Beauty Quadrant: Beauty Favorites of 2022

Hello to all of you beautiful nerds and welcome back from traveling the vast nerd universe! Time for another beauty post!

Fave Beauty Items of 2022

I know I should have done this just after the Bests & Worsts but I felt that other posts had to come first in order to think about what I wanted to include. I don’t want to be like some beauty people who name everything they like but I do have some things that I have tried and enjoyed during the year and will mention them here. But first!

Disclaimer!

This post is based on thoughts about products that the lead writer of this blog has enjoyed during 2022. Please respect her picks and thoughts about each item! You have been warned!

Hair

Starting with hair since I have been growing my hair out I want to make sure that my hair is strong! I am starting off with the Tresemme Keratin Shampoo and Conditioner. I have been growing my hair and one thing that helps is carotene oil to make hair strong and I have been enjoying this shampoo and conditioner because of how strong and thick my hair has been getting. I notice not as much fall out as my hair gets but I do put a comb through it and some strands fall but not as bad. Another hair product I did love was the Honey and Mimosa Hair Pomade. For work, I try to keep my hair from sticking out and having a good pomade does help. I have used the Got2B Pomade for years but that has been hard to find for years and tried out one from Old Spice but that one weighed my hair so much I had to toss it until I found the one from Carol’s Daughter.This was the most reasonable priced at Ulta and it did keep my hair down with a light hold and it didn’t weigh it down until I need to either wash my hair or just use dry shampoo. I did like one sale where they had this product buy one get one discounted and did buy it at that time to keep a stock of it. I hope this doesn’t go away. And finally, the Eva NYC Satin Dream Leave-In Conditioner is another favorite this past year. This has been something I use to keep my hair from frizzing up and being so dry, especially after washing my hair. It smells so good and I love the pump idea since this stuff is thick! I’m glad to see that Ulta carries this and I can just go into my Favorites list and pick it up. I just recently got another one in case I run out soon.

Skin

Next category is skin and man. I’m glad I did cancel my subscriptions because all of the skin care items have piled up over the years and now I’m starting to use some items. I do have some items I did enjoy this past year and one of them happens to be the SaraVay Skin Tint SunScreen in 30 SPF. I love this one because it doesn’t give me the white cast like the SPF 50 one does. I tried so much to love that one but couldn’t due to how much of a white cast it gave me, even my supervisor helped me to clean my face every time and had to toss it. The Sheer Tint SunScreen just goes on sheer like it says. I am on my second tube since I did repurchase it when my dad visited last time this month. I am still buying this even on sale. Another skin care item I give props to is the Aveeno Oatmeal Face Wash! I think I have gone through so many face washes all thanks to the subscriptions but I think the one I have enjoyed so far is the one from Aveeno. This one is meant for sensitive skin and I like how it’s not overpowering with the oatmeal scent either and it has helped with moisture even before my skin care. I think I prefer this one over the Saravay one because that one is a bit too drying for my liking even though that was suggested by the person from Ulta who helped me find items for my canceled RangerStop trip. I think I will stick with this face wash for the shower instead. Another skin care item I have enjoyed has been the Good Molecules Hyaluronic Acid Serum which I prefer over the ones I have tried from subscriptions. THis brand is from Beautylish and they have been at Ulta for over a year and a half and have picked this up in the smaller bottle and now I have the bigger bottle. I am about to try one from Tony Moly that has caught my eye and see how that works, if that one turns out bad I know I will return to my Good Molecules one! And finally, I admit I love Native Deodorants! For the longest time I have bounced between so many deodorant brands until I finally broke down and purchased Native all thanks to Mile Higher talking about the Christmas scents at the end of 2021; It did take me a while to get used to them because I was going from brands that I was used to a new and natural formula with shea butter and it was the greatest choice. I have enjoyed the Tye Dye Vanilla Cupcake which was a limited edition scent along with the Mint Chip Cupcake that I got three of and used one of them I believe. I am currently using one from the Cabin Collection which is their autumn collection and it’s the Vanilla Marshmallow. I hope they bring this collection back, especially the shower gels because I got the bundle of body washes and man they smell so good! I love the bundle packs because they do save you some money in the end. I did pick up their Candy Shop Collection with the Strawberry Vanilla Taffy, Sour Berry Ropes, and Gummy Bears because of Jen Luv’s ad and like everyone else who commented, I wanted to smell like gummy bears too!

Face

Next up is what I loved in face makeup and to start this category I have been enjoying the Smashbox Hydrating Face Primer. Even though the NYX Marshmallow Primer, which is my go to replacement for the hydro one they made, has been my top choice, the one from Smashbox is my second favorite and I think I prefer it over the foundation. It has a better pump and it also feels good and cools on the skin when I put it on. It may cost a little bit more than the NYX Marshmallow Primer since they have raised their prices but Smashbox does have a good price for some of their stuff. At least it’s not as high as Urban Decay has gotten as of late! Speaking of which, I do enjoy the Urban Decay Stay Naked Skin Tint which I purchased through 21 Days of Beauty and of course got it in Light Medium Neutral! This is another feel good product but also blends very well into the skin when I get to foundation. I put it on my pallet and apply it with my beauty sponge and it feels refreshing once blended in! Finally, I give props to Milani with their blush sticks! I would have never enjoyed a blush stick until Milani released these last year. I have one in rose and one in peach and love how well they blend in once I apply them.

Eyes

Next up is eyes and man it’s hard to know what I loved! I admit the Ulta Matte Eye Shadow Primer has been something I’ve been enjoying when it comes to priming my lids before applying my shadows. I usually love the potted primers but this tube of primer has been lasting me for a long time and it keeps my shadows on very well. I also enjoyed the Araceli Eyeliner in Rose Gold to go with any of my rose themed shadow looks. I found how pigmented it is and I do enjoy the pencil sharpener that came with it as well. 

Lips

Final category is lips. I think I don’t have much since most of the lipsticks I have used are from Mac. I have purchased a lot of lipsticks from them last year and enjoyed them. I do admit I did like one liquid lipstick line but it got discontinued which made me sad. I do admit their Powdered Kiss line is pretty good from what I’ve tried so far. I do put it on top of a favorite which is the Ulta Collection Lip Primer. I have used the one from ELF but when I tried this one out I fell in love! This one is more like a chap stick and easy to use. I tend to use it with liquid lipsticks to keep them from running all over my face. I tend to carry one in my work makeup bag and one in my personal makeup bags! I did find one I have gotten a while back in one of my LoungeFly backpacks since I used up the one in my work makeup bag since they sold out recently. At least I found out they re-stocked and may purchase at a later date.

So, that is it for this post! I know it seems short but I feel as though it was easy in certain areas. I didn’t include an eye shadow pallet because I didn’t use shadow pallets as much. I may have some for 2023, let’s see what happens! I am still reading books so stay tuned!

Book Quadrant: Definitely Don’t Work with Writers’ Branding

Hello to all of you beautiful nerds and welcome back from traveling the vast nerd universe! I do have an update for you all!

Update! Definitely Don’t Go With Writers’ Branding!

Yes, it’s another scammer update and felt like bringing up a bit of an update with Writers’ Branding and this happened right after submitting another book for publishing!

Earlier this month I submitted my sequel in the Backwards Fairy Tale series, Rose Thorns of Love. after writing it this past year. I started on it when I thought Stratton Press was legit but happened to be not legit and decided to stay with Light Switch Press and work well with them. I am appalled at Writers’ Branding after what they had done this time which made me want to stay with LSP even more. If anyone that writes or is from Writers’ Branding, knows that scams do exist and WB LLC, you are a scam!

So, a week after submitting Rose Thorns, I was at work when this happened. I noticed the call had Trenton, New Jersey with it and I had a bit of suspicion and decided to answer it because I had some words for them. I took it to my office for some privacy and this time it happened to be a higher up in the company or so they say. They gave me their pleasantries at first and then talked about how they wanted to publish Love Found in Cinders due to how good it is. If you remembered with the last person I talked to from this “company,” I did ask if they read my book but the person replied they only read the synopsis and told me how good it was. This did cause the red flag since I remembered Stratton didn’t really read my book since if you had read it then you would already know what the story is, characters, etc. This second person who was calling got my questions of how it was found and I was told one of their scouts found it. I did ask about reading it and they said that the scout read it and this turned into a talk about my publisher, Light Switch. I was not expecting this because of how much I worked with them in the past and already submitted my latest book to them for publishing that they would tell me that it was failing. It got me mad and told them that they were a scam from reviews I had read on BBB and that they should not call me again and take my number off their list. I did block the number they were calling me from to keep them from calling from it. I have a feeling they may use another in the future if they tried but I would ignore it. It did cause me to be a little concerned and sent an email to my publisher asking about it. When I got home later that day, I told Tobi what had happened and thought it was strange that LSP would be called a failing one and try to research it. My findings were interesting because they had a good score on BBB where there is an A+ score and a perfect rating score on their page when Writers’ Branding, on the other hand, has a D. I am wondering even to this day how can you call someone with a perfect rating failing?

