Monday, December 21, 2015

My dog is an idiot & a December Pet Giftbox review

Jake's had a rough week. Last Wednesday he stole some pumpkin-muffin cookies from the counter where my mother had left them to cool.

The problem: they contained raisins.

Grapes and raisins contain something that is toxic to around 50% of dogs. Scientists still haven't been able to isolate whatever toxin that is, or determine why some dogs suffer kidney failure after eating only a few raisins whilst other dogs can eat pounds of them with no problems. But for those dogs that do react to it, the damage is severe. So we rushed Jake to the emergency vet where he was forced to vomit up the 32 raisins he ate then had to stay there overnight for monitoring. Poor dude, all he wanted was a cookie.

It's a good thing that his December Pet Giftbox came today and cheered him up! I purchased Pet Giftbox because I have no impulse control through Groupon and paid $10/box for a 3 month subscription.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

December 2015 PetTreater Box Review!

I spoil my pup. He's a whiny, inattentive, pain-in-the-butt hound, but I love him. PetTreater has quickly become his favorite subscription box and gets extremely excited when he see's the shiny green and orange box show up.

Each box comes with a cute letter addressed to the individual dog,which I forgot to photograph because I was too busy fighting with Jake over toys. Hence the slightly blurry pictures!

This picture was taken after I took the tags off the squeaky Santa-dog toy and consecrated it with a game of throw-and-run-all-the-fuck-around-the-yard. Jake doesn't do fetch. He does "chase meeeee!" with toys.
We later took the tags off the blue alien toy to give it a try. Supposedly the squeaker in it is at too high a pitch (octave?) to be heard by human ears, but dogs can till hear it. Jake it apathetic about non-squeaky toys, so I tested it out by taking it outside, hiding it behind my back, and squeaking it. I didn't hear anything, but Jake went nuts. Both toys met Jake's approval!

The card on the left is an edible rawhide card for dogs! I like that the note attached explained that they usually didn't include rawhide products in the boxes, but this one was too cute to pass up. I agree with them on that! I put it up and will give it to Jake on Christmas.
The packet on the right are dog-themed Christmas cards for the human. This is much better than the last PetTreater "For The Human" I got (an oven mitt...) as it actually is dog related. The outside says "Happy Holidays" and the inside reads "Wishing you all the splendor of the season", which is great for both religious and non-religious people.

Oh my god...a Star Wars leash. I seriously squealed when I pulled this out of the box! Perfect timing with the new release coming this month!

Treats! I got an extra bag of treats this month as a reward for emailing PetTreater a picture of Jake playing with his goodies from the last box. They say you'll get an "extra toy", but I actually prefer to get the treats for him (we have a lot of toys floating around now...). I ended up giving the second bag of venison treats to a friend's lovely German Shepherd who is on a grain-free diet for canine lupus. She is very picky about treats, but nommed this one and came back begging for seconds!

And finally a PetTreater Christmas bandanna for Jake! He surprisingly doesn't mind bandannas, so this one he will wear once it gets closer to Christmas.

So for $25 Jake got toys and treats that he likes, and I got holiday cards and a cute leash for him. Win-win for PetTreater!

This box was purchased with my own money and all opinions are my own and Jake's. He's easily bribed with peanut butter, though. Questions, Comments, and Casual Insults welcome par usual.

Friday, December 11, 2015

Starting Tretinoin: 4 Asian products to help fight flakes

Tretinoin: The dreaded dry skin flake-maker that promises to eliminate our acne and smooth our wrinkles. After attempting to fight my hormonal acne with AHA, BHA, benzoyl peroxide, Voodoo, Vitamin C, and anti-androgenic birth control, I finally caved in mid-October and scheduled a dermatologist appointment to get a retinoid prescription.

Now after around two months of using Tretinoin almost every day with very very minimal of the infamous flakies, I figured I'd write a quick blog about the Asian products that helped me survive starting tret. Yes, I use a lot of Western products too, but this post is just focused on the Asian ones. No, I don't use these all at once, I mix and match as needed.

I am not a doctor (nor do a play one on a TV show. I do, however, have a background in Theatre if you're casting for one...) so please take everything I say with that in mind. And remember: your mileage may vary (YMMV).

