Hello Pretty Bird! - A beauty and not-so-glamorous lifestyle blog: October 2013

31 October, 2013

October 2013 Empties & a quick question for my readers

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Happy Halloween everybody! How are celebrating? Personally I'm sitting at home watching a made-for-TV Christmas movie and ordering takeout because I like to live life on the edge. I would show you my "costume", but it consists of tie-dye sweatpants and my boyfriend's shirt so I'm not sure you guys can handle it. Ooooh, scary.

Rather than completely refuse to acknowledge that it's still October, I thought I'd show you my empties from this month. Because I actually use up some of the stuff I buy, believe it or not.

30 October, 2013

October 2013 (not just beauty) Monthly Favorites

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Hey everybody! Do you enjoy reading other people's monthly favorites lists? I know I do. What can I say, I'm incredibly nosy. Anyway, if your answer to that question is "yes" then you're in luck because I've decided to start doing a monthly favorites list myself!

I won't be limiting my monthly favorites to just beauty, because quite frankly I find lists that include other stuff (like movies, food etc.) to be more interesting. So without further ado, here's what I've really been loving this month:

29 October, 2013

Use It or Lose It: October 2013 Sample Edition

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October is nearly over, which means it's time for another edition of... drumroll... Use It Or Lose It! (Imagine me saying that in my best game show host voice. Please.)

In case you missed my first-ever "Use It or Lose It" post last month and have no idea what the hell I'm talking about, here's the deal:

"I've decided that from now on, at least once a month, I am going to force myself to try at least a few of the samples that have been lingering around in my collection for a long time, or else throw them away! Fellow sample hoarders, I encourage you to also Use It Or Lose It and write about it on your blog if you have one. Or tell me about it in the comments!"

Seems like a good way to discover some new favorites or at least clear out the old stuff in your stash, right? Here are the samples I've selected for October:

Please note: While Maybelline Flash Clean is pictured above, I did not get a chance to test it. I've been having this weird allergic reaction around one of my eyes this past week so I haven't been wearing much makeup, and obviously it doesn't make sense to test a makeup remover when you're not wearing any. So I've decided to add it to next month's UIOLI list. Okay with you? Okay with me. Let's take a look at the other things in the pile!

28 October, 2013

Review: Baviphat Peach All-In-One Peeling Gel

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So here's a question for all you skincare addicts out there: How often does interesting packaging entice you to buying a product that you otherwise might not have? I find that it happens with me occasionally, and the product I'll be reviewing today is one example of such behavior. I added a mini-sized jar of Baviphat's All-In-One Peeling Gel to my cart while I was placing my last TesterKorea order without really thinking that I don't using peeling gels very often... but look at it!

Baviphat Peach All-In-One Peeling Gel

Hard to resist something shaped like a tiny peach, eh? This is the mini size (about 7g), so my stupid impulses only set me back ₩1500 (about US $1.40). I won't feel too guilty about that. The full size is 100g and also comes in a peach-shaped container.

27 October, 2013

Poll: What's your favorite lip balm?

Hello hello! Is everybody having a good weekend so far?

I decided to take it really easy this weekend. Normally I do some work on the weekends, but I just felt like I needed to turn my brain off for a day or two and refresh... do you ever feel like that? So instead of working  I've been hanging out with my boyfriend watching stupid movies, half-heartedly organizing my piles of crap, and eating Pop Tarts for the first time in something like five years. Compelling stuff.

Anyway, during my never-ending quest to organize the apartment I unearthed some lip balms I forgot I had... which brings me to today's question:

I'm a total lip balm addict and have at least one on me at any given time. Lately I've been going back and forth between Smith's Rosebud Salve, Precious Beauty Lip Therapy, and an assortment of flavored Chapstick and Chapstick knockoffs I've accumulated.

So tell me: Are you a lip balm addict too? What are your favorite kinds?

