July Beauty Balance

When I last posted, I had 5 items leaving above those which entered my collection this month. This particular post is going to mess with that number quite a bit. Hopefully, by the end of the month, I can again move that number to a more balanced position.


First of all, cutting my hair quite short brought to light (literally) some scalp issues I’ve had going on. To be honest, this was part of the reason I cut off my hair. I thought I could likely get a handle on those issues if I just had less hair in general. But, once I cut my hair, I needed to pick up a few things that I knew were likely to help.

I have found that the best way to deal with my particular issues seems to be with salicylic acid. I’ve used the Lush superbalm before, one container lasts me quite a long time. It works very well when things are feeling at their worst, but it can also be a formula that’s difficult to use on longer hair. They seem to have reformulated it a bit since the last time I purchased it, and this is a welcome change. Getting it to the scalp between long strands of hair is tough, but even tougher was washing the greasy mess back out. It’s very thick and greasy. With super short hair, I can apply it only to the particularly problematic areas and in the morning I can easily just wipe it back off my head. (Yes, I leave it on overnight even though it suggests 20 minutes.)

Since things were at their worst, I also picked up some Neutrogena t-sal as a support shampoo for the treatment I am applying to myself. Already I’ve seen great improvements, everything is healing up nicely and I am excited to see my scalp return to normal, especially since it is so entirely visible right now.

At Lush, I was asked if I wanted a sample. Naturally, I said yes! And I picked up a sample of the sleepy body wash, something I haven’t tried before. This one should move out of my collection again relatively quickly.

We are desperately close to finishing up at least two sunscreens. With upcoming beach vacation, I thought I’d better get a replenish of my favorite going. I had a 20% off coupon, and these two together were much less expensive than they would be separately. I bet we use at least one of them up during vacation time anyhow.

Which brings us, already, to 5 products in. Balanced. But wait. Here’s the “ugh.”


I purchased two products and they came with a boatload of samples. I wanted to add vitamin c to my skincare routine, and I’ve heard good things about Mad Hippie. It was on sale and I picked some up. It came with a sample. Also, I wanted to pick up a mac NW 13 foundation because I am beginning to conclude that this is my closest mac color match, despite being told otherwise. (The lights in the shop always lie. Always.) And that came with a boatload of primer samples, something I am relatively frustrated with since my primer collection is completely overflowing anyhow. Who knew during my makeup journey that I would actively get annoyed at receiving samples in an order?!?! I just shoved all of these samples in a drawer for now, but maybe I can work through a few before the end of the month. For the above photo, 8 items entered my collection. But wait, there’s more!


I needed to pick up some hair product for my newly short hair. I decided to try out the powder play by big sexy hair. I’ve heard good things. It’s going well. Very well! This is a texturizing powder that helps create the volume and height I am looking for with the hair that is still longer at the top of my head.

I have wanted to pick up another colourpop super shock shadow, so I did. I use this one in conjunction with the darker one I already had to create a very easy eye look when I don’t want to mess around with a full look. I use the light shade on the inner part of my lid and the darker shade on the outer part of my lid. Then I go in with my bronzer as a crease color, fluffing that toward my transition area. That’s it. Once done, it looks pulled together and fresh and like I really tried even though I spent likely less than a minute on the look.

And, Miss Butterfly decluttered a highlight to me. This was a highlight she received in an ipsy bag. This was called Daisy and Pearl natural radiance booster. It’s very pretty but it’s a bit too dark for Miss Butterfly. She’s been using it as an eyeshadow. But, she’s got enough palettes in her collection right now to serve that purpose so she decided I might get use out of it. I am happy to have it in my collection, it does look lovely! That’s another 3 items in, 11 items out of balance. That’s really going to be tough to whittle down by the end of the month, but we’ll see what I can do.

3 Color Challenge week 9

I rolled for a new eye shadow this month and got a deep brown matte shadow from my Sydney Grace Taylor bundle. The matte is called Porch Swing (deep) and it is one that is very easy to incorporate into looks as an outer corner deep shade or in my crease. I did not take a photo of it, I figured you’d get the idea from the swatches.


So just to recap, we’ve got Tarte pro to go palette colorway hype, wet n wild shadow quad Lights Out, the browbone color, and then the sydney grace porch swing.

It’ll actually be harder to think out of the box with this combo, it’s neutral and pretty easy to come up with neutral looks for. As such, I went for a neutral look yesterday since I had to pick up a candidate, bring them to work, and then interview them later in the day.

