Summer 2020 fabfitfun Unboxing

Hey hey, it’s MJ,

            Back at it with another unboxing, every four months that becomes half of my posts and I am not super mad about it. I got my box a few days ago and I was so excited to get it, I watched it through the tracker for a week and a half and I was so anxious to just get in my hands on it. 

            I cannot believe that it’s almost July, I feel like it was March like a week ago but also a decade ago with quarantine and all of the crazy going on right now.

            All views and opinions in this are all my own, like they always are and always will be no matter what. 

            So what did I get? As usual I am not going to tell you the value of my box (it was between $225.50-$477 dependent on what you got in your box) also I am going to start with the items that I chose or had a choice for in my box.

Dapper James Straw Bag with Floral Scarf:

            It’s a real cute summery bag and I really like Dapper James because Reese Witherspoon is amazing. I chose this one because of all of the options this one fit my desires best for the moment, I like bags and this one is open at the top with a snap so it’s good to take around during the summer and maybe when the world opens back up (safely) I will actually get to use it but it may be a next summer thing and I’m not too mad about it because it is neutral enough to cross years not just be in style for one season and then it doesn’t match the times anymore. The other options were the Pottery Barn Mason Ceramic Diffuser in Solstice, the Do Not Age with dr. brandt Triple Peptide Eye Cream, the L*Space Tie Dye Towel, the Yumi Kim Wireless Charging Pad (which is super cute!), or the LashesMD Eyelash Conditioner. 

Business & Pleasure Co. Cooler Bag:

            Again a really fun summer thing, this season the seasonal feel was really evident and I really liked the idea of a larger cooler bag in my life but not one that is a full sized cooler, my dad got me a Yeti cooler bag for Christmas and it’s huge and bulky so having something nice and small is nice when you don’t need the giant cooler to accompany you somewhere. It is a really cute thing, my only problem with it is there is separation in the fabric on the top but I can sew it back in at some point. In the picture I stuffed it with stuffing so it would actually stand up and not collapse back down on itself. The other options were the Michael Kors Bedford Travel Passport Wallet (If it had been in black I would have gotten that), the HydroPeptide Moisture Reset Face Oil, the Isaac Mizrahi Blue and White Kimono, or the R+Co Television Perfect Hair Shampoo+Conditioner.

The Giving Keys Mini Key Necklace:

            It’s very small and delicate but according to the packaging the company supports a good cause, ending homelessness and I am completely behind that message. The key says believe on it and I cannot wait to wear it because it’s just a little thing that has a strong message behind it. I prefer silver jewelry to gold so this one was a pretty good choice on my part. The other options were two Coola products the Mineral Face Organic Matte Finish Sunscreen Lotion SPF 30 or the Mineral Face Matte Finish Cucumber Sunscreen Lotion SPF 30, the TOMS Sydney Sunglasses (if I wasn’t a prescription glasses wearing human I would have gotten these), Blaq Peel off Mask+ HydroGel Eye Mask with Hyaluronic Acid (Set of 5) (I have these and they are amazing but I don’t do peel off masks), the Kate Somerville Goat Milk Moisturizing Cream (this was a throwback and I got this one in my Winter 2019 box), or the Drybar Prep Rally Prime & Prep Detangler (got this on in my Winter 2019 box too).

Terre Mère Aloe and Tea Tree Toner:

            Toner is pretty new in my life and this was the first product on this list that I didn’t have a choice in and I am totally fine with the option I got. It’s a glass bottle y’all, a glass bottle. I really like toners now and I am glad that they have come back into my life since the toners of the mid-2000s that my skin absolutely hated. I am about halfway done with Sunday Riley one so having one in the wings is going to be great. The other options were the Zoë Ayla Ice Roller, or the Silked Satin Pillow Case.

The Lifestyle Co. Beach Mist: 

            It’s aloe, mint, and lavender. It’s supposed to be an after sun spray I think but let’s be honest, my skin sees the sun so rarely that I will use it as a facial refresh spray like I do rose water. I love the packaging and I am excited to have it in my beauty arsenal. The other options were the Isaac Mizrahi Loves xo, Sienna Vase, the amika Brooklyn Bombshell Blowout Spray, or the Grace & Stella Hyaluronic Acid Hydrating Serum.

The next three were picked by fabfitfun out of seven potentials as their picks so I will list the four I didn’t receive first, the Winky Lux Uni-Brow Universal Eyebrow Pencil, Wander Beauty Baggage Claim Gold Eye Mask, 6 pack (which I think I have already), the Murad Essential-C Cleanser, and the Spongella Coconut Verbena Hand Cream (which I am glad about because I am not a huge fan of the smell of verbena.)