25 October, 2013

Shopping for beauty storage at Office Max & eBay

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Hi guys! So in case you haven't noticed, I've been trying to get more organized. One of my organizational challenges has been that I have a lot of small makeup items and no good places to keep them... things like lipstick, eyeliner pencils, brushes etc.  Lately I've been keeping stuff prone to rolling away in Solo cups on my dresser. I shit you not. Yes, I'm that classy.

I don't have the budget at the moment for Muji drawers or anything fancy, so I decided to take a look on eBay and Office Max's website for office supplies that could double as makeup storage. Want to see what I got so far? Put down your Solo cup and let's go!

24 October, 2013

Ramblings on hobbies, neuroticism and soup

Warning: This post will be somewhat personal in nature and rather rambly. If that sort of thing doesn't interest you, feel free to not click "read more" and instead look at this picture of a swan I took:

Hello pretty bird, indeed.

23 October, 2013

Freeman Beauty Spooky Mystery Bag: What I Got, What I Thought

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Hey everybody! So the UPS fairy brought me something very exciting today. Curious what it is? No? Well, I'll tell you anyway. It's Freeman's Spooky Mystery Bag!

Product description from Freeman's website:

No tricks…just treats! The Freeman Spooky Mystery Bag is filled with skin care goodies from all of our brands! Fall in love with new brands and get your fill of tried-and-true favorites with this perfect sampling of the best of Freeman!  What’s inside? Well, that’s surprise!

Just in case you've never heard of Freeman, they make a wide variety of skincare, body care and haircare products. A lot of their stuff is "practical" in nature (things like foot lotion and shampoo) so I figured for $20 I was willing to take a gamble because I'd probably get at least a few things I could use. Worst case I can give some of it to family and friends, right? Right. Anyway, let's dive on in and see what was in my box!

22 October, 2013

Review & Swatches: Wet n Wild Mega Last Lip Color

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So I don't know about you, but I'm loving the fact that bold, deep lip colors are so trendy right now. I used to be one of those people who never wore lipstick because I was scared of it smearing and getting all over my teeth, but lately I've been finding myself wanting to wear darker and bolder shades on my lips.

Today I'll be doing a little review and some swatches of Wet n Wild's MegaLast lipstick. These have been out for a while, but at around $2 apiece they are a very inexpensive way to expand your collection of lip colors. Perfect if you want to test out some of those fall-friendly shades without busting the budget, eh?

Wet n Wild Mega Last Lip Color inPurty Persimmon 970 Vamp It Up 919B Sugar Plum Fairy 908C Stoplight Red 911D Cherry Bomb 918D Pink Suga' 900B

Wet n Wild currently has a whopping 26 shades of MegaLast Lip Color listed on their website. Today I'll be showing you six of them as pictured above:

  • Top L-R: Purty Persimmon (970), Vamp It Up (919B), Sugar Plum Fairy (908C)
  • Bottom L-R: Stoplight Red (911D), Cherry Bomb (918D), Pink Suga' (900B)

21 October, 2013

Five Kawaii Things on eBay Under $5

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What's new, everyone? Today's been one of those days for me where everything seems to go wrong for no reason. Not major stuff, just little annoyances, culminating in Photoshop crashing while I was editing some lipstick swatches I was going to post tonight. :P

Anyway, rather than freak out about everything in the universe, I thought I'd share a few cute things that have been lingering on my eBay watchlist for a while. Because cute things cheer me up!

20 October, 2013

October e.l.f. Haul & Why It Pays To Compare Coupon Codes

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Hello beautiful people! Sorry to be absent from Blogland yesterday... I had to go to a potluck brunch thing and catch up on some other normal adult life stuff. Exciting, eh? I'll be back with some reviews and other good stuff tomorrow, but for now I thought I'd show you some things I got recently from e.l.f.'s US website.

The theme of this haul is "I really need some new makeup brushes but can't afford fancy ones". Want to see what's in the box? Let's dive on in!

18 October, 2013

Review: Wantable Makeup Box (October 2013)

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Hey everybody! Today I'll be reviewing something I was rather excited to try: Wantable's makeup subscription box. If you've been reading my blog for any length of time you've probably noticed that I (a) like makeup - go figure and (b) really enjoy the novelty of trying new stuff, so naturally something like this is right up my alley.

