project use it up: May empties

project use it up-2

Welcome to another round of “what I used up last month”

May 2018 empties

  • ACURE radically rejuvenating under eye hydrogel masks: I’ve posted these before. Love them and they’re easy to find at my local Target and Whole Foods when I need a pick-me-up.
  • California Baby Calendula Cream (for babies and sensitive adults… I’m def. a sensitive adult): one of my favorite creams when my skin is reacting or experiencing a psoriasis flare.
  • First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Cream (citron scent): Another good cream when I’m experiencing a flare. The active ingredient is Colloidal Oatmeal and the orange scent is lovely is you like a light citrus (fades quickly).
  • NEST fragrances in Dahlia and Vines: at the time of purchase, this was a Sephora exclusive scent. Light and floral, lasts a long time and didn’t give me a headache (always a win).
  • LaVanila The Healthy Deodorant, vanilla scent: When I’m not using Schmidt’s bergamot and lime, I’m using this. It works for me, but deodorant works differently on every body. If you’re new to natural deodorants, this might not be enough to cover the initial detox stank.
  • ACURE seriously glowing facial serum: This was a nice blend of nourishing oils, just what I needed when my skin was going through a dry spell. ACURE may have discontinued or renamed this since their rebranding.
  • Desert Essence spot treatment: one of my favorites.
  • Weleda Almond Lotion sample: Came in a sample baggie. I’ve used this before and continue to enjoy it. Very light moisturizer.
  • avatara Calm Down blackhead pore strips: bought these on a whim at Target, they really work.

May 2018 empties

  • Yogi Chai Rooibos tea: another tea successfully used up. Red tea with chai spice, no caffeine and no weird headaches (some chai blends give me a reaction)
  • Traditional Medicinals Nighty Night: for when I need a little help to fall asleep.
  • Solgar Zinc Picolinate 22 mg: part of my thyroid support protocol
  • Mr. Bubble Meltaways Bath Candies: part of a Target discovery box. They do what they do.
  • Kiss my Face Sensitive toothpaste, orange mint flavor: My favorite SLS/fluoride-free toothpaste. Been using it for at least 2 years.
  • Weleda salt toothpaste: This… was weird. Part of the same Weleda bag mentioned above.
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Loves & Latest for March 26

monday musings

Loves

Reads

The Sheriff of Babylon by Tom King and Mitch Gerads

The boy says I’m having a weird literary affair with Tom King. He may be right. I enjoy his writing and this is an incredibly compelling story set during the so-called War on Terror. A hard read, but a good (and important) one.

A Duke Like No Other by Valerie Bowman

I needed something light after a series of emotionally heavy reads (see above) and this sweet romance about second chances fit the bill. Rather than the classic Duke meets lady (or other bold female) trope, the novel reminds me of Persuasion–or Persuasion if Wentworth married Anne before misunderstandings ensued. There is a heavy dose of mystery and plenty of flashbacks, which set this apart from the typical Duke romance.

(This review is based on a ARC from NetGalley)

A Curious Beginning (A Veronica Speedwell Mystery) by Deanna Raybourn

Long on my TBR list, I was inspired to check out the first in the series after listening to an excellent interview with Deanna Raybourn on the Smart Bitches Trashy Books podcast. I read it in a day. That should tell you something of my enjoyment. Mystery, banter, and serious, slow-burn tension.

Beauty

  • After my 3+ year old elf flawless face brush came apart mid-sweep, I decided it was time for an upgrade and picked up the IT Cosmetics airbrush buffing foundation brush. While not strictly a cream foundation brush, I like the flat top and it’s soft and fluffy. All good things.
  • Spring has reignited my love Red Apple Lipstick’s Hollypeno. Sadly, they just recently discontinued this shade.
  • In “project use it up” news, I hit pan on my glossier stretch concealer (I use the medium shade).

 


 

Latest

Podcast

bluestocking-circleWe just recorded Episode 8, but you can still catch up with Episode 7.5, where we wrap up our thoughts on Howl, share more recommendations, and hatch our evil plot to make Bee watch Star Wars for the First Time(!) via a carefully orchestrated comparison to Spaceballs.

