Sunday, September 6, 2015

Mish-Mash & Stuff

Happy Sunday!

I'll start the week off by saying that I feel somewhat better. At least, better than I have for the last two weeks, anyway. I'm off the antihistamine - for now. I am, however, still sleeping a lot. This thing threatened my chest, which would not have been a good thing. The best thing for that is sleep so....sleep much, I did. It also didn't help that my sleep pattern got way messed up during the last two weeks. But being back on a regular schedule is the goal for this week.

Now, about those August beauty boxes....

I know I haven't shared them all yet but since September is already underway, I will share those along with the boxes received this month, of which there have already been two. Well, the one I got on August 31 so I'm not sure if it's supposed to be for August or September. 

Anyway, they have begun to arrive for September so lots to share throughout the month. 

To start off this month of posts, I thought I would catch you up with a naked nail update as well as reports on products I have used out of some previous beauty boxes.

First, the nails. I know I updated you about mid-August but in light of the recent upheaval in the nail world with regard to a certain independent polish maker, I thought I would do so again with some explanations.

So here are the pics...freshly scrubbed and treated with a mixture of castor and coconut oils.

I do believe this is the longest my nails have ever been and at this length, they would look fantastic painted. The reason I'm not painting right now can be seen in both pointers. They have both lifted a bit at the tips. A few of the other nails show signs of possibly doing the same so I'm leaving them completely naked for now. I don't even want to swatch anything right now for fear of exacerbating the issue with nail polish remover.

And in case you're wondering about the way my nail tips aren't entirely opaque and white, here's an article by Ana from Nail Care HQ that explains why this isn't a problem.  

I should also make it clear that I do not now nor have I ever used the independent brand that has come under fire recently for causing damage to the nails of the girls who have used it. The brand is Mentality Polish and apparently something they used in their polishes caused damage to the nails of bloggers who swatched as well as some of their customers. My issues are from another source. Just wanted to make that clear.

You can read about this ongoing story through various outlets. Just Google 'Mentality Polish Damage' and you will find several options. The gist of it all is - there is something in the polishes that were produced from April 2014 through June 2015 that has caused severe reactions in some people's nails. If you have purchased any polish from Mentality during this time period, you might want to consider not using it.

If at any time you experience any kind of pain or discomfort from using a nail product, immediately remove said product and don't use it again. Of course, it's not alway easy to determine which product might be causing the problem. One girl whose nails were damaged thought it was her remover causing the problem. Just pay attention to any adverse signs your nails or cuticles might be giving you.

There are also pictures out there of the damaged caused and after looking at them, I have come to the conclusion that the issue I have with my nails is probably not from nail fungus but from an allergic reaction to nail polish. Since I have no idea what polish caused it, I want to let this damage grow out and then pay close attention as I polish to see which brand that I own might be causing it. I can say that my problems began within a few months of beginning to polish my nails and at that time, I was only using commercially made polishes. Which goes to show that this kind of thing can happen with any polish.

This time, I stopped polishing as soon as I noticed the problem and will keep my nails naked until the damage grows out. A side benefit to this is that I have been going heavy on the oiling and considering how long that splitter on the right hand is now, all the oiling is really helping. I'm thinking the addition of castor oil can be credited with that. I now have a mixture of castor oil, vitamin E, jojoba and the rosehip seed oil added to the mixture of three independently produced oils from Bliss Kiss, Sweet Baby and So Much Goodness that I'm using quite often throughout the day. That and the face cream I made that I'm now using as a hand cream have really made a difference in my nails and hands. 

Meantime, since I won't be showcasing polishes right now, I can share beauty products I'm using. To that end, I have reports for several products I've used out of the beauty boxes I've received.

First, I am still using and loving the ClariSea Sea Salt Solutions Rapid Detox Charcoal Exfoliant I received in my July Birchbox.

I do, however, need to be careful with it. I once either used too much or didn't get it incorporated well enough with the Noxema because I caused an injury to my right cheek using it once. Since then, I make sure I use just enough to make a loose paste and mix it thoroughly so that the salt melts a bit and then gently rub it in circles on my skin. I love how this leaves my skin soft and really reduces the appearance of my pores.

I've used two more exfoliants recently that have also made me quite the fan - 

The Dr. Brandt exfoliator came in my August Birchbox and has tiny little somethings in a rich cream that feel so good on my skin. The scent is reminiscent of something I've smelled in the past that I can't remember. This really helped to get rid of all the dry skin roughness I had after not taking care of my skin while I was sick. It didn't seem harsh at all.

Another time during the last two weeks, I used the Hey Honey I Peel Good from my July Glossybox. It, too, got rid of all that roughness, but it doesn't contain any tiny little somethings. It's a creamy gel that I rubbed in until it felt oily then washed off in the shower. It left my skin feeling moisturized and smooth as a baby's bottom. Seriously.

Following both of these treatments, I decided to use one of the moisturizer samples - this one from the Beauty Box 5 that I purchased back in July.

Now, the trouble with getting all these samples is finding something you love and then finding out that love is very expensive. This moisturizer is so fantastic that I'm actually considering shelling out the $50 it costs to get the full sized version. This cream sunk into my skin without leaving any kind of shine behind. And it kept my skin feeling soft and moisturized all day long. I even used it at night and it seemed to help with the redness of my skin. They also have an eye cream I'd like to try but the two together would be $88, which I just can't justify spending right now. Maybe when I'm that famous author I keep saying I'm gonna be.

Another product I'm still loving and probably will buy again even though it's also gonna be expensive is the mascara from MDM Flow that came in my July Boxycharm.

I find I'm reaching for this one more often than not. I've gotten a bit braver with it and using more than a single coat with tremendous results. No clumping, just long, dark lashes that you can actually see through my glasses. This one's definitely a keeper despite the $35 price tag.

And one more thing that I'm still using and loving - from the July Birchbox.

When I first got this, I did spray it all over my hair and it worked fine until the day I added something else to my post shampoo routine and ended up needing to rewash my hair. The two together were just too much but I wanted to use both so I started using just a few sprays in my hand of each thing separately and then applying to everywhere but my roots. That method works great and uses less product, which means it'll be a while before I have to pay the $30 this particular product costs.

Ok, a second thing I'm still using and loving - from the Beautybox 5 I purchased.

I have been using this after doing my face routine both morning and night and I do believe it is making a difference in the condition of my lips. Granted, it doesn't last long and multiple applications are necessary, during the day, at least. Still, my lips do feel more moisturized and soft so - a good thing to have on hand, especially with the weather beginning to transition from Summer to Fall and on into Winter. 

Oh, while I don't have pictures of these products, I am back to using the Yes To Blueberries products for my face. I have both the daytime and nighttime moisturizers as well as the intensive serum and face and neck oil along with the eye cream that I have been using all along. 

I think I just didn't give it long enough the first time around. I did, however, hate the way the daytime moisturizer felt. It seemed to just sit on top of my skin and feel sticky all day. Now, after applying the rosehip seed oil, and the Blueberries intensive serum, I mix a couple of drops of the face and neck oil with the daytime moisturizer and I'm getting better results. I always did like the nighttime cream. I've committed to sticking with this regime until the end of the month and then decide if it will be worth continuing.

I think that's it. Hoping to get back on track with daily posts now that I'm more or less over the creeping crud.

Thanks for reading and stay tuned.


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