Blogtober Day 20: Not At All Halloween’y

Blogtober

Fa-la-la-la-la it’s fucking snowing. This could be the actual first snow, 5-8 inches are expected to accumulate by this evening! I mean, I am pretty excited but I get the feeling that I am the only one. I did not have to commute today so ask me how excited I am after my drive into work tomorrow πŸ˜› I’m not feeling very Halloween-y today because of the glorious winter wonderland outside of my window so how about a little haul post. Actually, this was an unplanned bigger haul but we were given an extra associate discount & that’s when I stalk up on everything so the rest is mostly boring skincare, haircare or other staples. I did pick up a few goodies from the BareMinerals holiday releases!

Short story time, this haul required an unplanned trip to the Mall of America since they have the biggest location in the area & I could pick up everything I wanted in one go. Should I have shopped my store? Probably since we could use the sales but also, I pick up a lot of odds & ends at my store all of the time. Anyway, the mall was so sad – I had not visited it since last Christmas? There are so many stores that are still closed, vendors are not allowed in the thoroughfares until further notice, there wasn’t any traffic with tourists coming & going from the hotels. It was just really sad to see a once bustling place that I hated going to reduced to a half vacant, more than half empty ghost town. The longest line was at Nickelodeon Universe & I have to say, I was extremely disappointed with how close people were standing to one another. I’ve heard conflicting information about what this holiday season will look like, my store has doubled capacity just recently but I’m unsure if that goes for all retailers. Also, what guidelines are being followed anyway? Cases are exploding here in MN & yet we are still rolling back restrictions, I dunno – what’s going on in your neck of the woods? I also took a leisurely stroll through the mall since I’ve never really done that, I’m always in & out with a very specific agenda. That place has about twelve Caribou Coffee locations, I’ve never noticed.

Anyway, BareMinerals is one of the few brands that I actually think release some worthwhile holiday kits. Generally, they are just full or deluxe sizes of products that they carry all of the time in cute, holiday packaging. There are two holiday releases that I always snag when they hit the shelves, the deluxe powder foundation & Lashtopia Mascara Duo. Both of these are amazing deals & the mascara goes on sale for 50% off right around Black Friday – pro tip. Lashtopia is such a good mascara, I don’t know why it doesn’t sell better. If you want a super black, volumizing mascara that also conditions your lashes – look no further! Honestly, it’s my first recommendation to anyone looking for a new mascara. Their Original Foundation is still hands down the best foundation for someone looking for natural yet longwearing coverage. I always go back to their original powder especially if my skin is breaking out & it wears pretty well under a mask. Yes, I am still wearing foundation all over my face even with wearing a mask all day. Listen, I tried just putting foundation on the visible areas of my face & it looks nuts. I have not had too many issues with break outs, I get skin lesions which has been awesome. My skin is literally just peeling off my face in patches on areas where the mask continually rubs it. It’s a mess & it hurts, my face looks like a bad horror movie, skin melting special effect when I take my mask off. I’ve tried cotton, silk, linen, organic cotton, jersey – for some reason, the moisture & the friction wrecks my face. Back to the foundation, unfortunately, the deluxe edition comes in a very limited shade range & they choose shades based on bestsellers. The regular size does come in 30 shades but I think they should offer a few more for the holiday release.

The last item I snagged was the Lip Balm Duo which includes one clear balm & a sheer pinky balm. I have never tried it before, I am pretty certain that they don’t sell this outside of the holidays. Last year, this lady bought all of the duos we had in stock & claimed it was THE BEST EVER so I picked up a couple this year. It’s not bad either! I’m not sure that I need ten tubes but it is a very nice texture, moisturizes pretty well & has a sweet mint scent.

If you are looking for some stocking stuffers for a beauty fan, they also released a few more complexion kits & some skincare sets. I really enjoy their products, I haven’t tried any of their new skincare since I own products that work for me but they do sell consistently well at my store.

