The Make Up Bag: July 24th, 2020

The Make Up Bag used the week of July 18th – 24th

This week’s makeup bag was a little different than usual for me.  I recently ordered the Kristofer Buckle Vanity Collection #2 as a means to try several more products from the brand and it arrived in time to be incorporated in the bag. So while not every item in the bag comes from Kristofer Buckle, it does lean heavily in that direction.  I’ll cover those products first. 

The first item was the Triplicity Perfecting Foundation Stick.  Clicking on the link will take you to the full review I posted yesterday.  The short version is that I really liked this formula.  It is a great foundation and may be one of my favorite stick foundation formulas.  It is soft and creamy and feels more like I am applying moisturizer to the skin than applying foundation.  I was very pleased with it and will be ordering it again in the future.

The loose setting powder included in the Vanity collection was a good setting powder.  There are very few powders I absolutely don’t like, so I’m sort of an easy sell on powders.  It is finely milled and really locked my makeup into place. 

I did notice that it tended to leave a bit of a white cast.  I counteracted that by using extra fixing spray, the I heart Revolution Fixing Spray in Peaches and Cream is the one I am still working through at the moment. It is an excellent setting spray. 

What I did was spray the Revolution spray over the powder and then pat the powder down with a makeup sponge.  This eliminated the white cast.  While it is a good powder, I can’t say it is my absolute favorite. If asked if I would purchase it again, I would have to give it a maybe.

The next element in the Vanity Collection was the mascara.  I really liked this mascara.  It is more lengthening than volumizing which is surprising as it is listed as a volumizing mascara, but it is really lengthening and it doesn’t flake or smudge once dry.  I had no problems with this mascara lasting all day.  It is a good product I would definitely pick up again.

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Gel liner from Kristofer Buckle on the left and the Brow pencil from Il Makiage on the right,

I am not entirely certain I would pick up the gel eyeliner.  The end that so interested me turned out to be a smudger.  Which is nice to have.  The gel eyeliner is a gel eyeliner.  It is black, it glides on smoothly and stays in place.  It is very much like most good gel liners. I will continue to use it and if another came my way I would have no problem using it again, but it isn’t any better or worse than any other gel liner.  The built in smudger is a nice feature though.

Last but certainly not least was the lipstick.  The lipstick in the Vanity kit was the Cashmere slip longwear lipstick. This is the reason I purchased the entire kit.  Seiously, The lipstick is $18 on its own and while the Vanity Kits are normally $28, with the sale the kit cost me $18.94 so I essentially paid full price for a lipstick and got everything else with it.  (The sale incidentally runs through July 31st.  You can use the code EXCLUSIVE35 to get 35% off.  There is also a BOGO sale going on with the Vanity kits so if you are looking to stock up, now is the time). 

Lip swatches. My favorite Bardot on the top with the lipstick that came in the kit, Renaissance on the bottom (the top had one swipe of product, the bottom two)

While I can’t say I liked the color Renaissance, as much as I like the shade Bardot (hands down my favorite lipstick at the moment) as it is slightly more pink then I favor. It has the same formula which makes me confident in buying other lipsticks in the line. 

It is creamy and non drying and while the pink did become more muted as the day wore on, it remained on my lips for the entire day.  Just check the foundation wear photos if you want to see just how well it lasted, I didn’t reapply the lipstick once throughout the day. It only lost a little pigmentation but mostly retained its color. Incidentally in the swatches to the left I wanted to show just how fully the lipstick covered, the top thinner looking swatch had only one swipe across the hand while I used two on the lower swatch. The second swipe filled in all the lines the first one missed.

While I will be buying Bardot repeatedly for the near future, I now feel confident in the Cashmere Slip formula to stock up on all of the shades they offer.  And to wish they offered more shades.  It really is a super comfortable formula to wear. And yes I went ahead and added Bardot to the bag as well and just swapped between the two lipsticks for the week. I just couldn’t resist.

So that was the Vanity collection #2 from Kristofer Buckle that made up the bulk of the Makeup bag this week, but clearly they weren’t the only items. I mentioned the I Heart Revolution Fixing spray I am trying to use up.  It is a really good fixing spray but it is old enough now that I can’t remember when I bought it, so I will be using it consistently until it’s gone.  I may take a break now and then when I need a change of scent fort the week, but for now, it goes back in the bag for next week.

The Sakura + Sage Vegan Eyeshadow and Blush Palette from Seraphine botanicals was in my bag this week as well.  The link will take you to the full review.  The simple truth is I didn’t really like the blushes and only liked one of the eyeshadows.  If you find the pink shimmer shade in Sparkle from Seraphine botanicals, I recommend snapping it up.  It was the only thing I liked in the palette and recommend giving the rest of it a hard pass.

The Too Faced Chocolate Gold Soleil returned to my bag this week as my bronzer and I liked using it just as much this time around as I have before.  I also brought back the No PoreBlem Primer from Touch in Sol. Both are fantastic products that will return to my dressing table and then rotate back into a future Makeup bag.

Ofra in glazed doughnut and the Chocolate Gold Bronzer from Too Faced.

Also making a return was the Biillion dollar brows highlighter and concealer duo stick.  It works well and this week I paired it with the Il Makiage eyebrow pencil.  The pencil in the shade Truffles worked well with me although slightly on the darker side of what I like.  I received it in my July IPSY bag and I like it enough to keep it in rotation. There is plenty of product in the pencil so time will tell if I like it enough to purchase when it is used up, but for now, I enjoy using it.

My highlighter this week was from OFRA in the shade Glazed Doughnut.  It is a fantastic highlighter.  It can go from blinding to subtle depending on your mood and how you blend.  I loved using it this week and will look forward to its reappearance in future weeks.  OFRA is an interesting brand for me in general. I love their highlighters and liquid lipsticks but find their blushes a bit on the powdery side.  They work well and are highly pigmented, but they are just messy enough that I find myself not wanting to reach for them all that often.   Maybe I’ll put an OFRA lipstick in next week’s bag. 