So, I started with the pro to go palette. I used Drive as a transition shade and then Sydney Grace Porch Swing as a crease color. I added that a little on the outer V as well. Then I swept Hype all over the mobile lid. I used the wet n wild browbone color as an inner corner highlight. On the lower lashline I used drive and porch swing at the outer edge. That’s it! Very neutral, not very intense, very wearable.

Oh right, and that’s the new hair. Quite the dramatic change, right? Well, I’ll tell you what. It’s been very well received in my offline life and I am thrilled to be wearing something that is nice and cool and comfortable this time of year! It’s a very welcome change! And so far, it’s been easy, despite the fact that short hair requires actual styling on the regular. (It doesn’t require sitting around and making a long french braid or two, or trying to manage a nice updo to keep things under control during the work day. Nor does it fall in my food when I try to eat, and I no longer have a ponytail falling into my sink when I try to wash my face. So, the payoff is pretty sweet!)

I Created

My favorite eye look ever last week. So, despite the fact that my regularly scheduled post would be Monday’s 3 color challenge, I am going to skip that today and post about my eye look.

Here’s the thing. I had seen the Maybelline city mini in hi-rise sunset recently. I really liked the color story. And I especially liked the yellow. Initially, I thought “Well, those city mini’s are inexpensive so I could just pick it up if I really like it!” But after thinking about it a bit longer I realized that I might just be able to recreate the look with what I already have in my stash.

Since it is quite warm toned, I started with my Alamar cosmetics palette.


I decided what I wanted to do was an all matte look. So, I used Coco-taxi as a transition, tropico in my crease, and guantanamera on the outer V of my eye. Then I did a half cut crease because I wanted a nice bright yellow matte on the mobile lid. I have, in my stash, Vanessa’s Vanity shadow Tangy Dijon. I felt this would be a comparable color to the city mini and likely perform even better.

Under my eye I used coco taxi and guantanamera on the outer 1/3. I highlighted my inner corner with a light colored matte shadow from my white peach palette, though I did mix it with a sparkly white shade. Here’s what I ended up with:

This is, to date, my favorite eye look I’ve ever created. If I had to change anything, it would be using an even brighter yellow. But, it looks just lovely as is and it served the purpose of playing with a particular color story on a palette I do not own.

Guys, I feel the need to prepare you. Tomorrow’s hair is going to look a lot different than the photo above. I got it cut majorly and so there are no more soft gentle gibson tucks at this time.


I had a desire to do some mitered squares. So, I looked up a pattern for a mitered blanket, barely read the pattern, figured I’d change it to a scarf, grabbed some handspun, and cast on.

There’s something not great that happens to me when I think I understand a pattern but don’t actually read it. I do things wrong. Then I redo them because I think I am smarter after the first failed attempt. And I stop, look at my work, and realize I am wrong again. So I rip back, and assume that in the third attempt I am again smarter for my practice, and so I rip back, start again, and fail for a fourth time.

So basically, this pattern has been kicking my butt for no reason other than the fact that I apparently have refused to READ THE PATTERN!

Once I began to read the pattern properly, I had all these tiny balls of yarn that were squares and I had to incorporate them back into my scarf. In doing so, often my gauge wouldn’t match the first attempt, so I’d get to the last few stitches and be out of yarn. So, then I’d rip back again, tighten up my tension, and start over. Some squares I did twice.

When I got that all “squared” away (see what I did there?) I had decided that 4 squares across would be a good width for a scarf. But, after building out a few blocks, I felt that this would be too wide and probably not long enough. So I ripped out the 4th row of squares. Then I had a bunch of tiny balls of yarn, again, and adding them back in would mess with the color placement. Either I didn’t add them in at all, or I rip another row or two out to fix the color placement. So I ripped, and I added back in.

And, then sometimes my gauge was off and I ran out of yarn.

What I am trying to say is the beginning of the scarf below is the knitting equivalent of an entire scarf.


But I’m not bitter. And I am still knitting. Thank goodness I wasn’t weaving in ends as I went, right?

July Beauty Balance

At the end of June, two items left my collection over what entered it. This month is my last boxycharm for awhile. I adore my boxycharm subscription and it gave me a wonderful base of makeup to play with in my collection. But, I now just have too much cluttering up my life in the way of backup products. I need to quit until I at least work through all those things! I hope to subscribe someday in the future because it really is good fun. Until then, this’ll be my last boxycharm beauty balance.