17 October, 2013

Halloween Stupidity: Fright Night Eyeliner "Tattoos" w/ Rhinestones

Bought It

Do you ever have one of those moments where you buy something on an impulse, look at it later and then think "What in hell did I think I was going to do with this? I'm an idiot!" That pretty much sums up my feelings after purchasing Fright Night's Eyeliner Tattoos with rhinestones, which I threw in my cart along with some concealers and other boring stuff I got at Ulta recently. But rather than let it be a total waste, I decided I'd use them and blog the results so you all can laugh at me.

16 October, 2013

My Scheming Bamboo Charcoal & Cryste Marine Whitening Double Lifting Mask (3D) review & photos

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Hey hey hey! Special news bulletin: I've got a review for you guys today. But not just any review... it's a review of a sheet mask. I know, I know, exotic stuff. But it's not just any sheet mask, it's a 3D sheet mask. Be still, my beating heart!

The 3D mask in question is My Scheming's Bamboo Charcoal & Cryste Marine Whitening Double Lifting Mask. And the name of this product isn't nearly long enough, amirite? I picked these up in my latest Sasa.com haul.

15 October, 2013

October 2013 Ipsy Bag (review & pictures)

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What's up, everybody? I came home to a very full mailbox today. Not only did I get some stuff I'd ordered from e.l.f. and eBay, but also this month's Ipsy and Wantable boxes! It's like Christmas but with fewer fir trees and drunk relatives!

Anyway, today I thought I'd do a brief review on this month's Ipsy package. Here's what I got in my "glam bag":

14 October, 2013

Poll: What's the oldest item in your makeup collection?

So in a former life (or perhaps just earlier in this one) I was pretty bad about hoarding useless stuff. I was the lady with 17 empty egg cartons in her closet. Y'know, "just in case". But then when I went to grad school overseas in 2008 I basically had to ditch 90% of my belongings, and thus the hoarding cycle was broken.

Nowadays I'm a bit more settled and maybe not the best at getting rid of old stuff, but I'm not surrounded by empty cartons either. Which is why I was totally mystified when I found this in my makeup drawer:

It's an eyeliner pen. Why is this eyeliner significant, you may wonder? Because I'm pretty sure I've had it since before my overseas move, not to mention my move to New York about three years ago. How did it remain in my possession and undetected all this time? This thing is so old that the bottom part fell off, so I can't even tell what brand it is. Anybody know? Update: Some creative Google image searching leads me to believe that this is Mally Beauty brand. Carry on.

This has to be the oldest makeup item in my collection thanks to the Great Crap Purge of '08. I'm going to guess that I've had it since about 2007 or so. What's the oldest item in your collection?

13 October, 2013

e.l.f. Essential Jumbo Lip Gloss Stick Review & Swatches (#22144, #22148)

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Hey guys! Today I'll be doing a quick review and swatches of something that has sort of become my default "lazy" lip color lately - e.l.f. Essential Jumbo Lip Gloss Sticks. The colors of the day are Pink Umbrellas (#22144) and Movie Star (#22148).

Left: Movie Star - Right: Pink Umbrellas

12 October, 2013

Review: Freeman Charcoal & Black Sugar Facial Polishing Mask

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So if you've been following my blog regularly lately, you may have noticed that I've had sort of a love-hate relationship with Freeman Beauty's mask offerings. I liked their pineapple mask (except for the inclusion of microbeads), but their starfruit mask was a total disaster for me. Since I'm a crazy person, I feel compelled to press on and try every single one of their masks. For uh... research purposes.

Today I'll be reviewing Freeman Feeling Beautiful Charcoal & Black Sugar Facial Polishing Mask, which I purchased in the 0.5 fl.oz / 15mL "travel size". Will it be better for me than its predecessors were? Only one way to find out!

