The Daily: September 16th, 2021

Hello my darlings I hope you are having a fantastic Thursday. Today I went on an extra long walk to make up for the lack of walk yesterday. Unfortunately, there is something in the air. I don’t know what sent it out, but there is a thick layer of pollen in the air. While the walk was in general good for me, the pollen hit my allergies hard.

The eyes are watering and itchy and I have lost count of how many sneezes have issued forth. It was as thought the walking trail staged a biological attack. I am glad I got the exercise though as not walking yesterday made me feel a bit twitchy. Although to be honest, I think the pollen was high yesterday as well and having me taken down by allergies when my babydoll is feeling poorly is not a good idea. In our household it is best if only one of us is under the weather at a time.

I thought about makeup. I did. And then I sneezed five times in rapid succession and had to wipe off my streaming eyes. So I decided makeup today was a bad idea. Do you know what I decided was a good idea?

This mask.

Oh yeah, it was a fantastic idea. This cold mask came in a Macy’s Beauty Box a while ago and it may be one of the best things I have gotten out of a beauty box, especially a $15 one. I keep it in the fridge for headaches and allergies. It works really well for both. The back is a soft cotton/blend material instead of plastic so it mellows the cold so that it feels cool against the skin but not fridge cold. Plus the layer of cloth keeps it from immediately heating up with your body temperature so you get the cooling effects longer. With the ones that are just the gel beads all the way through I find that they are too cold at first and then they lose the cold too fast. I am always amazed at how effective just that little bit of cloth actually is.

Just something to think about when you are shopping for something like this.

I’m also amazed at how effective just laying down with this mask on for about ten minutes can be. I probably still won’t be wearing makeup today, but my eyes are less puffy and I can actually get more work done. Sometimes a ten minute break is really the most helpful thing you can do to boost your own productivity. If you are in an office, your boss and coworkers might object, but if you are working from home and are hit with the puffy eyed allergy monster, taking the ten minutes can mean a world of difference to your productivity.

But no makeup or not, now that I am feeling a bit refreshed, or at least not quite so puffy, it is back to work for me. I took the ten minutes off my lunch time break so I’m not making up time, but there is still a lot to get done before I can slide into Friday and my weekend plans. So hi ho hi ho it is back to work I go.

pacificpearls.com.au

IPSY Glam Bag Plus September 2021 Unboxing

That’s right my darlings. We have reached the section of the month where unboxings sort of take over as subscription boxes start to arrive. This month has been strange as subscriptions that have been running late arrive early and the ones that usually arrive early are running late.

Apparently several of my packages have decided that they really like Smyrna, TN and have no desire to leave. I have no idea why. But it is one of the mysteries of the postal service.

The bag

One of the subscriptions that has been running late in the past few months is IPSY. Which is why I was surprised when my Glam Bag plus arrived mid month instead of towards the end. But arrived it has. Now normally I don’t say much about the draw string bags that now come with the IPSY Glam Bag plus subscription. It used to be actual makeup bags, now it is just a drawstring bag. I only mention this one because it actually feels a little less cheaply made than many in the past. I will actually be keeping this one and adding it to my travel kit. I like to keep underwear in small bags when I travel. I also was take too bags, one for clean and one for worn. And If I am traveling for a longer stretch I put a plastic ziptop bag inside the bag for the worn underwear just to keep everything super fresh until I can get to a laundry.

But that is besides the point.

What is to the point is that this is a $25 per month subscription. Or at least was. In October the price goes up to $27 per month. I have to say that given that IPSY hasn’t been spectacularly fabulous in the past few months, I’m not really sure how I feel about the price increase. I’ve had an IPSY subscription for a really long time, in one form or another and when I work out my end of year subscription evaluations and decide what subscription is going through with me to the next month, I never really considered dropping IPSY completely. This year that may change.

But on to the September products. In the Glam Bag Plus you receive five full sized products. Two they choose for you and three you pick from a selection. Let’s start with the two products they chose.

The first is the Murad Clarifying Oil Free Water Gel. In general I like Murad products. Currently in my skincare line up I have a Murad Toner that I am absolutely loving. The thing is, this moisturizer is designed for acne prone skin. While I am currently using an acne clearing product in my line up, I typically only need them once a month for hormonal break outs or if my skin has a reaction and breaks out. At the moment I am settling both at the same time, but that is a different story.

Because of this I tend only use acne fighting products once a month and rely on pore clearing masks to help with any clogged pores in the interim. The Clarifying cleanser from Murad is one that I will reach for periodically and it works really well, but I can only use it two days in a row before my skin dries out too much for me to use it. It is from the same line as this cleanser so I suspect it will be the same. I will hold the moisturizer until the current acne fighting one I am using (Neuralyze renewal complex, if you are curious) is finished, but that will take a while. It is a great brand, it is a pricy brand, and if you have acne prone skin it is a fantastic line of products. I’m not entirely certain it is going to be for me.

I know that is a lot to say about the first product, but for the moment it is important. One of the things that I always liked about IPSY is they pay attention to the beauty profile and your choices. I went back and looked and deliberately chose rarely for acne fighting products. Now one can say it is a fluke and perhaps I will end up enjoying it. However the second product they chose for me was also an acne fighting one.

The second item in my bag this month is the Neogen Dermalogy Intensive Blemish Care Foam Cleanser. Again, I like Neogen. I’ve tried a moisturizer from them that I really love. And to be fair I did put that I love cleansers because it is my most used category of skincare products (I also put that I love moisturizers for the record which I suspect is why they sent these). It’s the intense blemish control that I have issues with. So I will plan to try both of these when it seems appropriate, but suspect that before that comes around I will be passing them along to a younger relative who has this as more of a concern.

So now on to the three items I chose. I’ll be honest, while I do like the items I chose, the selection this month was awful. I literally chose the one product in each category that I thought would be okay.

The first is a Radiance Enzyme Scrub from the brand Juara. It is supposed to minimize pores, brighten, exfoliate and smooth. And I think by now we all know I love my exfoliators both chemical and physical. I try to limit them so I don’t scrub myself into a bad skin place, but I do enjoy them. Plus I don’t know all that much about this brand. I used a hand cream from them and while it worked nice I remember the scent being strong enough to make my eyes water. so it will be nice to try out something else.