Light switches Reply

I did manage get an answer from Light Switch and they asked me about who contacted me since they never had heard of a failing publisher at all nor them failing. I did tell them that it was Writers’ Branding and my findings about them scamming authors out of their loyalties since the BBB complaints mentioned that the most. I even asked how they would get my number. I tried asking Writers about it and they ignored my question about it. LSP did reply that they were trying to get me to join them as an author with aggression by making it sound like they’re the better publisher. I can see from how they sounded over the phone. LSP also mentioned that they were searching my name after finding my book and found my phone number that way. It’s creepy how they can use the internet in such a way to try to grab my book. We both contacted the BBB with me complaining about them and not sure what they are doing in contacting authors the way they

 Do.

Where Am I At Now?

I haven’t really budged on leaving Light Switch Press because I already have sent my book in. I am staying with them since they have not failed me once, especially after giving that satisfying middle finger to Stratton with the paperback version of Love Found in Cinders. As promised, I did choose the E Book and paperback versions for my sequel since I wanted my audience to be able to choose between the two and now three since I had found a way of being on Audible. That’s right folks! I’m going on Audible with my work since it is a membership I have loved when it comes to having better reach for reading. Plus, most people prefer audio over just reading regular print. I did remember how Stratton did ask about that and it’s interesting how they tried to get me to think that they would do it for me but a year later or so I was able to find the resource myself. I guess some of these scammers don’t realize that the self in self-publishing means you have to be independent not only in the writing phase but also promote yourself as a writer, your releases for your audience, and if you want to go audio then find that avenue as well. Heck, I had to find out how to get onto Bookshare myself with Cinders.  If I had gone with either Stratton or Writers then I would find out the hard way that they were not helping with either avenue in the end.

Another thing is how Writers’ Branding tried to sound like they’re the better choice in publishing when they have hurt people already by taking their money in the end. I understand how much it hurts to see your royalties being scammed out of you since I’ve been scammed in the past by a so-called Work At Home company and lost my bank account in the end. 

And of course, the part about how Writers made it sound like LSP was a failing publisher made me burn in my core because of how they thought that I could leave by gas lighting me by saying so. When I had done my research on both of them, what I found was interesting when it came to how long both publishers have been around. Light Switch has been around for nine years going on ten which they have been around since 2014 and I didn’t find them until around 2016 while Writers has been around for two years and they have a low grade for the time they’ve been around already. I think I remembered Stratton being around for the same length of time as Writers and they have both scammed people for that long? Really?? 

Tips for New Writers

I think it’s time to include this because it’s important for new writers to beware of any scammers.

  1. Please stand your guard if you get a call from one of these companies. 
  2. Ask questions if you get the call from these people, as in how did they find your book? How did they get your contact? Also, ask for their name and if they don’t give it to you right away then ask for the company name again because there are times where they say it fast.
  3. Research behind the company, especially for their BBB page or even Glass Door if need be because they can give you the information you need such as how long they’ve been around, if they have good ratings, even any complaints where if there are more complaints than reviews which can tell a lot.
  4. Look at their social media and see if people have posted about not working with them and how they interacted with you.
  5. Speaking of interactions, pay attention to how they speak and their attitudes towards the questions or how they explain things. Sometimes the questions they ask you or talk to a new person can draw red flags. Remember my interaction with Stratton, how I got weird questions like if I believe in the paranormal and about my reactions to George Floyd which doesn’t have to do with my book.
  6. If you are already working with a publisher you love, stay with them. As in, you don’t have to leave your publisher if you feel good with the work you or what they’ve done for you then just stay.
  7. Check to see if their email addresses are legit and not from a different domain. An interesting point that I heard on YouTube is that the best way to work with an actual publisher is that they would have an email with the company name in it and not something like Yahoo, GMail or any others. I think I saw Writers had an email with their brand in it and I think Stratton as well but I would say still keep your guard if these two contact you or any others that may have scammed others.
  8. YouTube is your friend with advice! Authors use YouTube as a platform to talk about how to get published and where to go if there are any vanity presses that may come up. Just take a look!

I think that completes my post. I hope no other one of these publishers gets to me this year. I did get a response from Writers on BBB and they are taking my number off their list since they claimed that someone pushed my book towards them and they thought I would have so much potential in the future. That’s cute! I was able to submit my sequel earlier this month and now working on getting Cinders onto Audible and found the info on my own without help. Not only that, I may have not sold much but people do stumble upon books or I sometimes do a quick word of mouth when it comes to my books and blog. Heck, I told one of the Beast Morphers about my book because he wrote poetry and who knows, he may get my book after the convention. Plus, I do work in my career field and about to head back to school for the Spring which I’m glad to be almost done.If you want to see your published writers have a future, pay them what they are owed.

So, that completes everything! Again, hoping no other scamming publishers come after me. Next will be the beauty products I loved last year.

Beauty Quadrant: My Thoughts on the Morphe Bankruptcy

Hello to all of you beautiful nerds and welcome back from traveling the vast nerd universe! It happened guys!

My Thoughts On Morphe Going Bankrupt!

It just happened in the news and man I have some thoughts!

Disclaimer

This post is based on thoughts and opinions of the topic at hand! Please respect the writer’s thoughts on it! You Have been warned!

If you have been living under a space rock, Forma Brands has gone bankrupt this past week and with everything going on some people across YouTube were waiting for it to happen. This past Christmas, we saw the closure of all the brick and mortar stores for Morphe and not only it includes the locations in the United States but Canada as well when they were supposed to keep the Canadian stores open along with the ones overseas. Apparently, Forma has owed people some money and can see where this is a part of the bankruptcy since earlier last year they had some issues paying rent on some of their physical stores. I can see where that can be an issue since retail space in a mall can be pretty high and hearing that as a part of the issue can cause problems. Another part of it is that lawsuits had been made and one of them happened to be Playa Hair Care which the owner has sued them for since they were supposed to build them up except they didn’t during the pandemic. 

Besides Forma going bankrupt, that means the brands have also gone bankrupt which includes not only Morphe, Morphe 2, Playa which their lawsuit was brought up, but also Jacklyn Cosmetics since that is under Forma too. While REM, which is owned by Ariana Grande, is separating itself from Forma so it would be bought by another company. I can see that as a good thing because it helps the brand not only become more independent but also have better creativity and life. Some people had issues where Ariana didn’t have much life and thought she didn’t care about the brand as much. Another thing too is that when it first started the products, which I heard, were not made with great quality since that can happen to any brand that starts out but under Forma the formula is not as great. One example happened to Jacklyn Hill’s vault pallets where the formula in the shadows were not as pigmented as the first Jacklyn pallet. With REM separating from Forma then they would develop better products as the brand progresses over time. I did hear about the new limited edition collection called Thank You Next where there is a shadow pallet and a few other items. I may want to check out some products, heck the concealer did catch my ear but I have to finish up some products first. 

Another part of the bankruptcy is how Morphe owed some of the influencers they had collabs with on top of that is going on, which is mostly with James Charles, Jacklyn Hill, and Jeffree Star. Plus, now they owe all of the employees who lost their jobs at every store they worked for. I have to say as someone who works a job myself, not being paid for the time worked does suck. I have seen the Tic Tocs of people who worked for locations that they were given a day’s notice to over a week’s notice that they are no longer working at the store and that their last day is in a week or the next day and they have to help pack all of the leftover inventory to clear the shelves or sell all of it tbg5fv4ro customers/ I even feel bad that the customers who enjoyed this brand lost their favorite store that they can go to and try the products out. Trust me, when the Hot Topic at the mall down the road where I used to live back in Orlando closed down after wishing it to be near me, I was sad back then. Also, the NYX did close down the Millenia location, not sure if the Florida Mall location is still open? Who knows? Still, I think having that store for Morphe did bring people to the shop until of course the pandemic happened. Like with most makeup brands, sales didn’t go well during the pandemic where anyone hardly wore makeup due to masks being worn and online sales did do well but it was mostly in skin care since people were getting zits from masks. I understand that the pandemic can affect the brick and mortar store but online sales do well since no one was out as much. Morphe did start losing sales around the pandemic like with most brands. ELF did also close their stores but they flourished online and I think Morphe could flourish after this since that is their plan to do so! 

