Saturday, April 04, 2020

**REVIEW** Hard Candy Smoothing Primer Balm

I've mentioned this product in a couple of recent reviews about foundation makeup. It deserves its own post.



That is the Hard Candy Smoothing Primer Balm that I got as a "sample" from Tryspree (I think, it was Tryspree!). I have rarely used anything before as a primer (if you don't count the Maybelline Baby Soft Pore Eraser). I love the Baby Soft but, compared to this, I can't count it as an actual priming product because it mainly blurs but doesn't provide a base for foundation. This Hard Candy is most definitely a primer and it is also slightly blurring and not as wet as the Maybelline.

I thought that the primer would look super paste-like and chalky if I used it on my bare face, but it's not so bad. Like I said, it has more of a blurring - or smoothing - effect just as the name promises.

Here are some photos at various stages of using this product:


face bare except moisturizer



primer and no foundation

This is what it looks like with my new Rimmel Stay Matte foundation on half my face



So, this primer is pretty awesome. The other day when I was out and my face got a little shiny, I quickly applied a little of the balm. I wasn't wearing my matte foundation which may be why I had the shines. The balm instantly and totally banished the Shiny face and I think it works best solo if my face is very oily/shiny and not already "set" or dry.

This is very affordable at around $8 (on the brand's site) and it might be cheaper or found on sale at drugstores. I've mentioned on other posts that I will be getting more of this when the jar runs out. This is something I can keep in my purse to use with or without makeup and I can use it on the go without it making a mess.

Peace
--Free

Thursday, April 02, 2020

**REVIEW** Rimmel Stay Matte Foundation

I found this at Walmart the other day.




It's Rimmel's Stay Matte Flawless Finish Mattifying Foundation (in shade 605 Deep Chocolate).

I am hotter than a jalapeno that I even went through all the bother with Juvia's Place! This Rimmel foundation is perfect. Perfect shade, perfect finish, perfect price. Most of all, it's the perfect price. Let's talk about that.

Remember the Lancome Ultra foundation I loved so much? That was close to $50. Nars Sheer Glow? Around the same as the Lancome. This Rimmel? $4.97 at Walmart. 

Normally, with drugstore foundations - even if they are good - there is a little something that gives away the difference between them and the higher end brands. Either they feel different or wear different or they are just slightly off in some way from the pricier stuff. Not so with this Rimmel.

When I first tested this shade on the back of my hand (I should have tested it in the store and I would have gotten more than one tube!), I knew the shade was a dead-on match to my face color. 



I thought that even though the shade was great - actually so close you can't see it in that swatch photo - that the makeup itself might not look or wear as well as I want. 



Wrong again.

This makeup wears almost EXACTLY like the Lancome and lasts all day without needing to be touched up. The shade is very similar to the 555 Suede C I wore. It's extremely mattifying - just like the Lancome. I have to moisturize my face well before using it - just like with the Lanco- well, you know what I mean. I think the only difference I could point out is that the Lancome was more of a liquid and this Rimmel is has a creamy consistency. It's labeled as a "mousse" type foundation.



It took very little of this to cover my entire face - I think it was about 3 dabs of the amount shown in the above photo (if even that much). Most extremely matte products I've used haven't gone on as smooth. Once I had this on it was almost immediately "set". (By the way, when I first tried applying it without additional moisturizer and just using the Hard Candy primer, it did set instantly.)

For such a mattifying foundation, this is not drying. Yes, it sets very drily on the skin but it didn't cause any tightening or stiffening sensation. Still, as with any makeup, I will apply a good moisturizer in my dry zones before using it just as a precaution. 

Want to know what I love the most, most, most? There is no transfer. None. One thing every woman hates about makeup - especially those in any deep or very colorful shades - is having it transfer to clothing and paperwork. So embarrassing and inconvenient. This one is matte enough that I can palm my face and not have it transfer. Now, I am not going to be rubbing my face on collars or papers, but I like not having to worry about hugging someone or handling paperwork and leaving behind a tell-tell mess.

Where has this stuff been all my life? 