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Cupidrop, Tatcha-cha-cha, and Etsy extravaganza

I had three mini-hauls lately, one utilitarian, one frivolous indulgence, and one completely random. This is a quick overview of them all:


 I placed this order with Cupidrop for three reasons:

  1. I was running desperately low on oil cleanser and wanted to try something new
  2. Fan-b's review of the Cosrx low pH cleanser wooed me 
  3. Samples. Because every time I start browsing Cupidrop's website I start thinking about all the sweet sweet samples that came in my last order and crave moarrrrr!

So I actually didn't want the Cosrx cleanser as a face wash- I wanted it for a body wash! I have my Minon foaming cleanser for my face, but it is too hard to come by to justify using it on my acne-prone body areas. the Cosrx is a pretty large tube and a little goes a long way. I have to be careful to cleanse my back properly or else I get some nasty backne from wearing a sports bra, sweat, and general barn crud. Since some areas of my skin are especially acne prone, I decided to go with a gentle low-pH cleanser instead of a traditional body wash to help protect that skin barrier as well.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

BeautyDNA November Product (and the promotion is still on GiltCity!)

I got my November BeautyDNA product today, but instead of waiting until December and posting them both together, I'm making an early post because BeautyDNA is back on GiltCity until December 4th! That is the promotional that I used to purchase my initial account...and I kinda sorta dropped the money for another 4 months (yes, they will add it onto your existing account if you email them politely).

Here is my one little shill moment: if you use my referral to join GiltCity, you get $25 and I get $25 to spend on Gilt/GiltCity. Here is my Referral Link if you want to use that to join, if not (or if you already have an account) you can just go here and buy the BeautyDNA promo. 

BeautyDNA November Product: Olie Biologique Huile Moderne 004 Hydrating Oil
Retail Price: $78.00

The package arrived late this afternoon and, thanks to the lovely winter snap we've been having, the heavy glass bottle was wonderfully cool to the touch. I can't stop petting it. Its so prettttyyyy

I love to use oils as moisturizers! This one is primarily Argan oil and Rosehip oil, both of which I've heard wonderful things about for skin. This one is supposed to be good for acne and breakouts, so hopefully my skin will like it. The good thing about BeautyDNA, though, is that if you don't like a product, they are of a high-quality that would make for wonderful re-gifting to friends and family (BeautyDNA is strictly against re-selling products received from them!).

Note: An oil-loving friend informed me that Bergamot oil is photo-sensitizing due to a compound called Bergapten. Some bergamot oils have this compound removed and should be labelled as "Bergamot FCF". This oil is not labelled as being bergapten-free, so please exercise caution and use it only at night.

I paid for this awesomely [discounted via GiltCity] subscription with my own cash because I'm too uncool modest to get free shit. Questions, Comments, and Casual Insults always welcome. Especially the latter, it gives me a sort of a bitter nostalgia for my high school years.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Golden Tote: Because I can't go naked

At the end of January of this year I returned home from England weighing 150lbs. My narcolepsy had gotten bad and I spent a good 2/3rds of the day sleeping. My normal weight was around 130lbs.

Enter: New medication, awake-ness, eating healthy, moving more

I am now (and have been for several months) 120lbs. And all my clothes are too big now. So I pounced on the chance to try Golden Tote. If you are unfamiliar with it, at Golden Tote you get to pick out 1 or 2 of the clothing items in your tote, and the stylists there pick out the rest of them according to your style survey. There are new releases each month and it is an absolute madhouse of people trying to get certain in-demand styles before the sell out. I selected the $149 tote, so I got to pick out 2 items and the stylists picked out 4 more for me.

Oh yeah, and it comes in an actual tote, too

Monday, November 16, 2015

A thought on #effyourbeautystandards

A facebook friend of mine shared this illustration entitled Wrong Century by Tomas Kucerovsky recently:

And a reply on it from a person that I don't even know struck a chord with me. It absolutely summed up how I feel about the whole #effyourbeautystandards movement and Tess Munster.

Thursday, November 12, 2015


I made this whilst whining about my Golden Tote not being here yet.