The next item was a lip balm from the brand Mischo Beauty. I vaguely recall trying something from them a while back, but I can’t actually remember what it was or how I felt about it. I think it might have been a nail polish. This tinted lip balm looks good, has no scent to it and is in a shade that I very often use. So it could be a very good thing.

Lipstick swatch above, blush swatches below

The final item in the bag this month was a set of liquid blushes from the YC Collection. I was very relieved to open them and find they had do foot applicators. When I looked at them on line they just have liquid dots of product next to the contain so I was worried it would be just a liquid pour. I’ll be honest though, the swatches doo not enthuse me. They both look a little orange in tone. I love blush in… well pretty much any formula though, so I’ll try them out, but I’m not so certain these colors will work for me. Perhaps once blended they will surprise me.

I did choose two add ons this month as well and to be honest, those are the two products I am the most excited about receiving. Well, I say two products, but I mostly just ordered two of the same thing. It’s the Tatcha Rice Cleanser. So at least I know I’ll have one cleanser I can use in this lot. It just more than likely won’t be the one IPSY Chose for me.

I know not every month is going to be fantastic with every subscription box. However it has been a rough year for IPSY. I hate sounding down on subscriptions, especially one that I have really loved for so long, but there may be some serious end of year reevaluation where my subscription is concerned if this sort of trend continues. There are after all many other subscriptions out there. Perhaps, it is time for a change.

LovelySkin

The Daily: September 15th, 2021

Good Afternoon my darlings and welcome to the middle of the week. I don’t know why but it always feels like an uphill battle to reach Wednesday. Sort of like an office version of wading uphill through molasses. Somehow once Wednesday is over the process is reversed and I try very hard not to be swept down hill by the swiftly flowing flood waters.

I know it is nothing new. But for the moment I am between the slog and the desperate attempt not to be rushed towards the weekend. It is the moment where I caught up with everything that needed to be caught up, and I am now surveying the large expanse of week left before me. It will all change in the morning, but I’ll take it for today.

It is a strange day though. My baby doll is home today. He is taking some really strong antibiotics to knock a really nasty sinus infection out and today the antibiotics have sent him a bit woozy. Its like the antibiotics decided today was the day to marshal their forces and attack the sinus infection in mass and need all of their resources to do it. He has oscillated between napping and wandering through out the house in a bit of a zombie like state.

Admittedly a lot of it was sleeping, but there were many bouts of questions about where we keep things. Which is less that he doesn’t know where things are and more that he just wanted a little attention because he felt badly. So it was a productive, but interrupted day. It also means that I am skipping my walk to stay close today.

At the moment is is down for the count. And he actually went down for the count with a smile. When the mail arrived today it brought him some Huron Bath products. Its a bath and body care line for men (I’ll link the website below in the ad if you are interested).

My babydoll is fun with bath products. He really likes to think of himself as a very basic sort of person. And he will never actually buy bath products for himself But he really likes using some of the “fancier” products if the “happen” to be in the bathroom and they don’t smell girly.

I know he doesn’t actually believe that there is a bath products fairy that visits our house every time his soap gets low, but I think he likes to think he is just using what is naturally there. And he always gets a little smile when he sees that “fancy” products have come into the house and are for him. Admittedly he also appropriates some of my products sometimes.

Now that bath season is upon us (or at least close by, it is still a bit too hot to actually sit in a bath tub) I’ve reordered the Zents Mandarin Bath Truffles and I am certain at least half of them will be used by my babydoll. On a cold night after a long day he really likes sitting in a hot well scented bath while listening to a pod cast and sipping on a glass of whiskey.

Which reminds me I need to look into some small speakers for the bathroom and or shower. I want to get them as a nice surprise going into the holiday season. With all that is going on it is likely to be a stressful one and I know he loves listening to podcasts in the bath but is paranoid of dropping his ear buds in the water. I might do some research this evening if he decides to sleep it away. Even though it won’t be an actual holiday gift, I need to start getting my holiday gift buying list together anyway so now seems as good a time to start as any. But that is for later.

Today’s Look:

Primer: Tatcha Silk Canvas Primer

Foundation Koh Gen Do Aqua Foundation

Bronzer: Ciate London Bamboo Bronzer in South Beach

Blush: bareMinerals Bounce and Blur Blush

Highlighter: Illamasqua Beyond Powder Highlighter in OMG

Powder: No 7 Perfect Light Pressed Powder

Eyeshadow: Tarteist Pro Palette

Mascara: ABH Lash Brag Mascara

Lips: Wet ‘n Wild Mega Last Lipstick

Setting spray: Benefit Cosmetics The Porfessional Supper Setter Setting Spray.

Necklace: The Rachel Zoe Collection

I’ll be honest I mostly went for products that were easy to use. Most of these are products I don’t have to think about too much, I just know they are going to perform. I know it makes for a less than exciting makeup application, but today I just needed to go for what works.

There is also an element of I forgot I had that, or I haven’t used that in a while. I always get that right after a declutter. It is where things that got buried resurface and I fall in love all over again. Foundations are a big one with this category. With foundations I will give them a week’s trial and if I don’t like them I send them on their way quickly. I also really love foundation samples. That way I can generally tell if a foundation is worth picking up. This is especially important with the pricier ones.

The Koh Gen Do is kind of up there in price (I generally wait for a sale to pick it up). The problem is that I get it into my head that I can only use it for special occasions. And really, it is my ‘going out’ foundation. I heard a lot of hype about this foundation and how fabulous it was and I was skeptical. But Koh Gen Do lets you order sample packets in a range of shades of their foundation so you can find your shade by trying out the range. It is a fairly inexpensive way to try the foundation actually. And so worth it. It melts into the skin, blends beautifully and is just all round fantastic. It is the one I reach for when I am going someplace ‘nice’. I need to start reaching for it more often as it is a great foundation and really, I’m not going that many places. If we go out for food we typically end up getting the food to go so at the moment ‘nice’ means running to the library or Target.

