Perfume Review: Zents

Oh my darlings, you know the weather has changed. Well, actually it has been yo-yoing, but the intense heat of summer has been broken. And you know what that means? I can go back to wearing perfume.

There is just something about the hot, humid and intense heat of our summer this year that just made me avoid all scents. I think I even leased towards les scented body washes. (Incidentally the Andalou Naturals body wash, very low scent and fantastic for the summer). But last week I actually found myself reaching for some perfume. Okay technically an Eau de Toilette, but it is still applied scent.

For me, that is the surest sign that Autumn has arrived.

Before the summer’s heat steered me away from scent, I was working my way through the Samples collection of Zent’s Scents. So I decided to finish up the bag before moving on to other perfume trials. There are only a couple of samples left to try. I know I’ve said it a million times, but I love sample collections of perfume.

Scent is such a personal thing that I almost never buy a full sized bottle without having worn a sample of the scent for at least a week. In general if I can wear a perfume every day for a week and still like it as much at the end of the week as I did at the beginning, then it is a product i can consider buying. Some scents I have tried I liked the first day but couldn’t take any more of by the third say. Others, I wasn’t so fond of at the beginning of the week, but fell in love with by the end of the trial.

With Zent’s Eau de Toilettes, there is the added perk of learning the scents that tie into the bath and body products. Zents does scent lines. So if you like the Mandarin scent for example then you can get it in a bath truffle, a hand lotion and even a shampoo. (I highly recommend the shampoo actually, it was fabulous. But so are the bath truffles actually). The scents vary from product to product. In general I have found that the Eau de toilettes are more complex in scent than the bath products.

I’m sure it is simply a much more concentrated product, but you get more nuances with scent from them. This past week I wore the scent called Ore. According to the product page…

Euphoric & Sexy
bay laurel, orris, ylang ylang, clove, black pepper

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

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

Create your signature blend by spraying each scent in the same spot on your wrist. Then, rub wrists together to blend.

I’ll be honest, at first, I didn’t think I was going to like this scent. I sprayed it on my wrist and thought, Okay that’s not really me. As the week passed, I ended up liking it more and more. It is a more masculine scent than I am used to wearing. I didn’t think I would like it because me and black pepper are not exactly the best of friends. However it isn’t the dominant scent. I get much more bay laurel and clove out of the scent.

While I started off thinking it was a bit on the masculine side, as the week wore on I just started to think of it as a warm and comforting scent. It started to make me think of hearty soups and stews made on cold days and of spice cookies. It doesn’t actually smell like cooking, but those scents just brought me back to that warm and comforting space that those kinds of winter hardy foods tend to produce. I will admit that a lot of my winter themed foods do use bay laurel and clove so it isn’t much of a surprise.

While it is a scent that I could easily see giving to my babydoll to wear, it is also one that I can wear as well. It is more of a unisex scent that leans slightly more masculine.

So I started off not really sure about the scent but at the end I liked it. I am not sure if I would buy this for myself or my babydoll, but it is a scent that I wouldn’t mind having around. It is one I could very quickly grow accustomed to.

As with all of the Zent’s Eau de toilettes that I tried, it sprays out fairly strong as though announcing it’s presence in a dramatic fashion. It then seems to be embarrassed by its own attempt to draw attention and fades back to a skin hugging scent. All of the Zent’s products are more personal in design. As I tend to wear perfumes for myself rather than anyone else, I like this. It is a scent you can get away with in an office as well as on a date. It won’t travel to the next cubicle and annoy those you work with (especially if you are social distancing) but this particular scent does skew to a little more after hours wear. While I don’t think it would be a problem to wear in the office, I would personally go with a date night use as it is a slightly sexier scent than I feel my work desk deserves.

Although maybe if I wore the sexier scent for the computer it wouldn’t cause me so many issues. But that is another story all together. For now, I rather liked this scent. It is on the slightly more masculine side of unisex but not too heavy for me to wear. I think that while I am still on the fence about the Eau de Toilette, I suspect that the Bath truffles in this Ore Scent from Zents are ones that my babydoll will adore. As I am stocking up on the bath truffles as we head into bath weather, I will be adding a couple to my list of products to order. The Eau de Toilette my be a later purchase.

The Daily: October 11th, 2021

Good afternoon my darlings. Today has been an interesting Monday. It took most of the day for the fog to finally lift and as a consequence it felt like the day moved in a haze. In addition, my babydoll was off today as it is a federal holiday. Today is Columbus Day observed.

I know it isn’t a new federal holiday but it always takes me by surprise when it pops up. I think its because I am already starting to think about holiday shopping and grumbling about the fact that Halloween barely gets any recognition before Christmas takes over. These days Thanksgiving seems to be just an opening act for Christmas. Actually not even an opening act, more of an announcer.

‘Here’s your turkey folks, now watch while I pull back the curtain and Voila! Black Friday.’

Its not a complaint, really, I just spooked myself by counting the weeks and realized there are only twelve weeks left in 2021. Which means even less time before Christmas. Because my family is so scattered each Christmas requires a postal strategy as well as a shopping one. This year with fewer people traveling to gather more things are being mailed.

And lately postal timelines are seeming to be a bit wonky.