Since I mentioned the influencers earlier, another part of them losing their sales is how these top influencers were dropped due to some factors and they happened to be Jeffree and James Charles. As we remembered, Tati made some allegations about James Charles being a predator and he was targeting some straight guys and that sparked the second Armageddon. This caused Morphe to drop him and softly sell off his pallets which were the original big pallet and his smaller one. I remembered that sale and got myself one and still have it in my drawer tower. With Jeffree, they dropped him around 2020 or was it 2019? Still, Jeffree got dropped for his racist past and dropped his brand from their stores on top of it. Some people thought they had different energies when dropping both of them and I can see that it took a bit to drop James but immediately with Jeffree. Even though they had other influencers that were not so problematic in the past but became problematic later and I feel as though despite how popular an influencer is they do have some issues and still stay the same. Yes, I had bought Jeffree Star products thinking he had changed in the past but he has still stayed the same old jerk once Morphe got him. He has been silent as of late after moving to Wyoming from what I’ve seen. I think some of the other influencers have grown since Morphe and two of them happened to be Laura Leigh and Manny MUA who not only started their own makeup brands, Laura Leigh Cosmetics and Lunar Beauty, but also have their own podcast called Full Coverage. I listened to their podcast about the Morphe stores closing and they were nice about it and they were very chill in their podcast because they were just chatting. I may want to listen to more of their podcasts. Also KathleenLights having her own brand, Lights Lacquer, she has moved on and became a business woman and having her own creativity with her nail polishes. I love her polishes myself since I have a few of them. What about Jacklyn? I have noticed that she has not done much about saving her brand as of now from what people have said, she has to do something or she will go down with Forma because if she doesn’t fight for her brand that she worked hard for then it will be dead. Will have to see if she stays in Ulta since it looks like they are keeping it there.

Closing Thoughts

I know that was long but that’s how I felt. To me Morphe is not the end all be all when it comes to makeup. We have so many of them out there and to me we can choose our favorite brands easily. I still enjoy NYX, Mac, Urban Decay, and a few others but Morphe is not one of them. I feel as though with the change of the market online, whether it’s with YouTube, Tic Toc, and makeup as a whole, things have changed since how much the pandemic changed with how people spent their money on more skin care than cosmetics. Who knows how well Morphe will survive online in this environment since ELF has flourished with their new formulas, new products, and they have flourished still in Target and Ulta. Now they are carried in WalMart and have been doing well there, CVS and Walgreens. I think what Morphe should do is not only stay in Ulta but also try for other stores if they want people to buy their products by being in WalMart, CVS, or even Target since Ulta has their own space there. REM on the other hand, it looks like they are going into Sephora which is somewhere they could be more at home. I hope they get more creative and have Ariana have more creative power if possible.Jaclyn Hill should try to save her brand from going down with the ship by keeping up with the makeup environment because she only comes up with something new almost once a year or twice a year and most brands are creating new things months after months. Look at Colour Pop for example who creates new products two weeks after a new launch which they are coming out with a Winx Club collab. That’s another thing too, Morphe and Jacklyn need to survive by being more relatable with the customers and what is trendy in the makeup sphere. Not only making products with favorite series but seeing what is new in trends right now and keep it fresh as they do those releases. Who knows what will happen to both brands but we have to see the YouTube sphere spin it.

That’s it for this post! I feel like doing this post finally and that is makeup products I loved in 2022! I haven’t talked about my favorite products in so long! Until next time!

Book Quadrant: The Playful Brides Series by. Valerie Bowman

Hello to all of you beautiful nerds and welcome back from traveling the vast nerd universe! I finally finished reading it and it is time!

The Playful Brides Series by. Valerie Bowman

Disclaimer

This review is based on the thoughts and opinions of the lead writer of this blog! Please respect her thoughts and opinions on this series. You have been warned!

Synopsis

This series is an eleven book series that takes place in the 1800s England. We meet women who fall for men of high status in order to be courted once they have their debuts. We first meet Lucy who tries to hook up her best friend, Cassandra, with the Duke of Huntington, Derek, but ends up falling for him instead. As the story goes on, Lucy helps her gal pals in her Duchess role hook up with the men they love such as Cassandra with her long lost love, Julian, Jane with her cousin Garret, which they have a share for literature, even Delilah with her long time friend that she denies falling in love despite being a matchmaker herself. 

Thoughts

This series took me three years to read because I ended up with some of the middle titles all thanks to NetGalley but had to go back and read them all in order to know what the series was all about!! I not only bought most of them on Amazon for Kindle but also downloaded one from Bookshare. I do have to say that I enjoyed this series a lot. It was very entertaining due to how each character interacted with each other. I do admit I like Lucy and Jane the most when they interact with Derek and Garret in their respective books. I also do fit with Jane’s personality since I was pretty much the bookworm and enjoyed reading books. Well, when I did read manga I did enjoy either a cookie from Pepperidge Farm or Pocky since Jane did eat tea cake while reading. I did like the change for A Duke Like No Other and Kiss Me At Christmas because it removed the focus a little from our original cast to other characters we get to meet which happened to be Grimaldi and his wife and Dolphin with Regina since Caid and Rafe, the Cavendish brothers, knew Grimaldi after all. These characters in A Duke Like No Other and Kiss Me At Christmas took more on a mystery than a romance story.

Another thing I did like about this series is that we got to see what it was like to live in England and Scotland around this era. We got to see how balls were like, how women were like along with men, carriages, and how spies lived and the police ran, especially the Bow Street Runners. It gave us a glimpse of the 1800s without finding a time machine. Valerie painted a good picture for us as my Kindle took those page turns as I read. We even get to see how people perform plays in No Duke Other Than You where our characters performed a MidSummer Night’s Dream for charity. It was even interesting how Bowman’s event was inspired to take the potion from the Shakespearean play into the story itself as well. All in all, I enjoyed this series. Yes, I know it took me a long time to read this series but to be fair, life did get in the way including college but I’m glad to finish it.

Rating: 5 Star Paw Comets Out of 5~

This book series was a very entertaining series. We got to see what people had gone through in the 1800s and how women get married in these times. I enjoyed the characters and how they interacted with each other. I feel like I was watching a romantic comedy set at this time.I saw other series written by Valerie Bowman and may check those out and see if they still hit the high points that this one had. I can’t say that this series did not disappoint as I read each book on my Kindle. I would say check them out if you get a chance!

Well, that felt good completing a series! Next up is The Girl in the Tower which is the sequel to the Bear and the Nightingale. I will be reading Bear & the Nightingale again so I could get the flow of the series again since I reviewed it years ago during my major NetGalley kick and now getting back into it. Guys, my library is backed up to 2018 and I am not kidding about that! I am glad I am starting to get back into it. So, I will be reading as best as I can since classes are starting back up on the twenty-third this month. I am glad my textbooks are also on my Kindle so I could switch if I need to clear my brain for a little while! Trust me, sometimes studying for your Master’s you need some leisure reading in between. So, until next time!

Cosmetic Controversy: The Truth About Nail Polish

Hello to all of you beautiful nerds and welcome back from traveling the vast nerd universe! It’s time for that long awaited post!

Cosmetic Controversy: The Truth About Nail Polish

Disclaimer

This post is based on facts and personal experiences. Please respect what the writer has to say because it’s good to agree to disagree but do it respectfully. You have been warned!

I was hoping to do this last year because it was something that hit a little bit home for me. As you know, after a long week of work, I love to pull out my nail care items alongside a bottle of nail polish I may have just purchased from Color Club or Lights Lacquer or may have received from Ipsy and give my nails a nice coat of base, color, quick dry, and top coat and it gives me that look for a few weeks and chips as it goes. Right? Well, after getting my first refund from school, I decided to have a day to myself by going to the mall for some needed relaxation after having a busy week and took the opportunity after getting blood drawn for one of my doctors and decided why not check out the nail salon in the mall?

I arrived at the salon and asked what the prices were for manicures and heard that a regular one was $17 and the gel was $30 and decided to see how well their regular polish was and went with a navy one for the regular price. I was helped to a table with a woman and I never thought I would be bombarded with suggestions of getting the gel manicure and why it was better than regular manicures. Even the guy at the counter came over and tried to get me out of the regular manicure by telling me the gel is better and lasts me longer, except my nail polish on my nails I used before this appointment lasted me three weeks by this point and will get to that later and was annoyed and told him I still want regular and will do the gel next time. I felt he was giving me the look of “Don’t come back to us if it chips easily.” Then the attendant told me that regular polish dries out your nails and then the reasons for gel as well. I felt as though they were trying to corner me for a deal rather than what I want which I understand from a business standpoint but a customer wants what they want and I was sticking by it! The manicure did come out nice and even though I promised to come back, I never went back after hearing some things from a co-worker about some of their experiences and told them about their push for gel. My manicure did last me all the rest of the month into February! This is with regular polish and a top coat mond you. After that experience, I went into research mode and decided why not talk about it?

The Differences Between The Polishes

Let’s break down the differences between each polish. Nowadays, we have regular polish that you can find on your favorite shelves at Ulta and Target, gel, non-toxic which you can sometimes find in stores but mostly online, and dip nails. 

Regular: Regular polish is more of a mixture of a polymer and a solvent that gets painted onto the nail plate and can be removed with an acetone remover but can cause non-permanent discoloration with most dark colors if not too careful.

Gel: This term is also known as “Five-Free Polish” because these polishes don’t contain five commonly used chemicals that can be harmful but not really proven as yet. Subscription boxes tend to carry these but you can look around in your favorite beauty retailer or online for some of these brands but one I tend to use is Color Club.

Even though they last longer, gel polishes are mainly photo reactive which have to be cured under a UV light. UV light can be damaging to the skin after prolonged exposure and can also cause aging when it comes to the hands. Also the polish can cause the nails to be a bit brittle, so best to use this for special occasions because the removal process is more harsh than acetone alone because you have to file it off, especially with electric files. I remembered the attendant did use one of those motorized files to remove my polish that day.