But it is the foundation that I don’t have to worry about and today, that was what I wanted. I also wanted a little while to myself to put it on which is about what I got. I think it turned out well. At least I’m happy with the look. I’m also somewhat tickled that my go to, easy to use products range from my most expensive foundation and primer to what has to be one of my least expensive lipsticks. Still in expensive or not, Wet’ n Wild megalast lipstick is well worth keeping around. And it is a formula that can easily hold it’s own in the makeup bag with the pricier products. And in the end what works, works regardless of price. The price range does amuse me though.

Unboxing the September 2021Jersey Shore Cosmetics Lip Balm Subscription

Here it is, a small blue plastic mailer has arrived in my mail box and it is postmarked New Jersey. You know what that means, my darlings. The September Jersey Shore Cosmetics Lip Balm Subscription has arrived. Now this month they did increase the price. Before the subscription (with shipping) came to $8 per month. Now, with shipping it is $10 per month.

As each of their lip balms retail for $10 and you receive two lip balms per month. So it is basically double the value, so I don’t mind the increase. And I do like the lip balms. In fact these have been my go to standard for lip balms for a while. I love the formula and the scents and tastes of the lip balms. i always keep a tube on my desk and all winter you will find them tucked into coat pockets and purses in my world.

In fact this is the subscription I use to stock up so that I don’t end up with dry cracked lips in the winter. There is something I really like about seeing a stockpile of lip balms. It makes me think, ‘wow I really need to use those up’. Because of that thought I tend to reach for them more, and apply the product more and thus have fewer chapped lips in the winter.

However it does take me more than a month to get through one lip balm. And each month comes with two, so this is one of those subscriptions that I frequently dip in and out of. I keep it around for a few months and then let it go as I work my way through the balms I have. It is one of the reasons I tend to subscribe to this service through Cratejoy rather than look for it on the Jersey Shore Cosmetics Website. It is super easy to find, sign up for and cancel. And I sign up and cancel at least once a year.

This will probably be my last month for a while as I am starting to look at my lip balms and thing, yeah I have enough for a while. I know it is a bit early, but I want to actually restart the subscription again around January. I noticed that I tend to stock pile enough to get me through the winter, which means I sign up for the subscription in the spring and keep it through the summer. It means I get a lot of watermelon, Strawberry and lemonade flavored lip balms. This year I want to try out some of the wintery versions instead.

But September is most definitely autumn, so what lip balms arrived this month?

First off both are labeled Lip conditioner and aromatherapy.

The first is Citrus Zest. It is lemony but has a slightly different scent and taste from the Lemonade lip balm (which I actually really enjoy). It smells as though lemon and lime were blended together in this vegan formula.

The Second lip balm is the Petite Vanilla. As you might expect it smells of vanilla, but has no real taste to it. The scent is actually more like a vanilla pod than the faux vanilla that you get in a lot of beauty products. It is lighter and less cloying.

Now while I tend to pay attention to the scent of lip balms because they are placed on your lips which are just under your nose, these are labeled aromatherapy. I’ll have to look into what the scent of vanilla and citrus are supposed to do mentally, but I can tell you that the scents of these are a little bit stronger than their normal lip balms. So I can see why they are a different line.

Personally, I rather like both of them. I can sort of see the Vanilla edging into fall scents, but I’m not certain about the citrus. Admittedly seasonality is not always the point. One thing i really like about this Jersey Shore Cosmetics Lip Balm Subscription, besides the lip balms, is that the products sent out tend to be their new releases. It is not older product the brand is trying to get rid of, but new items they just released. Earlier this summer we received two products from their new Spritzer line of lip balms and now we have the aromatherapy ones. As Autumn deepens I’m sure there will be more seasonal scents. And while these don’t scream fall, they are good lip balms and I will very much enjoy putting them to use.

Snacktime: Verb Energy – Double Chocolate

Hello my darlings and welcome to another edition of snack time.  I know, for many of you it makes you think you need to pull up your blankets and juice and get ready for story time. 

Well, here is your story my darlings.  Once upon a time there was a woman who wanted to find and maintain a healthy weight.  She wasn’t looking to win a beauty contest or strut around in a bikini.  She just wanted to lose enough weight that she fell into a healthy range and didn’t put too much stress on her knees and ankles so that when she was older she could still walk normally instead of hobbling everywhere because her weight crushed her joints.

Even if the thought of whacking people in the shins with an elaborate cane for minor sins like bad grammar or the misuse of the term ironic did hold some appeal. she wanted that to be an affectation and one that resembled that of an evil villain rather than one necessary for support. Especially if she had gone all out for the long black cape and scull topped bobby pins in her blue rinsed curls.

But I digress.

Cane as affectation rather than support.

The bar just out of the package

And as she worked towards her healthy weight she found it was easier to keep within her calorie goal by having an afternoon snack. It kept her from overeating at dinner time and often the snack made her feel as though she had some sort of special treat.

Isn’t that a wonderful story? Anyone still awake?

Anyone?

Excellent, now I can make off with the juice boxes and begin my life of crime! Does anyone know what the resale value of juice boxes happens to be?  No?  Well maybe I’ll just skip the life of crime then and just work towards being the marcelled grammar bandit instead.

Do elderly ladies still get their hair marcelled? I think it is just a perm now which doesn’t have really the same ring to it does it? Never mind, on to the snacks.

As some of you may remember I ordered a trial pack of the Verb Energy bars.  Each bar has only 90 calories and the same amount of caffeine as a shot of espresso.  On paper it sounds like something I would be all over.  A 90 calorie snack? That sounds about right for my caloric budget.  The Caffeine hit of espresso?  Perfect for the midafternoon slump. How could I not approve?

There were four bars in the pack.  The first two didn’t go over so well.  The first one (salted Peanut Butter) tasted like a no bake peanut butter cookie.  Which wasn’t bad, but it was very salty and I found myself pounding back water like a dehydrated camel.  The second one, the Blueberry crisp tasted – to me – like a stale fig newton center rolled in stale oatmeal dust.  It was not something I ever want to put into my mouth again.  The bonus was that I only consumed about 45 calories of it as I simply couldn’t eat the whole thing. 

This leaves two flavors.  Peppermint Mocha and Double Chocolate.  I actually have high hopes for both as I think the flavors might be strong enough to carry this bar.  I couldn’t decide which one to try next so I actually put them in the empty Look Fantastic box, shook them around and then reached in without looking.  I grabbed the double chocolate so that is the one that I will be trying today.