These are the items which I received in my boxycharm box this month. I also received brushes, but they don’t count in my beauty balance. They are permanent items. So, that’s 4 items entering my collection. Or, two over what left last month. Two items out of balance. I have to admit, I’d be way way more likely to continue subscription boxes in general if we got fewer masks! One does not tend to use masks daily, or at least I do not. So the amount of masks coming into my collection can feel overwhelming, even when I am giving some of them to my daughter! Cleansers and primers are the other two items that get overwhelming after awhile, though I am less likely to hand some of them to my daughter as I’ll actually use them. In any case, I plan to take a nice long break and use up all the back stock accumulated over the past year.

This box itself, I love Ofra liquid lipsticks even though I tend to avoid liquid lipsticks. I was worried as this one seemed to be billed as a metallic but it doesn’t come across that way in real life. It is a VERY bright hot pink though. I am ok with that, I love a bright lipstick. The cleansing wipes will be easily used I am certain, and I look forward to trying the eyeshadow though I haven’t yet. As for the mask, I think it’s clear how I feel about those right now! Too many. Too many.

So, what is leaving?


I went through my collection recently to see if anything could leave. We have an upcoming vacation, and while on that vacation, we may see our nephew and his girlfriend. I noticed at the wedding that she had a pretty little winged liner on. So, since I am not a winged liner aficionado, and since liners are another thing subscription boxes overload us with, I figured I’d move two liquid liners and one gel liner into my travel box to see if I can unload them on our nephew’s girlfriend. This leaves me with one liquid liner and one gel liner in my collection. Those two are already opened and not fit to pass on to someone I barely know.

In looking through and listing my eyeshadow collection I have realized that I have many pans of charcoal grey shimmery shadow floating through it and I don’t need to keep this one sad, warped pan of the same. I am removing it from my collection and tossing it. I do not need it in my life.

I finished my Kenra toning masque. I used this once a week or so to keep my grey hair looking fantastic. I do believe it lasted me more than 6 months. It’s expensive but it works very well and lasts a very long time, so I think the payoff is pretty good here. I am not going to repurchase at this point because I intend to cut my hair, and once that has happened there’ll be far less time for my grey to turn brassy or discolored. But, if I ever start growing out my hair again, I’ll definitely keep this as a staple in my collection.

And finally, I finished up yet another container of my favorite hand cream to keep at work. I only like this one in this scent so I will certainly repurchase at some point. But, I have another half bottle at home that can be brought to work and hand cream is less necessary this time of year than it can be at other times. That’s 7 items out. Leaving me 5 items out of my collection above what has entered it.

There will be more incoming this month, I did make a purchase or a few. I’ll do another beauty balance post when those arrive. I mentioned that I plan to get a hair cut, and this will change what I need to use for hair products, so that may throw a bit of a wrench into this month too. But, I am fairly certain I’ll still be coming out ahead on my beauty balance.

3 Color Challenge Week 8

The second look of the week is going to be both more neutral and incorporate all the colors for the week.

I began with my Tarte Pro to Go palette.


I began with Drive as a transition color and stylin in my crease. Then I applied boss to the outer half of my mobile lid and hype to the inner half. Under the eye I used drive.

Then, I used the wet n wild browbone color as an inner corner highlight and the BH cosmetics zodiac love signs Sagittarius shimmer as a liner. Here’s the swatch of all three challenge colors again in case you missed it:


And the look completed:

I am pleased with this more neutral look even though neutral tends to be out of character for me these days.

Look 3:

I am working an event this week at work, and this explains the desire to keep with the neutral looks. I stayed fairly neutral again today. I used the Tarte pro go to palette again.


I used Drive as a transition shade and Crisp in my crease. Then I used Dominate on the outer 2/3 of my mobile lid. I used Hype on the inner 1/3 and blended them together a bit. I used the wet & wild browbone color on my inner corner and the BH zodiac love signs Sagittarius shimmer as a liner. It was a quick and easy look, neutral as to not look ridiculous during a work event, and yet still entertained my brain when trying to put all 3 challenge colors together.

Though in all honesty, it looks much like the previous look. While the colors used are different, it translates similarly on the eye.

Guess what? This is the last makeup related post you will see where I have long hair. I booked an appointment for the weekend to go back to very short hair and I cannot WAIT!


Louisiana Trip

It’s been a while since I spoke about our Louisiana trip, so long that I’ve almost forgotten to post about it. But, I do have more photos to show off.

When we discussed what we’d like to do in New Orleans, both Mr. Ink and I had decided that this time, visiting one of the famous cemeteries was important to us. We ended up visiting two. One was on a whim. During one of our adventures out and about for lunch, we noticed the restaurant that we went to was close to St Louis #3. So we just walked on down there and wandered through.