By the way, I have used Rimmel eyeliners before and I might have picked up a gloss or mascara from a makeup bin but I think that is the extent of my experience with the brand. At least, I have never purchased anything major because I don't remember it. Now, I am telling everyone about this foundation and I will look for other Rimmel products. Shoot, I'm going to write them a fan letter! Hahaha.

 I was so upset about the experience(s) with Juvia's Place and I had resigned myself to just making do with the foundations I have on hand. Mary Kay is out of my budget - even if I could get a rep to come around at this point... Now that I have this Rimmel, I feel better. This is a shade I really like. It lacks the red undertone of the Nars, but I don't care. I can wear some blush underneath or just go without - especially now that it is summertime.

I'm not sure if this is something that someone can be happy with if they have very dry skin. As I said, I wear a deep moisturizer underneath in my dry skin areas so it balances out. My t-zone - which can develop a shine quickly in warm weather - is completely matte with this foundation.

Listen, this is such a great product and the price is just too good. People ought to know about it while we're all rushing around trying to afford some of these other brands.

Peace
--Free

Saturday, March 28, 2020

**REVIEW** Smith & Sinclair Alcoholic Cocktail Gummies

Oh. My. Goodness. I just tried my little 2-pack sample of this that I got courtesy PopSugar Dabble:


That is from Smith and Sinclair and I would have taken photos of the actual candy but I ate them both! Hahaha! They were so good.

Here is the brand's site. Since I just got a taste of 2 flavors, this is going to be a very brief review. I can tell you that I don't normally like gummy-type candies. I have to be in the mood. These, however, have a much different texture from the Haribo candies I pick up at the store. These are much, much softer and they sort of melt as you chew them. 


The candies are rather large - about the size around of a silver dollar and as thick as half a marshmallow. They are coated lightly with sugar crystals and that's the first thing you taste. As soon as you bit into one, the fruit flavor hits and fools you into thinking this is regular candy. Count to three and the booze comes through loud and clear. It's not harsh but more the flavor strength of a mild wine or lady-like cocktail. That is trick number two. Maybe because I am a lightweight drinker, I got quite the buzz from the very first candy - "Mandarin Spritz". Of course, I didn't wait more than 3 minutes before I ate the second one ("Pineapple Bellini") although I ate it in small nibbles. Um, hello and I-luv-you-man. I felt as if I had had at least half a glass of wine.

I wasn't crazy about the very soft texture but these taste so good that I don't care. When I get more, I will probably keep them refrigerated until I'm ready for my treat. Talk about a sugar buzz...

When I ever try more of these, I will let you know how the other flavors are. For now, I can tell you that the Pineapple Bellini is my favorite of the two. It was sweeter than the Mandarin Spritz. I would say that if you like drier wine and drinks, the Mandarin would be for you. I am a sweet wine gal so that Pineapple was perfect.

What an idea, to pair alcohol and candy. Here's the thing: I wasn't joking about these packing a little punch. The alcohol content is 5% by volume. My lips felt slightly numb after eating both of them in rapid succession so, you figure it out.

As I mentioned, I got my sample via Popsugar Dabble, but you can go straight to the source and check out all their offerings. There are the cocktail gummies I tried, mocktail gummies, drink mixers, and gift sets. If you get some, I would make sure to keep them in a place where children don't grab any. They look exactly like candy and would surely be too much for someone young and lightweight.

Peace
--Free

Thursday, March 26, 2020

The Big Black Swatch & Shade Post

This post is in lieu of a finish to the Juvia's Place review. No need to go on beating that dead horse. In the meantime (and since even being the hermit I am, this lockdown is crazy) I thought I would do a swatch post that includes the 2 new Juvia shades.

It's nice that a lot of the established cosmetic brands are adding shades for "deeper" skin tones. New brands seem to be popping up all the time (like Juvia's Place). Still, finding an affordable and appropriate shade of foundation is tough for a lot of us. I know ladies of all races and colors who have almost as hard a time as I do in trying to find something that works with their peach- or olive-hued tones. If you can't pull off one of the basic shades - porcelain, ivory, buff, light, tan, medium, "deep", chocolate, almond, or some variation of "toast" - then you have to be the Indiana Jones of the makeup world.

