Ouai Wave Spray. This is the Sh*t.

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To recap:  I have thick, wavy hair that I hate dealing with.  The day I discovered wave sprays, my whole life changed.  There was now a magical product that I could just spray on my hair, scrunch it up, and leave it alone.  I didn’t have to dry it.  I didn’t have to brush it.  I didn’t have to do anything!  I was in heaven.

Needless to say, I have tried a lot of wave sprays, from high end to drug store, and this one is, hands down, may favorite.  It smells kind of like walking through a botanical garden, and it doesn’t make your hair crispy.  I’m talking about that look you get from some sprays that makes it appear like you drowned your strands in mousse.  You know–well separated and crunchy looking.

I’m sure this has a lot to do with the fact that you don’t need a ton of product to achieve results.  I’m almost certain if you drowned your hair in it, you would be left with some tough looking waves, but you don’t have to with this.  Just a few sprays makes you look like you spent the day at the beach, and no one has to know that it really it just means you’re too lazy to dry your hair.  That can’t just be me, right?

Needless to say, I’m buying more of this.  I don’t kid around when I say it’s changed my life.  I’ll never be without it again.  At least not after March 1.  You see, I ran out so close to the end of February, that it’s kind of become a game of whether or not I can make it two months without a Sephora purchase (other than Play boxes).  I can live without it for awhile, but not forever.  At the beginning of March, it shall once again be mine. At any rate, I’ve been working like a lunatic, so I won’t really have time to get out and buy it until this coming Friday.

It’s $26.00 for 5 ounces, and, if you’re curious to try it out, you can pick up a 1.7 ounce travel size for $12.00.  This is the one that Sephora likes to randomly send me, and I’m quite happy to receive them.

Ouai Wave Spray:  I need this.  Can’t live without this kind of need it.  I’m going to buy it.

–Jackie

Diorshow Mascara. Has it Really Been Nine Years?

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Yes, it has.  I bought my first tube of this in 2008, and it’s been pretty much a staple in my makeup bag since.  Yes, it’s $28.50 for a tube of mascara.  That borders on ridiculous, but if you apply it properly, it almost looks like you’re wearing false lashes.  I wore this when I got married.  I can’t imagine major events without it.

The wand is huge, forcing you to make some weird faces if you plan on getting the roots of your lashes, but, hey, whatever works, right?

I don’t wear waterproof mascara due to a long and contentious history with most waterproof formulas.  Namely, something in most of them causes my eyes to swell, so I just don’t even try with it anymore.  This one smudges if you’re going to, say, run five miles while wearing it (but why would you do that anyway?), but as far as regular wear and tear, it doesn’t move around much.  I’ve never had a problem with it flaking.

I’m not buying more right now for one big reason.  I have a tube of Smashbox Full Exposure mascara in a drawer, and they’re kind of, almost, pretty much, the same thing.  The wands are the exact same size.  The formula is virtually the same, so if you’ve got one, you really don’t need the other.  When it’s time to toss that one, I’ll buy another of these.   (Side note:  Toss your mascara after six months.  If it upsets  you to throw away a tube of black goop that costs $28.50 before it’s empty, don’t buy it in the first place.  Unless you just want to try your luck with avoiding an eye infection, in which case, you keep on using that tube until it’s gone.  I had one eye infection in high school.  They suck.  Take it from me.  Throw that sh*t out if you even think it’s going bad.)  I tend to favor buying travel size tubes of mascara, because it’s virtually impossible to use a full size tube before it spoils.  This is one of the few full-sizes I still buy.  I love it.  I’ve loved it for, geez, nine years now.  That makes me feel a little bit old.

Diorshow Mascara:  I love it, but I don’t need more.

–Jackie

 

Farmacy Honey Potion Hydration Mask. Come Back to Me.

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Ok, I need to sit back and think about this one.  Could I live without it?  Yes.  Do I want to live without it?  Absolutely not.  This is going on the list of products to potentially buy as a reward purchase at the end of March.

I’m sure by all we all know that honey is an amazing substance, and it’s been used to disinfect wounds for millennia, and so on, and so forth.

I got this in January’s Sephora Play box, and to my delight, it was a really generous sample size.  I got ten or eleven uses out of it, so I decided to use it twice a week for twenty minutes while I read before bed.

You spread a thin layer over clean skin, and rub it in.  It warms up a bit and turns white.  It also kind of stings a little, but not so much to be uncomfortable, but for the love of all that’s holy, don’t get it around your eyes or mouth or you will change your thoughts on that.  Then you just let it work it’s magic and rinse it off.  The smell is a little unusual.  It smells like smoked honey.  I didn’t find it offensive, but there were definitely some complaints about it in the reviews posted on Sephora.com.  Anyway, it dissipates quickly, so who cares when it comes down to the results you end up with.