So this weekend the strategizing began. There are a few easy gifts actually. Each year I give my mother a tea subscription. I’ve tied several and the one she really likes is the Simple Loose Leaf. She really likes how well they take her reviews into account and adjust the teas they send her accordingly. So it has become a holiday staple. I generally get her that one as part of her Christmas gifts and then on her birthday go with something from The Art of Tea. Both of course are mailed by someone else, so I don’t even have to remember stamps. At the moment The Simply Loose Leaf Subscription has a 50% off on your first box deal going on. It is well worth it if you are into trying new teas.

Actually Cratejoy in general has a pre-black Friday sale going on right now. A host of boxes have 25% off (several of the cocktail subscriptions are calling me, some for me, but really there is one I think might actually suit my cousin. He is nearly impossible to shop for and I got his name in the gift buying raffle this year). I like poking around there in general and have found some pretty interesting subscriptions over the years. And actually this year I may be leaning into gift subscriptions for several people. I’ll still be making my Black Friday hopping lists, but a few subscription boxes really help take the load off.

Well, off me and my postal scheduling. Not so much off of the post office.

And even without the subscription boxes, holiday bundles are starting to emerge and as always I am drawn into the advent calendars. I’ve already earmarked the Molton Brown Advent calendar for a family member (my aunt actually, but don’t tell her). It is their 50th Anniversary this year and the box is absolutely stunning. And so packed with goodies. It’s also a great way to try a lot of different scents. There are so many to love.

Usually I get myself one advent calendar a year as my one self indulgent treat once all of the holiday shopping is done and mailed out, but there are so many good ones to choose from that I am not sure which one I will opt in for myself. Each time I think I’ve made a decision, I change my mind. But as I am still getting my lists together, I have time to figure it out.

But this is where I am going to leave you today. With me heading back to work and visions of holiday prep dancing in my head. There was no makeup today because the cycle of rain, dry heat, and then damp fog has left my nose running and my eyes watery and itching. Even with the allergy pills experience has taught me that makeup on a day like today is just a frustrating endeavor. It is best to declare it a skincare day, let my skin breath and then treat it to it’s daily Healing Bark Mask this evening. with luck the mold that the weather has kicked up will have died down by tomorrow and products can be applied with at least the hope of staying where I put them. Fingers crossed.

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The October 2021 Look Fantastic Beauty Box unboxing

That’s right, the subscription boxes are starting to come in. Can the middle of the month be too far behind? Look Fantastic is a UK based subscription box that costs $19 per month if you are on a month to month subscription. I have an annual subscription so my box is $16. I always find the box worth it actually. As it comes from the UK often times it has brands that I’ve either never heard of or don’t see all that often. Look Fantastic also has a shop that is always running specials and deals on various products. So even if you don’t subscribe, it is well worth popping over to the site to see what’s on sale.

This month’s theme is Treat yourself: Time for your Monthly R&R. The first item I gravitated towards was the Rituals product. what can I say, the golden color called to me. I have received a lot of bath products from Rituals in subscription boxes, in fact one is still in my shower as we speak. They always smell luxurious and leave my skin feeling pampered. This isn’t a bath product though. This month Look Fantastic sent a body cream. The scent is orange and cedar which I think sounds interesting. Normally i am not a fan of getting body creams since I have so many of them, but as I have never tried a Rituals body Cream i have to say i am curious. I have high hopes for this one. It is the Ritual of Mehr. As I just finished a body lotion, this one is going straight to the shower to use post bath. I’ll let you know how it works out.

The second item I was even happier to see. Ecooking is one of those brands I don’t think we hear enough about. It is really good skincare that tends to fly under the radar. If you ever see their foot cream, snap it up. You won’t be sorry. It’s scent is a bit strong but it can take down the toughest of calluses. This month there is a gentle cleansing gel in the box. it is a really good sized pump. The pamphlet doesn’t say if this is a full size or not but it is 125 ml which is much larger than a sample size. If it isn’t a full size then it is at least a deluxe or travel size. I am very much looking forward to giving it a go.

The third item this month is the Filorga Oxygen glow Creme. It is a sample size of their moisturizer. I am always happy to try out a new moisturizer. I have an eye cream from Filorga waiting for trial, but I haven’t actually tried it yet. So even though i have seen the brand (and actually have products from them) I haven’t tried them out yet.

Dr. Botanicals had been making appearances in subscription boxes lately and quite honestly I am not upset about seeing another product from them. The ones I’ve tried have performed really well and over all it is a pretty affordable brand. I am always happy to discover affordable brands that work really well. This month we have the Turmeric Mask. I think I’ve used a moisturizer and a hand cream but not a mask. Both the Pomegranate moisturizer and the Lemon hand cream made it onto my list of repeat purchases so we will see if the Turmeric makes the cut as well.

There were two hair products in this months box, rounding out the products. One is the Philip Kingsley Bond Builder. It is a split end remedy. Philip Kingsley is one of those brands that is kind of pricy, but always sort of leaves me ambivalent. The Leave in conditioner works well enough to use if it is around, but not well enough to actually purchase over other products. Perhaps this Bond Builder will be one of their better products and lean me towards them a bit more. I haven’t tried it and I am always looking for ways to improve the health of my hair.

