Hello! Sorry for the long silence. I was busy on my other blog during November (I did manage to post every day - it was actually kinda fun!), and then I got busy with wrapping the gifts we are sending out of town.
Have you finished your holiday shopping? I have 99% of mine done, so I'm able to enjoy things. But I thought it would be worth telling you about a product that was part of my Christmas gift last year.
My sister Nancy lives in Southern California. She is the quintessential California person, and has always been interested in fashion and beauty. She also considers herself an expert, and is more than happy to give advice - whether or not you ask for it!
Anyway, last year for Christmas, she sent me this:
She'd told me about this product several times, saying that it not only is a great facial cleanser, but removes makeup as well. I'd never bought it, being very happy with my CVS version of Cetaphil, which worked fine and was extremely inexpensive. But since she sent it to me, I decided to give it a try.
I am here to tell you that it's great. It's gentle, and it does remove makeup as well as just daily grime. My face never feels tight or dry afterwards, and it also is not scented (at least not that I can tell). But you know what is even better? This LARGE bottle (32 ounces), that I have used morning and evening every single day since late December 2014, still has approximately 1/4 of the product remaining! My sister said she bought it on sale (she's also a big sale person), and I have no idea what she paid, but I think it may very well be an even better bargain than my CVS version of Cetaphil!
Needless to say, it's not necessary to purchase this extra large size - there's even a travel size you can buy if you just want to try it without spending a lot.
And, if you know someone who likes to try skincare products, it would be a lovely Christmas gift!
If you decide to try it for yourself, please let me know what you think. :-)
Hello - I have not in any way abandoned this blog! I'm just busy participating in NaBloPoMo (National Blog Posting Month) on my other blog, and I don't have the energy or the ideas to post in both places every single day.
So for the rest of November, I'll be here, but it will be only occasionally. I'll just be there a lot more. :-)
I am lazy with my hair, I think I've said that many times before. However, I do like it to look nice. I have a lot of hair, but it's very fine, and very soft, so it's hard to get it looking like much of anything. And it's straight to the point where it will "curl" for about half an hour, and then it looks like I didn't ever even think of trying to curl it.
Anyway, I've tried lots of products, some on my own, others recommended by friends and various stylists. Some work better than others, but I'm still looking for THE ONE. I have a haircut appt next Saturday at a new place, so we'll see what suggestions I get from that person.
I do like it when you can get a sample. That's why I tried these:
And that is just in the last year! Each one had some nice things about it, but none really helped to style my hair, and some were too sticky, no matter how little was used.
I've also tried various drug store products, and ended up returning every single one. Over the years, I've tried big brands, small brands, and just things that looked promising, with no success.
For a long time (about 2 years!) I used this and really liked it. Then I don't know if my hair got tired of it or what, but it joined the ranks of the others.
I know I will never have luxurious, thick waves, or I won't look like models in salon magazines. But I really do hope I can get a good cut and some product recommendations next Saturday.
Do you use any products? Are there any you really really love?
I was just reminded of this product - do any of you remember it?
Cake mascara! I remember my mother had this exact brand/case, and I was always fascinated to watch her put on mascara. Later in her life, she used mascara in a tube, which is more common now, but this picture brings back memories. Mascara seemed so mysterious when it looked like this!
Having said that, I have trouble enough with the tube, I can only imagine the "look" I would have after using this product. Though the friend who reminded me about this was telling me that cake mascara is making a comeback.
Hi there - I have a few links for you this week that I thought were interesting. Maybe you'll like them too.
I don't have enough room in my closet to hang up my sweaters. But this would work for those of you who can do it, and I love that it would keep the shoulders from looking weird.
Have you Kon Mari'd your closet? I have gone through and purged my stuff based on her ideas, but haven't quite finished the process. Anyway, here is the visual for her suggestions on how to fold clothes.
I will admit that more often than not, when I decide to treat myself, it involves food and/or buying something. But this reminder that there are other ways to do that is worth remembering.
Likewise, sometimes I have an easier time living a healthy life than others. But I think that even some little things can make a difference, and the easier, the better, right?
Yesterday was the Mutt Strut, and not only was it fun for both Dug and for me, but we actually went over our fundraising goal! That is the best thing that has happened to me all week, I gotta say. Anytime I can help animals, I'm happy. Should you be thinking, "Darn, I meant to donate," you can still do so! ;-)
On that happy note, I'll say that I hope you have had a good fall weekend as well, and that this coming week is one of the best.
When I was a little girl, my hair was stick straight - as it still is. My mother, on the other hand, had a thick head of hair that had a lovely natural wave to it. She was a BIG fan of home permanents, and I cannot even remember how many I suffered through!
These were of course much less expensive than going to a beauty salon. The brochures showed you results with women whose hair was lovely, flowing, with the perfect amount of curl. Then Toni introduced Tonette, a home perm for young girls.
You may not be surprised to learn that I never turned out looking like any of the pictures in the brochures or the ads.
I spent a lot of time with frizz balls, evocative of a poodle.
My mother of course, always said it turned out "perfect" ...
Happy weekend to all! I hope those of you in the direct track of Hurricane Joaquin are safe. Here in Philadelphia, we are in between a heavy band of serious rain and the rain and wind effect of Joaquin. It's pretty chilly too, which is fine with me. Right now, I'm sitting here in my pjs with a cup of hot tea. These times are some of the best. :-)
I have a few things for you to check out this week, not really with any rhyme or reason, but hey that's what interesting links are for, right?
This first link is near something near and dear to my heart, not just because it takes place in the museum where I work, but in the very library in that museum where I work! For those of you in the Philadelphia area, come and take a look - it's really a wonderful exhibit.
