Makeup Looks

Hello All, Michelle again.

This week I’ve had some more time on my hands since my job is now part time, I have had more time to focus on myself and try new things! We recently had a pretty good sale at Macy’s on beauty, and during that time I purchased a few items that I’ve been looking at for a long time.

I have been looking at different foundations to invest in, as I usually use drugstore foundations. There’s nothing wrong with a lot of drugstore foundations, but I have never found a foundation that satisfied me completely. I always have a problem with having to wear the lightest color and even it yellows on me or is just too dark, or getting too oily throughout the day, coming off, being too thick, being too light coverage.

So, I tried Lancome, Estee Lauder, Too Faced, Clinique, Tarte, and finally Bare Minerals. I have never worn any Bare Minerals products but I and tried some of their liquid foundations before and they all seemed very yellow on me, but finally I tried the lightest color (that we have) in the BarePro liquid foundation from Bare Minerals (Dawn). It has SPF 20 and I absolutely love it so far. I’ve been using it for about two weeks now and so far it’s preformed really great.

Then I got the translucent setting powder from Laura Mercier. Of course I have heard so much about this powder, but I’d never used it before. It’s expensive so I hadn’t splurged on it yet but the sale was a perfect time to snatch it up!

I also got two new bottles of the All Nighter setting spray by Urban Decay. I already knew I loved this product but it is HARD to buy.

So, with just those three products I REALLY stepped up my makeup game!

But I’ve been really into shimmers lately! I usually stick to matte eyes and don’t do much with highlighter either but I’ve been changing it up with single-shimmer lid colors and high shine highlights. I’m into it! It’s a look.

First, I did this look with the green shimmer from the Juvia’s Place Zulu Palette. I don’t know what the color is called, but here’s a picture of the whole palette.

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The green in the middle! I used JUST that on the lids. It’s definitely my first time using just one shade on the eyes (that wasn’t a light neutral) and WELL BOY DID I LOVE IT.

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I used the pink shimmer on the inner corner and then under the eye I used the blue shimmer. I really thought I would never be using those bold shimmer colors but I really enjoyed the whole look. I did it with a light dusting of the pink shimmer on my cheekbones, nose, and cupids bow. I really liked it and finished it off with a wing eyeliner from my black liquid eyeliner from elf.

The lips is two holiday shades from Clinique that I combined for the lollipop look.

The next day I decided to try it again, but with just the blue shade on the lid.

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Well, I definitely didn’t like this color as much. I did a WAY stronger highlight this day with the same pink shade from the same palette but this time I wet it with my setting spray. You can’t tell from the filter in this photo but it was REALLY strong like way too strong because it was very pink. I did like the lip look though!

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This color really did some tricks on my eye color, but I didn’t dislike it. Throughout the day I didn’t like it as much though because the blush was so strong, it made me look like some of the older ladies that come into Macy’s sometimes asking for a new “rouge” every month.

I also started carving out my eyebrows with the Tarte Shape Tape and it’s the only thing that the Shape Tape has worked on for me. It’s so full coverage and thick so it’s too much for under the eye for me, but it works GREAT for the eyebrows.

Then, just today, I tried a look with one of the shimmer colors, Quirky, from the Laura Lee Los Angeles Cat’s Pajamas palette.

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I used a highlight shade from a random gift with purchase Ulta Beauty gift with purchase. When it’s wet from a setting spray, it really shines silver and I really love it.

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Today I used the Pat Mcgrath limited edition lip gloss that came paired with the nude matte liquid lipstick. I really like the lipstick and the gloss (today was my first time trying it alone) but they weren’t good together. I’m going to experiment more on the gloss with other lipsticks though.

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The gloss has little flecks of shimmer in it so it went really well with the look from today.

I’m excited to try out more looks and colors! I have so much fun experimenting and playing around, and I hope you guys like seeing the fruits of my labor, hah!

Until next time, ma dudes!

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Organizing My Bathroom Products

Hello all!

Back at it!

So, I have this bathroom cabinet, and it’s actually kind of an awkward shape for storing products since it’s hard to lay products down in a shallow drawer without it getting unorganized really fast.

Here it is beforehand:

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Yikes!! The general organizing rule as of right now is: mediciney body things on the left, skincare on the right. BUT it doesn’t always work out that well and I can’t tell what I even have in there anymore!!

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This is the cabinet above that,

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and here is the cabinet above to the right. YIKES!!! It makes me annoyed every time I look in there because I don’t know where anything goes! Plus, on products I use a lot (Q-tips, cotton pads, etc) it’s hard to tell when I am out or when I have more hidden somewhere.

So, to organize! I thought of a lot of different ways that I could organize things, but the problem is that all of my bottles are different sizes, and laying them down just results in the way it already was. So, in the end I decided to use the right cabinet for the majority of my products that I have doubles or triples of.

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First on the top left, I have my foaming lemon hand soap. I have three of those bottles, because I bought them all together on Black Friday when they were having their buy three get three free deal which I took more than advantage of. I LOVE lemon scented things, as I have said probably a million times, but I always buy whatever lemon scented soaps they have there when they have a big sale.

Then next to that is the White Citrus Body Wash, which is a lemon-lime body wash. I’m using it right now and this is a back up. So far, I really like it. It isn’t moisturizing or anything, but it sure does smell great.

Then I have the lotions. I have about four lotions lined up there. I think I maybe bought one of them, the rest are gifts from Christmas and random events, but I think they are all Bath and Body Works. Theres’ Japanese Cherry Blossom, Beautiful Day, A Thousand Wishes, and Lemonchello.