I started using this while dealing with some pretty major breakouts on my chin, and through some kind of sorcery, it really knocks back the redness in the bumps after twenty minutes of wear.  The redness did start to come back after a couple of days without use, but immediately went away again with each use.  After three weeks of regular use, my skin looked amazing.  After five weeks, I decided it was magic, and then I ran out and became a bit distraught.

I’m not saying this stuff is a godsend, but I will say this.  I currently have zero pimples on my face right now.  None.  It’s been like this for over a week.  This is almost unheard of for me, and, if history is correct, I should be pretty deep into a hormonal breakout as I type this.  Yes, I still have a few scars around my chin, but there’s no texture around them and only slight discoloration.  I attribute how my face looks to a gentle cleanser, followed by retinol (I’m almost up to using it nightly ,and it only took three months to get there!), and this stuff twice a week.

Part of me wants to race out and buy it since I’m out, but another part of me wants to hold off on it and see if my newfound great skin is due solely to the retinol.  At any rate, it’s $56.00 for 4.1 ounces, and I’m due a reward purchase at the end of March.  That should be just enough time to determine if this stuff really is the little miracle in a jar that I believe it to be and buy it if it even looks like I’m getting little red pimples again.  As promised, I shall keep the world posted on all purchases made this year, so that naturally includes this.

Farmacy Honey Potion Hydration Mask:  I almost certain I need this.

–Jackie

 

Neutrogena Pore Refining Exfoliating Cleanser. Thanks for the Breakouts.

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I always keep some kind of cheap face wash in my shower.  I’m generally not too picky about it, and I usually just grab a cream cleanser from Neutrogena and call it a day.  I got this one because a friend of mine swears by it and says it shrinks his pores until they are virtually nonexistent.  I’ve got small pores, but I figured why not give it a try.  I picked it up and brought it home.

I had no such luck with it.  I remember using this when I was sixteen and having some of the worst breakouts of my life, but I figured that wouldn’t happen again since that was half a lifetime ago.

The exfoliation is pretty gentle.  So gentle, in fact, you could almost argue it’s not happening, and it cleans really well.  The smell is a little chemical, but I didn’t find it offensive.  It is pervasive, though, so if you don’t like strong smells, you may want to steer clear.

After about a week and a half of using this, I started to get some major breakouts on my chin, the likes of which are not usually seen on my face.  I mean they were big, and they hurt to touch them.  Of course, me being me and all, I popped them and made the situation that much worse.  I refused to believe this was what was causing the breakout, but it was the only thing in my routine that was new.  The breakouts got worse, and one morning I woke up with a massive zit on my cheek.  I do not get acne on my cheek.  Ever.  I tossed this in a corner and started using my Origins Checks and Balances Face Wash twice a day.  That’s the only thing I’ve used for about a week and a half now, and wouldn’t you know it, the acne is almost gone.  I’m still left with some red marks around my chin that are driving me crazy, but at least I can hide those with a good concealer.

I can’t believe this breaks me out.  That makes no sense.  Has anyone else had this problem?  I’m saving it for when my friend comes into town, and I’ll just give it to him.  It’s pretty definitive that I can’t use it.

I’m kind of bummed because it’s actually not that bad of a face wash.

Neutrogena Exfoliating Pore Refining Cleanser:  I don’t need this.  I like my face without acne, thanks.

–Jackie

TokyoMilk Dark Pretty Rotten. What was I Thinking?

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This was a perfume I loved when I first smelled it.  I remember spraying it once and thinking Woah, this is a lovely floral.  I’ll have to remember to use this one and not just throw it onto the shelf with all of my other samples.  Fast forward to today when I remembered having this when I swore I wouldn’t forget about it.

I sprayed this on my wrists and neck and regretted it almost immediately.  There is an initial blast of really crisp apple, that fades almost instantly to a rose scented powdery smell that refuses to tone down.  I smelled so strongly of baby powder that there was no way I was wearing this out of my apartment.  It was terrible.  If you were to distill “old lady” into a smell, this would be it.  Why did I like this so much in the first place?  I couldn’t even begin to figure it out.

Fortunately, like everything in the TokyoMilk Dark line, it fades quickly.  I wandered around my house for an hour, and then put something else on to cover it up.

I like a lot of TokyoMilk Dark.  I love the discovery collections and think they make great gifts.  Their advertising it TO DIE FOR.  I have no idea how I have avoided this particular scent for so long since I’m pretty sure it’s one of the more popular ones in the line.

