The Skincare Line up: July 23rd, 2021

Good morning my darlings and welcome to Friday.  It is time once again for the Skincare lineup.  There are a few samples I rolled in so I could try them out and a few issues with some of the existing products.  Let’s get into is shall we?

Daytime Skin Care

Deodorant: Native Powder and Cotton Deodorant

Cleanser: Purlisse Watermelon and Charcoal Purifying Cleanser

Toner: Murad Hydrating Toner

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

  • Currently on sale for 40% off

Serum: Byroe Bell Pepper serum

Eye Cream: Elemis Pro-Collagen Eye Revive Mask

Moisturizer: Air Repair Complexion Boosting Moisturizer

Sunscreen: Coola Sun Silk Drops Sunscreen

Toothpaste: Crest Gum Detoxify Deep Clean

The first change to my weekly day time line up this week you will see is in the cleaner.  This week’s cleanser is from Purlisse.  I am a big fan of the brand and they tend to rotate in and out of my skincare routine quite often.  I picked this up as an add on through IPSY because it sounded interesting and was a Purlisse product I had not tried before.  Due to the charcoal it is a slightly off putting blackish gel when you dispense it, but it immediately foams to white when you apply it to the skin.  It is not terribly foamy but it does make the skin feel nice and clean without feeling stripped which is nice.  For me the scent was a bit much.  It smells a lot like watermelon candy.  I found I didn’t mind it in the morning, but really didn’t like it at night, hence the reason my night time routine sticks with my Korres Cleanser.  I will continue using the Watermelon cleanser as it is a really good cleanser but because of the scent I am not certain I would purchase this in a full size.  I would definitely use a sample if it came my way again, but a full size might just be too much watermelon for me to take.

The Byroe Bell Pepper serum is supposed to sooth and calm irritation.  Thanks to the Time Revolution Artemisia Essence, I don’t need a lot of extra calming but the two working together have really helped improve the minor sun damage and irritation.  (I’ll mention that a little bit more when I get to the other skin care section below).  I haven’t been using this Byroe serum long but I am liking the way it has performed thus far.

This week I also rotated a toner into my line up and I really like it.  Used in the morning it lets me make certain the remnants of my sleeping mask are removed and in the evening it makes certain that he last vestiges of makeup have been cleared away before I add my other skincare.  If you notice the product level in the bottle, I did not go through this much toner in one week.  I tried it and set it aside for some reason I can’t remember and now I am going back to use it up. I really like this toner. Murad is one of those brands I like keeping around but tend not to use consistently.  For example I have a Murad Cleanser that is acne fighting.  When I was getting a lot of maskne, that was an excellent cleanser to help dry oily bits out.  It is too drying to use more than occasionally, but it is great in a targeted regimen.  The Hydrating toner I can use pretty much long term though.  This isn’t my first bottle of this toner and probably won’t be my last.

The Air Repair moisturizer was a little bit problematic for me this week.  It works well at night, but it is a little too heavy for me during the day.  It is a very thick formula and I have noticed a few issues with heaviness and greasiness when I wear it in the day time.  For now I am going to keep it as a night time moisturizer so that it doesn’t go to waste and then roll in a different moisturizer for daytime use. This is the last week it will be featured in the daytime.

Since I have several sunscreen samples I am rolling them into the line up to try out and see if I like them.  This week is the Coola Sun Silk drops.  It is a chemical sunscreen and one drop basically covered my face.  It absorbs well and gave me no problems under makeup.  I have to say I really enjoyed this serum sunscreen and would definitely consider buying it in a full size.  I’m actually kind of surprised actually as there are a lot of sunscreens that I just don’t like.  This one is light weight and I was really impressed with it. There is a light orange scent to it, which I think is covering up the chemical scent of the sunscreen.  I actually like the scent of it.  It fades away pretty quickly though so it isn’t a big issue, just something to be aware of if you are scent sensitive.  Or don’t like oranges. I am about half way through my sample and will continue using it until it is gone and then rotate in another sample to try out. This is definitely a product I will look into buying in the full size.

Nighttime Skin Care

Makeup Remover: Peach Pudding Makeup Cleanser from Peach Slices

Cleanser: Korres Foaming Cream Cleanser Pre + Probiotics Greek Yoghurt

Toner: Murad Hydrating Toner

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

Eye Cream: Elemis Pro-Collagen Eye Revive Mask

Moisturizer: Air Repair Complexion Boosting Moisturizer

Lips: Bite Beauty Agave Lip Mask (in Maple), no lip scrub

Night Mask: Wander Beauty Do Not Disturb Overnight repair serum

Toothpaste: Crest Gum Detoxify Deep Clean

The big change in the night time skincare this week was the makeup remover.  This is more like a cream than it is a balm.  Peach slices is a brand featured on the Peach and Lily website.  It was part of the group of products I ordered last month during their big sale.  Unsurprisingly is smells like peaches and actually looks a bit like pudding.  Not a lot is needed to cover the entire face.  Thus far the only product I had issues about removing has been the Benefit Cosmetics They’re Real Magnet Mascara.  For that I had to call in my Klorane Coneflower waterproof eye makeup remover (which took it off instantly with no stinging eyes).

Everything else, including other mascaras have come off beautifully with this Peach Pudding makeup cleanser.  I do use a regular cleanser afterwards.  This cleanser has the word hydrating in the description and while that does help to make certain the skin is not stripped, it also means that I feel like there is a slightly greasy residue left behind.  As it is step one in my nightly cleanse, that doesn’t really bother me. My Korres Cleanser takes off the residue easily leaving my skin clean without stripping it down. I am very much liking this Peach pudding makeup cleanser as it really does a good job removing makeup.  Unless something goes horribly wrong by the end of my usage, I will certainly be purchasing this cleanser again.

In Other Skincare

Ole Henriksen Phat Glow Facial

My trial of this facial continues.  I still like the product and how it makes my skin feel.  I am less enthused by the pump.  Because the mask is of a rather heavy consistency, the pump has to work really hard and it really doesn’t like dispensing a lot of product at a time.  So many, many pumps have to occur to get enough product out to cover the face.  So the pump is not my friend.  But the product is. I have had a bit of sun sensitivity from the product though and while I am now limiting my time outside, especially on the days after I have used the product (I use this Tuesday and Thursday Nights).  I also tend to use the Time Revolution and the Bell Pepper essence more on Wednesdays and Fridays.  I’ve actually started rinsing my face after being outside and then just applying a few drops of the Time Revolution to the skin so the Artemisia can soak in and take care of the sun sensitivity.

Over all the products and combination of products I am using at the moment are working well for me.  I will be rolling in a daytime moisturizer that will hopefully be more suitable and once the Purlisse Cleanser is finished I will try out another of my sample cleansers.  I will also be looking at some other samples that I might want to try just so I can clear out some of my samples so the samples box will no longer be overflowing.

But for now this has been the skincare line up I used this week.

My Little Mascara Club

Ah…now that is a refreshing mask

There is no way not to look just a little bit crazy where wearing a face mask. I’ve accepted this. At least this Purlisse Match Green Tea and Lemon Detoxifying Charcoal Mask doesn’t make me look like I am ineptly attempting bank robbery. It is more of the pie in the face version.

I am quite surprised by the whipped cream look to the mask. With the word Charcoal in the title I thought for certain it would be black. Clearly I was mistaken.

This Purlisse Mask came in a subscription box this month (Birchbox I believe) and after applying one layer I can tell there is enough product left in the tube for two more applications. According to the Purlisse website this $35 mask will…

Detoxify, brighten, and clarify all in one step!


I know, a one sentence description. Technically I don’t think that’s even a full sentence. It is however short, sweet and to the point. And to be honest, Today I don’t feel like long drawn out descriptions. This week started off slow and steady and then got very stressful. To be honest, I was okay with what the oral surgeon had planned, but then they gave me three pages of worst case scenarios to read through. I know legally they have to cover themselves and I know I need to know what is going down before they start, but those were a dramatic and traumatic three pages. It is a back tooth so you can’t see it actually, it just affects me eating.

