Free for Haul Friday, Volume #512

Share your recent beauty purchases or rediscovered favorites in your stash (for those on low/no-buys!), chit chat about weekend plans, and learn a little more about each other!

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  • Haul/Rediscoveries: Pat McGrath Eye Ecstasy Mini Palettes, Fenty Match Stix (I reviewed them in their mini form but now that they’re full-sized and permanent, a re-review is necessary), Giorgio Armani Lip Maestros (some of the new shades)
  • Weekend plans: About an hour after this goes live, Mellan will be getting an ultrasound of his liver (and likely other nearby organs). His last blood test (which I had pulled because I suspected something was going on internally, but we were actually at his regular vet to have the traveling cardiologist do an echo cardiogram, which came back fine) was pretty bad as far as liver values go, and he had all the “symptoms” I tend to see whenever the values are higher than they should be. He’s definitely feeling better, and the majority of the “symptoms” have gone away, so I hope we don’t find hidden bad news inside him. He’ll turn 12 at the end of the year, and with all of the things wrong with him, it is truly incredible he has made it this far, but that dog has had the audacity to make me a liar so many times over the years about his life span that I think I finally believed him – so just thinking about maybe he won’t have much longer has been really hard to deal with these last few weeks. I’ll try to update with ultrasound results later on today. Update: The ultrasound doesn’t show anything of concern; the liver looks similar as past ultrasounds, and it remains a good size. We now wait for blood test results, which might take a week or so (Monday is a holiday). Thank you everyone for your kind words & support!
  • How do you motivate yourself?: I don’t keep a strict schedule, but I find that sticking to a general schedule keeps me more on task than anything else. I might not set an alarm, but I’m up around 7AM most of the time. For me, it’s more important to stay motivated because when I get off track, it can be hard for me to re-motivate myself sometimes! In the latter case, I try to create smaller tasks so that I can get the sense of achievement more often, which then builds up some confidence and then helps me get to where I need to be. I think having supportive people around me is also critical, too; my husband works the same long hours that I do (honestly, sometimes I feel like he works more but he insists my efficiency is much higher, so one hour of my time is two hours of his time) and I find that encouraging on days where I might be tired.

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Reading the above health update on Mellan has me doing something I hardly ever do: tears are rolling down my cheeks and I’ve got a big lump in my throat. Even though I suspect he’ll be just fine once his liver values get back to something normal, I do understand that these precious fur-children don’t last as long with us as we yearn for. I’ll be praying for you and Mellan that everything will be alright. 🙏🏼

Haul: I did place a 2nd order with Sephora on Monday, it arrived yesterday….with someone else’s order instead of mine! It was *supposed* to have Fenty Hydrating Foundation 270, Melt Nevermore Blushlight, and some Dr. Jart face masks. They resent it, but the SA had me bring the other box up to the local Sephora, no one there knew what to think, because they do not accept boxes for return there, so now I have to get over to the semi-local USPS office. Oy vey! 🤦‍♀️
Picked up Marc Jacobs Atomic Lipgloss last Saturday. Love it!
Ordered that scrumptious Ofra highlighter, Covent Garden, this morning. And some clothing…🤷‍♀️

Weekend plans: Hair done already. Might go get it cut. We’ll see how far I get with doing that, LOL! Because change is HARD. Nails need doing desperately. Meeting on Sunday.

How do you motivate yourself? Oh boy…I’m terrible at being motivated lately. Doc put me on something to help out with that, but still lagging behind. It’s supposed to help those of us with Asperger’s or high functioning Autism to have better executive organizational skills, be more sociable, and more motivated. If I take the prescribed dose, it feels like I’m flying high. And I hate that sensation! At half the dose, I do get some stuff accomplished, just not quite like I used to do. Having an endgame in sight definitely helps me to get going, I guess.

Aww, I’m so sorry we made you tear up, Nancy!! They go up here and there, but the last blood test was worse than the original results that got us looking at the liver in the first place 🙁 The ultrasound results show nothing of note/concern, and the liver looks relatively unchanged/remains a good size. They took blood, so we’ll see what that looks like next week when the results come back. Right now, it’s possible his hepatitis is flaring up (which is his “ticking time bomb” disease) or it is just him being sensitive to prednisone (which is more of a “normal” reaction; it’s a drug he’s on to manage his IBD and give him some anti-inflammatory relief for all of his orthopedic issues, but it is a balancing act re: liver!).

No apologies needed, Christine. Don’t be sorry, because this tells me that my heart hasn’t turned to stone yet, LOL. I’m just so glad to hear that Mellan’s US scan didn’t show any enlargement or other abnormalities. Here’s to hoping and praying for the bloodwork to not come back with anything serious, either. Prednisone is a tricky little devil! On one hand, it works miracles for inflammation, on the other hand, it can also exacerbate other things, even the actual autoimmune disease it’s supposed to be fighting! Poor old guy must be exhausted after today, I imagine. I know I am after docs and techs get done with their poking, prodding, testing, etc. I see a liver-safe special treat in his immediate future!