Monday, November 9, 2015

BeautyDNA: September and October 2015

BeautyDNA is a subscription that I had been itching to try for a good while. For $25 a month, they send you one full-sized skin/hair/body product that is selected for you based on a detailed survey you fill out when you sign up. The value of the product is supposed to be greater than the cost of the subscription and you can change up the answers to your survey at any time if you want to. For someone like me who has a pretty good sized backlog of samples, deluxe samples, and even full-sized products that I have yet to try (but still a hankering for new crap), narrowing it down to one item a month that is supposed to be a good selection for you seemed like a plan for me. Yeah, there still could be duds, but at least there won't be a box of several duds to go through at once.

So when did a discounted special on 2- and 4-month subscriptions to BeautyDNA, I promptly purchased a 4-month subscription and signed up near the end of September. You subscription starts as soon as you fill out your beauty survey, and my product shipped only two days after I did that. Since I joined at the very end of September, my September month product arrived a few days into October (but hey, having it at the very end/beginning of the month is a good way to remember when my subscription is coming).

I waited until I had two months of products to do a review of BeautyDNA, and will do the final two months at the same time, too. Please note: Your products will probably be different than mine, as these were selected for me, based on my survey responses.

September Product: Epicuren Alpha Lipoic Omega Facial Serum
Retail Price:  $90
CosDNA Link

So there is actually a story about my first product, because there was an oopsie at BeautyDNA. I have selected on my profile strictly no SPF products, as I am picky about my sunscreen and I don't like moisturizers with sunscreen that could possibly have filters that interfere with what I'm using. I'm obnoxious like that. Well my first product I received was a moisturizer...with SPF 15. I emailed customer service, assuming that maybe the "no" I checked on facial SPF was only referring to actual sunscreen, and asked how to edit my profile so that I would not get any more products that happen to contain sunscreen ingredients. She profusely apologized and said that my survey was perfect how I had it, and that the moisturizer had accidentally not been tagged as a sunscreen product in their system. They promptly shipped out my replacement product that day and it arrived via FedEx only two days later. Yay for customer service! A+!

Each BeautyDNA product comes with a "Skin Report" that has information on how this product matches your survey. The key terms are bolded (although some things that are bolded, such as fragrance-free, paraben-free, and sulfate-free, are things that I selected "don't care" for rather than "do not want").

I have never heard of the brand Epicuren before, but the ingredients (see the CosDNA link) look nice. It has propolis extract!

October Product: Dermaquest SkinBrite Cream
Retail Price: $73

I might have misplaced my Skin Profile for this product (beautyDNA does provide you with a pdf copy to download via your account if need be) but it is a lightweight cream that absorbs very well, contains multiple proven antioxidants and skin whiteners (as in, lightening dark spots, not bleaching). It is supposed to be good for skin that is sensitive as well, but I am putting this aside for now and will start using it after I finish my Tretinoin purge that I began last week!

So far I am really liking beautyDNA. I just find it to be an interesting and fun concept! We will see what November and December bring.

This subscription was purchased with my own money. Please feel free to leave Questions, Comments, and Casual Insults below. 

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Jake's First Box: PetTreater Dog Subscription box

Our family never intended to get a dog. We already had four horses and three cats to take care of, which was more than enough trouble at the time. But in January of 2011, this is what looked up at me when I opened the door one afternoon:

I live in the countryside. so hunting dogs passing through is a fairly normal occurrence. Usually they'll poke around for a bit, grab some water out of the horse trough, and then head on their way back home. We waited a few days to see if he moved on, but he never left our farm, so we took him to the vet. The vet didn't find a microchip on him, but did find a whole lotta worms and a skin condition. As there were no "missing dog" ads that matched his description in the area, and his time running short, we paid the $1,000+ to get him back to health and named him Jake.

Today, Jake got his first subscription box!

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Bulu Box: If you're healthy and you know it, clap your hands

The concept of "health" is a fickle thing when you have a chronic illness. Am I healthy? What defines health? Does this disorder that I had no hand in developing count against me being "healthy"? Or is "healthy" only determined by those factors which you have at least a modicum of control over? And why am I getting so philosophical in a $5 subscription box review?