I will certainly get a lot of use out of the Vintage Cosmetics scrunchies. The yellow is a bit bright for me, but the material is soft and not likely to pull and the elastic underneath feels strong enough to hold my hair in place. Plus this summer I had issues with the elastic bands tangling in my hair so I tended to wear the scrunchies I had more than the bands. Many of the scrunchies did not survive the summer. So it is nice to have some replacements.

So that was my October Look Fantastic Box. Was it worth the price? Absolutely. Look fantastic has always tended to be skincare heavy and the theme is kind of skincare based anyway so i can’t be upset about the lack of makeup. Makeup isn’t really Look Fantastic’s strong suit. Some times they do hit it out of the park with the makeup though. Just not this month and not very often. To be honest, Look Fantastic is where I have found some super fabulous hair care products and brands that I didn’t know existed. Hair and skincare are where this box shines. And this month, I think they did pretty good. I definitely got my $16 worth.

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Ipsy Glam Bag Plus October 2021 Unboxing

Oh my darlings, my IPSY bag arrived in the mail. Can you believe it? I can’t remember the last time my IPSY subscription arrived this early in the month. It is a Halloween miracle.

So shall we see what’s in the pretty pink mailer?

First off we have the bag for the month. I like the print. i think it is very appropriate for the month. I also wish it was on an actual makeup bag. I’ve mentioned my disappointment in the drawstring bags already. i think it feels more objectionable this month since I not only like the print but IPSY’s price went up. This Glam Bag Plus is now $28 per month ($30.73 with Tax). I know it is because postage and product prices have gone up, and I do understand that, but it does make the bag feel extra cheap.

But let’s face it, I am never really going to like the draw string bags.

And it really isn’t about the bag anyway. So lets get into the products.

The first item out of my bag I really can not complain about. The Dermelect Self Esteem Beauty Sleep serum is always going to be welcome at my house. I know it can be used all over my face, but quite frankly when I get this serum, I mostly use it on my neck. It has made it into my skin care line up many times in the past and will continue circling through the line up. I finished my most recent bottle a few months ago and have it on my to be repurchased list. Now it is here again and i don’t have to repurchase it. So we are off to a good start this month.

The second item in my bag this month is also welcome. It is the Wander Beauty Staycation Hydrating Mask. I had a sample size of this not too terribly long ago and really enjoyed it. It is very hydrating though so for me this is actually quite timely. It is the kind of mask I can use in the winter but can’t really use in the summertime. As it is October and the weather is sort of on the turn, soon I will be leaning into my hydrating masks. Since I enjoyed the sample i used, i am happy to try the full size out.

The third item that was chosen for my by IPSY this month was also the one makeup item in my bag. It is the Roen Cake Lash mascara. Oddly enough I have managed to blaze through a large number of my stockpiled mascaras. For a while it felt as though I was drowning in them. I even had a separate mascara stash. Now the few mascaras I have that are unopened have been mixed in with my other unopened products and no longer need their own drawer. To be honest i was hoping to whittle them down enough so that I can try out the My Little Mascara Club. I’ll probably still try the subscription out soon, but until then I have another mascara to try and as my stockpile is down, I’m not mad about receiving this. The lip gloss from Roen is the only item I’ve tried from the brand so i am happy to see what their other products are like. I won’t open it though until I am ready to use it. The wand on the website looks pretty good though.

I’m also happy there was at least one makeup item this month.

The next two items are items that I chose. The choose selection was pretty poor this month, but I was actually pleased to see these two items. The fist is the Murad Skin Smoothing Polish. You know I love a good exfoliator and Murad is a skin care brand that I trust. I am currently using the Annmarie Skincare Kaolin Clay Exfoliator but it will soon be used up and I am happy to have another exfoliator on standby.

Finally we get to the Tokyomilk French Kiss Perfume. I was very happy to see this as I am a fan of the Brand. one of my favorite winter perfumes is #85 Novacaine from Tokyomilk Dark. That one is both a winter scent and a night time scent. From the first sniff this seems like it would be more of a day time scent. I am actually looking forward to trying it out. (Also on the add ons I ordered another perfume from the Tokyomilk brand and I’ll be trying that one out as well).

There is one thing that concerns me a bit with the perfume though. It is a bit on the small side. I have it next to the regular sized bottle that i ordered from the brand. It is significantly larger than the bottle that came from IPSY. While I am happy with the size for a perfume the comparison does bother me a little since IPSY PLUS is supposed to be full sized items. It is possible that the bottle sizes for the brand have changed as I have had my bottle for a little while.

Size issues aside I am very happy with my bag for this month. It is heavy on the skincare which is slightly disappointing, but all of the items are ones that I will use. So I am actually quite happy. I do hope that next month leans a little more towards the makeup side of things, but really this is one of the better plus bags that they have sent in a while. It makes me very happy. It also makes my decision on what subscriptions to keep in the new year and which to let go a bit more difficult.

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Happy Hour: Calpis Soda

Good evening my darlings and welcome to another Friday Night Happy hour. I know for many happy hour conjures visions of a crowded bar and laughter with groups of friends. And to be honest, while my babydoll and I do indulge in those sorts of happy hours, typically we go out on Saturday nights instead of Fridays.

The truth is that by the time the end of the week rolls around, putting on a set of comfy clothes, settling in with a delicious beverage and tasty treat often seems like heaven. Saturday night we both feel more social. But Friday has become our night to recharge so that the Saturday social is more fun. Sometimes it involves a cocktail, other times a non alcoholic beverage.