Definitely! It does seem like it is helping with reduction in inflammation/some pain, so hopefully we can find the right balance of everything so he doesn’t feel so poorly from his liver while helping with his arthritis!

Thank you for your kindness, Nancy!

That’s a nuisance for you Nancy – I hope everything works out for you.
The medication you are on seems to be a bit tricky about getting the dosage right. Having half a tab would be better than that awful feeling you get when taking the full dose. Best wishes Nancy.

Fingers crossed for good test results!

Haul: During the Macy’s one-day beauty sale last weekend, I picked up MAC Laissez Faire (the most spot-on MLBB I’ve ever used) and Coffee & Cigs lipstick (hate the name, but love the shade). At the Sephora VIB Rouge sale, I bought UD 24/7 Eye Pencil in Stash and Laura Mercier Caviar Stick in Burnished Bronze. I also got my Sephora birthday gift: Drunk Elephant Beste No. 9 Jelly Cleanser and Protini Polypeptide Cream. And I had the nicest and most helpful sales associates in both stores, for a change!

Well, that’s in addition to the EL Double Wear Makeup, Sephora #56 Foundation Brush, and Sephora eye pencil I bought at the beginning of the sale (in my post from the previous week). Still, I didn’t go overboard, so it was somewhat restrained. 🙂

Mellan is in my thoughts! It’s a special challenge, loving and caring for senior pets. We just want them to be with us forever! Our corgi Daisy is turning 13 in December and she’s still pretty healthy but showing her age. Still thinks she’s a puppy though, and we regularly have to stop her from jumping to the floor from the back of the couch. *sigh*

Haul: I made a really simple Sephora order with my 20% off coupon. FAB moisturizers for my partner and I, and then the Sephora Collection #lipstories in Spiked! and Margs.

Weekend plans: We’re going to PAX West on Sunday! In addition to attending the convention, we signed up to do this dungeon escape room thing that’s happening there. It’ll be us and a couple of our friends and some of their friends. Should be a ton of fun. Saturday will necessarily be taken up by errands and chores, as we have a friend coming to stay with us starting on Thursday. And sadly, while I usually take Labor Day off because I believe strongly in worker’s rights, I’m going to work this time because I just took a week off for my NM trip and I plan to work a lot of half-days while my friend is visiting.

How do I motivate myself: I find it helps for me to have set times that I have to do things. I’m a full-time freelancer/contractor for my day job, so I could technically work any hours I want, but unless I have an appointment to work around or a client call at weird hours, I try to work from 8am-4:30pm (with a half-hour lunch break) M-F. It lets everyone know when they can expect me to be available and lets me plan the rest of my life accordingly. For my serious dance hobby, I have an hour after work for my practice, and I have goals. My goals include spending 10 hours a week on dance-related tasks (in addition to that hour of daily practice, I work on costuming, read books about dance, etc), and I usually have specific skills I am working to improve, or a specific performance I am preparing for.

I’m not really into reward-based motivation. For me, getting something done is usually its own reward — well, for work, I guess my paycheck is the motivation, but it does also feel great to finally finish a big task or get kudos from a client! For dance, I like to see my skills improving, and I like to hold a piece of costuming and know that I made it.

Enjoy her puppy antics, AJ! 🙂 A sign of a senior pet with lots of life left in them, IMO! Mellan is much the same when he is “well enough,” though he definitely doesn’t aspire to jump up on couches and the like any longer!

Have fun at PAX! That should be a really cool event!

Thank you! We really do enjoy our time with Daisy. She makes us smile every day, and frequently laugh out loud. She’s such a little weirdo. I looked over earlier and she was sleeping in the office closet where we keep all our board games. This was after she got tired of being nudged by my feet while she slept under my desk.

Glad to see the update about Mellan’s liver and I’ve still got my fingers crossed for his blood test.

We call Mellan a closet dweller – it is his preferred spot! He sleeps most often in my office closet during the day, though he will go from his bed to the floor to hubby’s office, too. If he hears any sort of “notification” bell in a YouTube video, he is out like a rocket from my office!

Haul: Natasha Denona Sunset & Sunrise palettes ($99 plus 20% off and 20% off), Viseart Liaison palette (20% off). I’m fairly disappointed in the Viseart palette, the first two shades in the top row are useless for me and I can just get the 3rd shade in that row to work. Plus, two of the shimmers are fairly close and too silvery. It’s just not that good of a palette for people with deeper skin tones.

Weekend plans: I’m feeling a little under the weather but I’ve got medicine so things should take a turn soon. My dad’s in town so I’ll go visit with him and the rest of the family. I have rehearsal all day Sunday, which is a little annoying bc my dad is in town but thankfully Monday is a holiday here, so I’ll be able to get some extra time in.

Motivation really depends on what I’m trying to accomplish. I am motivated to make sure I get to rehearsals because the performance is in 4 weeks. But for work, deadlines are really helpful. But it can be hard no matter what because sometimes you just want to rest.