I don't know about you, but there are days when I am at work and I wish I could just come home and go right to bed. Do you remember the episode of "Seinfeld" where George Costanza had a bed installed under his desk at work so he could take a nap? His dream may have finally been realized.
Speaking of sleeping, waking up, etc., I think I may give these a try and see if a) I can do them, and b) if they make a difference.
OK, I don't have a lot of links for you today, and at least one is from a week prior to this one, but such is life, you know? Hopefully you will still find something interesting here.
Frankly, I've been so busy with the Pope being here (in Philadelphia, not at our house, though how amazing/weird would that be?), I've probably missed some things, but here you go.
I love this purse from the Kate Spade show at the recent New York Fashion Week. I am sure that a) I could never afford it, and b) would never carry it because it's not practical, but that would not matter because it is a TEAPOT!
I am not a fan of Apple products (I know, it's me and Bill Gates as the only members of that club), and this annoyed me in particular.
If you are someone who is trying to lose some weight, here is a helpful hint. I love water, but frankly I slosh around as it is ...
Did you ever eat a ton of hummus or something like that, and then realize, "Oh crap, I have to go to a meeting/interview/whatever?" Try one of these suggestions, and give yourself a break.
This article was one of my favorites in forever. Just yesterday, I had some broccoli that was getting a teeny bit yellow on the top, and put it into a crockpot recipe. The dish was yummy and we are both still alive and well. :-)
Related to the food link above, are you guilty of discrimination against ugly produce? I can remember my mother saying "Oh for God's sake, it's fine, just eat it!" Apparently she was on to something ...
Perfume (which for the purposes of my discussion means actual perfume, cologne, eau de toilette, name it) is a polarizing thing. Some people love it. Some people hate it. Some are allergic to strong scents, and some just don't want to have to put up with others' choices.
For the most part, I am one of those who like it. It always seems like a treat to me. Though of course, I've been overwhelmed by people who seem to wear the entire bottle at one time, or scents that I just don't like at all.
One library I worked in had a regular researcher who was a minister, who seemed to use an entire bottle of Calvin Klein's "Eternity" - and though it was just ridiculously overwhelming and way too much, we all agreed it was the perfectly named scent for a minister. :-)
I like a lot of different perfumes, though some are "special occasion" and others are just fine for every day. This is of course my own thing, since it's not like there are instructions in the box with the bottle stating when and where the scent should be worn ...
For the most part, samples are good for me, and usually what I can afford. It takes me a long time to use a whole bottle - often I'm sick of it well before it's gone. Anyway, here are some that are faves of mine.
Jil Sander No. 4 - I like this in the fall. The scent just seems right then.
Clinique Aromatics Elixir - a little of this goes a LONG way, and it's considered kind of Old School now, but a light wafting of it in the fall is something I enjoy.
Chanel No. 5 - another Old School but classic. This falls under the "special occasion" category for me. I made this sample last for years ...
Yves Saint-Laurent Parisienne - In my brain, this is for the springtime.
Jo Malone perfumes - these seem to have something for everyone, all year round. I've had several samples of different ones, and for the most part liked them.
But this is one of my all-time favorites - so much so that I treated myself to a [small] bottle!
This is Bulgari Au The Blanc (white tea). What I love about it is that it is a scent that is *so* delicate, even you can hardly tell you have it on right after you spritzed yourself. I remember reading somewhere that it has the kind of scent that makes others notice a pleasant scent without screaming that you are in the room. It is the only actual bottle of perfume that I have ever bought for myself in a "regular" size, and have used the entire bottle!
I've come a long way with perfumes since regularly buying my mother a bottle of "Evening in Paris" at the drugstore as a kid ... :-)
What about you? Do you like scent? What are your faves?
No interesting links this week. Not because I didn't have them, but because I mistakenly deleted them. Sigh.
Lately on Facebook, I've been following a page about mid-century fashion and beauty and it's both entertaining and nostalgic. So I have decided to share some old-timey/retro/vintage/whatever-you-want-to-call-it images here, since I enjoy them so much.
This week, the perfect accessory for making a home shampoo and set feel like it was at the salon.
I remember that my sisters talked my mother into getting one of these when they were in their early teens. Then, straight hair styles came into fashion, and my mother ended up being the one using it all the time. Whenever she would wash her hair and use rollers, she would get under the home hair dryer. She'd sit there and read and/or have a cigarette, and everyone thought it was just so modern. I remember her trying it on me a few times, but I would end up with a red line around my head from where the elastic part of the bonnet was, and that red line would last a few days.
Blow dryers didn't actually start to be available at a price we could afford until I was in college, so if you weren't someone who could afford to go to a hair salon all of the time, it was either drying your hair in this glamorous fashion at home, or letting it air dry.
I had actually forgotten all about these until I saw a picture the other day.
Before I share anything else, I want to say thank you for your comments on my post about The Pretty Girls. Once I hit "Publish" I was thinking that I would get a lot of criticism (though hardly anyone reads this blog!), so I was especially glad that anyone who commented understood what I was saying. :-)
So here are some of the things I found interesting over the past week, and thought you might enjoy.
I am always saying that I would like to try running a 5K. If I ever decide I mean it, here is some guidance ...
While we're on the topic of exercise, take a look at this blog post - it was one of the favorite things I saw all week. I love the heels as appropriate exercise shoes, and the cigarette break!
How great was it that for a change, Americans did something that made a lot of people happy by subduing the guy on the French train? The Tim and I had a discussion about what they wore when receiving the French Legion of Honor. The Washington Post noticed, too.
I can't wait to knit this - and the pattern is free!
