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Thursday, August 29, 2013

Abooooouuut FACE! Villainess Mud review!

In my purge of Villainess items I had recently acquired,  one of the things I decided to get was Embargo Mud in their About Face line.  This line is mostly made up of "dry" masques so with all the Muds, you will be getting a container of a dry powder.  Reading through the descriptions of each, the Embargo Mud seemed the best for me as my skin is really in need some balancing with the current state of my hypothyroidism.

Villainess Stash
The 2 things I looked at on their site to determine the best one for me was:
  • Distinguishing Features: Imported skin-toning clays, oil-regulating patchouli, and healing clove essential oil.  
  • Wanted ForBalancing Oil secretion, purging pores, and cleansing lifeless complexions.

On the product it advises to blend 1 teaspoon of the product with 1 tablespoon of warm water (or liquid of your choice), apply & leave on for no longer than 15 minutes.  I also inquired on their Facebook page what they recommended as far as how many times a week they should be used.  I received a quick response advising, "Probably no more than once a week. Some of those clays have serious drawing capacities."

As you can see, using water the consistency of it was very... well... watery.  I reccomend using a mask application brush to soak it up & get it out of your dish then apply it to your skin.  Because of the consistency, it ran down my face to my nose & chin so I will have to try & master this a bit better.  Try applying it in light layers.  I think maybe next time I will use honey instead of water also & see how that works!  Who knows, I may end up sticking with the water mixture in the future.

You can definitely smell the patchouli in it.  Very warm, earthy, sweet and smokey, which could bother some of those who are not patchouli fans but not me.  I left it on for 10 minutes then rinsed off with lukewarm water using my hands.  The mud has a slight grittiness to it that's not too harsh, a good exfoliate.

Final word?  My skin feels FANTASTIC!  It's soft, it smells good and I can definitely FEEL a balance.  Another thing that was kind of crazy was I had a new blemish starting on my nose that I was sure was going to end up a nasty old whitehead & it's like it just disappeared after using this!  I don't think I've ever had something like this happen before!  So far, I'm loving it!  They also advise you can use these products elsewhere on you that may be beneficial but I think I'll use this strictly for my face.

My bath tonight consisted of:

I don't know how I've managed to keep the discontinued Lush items in such good shape until use but I somehow did.  I guess that I can thank the plastic industry for that.  :(  Psychodelic & 'Ol Blue Skies went well with my scent theme but Sugar Scrub was a bit too woodsy scented, though not really described so. (FYI the wiki advises Psychodelic was manufactured until 2003 but I DID get mine as a retro item much later than that.)

*NOTE: I wrote all of the above last night & then just got too tired to read through it before posting so now it's almost 6am the following morning.

I got restless around 5am today so I got up, took my medicine & plopped down in front of the computer.  Usually morning & mid-day I get flare ups where my skin & (internal) temperature gets all messed up because of me being hypothyroid.  I say internal because, like hypothyroid & Graves' my numbers can be in "normal" range and yet I can still feel awful.  My skin still feels great after using the mud though I'm feeling swollen & sore, which is normal from the evil prednisone.  So I'm still happy.  Nothing looks or feels irritated & I have no new problem spots which is common for me to wale up to if I don't agree with a product.  I think I will make Wednesdays my masque night.

I tweeted about this yesterday & hopefully, if you're following, you got it!  Groupon currently has a $5 for $10 of product at Sephora!  It says there's only a day left &, though it may not seem like much, if you're anything like me & DON'T get it, you'll end up in Sephora buying a ton of stuff & wishing you had.  So, I'd jump on it!  You can use it online or in store & it DOESN'T EXPIRE!

There's a bunch of other deals going on that I tweeted about too so check me out @popscene01.

Until later... happy bathing!

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Review of Simple Skin Care Cleansing Wipes.

I actually got what I could consider to be a good night's sleep last night.  I woke up only a few times, or so I think.  I didn't fully wake up until the alarm went off.  Heart rate racing for a few minutes.  Now I'm feeling cold again & starting to sweat.  Comes & goes throughout the day & it seems nothing is changing.  I should probably stop writing about that until I start noticing it changing for the better. 

I have to go see my allergist today.  I have asthma & can get an asthma attack from cleaning up something dusty, to being out in harsh cold weather, to getting really upset about something.  So they are going to test my breathing but I don't know how much of a good the test will be due to the fact I'm on prednisone.

The reason why I posted before that I was so happy to have been off the drug for 2 years was the fact that every time I had a bad asthma attack from anything the doctors always wanted to put me on it & the stuff suppresses your immune system.  So it was a vicious cycle.  I would get some type of virus or cold & get an upper respiratory infection & with all the coughing I might get asthma attacks so they would throw me on it.  Then someone at work might come in with a different cold or I would just randomly catch a virus or cold that NOBODY else around me would have had or would catch from me then they would throw me on it again.  I'd be put on it sometimes 2-3x per year.

The receptionist for my eye specialist finally got back to me yesterday (I did call in the morning again) & apologized.  She took all my information, concerns & said she'd have a doctor get back to me, though it could be a few more days.  Well, I got a call back this morning & I need to stay to course on the prednisone.  I really want to get off it sooner so that I can finally tell how the thyroidectomy is really affecting my body.  Usually about a week after I stop the dosing is when I feel the worst.  This would be my projected week back to work.  I can handle the usual side effects that I get from the prednisone though, I've done it before.  I'm concerned about what it may be masking as far as the hypothyroidism.  I've never been on such a high dose of this this medication for this length of time, nor tapered off it it for so long.  I've also never experienced hypothyroidism this severe before.  So it's like a game, what's causing which side effect and am I figuring it out correctly or not?  Now I have to wait until almost mid September, when my next appointment is, so I can 1st be checked out & then maybe get more answers.

Now, onto products I've been using.  The last week I was going through my sample box of things I had & have been meaning to try and I pulled out these: Simple Skincare Cleansing Facial Wipes I used for about a week.  They list their product is hypoallergenic, containing a natural antibacterial ingredient, containing pro vitamin B5, determatologist AND ophthalmologist tested and it's vegan. (Just to name a few thing.)