It’s so hard the moment we have the hard realization our pets won’t live forever. I can’t even think about it— I hope his results are ok!! Twelve is a very respectable age!

I got MAC Dervish pencil, Bronx lipstick, and TF Abyssinian Eye pot. I’m undecided about all of them. Abyssinian is probably going back because it’s very orange on me, I was expecting ocher. For anyone interested the texture is just like MAC Paint Pots. Dervish is a bit light and Bronx is a bit too Greige on its own but together they are nice, just kind of whatever. I might just send them all back and try again with some of the new Nars lipsticks.

I know! He’s just been a bit of a death defying dog. The first orthopedist we ever saw (around 9 months of age, I think) said he wouldn’t be able to walk after 2 years! But here he is – almost 12 and it’s not the legs! it’s the insides! The ultrasound results were good as in no significant changes/nothing seen that is concerning, the liver is a good size, etc. so we wait now on blood test results.

Which NARS lipstick(s) have caught your eye mostly?

I know he has been quite a special needs dog! Such a trooper and whatta face 😊😊

Omg like HALF of the Nars Lipsticks but especially Erotic Adventure, Trans Europe Express, and especially waiting on the review of Sexual Healing!

Dervish is the ONLY lip liner I own! It’s the perfect colour because if my lippie wears off, I’m not left with a strange looking outline on my lips. It’s a great lip liner.

Fingers crossed for your dear Mellan. Daisy made to 14 in excellent health and then suddenly, she was unable to keep her hind legs under her at all. The vet didn’t know if it was her spine or her hips (she’d been on meds for arthritic hips for a couple of years) but basically said it was a shame as her heart, lungs and all her organs were very health but it was no life for an athletic dog. This all happened literally overnight. I thought he’d give her a shot of a steroid or something and she’d be fine but I had to make the decision then and there to have her put to sleep. It was probably the biggest heartbreak of my life. I don’t know if it would have been any easier if I’d had time to prepare myself….

Haul: I think the only thing I bought this week was Olaplex Bonding Hair Oil
Weekend plans: hubs had a cardiac procedure yesterday so I am playing nurse for the next day and a half or so, though I might deke out to go to the gym tomorrow (it’s only for 24 hours that he’s not to be left alone and that will be beyond the 24 hours) We also have to wrap some gifts and write a card for his surgical and pre/post op care team – talk about AMAZING people.
What gets me motivated: at my age, I don’t worry about motivation. So long as I am happy and enjoying what I’m doing (whether it’s washing the dishes or prepping for a teaching assignment), I just try to enjoy it and not worry to much but then, I am much older than many here and so motivation, getting ahead, stuff like that – I no longer care all that much. But because I enjoy what I’m doing (or find something about it to enjoy), it all seems to work out.

For a long time, we expected to have to make a decision like that because we always expected that he would be fine except for his hips/knees so at some point, the quality of life would just not be there. 14 is a good, long life for a pup, so I am glad that she made it to 14 in such good health until the very end.

Mellan’s ultrasound results were good–nothing of note/concern, the liver is a good size and doesn’t appear to have changed really–so we wait now on blood tests to see if it is his hepatitis/autoimmune flaring up or reaction to prednisone (though he had already been on it for over a month prior to having issues!).

Hope your husband is doing well today, Mariella! You are very sweet to give gifts to his care team!

Mairella, I do hope that your husband pulls through the cardiac procedure with positive results. Both you and he must be quite concerned and whatever the problem is, I hope it can be solved or fixed easily. What a kind person you are to give gifts to his medical team, I am sure it will be greatly appreciated. They are amazing people, as you said.
Sorry to read about your beloved Daisy and the tough decision you had to make quickly. My twin sister had to do the same for her cat Katie a few years ago and it was traumatic because of the suddeness of it all.
Best wishes for your family.

Thanks to both of you for your good wishes. This was a “touch up/re-do” of a procedure he had 2 years ago – cardiac ablation – to “fix” his episodes of racing heart. He was still having episodes, though minor ones for the most part, so they had to “fill in” a few areas. But honestly – the nurses he had were just awesome. Talk about going above and beyond – and they do this for everyone. The man in the next cubicle (this is a day clinic for the most part, so after the procedure, everyone comes back out into their original cubicles where they were prepped) was having an attack of claustrophobia (maybe because of the anesthesia meds? I don’t know) and they were SO good with him, so calming and reassuring and doing all they could to make him feel less “closed in”.

Every time I see a dog (usually a dachshund or similar long-spined but little dog) with one of those “carts” to act as their hind legs, I wonder if that’s what I should have insisted on for Daisy and then I think “No, it might have served me to keep her going but it wouldn’t have been right for her”. But it’s so hard. If you have time to prepare yourself mentally, it’s hard and heartbreaking; if it’s sudden and you’re not prepared, it’s a different kind of hard and heartbreaking with total shock added in.

The staff sound wonderful Mariella and I am sure you both felt relieved that your husband was in such good and caring hands. I hope he recovers well from the procedure and that it fixes the racing heart issues he has been having. It would have been quite scary for him.

