Acing face mask Friday

Welcome my darlings to the Friday Face Mask. This week, I can’t lie, its been stressful. And a fifteen minute break with a relaxing face mask on zoning out from the world sounds like a fantastic plan. Unfortunately, I am still waiting on Rapid test results which should be in later this afternoon, and every time i try to simply lie back and relax non-relaxing thoughts creep in.

Somedays, being alone with your thoughts isn’t the best plan.

So I chose a mask that i can move around and do things while wearing. Plus it is also a new to me mask that I have been really eager to try. This Aceology Brightening Treatment mask was supposed to come in my December IPSY bag. It didn’t quite make it to the station on time and so I had to wait for it to be sent along later.

Incidentally IPSY was really good about it and it did get here very shortly after. It just felt like a long wait because I really wanted to try it. I was actually impressed with IPSY turn around on it

And then of course the mask was mine. Now I know what you are thinking, haven’t you reviewed Aceology before? First of all, if it’s a good mask, it will always come back into rotation. Second, that was the greeny/gold Aceology Lifting Treatment Mask. And actually this was the reason I was so excited to give this mask a try. with repeated use, I actually saw a big improvement in my skin’s texture. It felt smooth pretty much right away, but I didn’t notice most of the benefits until I used the mask a couple of times.

And then I continued using the mask until it was all used up.

So since this is the first time using this Brightening Treatment Mask from Aceology, I don’t actually expect to see magical brightening, but I do think that over the course of using this tube, I will see a brightening to my skin. According to the website this mask…

Provides gentle exfoliation, Revives tired, dull skin, Encourages an even skin tone, Reduces the appearance of hyperpigmentation, Easy-to-remove peel-off mask 

*Product can be applied with finger or any brush or applicator. Please note this product does not include a brush. 

Aceology
always peel from the bottom and go up to keep from dragging your skin down

Luckily, I have my handy dandy silicone masking brush. I can’t reccomend picking one up highly enough if you are a routine Masker. It makes application so quick and clean and it really does help you not waste product. They make expensive masking brushes and very inexpensive ones. They all work. I just reccomend getting a silicone one. With peel off masks you just set it to the side after applying your mask and when it dries, peel it off the brush. Easy peasy.

I wash the brush afterwards, but the bulk of the mess is dealt with.

This mask smells light and fresh with a scent that more or less just smells like skincare. I’m sorry i don’t have a more clarifying scent profile to offer, but when i smell it my brain just thinks ‘skincare’. The mask applied easily. It isn’t too sticky.

Because it is a peel off mask, I went and dermaplanned my face just before so there would be fewer hairs for the mask to pull when I peel it off. The painful part of the pull off mask is generally due to those fine hairs on your face being pulled out. Less hair, less pain.

a little brighter maybe, but definitely really nicely exfoliated

It’s pretty simple math.

The mask is a lovely metalic-ish blue that I really like. As with all peel off masks you have to let them dry down completely before peeling. If there is a wet spot it simply won’t peel. So you just have to wait. Normally it still takes about fifteen minutes for the peel off mask to dry down all the way. Today it is really wet outside so it took about eighteen for it to fully dry and be ready to peel off.

It peeled off relatively well. There was not a lot of drama because I took off some of the fine hairs first. So there wasn’t much pulling at all. As always when first removing a peel off mask there is a moment of redness, because you have actually been pulling your skin. Once that dies down (after about five minutes) the redness goes away. Unless you have actually had a reaction. In which case you might want to stop using the product and see someone about the irritation.

My redness was just from pulling (Plus I tested the mask on my arm a few days ago just to make sure there were no issues.). After the redness died down I took a good look at my skin. While I can’t say that any dark spots were magically faded, my skin did feel as though it had just been lightly exfoliated. It wasn’t a major exfoliation, just a very light one, still it is something to keep in mind. If you routinely use exfoliating products then when you use this mask you might want to give them a pass so you don’t over exfoliate.