Finally we reach the standard item that will be in my bag consistently until I run out and then it will be reordered.  Strictly speaking I should have mentioned it first as it goes under everything else.  It is the Volition Prismatic Luminizing shield in SPF 50. That’s right my darlings, sunscreen.

My favorite sunscreen. 

Already I am sensing the bottle is starting to feel a bit light so I have gone ahead and reordered it so that a replacement will be on hand. This is one product, I will not risk running out of.

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So we reach the end of another week’s Makeup bag, the good, the bad, the mediocre.  I hope my thoughts help you when deciding what you want to add to your personal collection. Or at least provide a momentary amusement as you go along with your day. As for me, I’m off to make up for time I lost when it was simply too hot to work this week. 

Our newly repaired air conditioner is functioning perfectly and humming along keeping the house cool and my office from turning into a hot box in the mid afternoon sun. If my lips wouldn’t burn on the hot metal, I’d really consider kissing out air conditioning unit.  As it is, I’ll just used the extended work hours to get things done.  Have a good day and hopefully I’ll see you back here later this afternoon for the Friday Face mask. (Hanesbrands Inc.)

IPSY Ultimate Review: July 2020

Despite looking like someone sat on it, everything in my box arrived intact.

This month I felt as though I was stalking the post office when it came to subscription boxes.  Especially with IPSY.  I received the shipping notice on the 7th of the month but then nothing else.  I kept checking back and nothing was updating.  Finally, I checked in with USPS and they claimed to be waiting for it to be dropped off. They never updated. I’m pretty sure even a few days after I received my box they are still claiming to wait for it.

I know everyone else has been going through similar things this month as well as it seems nothing is really coming  in on time (with the exception of my Kristopher Buckle package which came much faster than I actually expected it to. Maybe they know something no one else does.)

But finally it arrived and I can stop trying to pull up the tracking information.  I think IPSY might have also switched delivery services as a different one from usual was listed.  But none of that is the point.  Shipping has more in common with a spin of the Wheel of Fortune game show wheel than a regulated system these days.

IPSY is a monthly beauty subscription service.  They have several tiers.  I receive the IPSY Ultimate box which includes one make  up bag, eight full sized items and four deluxe sample sized items for the price of $50.  This is the first year of this particular tier and it had been a bumpy year.  They seem to be getting better lately so lets see what this month’s long awaited bag looks like.

The bag itself is interesting.  It is square, which is a bit unusual and it is quite roomy.  The design isn’t my favorite and I don’t really like that it doesn’t have a handle on it, but it is fine.  I probably won’t be keeping it.  My mother’s church puts together toiletry and self care kits for the homeless who use their soup kitchen and they are always looking for little bags to contain the items so any bag I don’t keep ends up donated there. So even if I don’t like it, the bag won’t be wasted.

The first full sized item in my bag this moth was the AWAKE Glow Pill Super Serum (retail $39). I love serums so I am always pleased to have a new one to try out.  I believe AWAKE is a sister brand to Tarte, but I could be mistaken on that. 

Either way I have never tried this serum and look forward to testing it out.  It claims to be a light weight gel that makes skin softer and more hydrated as well as banishing fine lines, pores and dark spots.  Sounds like a tall order but I am looking forward to trying it out.

The next item in my bag this month are the Beauty For Real SHADOW STX 24-7 Eyeshadow Duo in Midnight Marathon and Ever Starstruck (retail $38). Since My IPSY box came in Friday afternoon I decided to add these and the Seraphine Botanicals Sakura + Sage Vegan Eyeshadow & Blush Palette (retail $42) to my Make up bag for the week.  I’ve never used shadow sticks before so this should be fun. They are both shimmer shades so I’d have to pair them with something else.

I kind of wish one was matte so I could make a better attempt at a single look with just the stix but I will at least get to see how they fare with other shadows.  I’ve also never tried Seraphine Botanicals before.  I know they’ve been around in IPSY bags before but somehow they never seem to end up in my bag until now.  So now I get to try them.

I am also adding the Il Makiage Brow Pen in the shade Truffles (retail $22) and the OFRA Highlighter in the shade Glazed Doughnut (retail $30) to my makeup bag this week.  While most of the items in my makeup bag this week are from the Kristopher Buckle Collection, these items will help fill in the gaps for items that didn’t come in the kit. Plus, I get to use some of the newly arrived items instead of waiting until next week. So bonus for me.

This month I also received a full sized set of 8 Hair masks from Foxybae (retail $28.95). I’m not entirely sold on the individual packaging, but I tend to really like Foxybae Hair products.  Their Flaminglow leave in conditioner is well worth picking up.So I am definitely looking forward to trying this out.

I was very pleased to see a full sized Purlisse Beauty Blue Lotus product in my box this month.  I was doubly pleased as the 4~in~1 Cleansing Milk (retail $36) is the only item in the Blue Lotus line that I haven’t tried.  It was the one element left out of my full trial of Blue Lotus and I am happy to fill in the gap.

The last full sized item in my IPSY Ultimate box this month was the CIATÉ LONDON

Watermelon Burst Hydrating Primer (retail $28).  It was the item I selected, because you know I love my primers. Plus it was the best of the offered options when it came time to choose.  Incidentally for those of you who get IPSY a reminder, choice day for August’s bag is this week, July 23rd actually.  They always have choice up at 9 am EST. I love that it is a consistent time.  After the befuddlement with Boxy’s choice day this month, it is extra appreciated.

So I have yet another Ciate London product in my growing collection.  At this point I think the only categories I am missing are an eyebrow product and a bronzer.  I’ll have to check but if that is the case I may have to order them and then just do a full face of Ciate in my weekly makeup bag.