At the moment my babydoll is trying to whittle down his homebrewed beer supply. This year since we weren’t expecting a lot of company, he decided to test several different brew kits to see what he liked the best. while always fun to find the product you like the best, we now have a bit of a storage issue. So he is having beer tonight and I am using this as a change to test the Calpis Soda that came in my Tokyo Treat Box.

As you can see in the photo it is a lavender kind of color. which I find a bit unusual in a beverage. According to the description …

Calpis soda is a soda drink which uses the classic calpis, a condensed yogurt flavor beverage. Here’s a luxurious Kyoho grape flavor, which is one of the most expensive fruit in Japan.

In general I don’t drink a lot of soda, mostly because I am trying to reduce my sugar intake so a soda is just a much of a treat for me as an alcoholic cocktail. Add in a luxurious and expensive fruit and it certainly feels like a treat.

The taste is interesting. It tastes a bit like a Grape Nehi but a lot less sweet. I can’t taste any yogurt flavor in the mix, but it does feel as though there is something fermented in the drink. The yogurt I believe is what is tamping down the sweetness, but it doesn’t taste yoghurt-y.

The drink causes a little bit of a tingling on the tongue. I think part of that is just the carbonation, but I suspect that some of it might be the fermentation in the yoghurt.

All in all I have to say I kind of like it. It isn’t something I would have picked up from the shelf if I saw it in the store, but quite honestly that is one of the fun things about a subscription box like Tokyo Treat (or any subscription box really). You get to try things that you never would have picked up on your own.

I find the pink color a little off putting as it sort of reminds me of Pepto-Bismol, but it is a delicious treat that i would not mind having again. Actually i think it would be really good over crushed ice on a hot summer’s day. As it is, I am having the drink sitting on the couch with my baby. we have a big bowl of popcorn and we will be watching Gretel and Hansel on Paramount+ as part of October fright fest marathon. All month long we will be watching all sorts of spooky shows and movies.

So at our house it is shoes off, fuzzy socks on and feet up on the foot rest. Tonight even the weather has decided to join in as we have a thunderstorm rolling in to provide some extra atmosphere. Tomorrow, we might go out and be social. Tonight, it is good to just stay home.

Face Mask Friday: End of Week 1 for Healing Bark Golden Tree Bark Mask

This is a sponsored post, however as always my thoughts an opinions are my own.

I know some of you are looking at the title and thinking, wait, didn’t Mimsy talk about the Golden Tree bark Mask last week? Yes I did. And I will also be talking about it for the next few weeks. I am doing a month long trial of this mask from Healing Bark.

As with most skincare it takes about thirty days to see real results. There are a few exceptions, but really it takes about thirty days. This mask is designed to calm and cleanse your pores for a refreshed look to your skin. It is designed for all skin types and can actually be used daily. One container of this Golden Tree Bark Mask from Healing bark costs $14.99. I have been using it every day for a week and am certain at the end of the month i will still have some masking product left over. So if it does keep my skin clear, it is a really cost effective product.

So I decided to put it through a month long trial where I use the mask each day for the month of October. I think one of the things that really interests me is that this mask has one ingredient. That’s right one. It is the shortest ingredient label I’ve ever seen. It contains the dried and powdered bark of the Thanka Tree (Hesperethusa crenulata).

That’s it.

the mask

And while I am still doing research on the Thanka tree and the properties of it’s bark, this week has been more about mixing and working the daily mask into my schedule. While today I am masking mid afternoon for the Friday Face Mask in general I have been masking in the evenings. After dinner I take off my makeup, wash my face and then apply the mask. The mask can sit for anywhere from 15 to 30 minutes on the skin. I tried it for fifteen the first few days and then went to the full thirty after realizing there were no adverse affects.

three teaspoons absorbed

Before I started my trial I tried it on my arm to make certain it wasn’t going to cause any skin irritations for me. This is generally a good idea with any mask or any skin care product really.

Working it into my schedule proved surprisingly easy and quite honestly, I really have liked the addition of a daily half hour to sit and just sort of relax for a bit. While I can move around the house with the mask on, it isn’t something I am going to wear outside and quite honestly I like having the half hour of quiet time. It has given me the space to plan and think for a bit and has actually helped me clear my mind and focus on what needs to be done.

a little more water to make it easier to apply

Clearly the mask itself didn’t mentally help me, but incorporating that half hour each night really has helped me out a lot.

This week, as the first week of using the mask, I spent a lot of time learning to mix the mask. I know that sounds strange. This mask comes in powdered form and you spoon a little into the bowl and stir in the water. In my initial first impressions post mixing was a bit awkward. I thought I had too much water, I thought it got a bit drippy.

Turns out it was user error as well as measurement miscalculation. So here are a few things I learned this week as far as mixing goes. First off, I measured the powder into the bowl. I am using the masking kit that Healing Bark sent with the masks. while I have a bowl I usually like mixing masks in, it is a bit shallow and I find that this plastic bowl from the kit is actually a better depth for mixing.

easy to apply and looks like peanutbutter

Now I mentioned last week that I thought the three teaspoons of water mixed with the two teaspoons of mask was a bit much. It turns out I was wrong. This week, I started using slightly warmed water so that it absorbed faster. I added the three teaspoons of water to the masking powder and stirred. And stirred.