It is a very light exfoliation though so I didn’t feel like it was too rough on my skin and I really liked the feel of my skin after I took the mask off and let the redness die down. I really rather liked using this mask today. While it worked on my skin i was able to move around the house and o other things without worrying about it flaking off or dripping down. It stayed in place and my skin felt great after. I think to see some of the brightening effects I would have to use this mask on a routine basis. Because of the way it felt, I just might end up using this mask on a routine basis long enough to actually see the effects. This was a great first use of the Aceology Brightening Treatment Mask and I look forward to using it again.

Kosas - available at Alyaka.com

The Skincare Line Up: January 21st, 2022

This week I started to diversify between day time use and night time use a little bit more. Mostly in the form of my cleansers. This coming week I’ll roll in a night time serum as well as a new day time moisturizer sample to try out since the one i am using in the day has only a little bit left. But we’ll get to that in a moment. First, let’s see what the day time line up had in store for this past week.

The Daytime Line Up

YCleanser: Malin +Goetz Grapefruit Face Cleanser

Toner: Glow Recipe Watermelon Pore Tight Toner

Essence: 111Skin Antioxidant Energizing Essence

Serum: Serumkind Purple Cabbage Drops

Eye Cream: Glam Glow Bright Eyes

Moisturizer: Comfort Zone Hydramemory Cream Gel

Okay this week was a bit of a rollercoaster. We’ll start with a high. This week i decided to use the Malin+ Goetz grapefruit cleanser in the morning. This used to be one of my go to cleansers and then as I started testing out new products I started to get away from it. I had a bottle in my back up drawer that i knew I needed to work through so I took it out. I forgot haw absolutely fabulous it is. It is a light fresh grapefruit scent which is the perfect skincare wake up call. I know it removes makeup well also so I have no problem using it at night, but the morning scent is really where it shines. It is gentle on the skin and always leaves me feeling fresh and clean. I love when you return to old favorites and fall in love all over again, and with me this week, that is what happened with the cleanser.

I felt a dark delight with the toner this week. As you may recall I am working through this Glow Recipe toner because I don’t want to waste product. It works well, but i hate the scent. It smells like watermelon extract was mixed with stale water. Because it does work well I continued using it. This week, I finished it up completely and it is now leaving my skincare routine. it is going away and it will never return. I like many other Glow recipe products, this just isn’t one of them.

The 111Skin Essence worked well as always and smells like a high end spa. It is actually a joy to use, especially since I have taken it out of my skincare line up, just to see if it was working as it was supposed to. Essences are designed to make the other skincare you use more effective. This works well and smells fabulous while doing it. As the level drops though more product comes out with every shake so be aware and either tip it slowly so the weight of the product doesn’t force more product than you want out or just use less shakes to dispense.

This week the Serumkind gave me fits. I am still not convinced it is actually doing much for my skin. This is the third week of use so I will continue using it and see if week four hits a tipping point. The issue this week is that the serum is so thick that the dropper has a hard time picking it up. It was an effort to get it out of the bottle and the effort was a bit annoying since I don’t know if the drops actually do anything. They smell nice and there is something appealing in a mad scientist sort of way to see a bottle of purple-y serum on the skincare shelf, but I’m just not sure it is worth the time and trouble. I will continue, but thus far, I am not a fan.

with my eye cream this week I received a sad news. I may love the Glam Glow Bright eyes, but it seems that Glam Glow itself does not agree. It seems the Bright eyes has been discontinued. What i might do, is roll in one of my sample sized products to try while I have it around. Since I love the Bright eyes and it doesn’t clog pores or cause me issues, it might be good to have around while I test other products in case they give me fits. Since I get a lot of clogged pores around my eyes, I often have issues with eye creams. I’ll take a look in the skin care drawer this weekend. Until then I will just use this little pot of cream until it is gone and then bid adieu to the product.

Finally the Day time moisturizer is the Comfort Zone Hydra Memory Cream gel. In case you are wondering what a cream gel is, it feels like a light cream that is slightly thicker than a water cream. It is nice for day time use and absorbs quickly. while in the heat of summer I might be able to get away with using it at night, for the rest of the year it simply wouldn’t have enough moisture in it to work as a night cream. which is fine with me as I don’t really mind having a day cream and a night cream. While this cream was nice, the sample is ended and to be honest, I don’t see myself buying a full sized version. It worked well, but it wasn’t really thrilling. It is just kind of middle of the road. I have tried products I liked a lot better and I have tried products I liked less. I just don’t see myself purchasing this in the future.