Bulu Box is a sample box of health and fitness vitamins/supplements/lifestyle/stuff that usually costs $10 a box. You can pick the "weight loss" themed box or just get a "general fitness" one (I picked weight loss for some reason, even though I don't actually need to lose weight). I used the discount code MYSUB5 from MySubscriptionAddiction which gives $5 off the subscription forever, so my boxes cost $5 a month. Which is good, because really it isn't worth $10. They only promise you sample sizes, not even deluxe samples, but you will occasionally get full sized products. I've heard that the full size products they send are often ones that are only a few months until their expiration date, but that doesn't bother me as Bulu Box is intended for sampling purposes.

What sold me on subscribing to Bulu is that you don't really lose your $5 even if you hate all the samples that month. With each box you get, you can go online and fill out a very quick survey for the products and earn 10 points to spend in their store. 10 points = $1. So if you had 6 products in your Bulu Box, that is $6 you get back after filling out the surveys. Just for having a subscription you get points each month (I believe you get 5 points per $1 you spend, so my $5 subscription box gives me 25 points a month). Their store has a wide enough variety of stuff that generally there is going to be something you want in it. You also get 50 points for referring friends to join, and if you're interested in joining after reading this review, I will have my referral link at the end (clearly marked as such so you don't click it if you don't want to!).

Pretty box, messy floor

My hopes for this subscription are:

  1. Find products that I can use for energy due to my narcolepsy
  2. Find healthy snacks that are easy to grab when I'm having a rough day
  3. Find products that don't interact with one of my many medications (big one!)

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Review of A.True Violet Petal Black Tea Hydrating Moisturizer

I've been a bad bad blogger and procrastinating on well...everything. But I have an excuse! or seven... First it was practically monsoon-ing here, and all that weather craziness made my narcolepsy act up. And then I was pony-sitting!

Who would want to stay inside and blog when you could hang out with a pony like this?!
Okay, now on to the actual review:

Please excuse the shoddy attempt at cleaning up the cellphone camera image. Also. I've used about twice this amount since I took this picture...
Product: Violet Petal Black Tea Hydrating Moisturizer
Brand: A.True
Purchased: for $26 (not an affiliate link)
CosDNA Link

I bought this because I was going mad looking for a daytime moisturizer that was just enough but not too much. My skin is combination, leaning towards oily slightly, and kinda rides the edge of being "almost dehydrated" due to my weirdass medications. Previously I had been using Innisfree Green Tea Balancing Moisturizer, but since I started using more actives it slid over to being not hydrating enough for my poor skin. I needed a moisturizer that packed a stronger punch, but didn't leave me greasy or dewy. Sorry guys, I know the dewy look is hip in Korea, but in the American south people just think you're overly sweaty. What sold me on trying the Violet Petal was the description on Cupidrop's page of it being "velvety" and "fresh". Spoiler: I don't regret buying it.

Good sized bottle.

I love love love love deep breath love LOVE A.True packaging. It's just so clean and pretty. The bottle is a very solid frosted plastic that seems like it would hold up very well with use. I mean, I haven't chucked it around much to test, so don't go punting it against a brick wall to see and then go blaming me if it breaks. The pump seems like it is very good quality and dispenses a lot of product when pressed all the way down. Thankfully, it is very easy to just lightly depress it and get out small dollops of moisturizer.
It's a pump nozzle. It works. Quite well, actually.

Kinda like violets with a hint of tea perfume? Floral and vaguely sweet? I'm pretty bad at describing scents. It smells nice, okay?! It is definitely fragrant, but not the type of smacks-you-in-the-face smell that Innisfree products have. It is a ladylike scent, which I think goes with their "A True Lady" marketing.

One pump. Kinda looks like an upside-down heart. Or a cock & balls. Depends on how you look at it, I guess.
A.True promises a fresh and velvety moisturizer, and they deliver. There's nothing super special in the Violet Petal moisturizer. It doesn't whiten. It doesn't exfoliate. No anti-aging miracles. It only claims to moisturize effectively without making your skin too oily, which is exactly what it does for me.

The A.true Violet Petal moisturizer is of medium to slightly thin consistency. It feels almost closer to a cream than a proper emulsion. It spreads easily and dries quite quickly. When it is dried, you can still feel it slightly on the surface of you skin, but it isn't a sticky gross feeling. It really does feel velvety soft and hydrated. I felt like my face maintained a good balance of hydration throughout the day, and I had no problems applying sunscreen/makeup over top of it. People with dry skin might like this in combination with another emulsion or stronger cream to add an extra bit of umph. I sometimes use it beneath my night cream when the air conditioner is running high and drying me out. Did I mention that it actually does make my face feel kinda velvety? Seriously, I'm really happy about this.