Freeman Charcoal and Black Sugar Facial Polishing Mask

Tips & Tricks: How to keep your skin cream from getting contaminated

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Greetings all! How's your weekend going so far? Stan has a nasty cold, so mine has involved making lots of tea and picking up dirty tissues. :P

Today I'm going to share a quick tip that may be useful to those of you who buy skin creams in jar packaging (the kind without a pump). These types of creams can look very attractive on your dressing table, but every time you dip your fingers in you risk contaminating it with bacteria, reducing the cream's longevity. So what's a gal or guy to do? Why, scoop some of it out into a smaller jar!

You'll need the skin cream of your choice, a small jar (10-20 ml is probably a good size) and a clean mini spoon or spatula for scooping:

11 October, 2013

Social media update & October Sasa haul

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Hey everybody! Today I'll be showing you a few items I picked up from Sasa.com recently. This isn't an enormous haul, but I'm always interested to see what people end up getting when they shop Sasa's website and maybe you are too. :D

Real quick before I get into the Sasa goodness: I'd like to announce that I just started an Instagram account! So follow me there if you like. And speaking of social media, have you followed me on Facebook and Twitter yet? Or on one of the other social media sites in my sidebar? All the cool kids are doing it. Well... some of the cool kids are doing it. But seriously, I actually do look at my social media accounts regularly, so feel free to connect with me there. :)

And now onto the haul!

10 October, 2013

My Weird Wishlist: Pet Wigs

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Hello beautiful people!

Today I'll be addressing a very important topic: Dog Halloween. Did you know that October 23rd is the official Halloween for dogs? No? OK, maybe I made that up. But let me tell you a story:

'twas a misty Wednesday evening in late October a few years ago. I was out and about helping my father run errands, when he announced that he wanted to stop at the local PetSmart to look at aquarium supplies because he wanted to start up an aquarium. Sure, OK, why not. We walked in expecting to find a mostly-empty store and some zombie-like cashiers staring at their watches so they could bolt out the door when it was time to go home. But much to our surprise we walked in and found...

... wait for it....

Hundreds of dogs (and a couple of cats) in costume. When I say hundreds, I mean HUNDREDS. A woman pushed a shopping cart containing two German Shephards dressed like Elvis past me and a pug wearing a toddler-sized bikini and snorkel licked my foot. I laughed harder than I've ever laughed in my life.

So that's why October 23rd will always be Dog Halloween in my mind. Since that's less than two weeks away, shouldn't you be thinking about your pet's Halloween costume? Which brings us to the subject of today's Weird Wishlist: Pet wigs. I wish I could get the pets and the wigs, but alas, eBay only has the latter. In any case, no dog costume is complete without a bit of fake hair. Need costume ideas for your pet? Or just a little frightened about the concept of tiny wigs for animals? Photos after the jump!

Review: Reviva Labs Lindenflower & Rosewater Facial Sprays

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What's up, good citizens of the internet? Today I thought I'd do a review on a type of product I'm perhaps a bit too obsessed with... facial mists. Some people are addicted to lip balm, I'm addicted facial mists. Well, and lip balm. Well, and maybe coffee too. There's definitely such a thing as coffee-flavored lip balm, but is there a coffee-scented facial mist? My mind is racing.

The mists (or "facial sprays") of the day come to you from Reviva Labs. There are two varieties: Rosewater and Lindenflower. Reviva is a "natural" brand, and perhaps you remember seeing these when I posted my iHerb natural skincare haul last month. If not, here's what they look like:

Reviva Labs Lindenflower Rosewater Facial Sprays mists ingredients

The packaging isn't especially pretty, but perhaps there's more to these humble-looking mists than meets the eye...

09 October, 2013

Review: Etude House Mascara Remover (plus comparison test against Neutrogena Oil-Free Eye Makeup Remover)

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Greetings y'all... do you like using a dedicated eye makeup remover? Because I certainly do, even on top of my cleansing oil. For me, liquid eye makeup remover + cleansing oil = 100% less panda eyes in the morning. True story.

