Let’s talk Squalane

While I am not a chemist or a dermatologist or a biologist (or any kind of ologist to be honest) I love finding out about new ingredients and how they work with my skin. (In case you are wondering I’m a writer and architectural historian, which means one thing I definitely know is how to research).

Squalane seems like a new thing because it has so recently popped up on the skin care radar.  However, squalane was first introduced into the world of beauty in the 1950s.  It was used as an emollient (meaning it softens or smooths the skin.) Squalane oil is created when squalene oil undergoes hydrogenation processing. 

Squalene is naturally found in your sebum (the oils of your face) as well as other places.  Most notably in shark’s livers which is how it came by its name.  Squalus is a genus of sharks. However most commercially used squalene is derived from plants like olive oil rice and sugar cane.

The hydrogenation process not only changes the a to an e, but it turns the squalene from an unsaturated oil to a saturated one. This makes it more stable and less likely to turn rancid. It is safe for all skin types and it is lightweight and won’t clog your pores. It helps balance your natural oil production and helps keep skin clear and healthy.

For the past month I have been using the Timeless Skincare 100% Squalane oil gifted to me for review purposes. My skin is not particularly acne prone however I have always had the tendency to get clogged pores.  They are bumps beneath the surface that have the tendency to rise up and create a bumpy texture on my skin that seems to last forever as the clogged pore don’t seem to have any motivation to actually rise to the surface. 

Occasionally one will surface and I will be able to deal with it.  Products like Peace out with their acne dots can help bring them to the surface in many cases.  Some are just too deep for the dots to touch. While some acne washes do well with my skin, a lot of times it dries out my skin causing almost as many problems as the clogged pores.  With masking when leaving the house, the situation was not improved.

According to the Timeless Skin Care

As a dry oil, Squalane keeps your glow on without leaving an oily sheen. We call it the ‘finishing touch’. This light-weight oil seals in moisture and is also anti-bacterial, making it ideal for acne-prone skin and protecting skin against pollutants. It is also perfect for helping to set your make-up, so it stays in place all day.

In case there was any doubt, the Timeless Skin Care Squalane is derived from olives, not sharks. It is purely plant derived.

I have in the past had good luck using squalene oil based products on my skin so I though trying a daily application of pure squalene oil might be good for my skin. The oil was lightweight enough that I could wear it during the day without a problem. A lot of the time I just apply oils to my skin at night (such as the Malin+ Goetz Recovery Oil which is too heavy for me to wear in the day, but is fantastic at night).  This Timeless Skincare 100% Squalane oil I could easily wear during the day. 

I applied it once a day for the last month.  I used three drops, applied to my skin after my serum had time to sink in and then, after giving it a moment or two to settle, I added my moisturizer. I have to say I have seen a big reduction in my clogged pores.  There are still some along the mask lines, but they are not as deep or as hard to get rid of.  While my skin is nowhere near flawless, some of my biggest concerns have been mitigated and my skin feels better than it has in a while.  The bumps may not be as noticeable to others but they were quite noticeable to me and I am very glad there are fewer of them.

As for holding makeup in place all day, I have noticed that most of the foundations I have tried since I started using the Squalane oil have had wonderful staying power and lasted all day.  I saw non-clogging and locks in moisture when I looked at the description at the start but somehow missed the increasing makeup longevity section of the description.  I may actually have to go back and try some of the foundations without the oil being used to see if they last on their own or if they received a little extra help.  So I may have to do some repeat foundation trials to not only make sure my foundation reviews were accurate but to see if the oil lived up to this claim.   So on that claim, I’ll have to put a pin in it and do a little more testing.  However, even without knowing about the makeup longevity, this oil has enough plusses to keep it around.

While I’m sure the anti-aging properties help the serums and moisturizer work more effectively as well as help to treat acne and blemishes.  The anti-inflammatory properties are supposed to help treat eczema.  While I have only a mild spot of eczema on my arm, my baby doll has quite a few larger spots (mostly on his legs). 

He also has a tendency to pronounce everything, but basic shampoo and soap to be a scam. (He found out that one of my masks had clay in it and he offered to go and dig a bucket of red clay out of the back yard for me. I’m pretty sure he believes that is actually what skin care companies do, dig out buckets of clay from the back yard and slap them into fancy jars.) Did I mention that he is from Montana, one of three boys (no sisters) and that his father had only brothers, who also had only sons? His mother apparently had a bathroom to herself that was declared off limits upon penalty of death. So my baby doll is both confused and oddly mesmerized by some of my ‘girly potions’.

He tried the squalene oil on his eczema and he pronounced it ‘maybe not a scam.’ Which in the lexicon of my baby means it worked really well.  His one complaint was that it didn’t smell medicinal and he deep down believed that a product can’t be good for you unless it smells like medicine. The 100% Squalane Oil from Timeless Skincare is part of their Pure line and has nothing added to it.  It is a clear oil that smells of absolutely nothing.  While it is easy to mix in with your moisturizer, I prefer applying it to my skin first and then following with the moisturizer. For the eczema on my arm I’ve been applying it and then following with a body lotion.  (Actually the Lord Jones CBD lotion to be exact.)  It has worked really well in softening that patch as well. 

The one thing you really have to remember is that it is a thin oil.  The bottle has a dropper but the oil does start dripping out almost as soon as you lift it from the bottle.  I recommend squeezing it into the glass dropper, lifting it up, but not out of the bottle and then squirting half of the dropper back into the bottle before lifting it out to apply. There is less chance of wasting product that way. 

Over all I really enjoyed having this 100% Squalane oil from Timeless Skincare around this month and I have to say I will be picking up another bottle as soon as thins runs out.  As it is good for eczema as well, I’m going to try to get my baby doll into the habit of using it as well. As a one ounce bottle is only $9.95, it is very affordably priced. And if I can get him to use it routinely, I may have to stock up on it when black Friday comes.  Maybe I can set it between the Kneipp Juniper scented bath salts and the Menthol scented muscle soak oil he keeps around.  Between the two they make the air wafting off of the shelf smell medicinal.  Maybe it can be medicinal by association.   Even if he doesn’t turn to it habitually, I will be keeping this around at least as long as I have to wear facemasks.

If you are interested in more information about squalene you can find more information at Healthline.com, The Truth Beauty Company, or The Skincare Edit.  All three are great resources in learning more about this fantastic ingredient.


Peace Out Skincare

The Zoeva Caramel Melange

I know some of you are thinking, wait a sec Mimsy, you always start thursdays with the foundation and then go to eyeshadow, what gives? Well my very astute reader, there were foundation issues this week. I had a sample sized foundation I wanted to try out this week and I did try it out. I applied it and wore it. And as I wore it I got very itchy and red. At first I didn’t tie it to the foundation as other things were going on that day. I washed my face, skipped a day of makeup and found my skin was back to normal. Tried the foundation again and the same thing happened. I am not certain if I am allergic to something in the foundation or if my foundation sample was from a bad batch or if it was just old. It was one I was surprised to see in the drawer so I don’t remember when or where I picked it up. To give the foundation the benefit of the doubt I will be looking into its ingredients list (in depth) and if nothing jumps out as reaction causing for me, I will try to pick upo a fresh sample for a second try and see if it turns out differently.

So instead I used my Pretty Vulgar Lava Water Foundation this week.Which I had no problem reusing. The link will take you to the full review of it that I did previously. I really like the foundation, but in all honesty it is also the easiest to grab since the bottle insures that it sits out on my dressing table rather than going in a drawer. So it is also the first one I see. But it is a good foundation so no complaints.