So now that we’ve covered the full sized items it is on to the four deluxe sample sizes.  These aren’t listed with prices so alas I can not offer them to you.  But I can tell you what they are.

First up is the Belif  The True Cream Moisturizing Bomb. I am always happy to have another moisturizer on hand to try, even if it is a small size.  I am almost finished with my Volition Celery Green Cream so I’m going to have to choose my next moisturizer soon anyway. 

It will have a lot to live up to as I really liked the Volition Cream. I am not sure if I’ll use the Belif moisturizer next, but I think I may choose one of the trial sizes I have stashed away.  I noticed the other day I am getting quite the collection of mini moisturizers in my skincare drawer. They usually have enough product for two weeks in them so I might try to work my way through them and see if any of them deserve a full sized month long trial.

But that is a decision for later. Moving on with IPSY I received a perfume sample from Catherine Malandrino this month.  It is in the scent Special Moments.  I’ve tried a perfume from her before so I am pleased to try another one. 

I also like that it is a good sized sample and not one of those tiny little tubes.  There is plenty for a week long trial and I am always happy to try out a new perfume.  I actually have several perfumes I need to post reviews of as well. I really need to catch up on posting those.

My third sample this month is the Jayjun USA Green Tea Eye Gel Patch (Set of 3). I like that there is a set of three because it lets me get an accurate opinion through multiple uses. With skin care items often you need more than one trial to see if you really like it. Otherwise its more of a first impression than anything else.

Then finally, last but not least there is something for the shower.  This month I received a sample sized packet of The Coffee Scrub in French Vanilla.  I’ve seen this floating around for several months but it has never appeared in my bag.  I’m pleased I finally get a chance to try it. 

Over all I have to say I am rather pleased with my products this month.  It is a pretty varied selection of products which I kind of like.  It is a mix of makeup, skincare, hair care and body care. Some of the items I’ve seen floating around the IPSY-verse for a while, but they have never been in my bags before. 

I suspect that they are clearing out older inventory.  I know they have a major summer sale going on right now so perhaps that will clear out all of the familiar items and bring in new selections. 

Although I have to say some of the items in my box this month weren’t ones I’ve seen in IPSY in prior months.  I can’t say there is any one item that sent me over the moon this month.  There was no real wow factor item, but they all look like good items I will be happy to give a try.  And to be honest, I’m shopping less as I’m staying in more so it’s nice to have a new variety of items to try out. I think I’m actually appreciating my subscription boxes more now that I’m not going to Ulta to try out their testers or browsing the drug store aisles.

I think that, more than the delayed postal system is why I’ve been stalking the postal service on line this month. I’ll try not to check the tracking so obsessively next month.  Possibly. No promises.

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Reviewing the Elemis Pro-Collagen Cleansing Balm

The Elemis Pro-Collagen Cleansing Balm in the travel size

In last month’s Glossy Box I received  a travel size of the Elemis Pro-Collagen Cleansing Balm (full size retails for $65). I love cleansers and I really like Elemis so I was very happy to see it. In addition, it arrived when I had only a few days left of my Versed Cleansing balm remaining in the jar.  While I have several cleansing oils I have been trying recently, I had no spare cleansing balm around.  I pretty much resolved to finish the Versed Cleansing Balm and just use the oils until I reduced the number I had enough to feel virtuous, and then pick up a cleansing balm.  Admittedly, I hadn’t yet decided which one I wanted to pick up. 

So this worked out perfectly for me.

Enter the Elemis Pro Collagen Cleansing Balm. 

It is a travel sized product, which I have to say I don’t mind so much since I hadn’t used it before and wasn’t sure if I’d like it. While I like the brand, it is rare that I like everything a brand makes so I am always prepared for the one product I don’t like from a line.

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It is a rather large travel size (coming in at 20g/0.7 oz), especially since I found I didn’t need  to use a lot of product. I have to say I really like that even the travel size comes in a glass jar rather than a plastic one. But, packaging aside, what should you expect from this product?

This No.1 Bestselling cleansing balm deep cleanses and leaves skin supremely soft. Luxurious Rose and Mimosa waxes are infused with nourishing Elderberry, Starflower and Optimega™ oils and supercharged with anti-aging algae, Padina Pavonica.

This rich balm contains 9 essential oils that lift away dirt and leave skin soft and clean. It is also intensely nourishing and contains powerful marine actives proven to firm your skin.

Perfect to use on a daily basis as a deep cleansing balm or weekly as a nourishing facial mask.

Okay, I like cleansing balms, but I adore masks.  And if you are going to claim that it works well as a mask, I’m going to try it as a mask.  But first, I will try it as a cleansing balm.

Cause it’s a cleansing balm.

When you open the jar the rose and mimosa make their presence felt.  It is a rather more aggressively floral scent than I was expecting. It also has an odd scent I tend to associate with products that have any form of marine based compound in the, mixed it.   

I’ve found the scent with Elemis products before and I’ve also had a similar aroma from Algenist products.  Since both of them tend to use marine compounds, I’m guessing that is what that scent is, although I could be completely off base. This is just what my nose tells me.   It isn’t a bad scent, in fact I really like it, however if you are sensitive to fragrances this might be something to take into consideration. 

I will say it is a bit jarring after using the Versed Cleansing Balm. While I enjoyed usung that one, it has a scent that reminds me of Vick’s Vapor Rub. Not bad, but something I wasn’t initially expecting. This doesn’t smell medicinal in anyway, which I really like.

The cleansing balm is more creamy than I expected as well. It reminds me of the consistency of whipped honey or maybe just melted fresh beeswax. Although it is in no way waxy or sticky like those products, I’m just not quite certain what other substance to compare it to. Most other bams seem to come out of the jar as kind of a wazy solid like you scraped your nail across a candle and then melt hinto your hand. This comes out more cream like from the start. It is far softer than a lot of other balms I’ve tried and scoops out super easily. In fact, it is really easy to pick up more than you actually need.   The scent dissipates well once on the skin and isn’t as overpowering as it is in the jar. So if you don’t find the scent off putting in the jar, then you will be fine with it on the skin, fragrance-wise.

