One very old dress and even older Avon glace pin

One day this dress is going to fail on me and it's going to be the worst day of my life. It's a super old Built By Wendy dress I got second-hand from Beacon's Closet and it's perfect. It's a fit-and-flare that's not overly juvenile and it's a nubby black cotton that's really comfortable. And it pairs nicely with my vintage Avon skunk pin - a pin that was part of their glace collection. The pins in this collection open and contain a light solid perfume for kids. True story: I never cleaned mine out. I forget about it and every time I wear it (once a year). I only remember once I'm out of the house.

I made my boyfriend take this photo of me to commemorate the longevity of this dress, right before we picked up drinks for a vegan BBQ (ginger beer!) and also right before I shoved a lot of food into my face. Like brownie bites with German chocolate cake topping and... Everything else has been wiped from my memory. Eternal Sunshine of the Brownie Bite Mind. Brownies bites uber alles. 

^ old Built by Wendy dress, old Avon pin, new & prob sweatshop Vans ^

On the Avon vintage glace pin front: I also have the apple/worm pin and a little girl one as well. (None of them are cleansed of their disgusting and petrified 40 year-old solid perfume of yore.) Once upon a time I thought I'd start collecting them but I realized that I would never wear anything too cutesy and/or too colorful so my collection came to a sad end at those three. That just means there's more vintage Avon perfume pins and dehydrated decades-old perfume to go around. You're truly welcome, collectors! Have at 'em!

P.S. - If you want a very sad and disgusting podcast to listen to, Stuff You Should Know recently did one on cannibalism. I can handle this one podcast but that's probably because they didn't talk about any of the recent cases - or attempted recent cases, anyway. That's where I go from curiosity to holy hell no thanks. 


Visual Packing

I'm not sure why traveling throws such a wrench in how I dress myself, but it does. I like to wear cozy stuff for the plane, be able to pack work- and weather-appropriate stuff and also have shoes that are comfortable enough to walk around in for longer distances in case we have a "that vegan restaurant is farther away than we thought" kind of field trip. Add in the weather variables of both the heavily air-conditioned meeting space and, well, any other climate, and it's a challenge for me to pack efficiently. 

Thankfully I tend to wear something to death if I like it so I managed to wear the same necklace, jacket and shoes (mostly) for my last work trip. (I wore some fake vegan silver Birks in off hours sometimes.) When packing, I like to lay out what I can wear together day by day (so I don't forget to pack something, like, oh, pants when I have all shirts). But when you have so many dupes that you'll wear most days, you can't just lay them out flat as an outfit to make sure you didn't forget anything so I take photos of each day's clothes grouped together. Also, I never remember what I planned to wear on which day by the time I get to the destination and this makes it a brain cell-free endeavor. 

Packing for personal trips is slightly better as I don't mind re-wearing the crap out of most things as long as the weather is decent.

^ the 3-day trip layout ^
top left - leggings & babydoll dress on plane
top right - first day of meetings
bottom left - first day of conference plus a change of logo gear
bottom middle - last day of conference and travel home w/leggings
bottom right - contingency dress

^ I thought I could swing a hotel outfit photo but... ^
the lighting was way too dark

I also have a standard packing list in my iphone Notes and copy it over to a new Note to customize it (legwarmers, bathing suits, sunhats, gloves, thermals, rice heat packs because I'm a baby in cold airbnbs) for each trip. Then I go through it, deleting what I've already packed. I think that's pretty standard -- we all have that, right? Before I started doing that, I would forget to pack contact solution (very bad) and pajamas...while I was staying at people's houses (very very bad). 

I also roll my clothes for packing but not individually! Sorry Marie Kondo! I lay them out on top of each other and put the most wrinkle resistant thing at the "inside" and then roll the whole thing up like a burrito. I think this keeps most of my stuff wrinkle-free since it's not too sharply creased anywhere. Also, it takes like half a minute to do.

Oh, and my liquids and personal care items always always come with me in my carry-on. I am not getting stuck without moisturizer, contact solution, glasses or deodorant, ever. 