But it caused stress and as I will not be unwinding with a happy hour tonight as food is problematic and I really don’t think alcohol is a good idea, I made my friday masking time a little longer than usual.

I applied the mask using the masking brush. Mine is from Cosmedics and I do like the rounded edges, but really any silicone brush will work. Using the brush lets me use a little less product as I don’t have bunches stuck to my fingers that I have to wash off. So it lets me get the most out of this small tube.

As I mentioned before, I was not expecting the mask to be white because of the charcoal in the name. However it was. The mask has the consistency of a thick cream and a slight grittiness. I’m guessing those are the charcoal bits. They are very fine grained and when you rub a little bit of the mask between your fingers it feels like there might be a slight exfoliation going on but mostly it feels kind of like a sticky primer. It has that same, slight tacky feel to it.

The scent however is lovely. If you have ever had a bottle of the Lipton Iced tea green tea with lemon then you know what this smells like. This smells exactly the same. Which really shouldn’t come as a surprise as it is a Matcha Green Tea + Lemon face mask. I think I just expected it to smell more like skincare. The scent is very refreshing and the mask applied well.

Once the mask was on, I lit my candle (loving the La Playa Salted Blue Agave by the way – the fresh scent complemented the mask well) and lay back on the bed. Because I wanted something without words to I could just float away, I went with Vivaldi since it is light and frothy and seemed to suit both the mask and the candle.

When my fifteen minutes were over, I regretfully put the music aside and blew out the candle. The mask, while stiffer than when first applied, did not dry down hard and stiff like a clay mask. It stayed supple enough to allow facial movements. As I sometimes like to wear masks while working at my desk, I like to identify what masks I can wear at my desk and still, if necessary answer the phone, even if it is using the speaker function.

Instead of going to the small powder room I use for my skincare needs, I went to the full bathroom and went ahead and took a shower to wash off the mask, and wash my hair (still using the Zents Mandarin Shampoo and Water Conditioner – super fabulous and they continued the fresh theme. Even though I normally go with a hair mask on Saturdays, i decided today was the day i was going to need a little extra destressing time, so I used My ESPA Pink Hair and scalp Mud. It is the one that needs to sit in the hair for about 25 minutes.

I applied the mask,. cleaned out the shower/tub, ran a hot bath and dropped one of the Zents Mandarin Bath Truffles into the water. In addition to smelling absolutely yummy, they have both shea butter and epsom salts in them. My muscles were relaxed and my skin was softened.

More importantly, tension drained.

I did forget my I pod so there was no music, but I did spend quite a lot of soaking time contemplating one of those in shower speakers. I’m thinking that might be an upcoming purchase. We haven’t gotten around to upgrading the bathrooms yet so I am still kicking around ideas as to what i want to do when we do move into fixing up the bathrooms.

Regardless of future improvements, the face mask, hair mask and bath soak did wonders. (I washed out the hair mask at the appropriate time). It was a little longer than I usually take on a Friday. Usually I just have the fifteen minute masking time along with clean up and application time added in. Today I took a little over an hour as a relaxation time and I have to say I do feel much better because of it. It wasn’t over the top extravagant. i used items that I already had in the house, but just taking that little extra time to completely unwind did me a world of good.

I feel better both body and soul and I am confident that my afternoon will be much more productive because of it.

As for the mask, I really liked this Purlisse Match Green Tea and Lemon Detoxifying Charcoal mask. My face feels soft and clean and I am looking forward to using this mask again. It’s light fresh scent makes it a mask I will reach for more in the summer time months, but I think that there will definately be a full sized purchase in my near future.

But for now, it is back to work.

Today there will be no Happy Hour post because quite frankly my treat is going to be a bowl of the Honey Vanilla Greek Yogurt from Greek Gods paired with plain bubble water via my soda stream. This will be paired with a couple of Ibuprofen. But oh that happy hour once this dental business is settled will be fantastic. For now though, it is back to work for me so i can slide into the weekend without leaving a load of paperwork behind. I hope the rest of your Friday is productive and that you have a wonderful weekend.

Summer 2021 728x90

All I want for Christmas is spectacular skin

Photo by Karolina Grabowska on

Welcome my darlings to the week before the big sales start.  Or what is usually the week before the big sales start. Many of the sales started early this year.  Even so, each year around this time, I look at products I’ve tried and liked enough to want to continue using or products that I tried in a sample size and want to give a full sized version a go in the upcoming year. When stocking up on skin care, it really pays to hit the sales.

As I start looking over things, there are always a few memorable stand outs that I don’t have to think too hard about.  There are always more I see pop out at me when I start to look over my previous posts and start seeing forgotten gems.  As I could literally go on for hours about various products, I have decided to attempt to limit each section to three or four items. There are some categories that will flaunt that decision with flagrant disregard for my attempt at control, but I will try to keep this post from becoming too massive.

Also throughout the week I’ll try to hit all of the categories I am currently reviewing for my own Cyber Monday/Black Friday Sales extravaganza.

Also in an attempt to keep the length of this skincare post semi reasonable, I have put masks in their own special category. We’d be here for days if I didn’t split them out.

So welcome to the skin care roundup. As we all know whether you are dressing up or dressing down for the holidays great skin is your best accessory for every occasion. Any of you reading this site on a regular basis probably realized, I am the sort of person who favors a multitude of steps to my skin care routine.  Some of the steps I do every day, others I only do on occasion and some fall somewhere in between.  I generally decide what steps I am using based on what my skin needs at the time. 

Breakouts call for one set of steps while dry patches and dullness call for a different regime. So I adjust.

I know some people are minimalists, but I really enjoy the routine of skin care.  It helps me wake up in the morning and it lets me unwind in the evening.  Whatever your routine, here are some products that I have enjoyed, that I will be repurchasing (or have already stocked up on) and that I would recommend to those looking for products to try.

We’ll start with makeup removers.  I am partial to cleansing balms as I find them neater to use and less likely to spill as they get knocked over.  While I have more or less cornered a powder room for my skincare/beauty needs and am usually the only one using that bathroom, when someone else does use it they tend to rocket through like a whirling dervish.  I’ve gotten many an apologetic look as something was knocked over and spilled by accident. Then there is the invariable look of shock when they realize how much that tiny little bottle they knocked over costs. Being the only female in the house lets me cause shock and awe quite frequently.

As the only skin care term my babydoll has managed to pick up has been ‘Cold Cream’ and it is the term he uses for every skin care product that exists (he is quite proud of knowing it actually) and believes that nothing in the bathroom should cost over $10 he has suffered some major shocks.

the travel size

Plus, when you are working in a space with hard surfaces and frequently wet and or greasy hands, things happen.  The two cleansing balms that are on my top tier right now are The Elemis Cleansing Balm and the Versed Skincare cleansing balm.

Both are excellent products that don’t require a lot of product to work and so last quite a while. The Elemis Cleansing Balm is a thick, custard like consistency and has a slightly floral, slightly botanical scent. I have tried for a while to fully identify it but the scent just smells like Elemis.  Several of their products have the scent. I personally like it. I also like the fact that it leaves my skin feeling soft as well as clean.  This is not a product that will strip your skin.  It just removes the makeup.

The Elemis Cleansing Balm actually features in several of the brand’s  holiday kits this year. I believe it might actually be in their advent calendar as well.  It is one of their top sellers, which is easy to see why.  They have a set of three cleansing balms as a pack, one in the original (which I tried and loved) one that is rose and one Neroli (orange) in case you wanted to try out different scents. Purchasing them together gives you a discounted price. 

And if you are looking for a deal (as well as a fantastic gift for either you or a skin care lover on your list), one of the sets, the Glowing SkinCare Stars, actually includes both the Cleansing Balm and the Dynamic Resurfacing  Pads that I’ll mention a little further down.  I actually picked up this set for my mom for Christmas. Not only does it contain two of my favorites (which I know she’ll love, but there are plenty of other extras in the bag. There are other kits of course and all worth checking out, but that is the one I ordered as a gift this year. I love kits because they let you try out a whole bunch of products at the same time.