Rebuy? Yes. I will still keep looking and sampling other day moisturizers (it never ends...), but unless I find something even more awesome before I finish this bottle I will 100% rebuy the Violet Petal Black Tea moisturizer.

I bought this product with my own money, yo. Feel free to leave Questions, Comments, & Casual Insults below.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

BareMinerals Mystery Box September 2015

Every few months BareMinerals offers up a one-day special: a set of mystery items for a heavily discounted price. These are usually combinations of full size and deluxe samples that are discontinued, clearanced, overstocked, repackaged, or extras that were a part of a set. Supply is limited and they tend to sell out very fast! I just happened to be online one Sunday when MySubscriptionAddiction updated their website to announce September's BareMinerals mystery box was up for sale. This time the mystery box contained 10 items and costs a total of $30 plus tax and free shipping. So it cost me approximately $32 for the 10 things I received.

The whole set, kinda cut off the black deluxe sample tube of lipstick in the corner though...

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Of Thoughts and Mud

Sometimes I just need to get away. Be alone. Have my own moment.

For two years I lived alone in London. Well... not quite alone alone. I did have flatmates, but they were people I didn't really know or have any sort of social responsibility towards. I kept my space clean, they keep their's clean, and otherwise we had very little to do with each other. It was lovely. I could retreat to my room and just be. Alone in a city of 8.6 million.

Southbank, London

And now I'm back in rural North Carolina. You'd think that it would be more peaceful here instead of less. But I'm living with my parents who haven't realized that I'm an adult yet. Don't get me wrong, I love my parents and I'm very grateful that they've let me live with them during my health crisis. But that is just how parents are, I think, mothers especially. I had to sit her down and explain to her that I need my space, and that a locked door wasn't meant offensively, but she didn't quite get it.

Nighttime on Waterloo Bridge, London

When I need peace, I have to get out of the house. My mother has an odd quirk: she hates silence, therefore she talks a lot to prevent it. To anyone and everyone; human, animal, and object alike. I've walked in on her in a room where she was alone by herself, still chattering away to no one. She can't sit in a room with someone quietly; she has to talk to them, although the conversation usually only goes one way.

Even sitting in my room with the door shut, I can hear her chattering away at the dog in the kitchen. Always noise, always talking. Never alone.

Barn couture
So I escape to the barn. My trainer was away this weekend, so I was taking care of her barn and escaped there. No one to talk at me, no one entitled to my attention. Just alone. It was muddy, so I couldn't ride. Instead I scrubbed buckets, cleaned stalls, and swept floors. Just so I could be so very alone for a time.

Saturday, September 26, 2015

September 2015 Mishibox

September is almost over and I'm just now getting around to posting about this month's Mishibox. I will own up to this lack of posting being due to sheer laziness rather than being busy or exceptionally ill.

While you all ooo and ahhh at my stellar photography skills.
The Great Pink Bunny ships consistently around the second week or so of the month (I don't remember the exact date, but they update you and really are on the ball regarding all that stuff), and arrived safe and sound to my house after only two days.

Products 1 & 2: Cleomee Snowy Pore Balm and Donkey Real Milk Oil Mask

The pore balm appears to be somewhat of a skin conditioner and makeup primer. It has donkey milk and donkey oil in it, and promises to "minimize the appearance of your pores and fine lines, brightens skin, neutralizes redness, and evens out uneven skin tone." as well as control excessive sebum production in oily skin. The sheet mask contains some amazing ingredients: donkey oil, donkey milk, Centella Asiatica extract, niacinamide, sodium hyaluronate, sodium ascorbyl phosphate, and other lovely things.

Sadly I cannot use either of these products, as I do not use horse nor donkey oil. Donkey/Horse oil is extracted from the fat of the animal slaughtered for other purposes (usually consumption), and I'm just too close to equids to be able to use those products without getting squeamish. I wish they just had donkey milk in them instead of milk AND oil.

However, I do not fault anyone for using these ingredients! They are wonderful skin conditioners that have done amazing things for so many people! If you have no personal issues with donkey/horse oil, these would be total win products. I already have promised mine to a good friend who is excited to try them.