The best thing about any Friday is Mellan’s picture or video. He definitely has a way to beat the odds and return to baseline. Best boy, really. Like Nancy, i’m crying a bit, as being older and having had so many pets brings his issues really close to heart. Haul: added a couple of greige lipstories instore. Ulta never came, first time ever. I have redelivered quite a few packages left incorrectly, but we have no porch pirates. CS was gracious; resending. Plans: nothing of note. Motivated? Depends on what it is. My mother and uncle used to pass around ‘Overcoming Procrastination ‘ You know, that book I’ve been meaning to read? I’m in that gene pool. Today I had a real challenge: writing an assessment on a deceased person. Yes, it is as absurd as it sounds. He had been hospitalized, and likely would have had a significant change of status. But, when the Medicaid surveyors came last time, they looked at things that were seven years old, and in dry storage. And about people who had passed. The provider gets significant financial penalties for every little ding. In the face of that ridiculous bureaucracy, it is pretty hard to stay motivated. About my pups, never fail to be motivated, as they bring so much joy.

I remember asking my mom if it got any easier, and she said not really, but you do learn that you’ll get through it – they’ll always bring a tear to your eye when you recall a past pet for too long but you have a better sense of getting through the grief.

I’m so glad that Ulta is resending!! That is fantastic.

Sorry to hear about the bureaucracy you’ve been experiencing at work 🙁

I read your update about Mellan and I’m glad the ultrasound came out okay. Regarding the blood test results, I hope the results are in the desired range but I must confess that I’ve got some limited faith in these blood test results in determining the short-term and even long-term health of our animals, or even of humans regarding some tests.

When our now-deceased cat was a kitty and got her first full blood panel, her liver enzymes were very high so the vet put her through some paces (such as deworming med) to get the enzyme readings down. Well the liver enzyme number never came down. We had the vet even take a liver biopsy while he was fixing her and he saw a normal-sized liver and the biopsy showed no issues. Over the years, each time she got a full blood panel, we’d get this panicked call by the vet about how dangerously high the liver enzymes were, despite her file containing lots of info about her history of high readings. One vet thought for sure she would die relatively young.

She always had amazing energy and loved playing and was pretty much normal in her behavior for all of her life, except she had a hard time putting on weight so was a tiny bit underweight. But we always thought for sure she wouldn’t last long and so it was like every day we just appreciated her so much and I think that she picked up on all that. Near the end of her life, she started having seizures now and then and we knew that her time would be limited so after a particularly difficult few months of her sleeping way more than usual, getting occasional seizures and then getting a very bad seizure, we put her to sleep. It was very difficult and I still tear up just thinking about it. But it seems that the only good that all those liver-enzyme readings did was remind us to appreciate her every day and were no prediction of the quality of her life or time with us, which ended up being 14 years.

Really happy to hear that your lovely cat had long, enjoyable life with you and your family for 14 years! That is amazing. I think with Mellan’s health, he has confirmed issues with his liver (copper storage disease and canine hepatitis/autoimmune-related), so hopefully, the blood test results are insightful. There is a part of me that hopes there is something very minor “wrong” that is very easily fixed – more so it explains what happened but we can fix him up real quick and stay the course. It’s so much worse when there’s something “wrong” but you can’t find out the cause, as you mentioned!

Christine, you and Mellan will be in my thoughts and prayers. It’s not the same but hepatitus has always been something my family has had to deal with.

Haul/Rediscoveries: Pat McGrath Eye Ecstasy Mini Palettes. I’ve never tried these eyeshadows and now I can satisfy my curiosity! I’m glad you and others are also ordering, I tend to buy mini sizes if they’re available but the downside is the question of whether or not it is consistent with the original.

Weekend Plans: Cleaning, tidying, and some fitness classes. Taichi is much harder than it looks.

How do you motivate yourself? I’ve been working on this! What’s been working is praising myself 3 times/day. I’m results-driven and am a bit of a perfectionist, so things that are truly praiseworthy (to me) is doing something better than I thought I would or taking me out of my comfort zone. Whether it’s merely a necessary task that I find tedious, or doing something difficult, or something that took more initiative, etc. At the end of the day, getting through that is good motivation for the next day’s work.

Thank you, Maggie! 💕

Can’t wait for you to try the new PMG mini palettes! I’m looking forward to trying those as well.

Haul: For the Sephora sale, I was pretty restrained. I purchased the ABH Jackie Aina palette, the Jouer Cheeky Summer Blush Duo (love!), NARS Fast Ride sheer lipstick,and a Benefit Goof Proof brow pencil.
I picked up a couple more MAC Love Me lipsticks in Killing Me Softly, and Mom Coeur (I already have La Femme and Coffee and Cigs, and love them both).
Rediscovery: I had almost forgotten how lovely Hourglass Diffused Heat blush is!
Motivation: I still struggle to do things that I find “boring” 🙂

Christine, your Mellan is just the cutest boy! Every picture of him is so precious…
My dog is 12, and often still has the energy of a puppy. But when I
catch her struggling with arthritis pain in her legs (on meds), it breaks my heart. If they could only live as long as we do 🙁
So glad to hear that his ultrasound was stable. Hopefully, his steroid was just a tad out of whack! (Nurse here!)