Then on the lower level I have (on the left) my extra cleansers that I mostly bought in Korea that I haven’t had a chance to use yet (though I’ve tried out most of them). I have the Tonymoly Snail Gel cleanser, two of the apricot seed cleansing oil, then one Clinique Mild Facial Cleansing Soap, and that Skin Food Bitter Green Clay to Foam cleanser.

Then a row of masks, I have the pomegranate clay mask and then the gold peel off mask.

Next is the row of night/thick moisturizers, I have the Tonymoly Avocado rich cream, the Tonymoly I’m Real Lemon lotion, and then the Yes to Cucumbers night cream (which smells terrible and I hate).

Then, finally, the balms. I have the Banila co. Clean It Zero balm and the NYX cleansing balm.

I found a lot of products that are old or that I really really didn’t like (and were almost all old too), that I ended up throwing away.

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Sorry for the blurry picture, gross, but this is the Toms sensitive soothing mint tooth paste.

I absolutely hate natural toothpastes, I don’t know why I even try. It tastes bad and then two minutes after you’ve brushed your teeth it feels like you haven’t at all. Not effective, neither James nor I liked it, so I threw it away.

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This is The Body Shop Virgin Mojito Body Sorbet. I bought this more than two years ago after a trip to Honduras and I absolutely loved the smell of it but HATED the feel. It wasn’t even that cooling and when it dried it didn’t soak in, it pilled up. So, I only ended up using it a few times, since I far prefer using my aloe vera gel. I looked at the product expiration and it said 12 months after being opened, so I didn’t hesitate to throw this away.

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This is the weirdest stuff?? It’s a spray micellar water that feels like a makeup remover, doesn’t feel cleansing or refreshing at all, and was actually weirdly painful to spray on the face. Completely useless, I probably used about half of it up as a makeup remover, but I would spray it right onto a cotton pad. It is just weird, it’s expired, and who knows the products in here? What is this brand? Another great TJ Maxx buy on my part.

That’s all for the things I threw away. Next for the interesting things!

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I found another TWO sample packets of the Soon Jung Sleeping Pack from Etude House. I am in LOVE with this stuff and I’m so glad I found two more packets! If only I could just find this product to buy… It makes my skin feel like mochi, it’s soothing, moisturizing, plumping…just, it is the sleeping pack to end all sleeping packs. It is a product that I want everyone to use, and I would just love to see what it would do to my skin over an extended period of constant use. If anyone finds this product for purchase in America, let me know!

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Next is this toothpaste which was actually a gift from a friend of mine. She said this brand, to Koreans, is like “the Chanel of toothpaste”. I have a hard time wrapping my mind around what that means, exactly, but I’ve been using it for a few days now. I hated it the first time I used it, it smells like dried flowers and tastes like mints mixed with roses. Not my favorite! But fortunately after spitting it out and rinsing my mouth, it leaves a really clean, minty fresh feel that leaves me feeling live I’ve got brushed teeth all day (which is how it should be, Toms).

And now for the final product!

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Tada! On he left I put all of my masks/samples in a little clear bag, then on the right I stored all my candles (for my baths hehehe) and my bubblebath and my bath salts, as well as my hair pins and ties. Then I have extra random skin products, extra deodorants, and nail products.

I hope you all enjoyed!

Until next time, my dudes.

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Makeup from Myeongdong

Hello again all! I’ve been pretty consistent about this, look at me go!

As promised, here is the second part of the Myeongdong post, the one about the makeup! While shopping in Myeongdong I went to a few shops and had a few things I knew I wanted to buy as well as a few things I wanted to try. Most of all, I wanted to test things out, look around, and emmerse myself in the atmosphere! I know at work I’m surrounded by makeup, but I’m used to it and the trends and styles are all expected and overplayed. In a new place, I could see what the trends and styles were and see what cute and useful things I could get.

So, on to the haul!

And thankfully, I HAVE tested and used all of these products for a few weeks, so I will include reviews as well.

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Left to right: The Luminous Goddess Rainbow Highlighter from Tonymoly, Eyeshadow blending brush from Etude House, “Look at my eyes” eyeshadows, one shimmer and one matte from Etude House, Dream on Powder from Etude House, Cheektone Powder from Tonymoly, Cashmere matte eyeshadow from Etude House, A shimmery silver (gift with purchase) from Tonymoly, and a shimmer eyeshadow from Banila co.

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Brand 16 liquid matte lipstick, Brand 16 lip liner, Tonymoly Easy Touch Auto Lip Liner (in four shades), Tonymoly Perfect Lips Flat Bar, Etude House Rosy Tint Lips.

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Here are the swatches,

1 of 7: This is the shimmer eyeshadow from Banila Co. I really like this shimmer, and the reason I picked it out is because most shimmers I own, and ones I’ve seen from American companies are VERY pigmented and very shimmery. What I wanted was something with a lot of shimmers but that still looked skin color. I wanted to see my skin through it, or be able to put it over another shadow and have it come through.

2 of 7: This was the gift with purchase shade, which I have only used on my eyes once. I thought I wouldn’t like it when I first saw it because I do NOT like gray and silvery shimmers. I really shy away from the smoky gray look, but once I put it on I realized it was more of a brown tan than a gray. I really like this color, I used it on the center of my lid once in a look and was really happy with it.

3 of 7: The darkest shade I got from Etude House, this shade is SO NICE! I actually just received the Laura Lee Cat’s Pajamas palette, and this shade works really well with it. It’s perfect with any cranberry eye and I love wearing it with the first shimmer shade.

4 of 7: The lighter transition shade from Etude House. I love to use this shadow before anything else on my eyes. It’s the perfect for blending and the color works with almost all of the eye looks I do.

5 of 7: This is the hot pink shimmer shade from Etude House. It’s way less shimmery and hot pink than it looks in the pan. It doesn’t work with a lot of other shades that I own, but I want to try it with the Zulu Palette later.