A few years ago, after I got my first cancer diagnosis, I was walking home, lost in my own thoughts. A guy I walked past said, "C' mon, sweetie, give us a smile. It's not like you have cancer or something." I responded, "Actually, I just found out I had cancer, but thank you for your concern." In reality, I hoped he would then jump in front of a bus, but I doubt that happened. This article is about the "need for females to smile."
If you have been paying attention to the news during the past week or so, you have probably seen/heard reports about signs hanging at fraternity houses, dorms, or off-campus houses of male college students, saying things like "Drop off your daughter here - Mom can come too!" or "Daughter Day Care."
Haha. Soooo funny. Except they are not. They are at best rude, and at worst, misogynistic.
Several colleges have taken actions to suspend groups whose signs have appeared on campus. Each group has SWORN they meant nothing bad, they were "just having fun."
And you know how it is - boys will be boys, right? (Don't EVEN get me started on that phrase/belief/cultural practice!)
It's all bad enough before The Pretty Girls even get involved. I'm sure we all know/have known at least one person who was one of The Pretty Girls. They are the girls who are nice looking, with nice clothes who love to have a good time. They like to go along with all the fun things at parties, they love to be seen at all the right places on campus, with the right crowd. They are often nice enough, and friendly enough. They are not necessarily academically stellar, but not necessarily on the verge of flunking out either. Their mothers are often former Pretty Girls, or Pretty Girl wannabes. Their siblings are often other Pretty Girls or Cool Guys. If they are not , they are usually not spoken of much at all.
In and of themselves, The Pretty Girls can be harmless. But this week, I saw two different news reports where reporters asked one or more of The Pretty Girls what they thought about those offensive signs. To a person, they laughed and said things like, "Oh I thought it was funny," "They were just joking," "It is college, you know." And worst of all, a local news reporter and obvious former Pretty Girl even said after the report, "Well, it was just the guys having fun, you just always need to let your daughters know there is a fine line," and happily laughed it off.
But see, here is the problem. For whatever reason, too many males (college-age and otherwise) think this kind of thing is really funny. I am willing to bet that at least half of them have never even thought about it NOT being funny. And as long as The Pretty Girls think it's cute or funny or "just college," there are no reasons for males to think otherwise. Because, you know if "ugly" girls (read: average-looking) think it's offensive it's probably because they are jealous of the attention.
As someone who was never even eligible to be one of The Pretty Girls (and full disclosure here - never wanted to be one), I'm here to say that it is extremely offensive and at a minimum also quite intimidating to see those kinds of signs. Anywhere. Any time.
College or high school or heck, even just everyday life, is hard enough without someone joking about what could happen to you just because you are female. I was lucky in high school - I got fairly good grades and The Pretty Girls were often nice to me ... at least until they realized I wouldn't do their work for them. So I managed to be a bit more invisible, since it was a large school. In college, it was worse because I went to a small college and there were a lot of well-to-do boys-will-be-boys-ha-ha types and a lot of The Pretty Girls. I seldom went to school social events, partly because I had two jobs and partly because I didn't even want to see what happened or could happen, whether it was to me or to anyone else.
I am a feminist. I do not hate men. I have a really good sense of humor. I am highly cynical. I would like to think I am also very empathetic. I am a regular-looking person, and always have been. (Granted, now as an older adult woman, I am truly invisible, which is a whole 'nother kind of post here.)
I do think that most parents try to raise their children well, and to be good people. And I do think that a lot of people who have sons are trying VERY hard in this day and age to make those sons aware of the responsibilities that go with their gender. I think that a lot of people who have daughters do the same. In a perfect world, no one would have to even know how The Pretty Girls felt about things, because those things would not be issues in the first place.
But at this point in time, the world is not perfect. Signs hang at college dorms on move-in day that should never hang anywhere, and The Pretty Girls are happy to laugh it off.
And - as far as I'm concerned - *that* is the problem with The Pretty Girls.
I had hoped to have at least one or two posts in between these link posts, but this week turned out to be a ridiculous one at work (trust me, you don't want details), so let's just move on, shall we?
I was wondering if this was something that would ever be tried by stores like Sephora or Ulta. Apparently they were thinking about it too! My problem with random samples of products is that for every one I might actually want to try, there are a lot more I just don't care about. So although I've been tempted to try one of the beauty box subscriptions, I know that I would probably only use/care/want to try one or two of the items. However, I think this is truly brilliant for those who are maybe only not interested in one or two items. This is where I get my hair cut and I've seen the swap baskets, so it appears to be a popular idea.
Though I do like them on occasion, I'm not much of a soda drinker. I probably drink too much iced tea in the summer, but I only add lemon or lime, or on rare occasions, do a half and half iced tea/lemon mix. But I found it interesting to read that Americans are not the ones who consume the most sugary drinks. Gofigure.
This past Wednesday was the last session of my five-week class on learning to use Pilates equipment. Sadly, I can't afford the next level class, but I do plan to continue with my mat Pilates exercises and DVDs at home. I did gain some flexibility, and my posture definitely improved. I'm going to try to also do some of these exercises regularly, because now that my posture is improved, I want to develop better habits to keep that.
I found this article in the New York Times fascinating. How often does anyone ask you to really think about your life and why you make the decisions you do? I think there are plenty of kids who start college without a specific plan (I was one of them), but who feel some pressure from families, friends, etc. I have a co-worker who told her kids that unless they majored in one of the sciences or math, she and her husband would not contribute to their college education! The reason: if they focus on those majors, they will be able to find jobs that pay well. Maybe I'm the only one who feels this way, but I thought that was appalling.
And finally, I think that this blog post is brilliant. Even though I am not a fan of the F word, I was able to appreciate and enjoy what this person was saying. And frankly, I agree with a lot of what she is saying. Plus I love the title of the blog!
