Ren Clean Skincare

I’m going to apologize at the start and say it’s been crazy recently so I haven’t had a lot of time to dedicate to Brand Beat. Saying that, I still want to publish my reviews, but they will be a different style than before.

In a nutshell, I’ve never used any Ren before and I learned from coworkers it’s good for clients with redness and issues like rosacea, so the more you know.

Products Used

Rosa Centifolia 3-in-1 Cleansing Water

I really liked this cleansing water. It seemed to do a good job of removing all my makeup, but I will say it didn’t seem better than other options at a lower price point.

ClearCalm 3 Clarifying Clay Cleanser

This was gentle but when I was done my face felt so so so good. That’s really all I have to say.

Micro Polish Cleanser

So this product technically made me routine a triple cleanse, but my face didn’t feel stripped. It was a very gentle physical exfoliator and after my face felt like baby skin, which is awesome.

Evercalm Ultra Comforting Rescue Mask

Anti-Redness Serum

V-Cense Revitalizing Night Cream

Firm and Lift Eye Cream

Okay so these last three are lumped together because honestly I did this awhile ago and didn’t take good notes. I didn’t have any reactions and everything, again, felt very nice and gentle. Saying that, I didn’t notice anything stand out from the line that I would highly recommend as needing.

If you do have issues with redness and rosacea, than maybe this is the line for you. Who’s to know.

Mini Bonus! Lolita!

Hey hey hey so today I was feeling very lazy and decided to do a quick look using the new Lolita Eyeshadow & Blush.  Right now monochromatic is IN (according to Sephora) and products like this are basically a dream if you’re looking for a way to look ~*kEwL*~ and not spend a lot of time.

My basic review is that it’s a nice pigment. It’s not my favorite for a blush shade, but it went on nicely. I’ve seen people do some really intense eye looks but I kept it simple (lazy) and just put it in the crease.

I used other products too but I’m really unsure of what they were at this point in time. Some sort of foundation and mascara I guess? And most like Anastasia brows because that’s how I live my life.

I finished the look with the Everlasting Liquid Lipstick in Lolita, a shade I’ve never actually tried despite the popularity. I’m a big fan of the formula already, so liking that isn’t a surprise, but I really liked the color too. Part of me was a hipster and sure I would hate it, but alas no. I’m just like everyone else.

I would definitely buy the lip, but personally I don’t think the eye/cheek color is something I’m necessarily missing in my life. If it seems like you’re thing, hop to it! It’s only $19 and limited edition.

Huda Beauty

Today was not a day for Huda Beauty. Some brands are designed to be quick for the girl on the go, and some create textured eyeshadow palettes and glow kits designed to highlight your whole face. You can guess which category Huda falls into.

I was late to work and didn’t pack food so I had to run to Starbucks and choke down a bagel for sustenance. It even makes an appearance in a photo where it looks like I’m pushing out my lips but really I’m just chewing.

Huda is a growing line, and currently the only products are an eyeshadow palette, highlighting palette, lips, lashes and nails. I had to supplement a lot of other brands to get a complete look, but the Huda products are definitely the star.

Brand History

Basically Huda Kattan is living the dream of everyone who likes makeup in the entire world. She was working in finance when her real passion for makeup surfaced and she Googled the top makeup schools and decided to go. You know, as if it’s a completely normal thing to go to famous makeup school and work with major brands and models like it’s nbd.

Wishing to bring her experiences to the masses, she started her beauty blog in 2010 and quickly grew in popularity, becoming one of the most well known influencers in the world. Basically I’m going to follow in her footsteps with Brand Beat and someday I’ll be famous too lol

It was a natural transition into releasing her own products, much to the delight of everyone who followed her. Every product she releases is high quality and as a result, kind of high priced. Follow @hudabeauty on Instagram for a lot of really interesting reposts of hair, nails, makeup and more.

Products Used

The Look

This is another one of those days where I forgot to save the photos I took during the process to share with you, so you’ll have to deal with my words alone.

I’m going to spare you most of the complexion details because you can read about Sephora Collection, Tarte and Laura Mercier in other posts. My eyebrows by Anastasia Beverly Hills were a little more intense than I wanted (although I went for Dipbrow so I should’ve known) but with the complete look they were okay.

Huda called her glow kit ‘3D’ and for good reason. This isn’t your standard kit full of highlighters you can mix or choose between. Oh no. These shades are meant to be used at the same time. You begin by using the top right powder to set the face with a soft, luminous glow. Then you take the next color and highlight the high points of the face. You use the dark shade, a texture that isn’t quite a cream and also not quite a powder, to create depth under the cheeks. Finally, you take the pink shade for a soft flush.

