The Lost World Of Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii

A few weekends ago, while visiting my sister and brother in law, I stumbled across an image on a friend’s instagram account, for which she commented that she was unsure as to who the photographer was, or what the photo was all about.  While doing some hunting and pecking around on my brother in law’s computer, he peeked over my shoulder and remarked that the image resembled something by Prokudin-Gorskii.  (It wasn’t; some helpful hints from other friends and some further searching revealed it is a video still from an upcoming video from the psych-folk band LUST).

“Prokudin-Gorskii?” I queried. And down the rabbit hole we went!

(The following infos have been cobbled together from wikipedia and the Library of Congress)

Sergey Mikhaylovich Prokudin-Gorsky, a Russian chemist and photographer best known for his pioneering work in color photography of early 20th-century Russia, devoted his career to the advancement of photography.

He studied with renowned scientists in St. Petersburg, Berlin, and Paris and his own original research yielded patents for producing color film slides and for projecting color motion pictures. Using emerging technological advances in color photography, he made numerous photographic trips to systematically document the Russian Empire. He conducted most of his visual surveys between 1909 and 1915, although some of his work dates as early as 1905. The Empire at this time stretched 7,000 miles from west to east and 3,000 miles from north to south and comprised one-sixth of the earth’s land mass. It was the largest empire in history and spanned what today are eleven different times zones.

Tsar Nicholas II supported this ambitious project by providing passes and transportation: by rail, boat and automobile. Each journey made by Prokudin-Gorskii is represented by a photographic album and corresponding negatives.

Around 1907, Prokudin-Gorskii envisioned and formulated a plan to use the emerging technological advancements that had been made in color photography to systematically document the Russian Empire. Through such an ambitious project he intended to educate the school children of Russia with his “optical color projections” of the vast and diverse history, culture, and modernization of the Empire. Outfitted with a specially equipped railroad car-darkroom provided by Tsar Nicholas II, and in possession of two permits that granted him cooperation from the Empire’s bureaucracy and access to restricted areas, Prokudin-Gorskii documented the Russian Empire from 1909 through 1915. He conducted many illustrated lectures of his work. His assistants are sometimes credited on prints seen in other collections.

His photographs offer a vivid portrait of a lost world—the Russian Empire on the eve of World War I and the coming Russian Revolution. His subjects ranged from the medieval churches and monasteries of old Russia, to the railroads and factories of an emerging industrial power, to the daily life and work of Russia’s diverse population.

It has been estimated from Prokudin-Gorsky’s personal inventory that before leaving Russia, he had about 3500 negatives.  Upon leaving the country and exporting all his photographic material, about half of the photos were confiscated by Russian authorities for containing material that seemed to be strategically sensitive for war-time Russia. According to Prokudin-Gorsky’s notes, the photos left behind were not of interest to the general public. Some of Prokudin-Gorsky’s negatives were given away and some he hid on his departure. Outside the Library of Congress collection, none has yet been found.


Hairy goat peen & other delights

Hairy goat weiners at the phallological museum

I cannot believe it was a year ago that I was in Iceland, land of trolls and Yule Lads, and kleina, donut-like pastries, twisted and fried, and so subtly sweet that one must devour two in rapid succession to properly suss out what one is tasting. Oh, and also: a penis museum.

Why, one might be inclined to ask, would you Sarah, of all people, wish to visit this particular establishment, this veritable shrine to the dingle-dongle?  Aren’t you the woman who has been insisting that “men are pigs from hell” ever since she was 17 years old? Why then, would you feel compelled to spend your time in a museum dedicated to the preservation and display of the infernal porcine (& other species) members?

That is an excellent question for which, I am afraid, I have no good answer.  I have a deep appreciation for the weird and the bizarre, though, so I suspect that a chance to see something kind of strange trumps any sort of misandry I may harbor.

