Best of December: Beauty

Monthly Favorites

For the new year I think I am going to try a Monday, Wednesday, Friday posting schedule which, is why this post is a few days later than I had planned. In past years, I have taken Blogmas right up to the 31st but was a bit burnt out on holiday posts and called it quits on Christmas this year. I cannot believe that Christmas has come and gone, yet again – I also cannot believe that New Year’s Eve is tomorrow already! I remember the week between Christmas and my birthday seeming like it was months away, now it’s already upon us. The weather has been incredibly horrendous, we had rain on Friday that turned into an ice storm on Saturday then more rain and now about 4 inches of snow. I don’t mind the snow but the ice I can do without. I think it will be here for awhile though since temperatures are supposed to plummet this week. I have this whole week off still but was already looking to see when the next federal holiday was because…I’m tired. In fact, I’ve had two people comment on the fact that I look tired recently and I’m like bitch, this is just my face at this point. Anyway, I had quite a few beauty favorites this month and here they are!

There was a time when I exclusively used Bare Minerals products but I couldn’t tell you what they’ve released over the last decade or so. I stopped wearing mineral foundation but when I decided to switch back to it, I was surprised at all of the new complexion products they had to offer. I decided to try their new stick foundation instead and am really glad I did, it’s a very light formula for a stick foundation with just the right amount of coverage. It claims to be hydrating and it does feel really good on the skin but it’s also long wearing. They really nailed it with this product although, I am miffed that they convinced everyone that liquid foundation was poison and then are selling that shit back to us. Well played.

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Next is a total impulse purchase that I snagged while in the Bare Minerals section. In my defense, it was in a two pack and it was 40% off. Their Lashtopia Mineral-Based Mascara is pretty awesome, it is volumizing and a deep matte black. It plumps up my lashes but leaves them so soft and natural(ish) looking. I also like how it washes off, this is the only mascara that I’ve tried that actually comes off with just micellar water. I really like it, I’m glad I snagged two tubes.

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I’m back on the Buxom Full-On Lip Creams but I’ve always loved these. I don’t know how plumping they are but I like the minty scent, my go-to shades have been a mix of Hot Toddy and Brandi.

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I have two new skincare items that have been helping me battle the winter flakiness and redness. I hadn’t tried tula until I stopped in ULTA one day when a rep was there handing out samples and doing demos. tula is a clean beauty line, cruelty free, made in the USA and packed with probiotics. I have been using their glycol toner and gel-cream along with my regular skincare and they are both great. The toner is mild enough to use everyday and has helped to clear up some of my most stubborn dry patches. The gel-cream is similar to an emulsion or serum and adds an additional layer of hydration that my skin has been needing. I am looking forward to checking out more of the brand when I use up my other skincare products.

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This next one is a beauty tool really, I dermaplane at home but this is something that I’ve been using to touch up areas when in between full dermaplaning. The Flawless Touch does really well at removing unwanted peach fuzz and stray eyebrow hairs without irritating the skin. I am curious to know how long a single head lasts, I have been using this well over a month and it seems to still be plenty sharp.

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I usually steer clear of the holiday scented lotions and body products because most of them are gross but Hempz did an awesome job with this Pumpkin Spice & Vanilla Chai scent. It’s sweet and spicy, I only picked up a couple of the small bottles because it’s pretty potent and I can’t imagine that I will wear it all year round.

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My last pick is this tinted brow gel from Colourpop that I picked up when I ran out of my Glossier Boy Brow. This gel is less than half the cost and honestly, just as good. I like natural looking brows, this gel shapes them up just enough and adds enough to tint to look polished.

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That’s most everything that I’ve been loving this month – what products have you been loving? Let me know if you have tried any of these!

Blogmas Day 1: Winter Favorites

Blogmas - 2019

It’s snowing & blowing here in Minnesota, which is my favorite kind of winter day if I didn’t have to be to work in a couple of hours. It seems like the perfect day to kick off Blogmas, I’m only doing 24 days of posts as I am leaving on a snowboarding trip for the last two weeks of the year and I don’t think I would have time to blog. Anyway, today’s post is a handful of products that I’ve been enjoying lately.

Happy Wax Scented Soy Melts: I found these on Amazon and they have quite a few flavors. I’ve been melting the Spa Blend which is a medley of lavender, eucalyptus and cotton. It’s a clean scent, the melts are shaped like cute bears and the throw is decent. I melt way more than the recommended 1-2 pieces but I like my home scents potent and I’m sure 1-2 pieces would be just fine.

tgin Miracle Repair Leave in Conditioner: Winter arrived overnight along with dry hair, dry skin, chapped lips and all of those seasonal discomforts. My hair dresser recommended switching to a leave in conditioner for the winter and this one is really nice. It has a light, fresh scent and does a great job at keeping my hair healthy and soft. It also hasn’t broken my face or neck out which is an issue I experience with moisturizing hair products. This was around $10 at ULTA and it’s been worth every penny.