Everything and Nothing, La Vie La Mort, Novacaine, and Tainted Love (I really love that one) are all really nice.  What on earth was up with this?  I’d be willing to chalk it up to body chemistry, but I am sniffing it now on a tissue that I sprayed, and ohgodno, it still just smells like powder.  There’s no depth to it.  Rose.  Powder.  The end.

It’s $42.00 for 1.6 ounces, and there are actually a lot of good options in this line.  The price is reasonable enough that you won’t get angry with all the reapplying you’ll have to do, and trust me, all of these fade quickly. I mean it.

I’m tossing this because I can’t bear to pass it on to any of my friends.  I can’t think of anyone I know who would even remotely like it.

–Jackie

Fresh Sugar Lip Treatment. Who Buys This?

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What you see above is $24.00 lip balm.  I repeat:  $24.00 LIP BALM.  It’s awesome, too, because this $24.00 LIP BALM is so heat sensitive that it will begin to melt in the pocket of your jeans on a summer day.  One particularly memorable story involves me forgetting my Burt’s Bees at home one night when I worked grill in the summer.  I found this in my purse and had to keep it refrigerated to keep it from melting on the line.

Sure, this is nice lip balm.  It moisturizes well, and, I’ll even admit I like putting it on before bed.  Your lips still feel hydrated when you wake up in the morning, but do you really need to pay this much money for something that will start to melt when the temperature dips below sixty degrees?  If you answered yes, I’ve got some ocean front property in Arizona I’d like to sell you.

Now, I can maybe, sort of, kind of see spending the money on the tinted versions of this.  Maybe.  I’d need to knock back a drink before I did it myself.  The Rose one, in particular, is really pretty, and it’s kind of nice to have something you can just toss on and not have to worry about fumbling around for a mirror to make sure it looks OK, but this one is clear.  No color.  Twenty-four dollar translucent lip balm.

This is my beef with Fresh.  The stuff they make works REALLY WELL.  But I just honestly don’t think the cost is justified in most cases.  I love their lip scrub, and I cheerfully pay for it because it lasts forever.  I hate their Soy Face Wash with a passion, chiefly because it breaks me out, but also because you end up with this weird film on your face when you wash it off.  Rose Eye Cream?  TOTALLY worth the money.  Advanced Nourishing Lip Balm?  You must be joking.  Hell, if you twist my arm, I’d say Creme Ancienne is worth it, and it borders on obscenely expensive price, but lip balm?  No.

I have so many of these in my apartment and I don’t know where they come from.  I never buy them.  Ever.  If anyone out there does, please tell me why.  In my most humble opinion, this works just as well as medicated Blistex, and I can get a dozen tubes of that for the price of one of these.  I genuinely don’t understand why anyone would spend money on this.

Fresh Sugar Lip Treatment:  I don’t need this.  I’m not going to buy it.

–Jackie

 

Sephora Play Box February 2017

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Before I get into breaking down this box, I just have to take a second and say the following:

Guys, the last seven days have been insane.  Busy doesn’t even begin to describe it.

Last Monday, I had a job interview.  I had another on Tuesday.  On Wednesday, Jared’s dad came to visit, and we all went to a meeting with the Anti-Defamation League in the city where my husband was presented with an award.  Thursday, I had another job interview.  Friday and Saturday, I helped a friend work a catering event.  Today, I woke up at the crack of dawn to help Jared’s dad get on the right bus that would take him to LaGuardia.  I came home and crashed.  As in I slept until four this afternoon.  I have another interview tomorrow and Tuesday, and two offers on the table right now, both of which are quite good, making my decision about employment difficult to say the least.  In all the chaos, this is the first week in the last three months I’ve not felt, at any point, too depressed to function.  One week.

One week when I woke up every day and decided that it wouldn’t be a chore to get out of bed and brush my teeth.  One week when I didn’t mind taking the elevator to my basement and dropping off my garbage.  One week when I did my laundry because it didn’t feel like I was being crushed with the act.  I vacuumed the floor.  The kitchen and bathroom are clean for the first time in what seems like forever.  At some point in the last few days, it hit me that I was beginning to do things, not because I had to, but because I wanted to.  Because putting dishes in my dishwasher isn’t climbing a mountain even though it has felt like it sometimes.  I’ve felt like an actual human and not just a shadow that happens to occupy space.

I don’t often talk about being depressed because, generally, I can function through anything.  I can talk to people, and move around and get things done, and smile (or at least fake a smile) through it all, but it’s been hell for me since mid-November.  Life got the best of me right after Christmas, and I spent the next month hardly leaving my house and debating if I would ever be capable of working again, not because I was physically unable, but because I barely felt like taking a shower, muchless taking the subway to a real job.