The Versed cleansing balm is a little different.  It too removes the makeup and doesn’t strip your skin, but it has a more solid consistency.  It has the feel to it of a giant lip balm. To get it out of the jar I generally ran a tiny skin care spatula across the top of the product and then gathered up the product into my hands.  The heat from my hands melted it a little and then I rubbed it onto my face. 

It has a scent that is more menthol than floral and reminded me of Vick’s Vapor rub. While the scent is not my favorite, I was willing to use it because the product worked so well. And to be honest the scent dissipates quickly. It is also relatively inexpensive.  The product is on the large side and costs only $17.99 for a full size.  

Next time I order one I am planning on adding a couple of their tinted lip oils (they are $9.99 each).  While the Versed Cleansing Balm can be purchased at my local Target, they don’t stock the lip oils for some reason. It’s one of those small annoyances. 

The last time I replaced my Versed cleansing balm I just went to Target and picked it up.  I forgot I was going to order it because of the lip oils. So now I have to order them separately.  Of course I’ve also been eyeing their Winter Unwind Gift set. I’m thinking of trying it out for my post-holiday de stressing. So I may just order that and a lip oil since I have the backup balm in my skin care drawer.

While there will be a post later in the week regarding tools and other items, I have to mention that this is where I use my Makeup eraser.  I know the Makeup Eraser can just be wet and used with just water, but I really prefer applying the cleansing balm and then using a wet makeup eraser to take everything off.  I find it removes more and it requires less rubbing on my skin. And I must confess that while my Makeup Eraser is good and can still take several years more worth of use (my last one I used for three years before my babydoll saw mascara and eyeliner stains and decided it was an oil rag and used it in his workroom), I have been eyeballing the SpongeBob Squarepants exclusive Seven day set.

Not only are they seven smaller Sponge Bob Character decorated cloths, but with seven of them I could use one each day and send it through the wash instead of just using different parts of the same cloth all week.  I know that sounds a little extra but it really is more hygienic.  Plus, how can you look at them and not want them. They are so cute and the entire set is only $25. I’m actually contemplating picking up the set in the name of hygiene.  And fun. Can’t forget fun.  (although if you want a non cartoon themed cloth, the seven day sets also come in a classic black as well.)

Because I favor a double cleanse, my routine generally moves from makeup removers to actual cleansers.  I love the cleanser category and have had some really good luck with products lately. Don’t get me wrong, there were a few stinkers in there, but they shall not be discussed here. Only good products need apply for this post. 

The first is from Malin + Goetz.  I have used their Grapefruit cleanser for years and even though there are lapses, it is one that I return to often. It has a fresh scent and a slight (ever so slight) exfoliation to it. It is one of my favorite scents to wake up to and a really great clean.  I will admit I like it more in the morning than I do at night, just because the scent is more of a wake me up scent.   

At the moment not only is the cleanser for sale regularly but the cleanser also comes as part of the Saving Face Limited Edition Set.  It comes with the cleanser, the Vitamin E moisturizer (which I have heard great things about especially from friends trying to soften or reduce scars) and the detoxing  face mask (which I must confess I know nothing about). But as with most kits, buying the set is more cost effective than buying them separately. 

I love holiday sets, I know I’ve said that before and I will probably say it again. The value is usually pretty good on sets and I almost always find something new that I never would have picked up on its own or that I had never heard of.  Like the Malin+Goetz Detox Face Mask. Of course sometimes I fall in love with something that is limited edition in itself and I have to wait a whole year and hope they bring it out again the following winter, but that is another story and usually involves peppermint scented items.

Other people go for the Pumpkin spice, for me it is the peppermint that gets me every time. I’ve already picked up the peppermint chapstick that only comes out this time of year. And I’m sure there will be more peppermint themed items coming my way before the season is done.

This actually makes it pair well with the Erno Laszlo Original Black Soap.  While I love the way this soap makes my skin feel and adore the clean I get from it, the bar soap does make a bit of a mess.  It is black soap (from charcoal) as the name implies and when you lather it the drips splash black around.  That is it’s only real drawback actually.  While it is a good soap to use both morning and evening, I tend to use it at night more often because I somehow mind less cleaning up at the end of the day than I do at the start.  I put a soap dish in the bathroom just to keep some of the smudges contained so ‘clean up’ really means wiping away a few drips. I just prefer it in the evening to the morning.

It all begins with the cleanse – the essential first step to skincare success. Shop Erno Laszlo cleansers today!

The Purlisse Blue Lotus 4 in 1 Cleansing Milk is one cleanser I have no problem using morning or evening and would highly recommend picking up. It foams nicely and washes off clean. In fact I tested out a whole bunch of products from the Blue Line for Purlisse a while back.  I found all of the products in that line to be excellent, the moisturizer in particular was excellent for shifting seasons. It is the Purlisse Blue Lotus Balancing Moisturizer and balancing is what it does best.  It really worked well with the shifting seasons for me.

One of the most fun cleansers I tried this year was also from Elemis.  It is the Cica Superfood Calming Foaming cleanser.  Seriously, a face full of fun foam that also cleanses your skin and leaves it soft?  It was one of those cleansers that after I used it, I wanted to just leave my face bare for a while to simply enjoy the clean skin. I have a backup already purchased and awaiting it’s moment to emerge from the skin care drawer. Not only is it one I would repurchase, but it is one I already have repurchased.  It went on sale in the summer and I snapped it up. I am not ashamed to say it is one I will watch for and pounce on anytime a sale emerges.

While I need to wrap up the cleanser section there is one more cleanser I really need to mention.  That is the Olay Gentle Cleanser. This is a different one.  I don’t use it in my morning or evening routines.  I tend to use this one solely after my workouts.  After a good sweat I need a really gentle cleanser that will keep my skin from feeling that post workout sweat grossness, but won’t damage the skin by overly cleansing it. 

This is where the Olay Gentle cleanser shines.  It is one of those products I repeat buy just for this purpose and then forget to mention because it is not in either my morning or evening routines. One quick pump of product, a bit of water and I am feeling fabulous.  Usually this Cleanser costs $9.49 but it is currently on sale for $7.14. 

The same can be said for the Regenerist Cleanser as well.  It is usually $9.49 and now on sale for $7.14. While I love the gentle cleanser (and will repurchase it) I wanted to try something else so I picked up the Regenerist Cleanser to try. I just started using it so I haven’t posted the review yet but I am already really liking the product. The review will actually be up either next week or the week after, I just wanted to mention it for those stocking up. I think it is a very good cleanser to try out.

For those of you looking for ease of purchase, as well as discounts, Olay now has a subscription service.  You pick your products and decide when you want them delivered and the products are 30% off their usual price.  There is no commitment and you can change up your order any time, so if you haven’t run out of eye cream yet, but are almost out of moisturizer you can adjust what products get sent to you so you aren’t stuck with too much of any one thing.  It’s actually a really cool system, especially if you are trying to reduce the number of times you go out to restock products.

At the moment I have three toner products worth mentioning. The first is from Elemis. What can I say? I love the brand. I know, you are probably getting tired of hearing that, but this is the last Elemis product on today’s list.  Promise. But the Elemis Dynamic Resurfacing Toner pads just had to be mentioned. They are fantastic.  Not to dry, not to wet, they tone the skin and provide a light exfoliation.  They are fantastic.  Hands down, full stop. Fantastic.

The other two toners I need to mention are both from Pixi. One is the Glow Tonic exfoliating Toner and one is the Clarity Tonic.  Both are really nice and I will be picking them both up repeatedly for a while.  (don’t worry I still have several other toners to test out before my next Pixi purchase). The exfoliating toner is a nice gentle chemical exfoliant that is gentle enough to be used daily and the Clarity Tonic helped me have more good skin days.  Between this and the Peace Out Acne Dots I had a surprisingly long run of good skin days despite the wearing of the face masks.  (I did have a masking trick that helped a well, but that is another post oh and as a quick note you can get 15% off your first purchase at Peace Out Skin Care.).