6 of 7: This is the blush color I got from Tonymoly. It’s much more pink than peach. I would prefer a peach. It’s bright and a little too obvious for me. I use it on my eyes though.

7 of 7: The Luminous Goddess Rainbow Highlighter!! I love love love this. The individual colors are big enough for me to use just one of them, but I like to use all of them. They can be subtle or really noticeable based on how much you use and which colors you use. I love it!

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These are three of the Tonymoly Flat Bar. I love these colors and they are SO smooth in application. They are really easy to use, really easy to make them exact, and they have pretty long wear. They don’t dry out my lips either.

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These are the Tonymoly Easy Touch Auto Lip Liner. These are the product I wanted to buy when I went back! I bought the red, brown, and pink (last three colors) when I was there last time and thy are the products that turned me on to lip products in general! Before these I had never used a lip liner before, and these were really nice, and they still are! I got doubles of each the colors, including the red wine color. They aren’t as creamy as they could be but if I prep them right, they stay on really well and stay looking vibrant al day. The red is my favorite of blue based reds that I own.

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These are the Brand 16 products. I have never heard of Brand 16 before this, but they had the most gorgeous pictures up of this 1+1 deal of liquid matte lipstick and a lip liner. The huge picture of the perfect matte lips in front of the store totally got me, and I had to go back and go in. I looked at all the colors of liquid lipstick but only four of them were in the 1+1 deal so I got that pinkish color and the best matching lip liner, a much darker nude. The lip liner is SO creamy. But almost too creamy? It slides around a bit, which is sad, but it just goes on so well. The liquid lip does NOT dry down. It reminds me of the soft mattes from NYX. It is feels so soft all day and doesn’t have a sheen, but it definitely isn’t transfer proof.

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Here is a very blurry picture of it on my lips.

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Last but not least is the Rosy Tint Lips from Etude House. It looks more bright orange in the picture than it is. It’s more of a nude. It comes with a strange fuzzy applicator, which would be fine except that the product is kind of hard to get out. It’s hard to make it exact with that applicator, but I wear it with a lip liner and it looks pretty good. It’s soft and smooth and ends up like a stain.

And there it is kids! Hope you enjoyed this one!

Until the next time my dudes.

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Beauty Shopping in Myeongdong

Hello all!

Just as promised, a post about shopping in Myeongdong!

So my husband, his brother, and I all went to South Korea for my sisters wedding and to visit family, and during the two weeks we spent four days in Seoul and the rest in Busan. While in Seoul, we had a very full schedule. We visited my old school, Hanguk University of Foreign Studies, went to Hongdae, Kyungbok Palace, Insadong, Myeongdong, and and Incheon. And, on our way back to through Seoul from Busan on the last day, we stayed a night in Myeongdong so we could shop some more!

Before going to Korea, I set aside a good amount of money over a few months that was specifically for beauty items in Korea, since it’s been so long since I’ve been there and I knew it would be a while until I went back.

The main things I was looking for were these specific lip liners from Tony Moly, a good makeup removing balm, and a good cleansing oil. I also wanted to see what else was the hot commodity, test out new things, and just immerse myself in the beauty culture once more.

This post is going to be just for the skin care products I bought, I will use a second post for the makeup products (mostly lip liners)!

So,

for the products!!

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Tonymoly, Etude House, Banila Co., a bag of socks.

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Of course I had to get the Clean it Zero cleansing balm by banila co. I’ve only tried it twice since I got it but it is silky smooth, not to greasy, and doesn’t feel like vaseline, so I like it. There were a few different types but I got the original since I’ve wanted to try it for so long.

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Then, (actually before I saw the last one, just because I forgot which brand that one was from and thought I wouldn’t be able to find it), I bought this Pro Clean Moisturizing and Fresh Cleaning SOFT Sherbet Cleanser. This, I’m assuming, is going to be similar to a cleansing balm, maybe softer. I’m excited to try it out, but I’ve got a few balms lined up.

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I’ve heard great things about all of these products as well. The snail line from Tonymoly is something I tried out last time I was in Korea and truly loved it. It helps with smoothness in texture so well. It helps with scars, which is something I need. I tried the gold snail cream last time, and this time I will see how the Cleansing Gel is.

Then for the Moistufull Collagen products, I didn’t have a ton of money to spend on different moisturizers when I was in Korea last time, but I really wanted to try this line! I have been looking for a good eye cream and I LOVE a good sleeping pack. The “night creams” in America are not the same as sleeping packs.  A sleeping pack is almost like a mask. It is very thick in texture and covers the skin completely. It’s something you can FEEL and doesn’t soak in fast. It takes all night to sink in and when you wake up, some leave a residue and some are soaked in completely and just leave the skin feeling plump and moist. I’m hoping this is one of the latter.

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Then I got this on our second trip to Myeongdong because I was sure I would regret not getting a Cleansing Oil. I went back to Tonymoly and asked which their best was, and they told me this one. Well, I’m not sure if I believe it because it was a 1+1 deal. Apricot Seed though? We’ll see, I can’t wait to try it!

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I also got two nail polishes and a few more masks that I’ve already used, the foot peeling mask, and nail polish remover and, then, all these samples!

I actually got two sets of the Soonjung sleeping pack mask from Etude house. I used the other set and I LOVED IT! I will wait until I’ve used up all the sleeping packs that I already own but I loved it so much, I can’t wait to get it and try it more! When I used this one, I asked James to feel my cheek in the morning and he said it felt like mochi. He wasn’t wrong! My skin was so plump and squishy and boincy? I can’t wait to use up the last of these samples.

The gold sample is the snail cream I used last time, I really loved it when I used it then, so I’m excited to try it again. I remember it smelled SO good.