Today I'll be reviewing "Mascara Remover", an eye makeup remover from the popular Korean brand Etude House. Want to see how it stacks up against my current makeup remover of choice? Keep on readin'!

Black lipstick: How to wear it, where to buy it

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Hello everybody... how has your autumn been going so far? I can't believe we're already almost a third of the way through October. Time flies when you're doing... stuff. October is one of my favorite months of the year because it's usually when a little bit of chill starts to creep into the air, and of course because of Halloween!

I've always been a fan of bold and costumey makeup regardless of the season, but Halloween is special because you can wear pretty much anything in public without people thinking you're insane. And October is also special because in my mind it's sort of the unofficial "Black Lipstick Month", AKA the time when these bad boys show up in the drugstores and supermarkets:

I'm going to be honest: Fantasy Makers black lipstick is certainly alright for occasional costume or photo-taking purposes, but it doesn't have the best longevity. So what's a gal (or guy) to do when they want to sport a bold black lip all day (or night) long and this is the only thing they can find in their local drugstore? Why, turn to the internet of course!

Today I'll be sharing some general tips for applying black lipstick, as well as a list of a few black lipstick shades from popular brands and where to buy them online. Whether it's for a Halloween costume or just a spooky day in July, it helps to know where to buy the stuff!

08 October, 2013

Poll: How do you store your makeup?

Alright guys. I'm dealing with an issue that most folks who own a lot of makeup have to think about at some point in their lives... storage.

So tell me... how do you store your makeup? And how do you expand your storage options without breaking the bank?

Right now my makeup setup is a bit awkward. I don't have a dedicated vanity table, but rather this Ikea drawer thing that's meant for storing children's toys:

Oh, the joys of small spaces/apartment life. Inside those drawers I have some small plastic boxes/trays to separate things. It's functional, but sort of awkward. I actually didn't buy the Ikea thing with the intention of storing cosmetics, but over time that's what it turned into because I got too much stuff, haha.

So tell me: How do you store your makeup? Or if you aren't happy with your current setup, what would your ideal makeup storage solution look like?

07 October, 2013

3 Beauty Blogs I'm Liking Right Now

What's up, everybody?

Here's what's up with me: I have family coming into town to visit tomorrow, so I'm mentally preparing myself for that. Well, that and preparing my apartment. Maaaaaybe I haven't swept my living room in a while. Maybe. Anyway, the reason I'm mentioning it is because I probably won't have time to do any reviews or lengthy posts today, so rather than leave this space empty I thought I'd share links to a few other blogs I'm liking!

06 October, 2013

Review: Colgate Slim Soft Toothbrush

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Hellooooo everybody!

Today I'll be reviewing something a bit different - a toothbrush! Now, a toothbrush may seem like an odd thing to write about in the midst of talk about eyeshadow and skin cream, but your teeth are a part of your face too. I'm not saying you have to have perfectly straight or white teeth to look good, but making sure you have clean teeth and gums that aren't irritated or inflamed is probably one of the best things you can do for your face.

So the toothbrush I will be reviewing today is the new Colgate Slim Soft with "gliding tips". Just FYI for the sake of full disclosure, I got a sample of this to try for free from Influenster.

05 October, 2013

Silliness Corner: Makeover Software

Hello everybody!

So today I just wanted to share a stupid way to waste time on the internet with you. I know, like you need more of those. The other day I was playing around with TAAZ.com, which is essentially a "virtual makeover" website - you upload a plain photo of yourself and can add makeup, colored contacts, celebrity hairstyles etc. A great way to waste HOURS. You're welcome?

Screenshot of TAAZ.com
Want to see what zany looks I came up with for inspiration? More after the jump!

Review: Freeman Feeling Beautiful Star Fruit Purifying Facial Paper Mask

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Greetings friends!

Today I'll be reviewing another mask from Freeman. I'm a little mask-crazy, I know. But this mask is actually a bit unique... wanna know why? It's an American sheet mask. Say what?