These are some arm and face swatches of all the shades I have lying around. I throw nothing out so I have stuff from 4 years ago. Don't judge me!



Just so you know:
  • I photographed my leg in the natural light of my home. (ceiling and floor lamps)
  • I applied a light primer and nothing else other than the moisturizer I already had on  
  • I did not apply any other powders or setting products
  • I used a makeup spatula to apply (cleaning after each use)
  • I ran a line of the Nars shade along the top so you can compare it to each of the other shades.

These are the ones taken a couple of minutes after applying all the swatches:

sorry for the bad cropping
see names and shades below

It's easy to see that the Khartoum, Ebony, Mali, and Bronze 8 shades are ones I can work best with. The others can be used, I suppose, for highlighting, contouring, and blending to lighten or darken other shades.

This is after I lay a paper towel over them and did a light blotting:

You can barely tell the Nars from my skin. Perfect.

This is after I have let the makeup rest and completely set for about 5 minutes


I tried to keep the camera the same distance away but there could be some variation. You get the idea though.

By the way, this is the wonderful primer I used. It was sent as a full-size sample (yay) from Tryspree and I will be buying more when I am finished with the jar.


If you are always on the lookout for shades in "deep" tones, here are some that I have considered. With a couple of exceptions, they are affordably priced and seem to come in a good variety of deep shades. And, since I was only looking at shades, you would have to judge for yourself how good they are as far as wear and staying power. The links are to where I found the item and not always the brand site.

Black OpalTrue Color










MilaniConceal & Perfect

 


e.l.f.Flawless Finish

I did notice that Target carries quite a range of brands with diverse shades. Also, the site has a "foundation guide" to help locate suitable brands on their site with your shade range.

Actually, once I started searching, I found quite a few brands with "deep" shade choices. You have probably heard of most, but I think at least a couple will be new for you.

Here are some with prices in the mid to higher range - depending on what your budget is. I'm too tired to do links for all of them but hit up Google.

  • Uoma Beauty (totally new to me)
  • Fenty (Rhianna's gig so I won't bother with it. Personal bias.)
  • Il Mikiage (see this a lot on social media platforms)
  • ColourPop (I've seen this on Influenster)
  • Black Up (I had one of their foundations in a near-matching shade for my skin. Good foundation as long as you get a match.)
  • Urban Decay
  • Nars (of course)
  • Becca 
  • Marc Jacobs (who knew?)
  • Lancome (love theirs but it's pricey for me at around $45)
  • Hue Noir (another totally new one for me)
  • MAC
  • Makeup Forever
  • Black Radiance (of course)
  • Flori Roberts (I used to love their Gold perfume but it's no longer made)
The name of the last one I want to mention gives me the creeps but I love that they seem to have a wide range of shades. It's called Flesh Beauty. See what I mean? Anyway... The prices are mid-range ($32 for a foundation) but they offer free shipping. If you sign up for their mailing list, you get a discount on your first order. 


Believe it or not, there are more I could have listed but I got tired.

Hope this helped.

Peace
--Free

Saturday, March 21, 2020

Shopping Helps While Quarantined

My best friend and I are natural hermits. When this COVID thing really got hot and everyone around us started the "social distancing" trend (we do love trends, don't we?), the two of us laughed and called them amateurs!
from elbruno.com

I imagine that the idea of being quarantined is pretty stressful for most people. Listen, I was made for this time. I am someone who lives as if everything outside the doors of my home is just waiting to attack me.

I am sort of a 'herma-phobe'. I mean, I'm not extreme about germs or anything but I really am wary of other people spreading their colds and viruses to me. I so easily catch everything that makes me sniffle, sneeze, cough, or go into full-on body-aches. I am already dealing with this nasty sarcoidosis so I don't need to catch any other health issues. Plus, I have hermit tendencies.