Have you started Christmas shopping yet? I’ll get back to more Halloween-y content when the snow melts, which will probably be tomorrow πŸ˜› Thanks for stopping by πŸ§‘πŸ–€

Blogtober Day 18: Cold Weather Body Care

Blogtober

The seasons have changed, fall might be over already. We had a very crisp high of 32 degrees today & are looking at 4-inches of snow this Tuesday. I know that Halloween is a toss up on whether or not we’re still having mild weather or a foot of snow on the ground but I’m not sure I’m ready! Good thing I work from home on Tuesdays because I cannot with these city slickers driving on bad roads. The air has been dry for awhile now which is torture for my already dry, eczema prone skin & I’ve already switched my body care routine. I’m trying some new things this year that are more luxurious than my usual Cerave & am really pleased with the results so far!

Shea Moisture is an awesome brand and has been for awhile. They were some of the first to offer products specifically for curly, coily, kinky natural hair. All of their ingredients are ethically sourced, fair trade & they are cruelty free. Over the years, they’ve expanded to body & skin care – I have been using their coconut oil line & am obsessed. Here’s my routine for soft, clear skin!

Cleanse & Exfoliate: to start, I’ve been using the Daily Hydration Body Wash that is absolutely delicious. It’s sudsy, smells amazing & cleans my skin without making it feel dry or tight. I haven’t had any issues with breakouts or skin flare ups since switching which is rare for my overly sensitive skin. It leaves my skin sweetly scented & nourished.

Next, as unpleasant as exfoliating dry skin sounds, I find that regularly sloughing off the dead skin really improves the overall appearance of my skin. The Daily Hydration Creme Sugar Scrub is just the right amount of grittiness & since it’s sugar, it just dissolves as you work it in. It’s a very hydrating body scrub, I use it all over & it makes my skin sparkle.

Moisturize: I have severely dry skin, I use an oil on particularly dry areas & then seal it in with an occlusive moisturizer. Shea Moisture offers a few lightweight, nourishing body oils but of course I went for the coconut. I have to mention that the coconut line smells like real coconut, very nutty & not that synthetic coconut that some might expect. Everything smells great but it might be a bit different than what some might be anticipating. Generally, a palm full is plenty for the areas I need extra moisture. I then work the Daily Hydration Body Lotion in all over my body. This stuff is thick, I don’t love the packaging & think it would work better in a tub. I put the bottle on my shower floor so the hot water can soften it up then it’s a bit easier to dispense. It doesn’t take terribly long to work in given the thick consistency & doesn’t feel greasy. This lotion keeps my skin comfortably hydrated all day & then some.

Shea Moisture can be purchased at ULTA, Target & on their website! They’re products are affordable & high quality. I cannot recommend them enough if you’re looking for something new.

Let me know what you’re go-to winter skin picks are. Have you tried anything from Shea Moisture? Thanks for stopping by πŸ§‘πŸ–€

Trash Talk & Some Products I’m Getting Rid Of

Clean Beauty, Random

Another beautiful spring day, we’ve really been treated to fantastic weather lately. I’ve been enjoying the deck a lot, getting my urban garden off the ground – update to come. I don’t know if nature is just thriving with humans being in lockdown but has anyone else noticed some monster bees where they are? I appreciate the bees but I’m also allergic to them & they just seem massive this year. I’m excited that they are interested in my plants though, I hope this means that my garden will be a success. I’m still cleaning, organizing & reorganizing because what else is there to do?! I’ve got just a handful of empties & a few things I’m tossing because I don’t like them.

Sol de Janeiro Bum Bum Cream – There’s still a good blob to use up but almost there. I hate that I love this stuff but there are few creams this rich that don’t feel greasy. It smells like summer but in a refined, sultry way. I’m not repurchasing as it does seem overpriced & I have a LUSH body cream that I need to use up.

Pyunkang Yul Acne Patches – these were pretty good, I like how thin they were. Not terribly expensive & very effective at helping treat red spots.

CeraVe Eye Repair Cream – I like this stuff a lot & almost always have some on hand. It’s a simple cream that just hydrates but I think that ensuring the undereye area is properly hydrated can help with the appearance of fine lines and dark circles. It’s not very expensive but is decently effective.

Tula Eye Renewal Serum – I wasn’t crazy about this product. I like the consistency but I didn’t notice any change to the puffiness of my undereyes. I also think that it irritated my skin a bit. It’s overpriced at $52 for .5 ounces, especially as it did nothing for me.

Peach & Lily Glass Skin Refining Serum – I felt like there was a good reason that I never bought into the hype around this product. This is a deluxe sample & there’s nothing special about this serum. I’m about halfway done with it, I haven’t noticed any changes in my skin texture. It feels nice but so does plain hyaluronic acid.