Ingredients: Gluten-Free Oats, Organic Agave, Almonds, Organic Light Brown Sugar, Organic Crisp Brown Rice, Cocoa (Processed with Alkali), Cocao Nibs, Vanilla Extract, Organic Green Tea Caffeine, Pink Himalayan Salt

Verb Energy

Right off the bat I was pleased that it came out of the wrapper intact.  The other two were so dry that they came out in two pieces.  This one cracked along the top, but it came out whole.  And in fact it had enough moisture to it to hold together.  The others were very dry mixes.  I think the innate richness of cocoa butter might be doing it a bit of favors. 

When broken apart it looks a lot like the others, but slightly moister inside.  It has the same layering of almonds throughout. So it came out of the package well and it looks pretty good.  But the proof is in the taste. 

the interior

You know what?  The taste isn’t bad.  In fact, it is pretty good.  Do you know what it tastes like?  A vegan brownie.  Not a regular brownie.  You can tell that no eggs and milk went into this.  It says fudgy brownie on the description, but I think whoever wrote that hasn’t had an actual fudgy brownie in a long time, if ever. I make excellent fudgy brownies. This isn’t that. But it does taste like a vegan brownie, and that is not a bad thing.

In fact, it is a very good thing. 

I’ll admit, after the first two bars I was braced for the worst.  But quite honestly I would have no problem ordering a bag of these to rotate into my snack time line up.  There are 12 bars to a bag and a bag costs $19.95 on the Verb Energy Website.  Personally I am more of a savory snack type person.  If given the option I would go for the Chomps Cranberry Habanero Beef stick before something chocolaty, but every now and again I need a little bit of sweet in the afternoon.  If that sweet comes with a little extra zing of caffeine to boost me up a bit in the afternoon, I am perfectly fine with that.

And to be honest, I am now actually really looking forward to the last Verb Energy bar.  The Peppermint Mocha was the one I was most excited to try in the first place.  Now that I have tried the Double Chocolate, I have high hopes that it will be just as good.  I think the flavors should be strong enough, and I think that really that is what this energy bar mix needs, strong flavors to almost overpower the energy bar mix.  The Blueberry crisp couldn’t do it but the double chocolate could.  Fingers crossed that the peppermint mocha will triumph.

Hint

The Daily: September 14th, 2021

Good afternoon my darlings. I hope Tuesday is going well for you. As for me it has taken me away from my desk for far longer than I actually intended today, but that’s okay. It does mean that I only got one short walk in this morning, despite increasingly nice weather and I will probably have to end up working a little later than I planned.

But only by about an hour or two. And then I’ll be back on schedule. Which is a nice way to hit mid week actually.

All in all I am pretty happy with the way this week is shaping up. Busy but not overwhelming is kind of how I like my work week to go, you know. You don’t want time hanging on you and you don’t want to feel like you can’t catch your breath. Or at least that is how I like things. I will say something I am not liking is this eyeshadow. Let’s get into that actually.

Today’s look:

Primer: Illamasqua Hydra Veil Primer

Foundation KVD Lock – it powder Foundation

Bronzer: Ace Beaute Bronzed in Paradise Palette

Blush/Highlight: Doucce Posh Powder Palette

Powder: Becca Pink Haze Powder

Eyebrows: Billion Dollar Beauty Brow Pomade in Taupe

Eyeshadow: Steve Laurent Wild Thing Palette

Mascara: Its So Big by Elizabeth Mott

Lipstick: Ciate London WonderWand Lipstick

Setting Spray Lise Watier Magnifix

Okay, first off we have the primer. It is one of the ones in a larger container that I forgot to list in my primer declutter. I really like the Illamasqua Primer it is a clear jelly and very little is actually needed so a container lasts a really long time. To use you scoop out the jelly with the little spoon attached to the interior lid and put it in the palm of your hand. The heat from your skin melts it and you just apply it like a moisturizer. You need to let it sit for a moment on the skin and dry down a little. once it is no longer wet it is still a little sticky and really locks makeup into place. This is the original one which I personally prefer over the Beyond the Veil version.

With today’s foundation it was especially important that the primer dry down. I used the KVD lock it powder foundation and while it is a good foundation if the primer is still wet then it can streak a little because it is powder on wet skin. Wait a second to let the primer settle and there are no issues. In fact these two work really well together. This is actually the only powder foundation I’ve tried that I actually really like. The problem is that it often gets put with the powders and forgotten about. I really do need to remember it more often because it really is a good light weight yet nicely covering foundation.

I am liking the Doucce palette more and more as I use it. It is a buildable formula with the blush which I really like. You can layer it until you get the look you like instead of having to worry about looking like a clown. The highlighters aren’t my favorite but they do blend fairly well.

Actually everything really worked well for me today except the eyeshadow. well that is not entirely true. The shimmers, once I sprayed a brush with setting spray to dampen it, worked well. It did nothing with a dry brush but was fine with a wet one. It’s just the mattes that are a problem. Today I went straight for the darkest shadow in the palette. Yup, the one that looks black. It is not very pigmented and it applies in streaks. I am not a fan. I also wanted a lighter color to put in the crease but the one lighter matte just matched my skin tone and disappeared. I know I planned to use this the rest of the week but quite frankly I don’t like it enough to use the rest of the week. I am going to clean it with disinfectant wipes and put it in the decluttered pile. I simply don’t want to reach for it again.

None of the colors are unique. The mattes are really hard to work with and the shimmers are just okay, but again not unique shades. It may be listed as the Wild Think Palette but it is very tame, very boring and not really something I want to use. Perhaps someone with better skills can make better use of it, but I am letting it go.

And with that, I am also going back to work. I hope whatever you have planned for the day goes well and you end up exactly where you want to be by the end of the day. Persona;;y, I’m just happy my day seems to be going according to plan. After the upsets of the summer, I think Fall might actually provide a stretch of smooth sailing.