The Icelandic Phallological Museum located in Reykjavík,  houses the world’s largest display of penises and penile parts. Founded in 1997 by retired teacher Sigurður Hjartarson and now run by his son Hjörtur Gísli Sigurðsson,the museum contains a collection of 280 specimens from 93 species of animals includes 55 penises taken from whales, 36 from seals and 118 from land mammals, allegedly including Huldufólk (Icelandic elves) and trolls. Of course, as Icelandic folklore portrays such creatures as being invisible, these cannot be seen! According to its mission statement, the museum aims to enable “individuals to undertake serious study into the field of phallology in an organized, scientific fashion.”

In July 2011, the museum obtained its first human penis, one of four promised by would-be donors. Its detachment from the donor’s body did not go according to plan and it was reduced to a greyish-brown shrivelled mass pickled in a jar of formalin. The museum continues to search for “a younger and a bigger and better one.” There is even a Canadian documentary film called The Final Member, which covers the museum’s quest to obtain a human penis.


As I recall, it seemed a rather small place, on a street corner that I almost walked straight past.  This could also be due to the fact that I don’t read Icelandic (yet) and I couldn’t read the sign.  Despite its tiny appearance, however, the place was packed with displays and wall mounts and shelves upon shelves of all the junk you could ever hope to see.  There was even functional art based on that pokey portion of the male anatomy – penis and scrotum lamps, door handles, and a telephone! And of course, a gift shop when you can purchase coffee cups, key chains, and all manner of willy-related tschotchkes to commemorate your visitation to the pecker palace.

We  probably toured the entire place in a half an hour’s time, but this is one of the occasions where upon the memory of the experience is better than the actual experience  - not that it wasn’t a bit of fun, mind you, but it was just sort of an in-out visit (pun intended because I can’t help myself) and there wasn’t very much exploring to do. And I suppose it was sort of a consolation prize, as I had actually been hoping to go to the Icelandic Museum of Witchcraft and Sorcery…but I couldn’t interest anyone in the 3 hour trip to Hólmavík for that. I would, however, definitely recommend a stop by this weird little museum, as part of your Icelandic experience.


2008 Icelandic handball team at the phallological museum.

Penis lamp. Move over Leg Lamp. This is electric sex.

Dick-headed goat

Various specimens at the Icelandic phallological museum

Because I am twelve and penises are hilarious.

#morningwood (Okay, that was bad and I should feel bad. I am sorry)

wind & stone, fire & bone

wind & stone, fire & bone from ghoulnextdoor on 8tracks Radio.

Track list: All The Land Ablaze, Laura Cannell | Moss Mantra, Pamela Wyn Shannon | Both Orphans, Elspeth Anne | Little Children, Haruko | Apogee, Johanna Warren | Darkening Bell, Emily Portman | Rain And Snow, Josienne Clarke & Ben Walker | The Rolling Of The Stones, The Hare And The Moon | Great River, Children | Cardamom, Weyes Blood | Blood From The Tree, Brown Bird | I Am The Survivor Of Demon Attacks, I AM THE LAKE OF FIRE | Witches, Vaginapocalypse

K-Beauty Madness Part 3


More tales of fripperies and frivolity involving Korean cosmetics and skincare:

When I first started, I thought oh, I’ll just try one thing here and one thing there, no big deal.  Well it turns out my middle name is “Moderation? What’s that all about?” and things didn’t quite work out that way.

I will keep this quick though, because at this point even I am tired of hearing myself go on about this.

Pictured up top are two products from glowrecipe, a website that offers “natural and harsh free” items.  I was originally looking for cruelty-free items, and  they are out there, but it’s all very confusing.  The one website I found that had a list of cruelty-free companies on it now looks like the domain is up for sale, so I am not sure how legit it may have been in the first place.  The search continues.