Basically if you ever wished your contour was actually highlighter, this is for you.

It was really beautiful on the skin and if you like glowing, you’ll love this kit. It feels wonderful and is very easy to apply and blend. Obviously you don’t have to use every step every day, but it’s a nice option if you do. My only real issue is the blushes aren’t as dark as I like. The natural, flushed finish is pretty, but I like a little more definition. I tried using the Gold Sand blush to darken it a bit but I still didn’t really get the results I wanted.

Now that I looked like I dipped my face in glow powder, it was time to move to eyes. It’s important to reiterate again I was late to work, untoward and my hair was in a messy bun. But for some reason I chose the darkest lip color and felt I had to match the depth with my eyes.

I used all the reddish matte shades (Bossy, Maneater and Henna) to define my crease and outer corner and then placed Fling on top. To lighten, I used a bit of the Rose Gold textured shadow in the inner corner and then 24K on the center of the lid to lighten it up more.

The look was dramatic.

This eye look combined with Famous, the deep burgundy liquid lip I chose, was much edgier than I intended. I don’t like the shade Trophy Wife on me and the other shades available were almost too nude, so I settled with what was left. It definitely was a darker and edgier look than I envisioned but it wasn’t bad.

The eyeshadows applied nicely and blended out really well. The textured shadows are really pretty, but I’ve heard you can get similar formulas from Make Up Geek for a lot less money. On the whole it’s a beautiful range of colors, but at $65 it’s a little pricey. It’s also very similar to Modern Renaissance, a palette I love, but I believe the formula in the ABH set is a little better than Huda’s. If you’re looking for one and don’t think the textured shadows are appealing, opt for Modern Renaissance. You won’t be disappointed.

Last but not least is the lip, causally mentioned not long ago. I’m a fan of the Huda liquid lip formula. It’s comfortable and long lasting with a nice range of colors (we just don’t have them in store). Famous wore well all day and brought the drama. I went for a walk and it’s honestly why I kept the entire look on because I loved the drama.

Speaking of, I did take quite the extensive walk and the look really held up throughout the day. My lips made it through several meals before looking less put together which is always a plus.

In my opinion, most Huda products are great for makeup lovers who want to spend money and already have everything they need. With the exception of the lips, they’re a little pricey and slightly ridiculous in the best way possible.

Honestly there’s nothing new here I feel like I need to buy, as much as I enjoyed Famous and the Rose Gold Palette. Also everything I read/write Famous I think of the Kanye West song which is less than ideal.

Harry Potter, Always

I’ve been trying to find the most logical way to start this tribute, but I keep stumbling over my words. You see, Harry Potter has been a part of my life for most of my life. In fact, it’s been one of the biggest parts.

While the Philosopher’s Stone first released in the UK June 26, 1997, we had to wait more than a year before it came to the States. Even then, I didn’t immediately read it. I remember my neighbor had it and we would pretend it was a spell book and we were witches because we were vaguely aware it was about magic.

No, I didn’t read the book until I was in third grade. It was then everything for me changed. At this point, the first three books were published and I couldn’t stop. I remember staying up late at my dad’s house, sitting in my grandpap’s chair and reading by lamp to finish the Prisoner of Azkaban. I was trembling at the reveal at the end, completely blown away. To use the language of today, it was the first time I was shook from a book.

Me wearing a Hogwarts shirt and Hedwig coat on the way to watch The Chamber of Secrets in theaters

For two years I anxiously awaited my letter for Hogwarts, sure that a book that felt so real HAD to be real. When the movies were announced, I remember being concerned with getting the details right, and even as a child worried they would screw it up.

When the first movie came out, I dressed up as Hermione Granger and borrowed a snowy owl puppet from my Gifted teacher to make the look authentic. We did an after school week focused on Harry Potter and I kept the wand and felt hat we made for years.

Countless hours were spent online learning everything I could about the world of Harry Potter, including frequenting sites like Mugglenet where I printed a list of spells so I could remember what they did. I even started a fan club at school where I made quizzes and everything for my friends to prove they were real fans.

I remember the excruciating wait between books four and five. The first four were published so close together but we had to wait three more years for the next one. It’s funny – when the Order of the Phoenix came out I was only 12, but it doesn’t feel like it’s been almost 15 years. I don’t think I was that young, but clearly I was.

It would take four more years until the last book was published and I spent the time re-reading the series and re-watching the movies and convincing myself it couldn’t end, not really. They marketed the last book with Snape as friend or foe and I remember being so confident he would turn out to be good. The Deathly Hallows is a masterpiece that is equal parts tragic and triumphant.

