I wandered over to Sephora yesterday afternoon to pick up some more cologne for Hims, and “happened” to glance at the nail polish. (Because, ya know, I never look at the polish…. oh, no…) Wait a minute, I say, What’s this? A bunch of them are on sale for five dollars???
Yeps, it’s true: Just that morning they’d been told to mark down a bunch of the fantastical Formula X polishes. My very favorite, Hubba Hubble, was already gone, as were quite a few of the others. (One of the girls working there told me that when they saw the markdown, some of them grabbed the ones they love and purchased them right away. Not that I can blame them!) Apparently the company is introducing a new formula, but no one knows what colors and styles might make a return, and what’s gone for good.
So, before they are all gone, go to your local Sephora and nab a few, or grab some here: Sephora Nails Sales! Oooh, and I have just learned the amazingness that is Ebates, too – and you will get 8% cash back in a check for whatever you spend at Sephora. Talk about a savings! And yeah… if you sign up using the links I just put here, I’ll get a bit of a bonus. So please, please, please use these links? *laffs!* Thank you!
I can’t believe it’s already June! So what were my favorites for May?
My favorite lip product:
That Bite Beauty lipstick I received in the Sephora Play! bag this past month. (Bite Beauty – Amuse Bouche in Kimchi) Seriously – I am liking the color, though I’d never have chosen it for myself, even after trying it on. It’s this hot pink shade that looks just shocking on me at first… and then… it starts looking better and better. I know a lot of it is that I am just not used to wearing such bold colors, but to heck with that! I’m loving this lipstick.
My favorite nail polish:
Hubba Hubble by Formula X. Yes, I do love glitter nail polish. It’s a total pain to remove, and it begins clumping up way too soon in the bottle, but I love the glinting reflections of the light on my nails!
My favorite scent:
Hugo Boss – Woman. Another not-so-new fragrance. I found this while shopping one of those discount perfumeries in the mall about five years ago. As someone mentioned elsewhere, it’s fresh and sweet with a hint of spice. It’s just perfect for when I want to spritz on a scent for running to the store or something. Much to my chagrin, the only one I could find that day was an eau de toilette, which is very light and doesn’t last too long. I’d adore it in a perfume!
My favorite app on my phone:
Brain It On for Android. The game is described like this: “Deceptively challenging puzzles for your brain! Draw shapes to solve challenging physics puzzles. They’re not as easy as they look. Care to give one a try?” Believe me, it’s a lot harder than what you might think, but it’s also very addicting! Thank goodness you can watch a video that shows how to solve it… but even then it can be really hard to get it just right.
My favorite munchie:
Bananas. Sliced up and smothered in whipped cream. Absolutely buried in the stuff. If I could find some good no-points chocolate syrup or hot fudge…. oh, heaven!
Favorite thing to watch on television:
When I first pulled this show up on On Demand, I figured it would either be complete crap, or it might actually be a little bit interesting. Huzzah for the latter! Of course there’s a warning at the beginning of each episode about violence and sexual situations…. there are a few fights, but what you see on regular television and in movies is worse. And the “sexual situations” are just a few people hitting up others for sex for trade. Again, you see worse everywhere else. One of the guys, Robert, didn’t seem to take anything seriously at all. It was to the point that I was wondering if something really bad was going to happen to him. He completely ignored the training that Sheriff Noel and the others gave, and acted as though he was in his own reality television show for a lark and a shot at fame. Others in the series were really good, really serious about the project, including a police officer (Tami), an ex-Marine (Zac), and one of Mohammad Ali’s daughters.
If you’re curious about life inside a county jail, this is a cool series. It’s not going to show anything really hard-core, of course, but the friendships that develop might surprise you.
My favorite thing at Trader Joe’s:
Yes! Chile Lime Seasoning Blend. Now, personally, I don’t care much for lime. Or mangoes. And certainly not chile lime mango anything. I didn’t realize Hims picked this stuff up until we got home a couple weeks ago, and then it didn’t dawn on me what it actually was until he’d tried it on hamburgers and decided – no. Not on beef. (He’s always looking for different seasoning creations for his meats.) Then I remembered what this stuff is: you sprinkle it on fruit! I have yet to break it to him…. not sure if he’ll start experimenting with all different fruits, and maybe vegetables… legumes….
What else should I add to my monthly favorites list? Anyone have any suggestions?
It is 6° outside. There are huge icicles the length of my windows stretching towards the ground. The cats have taken to hibernating in the closets (Alanis in the bedroom, unless she’s right next to my feet – and the heat register, and Dexter either on top of my computer tower or tucked away inside the linen closet, nested in the fluffy towels).