The Jouer blush duos are quite nice! Underrated a bit, I’d say.

I hear you, Lyn! When we took Mellan off the prednisone for a few days, his hind legs started to give him noticeable trouble – really showed us how much he was compensating before as he must have felt some relief from the prednisone. I try to remind myself that dogs are resilient and pretty optimistic, so it’s harder on me/us than it is on him; he’s more like “what just happened? oh well, I’ll lay here, it’s fine!” Poor guy is on so many meds, so it really is a balancing act of what is tolerably “high” to give him better quality of life.

I am crying here over Mellan. Even though we have never met, he feels like my dog. We see him every week and feel like we are a part of his life and his health progression. I know we can’t feel anything like you do, Christine. I am praying daily for his return to health. I have followed a cooking channel on YT for some time and the women lost her husband very unexpectedly about a month ago and just prior to that she was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. I pray so hard for her as she is going through surgery and chemo. Having been through it myself, I know how hard it is. She doesn’t know me and yet I feel a strangely strong bond to her. Totally unrelated but it is strange how we have learned to develop bonds via internet and they feel very real even though we may know next to nothing about the person. When I speak about the blog and people I follow on the blog I refer to them as “my friends” and my family are always asking me who this “friend” is that they know nothing about. I have to clarify and now they know Rachel, Tammy, CeeCee, Nancy, Mariella etc even though they have never had any contact or seen any blog posts. It is a very interesting phenomenon. Sorry I got so far off track. I just pray Mellan is better soon.

Haul: Not much. I was very stern with myself with the Sephora sale and only picked up 4 things. I got Peace Out Dark Spot Corrector Spots, Nars Satin Lip Pencil in Giusti, Melt Cosmetics Impulsive Palette and Glamglow Illuminating Moisturizer. Other than the Nars, I have not tried any products by any of these brands so it is a new brand haul. Everything just arrived today so haven’t had a chance to play with them. On another note, does anyone ever get the samples they ask for? Not only did I not get what I asked for, I only got one. Oh well, I have samples galore but there was a tester of a CBD oil that I really wanted to try and didn’t get it.

Weekend plans: It is raining her and while not cool it has dropped into the 70’s. Probably sounds like heaven to those in areas where it is over 100 but feels a little like fall is going to come early and if that is the case I have a lot to try and get accomplished before snow flies. I have been prepping my house to be painted but can’t do it until the rain stops and we have enough warm, dry weather to actually make painting a possibility. Other than that, I am still working on painting furniture for my daughter’s first apartment in Kalispell.

Motivation: I honestly struggle with this and it is weird to me that I do. As a nurse I was always very motivated and if something needed to be done I got right to it. If I wanted to accomplish something I had no difficulty motivating myself. Over the past few years that has changed a little and I do find myself having some trouble. I am not sure if it is age related, location related, circumstance or just a change in my personality. My sister says that she sees a big difference in me since moving to Montana. She says my speech has changed which is weird because I don’t hear it. I do know that being by myself so much is likely a root cause and getting myself motivated to do anything is likely related as there really isn’t anything I “have” to do by a particular time so it gets easy to put it off. I am hoping others have some wonderful ideas that I can adopt.

**I meant to mention the packaging on the Melt palette. I know when it was reviewed here on the blog and elsewhere, the packaging was discussed and the fact that it was a heavy palette. I weighed my love of the shades against the awful packaging and didn’t think the weight would be that bad. WOW, this palette is heavy!! I mean seriously heavy. Never having felt a palette this heavy, I assumed we were talking much less. This would definitely not be a travel palette based on that criteria alone, not to mention the fragile nature of the shadows themselves. The shade selection would make for a great travel palette. Anyway, wanted to mention it in case anyone else was thinking, “How heavy could it be!”

I love that you’ve found more people to relate to and develop friendships with, Deborah, through the internet – I think that is one of the best parts about the internet, and it is nice to be able to connect to different people from around the world.

Have you tried the Peace Out Dark Spot spots before?

No, I haven’t Christine and frankly I am not holding out a lot of hope but my daughter has used them for her hyperpigmentation and has seen good results. However, her hyperpigmentation is related to acne scaring and not sun damage. While no pigmentation issue is easy to deal with I think that acne scaring is much easier than sun damage. Acne scaring involves many less layers of the skin and they are mostly superficial layers. Sun damage occurs way below the top layers and even when it presents itself it is like the proverbial iceberg. It is only going to get bigger as that damage makes its way up to the surface. I will report back if I see any progress. I am going to do photos sans makeup to compare. The instructions say to use twice weekly and that you will see results in as early as 2 weeks. We shall see!

