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Curtain Call: Neutrogena Fresh Foaming Scrub

First things first, it’s been a while. I know in my last post I talked about coming back regularly but life has a funny way of derailing well-intended plans. I may write about it later on someday but now’s not the time. It’s still kinda raw. BUT! I do have a new post today and it’s a Curtain Call entry. Today’s post is on a product I purchased a long, long time ago. Like many beauty product lovers, I rotate through a lot of different products over time. This one finally bit the dust. Here’s my thoughts on the Neutrogena Fresh Foaming Scrub.

Neutrogena Fresh Foaming Scrub

Stated on the back of the tube:

Neutrogena Fresh Foaming Scrub
cleanses and gently exfoliates skin in one
easy step for refreshingly clean skin.

Easily removes all traces of dirt, oil and makeup from deep within pores.
Gentle microbeads help wash away dead skin cells, leaving skin soft and smooth.
Rinses completely clean, with no pore-clogging residue for refreshingly clean skin.

What I love about this product? I love face scrubs. In fact, I find a lot of facial scrubs in the market not as abrasive as I’d like to be. Well, this does not disappoint but I do think it’s a teeny bit too scrubby for even my used and abused facial skin. And I’ve used a lot of scrubs. So if you want a really scrubby face scrub, this is it. But the solution is simply to put less pressure on your face while you scrub, which I did so this is a non-issue for me. I would describe the scent as citrus but not close to the real thing. Definitely not cleaner citrus, which I hate, so that’s good. A little bit goes a long way, which is why this last so long in addition to I rotate through facial scrubs and cleansers a lot. It produces a surprisingly large amount of bubbles and lather. It leaves my face feeling very, very clean and refreshed after using it.

What I don’t like about this product? I’m pretty sure it’s been discontinued unfortunately. When I tried to look up this product to see how much it sells for currently I found a facial cleanser version of it instead. I’m not sure if it’s the same thing and just renamed or it’s a lighter version of it (I honestly think it’s the microbeads in this though) or if this is a separate version to begin with that hasn’t been discontinued.

More information on this item and other products the brand carries is available on their website here.

The Importance of Self-Care

So, a lot has happened the past year for everyone. It tacked on after a major life change of mine. Just when I was starting to feel my normal self again *BAM* the world is in crisis. I tried to get back into blogging regularly but I find myself spending time on other things instead. It’s not like I have a lot of free time either. Having a toddler that’s almost 2 while working from home pretty much full-time still is a lot. You do not want to see the state of my house – trust me on that. But I know I am not alone in the situation I’m in. And I also know there are many others that either fare better or fare worse than me right now. So I count my blessings each day and make the most of it.

During these (I was gonna say difficult and while it is for a lot of us, I don’t want to minimize the meaning of that word) unprecedented times, it is essential that one takes time to practice self-care. It can be as simple as setting aside an hour to relax by meditating or reading or painting or whatever hobby you have that you enjoy. It can be as complex as setting aside hours in a day to carry out what’s needed for a very complex recipe that yields the best tasting sauce for a pasta dish that you’ve had in years. It can be a stolen 10 minutes locked in a room with a piece of your favorite cake while your kids are running around crazily in the family room. Whatever it is, I do hope you have more than 10 minutes to spend on yourself. That’s the first thing. Second thing is while you may feel rejuvenated with this small (or big) act of self-care, I hope that you make it a regular thing. Just like flowers need watering and vehicles need some form of energy to function, you do as well. And while doing the basic minimum is a given….the extra boost of a little self-care here and there is undeniably very beneficial for most. The flowers will definitely appreciate the fertilizer you’re giving them.

