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A long absence, and a long post

Well it’s been a while.

I have several ongoing projects that are currently on hold either due to upcoming plans, budget restrictions or,  the weather (and by weather I mean 95+ temperatures)

But I might as well do an update on my accutane experiences. So it’s been about 7weeks since I started and so far relatively good. 

My skin feels amazing by comparison to how it used to. No inflammation. No pain. Very few cysts, and the ones I do have are small and pretty painless. 

It’s taking a bit of getting used to. I’ve always had combination skin verging on oily, particularly in the summer. This summer it’s nothing but dry. All of my usual products which generally have some kind of gentle resurfacing acid in them (glycolic, lactic, mandelic, ascorbic) absolutely burn my skin. 

I’ve had to completely overhaul my skin care routine. It’s actually kind of fun considering I do this for a living yet I am generally stuck in my ways and will only ever change out one thing in my routine at a time, and rarely at that. So here are some things I’ve found particularly helpful.  

First The Essentials


Even if I don’t put anything else on after washing I mist my skin with Jurlique’s rose water balancing skin mist, and put on generous amounts of First Aid Beauty’s (F.A.B.) Ultra Repair Cream. Even before I started accutane I adored the rose water mist for its soothing quality, but now it’s an absolute essential. Ultra repair cream which I have recomended to countless people with dry and irritated skin has been a life saver for both my face and body. 

The Cleansing Essentials


Now that my skin is dry not only do I have to hydrate it more but I have to be more meticulous with exfoliation. Unfortunately because it’s sensitive on top of that I can’t go my usual route of chemical exfoliation. For my face I’ve been using a gentle powder exfoliate from Farmacy it’s a combination of enzyme exfoliate with gentle physical exfoliation. Gentle enough to use weekly without any irritation to my newly sensitive skin. For every day makeup cleansing I’ve been using F.A.B.’s Milk oil cleanser. 

The skin on my body has always been a bit on the dry side it’s just a bit dryer now, but I’ve not had the sensitivity I’ve experienced on my face. So I don’t have to worry as much about over exfoliation. I’ve been using a scrub from target. It isn’t foamy but does have little exfoliation grains in it, and in conjunction with an exfoliating glove from eco tools it works great for everyday cleansing. If I need an extra scrub I’ll use (not pictured) Peter Thomas  Roth’s Irish Moor Mud cleanser. I can’t use it for my face anymore but it gives an excellent chemical exfoliation to the body when used in conjunction with the glove. 

As noted by the presence of Dry Bar’s Sake Bomb nourishing shampoo and conditioner even my hair and scalp have been dry. This is the first set of hair products I’ve tried so the verdict is still out on it.

Pampering


 I might have a slight mask addiction. I always liked sheet masks. But as you can probably tell I am now obsessed. My all time favorites are Farmacy, Dr.Jart water replenishment as well as Sephora’s lip masks. They are all made of this hydrogel material that is absolutely amazing. 

The Splurge


Tatcha is hella expensive. But oh my gosh does my skin love it now. Their luminous dewy skin mist is something I never thought I would like. Dewy was like a dirty word when I had oily skin. Now spraying that on my face feels like taking a dunk in a pool. It feels absolutely marvelous. And their Indigo soothing triple  Recovery cream I can’t say enough about it… 

Anyway… Sorry I took a long absence… Then I wrote a really long post, I’m actually going to be out of town this coming weekend so I likely won’t get a post up then either… But I’ll give you a hint where I’ll be 


I’ve got a train to catch…


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How Bittersweet it is

Everything is coming up purple! And by that I mean Bittersweet. Urban Decay’s “signature” color. Why? Because look at that gorgeousness!!!

  

  That is the color of happiness…. Or possibly Barney the dinosaur, which is the exact opposite of happiness… I suppose that makes the name bittersweet appropriate. 

Ok on to a quick review the Revolution gloss is very long wearing. I’ve worn it a few times now including shifts at work where I don’t get the chance to touch up and it’s lasted great. The pigmentation is… Well it’s ok, by ok I mean it is super purple but because I have naturally very bright lips it just looks like a cool tone pink 

  
Yup those are my stupid bright naked lips.

  
This is Bittersweet all by its lonesome

I could A. Prime/conceal my lips (yuck) B. Pair it with a nude gloss or C. Manage to find an epically purple lip liner. I’ve just been pairing it over a Marc Jacobs Enamoured Hi-shine lip lacquer  in Moonglow that tones down my lips and eventually mixes with the Bittersweet to make a strange lilac color

  
I suppose that is exhibit B1 with Marc Jacobs gloss. It also works well over nude lipstick like Lancome Rouge in Love in 124M (a great dupe for which is Rimmel London’s Lasting Finish by Kate in 113)

  
I think this was my favorite iteration of any of them because it was the truest purple. 