Riddle Oil Original Roll On:

            This is one of those perfumes that matches your body chemistry to produce a scent and mine is lightly floral, I tried it on the day I got the box and it lasted for hours! I even took a shower and I could still faintly smell it even afterward. I am a huge fan of this product because I don’t wear a lot of perfume but this one is really nice. 

Cali Cosmetics Foot Cream with Menthol in Tarocco:

            To be honest I thought the brand name was Tarocco, just an FYI to start this out with. It summer so foot cream is an essential because sandals and things. I am excited to give it a try because I try to moisturize my feet after every shower, I sometimes don’t succeed but I still try. 

MakeupDrop Hybrid Makeup Applicator:

            It’s a sponge and a silicon applicator that’s like the best of both worlds and I really like MakeupDrop, I have one of their silicon applicators and it’s really nice so having another product from them is pretty cool and I love the concept of having a multipurpose tool like this in my makeup bag.

            Overall, per usual, I loved my box there was a lot better balance of products than in boxes past though I still miss the fitness items but as a company grows and changes it makes sense to source a more diverse selection of items that your members want.

            Want to know that I got in my Spring box this year, you can, just click on it!

            Do you subscribe? Did you get an item you really loved or not so much? Let me know in the comments! 

            See everyone later in the week with another post, 

            -MJ

June 2020 IPSY Glam Bag Plus Unboxing

Hey hey, it’s MJ, 

            I am again writing all of my IPSY posts back to back this month because I felt like it and they were what I had on hand. Again, we are almost in July and I cannot believe that because I swear it was just January. I hope everyone out there is staying safe all around.

            Again same problem I had with the Glam Bag, the card is exactly the same as that one, it doesn’t tell me the products anymore and I think that will continue to bother me but there isn’t anything that I can do about it. 

            The bag is exactly the same as the one for the Glam Bag this month but it’s a minty green, why have a bag if you are going to get multiple of the same if you subscribe to more than one of their subscriptions. I usually like the bags but this month really did miss the mark for me now that I have two of the exact same bags, same size and everything.

What did I get?

Jayjun Cosmetics Wakepure Sheet Masks (6):

            There are two of each kind so two of the Shiso Calming Mask, the Seaberry Brightening Mask, and the Avocado Nourishing Mask. I love sheet masks even though I don’t really use them during the summer because it’s just a lot for the summer. I am looking forward to trying them out because I have all my sheet masks in the fridge, as well as a lot of my skin care that I’m not using at the moment. I don’t have a skin care fridge I just have a small crate in my actual fridge full of sheet masks and I regret nothing. 

Shaina B Miami Eyes on Miami Brush Set:

            I have a lot of brushes and I think for now these are just going to stay in their little bag because while I love a full set of eye brushes ISPY really likes to send out brush sets, these may become part of my travel set of brushes but for right now I don’t need to add them to the rest of my brush cup. They are stylish and I really like how they feel and it is nice to get full sets of brushes (according to the IPSY page these would retail for $60) because I haven’t bought a full priced brush in probably four years. But at the end of the day a brush is a brush is a brush. 

Dr. Brandt Skincare Pores No More Luminzer Primer:

            I do not wear a lot of primer, I probably should just for skin protecting and this one blends in really well with my skin so I am happy about that. Also I am a huge fan of Dr. Brandt because their products are great I have never had a reaction to any of them and that in my book is great news. It does for sure blur your pores, I put it on my hand and I can tell where it is which is crazy to me so I am hopeful that on my face it will have all the desired effects that it claims to have. 

Pūrlisse Beauty Blue Lotus 4-in-1 Cleansing Milk:

            I have a few of the Blue Lotus products from Pūrlisse including the eye cream and I think the sunscreen and I love both of them so having another cleanser to try out and one from a brand I know that my skin can handle is awesome. I am excited to give it a try when I run out of my Tula cleanser and it is soap and sulfate free so it won’t dry my skin out either which is really exciting for me. 

Ciaté London Marbled Metals Eyeshadow in Entwine:

            The color pay off on this is intense, it’s a beautiful pinky shade and while I like it, it’s really really glittery for me, I am not a person who frequently gets so full glam that my look requires something that is this glittery. It’s a beautiful shade and I will find a reason to wear it, even if it is a highlighter it just looks kind of chunky in the pot so I guess we will see. I’ll figure it out.

            Overall it was a pretty good bag, I’m not mad about it. If you want to see what else I got this year you can, January, March, April, May.

Hope you have a great rest of the week, stay safe y’all,

            -MJ

What was in my June 2020 IPSY Glam Bag?

Hey hey, it’s MJ, 

            So it’s June, how is it already June? I have been creatively drained and I think that still has to do with everything that’s going on in the world. It’s insane times y’all, insane times. 

            So let’s get into it, so the bag, it’s fine, I’m not a huge fan of it but I don’t know why. I don’t think I like that it has people on it, it makes it a lot harder to use for other things. It’s also an odd yellow shade and personally, I am not a fan of yellow but there are probably people who will covet these bags.