While I still love my Skin and Co Truffle Therapy Face Gommage and will still be picking it up again, repeatedly, there were two new physical exfoliates that came my way this year  that are not only worth mentioning but worth repurchasing.  The first was the BKind Sensitive Skin Face Scrub.  It was not only an excellent product but it is ethically sourced and has a host of other fabulous claims.  I did find it left a little bit of a waxy feel to the skin when I rinsed it off, but as I tend to use exfoliators after removing my makeup and before I do my second cleanse, I didn’t mind this so much. 

The second new exfoliator that I tried and loved this year came from Nuxe.  It was the Nuxe Insta-Masque Exfoliating mask and it had the consistency of a jelly. While technically it falls under masks, I used it as an exfoliator.  It only sits on the skin three minutes so I would apply it, let it sit while I brushed my teeth and then massaged and rinsed.  

The exfoliate mixed in was both gentle and effective and I very much enjoyed using the product.  I think I actually pouted and sighed when the product ran out.  Because of the consistency it was surprisingly moisturizing as well and is one of the few exfoliates that I have tried that I could actually use every day.  I stuck to three days a week when using it, but I could have used it more often without damage to the skin which is not something I can say for a lot of other products I tried this year.  Many were tested, only a few made my repurchase list.

Nuxe also has this style of Inta masque in a purifying and smoothing formula and a detoxification one if exfoliating is not your thing.  Both of those are actually on my list of products to try.  I know I will probably mention that again with masks, but it seemed appropriate to mention it here as well. I suspect all three will end up in my skin care drawer by the end of the year.  But the Nuxe Intsta-masque exfoliating mask was better than a lot of other exfoliators I tried this year.

The same thing can be said for the serum category.  I tested out a lot of serums this year and I have to say only two really stand out without me having to look them up.  The first is the Timeless Skincare Hyaluronic Acid Serum.  I had such fantastic results with that serum that I think it is going to be a staple for a while.

The second is the Volition Snow Mushroom Water Serum.  I know, it sounds strange, but it was a fantastically hydrating serum.  This serum and the Volition Sunscreen were my saving graces this summer.  I spent a lot of time outside on the walking trail instead of going to the gym.  One product kept my skin safe while I was sweating it out and the other made certain my skin was healthy and hydrated.  Seriously if I could give a bottle of the Volition Sunscreen to everyone I know, I would. As it is my mother and aunts each got one as a gift this year. I absolutely loved that sunscreen and have already purchased it for myself. It sits beautifully under makeup and does not feel at all like sunscreen. In fact they market it as the sunscreen for people who hate sunscreen, which quite frankly was me.

The Snow Mushroom Water Serum doesn’t smell earthy it just smells light and fresh.  It absorbed well into the skin without feeling heavy or greasy (or clogging pores) and was fantastic throughout the summer time.  I have already picked up a second bottle and when it arrives I will be stashing it away for use in the spring and summer. While I’m sure it would be lovely to use in the winter, it was so good in the spring and summer that I am holding it in reserve while I test out other products. As I am writing this Volition has a 30% off sale going on that you might want to check out. It started before the holiday sales.

And this brings us to the moisturizer category.  Here we once again start with Volition.  The Celery Green Clean Moisturizer is super lightweight and again I really enjoyed using it this summer.  It has a light green, celadon like color and smells fresh and clean.  It absorbed well into the skin and was never greasy.  It was a fantastic day cream.  I found myself wanting something a little heavier at night especially if I had too much sun during the day, but as a summer time day cream it was fantastic. It also helped reduce the size of my pores a little bit, which really helped with my skin’s texture. And that is year round good.

The Dior Capture Care and Protect DreamSkin Moisturizer was also one I might want to use a separate night cream with, but I have no problem finding a good night cream to balance it out.  The Dior Moisturizer was fantastic to use.  It made my skin feel like silk.  It does have that French rose skincare scent to it which isn’t for everyone, but it is a very light scent that doesn’t linger.  Personally, I like the scent. I also like that the container is reusable so that there is less waste.  When you finish with it, you can order a new insert and just fit it into the existing container. I like the less waste almost as much as I liked this moisturizer. 

There are three moisturizers that I only tried in sample form but are high on my list to give a full size trial this coming year.  These are the Skinceuticals Lipid Moisturizer, The First Aid Beauty Coconut Water Gel Cream and the Peter Thomas Roth Hungarian Thermal Water Mineral Rich Moisturizer.  I enjoyed all three samples a lot and will be picking up full sized versions soon so that I can give them a full test.

There is the final Sunday Riley Ice Ceramide Moisturizer I tried that I will also be picking up, but it felt more like a night cream to me. As I don’t really have a go to night cream at the moment, I will be delving deeper into this category in the near future as well.  I liked the Avocado Sleeping Mask from Glow Recipe and will be repurchasing that one at some point, but I wasn’t so over the top in love with it that it is going to be my standard.  There is plenty of room for experimentation.

Okay my darlings, deep breaths. We have made it through the skin care category. It was a long review., I know and thank you for sticking with me. I know I took a few extra byways as we went down that path. And, okay so I didn’t do fantastically well narrowing it down to three products per category and as a consequence this is a bit of a longer post than I planned. 

There are just so many good skin care products out there.  Even knowing I didn’t stick to my three I know there are some that I completely forgot and will remember as soon as I post this.  It doesn’t mean they aren’t good, or that I won’t be posting about them (or purchasing them as soon as they go on sale) it just means I had to constrain myself.

And yes, this was me constrained.

Just remember that whether you are celebrating your upcoming holidays in a glittering gown or in a fluffy bathrobe, good skin is always in style.Hopefully this post will help you find something for you and maybe something for someone on you shopping list this holiday season.

While I did mention a few ongoing sales, here are a few my skin care lovers out there might want to remember.

Peter Thomas Roth is having their 50% off select Kits Sale. It runs through November 19th so it is a pre holiday sale. I really like this one and get pulled into it every year. I think their kits are a great way to try different products. In fact the Peter Thomas Roth moisturizers I tested this year all came from Kits. I was able to determined which I liked but wasn’t gaga over as well as which ones I really wanted to buy in the full size. I ended up being oddly surprised by which one I fell in love with. I seriously didn’t think it was going to be the Hungarian Thermal Water mineral Rich Moisturizer. In fact I think that was the free sample I got when I purchased another kit to actually try out. Surprise! The free sample won the day.

The SkinStore is also having a boat load of sales. Here ae a few you might be interested in. First there is the 15% off select SkinCeuticals Bundles which runs through November 26th. From now until November 19th you can get a Beauty Bag (ten piece set) worth $95 with $150 purchase. Just use the code EXTRABAG. There is also a Buy 2 get 25% off with the code BUY2GET25 which is also good through November 19th.

For those looking for Stocking Stuffers you can use the code STOCKING to get 28% off Stocking stuffers from brands like ARCONA, beautyblender, Bioderma, Dermablend, DERMAdoctor, DHC, Eyeko, First Aid  Beauty from now until November 19th. And there is also a 25% off Clean Beauty gifts going on with brands like Alterna, Codex Beauty, First Aid Beauty, Jurlique, Koh Gen Do, KORRES, Pai, Patchology. There is no code for that one as the discount is applied in the cart, but that discount runs until November 19th as well.

Happy Holiday Shopping.

A week of Purlisse Perfect Glow BB Cream

The Purlisse Perfect Glow BB Cream, both the smaple size I am currently using and the unopened full sized bottle for comparison

Spending a lot of time at home lately has caused me to do a lot of spring cleaning and reorganizing.  I’m sure I am not alone in this.  I think a lot of people decided similar things if conversations with friends about which Goodwill is currently accepting donations and the plethora of Youtube declutter videos are any indication. 

In my attempt to organize the chaos, I found that I accumulated quite a few sample sized products.  I rotated all of the open ones to the front of my dressing table and did my best to work through most of them, clearing out the no longer good products and finally using up the last of a few fabulous products I for some reason I appeared to be hoarding.

“I know there is only one, possibly two uses left in this liquid lipstick sample from smashbox, but I’m going to hold on to it in case of an emergency.”