I'm not really a wipes person for cleansing my face.  I have combination skin, dry here, oily there, breakouts in another spot, hormonal issues contributing to all of this, annoyance.  If I'm wearing makeup I'll use products to remove them 1st.  Then I like to use a lukewarm water splash on my face and apply the cleanser next.  Gently wash the cleanser off with the water a bit on the cooler side, pat dry, apply medicine in needed spots, wait a few minutes, then apply moisturizer, serum or oil.  That's my normal routine & it has been working pretty well except for certain monthly hormonal imbalances that I think will never be end.

Now for these cleansing cloths I didn't wet my face 1st.  They promote them as both a cleanser and also a makeup remover, including eye makeup and waterproof mascara.  I haven't really been using makeup after my surgery since I haven't been going out much but had a little on at one time using them & it did what it stated.  I used the wipe across my face, eyelids, & neck.  The wipes were very soft and directly after use my face felt damp.  I almost wanted to pat dry my face or wipe it but I gave it a about a minute & it ended up feeling nice & refreshed.  I still finished up my routine with my medication and then moisturizer & I was pleasantly surprised how soft & nice my skin felt after.

I find it kind of odd they promote it as alcohol free when it DOES include an alcohol ingredient.  This can be confusing to some as it has Cetearyl Alcohol.  Here's the thing, it's an alcohol but what's considered a "fatty" alcohol that is used for softening & soothing skin.  So it's a good alcohol, believe it or not!

There wasn't really anything that advised how many times to use them through the day so I would base it off your normal routine at 1st, then go from there.  So, for my packet I had I used 1 wipe in the morning & 1 at night.  Because it is so moisturizing, if I decided to make these normal routine for me, I would probably use them once a day and only at night as a makeup remover & cleanser, to remove that daily build-up, then using a different, gentle cleanser in the morning.

My thing is I like as little waste as possible.  This would cut down on water waste when cleansing my face, but it would add to landfill waste, but on their site it advises their products are biodegradable.  So pros instead of cons all the way on this.  It also took a lot less time for my cleansing routine.  I felt like I was missing something!

I have other products I want to try out so maybe once I am done with those I will switch to these for good.  Something good to try if you are looking for a new facial cleanser or makeup remover.  They also make them in exfoliating, oil balancing, radiance and just for eye makeup removal.  They do have other products as well.

Target sells a 25 pack for $4.99 and is also currently running a promotion where if you buy 3 packs (or any 3 products by Simple Skin Care) you get a $5 Target gift card!

Monday, August 26, 2013

Just want to feel normal again, whatever that is.

Good morning!  The only thing good about right now is I have a fat, purring cat on my lap.  He's temperamental though  & making it hard to type.  The last 2 days I woke up around 5am, drenched in sweat, cold & in pain.  I'm usually wide awake the rest of the day but feeling so tired & crappy.

Yesterday I took a short drive with Chris to get my car washed because, with it sitting around, it accumulated a lot of dirt.  That and I figured I'd top off the gas since I had a coupon for 5 cents off a gallon. (If you have a Delta Sonic near you USE THAT!  Today is the last day though.) With the wash ended up being, I think, 10 cents off a gallon.  My eye kept watering & I kept blinking it like crazy.  With the blurring going in & out, I got really uncomfortable so I had Chris drive home.  Never heard back from my eye specialist that I e-mailed 2 weeks ago & called on Monday & Friday last week.  Even if he is on vacation, someone still should have called me back to at least give me a time frame of when I would be able to get some answers to my questions.  Not sure if I want to try calling again today or wait until tomorrow.  I think the next best specialist is around 100 miles away.  This is frustrating & upsetting me.

At the car wash!

I actually thought going down to the 20mg a day of prednisone was going to start making me feel a little bit better.  Felt like my "moon face" & swelling maybe had been going down slightly.  This morning I look & feel as swollen as ever.  Back to looking like a Cabbage Patch Kid or Campbell's Kid.  I also can't really monitor my asthma because the prednisone is most likely helping my lungs.  I wish I were off this stuff. 

I love how it has taken me an hour to write 3 paragraphs because I had to correct a bunch of errors.  Chris is up now & the cats are on the move.  I already took my levothyroxine so I should be able to eat now.  I was close to pouring myself a glass of OJ in my morning haze but glad I didn't.  (NO food with the levothyroxine until an hour after.)  I know grapefruit juice is a big no no with this medication but I love the stuff & I think a few docs have said if I drink it later in the day or at night it's ok.  I'll have to do more research.

My neck, shoulders & fingers hurt so much right now.  Could be the weather too.  Supposed to have storms rolling through today.  I think it will be a good day for some reading, letter writing & crafts.  Maybe.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Are you getting the best beauty deals through coupon sites?

I want to let you know that when I tweet deals from Groupon, Living Social or Deal Chicken, I actually check to see if they are the best deals around & even look for reviews.  There are a ton of good & similar products out there.  Sometimes, even though you think you are getting a deal through these sites, they aren't always the best.

For example, Deal Chicken currently has a hot flash relief cream at $10, free shipping.  They have it listed as a $20 retail (& I actually found the retail between $25-30).  I thought, when I was suffering with my Graves' disease this would have came in extremely handy because I got terrible hot flashes & maybe I should share it so others with Graves' would have a good deal & some relief.  It sounds like a great deal, right?  Well, I found it on for $9.79 & depending if you need other things or what promotions has going on you might also get free shipping.  Not the best deal so I didn't tweet it.

I just posted one through Living Social for a collagen plumping lip gloss trio by Whitening Lightning at $17 (it states shipping is $5 so it would be $22).  They come with a mirror & light for easy application.  They retail at $99 (YES $99!), so even with the extra $5 it's a deal, right?  On it's $63.95 & I found one on eBay for $40.  There's another trio by them that they say retails at $38 & is being sold for $35, but I think they may be smaller, not too sure.  I even found a lot of great reviews with a google search, like this video!  So, the Living Social deal is still the best I could find.  I haven't personally tried it (though I'm tempted at such a great deal) but if you're looking to try some new glosses with good reviews it might be worth checking out!

I do my research!  :)

Friday, August 23, 2013

First Birchbox REVIEW!

Overview of the Birchbox I got: 

Keep in mind I am reviewing this as someone with an autoimmune disease.  Though mentioned before, being hypothyroid after a total thyroidectomy is causing me to have dry skin, feelings of numbness & soft to the touch in the fingers, feelings of being clammy & being ice cold, cold sweats, hard to taste sweet (because of the prednisone), brittle & soft nails... just to name a few... again.

