelon Glow PHA + BHA Pore Tight Toner (retail $15).  I have in general enjoyed Glow Recipe products and I am looking forward to testing out a pore tightening toner. 

I will say that the bottle seems a little on the small side to be a full sized item though.  That is nothing against IPSY actually as several Glow Recipe products I’ve tried have that issue. Some of their packages just looks a little small for full sized items even though I know they actually are. I think it might be because in the ads they tend to feature the extra large versions (which they also sell). It gives the full sized items a ‘medium’ look to them. At least that is how it always seems to me. Still it is very nice glas packaging and as I also have the Watermelon Day cream and the night cream in my skin care drawer, I might just choose a section of time and have a watermelon themed skin care ritual for a month. I’ve had a sample size of the watermelon night cream before and really liked it, which is why I used Boxy Charm points to get a full sized version. Plus I’ve recently been using Glow Recipes avocado night mask and I wanted to do a comparison. so I am happy to have this.

My first repeat item was the Huda Beauty Lip Contour in Trophy Wife (retail $19).  I have this same shade from a few months back still in my dressing table.  I’m not mad at it though.  The formula is really nice and creamy and it tends to last a really long while on the lips.  The color is also one I will reach for repeatedly.  So as a repeat, I am okay with receiving it. I know I like it and that I will use it.

I was less enthused about seeing the Naked Cosmetics four piece pigment set (retail $39.99).  I received these a while ago and I just didn’t get along with them. 

each is a square container

I don’t know if I am just not a loose pigments sort of person or if there was something amiss with the product.  It could be both, but the only thing I made with these pigments was a mess. 

These will be passed on without opening, hopefully never to return. I just opened the top of the box in case you were wondering what they looked like. They are little cuboid containers and the shades are nice, I just make a mess with them.

I found it strange in general that I received two eyeshadow products in the same box, but as I also received two blush products (sort of) I suppose the pandemic skewed the product selection in more than just repeat products.

Speaking of blushes, the first blush I extracted from my IPSY box was the OFRA cosmetics Blush in Blini (retail $29).  In general I like OFRA products and this is a shade I don’t have.  It is also a lighter toned blush which will work well for me in the winter when my tan fades.  As I looked through my blush collection this past week I realized that most of my blushes are more for my summer tanned skin rather than the winter pale version of me, so I am happy to give this shade a try. And luckily it wasn’t broken, although it was a close call. When I took it out of the box, the pan was rattling around. The man came loose from the plastic backing. It got a little banged around but didn’t break. I put a dab of glue on the back and it was fine, but I am kind of amazed that there was no breakage.

The second blush product is a deluxe sample of the blush-highlighter Will Powder in the shade Worth the Wait. It is from The Balm Cosmetics and I generally like their products.  I am also less worried about getting two blushes in this box as this may claim to be a blush-highlighter hybrid, but it looks like a highlighter.  I honestly can’t see me using this as a blush.  I’ll give it a go, but I’m guessing it will be more highlighter for me.

There was a perfume sample in my IPSY this month.  It is the Juliette Has A Gun Vanilla Vibes. It is a deluxe sample and the size is definitely a deluxe.  It looks like a jumbo version of the tiny perfume sample tubes.  Which looks a little strange to me.  I have no reason why it looks strange, maybe it is just because it looks exactly the same as the smaller ones so it looks like part of a 1950s radiation based sci-fi movie with the scale. 

I like perfume and now that the weather has cooled I am wearing it more.  I have an iffy past with the brand Juliette Has a Gun perfumes though.  Their descriptions always draw me in so I try them, but as many as I’ve tried, none of them have ended up appealing to me. I haven’t opened this one yet as I am finishing out a trial of ano0ther perfume at the moment, but I have high hopes.  I like the scent of vanilla.  So who knows?  Perhaps this will be the perfume from the brand that I actually like.

My choice item this month was the Milk Makeup Cannabis Hydrating Face Mask (retail $26).  I like Milk Makeup, I like masks… okay, I love masks…and I am intrigued by a mask in a stick formula.  I think this one will be a fun one to try. Of all the things in the bag this month, this is the product I am actually excited by.

And finally we come to the final product and the third repeat.  This is the Yensa CBD Superfood Dual Cleansing oil (retail $38).  I’ve actually been using this one for the past few weeks and will be reviewing it later this week actually. 

the opened one

It is an interesting product, good but not one I really feel I need to keep a backup of in my skincare drawer. Very little is needed and it is a large bottle.  It will take me a while to work through the bottle I’ve got open.  So I may just pass this unopened one along so that it will get used in a timely manner.

So that was my IPSY Ultimate this month. Monetarily, I paid $50 and received $249.49 worth of product.  The $39.99 Naked Cosmetics shadows will be passed along without opening and I will be passing along the $38 oil Cleanser from Yensa. So the end value to me is $171.50.   I’m okay with the value to be honest. 

I will use the other products in the bag.  I am actually looking forward to a few of them.  I still can’t say I feel wowed by this month.  Somehow it still feels ‘just okay’.  It’s not bad, just okay. Perhaps it is the repeat products, but I kind of expected more. That has sort of been the theme for subscription boxes this month. I think it was because two of my boxes were each missing items and Boxycharm had items I wasn’t ever going to use. It just feels like everyone sort of felt tired when packing the October boxes. Well, except Look fantastic. they didn’t forget anything and it was a killer box this month. The disappointment is slight with IPSY, the disappointment is really based on so many repeat products in one box. and I’ll easily get over it as I put the products I plan to use to the test. It just didn’t wow me this month. Ipsy choice is this week so on the 22nd I’ll get to see if the wow factor is back. As IPSY has been really good lately, I think that the off month clunked a bit louder as well. Over all, Ipsy has been consistently good with me. I just hope that whatever kinks the pandemic threw into IPSY’s supply chain can be worked out by the time the November bag gets assembled. I like when I am wowed by subscription boxes.

For now, I have an interesting assortment of products to try, and several I get to pass on. Nothing was broken or missing. And at least I got an back up Huda Lip contour. As I’ve been using it quite a bit, I will probably need it sooner rather than later. Still, fingers crossed for November.

Lilysilk's Semi-Annual Sale

Something a little different…

Normally this would be where the Friday Face Mask post would go. I am afraid however that today, I must skip it. Early voting has opened up in my area and I figure the earlier I get that done the better. So I am off to my local library to stand in line.

It’s like taking a casual stroll with socially distanced strangers through a parking lot. But it must be done and I’m hoping that since I am going early enough, the lines won’t be too crazy.

I hope that whatever your political viewpoints are, if you can vote, I hope you do. As my grandfather always said, If you don’t vote, you can’t complain. and we all know I am not abdicating my right to complain.

So instead of destressing with a mask I am about to go vote. Which is kind of the reverse of destressing. But again, necessary. I have a bottle of hand sanitizer in my purse, I brushed my teeth to remove the last vestiges of my coffee breath, popped in a breath mint for extra good breath and fastened my face mask into place. I am ready. Bring on the voting lines. It is time to uphold my civic responsibility. My moment of Friday afternoon zen will have to wait.