And that, my dears, is it for the things I found interesting on the interwebs during the past week. I hope you enjoyed at least one of them and/or maybe learned something.
Have wonderful weekend, and be sure to enjoy at least one thing!
Because I didn't have anything specific to tell you, I didn't post anything this week. And then I started to think, what is the point of having this blog if I hardly ever post?
So I have decided I will try to post some links each week to things I read or heard about that I liked and/or found interesting, so you can check them out if you are so inclined. I always enjoy posts on other blogs where I can find new-to-me-things, so I hope you do too.
OK, this first thing is not from this week, because this is something I read every day, and have for years. Have you met The Fug Girls? OMG, they are so funny, and make me laugh at least once every day - never a bad thing, right? And during March Madness, they have their own version with bracketing and voting, and it is just way more fun than it should be. (Plus, for me, it's pretty much the only way I find out who the people everyone else is talking about, actually are.) They are also on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, if you want to actually stalk them ... :-)
I'm pretty sure that you've heard of Stephen Colbert, even if you never saw his previous show, "The Colbert Report." I truly adore him, because he is smart, funny, completely ridiculous, and seems to be an overall good guy. He wrote this article for Glamour, and it rocks. Even Emma Watson agrees, and I also adore her.
Are you a sucker like I am for reading about beautiful people's beauty routines? Here is what Lupita Nyongo does. Granted, since she is a spokesperson for Lancome, most of the products are theirs, but it's still interesting to find out.
I found this article about whether or not to refrigerate tomatoes really interesting. We don't have whole house air-conditioning, but then again, tomatoes don't last too long with us either ...
These will never qualify as healthy eating, but wow would they be a great treat! Once we're into fall, I'm probably going to have to give this recipe a try (halved of course, which will still give us A LOT).
And finally, as you may or may not know, Pope Francis is visiting Philadelphia in late September as part of the World Meeting of Families. Lots is going on with planning, security, and people are getting really antsy or worried about how it will all play out. But I don't know if anyone is really prepared for this.
For those of you not familiar with the title, it's from an old Monty Python skit, which is one of my favorites.
But over the past few weeks, I've thought of this phrase a lot. I've really let my exercise routine lapse since my surgery last summer. I would get small bouts of inspiration, and then just stop when something ... well, anything came up. But I had gotten to the point where my clothes were becoming uncomfortable, and I was feeling more and more depressed. I knew that exercise helped with both things, and that it was time to get going again.
I wasn't in the mood for the "regular gym" stuff, and we were having a major heat wave, so riding my bicycle was out. Then I saw where a local Pilates studio was having a special promotion for learning to use the equipment. It was a five-week session and the price was truly reasonable. Figuring that I waste that much money on God knows what pretty regularly, I paid and signed myself up.
In the past, I've done some mat Pilates, and loved it though I was really bad at it. I am less than flexible and not overly coordinated. But the equipment classes have actually been going well. Mostly because the equipment helps to control not just your movements, but also keeps you in the proper positioning. I've been enjoying the classes, and it has inspired me to exercise in other ways on the other days of the week. I'm nearly back to regular activity 3 times a week, which is my basic goal.
But the Pilates equipment? It looks like modern versions of medieval torture equipment! At the first class, I wondered what I'd gotten myself into. In my case, it does keep me focused, since I don't want to mess up the equipment (when it truth, I'm pretty sure it could hurt me more than I could do anything to it!).
This Wednesday will be our 4th class, so this session is nearly over. Part of me would like to continue to the next level, and part of me would like to try something else, and continue with my mat Pilates at home. Sadly, none of the options are free, but there are ones that are affordable, and I do have to admit that when I am starting out on something, I'm more likely to keep up with it if I've already paid.
So stay tuned. Will it be more Pilates equipment? Will I try kickboxing? Will I try bodycycling? Only the next few weeks will tell.
Remember though, that in the meantime, NO ONE expects the Spanish Inquisition! :-)
Do you remember this post from early in May? Well, I wanted to give you an update.
I bought my jar of Neutrogena Hydro Boost Water Gel on sale at CVS, for $17.99 plus tax. (It's usually $19.99 everywhere, from what I can tell.)* According to the date I wrote on the bottom of the jar, I started using it on April 12, 2015. Just this past week - on July 30, 2015 - I got the last possible amount out of the jar. I used it every since day.
As you may recall, part of what I liked about it was that you needed just a small amount to adequately cover your face. Even this past week around here when the weather was AWFUL, it blended in and felt soothing and cool. I do feel like my skin has improved since I started using it.
So according to my BMST calculations, the product cost me .165 cents per day. If I had paid full price (which I did to replace it earlier today), the cost would be .183 cents per day. For as much as I like this product, and for the way it made my skin feel and look, the only way it could be better in my opinion would be if someone just gave me a jar for free!
It always makes me so happy when something I really like turns out to be well worth the price.
You should give this product a try. I think you'll be glad you did.
Not actually me ...
*except on the Neutrogena website, where it is apparently $18.99 ... with shipping costs, though ...
Today was the day for my annual gynecological visit. I don't mind this, since given my medical history, I am happy that drs are paying attention to how I am doing. Plus, having to only have an annual appointment seems a treat, since for so many years, I had to go fairly often.
My gynecologist is a wonderful woman, too, so that helps. She is personable, but also very thorough and really pays attention - not just medically, but otherwise. Except for the obvious medical part of the visit, it's like checking in with a friend. I know when I had surgery, one of the nurses told me that she was a patient, and that a lot of the other nurses went to this gynecologist as well. Seems to me that a recommendation from nurses is a pretty good thing for a doctor, right?
Fortunately, today I got a good report, and unless something unexpected happens, I don't have to see her again until next summer. I'll take it.