At first it didn’t want to incorporate. The powder sat on the water and I felt like I was just swishing it around. The reason is that the powder is really dry. It makes it very shelf stable so the mask will last a while, but it takes the powder a little bit to realize it needs to wake up and absorb the water. Once it does, it all seems to absorb at once.

bare skin, pre masking (after a week of prior masking)

It really is like flicking a switch. Water not absorbed, water all in. And it turns out, once the water was absorbed, the paste was really thick. A little too thick for me as I had trouble spreading it on my skin. It turns out, the three teaspoons weren’t enough water. So I drizzled a little bit more in.

wet mask

My goal was to make it into a spreadable paste. To me it looks like slightly wet peanut butter. which actually spreads really well with the silicon masking brush. The trick with the mask is to keep stirring until the water is absorbed and not to rush it. The process really doesn’t take that long, only about a minute, but just don’t get impatient.

I especially liked using the warmer water as it did incorporate faster, plus I feel like warm water helps to convince my pores to open up a bit more. I warmed up the water before taking off my makeup my Makeup Eraser used the hot water on my skin and then I used the hot water with my cleanser before adding the water into the mask. I’m hoping the heat helped open the pores as well as made the mask mix easer.

dried after half an hour

I was initially nervous about leaving the mask on for thirty minutes. But this seems to work really well for this mask. I had no adverse reactions on my skin. In fact my skin feels smooth and clean once the mask is removed. There is no tingling of any sort really. There is a slight cooling sensation that occurs as the water evaporates out and the mask dries down on the skin. It is a little more noticeable with the use of warmer water but it isn’t an actual tingling.

I have to say this Golden tree bark mask is one of the easiest masks to remove. As you sit for half an hour, the moisture evaporates. And since the mask is only water and powder, when you take a damp cloth to your skin, the mask just crumbles away. There is no real rubbing or stubborn spots. It was very easy to remove.

clean skin after half an hour of masking

While I will compare photos of my skin at the beginning of the month and my skin at the end of the month to determine if there has been any kind of change. I have to say, my skin feels nice. It feels extra clean without being stripped and my skin does feel refreshed. Hopefully that will translate to clearer skin at the end of the month, because I am actually really enjoying using this mask on a daily basis.

While I will have to wait for those results, thus far I like the fresh feeling I like the ease of mask removal and I am mental benefitting from taking the half hour out of my evening each night. And to be honest, i also enjoy the mixing. It makes me feel a bit like a mad scientist. And I kind of like feeling like a mad scientist. I do sort of wish I had an Igor though. I probably wouldn’t call him Igor as that is so last century. Maybe Jellybean. I can just hear it now.

“Jellybean, throw the switch!”

So much better than Igor.

But I digress. Thus far, the mask is working out well. Currently soft, clean and refreshed skin with possible long term results on the horizon. And now I have learned to properly mix the mask application is going much more smoothly. I am looking forward to seeing what next week will bring.

This week was all about getting the application right. Next week, we will take a deeper look at the Thanka tree. After all it is the only ingredient in the mask, clearly it feels it deserves it’s own spotlight. Next Friday, we’ll see if it’s true or not. Let week two of the Healing Bark Golden Tree Bark Mask begin!

The Skincare Line Up: October 8th, 2021

Good morning and welcome to another week of skin care. This week was really interesting as I have several products that are almost down to empty, but not quite there. Some have a couple of more days left on them, others might last another week. It is really going to be fun to see as a lot of products are rolling off of the line up in the near future. So lets get started and see what we have shall we?

The Daytime Line Up

Deodorant: Native Blackberry and Green Tea Deodorant

Cleanser: Annmarie Skincare Aloe Herb Cleanser (use code FALL25 for 25% off)

Toner: Murad Hydrating Toner

Essence: Time Revolution Artemisia Treatment Essence from Missha

Serum: Annmarie Skincare Anti Aging Serum (usually $60, currently $45 on sale)

Moisturizer: Seed Phytonutrients Light Weight Facial Lotion

Eyecream: Clarins Paris Total Eye Lift

Sunscreen: Volition Prismatic Luminizing Shield in SPF 50

Facial Spray: Caudalie Beauty Elixir

Toothpaste: Crest Gum Detoxify Toothpaste

Okay lets just start at the top of the list and work our way down shall we? The Native Blackberry and Green tea deodorant smells like blackberries and green tea when you sniff the product, but the scent is almost completely MIA when you apply it. If you are sweating heavily there is the possibility of pit stains, but there is never any stink factor. It works, just remember it is not an antiperspirant. It is close to reaching the end of its life. I may have two weeks left on it thought so it is one of the few products that i will not be replacing in this coming week.

I fear i will be finishing up both the Aloe Herb Cleanser and the Anti Aging Serum from Annmarie skincare. They are both great products and I know this is not the last time they will make it into the skincare line up. I love the fresh clean herbal scent of them both. The cleanser has a lemon verbena scent while the serum leans towards rosemary. Both are lovely and are especially excellent in the morning as they both have the kind of scents that wake you up. Both are available in their samples bundles.