Acure Marula Oil: I think I’ve talked about how much I enjoy the Drunk Elephant marula oil before but at $80/ounce, I’m always on the hunt for a more affordable product. This one isn’t bad, it’s a bit lighter consistency than the DE version but still deeply moisturizing and repairing. This was another ULTA find and cost around $12, I also like this component more since it’s a pump and not a dropper. I think it’s a fantastic alternative to the DE oil.

Frank Body Peppermint Coffee Scrub: I’m not one to futz around in the bath or shower with body treatments but if you have dry, flaky skin and want a physical exfoliator that isn’t terribly abrasive, coffee is pretty awesome. Yeah, it’s a complete mess but it does the trick and this one smells amazing.

LUSH Cosmetics Karma Kream: Still my favorite body lotion, it smells heavenly with notes of sandalwood and citrus and the scent stays with you all day. It’s by far the best of all the body lotions.

Mamonde Lip Sleeping Mask: If you want a lip mask that falls somewhere between Vaseline and a lip balm, this is it. It’s just enough to feel like a mask but not suffocating, Mamonde makes great skincare with simple ingredients and this is a winter lip savior.

Let me know what some of your winter must-have products are and if you are participating in Blogmas this year! Do you have any Christmas decorations up? Has it snowed where you are? I hope you enjoy these festive posts and I’m looking forward to reading yours!

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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 😉

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 😆

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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?

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A Week’s Review

Random

This week was pretty pedestrian, I didn’t really do anything exciting but I am so pleased that it’s Friday. On Sunday I worked at Ulta, I have only been working there a couple of days a month and I get to do the fun stuff like unpacking new product and setting displays. It’s crazy how many new brands are coming to the store that I work at, we just got Smith & Cult, Peach and Lily, Boscia, Kiehl’s – it’s like I am just doing unboxings for hours and I love it. Also, if it’s not something crazy anticipated like the Morphe collabs then I can purchase it that same day. I haven’t picked up much lately but it is cool kinda having first dibs.

Remember how I was bitching about being asked what kind of gas I want? Well, the gal at the gas station turned on the wrong pump for me yesterday. So I go back in, and she does something at the register and tells me to swipe my card again and so I do. Then something else goes wrong and she had to cash out the transaction and I had to swipe my card again. Now, I don’t know how it works in other places but where I live, if I pre-pay over the amount that I need then it just goes back to my card so I assumed this was the case. I ended up paying over $60 for $17.50 worth of gas. Then I had to go back to the gas station the next day and they couldn’t put the money back on my card, they had to put it on a gas card which is fine since I always get gas at that location anyway. But seriously, why did they complicate things so much!?

I’m deep into the Lularoe thing, I purchased a couple of pairs and then a couple more and then like 6 more 😂 They are surprisingly hard to get your hands on, each seller has different stock and prices seem to be up to their discretion. There are do many prints and then these ‘unicorn’ prints that I must have for reasons totally unclear to me. I hope they fit.

I scheduled an MS screening for next week, finally. I’ve been putting it off because my hand numbness and weakness hasn’t been an issue but I had a string of bad days recently. I don’t know what to expect, it comes and goes and nobody has been able to figure it out. I hope it’s arthritis or stress.

We are getting 9-11 more inches of snow this weekend! I’m excited because I don’t have to drive in it, the snowshoeing is going to be amazing. I don’t know if I should put the rest of my Easter stuff up or not – somehow doesn’t seem right 😭

Like I said, nothing exciting. What did you get up to this week?

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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 😂 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 😂 Do you celebrate Lent? Can it be referred to as a celebration? What are you abstaining from?

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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.

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February Favorites

Random

Before we get into the handful of favorite products that I have, has anyone tried Lularoe leggings? What’s the tea? Are they good quality? I’m down to my last couple pairs of workout leggings and need some that will hold up. Let me know!

My first favorites are these Blush Bomb liquid blushes from Flower Beauty. I’ve become more cognizant of fine lines which tends to happen when my skin is dry, I’ve been trying to use more cream products. These are awesome, super easy to use, I just press them on with a damp sponge and done.

Continuing with the anti-aging theme, I’ve not been wearing foundation and opting for this Missha Perfect Cover BB Cream instead. It doesn’t have a ton of coverage but enough to even my skin out. It’s very lightweight and doesn’t emphasize anything or settle in creases.

These are naked cleansing balms from Lush in Jade Roller and Tea-Totaler. I think they’re pretty new and are basically solid cleansing oils. Once you start to work them into your skin, they soften up. They remove makeup really well, smell lovely and are totally package free.

This cream shadow from Charlotte Tilbury is all I’ve been wearing on my eyes since getting my new lashes. It’s so creamy and long-wearing, I love that it has the appearance of being a whole eye look but it’s one shadow. I don’t know what the shade is because I’ve probably had it for too long and the label wore off 😂

I’ve tried Schmidt’s deodorant before and didn’t love it. I gave it another shot because my psoriasis has been real bad on my underarms lately. Applying deodorant over broken skin is the worst and you aren’t supposed to do it anyway. I grabbed this out of desperation, this flavor is really good! I don’t think it feels nearly as wet as other ones I’ve tried and it doesn’t burn my irritated skin.

Already raved about it, still loving Karma Kream and waiting for a bigger tub!

Let me know what your you were loving this month, have you tried any of these?

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