The down side was making my way there in the heat and humidity. Because I know that I have a hard time with it, I try to take my time getting from one place to the other in weather like this. I had my sunscreen on, and my humongous hat and sunglasses. I'm sure people who saw me thought I was a celebrity ...
The other thing I did was take a bottle of cold water with me. By the time I got to the dr's office, it was nearly empty, but it definitely helped. Most people think that winter is hard, since you have to wear so many layers of clothing, but it takes me just as long to get organized to go in the severe summer weather!
The other good news is that I don't have another appointment with any drs until September, so the rest of the summer I don't even have to think about it. And that is the best news of all!
Stay cool, and don't forget to take care of yourself.
I had no intention of disappearing for so long! Sorry about that. I would like to say it was because I was jet-setting, but it was really just a combination of being stressed out, depressed, and way too busy at work.
Enough of that though, it's time to regroup and start fresh, and do my best to control the things that I can.
Did you see this article? It confirmed some things for me that I had always wondered about, but had been too chicken to look into in any depth. I don't get I manicures and pedicures very frequently, and certainly not nearly as much as a lot of people I know do. I do like to get them every once in a while, or for special occasions, because it's a real treat, and also because I can't "clean up" around my nails as well as a trained person can. Like everyone though, I usually would go for the less expensive option. But after reading this article, I decided that unless I found out otherwise, I would only go to places that I could feel sure were well run and where the workers got paid and were not slaves.
So last Friday, since we had the day off from work, I decided to treat myself to a pedicure (I am really bad at painting my toenails!), and made an appt at a salon attached to a beauty salon/spa place. It cost more, but it was really wonderful, and I left without wondering if I had contributed to a bad situation. Not that upscale places are automatically perfect, but I felt a little more comfortable with going there.
Also now that summer has truly arrived (read: heat and humidity), I wanted to overhaul my makeup for the daily routine before work. I read this post/tutorial and got some great ideas.
I had planned to get organized this past weekend, but at the last minute, we decided to go to Baltimore and stay with my niece and her husband overnight on the 4th. A lot of other family and friends were there, and we had a blast, which included some amazing fireworks. I figured that, since I had also taken Monday off, and was supposed to have jury duty today, I could still organize even though we'd been gone. However, it's gonna have to wait, because yesterday I woke up with a cold and sore throat that have knocked me out. I had to reschedule my jury duty first thing this a.m., and after many doses of cold medicine and a ton of sleep, am just now starting to feel some semblance of normal. And so, my reorganization/overhaul will happen this weekend.
One thing I did buy last week to start trying was this:
This is a tube of MAC Cosmetics lipstick in the shade Ruby Woo. I've read/heard a lot about this lipstick, and how it works on everyone. I love red lipstick, but usually can't find a shade a like. I was convinced to give this a try when I saw a friend who wears no makeup whatsoever except lipstick wearing it. She looked great with only the lipstick, and her coloring is very similar to mine. So I'll keep you posted on that. Feel free to let me know in the comments if you have tried it and how you do/don't like it, or to suggest other good lipsticks for a pale person like myself. :-)
That's it for now. I promise you'll hear from me again sooner rather than later. In the meantime, stay cool and try to look your best!
I was trolling around on Facebook earlier today, and saw that someone had posted about this article. Commenters were decrying the fact that women are judged on their appearances, forced to get Botox, etc. I'm sure you can fill in the blanks here and guess what was said.
Meh. And not just because I'm not a fan of Jennifer Weiner.
I am tired of people complaining that they are slaves to fashion, beauty, etc., and that these days social media makes things worse, and puts more pressure on all of us as women.
Because I'm sorry, but if you are allowing everything and everyone else to determine how you live/dress/act/whatever, outside influences are not at fault - you are. When did people lose their autonomy over their own lives? When did they actively decide that what others think or look like is the most important?
Now, I realize that this kind of thing has been happening one way or another since the dawn of time. And I realize that peer pressure is hard for a lot of people to resist. And that many people with children encourage their children to look good, pointing out those who don't. And on and on.
I think like most other things in life, this is a case of choosing your battles - what is important to you? - and moving on.
Take me, for example. I can remember very clearly during 5th grade, when a couple of my friends became obsessed with having a boyfriend. They were newly busy fixing their hair, acting flirty, and who knows what else. I did not understand this at all, and remember asking my mother if I should be doing the same thing. She responded that it was up to me what I decided to do. Since I was about as interested in having a boyfriend as I was in eating bugs, I decided to just forget about the whole issue. I was still puzzled by my friends, but we all still got along just fine (though lots of times I thought they were acting stupid. I wisely kept that opinion to myself. Mainly because no one asked me).
And a version of that has continued, even to the present day. We are bombarded with images and text every day, even to the point of telling us what we should be wearing in our 30s, 40s, 50s, and beyond. I'll admit that every once in a while, I'll see someone who is probably around my age, and for a moment, wonder if I am dressing/trying to look younger than I should for my age.
Then the moment passes.
I like to look nice. I will admit that I love makeup, clothes, shoes, jewelry, and plenty of other "girly" things. I color my hair. I wear makeup. I try to keep my nails neat and clean, even if not polished. I am probably slightly overweight, and I try to dress in a way as to not accentuate it. I make an effort (granted a minimal one) when I am getting dressed to go out to look as nice and presentable as possible. 99% of the time, no one seems to notice - at least, if they do, they don't comment on it, one way or the other.
I have no desire for Botox or any of the other things like that. I do not get my teeth whitened, I do not use the at-home whiteners. I am not interested in plastic surgery at all. I do not have tattooed-on eyebrows, or permanent eyeliner. I know tons of people who do this, and other things which I find useless, and in my opinion are stupid. But unless asked, it would never occur to me to comment on it unless someone asked me outright.