Dip: This is a manicure that has a polymer that is made to be like super glue to [painted on first, then the nail either dipped into an acrylic powder or the powder is painted on with a brush and then an activator is used to form a hard shell. There is an issue with sanitation since the best practice for a salon is to place the powder into small containers or use clean brushes to paint the powder on since fungus in salons can occur. It happened to my mom once even though it was not a dip powder job but it can happen.

Which Is Better?

Dermatologists do approve regular polish the most since you can easily spread your manicures out since nails can become brittle and dry over time. I am going through that at the moment with my own nails but it’s not due to nail polish exactly. Non-toxic is a good option if you have sensitive skin like I do to prevent contact dermatitis due to how the chemicals in most polishes like Formaldehyde don’t really have much proof when it comes to harm to health over time. I would say wear a mask since that strong smell in any polish can occur. I still use Color Club not only because of the Five Free idea but I do enjoy how long the colors stay on my nails longer than most polishes. I can go for almost a month with polish. Like I said above, I was wearing a Color Club before that fateful day which lasted me two to three weeks while wearing it. I think it depends on the company that makes the polish and what kind of top coat you use to keep them staying longer. Also, think about the activity you do, whether it’s typing like I am doing now or washing dishes, nails do chip based on what you do. Heck, I lose false nails based on what I do too.

But Where Does the Drying Come In?

Acetone helps remove the polish and get off easier because it causes the polish to turn to liquid easily once the polymers are broken down. Not only does it help remove nail polish but it also helps remove glue and paint. What does that mean for our nails? Easy, it dehydrates them if we use it regularly, heck it’s more dehydrating than other products we use on our nails, even more than regular nail polish. No wonder I just let my nail polish chip naturally, if I can;t then I would use the remover pot. If you already have dryness, it would advance as time goes on and cause even more peeling, breakage, and other effects. Ouch! There are acetone free nail polish removers everywhere next to the acetone ones. Anyone want to work at a salon? Acetone-free would help more.

I bet the last bit would be surprising and that is gel polish also causes nails to dry and not regular polish. That’s easy my dear Watson! Hand washing, repeated use of acetone removers, and repeated use of gel polishes! As you know, everytime we use the bathroom or do something very unsanitary, we’re always told to wash our hands or use hand sanitizer to keep our hands clean. The most active ingredient in a lot of soaps and sanitizer is alcohol! Alcohol is very drying for any part of the body, whether it’s prolonged use for acne like I had in the past or even for hand use, it can dry out your skin and that can be a common cause for your nails and cuticles to dry out. I have noticed as of late that my nails were breaking very easily and this was without polish on them mind you and looked it up to see it was due to washing my hands a lot. All thanks to the pandemic and even rewinding back to H1N1 back in 2009, we were told to kill the possible infection is to wash your hands with an antibacterial hand soap and of course I carry these all thanks to my trips to Bath & Body Works and sometimes bought them from stores, even when I had to clean my piercings during healing time I used antibacterial soap from Dial for those six to eight weeks and yes my right, index finger suffered so much where that nail broke first all the time! Best thing is to use hand lotion or your usual lotion after handwashing to get the moisture back.

Another suspect is the nail polish remover you use that may contain acetone. Yes, it is great to remove that pesky polish you had on, especially if it has the pretty glitter flecks that a lot of people love but it can do harm to your nails than good and that with repeated manicures it can cause peeling, cracking, and and brittleness from the roughness. Also, sometimes the removal can also cause more damage with the wrong tools when buffing it away, even electric files get used. I don’t get why the lady used one of these with my nail polish when it’s not gel. I guess I preferred regular polish to save my nails from suffering. Not only that, where I pulled the information about the peeling, there are tips such as seeing if the tools are cleaned at the salon since most places don’t keep their tools cleaned. Now you can see where the sanitization for dip comes into play. Another is not to peel off any gel polish due to moisture build-up since gel can start coming off. Also, acetone also gets used to remove gel from what I’ve seen with this resource but the place I went to used files.

What Should I Do?

I would say just use a traditional nail polish over gel. Like I said above, dermatologists do recommend them more, if you are worried about the chemicals in them then check out some of the non-toxic brands by researching them online. I do recommend Lights Lacquer and Color Club as two of these brands since they are made in the U. S. A.

I bet you’re wondering, I have not returned to this salon in the mall because I don’t want to be pushed by a product I want again. I have heard good things about other salons some people have gone to and may try those if I want to get another manicure and one place is even closer to where I am now. I also don’t recommend this place because I have a feeling if I were to send someone and they decided on a similar manicure I had then they would go through the same thing. Like I said before, I understand the business aspects and want the tip and so on but pushing something, especially having the cashier/manager push it onto you is a bad sign. One other thing I forgot to mention, they tried to tell me that gel polish dries quicker under the lamp and that the regular polish takes longer. That day I was not in a hurry because it was a day for myself. I think that would be a bad sign if they want to push their customers out, even loyal ones, due to one service being better then why return? Like I said, I didn’t return to this salon, I may try another one in town at some point but in the meantime, I have tons of polish in my Color Club collection and others I got from Ipsy to use. 

Here My Resources

Gel Manicures: Tips for Healthy Nails

A Look At Nail Polish and Its Effects On Health

Is Acetone Bad For Your Nails?

That completes this post! I know it was long but felt good to finally get this up after a year. Like I said, things got in the way since that manicure and will go to another salon. If you think there is another topic that fits Cosmetic Controversy, just comment below! Still reading some books so stay tuned!

Beauty Quadrant: Brands That Lost Their Creative Spark!

Hello to all of you beautiful nerds and welcome back from traveling the vast nerd universe! Happy new year! Time for the first post of 2023!

Makeup Brands That Lost Their Creativity!

I love makeup and with most brands I tend to notice how creative they are with their products and feel as though some of them have lost their way. What caught me was bold colors, cute packaging, and now it feels that with the demand for neutral products they have gone to the wayside or make products that are weird or shadow pallets with off color schemes. I have noticed with some they are releasing the same items over and over with different packaging! Let’s see what I think about which brands lost their creative spark over time.

Disclaimer

This post is based on the thoughts and opinions of the lead writer of this blog. Please respect her thoughts and opinions on makeup. You have been warned!

Urban Decay

Starting with a brand I fell in love with ever since getting their mascara in Ipsy moons ago. Urban Decay caught my eye with their Naked pallets with how colorful they were and how well the color schemes fit with each one. Naked was very neutral, Naked 2 was smoky, Naked 3 was purple, Naked Smoky was even smokier, Heat with fiery shades, Honey with honey shades and you get the drift. They even were more colorful with their Game of Thrones pallet a few years ago and matched with the houses. Now with having brands that can make their own Naked pallets, they started to discontinue some of them but where they lost their creativity was around the Naked Cyber pallet. I finally used mine this morning and the shades were hard to put together a shadow look with the reds. When I think something cyber I think silver! Not red and peach!! THere was only one shade with silver and blue duo chrome which makes me sad. I think the other pallets I could come up with look more than with this one and I feel as though Urban Decay is losing their spark in making awesome products. I also noticed it in making new Basics pallets which should have been done a while ago when they were bringing new Basics pallets for Naked 2 not now since they have done it with 3. I may be with Jen Luvs Reviews where she is stopping purchasing from Urban Decay. I think I may have lost some of my naked pallets from them in the flood since I had backups for Naked 3, Heat, and Honey and found my Honey back up though. I may have to see. Next!

Too Faced

I used to love Too Faced with their Chocolate Bar pallets and with having Jared with them it felt as though they didn’t know where they were going. At first with the Chocolate Bar, they decided to bring new scented pallets with their Peach collection, they also did it with some of their Christmas pallets, and then later they decided to bring in the dog, Clover, into the mix? Okay! Where is this spiral going? I felt with having Jared and then him leaving, they have lost their way a bit since I agree with almost everyone that they were going in two major different directions as in creating products that are cute and creating products that were X-rated sounding! Too Faced, pick one1 You can go cute or go the other way. Yes, Urban Decay had weird names with their products but they didn’t go as far as “Pat Your Puss” for a highlighter. Still, it feels as though they still lost creativity, especially after the discontinuation of everyone’s favorite Chocolate Bar line.

Benefit

I bet you’re not expecting this one to be on the list. I feel with Benefit they have not really created many things that have been really new. With what I’ve seen with this brand, I see how they really have released mascaras, brow products, some face products, and a few lip items and that’s it.   I feel as though that they keep on releasing their Hula Bronzer and their Dandelion Blush in different packaging for different occasions and holidays but a brand should not just rely on their face products alone since they can do more with items such as eye shadows; Just saying!

Nars

I just got into this brand not too long ago because their blushes caught my eyes more than their items. I do like a good blush and Nars are pretty good since I have a rose one from them somewhere in my collection but I also have one in their most popular shade and that is Orgasm. I am not kidding on the name either. I seem to see different iterations of this particular product and I only purchased the jumbo version so I could just have it. Like with Benefit, I feel as though their only popular item is just one face product and nothing else. Why name a product after a sexual thing? I am not sure but I think with every version of this blush, I think they need something new!