            What did I actually get though?

            I seriously miss the card that gives you the descriptions of the products, it’s a card now that gives you tips and they could put that on the back and put the products on the card, I know that’s probably more complicated and this cuts down on costs just to print one card for every bag but I miss it.

Ofra X Talia Mar Highlighter in Covent Garden:

            I chose this because I liked the color and I have a thing for highlighters, it’s like a hoarding obsession and I need to stop collecting them but they are all so pretty and maybe like a crow I really like shiny things. I love the shade though it’s a more rosy champagne, I wouldn’t call it rose gold but it is beautiful on the skin. It’s vegan and cruelty free so those are both wins in my book and I cannot wait to have a reason to wear this all the time.

Maëlle Beauty Clearly Brilliant Tinted Lips in Nectar:

            When I saw the image of this as well as the product I didn’t think it would be a shade that I could pull off but the product itself is a bit pinker than it looks like in the crayon. If you didn’t want to use it on your lips it actually would make a nice crème blush. I had to go to their website to find out that it is both leaping bunny certified and cruelty free so I do like that. It’s an interesting product and while I rarely wear lipstick this lip tint provides an interesting compromise to that.

Kat Von D (KVD) Vegan Beauty Lock-it setting Powder in Translucent:

            I don’t have a lot of Kat Von D products, it’s not a brand that I have explored even though I have seen it in Sephora for years now. I like that it’s a vegan brand and it says that in the name so I am intrigued to actually give this setting powder a try. I really don’t have much to say about it because it is a setting powder and in many cases they are similar and you can’t make the judgement until you actually use it, so I will eventually and report back (if I remember). 

Nanette Lepore Body Lotion in Colors of Nanette:

            It has a scent that is a mix of a garden and a fruit salad and I am not mad about that. According to the IPSY description it’s a mix of fruity notes like melon, apple, and pear, and floral notes like jasmine, rose, and violet. Now all of those scents are nice but all together for me they are a little bit much because to me the smell of those fruits with those floral notes just doesn’t suit me and that’s okay. It might suit a whole bunch of other people it’s just not a scent profile that I enjoy, it does make my hands feel good though so that is a good thing. 

Essenherb Tea Tree Foam Cleanser:

            I will for sure give this a patch test before I use it because while I like tea tree products they sometimes are a little harsh for my skin, I used to use tea tree in my hair but never on my face so this could be a holy grail product or it could break me out and at the moment I don’t know either way. It is a K-beauty brand and for the most part in my experience K-beauty doesn’t have the same effect on my skin as other brands so I am hopeful.

            Overall my Glam Bag this month was fine, it wasn’t the worst and it wasn’t the best so I am hoping that July looks up but not every month can be knocking it out of the park. 

If you want to read my other months this year, go ahead just click the month and it will take you right to the post, January, March, April, and May.

            Do you subscribe, did you get a product this month that you were in love with, on the fence with, or disappointed with? Let me know!

Have a great start to your week and I will see y’all soon with another post!

            -MJ

What was in my May 2020 IPSY Glam Bag?

Hey, hey it’s MJ, 

            I am trying to keep a schedule on blogging, as we can all see from my posts this month it’s not going well. I am trying, I really am but let’s be real life is crazy at the moment. 

The Bag:

            Like the Glam Bag Plus this was also an ombre, this one however was a pink to yellow and much larger than the one in the Glam Bag Plus (it would have made more sense in my head if they switched them but I’m not in charge of things). I do like the bag though, it’s pretty basic with a top zip but I like it. 

The products:

Yensa Skin on Skin BC Concealer in Fair Cool:

            When I opened this it almost pressurized on the inside so a bunch of product just kind of leaked out so I got to try it without really having a choice to do so. It’s about the right shade though it is just a little dark for me, so hopefully during the summer it might be close to the right shade because even though it’s a cool tone it is still a little too yellow for me. I love the packaging though so that is one upside to it, I like concealers but they are hard to match in a subscription service like this. 

F.A.R.AH Brushes Long Blender (25EL) Brush: 

            I like how the brush looks but I am at this point of, do I need any more brushes? The answer to that is no, I know that it’s easy to throw a brush in and call it done. It’s an IPSY exclusive which is cool but it’s a basic eyeshadow brush. Cruelty free and vegan so I can’t be mad and it’s a nice brush to shove in a makeup bag to go because it’s decently packed but not too fluffy and not too dense. 

First Aid Beauty FAB Pharma Arnica Relief & Rescue Mask:

            I like First Aid Beauty it’s a great brand that I don’t use very often but probably should use it more. It is an anti-inflammatory mask so that is exciting for me. It’s a leave on mask so that is also exciting because at this point the only masks that I really want to take the time to remove are sheet masks. It has a lot of benefits that I am all for in a facial product so I am excited to give it a try. 