Maybe my perspective is unusual, but I hope not. I just wish people would come out and say that what they decided to do or not do is their own decision, not try to opt out by claiming that it's all society's fault. Few of us are doing anything because someone is absolutely forcing us. Unless you live in certain areas of the world, your choices are all your own.
Yesterday and today, I was out shopping and doing some errands. The weather was especially hot and humid, even though it's only the middle of May. So I had on a t-shirt and capris (yesterday) and a t-shirt and shorts (today).
I walked past a mirror (yesterday) and a store window (today), and it stopped me in my tracks! Both times, I looked like a street person, or someone who had been ill for a long time. Granted, on neither day did I go out of my way to get fixed up, but I figured I looked OK.
Now I don't spend an inordinate amount of time obsessing over my appearance, but these two things just really rattled me. I expect to look awful if I've been exercising, gardening, or if I am in fact recovering from some illness. But not when I am just walking around.
Recently, I have been reading the book The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up, by Marie Kondo. I have found it both amusing and interesting, and have been slowly working my way through things applying the principles in the book (our house isn't big enough, and I don't get enough stretches of long time to pull out everything in every room each time, as she suggests). I've made real progress, which feels good, but I also now realize that it's not just my closet, or the kitchen cabinets, or places here that need to be tidied up - it's me as well!
So it's time to make a plan, and try to get my person in order. I know it will make me feel better, and give me more energy. I've been making a concerted effort to find something positive in each day, and maybe this little push is just what I needed.
I'm giving myself a few days to think about the what/when/how of getting myself "tidied up" because I would like to do this in a systematic way.
It can't hurt, and it might help - right?
(Not me, of course, but I do wear hats in the summer ...)
I don't know about you, but at this time of year, and then as it gets even warmer, I am a sweaty mess. I don't "glow," or "perspire" - I SWEAT. And it means that putting anything on my face that is lotion-y or creamy is a) a mess, and b) a waste of time, since it seems to sweat right off.
So when I saw commercials and ads in magazines for this product, I decided it was worth a try.
And I am now in love.
To paraphrase Stefon, of "Saturday Night Live" fame, this product has everything: a light feel, a cool feel, virtually no scent, hyaluronic acid, and you only need a small amount to cover your face (and your neck if you get a little carried away).
Seriously, this is exactly what you need if you are like me. Though it is a gel, it's a very light gel, liquidy but not runny. It feels invisible on your skin, and application is a breeze. But most of all, it immediately sinks in to your skin and your face feels cooler. As I mentioned above, it has the slightest of scents and does not in any way sting or feel like it is shrinking your skin - you know, like products with alcohol content can do.
Of course, since it contains hyaluronic acid, it is good for anti-aging, but also means that you need a good sunscreen if you are using it in the daytime. But whether you put sunscreen or foundation or powder - or even all three - on top, you never feel like you are adding a layer.
Also, since it is a Neutrogena product, you can find it in your local drug store. I got mine on sale at our local CVS, for under $20.00. I have a feeling it's gonna last me a nice long time, since you need the tiniest amount for full face coverage. So there is a better than usual chance that this will do well on the BMST.
This gel has not caused any extra redness, breakouts, or other problems with my sensitive, rosacea-ed skin. I really feel like this might be one of the best things that Neutrogena has come up with - or that anyone has, for that matter!
And not just amazing, but a discovery about myself!
A couple of nights ago, I went into the bathroom to wash my face before putting on my pajamas. I looked in the mirror, and realized that I do look different. In that, I look older. This is because - well, I am older! But though I look in the mirror a bazillion times in any given week, this was the first time in a long time I really thought about what I saw or whose face it was. I won't lie, I was a little surprised.
I still have rosacea. It's under control pretty well, thanks to my amazing dermatologist and effort on my part.
I still have freckles, though they are not as noticeable as they used to be.
I have creases on my forehead, and between my eyes at the top of my nose. Partly I'm sure due to aging, but also because I do have a tendency to frown or furrow my brow when I'm thinking hard or trying to figure something out. Or when I'm annoyed (read: frequently!).
My skin is in really good shape. This was not always the case. Between the rosacea, sunburns as a child, and teenage acne, my skin used to be in pretty sad shape. But now, it's actually healthy-looking, if not perfect. I'll take it.
My eyebrows are thinning. They were never that full or dark, anyway.
I have some crows' feet, and some undereye bags, and some plain old wrinkles. Not terrible, but there nonetheless.
But you know what the most amazing discovery was? I realized that it was all OK with me. I think because my skin is in better shape now than it ever was, any flaws or signs that I am no longer a kid are just not a big deal. Yes, I use face and eye products that I feel give me the best result for what I am paying, but except for sunscreen, I could give them up if I had to. And I wear makeup, both because I think it's fun and because it evens out my skin tone, but I don't wear a lot of makeup - and there are days when, if I'm just hanging out at home, or not really going anywhere, I don't bother with makeup at all.
I'm OK with my face, and with the signs of age that you can see on it. I think I look good, and not haggard and worn (though some days I feel that way). I cannot imagine a scenario where I would get something like Botox, or get any kind of surgery. Mostly because I am not that worried about it, and prefer not to have someone putting needles or anything that cuts in, on, or near my face.
I'm getting older. I look like I'm getting older. It really truly is OK with me, because I still look like myself to me. This was an unexpected and comforting discovery. But definitely a good one.
It's gotten to the time of year where everyone thinks of spring cleaning, and lightening up their wardrobes and makeup routines. Since that is all a form of organizing your life, I'm completely for these activities, as being organized - or at least attempting to be - is one of my favorite things to do/be.