The Night Time Line Up

Cleanser: Elemis Lime Blossom Balancing Cleanser

Makeup Remover: Vitabrid Daily C Cleansing Balm

Toner: Glow Recipe Watermelon Pore Tight Toner

Essence: 111Skin Antioxidant Energizing Essence

Serum: Serumkind Purple Cabbage Drops

Eye Cream: Glam Glow Bright Eyes

Moisturizer: Kate Somerville ExfoliKate Glow Moisturizer

Lips: Laneige Lip Mask in Berry

The Elemis Balancing Lime Cleanser and Vitabrid C 12 Cleansing balm are great products that I have been using for a while and that I am happy to keep using. The above links will take you to the full reviews if you are interested. I enjoy both products and will continue using them until they are gone. In the future, both are items that i would happily repurchase.

The ExfoliKate, I am kind of on the fence about. It works really well and I love how my skin feels, but the scent is starting to get to me. In the beginning it was kind of lemon scented skincare but as time passes it is reminding me more of floor polish in scent. I still adore the moisture it brings to my skin. My skin very much loves the formula, it is just the scent that is a bit industrial. While I am happy to use the rest of this jar, I am on the fence as to if I would repurchase it. I think it is going to depend on the final thoughts of if I know of moisturizers that are as good for my skin but don’t have an off putting scent.

The Laneige is as always fabulous. I have started using it not only as a night time lip mask, but also in the mornings. I will wash my face and then put on just a little of the lip mask before I start in with the other skin care. Then by the time my skincare is done and my coffee has brewed my lips are fantastically hydrated. I wouldn’t do this in the summer time but in the winter, now that the air is cold and the heater is running, the extra hit of lip mask is really helping to fend off winter chapped lips.

And that my darlings is this week’s skincare line up. It was a bit of a rollercoaster as far as product performance went. A couple of items were emptied and will soon be replaced and one was sadly discontinued. And of course I also fell back in love with an old favorite. When it comes to drama in the skin care, this is the kind of drama I favor. It’s a lot less amusing when it leads to break outs. Lamenting discontinued and fabulous as way easier to take.

LovelySkin

Weekly Weight: 214.0 lbs

I’ll admit, the 0.2 lbs loss isn’t that exciting. However, it is a loss and this week, that is kind of a surprise to see. We started off the week with snow and ice where walking was not only not fun, but slippery and slightly dangerous. There was one day where the weather cooperated and worked out well. On that day I got a double walk in.

Then the snow and rain returned and the walking trail was no longer fit for use.

It is the curse of having the majority of my exercise as an outdoor activity. Somedays, the outdoors don’t cooperate. So this weekend I am going to be sitting down and coming up with an indoor exercise plan. At the moment I don’t actually have one. I basically plan to walk on the walking trail and then have to scramble to find an indoor workout when the weather shuts my plan down.

And to be honest, when the weather is bad I often forget to set up an indoor workout and just go back to my desk. Lord, knows there is always something that could use a little extra time and attention. I generally remember that i skipped the indoor workout when I am brushing my teeth before bed.

Which isn’t helpful.

So I think I am going to set up an indoor workout schedule that I can do as a routine. I think if I make it a habit two to three times a week, and then add the walk when the weather approves, I will be on a better track. I would love to go back to the gym, but at this point in time, I just don’t trust the gym. There are too many people not wiping down their machines after use and too high of an infection rate in my area. But I need to stop letting that be an excuse to skip workouts. During lockdown I built up my home equipment. It is time to put it back into use.

I really think that for me, the routine scheduling is the key. If it is routine, it goes on the calendar and needs to be checked off. Waiting and seeing, just means it often gets forgotten. I know this about myself. I just need to sit down and do it.