Last week, when my neighbors and family were starting to take more notice of which stores ship or deliver, they were checking with me. I know where to get my prescriptions, toiletries, groceries, and cosmetics without ever going past the door to pick up my mail. And, no, Amazon is not the only game in town.

I am going to share a little condensed information with those of you who don't read my blog on a regular basis. For more details, you will have to use the search bar at the top of this blog. Don't you wish you'd paid a little more attention now? Ha!

Here are the places I use to shop from home:

  • Amazon (of course), for non-perishables, household stuffs, and all other courtesy-of-billionaire Bezo-supplied goods. Until Trader Joes and other Prime-Pantry suppliers start delivering dairy and meat, I can't use them but you might be able to. Check the Amazon full directory. By the way, Amazon has a cool Prime Wardrobe deal on certain items of clothing and accessories. I've used it once but the free returns were done via UPS drop-off. I don't drive so Amazon arranged a free UPS pick-up for me. I don't know if they would make a habit of that. I was told I could do free returns via Kohl's drop-off. That's better but, still, no car.
  • Hyvee and Aldi's for perishable groceries because they deliver in my area. I use Instacart because I pay the monthly membership for free delivery on orders of $30+; I can go directly to Hyvee online for more variety via Aisles Online but the delivery and fees are upwards of $10 and they won't split the annual $99 membership into monthly payments.
  • Speaking of Instacart - depending on your location, you might be able to shop from several stores. Hyvee, Aldi, Target, and Petsmart are available to my hick zip code. Target's offerings there are slim and it's better to go directly to their site (see below). Maybe more will be added because of this COVID situation?
  • Dollar General is a new discovery for me and I love it. I personally like to get all my "ethnic" hair care goods from them but there are some good deals on lots of DG stuff. Shipping is reasonable and not too slow although the tracking sucks and using the website is weird (I couldn't even set up an account!) I prefer using the app (here you go, iPhone users, though I've never used that one) because it's better a set up than the website.
  • Target is not a place I regularly shop (too highbrow! Haha) but I like checking out the site. I get my Target beauty box every now and again. 
  • Walgreens is currently doing free shipping with no minimum. I don't know when that started or how long that will last. I might have to check them out for my cosmetics and such.
  • Walmart is where I get anything that's cheaper than what I can find on Amazon. I have to do some work comparing but it's worth it. Shipping is free on orders $35+. Searching and sorting what is available to ship-to-home is sort of a pain. Also, prices tend to be a little higher than in-store or store-pickup. By the way, you can even order your contacts from Walmart Vision.
  • RiteAid is not a place I have ever shopped in person or online but I see they have the same $35+ thing as Walmart. The other day, I saw the FREESHIP being used but I don't know if it's still good.
  • I happen to use a local pharmacy that does free delivery of my prescriptions. That's a service that other pharmacies might provide.
Shopping online is the norm for me. I get over-anxious around even middling-size groups of people and shoppers can be the worst. For some of you, though, this new kind of protective living is overwhelming. I happen to think that we are being set-up to accept this as the "new normal" so you might have to get used to it.

By the way, I do NOT understand the hoarding of toilet paper but because other people are, might I suggest getting a cheap little portable bidet. I did and I can't wait till I can get one actually installed on the toilet.

Don't you wonder if this is going to be the way things remain? I do. And I bet the retailers are going to figure out how to make it work. I would not be surprised if shopping, working, learning, and socializing is about to become more of an online thing than it ever has been.

I will update this with any new information I get about retailers cutting us some online slack. Hopefully, more of them will go easy on the shipping fees and return policies.

Peace



--Free

Thursday, March 19, 2020

UPDATE **REVIEW** Juvia's Place I Am Magic Foundation (Part One)

Here is the promised update: There won't be a part two of this post. No need. The Mali and Chad shades were hit and miss. Mali is a hit and Chad is a miss. Here is another swatch photo from a post I just finished (in place of continuing with the Juvia mess). Chad and Mali are 2nd and 3rd down.