Complete range of Hair-Care products - Damila

Unboxing the Look Fantastic September 2021 Beauty Box

Okay, everyone take a deep breath.  Guess what arrived?  My Look Fantastic Beauty Box for September.  I know!  It has been so late the past few months I wasn’t actually expecting it.  I received the e-mail saying it was on its way with the date to be updated later.  Then the next morning the box was on my doorstep.  When I looked back at the tracking info the site claims that it should arrive at my place sometime next week. 

So there are still some crossed wires in the system, but hey I got my box before the end of the month. So I’m happy. 

I’ll be honest, when I opened the box I looked inside I thought, hmm, not the greatest month.  I saw an eyeliner, a couple of tubes and a face mask.  Not the most exciting things in the world.  And then I took a deeper look.  The more I actually looked at the box, the more excited I became. 

Let’s start with the one thing I was happy to see at first glance.  It was the Christophe Robin Hydrating Melting Mask. There are three brands of hair products that Look Fantastic introduced me to that are now in my list of favorites: Percy and Reed (I always have a tube of their Wonder Balm), Grow Gorgeous (Any time I see the shampoo and Conditioner from the Intense Line on sale I stock up, it is rapidly becoming the shampoo I use when I am not testing other shampoos) and Christophe Robin.

I know, if you look at my older posts I was a bit down on the Christophe Robin sea Salt Scalp scrub.  Then I realized I was using it wrong and now, it is on my top ten list.  If you are having a dull hair week or you think that you have too much buildup of other products on your scalp, pick up a jar of this and take one day out of your week, use the scalp scrub instead of shampoo and really lather it up and massage the scalp.  It does wonders for the hair and removes build up from the scalp.  After, I generally use a hair mask as a conditioner to the scalp scrubs shampoo.  Lately I’ve been reaching for either the Klorane Nourishing moisture mask or the Mane Club’s Cry Baby mask. They both pair well.  Since I now have a Christophe Robin Mask to try out I may pair it with the Christophe Robin scalp scrub and see how that works.  So first product in I am super excited about.

The second item I expected to be disappointed by.  It is an eyeliner by 3inA. Even though it has a brown packaging there are so often black eyeliners of all varieties in subscription boxes that I find it really hard to get excited about them.  This is not black it is brown.  And it has a really fine felt tip pen tip.  And it applies smoothly and the swatch lasted on my hand overnight without smudging.  I finally had to put a dab of makeup removing oil on my hand to get it off.  Then it came off well, but I had to deliberately remove it.   I may have to give this one a chance.  I’ll admit, I haven’t really been wearing eyeliner for a while.  Part of it really is the season.  It is hot and humid where I am and eyeliner can melt with sweat or get smudged as I squint in the bright light. So in the summer I almost always skip it. 

But summer is ending.

And it isn’t a black eyeliner.  I am actually quite happy to give this a go.

And then came the third item.  It is the Ameliorate Smoothing Body Exfoliant.  I’ll admit, I saw it, thought body scrub and was inclined to move on.  Not that I don’t like body scrubs, but in general they aren’t that exciting. Except this one is.  It isn’t just a take into the shower and scrub down kind of body scrub.  It is formulated for bumpy and really dry skin.  While they say it is good for relieving the ‘chicken skin’ look, I have a patch of overly dry skin that I have been trying to deal with for years.  It is on my left forearm and it drives me crazy.     Apparently this is something you put on, scrub with and then let sit for a few minutes before washing off.  I’ve never heard of this product before and it is quite a great deal more interesting than I thought it was at first sight.  I don’t know if it will help me out, but I am very eager to give it a try. 

This leads us to the next tube of cream in this month’s box.  It is the SVR Palpebral Cream.   I have heard of SVR before, in fact I have a moisturizer sample in my collection that I have yet to try.  I have to admit I did have to look up the word Palpebral.  It turns out it is a word that means the upper and lower eyelid.  See, we all learned something.  Unless of course you already knew that and then you my darling deserve a gold star. It is not just an eye cream but an eye cream that you can use to reduce redness and irritation around the eyelids.  It also has hyaluronic Acid, and Omega 3, 6 and 9 inside.

I’ll be honest, I know that Omega 3,6, and 9 are used for improving heart health.  My mother has heart issues and those are all things she looks for (and has for years) so they are familiar to me.  What they do to the skin around the eyes, I don’t know.  I’ll have to look it up before I open this product to use.  Because you know anything with Hyaluronic acid in it the fine lines around my eyes are down for. And sadly I picked up my ESPA eye cream this morning and it is really starting to feel light. It isn’t empty yet and eye creams only need a little with each application, so I still have a while.  I just hate to see it end as it is such a good eye cream.  Still it is nice to have something interesting waiting in the wings.

The face mask was the next item in the box this month and it is an anti aging sheet mask from Beauty Prcy.  I’ve never heard of the brand before, but I am always willing to try a new mask.  This one is infused with Collagen, Vitamin C and Aloe Vera.  I am not entirely certain that the collagen does anything.  I know it is a good thing in general, but I don’t think it can be absorbed topically. I’m not entirely certain of that though and will need to look into it.  Most of what I was researching about collagen was based on the efficacy of the collagen supplements for hair and nail health. So I wasn’t looking at topical applications at the time.  But again, I would have only been a side note.  I’ll have to investigate (if only for my own piece of mind).  I do know that despite the collagen and its absorption, my skin loves both Vitamin C and Aloe Vera so I suspect I will like this mask in general.

And finally we come to the last item in the box.  It is a By Terry Nourishing lip balm.  I have had one of these before and it is an interesting product.  The Shea butter and Vitamin E mean that my lips love it.  The intense Rose scent is, however a lot to take in.  You really need to love Rose to use this lip balm.  It feels fantastic and my lips are always healthier after a stint of using it.  But that rose.  It is intense.  If you love rose, great, you have found the very best of lip balms.  I’ll be honest, I like rose, but not enough to use this consistently.  I do have a use for it though.   It is the best anti-snacking device I have found.