And speaking of no complaints, I really have none with the Zoeva Caramel Melange Eyeshadow Palette either. Well there is a tiny little wistful critique but no real complaints.

The outer box looks to me like a box of chocolates. I don’t know if it is the gold foil look or the diamond pattered but every time I saw it this week I thought ‘high end chocolates, nope eyeshadow’. I think part of that is the box of chocolates one of my great aunts used to keep as ‘adult candy’ when I was a child. I (and all the other kids) wasn’t allowed to touch it so it became the mysterious candy.

That was where my memories took me.

Which given the names of the shadows is pretty much where Zoeva meant me to go. well maybe not to Aunt Marie’s house specifically, but to a chocolate box.

It was a little hard to photograph the outside though as that goal bounced all sorts of reflections. Luckily the inside was much easier to photograph. Except for the shadow names. Wouldn’t you know it? After several weeks of palettes with no shadow names I finally get one with names, but the lettering (gold on dark brown) makes it really hard to read. Sigh. I’ll list them with the swatches for you so you don’t have to strain your eyes.

Top row swatched L to R: Wax Paper, Universal Delight, Aftertaste, 182 Degrees C, Liquid Center

The mattes are soft and buttery. They do kick up a bit of powder when you dip into them, but if you tap your brush off before applying you won’t end up with a lot of fall out as you apply. As with most shadows there is a little more fall out with the darker shades than the lighter. But seriously, even that wasn’t much. If I remembered to tap my brush I rarely had to brush off any excess from my nose or under my eyes.

The mattes are fairly pigmented but they blend really well. I found if I touched down on the outer corner of my eye with a shadow filled brush and then used a clean brush I could blow out the color across the lid with no problem for a one and done look. How heavy or soft depended on how much I blended it out. The colors also layered very well together. I will say it is very much a brown toned palette, which is perfectly fine with me. It is neutral without being boring. I know some folks want like one more exciting pop of color but that salmony colored Aftertaste (middle of the first row) did pack quite a color punch. And despite the over all neutral and brown theme, I could create different looks in the same family without wearing the same shadow look all week.

Second row swatched L to R: Alchemy, Start Soft, Finish Sensual, Almost Burnt, Edible Gem

The shimmers worked well for me as well this week. As anyone who reads this regularly knows, I am a sucker for copper tones and this was right up my alley. 182 degrees C and Liquid Center were my golden bronze go to’s this week. And I won’t lie, I loved using them. I don’t know what it is about bronze shades but they just make me feel both classy and fabulous.I have no answer as to why. I don’t think there is a hierarchy in the world of shadow colors.

It’s not like bronze tootles around in a Bentley while the good solid brown reduces carbon emissions in a Ford Fusion, and matte white insists on riding his bicycle everywhere, even on roads that were never intended for bicycles and are far too dangerous for them.

But still.

Classy.

I will say that I was very pleased with the way the shimmers applied. because of the texture they applied well with a brush. They are a little softer than the mattes but not by too much. There are no bits in them so there isn’t a lot of fall out with them either. I didn’t need to wet the brush to apply them and while they were more intense when I applied them with my finger, I didn’t really have to. which is nice.

I do have one minor critique. In the second row there is a dark brown (Finish Sensual) and a really dark shimmer (Edible Gem). There isn’t a lot of shimmer in Edible Gem, but it is noticeable.I would have prefered to have the darkest shade be a matte shade. Or if they really wanted it to be a shimmer, add more shimmer to it and then make Finish Sensual a richer brown. And yes what I am saying is that I want the mostly brown palette to have one more darker brown. The Edible Gem without the sparkle would be the perfect super rich shade in this palette. The shimmer in it is enough to notice but not enough to pop. It’s sort of a neither fish nor fowl scenario.

It’s almost like a matte that spent a little too much time hanging out with the glitters and became slightly contaminated from cross over rather than a true shimmer on it’s own. This kept me from using it all that much. The dark brown Finish Sensual can be built up, which is what I did so there really is no harm. It was just my one real issue with this palette. Otherwise I absolutely loved the Caramel Melange Palette from Zoeva. Which is a nice feeling. I feel like I have complained a lot about eyeshadow palettes in the past few months as I had a run of those I didn’t really care for cross my dressing table. It is nice to have one that I really enjoy so much. Incidentally, that link will take you to the Zoeva site. I’m not affiliated with them nor is this post sponsored but when copying the link so readers could find the palette if they were interested I noticed that even though the palette is normally $28, it is currently on sale for $20. Clicking the link will take you to the Zoeva site. I have no idea how long the sale will last but for those interested, there it is.


Algenist: Enjoy a free AA Barrier Serum Mini (8ml) with your full-size purchase. Limited time. Shop Now

Allure Beauty Box September 2020 Unboxing

This was an interesting beauty box to open this month. The entire time I was opening it and taking items out I couldn’t help but remember that this is the last of its kind. Currently the Allure Beauty Box is $15 ($16.80 with tax). In October they will start costing $23 (I’m guessing between $24 and $25 with tax). I find this really interesting. $20 seems to be some sort of threshold in beauty boxes. Under twenty is one category, over twenty is something else. It should be an interesting change to watch. They will be going from the realm of Birchbox to costing more than Glossy Box and Look Fantastic but slightly less than Boxycharm and IPSY Plus. I have no doubt the cost was carefully chosen. It will be interesting to see how they compare as they move forward.

But what does the last $15 Allure Beauty Box hold?

Seven items this month as it turns out.

The first item is a full sized Wander Beauty mascara called unlashed. It retails for $24. While I like a lot of Wander Beauty Products (Foundation and Eyeshadow) the last mascara I tried from them was kind of average. It wasn’t noticeably spectacular. Don’t get me wrong, it was a good mascara. It didn’t flake or smear. It was a good working mascara. It just wasn’t noticeable for lengthening or volume or curling. It wasn’t a stand out, just a good solid chorus member. I don’t object to having a good solid chorus member on my team. And if this proves to be another good trustworthy stalwart product, I have no objections welcoming it into my collection. The other Wander Mascara I have is currently on its way out so I can compare them before it goes.

One of the amusing things about this box is that two of the items it contains are also currently in my empties bin. The first is the La Roche Posay Anthelios 50 Ultra Light Sunscreen Fluid. I had a tube exactly this size before I started trying out the Polaar sunscreen. It was enough to cover my face for two or three days actually before the tube ran out. I was going to review it when I did my August empties bin but I forgot to write that post so next week there will be an August and September Empties bin post. Incidentally, today is the last day of their fall sale if you are interested in their products. I’ll past the code below.

Fall Sale: Enjoy 20% Off all Orders + 2 Deluxe Sample with Orders $65+. Use Code: FALLSALE. Valid: 9/18- 9/22.

I really liked this sunscreen. It was light enough that I didn’t mind applying it to my face. It sat well under my makeup as well. Interestingly it is recommended that you shake the product before applying. Even though it is a tube, you need to squeeze it a little and mix it up before applying as it does tend to separate in the tube. I honestly don’t mind having another tube of this sun screen to keep on hand. It will probably end up in my purse though.

The second product that is also in my empties bin is the Elemis Pro-Collagen Cleansing Balm. It is the travel size. That is exactly the same size I had before and I was more than happy to see it reappear. It is one of my favorite cleansing balms. It makes my skin fantastically soft and delightfully clean. And it takes so little to remove an entire day’s makeup that it will last a while. So I am thrilled to see it. Also this is the last day of an Elemis Promotion as well in case you are interested. Get a Free 3-Piece Pro-Collagen PM set with orders of $150+ with code DREAM1 or Size up with $250+ and code DREAM2 at Elemis. (Valid 9/19 – 9/22)

This month I received an ELF Highlighting Brush in my box (full sixe $4). The options were between Elf and NYX (the NYX was the Pro Contour Brush). I have to say I was very impressed by the quality of the brush.