Thank goodness, Mali works so well. It's not quite as "deep" or red as Khartoum but it works. With this COVID sitch, there is no more trading/exchanging of makeup online so... My friend who got the Chad and Mali agrees with me that I can use Mali well as a foundation and Chad as a contouring color. Main thing is, I will not be shopping ever again at Juvia's until I KNOW the exact color I want. They have a horrible reputation as far as I see online and their Trust Pilot reviews focus on the awful shipping issues. Their BBB profile has around 18 reviews to date and has a less than a 2-star rating. The shipping and tracking were great for me - I got those mismatched shades quick as a flash. I have no idea how they stay in business unless it's via their Ulta sales.

For more swatches,go check the Big Black Swatch & Shade post.


*************

I am conflicted. On the one hand, this Juvia's Place I Am Magic Foundation is the best ever foundation I have used. On the other hand, there is something about the 2 shades I've tried. Let's talk my the shades and view of the pros and cons of the foundation and the brand overall.

THE FOUNDATION

This is the foundation, packaged and unpackaged:



The top is a flip design and some people don't like it, but I don't mind.


I got one foundation in the shade of Togo (210) and the other in the shade of Kano (150). I was trying to get a match for the Nars Sheer Glow Foundation in Khartoum because let's face it, Nars is priced way out of my range.

This is what Ulta's shade guide looks like vs the chart from the Juvia's site:




This is what my arm swatches look like:


Togo and Kano are SO much alike

I totally missed the mark, didn't I? This is why I hate trying to check shades from looking at photos. A shade swatch on my arm will not look the same as one on the arm of someone even slightly lighter or darker than I am. Also, you saw those shade charts from online; they just don't capture the shades that well.

~sigh~


Note About Skintones

Both shade charts come with notes about the undertones for each shade - such as for cool, neutral, or olive, etc.

Well, how many people know their true undertones? For years, I thought I had red undertones because I look good in red clothes. Wrong. For one thing, I learned that other people think I look best in blue clothing. It's recommended that you check the color of your veins to see if they look more blue or purple or green. Apparently, mine veins are chameleon-like because they sometimes look blue, sometimes, purple and, every now and then, red.

I find it's better to check skin tone by which color metal jewelry looks best. Silver and white gold look better on me than any other kind. This is the way this site helps explain it:
Once you've determined whether you have warm or cool undertones, it's easy to find a metal color that will flatter your skin tone. People with cool skin tones look good in light or white metals such as white gold, platinum and silver. People with warm skin tones look good in yellow and rose gold, copper and brass jewelry. If you have a neutral skin tone, you'll look good in both white metals and yellow metals.

So, I am still in pursuit of the best shade for me. In the next 2 or 3 weeks, I will be updating this post with swatches of 2 other shades - Chad and Mali - because my friend has ordered those for me since I wasn't able to match better with Togo and Kano.

JUVIA'S PLACE SITE

It's a shame that such a great product is represented by such a lacking brand. I guess I should say the brand and the brand's website. Here is what struck me from dealing with Juvia's Place:
  • CON: They really don't stand behind their product. There are no returns or recourse for damaged items. Basically, you buy it and, if it's the wrong shade or has gotten damaged in transit, too bad.
  • CON: They don't respond to customer concerns. I emailed immediately after placing the first order to ask about a shade switch. Actually, I told them about the foundation I was currently using as asked if they could recommend one of two other shades. No response from them at all. The only communication is a notice that an order is received and that an order is shipped.
  • PRO: On the plus side, the price is lowest at the brand's site - currently $12 vs the $20 and up I am finding elsewhere (Ulta, for one).
  • PRO: The Juvia's shade finding tools try to be helpful. The problem is that a lot of users have no idea what their "undertone" is or they might think it's different than what's shown. 
So, I am so NOT a fan of the brand's site, but I would love to hit on the right shade of their foundation. It could be a beautiful thing.

By the way, I will be able to use the Togo and Kano shades but only as highlighters. I can use both as foundations but I have to add another shade on top to balance it out. I guess it's a good thing that these were on sale. Thanks to the Honey app, I got an additional savings discount. My friend will be ordering for the first time so she will get a deeper discount that I can't reuse.