I know, you laugh.  But if I think I want a snack and then apply this lip balm, I instantly don’t want a snack.  The rose scent is strong enough that it instantly kills any desire I have to eat anything. And when I lick my lips, the rose flavor kills any part of what remained of my thoughts about food.  It is simply so rose forward that rose is the only thing you can think of.  And while I enjoy flowers, smelling them rarely makes me want to eat.  I know that is a strange thing to say about a lip balm but quite frankly it is strange to have a lip balm that heavily scented with rose.  It does amazing things for the lips.  But it has a scent that has to be taken into account when you use this product.  For me, it is an amazing snack mode killer with the side benefits of loft luscious lips.  Quite honestly, I’m okay with that.  Will it be my new fave?  No, but since it is here, I will use it.  I suspect this holiday season everyone I k now is going to make up for skipping out on last year.  And sometimes my diet could use a little back up.

So that was this month’s Look Fantastic box.  I’ll admit, when I opened it, I wasn’t that impressed.  The more I looked at the actual products, the happier I became.  Was this worth the $19 subscription price?  Yes it definitely was and I am very happy to try out pretty much all of these products.  I may wait until the weather cools just a little bit for the eyeliner and I’ll wait until my current eye cream is finished, but everything will be used.  And I even found a couple of things I want to research.  And we all know, I love my research. So two thumbs up Look Fantastic.  This turned out to be a great box.

The Daily: September 13th, 2021

Oh the best laid plans…when last we spoke I was enjoying the Annmarie Skincare Charcoal and Cacao Facemask and chopping vegetables in preparation for a delectable Friday night happy hour. But alas it was not to be. I chopped the onions and was reaching for the mushrooms when it was time to remove the mask.

I took my mask off, delighted in the fabulous skin left behind. I wrote up my thoughts for you and returned to the kitchen. My plan was to finish my chopping, caramalize the onions and then add the mushrooms. Once they were all cooked up I was going to add in the coat cheese, let the filling cool and wrap it in puff pastry, cooking until the pastry triangles were crisp.

Unfortunately as I went back for the mushrooms, my phone rang. A little over a year ago my babydoll replaced his car. There was something that needed fixing on it at the time so he didn’t trade it in. He planned to get the issue fixed and then sell it to a friend of his. He got the issue fixed but then his friend kept putting him off. And eventually the deal fell through. Mostly because last year changed a lot of things.

My babydoll decided to hold onto the old car for a little while to figure out what to do with it. Periodically he takes it out to make sure everything is still running appropriately. Friday he realized he hadn’t taken it out in a while and he decided to drive it to work. It was fine going in but apparently the battery died sometime during the day so I had to run out and pick him up. He had a pretty rough day all around and asked if we could just pick up dinner along the way. Which we did.

The chopped onions were used with hash browns on Saturday and This Friday I will try again with the puff pastry triangles. Luckily the rest of the weekend was quiet. More for my babydoll’s sake than mine. Last week was a bit rushed because it was a short week, but his week was calamity after calamity with the cherry on top being the dead battery so he really needed to just collapse for a bit and recharge. I’m hoping he has a much better week this week. As for me I got to catch up on the show Billions. Paramount + has Seasons 1 – 3 streaming until October 4th. I’m trying to get through all three seasons before then, so there will be repeat binge sessions. Besides I needed a bit of a break from horror and murder which seems to be taking up the bulk of my television time lately. I’d worry but as everywhere near me has already started putting out their Halloween decorations I think it might be something in the air. Regardless, Paramount + is now turning into one of my favorite streaming sites (I think it is $4.99 per month. This link will take you there if you want more details)

Today’s Look:

Primer: Glam Glow Supermatify Primer

Foundation: Revolution Fast Base Stick Foundation

Bronzer: Ciate Bamboo Bronzer

Blush: Floss Cheek and Lip Tint in Sandals

Highlighter: Jecca Blac Glow Drops in Champagne

Powder: No 7 Perfect Light pressed powder

Eyeshadow: Steve Laurant Wild Thing Palette

Mascara: Marc Jacobs Velvet Noir

  • Marc Jacobs is just about to wind down their 50% off sale. It ends sometime this week I believe.

Lips: Zoeva Power4ful Lip Twist in Rhea

Setting Spray: The Porefessional Super setter Setting Spray

Okay lets start with the primer. I know what you are thinking. Didn’t Mimsy just do a primer declutter? I don’t think this was mentioned. Good eye. It was not. Because of the bulky packaging this Glam Glow Primer, my Illamasqua Primer and my Stila Primer were moved to a different drawer. I forgot all about them when doing my declutter, so I will use all three this week and cover them here. Today is of course the Glam Glow. I do like this primer. It smells of licorice and it is super mattifying. I actually chose it today because we have something like 97% humidity. Even sitting indoors at my desk, I am bound to get sticky. So today was it’s day to shine. Or at least to keep me from shining. As much as I like this primer, I think I would have to think a while before repurchasing it. The package is bulky and there isn’t a lot of product in it. There is far more package than product. It is nice to have and I will happily use this until it is all gone, but I think because of the amount o0f product in the package, I would only purchase this when it is on sale. It is a great primer, but there just isn’t a lot of product.

The Revolution Fast Base Foundation stick is a definite repurchase. It is an excellent foundation, that doesn’t cost a lot of money and it is perfect for travel as it can’t spill. It can leave the skin looking a tad on the shiny side, so be prepared with a powder. Today’s powder is my long term fave, No 7. Do I need to say I’d repurchase this? Probably not, but I will. This is a staple of my makeup bag and has been already repurchased so many times I have lost count.

The bronzer however is new to me. I have to say I was super excited when this came in the mail the other day. No I don’t have fairies dropping bronzer off at my house. Although really, how cool would that be. The magic makeup fairies… Anyway, no. I ordered it. It was very satisfying to get though. A while back I realized that the only item I didn’t have in my collection from Ciate was a bronzer. I had every other type of product. So I thought, Oh I’ll get the bronzer and then do a full face of Ciate London products, won’t that be fun? So I went to order it. It was out of stock. Then it came back in stock and I forgot I was going to do a whole face of Ciate and thought, I have enough bronzers. So I didn’t order it.