Oh and not to forget the Afterglow Blush, it is … Epic! I had been on the hunt for a purple blush for a while anyway because every “cool tone” (or for that matter warm tone) blush just ends up looking a generic pink on my lovely pink skin. So I figured the only way I would get a true cool tone was to go all out. (I solved the warm tone a while back with Luminous  Peach from Too Faced, which is just straight up orange) 

  
Bittersweet delivered. I was worried at first it would just look bruise-like on my fair skin, But being light handed and making sure everything was blended it looked just dandy. You may be able to notice above the swatch I blended what was left on my finger.

I might do a tutorial for an all purple look later on so you can see everything in action along with a purple smokey eye. Let me know if you want to see something like that. 

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Horseshoes and Hand Grenades

I almost managed to get a post up this weekend. Then my crazy week spilled over. I tend not to post much about my personal life on my blog but after being asked by project patrol (who was asked by Emilyannlou) to list five controversial things about myself I might as well put some of the reasons why my blog has been lacking in … frivolity… lately as well. Tomorrow i will be going on my third make that fourth job interview in a week with a third company. I love my current job so i’m not really looking to switch but trying to save for a house on a retail income isnt the easiest thing. Also this happened this week.

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Not the nails though two people now have been distracted by them when i showed them my snazzy new engagement ring. As a side note my Jamberry party that i posted about a while ago went swimmingly and i decided to become a consultant so if you want to browse the catalog feel free. Now i just have to learn that i cannot, sand, strip furniture, paint, varnish and or  play with caustic chemicals, without taking my ring off… luckily I have a lovely dancing baby Groot who appears to be made just for holding rings.

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All hail king Groot

Luckily thanks to a dear friend of mine things should be back on track for my blog here shortly. I’m back on mostly day shifts (hooooray, i’m such a morning person those night shifts were seriously screwing with me) and I’ve got some projects with my friend lined up as she redecorates and refinishes some furniture in her house.

So on to those “controversial” things that project patrol passed on to me. I thought the Liebster was hard. First off let me start by saying I’m a super boring person. Secondly without trying to be all righteous, I’m just not a very judgmental person. So I don’t find a lot of things “controversial”…. But here it is I’ve wracked my brain… All of the controversy…

1. Let’s start with a big one… If anything is “controversial” about me it’s this.

I live in the Bible Belt. I was raised in an … (Let’s call it) unreligious house. In high school I attended (by my own choice) a Unitarian Universalist youth group program called Religious Exploration. We learned not only about Unitarianism (within Christianity the unity as opposed to trinity of God) and universalism (universal salvation)

A friend of mine who is still very active in the church explained Unitarian Universalism very well recently

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we also learned about Christianity’s roots, Catholicism, the various sects of Christianity,  Judaism and its various sects, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism… You name it we learned it. I had the chance to speak to imams and rabbis, priests and reverends. What did I learn from all of this? I really don’t like organized religion.

I loved my church as a learning tool it taught me the difference between agnostic and atheist… Or agnostic atheist as the case may be, and in the UU church being just that is absolutely fine.

2. I do not now have, nor do I have plans to have any children. I’m pushing 30 and in a long term, stable relationship. Yes I have time to change my mind. No I’m not going to.

3. I’m a college drop out. Not just a college drop out, a drop out with about 16 credit hours left… It’s a long story I’m not going to go into it.

4. I’ve mentioned it before but i’ll do it again for the sake of new readers. I work in the cosmetics industry. I love my job. I love the products, I love the people, I love gathering information and testing things out…. You know what I hate. Urban Decay eye shadow. I know how could I? They have cute (read: contrived)  names, they have amazing pigmentation, they have colors you cant find anywhere else (and have to buy a whole $60 pallet just to get that one color). They also have the worst fallout in the industry. I understand there is a trade off. High pigmentation means a good bit of fallout. But UD is next-level, so-much-graffiti-on-your-cheeks, you look like that chick from guardians of the galaxy fall out (that was a throw back color, do they even make graffiti anymore? god I’m old). Yes they make primer, and they sell a lot of it because of this, and yes it helps… sort of… but eye shadow should stand on its own and even with primer you get stupid amounts of fallout. sooooo…… just go buy some MAC or Stila… except kitten it has just as much fallout (but it’s so damned pretty it’s worth it)… ok my product rant  is done… i apologize.