Bottom line: I would pay double for the makeup if the brand were more customer-friendly. It's a first-class product put out by a low-class brand.

Peace
--Free


**QUICKIE** Glycerin

Glycerin is fairly cheap. I get the 16oz bottles. This is how I use mine:
  • Add some to bad or semi-decent hair moisturizing creams. I add and shake well or turn upside down for a few days. In most cases, adding the glycerin keeps me from tossing a product that didn't originally work well for me.
  • Add some to lotions and body creams. Same as above. Glycerin boosts the moisturizing properties. However, I do not use glycerin on my face because it seems to clog my pores or just sit too heavy.
  • Add to essential oils that I wear as personal fragrances. I basically use the glycerin as protection from the oil.
  • As a hair and skin treatment. I mix the glycerin into some hair conditioner, apply to my hair and sit under a dryer or with a plastic cap for 10 or 15 minutes before rinsing, drying, and styling. For my feet, I apply the glycerin heavily, wrap my feet in extremely warm, wet towels and cover those with plastic shopping bags. To prolong the warmth, I will rest my feet on a heating pad. After 15-30 minutes, rinse and apply lotion.
  • Glycerin is also good for removing stickers from glass and other non-porous items. To clean the glycerin residue, wipe with alcohol or vinegar. 
I was going to add how to make soap with glycerin (because I used to know this). I am too tired tonight to look up the recipe for you, but I did run across this page. It had some interesting tips. I did not know about making a cleaning paste with glycerin.

Peace
--Free

Friday, March 13, 2020

**SIFO** Citric Acid Is Multi-Use

This SIFO is another one that shows how a little bit of easy research can save money. Whenever I am tempted to buy a product, I try to find out what the main ingredient is. Oftentimes, I can just "go to the source" and skip paying for all the branding and hype. Keep reading and use your own judgment.

I have a Keurig that I got a few years ago on a deep sale and when I had some left-over gift certificate money. The thing is, the pods are so dang expensive. I finally got one of the really good universal filters and now I use the machine constantly. That means, of course, that I have to clean it all the time.

The water here is so hard that I can knock on it. I need to clean out the Keurig at least every other month so that it keeps running well. The problem with that is that the cleaning solutions are expensive. But you know me by now. I will always find a way to save some money.

This is what I got to clean the coffee machine:



That is a big old bag of Milliard brand citric acid. It cost $9 for the 2-pound bag. To clean my Classic model Keurig, I need to use around 1 to 2 tablespoons every other month. This is much cheaper than buying a ten-dollar bottle of "machine cleaner" that will give 2 uses per bottle. I was using white vinegar but that's around two dollars a gallon. The Milliards is a better buy for other reasons:
  1. It doesn't have the strong odor of vinegar
  2. It seems to rinse out of the machine better
  3. It's better at softening the water - which should help with cleaning
  4. I can use the Milliard on clothing stains (again, without the strong odor)
  5. I can use it to keep produce fresher for longer
  6. The Milliard is easier to store and use.
By the way, you can do your own research into other ways citric acid is used, but here are some uses I've seen mentioned online:

  • In pharmaceuticals
  • For cosmetic purposes (similar to retinol and vitamin C products)
  • In hair treatments
  • As a treatment for sore throats (don't ask me)
  • To treat skin problems (I did use some with coconut oil as a quick lip scrub)
  • To clean hard water spots
  • In the dishwasher for hard water problems
  • To preserve the freshness of produce
  • Added to the wash or rinse cycle to soften clothes and assist detergent

My main use for it is to deal with the problems hard water causes for my coffee machine and dishwasher. The main ingredients in most of those expensive coffee machine cleaning products include citric acid and baking soda and maybe some hydrogen peroxide. I almost always have the baking soda and peroxide around. All I need to do is make sure to be careful I'm not mixing up any dangerous concoctions!