  • Kiss-Kiss Rendezvous lip gloss by Secret Agent Beauty.  It goes on very slippery & oily feeling.  Looking at the details & ingredients (vitamin E, aloe, oils of sunflower, almond, jojoba) it's almost expected to be that way.  Believe it or not, I like glosses that are more sticky, they just seem to last longer with me.  Some people don't like that though. It definitely nourishes the lips & lasts a good long while & has a nice, light, fruity scent.  It says it has real gold flecks in it but it really doesn't show.  I would use this more for a conditioning treatment on its own or on top of a lipstick.  I'm open to buying it in the future.
  • Fresh Feet Wipes by Jasmine SevenThese were nice!  In the summer I usually love using the Peppermint Cooling Foot Spray from The Body Shop but after using these I think I may switch!  The are ALCOHOL FREE, unlike the spray from The Body Shop (1st ingredient is Alcohol Denat).  The peppermint is not overpowering, it has moisturizing ingredients like vitamin E & aloe, & it's MUCH easier to use as a wipe also because now I can get in between my toes!  Sprays you end up using a lot to try to get them in the right spots & they can be drying, especially ones with alcohol.  I used 1 sheet on both feet in the morning before noon, I went to an appointment, wore my sandals out, it's now a bit after 5pm & my feet still smell nice & feel nice.  You buy a canister or packs with 6, 10, or 25 which would fit easily into purses!  I will be buying these in the future!
  • Thermal Spring Water spray by AvèneReading up on it it claims to have benefits of, softening skin & help with dermatitis, psoriasis, burns & there have been studies done showing mineral water can help with these things but It just didn't do much for me.  I've been using it a few times per day after cleaning or if I feel it would freshen me up.  The mineral water goes on splotchy at times instead of a consistent fine mist.  It's a nice refresher if you are out in the heat but that's about it.  You could probably buy mineral spring water & put it in a bottle, keep it in the fridge or a cooler & spray it on when you feel you need a refresher.  Otherwise because it is an aerosol, the bottle does keep the mist cool when you use it.  I can tell you, with being hypothyroid, I saw no improvement to my skin with this.  I didn't feel it gave my skin any healing benefits over the time using it & I don't feel it would over any extended period of time also.  Who knows, maybe it would but I'm not going to spend the $ to find out.  If you live where it's hot & humid & you are out & about a lot I would probably suggest it for something to carry in your purse for limited use. I wouldn't buy it.
  • Refresh mint gum by Glee Gum.  It sucked.  I don't really chew gum because I have TMJ & have screwed up my teeth pretty bad from it.  My old dentist knew it was happening & let it go now requiring me to need $15K in dental work that I can't afford.  Sore subject & another story for another time so back to the gum.  I like a harder piece or gum also because of my dental problem & this was just way too soft.  The flavor was also gone within 1-2 minutes.  I wouldn't buy it.  
  • Premium BB SPF 45+ by Dr. Jart+.  This is the first BB I have ever used.  It looked to dark when I opened it up & when I put it on there was just too much red in it.  After I put it on my face felt dewy for the rest of the day which I didn't care for & it wasn't as "correcting" for my skin as I would have liked it to be.  It may have been because of the high SPF as I tend to get that dewy feeling the higher the SPF count is in makeups & lotions.  The color made me look into my Birchbox account because when I go foundation shopping I'm kind of in between a light an medium complexion even though I avoid the sun like the plague.  I ended up changing my settings to light because I think there will just be too much variation in the medium complexions for me.  If I get anything that's too light in the future, it will still be easier to correct & use.   I'll be giving this sample away.  I personally wouldn't buy it but it may work nice for others.
This was fun!  It definitely was worth $10 & I'm excited to see what I may get in the future. 

New nail polish for the week Sephora by OPI in Havana Dreams (no longer available) with Rainbow Honey in I Miss You!  I LOVE the Rainbow Honey!  Look closely, there are hearts & butterflies in it!  I might try to keep this one on for as long as I can!  Loving the combo!  

Julep kind of got on my shit list over the past few days.  After my last post I got an e-mail from them advising in order to cancel my Maven account to call them.  So, it HAD been activated.  Or so I thought?  Yet it STILL wasn't showing I had an active Maven account on their site.  So I call & wait a bit, get a sweet girl on the phone who confirms that it's not activated (POINTLESS PHONE CALL), though the e-mail advises it was.  So I have to ask her like 2 times to be sure that it isn't.  Apparently, if you had an account then deactivated it, you cannot re-activate the Maven account online & have to call or do it through e-mail, but I'd call to be safe.  After that I would have been fine but another day later I get ANOTHER e-mail from them & I just got pissed:

Aug 22 10:54 am (PDT) 
Hi Amanda,

Thank you for reaching out to us. We sincerely apologize for the confusion. Looking at your account it looks like you used to have an active Maven subscription but it is currently inactive. If you would like, we would be more than happy to reinstate your subscription and have your account reactivated, unfortunately you are unable to create a new account with the same email address.

In regards to Free shipping, The Maven Introductory boxes are exempt from free shipping charges because free shipping and 20% off are the major benefits of joining the Maven program. We offer all of our Mavens free shipping and 20% once they become a Julep Maven, and customers are not recognized as Maven customers until they have received their Introductory Maven box. If you have any other questions arise or you have any other concerns we would be more than happy to help you. Until then, have a great day!

Maven Customer Service Team
Wow you guys are a mess.  I thought I was done with the e-mails between your company & then I get this one.  I called the other day because I got an e-mail reply saying I HAD to call because the account was activated & they could only deactivate it over the phone.  Then when I called they said it wasn’t activated!  Your online says maven accounts ship free but I can’t find anywhere once you sign up that the 1st box DOESN’T ship free.  Only: Enjoy 20% off all products plus free shipping.  Once you are a Maven, just choose shipping option “Free 5-10 business days” at checkout to ensure you get your orders shipped free of charge. All free shipping orders are shipped DHL.  To be technical, as you do not have a disclaimer for it, signing up AS a Maven would constitute for having the free shipping option as your customer would then be a Maven at the point of sale.  I can’t be the only one who has questioned this.