One of the things I have wanted to do is find a new foundation. I have ones that I know I like, but I also like trying new ones (new to me, not new to existence). When the weather gets warmer, I am even pickier, since I sweat (not perspire, not glow - SWEAT) big-time, and it frustrates me to put on a foundation that almost immediately melts off. I've had some luck finding ones that stay on, but am always looking for the best one. As with everything, I want it to do what I want, the way I want it. Completely reasonable, right?
So yesterday, I walked over to Sephora, because it was a nice day, and they have so many choices. This was largely because so far, I've had no luck with the foundations I've tried from the drugstore, so I figured I'd see what the possibilities are for a little bit more money. Since I had some of my extra money from Rosie's, I was willing to splurge a little bit. Sephora has this thing where they take photos of three different places on your face, and the computer spits out recommendations.
The person helping me asked a lot of questions about my routine, what kind of coverage I wanted, etc. and then led me to this one:
According to the Sephora person, and the description of this product, it is water-based, and stays on longer even if you sweat. Since Sephora has an excellent returns policy, I figured it's worth a try. This will be the first time I've tried anything from Make Up For Ever, but I know that for a lot of people, this brand is the best. This particular product has excellent reviews for my age group on Makeup Alley, so I figure it might be worthwhile to use it more than just one or two times before deciding what I think. It sounds as if it has a slightly different consistency, which takes some practice to get what you want for your own look.
I have promised myself to try it for at least an entire week before deciding what I think - particularly since it has such favorable reviews. (A lot of times after once or twice, if something isn't PERFECT, I give up and return it, or just stop using it. Not reasonable, but I'm gonna try to change that, starting with this one.)
The other nice thing is that, even if I don't like this and decide to return it, I have the results of the scan with the other suggestions of things to try. That in and of itself might be worth having.
I'll keep you posted. In the meantime, if you have suggestions - as long as they are not overly expensive - let me know. I've had many favorites over the years, both inexpensive and somewhat pricier, and inevitably once I find something I really like, they change the formula or discontinue the product.
I keep coming across random beauty and fashion things - shows, articles where I don't expect to see them, and products that seem just plain weird, though I know they are popular.
We don't have cable. Yes, we are quite possibly the only people on the planet without it, but such is life. But our local networks have other high-definition secondary channels with additional programming. Recently I came across two TV shows that I never knew existed. One is Mirror Mirror, on something called the LiveWell Network (who knew such a think existed?), which - based upon viewing 1 1/2 episodes, seems pleasant enough, and somewhat approachable. There are several segments, each about 8-10 minutes, so it is snippets of information.
Then there is Anna & Kristina's Beauty Call, which - based upon viewing approximately 20 minutes of one episode - appears to be two women who try to help others with specific issues like finding the right thing to wear for their shape and size. It also seems OK, though the partial episode I saw also included a "fashionista" who seemed like a PITA.
Weird. I guess if I was someone who paid closer attention, I might know these shows existed, or have a clue who the people were. But to come across them sandwiched on channels that have other unknown shows shouldn't really surprise me I guess.
Then earlier today, I was reading an article online (of course now I don't remember where I found it) about Richard III's reburial, and the writer briefly commented on the topic of eye makeup. Maybe I missed something?
Finally, I don't understand Wen Hair Care. I mean, I do understand that it is a group of products that are supposed to give you lovely hair, without being a regular shampoo, but frankly, seeing the guy who is the founder would not inspire me, hair-wise. Though I give him props for making people want to to use his products when, as far as I'm concerned, his hair is less than impressive ...
It amuses me to come across things like this on a random basis. Of course, I have not delved deeply into any of them to have an educated opinion, but they all came to my attention just in this past week. Which seems completely random.
Now, I have never been a big fan of products that were specifically touted as eye makeup removers. The ones I have tried have been too greasy, too ineffective, too expensive, too likely to get in my eyes and sting ... well, you get the picture. And for a long time, I just tried using whatever I used to wash my face to get rid of eye makeup - and would not buy waterproof eye makeup, since it wouldn't come off.
Then I read about an eyeliner I wanted to try (that's another review altogether), so when I bought it, I also bought a small bottle of this to try.
This stuff works! And it works without having any of the negative qualities listed above. It's very gentle, very effective, and not expensive at all. I was actually planning to buy it again, and get a bigger size. But The Tim said that every time he reached for his deodorant, he would see the one I already had, and noticed it was getting to the point of being empty, so I "must use it." So he decided that it would be a good gift from the pets.
I would say that even if it is not your birthday, you should give this a try. It has worked really well for me, and I was going to replace it myself, never thinking it would be done as a birthday gift.
(For the record, The Tim is not necessarily a "noticer" where beauty products are concerned, so this was a *real* surprise!)
As you may recall, I was completely out of commission for a few months after my kidney surgery. Towards the end of November, my surgeon said I could go back to some low-impact, low-key exercise. Well, the holidays were coming, and I decided to wait and start again in January.
But then January came, and it was cold, icy, icky, and I changed my mind. And that all followed me into February. Towards the end of last month, I decided that I was NOT going to continue my slug-like existence, in March, because a) it was not helping anything, b) exercising helps in so many ways other than just keeping me fit, and c) I was beginning to gain more weight than I should have on my person.
I signed myself up for a barre class at my gym on this past Sunday morning. I wanted to try it at Pure Barre Philadelphia, but they were filled up for Sunday classes, and I did not want to wait and give myself any excuses.
The good news? I followed through, showed up for the class, and did the best I could, notwithstanding my overall poor physical shape and endurance, and the fact that I am an exercise spaz. The bad news? The instructor was determined to "really work you guys to EXHAUSTION, and not be easy!", and as of today, I am still in a lot of discomfort. Mostly it's my legs, since I used muscles that I have not used in a long time - or maybe even ever at all! But I also have some back and shoulder pain and stiffness. It's definitely easing up, but wow.