It actually felt like a better quality brush than the $24 brush I received in the Boxyluxe box this month. Admittedly I haven’t tried either out so that test is still to come. But for a $4 brush I was floored by the quality feel of it. I’ll be testing it out this week and letting you know with my makeup bag this week how it performed.

Receive 10% off when you place your order through the e.l.f. app and redeem code ELFAPP at checkout

Next there was an eyeliner from Cleo Noir. The full size costs $18. I am not sure if this is a full sized or not. While it seems a little short for a full sized eyeliner, it is a twist up and they always seem to be a little short. There is a lot of product in it so it will last a while even if it isn’t full sized. And if you are wondering why I’m not doing my usual ‘sigh, its an eyeliner’ it is because it is not another black eyeliner.

Those I seem to be stockpiling incase there is an eyeliner emergency. Like several punk bands losing their luggage on the way to a festival. This is a purple eyeliner. I haven’t tried the brand before and I am am looking forward to giving a purple eyeliner a go. This week’s shadow palette is a bit more on the neutral side, but next week I may choose a more colorful one just so I can give this a trial run.

There was a sheet mask in my Allure Beauty box this month as well. I think most month’s there is some sort of sheet mask. This month I received the Glam up Revitalizing Japanese Sake Sheet Mask. (it costs $9.98 for a ten pack). It was one of two masks I could have received. The other was a Soothing Aloe from the same brand. As I’ve tried soothing aloe masks before (and in face hace one in my masking drawer) but never tried a Sake based mask, I am okay with my option. And I am always willing to try out a new sheet mask.

Finally we come to item number seven. It is the Waterless Dry Conditioner. Now me and dry shampoo are pretty tight. Once again I am almost out of my favorite Klorane and need to reorder. I have however never used dry conditioner.

NEW! Klorane’s Award Winning Dry Shampoo NOW in Jumbo Size!

Part of me is interested, and part of me thinks this might be a bad idea. Dry shampoo takes the greasy look out of unwashed hair by absorbing the excess oils. Conditioner in general provides shine and body to hair. I’m not so sure about adding shine on a no wash day. It might undo the anti grease factor the dry shampoo achieved.

Or it could be a fabulous new product I decide to add to my hair care collection. I don’t know. I do know it is going to be interesting to try out. It is a little odd though that in the pamphlet provided it shows both the waterless dry shampoo and the conditioner and labels them step one and step two. I think you have to use a dry shampoo before using a dry conditioner. At least that is my take away. I’ll have to visit the website before spritzing away.

Over all I am pretty pleased with this box. I know that the travel size of the Elemis Cleansing balm is around $15. (It may be $16). Which means that I paid for the Elemis and got everything else for free on top of it. At least that’s how my brain sorts it, because I would have just ordered it for the Elemis and be happy with whatever came with it if I am being truly honest. However, this month it also came with several other fun new things to try out so I am really happy with this as a $15 subscription box. But as I said at the beginning, this is the last time this box will be $15. October 1st it becomes a $23 Beauty box. Expectations will shift and things could get very interesting.It should be fun to see.

Shop Now!

BoxyLuxe September 2020 Unboxing

My September Boxy Luxe Box has arrived.  The Boxy Luxe is a quarterly upgrade to the regular box. Four times a Year, March, June, September and December to be exact, there is an extra cost for those who sign up for the Boxy Luxe and instead of your regular box for $25 you pay an additional charge (Bringing the cost up to $50 for that month) and you get a luxe box. The theme this month was Glam Vibes although to be honest, my box this month felt more like Spa Vibes. But maybe that is just me and partially due to my choices.

In Luxe months you get to choose two items in your box.  This month the two items I chose were the Byroe Tomato Serum (retail $150) and the Osea Malibu Atmosphere protection Cream (retail $48).

For those who think that the brand Byroe might be slightly familiar, a previous Boxycharm box featured a toner from the company.  I did not get it in my box, but this time when add ons opened up I saw it listed in possible items and snapped it up as an extra for $12. I also added the Grace and Stella Eye gel patches.

I am really starting to like eye masks in general.  This rag weed season they have been a life saver.  I haven’t tried the Grace and Stella ones but the add-on section had a twelve pack for $6 and I couldn’t resist. Plus I also blazed through my supply this month and needed a restock.  Since I like Grace and Stella it was kind of a win for me.  I got to restock my eye mask supply, checking out the masks from a brand I really enjoy and I got to add the toner I was hoping to get in an earlier month’s box but didn’t.

But that was my unexpected shopping spree and not the box.  This month I received the Byroe Tomato Serum which I am looking forward to testing out. (although seriously, when am I not happy to test a serum out? They are a weakness of mine).

The Osea Atmosphere protection cream I was very excited to see as a choice as well.  I really like Osea products.  They are clean, vegan and non-toxic.  The cleanser is amazing so I am pleased to try out the moisturizer that goes with the cleanser.  I also have a travel sized bottle of the cleanser that I will be using when I test out this moisturizer. If any additional add ons feature the Osea cleanser I will be snapping those up.  The cleanser is pretty expensive (I think it is around $44) for a cleanser so I tend to pick up travel sized and sales of it whenever I can.

There was a third skin care item in my boxyluxe this month ant it is the 111Skin Rose Gold Brightening Facial Treatment Mask (retail $135).  It is a five pack. I don’t know if you remember but a while ago I tried this mask and the accompanying eye gel masks from 111 Skin.  The under eye mask was fantastic, but I wasn’t overly impressed with the face masks.

They were good, but not as good as the price would lead you to expect.  It was a single mask I tried out though, maybe with repeated use I will feel differently about the mask.  I have been trying out a lot of 111Skinproducts recently and it is always interesting.  Some of them work really well and it is easy to see why they are so expensive.  Some work well, but are on the same level with much more affordable products and are hard to justify in terms of expense and others I like less then much less costly products. It is one of those brands that really runs the gamut with me. But over all I really do like their products. So we will see which category these fall into when I have five to use instead of just the one.  I will say though, for the record, while I may be on the fence with the face masks, the black eye masks from 111Skin are definitely worth the cost. If you ever see them, I highly recommend picking them up. Those may be pricey too, but they are worth their price.

The next item in my box is the Fenty Beauty Killawatt highlighter (retail $36).  I think everyone got one of the highlighters this month.  Mine is the dual shade in the shades Ginger Binge and Moscow Mule.  They are both rosy tones that actually suit me well.  I am very pleased with the shade I received. I like this a lot better than the gold one I received as part of the Fenty Box a while ago. That one just did not work well with my skin tone and was kind of chunky. I tried using it as an eyeshadow like everyone suggested when it didn’t work as a highlight for them, but I didn’t care for that either. Not only did it migrate down my nose gilding it like a reverse contour but it also was chunky enough that it scratched my eye. That was not fun. This is not only a better color for me but it has a much finer consistency to it. It doesn’t feel as chunky to the touch so I think I will get a lot more use out of it than the ill fated gold one.

I am also thrilled by the Hipdot Zion Eyeshadow Palette I received this month.  I picked up the Hipdot’s Sponge Bob palette for a younger cousin of mine as a gift a while ago and she absolutely loves it. While I like Sponge Bob (and used to watch the show with her), the colors weren’t ones that I would gravitate towards using while they are definitely in her wheel house.  This palette is definitely more in my color scheme and one that I will enjoy trying out. So I am very happy with that. 