I read the final book in 24 hours. A literal 24 hours, through the day and night

When I saw the final movie in theaters, many stood and applauded, but I couldn’t move because I realized I had nothing else to look forward to in the Harry Potter series. But I knew the series would always live on.

Harry Potter is more than just a series of books. For many, it was a way to cope with trauma or assault. Others saw it as an escape into a world so unimaginable but also so real. To me it was always like going home.

Hanging out where I actually should live

I grew up with Harry Potter. The final book came out when I was about to turn 17, the same age as Harry Potter in Deathly Hallows. He was like a constant companion and source of strength. Hermione Granger showed me it was okay to be smart and is a character I appreciate more and more with every re-read.

To this day I can’t pick a favorite and I know I haven’t found all the connections. Every time I read a book, I learn something new. I find something that didn’t make sense until this time. I’m never bored when I watch or read the stories I know so well.

I can quote most of the Sorcerer’s Stone movie mostly because I had a PC game that corresponded with the movie. Just ask me to do the Sorting Hat’s speech. Do it.

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter is one of my favorite places because it feels like, if only for a moment, I’ve actually entered the world I grew up longing to see. I can go to Zonko’s and Ollivander’s and drink Butterbeer. I can experience real magic when you enter Diagon Alley through the secret entrance.


I still have a collection of Harry Potter items on display. Some are toys I’ve had since childhood and others were acquired on trips to the theme park. There are photos of me through the ages wearing different types of Harry Potter merchandise, sometimes embarrassingly so. I still own and proudly wear Harry Potter clothing.

But tbh I’m not proud of these Hedwig overalls with the Gryffindor shirt underneath

I have a Harry Potter tattoo.

I even include ‘excellent Harry Potter knowledge’ on my resume.

When people get to know me, a few things become evident. 1) this girl is a Christian (hopefully) 2) she really loves her nieces 3) man is she obsessed with Harry Potter

Let’s be honest, there are worst identifiers.

Happy Anniversary, Harry Potter. Thank you for continuing to bring magic into my life.

After all this time?


Sephora Newness! June 20 Edition

Lancome has been my next brand for like a week but I just haven’t found the energy to take the plunge and do a review. Fortunately, we have a lot of newness in store so I could spend the day distracting myself.

Every month or so, Sephora puts up what is called a new animation. This means I am forced to work a second night during the week (hence two skincare reviews last week). New products are put on the floor to reflect the current trends in the world of skincare, haircare and makeup along with new store displays.

While this current animation is technically ‘Curl Boss,’ designed to reach the more than 60 percent of the population with some type of textured hair, there’s a makeup trend angle as well. Right now, Sephora is all about monochromatic looks.

Several brands released products based on a popular shade in one color so an entire look can be created using the same shade, aka monochromatic. Urban Decay brought back its Gash eyeshadow to match the lipstick and lipliner and Kat Von D introduced a shadow/blush in the shade Lolita to match her most poplar shade of Everlasting Liquid Lipstick.

Other brands just launched new products in store, like Anastasia Beverly Hill’s blushes and Aurora Glow Kit.

Now let’s get into the details of my experience.


Products used:

*indicates first time trying product

The Look

Keeping in line with current trends, I decided to go with a monochromatic look of sorts, inspired by the ABH Blush Trio in Pool Party. I began my experience with Sephora’s new primer targeted toward mattifying. It’s not clear like I anticipated it to be (as a gel) and the consistency was really weird. It’s probably most comparable to the De-Slick primer from Urban Decay. You have to apply it carefully because it gets sticky and doesn’t spread well. Most of my gel-based product glide like an angel on the ice over my skin, but not this one.

Next I added foundation, aka the most disappointing product in the bunch. I had high hopes for the new Tarte stick foundation. I watched one and it felt like butter gliding across my forearm, but it didn’t translate to my face. Maybe the mattifying primer didn’t provide the right base. Maybe I used the wrong tool to spread it. I don’t know. All I know is it got stuck on my face and I basically had to rub it off just to get it to blend. No me gusta.

The rest of the complexion went fairly smoothly. I used the Maracuja concealer from Tarte because it’s thick and I trust it to do its best against the giant chin monster threatening to consumer my face. The new Nars bronzers are so beautiful and create a really natural looking warmth on the skin. They don’t apply too heavily, making them excellent to blend.

Next we have the highlight of the day, and no I’m not referring to one of the many highlighters I used. There are few to no products I’ve tried from Anastasia Beverly Hills and didn’t like/love, and the blushes are no exception. The pigment is so nice. They seem like they might be too bright in the pan, but once they begin their journey in adding flush to your cheeks, they’re so natural and pretty. I am in love. The trio is $30 which isn’t bad considering you get three blushes at that price. I was also worried the thin pans would cause quick contamination and make it hard to focus your brush in the color you wanted, but I faced no trouble at all. Thank God.