MakeUp Revolution

Or shall I say Revolution, they have been doing a lot of releases but seemed to have been slowing down due to some issues in their company. They are known for copying and making their own versions of some popular items such as the Kat Von D pallet years ago as an example. They also have done it with the Too Faced Chocolate Bar pallets as another example. Yes, having a good dupe that is comparable to the original even in price point except it does have a drawback. Once you start making your own stuff, you kind of lose that creativity since you rely on doing your own dupes. I have seen their own collabs so far for Halloween and Christmas so far and they are doing okay and hoping they can keep up with that spark because the days of duping a product from someone else is kind of over.

I think that completes this post. I am glad to be in the new year and hoping things go well for us. Next up will be the Cosmetic Controversy post I’ve been waiting to write! Stay tuned! 

Bests & Worsts of 2022

Hello to all of you beautiful nerds and welcome back from traveling the vast nerd universe! It’s that time again!

Bests & Worsts of 2022

Man, 2022 started off strong and then ended rough for me, RJ, and Tobi. I felt as though that it not only was a year of transformation but also a major dumpster fire towards the end. I bet you’re wondering, how so?

Passing My Classes At A New School

Last fall, I was admitted into George Mason University for their Assistive Technology Master’s Program. I had to leave the U. Mass due to my grades falling below the recommended provisional status to stay! Also, they thought I couldn’t read. Yes, let that sink in, they thought I could not read especially basic directions! If I couldn’t have been able to read then how could I read the application and other things? Yes, I use screen readers to read things out to me even while typing but I do also have Braille devices to read things on and I felt that I was being underestimated and doubted that I could pass a Master’s Program. Even one of the professors thought I should get into a face to face type program for this type of degree but Florida discontinued theirs at FSU due to lack of interest/ I did give myself some time before applying again and improved my Braille reading on top of it and did start the application around August and managed to get everything submitted and while attending the NFB Virginia Virtual convention I found out I got in with easier provisions. I did manage to meet said provision and passed my first four classes with B and above and even passed this semester again despite all the crap I went through with Nicole! I am about to hit my second to last semester and hoping to graduate at the end of 2023.

Moving Two Times

So, Tobi moved in with us during the summer due to some drama back in the place he used to live in when our buddy Rayne was still alive. Once things happened, the in-laws turned into slum lords and man it is something that caused him to lose contact with them once he moved in with us. We were great when we transferred to a two bed and two bathroom apartment in South Daytona but never thought they would blame us for the roach infestation. Well, leading up to our lease renewal we had a leak that started at our bay window and I heard some pops happening and it was the spot where the leak was heading towards in the ceiling that separates the living room from our dining alcove and that collapsed! It took until then for them to come by and take a photo and then fix it when I reported this leak two days before! Once fixed, more roaches appeared after having small groups showing up. We had a feeling that they came from the apartment above and the one across the way that left trash out for weeks on end without taking it to the compactor on property. Even HelloFresh boxes were outside their unit for two and a half weeks while we were leaving. We moved in and did some fumigation thinking that we brought them into the new space but actually the base boards were not sealed properly! How did we know? Well, fast forward to Tropical Storm Nicole. We were supposed to go to Orlando for RangerStop and hoped that the storm would clear up in time for us to head down there and stayed home during the night it hit and waking up that Thursday, everything was calm and good. We were about to pack up some last minute things and hit the road. While RJ went to grab his stuff in the bathroom, I went to the kitchen to make my morning coffee and stepped in a puddle in front of the closet that had our washer and dryer combo and asked why was there water inside? RJ came out to see it coming in through the front, then went to see it coming through the back at our sliding doors and then through the walls in our bedroom. He woke up Tobi and that is when we had a huge problem on our hands.. I am still mad at the property we used to live in and how they handled it, especially afterwards where they knew about the baseboards not being sealed properly and they did try checking our’s but our stuff was in the way. To be fair, we still were unpacking and both RJ and I were working and Tobi’s stuff was among the items in the living room. As someone who has moved for years now, we don’t just move a backpack, we have our items, especially the stuff we bought over time, RJ’s items of course, also Tobi’s. We did toss out my old pull out couch I had since 2010 and glad we did because that thing was not comfortable. Anyways, we did move back to West Daytona and glad we found a place with two beds and two bathrooms within a short time and also what we were told by current property managers that people were jumping ship to current place due to how the apartments were flooded at old one and one of them did work there and talked about Erma causing cars to float. If you are reading this and wanting to move to Daytona Beach, I don’t recommend SailPoint Bay nor Marina Vista because these places are near a river that would cause flooding. Yes, I did ask about that before moving in and was told about flood walls built after Matthew, except during Nicole dams were broken and that caused a lot of issues where water came from Port Orange into our area where the bay meets/ THis is where proper draining should be in place, I think that was not cleared in time for the hurricane. All in all, we are in a better area and now hoping that no hurricanes hit in 2023!

Best Series On Streaming: Moon Knight

Now onto the list! First up is the best series we have seen on stream. It was a bit hard but I did enjoy Moon Knight. I think this was better than Miss Marvel because of how the story was written, the characters were portrayed, and how Egyptian folklore was even told with gods having avatars in humans. I also liked how everyone interacted with Steve and Mark since they were the same guy with one god but each guy takes over in different ways. Even though Miss Marvel was good, I agree that some things are a little off such as how Marvel is now, hoping, bring the inhumans finally! I can’t wait to see what will be in store for the next season if they make one for Moon Knight.

Runner-Up: Obi Wan

Star Wars continued with another series on Disney Plus with Obi Wan which tells what happened to Obi Wan Kenobi after the third movie. This was also good and did get the runner up spot. It was good to see the rematch between Vader and Kenobi at the end.

Worst End to a Book Series: Ing of Midnight, the Final Book in Midnight Breed

I  know! Gasp! I felt as though King of Midnight was not the best ending to a book series as you know Midnight Breed has been my favorite vampire romance series. I felt with the last few books, well the last two, they were lackluster with how they were written. King of Midnight felt more like an adult version of Sailor Moon and wished it was better.

Best Documentary: Train Wrecked: Woodstock 99

This year, I started watching documentaries and one of them happened to be the one on Woodstock in 1999.I remembered MTV talked about how bad Woodstock was and how they were there at certain times of the weekend. After seeing what took place during that weekend, I was shocked! I already knew about Limp Bizkit causing the first bit of issues where people went wild with “Break Stuff” where they actually broke things. Bad songs to perform even though at that time some people were listening to these bands with angry songs. Papa Roach did have “Last Resort” as one example. The craziness continued with Fat Boy Slim in the rave hangar where a van drives in during the set with some unfavorable things going on inside and ending it with Red Hot Chili Peppers’ set where people dropped their candles during the vigil that was dedicated to what happened at Columbine that year. It started major fires and it keeps going. If you need something to watch, I definitely recommend this documentary.

Most Boring Game Release: Pokemon Scarlet & Violet

In the past, Pokemon usually had big releases especially with pre-orders. Such as HeartGold and Soul Silver having the figures of their respective legendaries on the covers, Black & White  having the chance to get Victini in Castelia City, getting posters with their sequels. And having midnight release parties for X and Y, while with Scarlet and Violet, there was not much. The only pre-order bonus I snagged were the floral backpacks from Pokemon Center. I wished there was more to these games since new features have been introduced and would have been fun to have some more extras. I do miss some of the extra items you can get such as figurines, heck I would love a pin or even a special hat in what color version you get. If they do another big release for the next games, I hope they would have a better bonus. I’ve seen better pre-order releases for other games on the Switch, heck even for the other systems than these.

Best Collectibles: Sanrio Classic Plushies!

Earlier this year, Sanrio had released classic versions of the beloved Hello Kitty plush in her old overalls we all knew and loved. I purchased the bigger version of her and man she came big. I was able to hug her as usual and then later on around summer, they released classical versions of their other characters. I bought one of Kuromi and Pom Pom Purin in their bigger versions of course! Yes, they were pricey but they were worth getting their beloved classic versions. You may be lucky in finding a few left since the FOMO is real where you if you spot it you must get. Once it’s sold out then it’s gone.

Best Keto Snack Option: Bacon Jerky from Star Walker Farms

As you know, I have changed my diet since 2020 and I have tried some good companies with keto options and gluten[free as well. This year, I have tried some that I have seen on YouTube that I noticed on Facebook and seen just on Facebook alone and glad I got to try and one company I finally slapped my debit card with Apple Pay is Star Walker Farms. I love me some beef jerky and so far have preferred Prevail Jerky the most due to how good their jerky is and even went for their eight pack finally and finished it recently! I was glad to see turkey jerky and that was delicious! Stryve is still okay but wishing they had better strips of their biltong. The one that got me curious was Star Walker and their bacon jerky and I tried one of them and oh man! It is delicious! It’s basically bacon cooked and dried and does have a bit of crispness but tender. I am wanting to try some of the others they carry and may do so in the new year since we are planning to go back to RangerStop next year and may carry some of the bacon jerky along with Prevail.