I DO NOT want the account reinstated.  I got an e-mail with a link to reactivate my account & had a HELL of a time trying to do so, but on the phone I was told I would have to call or e-mail to activate.  Another thing not specified on your site.  I’m not creating a new account.  I was logged into my account & it told me I could not create a new account.  It makes no sense.  This is also an inconvenience if I ever do want to sign back up because I have no other e-mails I use.

There are just too many problems & I keep getting different stories & information from everyone.  Nothing personal to the person that gets this but this company really needs to get their shit together.  You guys REALLY need to clarify this information online also.  Can you imagine a class action lawsuit for what your site says & all the people you would have to send refunds to just because of a 1st “Maven” shipment?  This stuff needs to be disclosed CLEARLY on your site.  I’m not going to be the asshole that would peruse this, but I’ll definitely write about it & get the word out.

I’m not going to be shopping with you again.  If anything, I want my e-mail & information out of your system completely.

I really DON'T think they are trying to "pull" anything but anyone who knows me knows how technical & analytical I can get about things.  Really, until I can get back on my feet again I have nothing better to do.  Even after this, I was trying to justify their company.  Yes, they have a good product.  They also promote this "Powered By Girlfriends" & state on their site, "We are proud to donate a percentage of proceeds from the sale of every Julep Nail Color to organizations that empower women. We also encourage all of you in our Julep community to like us on Facebook so you can keep posted on opportunities to help us support specific charities throughout the year."  Of course I looked into it & I found only 3 things.  2 on Facebook.  September 2009 which looked like a fundraiser they were having for, I believe, Susan G. Komen & another in September 2012.  Then another in January 2013 where 100% of proceeds for certain polishes went to anti-trafficing causes and I had to dig to find out who specifically.  I'm sure there's more.  It makes me feel better about the company but I really do wish they would be more pro-active promotion of this, who, when & what they are donating to or updates as to how much they raised for these groups or even how people can donate on their own.  That's what Julep is about... right?  The majority of searches just comes up with their mission statement about their donations that I posted in this paragraph.  Again, this is solely my experience with them.  I'm also probably extra moody because of my condition & medication I'm on but, I'm done with Julep.

So tonight I had a simple warming bath:
I'm exhausted now.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Little things to make me happy.

In July I had made the decision that I wanted to sign up for either Birchbox or Ipsy.  I knew after my surgery I was going to be home bored I figured with them both being $10 each a month, it's a pretty good deal.  I knew people who raved about each & it would be cool to get some new things, a variety of things, that I could try & either love, hate, or be "meh" about.  I had already tried the Julep Maven thing, which has its pros & cons.

  • 1st box completely free with code FREEBOX.
  • Free shipping all the time.
  • 20% off all products.
  • Can skip months.
  • Can send your box to someone else.
  • You will know what you are getting before you get it.
  • Can change the box you are scheduled to get for a different one.
  • Earn points for referring friends that can be used for free boxes.
  •  Special deals or early access to new items.
  • Mostly nail polish & yes, I do feel you can have too much.
  • You can forget to skip a month & then be auto charged.
  • $20 a month. (though compared to full retail IS a PRO also)
  • Bottles can break easily so be careful!
  • Ordering & checkout problems.

So, yes, there's a LOT more pro's to sign up for this!  They will send you an e-mail before they start shipping out their boxes.  So as long as you're on top of when those come out, if you want the box, perfect, select it or change it, if not, just REMEMBER to log in to skip it.

I was actually having more fun with their "mystery" boxes (except for the cheap hair ties I got with short hair.  Well, it IS a "mystery" box!) so I had recently decided to re-sign up.  I figured, I'd get a box, maybe get the next one or skip it depending what was being offered or how I felt (or what my bank account looked like) but then I also ran into PROBLEMS.  Problems with billing.  Problems trying to re-sign up.  I had these same problems months back when I was trying to place a pick & choose order after becoming a Maven.  Things showing up in checkout once with a double price with free shipping, then it was charging shipping on Maven orders when it shouldn't with the regular price.  After getting to the end it kept telling me I could only have one Maven account per e-mail even though I was logged in with that account & it only showed 1 box subscription on checkout & that I wasn't a Maven. (?) I got 2 e-mails welcoming me to Julep Maven yet logged into my account it still tells me to sign up to be a Maven to take advantage of the Maven deals & Maven box.  WTF?

Now, their customer service is FANTASTIC if you have to call them but I'm trying to get more into the digital age, it was 10pm & since this is really an on-line, social shopping site, they need to get this together & fixed, make it more user friendly.  (I also just realized my 1st Maven order charged me the shipping when going through my old orders.)  I'm sure there are many people who have no problems at all but I just got fed up & so I'll save at least $20 this month.

I did have a bottle of theirs break on me.  It happened when closing it & I'm pretty careful.  I heard a pop & went to open it back up & that's when I cut my hand.  Nothing too serious but it upset me.  When I called to cancel my Maven account the girl I talked to was not pushy at all.  I told her about the broken bottle & was told how they are blown glass so you really have to be extra cautious closing them.  Unfortunately the color wasn't available anymore so I had the option of her shipping me a new color right on the phone.  Instead I opted for a certificate for 1 bottle of polish which I happily used.

Even withe the problems I had, if you are a polish hoarder or junkie I would still recommend becoming a Maven.  They are branching out with makeup & body products also.  In one of my boxes I got a volumizing mascara which I actually love!

New polish applied on the weekend, Julianne by Julep.  Within 2 days I had a small chip after doing some crafts, which is typical for my crafty hands.  Nothing to be upset about though.  The Rainbow Honey Sweet Talk polish is still kicking strong on my toes.

I've been writing bits & pieces here & there over the last few days because my eyes have been bothering me. Considering I am all still mixed up with feeling too cold & after my ginger bath I wanted to keep it warming so I had a bath of:

Then last night I wanted something fruity:

Maybe it's me but the Northern Lights soap is supposed to be citrus & pine and I never really got any pine from it.  I really do wish that Lush would start making purely oil or shea based soaps.  If you look at their soap ingredients with Lush it can get confusing & complicated even with the links describing everything.  Compared to HawkMoon, one of my favorite bath & body companies, looking at their ingredients I can identify everything and not question what it is or what it does.  My skin always feels so much better & less dry with these oil/shea based soaps.  I feel, like foods, the less ingredients & the more natural, the better it is for you!