I didn’t feel a compelling need for anything on glowrecipe (what could I possibly need at this point?), but I was seduced by the gorgeous packaging, so I picked up a bottle of the Whamisa Organic Flowers Deep Rich Essence Toner and the Blossom Jeju Camellia Seed Dry Oil. The toner is for all skin types and boasts Aloe Vera extract, Chrysanthemum extract and Oat Kernel extract, as well as fermented Dandelion and Argan Oil.  It has sort of a floral-anise scent and a …bouncier texture than most toners I’ve used.  I don’t know how else to explain it…maybe a tiny bit more viscous, I suppose. The Camellia seed oil is lightweight and fairly odorless, and to be quite honest, I have only used it once or twice.  I keep forgetting about it. It’s one of the site’s best-sellers, though, and apparently is great for hydration and nourishment.

The Etude House Dear Darling lip tint, “vampire red” was purchased for the name alone, as you probably could have guessed. I like the gradient lip trend (I think it sort of looks like you’ve been enjoying a blood popcicle) but it turns out I am too lazy to put in the work to figure out how to do it.  Also, this is a fairly sticky product, which I hate.

The Etude House Lash Perm 3 Step Volumecara is a mascara with an adjustable dial to dispense more or less product. I believe you are supposed to start with step 1, dial up to step two, etcetera, but I just skip straight to step 3 because who has time for that?  It’s actually a pretty great formula and one of the best mascaras I have ever used. My lashes are pretty skimpy and this makes them really stand out.

The Innifree No Sebum Mineral Pact makes me laugh every time I have to say it.  Probably because in my head I am substituting the word “semen” for “sebum” because I am a filthy pervert and eternally 12 years old. It contains Jeju natural mineral and mint and is a 6-free product: paraben, talc, artificial colours, animal ingredients, mineral oil and artificial fragrance free. The packaging is adorable and resembles a macaron, but the sponge is kind of low quality. I am not even sure why I purchased this; for the past few years my skin has really dried out, I’m  not nearly the greasy teenager I used to be.  I don’t really have that much oil on my face that needs absorbing anymore.  The funny thing is…when I use this product over BB cream or whatever, I actually find that I am oilier at the end of the day! Very strange.

The Holika Holika Jewel Light Pencil eyeliner in Black Plum is a really gorgeous earthy plum shade that probably makes for a great smoky eye.  It’s a nice quality eye pencil, not too creamy but not too scratchy.  I read reviewers mention that you can sharpen it, even though there is plastic around it, so that is definitely a plus.

Of the last three products I will mention, only two of them, I believe, are actually Korean.  I think I threw them in my shopping cart because I had seen beauty bloggers mentioning them as part of their routine, and I didn’t realize at the time that the Bioderma was a French product and Natural Aqua Gel Cure is Japanese.

The Bioderma is basically an eye maker remover, and as it turns out is sort of a cult favorite. After using it a few times, I can see why. No left over panda eyes, no oily residue, no red, inflamed skin. I really love this stuff.  Very gentle, very mild, and I believe they make it for both dry and sensitive skin.  I am not sure which one I purchased, but whichever one it is, I am okay with it. Highly recommended.

The Missha Time Revolution Night Repair Science Activator Serum…was not actually the product I thought I was ordering. I thought I ordered an ampoule. The Time Revolution Night Repair line uses Retinol technology for “intensive 3D night care” for strengthening and moisturizing skin, while also providing it with the necessary nutrients. Also has wrinkle repairing and whitening benefits.” I don’t know about all that, as I have only been using it for a week now, and I suspect some of these products produce the sorts of results you don’t really notice until you are 50 and folks are telling you that you don’t look at day over 30. Here’s hoping. It’s a little sticky and leaves your skin feeling a bit tacky – definitely something to use at bedtime.