Runner Up: Peanut Butter and Chocolate Hazelnut Sandwiches by Chubby Snacks

This past year I finally got to purchase Uncrustables to hold me over until we moved into the newer apartment and did have to lose a lot of food after Nicole and got a new fridge once all of our food was tossed. The uncrustables did bring me some happiness and that was my miss for Chubby Snacks. This is a company that makes organic mini sandwiches with wheat bread and you can choose between peanut butter, sunflower butter, and almond butter with either grape or strawberry jelly or get the variety pack with all three butters and with all the jellies. One that they brought for the holidays with an option with chocolate hazelnut butter and OMG these are delicious! One thing though is to have a drink next to you because like with peanut butter sandwiches, you can get stuck with the chocolate hazelnut combo with these sandwiches. I highly recommend it!

Worst Subscription Experience: Hello Fresh

I know! Gasp! WWe tried out HelloFresh because Tobi had been sponsored by them through his Twitch Channel and we decided to help him out so he could pay bills. Me and RJ subscribed to try it out once and wished we hadn’t. I know my favorite YouTube personalities raved about this subscription and how good it was for meal prep, how it’s easy, and it was pre portioned for everyone. Unfortunately, their raves don’t line up with our rants. As in, reality is different from what you expect. The portions were not that big to begin with. We were given awesome sounding food such as meatballs with lemon couscous and mandarin beef bowls but the portions were small! Let me use my meatballs for example! When they sent me the beef it felt like a smaller pack you can get from Publix or Winn Dixie and that was supposed to make ten to twelve meatballs. The kind of meatballs you would make are the ones that come in the Chef Boyardee cans, as in tiny, round meatballs. I had Tobi make standard ones and they were big six meatballs and I ate the entire thing because RJ does not like couscous and that entire thing fed me up as one big meal when it was supposed to be a two person thing. Even when we filled out our profiles we were selecting for a family 1 to 2. And those portions can only feed one person if you eat the entire thing and the entire thing is filling. While splitting for two people, you are still hungry. I was still hungry after having the pork chops and salad thing RJ was given because his pork chops were small when I can get thick, boneless ones from Prine’s easily! Also, the pricing for something like this is not worth it either. It showed me the price breakdown and after eating some of the stuff it was not worth the pricing when you can get bigger packs of pork chops, ground beef, and other things for around the same price. Heck, four containers of couscous cost me $15 on AMazon alone.  Oh, also, the food did not react well with my stomach. I thought it was due to how much I ate of that entirety of meatballs and couscous but when I had the chicken and pasta thing the first night, I only ate half and I went straight to the bathroom! No bueno in my book! I do not recommend Hello Fresh to anyone guys, I am sorry! If you see anyone advertise Hello Fresh on YouTube like I do, just fast forward!

Runner Up: Glam Bag X from Ipsy

I loved Ipsy when I was a part of it for a few years and glad to get to try new products in skin care and makeup. When they brought on Glam Bag X, this was a new thing that replaced a tier that didn’t go so well. This one was great until the two for May and August. You get around seven to eight full-size prestige and luxury brands such as Sunday Riley, Alicia Keys’ skin care line, and even Quay which I chose those sunglasses as one of my things because of course I was happy to get them in my GBX instead of buying them online. It was great until this past May when I saw that my NudeStix blush stick was missing and had to ask for a replacement. The replacement arrived and it was another blush and lip tint I already got in my bag. Apparently they sold out and had to refund me. I was upset and will buy one at some point. I thought this would happen just once but I was wrong! August had Alicia Keys curating the bag and I made my choices and when my box arrived only half of it arrived. Tobi double checked the items and I was pissed! I took a screenshot of the page and sent it to Ipsy through Messenger and told them that only half of these arrived and they apologized. The First Aid toner sold out apparently but they were able to send me the replacements for the rest and my extra item and refunded me for the toner. If I am paying $55 for this tier, I am expecting to get everything in my bag not half of it and  I think Ipsy has the worst oversight for any issues that can arise when bags for any tier gets sent out. I did unsubscribe from Ipsy entirely and don’t know if I will ever go back but I am happy to get makeup and skin care I actually enjoy and have fun shopping for on the Ulta app!

I think I will end it here! This year did have some good things but of course we still have the worst. I didn’t include any movies because we didn’t catch much due to our busy schedules. Hoping next year will be better. Like I said we are trying again with RangerStop due to how we had to miss the entire weekend. We did book our room and now hoping we keep doing press and that it doesn’t disqualify us from not doing it this past year. I am thinking of getting VIP tickets so we can check out the events for VIP Pass Holders. What about the Omni Fandom Expo? According to their website, they couldn’t hold it this past year due to their schedules not aligning with staff members and I can see that being bad since our schedule was lining up due to my school work with some things too. I am hoping they do come back in 2023 since I have missed them and they were the only convention that sought us out early on and have done press for them ever since they started.  I am also planning to travel for my graduation if the winter storms are not as bad as this past Christmas. I did ask about the weather in Virginia in winter and was told they are mild. My co-worker did tell me it does get cold and I believe it. I will make sure I wear my George Mason hoodie since I picked one up so that I can do it when working hard enough. I did get myself a class ring at the start of the semester after my refund came in and got it to show I am halfway through the program and keeps me going while wearing it. 

For Nerdy Shique’s sake, I will be going back to YouTube! I have pre-ordered some makeup and am hoping to get a new makeup video up. I am sorry for not doing any new videos at the new place due to how crazy things got during 2020 and 2021. Hoping to have more content up before RangerStop and possible return to Omni. Now hoping someone doesn’t flag it like with the Naked Ultraviolet look video I made. Oh yeah! A troll asked for it to be taken down and they are not into makeup! There was nothing wrong with the video either. I am also starting reviewing books again and other parts of media to keep things fresh after unsubscribing from Ipsy, Allure, and Glossy Box. I will do some makeup stuff, I was planning to do one Cosmetic Controversy post and will be doing that at the start of 2023. So, stay tuned for everything in 2023 and hope you all have a safe New Year! Until next time!

How the Wakari NetFlix Documentary Could Be Better?

Hello to all of you beautiful nerds and welcome back from traveling the nerd universe. I am back with a follow-up!

WHat Should Have the White Island NetFlix Documentary Should Have Talked About

I know I reviewed the new documentary, The Volcano: Rescue from Wakari but I felt there were some things that were missing and have talked about it in the review. As I was about to hit the pillow for a nice night of sleep, I did realize the documentary missed some things. I know I haven’t picked it up a bit during the review but there is more to talk about. But first!

Disclaimer

This post is based on the thoughts and opinions of the lead writer of this blog, please respect her thoughts and opinions and the points she is bringing up. You have been warned!

The Cruise Trip

Even though the Yuris mentioned it briefly, the documentary didn’t talk about the trip to the island as part of a selection of trips. Matt and Laura, sorry everyone I got his name mixed up with one of the survivors, talked about how they chose excursions throughout the trip and it was Matt’s choice. Excursions are basically adventures that are done at the locations you visit. I mentioned in the original review how I went to the Mayan ruins in Belize in Central America and it was done through Carnival. The documentary should have mentioned it was with Royal Caribbean and talked about the ship heading there.

THe Danger Levels

The videos I saw about this disaster on YouTube mentioned something that the documentary hadn’t and that there were danger levels placed. This could have been mentioned due to how there was a history of eruptions, especially in 2016 and yet people visited this island with how active it has been for many years. After 2016, the island was placed on Level 2 where it was close to erupting. I think Blair from Illuminati put it best, “Oh! You’re visiting today! I will be over here just being quiet!” I think most islands would warn cruise companies and pass it onto the passengers to make that decision, which was a controversial part of this trip. What was interesting was in the 60 Minutes episode that the passengers were only given brief information and a safety check before going onto the island. It would be important to pass that info along.

History of the Island and Its Formation

I should have mentioned this before the last point but I think it would be great to fit it with after danger levels. Blair and Mile Higher talked about the island’s formation and how the volcano came to be. This would be important for the documentary to talk about how the volcanic materials formed this island and the acid lake at the crater, which is the main part of the tour where people went to for the view. It would also have been important to mention the history, such as the sulfur factory and its collapse in the 1930s and then the eruptions afterward. Also, about how the ground was so fragile since someone had their foot go through the ground. 

The Passengers on the Cruise and Tours

One thing is that the documentary only focused on the Yuris, Kelsey who was one of the tour guides, and Jesse. One passenger on the Phoenix was also focused but there were more passengers of the cruise and the Phoenix who were on this trip. One of them happened to be a man who had recorded the trip as a vlog and most of the footage that had been used in the YouTube specials should have been in it talking about his experience with his wife. Another is of course Stephanie Browet who went through her ordeal being burned but the first video of the eruption on the phone was due to her sister, Crystal. Also, if he was still alive for this, John Cozad should also have been in this documentary or even the other person that was on the helicopter with Stephanie, Lisa, who came with her husband and her daughter, Zoey, which you hear their names in the credits. Still, more people who went through the eruption should have been in this, if they didn’t want to then I would understand that easily. At least who talked about what they went through was brave of them to do.