I brought several highlighters into this review and decided Aurora was the way to go, meaning I chose one of the colors that wouldn’t make me look crazy. Don’t get me wrong. I love it. But also I don’t want a blue sparkly stripe on my cheekbone. I went with ‘Eclipse’ a really pretty pink shade to match my theme. It was beautiful.

After priming my eyes, I used some of the Tarte Rainforest of the Sea powder to set it (also used on my face but forgot) and then went in with non-eye products like a real rebel. I used all the shades in the blush palette to add dimension and then tried to add a little of the Amethyst/Geode highlighter in the middle, but the pigment wasn’t really there sadly. It added some shimmer, but on the whole it fell flat. I used the other two in my inner corner and my reviews there are similar.

I decided to try the Becca lip gloss (even though gloss isn’t my jam) and swatched all the colors which turned into a sticky mess. I chose Rose Quartz/Seashell because it kept in line with my monochromatic idea, but they were all interesting. I’m not likely to run out and buy any because of my preferences, but they’re interesting nonetheless. Not too sticky but also not very long lasting.

The final touch was the setting spray, or what should more realistically be called a coconut shower. Even though I was warned by a coworker and thought I maintained a safe distance, I got soaked. In order to get it to mist across your face like a good setting spray, it needs to be held at a complete arms distance or else it’s way way too much. Definitely a packaging flaw, but so far the product itself seems to be holding my face up well, which is a plus.

All in all it was a fun day trying some new products. I’ll probably do at least another monochromatic look using some newness, but right now I’m thinking maybe a Huda Beauty day tomorrow since we have the eye palette back in stock and the glow palette just launched. Maybe? Yeah?

Probable Purchase

  • The ABH blush trio. Obviously.

Never Again

  • Maybe everything else? I don’t know I need to try both the primer and foundation again with different counterparts to see if I like them better



Last night I brought you the disastrous combination of Five Guys and a peel off mask. Fortunately, this endeavor was a little more successful (minus some burnt popcorn). And by more successful I mean I really don’t have much to say about my experience with Korres.

Actually it’s five days after I did and I reviewed a lot of new products today so this post feels inconsequential at this point. To keep it spicy, I’m going to follow a completely different format for this so I don’t waste any of our time together.

What I Used:

Greek Yoghurt 3 in 1 Cleansing, Toning and Eye Makeup Removing Emulsion

This was pretty effective makeup remover. It quickly removed ALL of my makeup (including eye) and left my skin feeling really nice. Plus it also helps tone the skin which is important.

Wild Rose Daily Brightening & Replenishing Buff Cleanser 

Exfoliating is cool. This was okay. It’s very gentle but your skin feels fresh when you’re done. Personally, I don’t like physical exfoliators that much, but this one wasn’t bad.

Wild Rose Vitamin C Petal Peel

This was a two-step process and during the second it said keep on for 3 to 10 minutes, or until it starts to sting. I forgot to time and it never began to sting so I became very worried I would melt my skin off by accident.

This didn’t wow me either. I’m a big Babyfacial fan, mainly because I can feel it working my skin and no pain, no gain. This one didn’t leave my skin feeling as nice or as new as I like.

Golden Krocus Ageless Saffron Elixir Serum

Honestly I have no idea what any of these words mean but it felt nice on my skin.

Wild Rose + Vitamin C Advanced Brightening Sleeping Facial

I contemplated whether a sleeping facial was a good idea after doing a peel, but I threw caution to the wind and said the heck with it, I’m doing it! My skin felt thick after I applied, which is probably because I didn’t sleep until three hours later so I was awake when it was freshly applied.

When I woke up, I didn’t notice anything about my skin. It wasn’t super soft or clean feeling. I think Korres is a nice brand, and a lot of my feelings are probably due to poor product selection for my skin type, but either way. I don’t think there are any products that would draw me back in. Except maybe the emulsion. I liked that.


Tonight I made the horrible decision of ordering Five Guys. Now ordinarily I would never dare say those words, but when you have 45 minutes and plan to do a 25 minute mask, you need to be smart. I had to run all over the place to get my wallet and food just so I could feel bloated and greasy.

But it was so good.

My third skincare review is actually one of my favorite brands, Boscia. I love basically every product I’ve tried. Regularly I’ll use the Exfoliating Peel Gel and the black Detoxifying Cleanser used to be my go-to. Pore Pudding is a really nice mask, but don’t confuse it with the Charcoal Makeup Melter (which I’ve done). (no seriously one time I put the mask directly on my fully beat face like a real goober).