So that’s all for the skin care haul! I hope you all enjoyed. Once I try all the products, I will post reviews of them!

 

Until next time my dudes!

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Makeup As Art

Hello!

I’ve been thinking about this different topic for a few days now. I know that I usually stick to talking about skincare (because I LOVE it), but makeup has really been offering me a lot of comfort and serenity the last few weeks. With the busy-ness of my schedule, I’ve really been loving my morning makeup routine even more.

With that comes a lot of new techniques, ideas, and challenges with makeup. I want to experiment with makeup like I do with an art form. I want to play with colors and styles and looks. I want to try pairing different products and seeing how they act and react with each other.

This post is partially a result of me wanting to try a look with a green eyeshadow recently. Green is a really hard color to work with because its a hard shade to blend into the skin. There are no naturally green undertones in (most) skin, and mine for SURE. It often blends out looking patchy, and it is hard to blend with other colors. But I have this GREAT green in my Zulu Palette (from Juvia’s Place). It’s honestly more of a teal when it comes down to it, but it’s a wonderful shade and I know it’s a good quality shadow. So I created a really bold look with it and when I was done… well I was 50% sold on it and 50% ashamed to go out in public with it.

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The Zulu Palette from Juvia’s Place
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Since this is a teal rather than a true green, it really ended up bringing out the green in my eyes (whereas if it were a true green, my eyes would be looking very blue).

The shades were so hard to blend out without them blending for eternity, to my eyebrows, AND BEYOOOND.

I used a black from the Cat’s Pajamas palette by Laura Lee Los Angeles, and also a black from the 35P palette from Morphe. Then, to lighten up, finish off, and just put the cherry on top, I finished with the NYX white liner. In the end I think the color stacking of black of the shadow to white of the liner to black of the mascara to white of my eyes was something interesting I haven’t seen before (as I also never work with black shadows).

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The Laura Lee Lost Angeles Cat’s Pajamas Palette
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The Morphe 35P palette

Everyone at work had something to say about my eyes, and I couldn’t decide if I liked that or not. I liked experimenting and (maybe) achieving something cool. I definitely learned a lot.

And it made me think.

I used to wear the Urban Decay Naked 3 palette every single day. It has 12 colors, and I only used four. I used the same four every day.

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There’s nothing wrong with that, of course, but my idea of makeup has changed a lot since then. I used to wear makeup because I felt ugly without it, and I wore it in ways that I KNEW enhanced my features. I knew those four colors looked good on me that one way, so by golly I was going to do it every single day.

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An example of my signature look, this i was a more recent picture, I never would have paired it with such a bold lip back in the day

But as I’ve grown older and cycled through makeup and life phases, I’ve grown to accept and love my face and my skin. A lot has been through skin care and a lot has been through sheer maturing, and a LOT has come through that one lent, when I went without any makeup at all. I have become more comfortable with my skin with no makeup. Some days at work I wear just mascara and brows, sometimes I wear nothing, sometimes I wear a FULL hour and a half face.

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example of a day where I ended up being very proud of the final look
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a much worse quality picture of a day where I ended up very much NOT liking the final product!

In the same way, some days I wear the black jeans and v-neck and some days I wear tights, flats, button downs, pencil skirts, necklaces, and other days still I wear dresses.

How will I express myself to day? what is my first priority of the day? Some days I’m not wearing makeup because I didn’t have time, some days because I want to give my skin a rest, and some days because I don’t have the mental energy.

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Some days I want to play and experiment, and others, I want to just be bare.

I’ve grown so much in my journey with skin care and makeup, and I’m so happy to be where I am now. It takes so much energy to do my makeup every day, and it lacks so much creativity to feel like I can only do it one way. I’m not a slave to makeup or what society thinks I need to look like all the time. I don’t have to wear just those four colors from the Naked 3 palette, I can wear ANY color, with ANY combination, and I feel not just beautiful, but artistic, creative, and unique.

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Another good makeup (and highlight) day!!

I hope others can feel this way as well. Makeup can be such a joy!

I hope you liked this type of post, a little different!

Next I’m hoping on posting about Myeongdong and my haul from Korea!

Stay tuned my dudes!

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Back At It: New Night Routine

Hello all!

Back at it again, with the forgetting to post for months! Classic Michelle.

Anyway, time has past, and many things have changed, including my night routine! Having a solid night routine is one of the best things you can do for your skin. I try not to change it up too much as changing products can sometimes contribute to pimples! But I recently went to Korea for two weeks, and while I was there I got some gifts as well as purchasing some (more on that later! It’s so hard to go through all my pictures from the trip and organize).

Here’s a walk-through of my night routine on a recent evening!

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So I got home from work and laid down in the bed right away because it was about 8pm, and James was already asleep. Come 2AM, I wake up, and my socks, my jacket, and worst of all, my makeup was still on!

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So, first step is putting my hair back in one of my trustee hairbands. Then I use my NYX balm to take off all my makeup. I just take a bit in my fingers, warm it up, and rub it all over my face, including my eye area.

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I’ve only been using this for a little while, and I’m not CRAZY about it. It has a kind of vaseline texture to it, which I really dislike. It doesn’t break me out though and it does a good job of taking off my makeup so I don’t have much to complain about.

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Here it is all over my face! It is gross!

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Then I go in with my cleanser. On a day when I’m not using my cleansing balm I use the cleansing oil. Those are on lighter makeup days, or days when I’m wearing no makeup. Then I follow with the mild facial soap. So today I skipped the oil and went straight to the soap. I just ran out of this bottle yesterday so on to the next cleanser!

 

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Here I am all washed up! The facial soap leaves my skin feeling a tad bit tight. It washes away all the oils really well. Only thing it doesn’t REALLY take care of is the mascara!