Then we come to the next three products.  First, there is the Cuccio Somatology yogahhh calm and clean Epsom Salt Hand and body wash with Lavender oil.  (retail $39.95).  While I will try it in the bath, I really think this looks like a hand soap dispenser.

Which is fine.  With all the handwashing at our house, a nice hand soap is not a bad thing to have around. I just can’t honestly say I am all that excited by it. Maybe I will try it out and it will end up being something fabulous. I’ve never tried anything from the brand before, but I will keep an open mind. Maybe I will fall in love and seek it out in the future. We shall see.

Next up is the Persona Cosmetics Power Brush retail $24).  Now, I like brushes, I use a variety of them on a daily basis.  I am not a fan of this.  First off, I hate dual ended brushes. I really do.  I store my brushes in jars, so one end is always going to be in the jar.  Sometimes it gets squished, and sometimes I forget it has the second end, but I rarely use both ends.  Even if the brush is good. 

Because whatever end I put back in the jar will get product all over the other brush handles and the jar and when I take out any brushes whatever was on that brush when I put it away will be all over my hands. So I don’t like them. The bristles feel nice, not excellent, but nice.  The handle feels super cheap and it in no way feels like a $24 brush. So it is somewhat disappointing. 

Perhaps I will use one end of it and like it enough that I ignore my hatred of dual ended brushes and use one end a lot. Perhaps I will like it so much that give it its own space where I can use both ends without contaminating other brushes.  Stranger things have happened. But on first glance it feels super lightweight and cheap. 

This brings us to the final item and that is the Teami Blends Tea tumbler (retail $24). And I’m happy to end on a more positive note.  It looks nice and well set up. I like the double walls and the clear plastic. I drink a lot of tea in the afternoons and since I grow a lot of herbs, I tend to have a lot of loose tea around.  I think the set-up of the strainer is interesting and rather conveniently placed at the top to keep the herbs from being sipped up. I also think it is appropriately priced.

I also suspect the wrist strap is going to drive me bonkers rather than being thought of as a usable feature though.  Unless it’s use is to drive me crazy by clicking against the plastic every time I use it. Don’t get me wrong, I can see its function, I just don’t think I will be using the strap very often. So it might be quickly removed.

To be honest this is one of the things I really like about subscription boxes.  If shopping I might not have picked this up.  Having it here, I can see how well designed it is and I can see I am probably going to get a lot of use out of it. I may even have to try the teami brand teas to see how they work as well. 

Tea and coffee always go over well in our house.  We keep an entire pantry shelf stocked with both and are always looking to branch out.  This year in my garden only the mint grew well. Everything else fried to a crisp in the heat no matter how much I watered it.  As a consequence while we have jars of both dried peppermint and dried chocolate peppermint, we are rather low on the other herbals.  We have a lot of empty jars this year so we will need to purchase more tea than usual.

But ordering tea is for a later time.

To be honest, the only disappointment this month was the dual ended brush and even that was more of a personal dislike rather than a full upset.  There are a few companies where I do get excited for Hand soap.  Molton Brown is one of them.  I would squeal excitedly at their hand soap houlf it ever arrive on my doorstep in a subscription package. (Incidentally I believe Molton Brown is 15% off on the Look Fantastic site today.  I’m running out of bath gel and was looking to restock and saw the sale. I ordered the Rhubarb and Rose. It’s my absolute favorite as the tart rhubarb knocks down the sweet of the floral so something lovely and refreshing. Admittedly, I will give the Cuccio a try before opening a new product once the new product arrives). Perhaps once I try this, I will feel the same about this brand. 

I am tickled pink by the Osea moisturizer and very happy with the Byroe serum.  I am also happy with everything else.  And as a return on investment for my $50 purchase price I ended up with $486.95 worth of items.  They are all things I will use (even if I only use one end of the brush) so quite frankly this was a really good month.  As the last two Boxy Luxe months weren’t exactly my favorites it is really nice to have a good month. This month Boxy Premium really stepped up as well.  I don’t know if pandemic based adjusted shipping threw them for a complete loop, but if it did, they seem to have gotten things worked out. 

I am still considering dropping down to one Boxy charm box in January so I can try out new subscriptions without being overwhelmed with product, but at the moment I’m not sure which I am planning to drop.  I think part of it may depend on the Allure box. This is the last month the Allure box is the regular box.  Next month they go up in price and their price point puts them about even with the regular boxycharm box.  They might fall flat and be the subscription box I drop in January or they might make giving up one of the boxycharm boxes a lot easier. Starting in October there will be a more direct comparison between the two.  It will be interesting to see where that ends up landing. For now I am quite pleased with this quarter’s BoxyLuxe Box.


Molton Brown (US)

The Friday Facemask and Generation Clay’s Detoxifying Charcoal

Welcome once again to the Friday Face Mask.  Today I am taking my masking break a little early as I have some conference calls later and want to be refreshed before hand. 

Today’s Mask?

Generation Clay Detoxifying Charcoal Australian Clay Mask.

I know, you have heard me talk about Generation Clay before.  The Ultra violet Brightening Purple Clay mask is one I routinely return to and I am also a big fan of their Urban Defense Purifying Pink Clay Mask.  Oddly enough, I have never tried their Detoxifying Charcoal Australian Clay mask before.  The only reason I can think of for letting it go so long without trying it out is that I stocked up on the purple Brightening mask and didn’t get around to branching out.  Now, even though I have a larger size of the brightening mask I am not opening it until I have given other masks a chance.

Which is fine because I love trying out new masks.

In case you go looking for this mask it looks as though Generation Clay is a sister line to Generation Skin.    The website where I found the masks listed was Generation Skin. I couldn’t find a separate Generation Clay website so I don’t know if they merged or not. There is always the possibility that it was always Generation Skin and I somehow missed that, but the mask line is still labeled Generation Clay. I’m in no way affiliated with the company and this isn’t a sponsored post, I just like and tend to repurchase their masks.

So, charcoal.

In essence activated charcoal is supposed to be able to suck up the excess oils from your skin.  As clay is also supposed to draw impurities out of your skin as well, it seems like a pretty nice combo.  If you are interested in learning more about charcoal in skin care (in an easily broken down way), I’d suggest checking out this post by Lab Muffin.  I really like her posts actually. And she explains activated charcoal a lot better than I can.

But what should I expect when I apply it to my face?

GENERATION CLAY Detoxifying Charcoal Clay Mask is packed with all-natural
Activated Charcoal. Unlike the black ashy stuff you BBQ with, this kind of charcoal
detoxifies your skin by working like a magnet to draw out dirt, toxins, and impurities.
It’s paired with Cucumber, Marshmallow and Aloe Vera to soothe, and oil-absorbing
Witch Hazel to minimize pores. The result offers a deep clean that keeps breakouts
and blackheads at bay.

Cucumber, marshmallow and witch hazel are all on my list of skin care BFFs.  Growing up we used witch hazel as toner to clear out the pores and reduce pimples. And I have always had good luck using marshmallow based products to reduce redness and irritation. Cucumber I just always think of as refreshing, but I am sure there are some skin care benefits I don’t know about them. Even not knowing the details I like cucumber in my skin care.

Wet Mask

And I am all for a deeper clean.  So, on to the face the mask goes. It is a clay mask and it feels like cool wet clay going on.  As you can see in the photo of the newly applied mask, I can still smile when it is wet.  As it dries over my fifteen minute stretch, I lose the ability to smile and therefore look a little like some sort of grumpy clay based supervillain.