Charlotte Tilbury Magic Foundation – I’ve fallen out of love with this brand almost completely. I’ve used a lot of her products & while they’re good, I just don’t think that they’re magic or worth the price tag. I think you need to have really good skin & attractive features already to use her products successfully. Which makes sense as she is a celebrity makeup artist. This foundation is just a caky, clumpy, pore accentuating mess. I do enjoy the Magic Cream but the makeup just isn’t for me.

Good Molecules Priming Moisturizer – Actually a nice, lightweight moisturizer that does prep the skin for makeup but it broke me out! It’s almost 3/4 full & I’d love to pass it on but think those days are over in light of Corona.

Some keepers, some duds but they all can’t be winners. I hope you’re having a beautiful day & just doing the best you can πŸ’›

 

Hello From the Inside: Makeup Edition

Clean Beauty

In all honesty, I don’t think that we are in a true quarantine –Β  we are under a shelter in place order that seems a bit more flexible than what other states/cities are experiencing. Is everyone following it? I dunno, on the occasions that I’ve had to go out, there are an awful lot of people out and about. Minnesota is doing relatively good but who knows what this summer will bring. Anyway, I’ve worked from home before but under much more felicitous circumstances. The corporation that I worked for was undergoing a posh remodel of our new building and we all had to move home for 6’ish months. We also didn’t have videoconferencing capability so it didn’t really matter what anyone looked like πŸ˜› This new, depressing, shockingly invasive work from home circumstance has been a bit shocking. I feel like that I not only have to worry about looking presentable but also having my home look presentable with people suddenly being able to peer into it. It’s not like they are strangers but certainly not people who I would have over to my home. No offense to them. The first week at home, I could not be bothered to get ready because it was just a shit week. My close friend lost his salon, numerous others were being furloughed or facing reductions in income and I was worried about all of the unknowns. I’m feeling a bit better and very fortunate that I still have a job to even do at home – I also feel as though making the effort to keep my routine normal helps get through the day.

Buttey Honey Regular

I don’t really typically wear primer but I accidentally grabbed thisΒ tula brighten up smoothing primer gel the last time I was in ULTA thinking it was my face cream. Since I can’t return it, I’ve just decided to start priming again. I’ve never used a primer quite like this one and it does have a learning curve. The gel texture makes it prone to pilling, I let it warm up on my finger a bit and then press it in but only in areas where I have texture. I enjoy this product but not sure that it is a repurchase since I just don’t use a lot of primers.

IMG_20200421_121803

Buttey Honey Regular

I haven’t been wearing foundation because it’s expensive and I just don’t feel the need if I’m not leaving my home. My typical weekend ‘foundation’ is just concealer too, only applied to blemishes and discolored areas and then blended with a very damp sponge. I say this because I think a damper sponge gives a better blend when using a high coverage product that isn’t applied all over the face.

Buttey Honey Regular

Then I set my base with a powder foundation, this provides a little more coverage without adding more texture. I buff in a little highlighter too for a subtle glow and a little color.

Buttey Honey Regular

I’m pale already, sitting inside all day is not helping – I can’t use dark bronzers because that would look crazy so I’ve been using the Hoola Lite just on the perimeter of my face.

IMG_20200421_121013

And that’s about it, I might just keep doing this when we go back to the office because it only takes about 15 minutes. It probably looks that way too πŸ˜› I’m certainly wearing way less makeup than I am used to but at least I feel presentable and like I’m getting ready for the day. I’ve had a harder time keeping up on my skincare routine, my skin was a mess a couple of weeks ago and I really scaled back what I was doing. It’s mostly back to where it was sans the peeling, I’ve had to reintroduce tretinoin but can’t argue with the results.

IMG_20200410_134201

What am I doing with my hair? Absolutely nothing πŸ˜› Let me know how you’ve been keeping your life ‘normal’ and what helps you through the day πŸ’›

Best of May

Monthly Favorites

I can’t believe it’s June, spring sprung seemingly overnight after weeks of cool, rainy weather. I love the rainy weather but it’s nice to see the sun shining and we’re well on our way to Halloween πŸ‘» My deck is almost summer ready, I spent too much time and money in IKEA last weekend. I had this fantastic idea to change my master bathroom from beige to white because I love hotel bathrooms. Clean ones, that is with white towels and that subtle bleach scent. What I didn’t realize is that they get cleaned everyday, I’m pretty clean but it’s misery so far πŸ˜‚ I’ll post about my deck decor sooner than later. Anyway, here are some items that I was loving in May.