This appears to be my subconscious thinking. I’m not entirely certain what sort of emergency I would actually react to with a twenty to thirty minute rummage through the contents of my catch all makeup drawer to find a sample size lipstick of any variety (although I really did like the lipstick and will be purchasing a full sized version once I clear out some space by using up older lipsticks).

I ended up rotating the almost empty sample into my makeup bag, using it up and making note of the shade color and brand in my reorder notebook before I chucked it out. And yes I have a reorder notebook.  I mark things down, especially lipstick shades, so I remember which I liked (mostly because I am the queen of ordering the wrong shade of lipstick).  I also have a section of things I’ve heard of but haven’t tried yet in my notebook. Because there are so many things out there that I want to try.

Mixed in with these half opened products I had several unopened sample sizes of BB and CC cream as well as some foundation samples. I put them all in a box, shook the box up and selected one at random.  The one I chose to try this past week was the Purlisse Perfect Glw BB Cream with SPF 30. 

And as soon as I chose it for my weekly makeup bag, my Boxycharm box arrived with a full sized version of the product inside.

Like magic.

This is actually more product than I needed to cover my face. About half that proved to be what I needed

I decided to go ahead and use the sample size and save the full sized one.  I figured if I didn’t like it then I would only waste the little sample rather than the large one .  That way I could always pass the unopened full size to someone else.

I have to say, I’m keeping the full sized version.

But I’m going to leave it sealed until I work through some of the other open products. So it is still less wasteful.

This was the first makeup item I have tried from Purlisse.  I actually had to check on that because Purlisse has been a frequent visitor to my vanity and for a while I was certain I’d seen it before.

When I looked through my notes though, it was all skin care. Almost all of which I really liked. The serum wasn’t my favorite, but all of the moisturizers I have tried, I would order again. Their specialty seems to be the ability to work with your skin in an unstable climate.

You know, as soon as I wrote that I thought, apocalyptic skincare.

I didn’t mean pack it for the end of days, I meant like spring and fall temperature and humidity shifting.

(Although now I have a 1950’s style atomic bomb style commercial playing in my head – Hi there Mrs. Smith, Packing for the Apocalypse are we? Well don’t forget to pack your apocalyptic skin care. You’ll just love the radiation blocking capacity and that new fresh scent! – For those following along its a black and white cartoon with a movie tone narrator voice over. Just so you get the full picture. Cause I’d hate for you to get confused.)

Okay back to the actual Purlisse Perfect Glow BB Cream.

Bare skin

And while most of you are thinking I should just get to the BB Cream, these were the thoughts going through my head when I picked the BB cream up.  I wondered if it would have the same flexibility, shall we say, as seem to be built into their moisturizers.  But lets see what they have to say about it.

According to the Purlisse website…

Complexion perfection for a gorgeous matte meets dewy finish! Your multi-tasking beauty balm that glides on like a tinted moisturizer with all the age-defying, coverage, sunscreen benefits of a foundation and BB cream! It’s perfect for getting that Instagram- filtered version of yourself, featuring our exclusive Asian Herb extracts complex.

For normal or dry skin types, wear over Purlisse moisturizers. For oily skin, wear alone. For extra coverage, wear under foundation.

As we are in summer, I thought a lighter BB cream might be a good idea.  I especially wanted something lighter because I added the new layer of sunscreen to my daily routine. (I am completely in love with the Volition sunscreen)  I did use the Purlisse Perfect Glow one day without the sunscreen so that I could gauge the difference both with and without the Volition Sunscreen. The Volition sunscreen didn’t have issues with this or any other product I tried it with.  The Purlisse did really well for my skin either way. 

Just sunscreen and foundation

It is a very light coverage, but it is coverage. I’ve tried some BB creams that either covered nothing and were therefore pointless or tried too hard and were too heavy, thus defeating the purpose of the product. This BB Cream covered my skin enough to make me feel confident in my skin, but was the perfect summer skin almost bare look.

Because I think I have larger pores, I still used a primer with this BB Cream.  I was fine without the primer, but I really preferred the look of my skin with the primer underneath.  I don’t think that is the fault of the cream, I think that is my personal preference.

I will say that applying it really does need a makeup sponge.  The brush just wasn’t a good idea as it just sort of streaked it across the face and using my hands just ended up applying too much product. 

Start of the day

To apply I just put a little dab on my hand, dipped the damp sponge into the product and then dabbed on my face, blending as I went.  I started in areas where I have a couple of healing eruptions and then worked out from there so that the red spots received a little more product but my skin looked evenly balanced. It is a light enough product that it feels weightless and it doesn’t settle into any lines or cause issues.

The Purlisse BB Cream comes in eleven different shades.  The shade I am using for my summer tanned skin is light medium. There are two shades lighter on the scale pictured on their chart.

end of the day

This gives me a little wiggle room should I want to pick up another tube once the summer wanes.  It’s nice to know that, but truthfully, I almost never reach for BB creams in the winter.  For me they always seem like a summer product. I have friends who wear them year round, but I really tend to forget about them once the weather turns. Although in all honesty, I’ve never found a BB cream I liked as much as I like this one. So possibly, I will try it after the weather turns. I just have to adjust my summer only mindset.

Because I’m using a sample sized tube of product, I ended up using a substantial portion of it this week.  But I didn’t use it all.  So I am going to go ahead and give it a second week in my makeup bag to use up the sample tube and remove it from my dressing table drawer. I suspect if it returns to the drawer it will sink into darkness only reappearing as it shuffles zombie like from the depths, its remaining product of no use. So it is better to use it now.

I still have the full bottle in the regular size so I’m sure it will make an appearance again later in the summer, but this way I won’t have half a tube lingering forgotten and alone in the drawer. 

This means that next week, I will be skipping the foundation review since it will be a repeat. I’ll be sure to add something else to the makeup bag to take its place in the reviews though. There is always either something new I’ll be delighted to talk about or an old favorite I can tell stories about. If any of you see anything in the makeup bag you want to hear more about let me know, I can always break it out for a seperate review. I’ll be choosing next week’s bag tonight so that I can post a picture with this week’s post.

BB Cream SPF 30

Reviewing the Blue Lotus Line

The Blue Lotus Line from Pur-lisse (well most of it anyway)

Around the time the weather finally decided that summer was more than likely over (it seemed very lothe to commit to such a sentiment this year) and it would start shifting between warmer and cooler temperatures, more or less indiscriminately, I tried the Ble Lotus Balancing moisturizer from Pur-lisse. The moisturizer really impressed me with the way it worked during those transitional temperatures and I wanted to give it a try when the fluctuations were a little less severe.

Since I already reviewed the moisturizer I was just going to test it on my own and then add my findings to a second chances posting at a later date. Sometimes I find that first impressions aren’t always accurate and I like to give products a second chance before I make my final decision on them. However I decided that if I was going to be retesting the moisturizer I might as well look at the other products in the Blue Lotus line.

Deciding this I added the Blue Lotus Seed Mud mask and exfoliator, the Balancing Serum and the Blue Lotus 4 in 1 Eye-Adore serum to my trial, thus making it more of a test of the line rather than just a test of the moisturizer. While they are all part of a Korean multi-step skin care program, I will admit, I have never officially tried the ten step skin care regime.

My personal regime (currently) has several steps in it and I tend to vary them based on what I actually feel I need at the moment. I might try something more directly in line with the ten steps at a later date, especially as I keep finding really nice products that are more or less designed to fit into that system. The working theory is that if I like the products I might like the system. But that is something for another time.

As I was trying the line, I went with deluxe sample sizes for these products rather than purchasing the full sized versions. I figure if I liked the products, I could always pick up the full sized versions later. This being said, while I used the products for two weeks, I didn’t do the weigh in at the beginning to see if I could plan out how long they would last.

Now on to the products.

I will start with the Blue Lotus Seed Mud Mask and Exfoliator (full size retails for $48). Mostly I am starting with this because it comes earlier in my routine than the others. The claims for this product according to the website:

Just a thin layer is needed.

Improve texture and tightness of your skin in just 10 minutes! Blue Lotus extract is a powerful antioxidant known for it’s anti-inflammatory benefits. White Clay tightens skin & purifies pores, Bamboo improves skin texture, Ginger detoxifies, Mushroom extract helps to brightening skin tone, White Tea soothes skin, amd Rice Bran Water improves skin texture.