Yeah, you heard me right. Freeman Beauty recently came out with three different "Paper Facial Masks", which are indeed just sheet masks by another name. I've noticed that a few American and European brands have come out with sheet mask-like products in the past couple years, but at under $2 apiece they're the only ones I've seen so far that compete price-wise with their inexpensive Asian counterparts (such as My Beauty Diary). And Freeman is a drugstore brand, so if you're in the USA these should be relatively easy to find (I got mine at Walmart). Here are the three varieties:

One for purifying, one for hydrating and one for brightening. Seems promising, right? Today I'll be reviewing the Purifying Star Fruit variety.

04 October, 2013

Poll: What beauty products do you wish you'd known about earlier?

So the post I did earlier about cleansing oil got me wondering... what are some beauty or skincare products you wish you'd known about long before you actually discovered them?

For me one of the answers would definitely be cleansing oils and balms. I only discovered the concept of double cleansing a few years ago (I'm nearly 30 now, so derp), and before that I cursed the skies daily because I could never figure out how to get all my foundation off. Makeup wipes helped, but they dried out my skin and didn't always get everything off.

In retrospect I feel kind of dumb for not realizing that this was a good idea, because back when I was a member of my high school's drama club (aww yeah) we used Pond's Cold Cream to take our stage makeup off after performances. Cold cream is basically like a more solid form of cleansing oil, guys. Double-derp.

Anyway, what are some beauty products you wish you'd known about much earlier? Let us know in the comments - you may even be helping out me or a fellow reader! :)

Current Fave: Innisfree Apple Juicy Cleansing Oil

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Hey everybody!

I did a mini review of Innisfree's Apple Juicy Cleansing oil when I first bought it in July, but since I'm still totally loving it a couple months on, I thought I'd do a more detailed review with all the "Apple Juicy" details. HA HA HA! Oh my.

Innisfree Apple Juicy Cleansing Oil

03 October, 2013

My Weird Wishlist: Unusual Perfumes

I'll be honest: I'm not very experienced in the ways of perfume. When I think of perfume my mind immediately goes to Dior Poison, which I got as a gift a couple of times in high school and wore until the bottles were empty. I can still remember how it smelled and think it's a really interesting fragrance, but it may be a bit dated now. (Can a fragrance be dated? How does that even work?) But yeah, it's been a while since I had a "signature scent".

Lately I've been looking up fragrance descriptions on various blogs and Basenotes to try and figure out what (if any) fragrance I might like to try next. But of course I discovered a few olfactory oddities during my digital travels - believe it or not, there's a lot of weird shit on the internet. True story.

I'm not convinced this is real, but seeing an internet-themed fragrance on the internet? Meta.
Image via SimplePimple.

Want to know which fragrance blends a high-fashion aesthetic with a "magic shop" sensibility? Or what common allergens you can smell like for just $20 per ounce? More after the jump!

02 October, 2013

Tips & Tricks: How to not lose all of your hair elastics

So if you're anything like me, you lose your hair elastics. A lot. And everywhere. When Stan and I moved out of our last apartment we found a dusty hairband mass grave under every single piece of furniture we moved. I'm not even exaggerating.

If this problem sounds familiar, I have a tip for you! Want to corral your elastics without making them tough to get to? Put 'em on a carabiner!

A quick Google search tells me I'm not the first person to come up with this idea, but I thought of it all by my lonesome so I'm feeling proud of myself. And I thought I'd share it with you guys because it makes me feel like less of a slob. Check it out:

01 October, 2013

Review: Freeman Feeling Beautiful Pineapple Facial Enzyme Mask

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Hello gals (and maybe guys?) Hope everybody's had a good start to their October. As you can see, I changed up the design of my site a bit... do you think it looks better than the old one? I still need to tweak the header and sidebar images a bit but I think it looks OK.

Anyway, the real subject of today's post is a review... of an inexpensive facial mask! Shocking, I know. The treatment du jour is Freeman's "Feeling Beautiful" Pineapple Facial Enzyme Mask. Keep reading for all the (fruit) juicy details!

Freeman Feeling Beautiful Pineapple Facial Enzyme Mask

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