And finally…the Natural Aqua Gel Cure.  This one is another cult favorite, with apparently a bottle sold in Japan every 12 seconds. I’m not sure if it’s due to the efficacy of the product or the gross-out factor – which for some people (me) – is a huge selling point.  Remember those Biore pore strips that you paste over your nose for a few minutes, tear off, and when you look at them closely you can see a dense forest of your former blackheads waving in the breeze?  I always got a kick out of that. To me, the the Natural Aqua Gel Cure is sort of the same principle.  It’s a scrub-free, water-based exfoliate – a gel that you gently massage onto your clean, dry face (wash it with your cleanser of choice, first), and as you massage, you should see little white balls like spots appearing. These little balls are the dead skin cells that are being lifted from your face. Once you have completed massaging your face, then rinse off the gel with just warm and not hot water. UGH IT IS SO GROSS I LOVE IT. And seriously, my face felt pretty fantastic afterward.  This is an exfoliating product though, so once or twice a week is enough – any more than that will qprobably do more harm than good.


This, that, and the other thing (xvi)

A hodge-podge of stuff and things, gathered willy-nilly for your perusal…

Mary vd Reyden creates the most wonderful embroidered animals and insects


I love instagram user mitsunavinilos’ languid ladies.  And those eyelashes!


DirgeMag’s best picks for satanic cat shirts.  Required covengang attire.


Pollyanne Hornbeck’s Haunted Dollhouse


Yes! My dream of dark drone yoga is finally happening!


Unless you’ve been under a rock for the past day or so, you have surely seen this wonderfully creepy trailer. Very much looking forward to The Witch.

Great moments in historical sluttery, courtesy the inimitable Tenebrous Kate.

Totally correct Frankenstein quotes.

How to tell if you are in an Edward Gorey Book

How To tea party like a Victorian

5 of the creepiest monsters in fantasy

Obscure and outrageous VHS cover art

Live Nude Ghouls (my new favorite webcomic) )**NSFW**

Stream Ghost’s new album, Meliora

What to wear: Melancholics on Holiday

Here we are nearing the end of August, and many of you are packing up your blackest swim outfits and bundling up the velvet parasols into storage to gather dust for another season.   The summer sun feels hottest and strongest now, but it’s sputtering and fading, you’ll see. There are probably only a few good weekends left for a seaside frolic or a picnic at the lake before the slant of light through the trees bends ever so golden, and the air starts whispering autumn tales of falling leaves and All Pumpkin Everything.

(Well, of course, everywhere except here. We get one day of fall in Florida, and that usually happens for six hours in mid-January.)

Make the most of it while you can! Get out of the house while it is still warm, before the frigid winds slash through the dark, endless nights and the marrow of your bones ices over! See and be seen!

Whether excavating Fiji mermaid remains, reading Dion Fortune in a dim-lit sea cave, or exploring the abandoned ruins of a haunted beach resort you will no doubt find below the dark ensemble to perfectly complete this summer’s final melancholic holiday.

As always, click on the image for a full listing of the items.


K-Beauty Madness, Part Two

Continuing with my K-Beauty Madness reviews: next up we have sheet masks, super cute stuff, and a few miscellaneous items.

Sheet masks were probably my first introduction to Korean skincare products…I think.  I feel like maybe my BGF brought me a few back from one of her trips to Korea, but I don’t remember ever actually using them.  Or maybe I am imagining that scenario, it’s hard to tell with me sometimes!

Anyhow, sheet masks are basically microfiber sheets saturated with serums and a variety of botanical ingredients and/or vitamins to help diminish various skin conditions.  After just 10 minutes of using the mask, skin is supposedly noticeably springier, softer, and more radiant. I’ve read that they are best used for hydration – they don’t exfoliate or cleanse deeply, and they are not meant to replace your regular serum. And they are meant to be used but once or twice a week, definitely not an every day thing (also the effects aren’t supposed to last more than a day.)  Also, maybe not for acne-prone skin.

As for when to use these masks, I am still not entirely certain. According to a user on reddit:
“I do my nightly sheet masks after all my essence/serum/ampoule steps and before my cream/sleeping pack steps. This way, the sheet mask format can help my essences, serums, and ampoules penetrate more effectively and avoid evaporation of those products, and then the cream/sleeping.”  I guess that makes sense, right?