Now that I knew what to expect I tried it on. I applied a thin layer to the skin, massaging it a little to get the exfoliating benefits. The mask itself has very little scent, it just smells clean if that makes any sense. In fact none of these products has much of a scent to them. Clean and like cream are all of the scent descriptions I have for any of the products in this line. While the mask felt a little bumpy when applied to the skin so that I knew it wasn’t just a straightforward mud mask, the exfoliation granules (which I’m guessing are the seeds) was very gentle. So gentle in fact I at first doubted they would do much. But After massaging, I let the layer sit on the skin for the recommended ten minutes.

As it sat the product made my skin feel cool, but not tingly. This is something I tend to feel with almost all clay based masks so I was sort of expecting it. At the end of ten minutes, the mask felt like it tightened as well as dried, but not overly so. I returned to the bathroom, and more importantly the sink, to wash it off. Given that it had clay in it, I suspected I would have to use a brush to loosen it before it would be removed as it did dry to a thin but solid layer over my skin. Such things were not needed as a simple splash of water, rehydrated it enough to simply loosen and wash off. I have never had a clay based mask wash off so easily before.

For a moment I thought I did something wrong.

And yes I reread the back of the bottle, I didn’t do anything wrong as it turns out. It just washes off easily. I dried my face and looked at my skin. It was soft and smooth, but not overly dried. As gentle as the exfoliant was in this product, I could really feel the difference after using it.

Feeling pleased with this step, I moved on to the Brightening serum (full sized retails for $65). According to the website:

Blue Lotus extract is a powerhouse antioxidant with anti-inflammatory benefits known to combat against free radical damage. Lupine Peptides promote a luminous complexion. Vitamin C & Alpha Arbutin brightens & evens skin tone. Neem and Prune extracts fades away hyper~pigmentation & sun damage. Avocado Oil & natural Squalene nurtures sensitive skin.

Okay I’ll admit, while I really like all of the other ingredients, I had to look up Neem. Apparently Neem extract is made from Neem leaves (I know you are in awe of my investigative skills, no?). Neem is also another term for Indian Lilac. That at least I had heard of. When looking further I found the plant is used medicinally to treat all sorts of disorders from stomach ulcers to leprosy. It can also be used to soften skin, which is I’m guessing the effect here.

Mostly because I don’t have leprosy.

And my skin felt soft.

Moving on, the serum surprised me when I put some in my hand as I expected it to be like most serums with a somewhat loose almost gel like consistency. This is white and has a cream like consistency. In fact i thought I picked up the cream by mistake and reread the bottle to be certain. Nope, it was the serum.

It applied well and only a little dab (about pea sized) was needed for the face and neck (I am still looking for the perfect neck cream but for now I am just trying to remember to apply products down the neck. With each few pounds lost, my neck skin sags and then firms back up so I like to encourage it to firm up quickly, things no one tells you about weight loss right?) If you don’t extend your serum down the neck then just use a little less.

I found the serum absorbed well and was the perfect post mask treatment for my skin. I know I shouldn’t find it surprising that two products from the same line work well together, but they do. It was soothing and smooth and as I continued to use the product over the course of my trial I did notice a bit of brightening to the skin. My skin tends to react really well to Vitamin C so I’m guessing that was part of it.

While I couldn’t find the full sized version listed, the travel sized contains a lot of product and will last quite a while.

Next in line was the Blue Lotus 4 in 1 Eye Adore serum. I chose this because I was looking for a really good eye cream and have yet to find one I am truly satisfied with. Like I mentioned above, I am testing the travel sized or deluxe sample sized version of these products. when I wwent to look up this cream on the main site, I found the full sized version missing. The travel size is listed however (retail $33) and the only information listed on the page is ‘ Transform your under eye for a smoother look‘. There are reviews posted, but not much else listed for the product. I’m not entirely certain why, but I will keep looking, mainly because I really liked this product.

One of the issues I have with a lot of eye creams is that they tend to clog my pores and give me a small row of sub-surface acne around the eye area. As I’m already fighting time to slow down the appearance of wrinkles I don’t need to add fighting acne to the list of concerns for that delicate skin. Maybe because it is a serum instead of an eye cream it did not cause any problems for me. It does have a cream like consistency to it rather than a serum one though. Like the other products in this line, it has virtually no scent to it and only a small amount of the product is needed. I will certainly be using up ever drop of this serum and more than any other in this line, I will be repurchasing it. Even if I can’t find a full sized version, I am okay with the travel size. It has a thin nozzle that dispenses a small amount of product and keeps the rest secure from the air. while I’d like to find a full sized, mostly to cut down on packaging waste, it is good enough I will cut down waste elsewhere to justify the travel size.

Finally we return to where we started, with the Blue Lotus Balancing Moisturizer (retail $45). Like the rest of the line it has a clean almost non existent scent and very little of the product is actually needed. To use in the day time, I use just a little bit less and to use at night, I used just a little bit more, but the difference was really the difference between an early snow pea and a full sized garden one. On the website the product claims:

Blue Lotus extract is a powerhouse antioxidant with anti-inflammatory benefits known to combat against free radical damage.White Tea offers anti-bacterial and skin soothing abilities. Vitamin E prevents premature aging and improves skin texture. French Marine Plants help retain moisture and promote skin radiance.

Over all not that different from the rest of the line in claims really. While I have no way of testing the protection against free radicals, I can say that my skin felt smooth and hydrated through out the trial and at no point felt greasy. I had no break outs from these products and while I don’t have a big sensitivity to scent, I appreciate that no scent was actually added to the products and I think that a person who is sensitive to added scents would find this relatively easy to use.

I am pleased with how the moisturizer performed when the temperatures aren’t yo-yoing all over the place. While the Blue Lotus Balancing Moisturizer was at the top of my list for transition moths, it has now joined my top five moisturizers and it is one I will repurchase. I also found that I really liked the rest of the line as well. The brightening serum makes the top five list as well, while the eye serum, despite my difficulty in locating a full sized version actually is at the top of my eye products list. The mud mask and exfoliator is also in my top fives. During this trial I used it twice a week, on Mondays and Wednesdays and I will continue doing so until this product is gone. It is a great mask and an excellent, but gentle exfoliator.

Over all I found myself really impressed with this product line and while some of the products do lean on the more expensive side, the cost is not outrageously expensive and is a very good value for the money. while I tested travel sized versions rather than the full sized ones, very little product is actually needed from each of them. At the end of the trial and two weeks of continuous use, I still have plenty of product left.I think the full sized versions would last long enough to justify their price. Way to go Purlisse.

While I did purchase these products on my own, I do have some affiliate codes you can use to access posted below. I do receive a small compensation if you use the codes towards purchasing, but even if you don’t use the codes, I’d recommend checking them out as the products are really good. I think the Milk sale posted below where you get a free Blue Lotus Product with purchase runs through January 11th.

Save on the original pur~lisse collection, check out our last chance sale at

Get Free Shipping on purchases of $50 or more ($75 in Canada) at

Milk Day 2020

A few of my favorite things in 2019

A few of my favorite things from 2019

The end of the year approaches and thoughts naturally turn towards review.  In my mind I find events and decisions, both good and bad, thrown into sharp focus as I evaluate what I learned and what I want to revise about my life as I move into the new year. Should I try out more new walking trails in the area, should I attempt that weird machine in the gym that no one ever seems to use, should I try and make blancmange from scratch?

As is also natural, I also find myself thinking over not only the various products I’ve tried out, but the subscription services I’ve tried as well.  Some I will continue to use, others, I might allow to lapse.

The one subscription service that has never let me down deserves mention in this list of a few favorite things.  And that is Scentbox.

During this year I have had a subscription for a single monthly supply of perfume and I have increased it to two perfumes to try per month.  I have liked some and disliked others. There was one perfume sent to me where an allergic reaction caused me to test the return and exchange policy for the company. I put the subscription on hold for a month and then resumed. I have sent them questions and received prompt and complete answers. At every turn they either met or exceeded all of my expectations and so that is why, despite having several subscriptions that I really enjoy, Scentbox gets the list as one of my favorites for 2019.