Most people these days are familiar with Boscia because of the infamous peeling black mask. This is the one product I don’t like, maybe just because it was such an Internet thing for the wrong reasons. You saw people pulling out all this pore junk and selling knock off masks for $7. There were horror stories of people getting trapped in the mask and finding them very painful to remove.

First of all, if a mask is removing that much junk from your pores, you need to take care of your pores on the reg and not randomly with this mask. There are a lot of great products to keep them clear. Second, if you don’t apply it correctly it will pull a lot. The key is stop pulling, get a washcloth and wipe it off. Anyone you saw in pain was doing it for the shares and nothing else.

I also heard people asking if it was used to exfoliate. I mean sure it’s certainly pulling your skin off in a violent manner but is it what you want removing dead skin cells? No. That is why you purchase an exfoliator. Anyway.

Brand History

The name Boscia is a combination of ‘botanicals’ and ‘science,’ emphasizing the focus of the brand. It began in 2002 by bringing Japanese skincare techniques to California and releasing their secret of success to the masses. Basically, they’re kind of the authority on white and black charcoal products for detoxifying, mattifying and any other –fying that will make your skin beautiful.

Products Used

The Experience

The first thing you may notice about the products is I forgot a cleanser. I meant to grab the Tsubaki cleanser but I didn’t and only used the oil because I was too lazy to go back on stage. Saying that, the oil was amazing. It removed my makeup easily and left my skin feeling so soft. I’m not even 100 percent sure I needed a double cleanses (which is great because it didn’t happen).

Next was the new charcoal exfoliator, which is awesome because it’s both enzymatic and physical, so my dead skin was rolling up in two different ways while the charcoal helped clean out the pores. While a physical exfoliator isn’t good for acne, I will say this one felt gentle and I know volcanic ash is good for people with oil and pore concerns.

This is where it started to go downhill.

Even though I said I wouldn’t use the black peeling mask, I used the white one, which is basically the same thing. The difference is white focuses on hydrating and plumping and black is detoxifying. I liked this one better because it made my skin softer, but I ran into problems nonetheless.

The key with a peel mask is an even, opaque layer. This allows easy peeling. My layer wasn’t opaque so I added more and it began to dry very strangely, and in some places not at all. It was time to punch in from break and I was still half masked. It took me about 10 minutes of rubbing to get the mask off completely. In a nutshell, I liked the way it felt, but make sure you let it dry before removing so you aren’t scrubbing all your skin off. ​

In a blur of activity I did the remaining steps, but at this point my skin was basically ruined. The toner was interesting because it was a mist, but I liked how light it was. The treatment was a treatment and the moisturizer was also light but I could feel it beginning to bring life into my raw skin. I used two much of the eye treatment and my eyes just watered it all away.

When I woke up, I could still see pieces of mask on my face but overall everything felt ok. I think the products were all great, but human error definitely got in the way. Another week of ‘I did my best, ok?’

You need to stop

This week I received my first speeding ticket. I didn’t realize I was speeding, but suddenly the officer was behind me, flashing his accusatory lights while I began praying I had a light out. When he reached my window, the panic set in and I was like a robot, unable to say anything other than sorry while I fumbled for all my information.
I had just left a park where I was scouting a location for my next Bible study. I stayed with traffic, not watching my speed and thinking about getting to work and the never ending list of things on my to do list.

Recently I’ve been paying more attention to my speed, not because I planned to slow down, but it occurred to me I was probably on the verge of a ticket. When driving the same road post ticket, I felt like I was crawling to my destination as I obeyed the posted law.

Go go go is the voice in my head, urging me past the other vehicles. 

Today I went out for a run, but my legs gave up before I made it a half mile. Frustrated, I tried again, confused because I had done this same thing the past two days without issue. A second time my body just stopped.

Instantly I began my attack. What’s wrong with you, Chelsea? It’s not hard. Why can’t you do this? Why can’t you finish anything? Get it together. Be better. Push harder.

And then I looked up. 

I realized it was a beautiful morning. The birds were chirping and people were beginning their days. The houses on the street were old and ornate. I had run down this road the last two days, but I didn’t look up to notice. I just kept pushing pushing pushing

It was in this moment I heard God. His words weren’t spoken aloud, but I felt them in my heart.

You need to stop.  

Even when I’m lying down, I’m in a constant state of rushing. Everything I need to do and want to happen is swirling in my brain, rarely allowing for peace. The end of the day is a reminder of all the things I have left to do that I’ll add to tomorrow’s list.