The first brand I tried, Hey! Pingko Girl, is actually not even Korean! Hey Pinkgo Girl is a Taiwanese brand. But amazon told me that I might want to try them, and I threw them in my cart without knowing anything about them because I am very impressionable. There are 8 masks in the set that I purchased (for about $18); 4 of the microfiber, and 4 cotton lace variety – with ear straps!  And a total of 8 entirely different formulas.  The first mask I used well, let’s just say I am an idiot.  The microfiber masks in this set come with a thin paper backing…which I didn’t realize…so I just slapped the whole thing on my face. “Why isn’t this contouring to my face?” I thought irritably. “Why is this flapping around so much?”  20 minutes later I realized my mistake but I was too grumpy with myself to give it another try that night. Unfortunately the one I tried was the Black Rose Collagen mask, which was the one I was most looking forward to.




After that I tried the Brightening White Yogurt mask with aloe and hyaluronic acid, for all skin types, but particularly dull skin. The lace was super stretchy, which was good, because I have a pretty big head. After laying back on the sofa and listening to John Diliberto’s Echoes on public radio in the dark for 20 minutes, I removed the mask. It’s a soothing, relaxing process to be certain, but with this mask, other than feeling like my face was weirdly drippy (without the actual drips? Hard to explain.) I couldn’t tell the difference.

Not pictured: The Face Shop Hyaluronic Acid sheet mask. I don’t recall anything good about this one.  I used it one evening while keeping my grandmother company.  It didn’t fit my face right and it was kind of dried out.  Another reviewer mentions it smells like Cool Water for men, and I don’t quite remember that, yet nonetheless now I like it even less.


Now I am not entirely certain about this, but I think the main demographic for Tonymoly products are meant to be teenagers. Which is not to say that a grown ass lady can’t love the adorable packing, because more often than not, I suspect that is the case.  And you’d think something marketed toward teenagers (and I am really just guessing at that) would be of an inferior quality, because teenagers – what do they know, right? I am happy to report that this is not the case.  Out of all of the sheet masks I have tried so far, I think the Tonymoly is the best of the bunch.  These weren’t even something I picked out for myself – my BGF brought them back for me from a recent trip- so it just goes to show that I’m not nearly as smart as I like to think I am.

The only one I have tried from this lot is the Tomato Radiance mask.  This one was definitely well saturated, it fit my face well, and while it did not smell of tomatoes, it smelled pleasantly enough. I think my face actually felt nicer after wearing it, though I could not pinpoint exactly why! I am excited though, to try the rest of the masks in this line up.

What are your favorite sheet masks?  What should I try next?



I could not order just the masks from Tonymoly, of course!  I mean look at that pink winky cat compact! And the bunny glosses! Here’s a quick breakdown of some other things I picked up.

The Petit Bunny Gloss bars are a must. So cute.  So stinking cute. I bought the entire set, though I am fairly certain you can purchase individually.  I just know myself, and if I got just one or two, they’d probably be misplaced in the span of a day. Better to play it safe. Each one is a different flavor, (cherry, apple, peach, etc.) and though I as a general rule don’t care much for fruit flavored cosmetics, these aren’t too obnoxious. If you’re curious as to the colors, here are some swatches.

As an aside, don’t you hate it when people describe soap, lotions, creams, etc. as “flavored”? If they’re not anywhere near your mouth, then my take on it is that they are “scented”. That’s not a raspberry flavored deodorant, you psycho! What, are you going to eat it? It’s raspberry scented. Jesus.

The Tonymoly Cat Wink Clear Pact is another one that I didn’t really care what it did, I just wanted it because it was cute. Which is good, because as soon as it was delivered, I dropped it and all of the powder in it shattered and fell out. That’s ok! I really just wanted a cute mirror for my handbag.  Anyway, it comes in two shades and people seem to like it, so I still consider it a good purchase.

The Etude House Kissful Lip Concealer is a weird little product. Lip concealer itself is a weird concept, you know. It’s supposed to “conceal lip blemishes”, but I got it because my lips are naturally not very neutrally colored and sometimes when I want to wear pale lipsticks, I think my lip color interferes . Also, I though the girl on the packaging was kind of creepy, so bonus points for that.