My favorite perfume this year, found via scentbox

One of my favorite perfumes also came to me from ScentBox so I will move on to that as my next favorite. That perfume is Eau de Cartier by Cartier. It is soft, subtly and sophisticated.  The scent has become my current favorite for a night out.  I have yet to find a day scent I am willing to stick with as consistently, but perhaps that will come in 2020. I will certainly continue trying out new scents. Perhaps I will find a day time fragrance and perhaps I will find a night time one I like just a much if not more than Eau de Cartier, but at the moment, it is the unrivaled champion of the year.

For facial exfoliators, I have to give this year to Skin and Co’s Face Gommage. This was a surprise to me as I tried out quite a few this year and each time the new product was beaten by last year’s favorite Scrubatomic by Soap and Glory. I was certain nothing would come close to beating it, but in my December IPSY, this product arrived and I have to say it beat out Scrubatomic to take the 2019 exfoliator crown.

(Here she is its Miss Exfoliator – insert cheesy crooning lounge singer voice here please, thank you)

current favorite mask and primer

Balancing between exfoliator and mask, is the Pomegranate Resurfacing Mask from Korres.  While it is somewhat exfoliating, I’m putting it in the mask category of favorites.  It is a quick five minute mask that not only leaves my skin feeling soft and smooth but fresh feeling and looking.  Also from this pomegranate line by Korres comes my favorite moisturizer of the year.  The Pomegranate balancing moisturizer is one of the better moisturizers I tried this year.

The only time I had issues with it were in the transition weeks when the weather was switching.  Then I was torn between whether or not I was applying too much or too little.  For the transition times for moisturizer, I have to hand it to Purlisse Blue Lotus Moisturizer. This product rode those weather changes well and is one I will try again when winter begins to fade.

Before I completely leave exfoliators behind, I want to say one of the lip exfoliators I really enjoyed using this year was the ELF Sweet Cherry lip scrub.  It comes in a tube that looks like lipstick and is super easy to apply.  It is less messy than many other lip scrubs and works really well on dry winter lips.

ELF lip exfoliator in sweet cherry

As far as toners go, Thayers Facial Toner in Rose Petal is my current favorite. It feels nice on the skin, doesn’t smell like witch hazel and helps the pores on my nose look smaller.  It also got me an ‘I told you witch hazel was fabulous’ from some of my older family members when I went home over the holidays, but I won’t hold against the Thayers. I do still want to know who stole my bottle while I was home this year though. I took a bottle home with me at thanksgiving and it was mysteriously gone when I repacked to leave.

Clearly, it wasn’t just my favorite.

One final skin care item I have to mention is the Kypris Antioxidant dew serum. I love everything about this serum.  I love the scent, I love the way it absorbs into my skin and I love the way it makes my skin feel.  I will not only be using this product going into 2020, but I will be looking at others they produce to try out.  Hopefully other items work just as well. I can’t wait to find out.

To be honest, despite trying out numerous makeup products this year, as I review the year only three really stand out to me.  The first is the Yensa Essential Glow primer.  Not only is it a great primer under makeup but this summer when it was so hot that foundation was a laughable concept as it would either sweat right off or stay in place and cause massive breakouts from clogged pores, this was my favorite daily option. It has a slight tint to it and helps even up skin tone, but is light enough not to cause break outs.  As such there were many days where I wore it with no foundation at all.  As soon as it ran out, I immediately repurchased it and will be keeping it around.

The second item that stands out is the Trestique color+contour stick.  It is a cream bronzer, which I never thought I would like, but it blends out beautifully and stays put all day.  It is handy for travel as it is in a rather small container, and it comes with its own brush so a separate one doesn’t need to be packed. It is a great formula, just be advised that the magnet in the magnetic cap is pretty strong and will cause it to link up with any other metal object in the makeup bag.  It is a great help in retrieving earrings from the bottom of the bag, so there is that.

The third makeup item that I felt worth mentioning in my favorites of 2019 is the Marc Jacobs Velvet Noir Major Volume Mascara. I like the wand, I like the formula and of the multitude of mascaras that have come my way this year, it stands atop the pile as my favorite.

In the category of hair care, I have several leave in conditioner that I like and many different shampoos.  The product that stands out the most to me is the Beauty Protector protect and oil.  It is an Argan oil hair product that smells absolutely divine both in the bottle and in the hair. I think it stands out to me as I never thought I’d actually like a hair oil.  Surprisingly, this is very light weight and not at all greasy. I have long and somewhat thick hair and need only a tiny dab for my whole head.  It is great for taming flyaways, but I have found that if I rub a little on my hands and then rub it into the ends of my hair, I tend to get fewer split ends. Maybe it is just providing the ends with a little extra protection, but I really like it and plan to keep using it and to possibly give other hair oils more of a try in the future.

Finally, we come to and Cult Nail Lacquer. Not only is it a great nail polish that lasts quite a while without chipping, but I want to specifically mention the Doe My Dear shade.  It is a nice cool toned shade that is neutral without being beige.  It has almost a blueish cast to it and is great for daily wear.  It is also useful as a base for more jazzy gem stones or glitter polish as it serves as a nice backdrop to the shine.

I know there isn’t an item for every category of face, hair and body care, nor is there a favorite for every type of makeup product, but to be honest, not every category had a favorite this year. I tried many products in many categories and these are the things that stand out to me as I look back over the year. Perhaps 2020 will be the year of the eyeshadow or the face powder or even the foundation. 

Actually, as my favorite foundation was discontinued, 2020 may end up being the year of the great foundation quest. (begin the heroic dragon slaying music! I’ll go find my noble steed and makeup wipes.)

I’m not entirely certain what next year will hold, what trends will take hold or pass me by completely. Finding out is half the fun anyway.  I can tell you though, if glitter encrusted lips make a return, I will be passing this time.  I don’t mind flecks of glitter in my lipstick or gloss, but that fully packed on glitter lip from a few years ago, never again. My last attempt at trying it ended with glitter in my teeth that took two days, a tube of toothpaste and most of a bottle of mouthwash to finally remove. And it never looked quite right so I don’t even have one awesome picture from the ordeal. I had to replace my tooth brush, but on certain nights, I still think one of my back molars gleams. Beyond that, I look forward to trying all the new things this year brings to me.

Affiliate Codes: I may receive some compensation for the use of the below codes towards a purchase. (note: the above links are just general links from the product sites and I don’t receive anything from them should you wish to click on those instead.)


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Purlisse Blue Lotus Balancing Moisturizer Review

Purlisse Blue Lotus Balancing Moisturizer

It is the time of year where the temperatures change, the air grows cooler outside, the central heating kicks in indoors and my skin begins transitioning from its summer regime to the winter one.  Which means of course that I begin to try out moisturizers.


I’d like to say I have a set summer and winter routine but the truth is, I’ve moved around so much in my life that each place I had to adjust everything to the new locale as well as the changing seasons. Now that it looks like I have finally stopped moving about I have found many products I like, but yet to find one I want to commit to for a season.

But since I like trying out new things, I don’t consider this a problem.

Considering I’ve had pretty good luck with the Purlisse brand, I decided to try another one. This was the Blue Lotus Balancing Moisturizer. Like the Matcha Green Tea Moisturizer it retails for $45 and contains 1.7 ounces of product in the plastic tube. I’m not a big fan of the plastic tube, mostly because I don’t like how much plastic is in my life, but I will admit, the tube lets you squeeze out a really small amount onto your hand so you don’t waste product. In addition it was lighter to ship than a glass jar.

Beauty products and guilt – forever intermingled.

Anyway, my plan when purchasing it was to compare it to the Matcha Green Tea moisturizer.  If you missed that review a quick summary would be that it was a good product, but it was used up too quickly. I went through the tube in under three weeks’ time. I figured I could use this as a base and since the weather wasn’t changing, then I would have a more or less side by side. 

Then the weather changed.

While I was using the product.