Products 3 & 4: Holika Holika Nail Polish and Skylake Silk Cocoon Hair Conditioner (bonus free sticker!)

The Holika Holika nail polish came in four different color options pulled from the 2015 Spring/Summer collection, all being almost-neon level brights. The one I received is Pink Blossom, a very bright pink shade. Too bad I abhor pink. That is really just bad luck on my part! This one will be handed over to my older sister who also loves Korean beauty products (and does her nails often).

The hair conditioner from Skylake is based on traditional Korean herbal ingredients, so it has a very interesting smell that some might not like. I like it, though, so it is a keeper. This conditioner does contain two silicone ingredients, which is something that I try to avoid in my haircare products, but the mini size amount means that using it sparingly won't take forever to empty it like a full sized bottle would.

Pardon the dust from the packing material that I didn't bother to wipe off.

Products 5 & 6: Magis Lene Cell Precieux Toner and Emulsion (bonus serum and cream foil packets)

These are the types of products that I like getting samples sizes of: really expensive shit that I could never afford to try otherwise. The toner and emulsion run between $65-70 each, while the serum retails for $135 and the cream for $170. I like that there are two little samples foils of the mega-expensive serum and cream thrown in. They aren't counted as products, but it just feels like a little extra to play with. All of these products are based on traditional Korean ingredients (hanbang) like the Skylake conditioner, and have ingredients lists almost a mile long. I'm really excited to try these. I still giggle like a schoolgirl when I look at them.

Closing Thoughts:

I felt like this box was really well put together. It had a mix of high end and affordable products, some good full sizes things, and very interesting samples. Even though a lot of these products were a personal miss for me, objectively it was an awesome box. There was haircare, skincare, and cosmetics (the pore balm has both cosmetic and skincare uses) in good balance. After having three months of Mishibox I feel like this subscription would be good for both newcomers to the Asian Beauty scene as well as people who already have a stock of stuff on hand, as they send a good mix of unusual brands and more common ones.

Sadly, I had to cancel my Mishibox after this one. Not because I dislike the box, but because of a lack of funds! My subscription box budget is being taken up by other things (like needing new riding boots), and being unable to have a real job and only able to make cash doing odd jobs for other barns and babysitting doesn't exactly lead to an overflowing bank account. Hopefully I will be able to re-subscribe one day!

Mishibox purchased with my own money. Please feel free to leave Questions, Comments, & Casual Insults below.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Modcloth Stylish Surprise September 2015

This is my first Modcloth purchase ever. I had zero expectations of what I'd receive, and my "stylish surprise" dress lived up to all of them. Take that statement how you will.I bought the "stylish surprise" on a whim when I saw that they hadn't sold out of the dresses several days after launching. In case you don't know (like I didn't before someone posted a link to it on Reddit...), sometimes during the changing of the seasons Modcloth will do some "stylish surprise" products where for a set price, you select your size and they send you a random item in that category. The shoes and general apparel categories had already sold out, but since there were dresses left I placed my order for one in a size Small for $20.
It looks so harmless just laying there....
What I received: A Tie-Dye Muumuu Minidress.It looks so deceivingly lovely laid out on my bed like that, under the soft glow of the lamp. Here is a picture of it on the model from Modcloth's website:
You know Modcloth has that thing taped and lit to look the best..and it still is only meh

The picture doesn't quite show the colors correctly; the peachy color is really a bit more of an orange sherbet shade and the blue doesn't 'pop' as much in person/kinda has more grey in it.
It seems like they decided to make a muumuu, but a rogue hippie came by and stole most of the fabric so they just decided to end it right below the butt. The sleeves can be worn long or bunched short, but either way if you lift your arm to wave hello someone is going to know exactly what underwear you are (or aren't) wearing. There's no definition to separate the batwing sleeves from the body of the dress, and when I first opened the package I was absolutely certain that Modcloth had accidentally sent me a funky skirt instead of a dress.
This is all I can think about when I see those sleeves
For what fabric it lacks down below, they made up by having it kinda balloon out the back and stomach area. On the bright side: I can pull my head and arms inside, tuck under my legs, and read a book in the privacy of my tie-dye mini-tent. I purchased a size small, but the dress appears to be cut for someone with a massive bosom. There is elastic gathers below what was intended to be the chest area, which I'm convinced is purely for decorative reasons.