Because of its consistency the balm massages into the skin easily and really well and removes makeup while leaving the skin soft.  When I ran a damp cotton round over my skin after using it and rinsing off my face, I only had the marks from my finger’s pressure on the round, not left over makeup. I put a little dab on my finger tips and massaged it into my closed eyelids to get the shadow and mascara off and had no problem with it seeping into my eyes and making my contacts foggy. (which has happened before with cleansing balms and oils).

So I was pleased I didn’t have to take my contacts out before washing my face. I know that sounds a little strange but I am blind as a bat without my contacts so doing my skin care routine without them is a little difficult. I can either choose to stumble blindly through the routine, trusting the blur in the mirror is actually me and that I have chosen the correct products in the order I really want to use them, or I have to play the on and off game with my glasses. So I was happy I could just keep my contacts in with no problems.

The cleansing balm rinses off clean and if I didn’t want to do a double cleanse, this is the product I found myself reaching for.  It is a one and done make up remover. That was good for nights where I just wanted to shorten my routine and flop into bed rather than extended and luxuriate in skin care. Some nights I enjoy the drawn out routine, other nights, I just want to sleep.

Since my skin felt so good after using it, you know I had to try it out as a mask.  As expected from using it as a cleansing balm, the product absorbed well into the skin.  I waited fifteen minutes as I would with any mask and then I rinsed it off. My skin did feel soft, but to be honest it didn’t feel any softer than when I just used the product as a cleansing balm. I think using this as a mask, is sort of a waste of product. I would much rather just use it as a cleansing balm. 

There is one thing I noticed though. A few days before using this  product, I sliced my finger open in a kitchen accident.  (I was putting away dishes and someone put a knife into the drying wrack upside down. No stitches were needed but it was not pleasant. 

Anyway, the cut reached the point where it was scabbed over in a thin line of hard tissue and I had to remind myself not to pick at it because it was sort of ridge like and annoying, but still healing.  Just to see what would happen, when I used the cleansing balm as a mask, I rubbed a little onto the hard tissue and let it sit for the fifteen minutes I wore the mask.  When I rinsed off the mask, I washed my hand.  The hard tissue was significantly softer and remained so.  While I wouldn’t recommend using this as any form of medical thing, I can say it does have a softening effect on rough and hard skin. I think if I had any rough patches on my face I would rub it in and let it sit as more of a spot treatment than a mask.

I really enjoyed using this product and I expect that at some point it will make a reappearance.  At the moment I am using what remains sparingly as I really don’t want to reach the bottom of the jar. I’m also eagerly anticipating the other new products that might come in my next subscription box.

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Confessions of a Rebel B*tch, Please Perfume Review

Let’s hear it for strategic placement.

I feel like it has been forever and a day since I have posted a perfume review. They arrive, I wear them I make notes and then I get distracted by something shiny like a befuddled magpie spotting an aluminium can.

This particular perfume came to me via my Scentbird subscription.  It is a monthly perfumes subscription in which you receive 0.27 ounces of a particular scent (you get to choose the ones you want and set up your queue. It costs $14.95 per month and while the first perfume comes with a reusable travel sprayer, the subsequent ones come in the above pictured strategically placed cardboard tube. Sometimes I end up choosing a great scent, other times I am let down, but either way I have a month’s supply of any particular scent I order to use and decide if I want to invest in a full bottle. If you like perfume, you can easily see how much money this saves. Now I only buy the perfumes I know I will wear based on the fact that I did wear them for a month rather than just a few spritzes from a tiny sample where I hope for the best.

Admittedly sometimes, my selections aren’t the best. I can actually lose myself for hours just reading the descriptions.  The words draw me in every time and I find myself thinking, oh yes that is the sort of exotic life…er perfume that attracts me.

Those marketing folks are good.

Admittedly, I also collect a lot of books about the incense and spice trade of yore too. 

Go figure?

This scent was from the Brand Confessions of a Rebel. I’ve purchased form them before and in general like their scents. Their descriptions are less romantically inclined and tend to match their fragrance names actually.

So what did Confessions of a Rebel have to say about this scent B*tch, Please?

In-your-face fruit notes like blackcurrant mingle with jasmine petals, weaving a decadent web tinged with an element of sass. Bold, brash, and unafraid to bare it all, creamy sandalwood and skin musk evoke a carefree, confident kind of vibe. You know exactly who you are, and you are, in fact, the f*cking boss.

Confessions of a Rebel

Okay so perhaps this time, the marketing wasn’t designed to whisk me off to far off locales.  As much as I love perfume descriptions it was the scent combination that got me and the knowledge that it is a good brand. It is supposed to have notes of Black Currant, Jasmine, Sandalwood and musk. To me, the combination sounded delightful. 

In fact, it is quite delightful.  There is a juicy fruitiness that is more earthy than sweet.  There are light floral notes from the jasmine that are tempered by the spice of sandalwood.  It is very well balanced and I loved spraying it on my wrist.  There is something clean and fresh about it, and yes, something a little powerful. 

My only problem is that it doesn’t last long.  You have an hour, two tops before the scent fades.  I don’t know if that is meant to be a metaphor or not. I do know that I like the perfume and despite the fading scent, I will consider this a possibility for a full purchase.  It is a scent I wouldn’t wear to work expecting a full day of wear out of it, but something I would keep in my purse to spritz as I was leaving the building to meet someone or just before I left the house for dinner out.  I think the scent would be fine for a dinner out actually as it stays close to the skin instead of spreading out to clash with the scent of the meal. 

Name and description aside, it is  a very seductive scent.

But then again, they say power is seductive too.