The heater has been on consistently since last week, which means dry skin. Yuck. For some reason, my left elbow, of all things, has really become dry. It’s even felt like it’s cracked. No good! So even as I wasn’t so thrilled with receiving the small trial version of Aveeno lotion in one of my latest Ipsy bags, I’ve been using it during the day on my poor elbow. At night, I’ve been using Nivea Soft and Tallowderm. What an improvement!
I’ll admit, I’ve been lax the past couple weeks with my skincare regimen. No reasons why, really, other than winter just always gets me a bit down. I’ve begun really getting back into it, and am soooo grateful for the TonyMoly sheet masks! (And grateful to Elizabeth at Everything & Nothin’ for posting about the Amazon deal!) In fact, after I finish writing this post, I’m going to moosh one on my face for half an hour. Mmm, that sounds so good.
For munchies, I’ve been all about the Honeycrisp apples and the Cuties clementines. Seriously, I’ve been chomping on one apple and four clementines while Hims and I watch DVDs at night before bed. It satisfies my tv-watching cravings as well as my sweet-tooth. I’ve also been in love with Wasa Crisp’n Light 7 Grain crackerbreads. I already liked the “thicker” ones, but these are just perfect! I put some shredded cheese on two of them, then top them off with two thin slices of Trader Joe’s Natural Turkey Summer Sausage. Yum! Nice, light, and light on the SmartPoints, and fills me up.
At least the sun is out today, even though we’re expecting three to five inches of snow on Monday. Again. Yuck. I know I’m not the only one waiting for springtime!
You might remember that a few weeks ago I tried my first sheet mask from a little Korean grocery/household shop nearby. No, I didn’t write about it back then, because I wanted to save it for when I had more to write about. With my little Sephora haul over the weekend, I now have stuff to write.
First off, the masks. They are made by a company called Dermal (which makes me think of the layers of the skin… I guess that’s what it’s supposed to do!), and come in a lot of different types, unlike what you see on their site for some reason. I knew I wanted to try the snail formula, just to see if it would make me shudder even putting that on my face. I also found one that said it’s “firming · mild · healthy”, so I grabbed two of that, also. It wasn’t until I got home and really looked at them that I saw the other one was called “Syn-ake”, and is made with a synthesized form of snake venom. I’ll be honest – I haven’t had the nerve to try that one yet, though I’ve read reviews online and haven’t found anyone suffering a bad reaction to it. I know it’s supposed to be like a natural-type Botox, but I never wanted to do Botox, either!
While looking for different subscription boxes I could try out (at not much cost, thanks!), I saw both Walmart and Target have “Beauty Boxes”. They are both relatively cheap, and since they only ship once a season, I figured why not give them a go?
Last Friday my first Walmart Beauty Box showed up on my doorstep. Cool! I had seen a few unboxing videos for previous ones, and loved that they give at least one full-sized cosmetic item plus some travel or deluxe sample sized things. Here’s a photo of the most exciting part for me!
Yeah… Unfortunately, the anticipation was the best this time around. See, what I didn’t know when I ordered this was that Walmart has two different boxes: one for those subscribers who are under the age of 35, and one for those of us 35 and over – or as one blogger called it: “The old lady box”. I’ve found others who have blogged and vlogged about the discrepancy between the two hauls, so I know I’m not the only one miffed at this.
This seems to have been in both boxes for spring, too – Lady Gaga Fame Black Fluid. It smells okay, and I wouldn’t be averse to wearing it out to run to the grocer’s or something, but there’s just some little thing about it that smells more like a drugstore cologne than a perfume I’d usually wear. (Of course, you have to understand my go-to perfumes are Dior’s J’Adore, Lanvin’s Arpege and My Sin – which my mother wore, and a few of the Tocca perfumes. Rather more classic scents.) I’ll definitely stick this in my purse for when I want a spritz, though it will be doing battle with the Florabotanica by Balenciaga that’s already in there.
Jergens has always made good, if not spectacular, products, so I was curious to check out this BB Body – a beauty balm for the rest of the body. It says on the back that this will instantly visibly improve skin and gradually perfects skin over five days. I tried it – and was transported for a few moments back to my senior year of high school. I was in French class, sitting behind my friend Daria, watching her apply foundation – yes, Cover Girl liquid makeup – to her legs in order to make them look smoother and have a bit of color. She did this not just once, but quite a few times – enough to where I have a photo of her doing this somewhere still. It did blend in with my skin after a bit, but I’m not sure I cared for that. I will say it felt nice on my skin, and the fragrance is nice and delicate.
Then there was the Palmer’s Cocoa Butter Formula body lotion. I can always use some cocoa butter stuff! I opened it – and had a sudden yearning to go to the Dairy Shed for a hot fudge sundae. Why? Because that’s what this stuff smells like to me. (Hims thought it smelled like a bunch of women sunbathing on the beach.) It felt nice going on, though maybe a little thick. I just can’t see myself buying this over other products I use.