TheBalm Cosmetics AutoBalm Pic Perf in St. Charles Ave: 

            I have an AutoBalm palette and I really like it, this is not a shade I already have so that was exciting and it’s a nice neutral brown so I was excited about that. I have a problem with single shadows though for the sheer reason that I have to remove them from their packaging to put them in something else if I don’t want to carry around a bunch of tiny shadow containers. I wish that companies would put them in containers that are easier to remove the product from because with this one I will have to do some major excavation and hope not to break the shadow pan if I ever want to take it out. I like the shade though and that’s really all that matters. 

Tarte SEA Jelly Glaze Anytime Lip Mask in Strawberry Jelly:

            It smells like strawberries and it is very small. I like the packaging but I rarely ever use lip treatments, some sugar scrub here and some lip balm there but pretty much nothing else. I also don’t like the feeling of jelly like items on my lips I avoid lip gloss (I did not before college but I do now) I don’t like when my lips stick together or feel sticky, it’s not a feeling that I like. I will give it a chance because I love Tarte but this was kind of the odd outlier in my bag this month. Maybe I’ll like it, who knows.

            Overall I liked the bag this month, it wasn’t the best and it wasn’t the worst so I don’t have much to complain about. If you want to see what else I have gotten this year check out January, March, and April

            Do you subscribe? Did you get any favorite new products this month?

            I’ll see everyone in a few days with a new post!

            -MJ 

May 2020 ipsy Glam Bag Plus Unboxing

Hey hey, it’s MJ,

            So another month and it’s just about the middle and I am FINALLY posting something, I had so many plans for this month but my life again decided to kick me a couple of times. But that is not what we are here to do! Bright spot in what is kind of an interesting time in the world.

            I am excited to talk about what I got in my glam bag plus this month because it was actually a really cool box.

            One thing that I need to say is that this month it came in a larger box than usual, see the photo and you’ll understand. Last month it came in a bubble mailer and I liked it but this month they chose the box again and I don’t know why they changed it or what the next month’s shipping container will look like. 

            I love the bag, it’s blue to yellow ombre and I am such a huge fan of ombre. I love the little tassel zipper pull and the bag shape. I am liking the variety of bags they are coming out with in recent memory and the inside of the bag is yellow with what looks like gold confetti and I love it!

            What did I get though? Let’s talk about the products that I received. Again I miss the little card that talks about the products

Beauty For Real Hi Def Mascara in Just Black:

            I have never seen a mascara wand that is this little, I don’t mind it but it’s mascara and I like mascara that’s pretty well established. It goes on pretty well and it does collect on the lashes really easily. My only complaints are that it is a little clumpy but let’s be real there is a good chance that is used error and it takes a long time to dry. It doesn’t take a lot to take off though so that in my book is not a bad thing. I am excited to actually give it a nice long wear test to see how it does in that regard.

Coloured Raine Cosmetics Mimosa Moment Palette: 

            Cute little to-go palette and I was looking for a new to-go palette to carry around with me and I really like the colors in this one it’s a nice balance between matte and shimmer shades and for a palette this size it has a really nice mirror. The shades are actually pretty pigmented which I am really thankful for. It is an ipsy Glam Bag Plus exclusive and I am glad that it is better than the last Betty Boop exclusive palette from last year. 

Sugar Rush sugar Coat Velvet Liquid Lipstick in Cupcake:

            Sugar Rush reminds me of Wreck-it Ralph but it is a tarte brand and I am a huge fan of tarte. It smells like frosting which I cannot be mad about. This shade though for sure is a fall/winter shade not a spring/summer shade so I will try to rock it again in the fall. It goes on smooth and doesn’t dry down too quickly which is nice for a liquid lip and it doesn’t make your lips feel dry after application which I have had in the past with liquid lipsticks and it’s never fun to have to reapply a liquid lip several times throughout the day. Seeing it in the picture description and in the tube I thought it was going to be too dark in general but it’s actually not to bad so I am pleasantly surprised. 

Nomad Cosmetics x Sydney Bathers Kiss of Sun Palette:

            I really like it, I don’t want to ruin the designs in the pans though so I haven’t really tested yet. (I was really careful and touched the center of the pans so I didn’t ruin the designs just yet.) It is super pigmented and the shades are really nice. I love highlighter so this palette is just another amazing addition to my highlighter collection. All the shades are named after Sydney beaches and I kind of love that idea, I have a Germany themed palette from them and well and I love the themed palettes and collections like that.

Sunday Riley Good Genes All-in-One Lactic Acid Treatment: 

            Sunday Riley, this was my choice because it was Sunday Riley, I have not met a Sunday Riley product that I don’t like. I have never done a lactic acid treatment so I am looking forward to trying it. I am still getting more and more into skin care and complexion products. It smells like the inside of a Lush store so I am really excited to actually try it on my face and the spot where I put it on my hand is nice and shiny so I am hopeful this does wonders for my face.