I may wear this out, but I think I would also wear it for a night in. It’s just that sort of scent.
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The Friday Face Mask with Korres Hydra Biome

Korres Hyda-Biome Face Mask

I have talked about Korres before and I have tried several of their masks. The Pomegranate exfoliating mask remains one of my favorite. And while I love nearly everything I have tried from the Pomegranate line, I wasn’t the biggest fan of their rose line so I have put off branching out into their yogurt themed products.

Until today that is. The Korres Hydra-Biome Probiotic Superdose Face mask was offered for sale on the Boxy Charm add ons so I decided to take a chance and snap it up. (plus on the sale site it was $12 instead of the normal $49 so I thought it would be less of a risk.

Lately all of the ads I have seen for Korres feature one of the products from their yogurt line so I suppose it was time. I really hope they aren’t attempting to get rid of their pomegranate one though. So what is this wonder yogurt themed skin care product supposed to do? According to the product page…

This mask works to fortify your skin’s natural protective layer, often broken down by stress, pollution, diet and more. Through a clinically tested blend of superfoods, hyaluronic acid, and skin-rebalancing technology, it improves elasticity, radiance, and texture for a revitalized, healthier look. Key ingredients: – GREEK YOGHURT – delivers instant soothing, cooling sensation with a Superdose of pre and probiotics to nourish skin. MICROBIOME RE-BALANCING TECHNOLOGY – Cutting edge microbiome rebalancing technology clinically proven to balance your skin’s invisible microbiome to protect and relieve signs of stressed skin. – LACTIC ACID – a natural AHA that gently dissolves dead skin cells for a natural glow.

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Okay then, not a bad sort of claim. I respond well to lactic acid and I can always use a dose of prebiotic nourishment, so light the relaxing candles and bring on the mask. First of all I would like to say this mask comes in a really pretty frosted glass jar. I love masks in glass jars. I don’t know why but it always makes me feel like they are more luxurious. Plus when they are empty I can use them to start seeds in the spring. Seriously most of my seeds were started in glass Oui Yogurt jars or empty skin care product jars. Eventually they’ll make it to recycling, but for now they are being reused at home.

But I digress.

When opening the jar I found the typical plastic topper keeping the cream safe from the lid. Once removed I found a thick white cream that reminds me more of yogurt than face cream. It was kind of nice. I took a sniff, because you know I have to smell everything. It does not smell like yogurt. I was actually worried it would be like smearing my afternoo snack across my skin, but no, it is not. The scent is…healthy smelling. I know that is not a terribly great descriptior. It kind of smells a little like you just opened the dairy case in a healtfood store. You can smell the dairy, but you also know someone is stashing homeopathic concoctions somewhere nearby. It isn’t herbally, but it is like something that smells ‘good for you’.

after 20 min

And yes I have been thinking of that description since about noon and it is the best I can come up with.

It doesn’t smell like you are smearing yogurt on your face though, which is what I was worried about. So I was happy, and yes, the scent is going to bother me all weekend. You can rest assured my darlings that I will be thinking and ruminating on the scent trying to pin point it all weekend. I suspect it may come to me sometime in the dark hours after three am. Because I know I’ve smelled it before, I just can’t place it.

Okay so while my brain goes crazy trying to place the scent, I will apply it to my face. It goes on nice and smoothly. There are no solid bits in it. I expected that the mask would be cool and upon first application it was, but then it got a little war, I’m guessing that was the AHA activating and relieving me of dead skin cells. The feeling of warmth didn’t last long.

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As you can see from the pictures, as I sat for the twenty minutes with the mask on, much of the mask was absorbed into my skin. At the end of my masking time, I blew out the candles, washed off the mask and patted my face dry. My skin felt soft and refreshed and I think some of the redness I noticed on my skin was at least tamped down. Over all I was very pleased with this mask. I’m still not giving up my pomegranate themed line, but I suppose I can give yogurt more of a chance. Thanks Korres for suggesting I get out of my comfort zone.

Now freshed faced I am tackling the rest of my day. Burpee just delivered out live plants and soon we will have a bay tree in a large pot. For now it will live in the sun room. In a few weeks it will migrate to the back porch. And we will never go short of bay leaves for seasoning again. Once safely potted, I will get back to my writing. Then…then it will be the weekend. It is getting harder to remember which days are work days and which are weekends, but I hope you take some time off from working from home and do some fun weekend stuff. have a good one and I will see you back on Monday.


Pacifica Cherry Velvet Matte Translucent Setting Powder Review

There are three items that are, in my opinion, as essential to my daily morning routine as cleanser and moisturizer.  These three items are mascara, face powder and some form of lip product.  With these three elements, I can declare myself done and ready to face the day in mere moments. Don’t get me wrong, I love my primers, foundations, eyeshadows and the rest.  I love treating my face as though it is some sort of mood reflecting art but my three essentials are mascara, powder and something for the lips.

With powder I enjoy a wide variety.  I like both pressed powder and loose.  Sometimes I use them to accomplish different tasks, other times I choose one or the other because the mood strikes me.  While I like pink tinged powder to give me a bit of a healthy glow when I feel a bit washed out from a winter indoors, over all with loose powders I tend to prefer a translucent powder. 

When I was gifted a package from Pacifica a while back one of the items I couldn’t help adding was the Cherry Matte Translucent setting powder (retail $12). While I have had a coconut scented setting powder before I had not tried a cherry one and was curious.  Plus I can always use another loose powder in my collection.  And I like cherry scents.

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Before I get into my thoughts on the powder, let’s see what the official product info says.

Hey beauty, don’t have a meltdown today, at least not a makeup meltdown! Set your favorite look with this amazing matte powder. Full of natural ingredients for a skin loving treat. 100% Vegan and Cruelty-Free, Formulated without phthalates, talc, parabens or petroleum, Made in the USA with the best globally sourced ingredients.