Then I remembered and went to order, and it was out of stock again. There were a couple of other missteps but I finally got around to ordering it and here it is. Of course now I have finished both mascaras from Ciate that I was using and accidentally broke the highlighter. So no full face at the moment. But I’m sure I will at least get a mascara in soon. The Ciate Mascaras are on my reorder list and I’m sure I will reorder before the bronzer runs out. So this was my first use of the bronzer. It was nice actually. I’m sorry it took me so long to order it. The bamboo bronzer is a nice shade for me and is more buildable than highly pigmented. I really like that actually as it keeps me from having to blend out harsh stripes. The shade I am using is South Beach. I really like this first use of the product and I am looking forward to using it for a while. It is also a lovely looking compact to thats always nice too.

There was another new item in my look today and it was the Steve Laurant Wild Thing eyeshadow palette. It is not exactly a new palette. I received it in a subscription box a while ago but I can’t remember ever using it and when I went through the palettes to declutter I couldn’t remember using it. It also looked untouched. So I decided to give it a go this week. This is my first use of it and I can’t say I am all that impressed. For something called Wild Thing, it is incredibly tame. The small two inch square palette would be perfect for slipping into your bag to touch up work makeup. Because this is really a neural office palette, despite the name. This far it isn’t highly pigmented. I’m going to be playing with it this week and I’ll keep ypu poster.

The other kind of new item is the Zoeva Lip Twist. I used it once before. It is extremely sorft and on my first use the point of the lip crayon sheered off. It does have a sharpener on the end, but I decided not to use it and just use the lip crayon with a flat end. This is working pretty well. I think it I were to sharpen it, the point would fall off again and I would just waste product. It is a neutral enough color that it works. I think if this were a bright color than I would have to use a brush to get clean lines, but the neutral works well as it is. It feels a little waxy o0n the lips so I’m not sure if I would order more colors in this formula. It is a nice neutral but I think this may be my only powerful lip twist from Zoeva. I just have many other products I like a lot more.

The last product I really want to mention today is the setting spray. You’ll notice it is not Farsali. That is because I finally finished the Farsali Setting Spray over the weekend and decided to celebrate by reaching for the Benefit Cosmetics. This setting spray has an ultra fine mist and really helps lock in product. The scent is reminiscent of the Porefessional Primer, which I happen to like. But it is a light scent. It is a much lighter scent than the Farsali and was kind of a relief to use. The Farsali was nice, but that scent was too much. I was happy to be able to switch out products once again.

And that was pretty much my makeup for the day. And now that this pleasant interlude is over, I must get back to work. I hope your Monday flows smoothly and easily.

The Underclub Unboxing September 2021

It is time to unbox the first of the September subscription boxes and, I have to admit, one of my favorites. And that is The Underclub. For those that don’t know (or couldn’t guess), The Underclub is a luxury underwear subscription. They have a multitude of tier options. I go with the one pair of undies for $15 per month option. I find this gives me a nice treat but doesn’t become too overwhelming.

Personally I am a huge fan of pretty undergarments. It doesn’t matter what I am wearing otherwise, if I have on pretty underwear, I feel pretty. The underwear really is just something for me. While I work out in my cotton Hanes undies, once the work out is through I shower and change and as an everyday reward I put on a nice set of underwear as a special little treat just for me. It is kind of a, ‘hey you did a good thing, so here’s something pretty’ moment for myself.

The interior bag and lovely card that comes with it.

There are several reasons I like the Underclub. First, it brings a new pair of pretty pants to me each month to add to my collection. The second is that it is a very size inclusive subscription. I know I’ve said this before, but it still is something I love. They have Triple X sizes and they have Extra Small Sizes. There is no if you want to wear pretty things you have to look a certain way with this subscription.

Plus it isn’t just the subscription they have. There is also The Underclub store where they sell all sorts of matching sets of bralettes and panties. They have camisoles and sleepwear sets. And they tend to release new designs on a regular basis.

Receive 10% off purchases in the Underclub Shop with coupon code XTRA10

And the best part about the shop? All of those items are in their size inclusive range. So I know that when I shop I am not shunted off to a small section of items in my size somewhere on the site. I also know that I won’t see something I love and then realize they don’t have it in my size. I absolutely adore that.

But, my darlings we are here to talk about the September selection. This month came from the brand Toast. I’ve had several items from them before as it is a brand regularly featured in the subscription. As always the pair came in the plain pink mailer and incased the underwear in a smaller bag inside.

I know it is probably a little strange, but I really like that second bag. I think it is the thought of having the underwear contained if something happens to the outer packaging that makes me like it. I’ve had way too many packages become mangled en route and it’s nice to know that should there be a little damage to the package along the way, the pants will remain safely in their own little bag.

This month’s pair is black with stripes. The stripes are black and semi solid looking. The cloth between the stripes is sheer. (hence the reason you get pictures of the pants without me in them. I love you my darlings, but I’d rather not have pictures of me in sheer panties floating around.) In the back there is a small keyhole detail which I really like the look of. It elevates the style just a little bit and makes it feel like a little extra thought when into them.

Stripes

The underwear was creased from the packaging, but as I always wash before wear, it isn’t a problem. as always I looked for loose threads or dropped stitches before washing. There were none. They are of good quality. So I popped them in the wash with everything else and when they came out, I inspected them again.

Once again no loose strings or problem spots. And so I tried them on. I have to say, something a little magical happened. They were a little loose. I know that sounds odd, but even though I keep working out, at the moment my weight loss has plateaued. I haven’t measured my self for a bit, but I have noticed my jeans getting looser and that I have been reaching for clothes that were a little tight before and finding them not so tight.

keyhole detail

So it isn’t that this underwear is off size. Actually every pair I’ve gotten from the Underclub has fit me perfectly. I think I might actually need to go down a size. I think I am going to go onto the website and adjust my membership so that I am down a size. I know it sounds very optimistic, but these pants are a little loose, and knowing that I have gone down a size for next month will help me keep from getting discouraged with my plateau. After all if I can go down an underwear size then what I am doing is working regardless of what the scale actually says.

And if next month is too tight, I can always change it again (although I really don’t want to). So the subscription not only provides me with a lovely post work out reward for myself, but it actually may help me stay on track. Now there is a side benefit I never expected. Yet another reason I am very much keeping this subscription around.

Face Mask Friday with Annmarie Skincare

Welcome once again to Face Mask Friday.  I know I only skipped one week but it feels like forever.  And I have a new mask today!  Well new to me anyway.  Annmarie Skincare sent a bundle of samples for me to try out and review.  This mask was in the bundle and I just couldn’t wait to try it out.