Hi Deborah, I’d like to hear your thoughts on the Peace Out Dark Spot Corrector Spots. I went to a dermatologist about a few dark spots and he suggested products with hydroquinone. He recommended Ambi, a fade cream that works on brownish spots. The dark spots that I saw him for will need prescription strength hydroquinone (and others lightened nicely). My mom had super results on a fairly large cluster of light brown spots that covered her cheek area. The dermatologist suggested a 4-6 weeks on, 4 weeks off pattern and wearing sunscreen every day. Since Ambi was less than $5 (at Target), we had to give it a try!

I will keep you posted Tracy. I did do a little how to apply and first impression under the post today from favorite products and favorite look this week so you can look at that. In a nutshell, for me personally it is going to be an expensive option. There are 24 in a box for $28 and I used 8 on my first application. So a box will not even last me the two weeks, at twice a weekly application, that they recommend to see the first results. I have ordered another box to get me through that two week period and then one extra application and I will see if I see any difference.
Hydroquinone is normally pretty effective but as your dermatologist likely told you, you cannot use it for prolonged lengths of time. It is currently FDA approved but has been off and on the ban list since I first became on RN. Yes, you definitely need to wear sunscreen over it and make sure to wash your hands after applying. Try to keep application focused mostly on the areas of hyper-pigmentation.
I am don’t have high hopes for this mainly because it is going to prove pretty expensive and likely will need to be applied for more than just a couple of weeks. Depending upon the underlying cause of the dark spots, you can get pretty good response to rosehip oil. Taylor on YT started using rosehip oil while on Accutane and noticed a good response to it lightening her dark spots related to scaring. My daughter started using it for the same reason and both she and I have seen a great response with her dark spots. I will keep you post though.

Hi Deborah, thank you for the quick update and reference on your experience with this product. I’ll check them out! As you said, this is looking to be an expensive option – I do hope you see some benefit. Thank you also for the sharing your knowledge about hydroquinone. It’s a reminder that I need to suggest my mother stop and see if the results sustain themselves. Neither she, nor I, have any interest in developing a different skin condition from overuse. I never thought of Rose Hip Oil. I used to use it years ago mixed in the a low grade retinol but once my skin adapted, I stopped using the Rose Hip Oil and eventually it expired. Will take a look at it again to see if it might help!!

Thank you for keeping us up-to-date about Mellan. I’m so glad his liver looked good. Fingers crossed the blood tests results are good.

Haul:
*Sephora (Rouge sale) — Viseart Libertine Palette and Marc Jacobs Beauty Enamored Dazzling Gloss Lip Lacquer in Atomic.

*Ebay — I finally got my hands on the original UD Alice in Wonderland Book of Shadows Palette, and at a very reasonable price. A woman’s daughter went off to college, and she was having a clear out sale. The outside had a tiny bit of normal wear and tear, but the inside is in good shape, the pop-ups are intact, working, and clean, and the eyeshadows were barely used (I doubt I’ll use them, though). This has been my biggest “regret that I couldn’t buy” makeup item of all time, it’s authentic, and it didn’t cost me $300-400. I’m a very happy camper as both an Alice in Wonderland and eyeshadow palette fan. I don’t care that it’s not mint condition.

*Other — ColouredRaine Power Palette, ColourPop She’s a Rainbow Palette,
SHANY Detox Professional Instant Dry Brush Cleanser (first time buy; it has good reviews and sounds similar to Cinema Secrets), and Alter Ego Goddess Palette (supposed to be a really good Natasha Denona Gold Palette dupe). My Sydney Grace Twisted Shifter shadow arrived, as well.

Weekend plans: Tomorrow is our 28th wedding anniversary (32 years as a couple). We’re going to help my older son get money orders and pay his rent. Then we’ll spend the rest of the day together and go out for a nice dinner out. (Next weekend we’re taking a little trip as our main celebration.)

I’m hoping to finish dyeing my hair. I didn’t get the shaved piece bleached and dyed teal yet. I kept getting interrupted last weekend. At least I got the rest of it dyed red, so I’m not sporting nasty looking roots. lol

Monday, my younger son and I are going to visit a young lady who was in his internship program. She also has developmental disabilities and is high functioning. She wants to learn how to do eye makeup. I’m going to talk to her and get a sense of how she learns best, what colors she likes, what looks she likes, what she owns, etc. I’ll then visit her a few more times for some lessons, and I’ll probably get her some brushes and a few good DS beginner palettes if she needs them. It’ll be so fun for me to have a “daughter” to do makeup stuff with, too!

How do you motivate yourself?: My sons both have Asperger’s, and my older one has mental health issues as well, so they still need my help for some things. That keeps me motivated to just deal with life, no matter how bad it gets. Always my kids. For less major stuff, little rewards help. I’m pretty happy with a new lipstick, a new top, or earrings. Wanting to visit Australia within the next few years is helping me spend less money on other things, including makeup.