The first thing I noticed about this powder was the packaging.  It is very pretty.  It has a nice lid decorated with cherry blossoms and looks lovely sitting on the dressing table.  However it looks even better when you get the top lid off.  The interior lid may not be as fancifully decorated, but it keeps the product in securely and is super easy to lift up without spraying powder everywhere. So when you unscrew the outer lid, you don’t have to worry about powder coating you.

Under the plastic cap, is a net.  You press down on the net to get powder on your brush or sponge.  It is thick enough to contain the powder yet has enough holes and give to let you easily reach the powder.  I’ve had some products with the mesh insert where getting powder through them required some sort of magic spell.  I’m guessing it is purchased separately as it wasn’t included in the package.  This is very easy to use.  In fact every bit of the packaging is well thought out. 

I know that seems a silly thing, but sometimes packaging can hinder the use of a good product.  This performs as it is meant to. When the product comes out of the package, it has a light cherry scent to it.  It is a light scent, but definitely present. If you don’t like fragrance in your powder, you won’t like this.  Personally, this particular fragrance doesn’t bother me. 

But packaging and scent aside, it is the actual product that matters.  The powder is finely milled and applies easily.  My first test with powders is in the morning.  I tend to start my day with coffee, then when commuter traffic dies down, I change and drive to the gym.  Clearly my schedule has changed a bit, but I did test this powder under those circumstances.  At that time, my routine involves washing off my night mask, toning my skin and then applying serum followed by moisturizer. Once my moisturizer soaks into my skin, I dust with powder and apply a lip balm.  I tend to leave off mascara on those mornings as I sweat enough that I always run the risk of turning into a raccoon if I try to add it. I know this sounds like a strange test for a powder but some powders get a little cakey once you start to sweat or they clog your pores.  I had no problems with this powder.  I’m pretty sure most of it sweated off or was wiped off by my Busy Beauty Towelette, but it didn’t clog my pores. 

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I know, I could leave it off on my morning routine, but when I do I don’t really feel like I have actually gotten ready for my day.  I know that sounds strange but my morning feels slightly off when I skip the powder. We all have our routines, that just happens to be mine. 

after a month of use

After the gym (and my post workout clean up) I will apply the primer, foundation and other makeup, using the powder as a setting powder as it was designed. In this it worked well also.  It went on over the makeup well, regardless of what products I used.  With my setting powder I apply it with a brush and then if it looks a little powdery I go over it with my still damp makeup sponge to make sure it is pressed in a little before I use my setting spray. 

The Pacifica Cherry Velvet Setting powder worked like a dream.  In fact, it worked better than some of my more expensive powders as far as helping to keep my face products in place.  I don’t really bake my face as I find that a bit wasteful as far as products go, and I don’t really see much of a point to it, but I would guess it would work well with that too. At the moment I have been using this product as my sole powder for about a month and a half and I am less than halfway through the container. So I am sure I will be able to use this for at least another two months before running out.  When I do, I believe I will be adding this to my shopping list for repurchase.

If you happen to be looking at Pacifica Products on line you can use my code MIMSY15 for a discount. I don’t make anything off the code, it is just for you to use.

Pacifica Beauty

Eliminating Grays with a Bit of self care

The box

For a while now I’ve been seeing a few gray hairs pop up on my head.  There never arrive at the same time I’ll get one and then a few weeks later a second will appear.  I have been simply plucking them out as they arrive, thanking them for their willingness to cover my scalp but informing them their service is not needed and sending them on their way.  I think that is why they started arriving in pairs.

They wanted the back up.

While I know several people who have gone gray and look lovely with it, I wasn’t too keen on the prospect.  All of my grays were in one little area so I decided to try and grow them out a little bit to see if maybe I’d get a cool stripe or something. 

The unruly grays

I did not and they started to drive me crazy.  Still I knew if I just plucked them and dyed the hair then as soon as I did, the gray would grow back.  So I had to wait for a bit until the odd lighter spots stopped increasing.  Thankfully it didn’t take all that long.  I just had one weird spot of gray.

So I bought a box of hair dye.

At first I started to look up other product reviews for home hair dye but they were not encouraging.  Most featured funky colors or bleaching attempts gone horribly awry. Sometimes a combination of the two.  And then there were hairdressers and stylists maligning all store bought box dyes so I decided to just ignore them all for the first run through, pick a box from a company who makes other products I love and hope for the best.

included in the kit

So I came home from the store with L’Oreal’s Excellence Crème Triple Protection Color.  I chose the shade 5RB Medium Reddish Brown because all of the straight up browns looked a little too dark for me, unless they looked a little too blonde. With the red mixed in, I thought it would give it some depth instead of looking flat. 

I should point out that my experience with dying my hair oscillated between old school goth black and homemade colors involving kool-aide packets.

So I arrived home. I then set the box to the side because the world went mad.

Now I decided that a nice bit of self-care would be to actually use the dye, eliminating the grays and making me feel better when I look in the mirror.  And if the dye makes me look like Ronald MacDonald then at least I am in isolation and will only traumatize my baby doll and not the outer world at large.

So into the breach.

Not exactly for God and Country, but still an attack of sorts.

the dye in my hair

So I stripped down to an old plaid shirt that I use for gardening when it is chilly or the mosquitos are out in full force.  It already has holes in the elbows and along the bottom seam.  I’ve never figured those out actually.  I get the elbows wearing out, just not the bottom seam. Regardless I figured a little extra hair dye wouldn’t trouble it.

So dressed, I took L’Oreal into the bathroom.

The directions are quite clear and very easy to follow.  The provided gloves took a moment to actually open and get on my hands.  I started with the provided hair protector ant included, as per instructions.  It gave me some home that my hair would not come out fried at the end of this process. 

Then, feeling a bit like a mad scientist I mixed the dye with the activator, shook and applied to my head. It is thick and didn’t drip which I appreciated. It coated my hair well and even though I have rather long hair, there was enough dye to cover all of it.