Anyway. I did clean my coffee machine and it was easy. I also mixed some of the Milliard with water in a spray bottle to clean the hard water spots around the faucets. I added some at the start of the wash cycle (I always forget to catch the rinse cycle) and I didn't need to use a fabric softener sheet. My clothes seemed cleaner and they were most certainly softer - especially my dish towels.

The bottom line is, I don't have money to pay for unnecessary products. Remember when Dawn dish soap came out with its bleach-added version? Listen, I had been adding bleach to my dishwater for years because that's what my mama and her contemporaries did. The Dawn version just came in a cuter bottle and with lots of marketing. Whatever. It was the same thing with those pricey bottle teas that had fruit flavors added. I had always added some kind of fruit nectar or fresh fruit to my tea.

So, yeah, this citric acid is something that can be useful in all sorts of ways. Just use your common sense, do your research, and take your own risks. I'm no chemist or anything professional. I just try to be smart as I can on a thin wallet. Creativity is the broke man's best friend.

By the way, this is how I cleaned my Keurig.

1. Mix in 1 to 2 Tablespoons (per liter) right into the water reservoir of the Keurig (I have the Classic) and stir until dissolved. (I used 2 tablespoons this first time and will use 1 from now on.)
2. Turn off the Auto-Off feature. You're going to be running a lot of water in the next hour.
3. Make sure to take out any old Kcups before you start brewing the citric acid/water. You want to set the machine to brew a large amount of liquid.
4. Brew out the first couple of cups of liquid but on the third cup, don't let the liquid brew to completion. Stop the machine (I just unplugged mine) after the first little bit starts to flow into the cup.
5. Wait for about 10 or 15 minutes, then let the rest of the liquid brew out.
6. Now repeat until you have emptied the water reservoir. Refill it with fresh, clean water (no citric acid) and brew out that water until you get no more taste of the citric acid. It took another entire liter of clean water for mine to run clear.

And for anyone who has wondered about those universal coffee filters, I personally think the Keurig brand has the best one. I have used ones like this:



That was fine and I really liked it until I got the one from Keurig and this is one time I have to say I prefer the brand name item.


Now, I won't go back to the other kind. This one gives a much cleaner brew - without all the residue my cheap one let through. It also has a larger capacity for when I want to brew the largest cup size.

The bottom line here is that there are a lot of uses for citric acid. I might be a little slow sometimes but I know to use my brain instead of my wallet when I can.

Peace
--Free


Saturday, March 07, 2020

**SIFO** Dollar General Online & Multicultural Hair Care

UPDATE: 3/11/20
Well, the package arrived today. I never did get a tracking number or anything. This is worth the wait and slight lack of site organization:















Basically, I got all these products for under $20 - including shipping. If you ever do order from them, make sure to save your emailed and online receipt; the shipment only came with a packing slip. I'm not mad. I couldn't walk into Sally Beauty, Target, or Walmart and get this for $14 (which is what this cost minus shipping) so... Of course, I will do reviews on the individual products as I can.


UPDATE: 3/10/20 I placed my order on the 5th and it has been in "Processing" every since. Today, the order was marked "Complete" (which I take to mean that it has been put together for shipping. I have no tracking number yet and will contact DG tomorrow if I still don't have one.


We are talking products on Dollar General. Products for black folks hair!

Okay, so there are not just hair products for black people on the site, but something for everyone. I was absolutely shook by how many hair products are there and by those prices. DG actually has a "Multicultural Hair Care" Page. (I'm going to start using the term "multicultural" instead of saying anything else.)


Of course, I tried to do a price check of the same items on Amazon where I get free Prime shipping instead of the $4.99 that DG charges to my zip code. This is what I ordered from Dollar General. It's hard to see on the screenshot but the total for the 4 products came to just under $20 including tax and the 4- to-7-day ground shipping cost.


That screenshot is horrible so... I got the following items and this is how they compared to what I could find on Amazon. Keep in mind that various sellers carry the same products on Amazon and sometimes, you have to search out the best price/quantity.





















The only product that comes out cheaper via Amazon is the Cantu Deep Treatment Masque and I don't mind because I won't use a large quantity of that particular item.