The stats:

Starting Weight: 246.0 lbs

Last week’s Weight: 214.2 lbs

This week’s weight 214.0 lbs

Lost this week: 0.2 lbs

Lost over all: 32 lbs

So my darlings, this weekend we plan and then we schedule. Workouts go on the calendar so that they will get done.

The Daily: January 20th, 2022

Good afternoon my darlings. Today, is a wet, cold and nasty sort of day. The air has that raw feeling that means even walking to the mail box is going to make the insides of your nose burn. Today, I am not going anywhere. Well actually no one in my house is going anywhere. Yesterday one of the people where my babydoll works tested positive and since he spent the better part of last week in meetings with that person, there was the possibility of contamination. So yesterday afternoon was testing all around, today is a work from home day and tomorrow, there will hopefully be results.

It is the only test I’ve ever wanted to get a negative grade on.

But if there is a day not to leave the house on, this would be it. we started off the morning with rain, worked in a little snow for a bit, fell back into sleet with what I think might have actually been small bits of hail from the way they were bouncing off of the street and now we are actually back to rain. Regardless of anything else, today is a day to stay inside.

And to justify putting whipped cream on the hot cocoa.

okay technically it is always justified, but I may have added a little extra dollop today. it felt like an extra dollop kind of day. And yes, I am calling that my afternoon snack.

and yes I left my reading glasses on my head. They are the Thin Optics and pretty much with me everyday

Readers + Slimline Phone Case for ALL iPhone 13 models available now!

Today’s look:

Primer: Lys Secure Skin Gripping Serum Primer

Foundation: Revolution Fast Base Foundation Stick

  • currently Revolution is having a sale and these foundation sticks are 2 for 3

Bronzer/Blush/highlight/powder: Cover FX Perfector Face palette

Eyeshadow: ABH Subculture palette

Mascara: Stila Huge extreme Lash Mascara

Lips: Yensa Super 8 Lip oil in Pink Shine

I’ll be honest, I opened my eyeshadow palette drawer, saw the Subculture palette and decided today I just wanted to use it. I know it is discontinued and I know a lot of people hate it. I still love this palette and will probably use it until I hit pan. I can tell you the shimmer shade electric that I am wearing today already has a really big dip in it. I will be so sorry when that shade is used up. Despite everyone’s whining about this palette, I really love it. so today, I pulled it from the drawer.

In keeping with discontinued makeup, I think that the Cover FX palette I am using is also discontinued. It no longer shows up on the Cover FX website and everywhere else it is out of stock. Which is usually a good indicator. The above link will take you to the Cover FX palette page. They do have a really lovely looking trio in their palette listings. It is currently their only palette listed. I think it is also the one recently featured on Boxy Charm. Regardless, I used this palette today because it was quick and easy and I knew I wanted to spend more time with the eyeshadow.

I am still testing out the LYS primer. when i used it with the serum Foundation I could really feel the grip as I blended my foundation out. Then with the Ciate London Foundation it wasn’t really noticeable. Today I used the Revolution Stick foundation which I love and is currently on sale at Revolution along with a boat load of other products (the link above will take you there if you are interested). The gripping nature of the primer was definitely noticeable as I began to blend. It didn’t affect the blending but you could practically hear the deadbolts being thrown as the primer locked on. My foundation hasn’t gone anywhere today and I suspect it isn’t going anywhere until I break out my Makeup Eraser. I am not sure why I felt it with both the stick and the serum foundations but not the regular one, but it was defiantly gripping today. I’ll be trying it with other foundations as well. I have a water based and an oil based I want to try it with to see if that makes a difference. I have to admit I am kind of intrigued. This is a bit more exciting than I thought a primer trial was going to be. Don; get me wrong I love primer but usually trying them out is very straightforward.

To end on a straightforward note, I used the Stila Mascara (love it but I promise I’ll switch it up next week so I use different products) and the Yensa Super 8 lip oil. I love this lip oil. Nice shine with a hint of color, pleasant scent and a massive hit of hydration for the lips. What else could you want in a lip oil? I know, plumping, but nothing is perfect right. this is still my favorite lip oil. I had to actually hide it from myself so I would use other lip oils. Not that they aren’t good, they just aren’t this.