            Overall it was a great Glam Bag plus and I loved every product and I am looking forward to next month!

            Do you subscribe? Did you get a favorite product this month? 

            I’ll see everyone later in the week with another post!

            -MJ

April 2020 Glam Bag Plus Unboxing

Hey hey, it’s MJ, 

            April has pretty much flown by even in quarantine and as I am writing this it’s like the 16th so hopefully as this is being posted maybe we will be able to reemerge into the world but who knows. 

            Let’s talk about what I got in my Glam Bag Plus this month though, like I said in my regular Glam Bag Unbagging this is a bright spot in my month. This month instead of a box the items came in a bubble mailer like the regular Glam Bag, they actually sent out a survey about it asking our opinions and I think it’s fine but I worry about the recyclability in my area where the box was recyclable pretty much everywhere/

The Bag:

            Like the Glam Bag this month it has the same floral pattern but it is a more muted minty green with a zipper around about 75% of the bag itself, that makes it a little hard to zip but over all I really like the idea of the different bags they are coming out with.

The Products: 

Ciaté London Triple Shot XXL Mascara in Black XXL:

            Mascara is one of my staple products and I am always in the market for a new good formula. Now this one claims to be a fiber formula so that does worry me a little bit; in the past with other fiber formulas I have had the fibers dry and get in my eyes and my eyes are sensitive to just about everything getting in them so I am hopeful that this one doesn’t have the flaking problem. 

Céla Crème Rose The Very Best Cream Rose:

            I love the packaging, it’s just really pretty, my one issue with the packaging is the thickness of the tube, it’s not very thick which for a lotion that has a hinged cap that makes it a little tricky to close, you have to be careful with it. The other scent notes besides rose are jasmine and peach. It does smell amazing and it soaks into the skin rather quickly so you don’t feel like you are caked in something. This one is for sure an exciting product even though I never need more lotion but I always loving getting it.

Tarte Tarteist Double Take Eyeliner in Black:

            Again, eyeliner; this is getting ridiculous on the amount of months I have received eyeliner, all black and all liquid which I don’t use. The only saving grace of this eyeliner is that it is double ended so it has a gel/pencil on one side which was the eyeliner that I grew up using, all pencil all the time. I think I used exclusively Maybelline’s gel/pencil eyeliner in middle and into high school. So this one is more up my alley so I might use this one but that leave the question of what to do with the other end of the dual ended eyeliner and what do I do with the rest of the liquid liners I have received, get it together ipsy, I never review eyeliners well.

Girlactik Beauty Jello Gloss Balm:

            I have been trying to figure out where I had heard about this brand and it was in a Tati video on YouTube. I love trying out new balms and I love the simplicity of the packaging on this one. It goes on like a balm and feels like a mixture between a gloss and a balm and for once I am not mad about it. It looks like a translucent pink in the tube and I am actually a huge fan of it. It’s one of those products that is a really good multitasking product and I am looking forward to using it more.

Sunday Riley Martian Mattifying Melting Water-Gel Toner:

            I chose this one, I really did because if they give me the option of a Sunday Riley product I will pick it. Sunday Riley is one of those brands I have coveted for such a long time and now I am using various products in my skin care routine. It doesn’t smell great but I think that’s because of the clay in it so it’s fine. A little goes a long way with this product and I am excited to incorporate this into my skin care routine on a regular basis as I do not currently use a toner. 

            So overall I really liked my Glam Bag Plus this month, even the eyeliner, that’s right even the eyeliner. 

            I’ll see everyone in May hoping that we are getting back to normal here soon, stay safe stay healthy!

            -MJ

Updated Skin Care Routine 2020

Hey hey, it’s MJ,

            So last year I wrote a blog that talked about my skincare routine and a lot has changed since then and I mean a lot. I have been using different products and my current routine even with my recent add-ins has actually been really clear and my break outs are down so much. Usually that is my main concern and so that is the thing that I really monitor when I change anything in my skin care routine.

            There are no products that have carried over from my last routine from last year. That’s actually really crazy for me because I have had such a turnover of products and that means that I wasn’t a huge fan of them in the first place. I do also feel like my skin care routine is cyclical and so a lot of things change until I can find something that really works. As someone who used the same products for years and then branched out I guess I’m just trying to find that combination that really and truly works 

            My routines for morning and night are pretty much the same except for the lotion I use at night but other than that most everything is the same so let’s run through it. 

            Face Wash: I am currently using Tula Probiotic Skincare Purifying Face Cleanser and I actually really like it, it’s a rather thick cleanser but it does work and I really like it. Before that I was using the Paris Hilton Beauty face wash and that was actually pretty good too. I have been finding some pretty good facial cleansers after I finished off the Peter Thomas Roth cleanser late last year. The Tula cleanser smells like skin care should smell, I have no way else to describe it.