Even with the shipping charge, I came out ahead. With free Prime shipping,  I would have paid $35 and that is only if I could buy the 2-pk items as singles.

Now, I will have to wait to see how these items are when they arrive. For all I know, they might be boot-leggy products! I don't think so since they have the actual brands on the jars. We will see...

I will, of course, do an update once the products get here. The only negative so far is the slower shipping but I can live with that for paying such low prices. In the future, I will just have to make sure to restock my supply earlier than usual.

And I lied! I just remembered that the other very annoying negative is the Dollar General online site. I was not able to set up an account because the page just reloads. I was able to set up an account via the app. I think I will stick to using the app only from now on.

Peace
--Free


Monday, March 02, 2020

Somethin' Special is Really Special

UPDATE 3/6/20:

Well, I have to let you know that the prices just went up over at Somethin' Special. I was going to order some of the Hello Lemon Sugar spray and... Yeah, that won't be happening. It's gone up from $9 to $15. It's a small business but that price jump just put it out of my casual shopping range.

I still think the products are worth the prices - it is a small business, folks. I just can't shop there.

I just wanted to let you all know about this since I made such a big deal of showing those awesome prices...



I'm back talking about yet another fragrance resource. I think I cycle through my indulgences. The other month, I was all about my plants and wanting to do a tank or terrarium system. A while back, I was heavy into using the EC Blends wizard to mix my own ejuice flavor concoctions. I'm really happy that I'm out of my food mood for the moment! Now it's all about the fragrance. Really though, it's always all about the fragrance!

It was either on Reddit or Influenster that I first heard about Somethin' Special. This is right about the time that Glossier was disappointing the crap out of me with their on-again-off-again You fragrance quality. That You fragrance is the kind of thing that is either the best ever or the worst of the worst.

Anyway...

I took a chance on ordering some small sample-sized vials. This is what came in my first order of 3 sample scents that I chose:


Also, included free with my order were two "sniffles" - little cotton pads sprayed with my choice of scents to sniff along with an unexpected sample of a jar of solid perfume in Jasmine Musk. By the way, I think those sniffles are a super-cute idea.

So when I got this first order of 3 perfume oil samples (Lolita Lempicka, Angel Wings, and Hello Lemon Sugar), I thought it was really cool that there was a perfume solid sample on top of everything else. The samples were  $6 for 1/16 ounce.

 Considering that this is a small business, I think that's a reasonable price for the size. And remember these are perfume oil samples.

I LOVE the sample bottle so much
By the way, can I just say how much more I like the sample vials? So much better than those hard to deal with long cylinder type containers. The lid is a screw-on so I don't have to worry about it coming off inside my purse.

I chose 2 samples based on the scent descriptions but, surprisingly, the fragrance I fell most in love with is the one I got to test as a home fragrance.


This is probably the most unique scent I have ever sampled. It's a sugary-lemony-sweet fragrance that smells exactly like the Lemon Sugar part of its name. As soon as I smelled it, I thought using it in a warmer would be a waste of it. I now want the larger perfume oil or the roll-on to carry with me and the Everything Spray - which can be used as a room, car, house, etc. spray. These prices are awesome!

Recent Prices

The Angelic Wings and Lolita Lempicka scents are just as described on the site. Of course, I love a nice, powdery fragrance so I am partial to the Angelic Wings. But that Hello Lemon Sugar... that one is my thing.

Somethin' Special ( I keep wanting to type "something") aims for Zero Waste with its products and packaging. I know that some of you will really like that.

On top of all the scents featured, there is also a page of special order fragrances that I have gaped at over and over. Do check that out. I have my eye on the Prada-inspired scent of Candy.

Get over there and check out the entire site. There's more than just basic fragrance oils. I myself am perusing the lotion bars, body powders, etc. Tell your friends - especially folks looking for scents that are cruelty-free and vegan. I said that before, but I want to repeat it for my friends who have trouble finding good products with those labels.  And I want to help support the small businessmen and women.

Now I have to go because I need to order my Hello Lemon Sugar stuff!

Peace
--Free