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Next for the holy grail, the Yes to ultra hydrating Micellar Cleansing Water! I love this stuff, it smells amazing, its refreshing, and it does an amazing job of getting off the last of my makeup without tugging and without feeling overly oily. It is hydrating, it is soothing, and I can’t get enough of it. I put two pumps on a cotton pad and swipe it all around my face.

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next is the clarifying lotion. I have a hard time calling this “toner” after using the witch hazel and rose water toner for so long, which was a completely different genre of toners. This is astringent!! It will burn the first time you use it, it has a lot of alcohol and menthol in it. It does wonders for acne though. I get cyclical acne every month and this always help to tame it. When I have a whitehead or particularly bad pimple, I always give it a little extra soak time with this. It tightens up my skin and leaves it WIDE OPEN to take in all the products I use after.

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Starting with my serums, I go from thinnest in texture to thickest in texture. This is the best for your skin because it absorbs thinner liquids faster, meaning it can soak up these watery ones all the way before sticking in the thicker creams that will be soaking in all night.

This is an almost water-like serum from Measurable Difference. Another curiosity buy from TJ Maxx! I have got to stop buying these! It was only about $3, but I don’t see any difference with it. I only use it at night because retinol can be harmful if it’s used in sunlight. Still not completely convinced that it’s not just water, and the bottle is almost done.

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Next is this skin softener from Re:NK. This was a gift from someone while I was in Korea. I don’t know anything about this brand, but it smells very luxurious and so far I love the texture of it. It’s refreshing and makes my skin feel bouncy. I’ve been using it for about two weeks and so far I really like it. It’s a little thicker than water, but you just shake it out, then I rub it between my hands and press it into my skin. I press it in instead of rubbing it in or putting it on a cotton pad because it absorbs better into the skin that way. On a cotton swab it just soaks right into the pad.

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Next is an anti-wrinkle essence from the same brand. This essence is thinner than a cream but its thicker than your everyday serum. It smells similar to the skin softener and it is extremely moisturizing. On days when I’m wearing my CC cream (with 30SPF), I just skip my moisturizer and do just this. It feels so nice, I love it.

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Then I go in with this Anti-wrinkle cream from Garnier. I actually dislike this eye cream but I don’t like wasting products. This one wasn’t expensive, at least, but still, I dislike wasting products. IT doesn’t feel moisturizing, I don’t like the texture of it, and smells! I know smell shouldn’t influence me, but it does.

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Then I use this yes to cucumbers night cream. Well, I HATE IT! I shouldn’t say that because I’ve only used it for about a week. BUT I hardly want to use it because it smells like feet! It isn’t that thick, it comes in this pump, and I hate it. It just STINKS. I want to give it away but I would hate to give this product to one of my friends.

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Then finally I go in with the Tonymoly Avocado Rich Cream. This isn’t specifically a night cream, but it’s too thick for me to wear during the day. It’s really satisfying to massage this into my skin as my last step before bed! By morning it’s all soaked in and my face feels plump and refreshed!

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Thats all for this time, my dudes! Until next time!

 

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Midsummer Empties

Hello everyone!

Happy August!

I’ve been waiting until the end of July to post about my empty products so far.

Maybe a kind of weird thing to post about, but I feel that after I’ve used a full product, then I can truly review it and decide whether I want to purchase it again or not.

SO, since the beginning of summer I’ve kept a basket in my linen closet for my empty beauty bottles, and I’ve stocked up a few since then. Let’s take a look and get started!

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Here’s the whole basket. It looks like a lot!! But truth be told I almost never buy anything full price, and a few of those things are birthday gifts from James. Shower products:

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First Botany Cosmeceuticals Pure 24K Gold Scrub

First of all, I don’t know what type of name “cosmeceuticals” is, and it took a while for me to type it down. This was a gift from James for my birthday, and as far as body scrubs go, I liked this one. It was a physical exfoliant and the exfoliants were pretty rough and big, much bigger than sugar. It was a beautiful gold color, but the problem was that rubbing it on my body, my hands became numb because the texture was so rough.

Olay Fresh Outlast Cooling White Strawberry and Mint Body Wash

Once again, don’t know what white strawberry is, but this was a pretty good body wash. I’m not picky about body washes and I think James actually picked it out, but we both agreed the smell was good.

Bliss SuperSized Grapefruit and Aloe Body Butter

This was also a gift from James, but I asked specifically for this one. It’s a very large but very expensive lotion. I think that size (which I cut in half to scrape out the last bits) is 29 or so dollars.

I’m not a fan of body butter but I was introduced to this by my exchange student in high school. It soaks in right away, is SUPER hydrating for my dinosaur skin legs and it smells AMAZING. I LOVE grapefruit smells! A little bit goes a long way. After every shower I would just soak my legs in it, and it just feels amazing. Whenever anyone asks for a lotion, I ALWAYS suggest this one!

Bath and Body Works Sparkling Lemonchello Shower Gel

This. Smells. So. Good. I’m not shy about telling literally everyone that my favorite scent is lemon. So when I went to BBW for their semi-annual sale, I was PRETTY upset to see that they are discontinuing this whole line. Not so upset to see that it was all 75% off. So I bought two of these, a lotion, and a spray. I’m on the second shower gel now and I just don’t know what I will do when I’m done with it.

Bath Products:

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Sweet Pea and Peony Candle

This was from the dollar shelves at target and I think it was actually a dollar. It smelled so good! I’m really sad that the wick was in such bad shape that it puckered out when there was still quite a bit of candle left. Oh well, I didn’t waste much money on it.

Fleur D’Extase Bath Bombs

This was nine bath bombs from James for my birthday as well. They all had different flavors like “lemongrass” and “vanilla” so of course I loved it. They were full of essential oils so they didn’t foam much but they made the bath feel silky smooth.