The Etude House Precious Mineral Blooming Fit has some opinions: “Brightening OK! Darkening Zero!”  This is sort of illuminating BB cream, which leads me to think that I got a bit of a bad batch.  It gave my skin a dull, grayish cast that was even less attractive than it sounds.  The packaging is really pretty, so there’s that, but I have since found some great BB creams so I just gave this one away.

The Missha The Style Under Eye Brightener works just as well as that NARS under eye concealer that everyone is wild about; I use them now interchangeably, and this is loads cheaper.




Some miscellaneous items:

The Tonymoly Peach Anti Aging Hand Cream is fantastic.  I cannot even believe I am saying this.  Ordinarily I hate artificial fruit scents and fruity fragrances, peach in particular.  But I keep this little pot of cream by my desk and it is really perfect.  Wonderfully hydrating, non-sticky, and the peach smell is really, really strong. But it’s not sickly sweet, which I love, and I think that’s where so many peachy fragrances get it horribly wrong.  This is so much like a ripe peach. Also: it looks like a boob.

Another Tonymoly product I can’t get enough of is the Gel Eyeliner #1. Let’s face it; I cannot now, nor will I ever be able to draw that perfect cat’s eye swoop that so many of you are good at. That’s 50% of the reason that I bought these cat’s eye glasses frames, dammit. And I think I prefer a more smudged look anyhow. I love the packaging, it looks like a little ink well!  The brush is built in at the top, and the eyeliner is in the little pot at the bottom. It’s highly pigmented, so a little bit goes a long way, and I also like that it’s small and can fit into nicely into my weirdly tiny hands.

Last and most definitely least is the Skinfood Salmon Dark Circle Concealer Cream. Infused with salmon oil and boasting salmon undertones to brighten the under eye area, packaged in a cute retro little pot, highly pigmented and super creamy – this product has a cult-like following and I really wanted to love it, but it didn’t seem to work for me at the time. It seemed too orange-y; like I was sporting some sort of salmon-tented eye grease that the football players wear underneath their eyes (to reduce glare.  I just now found that out)  I am at this point retroactively reading all of these glowing reviews about it though, and I am starting to wish I’d given it more of a chance.  Oh well!

Up next: some other stuff!


K-Beauty Madness, Part One

2NE1, “It Hurts” video still

Several years ago my best good friend cheekily informed me that “Korea was the new Japan”.  This was big news, as she and I had initially bonded at the start of our friendship over a mutual love of Japanese food and culture and anime (of course anime).

Over the course of the next few years she would attempt to entice me with K-pop or Korean dramas and Eat Your Kimchi, a super fun blog by non-Korean couple living in Korea, about food, travel, adventures, and culture. Despite her best attempts, however, I never quite contracted the K-Fever.

…and I am not saying that I have now, mind you, however a few months ago, a few friends recommended some Korean beauty products to me, and I drank the K-oolaid. Fell down the K-rabbit hole.  Whatever.  All of a sudden, out of nowhere, an obsession was born.

Products to brighten your skin! Products to reduce redness! Products made from snail mucus and fermented rose petals and mushroom extracts! Products to make you look like this!

2NE1 Fault Magazine Interview, 2012

Here’s a run-down of the products I have tried over the last few months – which ones were duds, which ones have become Holy Grails, and every thing in between.  Disclaimer, and I feel I need to add this because I am wretchedly paranoid.  Anytime I write something I am plagued by doubt and insecurities, convinced that someone is going to call me out on some minor (or, major -eek!) detail that I’ve gotten wrong. Something I missed. As some sort of amateur hack who has no business voicing an opinion.

So as a reminder, I am no cosmetologist or aesthetician.  I am not a professional Reviewer of Things.  I am certainly not a foremost expert on All Things Korean (or anything Korean, really). I am just a woman with an opinion. An opinion which may not be the same as yours! But an opinion which I would like to share with you, nonetheless.