And so with that, we end the make up for the day and get back to work. I really love the way my eyes came out today and it is nice to shake myself out of my basic brown rut. Admittedly the last two palettes I tested heavily featured browns, so perhaps it wasn’t all my fault. have a great rest of the day. And if you would, keep your fingers crossed for a negative test for me, eh?

A walk in the Moonlight with LA Splash

I know what you are thinking. This LA Splash Face Palette didn’t get the full week to a week and a half testing. What gives? I’ll tell you. I couldn’t take this palette for a week and a half. I made sure to use all of these shades repeatedly and I just found it annoying. But let’s get into details.

First off the palette contains two blushes, Midnight Rose and Blushing Luna. In the pan one looks bright pink and the other looks neutral. On the cheeks they both show up as bright pink and extremely pigmented. a delicate dip into the pan, produced a lot of color on the cheeks. The neutral blush looking only a shade less pink than the bright pink shade.

L to R: Midnight Rose, Blushing Luna, Bronze Goddess and Ethereal Highlight

Now I am not opposed to high pigmentation as long as it blends really well. This one blended, but as soon as you started blending, the blush more or less disappeared. So I was left with either very pink clown like cheeks or looking like I applied no blush at all. There was no happy middle ground with either of these two blushes.

And then we had the bronzer. It is called Bronze Goddess. In the swatch above I had to do a double swatch just to get the bronzer to appear on my arm. And that is sort of how it performed on the cheeks. It was a very pale bronzer with very low pigmentation. It could be built up, but it took time.

A lot of time.

And I found the pigmentation level compared to the blushes rather shocking. Perhaps the low pigmentation wouldn’t have seemed so bad if it was just a pan on it’s own, but its low pigmentation was just brought out by the super strong blushes. It did blend well and it didn’t disappear when it was blended, but it was a bronzer that you had to work for.

The Ethereal Highlight was fine. I adore bronze highlights so this should have been right in my wheel house. The color is fine, but as a product it is more or less forgettable. It has a light shimmer on the skin and if it were on it’s own I might find it more appealing. But as this palette is more or less a bust for me in the other products, the highlighter isn’t enough to save it.

One of the reasons that i am not going to continue using this is because I have a very pale friend (strawberry blonde with skin to match) who is always complaining about bronzers being too deep for her. I’m going to pass this along and see if the issues with the bronzer are just because of my skin tone. Perhaps with lighter skin this palette would be fantastic. For me, the Moonlight Glow Palette from LA Splash is just not worth keeping around.

A walk into the Desert Sunset with Athr Beauty

I have been testing out the Desert Sunset Palette from Athr Beauty. I was very interested to get my hands on this palette when it arrived in a Boxy Charm. The first reason is that I have danced around Athr Beauty for a while. I have seen them in subscription boxes, but they were never an item in my box. It’s like they were teasing me. then of course I heard some conflicting reviews. Some people loved them, others weren’t so sure. Which of course made me want to find out for myself.

Finally there was the color selection of the palette. I really like a lot of the bronze shadows, and I wear a lot of brown shadow so this looked like it would be right up my alley. I have to admit, I was even intrigued by the pop of color in the bright pink pan.

As you can see the shadow names are written on the back. what I like about this is they thought to color the squares so right away you know exactly where you are in the palette. It makes referencing colors fairly easy. Because of the palette set up, when swatching the shadows I decided to go for the mattes first and then switch to the shimmer shades. So first let’s look at the mattes.

Left to Right: Desert Sand, Sedona, Desert Coral and Mesquite

I found these shades to be interesting. I expected that they would all have the same texture and consistency, but they do not. the two brown shades, Desert Sand and Sedona are great shades. They are soft to the touch, they apply with no patchy spots and they blend well with all of the shadows. They were slightly on the powdery side. while you could get away with applying either of these shades on their own after you’ve don’t your face makeup without too much fall out, the same can not be said for the others.