Now, before we’d even planned the trip I’d watched Ask a Mortician’s youtube video on Oven Crypts of New Orleans and had been fascinated with it. So, I kind of knew what I was looking at when we walked through. I’ll try to go through some of the main points, but basically, oven crypts are family crypts where the body is kept in the top chamber for one year and one day. Once that time frame is up, and no sooner, the casket would be removed and the remains put in the bottom chamber with the rest of the family. The top chamber then is used for the next family member who happens to pass away.

Culturally this is the “proper” burial technique of the area but it was often not attainable for the average person. Owning and keeping up these plots was an expensive endeavor. So, eventually, the average person could have a society membership which would buy them space in a society mausoleum, allowing them the “proper” above ground burial when they might not have the means for their own family crypt.

That’s a quick synopsis as to not bore you too much before I show off some St. Louis 3 photos.

You can see some of the larger society structures in the above photos as well as family crypts.

The next day we booked a walking tour of the garden district and Lafayette Cemetery. Despite it being the hottest and most humid day we experienced there, we really did enjoy the tour. But, because of the heat, I didn’t take very many photos. There’s something about being in that high heat and humidity that just makes you use brain power to do your best to try to stay a tiny bit cooler. The brain gets a bit foggy! But, I really enjoyed Lafayette Cemetery as well.


These are the two oldest crypts in Lafayette. Lafayette is the cemetery that is non-denominational. The St. Louis cemeteries are Catholic. These two crypts may have been here since before the cemetery was formed. As you can see, they have sunk significantly over the years.

One society and one family crypt in the above photo. (I actually think that the family crypt is from St. Louis #3.)

Now, not all bodies are dealt with this way in New Orleans. You can have a burial in the ground in New Orleans. This happens with a “coping wall” which is basically a retaining wall in the cemetery. The coffin is buried in the coping wall and then dirt is mounded over top. Since the ground is so wet and soggy in general, that dirt mound is just left and everything sinks, allowing space to bury the next casket right on top. That being said, we saw far fewer coping walls, this is not the norm in the area.

As someone who works with scientists of infectious diseases, I found some of the infectious disease information highly interesting. In the french quarter there were two fires in fairly quick succession, devastating the area. These were in 1788 and 1794. Upon rebuilding after the second fire major changes were made to how the area was built up. Brick and slate was used and it was required to have firewalls between buildings. All buildings must be built right up to the sidewalks, making it easier for firefighters to use pumps for water to fight fires. Much of the distinctive way the french quarter looks now has its roots in that rebuild. The area, being basically a tropical swamp surrounded on all sides by water, had a serious problem with mosquitos and yellow fever. When I say serious, I mean that outbreaks would have bodies piled up outside cemeteries and living folk unable to keep up with the disposal. One of the new rules was that wells or cisterns needed to be kept in courtyards to be used in the event of a fire. Naturally, all that standing water was a breeding ground for mosquitos creating a bigger problem with yellow fever. And since medical knowledge was definitely not advanced enough to realize this problem, the outbreaks continued.

This was one of the reasons for the one year and one day rule, the amount of time a body would be in the upper portion of the oven crypt. It was believed that a year and a day was the amount of time humans would be safe from contracting yellow fever or other infectious diseases from the bodies of the dead. Perhaps more importantly, it meant that the latest body would have spent a New Orleans summer in the crypt, which made short work of the remains.

If you’ve read this far, and probably most won’t, you may be asking “What if someone else in the family passes away during the one year and one day time frame?” And I can tell you that! A temporary place could be rented for that family member, and after their one year and one day was up, both the current member in the family crypt and the family member in the rental place would be removed and added to the bottom chamber of the family crypt.

One final fun fact, the photos above are of woodmen of the world tombstones. These were an early benefit of a woodmen of the world membership, offered from the inception of woodmen of the world in 1890 and abandoned in the 1920s as it was too expensive to maintain. As woodmen of the world was founded in Omaha, I thought it was an interesting and significant call back to my own chosen city while visiting New Orleans.

The crypts we saw on both days were old but also still being used currently. While this was the culturally appropriate method for taking care of their dead, it is also an extremely efficient way of coping in an area that is generally closed off and hard to access. Taking bodies out of the area just wasn’t possible and this allowed the city to deal with its dead while not greatly expanding the amount of land needed for a more american traditional burial situation. The tour and the experience was very interesting to me and I am really glad we had the opportunity to learn.