I'm not sure how this ended up being a packing tips post - all I really wanted to share was the outfit-photograph-a-day thing, since I found it helpful, but found myself getting really self-righteous about my packing practices the more I thought about it. This is really more of a response to correcting the billion packing mistakes I've made prior than being an actual expert on packing -- but you got yet another packing advice blog post anyway! 


Nail polish, facial serum & moisturizer with SPF (all the hard topics)

Embarrassingly, after my last post lamenting that there's no such thing as "spring black", I passed a number of store windows that were almost entirely spring/summer black. I stand corrected, World. 

Last week was the Spring Bust Craftacular and I was excited to see that Floss Gloss would be there, as I only find a few of their polishes at local shops vs the whole inventory so I was happy to see them on the docket. I was also excited to see Armour lip gloss on the list but they haven't expanded any of their vegan glosses and I already have all 3 of the vegan ones so I give up there until something changes. (I would link it for you but when I tried to visit their site I just got a warning that I "might see naked people I know" spam so, good luck to you if you embark on your own.)

Floss Gloss is a vegan brand of 5-free nail polish. Their brushes are shorter than most polish brushes so it's easier (for me) to handle. I totally recommend the polish brand -- the colors are great, the manis last a while, the brush makes application easier and I love that they advertise that they're a vegan brand. (I have about 6 of their colors and I'm sure they've all made appearances on my IG in my wildly unpopular Instagram mani posts.) At this point when I buy new polish, it's almost all Floss Gloss. My only other go-to is the LVX gel top coat (it forgives many sins).

^ Floss Gloss's El Capitan ^

Also this isn't an endorsement of that lip balm 
- it was a beauty box item that I've been trying to use up 

In DIY news, I tried to make another round of carrot seed oil facial serum that didn't smell like...well, carrot seed oil. The smell goes away almost immediately after application but still, who needs to smell like a damp forest log even temporarily? 

What do you do with this serum? Add it to your daily moisturize to help moisturize -- carrot seed oil is supposed to be a good "anti-aging" oil, which basically means it's moisturizing and can maybe temporarily help with fine lines but let's be honest. If something is truly "anti-aging" it's some dark magic shit. 

This serum is basically jojoba as a carrier oil with carrot seed oil and then lavender to cut the carrot seed smell. (Basic 3-ingredient serum recipe I used.) It worked only minimally better than the carrot seed oil on it's own. This is what I get for trying to recreate a really expensive brand's serum! I suspect the carrot seed oil needs to be cold-pressed to have less of an odor but until I'm done with this bottle and try a cold-pressed carrot seed oil, I guess I'll never know. There is suspiciously little about carrot seed oil and masking its disgusting smell online so if you have some insider knowledge, please lay it on me. 

^   the whole thing is like 2oz of jojoba oil, 
maybe 4 drops of the offending carrot seed oil 
and 6 drops of lavender oil  ^

In final skincare news, I've been trying to find a non-thick, non-greasy SPF 30+ daily moisturizer that's vegan (and thusly also not tested on animals). You'd think someone would have this on lockdown by now and product choice would be pretty obvious but, nope. I bought an Andalou BB oil control cream thinking the "oil control" part of it would mean it wasn't thick. This could not have been a more incorrect assumption, but I am trying to use it anyway. Then -- insult to injury and making me wonder exactly how old my brain is -- in cleaning out my makeup and skincare stuff, I found not one but two SPF 30 Andalou creams I was using earlier in the year, so I don't know how I'm going to get through all of them. I have to add a serum because they're so thick and once summer proper hits, these will be a no-go. Then, to really just layer on the buyer's remorse, I learned that there's an SPF 30 serum you can mix with your regular moisturizer made by Andalou. The For the Love of Vegan Makeup FB group is great...but just a moment too late on that one, damn it.

^ the day I found 2 more of the same product I just bought already in my house ^

I think that's all I have in makeup and skincare news. 

In non-makeup and skincare news, I:
  • Have started watching Orphan Black like 20 years too late (OMG! I love her)
  • Am hugging my not-so-healthy cat Ollie a lot, and just staring at her a lot, too
  • Rewarded myself with a new Sonny Angel (not eco) for doing my laundry the first time in like 2 months (super eco) because I'm an adult and I can do what I want
  • Am learning how to use my new Instant Pot (minimally eco re energy usage but not in buying a new thing)