You can find the episode on Podomatic, Apple Podcasts, or Google Play.

project use it up: January empties

project use it up-2

Health

2018 empties #1

  • Renew Life Extra Care Ultimate Flora probiotics – these are easy to find when I need something extra
  • Gaia Herbs – Back Elderberry Syrup – takes delicious and really helps boost my immune system when I’m surrounded by sick students
  • Gaia Herbs Quick Defense – this is a super dose of elderberry and echinacea (among other hers) that makes a huge difference when I feel a cold coming on (I’ve used it in the past when fighting a really nasty cold and last year’s flu)

Toiletries & Skincare

2018 empties #1

  • Andalou Naturals Un-tinted Benefit Balm – I use this for the SPF 30. It leaves a mild white cast but it almost acts as a primer for my makeup. It’s not my favorite, but it works for every day sun protection.
  • Acure Facial Cleansing Creme – I prefer the regular cleanser, but my skin was feeling a little dry and sensitive, so I decided to give this one a try. It feels like a balm cleanser and works best as a second cleanse after removing makeup.
  • NOW Hyauluronic Acid Firming Serum – I love this and started a new bottle as soon as I ran out. It’s very light and acts as a moisturizing serum beneath my oil and sunscreen steps.
  • Botanical Beauty Organic Japanese Camellia Seed Oil – there is some debate as to whether the purity of this oil (amazon comments controversy, as per usual), but I credit this with helping my hair grow and become more smooth and manageable. It is my only form of conditioner and I use it on my ends and the lower half of my scalp where I tend to have some mild psoriasis. I love it and I already opened a larger bottle.
  • Johnson’s Head-to-toe extra moisturizing bath – I needed some moisture and I like baths.
  • The Beauty Shelf green tea Konjac sponge – I really like Konjac sponges and this one comes in a three heart set 🙂

Scents & Candles

2018 empties #1

  • Nature’s Alchemy orange essential oil
  • AuraCacia Lemon essential oil
    • I like citrus scents. These are from my office oil collection.

2018 empties #1

  • Frostbeard Book Lovers’ Soy Candle sample in Pumpkin Juice – this was milder than I expected. It has a nice spicy scent and does not linger.
  • Wilfred Wax Steamed & Frothed – one of my favorites. It’s soooo sweet though, a little goes a long way. I will replace this when I run out of my other candles.

podcast: Episode 3 – The 10th Kingdom

bluestocking-circleThe Bluestockings are back! And this time we’re dissecting that epic, made-for-TV fantasy mashup: The 10th Kingdom.

Where to listen:

(coming to Apple Podcasts soon! We’re working on it!)

Notes

In which inner children wage war with outer adults, the ethical implications of magic love towns are discussed, and the ladies are delighted by dancing trolls, singing mushrooms, and gossiping mice. All this and more as the Bluestockings discuss the TV miniseries The 10th Kingdom.

WARNING: Spoilers galore. If you haven’t seen the series, do so now!

Recommended reading and viewing:

Books and Comics:

Movies and TV Shows:

Other:

“Love Your Library” links will take you to WorldCat, where you will see a list of libraries near you that have the book. “Support the Circle” links will take you to Amazon, where your purchase will help support the podcast.

Enjoy! Our next episode on your thoughts on The 10th Kingdom, our recent favorites, and the First Impressions for our next selected work will be released on November 15. Find us everywhere @bluesoxcircle and join the conversation.

vlog: Rants +Raves, the 1st!

I love favorites videos (so basic) and I’ve kind of been dying to film one of my own, so I gathered some of the things I’ve been loving (and hating) recently. If you’ve never seen a favorites or disappointing products video, it is a mini review of a variety of products. I am addicted to these kinds of videos and it was lots of fun to film my own. As this is a lifestyle blog of me, I felt it was appropriate :).

Subscribe to my channel for updates.

Continue reading “vlog: Rants +Raves, the 1st!”

Trying out Aveeno’s tinted moisturizer…

I don’t usually write makeup or product reviews, but as someone who looks up reviews before making purchases, I thought I might as well contribute one.

I’ve been using LORAC’s ProtecTint for the last couple of years because I like a bit of color to even out my skin, but don’t like using foundation unless I’m going out and want to be fully made-up. However, I am an underpaid grad student with an unfortunate case of bills, so pricey makeup is not on the list of things I can properly afford at the moment. My LORAC supply is woefully depleted and I don’t want to purchase another tube at the moment, so after reading a few reviews, I thought I’d give Aveeno’s Positively Radiant Tinted Moisturizer a shot. Like the LORAC, it has 30 SPF, which is something I really desire in a moisturizer given the scorching South Florida sun.