For the last year I’ve been trying to switch to natural deodorant, most of them have given me a rash. I picked this up recently and love it so far. It has a light, floral scent – not too rosy but just pleasant enough. The consistency is on the wet side but very moisturizing and dries down to nothing. It’s made my armpits so soft and cleared up the rash in no time. It’s on the expensive side but all of these natural deodorants are.

My skin tends to get congested as soon as the weather starts to heat up, this is a seasonal favorite since it dries my skin out too much during the winter. It’s a mild acid that keeps my back and chest clear. It smells funky like fermented fruit but it works and it’s pretty affordable.

This is one of those blue light therapy devices. It’s supposed to help kill bacteria and I could be nuts but I think it’s working. I had to stop taking oral contraceptive due to starting another medication so I’m getting some hormonal spots but I swear this is knocking them out. My skin is almost back to where it was before my change in meds. I use it for about 15 minutes each night, focusing on different quadrants. I like it because I’m not adding another chemical to my routine. I purchased this from my dermatologist but Amazon sells the exact same one.

Nature’s Bounty recently released a line of skin vitamins, I picked up this one and the moisture one. I really think that my overall skin feels firmer and smoother. I’m also trying the moisture one but can’t say that my skin feels any less dry than usual.

One day, whilst feeling sorry for myself, I ordered a bunch of Charlotte Tilbury because no brand makes me feel prettier 😝 These are the daily go-tos so far. The Peachgasm is this glowy, liquid blush that’s perfect for making pasty skin look flushed and glowy. The cream shadows in Rose Gold and Star Gold are easy to smudge on and go. Her entire summer collection is stunning.

And because I’m a total blush whore, this peachy Burt’s Bees blush has been my ‘bronzer’ of late. I like a bronzer that’s on the redder side because it looks more natural for me to be a bit burnt than actually tanned πŸ˜‚ I love this formula, not terribly pigmented but easy to build and blend.

I cannot get enough true crime as of late! Yes, I purchased some books but I’m on the hunt for an e-reader. I’m also hooked on the My Favorite Murder podcast and Buzzeed Unsolved: True Crime series on YouTube. I thought the Netflix Ted Bundy movie was pleasantly tame while still being super creepy. Finally, I cannot wait for Stranger Things season three and recently binged the first two seasons. What have you been loving recently?

These goslings were also a fave this month, look at how fat they are! There are spring babies all over the place, it’s lovely. Let me know what you’ve been up to!

πŸ–€

March Happenings

Random

Everyone is seemingly of the opinion that January is a long schlep of an uneventful month but March is that month for me. It’s still kinda winter, nobody knows what to wear, produce is terrible. I’m glad to see the end of it, I’ve been gone for a bit so let’s have a catch-up!

My new car is still the main event of this past month. I definitely like it and am happy to report that I sold the Mazda to someone who seemed excited to fix it. I think it will ride again 😭

I think that I found the most amazing burger replacement ever. I picked up these Beyond Meat patties randomly even though I’m not big into meat replacements and I’m so glad I did! They have a grilled flavor to them and the texture is perfect, not at all like a mashed bean patty. I definitely recommend!

I didn’t read a single book in March and I blame Desperate Housewives and BuzzFeed Unsolved for my lack of reading time. I do plan to read more in April but if the weather gets really good, I might whiff again 😝

Lent has been trying and we’re not even half-way through, I’m not having trouble sticking to my penitence but I’m getting burnt out on going to mass. I think I’m the only person under 60 at my church, where are all of the hot Irish Catholic guys?! It doesn’t bother me when I’m only going once a week but when it’s three times a week, I want some eye candy! I don’t think that’s too much to ask.

Not much else to report, our busy season is ramping up at work but I have some fun excursions scheduled in the coming months. How was your month, what did you get up to?