I have used Annmarie Skincare before and really enjoy it.  Once a year I order their Purifying Mud mask.  It comes in powder form. I love the ritual of mixing it with water and getting it exactly to the consistency I want.  It is one of my favorite mud masks.

The trio bundle of samples

But this is not that mask.  This is something I haven’t tried before.  The sample Annmarie Skincare sent to me is the Charcoal Cacao Mask.  While it is sold separately it is also sold as part of a sample bundle.  The sample bundle is a trio and includes the Illuminating Pearl mask (which I’ve tried, enjoyed and look forward to using again) and the Kaolin Micro Exfoliant (which I haven’t tried and am looking forward to giving a go this week.) One of the things I love about Annmarie Skincare (besides their products) is that they actually will sell sample bundles relatively cheaply and then give you a coupon with the samples so the samples are pretty much free.  That way you can decide if a product works for you before you actually go out and buy the full size. 

Inside the jar

So what is this mask?

This activated treatment mask infuses your skin with potent antioxidants, gentle clays and cooling botanicals to reveal a smooth and clear complexion. Hydrating aloe vera works to lock in moisture, while coconut charcoal draws out deep impurities. Turmeric’s bioactive compounds leave your skin feeling calm, making this mask ideal for sensitivities. Cacao delivers complex nutrients for healthy skin, visibly improving texture, tone and radiance.

Full Ingredient list: *Aloe barbadensis (aloe vera) leaf juice powder, Charcoal powder (coconut derived), *Glycerin (vegetable derived), *Rosmarinus officinalis (rosemary) flower/leaf/stem water, Kaolin (white kaolin clay), Bentonite (bentonite clay), *Theobroma cacao (cacao) fruit powder, Populus tremuloides (aspen) bark extract, Aqua (water) and *Glycerin (vegetable derived) extract [*Salix alba (white willow) bark], Essential oil [Curcuma longa (turmeric)], Xanthan gum (wood pulp derived), Essential oils [Lavandula angustifolia (lavender), Leptospermum petersonii (lemon tea tree)]. * *Organically grown or wildcrafted

Annmarie skincare

Looking through the ingredient list I see so many things that I really like.  In addition to Charcoal and Cacao both of which do well with my skin, there is aloe vera, which  I am a big fan of.  In fact it is a compact list with nothing on there that actually bothers me. 

And so it is time to open the jar.  Inside the mask looks ink black.  The last time I used a mask this deep a black it was very sticky and viscus.  This feels like you are dipping your finger into ink. 

I used my finger to apply because the jar was too small for my spatula and the consistency really works well with a fingertip.  I suppose a brush would be fine and then you could actually paint your face with it, but this isn’t a job for silicone.

wet mask as first applied on left, dry mask after fifteen minutes on right

I think the most surprising was the scent.  If you close your eyes and sniff, it smells like rosemary.  I know I shouldn’t be surprised because it is right there on the list, but I think because both charcoal and Cacao have such strong scents I expected them to dominate.  However it is the rosemary you smell first.

The mask paints on easily and the little jar has enough inside for two applications. Once on the mask needs to sit for fifteen minutes. The one warning they do give with this mask is that because of the charcoal it can stain your wash cloth so you need to use a dark cloth.  However, in a recent subscription box I received a cloth specifically designed to remove masks. It is from the brand Glov.  So it is only going to be used for mask removal and if it stains there won’t be a problem.  It is just something to be aware of if you don’t want to stain your washcloth. Even without the masking removal cloth, I tend to keep one old and battered wash cloth for mask removal anyway so I don’t risk the decent looking wash cloths.

The glov masking cloth both pre and post mask removal. There is the possibility of staining so use a dark cloth or an old one that you don’t mind staining, I’m fine with staining this as it is only used for masks, but a wash will tell if the stain sticks around

I waited for fifteen minutes.  While I didn’t think the mask would run, I was leery of laying down in case I turned my head and stained the pillow case so instead of laying down I decided to pre chop some veg for tonight.  I’m making our happy hour treat a little early today, or at least the filling anyway.  Its one of those recipes where you make the filling and then let it cool before using it.  So I chopped while masking and then will cook, cool and then assemble the delicious happy hour treat just before we eat it.

More on that later. 

After fifteen minutes I returned to the bathroom and found the mask dried to a matte black instead of the shiny wet ink look when it went on.  I thought it was going to be hard to remove, but I simply wet the Glov cloth , wrung it out and went over my face. The mask came off very easily.  There was a little rubbing but not much.  I did have to rinse out my cloth periodically but that’s pretty normal.  And I can certainly see what they mean by possible cloth staining.  There is definitely some discoloration of the cloth.  I’ll have to see how the cloth fares when it comes out of the wash (I’ll report back on that along with how I feel about the glov cloth after I’ve washed it and used it with other masks.)

pre mask on the left, post mask on the right. Sorry for the different views I thought I took the pictures looking a little more symmetrical The clogged pores are just along the lower curve of my orbital bone if you want to zoom in to look. They are pretty hard to see but they can be felt.

With the mask removed my skin felt really smooth and hydrated.  I noticed that there were a few small deeply clogged pores where the blemish is now much closer to the surface.  They aren’t blemishes yet, but the clogs are no longer deeply buried and with the help of some zitsticka they should be cleared away asap.

I was pleased to see that there was no mess in the sink.  The cloth may be a bit blackish but any charcoal tinged drip that fell from the cloth to the sink rinsed down the sink cleanly.  And because of the masks consistency, there was really very little mess at all.  The wet cloth rehydrated the dried mask and the cloth wiped it away. I don’t always use a wash cloth to remove masks, sometimes I just splash water and rub with my hands to loosen and wash way the mask.  However this is one where a cloth of some kind is really your best bet.  This was a really lovely mask and I think it may have to go on my masks to reorder list.  In fact I may end up ordering this instead of the mud mask.  While I love the mud mask, I do have several mud masks.  I don’t really have anything quite like this Charcoal and Cacao Mask in my collection and with the way it worked on my skin, I think it might be one I want to keep around.

$12.99 Pure & Proven Trio