Amidst this chaos, I find myself wishing to fast forward past this phase. I want my life to be like a movie trailer. I want to see all the good parts, stumble over the darkness and then emerge victorious as the end to the beat of a catchy song. I don’t want the day to day monotony that I have to drag myself through. But I do, always wishing for that happy ending.

I want to make money fast to get out of debt. I want to find my calling fast so I can stop fumbling around. I want to meet my husband fast so I can stop being alone. I want my life to happen fast because this slow track I’m on is crushing my soul. 

Because everything is slow, I try to push faster. If I keep going, it won’t catch me. I don’t want to be here now, I want to be there, dreaming about a time where I’m not always tired and always working and always busy. Say yes to this, this and this and don’t you dare stop.

You need to stop.

Part of me tries to argue with God. Sorry, but You know my schedule. If I stop, I don’t make money. I can’t pay my bills. I can’t pay my rent. I have to keep going, God. My schedule demands it. I have things to do and accomplish and if I breathe, I might miss something. Together we picture my planner and I aggressively point out the level of busy I need to maintain and look away when He reminds me He has the small job of maintaining everyone and everything.

I didn’t try to start running again. When I hit my standard turnaround point, I kept going. I didn’t have a plan. I just knew I had to keep walking. I started to think of everything I had to do today. How I was going to spend my morning. And God just kept saying stop stop stop

Instead of worrying about getting back or checking my pace, I just wandered for a few miles until I found my way back home. I sat down to read my Bible and jump into the list I graciously set aside so God could distract me, only to be disrupted once more. It was my wonderful sister and nieces coming to pick me up for brunch. 

Most people would feel this was a kind gesture, but for me it was torture. I had so much to do! I just can’t leave. I’m in the middle of reading my Bible. I have to check my email. I have to send some emails. Why doesn’t anyone appreciate how valuable my time is! 

 You need to stop. 

I’m always running and pushing and speeding to the next thing. What does ‘experience the moment’ even mean? My moments are spent mentally preparing the next part of my schedule. I’m focused on when something ends so I know how much time I have to be here before I have to be somewhere else. How much time is left until I can go home and sleep. How much time until I have to wake up.

I tell myself hustling is the way to prove myself to God. Maybe if He sees how hard I’m working, I can rest. Maybe that rest won’t come before Heaven, but I can earn it. Maybe He will give me what I want if He sees how hard I’m trying. Yes. Just keep pushing and your Heavenly Father will give you rest and what you want because you deserve it.

I write that, and I hear His plea for me echoing in my soul. I don’t deserve anything and I can’t earn anything. Why do I keep trying? He wants me to stop and I want to go to prove myself as worthy. He wants me still and I worry I’ll get stuck. 

I’m like a child running to my parents, desperate to get to them, and while I hear the words that I need to slow down, I think I can handle the speed. That’s when I fall. That’s when I fall every single time. 

You need to stop.  

Running is a popular image in the Bible. We’re told to run to win (1 Corinthians 9:24), persevere to the end of race to win the prize (Philippians 3:14) and hope in God so we can run and not grow weary (Isaiah 40:31). If that’s the case, why is God telling me to stop?

Because I’m not running for Him. I’m running for me. I’m running for my pride and ego.

I’m running in vain (Philippians 2:16). I don’t have the endurance promised by God (Hebrews 12:1) because I’m listening to my sins of pride, arrogance and worry as they trip me up again and again and again.

If I go fast enough, I can make it out of this. I can find the end that justifies the means and live restful and peaceful and maybe even be present in the moment.

I need to stop.

This much is clear, but the question of how remains. This is my life. Going going going. But I don’t want it anymore. I want to feel each joyful moment in every miserable day. I don’t want to miss this because I want what I imagine is there.

I have to enjoy the drive and not try to cut as many seconds from my commute as possible. I need to see the world around me instead of keeping my head down so I can finish my route faster.

I need to trust that when God tells me to stop, He will still be here, and here is the only place I need to be.  


When I think of Dior, I don’t think of fashion or makeup or luxury. I think of Charlize Theron saying j’adore Dior or Natalie Portman fooling around with a man whose looks were designed for a fragrance ad. Why do the fragrances, scents I don’t even like, stand out the strongest? Advertising, man.

I actually meant to also find one of the Dior fragrances I liked enough to wear to complete the look, but I forgot and put on Black Tulip by Nest instead. I’m sorry I can’t be perfect. Speaking of, my goal with this was to achieve Bella Hadid (current model) levels of beauty, but I fell short yet again.

Prior to this experiment, I had used the Diorshow Maximizer primer for mascara as well as the standard Diorshow mascara. I knew coming into today I would try the Airflash foundation, an aerosol can of dreams according to many reviewers.