Desert Coral is a great pop of color but it feels dry to the touch and is very powdery. While it blends well and works beautifully with the other shades in this palette, it needs to be applied before you put on your face makeup or you will have fall out. The same can be said for Mesquite. Mesquite is the darkest shade in the palette and it is also the most patchy when applied. As a single shade it simply didn’t work. If you put a base of the Desert coral and then darkened the outer corner with Mesquite it worked well, especially if you used something like Sedona to help blend out the patchy parts. It was a little of a disappointment though as while Sedona is dark enough to work as a blending shadow, it also has a reddish tinge to it so your look was always going to be in the red/pink range.

L to R: Twilight, Golden Hour, Sunrise, After Glow, Sunset, Eternal

Ah the shimmers. There are a lot of them. In a ten pan palette six of them are shimmers. While I like shimmers, to be honest, there isn’t a lot of difference between these. Twilight is a nice lighter color that works well on the inner corner of the eye, but the rest are varying shades of bronze. I get that it is a desert theme, and I like bronze shadows. In fact i have been known to keep palettes just because of the beautiful bronze shimmer. But all of the varying tones in one palette are a little bit of overkill. I et that it is a desert themed palette, but swapping out some of the bronze shimmers with other shades or even adding a few more mattes wouldn’t have one amiss. It would have made the palette more versatile and more fun to use. I think you could still keep with the desert theme while still branching out a little.

Perhaps I would feel better about the array of bronze tones if one of them had been spectacular. While soft and buttery to the touch, they were hard to work with as they weren’t the most pigmented and had the tendency to fall out dusting the under eye and sides of my nose with shimmer. None of them made me think,. ‘yes, this is why I will keep this palette’ as I have with some other bronze shadows I have tried. In fact it was very easy for me to use all of the shadows in this palette because none of them really called to me and tried to keep my attention.

Which sort of sums up this palette. It was okay and decent once you got the hang of using it, but in the end nothing really special. The Athr Beauty Desert Sunset Palette doesn’t make me want to pull it out of the drawer and use repeatedly. It was good enough that I will put it into my eyeshadow drawer, but I strongly suspect that in my next declutter, it will be sent on it’s way because I am just not reaching for it. Even more important is that it doesn’t really make me that excited to try more shadows from Athr Beauty either.

Kure Bazaar - available at Alyaka.com

The Daily: January 19th, 2022

Today my darlings is a day of no makeup. It is the day where i am paying for the short stretch of quiet I had yesterday. Apparently it was just the calm before the storm. The complete silence was the forces of chaos merely gathering strength. This morning, the phone has been ringing off the hook.

Well okay, text messages have been beeping like crazy.

More accurate, I’ll admit, but a text beep lacks the same sense of urgency that a phone call has. I know it is the norm these days, I get far more text messages than I get phone calls. But I think that there is something less urgent in a text message as compared to a phone call. With a text you can take a second to frame your thoughts into actual words that you type into the phone. With a phone you can just call and spill the freak out directly from your own lips without having to make it clear and concise.

I think that might be why I think of phone calls as more emergency driven than texts. Or maybe it is just that when I sit down to write, the act of writing anything from a novel to a text helps to clarify my thoughts better than just speaking. When explaining something (especially without notes) I can ramble. When I write, I have to at least take a split second to frame the thought, and then I can see the words down in front of me and can tweak them.

Oh speaking of planning with words. On my writer’s website (Ten-til Midnight.com) I have a new Subscriber’s only section ($5 per month and access to all subscriber content) On Monday’s in January we are doing a Novel Planning Workshop that will spill into actual novel writing (and then later editing and moving towards publishing). I am writing a novel along with the workshop so you can actually watch my novel grow since I’ll be posting that as well. In a sort of how the sausage is made for novels. In addition there are Wednesday write ins with exercises to help you think through the various parts of your first novel and as an extra bonus each Friday there is a chapter from a book in an as yet unreleased series The first book in the Series is The Ties that Bind. This link will take you to the list of subscribers only content if you’d like to take a look (it was started at the beginning of January so it is still growing. If you are interested in writing or reading, then I hope you will follow the links. Its turning into a lot of fun actually.

