Monday, February 26, 2018

Musings - February 2018

For most people, February is a short month. For me it has been very emotionally long. Family upheaval. Changes. Sick puppy. Big snow. It is the kind of month which makes me want to hide out for a week or two and just not deal.

Books: There were books. But I didn't finish them. I'm trying a new reading technique that is 10-20 pages of up to 5 books at a time per day. I find it makes completing a single book in any kind of reasonable timeframe more difficult. (Plus one of my current "books" is a 3-in-1 book of the author's work in a series making it longer than a normal book.) 

Gratitude: Good chiropractors. Pet insurance. Coloring. Jams.  (There is a lovely breakfast and retail place called Froehlich's Bakery where they make their own exotically delicious jams. I've been told I may have a jam problem - I bought: Habanaro Apricot, Tea Time Blackberry, Strawberry Margherita) Puppy pill pockets. The toughness of lilac buds. Cross-country skiing. (It was my first time. It was fun! I fell a good bit.)

Listening: Best of Bond. (The theme songs.) And whatever Pandora plays me. 

Perfumes: Magazine Street. Paper Flowers.

Recipes: I didn't make up any new recipes. But I did make a fairly awesome Strawberry Shortcake (recipe via Taste of Home) for the Artistic Girl's 18th birthday. (I do recommend letting the strawberries, sliced, "relax" with a touch of vanilla and 1/2 cup sugar for the baking time. Use a slotted spoon to serve up.) It was extremely well received! I'm pretty sure my delicious differentiator is the homemade whipped cream.

Self-care: I've been exploring various natural make-up line concealers for the last few months. Alone. In tandem. With powder. With CC cream. With different mascaras. Bare faced but for the concealer.

I've always had dark circles. And sometimes my skin is angry. When I used Bare Minerals, carefully applying layers of powder would build up coverage on any angry spots but didn't really help the dark circles. Now that I've switched to Juice Beauty CC's Cream as my primary skin coverage, I've been working on options for concealing dark circles and spots. This is what I've discovered so far.
- Juice Beauty Correcting Concealer (tube)  is in the line I love but really lacks coverage. It's watery. And it's almost like not wearing anything on a blemish or dark circle.
- Juice Beauty Perfecting Concealer (cream tin) does the job on the dark circles but if applied anywhere else, it cracks in a few hours. The result, on my skin, looked fake.  (This was, however, my second favorite due to the good dark circle coverage and the quality ingredients of the brand.)
- It Cosmetics Bye Bye Undereye (tube) has serious coverage. So much so, I had to watch a video on how to properly apply it!  (Warm in hand first. Mix between fingers. The apply to undereye.) It is never cakey but somehow it feels visually heavy and "fake". Used sparingly, this had merit.
- Laura Geller Baked Radiance Concealer  (cream tin) was my winner for coverage. Hydrating for my dry skin. Excellent dark circle coverage. Works if applied sparingly to blemishes. The one challenge I had was that my waterproof mascara tended to smear with this formulation. (Didn't matter which mascara. I tried 3.) If I carefully applied the lightest touch of powder at the base of my lower lashes, the smearing was better. Due to the coverage and ingredients, this was my favorite concealer.

This still isn't a beauty blog. But I'm honest. And I like to try things. And I like to share information. I hope you find it helpful!

Stress: The puppy became ill again. It's something with his liver. We're testing. More soon.

Continuing family stress. 

On the maternal side, they don't seem to understand that the actions of one - unchecked by all of them - have gone on long enough and will not be tolerated in any way, any shape, or any form - ever again. No more polite lies about why I'm not there for "family events". The truth is that she has made me so amazingly unwelcome for so very many years without hindrance from them (in fact with their help) that there is no going back. And they have chosen her version of the truth. Done. 

On the paternal side, there have been some changes in Southern Gram's living arrangements which have resulted in people displaying their very worst sides. Greedy. Grasping. Lacking gratitude. Unwilling to help or be a solution and so very much finger-pointing blame. It's been ugly. And it makes me sad. 

These stresses are some of the reasons I go to therapy. I speak to someone (the same person for several years now) one or two times a month. There is no shame in that. It's a fresh viewpoint into stale wounds. It's new tools for the same problems. It helps me find ways to improve my present relationships and keep my emotional balance when things like the passing of La Gram Russe threaten it. It helps me own my worth, for the first time, among "family" who has squelched it. It helps me be a better, more balanced person for those who are presently part of my life.

If you are going through changes or challenges, I urge you to seek an anchor -be it counselor, friend, minister, or therapist. Find someone to listen and help you through it. You will be stronger for it. There is a reason wabi-sabi is an art.

Things 11 Told Me:
- Yes, I'm full in my regular stomach from breakfast; but my candy stomach is empty. (She was lobbying for a cookie for breakfast.)
- (After a very sad, angry disappointment, when I asked if she was feeling better) Only on the outside. On the inside, I'm still very angry.

She is often right on so many levels.

Watching: Impostors. Star Trek: Discovery (interesting how dark and reptilian the Klingons look). Criminal Minds (all caught up.) 

Random:Oh, y'all. Customer service really really matters. Remember last month when I called out Vapour Beauty? It didn't get better.  I got an email from them - and I replied with that blog post. To which they unsubscribed me from their email list - and didn't resolve the product issue (that I have 3 eye crayons drying out because they don't seal correctly) nor did they address the customer service issue at the heart of my complaint. And yet, this week I got a re-subscription email from them because they changed website platforms and don't know how to make automation work for them instead of being in the way of their "service". Oyi. 

And what I have to say to that is... Ilia Beauty. I'm not loving the color range as much as I did Vapour, but I'm sure they will expand it. I'm trying Moonbeams & Polka Dots right now. 

Take-away - Do you remember the L'Oreal line, "Because you are worth it." Yes, you are worth it. And you need to remember that.

Original musings posts you may enjoy:

All photos by moi! And you can tell...

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**This, like all my posts, is not promoted or compensated in any way. There is an affiliate link in the Shop tab for Juice Beauty products. (Basically if you click the link and then buy Juice Beauty products from their website, I get a small amount of compensation.) Unlike many blogs, I have just a few affiliate links. The reason is that if I don't love something, I don't share it. And I only want you to have the best!

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