The fabric is remarkably soft, but also strangely heavy. I assume that since I'm getting it discounted at the end of summer that the dress is intended as a warm weather garment. After less than 10 minutes of wearing it in my air-conditioned house, I was feeling muggy and worried I had sweat dripping down my back. Summertime I think not.

Downside: This dress is ugly as sin and I would never wear it in public unless I was dressing up as slutty Mimi from the Drew Carey Show. You look at the pictures and say "oh, it isn't that bad". Yes, yes it is. It fully earned those 1 star reviews on Modcloth. I wouldn't hate the fabric so much if they swapped the heavy sleeves and non-existent bottom style for a strappy maxi-dress. But that fit combined with the tie-dye is just unforgivable.
Yay? Nay?
Upside: It is really freakin' comfortable as lounge wear or a nightgown. I'm actually going to get some good wear out of this paired with some leggings in the winter. I still won't leave the house in it, but I foresee many a Netflix binge nights in this dress.

Would I buy a Modcloth "Stylish Surprise" again? Maybe, but I'm kind of a glutton for punishment when it comes to these sort of mystery packages.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

TesterKorea: More Cushion for the Pushin'

At what point does an order become a "haul"? One product is clearly just a purchase, but what about two? Three? Five? Where is the line between "just grabbing a few things" end and "haul" begin? Yes, these are the things I think about as I'm falling asleep at night. I'm totally serious here; please leave me comments with your opinion on this dire matter.

In other news: I had an order come in from TesterKorea. I had intended this to be a basic restock of my Innisfree Soybean Energy Essence samples, but it kinda expanded by two more items. I like the Innisfree soybean essence, but I'm not sure if I like like it enough to buy 150mL worth of it. My face seems to like it enough right now, but my hormonal acne-prone skin changes its mind more frequently than my cat. If you have a cat, you know what I'm talking about here.

Bad camera + bad lighting + apathy = this photo

So into my basket went four more 4mL samples of the essence. And then I added Urban Dollkiss's Velvety Skin Triple BB Cream miniature. It is only 10mL and pretty cheap, so I figured that if the color looked like shit on my face it was no big loss.

And then I stumbled upon it. The cushion. MY cushion. It called my name.

You see, I'm not one for cutesy. Every now and then it is okay, but usually no thank you. I hate pink. I hate bows and girly. I was a goth in high school. I still own corsets, leather, and stilettos. My spirit animal is a Dominatrix. This doesn't quite mesh well with the Asian Beauty aesthetic, because a lot of that stuff leans toward the girly side. I might not be able to find a sexy goth cushion, but a sexy Pin-Up Girl cushion? Oh yeah!
Her book title is "Study Hard: Don't be Stupid"

Urban Dollkiss City Propolis Cushion. I couldn't find any reviews. I had no idea what the color, finish, longevity, or anything was. Would it match my NC/W15 skin? Who cares!

Yep, I bought it for the case. I figured that if it didn't work out, I could use it as a really thick and inconvenient purse mirror.

that thing in the edge of the mirror is my knee and ripped jeans

I haven't time to play with the cushion or the BB cream mini, as life has been pretty hectic (soo...I'm on antibiotics now...) but I was planning on photographing a swatch of the cushion on my arm. Well that didn't work...because it blends in so well with my arm that you can't fucking see the swatch. So uhhhh...I'll get back to you on a review of it!

Apparently TesterKorea is doing a promotional thingy where they send you a packet of free samples if your order price is higher than a certain amount. Mine was slightly under, but I still got the free samples. Odd, since TK is pretty well known for not doing the whole free sample thing.

Free stuff? No complaints here!
Okay so I'm going to hit the hay because I have a 7AM date with this lovely lady tomorrow:

Hay/horses...get it? Hahaha...oh I need sleep....

Please feel free to leave Questions, Comments, and Casual Insults below. I apologize for typos, I'm a sleepy narcoleptic, yo!