Another fun fact: In our systems, Dior is typically listed in shorthand as ‘CD.’ It took me an embarrassing amount of time to realize that meant Christian Dior.

Brand History

Christian Dior was the kind of man to make you feel like you’ll never accomplish anything. He was originally scouted to design for Philippe et Gaston (he just sounds like a bad guy), but instead decided he wanted to establish his own brand instead of reviving another. With the proper financial backing, he launched his fashion company in December 1946, now celebrated as 1947.

A few months after establishing his private house, Dior showed his first fashion line for spring/summer of 1947. Like many famous French designers, he was revered for his innovation and his line was renamed ‘New Look’ after all the attention it received for revitalizing the French fashion scene. His young-looking and glamorous designs helped bring back haute couture.

It makes sense when you think about historical context. This was a few years after the end of World War II. During that time, Paris was preoccupied and lost its title as fashion capital. Many celebrated the elaborate and feminine looks as they pushed past the functional looks found throughout the war and rationing. Others still in the rationing found them a waste, and Coco Chanel believed “only a man who was never intimate with a woman could design something that uncomfortable,” in a sentiment echoed by many feminists for the return of the corsets (something Chanel herself did away with).

As if Dior’s debut wasn’t big enough, he also launched his first fragrance the same year, Miss Dior. Named for his sister, once again Dior had released something that revolutionized the industry where it belonged.

Within a few years Dior had spread from France into New York City and beyond. In 1950, a licensing program allowed the placement of the brand ‘Christian Dior’ on luxury items, like ties, hats, purses, scarves, etc. At first people believed it was an insult to haute couture, but soon other houses followed and as a result we have the heavily branded designer products that plague the world today. Kidding. (kind of)

Tragedy struck in 1957 when Dior died from a third heart attack, leading some to believe the only option was shutting down amidst the chaos. The French fashion industry was having none of this considering how lucrative the Maison Dior was for business. His successor was a 21-year-old designer named Yves Saint-Laurent. Maybe you’ve heard of him?

Listen, this history is all pretty interesting and I’m only using Wikipedia, but I realize this isn’t an essay on Dior. Let’s get to the makeup. The cosmetic linewas created in 1969 and that’s all I could really find. I wish I knew why the red lip was such a thing with the brand, because on some level I know it is, but I don’t know why.

I feel like that started strong but lost steam when I got back on topic. Either way. Dior is a quality, luxury brand with quite the history. But how did I feel?



Products Used


Dior is a line where everything worked really well, but they aren’t really boundary pushers. They do what they do well and that’s where they live. The line has iconic mascaras, lip products and foundations and that’s what it does best. So let’s get into it. ​

The first product I used was the Airflash primer, which like the foundation, is something you just spray on your face. Or maybe your hands or a brush first? I’m still really confused how any of that works. I HATED the application and my first response was like noooo thank you. And then I felt my face and saw the color correction in action and I was like oh okay you got me. Seriously my skin felt so nice and soft.

Next came the Airflash foundation, beloved by so many, incredibly confusing to me. Not wanting to repeat my Sephora Collection disaster, I sprayed it directly onto the brush before applying. All I can say is holy cow. The coverage was beautiful and the match was almost incredible. As soon as it reached my skin, I looked like a new, healthier version of myself. It’s a real bummer it’s like $62. The plus side to that price tag is you don’t need too much, so the can should last you awhile.

A coworker liked it initially, but felt it works better for normal to dry skin people, unlike us oily folk. As the day went on my skin didn’t feel as good, but I didn’t see it breaking up anywhere either which is nice. Granted, I’m no longer oily, but ~*normal is just a dryer description*~ or something. Sorry.

After my face is one color, it’s time to conceal the zit that’s been plaguing me for weeks and the baby dark circles that look like I’m almost getting enough sleep. I tried the Fix It concealer first and it was okay for my blemishes, but it didn’t do much for my undereyes. Also I used it to prime my eyelids because it’s also a corrector for them, but I don’t recommend this. It doesn’t spread very easily.

At this point I needed to put my brows on because it’s terrifying and actually really loved the Dior Brow Styler. It was precise and easy to use. My brows took me a lot less time than usual because I feel like they shaped so easily. I tried to brow gel next but it’s real weird and not even online so

Back to complexion. I used the Nude Tan Glow whatever to bronze and it was pretty and so was the blush and highlighter. Very subtle, but both nice for the overall effect. I felt very natural after, which isn’t a bad thing. Nothing felt heavy on my skin.