In my experience, being that I wanted to face parenthood head on, I made sure my husband and I did as much as we can by ourselves. At the end of the day, it boils down to our nuclear family unit. Sure, help from our family and relatives would be helpful but they won’t be here in our day-to-day lives (at least ours aren’t). So we still have to figure out what to do and what’s best in raising our son ourselves. I do not regret this decision even with the difficulties I’ve encountered along the way as I found what works best for us. I was a little overwhelmed in the beginning but humans are resilient. So I adjusted. My little boy is happy, healthy and so loved that I couldn’t be any happier. But going back to the point of self-care, during the newborn stage there were days where I desperately needed just 15 minutes to shower and it was hard to find that time slot. When my husband came home from work and I was able to have that 15 minutes…I emerged refreshed and ready to go. It’s like a reset button, but that’s just meeting the basic needs. Imagine what it would be like if I had time to sit down and work on a painting (I eventually did after the cluster feeding stage) or do something else for me that I enjoy like getting more sleep (you can never get enough at that stage). The first month after having a baby is like survival mode. It sounds funny but if you’ve done it without any or much help (for me, by choice) you know what it’s like. I should’ve planned for some self-care really at that time but we really didn’t know what to expect. In a future situation, I definitely will.

I’ve read that there’s an uptick in people dealing with depression among many other things. Cabin fever is real and a good amount of people are still hunkering down….having little contact with others due to the pandemic. Please take care of yourselves. Aside from the basic necessities, go for a long walk during sunset or take time to sit and savor a cup of tea. For me it’s as simple as slapping on a face mask or writing letters to my pen pals. It’s those little things that gives you a little boost that you didn’t know you need. It can make all the difference in changing your outlook for the day. Start small. I will cover more of these in future posts as time goes on since while the end is in sight it is not in the immediate future. No one’s really sure how long this will last. And so, we all need a little self-care now more than ever. Stay safe my friends.

Gacha World – Shopping & Games

So, I’m sure those of you that have been long-time readers have clearly noticed that I’ve been away for almost 2 years. I had a big life change that I took an unscheduled break from this blog. I didn’t know when I was going to stop or when I was going to return so I just left things hanging per se. With my life change and enough time to adjust to my new normal, life with a toddler is both rewarding and challenging as well as fun and magical. 🙂 But anyway, today’s post is on an app that I’ve been using for the past month that I felt was good enough to warrant an entire post.

I was actually introduced to this app through a Discord I’m part of. I was wary at first but after 2 orders I’m sold. For their website, go here but for my walkthrough, stick around as I explain how it works. Who does this app appeal to? Anyone that likes stuff from Japan whether it’s stationery or Ichiban Kuji items or character goods like from Sanrio or even household items or models. You can get these items for free (except for $5 shipping) but know all the details before you participate.

First, make sure that you go and grab Gacha World – Shopping & Games and not just plain Gacha World (disclaimer: I included my referral link there). There’s another app called Gacha World, which is totally different from this app.

Gacha World – Shopping & Games Loading Page

Once the app is loaded and let’s say you have an account already, this is the first screen you will be greeted with.

Gacha World – Shopping & Games Home Page

When on the home page you can swipe to the left or right for more options. On this screen you have access to both Games and the Shop as labeled on the screen itself and it is also accessible on the bottom menu. Let’s say we tap on Games in the screen or Play on the bottom menu.

Gacha World – Shopping & Games Play

You are brought to a new page where there are Gacha machines. The names and cost to play for each machine is visible. Click on any one of them to “play” and/or see more details about the machine you have selected. Take note of the “Log In” button on the top left side of this screen as this will be mentioned again later.

Gacha World – Shopping & Games Gacha

Click on Play to use the respective amount of diamonds needed to play a round on the machine selected. To see the odds of each machine, click on the “i” information button on the top right of each machine. When you play a machine, the payout is in coins to use for later at the Shop.

Gacha World – Shopping & Games Machine Odds

Now that the major part of the app is out of the way, let’s take it back from the main page but swipe left to go to the screen on the right.

Gacha World – Shopping & Games Right Page

Tapping on the little guy in the postal worker outfit brings up your notifications.

Gacha World – Shopping & Games Notifications

Tapping on the “Refer a Friend” area will bring up your referral link. Moving back to the home page and swiping right this time brings you to the left side screen.

Gacha World – Shopping & Games Left Page

Tapping on the little guy watching a bunch of screens brings up events and announcements. Tapping on the area where the timer is leads to a short ad.