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If you are interested in trying out the skincare before committing to a full size, I highly recommend Annmarie’s sample bundles. It is a great cost effective way to find out what you like and what you don’t like about a brand. I have found many favorites this way. But now I have to let them go. There is maybe three days worth of cleanser left and I’m pretty sure I will end up using the last drops of serum in the morning. So it is farewell to both, although there will most definitely be a return.

The Murad toner is a really good toner. I am only about a third of the way through the bottle so it will be sticking around for a bit longer. I really like the elements from the Hydration line of Murad. They tend to suit my skin type and are especially helpful as the seasons change and I need to adjust to my seasonal skin changes. It really helps to balance things out.

If you look at the above picture you may notice that the Time Revolution Artemisia Treatment Essence is a bit lower than it should be. This week my babydoll had some skin irritation issues so he ended up using it as well as I did. And so it is disappearing pretty fast. Even though this one was sent by the brand, I have already reordered another bottle, just to keep around. Whether you use essences regularly or not, this isn’t a bad product to keep around just to deal with skin irritation. It really helps with both the soothing and redness aspect. I am a big fan of it. I suspect that we may end up keeping a bottle of this in out medicine cabinet. I know that sounds a bit strange, but my babydoll isn’t a huge fan of skincare in general so getting him to use a product is often difficult, however if the same skin care product is stored in the medicine cabinet, he doesn’t think twice about using it. I know, it’s a little bit of trickery, but it works. And sometimes, you just have to use what works. It’s like putting cheese sauce on broccoli.

Next up we have two products that give my nose issues. One is the Seed Moisturizer. it works well and my skin loves it but it smells like wet and slightly moldy hemp rope. Normally i don’t have an issue with the scent of hemp but there is just something in this that i don’t like. I am only about half way through the bottle and I plan to finished using it up, but as good as it feels on my skin, i will be happy when it is done and i will not be repurchasing it.

The scent of the Caudalie is also not my favorite. It smells a little like mothballs. However it is one of the best facial sprays I have tried. My skin always feels so nourished when I use it, scent or not. I always reach a point with the Caudalie elixir. I get to the point where I just want to use it up and get it out and I am always relived not to smell it when it is gone. Then a few months will pass and I will remember how much my skin really liked it. So I will order it again, use it again and then once again reach the point where I can’t take the scent. If this had a different scent, I would order it before I ran out and always keep it on hand. But by the end of the bottle, I need a break from the scent (and yes, I only buy the travel sized bottles) Something really need to be taken in moderation. I don’t know if you can see what is in the bottle, but the remaining product will be gone before the weekend is over. There is both relief and sadness. And a wish for a different scent.

My eye cream this week was frustrating. Since eye cream takes so little to apply, I had high hopes for this little tube of Clarins to last a bit longer. Using it morning and night I started it last Saturday and used the last of it yesterday. It seems to be a really good cream. My skin liked it. It absorbed well and didn’t leave me feeling greasy. there were no clogged pores. I just didn’t use it long enough to really see any results. Would i use it again? Sure. What i used seemed to be pretty nice. But now the sample is empty and a new eye cream must be tried.

Also pretty much empty is the Volition sunscreen. It is a great weightless sunscreen. There is really no gap in use though as the last time i bought sunscreen i went ahead and picked up several tubes. I do want to use up a couple of samples though, so I may use them up before I open up a new tube of the Volition sunscreen. Rest assure, it is not going to be gone for long.

And to round up the morning we have my Crest Gum Detoxify. My dentist recommended it, my teeth feel clean and my breath is fabulous. What else is there to say?

The Night time line Up

Makeup Remover: Makeup Eraser Cloth

Cleanser: Rodial Dragon’s Blood Cleansing water and Cliv Premium Max Hyaluronic Propolis Foaming Cleanser

Toner: Murad Hydrating Toner

Essence: Time Revolution Artemisia Treatment Essence from Missha (Gifted by brand)

Serum: Herbal Dynamics Beauty Hyaluronic Acid62% Hydrating Serum

Acne Treatment and Moisturizer: Neutralyze Renewal Complex Blemish Control and anti-aging moisturizing cream

Eye Cream: Clarins Paris Total Eye Lift

Lips: Laneige Lip Sleeping Mask in Berry

Night Mask: Elemis Peptide 4 Plumping Pillow Facial

Toothpaste: Crest Gum Detoxify Deep Clean

Okay, lets take a look at the non repeat night time products shall we? First off I love my Makeup Eraser. Right now it looks a little bad, but it is going into the wash this afternoon and it will be as good as new. I really want to get a set of the smaller cloths so I can use one a day and thus always have a clean make up eraser, but as the one i have is in such good shape I just haven’t broken down and done it yet. I need to though. But for now, this is fabulous. I’ve had this one well over a year and no matter what it looks like going into the wash, it always comes out looking like new.

Breast Cancer Awareness month – 10% of each ‘Boobies’ sale will benefit the Edith Sanford Foundation at

The Rodial Dragon’s Blood Cleansing Water works like any other micellar water. It is no better or worse than any of the others I’ve tried. While i like micellar waters, I didn’t notice anything that would make me buy this one over any other. I think there is enough for a week in the bottle so I will probably use it up this week and then not repurchase. I will purchase micellar waters again, just not this one.