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Elf Hydrating Eye Cream

Eh, it was 8 dollars, and it was okay. Not too thick, didn’t smell like anything, I didn’t see any difference, felt like I was just putting a regular moisturizer on.

Perricone MD H2 Elemental Energy Hydrating Cloud Cream

You can just tell from the name that this product sucks. It’s from one of those overpriced “I am a doctor so I know skin” brands that relies solely on the letters “MD” to legitimize their entire brand. The first few times I wore it I broke out. I didn’t like the texture, it felt heavy even though it was cloud cream, and it was hard to layer things on top of it. I actually did stop using it for a while but decided to stick it out because I don’t like wasting product. It was a gratis gift from Ulta, so I didn’t pay the $80. I LITERALLY would never. for any product.

Smack Beauty Anti-Wrinkle Retinol Serum

This was a bust from the beginning and I knew it. I bought it for $4 at TJ Maxx, just to try it and because retinol products have a tendency to be expensive (not because retinol itself it expensive, it is actually very cheap, but they market it to older women with money). It burned the first time I put it on, which is very normal, but after that it LITERALLY had no effect on my skin. It was a clear gel form and I used it up fairly fast, even with only using it once a day.

TonyMoly ChokChok Green Tea Watery Essence

This was a good product, and I really liked it, though at times I felt like it was just a watery moisturizer. It smelled great, felt great, and I would like to think it helped with my acne. HOWEVER this product (which I got 60% off at Ulta) is being discontinued.

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Ah, last but not least, the ultimate ALL TIME winners (beside the Burt’s Bees product sry)

Thayers Witch Hazel Aloe Vera Formula Alcohol Free Rose Petal Toner

BANG!!!!! This stuff is amazing! Not astringant at all, helps with pore size and redness, super soothing, $10 at Target, lasts forever, did WONDERS on my skin as far as even-toneness and getting rid of acne. I LOVE it I want to buy it again (but won’t right now because I got the Clarifying Lotion from Clinique for free. More on that later. I like it? but it is 100% different than this toner).

Yes To Coconuts Hydrates and Restores Micellar Cleaning Water

Well, here’s the low down, kids. My body is really doing a number on me and my uterus decided to let the dogs out on my face, and I’ve been broken out for about a week. Doesn’t help that I’m having to try all these new foundations for work almost every day. I am constantly thinking back to the days when the Yes to Coconuts was doing me right and all my issues were about what lip/eye to wear that day. Now I’m using the Formula 10.0.6 one and I don’t like it nearly as much. Yes to Coconuts… take me back!

Burt’s Bees Cleansing Oil

Fail. I used a cleansing oil in Korea that was in a dark brown bottle, but I don’t remember who it was from or where it was from but I think it was Japanese and GIRL it changed my life. It was smooth, it foamed, it was gentle and oily enough to break down makeup but not too oily to be messy and never come off. That’s what I want. Not this! This was like straight up oil. Is it called Burt’s Bees Oil? No, it’s called Cleansing oil. Where is my cleanse? Where is my light suds? where is my smooth, clean, fresh feeling after using? NOT HERE.

Tony Moly Cream Foam Cleanser

I got two of these with two peeling lotions in a free GWP when I was in Korea and can you believe it?? I somehow just finished the second one. I think I used some other things in between and then rediscovered this. It is creamy, it is foamy, it feels amazing. Don’t leave it in a hot car because then it gets weird. But you can deal with it. It is a great product and it is sadly hard to find things like this here. Not a makeup remover, but a cream foamer. Not an acne product, but a cream foamer. Usually they are makeup removers or acne products, there’s not really much in between here.

Well that’s all folks!

Until next time!

-Michelle

Complex Problems with Complex Solutions

Hello all, it’s been a while!

I am an accomplished adult these days,

Michelle:

married,

owning house,

has credit card which she just paid off 100% yesterday,

full time job

commission and stuff

up for a promotion at work.

 

Life is so fast, I can’t believe it. Tomorrow is James and I anniversary. I was originally going to stop blogging on that day (my hilarious one where I was going to post every day), but instead I have failed that like a pro and will continue to blog about things that are awesome when I have time.

I will update on my reading list at the end of next month (August), when summer is over. So far, it’s going badly, I’ve added some books and started about three and not finished any of them because I hated them. I decided I would let myself not finish them because they are terrible and make me not like reading.)

So, for today I want to touch on a subject that I have heard about time and time again (not just from family members but from people at work two).

That subject is an issue of skin (as usual).

Skin is the largest organ in the body, but that doesn’t mean that it’s the same all over. Skin can create calluses, thin hairs, thick hairs, big pores, small pores, dryness, oiliness, flakiness, redness, psoriasis, eczema, etc ALL on one human body. There are a million reasons for skin getting this way and that, most commonly pollution, the brightness of the sun, intake of hormones, balance (or lack thereof) in diet, intake of water, extreme weather, and, you guessed it, PRODUCTS.

Even if you are being healthy and only eating good things and not being out in the sun much, your skin still has a genetic predisposition to be on the oily or dry side. On top of that, it is constantly aging. Even if you do everything, it’s still going to age, it’s just going to age slower. It is impossible to stop aging. And it is (sorry) impossible to REVERSE aging (for good).

Anyway kids, all I mean to say is you can google ingredients all day, but you have to be satisfied at some point. Whether it be coconut oil (yikes) or Tom Ford, if you are satisfied with the way your product is working for your skin, don’t change it and keep with it.

If you aren’t satisfied, maybe allow yourself to try something new and search among things that people with similar skin have loved. Sometimes dermatologists who spend millions on research have a kind of good idea about what might be okay for your skin sometimes.

Complex problems with our skin take complex solutions. Things can’t always just be solved by coconut oil.