But no matter. 

The mask was applied, I lay down for the fifteen minutes it needed to do its thing and put my ipod on shuffle because I didn’t have anything I was really set on listening to. So my masking play list went from The Offspring to Mozart to Me First and the Gimmie Gimmies.  Which was a little disconcerting.

Note to future self, choose a play list. Or at least stick to one genre.

dried mask, frozen in place face

But in fifteen minutes, brain slightly disordered and mask mostly dry I returned to the bathroom and washed the mask off.  This is one of those masks where a wet brush is not a bad thing to have.  What I tend to do is wet the brush, run it over the mask lightly, saturating the mask, but not scratching the skin.  Then when it is loosened up, I wash it off completely and pat the skin dry. It also helps keep you from splashing charcoal colored water all over the sink and turning a fifteen minute mask into fifteen minuses of masking and twenty minutes of clean up.

Incidentally, the shiny lips are my Bite Beauty Agave Mask at work. Just because the mask won’t let me smile doesn’t mean I can’t show my lips some love.

So did my skin feel clearer and cleaner with my black heads disappearing like magic?

Or science that looks like magic I suppose.

clean skin

My skin wasn’t magically blemish free, but it did feel cleaner and the blemishes I currently have feel a little more dried out. One of my deeper clogged pores that has been driving me crazy as I’ve been trying to get it to come to the surface so it can be cleared out, is just about breaking the surface.  It is at the level now that after my conference call I can apply a Peace Out Acne Dot to it and let it sit for the rest of the day and actually get it cleared out. I can say it wasn’t nearly that raised earlier.  For that alone I would be happy with this mask.

It didn’t really do a lot for the non-blemish areas, or at least no more than any other mask.  I think what I might do however is use this in a multi masking plan.  I really do prefer the Purple Generation Clay mask all over my face.  I think in the future I might use the charcoal mask over the blemishes and the Purple brightening on the rest of my skin.  That might actually put the best properties of each to the best possible use.

But as always, the final question is, would I purchase this mask again?  The answer is yes I would. Like the other two clay masks from Generation Clay I would not mind keeping this on hand.  In fact I think they sell a three pack with one of each in the pack for a bundled savings.  Now that I’ve tried all three, this trio might end up on my restocking list.


Peace Out Skincare

Reviewing the GlossyBox Skincare Eye Boost Cream

While many of you may have heard of the Glossy Box Beauty Subscription, in August the brand launched their very own skincare line.  They took the feedback from subscribers regarding what they liked and didn’t like about the current skin care options and came up with a range of products.  August was their Birthday month and in that month’s Glossy Box a full sized tube of the GlossyBox Skincare Eye Boost cream was inside.

So what is this eye boost cream?

Tired eyes? This fragrance free Eye Boost Cream is a super lightweight, fast-absorbing formula that reduces the appearance of dark circles and depuffs your under-eye area, leaving skin looking bright and fresh. ​ ​Elderflower extract reduces the appearance of dark circles​. Eyebright plant extract works to refresh tired, puffy eyes. Red seaweed creates a protective barrier that locks in moisture around the delicate eye area​

Following a two-week trial with 110 panellists between August and December 2019:​
86% of women agreed that the Eye Boost Cream left their eye area looking instantly brighter.
86% of women agreed that the Eye Boost Cream instantly boosted tired-looking eyes​

While in general I don’t have terribly dark circles under my eyes, they so tend to get puffy and kind of tired looking.  My biggest focus with eye cream is to get the moisture in without clogging pores.  Along the top line of my lower orbital bone is where I am prone to the raised bumps produced by clogged pores. 

While I want the under eye area moisturized and I am working on delaying the advancement of fine lines, a lot of eye creams tend to cause issue with my problem area for clogged pores.  It doesn’t really help that that line is currently where my face masks press when I leave the house. So it is just a fun situation all around.

Oddly enough that line of clogged pores has been reduced as of late.  It is much less clogged.  Don’t get me wrong, I am not crediting the Glossybox eye boost cream with that.  I’ve been working with other products that have really done well at dealing with the ongoing issues. But the eye cream hasn’t undone their work.  This cream hasn’t added more blocked pores to the area.  And sometimes not adding to the problem is a big benefit.

the cream is thicker than I expected

I’ll be honest though I was a bit concerned when I first tried it out.  I thought it might add to the issues because of its texture.  While it is completely fragrance free (the only thing I smell when I sniff the tube is the plastic of the tube, likewise I smell my skin more than the cream when it is dispensed), it is somewhat thicker than I am used to eye creams being.

This made me suspicious.

I know, I was expecting the worst.

But it didn’t happen.  The cream absorbed really well and left the skin feeling a little plumper, making me look a little more bright eyed. Typically I use eye cream two times a day, morning and night.  While I use it under my eyes, you may notice in the picture that there are little white dots of cream waiting to be massaged into the skin placed in my lip area. 

Face dots of eye cream

This is a trick I learned from my grandmother. The skin of the upper lip where you tend to get more fine lines as you age has a similar skin texture to the under eye area.  So she always advocated using a little eye cream around the mouth to plump up those little lines as well. 

It is advice I have always followed and I really like the little bit of plumping I see to the skin there as well. I tend to put a little cream on my finder and then dot it on my face where it is needed, then rub it into the skin, in case you didn’t get that from the picture. What I have found with this cream is that I can do a quick application just before a video conference call. 

It really helps especially if I have been starting at the computer all morning typing before an afternoon call.  I just put a very tiny amount under the eyes, rub it in slightly and then dust off the shine with powder.  It tends to make me look a little bit more awake.  While it has a slight cooling effect to it, on days when I need a little extra kick for a meeting, I put it in the fridge for ten minutes, and then apply it.

As it is currently ragweed season where I live and puffy eyes and sniffles abound, especially in my house. I’ve been keeping the eye cream in the fridge and then in the afternoon before a meeting using both the cream and one of the stone rollers just under my eyes to de puff.  Because ragweed is too much for any eye cream to tackle alone. It has worked really well.

Over all I am rather fond of this eye cream.  I thought it would be too thick at first, but it proved me wrong.  I thought it might clog my pores and it did not.  I was skeptical of its depuffing abilities and it really did help with the depuffing. I can’t speak to the dark circles, but I really liked using this eye cream this month.  It makes me very eager to test out some of the other products in their newly released line.  And as the line was designed to be affordable, testing them out won’t break the bank. 

There is also an added bonus for all Glossy Box subscribers.  Glossies get a 20% discount on the Glossy Box Skincare line.  So this Eye Boost cream, which is $23 for the general public is only $18.   At the moment they have several different cleansers I am looking at and trying to figure out which I want to try first. I am currently oscillating between the Purifying Charcoal Cleanser and the Deep Cleansing Cream.  I strongly suspect I am going to end up with both.  But there are worse things in life than having too many cleansers. 

For those who aren’t Glossy Box subscribers the cost of the Glossy Box Skin Care line is slightly more expensive (20% more to be exact) but still a really good value and well worth the full price.  Or at least the eye cream is. I would certainly pay full price for it. After a month of use it feels like I haven’t used very much at all. 

I have only a thumb’s width of empty space at the top of the tube and about four and a half thumb’s worth of product left.  I know that is not a very scientific measurement, but the truth is you really need very little of the cream so it will last about four months. It will probably last a little longer once ragweed season ends. So good product, great value.

Especially for members.  If you aren’t a member and want to look into it, you can actually get your first box at a discount with code GLOSSYSPA16 from now until September 30th and if you are interested in what the September box looks like, you can use the link to read my September review of the Spa Edit box.