The Aftermath

Even though when people talked about returning to Fakhri which is the island next door, more things about the events that unfold after the eruption such as how the island looks now since of course someone new would be learning about this island before and after. I should have mentioned in the history part that someone may have not been able to learn about this through the internet and may have stumbled upon this through NetFlix if they had it on their tablet. Volcanoes usually change after an eruption such as Krakatoa collapsing on itself and Mount St. Helens having a new bulge after its eruption. It is closed to this day and could have talked about what families reacted not knowing what had happened while being on the cruise ship, which people would have been worried and Stephanie’s mother should have been in the documentary talking about her experience and any other passengers that may wanted to go on the excursion and knew the passengers may talk about their reaction to any news reports they may have found on their phones. Things could have been talked about in this section.

More About the Coast Guard’s Decision

During the events of the eruption, there was a decision where they reported about not going on the island because it was safe. I agree with the Yuris that they are supposed to rescue people in the first place since that is their job. People believed that if there were more helicopters, especially doing it early enough, more people would have been alive. I would not blame anyone for being angry about not being rescued in time and losing more people. Heck, they would have been able to get the bodies early enough, if you remembered that two bodies did wash away while they were retrieving them almost a week after the eruption. I understand that rescuers were risking their lives but I am agreeing with Chanel in Mile Higher that firefighters go in with protective gear and the pilots should have had better equipment and gear to protect themselves. During the documentary, the pilots talked about how they took their own First Aid Kits and gas masks to people to keep them breathing since ash did block airways.  Still, more could have been done and the decision should have been talked more about.

The Lawsuit

Apparently, there is a lawsuit taking place between Royal Caribbean and the tourists because of the safety guidelines and it was believed that passengers should have thought about going beforehand. Here is the problem though, they were only told to wear closed toe shoes, were handed gas masks and hard hats, and people in wheelchairs were discouraged to go. Royal Caribbean are being sued for not being handed the right safety guidelines and I can see that can be grounds for suing since if it was my family I would have sued as well. I hope the victims win this since so many of them have life threatening injuries and big scars. Stephanie even lost her fingers , well most of them, due to how much she got burned. Like I said in my original review, earlier this year she took off the compression mask she had on. Matt Yuri even talked about how he can’t move his ring finger on his dominant hand, Laura Yuri talked about how she lost her wedding ring even since her hand was burned so badly and begged to keep it. Like I said, lost so much due to injury and hoping they win this because of how they were not informed enough nor protected. I am glad that the island is closed off because more people could get hurt. 

I think those are good enough points to talk about. This documentary felt short and should have more than one episode to talk about these points. Yes, it’s about rescuing people but it’s important to know about most parts leading up to the rescue that the specials I’ve seen on YouTube pinpointed but the documentary hadn’t. Like I said above, I think someone new to this subject would get more of the glimpses of the event and how the rescue happened but not enough info. I was glad to see it on YouTube when I had since I didn’t know until the end of 2020 so it was fresh back then. I do wonder about any of the other victims and how they are doing to this day, which happened to be Lisa and John would be great to see updates on them.

Well, that’s it, man it was a lot of things to write about. Like I said, Wakari has been closed since this eruption and seeing that something like that can take place could hurt so many. I have watched volcano documentaries talking about how people go through eruptions in Hawaii, Indonesia, and other parts of the world. There are still warning signs about Yellowstone erupting soon since signs have been happening since the start of this year. 

Next up would be the Bests & Worsts!

The Review Quadrant: The Volcano: Rescue from Wikari Documentary

Hello to all of you beautiful nerds and welcome back from traveling the vast nerd universe! I am back with another review!

The Volcano: Rescue From Wikari Review

I normally don’t review documentaries, I almost reviewed the Woodstock one from this year but this one is a good change, but first!

Disclaimer

This review is based on thoughts and opinions of the lead writer of this blog. Please respect her thoughts and opinions since this is her first documentary review!

Topic of Documentary

This documentary tells what happened on December 9, 2019 when a group of tourists toured the island known as Wikari or White Island located in the Bay of Plenty close to New Zealand. This tour was a part of a cruise that was through Royal Caribbean but what people were not expecting is surviving an eruption that took place on that day. This documentary is told by survivors including Linda and Brian Yuri, who were on their honeymoon during the cruise, Jesse Langford who lost his sister and parents, and first hand accounts of the rescue crews that have saved the ones who are alive to this day.

Thoughts

I was surprised that I found a trailer for this earlier today at work when I was trying to see about volcano movies I haven’t seen yet and that NetFlix had done the documentary. I have enjoyed a few documentaries by them, which included Train Wrecked: Woodstock 99. I almost reviewed it since I remembered that event and Peter Monne talked about it but it was hard to write it. I think this would be easier because it is a subject I enjoy.

For a few years, I enjoy disasters that have taken place in history from Chernobyl in Ukraine to the Station NightClub fire in West Rowryk, Rhode Island, this disaster has been one of my other favorites because of what people have endured at that time and never thought I would see and learn. While teaching remotely and being at U. Mass, I decided to watch some volcano documentaries one day during a cool down period and saw something called “Trapped in the Volcano” and watched it. It was about the White Island eruption and how people were trapped inside of it. I did watch the 60 Seconds Australia special which showed the Yuris talk about how they went to the island on their cruise ship, Ovation of the Seas, with other families who were on the ship enjoying their Christmas vacation on top of it. The White Island tour was part of the excursion list and people signed up for it. If you haven’t been on a cruise, which I had in 2007, part of visiting different locations you could pay for going off on adventures. I remembered sailing on Carnival and went to the Mayan Ruins of Belize where my dad and I wanted to see the ruins at some point. I do admit I did have a major bout of acrophobia during this trip since it was on a mountain and had to climb old temples but I did get to learn about the Mayans we never learned in school and it was a good break from shopping which we had done for the most part. My mom did blame my blindness but I blamed my fear of heights really and my dad did notice it. Anyways, at least I didn’t get hurt on our trip because at least Carnival did look out for people but Royal Caribbean hadn’t because White Island was an active volcano with acid lakes, mud eruptions, and steam eruptions. I would say watch the stuff on YouTube which does give you an idea of what White Island is like, I even recommend Illuminati’s episode on it for her Wild Wild World segment which I wish she kept doing.

This documentary was very interesting but I wished it would have done a little bit more since there was one survivor they didn’t feature and that was Stephanie Bower. You can watch her bits in the Trapped in the Volcano documentary, the 60 Minutes Australia special, and Mile Higher’s podcast episode on it. I did like to see what had happened with Jesse Langford, the Yuris, and Kelsey Waghorn who also survived the eruption. I did get to see this with audio description and getting to hear their accounts of what had happened to them was great because the stuff on YouTube was kind of brief with these people due to the spotlight on Stephanie and her recovery. I would love to hear more about what she went through in the eruption, again you can see her on YouTube and Tic Toc.

I did wish that this documentary could have been more than one episode, I could have enjoyed a two parter because there felt like there was more to it that can be told, especially more with the helicopter crew that rescued Stephanie and most of the other people who survived or died. What was not told, which you can find on YouTube is that most of the bodies that were left had two people wash away and I think the second episode could have expand on that especially with how rescue crews went back a few days later to get those bodies, especially one of the tour guides and Jesse’s sister, Wynnona, which we get to learn a little bit about them that they were very adventurous. I can see where we got Jesse and his family going to this island in the first place. I would also love to learn about what changed the geography of the island, as in is there still steam even though some of the audio description did mention some present day shots but not what the volcano looks like since it was a StratoVolcano, which is a cone shaped volcano coming out f the water. If you want an example, Yellowstone’s volcano is an example of this type and predictions are pointing to an eruption soon.

There was one thing that YouTube did mention and thought the NetFlix documentary should have mentioned in a second episode is that Royal Caribbean had a suit against the survivors. Mile Higher kind of went into detail with their episode where Royal Caribbean is suing the survivors which is not their fault. Yes, they signed up for an adventure but were not told that an eruption would happen that day. Remembering from what I’ve seen on YouTube, there were threats and the level was measured from one through three and apparently the island was at Level 2 due to an eruption that took place one night in 2016. At least no one was on the island. Stephanie and her family were told about this and this caused some nervousness and I can see why, if I was on that island, I would tell my dad, “I want to go back to the ship! I am not staying here!”Especially learning about how bad volcano burns are! Yes, they are not like the basic burns you could get from cooking, they are more extensive and can cause more long-term injury, scarring, and surgeries to repair the damage. Stephanie even ended back on 60 Minutes to take off her compression mask that helped heal her face burns. The Yuris did talk about their injuries in the NetFlix documentary which after watching the stuff on YouTube, I wondered how they were doing and hearing that they still have extensive burns is a major ouch, especially Brian with his ring finger on the dominant hand not working. THey showed him building a small cabinet and Laura talking about her burns on her neck and face, but what was interesting was that one part of Brian’s writ was not burned due to Laura holding it during the time of the eruption so she could hold onto him.