Something else i will not be purchasing in the full size is the Clive Cleanser. To give it it’s due, it is a nice creamy cleanser that goes on well and stays in place like a cream until you add water to foam it up and wash your face. It smells like straight up perfume. I know it cleansed and I could feel my clean skin, but the scent did not make me think clean. it made me think I just splashed a rather cloying perfume on my face .I know it has all sorts of things I like, but it is still a hard no for me based on that scent.

The Herbal Dynamics Beauty I love. It is a fantastic serum. I was getting some sun sensitivity, so I switched to only using it at night and the issue was resolved. It is almost gone and it will be very hard not to immediately reorder it. Only the fact that i have several other serums I need to try out is keeping me from immediately repurchasing this serum. It has really helped with my fine lines, especially the giant line across my forehead that I refer to as my stress crack. It is still there as nothing is going to remove it, but it is more of a line than a canyon. I love this serum.

The Neutralyze has also impressed me. I am currently using it as a spot treatment in the areas where I tend to get clogged pores. It has helped clear away several of those clogged pores and kept them from getting clogged again. And all without over drying the skin. I found this very impressive. It is on the sticky side though, so when you apply it, put it on and then let it sit. Give it at least an hour before you apply your night cream and go to bed and all is well. If you don’t give it this time you will stick yourself to your pillow case. So take your time.

While there is still plenty of product in the bottle, I am going to rotate it out this week so that I can give another Neutralyze product a try out. The brand sent over several products for me to try out. So next week I will be trying out their exfoliation pads to see how they work. it will be interesting to see the differences in the formulas and if the serum is as sticky or if it dries the skin more. I am actually looking forward to it.

My Elemis Pillow Facial has been fabulous. Becuase I am using it more as a night cream than a mask, I need very little of it so there is still plenty of product. It is slightly floral in nature but it is a light fresh scent that smells like lightly floral skincare rather than perfume. Oddly i felt cleaner after applying this than I did when using the cleanser. Plus it is Elemis and you know I am a huge Elemis fan.

And finally we reach the lips. To be honest, I forgot to apply this lip mask most of the week. It slipped behind some of my day time skin care and I didn’t see it. So I forgot to apply it. My lips aren’t that bad, but i can certainly feel the difference. They are a bit dry and I feel the need of both a lip scrub and a lip mask. I will probably roll in a lip scrub this week, just because i need one. Usually I only use them in the winter as just applying the lip mask is all I really need. But I skipped the lip mask and now need the scrub.

Lesson Learned.

So my darlings that was this week in skin care. For many of the products in this week’s line up this was their last showing. Some will return and others will not. Either way i will be rotating in several new products this week. Isn’t that exciting? Well as exciting as I really want my skincare to get anyway. Let’s hope we get some good products and no skin irritation. that’s the sort of excitement I can live without.


Weekly Weight: 214.6 lbs

The Scale: October 8th, 2021

Good morning my darlings and welcome to another weekly weigh in. This week, I have lost a little. I am always happy when the numbers go down. This week, I just felt really good. I am extra glad that on a week where I felt good the numbers went down, but really, I just enjoyed feeling good this week.

There were a few days where I had to play catch up due to spending large chunks of last week in the all too brief beauty of the ideal early autumn weather. I’m sure we’ll get a few more days of that, but having a string of them in a row was just too tempting to ignore.

So I spent the early part of the week making up for it. Once back on track, I got a lot done and things just sort of felt like they were clicking along. It just felt like a good week all around. Even wehen I mistimed the weather and ended up drenched and squelching my way back home.

For the record, I really hate the feel of soggy socks on my feet. Like socks so wet that you can feel the grain of every fiber in your socks pressing against your skin kind of wet. Not my favorite thing. Luckily I could peel them off and drop them straight into the washing machine once I made it through the door. So it was short term nasty.

It was also the worst moment of the week, which means over all, I had a very good week. Lets face it, if all you can complain about is ten minutes of soggy socks, its a pretty good week.

The Stats:

Starting weight: 246.0 lbs

Last week’s weight: 215.2 lbs

This week’s weight: 214.6 lbs

Lost this week: 0.6 lbs

Lost this far: 31.4 lbs

So not the greatest loss on the books, but I feel good, and sometimes that is more important. Today i feel good in my skin and I am satisfied with what I’ve accomplished this week. What a wonderful start to a Friday. I hope yours is starting off just as fantastic.

yoga gear

The Daily: October 7th, 2021

In what I’m certain is likely to become the October refrain, today’s walk was a quick dash between rainstorms followed by a bit of Youtube Yoga. At the moment I’m not following anyone specifically, otherwise I’d link it. I really do need to sit down and sort of think through some workouts as this seems to be cropping up often. At the moment I sort of look at the time and say, Oh I have fifteen minutes or oh only 12 minutes, perfect. I need to actually create play lists like ‘Arms’ or ‘Abs’ so I can focus a bit more.

Perhaps that will be a weekend goal.

For now I at least feel confident that I managed to move around enough to keep me from feeling twitchy while I work. Hopefully it will be enough to show up on the scale. But even if the numbers don’t move this week, I feel pretty good about the level of activity and my attention to calories. While I may have no idea what my snack from the Tokyo Treat Box had in it, everything else was well monitored. So I feel pretty good about that.