Happy Anniversary Rachel, what an achievement it is and I know how committed you both are to your adult sons to give them the very best and help them along the way.
How wonderful that you get to share your skills on a younger person wanting to learn about makeup. Having two boys myself there has been no-one to talk about my ‘hobby’ with until my daughter in law came onto the scene. Now she asks me for advice on products and it is fabulous.
One DS eyeshadow palette that I can recommend is the Maybelline Burgundy Bar, which has a lovely set of neutrals in it and so easy to use. I got it after Isabella Muse raved about it…so lucky I did.

Crossing my fingers for Mellan’s speedy recovery!! It must be such a hard time for you Christine! My cat Pepsi is also 12 (my dad named her). I wish him all the best!

All the best for sweet Mellon. At least all of his scans show that he is OK. Fingers crossed for his blood test results.
Haul: I came back to Melbourne to find some little packages waiting for me – Maybelline’s Copper Spark and Hot Lava, plus a couple of Colour Pop’s lippies that I bought when the brand had a sale. Too good to miss.
Weekend Plans
Lots of washing, cleaning and tidying up the house for Father’s Day on Sunday. I am preparing a late afternoon tea/early dinner as my son and daughter in law and grandchildren will be visiting their other grandparents for brunch. My sister is coming out to see us as well, so it should be a lovely day.
Keeping Motivated
Generally I am a fairly positive person, pretty self motivated, but when tiredness and exhaustion set in, it is easy to be overwhelmed and despondent. In those situations, I find that by focusing on one thing at a time and ‘pottering’ around I get everything done. Having a good night’s sleep helps. And my mantra is to break all challenges down into manageable bits.

Thank you Christine, we had the whole family over last night for Father’s Day and Olivia and Lachlan painted my husband a picture, which he was thrilled about.
It is so wonderful to see the world through the eyes of little people and they are a delight to us.

Sweet Mellan! I hope the blood test will be OK. He seems to be the sweetest boy and he has such lovely eyes. My dogs would probably think he looks like a fun mate.
Give that darling a big hug.
It’s a lot of worrying having a pet who’s not in perfect health, I know. Sending you a lot of positive thoughts,
Haul, nothing
Weekend, mowing the lawn unless it rains, if it does I guess it’s time to do a bit if cleaning inside the house. Also groom the miniature schnauzer, I try to do a bit every week instead of a lot every three-four months. The standard schnauzer has a lovely very easy to keep in order fur, so much easier.
I find it very hard to motivate myself, to be honest. I find making lists the best way for me, at least I know I get a little satisfaction crossing something off the list when it’s (finally) done.

Props to you for grooming both your pups yourself! Mellan is more wash and wear, so he is pretty easy, but I swear my mom’s constantly taking all of her dogs to the groomers!

Thank you! <3

I think it’s fun to groom them. It is relaxing. Also it does save a lot of money being able to to do as much as possible yourself. What kind of dogs does your mother have? There are lots of dogs who need constant trimming , then there are the terrier and the schnauzers who can go quite some time between trims and still look good, all depending on what kind of fur they have.
I do admire the professional dog groomers, it’s a lot of work and if the trim should be for showing the dog it has to be perfect.
I don’t show mine, one is too big and the other, well he misses a very small little ball 😛 so I can experiment a bit, I did cut the fur on the legs a bit too short, but they will be a lot easier to get all the seed and twigs with the short fur.
I seems to have forgotten, this is a makeup blog, and here I keep writing about dogs.
Give lovely Mellan a great big hug!

Hoping that Mellan is making a worrier of you but that he’s just slowing down a bit. I would never say he made a liar out of you but if circumstances were reversed, I’d be saying the same. As a 70 year old who has literally dogs and cats my whole life, I understand some of what you are feeling. Load up on puppy hugs, kisses, and snuggles.
Love,
Sue

I am glad to hear Mellan’s labs so far are showing everything is on the up and up. Hoping for positive blood labs result as well. I love your devotion and how you take care of him.

Haul:
MAC Love Me lipsticks Coffee & Cigs, Killing Me Softly, Laissez-Faire, Nine Lives, Hey Frenchie, Give Me Fever – I love this formula! No crafted lip crap with the liner and primer, though – it works just as well for me without the extra steps.
MAC Fusion Pink lipstick
Tom Ford Skin Illuminating Duo Moodlight, Incandescent – I really like how subtle these are and that I have to work a bit to get the payoff. I love applying makeup and layering but I have to be careful anymore since I’ve scaled way back (personal preference, I’m liking the barely there look these days even), so applying 2 and 3 times feels like I’m still putting it all on but I don’t end up looking like Ursula from The Little Mermaid.

Rediscovery: Chanel Essentiel quad – love how diffused and subtle this is. I wore it all this week with a pop of MAC Sweet Cheeks + Warm Soul blushes and lipsticks Pat McGrath Tropical with Tom Ford Something Wild layered over top.

Weekend plans: Weekend getaway with the girls

How do you motivate yourself?: Success with my business ventures keeps me plowing full steam ahead. As for other things, like projects, I’ve come to learn that when I’m ready, I just do it, whatever “it” is. I don’t try to motivate myself on much anymore because I know eventually it’ll just kick in and off I go. I like the daily and weekly schedules I keep – they are streamlined and have maintenance built in, so there’s not much for which I need to ‘gear up’ or ‘get motivated’.

