Blog Post #31: April Favorites and Project Pan/No Buy Update: Accepting Failure As It Comes

April has finally come, and Spring has NOT sprung in New Jersey…no surprise! Yet another reason for me to completely dislike New Jersey and to rekindle my love with California from afar. As many don’t know, I lived for a very short time in the Bay Area in the summer of 2010, and this is when my dear love for California, for ministry, and most especially, San Francisco took deep root. The weather is perfect, pretty much always the same – plus or minus a few degrees – and and the people are simply among the nicest in the world. But enough about my love for the Bay Area, I’ll be there soon enough! 

A new month means new favorites, and an update on Project Pan/No Buy, a part of my lenten devotion project. Project Pan, or working through already purchased products, has been really fun for me. It has been like a treasure hunt actually, since I live in this small apartment, and I’ve had to store products in a variety of places for practical reasons. But in this Lenten season, I have found both things that I dislike very strongly, and things that I love a great deal and would repurchase in a heartbeat. I have gone through fewer products over the last 31 days than I thought I would, since using up products shouldn’t be wasteful – this project should not be undertaken for the purpose of pouring things down the drain. Rather, it should be for the purpose of using up and enjoying as many different products purposefully and NOT wastefully as possible but in good order. In fact, I have enjoyed this project so much that I intend to continue Project Pan after Lent is over, since I want to minimize the number of products I bring with me out to California as possible – and minimize my moving costs as well (selfishly…but a transcontinental move is expensive, and products are not expensive to repurchase). 

On the other hand, the project no buy has not been going as well, and has been pretty difficult to avoid the temptation. In fact, I have failed, but with all failures comes some understanding that stuff happens. My big fail came in the form of a jar of pomegranate body scrub, and while the scrub feels amazing, the purchase felt kind of horrible. I wanted so badly to make it through 46 days (including Sundays…even though Sundays technically don’t count and you can splurge on Sundays…) without breaking! I did need the scrub…ok I wanted the scrub, no one needs scrub, but I justified it by saying that it was on sale. Not good enough, and now the guilt is there every time I use the product. Lesson learned, and boy, does it feel bad! When you make a promise to God, especially the human form of God who is going to the cross for you in 43 days and will overcome death, breaking it feels really, REALLY cruddy. 

So now, enough shaming and self-punishment. On to the monthly favorites so far (since it is only the beginning of the month, and who really knows what my favorites are so far anyway, but I do have some standouts)!. 

First: the Chanel Mousse Douceur aka the Rinse-off Foaming Cleanser Balance + Anti-Pollution. Yes, yes, I know. Chanel, skincare, expensive, blah blah. But for a chick with very oily skin, this stuff is like heaven. My skin hates me. And this stuff makes my skin love me again. It foams, it exfoliates, it is happy times. End of story. And yes, it is expensive. But a little bit goes a very long way, and so its price (which I will not mention…) is a non-issue because it lasts a VERY. LONG. TIME. 

Second: Kiehl’s Midnight Repair Concentrate. This is a face oil, and it is a miracle product. I found this product from a YouTuber, and it is absolutely incredible when mixed with a moisturizer. Put 3-5 drops into your palm + your favorite facial cream or moisturizer and you’ll be golden! I can only use this at night because its a bit too heavy for daytime use for me, but I’m absolutely IN. LOVE. And for someone who was afraid of oils before, I have found that using oil actually makes the oil in my skin less rampant and scary! So an improvement has been made! 

Third: Caudalie Vinosource S.O.S. Thirst Quenching Serum. Yes, another skincare product, but April so far (and the last part of March) has become the month of skincare, and I wouldn’t go back! This serum makes my face feel like a baby’s bottom, and I like it! It is smoothing, soft and really gentle, and can be used morning and night underneath a moisturizer after a toner and cleanser routine. It smells lightly fruity and is so clean! Lovely! 

Fourth: Caudalie Vinosource Intense Moisture Rescue Cream. More skincare, but something that goes underneath my makeup to keep it matte, and this actually works longer than any primer I’ve found so far, a real miracle! Found at Sephora, this product is incredible, and while it doesn’t necessarily smell incredible, I love how well it works! Money worth spent, because trust me, it isn’t cheap, but a teeny bit goes a very long way!! 