Rating: 3 Star Pawprint Comets Out of 5

At first I was going to give it a four but after remembering what I’ve seen on YouTube, I felt that YouTube had the better material, especially with 60 Minutes, Illuminati, and Mile Higher doing more detailed episodes on this disaster. I did like the bits that we did get to have more volcano footage because of how people used their cellphones to record this. Heck, Stephanie’s sister, Crystal, had some of the first count of the eruption because when she, Paul, and Stephanie reached the crater they had a photo in front of the black smoke that was coming out. That should have been a point to have Stephanie on this because of them getting that close along with Jesse, Brian, Laura, and Kelsey. It did help getting Kelsey to tell her part since she did yell at people to run in her group. But this documentary could have been better by adding another episode to tell more about what took place with the rescue and talking more about why crews had to hold back from going to be part of the rescue on the island, which Laura did tell 60 Minutes Australia that she was angry that they were held back and that more people could have been saved. While that is true, more people could be alive, even the Langfords and Rowerts could have survived. Plus, I felt as though YouTube had the better versions of the documentary but I can see why NetFlix had done this since the third year anniversary of this disaster did pass. You wouldn’t believe that this only happened three years ago when The Station NightClub fire happened in 2003 and Chernobyl in 1986. I think this was a good way of showing as a short piece and then let people dig deeper into the full story, which if I taught a class on historical disasters, I would show this documentary alongside Trapped in the Volcano and then used Mile Higher and Illuminati as additional resources in my class due to this documentary showing the detailed parts of the eruption and then seeing how people got trapped and the online module having an assignment with Mile Higher and Illuminati. THat is how I would teach that module.

Well, that is it for this review, I had more thoughts but it would probably take me a lot more to write into the morning but this was an okay documentary. I did enjoy Train Wrecked more though, just saying! I am still reading the final book of the Playful Brides series and will have the Bests & Worsts of 2022 sometime this weekend. So stay tuned!

The Beauty quadrant: How I Feel After Cancelling My Beauty Subscriptions?

Hello to all of you beautiful nerds and welcome back from traveling the vast nerd universe and now have a new post!

How Do I Feel After Canceling My Beauty Boxes?

I know every month for a while I write about my beauty boxes since I talk about beauty time to time except this past year I canceled all of them as in all of my Ipsy, Allure, and Glossy Box but had kept my Scent Bird which I do love perfume, my Athena Club since I do need razors time to time, and Quip which I got a new toothbrush from and wanted to see why so many people enjoy it and I can see why and oral health is important. I do love beauty but I wanted to say that I am not missing them much, I may miss the Allure one since they do send more sample sizes but I needed a break for a bit. I would love to talk about how I feel after canceling though. But first!

Disclaimer

This post is based on the opinions and feelings of the lead writer of this blog. Please understand that she is not bashing any of these companies, she is just talking about what it’s like to be without something.

I Save More Money

First of all, I am saving money every month. Yes, I get ScentBird each month and do get Athena Club every six months now and Quip every three but with the beauty boxes on top of it it does make it more expensive. If you look at it, I’m spending around close to $40 every month for both Ipsy Glam Bag and Glam Bag Plus which are around $13 and $28 each month, then every four is Glam Bag X which is $55. Then Allure is around $23 and Glossy Box is $21 and to add that up is $82 and every four months if we factor in GBX is around $100+.And that is already a lot out of my budget for the month due to how I have to pay more in rent due to living in a two bedroom space, power, internet,, and of course streaming services which includes CrunchyRoll, soon next year Paramount Plus, Audible, also keeping our Google Drive alive for this blog account! Yeah, it does get expensive very quickly and living in Florida, my paycheck stays the same on both work and Social Security. So, I have to budget wisely now.

I Get to Choose My Own Stuff!

Almost all of the subscription boxes I was with had them choose my items, even though with Ipsy and when I was with BoxyCharm I did choose one item. While not being subscribed, I get to pick my own makeup, shades, and my skin care while shopping on Ulta, Target, Bath & Body Works, Lush, and any perfume places I can afford!! I do like to try new things from different brands that have items that may match my profile but some of the choices are a bit off or the choice items are not that great. Remembered when I mentioned with the Glam Bag Plus that one or two groups seem to be a bit blah? At least I can choose the things I really like while shopping.

I Can Still Try New Things From Different Brands in Stores!

Some of the physical stores do carry some of the brands that are in the boxes such as E. L. F.Sunday Riley, Mac, and more. I can still try their newer products as they either come out or wait for a sale. Plus, some of the brands I see in these boxes that are more independent also sometimes end up in stores such as Sephora and Ulta and could just try them that way. I was glad I could still get Tony Moly, Hempz, and Formula 1006 at Ulta and if I can’t find the item I loved from them there is always their own website to purchase from. 

I Can Find The Skin Care That Works For Me!

While being in BoxyCharm and Allure, there are times where I got skin care that doesn’t really fit me. As you know, I have dry and sensitive skin and there were times where I got items for oily skin Heck, when I got Glossy Box, I felt that some of the skin care was a bit off from what I usually use. I am using some of the skin care items I got in boxes past so I can use them up, which I will mention next, so I can get my correct skin care items or toss the ones that may not be great for me. I understand they have questionnaires with some boxes like Ipsy and BoxyCharm, they are sometimes a bit off from what you originally thought at times. Let me go to the next point.

It’s Hard to finish Items While the Pile Grows!

I notice some of my favorite YouTube personalities mentioned and I see this as well where, especially with Boxy and Glam Bag Plus and GBX, it’s hard to finish your products as the pile grows. I have so much skin care I have collected from these boxes, even sample sizes of them, I had hard times trying to get into new products before finishing one. It takes a while for someone to finish one moisturizer each month, goes the same with a lotion, a serum, and more. It takes me three to four months to finish my beloved Bath & Body Works shower gel because I only take one shower a day and don’t use that much shower gel in my loofa. Heck, even with my toner, yes I use it twice a day but I am not dowsing myself in toner because I use a cotton round to apply it twice a day. What about samples?

Not Enough of a Sample Size!

In some of the samples you get from either Ipsy or even Allure, there are times where there is not enough to last that month. I remembered getting a tiny tube of moisturizer in my Glam Bag a while back and it gets used up for my entire face twice a day in one or two days after getting the bag for the month. I remembered how people had BirchBox that the little foil packets didn’t have enough of a sample either and remembered Eleventhgorgeous not liking those and the sizes in that box either. I think the only samples that last the longest are eye shadow samples, blush, highlighter, and eye creams. Oh right, lip sticks since they can take longer if they don’t break.

Being Able to Pick Your Eyeliner Colors Easily!

If you remembered my massive complaints about getting nothing but black eyeliner? I swear I should get a coat like the shop guy in Resident Evil 4 and have all of my black eyeliners and show up to a concert in town or in Orlando and open it and be like, “Welcome! See what you like!?” When someone calls out for eyeliner. With my eye looks I like to match my eyeliner with the color scheme like rose gold with any rose gold tones, copper with a copper and brown look, even a green one with a green eye look, but Ipsy, Allure, Boxy even, tend only get black most of the time and rarely has these colors! I understand black is classic but we live in a world where NYX, Urban Decay, Huda Beauty, and other brands carry so many colors even nude! I did mark “Rarely” under black after getting so many of them, I still got black liners. Ipsy, read your profiles and reviews!

Being Able to Be Contacted If a Product Sells Out at a Store’s Website!

One thing I love about shopping online is to see that button about being contacted if a product sells out. I had that happen to myself if my favorite Tony Moly face wash sells out or even if a shade of lipstick sells out and Ulta does come through! A lot of stores do this and I wish this happened with Ipsy. What really got me to leave Ipsy was that with certain choice items I made through GBP I end up selling out and they don’t contact me about it. It makes me lose trust in them if I am going to choose anything if they don’t offer a different option to choose from. I did bring this up to them and hoped they would take my idea but being able to have that option for a contact for a sold out item does make the shopping experience better.

I believe that is it! I feel better to get some of these off my chest when it comes to some of the issues with box subscriptions. Will I miss them? Yes and no! Like I said before, I feel that having stuff chosen for me can be a limited hing in the makeup that is offered when I have an Ulta or Target down the road from me in both directions that I can Uber to and pick up my favorite NYX item or look around in the app for the newest  blush shade or mascara and get a code to use in my bag if needed.I can still purchase brands like Purlisse and Huda online just as easily if I wanted to, which I can choose from my drugstore or independent brands. So, I am not missing it really, I am missing the happiness behind getting it in my mailbox though but not missing the pile on products which I was having a low buy all thanks to these boxes due to getting my usual items with but one thing I didn’t mention is that the products do change as you get older with Ipsy. I’m 37 now and I noticed how I got more skin care over makeup, even as I hit my mid-thirties the change started around then. I do enjoy skin care but I still want makeup more than that at times even if it is in deluxe size and I only get five to six products every month. I am glad I did cancel when I had.