Gacha World – Shopping & Games Events/Announcements

Now how do we get diamonds? For a limited time, when you sign up you get 1000 diamonds to start with. You can buy more if you want but I haven’t had the need to yet. You can also earn diamonds by watching short ads every now and then as mentioned earlier. The time in the earlier screenshot is the timer to when the next ad is available for me to view. You get 5 diamonds each time you watch an ad. Another way to get more diamonds without spending actual money is to click on the “Log In” button on the page where all the Gacha machines are at. Going here everyday after playing any machine at least once gets you a stamp that grants you a few diamonds. Every few days, you get extra bonus diamonds so there’s incentive to keep playing everyday. And also for a limited time, you can earn more diamonds (1000!) as people sign up to your referral link and end up placing their first order (which isn’t hard to do….I’ve already placed 2 to date). I haven’t posted out my link until now so I can’t share my experience on it but the person’s link I’ve used to sign up got their 1000 bonus referral diamonds after I placed my first order.

Gacha World – Shopping & Games Daily Stamp

Now that you have coins from playing the machines with diamonds, you can go pick out what you want from the Shop.

Gacha World – Shopping & Games Shop

This is the part I like the most. I browse through what they have in different categories at first to get a feel of what they carry that might appeal to me. They have A LOT of stuff. I’m not exaggerating. There’s things from plates to plushes to Christmas decorations to batteries and household items like cupboard liners. They carry various anime products like keychains, posters, file folders, memo pads and stickers….a few people I know even got a full body cushion! After I figured out what they carry and what items I like, I ended up just using the search bar to narrow down my search to things that interest me as some items can fall into different categories that they have. Each time you place an order, you pay $5 shipping. That’s it. So to date I’ve placed 2 orders, which is $10 out of pocket but the items I got well exceeded $10. It does help that at the time I placed my order, everything I got was 50% off or more so I was able to get more things for the coins I have.

I was wary about it but I downloaded it and decided to judge it after my first order did indeed show up, which it did. I haven’t spent anything else aside from the $5 shipping. I just kept earning my free diamonds everyday by watching the free short ads several times a day and playing at least once a day to get the free diamonds and stamp that way. If you want to give it a try, feel free to use my referral link here.

Zoya Luscious Collection

Some of you may have seen my posts on several different shades from the Zoya Luscious Collection used in a different way from how I typically feature on my Instagram. I took the liberty of using the different shades from this collection to make holiday ball ornaments! I did this in a group activity with my nieces a few years ago before I had my son. It was fun and challenging at the same time to attempt to create certain looks you desire and at the same time getting the unexpected. I did swatch these on nail wheels though just so I know and can share with you what they look like as is since the shades all come through as super shiny finish due to the holiday ball ornament material.

I have swatched all these in the order listed. Some shades appear more than once to account for the shade itself, striped with Zoya Soleil and Tasha or striped with Zoya Wanda and Patrice. All swatches shown by itself are 3 coats with no top coat.

Zoya Wanda, Patrice, Teresa, Andrea, Bentley and Sharon
Zoya Wanda, Patrice, Teresa, Andrea, Bentley and Sharon (close-up)
Zoya Wanda, Patrice, Teresa, Andrea, Bentley and Sharon (direct sunlight)
Zoya Wanda, Patrice, Teresa, Andrea, Bentley and Sharon (different angle)
Zoya Wanda, Patrice, Teresa, Andrea, Bentley and Sharon (another angle)
Zoya Wanda, Patrice, Teresa, Andrea, Bentley and Sharon (another close-up)

Here’s the other half of the collection and again, some shades appear more than once to account for the shade itself, striped with Zoya Soleil and Tasha or striped with Zoya Wanda and Patrice. All swatches shown by itself are 3 coats with no top coat.