            Toner: This is really new, like I have only used it a handful of times and it has amazed me so far. I am currently using the Sunday Riley Martian Mattifying Melting Water-Gel Toner. It is a calming formula and it hasn’t been really adverse to my skin so I was really excited to even have a product that is kind of like that. I got this so recently, actually in my April ipsy Glam Bag Plus (spoiler alert that post comes out next week) but I have been using it since then. 

            Serum: I have been using The Better Skin Co, Epik C Serum, I got that in my spring fabfitfun box this year and I have been using it since. It is a pretty thick serum and it is probably the best I have tried so far and I am a huge fan of it. I have tried other serums and I have liked them but they broke me out more than I would like.

            Eye Cream: Sunday Riley Auto Correct Brightening and Depuffing Eye Contour Cream, this is just a sample size but I actually would purchase the full size of this product, my only issue with samples is they are just too small to actually get a good wear test out of them. However after my Mary Kay one went from being great to leaking out of the bottle like crazy. 

            Facial Moisturizer: 

            Day: Tatcha The Water Cream, this was for sure a sample as well and I got it last month and I have been using it since and I would consider buying a full sized version of this as well even though it is really expensive but so far it is completely worth it to spend money on good skin care. 

            Night: Korres Wild Rose Vitamin C Brightening Sleeping Facial, I have been using this for a while and I really like it and it smells amazing; this is another product that I would purchase again. I went through a lot of moisturizers that just made my skin retain its redness but with all of the changes in my routine I’m not as red as I used to be.

            Masks: I use Ahava’s Hydration Cream Mask about once a week or so and I leave it on all night instead of washing it off after a few minutes. I love it.

            I also still use sheet masks about once a week so I can get some extra skin care time in. 

            Overall there has been a bunch of changes and it’s a really great feeling to know that my new combination of skin care products is actually working for my skin and keeping all of my problems at bay. 

            I’ll see you all in another few days with another post, stay happy stay healthy.

            -MJ

What was in my April 2020 ipsy Glam Bag?

Hey hey, it’s MJ,

            So I think I have been in quarantine for like a month now, I am still learning how to cope with forced isolation, I am fine with it when I am the one making the choice but not for this long. Like I miss my students. 

            Bright spot though is that I still am getting my ipsy bags, I know that’s a small thing but it is still something that I allow to bring me joy. 

            The bag this month is super cute, I love the dark lilac color and the kind of impressionist flowers. The zipper pull is a wooden ring and I kind of love it. 

What did I get though? 

Kismet Pure Vitamin C Primer:

            It’s sparkly, which is fine for a primer or like a body shimmer with a really diffused glow, it goes on like a water gel and I actually really like how it feels on the skin. The card describes the texture as silky and I completely agree with that sentiment. I have the Kismet sugar lip scrub that I use quite frequently and I like all the products I have gotten the chance to try form them.

Araceli Beauty Chiquita Blending Brush: 

            It’s a brush, I like how it looks, I like how it feels and it’s a nice basic brush, it is vegan and cruelty free and by now if you have read any of my posts you know how much I love seeing those words on beauty products. 

Murad Nutrient-Charged Water Gel:

            I love Murad and I am always happy to try new products from their line. This stuff smells amazing and a little bit goes a long way. It feels really nice on the skin too, I do text most products on my hand because I don’t want my face to break out because of a reaction. It’s oil free which is usually where I get the break outs so I am excited to actually give it a real try.

Neogen Dermatology Real Vita C Serum:

            It smells in the bottle but not on the skin, I like serums but this one is actually really thin but it is used for skin protection against environmental factors and harmful light. I like it  and I probably should wear serums more often anyway. 

Buxom Cosmetics Buxom Lash Volumizing Mascara in Blackest Black:

            I love mascara, there is no denying that and let’s be honest I prefer the travel sized products when it comes to mascara. I think I tried a Buxom mascara years ago but things have changed since then and I am excited to try it. The card tells me that it has vitamins in it that help condition lashes and that’s probably a good thing with mascara being one of the few products that I wear most days when I am at work, (right now I am lucky to leave sweatpants.) I am excited to give it a try though. 

            Overall I actually really like my bag even though it is half skin care but I’m not too mad about that. 

            If you want to read what else I have gotten from ipsy this year, check them out: January and March, February was my dead month so that one doesn’t exist. 

            I’ll see everyone in a few days, stay safe and healthy,

            -MJ

Books I Have Read so Far in 2020

Hey hey, it’s MJ,

            So something I have for sure been doing while in quarantine is reading, not as much as I want to but still I’m reading. My goal is 36-40 books this year and I’m eleven in, I have a lot more reading to do this year. I have no specific genre that I read, I read mostly anything if we are being honest. A few years ago I read a lot of historical fiction and I burned myself out on that for a while, but other than that I actually really enjoy reading. 