Doggy treats and nose boops for the bestest boy ever, Mellan! Pets truly do touch our lives, I was extremely attached to my last cat who died wow, almost 10 years ago. I haven’t been able to get another pet yet, that’s probably not normal. I should work on that. Sending good thoughts out for Mellan, he’s such a sweetie!! His pics always make me smile.

Haul: from the Sephora sale – a Lancome shadow stick in Erika F, Rosie H-W did a youtube video with it, I know I know… but I’ve been searching for “the right silver” cream shadow that had a little something else to it and as soon as I saw this I knew this is what I was looking for. I also got a refill tube of Deva Curl Wave Maker and a 100point mini of Juliette Has a Gun in “Not A Perfume.”

Weekend Plans: we were going to do a last minute getaway to the eastern shore of the Chesapeake Bay but we waited a little TOO long to make those plans. It’s not gonna happen. So we’re going to hang out and enjoy the pool, do some barbecuing, drink beer, and play video games. My boyfriend has the Oculus VR setup and it’s pretty darn cool and we’ve been working through the Rick and Morty game.

Woops, forgot a question. How do I motivate myself? Tough question. If it’s work related I keep myself motivated by keeping busy, when I get to the office I put together my to-do list for the day and then go through emails. This sets the pace for me, if I slack when I get to the office I find I slack the rest of the day. I have to hit the ground running. For other things? It’s harder, if I stay organized and keep to a schedule I have a greater chance of completing something I really don’t want to do. Like having a set time on a certain day to do a certain chore around the house, etc.

My grandmother had a lab when my dad was growing up (I think) named Molly, and she was the “perfect dog” as the story goes. After Molly passed, my grandmother refused (and stayed true to that for her life) to get another dog because she didn’t want to go through it again.

How do you like Erika F?

Hi Christine, so glad to hear that Mellan is getting better and his scans and tests are good. Fingers crossed that extends to the blood work, too.

Haul: The last items of my Sephora sale order came – Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk foundation and a Sephora Pro foundation brush #47. In all, I think I bought 5 things.

Weekend Plans: I’m in a cleaning mood and my livingroom and diningroom areas are in sight! I’m also hoping to spend time outdoors.

Motivation: I’m working on not procrastinating with tasks I don’t particularly care to do (like vacuuming, dusting). I find putting a to do list together and doing the less exciting things first motivates me to get to the more enjoyable tasks at hand. I can be highly motivated for the right task. I’m also focusing on doing and finishing the task at hand. I like the sense of accomplishment that comes with getting through my to do list.

Good luck, Mellan!
Haul/Rediscoveries: No new purchases, but my two lipsticks from my last haul arrived-Tom Ford Lips & Boys Liev Thursday, Chanel Rouge Allure Velvet Infrarose yesterday. I haven’t tried Infrarose yet, but I love the shade and shimmer of Liev. I didn’t expect that the Tom Ford lipsticks are so small-both a small tube and a thin bullet-or that the Chanel Rouge Allure Velvet lipsticks have a spring-loaded case!
Weekend plans: Yesterday my mom and I went to a couple of furniture stores for Labor Day sales and ended up buying a new couch and replacing my dad’s recliner. Later that night, we did the usual grocery shopping-looking back, maybe it was a bit too much for one day. Today I worked all day, got a sub after work, and successfully fought a sinus headache that, after going untreated too long, turned into a minor migraine (I didn’t expect to have the headache, therefore didn’t bring any pain meds to work. Luckily a coworker had brought some ibuprofen and was willing to share). Right now I’m heading into the end of the weekly SVU marathon. Tomorrow will be relaxing, probably some laundry, maybe going to the pharmacy and eating out. Monday being a holiday, probably similar with the addition of Bachelor in Paradise.
How do you motivate yourself?: For hard things, I try to find a positive element and focus on that-and a good face of makeup always boosts my confidence! Also, some sort of general planning can help. For creative endeavors, my motivation comes best when I look at a lot of similar things and have plenty of inspiration.

Haul: Viseart Absinthe Theory palette (I figured with amount of dupes I have for the warmer shades in the Dark Edit palette, the purchase of the theory palette would be smarter since I don’t have many dupes for it. More expensive, yes, but I REALLY don’t need any more warm neutrals or magentas), Ulta Cream Blush in Sunrise

Rediscoveries: I broke out my Lorac Pro Palette 4 the other day and remembered how much I love it. I love those cool rosy tones. That is such a beautiful fall/winter palette.

Weekend plans: I had a girls day with my mom-in-law and cousins, cleaned and hung out with my family. It was a great weekend; much needed after the last month.

How do you motivate yourself?: I don’t really need a lot of motivation. I tend to push through most things, even if it’s unpleasant, so that I can get to the fun things in life. I guess that’s my motivation: knowing that something good/fun is my reward later.

Thinking of you and your Mellan! Hug him as tight as he’ll let you. There’s nothing quite like the love of a furry friend.

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