Aveeno’s tinted moisturizer comes in two shades: Fair to Light, and Medium. I purchased the Fair to Light and found that it was a bit heavier in color than I had expected, though it did blend nicely and evened out my skin tone fairly well. The main drawback, it’s not as moist as my LORAC, so my skin felt a bit drier than I like… I will try layering it over my regular moisturizer next time. My next challenge… how would it fare in the summer heat?

After a few hours, I was surprised to find that it was holding up rather well and did not have that oily, slick feel that sometimes happens as a result of the combined effects of heat and humidity. It still felt nice and smooth.

Overall, it’s been a good first experience. It’s scented, but while I normally don’t like fragrance in my facial products, it’s not a bothersome scent. It’ll do for a quick fix until I can buy my LORAC.

Review: Wuthering Heights (2009)

Cross-posted from things she read

My final selection for the Brontë Challenge was Masterpiece Theatre’s loose adaptation of Emily Brontë’s Wuthering Heights (2009). This film rendition of the tale does away with the narrative quality of the story, reducing Nellie’s part as narratorand forcing the plot into a more linear storyline. There is a lot more romance, and less Gothic drama, which makes the Bronte’s tale of mad passion and revenge seem more mainstream. I found that this version tries to rationalize Heathcliff’s cruel tendencies by emphasizing the rivalry between him and Hindly, and showing glimpses of his happy, free-spirited childhood with Cathy. Tom Hardy does provide a compelling portrayal of Heathcliff, but I find most of the other characters a bit bland. Heathcliff is portrayed as a deranged, though slightly sympathetic character in this version, which is very different from my understanding of his character in the text. The relationship between the second generation of Earnshaws and Lintons is thrust into the background; the three young cousins are present but their part is minimal in the development of the tale.

Overall, not my favorite adaptation of the novel, but not terrible. It has its moments. I gave it a three-star “Liked It” rating on my Netflix queue.

Review: He Knew He Was Right (BBC, 2004)

Based on Anthony Trollope’s novel of the same name, He Knew He was Right follows the courtship and subsequent marriage of Louis and Emily Trevelyan, as these two try to make a life in England. The union between these two appears blissful, a devoted husband and wife with a small son. Emily shares her home with her sister, Nora, and finds pleasure in the society of her husband and his friend, Hugh Stanbury. However, there is one person who Louis disapproves of, Colonel Osborne, Emily’s godfather and an old friend of her father’s. As Louis begins to suspect that there is more between Osborne and Emily than what would be deemed proper, he tries to forbid Emily’s continued association with that gentleman. When she refuses to give in to his demands, arguing that her relationship is innocent, Louis becomes threatening and irrational, sending Emily and Nora away with little Louis to stay with the Stanburys. Though Emily tries to make her husband see reason, Louis staunchly believes that his suspicion is right and that his wife has betrayed him and shamed him before society. His belief sets into motion a terrible chain of events that forever rends their union and destroys their felicity.

He Knew He was Right has to be the single most tragic period drama I have seen. I don’t think I have ever felt so miserable as a result of the turn of events in a period film, but Louis Trevelyan’s descent into madness as Emily tries to defend her honor and independence really try the viewer’s emotions and bring little satisfaction in the end.

However, while Emily and Louis’s tragic tale dominate the plot, there are several narrative threads that lend some comic relief to the otherwise bleak tale. The arc involving Hugh’s sister, Dorothy, and their rich Aunt Stanbury is sweet and endearing as Dorothy wins that lady’s heart and finds an unexpectedly happy ending with her aunt’s heir. The relationship between pompous parson, Mr. Gibson (played by a very harried-looking David Tennant), and the French sisters also brings some hilarity to the story.

Trollope’s treatment of women’s place and the laws of coverture are incredibly powerful and the film portrays that brilliantly through its depiction of the trials experienced by Emily Trevelyan, as well as Nora, the French sisters, Aunt Stanbury, and Dorothy. It is a great film, but definitely not light-hearted.

Random useless factoid: I had a moment of “Aha!” when I realized that music in the BBC drama promo that they play at the beginning of all the recent BBC video DVDs is from the opening credits to this series.