I waited the recommended time and then took myself and the conditioner to the shower.  They dye rinsed out well and did not stain the tiles. I used the conditioner as one does. I will say I was a bit surprised by the amount of hair that washed out with the dye and conditioner.  It was more fall out then I usually see when I wash my hair and I was nervous.  So when completely rinsed, I stepped from the shower toweled dry, dressed and went directly for my hair dryer.

gray gone and the red faded back after a single wash

Usually if I don’t have to go anywhere I let my hair dry naturally but I was too curious to wait. Plus I wanted to know if I was going to be bald.

I was not.

I was however very impressed.

I think the hair that came out was the older duller looking hair because my hair looked great.  Perhaps I don’t brush vigorously enough to get those looser hairs out on a daily basis, perhaps they just decided it was time, I don’t know.  But my hair had great color, with no grays showing.  It also had excellent shine and body.  I really liked how it turned out.  I also want to find out if they sell the conditioner separately because it was fantastic.

My only issue was that while my hair ended up a nice brown with a slight reddish undertone, my scalp was quite red. It washed away after a day or two and was fine, but it would be something to remember for dying the hair when not in self-quarantine. In two days my scalp was back to normal and my hair still looked great. All in all, I am quite pleased. I tend to like L’Oreal products in general and I am glad I went with them on this.

It may be a bit silly of me, but I have to say I feel a little less tired and run down now that I am not looking at the odd tuft of gray in the mirror. It was only a little boost, but still much needed. Not bad for a $7.99 product and thirty minute wait time.way to go L’Oreal.

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Dreamy Youth Day and Night Face Cream Review

Pacifica’s Dreamy Youth Day and Night Face Cream

For the past two weeks I have been using the Dreamy Youth Day & Night Face Cream from Pacifica. It was part of the package gifted to me by the company. This will not affect my review, my review will be an honest one.

As the bathroom where I get ready in the morning and prepare for sleep at night is a small one (our on-suite features only a powder room not a full bathroom)I have limited shelf space for my daily products.  I liked the idea that I could eliminate one of those products by simply having a single cream for both day and night. The fact that the product in question costs $16 and can be purchased both on-line and at Target is also a plus.

Admittedly, the available locally is less of a concern at the moment as anything I can order on-line I am to minimize my time and contact with others. Incidentally If you are looking to order from Pacifica, when I put my last order in to them, they had a relatively quick turnaround (that might be a little off at the moment) and I have a code you can use to get yourself an extra discount.  It is MIMSY15 and I don’t get any sort of compensation from that, it is just to help you guys out.

10% off sitewide at Pacifica Beauty. Valid 3/16-3/31. Shop Now!

Before we get into my thoughts, let’s look at the product.

According to the product page…

Age means nothing when your skin is healthy. Refuse to obey time with this potent formula supported by concentrated peptides, floral stem cells, antioxidants, and advanced extracts that join forces to deeply moisturize and improve skin’s youthful glow.  It is suitable for all skin types.

It’s a pretty simple claim and not too over the top. Oh, and for those unfamiliar with the company, they are 100% vegan and cruelty free.  I am always leery of creams that promise to de-age me by twenty years in a month’s time, so modest claims make me happy.  Oddly, wild claims make me suspects some sort of demonic ritual in an underground laboratory somewhere. But maybe that is just me. 

Instead of looking for demons (or maybe an alternate way of looking for demons) I looked at the ingredients list. The first ingredient is water, which as it is putting moisture back into the skin is actually a good thing.  Following it are some other pretty good ingredients.  Sunflower oil, shea nut oil, grape seed oil and aloe leaf oil are all included in their top ten ingredients.  I know the lower ingredients are also ones to watch out for but the top ten usually have the highest concentrations and therefore are the ones most necessary to pay attention to, but the top ten are really important. 

For those who don’t usually look at ingredients lists, companies are required to list the ingredients from highest to lowest concentration until they get to the one percent mark.  Once an ingredient is in the 1% concentrate or lower they can list them in any order they want.  Generally speaking after about the tenth to twelfth ingredient you start hitting that one percent mark.

Personally, I am pretty happy with seeing sunflower seed oil and grapeseed oil in the top section. My skin does really well with both of them.

As with all full sized face creams that come my way, I weighed the bottle before I started to use it and then again after two full weeks of use.  Newly arrived and unopened the starting weight was 2.75 ounces.  The package contains 1.7 ounces of product inside.  So we know the packaging itself weighs 1.05 ounces.

Incidentally, a word about the packaging.  This cream is packaged into a thin pump top tube.  I really like that the bulk of the product can be kept away from the air while it is used. I am also glad I don’t have to dip my fingers into it.

But to continue with the math, after two weeks of use I reweighed the package and found it now came in at exactly 2.5 ounces. So I know that 1.45 ounces of product still remain inside.  (Incidentally, I love when things come up in nice numbers like fives and zeros so I don’t have long decimal points to work in.  I know I have a calculator but it just looks neater to me somehow).

So in two weeks 0.25 ounces of product was used. That means the product should last another 13.6 weeks. Personally I am not surprised by the length of time as very little of the product was actually needed. One last bit of math before we continue on though.  The product costs $16 which means that  if it lasts a total of 15.6 weeks (2 week trial + 13.6 weeks), then the cost break down is about $0.95 per day to use the product. That is not a bad rate actually.

But cost isn’t everything.  I will use inexpensive products or I will splurge on the expensive ones. With most skin care I am willing to be flexible on price rather than seek the lowest cost. I’m also not a snob about it.  I will use what I feel works.

So about the cream.  It is a white cream with a lightly floral scent, gardenia or rose I believe is the basic tone but it is not strong and fades almost instantly.  I don’t think it would cause too many problems with those of you who have issues with scent as it really doesn’t linger.