 

Post on eye creams coming soon.

-Michelle

Clinique Clarifying Lotion Ingredient Breakdown

Hello all!

Back at it again with another Clinique post. Sorry! I can really get behind this brand but not just that, it’s because of this brand and through this brand that I’m learning so much. I spend a lot of my time looking at the ingredient lists of our products and then looking them up later (“grape seed oil? What’s that do?” “seaweed extract? But why?”). It’s great because some of these are common ingredients in a lot of skin care products from other brands, and some are what set Clinique apart.

One interesting question is that recently I was talking to my mom about the three step routine and she expressed somewhat of an interest in buying the products but she said, specifically about the Clarifying Lotion, “what is the second ingredient after water? What are the active ingredients, I don’t want to put anything on my skin that I couldn’t put in my mouth.”

Well, That’s a tall order, but thankfully my mom has great skin with almost no problems so she doesn’t have to worry much about putting things on it that she wouldn’t put in her body.

There are a few reasons why I think it’s okay to put some things on your body that you wouldn’t/couldn’t eat (this might ruffle some feathers, sorry):

  1. Acne. Acne is a skin bacterial problem and bacterial problems can need strong solutions. Acids, astringents, highly concentrated alcohol, all things you should not be putting in your mouth.
  2. Skin holes are small. Simply put, skin holes are just… small. By this I mainly mean that things that are often taken orally are way too big to be applied topically and successfully absorbed into the skin. Ever looked on your cleanser, seen a word you didn’t recognize on the ingredient list, googled it, and it was something simple that you know really well? The most likely reason why it has a different name is because it is a reformulated version that has been made literally more fine so that it can fit into the deeper layers of the skin tissue. Especially products meant for the face are made so fine and the active ingredients are in such a small amount that taking it orally every day would not make a difference to your body at all. It wouldn’t be good, it wouldn’t be bad, it would probably be unnoticeable.
  3. There are a lot of things I would put in my skin that I would NOT put ON my skin. For example: Cinnamon, hot sauce, vinegar, lemon, etc.

 

But, to answer moms question about the ingredients, I’ve actually researched (or had previous knowledge) about all of the ingredients. Don’t worry, it’s a short list.

Keep in mind that the ingredients vary for all four of the clarifying lotions. 1.0 is formulated with no alcohol at all for extremely sensitive skin, the second has menthol, and the last two have much higher concentrations of alcohol (for more oily skin it isn’t harmful).

Ingredients of #2 Clarifying Lotion (formulated for Dry Combination skin):

  1. Water
  2. Alcohol Denat. – Otherwise known as denatured alcohol, is simply alcohol with a denaturant added to it. A denaturant is an ingredient of extremely bitter taste, rendering the alcohol undrinkable, and therefore untaxable as alcohol. Most cosmetic alcohol is alcohol denat. as it is cheaper. You may hear people saying this and that about alcohol being so bad for your skin, and yes, it does dry out the skin, but that isn’t all bad. Alcohol in high concentrations like the toners from the ’70’s and fragrances are things that shouldn’t be put on the skin. Alcohol in a low concentration, such as in a toning product these days, is there to cleanse the skin, not over-dry it.
  3. Glycerin – a sweet tasting non-toxic viscous, odorless, colorless liquid. This is the gel part of gel pills. It is water soluble, and works wonders as a lubricant and moisturizer for the skin. It is one of the few ingredients that can be completely liquid and still hold moisture in the skin. It is extracted most commonly from soybeans.
  4. Witch Hazel – I love witch hazel! This is from the witch hazel shrub. Sometimes on ingredient lists, this just shows up under the latin name of the shrub – hamamelis virginiana. The is the most awesomest ingredient! Some people use straight up witch hazel as a toner. This ingredient is great for healing scars and microdermabrasions, tightening pores, lifting skin, smoothing fine-lines and evening skin tone. If you have sensitive skin, witch hazel is also a great ingredient to help calm down your skin and get rid of redness. No matter the toner you use, I would alway suggest one with witch hazel!
  5. Menthol – The #2 Clarifying Lotion is the only one with menthol, and it’s one of the reasons I picked this one (I should probably technically be in the #3 category). Menthol is most commonly from MINT. It’s in toothpastes, gums, mints, mouth wash, cough drops, and aftershaves. This is mostly there for the feel. It gives a slight tingle, making the skin feel more refreshed and “cleaned out”. If you have cuts on your face or acne it might burn for a second, but in the long run it will help with the wound, just like it does with aftershaves.
  6. Acetyle Glucosamine – This is the main exfoliant ingredient. It increases the production of hyaluronic acid in the skin and is used in hospitals on areas before and after surgery, as it helps speeding up the healing process. It cleans out the pores and dead skin and almost “preps” it for healthy growth and reproduction.
  7. Trehalose – This helps to speed along the dehydration/rehydration process of skin cells, allowing the cells to go through their normal life cycles without harming new cells, as it has high water retention capabilities. This means it makes production easier, smoother, and therefore quicker. Common anti-aging ingredient.
  8. Sodium Hyaluronate – I’ve learned this even since my post a few days ago, that sodium hyaluronate and hyaluronic acid are different. Sodium hyaluronate is the small, fine, topically absorbable version of hyaluronic acid, something that is usually taken orally. Check out my hyaluronic acid post to find out more about this ingredient. Long story short: it’s great.
  9. Butylene Glycol – makes a thinner, more liquidy product, helps easier deliver other ingredients into the skin. In small amounts in most liquid makeup it is used and explained as a “skin penetrater. It helps the other things work how they need to.
  10. Sodium Biocarbinate – the last ingredient before the coloring. Often used in toothpaste to make teeth whiter, also more understandably used as a mild disinfectant. It is in baking soda and deodorant and is used as in ingredient in neti-potting. It is most likely added for it’s disinfectant properties.