I knew I wanted to use the Fusion Mono on my lid, a product I’ve actually had used on me before. It’s so beautiful. One day I will buy one. When I’m willing to spend $31. I didn’t have the right tools, so you can’t really see how beautiful it is in the pictures, but believe me it’s great. The five-color palette was fine. That’s really the best word for it tbh.

The penultimate product was the new Pump ‘N’ Volume Mascara. As a regular user of Diorshow, it seemed only fitting to try something new but I was really really disappointed. I even tried a second tester to make sure it wasn’t just old. It’s supposed to add really great volume, but my lashes looked even thinner than usual. I liked that it wasn’t as thick as Diorshow, but it didn’t do as much for me.

To complete the look, I chose a red lipstick from the Rouge line to be in step with the Dior ways. It went on so nicely and actually stayed fairly well through several meals. It was one of the highlights for sure.

Probable Purchases (when I win the lottery and have endless amounts of money)

  • Airflash primer and foundation – both so good
  • Fusion Mono – I have nothing else to say about this
  • Red Smile lipstick – YAS so beautiful and light

Never Again

  • Pump ‘N’ Volume – more like pump ‘n’ get nothing amirite?

Ole Henriksen

Welcome to the second skincare brand review! Thursday nights I work late which means no makeup, only removing of my face to help clean the skin below.

The first moisturizer I used as an adult was Sheer Transformation by Ole Henriksen. My roommate gave me a travel sized version she didn’t need and I was like cool I don’t do anything for my skin except wash it so why not. It was a different time for me, everyone, and one I’m not proud of.

Since trying other products, I don’t love that moisturizer. A lot of people do, but it isn’t for my skin, which as we’ve discussed, is fine. Recently I started using the Facial Sauna Scrub and Hydrator from the green Balance line and they’re incredible. Definite recommendation there.

Truth Serum is a Vitamin C product designed for anti-aging and a bestseller at Sephora. Saying that, I haven’t noticed a lot of results when using it. In fact, it actually turns me orange when combined with certain essences. Which is cool.

Oh! And I’ve done the Power Peel, which I loved. I guess I have a decent amount of experience with Ole Henriksen.

Brand History

Ole Henriksen actually has quite the interesting story. Ole Henriksen, the founder, was born in the Danish countryside and began traveling the world at age 19, eventually falling in love with Jakarta and working there as a professional dancer and model. The different climate caused his skin to break out, spiking his interest in skincare.

He later went to the Christine Shaw College of Beauty in London, graduating with honors in 1975. After, he moved to LA and began developing his clientele, many of them famous. In fact, he would create products in his kitchen and take them to clients in the back of his bike.

In 1983, his skincare line launched and by 1989 he was the skincare guru all the celebrities wanted. Sephora and Henriksen began a ‘lifelong love affair’ in 2005 when the company began selling his products, making them available for the poor masses like you and me. In five years, his Truth Serum would become the number one anti-aging product at Sephora and in 2013, Henriksen would join forces with its parent company LVMH to make the brand grow on the global scale.

Products Used

You know I said last time I rarely use a wipe to remove makeup but clearly I did it again (and also last night, but I was really tired). I know there’s a makeup melter in the Truth line, but I couldn’t find it, so I settled for a wipe.

It was a terrible experience.

Yes, it removed my makeup well which was good, but the smell. THE SMELL. I’ve used Truth Serum which has a similar scent, but something about the wipe smelled like burning orange garbage. I don’t know. It works, but if scent is a thing for you, avoid.

Next I used the Truth foaming cleanser and it had a similar scent but not one that made me want to remove my skin so I’d never have to smell it again. It made my skin feel clean and nice.

Now ordinarily I would tell you scents don’t typically bother me at all, but something about this line just really pushed me. Again, I use products in the green bottles and I love that scent but these ugh. Ugh.

The Walnut Scrub came next and it is so harsh. If you have any sort of acne problem or concern, this physical exfoliator is not for you. It felt like my high school days of using St. Ives. I didn’t rub for very hard or long because it felt like sandpaper. The smell also bothered me a lot. One of my coworkers who was there loved it, but it’s another thing that I would gladly live without forever and ever.

As if the stripping my skin just took wasn’t enough, I decided to use the Polishing Sugar Mask next. Ole Henriksen doesn’t have a lot of mask options so I did what I could with what I had. Fortunately, it was a much more gentle exfoliator and while my face was super red after I removed it, it did seem to glow a little.

I completed the experienced with an overnight gel for transformation and a Nurture Me moisturizer because it felt like my face needed all the love it could get. I’ve actually used the gel before and I like it enough, but my skin didn’t seem super transformed in the morning. It was super soft though.

If you’re curious, both of those have really strong smells as well but they didn’t bother me as much so there you go.