Are you following me on Twitter yet?  You should!  I'm mostly using it to post about beauty sweepstakes or giveaways, & good deals on beauty coupons through sites like Groupon, Deal Chicken and Living Social.  Occasional things I find in life to be passionate or laugh about.  If I know a giveaway has ended & winner selected, or if a deal is no longer available I usually remove the links a few days later.

I placed an order with Villainess that I should be getting today!  I'm EXCITED!  Did you know they have been around for 10 years?  Keep your eye on their blog & Twitter feed as they are posting new deals every day!

Well, I'm going to do some me stuff.  I'll also post about my Birchbox in my next post!

Until then, happy bathing!

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Ginger warms the soul.

Yesterday was a good day.  In my boredom I have been scoping out a bunch of other beauty blogs, entering contests, reading a book, working on art projects and reading up on my disease (which will never end because as soon as I think I have something figured out I don't!).

I don't feel like I got a lot done but I won a Super Minty Soap'N Scrub by Bliss from The Beauty of Life blog. (Don't forget to also follow on Facebook & Twitter.)  Chris & I went to see Kick Ass 2 finally & it was awesome & funny!  ("I Don't like reboots!"  LOL!  I really am a geek & I am ok with this!)  Then I had my amazing ginger bath.

I love ginger!  I love the potent way it tastes, I love the pungent, strong smell of it.  Once Chris even got me these chocolate covered gummy ginger candies that were SO spicy I really didn't know if I liked them or not... though I ate the whole box!  So yeah, I ended up loving them.  Couldn't get enough!  I especially love the way real ginger makes me feel.  Considering I still feel like I am being doused with ice every day.

Ginger is known to help with digestion, increase circulation & blood flow and also help as an anti-septic.  Ginger can also thin your blood, which I found out one year after getting subconjunctival hemmorhages in both eyes after feeling ill & drinking ginger tea all week.  (Please don't google that because it's a horror show!)  People take baths with fresh ginger cut up or ground, ginger tea, and even ginger essential oils for these effects.

My bath last night consisted of:

Winter Bath

OMG did you KNOW there is a LUSH WIKI!?  Well you do now if you didn't!  :)

I'm almost a bit concerned about the coldness that has been rushing through me.  I know, I know... AGAIN I just have to be patient!  But I can't even go into my freezer & touch things in there without feeling the "burn" of the cold.  It's THAT bad.

I'm still going to get that Bliss Minty Soap'N Scrub & use it!  I have a lot of minty stuff that is more geared toward the holidays, sweet & candy-cane like.  If all else fails & my body cannot handle it, I'm positive Chris will like it & I'll get his opinions on it in addition to my own.  Plus it will be a new experience to write about for those of us who suffer from Hashimoto's or hypothyroid & are obsessed with good smelling things & fine soaps like I am.  

It scares me and saddens me in a bit.  In a few months the weather will get colder, though this summer has been unseasonably cold regardless High 40's-mid 50's at night.  Highest temp this week is supposed to be 84º and 77º next week.  I got a bit annoyed the other day when I went out and it was 71º, said it was "cold" and Chris corrected me how it "wasn't cold."  I got upset & I feel kind of bad about it because he really has no clue how this feels.

I want to enjoy my autumn & winter.  I lived in CA for a few years &, believe it or not, I YEARNED for the seasons back, the cold, the snow.  I missed it so much.  Sure, I could have went up into the mountains during the winter months but when you live in Los Angeles & are working to get by, not vacationing, & losing $, it's not that easy.

So this is another depressing feeling I am getting.  If I am not better by this time HOW will I be feeling?  How will I react to the cold winters now?  How will my skin be considering I already had a problem with dryness & eczema due to my medical condition?  Will it get better?  Will I be much worse even if I'm feeling "generally" better?  Will one thing end up worse than the other?

I think a lot.  I like to plan.  Can you tell?

Time for me to plan my bath for tonight!  Happy bathing!

Friday, August 16, 2013

Soft nails on a chalboard.

So all yesterday I had been achy & feeling yuck.  When I get really achy I like my baths to be more herbal & potent so this was my bath for last night:

My skin felt so soft after.  Wasn't the best mix of scents but the end result was good.

I have a lot of free time on my hands and I don't necessarily like it.  I'm trying to be routine about a lot of stuff, especially the medication I'm on.  I really need to make an effort on this.  I've been waking up around 6-7am, sometimes on my own & sometimes not, taking the levothyroxine with a glass of water, then waiting an hour to eat anything.  When I wake up I feel like I'm on a bit of a high.  I really should be monitoring my blood pressure, pulse & temperature but I hadn't & so I started this morning.  The rest of the day is pretty free.  Though I've been feeling pretty alone lately.  I'm sure listening to Depeche Mode yesterday wasn't helping with my mood.

Since I have had this free time I am doing a lot of reading on my disease.  I have to thank my doctors who just love to also keep pointing out how when I have 1 severe autoimmune disease my body is setting me up for a whole slew of other ones.  Not necessarily meaning I'll get anymore, just that I have to really pay attention to myself closely & something seems wrong or off, it could be something new.  There's always that "possibility."  They are like lawyers, telling me what these possibilities and probable outcomes can be if I do or do not do something!

With all the questions I asked & had answered at my last appointment with my endocrinologist, I'm constantly coming up with more to ask.  Until these appointments, because I don't want to keep calling my doctor when I think of something new, I write them down.  I also have been looking online but a lot of information I find is specific to treating the thyroid when you still have it!  Not after a total thyroidectomy.  Like I was reading an article about hypothyroid & salt but the thyroid uses the iodine in the salt, but I don't have a thyroid anymore so I can't take that article into consideration.  My thyroid is in some medical waste disposal somewhere or has possibly been eaten by a bird so it's not taking iodine & making T3 or T4, obviously!