Before doing so, though, there are a few other things I would like to share in terms of resources.  Korean cosmetics and skincare is apparently a complicated business in terms of which products do what, and the multi-step processes that go along with them.

Here’s a decent breakdown from Into The Gloss, which pretty much says that you should be spending the same amount of time in the evening taking your face off and treating it after, as you do with the spackling of it on in the morning.  And here’s another really great article from in which one expert asserts that the commonly talked about Korean 10 Step Process is not actually a real thing. Here is an article that talks about the difference between tones/serums/essences/ampoules, and here is a blog that you should look at because it’s basically the most beautiful blog I have ever seen.  She talks about a few must-haves, but I just can’t stop looking at her photos. Here’s a lady at the Huffington Post who gave all of it a try. Basically any google search for Korean Skin Care Products/Routine will unearth a bunch of great information, but you can really make yourself nuts about it.

From what I understand, the process for youthful, dewy skin looks like something like this.

1. Pre-cleanse with makeup removing wipes
2. Cleanse with an oil cleanser or foaming cleanser or balm
3. Exfoliate (not an every day thing)
5. Essence
6. Serum (or ampoule, if you need it, for an extra boost)
7. Sheet Mask (twice a weekish)
8. Eye cream
9. Moisturizer (I think these are sometimes called emulsions)
10. Night cream before bed / SPF in the morning

Obviously, this can be streamlined for budget and time constraints, once you find the things that work best for you.  And in the morning, for example, I imagine you can cut it down to less than half those steps.  You’re probably not wearing makeup to bed.  Hopefully.

I’ve purchased all of these things on my own, except for a few things gifted to me by my best good friend.  None of these were given to me by the companies or the retailers. Also, the things I am listing below are not in any order of where they might belong in the process listed above.  I’ve sort of just been buying things willy-nilly, here and there, and so if anything, it’s in order from earliest purchase to most recent.



The first few items I purchased:

The Su:m37 Miracle Rose Cleansing Stick  is a a bit of a luxury item. A low PH cleanser with fermented damask rose extract in a twisty push up container. Retails anywhere from about $25 to $40 or so. I really loved this.  The instructions say to apply directly to your face and then lather it up, but it’s probably less stressful on your skin and will use less product if you lather up in your hands and then apply to your face. My face never feels tight, or worse, flaky, after using this. The container makes it super convenient for travel, so that’s a plus too.

The Lioele Water Drop Sleeping Pack ; this and other packs (or sleeping masks) of it’s type are, I believe, applied after the rest of your night time beauty regimen, to sort of seal everything in for the rest of the night, and then you wash it off in the morning.  An oil free gel, it’s supposed to reduce bloating and redness and the particular appeal of this item is that once you massage the product onto your face, it beads up into water droplets on your skin.  Not sure I understand how that’s helpful (don’t we want to keep moisture in, not out?) and it seems kind of gimmicky.  I tried it a few times and gave it away.  It just didn’t make much sense to me.

Missha Super Aqua Cell Renew Snail Cream contains snail mucin, which is all about cell regeneration.  My best good friend warned me that she tried a product with snail mucin in it and it made her break out but I was so high on the idea of slathering snail slime on my face that I’m afraid I might have pooh-poohed her. The product itself is nice enough, a light gel consistency with a bit of a cucumber fragrance.  But I didn’t like how sticky my face felt afterward, and sure enough, it did break me out.  This was another one I gave away.

The IOPE Air Cushion is probably the most amazing cosmetic product I have ever used.  Sorry for the hyperbole, but I stand by it. It is basically a compact with a BB cream soaked sponge in it. It comes with a non-absorbing puff that wicks the formula off of the sponge and “…effortlessly applies evenly onto your face, for that dewy no-makeup, makeup look”.
The first time I used it, I was a little disappointed; it got patchy and flaky (like all my makeup started doing around two years ago BECAUSE I AM GETTING OLD) but then I realized I hadn’t moisturized properly. The next few times I used it, I fell in love. The coverage at first is sheer to medium, but definitely buildable. Check out this blogger’s photos for an idea of how it worked for her.  And it’s just…really easy to use. Easier than smearing actual BB cream on your face. Also, it’s got some really sturdy packaging, a pleasant scent, and out of all of the things I have tried so far, it is my number one recommendation.  At $35-$45 though, it’s not inexpensive.