I remember one time an old boyfriend of mine told me that he didn’t believe depression was real.  I was sitting on my sofa, crying for no particular reason, and refusing to go watch him coach a baseball game because, well, I didn’t feel like leaving the house.  He looked me dead in the eye and said, essentially, that nothing was wrong with me and I needed to suck it up.  Needless to say, that didn’t sit well with me.  He really should have thought about the fact that his car was at his apartment and he was at my apartment.  I got angry and refused to take him to his place, so he could pick his car up and drive to practice.  I kicked him out and told him to walk.  To this day I don’t know if he actually walked or called a friend when he left my humble abode.

I realize this is ongoing, and it will happen again, so I’ll enjoy this newfound lightness while I can.  I don’t feel like I’m walking around with a lead cape wrapped around me, at least for now.

Jared has been awesome through all of this.  He’s worked twelve hours, come into an apartment I obviously haven’t cleaned, straightened it up, and cooked dinner (or at least brought me French fries when that was the only thing I would eat), and never complained.  He’s seen me pretty bad before, but not for this long.

I’ve not worked out in months.  I’ve gained weight.  I’ve not worked.  But with all the newfound chaos, I feel like I can function again.  So, one thing at a time.  Apply for jobs.  Leave the apartment.  Interview.  Make a decision about one.  Stop subsisting on French fries.  Start working again.  Start running again.  At some point in all the chaos, I’ve figured out how to “human” again, at least for now.  Let’s roll with it.

Now, on to the box!

This guy arrived on Wednesday, but there was no way I had time to blog, so I snapped a picture and got back to franticly running around.  It’s kind of shaping up to be just an OK box.  Last month’s was awesome, and there’s a good chance my reward purchases will go to a number of things from that one.  Here’s the breakdown and initial thoughts on February’s box:

Clinique Pep-Start Hydroblur Moisturizer:  Seems promising as a moisturizer.  So far I’ve not used it under any makeup, but I don’t know how well it will work as a primer.  It blurs any pores and redness I happen to have on my face, but it never seems to dry down, so hours after I apply it, I’m left with a slick film on my face.  We’ll see how it goes.

Too Faced Lip Injection Glossy in shade Milkshake:  I’m going to be honest.  I HATE lip plumpers.  I already have big lips, so I don’t need them, and most of them burn.  I had tried the original Lip Injection years ago and hated it.  This stuff burns just as much as the OG one, so I don’t see myself using it ever, really.  It kind of sucks because the color is a gorgeous pink-nude shade that I love.

Bite Beauty Multistick in shade Cashew:  I LOVE BITE BEAUTY!  The best birthday gift I’ve ever gotten was a trip to the Lip Lab downtown where I got to blend three custom colors courtesy of my hubby.  I love their lipsticks.  I love their lip masks.  I love their multi-sticks.  I have a couple of them already, but I didn’t have this shade.  It’s a lovely neutral shade that can be used on eyes, lips, and cheeks, and it goes well with my skin tone.  I’m super pumped about this one.

Sephora Collection Lashcraft Length and Volume Mascara:  I’ve been using this for the past few days, and I have to say that the formula is one of the most smear resistant I think I have ever used.  It’s really good.  I’m still figuring out this brush, though.  It’s rounded on the sides and flat in the middle, and I cannot, for the life of me, get a good application.

Origins GinZing Refreshing Eye Cream:  I have a pot of this already.  It’s good stuff when it comes to depuffing and hiding dark circles.  I like to keep it in the fridge to assist in the depuffing, and it’s got tiny little reflective particles to help mask dark circles.  I’m happy to get a sample size tube of this so I can take it with me on my travels.

Tom Ford Neroli Portofino:  This smells so good.  Citrus and lavender and neroli all come together for a sample size that won’t last long around me.  Tom Ford makes amazing scents, and this one seems to be no exception.

As a side note, the bag that housed the samples of this month’s box is actually nice.  It’s a cute little satin number that I will be hanging onto and using for traveling.  Most of the ones I’ve gotten have been super cheap, and I’ve just tossed them, but I wouldn’t mind being seen with this one.

So, that’s the end of this month’s box.  This post has turned into a bit of a rambling one.  I don’t know if that will happen again, but, hey, it’s my blog.  I’ll talk about what I want.   I’ll start posting reviews on the products once I finish them or decide to get rid of them (I’m looking at you Lip Injection).  In the meantime, goodnight to all.

Total spent on makeup in 2017: $21.78

–Jackie