When I used it, I used one pump of the cream per use.  More is not needed and in fact, more would just be a waste. In the mornings, I found one pump was a little too much product and used the excess on my neck and upper chest rather than on my face.  At night one pump was exactly enough for my face.  I think that is sort of the curse of the double use product.  One pump is perfect for use as a night cream, but a little much during the day.  For me at least.  I’m in the Normal to Combination range.  If you are on the dry side, I think you would enjoy the amount dispensed for both day and night, if you lean more towards the oily end of the spectrum then you might want to only use about half of the pump on your face and spread the rest out to the neck and chest.  Again that is the curse for going for all skin types. 

Currently the weather where I live is changing.  Each day seems to make its own decision as to what season it wants to be.  I’m pretty sure it’s actually making up some new seasons along the way. You know because the traditional four are just so passé.

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When it lingers on winter and my skin leans more towards dry, this cream really shines.  I think as the seasons turn and humidity rises as spring locks on and leads into summer, I will be less excited about using this cream during the day. For me I think this will be a routine staple of my winter skin care routine, but in the warmer months I will be using it as a night cream rather than both a day and night cream.  The good news is that given how little is actually needed of this cream, if I am only using it at night it will probably last me all the way into fall. I have to say, I am not mad about that.

For anyone following along on my weight loss journey, or who just want to remain fit when gyms are closed and your home becomes your world, I will be posting my first Home Fitness post this afternoon. I have some interesting fitness routines to try with minimal equipment needed and I will let you know how it goes so tune in for an afternoon post.  I’ll be sure to include links to the workouts so any of you working out at home as well can give them a try and see what you think.  See you then.

Pacifica Beauty

Branching out with Rose and Kombucha in a face wash

Pacifica Rose Kombucha Flower Powered Face Wash

I’ll be honest the thought of Rose and Kombucha wasn’t all that appealing to me when thinking of a face wash.  While I like the scent of rose, it is often over powering and I was hesitant about the fermented tea. However when I placed my order with Pacifica, using a gift certificate I was gifted by the company, a travel sized (1.4 fl oz) of the Rose Kombucha Flower Powered Face Wash was one of the gifts with purchase that came with a $50 order.  I figured it was the perfect way to try something new and so I picked it up with my order.

10% off sitewide at Pacifica Beauty. Valid 3/16-3/31. Shop Now!

 My thinking was that it was a trial sized tube so even if I didn’t like it, there wouldn’t be much waste to the product. Incidentally, the full sized version of this product is 5.0 ounces and retails for $10. As I am always looking for good , affordable products, especially in face wash as I go through so much of it, I was very interested to try it.

But first, we look at the claims.

Disobey time with the power of flowers and fermented tea in Pacifica’s Rose Kombucha Flower Powered Face Wash. One of the best defenses against aging is clean skin, it gently removes makeup, oil and impurities. This light-foaming, sulfate-free cleanser balances and refreshes skin – helping to achieve an absolutely luminous complexion at any age.

100 percent vegan and cruelty free. Shop now at!

For those that are unfamiliar with Pacifica, they are 100% Vegan and Cruelty Free.  Their products are formulated without  Animal testing, Animal ingredients, Parabens, Phthalates,  Mineral oil, Sulfates, Synthetic fragrances, and Petroleum.

Given that there is rose listed on the ingredients and it is usually the synthetic rose scent that becomes overpowering, I was more relieved than usual to see there were no synthetic fragrances in this face wash.  Oh and the face wash is designated for all skin types so I didn’t have to figure out if I was in the target range for the product, which I kind of like.

My skin typically falls into the normal/combination area with more oil in the T-zone, but I am dryer in the winter and oilier in the summer.  The curse of so called “normal” skin is that it’s like standing in the center of a moving teeter totter while temperature and humidity play. If the weather is perfectly balanced so is my skin. At this time of year, it seems to change daily so I have products for  both shifts, oily and dry, in my bathroom.  For all skin types is generally a relief to see on a label when the weather hasn’t actually committed to a season.

So to the testing.  Because this face wash claims to remove makeup I put it to the test and tried it once on its own on a full face of makeup, then I tried it as the second act in a double cleanse routine.  Now usually I have issues with mascara coming off, but I have to say this worked really well in taking off more mascara than most.  There was a slight smudge under the eyes but not as much as usual.  A quick single wipe with the Makeup eraser took care of it with no rubbing.  In case you are wondering, I am currently oscillating between two mascaras at the moment.  One is the Pretty Vulgar Feathers Mascara and the other is the Rimmel London Scandal Eyes Wow Wings.  I like both and will be posting a mascara review soon. I just mention it here so you know the products the Pacifica Rose and Kombutcha Flower Powered Face Wash was able to take down.

not a lot of product is needed

I suppose I rather jumped to the use in that.  To back track a little, it is a creamy pearly face wash and the scent is interesting.  There is the hint of rose but it only really serves to mitigate the scent of the kombucha.  It smells like tea more than anything else but it is not a heavy fragrance.  Personally I found it a pleasant one, especially in the mornings.

The cleanser did foam on the face but it wasn’t massive foaming, just enough suds to let you know it was working.  It rinsed off clean, and as mentioned above, took off most of my makeup. My skin felt clean but not stripped and it worked for me no matter which way the weather shifted my skin.

Over all it was very positive experience.  I know I sound a little surprised but this was not a cleanser I would have picked up on my own.  I am really glad that I stepped out of my comfort zone and tried something I thought I would more than likely not like.  It turns out I liked it a lot.  I also like the fact that while I can order it on line, I can also pick it up at Target if I run out of cleanser and need to pick something up.  I really like having a list of products I can simply pick up if I forget to reorder.  This is certainly going on that list.

If you are interested I have a code you can use to get a bit of a discount.  It is MIMSY15 and I get nothing if you use it so feel free to use it to your heart’s content. It is just for you. They are also having a bit of a sale at the moment so you can add the discounts together.  It is currently 10% off with no code if you want to check it out.

Pacifica Beauty