πŸ–€

A Week’s Review

Random

Spring has sprung, I have officially started taking allergy meds again, have seen at least 3 dead squirrels in the road, I have no idea what to wear and am still recovering from the time change. Ahhhhhhh – Spring, can you feel it? The sunshine has been a welcome change but the rest of Spring can go straight to Hades. Here’s a little rundown of what I got up to this week.

One full week in the new car went mostly OK, it doesn’t feel like my car and still has that new car smell. My old car had a very distinct scent to it because I have a very distinct scent, I miss that familiar scent but I suppose the patchouli seeping out of my pores will eventually transfer to the new car πŸ˜‰

Some of the Lulroe leggings that I ordered have arrived and they are interesting. I didn’t realize that there was such a bustling market for these leggings on apps like Mercari and Poshmark but I managed to find quite a few Halloween prints that are awesome. It’s interesting how varied the pricing can be, some sellers will list certain patterns as being unicorns or rare while others don’t. Mercari I feel has less variety than Poshmark but sellers can offer their items at reduced prices for a limited time and some even offer free shipping. The leggings themselves are very unique feeling and remind me of the material that seamless undies are made of, they have the infinite stretch thing going on. They don’t provide a lot of support and I couldn’t see myself wearing these in public. I’m not a big leggings in public person anyway but these feel like you aren’t even wearing pants. The patterns also don’t stretch weird on the body, the Wolfman pair are so far my favorite. I have a few others on the way and kinda’ want to do like 31 Days of Leggings for October or something, I’m literally just sitting here waiting for Halloween πŸ˜†

IMG_20190319_173313

I started listening to the Serial podcast and am so hooked! I enjoy police procedural books and documentaries so it’s right up my alley. I just finished season one, I almost want to listen a second time over in case I missed anything.

My hair is slowly but surely getting longer, I’m almost to that weird phase where I’ll just want to cut it but so far so good. I don’t have plans to grow it out terribly long and will probably end up with super short hair again in the future but it’s growing for now.

Have you been following the Operation Varsity Blues bust?! First of all, who got paid to come up with that name? Second, I know that there were loads of wealthy people involved but it especially irks me that people like Olivia Jade got into a great school by lying. Like, what was the point? You’re already rich and pretty and that will get you a long way in today’s society. Didn’t anyone involved think at some point that they were testing their luck? Also, I had no idea who Felicity Huffman was and am now mired in season two of Desperate Housewives.

That’s about it, oh, I joined a bags league with some co-workers to get out of the house this summer. It starts in June, I’m already exhausted 😭 What’s new with you?

πŸ–€

TOMS Wishlist

Sustainable Living

Have you ever eaten something really disappointing and thought, well fuck, I wish I could get those calories back. I wish I was one of those people who could create recipes but I’m not and depend on the internet for most of my recipes. Usually this works for me but this one was a dud.

It was supposed to snow 10 inches today, it didn’t. Instead it rained for hours and only just started snowing about an hour ago. The rain put me in a panic because I need new rainboots. I wear rainboots from about April 1 to Thanksgiving, I wear out a pair a year. Does it rain everyday for 6 months in Minnesota? No, in fact it does not but a few years ago, I stepped in a puddle of slimy water and woke up with a rash all the way up to my thigh. I got a skin infection, I had a fever and now I wear rainboots all of the time because water in the city is wretched. I didn’t find a new pair of rainboots but fell in love with about 10 pairs of new TOMS that I don’t need. I like TOMS, I’ve been sporting them since they became available in 2006. Over the years though, I’ve become more skeptical of this for-profit organization and its good intentions. It’s a couple of things for me, the influx of donated shoes must disrupt the local economies, canvas shoes aren’t great for most terrain, 40 bucks is a lot to pay for some canvas shoes that have basically become the trendy footwear of hipsters and yuppies. Do I like the idea of One-for-One? Yeah, absolutely but it makes me wonder if local businesses struggle to compete with a foreign supply chain. The donated shoes are exported to Ethiopia, Kenya, India and Haiti. Now, their shoes are plenty durable for my pedestrian, desk job working life but that 1/2 centimeter rubber sole wouldn’t hold up to much more. Are they the best shoes for kids in these countries? Being a middle class American, the cost of the shoes is a bit prohibitive. I own about a dozen pairs that I’ve collected over the years but wouldn’t they sell more pairs if they reduced their profit margin and cut the cost of them? I mean, I’m just sayin’. I’ve also owned my TOMS for years so I don’t really consider them fast fashion or wasteful, I get a lot of wear from them. I know that the organization now supports other causes like vaccines, clean water and eyecare so trendy shoes were obviously a great gateway cause. Anyway, I still like the shoes and appreciate the effort and need some spring kicks πŸ˜‰