September 2020’s IPSY Ultimate Unboxing

For those who don’t know IPSY Ultimate is a category of the IPSY Subscription service.  It is the most expensive tier and offers eight full sized products and four deluxe samples with a makup bag each month for $50.  There is also a $25 per month Glam Bag Plus which has a drawstring bag and five full sized products and a regular Glam bag with a small makeup bag and five deluxe sample sized products, with the occasional full sized one, for $12.

This month’s makeup bag was one I really liked.  It is the sort with a flat bottom and rounded zippered top, like a clam shell.  I like this style as it tends to sit upright well and can hold quite a lot of products. It is a yellow corduroy material with a red stripe down the center. 

The colors are perfect for fall and personally I like the cloth bags better than the more plastic ones as they feel more luxurious.  They still have an easily wipe-able interior, but the outside is nicer.

This month the ultimate glam bag also came with a pamphlet detailing the products and their value (although there is no official price on the deluxe samples).  The pamphlets have been hit or miss for a while now and I am glad to see them back.  Hopefully they will return. 

But what is inside this month’s bag?

First we start with the Cake Beauty Milk Made Velveteen Body Cream which is a deluxe sample size. I’ve use it before and it is a nice cream.  I seem to be getting at least one or more body creams each month and they are piling up.  I am working my way through them though so eventually I will get around to using this.  For now it goes into the basket with the other body lotions awaiting their turn to be used.

My second sample this month was a Doucce Freematic Blush Mono in Daydream  which is the same shade that was in my Doucce Freematic palette I received a while ago, also from IPSY. If you remember my review, I wasn’t a big fan of the formula.  I am passing the palette on in fact and will add the extra blush to go with it.

The third item was something I was happy to see.  It too is a sample size and it is the Georgette Kilinger Collagen and Elastin Mask.  As I’m  sure anyone who routinely reads this post knows, I am a huge fan of masks.  I have never tried this one so it will be interesting to test it out. Plus it is nice to pull something out of the bag I know I will use.

The first fill sized item in my box this month is the Girlactik Skin Glow Duo in Sunset (retail $26) which is a highlighter duo.  It is a cream highlighter which isn’t something I use a lot of so I think it will be fun to play around with.  I’ve tried a few powder products from the brand but never a cream so it should be interesting to try out their formulas and the colors look nice.

The second full sized item was the Goldfaden MD Brightening Elixir Protect + Repair Brightening Serum (retail $80), and you know how much I like having serums on hand.  I have tried an exfoliator from this brand before and found it good but too rough to use more than once a month. It will be interesting to see how I feel about the serum. I find it surprising that the box is so much bigger than the actual serum. By now I shouldn’t be surprised, but somehow I always am.

Also counting as a full sized item this month (retail $7.50) is the Hello Ganic One a Day Sheet mask set.  There are three in the pack so I am okay with it being considered a full sized item. 

I only really take issues when they have one and claim it is a full sized item even though you can only purchase it in sets of three or five.  I’ve never tried anything from Hello Ganic so it should be fn to test out.  I’ve also managed to whittle down my collection of sheet masks. 

I put my Facetory sheet mask subscription on hold for a few months to do so.  (I really like the ease of that option with that subscription) I will be resuming the subscription this month so at the end of this month I will have more sheet masks to add to this set of three. 

What is interesting is that these masks and the Goldfaden MD serum are my only two skin care items this month.  For the last few months IPSY has been heavily weighted towards skin care where is this month it isn’t.  I think it’s a nice change.  While I adore skin care I have a bunch of products lined up to try and as skin care takes a while to test out, I it nice to have some time to clear out a little space before adding more.

This month I was super excited to see the Julep Cushion Complexion Concealer in Ivory  (retail $16).  I’ve tried the Julep concealer formula before and really liked it.  I think it may be a little on the light shade for me right now.  I may have to set it aside for a month and test it in October when my summer tan fades a bit more.  If I remember correctly Ivory is my winter shade of concealer. 

Julep, Korean Skincare Made Simple.

So it is nice to know that once I start using it, I will be able to use it all the way through until May.  Especially since I think my current concealers are all in my summer shades.  That is something I will need to look at by the end of the month. But I am very happy to have this ready to go once the tan fades. A little disappointed I can’t use it right away, but still excited. For those interested, Julep is still having a pretty big sale at the moment. If interested you might want to click on the above link and check it out.

The La Muse Deep Color Lip Balm in Cherry  (retail $28) is not a brand I’ve even heard of, but I am always happy to try a new lip balm.  And as my foundation this week is a tinted moisturizer rather than an actual foundation, this might be a tinted lip balm’s week to shine. 

It reminds me very much of Fresh lip balms, at least in packaging. It has the same screw down top to it. I used to get the Plum shade from Fresh every year and use it when I wanted a little color but mostly a lip balm.  It was a great product and one I have been thinking of replacing once I reduce the lip balms in my collection.  Hopefully this will perform in a similar manner.

Next out of my Ultimate Box was the Pixi by Petra Endless Silky Eye Pen Duo in Black Caviar & Bronze Beam (retail $ $28).  While I am a fan of the Pixi toners and setting spray the only makeup I’ve used from the Pixi line have been a couple of metallic shadows.  They were of excellent quality and I have high hopes for these as well.  I drew a line on my hand and found them super smooth and creamy.  So I am looking forward to giving them a test run in the makeup bag.

The ModaBrush Neon Angle Contour/Blush Brush (retail $19.99) is a nice addition to my bag.  It feels soft and in general I like the few Moda Brushes I’ve tried before.  I’ll have to test it out and see if it enters into my first string of brushes or if it gets put into the reserve drawer, but I am always happy to have new brushes.

This month I received the Zoeva Caramel Mélange Eyeshadow Palette  (retail $28), which I find vaguely amusing.  A few months ago BoxyCharm had something like ten separate Zoeva palettes that could be in one of the boxes.  Through some twist of fate, I didn’t get any of them.  And now I have the one I thought was best suited to me.  It looks like it will be a nice autumn color scheme and that it might have enough color variation to not get boring during a week of continued use.  I have never tried out their formula so I am pleased I finally get to try it out.

And finally we come to the product I actually chose this month.  Drum roll please.  It is the Huda Beauty Complexion Perfection Pre-Makeup Base (retail $38).  You know I love primers and as I really like the Huda eyeshadow formula and have been using the makeup sponge since it’s arrival on my doorstep I am pleased to try out another Huda Beauty product to see how I like it.

So doing quick math first you realize that I only had three deluxe samples and nine full sized products, which is plenty find by me.  The bag I like and will use instead of passing on, which I haven’t been able to say in a few months and for my $50 purchase price I received products with a value of $271.49 which is not a terrible return.  Especially when all of the items are ones that I will use. 

This month I ended up receiving almost a full face of makeup in one box which is kind of fun as well.  As much as I adore skin care, it was nice to have a box heavy in makeup and light in skin care this month. It’s nice to have a bit of a change.  While the unboxing started off slow this month with two samples I wasn’t immediately enthused by, it got better and better as I continued so over all I am willing to consider this another win for IPSY.  This far this is three or four bags in a row that have been just really nice.  Hopefully they will continue.


Huda Beauty Afterpay

The New England Palette from Ciate London

The Ciate London The Editor’s Palette: New England

I’ll be honest, I have no idea why there are palm fronds on the front of the Ciate London New England palette. It has bothered me all week. The case itself is nice hard plastic that would travel well and the colors inside are a nice mix.but the cover art made me think I was going to be opening a tropical palette every time. It isn’t, many of the colors are ones I associate with New England.