Fifth: Dior Creme de Rose lip balm. A really thick lip balm that is best used at night, but it is like a mask on your lips! It smells lightly of rose, and is very gentle, non-abrasive, and kind to the lips. It isn’t too overwhelming, and makes lips shiny and healthy. I love wearing this as a gloss overtop of my especially drying lipsticks (i.e. MAC lipsticks, which aren’t exactly the most moisturizing of lip products, sorry MAC…). It is worth it, and I will be repurchasing this when it runs out, but I don’t think it will for a while, since a little goes a very long way! 

Sixth: GHD Eclipse Hot Tool. My CHI straightener finally kicked the bucket, and I decided to upgrade to a GHD. Now, I know I’m not supposed to buy anything in Lent, but without a hot tool, I look like the guy who sells the Gazelle thing on the TV from the 1990s (I think his name is Tony?!). It ain’t pretty…So I went ahead and splurged and bought the GHD Eclipse, which got amazing reviews on, and while this definitely was a splurge, this product is incredible, since it doubles as a flat iron AND a curling iron! I absolutely love it, since I don’t need to do more than a pass or two over my hair before it is straight, and it isn’t damaging on my already pretty damaged fine hair! It also heats up in less than 30 seconds- A must have for this month. 

Seventh: Anastasia Beverly Hills Beauty Genius Clear Waterproofing Gel. Y’all. I have oily eyelids, and after several hours or less, my eye makeup is gone. Or worse. There is no remnant that I even had eye makeup on. But this stuff is literally waterproof, and it means it when it says that it is. Because my eye makeup is still on after 18 hours and looks gorgeous, flawless, and perfect. The stuff is sticky, and once you put any makeup on top of it, forget about trying to fix it, because the stuff won’t budge. But I still love it, because I would rather have my makeup be stuck than moving around and oily as all getup! Get this if y’all have oily eyelids! (A weird recommendation, I know!) 

Eighth: Lancome Artliner Liquid Eyeliner. This is like a paintbrush for your eyes. No joke. And this junk doesn’t move either. It is beautiful, comes in beautiful colors, and looks gorgeous on all skin tones! I stink at liquid eyeliner, to say the least, and have often tried, but gone back to my trusty pencil eyeliner, but I have actually stuck with this “delivery system” for the last month (I have this liner in Brown and Black) because I love it so much and it is so easy and it stays put on my eyes so well! 

Unfavorites time…And there aren’t that many! 

First: The NARS NARSissist Palette. I bought this palette from Sephora and was super excited to try it out, but a) when it arrived it was broken, and b) the shadows were really hit or miss color-wise and not pigmented at all! It went back to Sephora, and not to be replaced, but to go back to that farm where bad beauty products go to never come back ever again. 

Second: Wegman’s Grocery Store. I know, not a beauty product, but I think I can include something like this in my blog. This is pretty significant, and really threw my whole day off. I went grocery shopping at Wegman’s, bought three boxes of organic lettuce, and all three boxes were rotten. The store refused to allow me to return them for any type of refund, store credit or exchange. So sorry, Wegman’s, but you have lost my business forever. 

Third: Laura Mercier Mineral Pressed Powder SPF 15. UGH. Showed up broken (in the same shipment as the NARS palette), was sticky, and just plain didn’t feel right on my face. So back to Sephora it goes, not to be exchanged, but to be replaced with something else from Sephora, probably something lovely for my body. Because my body deserves it after a trip to Quakerbridge Mall, which feels like going to purgatory. And I’m not Catholic, so I don’t believe in purgatory. 

Fourth: Lush’s Rub Rub Rub scrub. This went from an eh product to an unfavorite. It isn’t abrasive enough, and is really watery. I wish that you could return lush products, but that’s a no-go. I will use it up, but I dislike it quite a lot. Like a lot a lot. It smells lovely, but it is so difficult to use in the shower, and that’s when you want to use scrubs, right? I mean, really…don’t make scrubs watery for use in the shower…that’s just counterintuitive! 

Food favorite: Coconut Non-dairy creamer

Music Favorite: “Let it Go” Cover by Alex Boye (Go watch the YouTube Video…

Favorite Scent: Vanilla Coconut Perfume by LaVanilla (From Sephora) 

Favorite Other Thing: Tie between my Pacemaker (duh…) and my new haircut…(not the YouTube Video…)

Image(I’m the one all the way to the right, with my two friends Marcus and Kelsey, who are now engaged!!!))

Blog Posts: 31

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