31 May 2014

Well, I Didn't Mean For That to Happen!

As in, I didn't intend to post early in the month and then not again until the last day!  I mean, not that I have anything terribly fascinating to report, but I was very surprised when I saw that my last post here was on May 10 - what's that about?

May was a weird month.  Not a bad one, just weird in that lots of things were going on, but not necessarily exciting things.  There were some highlights - a trip to Maryland Sheep and Wool at the very beginning of the month, and a trip home to West Virginia over the Memorial Day weekend - but it was mostly going to work and not killing anyone there, coming home and being lazy, and running errands/cleaning on the weekends.

However, one of the things I do every single May, usually the week before the holiday weekend, is get my first pedicure of the season.  During the rest of the year, I treat myself to a manicure now and then, but other than, er, "maintaining" clean feet and trimmed toenails, I never polish or pamper them.  Most of the year I wear socks, boots, etc., and if I'm paying someone to do my nails, I want to see them regularly, you know?

Anyhow, I have lately been going to a place around here that I'd heard about off and on, and finally decided to try for a manicure.  For anyone reading this in the Philadelphia area, it's Mi Cumbia, and it's really a great place.  Very small, and you do need an appointment, but I think it's worth the effort.  They use all non-toxic polishes, and it's really a place to be pampered.  The cost of a manicure or pedicure is only about two dollars more than at the in-and-out quickie places, and for me at least, the manicures have lasted without chipping for five days or more!

So I decided to try a pedicure there, and it was an incredibly decadent experience.  I opted for the basic one, but with the time they took and the way I was pampered, I felt like I'd been to a spa when I was finished.*  And my pedicure was really pretty too!  The people are all very nice and friendly, which is also a plus.  You never feel like a stranger, or that they are rushing you.

Now, I just need a nice pair of sandals to show it off ...

*No, I've never actually been to a spa.  But I feel like it must be an experience similar to what I had when getting a pedicure.  Work with me here, people

10 May 2014

So There's Good News and There's Bad News

Such is life, no?  I will admit that, even when I am suspicious of something being "improved," I am disappointed when I feel that it is not.  Such is the case with a moisturizer that I loved in the old formulation, but not so much in the new one.

A couple of years ago, I tried Josie Maran Argan Daily Moisturizer with sunscreen.  I was slightly skeptical, since it had argan oil in it, and even now, I'm hesitant to try things on my face that have oil.  But I'd read a lot of good things about it, so I decided to give it a shot.  And I *loved* the stuff!  I used it religiously, even deciding that it did my skin some good.   But, as these things often go, the one time I went to get a new bottle, and was told by the salesperson that it was discontinued, because they were working on making an "improved" formula.

Recently, that new, improved formula was available.

So I ordered it from sephora.com, since I didn't see it in the store.  I was pretty excited to receive it.  But not so excited now that I've actually used it.

The old formula was really lotion-y.  It was easy to put onto your face, and felt very smooth. This formula is a lot thicker, and feels more oily.  You really have to work to smooth it onto your face, and it's really hard to wash off your hands.  I guess it still works the same, because my face is not oily, and seems to be doing well, but I have to say that I will probably not buy it again once this bottle is gone.

(Side note: a sales person recently told me that the cosmetics companies were going to stop making moisturizers with sunscreen, since it has a negative effect on the anti-aging products.  Has anyone else heard this?)

But now - on to the good news!

This product, which I ordered on a whim along with the moisturizer above, is fabulous:

I was a little hesitant, because again, I didn't want my face to look shiny, and also because these things can also be pretty dark and/or orange-y, and I didn't want to look like I was attempting to channel John Boehner.  But I knew I could return it if I didn't like it, so I figured I'd give it a try.

I love this!  One squirt from the bottle seems like it's way too much, but when you mix it with your foundation or tinted  moisturizer, or whatever else you use, it blends in nicely.  Once it's on your face, there is no shininess, and really not even any noticeable color/shade difference.  Instead, your skin looks very healthy, like you have been taking a brisk walk, and a natural kind of brightness is there.

I recommend this product if you like to look a little bit extra healthy, but not bronzed or noticeably different.

Bad news and good news.  I'm happy with this 50% success story.  :-)