The palette is an interesting mix of mattes and shimmers. The mattes layer well together and blend well. They are over all not terribly pigmented.It is great for building looks but you will be taking a while with them.

top row swatches (L to R)

This is one of those palettes that swatches really well with a finger tip swipe but takes work when using a brush. Even the dark blue at the end of this row takes a little bit of work to apply and build up. If you are worried about going overboard on your application, this is a good palette to start practicing your building of layers or to do a light look.

Middle row of swatches (L to R)

The second row in the palette features darker colors, but again, they swatch better with a finger than with the brush. It is actually the opposite of the Cargo Palette from last week. There the shadows swatched horribly but were quite smoothly pigmented on the eye. Here they swatch well but take work to build up.

third row swatches (L to R)

The shimmers are absolutely lovely, but again with a dry brush they do not have a lot of pay off. However if you spray your brush with a little bit of fixing spray they become far more pigmented and you can get a very good metallic look to them. The colors pop quite a bit when used this way. It is a very drastic change from a light wash of color to full blown metallic. I did an eye look concentrating on the metallic pink shade in the center of the middle row.

the mostly metallic pink at the start of the day on the left and at the end of the day on the right

The above look I used the metallic pink as an all over shade and then put the white shimmer (second shadow from the left on the top row) at the inner eye corner. Mostly I wanted to see how it fared throughout the day. This is the same eye six hours later. I tried the look both with regular fixing spray and with my current spray as well as with no setting spray of any sort. The results were the same. After about six hours whatever eye look you create will be pretty much gone.

In the end the mattes aren’t really my favorites, but the shimmer and metallics are well worth keeping around. They are fantastic if applied with a damp brush, but not very good with a dry brush. The colors are amazing on the eye and spectacular looks can be created, however spectacular won’t last. I will be keeping this around for something like a dinner out or even a quick trip to the grocery store. I’ve found that as my mask covers almost everything else I’ve gone a little brighter and bolder with my eye looks when i do leave the house. It is a good palette to have around in my collection as I tend to lean more towards neutrals and can use the color, I just have to remember, it is a palette with a time limit.

BeautyCareChoices.com

My Current Skin Care Line Up

I know I talk a lot about different products, but I thought you might find it interesting to see the full regime as it stands now.  First off, I ought to say that I have a staggered rotation system for skin care. I like to have an older product I’ve been using for a while roll into my trial for a new product so that I’m not changing out every item at the same time. 

For example I am currently testing three Timeless Skin products (gifted to me by Timeless Skin for testing and review purposes for which I am extremely grateful).  The Hyaluronic Acid Serum I have been using for two weeks now (Labor day started week three so I will be reviewing it on the 21st after 30 days of use), while the while the Squalane Oil from Timeless skin is just starting its second week of use and the HA Spray is on its first full week of use.

The same can also be said for my Purlisse Blue Lotus 4-in-1 Cleansing Milk.  I used it for a month but will use it a little bit longer since I just started with the HA spray. I’ll use the same cleanser while I figure out how everything reacts and then I’ll start a new cleanser trial.  I generally find that staggering new products keeps my skin from freaking out with the new so I get a more accurate opinion about how things work.

Now I do have one disclaimer, my skin care routine is slightly jumbled a bit because I am trying to get in several workouts  and don’t want to just sweat off my products, so I’ll try to put those in here as well.

current cleanser

In the mornings, on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, I am trying to get in about twenty minutes of strength and flexibility training.  This is mostly with youtube videos, wii fit and yoga.  It is done in doors and because I have the tendency to talk myself out of it, I find it is easier to start with the workout before I’m fully awake.  So on those mornings I splash water on my face to rinse off the remnants of my night cream, towel off and after dressing, do my planned work out.

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After I turn on the coffee pot and cool down a bit, I start in on my morning skin care. I start by washing my face, currently with the Purlisse Blue Lotus 4-in-1 Cleansing milk. 

Toner

I then use a toner.  I just finished the Akar Balancing Toning Mist and am now trying the Pixi Skin Treats Clarity Tonic.  Typically with Pixi I tend to go for their exfoliating toners so this was a new one for me.  While early in my use thus far I have been liking it.

serum

After toning I use a serum on my face, neck and decollete.  Currently, the serum I am trying out is the Timeless Hyaluronic Acid Serum.  And I did remember to take before pictures this time so I will have before and after photos from 30 days of use. 

I’ve actually noticed a positive change actually, but I will get into details with the full review.  At the moment I can say that I really like this serum and am turning into a pretty big fan of Hyaluronic Acid in skincare.

After I apply the serum, I brush my teeth while it takes it’s time settling in.  While this serum sinks in fast, I really like to give it a little extra time to settle in before I move on. You can probably see it in the background of the above photo but I am a big fan of the Aquafresh Extreme Clean toothpaste.  It has been my go-to for years.  I like the taste better than I like the regular aqua fresh.  Although sometimes the foaming can be a bit much.  But it is a good toothpaste.

eyecream

Then once I have wiped up all of the toothpaste fall out, I apply my eye cream.  Currently I am using the Glossy box Skin Care Eye Boost Cream (I’ve almost finished my month of use so a review will be coming soon).  With eye cream I not only use it around my eyes, but on the fine lines around my lips. 

The same formulation that helps eye cream work on the delicate tissue around the eyes also helps it on the fine lines around the lips. It was one of my grandmother’s favorite tricks and one I use increasingly as I get older.  In its own way that skin is just as delicate as the eyes and a little extra help in fighting those lines doesn’t hurt.

Squalane Oil

After the eye cream I use the oil.  At the moment I am using the Timeless 100% Squalane oil.  Oddly enough, I am finding that I can use it both morning and night unlike many other oils which I have only been able to use at night.  I think it’s because squalane’s main purpose is to simply lock in moisture and it really is just one type of oil (it’s also a really affordable oil as these things go). I’ve just started using it so I’ll have to see how it works moving forward.  Right now I am really enjoying it.  I use three drops and apply it to my skin and then follow with my moisturizer. I like applying the oil first rather than blending it in with the moisturizer. No real reason, it is just what I prefer.

moisturizer

The moisturizer I am currently using is the Dior Dream Skin Capture Totale. It was sent to me by Influenster and comes in a refillable container.  I can already tell you I am going to want to get a refill.

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At the moment it is running about even in my moisturizer preferences with the Peter Thomas Roth Hungarian Thermal Water Mineral Rich Moisturizer and the Volition Celery Green Cream. 

Those three may be my top three moisturizers of 2020 at this point.  Still the year is not over.

sunscreen

Speaking of Volition, after I apply the moisturizer I top it off with my Volition Prismatic Luminizing shield with SPF 50. I keep trying other sunscreens and I keep going back to this one.

Prismatic Luminizing Shield SPF 50|Free Shipping, Free Returns & Free Sampling

You will notice there is a second sunscreen in the picture however.  This is the Polaar Fluide Solaire also with SPF 50. While it is a good sunscreen, I don’t like it on my face.  It feels just a little too heavy.  It is perfect for my neck and upper chest where v-neck t-shirts expose the skin and I have really been enjoying using it there to give my skin some extra protection. 

lip masks, the maple day cream is in the tube and the night mask is in the jar.

I then add my Bite Beauty Agave Lip mask in the scent Maple to my lips.  It really does smell like maple syrup.  And it tasks kind of like it too.  I generally find that not only does it keep my lips wonderfully soft but the scent makes me feel like I’ve already indulged in some delectable treat and thus makes it less likely that I will feel like snacking.  I sort of feel Like I’ve already snacked.