So I decided to keep using it until it was empty.

I know, a somewhat mean trick to play on a moisturizer, testing it during the seasonal change, but it ended up being quite interesting. I should probably also mention that I have normal skin and am neither oily nor dry usually.  Most of my skin care needs seem to be driven by activities and the changes to them rather than my skin type.  If you have a different skin type, your results may vary.

First the product claims from the website:

Blue Lotus extract is a powerhouse antioxidant with anti-inflammatory benefits known to combat against free radical damage. White Tea offers anti-bacterial and skin soothing abilities. Vitamin E prevents premature aging and improves skin texture. French Marine Plants help retain moisture and promote skin radiance.

Not too over the top in terms of promises.

Now, to the bat cave, um…I mean my bathroom, for testing. Not for crime fighting.

That’s in the garage.

As I said before, I used the product up completely. At first, it looked as though it too would be used up in under three weeks as I was using it the same way as the Matcha Green Tea moisturizer. Then, I completed my end of season gardening chores, the weather changed and I found myself spending more time indoors. As a consequence, my use of moisturizer changed.

It was interesting to watch the change in my skin. 

I finished my garden chores and the next day applied my morning moisturizer as usual with no changes.  That evening, when I went to apply my bed time moisturizer, I noticed the usual amount left me feeling a little greasy.  The next morning after washing and toning, I again applied, this time using a little less and I was fine, not greasy at all.  Bedtime again I was a little greasy, but not by much.  The next morning I again reduced the amount of cream and was fine. 

In the end it took about a week for my skin to adjust to the change in spending a lot of time outside in the sun to spending the majority of the day indoors. For a few days, I thought that this was just going to have to be termed a summer moisturizer, but once the adjustment was done, I found I could use a reduced amount.  The reduction in amount of moisture my skin needed let me use less product and made the tube of moisturizer last for six weeks, which is comparable, and possibly a little longer than, many other moisturizers I have tested. This makes me want to retest the Matcha Green Tea moisturizer to see if it too does better when not faced with my summer skin.

As to the claims by the product, while I will have to accept that it does something for free radicals as I am not sure how I’d test that effectiveness at home, I do like the product.  It has a fresh scent that isn’t overpowering, it sinks into the skin well, keeps me hydrated and with the exception of the transition week, is not at all greasy.  My skin feels healthy and smooth and makeup is easily applied over the product with no ill effects.

I think that I would either term this a transitional cream, as it got me through that transition without a single breakout or any clogged pores, or an autumnal cream.  The reason for this designation is not that I don’t think it would work in the summer or winter, I think it most definitely would. The problem is, in the summer the product would be used up faster than I like on my skin due to my outdoor activities.  I believe that once the heater gets cranked up for the winter months and my skin starts on its winter dry spell, I would also use the product up too rapidly to justify the price. Given my skin’s needs I think I would have a hard time justifying spending $45 every three weeks.

However, I will be remembering this cream once winter starts to fade and spring looks as though it is about to appear. The transition from summer to autumn was where this product shined and I suspect it would do the same when winter fades to spring.  Which I am okay with as a designation. We each have our strong points and our weak ones, why shouldn’t moisturizer be the same? 

At the moment I don’t really have any transitional creams, so I am actually thrilled to find one.  The one I tried last spring caused all sorts of problems. So when the first green tips of daffodils and crocus blossoms start appearing on the still cold ground, I think I will make sure to have this product around.

Purlisse Matcha Green Tea Priming Moisturizer Review

Purlisse Priming Moisturizer

In July one of my beauty boxes (Ipsy Glam Bag Plus) included a full sized tube of the Purlisse MATCHA GREEN TEA Antioxidant Priming Moisturizer.  The retail price according to the Purlisse website of this product is $45.00. It is a lightweight oil free water cream that doubles as a primer.

My initial impressions of the bottle were that it was a pretty green bottle.  However it looked a little small to me.  When the product came in I was still using the Sunday Riley Vitamin C cream and placing this tube next to the pretty glass jar was not a good comparison.  However, after looking at the jar versus tube, I realized that both contained the same amount of product according to the labeling and felt better about the Purlisse size.

The tube contained 1.7 ounces when new and unopened.  I weighed the bottle it came in at 2.25 ounces ounces.  By contrast the Sunday Riley cream had 1.7 ounces of product and weighed 8 ounces.  After I got over the initial surprise of the appearance and remembered appearance isn’t everything, I thought about it.  I like the glass packaging of the Sunday Riley because it is more easily recyclable, but I also like the less packaging of the Purlisse in general. It is also $20 cheaper than the Sunday Riley which is definitely a plus.

So now that I have gotten over the superficial, to the cream. First, the claims. According to the website:

Rejuvenate skin with an antioxidant-packed priming moisturizer! Infused with MATCHA, GREEN TEA and restorative Asian botanicals, this lightweight, oil~free water cream instantly moisturizes & primes skin for makeup.

As always, I am suspicious of some of the multitasking products and their claims.  In general, they tend to only do one thing well, but I like this brand so I crossed my fingers and hoped for the best.

To test this product I used it as my sole moisturizer for two weeks. At the end of two weeks I reweighed the bottle. From the weight I extrapolated outward to see how long the bottle would last. Although, that was a little pointless. At the end of two weeks, there isn’t much left in the tube. I will at best get another three to four days use out of it.

Now I will say, in the last two weeks, I have been spending a lot of time working outside in my garden. It is the time of year where things are starting to ripen daily and the garden needs almost constant tending.  As such I might have needed more moisturizer than at the beginning of the summer.

Admittedly, the case can also be made that in the winter when the heat is cranked my skin dries out and needs more moisture as well so this isn’t just a once a year thing.  It’s sort of seasonal.  And two and a half weeks isn’t all that great a track record for a full sized moisturizer.  That would be about half the time of the Sunday Riley which is listed as having the same amount of cream.

I’m only really comparing the two because it was the most recent jar I went through and it is listed as having the same amount of product. I think the big difference in use is the packaging.  With a jar, I tend to dab my finger in and dot my face before rubbing it in.  While I do the same application with the tube of cream, it is a squeeze and more product may have come out.  Even so, the product was used. What came out of the tube went onto my face with no waste. For me the length of time it lasts more or less negates it’s lower price.

Which is a shame, because it is a really good cream. There is almost no scent to it. It was super lightweight and melted into my skin almost instantly.  It was everything that a water cream is advertised to be.  It absorbs well and quickly, kept my skin moisturized and caused zero break outs. The only other water cream I’ve tried at this point has been the Belif Aqua bomb and this was light years better. At no point did my skin feel greasy or weighed down and I didn’t have to wait forever for it to absorb.

I don’t know if my use of the cream is due to it being a water cream or the tube packaging or a combination of both.  I may have to get another water cream of similar product size to compare usage to figure that one out. I’m still slightly unhappy with the length of time the tube lasted with ratio to the price, but it is a very good cream.

It is however not a good primer. Almost every primer I’ve used has some sort of stickiness to it to grip the makeup.  This had absolutely none. As I said above, it melted completely into the skin.  An excellent trait for a moisturizer, not so good for a primer.

With all of those factors, I have to say I am on the fence about whether I would purchase this product for the retail price.  The product itself is an excellent moisturizer, better in fact than their blue lotus cream which I have used before. In fact, despite all the earlier whinging, I actually like it better than the Sunday Riley Vitamin C cream.

It does not do the double duty as advertised though and it gets used up quickly.  I think that if I were to purchase it, I would limit its use to the spring and fall when my extended time in the sun has either ended or not begun and my skin is not being dried by winter time heating systems.  Which is a shame, as the product seems designed for those dry times. I just know that as I am still knee deep in garden work and I have a little more than a month to go for the sun season, I would need to purchase two more bottles to use before fall.  While $45 isn’t a bad price for a really good cream, $45 X 3 is $135 and that is a little pricey for me when I know I can get a good moisturizer for less than that. It does however encourage me to look into more water bombs and if this product ends up in more beauty boxes or on sale, possibly stockpiling it for later use as a moisturizer, while using a separate primer.