But fun aside, it is time to get back to work. Today’s makeup was skipped but i will take the two minutes (plus clean up time needed) for the Wednesday mask. I’m on week two of the Juice Beauty Bamboo Pore Refining Mask. It may be a short time for a mask, but i think later this afternoon, it will be a very much welcome break.

But for now, it is back to the fast and furiously incoming text messages. Happy Wednesday my darlings!

Sparitual

Perfume Review: Scentered De-stress

I know, it isn’t quite a perfume, but that did seem to be the best category of product to group this under. This Scentered De-Stress Therapy balm is applied to the pulse points and worn more or less like a perfume. The scents are supposed to calm you down and help you de-stress, as the name suggests. I suppose it is a wellness or aromatherapy product more than a perfume.

This week I wore this centered balm in the same way I would wear a perfume. According to the website…

DE-STRESS our remarkably soothing blend to help you juggle more throughout your day, keeping you calm and in control. It’s your portable companion to support you through life’s everyday journey. 

Our 100% natural, essential oil based Aromatherapy Balm is mess-free and won’t leak or spill in your bag. Use DE-STRESS as part of our Wellbeing Ritual.  

Scentered

The scent notes listed for this balm are Chamomile, Neroli and Mandarin. While the neroli and mandarin don’t surprise me because there is a distinct orange scent to the balm, the chamomile does. The two scents I got from this balm are orange and lavender. I rather like it actually, the herbal notes keep the orange from smelling too sweet and the orange keeps the herby bits from smelling too medicinal.

however to smell this you actually have to hold your wrist up to your nose. There is no wafting of aroma. The scent is strong when you first apply it, but almost instantly it fades away. If you hold your wrist to your nose, you can smell the balm on your skin for about an hour before it is completely faded from even your skin.

I was hoping that the scent was a bit stronger as I like the thought of a perfume (or aromatherapy oil) coming in a balm format. It is spill proof and easy to travel with or keep in the purse. But the faint level of scent and small amount of time that it lasts makes it a pretty pointless product. I can see how the scent would be soothing. I find it a nice calming blend of aromas. However getting that scent to my nose in order to perform any soothing and de-stressing action was the difficult part.

I do have a sample size of this product though so perhaps with a full sized balm more of a scent would appear. I did try to cover a wider swath of my wrist with the balm in an effort to mimic the application of a full sized version. The scent level remained the same, however the waxy residue from the balm was just more prevalent. I like the thought behind it, I like the scent and i really wanted this product to work, but quite honestly I don’t think that it is for me. I simply didn’t get enough scent from it to work any de-stressing benefits. I think it could work, I just don’t think this product is quite there yet. So for me, the Scentered De-stress Therapy Balm is a pass.

Clean Beauty Trial – Evergreen 2021 Offer – $19.99 with free shipping & 2 free gifts

Clean Beauty Trial

Nails done in a flash

Over the holidays I found myself in need of some nail polish. When I went to the store and perused the aisles, I came across a rack of Expressie Nail Polishes. They are from the brand Essie but they are designed to dry in under a minute. As the quicker a nail polish dries the less chance I have to mess the polish up, I was all in. I picked a color that suited the day (Get a Mauve On), paid for it at the register and was on my way.

Back at my Mom’s house I sat down to do a quick paint.

This is a pungent nail polish. It smells like a nail polish but its scent wafts around pretty strongly. It leaves no one in doubt that someone is painting their nails. The brush is slightly on the wide side. If I went down the center of the nail with the brush then it covered my whole nail and then left paint on the sides. While Nail polish easily washes off the skin, I found it less messy to Use two swipes instead of one straight down the center. The brush size does allow for that and I didn’t need to dip the brush between the two strokes.

I also only needed one coat to get the color I wanted. Having only one coat does mean that painting my nails took less time. However it wasn’t the lack of a second coat that Essie claims will cut down the time. The Expressie line is made to dry in only a minute.

So did it?

