Accidental new stuff, old-fashioned reactionary dullness, and a suprise


As we’ve ascertained in the previous two posts, I’ve not done anything very interesting about my skin in the last few years. Mostly it’s been a matter of trying not to actively do anything to it, or passively have happen to it, that landed me in the ER.

Some changes were due to products being reformulated. Some previously amazing things stopped working or, worse, irritated. I don’t blame them. Some reformulations also enticed me to try products again. Always dangerous.

Here are some things that stopped working *for me*:

  • a large number of oils, that just sat on top of my skin and then washed or rubbed off, after which my skin would be dry
  • some previously wonderful sunscreens irritated and dried: EltaMD pure SPF 47, Derma E both the body and face SPF 30
  • CoTZ sensitive / pediatric SPF 40 and Replenix Sheer Physical SPF 50, when used on my face: the middle of my face ends up both dry and greasy, and my glasses slip down my nose

Two new things that were accidents:


My old Medieval was down to a barely-usable stub. I went to buy a new one. The few places here that stock it were sold out. The last place I went to had it in a starter-pack of bestsellers, you know the kind, suit everyone, the usual nonsense… along with two other lipsticks. I reckoned I’d just give the other two away. One was a matte nude that I’d already met, and I knew already was not going to be staying with me. I’ve tested out all the Saints and Sinners, figuratively and to some extent literally too, and know them well. Happily, I found a home for this one with a friend.

The other was Trance, and it’s beautiful. Pink, bluish sparkly subtle highlights, moist, and redhead-appropriate.



Came in a set of black honey stuff from Sephora, at a time when I was still occasionally wearing the Almost Lipstick in Black Honey. Can’t remember what else was in the set or what happened to it, found the eyeliner in the bottom of a bag when cleaning bathroom, tried it out, like it. Plummy reddish brownish shade that’s good with greenish eyes. It’s like the cream-gel eyeliner version but easier to use (for me, anyway) with a tightlining brush. On which, see next item.

A sort of an accident:


I’ve been using the mini short-handled brushes that come free with Clinique gel eyeliner, the ones in the wee pots, for years. They’re the perfect length for a short-sighted person to apply eyeliner. Next time you’re in a place selling makeup, have a lok at the brushes. They all have longer handles. Some have very long handles, intended for long-sighted people, and that’s kind and thoughtful. But there’s sweet f*** all on the market for us myopics. I’d heard and read about the existence of a Bobbi Brown short-handled brush and never seen it. I found it and bought it, on a PMS whim. This was a good whim. It doesn’t count as an impulse buy because I’ve used it every day and it’s way better than those mini brushes, which I’ve now thrown out.

Don’t knock whims. Whims can be good.



(it has a good solid cap)


This was a whim.

I was curious about it because it’s a non-expensive cruelty-free tubing mascara with a tiny brush and it’s not a totally evil company. So I got one. It’s pretty decent for at least two weeks. More volume than my trusty regulars, the Bobbi Brown or Blinc ones. Stays on well. Not tested in hot sweaty conditions. It does get dry and crumbly after two weeks, which seems to be mitigated somewhat by cleaning the brush and leaving the tube closed for another couple of weeks, using another mascara in the meantime.

INGREDIENTS: water/aqua/eau, ammonium acrylates copolymer, kaolin, copernicia cerifera (carnauba) wax/cera carnauba/cire de carnauba, PEG-15 glyceryl stearate, beeswax/cera alba/cire d’abeille, butylene glycol, alcohol, behenyl alcohol, bentonite, polyvinyl alcohol, sorbitol, stearic acid, sucrose distearate, phenoxyethanol, VP/VA copolymer, dimethicone, aminomethyl propanol, sodium dehydroacerate, xanthan gum, tocopherol, iron oxides/CI 77499

Depending on source, CA $12.00 – 24.00


And now, for the boring old-school stuff.

I was on a work trip in January and some of my 3-1-1 bag of stuff was confiscated because it looked mortally perilous. That included 5 days’ supply of my then regular multi-purpose oil and sunscreen. Both had been decanted into small Muji 50 ml bottles, with which (or their ancestors) I’ve travelled for nearly two decades; but apparently, you know, mortal peril.

Now, if there are three things without which my skin falls off and *I* end up in very real immediate mortal peril, two of them are oil and sunscreen. So I had to get some replacements fast. Even though this was Philadelphia in January. Well, I thought, this is a good excuse for shopping! Clouds wirh silver linings and all that!



This happened to be the oil I found that I had bought after staggering around haphazardly. I thought this was a sure sign of bad jet-lag. I haven’t used jojoba in years; it was unhappy last time I did, around 2006, but so were many things about my skin then. Products containing it have been fine.

And, for whatever reason, jojoba was and is just great. Moisturises, sinks in, no clogging, no greasiness, no drying-out. Great stuff.

From $ 7.00 for a small (60 ml) bottle.

(This is, however, a lot more expensive than meadowfoam seed oil for similar results on skin. If living in the Pacific north-west, meadowfoam seed oil is local but jojoba oil is not and requires higher transport costs to get here. Two reasons for preferring it.)

Thank you also, nice shop people, for not throwing out the weird person who was slowly meandering and ambling around testing out sunscreens while outside it was dark and there was a snowstorm.

Testing ascertained that the following irritated the insides of my wrists within 2 minutes of application:

  • Aveeno mineral, two sorts (one had a yellow lid, the other was purple)
  • Neutrogena, a mineral face one and a body one, as I recall SPF 50

Decent, survived testing on inside of wrist, behind ear, and area of neck and face next to ear (I am the human rabbit):

  • CeraVe

But I knew the jet-lag was real when the one I bought was…


Yes. Badger. The epitome of “Badgerlikeness” in the world of clown-face greaseball baby-butt-face extreme green sunscreens.

Turns out, jet lag works in mysterious ways.

That sunscreen was perfect in cold dry weather. Once back home in Vancouver, I went back to my then regulars (Replenix and CoTZ). Then the idea came: why not try out that Badger again? Had I been hallucinating? Would it be a hilarious disaster?


I applied to clean dry moisturised skin.

Yes, it is still a greasy paste. Squeeze out enough to cover the top joint of a finger. Rub hands together to warm the sunscreen up and make it spreadable. Dot onto neck and ears, then spread. Repeat process for face. Put remainder or more on hands.

The Badger settled well, better than silicone-base sunscreens. I got some chalky beading on areas that were still damp: lesson learned, make sure skin is completely dry first. It doesn’t seem to transfer or run off, if it runs into eyes it doesn’t sting, and skin feels comfortable and soft. No, it didn’t make me look like some dewy celebrity creature, or turn me into a shimmering glowing transcendence, or even just allow me to feel like a deity for a quick fleeting moment. But so far it’s given me the superpower of going outside without bursting into flames or allergic boils.


If this is all down to the reformulations of 2014-15 after the product recalls of 2013, consider me impressed. The last version I tried was unwearable clown-face. It was a joke. This one is a serious proper decent sunscreen, at least for skins like mine. Even if most of my “sporting” activities are more in an eighteenth-century gentleman of leisure’s sense of the term.

Moral of the story: tolerance, benefit of the doubt, and giving badgers a sporting chance.

INGREDIENTS: Non-Nano Uncoated Zinc Oxide 22.5%
Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Cera Alba (Beeswax), Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Tocopherol (Sunflower Vitamin E).

Costs from $ 13.59 to CA $ 23.50


The stick version is also very decent. Whitening on lips, OK with lipstick on top. Pleasant and moist around the eyes. In both cases, warm between finger-tips before application.


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