NEW! Agave+ Pre-Makeup Lip Serum

And skin care done I sit at my desk and get a few hours of work done.  I don’t put makeup on at this point as my meetings tend to be in the afternoon and I still have my daily walk to get through.  All my skin care has a couple of hours to soak in though. 

Then I take my walk.  Before I leave the house I spray myself all over with a spray sunblock.  I’m partial to one from Neutrogena. Even with the sunblock underneath, I like to be extra careful, especially after my bad burn earlier in the spring.

In general I sweat profusely during my walks.  Which is fine.  I like to think of the seat as encouraging my weight loss.  However I am a mess when I return.  While I often employ the Busy Beauty Showerless wipes to get me through until I can take my evening shower, and have various ways of dealing with my hair, my face is a different matter. 

Busy Beauty features no-water-needed face and body cleansing wipes for every need!

If I don’t wash my face after my walk I am just going to feel gross the rest of the day.  But I don’t want to strip my skin.  So I tend to use a gentle cleanser that will just wash away the sweat (and sometimes pollen) residue from my walk in the park/walking trail. 

Post work out cleanser

The cleanser I have consistently used for a while has been the Olay Cleanse Gentle Foaming Cleanser.  It is an excellent oil free, no frills cleanser that just makes my skin feel less gunky after a good sweat. 

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To be honest I have been using this as my post workout cleanser since I started my weight loss journey.  I have lost track of how many times I have used up and replaced this bottle. It is also the cleanser I grab when another cleanser is giving me problems because I know it is effective and reliable. So I use it after my walks.

post workout serum

Something new I am trying, because it came to me in an IPSY box, is the 111Skin Cryo ATP Sports Booster.  It is a serum you are supposed to use after a workout.  So because I wanted to see how it worked, I have started adding it to my skin after my quick wash with the Olay.  Previously I just did the quick wash and then moved into my makeup.

After the 111Skin has had a few minutes to settle in, I apply my makeup for the day.  While I usually end with a setting spray, the HA Spray with Matrixyl 3000 sent to me by Timeless claims to be able to be used as a setting spray as well as being skin care, so this week I started using it to set my makeup.  There will be more on that later this week.  But I will tell you now that is it wonderfully refreshing and smells like cucumbers.

skin care based setting spray

And then I go about my day.

At the end of the day I use a cleansing balm or oil to remove my makeup and then I use a cleanser like the Purlisse.  I just finished the Province Apothecary Moisturizing Cleansing oil and tonight I will start using the Kahina Giving Beauty Oil Cleanser.  It too came in a Petit Vour Box and I am looking forward to testing it out. 

upcoming cleansing oil/makeup remover

Often times I will remove my makeup after dinner and then use a mask of some sort while reading or watching television or you tube.  With my mask I will apply the Bite Beauty Agave Nighttime lip therapy mask to my lips.  It is more intense than the maple one I use in the mornings, although with less of a scent. 

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It also keeps me from snacking while watching television.  I know it is technically supposed to be left on over night, and sometimes I will re apply it just before I lay down but I find when I am watching movies or television with my babydoll in the evenings I am tempted to snack.  This really keeps me from snacking, even after the face mask is removed.

Eventually, I will migrate to the bedroom.  I do my night time skin care before I start to read in bed.  Once or twice a week I will use an exfoliator.  At the moment I am using the Avant Gentle Rose Beautifying Face Exfoliant.  It is an extremely gentle physical exfoliate but I don’t like to use them too often lest it damage the skin. 

exfoliation

After the exfoliate is rinsed off (on the nights I use it) I go back in with my toner, followed by serum, teeth brushing, eye cream, oil and moisturizer. Depending on the moisturizer I am using I will either use the same one I use during the day or a night cream.  The Dior is good for both day and night, but on a few days where I have been outside a bit longer, I replace my moisturizer with a night cream.  Currently I am trying out the Glow Recipe Avocado Melt Retinol Sleeping mask.  I only use it a couple of times a week.

Then I read in bed for an hour or two and go to sleep.

night cream

I know, that’s a lot of different steps to my skin care.  Personally, I enjoy the ritual of it and I really like taking the time to work on my skin.  At the moment, my skin is doing really well.  Most of my acne has faded. I still have a few clogged pores where my mask presses into my face, but really that is a combination of mask and sweat.  Some combination of elements in the last week has really been doing my skin well. 

This is another reason I like rotating products.  I can check in with my skin and see what I was using when things start to get better and I can monitor it as I stop using certain products and see where things change.  I helps me to figure out what is actually working and what is not.  It is also why I am not opposed to taking extra time in my routine.  To be honest, written out it looks like it takes a lot longer than it actually does.  It only really takes me about twenty minutes in the morning and then another twenty at night (not counting the mask) so it isn’t really as onerous as it looks on paper.

But there you have it.  Even though some of the products rotate out, the sequence and system remains more or less the same.  There are always changes based on products though.  Sometimes the oil I’m testing is one I only want to wear at night and so I skip it in the morning.  Sometimes I will try two different serums, one at night and one in the day because one reacts poorly to the sun. Sometimes my skin needs more or less exfoliation.  But in general, this is my daily skin care regime.



Washing it away with the Purlisse Blue Lotus 4-in-1 Cleansing Milk

Purlisse Blue Lotus 4 in 1 Cleansing Milk

At this point the cleanser was the only product I hadn’t tried from Purlisse’s Blue Lotus line and I was happy to give it a try.  After all the rest of the line worked out really well for me.  The Blue Lotus Moisturizer by the way is a really good light weight moisturizer that is pretty good when your skin is transitioning from summer to autumn, or autumn to winter for that matter.

As many of you may know I am always leery of products that claim to do more than one thing.  While the 4 in 1 name may imply that it does more than one thing, I believe it is just referring to the ingredients and their benefits. 

As the description reads…

Removes makeup, while gently cleansing and toning skin

Blue Lotus extract is a powerhouse antioxidant with anti-inflammatory benefits known to combat against free radical damage, White Tea helps rejuvenate skin, Soy Milk is rich in amino acids & maintains skin elasticity, Whole Oat calms & soothes sensitive skin

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So the four in one really relates to the blue lotus extract, white tea, soy milk, and whole oat not multiple tasks.  This cleanser has only one real task.  It is a cleanser.  And a pretty good one at that.  While I used cleansing oil to break down my make up, this cleanser then came in and washed away all of the residue from the makeup and the cleansing oil.  My skin was clean and refreshed but never stripped. 

I have to say it was both odd and appealing to use this cleanser.  The previous two cleansers were both foaming ones.  The first was  from Elemis and was fantastic, the second foaming cleanser I tried was from Kylie Skin and was horrible. It was a relief to transition back to a really good cleanser, but strange not to have a foaming one.  As you can see in the pics it is a creamy consistency and while it does get a little bubbly on the face, it is not terribly foamy. 

It is very cleansing though.  I accidentally squeezed a little too much out of the tube in this photo.  I actually needed a little less to get my face clean.  If anything that is the downfall of this product.  Because it is a squeeze tube it is very easy to dispense more product than you need.  There isn’t any damage to your face.  It’s not like your skin is going to complain that it is too clean, it is just a waste of the product.

I think I would have a little more control with a pump. But that won’t stop me from picking this up again.  The Blue Lotus 4 in 1 Cleansing Milk is $36 and I believe that is a fair price for both the amount of product you get and the quality of the product.  I would certainly have no problems using this product again.  For now I am going to use the last of the product up and swap it out for the next cleanser waiting in the wings.  It is an Olay one from the Regenerist line in case you are wondering.

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