Missha Time Revolution – The First Treatment Essence Mist contains fermented yeast extract which is supposedly good for skin recovery.  Many bloggers claim this helps for whitening and supple skin, but, eh…I can’t see an difference on my end.  It’s a fine mist, which is nice, but it smells kind of strange.  I can’t see that it’s hurting me, so I will probably use it up, but after it is gone, I will be on the lookout for a new essence.  Suggestions are welcome!

To sum up, or as the kids say, TL;DR -I can definitely recommend the Su:m37 Miracle Rose Cleansing Stick  and I strongly urge you to try The IOPE Air Cushion. If the other three interest you, be certain to read up on reviews and research on the Lioele Water Drop Sleeping PackMissha Time Revolution – The First Treatment Essence Mist , and the Missha Super Aqua Cell Renew Snail Cream. Obviously, just because I didn’t love them doesn’t mean that you won’t, so let me know if you give them a try!

Up next – Masks! And Cuteness Overload!

Links Of The Dead

Image: a bit of deathly grammar humor from artist Siobhan Gallagher.

In gearing up to host Orlando’s third Death Cafe (sometime this November, but I like to get a head start with my dread and anxiety about things), I thought I’d post a gathering of death related links that I have encountered in the past month or so. From somber to hilarious, from informative to creepy, here’s a snippet of things that have been reported on or journaled about in the Death Industry recently.

Meet the Living People Who Collect Dead Human Remains
23 Unusual Ways To Die In The US In One Handy Map
Preserving tattoos after death
West Palm company wants your hologram to speak at your funeral
More people are getting married at funeral homes.
An Ice Cream Truck at the Funeral
How to Write a Condolence Note
64 Myths About Grief That Just Need To STOP
Confronting Mortality In An Unsettling, Inspiring ‘Tour Of Bones’
‘World’s first’ crypt hotel room opens in Maine
The Ascent of Female Funeral Celebrants
The Pulp Guide to Necrophilia
6 Ways to Commemorate Your Pet
Can I Travel With Cremated Remains and Other Questions About Scattering Ashes Abroad

What to wear series: date with a monster

We’ve all been there. It’s Friday night, you’re tearing up your closet- shoes strewn all over the floor, blouses all up in the ceiling fan.  You’re growling and muttering anxious curses, butterflies flapping their stupid wings in your guts.. and you just don’t know what to wear on your first date with that super cute wolfman who works in accounting.

No, seriously, he’s a wolfman. He’s in the accounting department. You walked past him a million times before and never noticed him until he nearly bit your face off that one time when you were both working late during last month’s full moon.

And now he’s asked you out to dinner!

It’s an age-old dilemma, isn’t it?  What to wear on a date with a monster? I mean monsters – they’ve seen it all, right? Some have been around for millennia and certainly have been around the block a time or two. How could you, a mere human,  possibly hope to wow or impress one of these dastardly fiends? Never fear, I am here to help.

See below for some fabulous wardrobe suggestions for dates with your savage sweetie and beastly boy-toys, whether you’re sexing up the swamps together, having fun helping him flay your family alive, or just relaxing at home with a pizza and a comedy on netflix.

As always, click the link or the image to find out more about the individual items listed.


Blind date.


Date night with Frank.frank

Date night with Godzillagodzilla

Date night with a werewolf


Date with Death.


Date night with Swamp Thingswamp

 Date night with a bear who used to be a man but his ex was a sorceress. Long story.



Date night with a wolf who used to be a bear who used to be a man.wolfman

1 2 3 15