In fact, I just feel pretty good in general. And it is pretty good to feel good. So I am just going to hold on to that feeling.

Today’s Look:

Primer: Urban Decay Optical Illusion Primer

Foundation: Revolution Fast Base Foundation Stick

Bronzer: Trestique Bronzing Stick

Blush: Benefit Cosmetics Gold Rush Blush

Highlight: Ofra in Blissful

Eyeshadow: Ciate London the Trend Edit

Mascara: ABH Lash Brag

Lips: MAC in Bated Breath

Setting Spray ABH Dewy Set

I know, I’m still trying to use up the discontinued primer. Slowly but surely it is being used up. The link above will take you to the Urban Decay Primers, even though this one is discontinued, they have other primers and currently they ae on sale for 30% off.

The Revolution stick foundation I really like. I forget about it for long stretches, then use it and wonder how I could have actually forgotten about it. It is a great product, especially for travel. It is creamy and blends well. I also managed to get the perfect shade for me so at the moment this is my go to travel foundation.

I’ve actually been thinking about travel more lately as autumn sets in. I will be traveling for Thanksgiving this year so I’m having to put together a travel kit. My last travel was Christmas of 2019 I took apart my travel kit and used up open products so that they wouldn’t go to waste. Now I am actually having to think about all of the items going into the new bag. I’m also going to have to look at replacing my travel bag soon. I know, I keep promising myself that I will and then I forget about it when I am not traveling, and then when I am traveling I remind myself to do it once the traveling stops.

It is an endless cycle and one that I am going to break. I’ve actually been debating between the Navy Collection and the Gray red vacationer bag from Kusshi. I just like the look of them and the functionality of the bags. At the moment the vacationer bag with the organizer is on sale so that may end up deciding me as I really like their organizers as well. I ended up getting one of their limited edition animal print bags for my mom a few years back and she absolutely loves it. It has worn really well.

Not that i actually used my mom as a test case. She just needed a new makeup bag and I thought she would like this one. Which she does. I just got the added benefit of seeing it in action.

But speaking of travel, that is one of the thoughts that caused me to pull out the Ciate palette today. This is a little square palette with a hard plastic case. I like the hard case for traveling shadows. And these are both really nice shadows and a good general mix. The mattes are all in the brown and reddish brown category, but the shimmers are more varied so it can be used as an everyday kind of palette or the shimmers can be used to punch up the colors. I used dry brushes today but with wet brushes these shimmers really pop. It is definitely a good contender for this year’s travel palette.

Today for the setting spray I used the ABH Dewy set. While I like the way the cap locks into place I am not sure I would repurchase this. The mist is a bit heavy and the coconut scent is pretty strong. It works well, but between the spray and the scent, I think this is one product i will be using and not repurchasing.

And with that, it is back to work for me. I hope you are having a good Thursday as well my darlings, because I really do feel good in my skin today and I think that everyone should have that feeling as well. I’ll see you bright and early tomorrow with the weekly weigh in.

Snacktime: Umaiwa Mentai Flavor

Ah what a difference a little research makes. When I opened the Tokyo Treat Box there were very few things I could identify. A lot of what I picked up was from the photographs. No matter what the language, a cartoon strawberry pretty much looks like a cartoon strawberry. There was one package that drew my attention though. I thought it looked like a picture of tomatoes and basil.

Oh my darlings, was I wrong.

Today I couldn’t resist opening the Umaiwa Mentai Flavor bag of crispy treats. Apparently Umaiwa means delicious ring, at least from what I could find out on line. If I have that wrong, someone please post a comment correcting me. It turns out those were definitely not tomatoes. I found the same bag in my Tokyo Treat Box offered for sale for $7 here. It’s description read…

Umaiwa is a famous crunchy ring-shaped snack from Japan, from the makers of Umaibo. This Mentai flavor will definitely surprise you with the taste of mentaiko, or spiced pollock roe, one of Japan’s most traditional food.

So yeah, definitely not tomatoes.

It sounds a bit more like botarga to me. And I do like botarga. I just never thought of it in terms of snack food.

The rings have the same consistency as cheese puffs. And they have a similar orange coloring too actually, maybe with a bit more red mixed in. Part of my brain wanted to say faux cheese flavor and another part of my brain thought, that’s going to be spicy.

It was neither. It was crispy and crunchy and slightly sweet and slightly salty with a touch of smoky heat on the back end of the flavor. I absolutely loved them. There is something about them that is absolutely addictive. It is also not as salty as botarga. I think if it was then I would be able to eat as many.

I’m sure they over step my usual calorie allotment for snacks, but I had a salad lunch and will be having a slice of quiche for dinner so I’m okay bending the calories a little. I have no idea what the calorie count is since I could find no translation of it, and probably don’t want to. This bag was the perfect snack size and even though a part of me wanted more because they were absolutely yummy, I know this was all I needed.

I’ve never had mentaiko before and as this is clearly a processed snack food, I might not have actually tried it now, but I really enjoyed the flavor of this and because of that I will be looking out for mentaiko in the future. Perhaps I will like it as much, perhaps I won’t, but I do know that before this snack I didn’t know it existed and now, I want to try it. And if I can use my snack food to drive off hunger cravings, try something new and but an entirely new to be food on my culinary radar, I am pretty happy. Over all, that makes this a very successful snacktime.