When I got up yesterday my upper back and neck was sore and felt swollen.  This I know is a direct result from the prednisone I am taking.  It's all too familiar.  I was so happy I hadn't been on prednisone since August 2011!  2 whole years without this evil drug!  The lower the dosing will get, the more I will feel like I have been beaten up with a baseball bat.  I've never been on the medication for how long they prescribed it to me this time.  My ophthalmologist prescribed it before my surgery to help with the thyroid eye disease (TED) and I will not be tapered off of it until the start of October this year.  I sent an e-mail to my ophthalmologist with a few questions about what I should be expecting, if anything, as far as healing from the TED.  I'm trying to make action plans.  I think he's only in 1 day a week & they're pretty good at getting back to me within 48 hours but I also think he may be on vacation.  I can wait.  Since my anxiety is much better, waiting for answers is better.

I see my primary on Monday & received a call yesterday from this nurse who she has been working with.  She called me a few times before and after the operation & has just been super nice.  I'm almost wondering if my doctor is going to be leaving or retiring.  It's SO hard to find a good & understanding doctor these days & she has always been top notch!

My nail polish finally chipped!  So this is a good thing?  Well, it has been almost a week & with all the crafty things I have been doing with my hands that's pretty amazing considering I put it on last Saturday.  I also split my nail in the process of doing whatever I was doing though.  No clue what I did or how I did it but I most likely smacked my finger or jabbed it really hard on something.  Even with the polish & hardening coats I can still sense how soft my nails are underneath.  So, what do I do? I ordered more.

All of Rainbow Honey's double sets come with a free cuticle balm & the Sakura Matsuri collection that I got comes with it also.  The balm looks pretty convenient to use & I had left my Burt's Bees cuticle balm at work.  Plus, after butchering my cuticles this last time, it's nice to be getting a new one to try.  Their site will tell you what promos are available & how to get them when you click on the products to shop so NO forgetting to put in codes.  I also got a free Heisenberg polish!

I always find the worst part of self nail maintenance is taking the old polish off.  Such a process & hassle for me.  Once it starts chipping more severely I also tend to pull & peel as much as I can off my nails.  Bad habit!  This can cause damage or trauma to the nail.  The chemicals, even acetone free, still dry up my skin & it always feels like it takes a day or 2 to get my hands & fingers back & nourished to a normal state.  One thing I know is that as much as I also loved how acrylic & airbrushed nails looked on me, they really effed up my nail beds for a good year after I stopped having them done.  I'm also not too keen on gel polishes yet also.  I love the way they look but not into using UV rays.  Already have a melanoma in the family & I have enough health problems as it is.  Don't need another!

I want to let everyone know how personal this blog is.  I don't get free products from anyone for compensation.  All my reviews & information is truly from my own experience & heart.  This is all stuff I have picked up on my own from orders through companies I have found & became interested in, have received as gifts from people, won through giveaways or  received as samples.  Bottom line, I AM NOT PAID!  Hell, I really have enough stuff & don't even need anymore to be honest!  All my opinions are my own & truthful.  Even if something is not to my liking, there may be someone out there where it would be to theirs & I try to be open minded about that too.

Enough for now!  Happy bathing!

Her name was Lola.  She was a showgirl!

Sunday, August 11, 2013

It's a really beautiful day outside today.  I can hear the cicadas buzzing, katydids chirping and TWO hummingbirds decided to check me out for a little bit while I was on my back porch this morning.  There are baby birds that have hatched in a bush outside the front window that chirp away when mama cones to fee them.  My cat, 'Alohi, has been interested in their incessant cries and so she hunkered down in the window for a bit looking for them.  This didn't go unnoticed by the mama bird & so, a few times, mama defensively hovered around the window, standing her ground.

So, what am I doing spending it indoors?  I'm still not feeling well.  Tomorrow it will be 2 weeks since the surgery & I have just been feeling very uncomfortable in my own skin lately.  The incision is healing nicely & so I started using Rite Aid scar gel on it a few times per day.  There's a local art show going on in Lewiston, NY & I pondered going to it but decided not to for a few reasons.  Joints & bones still aching, still out of it, didn't want to end up going & then leaving right away because of how I'm generally feeling.  Plus, I hear there were NO booths with bath products. (WHAAAAAT?  That's just not possible these days!)  I think they are all at the Brockport, NY arts festival this weekend & I'm definitely not in the mood to go out there.

So if you aren't already following me on Twitter @popscene01 & are looking for new beauty finds or fun deals you should!  I've been posting contests, sweepstakes, GrouponsMy facebook account is still more personal but I do post facebook contests publicly.  If you request to add me on FB though & I don't respond or add back, please don't take it personal.  Maybe someday I'll create a soap lady page.  Heck, maybe someday I'll join Pinterest also (really not interested or feel I have time).

I got my order on Friday!  I always love how they package their items.  The items I got were Original Bubbles Travel Gift Set by Not Soap, Radio for $15 (at cost, same as you can get directly through the manufacture) and also Sweet Talk Collection nail polish by Rainbow Honey which was $25, $5 less than the manufacture, plus I had a $5 credit at from a previous survey I took.

I finally got around to painting my nails.  I used the Sweet Talk polish from the collection I got.  The polish is a bit thin for 1 coat so I used 2 & it dried pretty quick, but still give it the normal time to dry.  I like how it looks on my fingernails but not on my toes.  That's personal preference though.  As you can see I am a bit sloppy painting my own nails.  I have since cleaned it up well around my cuticles.  Now, let's see how long these last on my nails.  I'm a pretty crafty person so usually I get chips in 24-48 hours.  Rainbow Honey has a lot of really fun, trendy polishes, limited editions, they are USA made, and Formaldehyde, Toluene, and Dibutyl Phthalate free!  Besides the links posted you can also follow @RainbowHoney on Instagram, @Rainbow_Honey on Twitter and Rainbow Honey on Facebook.  If you order direct through them this month and spend $50+ you will get a free secret polish & free shipping too!  Check them out!

I mentioned before, I will mention again now, & I will mention again most likely in the future, about how I love mixing scents.  So, when I see something out of the ordinary and it sounds good, I'm going to want to scope it out.  So when I saw the bubbles set on for Not Soap, Radio, just reading the combinations made me want to try them!  I'm glad I did!

So, for the last few days my daily baths have been what I call, a "perfect pairing."