Yes. Actually it was a little less than a minute (my nails were dry at about 48 seconds). While away on holiday I didn’t have a clear coat to top my nail polish, but this also didn’t need the top coat. This picture of my nail was taken about a week after I applied the polish and there were still no chips. It did start to chip about two days later. For a single layer of nail polish with no protective top coat, I call that pretty good. The base color in the pics is Get a Mauve On while the tips are Throw it On. While doing the tips might have helped with the chips, even with just one color my nails lasted over a week without chipping. Over all I was very impressed with this nail polish and I will be picking up several more shades of the Expressie Nail Polish in the near future.

Verso Skincare - available at Alyaka.com

The Daily: January 18th, 2022

Good afternoon my darlings. Today there was sun. And ice. But I still managed a short walk. I waited until the thermometer reached a whopping 33 degrees and I started to hear dripping. Then I went on my walk. As clouds are already rolling in for the next band of bad weather I suspect it might be my only walk this week. The weather is supposed to be a mix of rain and snow for the rest of the week and into the weekend. So I am glad I got the walk in when I did, even if it was a bit wet, cold and slippy.

I actually feel better for having been out and about. I certainly feel wide awake.

Other than that it has been pretty quiet. Just me sitting quietly at my desk and working. It actually feels a little strange to have nothing happening. The snow is sort of muffling things and everyone is keeping indoors so there are no sounds out on the street.

Not a creature is stirring.

The phone is not ringing.

There was no one in the park.

While I am getting a lot of work done, it kind of feels like I am the only person in the world. Or maybe I am so used to interruptions throughout my day that it just feels strange without them. I’m sure something will come along soon, so I am going to actually try to get as much done in the quiet while I can.

Today’s Look:

Primer: LYS Secure Skin Gripping Primer

Foundation Ciate London The Extraordinary Foundation

Bronzer/blush/highlighter: LA Splash Moonlight Glow Face Palette

Powder: bareMinerals Mineral Veil

Eyeshadow: Athr Beauty Desert Sunset Palette

Mascara: Stila Huge Extreme Lash Mascara

Lips: Skin Chemists Rose Quartz Youth Defense Lip Plump

Today I tested out the Lys Primer with the Ciate London Foundation. I really love this foundation, but I think at the moment it is a hair too dark for my winter skin. The formula is still nice, I just need one shade lighter. oddly I didn’t feel the same gripping effect with the foundation that I felt with the serum foundation yesterday. Yesterday I could feel the primer pretty much locking on to the serum formula. Perhaps it wasn’t as noticeable with a thicker formula of foundation. I’m sure it will still hold everything in place, I just didn’t feel the gripping factor.

Just one shade of shadow today, Desert Sand

I am also not really feeling the La Splash palette. The bronzer is okay but not fabulous. I think if I had a lighter skin tone it would work better. I am not terribly tan, especially not at this time of year, but the bronzer might work better if I were paler. By contrast, the blush might work better if I had much darker skin. While I had to go heavy handed just to get the bronzer to apply, even the lightest touches made bright pigments appear on my cheeks. I went with the more neutral blush in the palette today and it was still blush-tastic. The bronzer is barely pigmented, the blush is highly pigmented and the highlight is actually kind of okay. Using the palette makes me feel a bit like Goldilocks.

By contrast the Real Chemist lip plumper made me feel like I had just been to the dentist. this is a lip plumper that just came in my Look Fantastic box. I’ve never tried the brand or even heard of them,. but I do love lip plumpers. This one smells minty when opened. Once on the lips however it kind of smells like that numbing agent the dentist swabs on your gums just before injecting you with Novocain. It isn’t a bad scent in and of itself, but putting it on made me think my dentist might be sneaking around somewhere.

Not that he sneaks anywhere. He is a very nice man and a very good dentist. And I will not cast aspersions.

But the scent is just dental visit associated and not something I really want in my daily life. The plumping was rather nice, but the association may mean I just don’t reach for it.

And those are the highlights (and low lights) of today’s makeup. And as I wrap this up, my phone has started going bonkers as several messages come in all at once. Apparently there are other people in the world and they have decided to get in touch with me all at once. So I am going to reply, because I think all of the messages deal with the same issue, and something tells me my period of quiet productivity has now come to an end. I hope the rest of your day is absolutely fantastic.

Alyaka Beauty Advent Calendar Luxe 2021