I like L’Oreal. I used to use their shampoo and conditioner before my taste began to swing towards Wen products and all. This shampoo and conditioner duo smell really nice, a bit like apples! And they will be handy for overnight trips – or for when I am going to wash my hair and I realize there’s no more shampoo in the house. Yes, that happens! This is the Total Repair 5 restoring shampoo, so I won’t mind using it.
The little foil packets are a company I’ve never heard of: Ken Paves. The “name” of the hair line is “You Are Beautiful”. I have a smoothing shampoo, a smoothing conditioner, and a thick conditioning mask in this. The big problem with me is that I have long hair, and there’s no way in the world these bitty foils are going to be enough for my hair – especially not the mask. Hims won’t be bothered to mess with foil packets in the shower, either.
Okay – I do loves me some Burt’s Bees, and have been wanting to try the Renewal intensive firming serum out of curiosity. (Mainly because it’s Burt’s Bees!) There is a $3.00 off coupon with the one-use foil, and I will likely use that coupon soon.
Next is a foil for Palmer’s Cocoa Butter Formula skin therapy oil. It says it helps improve the appearance of fine lines & wrinkles, dark spots, uneven skin tone, and aging skin. Not something I would use, really – I have some argan oil and I have some Burt’s Bees Repair Serum with attar of rose, so I really don’t need this.
Then there’s Garnier, whose shampoos and conditioners I loved awhile back, too. This is a tiny foil packet, something you are probably finding in magazines like a few of these other things. It’s an Ultra-Lift Miracle Sleeping Cream… another “old lady” product. And there’s a $2.00 coupon for any Garnier moisturizer. Again, not something I would use right now.
I now have a coupon for skin therapy oil I most likely will never use, and a coupon for a full-size spray deodorant. At least I do use Degree!
Now, watching the unboxings from spring, I noticed something. The L’Oreal shampoo and conditioner, the Burt’s Bees Renewal serum packet, the Lady Gaga perfume, and the Garnier Ultra-Lift foil packet were all in the previous box. Now granted, *I* didn’t get that box, but think about the women who are getting repeats of this stuff.
I know, it was just five dollars, right? It’s not so much the money as the fact the under-35s seem to get the fun stuff while over-35s are getting lots and lots of moisturizers and shampoo. Yawwnnn
I’ll stick with the Walmart box another season or two, but if they don’t up their game, I’ll just cancel my subscription. Definitely disappointment in a box, especially after seeing all the under-35 unboxings.
I didn’t expect to be as thrilled with my Ipsy Haul this month as I was last month, but they didn’t do too badly in May. Sadly, no nail polish or yummy perfume this time, but it wasn’t a disappointment.
Remember last month when I was so happy that the bag didn’t smell to high heaven? Yeah – not this month. As soon as I opened the pink foil envelope I got a huge whiff of what smelled like wet paint, as though they packaged the thing while painting the walls in a small, enclosed room. Again, letting the bag air out for an hour or two has gotten rid of that smell, thank goodness. The bag itself, while it seems to be well made, just isn’t my style at all. On the Ipsy site the description says you can use this as a “statement bag”. I can’t even begin to think of what kind of statement I’d be trying to make if I carried this bag around in the open.
The lip gloss is: Urban Decay Revolution. This came as a little package in itself: the Ozone 24/7 Glide-On Lip Pencil was the “main” sample, and looks to be full-sized. It’s paired with Revolution High-Color Lipgloss in “Failbait” (a rose color) and “Bittersweet” (a deep purple). I already have a pencil I use to prevent my lip color from feathering, so this is really just an extra I can use when traveling. I like the pencil and the gloss “Failbait”, but the gloss “Bittersweet” is way too dark for my complexion.
The eyebrow pencil is: Chella: Tantalizing Taupe Eyebrow Color. Good product. The color isn’t too dark so it blends very nicely with my medium blonde brows. the tip is very small, and doesn’t leave a huge streak across my face. I just really never use eyebrow pencil.
The sunscreen is: CoTZ Face. They apparently sent me a natural skin tone with a sheer matte finish, lightly tinted. I just wasn’t that into this sample. I already use Laura Mercier Oil-Free Tinted Moisturizer, which has an SPF of 20, in lieu of thicker foundation when I do wear full makeup. Otherwise, I use regular moisturizers with sun screen in them, and I’m usually sporting a hat of some kind. This sample is nothing I need, even with SPF 40, though I’ll keep it to try out when the pool opens later this month. It’s water resistant!