I decided to use Not Soap, Radio's Originals for bath or shower strictly in the bath.  I wouldn't use these as a bubble bath because the bubbles lasted only for a few minutes.  That doesn't mean I wouldn't use them in the bath in the future though.  They left a good scent in the water & on my skin that does last!  The scent used is mix of green tea and clover & in their original bubbles they all have a theme to them.  This one is: Intensive positive luck.  Infused with actual Four-Leaf Clover extract imported from Ireland.  It’s all about an abundance of GOOD LUCK!

Since I used this in the bath I wanted to use a shower gel or soap for my cleansing.  I thought of  using I Love Cosmetics... Mango & Papaya but then decided against it.  Then I pulled out my The Olive Branch shower gel and it just CLICKED!

Of course I have sniffed out all the others!  I can't wait to use them & find "perfect pairings" for them too.  They really have a cool selection of products from their Cocoa Nostra lip balms (which I WANT to try!) to bridal and even sorority themed gifts and sets, exfoliating body washes, lotions, dry oil perfume sprays!  The scent mixes for their I'm Not Here, I'm Really... sound divine also!  Under Green you can find their products that are paraben, pthalate, synthetic dye and gmo free.  They have free shipping with orders over $75 and you can get a free mini gift if you sign up for their e-mail newsletter.  You can follow  @NotSoapRadio on Twitter and Not Soap, Radio on Facebook!

Now, before I go, Sephora has another big sale going on for $6 Urban Decay Vintage 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencils.  I posted about it on Twitter already & here's the thing, they are normally $19!  When you look at this particular link it says the original prices are $9.50, but those had ALREADY been discounted from the original link here!  Shades are limited but if you're a fan of Urban Decay and/or willing to experiment with different colors, try something new, it's a big bargain!

I might take a break for a few days, unless I get super excited about something, or super bored.  I have a lot of mail/crafts to work on & want to finish reading a few books.

Until later... Happy bathing everyone!

Friday, August 9, 2013

She's got the six-carat Harry Winston on her bony, unpolished finger.

So I couldn't wear nail polish during my surgery.  Being intrigued with all the nail art going on though I've been buying a lot of polish the last couple of months.  I went through a ton of old polishes I had.  Many couldn't be salvaged so they were thrown out & many new polishes were bought.  And now that I no longer have a thyroid, the battle with hypothyroid had begun.

Within 2 days of the surgery the new complications started.  Now, I had been suffering from Hashimoto's thyroid before it turned into Graves' disease.  Technically, while suffering through Graves' I had both.  Yes, complicated, & I still don't fully understand all of it.  It's the wonderful world of suffering through autoimmune diseases.  I thought that it wasn't going to be that bad.  I thought that I was going to just go back to the way I had been before.  A bit of normalcy.   It has been more like hitting a brick wall because it's much more severe until I can get on the right track.  I'm positive it will.  I am constantly being told this is going to take a while, but when I get there I will know!  One thing I have learned through a lot of questions & research is that with this disease, numbers DO lie.  Every single person is different and will have a different range of hormones that they need to reach & maintain in order for them to go back to that normalcy.  I really have to be paying attention to myself & how I am feeling.

I'll start with some GOOD things:
I actually feel way more calm, like I have control over my anxiety now.  Haven't had a single panic attack.  My constant nausea is gone & I have not thrown up once!  No more hot flashes.  No more heart palpitations, getting dizzy, feeling out of control. 

But the BAD things:
Losing hair, joint and bone aching and pain, teeth aches, dry, thin, flaking, clammy and numbness in skin.  I get these disgusting cold sweats and it feels like I have someone pressing ice on my forearms, chest and forehead constantly.  When the AC comes on I can't stand the way the current feels on my skin.  It's like being sick with cold sweats but you don't get all the other awful cold symptoms with it.  It's just weird... different.  My depression is kicking in & I have been irritable, moody, awake, out of it & exhausted at the same time.  I already gained 5lbs but that's probably due to a nice combination of bed rest, the hypothyroid kicking in and the prednisone medication.  And last, (mostly because why I have been writing about nail polish) dry, soft & brittle nails.

Now it really pays to look through coupons online.  I usually go through, & Target coupons

I had 2, $1 coupons for Sally Hansen that I found through vaious sites. (Can't find them anymore.) On clearance at Target I found the Sugar Coat in Bubble Plum for $2.74.  Final price = $0.74.

$1 off Nicole by OPI coupon from & also from the Sunday paper.  I found a cool shimmery glitter one in the clearance bin at Rite Aid for $3.75. Final Price - $1.75.

$2.49 for both.

I really have no idea what I'm going to start using 1st.  We shall see in the next day or 2.


My good friend Andrea Lipomi, whom owns Feetish Spa Parlor, runs Confident Massage, also blogs under The Young Thumbs and is currently enrolled in beauty school at Destination Academy is looking to work her nail magic on YOU!  From Andrea herself...

PLEASE COME SEE ME IN CLINIC! Call (702) 360-3606 to book a mani or pedi with me at Destination Academy. I can hook you up with regular OPI polish or gel polish. I'll even rock some marginal nail art skills if you ask nicely! YOU ARE MY FRIENDS AND FAMILY, so mention this fact when you book so you'll save 50% off of regular prices. This means you'll pay $5 for a mani and $10 for a pedi. My school is located at 4280 S. Hualapai on the 2nd floor. You can enter through the Destination Spa & Salon on the 1st floor. DO IT!

Sephora stash!
So, I got a bunch more stuff today in the mail and this should keep me busy with my blog for the rest of the month.  I hope.  Out of all the things I got in my Sephora stash yesterday I wanted to write 1st about the Vanille Insensée Cologne Absolue by Atelier Cologne.

I love vanilla (with few exceptions) and was curious about its description with notes of Lime, Cedrat, Coriander, Jasmine, Vetiver, Oak Moss, Vanilla, Oak Wood, Amber.  So it was the 1st I opened to sample.  It came with a cool postcard.  The description makes it seem very earthy.  I'm not a huge fan of cedar though cedrat usually is much nicer, and amber, even as a base note, usually overpowers perfumes.

It is extremely earthy but an empowering and sophisticated earthy scent.  Not down-to-earth or hippy-ish.  A perfect night scent for a wine bar, business dinner, scotch with friends or a humidor gathering.  Very sexy and rich indeed!  The mix is well and I don't feel one note overwhelms another in any way.

Sample bottles are normally a pain so more got on my fingers if anything but I just wanted to keep taking deep, slow breaths in of its scent.