            I read 32 books last year and 12 of t hose were read in December as I made a last ditch effort to reach my 35 book goal. I haven’t hit my book goal since 2017. My goal in 2018 was 35, I read 6. I have been tracking all the books I have read since 2016 and I wish I could say that I have read more than 116 in those four and a half years but here we are. In reality I would ideally be up around 50 books a year but life doesn’t work like that all the time.

            Okay getting away from the long winded introduction,  here are the books I have read so far in 2020:

Spending the Holidays with People I Want To Punch in The Throat by Jen Mann:

            I read this in one day, New Year’s Day actually, I do enjoy reading essays that people have written about events in their lives and bonus points if they are funny or something I can relate to. This book was hilarious to say the least and it makes me want to read her other collections of essays because I think they would be just as amusing.

Star Wars: Bloodlines by Claudia Gray:

            I am a relatively new Star Wars fan, I don’t read a lot of the novelizations, I read a lot of Doctor Who novelizations and even Marvel but Star Wars is still pretty new for me. I was in elementary school when the prequels came out and didn’t see any of them until I was in high school, I spent a weekend in 2018 watching all of the original trilogy and I have seen all of the new ones as well. I know that the new ones get a lot of hate, but I didn’t hate them but again; I’m new. The book was dense, I liked it; it was a pretty good lead up to the events that happen in The Force Awakens and it continues to reinforce the fact that Leia Organa is a certified bad ass. 

I’ve Got This Round by Mamrie Hart:

            Again, a book of essays. I like hearing people’s drunk stories because I don’t really have any of my own and I like it that way. Reading the things that other people get up to and are up to telling others about is amusing to me. Mamrie is a great story teller and she is a very funny entertainer, I used to watch her on YouTube when I was in college; not so much now but I still enjoyed reading the second one of her novels. If you like humor and alcohol fueled adventures this is for sure a good read for you. 

Zeus Grants Stupid Wishes by Cory O’Brien: 

            I saw and excerpt of this on Tumblr probably four years ago and I bought the book because of it, I really like myths and stories of the like so reading an almost satirical telling of all of these really heavy myths; it’s just a lot of fun to read. It gives a different perspectives of all of those myths and it makes them a lot more fun to read. 

It Gets Worse by Shane Dawson:

            Like I said, I really like essays and I read his first book I Hate Myselfie in one day in December, I have been a Shane Dawson fan since 2012-2013 somewhere around there and rediscovered him in 2018. It was good and very honest throughout. 

Fish in a Tree by Lynda Mullaly Hunt:

            This book is going to be the oddity in this list and you may be saying, this seems like an off choice between two autobiographical novels. Well this we read for One School One Book and I couldn’t put it down. I work with elementary school kids and this book was a really feel good novel, it is a great story about overcoming, about embracing what makes us all different and that it doesn’t matter how we learn as long as someone is willing to take the time and figure out that maybe we all learn a little different and that doesn’t make us any less. 

Girl Logic by Iliza Shlesinger:

            I love Iliza’s comedy specials and her podcast is hilarious, the book was fine. I think I would have liked it better as an audiobook but I did enjoy reading it. I know that sometimes my girl Logic gets the best of me.

Mortal Arts (Lady Darby Mystery #2) by Anna Lee Huber:

            This is book 2, book one is That Anatomist’s Wife, it’s based in the late 1800’s in The United Kingdom, this one was in Scotland and once I got into it I couldn’t put it down. I love mysteries, usually of the cozy variety but this one is a little more serious. It wove a vivid tale of how mental health care was drastically different in those times and how that affected the people who suffered with it. 

Lark! The Herald Angels Sing (Meg Langslow Mystery #24) by Donna Andrews:

            This is one of those cozy mysteries I was talking about. I have read every book in this series and I have loved every one. I am going to write a review on the first book for a post alter in the month, when I do I will link it here because this series was what inspired me to try my hand writing mystery. (it’ll happen one day but I think for now I will stick with fiction.) This is one of my favorite series by far though, I actually read the 19th book first because I wanted a Halloween mystery and then I went back and painstakingly tried to buy the rest of the series.

Ghost Hunters Adventure Club and The Secret of The Grande Chateau by: Dr. Cecil H.H. Mills:

            If you want a mystery novel that has just a touch of satire and enjoys breaking the fourth wall between the characters and the author as well as the outside world do I have a book suggestion for you. It does start a little slow but as you get wrapped up in the mystery it becomes compelling and overarchingly funny. It actually had me guessing who the culprit was until it was revealed; I never saw it coming. So good.