Regular programming should resume shortly

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Joyful, Joyful

What a week!? First I got all my hair cut off (finally), there is just a 12″ ponytail hanging nonchalantly on my refrigerator waiting to be sent to wigs for kids. Then I spent a couple of days in the city to attend a conference hosted by Philosophy to check out their new product line up. And what a line up it is! So I thought I would impart some of the low down on what they have coming up with you.

I am a bit of a fragrance junkie… only a bit, I’ve seen it much worse than me. I’ve also always loved Philosophy’s fragrances. So when I found out they were going to have a new fragrance launch I was excited. If you are familiar with Philosophy you have likely heard of Amazing Grace or maybe even one of the other scents in the “Grace” line of fragrances they have. They also have a line of “Love” fragrances, now headlined by the lovely (haha) citrus and soft floral scent of Loveswept. Now they are getting ready to launch a “Live” line of fragrances. First on the roster is Live Joyously coming this February. I got a sneak peak and sniff of it this week and though I’m taking my time falling in love with the scent I am wild about the concept.

Philosophy’s fragrances have always been a whisper, this is a shout. First off, it is an Eau de perfume as opposed to an Eau de toilette. EDP’s have a higher concentration of fragrance oils in them as well as (usually) having higher quality source ingredients. For example in an EDT you may have ylang-ylang which comes from a farm in the Philippines but in the EDP you will still have ylang-ylang but, it will come from the wilds of Indonesia. The different environment gives the flowers and therefore the fragrance a different scent profile. Just like oranges from California taste different than oranges from Florida. Same species, different environment.

Philosophy has also upped the ante when it comes to the feel and look of their EDP. The box is made out of a stiff matte cardstock with a Philosophy style message just for the recipient on the inside flap of the packaging. Gone is the plain silver cap that adorned the top of all of their fragrances (making it hard to distinguish one from the other) to be replaced with a classic surlyn cap. Also gone is the stick on label, instead replaced with screen printed graphics on a beautiful ombre from pink to purple colored glass bottle.

This shift to a higher quality feel is going to start with the new Live Joyously EDP but continue as Loveswept will get the EDP treatment as well. It currently only comes in EDT but look out for it in EDP soon.

Ok, enough about the packaging… I know, I’m a visual girl so I was enamored by it.

A special message under the lid

The fragrance itself… Is… actually growing on me… I’m one of those people that can’t immediately fall in love with a fragrance, despite loving all things that smell good (lush is the bane of my existence). After giving this one three days I’m actually starting to really like it. Three days is actually doing pretty good, it took me a month to like Romance and now it’s one of my go to. It helps that my first experience with Live Joyously was at a wonderful conference meeting amazing and interesting new people. Our olfactory sense is closely linked to memory so the smell of it brings me back to this week’s excitement, not to mention the most wonderful hotel bed I have ever had the pleasure of sleeping in.

They will also have a special travel set coming out with Live Joyously, Amazing Grace, and LoveSwept. Definitely going on my wish list… But that may have more to do with the bow than anything else.

I’ll be honest I’m not that fond of its initial top notes. They are a bit too bold for me, I happen to like the whisper of philosophy’s usual fragrances. After giving it a good half hour of dry down the soft (almost powdery) peony heart notes and the warm (but not overly musky) patchouli of the base come forward and settle it into a very sophisticated yet carefree scent that (though it lasts all day) is not at all overpowering. Though it feels very feminine to me it’s classified as a chypre and after turning over a good bit of research (I mean google) it turns out that is the most alluring fragrance classification to men. Soooo… this is where the hint, hint, wink, wink is supposed to go.

I feel I am falling laughably flat in describing this scent but it will definitely go in my winter rotation, and I think you will love it if you like: Ms. Dior EDT, CoCo Mademoiselle EDP, or Chanel Chance (original or Eau Tendre).

Keep an eye out for their summer scent as well, this time in their “Love” tier of fragrances. Great if you like Light Blue or Aquatic fragrances.

This obviously isn’t the only thing I got a hands on with at the conference but like I said I do love things that smell good, and you’ll have a chance to try it out very soon if it hasn’t already hit your local Philosophy counter. One of the other things we did spend a lot of time on is Philosophy’s amazing Hope&Grace Initiative.

You can find out more about it here, but just so you get an overview; 1% of all Philosophy product sales (online, in store, on qvc, etc. etc. any point of sale!) go towards community based mental health organizations for women. If you’re active in the blogosphere than your have likely come across the 31 days of BPD that many brave bloggers are doing out there, if you haven’t go check it out. I’m very proud to support a company who is helping to provide community based assistance to the 1 in 8 women who will develop clinical depression during their lifetime.