Also, I just noticed that the canvas classics are 54.95! Let me know your thoughts on TOMS. How much good are they really doing? They’d just be ugly ass shoes if they weren’t TOMS, right πŸ˜‰

πŸ–€

Dust to Dust

Random

And so it begins, 40 days of repentance, giving up all my favorite things and basking in all-around misery. But I’m Catholic and if I’m not suffering then I’m probably doing it wrong 😭 In all honesty, Lent isn’t so bad – I hated it as a kid but I have found some clarity and peace in making small sacrifices as I have aged. Lent is a period of reflection and rebirth that I’ve come to enjoy. It’s also free of my mother’s salmon patties which is probably a huge reason that I dreaded it in my youth. My mom was a lot of things, a good cook not being one of those things πŸ˜‚ Anyway, in addition to the usual fasting I chose sugar and social media as my sacrifices this year. Social media was a bit of a softball since I don’t love it anyway but I have a pretty serious relationship with jellybeans and I’m already jonesing for a bag. Oh, and porn, decided to cut back on that too. Not really but I always wonder how honest people are about what they are abstaining from for Lent. Like you never hear anyone mention giving up porn or smoking crack – are sugar and social media really my only vices or are they just the ones that I feel comfortable sharing?! Who can say.

People in my life are generally pretty surprised when they find out I’m a fairly devout Catholic and honestly, same. In the year or two after my mission trip and deciding not to be a nun, I didn’t participate in the church at all, it disgusted me. I still find Catholicism pretty problematic, the entire organization needs a rebrand and I’m not talking about tambourines in the choir because that’s blasphemy. All the geezers who have been responsible for covering up scandals have got to go – from the Pope down. I think that people my age are extremely disappointed and distrustful of our church leaders and these issues need to be dealt with before we can find peace in our faith. Could I convert to something else? Probably but like I said, tambourines.

This post was really just to announce my abstinence from social media (aside from blogging) and a plea for jelly beans πŸ˜‚ Do you celebrate Lent? Can it be referred to as a celebration? What are you abstaining from?

πŸ–€

Vegan Things I Can’t Even

Sustainable Living

March 1 marks two months since I jumped on the vegan train and I’ve mostly been loving it. As with anything though, there are some aspects of the vegan lifestyle that I just can’t get into. There are things I wouldn’t eat prior to my lifestyle change like caviar, frog’s legs or quail eggs – there are odd delicacies in any diet, plant-based being no exception. I don’t care how nutritious these items are, I just can’t even.

Nutritional Yeast – This deactivated yeast was a staple of my childhood nightmares. My dad used it as a popcorn topping and I’d forgotten about it until I needed it for a recipe recently. Once I cracked the seal, all of those years of foot popcorn came flooding back. Yack. Apparently it’s a staple ingredient in cheese substitutes which probably explains my aversion to them 😭

Black Bean & Most Plant Based Burgers – Now, I’ve tried some good ones but the vast majority of these burger substitutes have total gag-worthy texture.

Tofu Hotdogs – Another delicacy from my youth, tofu pressed into any unnatural shape is off-putting. It tastes delicious without having to masquerade as something else.

Cheese’ – Vegan cheese is literally the worst, how does it smell 100 times more like cheese than actual cheese?!

Kombucha – I don’t think this a vegan thing as much as it is an everyone’s lost their fucking minds thing. My first kombucha experience, I ended up with all the globs of fungus coming in the first swallow 🀒 Just gagged a little thinking about it.

Eggs – I’ve tried one soy egg product that was amazing and one that was just what you’d think soy eggs would be like. I’m steering clear for now, the good ones are incredibly hard to find.

Toona – Mostly because this plant-based tuna tastes like an old folks’ home smells – don’t act like you don’t know what that means 😝

There are loads of delicious recipes and vegan treats available, I find that I just don’t like the ones that are trying to imitate something else. I much prefer hodge podges of veggies and legumes to any processed stuff but it’s all about personal taste. Let me know what food aversions you have.

πŸ–€