Zoya Lisa, Soleil, Tasha, Mel, Lou and Tommy
Zoya Lisa, Soleil, Tasha, Mel, Lou and Tommy (direct sunlight)
Zoya Lisa, Soleil, Tasha, Mel, Lou and Tommy (close-up)
Zoya Lisa, Soleil, Tasha, Mel, Lou and Tommy (different angle)
Zoya Lisa, Soleil, Tasha, Mel, Lou and Tommy (another angle)
Zoya Lisa, Soleil, Tasha, Mel, Lou and Tommy (another shot)

And here are some of what I’ve posted on my Instagram where you can see it’s beauty shine. It would look just as shiny on your nails with a good top coat! Feel free to click on each as there are multiple photos on each of my Instagram post to show different sides and angles of each ball ornament.

I know the holiday ornaments are heavy on the purples but this entire collection was a bit heavy on that and I wanted to use them all equally more or less. They surprisingly worked well for holiday ornaments though. I was worried about that. There are enough shimmery shades to add the holiday sparkle effect. It helped that there is a red and green shade in the collection. What are your favorite shades? Mine is surprisingly Wanda. I love the silver and gold glass flecks in this shade and I actually like this shade of pink. Not too loud but not light at all. I liked Sharon too but that’s no surprise as I tend to like fuchsia type shades. The biggest surprise is Tommy. I didn’t think I’d like this shade at all but it surprisingly went very well with different shades in the holiday ball ornaments I did and the application is the bext among all of the shades when I used it. It applied so smooth like spreading butter onto toast.

*Products in this review have been provided by the PR company or manufacturer for an honest opinion.*

Holiday Gift Guide 2018: Tuesday Morning Edition

Anyone still trying to cram in some last-minute shopping?! If you have a Tuesday Morning by you — fear not…..this gift guide is for you! This store carries a mix of everything from baby clothing to children’s toys to rugs and furniture to coffee and food items! Being that I am putting together a holiday basket for my in-laws, what I got are all food items. Here are my picks!

I don’t think these are tastier than the ones from Walkers but these are very good and this assorted package makes a nice addition to a holiday gift basket or even as a standalone gift!

Highland Speciality Shortbread Cookies

I’ve seen this product in other specialty discount stores also. This brand carries the same product in other flavors as well but I like the original one as is. My in-laws love this so I made sure to include this in the gift basket I’m putting together. I actually bought an extra box for myself too and I’m down to a few pieces in the snack drawer!

Anastasia Coconut Patties

I’ve never tried this before but it looked like something that would fit in a nice holiday gift basket. I always thought that tasty fruity treats are more prevalent during the holiday season like fruitcakes. Crossing my fingers that it’s tasty!

Liberty Orchards Fruit Delights

Ah, cheese crispies. I always associate this with holiday gift baskets as that’s where I’ve encountered them in the past. I think they’re usually found in the savory kind of holiday gift baskets where you see smoked salmon packs and summer sausages.

Roka Cheese Crispies

I have tasted the lemon curd version this brand has so I didn’t hesitate to pick up the orange marmalade when I saw that the store has it! I think it makes a great addition to a holiday gift basket as I always see some jams or jellies in them.

Mackays Orange Marmalade with Champagne

With that said, why stop at the one with champagne when they also have the same thing but with whisky? 🙂

Mackays Orange Marmalade with Whisky

Next items are a little unconventional for a holiday gift basket I’ll admit. It would’ve fit better in a cooking themed gift basket but my holiday gift basket to my in-laws has a few cooking items as well so I picked these up. My mother-in-law likes to experiment in cooking and I’m hoping that this will be something new for her to try out.

Gia Green Pesto & Garlic Paste

Last item I picked up is a random one but I know that my mother-in-law was looking into making tiramisu at home. I don’t think she has tried yet but this would help her out by cutting out the step in making them since it is an ingredient in a tiramisu. So….I’ve included this in their holiday gift basket.

Matilde Vicenzi Vicenzovo Ladyfingers

This doesn’t even cover the beautiful decorative boxes I got that I used to hold gifts and other snack items I’ve purchased like tasty pizelles. All I can say is this store has a ton of options for holiday gifts if you’re running out of time or ideas and if one is in your neighborhood. You can browse their website here to get an idea of what they carry and have to offer.

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