Of course, everyone's senses are different so I always recommend that if you are curious, go into Sephora, give yourself a small spritz & after shopping for about 10 minutes, you'll know if you'll want to have it all for your own!

Well, I was updating this post all through the day because of my eye troubles and now I'm tired.  More bath & beauty goodness later!

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Post surgery social/online shopping boredom.

Being home on my ass all day is a recipe for boredom, & social/online shopping.  So, what have I been doing?  Social/online shopping, yes!  Also working on a lot of my mail art books, reading, resting, going to doctors, talking to doctors, setting up & moving around doctor appointments.  Not moving around much & still not allowed to drive.

Sephora still has an OPI clearance going on where you can get 3 selected polishes or top coats for $10.  You can find the available polishes right here, and the top-coats right here.  Remember, these usually do not last so get them while you can!  I placed the order August 6th & today's the 8th & I already have it in my hands!  The ones below are what I got with links to them.  Except for the light green one called "Is It Payday Yet?"  It's already sold out & gone from the site.  The links for the others will probably be disabled as soon as they sell out.

I'll be honest.  I'm not really a nail polish person & nail art has really kicked off with all the colors, coats, glitters, designs, textures.  It really has been mind blowing & pretty cool to see what people have been doing.  I can barely paint my right hand without getting it all over my skin & having to do a major cleanup after though.  So, unless I want something dramatic & wild, that I will leave up to the professionals.  I'm going to be pretty basic with how I will be doing my nails.

In addition to that I wanted to be pampered so I got something I had a sample of before.  SugarBath Lemon Bath Cubes by Fresh.  I had a few from a gift set I received a while back and just adore the soft, sugary, lemon scent.  They also left my skin feeling great & since after this surgery, & how "off" I have been feeling, I'm glad I made the purchase.  I would have bought it eventually.  Why not now?

Sephora really did good with my online order this time.  Not ONLY did I get EVERY sample I requested (usually always missing one I wanted, or was replaced with something else I didn't want/would not use) I got my samples of thickening shampoo/conditioner by Bumble and Bumble, rejuvenating serum by Tata Harper, Vanille Insensée Cologne Absolue by Atelier Cologne, a light argan oil deluxe sample by Josie Maran that I got with a code (those were all the requested ones) AND they also threw in a sample of Honey by Marc Jacobs, PLUS a Pink Sugar Eau de Toilette by Aquolina.  SCORE!

Other orders I am waiting for are Julep, a Drugstore/ order & one from  I will post about those later when received.

So, I know I wrote before about how terrible the aftermath of the surgery was. This is my 3rd surgery ever & I really don't know what the problem was with this one.  All the nurses & doctors were nice but I'm paying a huge co-pay for this, I know I'm going to be feeling like crap & so I just want to be as comfortable as possible & after that one night I just couldn't wait to get the heck out of there!

After the surgery I was placed in a room with another woman who had colitis.  We didn't talk, she was behind a curtain.  I don't even remember going into the room.  I remember waking up & being overwhelmed with the smell of Chinese food because her & her family were in the room eating it.  Made me so nauseous, but I was still hungry.  I think this was around 4-5pm.  I didn't want solid food because I thought I may barf it up & around 7pm, they said they would put in a request to get me some juice, vegetable broth & jello.  Visiting hours were over at 8pm, Chris left at around 8:30pm & I didn't get any food until a bit after 9pm.  I didn't get what I asked for.  I got ginger ale, cranberry juice, water and a little container of raspberry ice.

It took them FIVE times & at least 3 hours of asking for pain medication after surgery.  Anytime you would ask a nurse for something that had to go through some crazy procedure & it would take over 1/2 hour to an hour or LONGER to get them to you.  The only time they were really quick was I had this faulty IV in my left elbow.  If I even bent my elbow some alarm kept going off over, & over, & over saying the battery needed to be charged, though it was plugged into the wall.  Only solution to that was to keep my arm arrow straight.

The woman next to me snored.  LOUD.  Because of her colitis she was up to the bathroom all the time & in the process, kept moving MY IV equipment through the curtain.  This also didn't help with the stupid alarm going off on it.  Her TV sounded like it was in my ear full blast all night also.  So I just turned & left my TV on the same channel.

There were ants in the bathroom.

Also they needed to have these things on my legs that would inflate/deflate to help with my circulation.  They had them on me but never turned them on.  I had to ask about it & I don't think they got them working until 1am.

I was up for over 12 hours after the surgery & they told me the pain meds would help me sleep.  Nope.  They just came in & jabbed me with something in the back of my left arm.  No idea what medication it even was.  Calmed me down but I was not tired at all.  It did cause a nasty bruise which is still there, but almost gone now.  So at like 4-5am I was crying because I was so tired & annoyed & asking for pain meds again that were not coming.  A nurse came in after I asked for them, looked at me, the left & I had to call & ask AGAIN for the medication, which took almost another hour to get someone back in.  I was also having a problem with phlegm & coughing because of the breathing tube that had been in earlier but I knew that would go away after a few days.

I think what concerned me the most was what happened the next day.  Chris came in the morning around 8am & I felt a bit more calm & maybe got 1/2 hour of sleep.  I was apologized to because apparently they were supposed to be changing my "drainage" during the night & no one did.  Instead of me using my own medication that I had filled & brought from home, they had to administer to me what was from their pharmacy.  So they handed me all these pills & they didn't look like what I normally take so I start asking questions.  What's this one?  What's that one?

They forgot to give me the prednisone all together.  I took it once I got home.  Now, I also have asthma & with all the pain meds, breathing tube I had earlier, & the surgery, I had to be really careful & monitor it.  The night after the surgery they gave me my steroid inhaler & then in the morning they came in with 2 different steroid inhalers to take.  When I asked about it, they informed me the 2 drugs made up 1 whole dose of what I normally take.  Thing is, the night before, the missed 1/2 of it & I don't know what 1/2.

I was SO GLAD to get out of there & home!

Here's a before/after picture of my neck.  Also my super swollen hand from the IV after the surgery.

I had a long day today though.  Still haven't had my bath & dinner so I'm going to work on that now &, hopefully, I'll be able to update tomorrow on how I am physically doing after the surgery.

Take care everyone!