As a result, I have decided that I will change a few things. First of all, I'll work a bit at home, and a little bit at the gym on working up to more exercise. I'll do my Pilates and other PT-related workouts to get back into basic level shape. And then, if I decide to try a barre class again, I'll actually go to Pure Barre to try it. My reasoning is that maybe since that is all they do, they do it better, and would be more attentive to my limitations. Who knows? But I figure it's worth a try.
In the meantime, Tylenol and I have gotten really close ...
I love makeup and skincare products. And I try to buy the best that I can afford, but sometimes they don't turn out to be the most cost-effective (hence my BMST).
Then there are products that I have really liked when I received a sample, but cannot in any way justify or afford buying to use - for instance:
I've gotten samples of this, and though I am not part of its cult following, I have to admit that it is really nice, and made my skin feel amazing. However, since I do not have $285.00 just sitting around, once the sample is gone, it's gone. I did receive a regular-sized jar from my sister for a gift a few years back, and it actually did well on the BMST, but again - $285.00. Not happening.
About a month ago, I was in CVS looking for a nighttime cream for my face, and was just about to buy a L'Oreal product that was on sale, when I saw this next to it for $5.00 less, and decided to try it. CVS lets you return things if they don't work, or you don't like them, so that made me willing to try it.
As it turns out, it's not too far from the Creme de la Mer - a little bit creamier, but it has the same feel on your face, and it has made my skin feel very soft, and a little bit more even in tone. I'm not sure how it will work out on a per-use basis (the BMST will determine that once the jar is empty), but so far I have to say that it was a good result to my experiment in drugstore dupes.
A few weeks ago, I went to use my concealer and realized that I'd left it at my sister's house when we visited. So I once again headed to CVS to buy something to use in the meantime, since she was sending a package anyway, and said she would put that concealer in that as well. I'd read that Rimmel products were pretty nice, and had a good price point, so I decided to give this a try:
My opinion? NICE. You can control how much comes out of the tube onto the little brush by how hard you press the tube, and it has a nice, light consistency. It blends into your skin with no problem, and not only stays put, but doesn't settle into creases and fine lines. To me, it's an excellent dupe for Yves St. Laurent Touche Eclat.
I've used this concealer, and I like it, but the Rimmel is very nearly the same, and is approximately a third of the price. I am still attached to my Touche Eclat, and I'll finish the tube, but I'll definitely keep the Rimmel to use when the other is gone.
These are my very own opinions, based on my own personal experience. But I wanted to share them so that if you want to try some nice products and not break the bank, you'll have some suggestions to consider.
Well, I went to the salon last week, armed with my picture and determination. I told the stylist that yes, I did understand that the woman in the photo had really thick hair, and so my fine, thin hair would be different, but that I just at least wanted the "idea" of that cut. I also wanted to get my color refreshed, since a) it needed it, and b) we were heading home over the long weekend to visit family and friends.
I also considered this the last chance for this particular stylist, as she has been hit or miss lately.
I am really pleased. I got a cut that I like, and the color looks great. She seemed to understand just what I meant, and went out of her way to try and get it the way I wanted it to look. I cannot tell you how happy this makes me. Let's face it, you wear your hair every single day, and if you are unhappy about the way you look, it definitely makes a difference.
Yes, I am vain.
But right now? I'm also pretty happy about the whole thing. No more Hair Dread!
For most of my adult life, I've worn my hair fairly short. This is largely because I have fine, straight hair, and it doesn't really do much. I finally realized that I would never have long, luxurious, thick hair that I could fix in a number of different ways.
It also works for me, because except for special occasions, I don't like to have to spend a lot of time fooling with it. The last few times I've gone for a haircut, my stylist has convinced me to let it be a little bit longer, for the winter, and to be honest, I don't mind blow-drying my hair in the winter, since our house is so cold! However, I am also a person who wears hats to keep warm when I'm outside, and needless to say, my hair looks even flatter when I take off my hat, and doesn't really fluff at all afterwards, even if I use some kind of hair product.
Over the past few weeks, I've had a severe case of "hair dread" when I get wherever it is I'm going, and take off my hat. Granted, no one else probably notices or even pays that much attention if they do notice at all. But it's my hair, on my head, and I'm the one who has to see it.
And so, when I go to my next appointment, I'm heading back to short hair. I came across photos of someone named Hannah Dilworth, who is apparently a well-known stylist. I *really* like her haircut:
Now, I do realize the following:
1. She is a LOT younger than I am.
2. She is a stylist, so probably even spends time on styling her short hair.
3. It looks like she has fairly thick hair.
Nonetheless, I'm going to see if I can convince my hair stylist to at least try something like this. She is not big on giving anyone really short hair, but at least I can take this photo with me for reference.
Wish me luck. I'm really sick of hair dread. I'd even be happy with hair indifference ... ;-)
Yikes, I didn't realize that it had been nearly a month since you heard from me - I certainly didn't intend that to happen.
Well, first of all, Happy New Year! I hope that 2015 will be a good year for all of us.
Christmastime was busy, fun, and a happy time at our house, as usual. We ate too much, drank too much, opened gifts, gave gifts, and generally lazed around when we could. A good holiday to be sure.
I am in the process of deciding what I want to do this year - you know, as far as goals, projects, and those kinds of things. I need to just sit myself down and think it out. I've been so busy returning to the non-holiday routine and fighting off a cold, I just have not stopped to do that. And for me, if you are going to set goals and such for yourself, it's worth thinking about.
In the meantime, I'll leave you with this picture of Dug the Doodle Dog with one of his gifts from Santa. See you soon!