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Review: MINON Mild Facial Foam

   When bouncing around on Rakuten and Ebay, searching for things I hadn't heard of with descriptions I could actually read, I ran across the brand MINON. MINON seems to be a brand that focuses on creating products for sensitive skin, which I don't really have, but what caught my eye was the constant mentioning of "formulated with weak acidity to protect skin barrier". Weak acidity? A promise of a low pH? Okay, you have my attention.

   On one ebay seller's listing for the Mild Facial Foam, the description mentioned that it was formulated not just for sensitive skin, but for people who had to wash their face multiple times a day. That would be me! After I got into skincare, I learned pretty quickly that my face will break out if I do not wash it with a cleanser in both the AM and the PM. None of that 'splash with water in the morning' shit for my dainty face. That is all find and dandy, but it becomes a problem when my schedule has me needing to do a mega-cleanse around noon.

You see, I wake up in the morning at about 6am, cleanse and apply sunscreen, and then haul my still-half-asleep butt off to the barn to babysit my trainer's child, ride horses, and clean stalls. When I get back home around noon or 1pm, I'm covered in sweat, sunscreen, horse hair, and dirt. Oil AND Foam cleansing is not optional here.

So that is how I began seriously washing my face 3 times a day. 

My tried-and-true cleanser since I started Asian skincare has been Hada Labo Tokyo Moisturizing Cleanser. The US version is easy to get via Amazon Prime or a quick trip to Ulta, so I had no worries of running out of cleanser and having to pray to the USPS gods that my cleanser arrive before my face goes to shit. But I wanted to try something new, something different, and so I ordered MINON Mild Facial Foam off ebay and waited patiently while it made its way to me from Japan.

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Shop Review: Cupidrop

This is going to be a very brief review of the US-based Korean Beauty online retailer Cupidrop since I have heard people recently ask about their reliability.

From my Instagram yo: UnlacedDreams

Shop Name: Cupidrop

Ordering & Shipping:
   The Cupidrop website is easy to use and the payment secure. I had previously received a code for 15% of my first order when I joined their mailing list, which is what finally made me pull the trigger and make an order with them. I placed my order late on a Friday night, received an email with a pre-shipping tracking number on Saturday, and my package finally shipped out with USPS Priority Mail on Monday from New York. Because my order was over $50, shipping was free! Priority mail took 3 days to get down the east coast, which I find pretty standard for where I live.

   This is what I really regret not taking pictures of: how amazingly well the Cupidrop box was secured. The box was damn near encased in custom-made tape with the word "Cupidrop" printed on it. Custom tape? Okay, color me impressed. Inside the box, each item was individually bubble-wrapped and secured with more custom tape. I could have thrown the box out of a moving vehicle and the products would have survived unscathed, they were that securely packaged.

Products Purchased:
   I intend to review these at a later date, so I won't dedicate time to discussing them here

  • A.True Real Black Tea True Active CC cushion in 01
  • A.True Violet Petal Black Tea Hydrating Moisturizer
  • A.True Real Black Tea True Active Mask (x3)
Free Samples:
  • Kicho Sheep Oil Cream
  • Kicho Phyto Natural Refreshing Toner
  • Kicho Phyto Natural Total Essence
  • Cosrx Advanced Snail all-in-one Cream
  • Cosrx Aloe Vera oil-free Moisture Cream
  • Cosrx Natural BHA Skin Returning Emulsion
  • A.True Violet Petal Black Tea Hydrating Toner
  • A.True Black Tea All Day Aqua Sun Gel
  • A.True White Snow Tea Brilliant Aurora Cream
  • A.True Darjeeling Black Tea First Anti-Wrinkle Cream
   The prices were reasonable, the shipping was fast, the packaging perfect, and the samples plentiful. What more could you ask for from a K-Beauty retailer? Cupidrop doesn't have a huge selection at the moment, but what they have is good quality and hopefully they will expand their product offerings in the future. Would I buy from them again? Yes, yes, and YES! They have officially become my favorite US-based shop for skincare products, no doubts about that.

*I have no affiliation with Cupidrop and I paid for all this stuff myself*

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Mishibox August 2015 Review

This is my second Mishibox, and the second "official" Mishibox (not counting the pre-launch one). I reviewed the first one here and was quite excited to see what box #2 was going to offer up. I'm sorry that the photos aren't all snazzy, I'm not a photographer and usually limited to using my camera phone.

Happy pink box arrives!