The cosmetic brush is: Luxie Rose Gold Tapered Blending Eye Brush 205. I love this brush. For months I’ve been hoping they would send me a brush or two to add to my rather small collection, and finally they have – and I love it! The bristles seem to be in the brush securely, are very soft and natural-feeling, and blended my eyeshadow well. The handle length is perfect, too – I don’t care for the tiny handles of compact brushes, so this is another plus. And it’s a nice shade of rose, which means I can find it easily in all my wood-handled brushes. Oh, and if you notice, the retail price for this brush is $12.00. Not bad at all, considering the monthly Ipsy cost is $10.00!
Here’s hoping for a good June, too! And if you’d like to try these monthly gifties, too, here’s the link to get you started: Get Started With Ipsy!
Weekends should be fun and relaxing, right? Yeah… so naturally I choose Saturday morning to do weigh-in!
A few weeks ago, my Weight Watchers center changed the hours of their meetings as well as the hours of operation. Someone at the home office got the bright idea to make meetings an hour earlier (why, I couldn’t tell you). Because of this, the Wednesday night meeting I usually attend is a bit harder for me to get to. Instead of ditching it altogether, I go weigh in on Saturdays – or Friday morning if I remember.
This week I gained 1.6 pounds. That’s fine – I’ll lose it again! Maybe even by next week! I just have to keep on trying. (Besides, I’ll just blame that yummy Zuppa Toscana from earlier this week. Yeah, that’s it…)
After swallowing my pride at the scales this morning, Hims and I ran a few errands, ending up over at a shopping area called The Green. It’s mainly mid-high to high end there, but they do have a Torrid. You might or might not know this, but Torrid has this ongoing deal called haute cash. For certain weeks, any full-priced purchases will earn you $25 of haute cash for every $50 you spend in their stores or online. Then they will have about a two week window where you can spend that haute cash – which is essentially a 50% off coupon: if you have $100 in haute cash, you can get $200 worth of regular priced clothing and use your haute cash to pay for half of it. It’s a good little deal they have going on.
Over the past haute cash time, we collected $100 of the coupons. There was a dress Hims wanted me to try on, so off we went to Torrid at the Green, which opened only a few months ago. I tried on the dress, and…
Well, you know how people say “That dress wasn’t well-made. The fit wasn’t right.” In this case, it was much more: “My body isn’t made right for this dress.” At least it sure isn’t right now! As sad as I was to again be reminded how much I miss wearing pretty dresses (and how much pretty dresses dislike being squooshed and draped on my figure!), there were a few other things I was able to grab. Namely a few shirts, a light sweater, and a belt. All things I sort of needed, anyway, and more than I needed a pretty dress.
I do admit to breaking down in tears in the dressing room over the dress. It wasn’t so much that I couldn’t have the dress as I just looked awful in it. I just look awful in just about anything was my feeling right then. I look in the dressing room mirror and believe I should see myself as I was when I was thin. I know better, but that knowing doesn’t help.
So bless whoever designed the dressing rooms at this Torrid store – I think they have a good insight into the plight of the fat girl trying on clothing and having to inspect herself in front of a well-lit full length mirror. The dressing room was huge. Like bigger-than-a-walk-in-closet huge. And if soothing yet upbeat colors. And yes, I took photos on my phone!
I appreciate the little hook for the purse, and the photos that don’t scream advertisement! at you. The mirror back there in this corner is great to see what something would look like in a lower-light setting. And the cute little rug in front of the roomy bench is just perfect!
This is from the middle of the dressing room – the middle! There is a soft light chandelier high on the ceiling above me, and you can see the lighting on one side of the brighter mirror. That’s a wonderful idea: it gives illumination you need, but in an all-over manner. I always dread dressing rooms because so many of them have overhead lighting, or spotlight-type lights up in the corners. It makes someone with a great figure look hideous (I know from when I had one!) and can bring down the most upbeat of bigger girls. Again, Torrid gets a win for the way they have their lighting. It’s flattering for the clothing and flattering for the customer.
Okay, unless the customer is me trying on a pretty dress, dontchaknow.
And again with the win! The fan in the dressing room! What I didn’t get in this shot is the controls, with settings for off, lo, med, hi. Oh, and beneath that is a switch so you can choose to have the fan oscillate or remain still. Can you believe that? I can’t tell you how many times I’ve become uncomfortable in a hot, stuffy dressing cubicle. I had more things to try on, but who feels like trying on clothing when you are beginning to perspire? That’s just… gross. Torrid thought of this! Thank you!
With this, I am seriously considering a thank you email for the company, expressing how appreciated these changes are. I know I can’t be the only one, and I know I won’t be the only woman pleased to have a fan in the room when summer comes around. Now if only more shops would adopt this!