Civil War by Stuart Moore:

            I love Marvel, I have the Civil War comic and I have read it so I knew what was coming but I like reading the novelizations because it allows for more detail and the ability for someone to visualize it without looking at pictures. It is nothing like Civil War the film which is one of my favorite Marvel movies, the only real similarity is the Registration Act, that’s about it. If you see them as completely separate entities they are both great. There are a lot more characters in the comic and novel but you know, studio licensing. 

            I hope to tell you more of the books that I read this year because, books. There isn’t much else I have to say in this post so I will see everyone in a few says with a new post.

            Stay safe, stay healthy,

            -MJ 

2020 Bullet Journal Update #1

Hey hey, it’s MJ, 

            So MJ how’s 2020 going? You know that screaming goat that was really popular to put in songs a few years ago to be funny, that’s what 2020 feels like. That goat screaming into the void. 

            On a lighter note though, I have had more time to actually make my bullet journal pretty creative and I have successfully done all four months so far this year without going insane, though February got the best of me so the latter half of that month didn’t really get tracked like the rest of my year so there’s that. 

            Like I said in my wrap up last year I did some things different this year including theming all of my months because I am lame like that. I themed May last year Star Wars (this year will be the same) but I did that as a trial run to see if I could do that this entire year so there are touches of the theme on most of the non-calendar pages. 

            I am not the best artist, I would never claim to be because it would be a lie, a bold faced lie; but I do try really hard, I’m not going to show any of my lead up pages because I will save those for the end of year wrap up. Also notice the title, update #1, I did that last year too with the intention to do it again later in the year. Spoiler alert, I didn’t but we are going to try that again this year and hope for the best. 

            So what are some of my favorite pages so far?

            I have enjoyed doing all of my monthly covers and they have taken me hours this year so I think that is growth? 

January:

            January’s theme was Studio Ghibli because I have loved it since Kiki’s Delivery Service was on Disney in the last 90’s early 2000’s, whenever it was I watched it every time it was on. Then I took Japanese in high school and into university but we watched a few Studio Ghibli films then so I have seen many of them and loved many of them. (I can watch Howl’s Moving Castle, Kiki’s Delivery Service, My Neighbor Totoro, and Spirited Away over and over again.)

Cover is My Neighbor Totoro and Kiki because that’s just want I wanted.
  I wrote my habit trackers in Japanese, they are not written like you would see them in Japanese because they are not on the right side of the page and going vertically not starting at the left and going horizontally, that’s just how we would read it in English.
The soot sprites! I loved them in Spirited Away so I figured why not make them my mood tracker for January.
 I found this checklist on Pinterest and recreated it here, by the way, free handing Totoro like that was a challenge! 

February:           

 February’s theme was DC because I really like comic books and I figured if I had Marvel I had to have DC. 

The cover is five heroes and a villain, Harley has always been and will always be one of my favorite comic book characters so I had to include her. I grew up on the Justice League and Teen Titans so it only made sense that I take inspiration from both of those shows.
  My mood tracker was Harley’s hammer because again, it just seemed fitting, and I didn’t even know how February was going to be when I did it and it was a mess so it worked. 
 I did a movie checklist here as well for the newer DC films, I haven’t seen any of them except Suicide Squad so they are all on my watch list. 

  March:

  March was The Labyrinth because it is my favorite movie, I have subjected so many of my friends to watching this movie and they all think it’s weird. I love it though and I figured it needed its own entire month.

The cover is as if Sarah is looking through the crystal ball to her friends, like in the ballroom scene, it’s not the best but I did try.
Tiny habit tracker drawing, I love the door knockers so I had to draw one of them with his probably most iconic line. 
 I chose a stained glass tree for the mood tracker because it just felt like it would be something that would fit into that world without being explicitly shown. 
The Labyrinth doesn’t have a checklist associated with it so I did a quotes page.

April:          

April, our current month was Marvel themed, more or less Avenger’s themed because the cinematic universe does focus on that team, licensing and all that. 

The cover is Avengers Tower which took me well over an hour to just color in so I was really proud of that. I had to pair it with one of the funniest quotes I could think of, even though there are some great Tony stark one liners in so many of the films. This one just seemed fitting. 
My mood tracker is the arch reactor, modified to have enough spots for all the days in April.
I had to put a very funny Endgame quote at the bottom of my meal planner, because Endgame while it was devastating had some great one liners. 
The end of the month like some of the other months is a Marvel movie checklist and as you can see I have seen a lot more Marvel movies than DC, I grew up on DC TV shows and like the X-Men but now the MCU is something that I have seen most of. 

            So that’s it so far for 2020, it’s been crazy so far this year but I made a promise to myself that I would actually bullet journal this year, the whole year and I do not want to break that promise to myself for the third year in a row.

            I will see everyone in a few days with a new post, until then, stay safe stay healthy!

-MJ