 

And that’s it folks! (beside red 33, red 6, and violet 2). Hope you enjoyed this. This isn’t really to get you to use the product, I myself haven’t even used it that many times, so I can’t really truly recommend it. I just want to increase awareness about skin care products and ingredients. What are those long names, why are they in there, what do they mean? That’s all I’m trying to do (even though I am bad at science and tried to include as little science as possible so this would still be fun for me).

 

Hope that answered your question, mom

 

Until next time!

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Life Update – Full Time Job

Hello Everyone!

Right now I’m sitting in my living room in the dark, its about 9PM. I just ate a pot of ramen and now I’m drinking a huge yeti-full of ice water. I just took a bath and I got out completely overheated. So I’m sitting down in shorts and a T-shirt now, AC on blast, hair wet, still boiling. The ramen didn’t help either but I was hungry.

James has strep so our schedules have been extra off lately.

Today I don’t have much to say about beauty, but this is more of a life update kind of post.

I started my job at Macy’s about three weeks ago, and I’m working almost full time (it’s considered full time there if you work at least 30 hours a week. It isn’t extra fast paced, but I think they do this because being in contact customers and selling 40 hours a week produces more negative results than positive. Managers work 40+ hours a week but of course they don’t spend 100% of their time on the floor).

I’m working at the Clinique counter and so far I really love it. The crowd at Macy’s is different than the other stores I’ve worked at. Almost all women, I rarely see boyfriends, but sometimes husbands. Most of the pairs are mothers and daughters, and the average age of our customers is probably in the 40’s or 50’s. So, overall I’m less abused and more appreciated. I feel that since people know that working at the counter comes with a good amount of education, they are much more likely to trust me. At first, that was scary, but learning that just showing the confidence I already have in Clinique’s products, I can really allow clients to trust me, without thinking I will let them down.

Today I went to the first training I’ve ever been to. Of course my counter manager is training me every day, but once a year Clinique has one Strategy meeting in each major city to go over new products, trends, and to get everyone hyped for gift time and holiday. They talked a lot about foot traffic and how that’s a big problem in department stores today. Beside Sephora and Ulta (which are both doing GREAT), Clinique is selling only in department stores, so they rely on the foot traffic. A lot of the meeting was about connecting with “millennials”. I say that in quotes because it was definitely said in quotes. I’ve never hated the word millennials or understood why everyone hates millennials before now. It’s cause they are good at everything and have beat the system. Ha ha! Just kidding. What they HAVE done though is figured out to conduct 100% of their business without seeing another human being face-to-face because they know what they like/need/want without leaving the comfort of their homes. The whole thing was a bit depressing but the most depressing part was at the end our district trainer told us she was transferring to manage Clinique for Ulta. Well, if department stores were the titanic, she definitely jumped on one of the only life boats and we are all left to straggle on piano boards and bed frames. I’m not complaining through, I mean I did metaphorically jump from the life boat back onto the titanic if we are sticking with this comparison.

The future of companies that would do well apart from department stores (name brands like Calvin Klein, Michael Kors, Estee Lauder Companies, etc), they will end up making their own stores. Some of these places do have stores in big cities, (Clinique is not one of them), but they will have to create more. SHOPPING isn’t necessarily going down and Clinique’s numbers are not down, Just malls and department stores are down. Not to mention the main reason most of these places don’t have their own stand alone stores is just because baby boomers don’t like shopping at stand alone stores. Well, that time is over.

 

Honestly, I love the job though. I like my co-workers and I like helping people. I like being surrounded by skin care and makeup and I like helping people and being appreciated. I also like making money, of course. Things that aren’t so great is standing for a long time is really hard. The dress code is really strict so I pretty much can’t wear shoes that make standing not the worst thing ever. We can’t sit down or lean on the counters, so it’s definitely something to get used to. It contributes to me feeling more worn out when I get home though, especially after the drive.

This is my first full time job, and so it’s been pretty hard for me to adjust. I’ve worked 8 hour days before, but not multiple in a row. The main thing I don’t like about it is that it really takes away from my time with James. Since it’s a retail store, the hours are 10-8 or 9, so sometimes I don’t get home until 10 or later. Whereas James works essentially the same 7/8-4 times. So, in the morning I’m alone and in the evening he’s alone. James is bad at routine and feeding himself so sometimes I’ll come home and he hasn’t eaten anything, and sometimes I come home and he’s waiting for me to eat, and sometimes he’s just having ramen. I feel bad because even though we are working almost the same hours now, I still feel it’s somewhat of my duty to cook food for him, or that I’m letting him down if I’m not. Especially since he’s so bad at it himself, I feel extra bad. Going to work at 9:45 means I have to start getting ready at 7:15, so I can leave by 8:45. It’s harder for me to get up much earlier than that and prepare food because as I said, a lot of the time I’m not able to even get home until 10. I want to spend time with James so often won’t sleep until midnight or later. That makes waking up really hard!

So, getting into the swing of things is something that will just take time, but hopefully we will be able to do it. On top of that, I usually work at least one day of the weekend, so the one day we do get together, I want to spend with him since we didn’t get time during the week. So who get’s left out then? My friends! It’s a difficult cycle.

Wish I was better at cooking!

If anyone has any easy, quick super delicious meal ideas that I can make once and will last us forever, I would definitely appreciate it.

One more nice aspect though is that now that we are making more money, I don’t feel as bad getting Chipotle at least half the time I’ve craving it (like once a week).

 

LOOOOOOOOVE all of you. How do you deal with not having enough time with your spouse? How do you full time job? What are some tips and tricks for me to win at life?

Thank guys, you all rock.

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