This & That Tuesday #20.

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Clinging to last bits of autumn as hard as I can. I love winter too – I love it as much as I love autumn – but it looks like this season has come and gone, and I didn’t even get to know it.

Plus let’s face it, winter where I live is never really wintery. It’s just autumn with an occasional imitation of snow and without all the glorious colours and with scarce Christmas decor.

Lip Monthly: October ’14.

Oy, guys. Oy, oy. Apologies are rare on this blog, but I would like to sincerely apologise for hurting your eyes with my recent photography. The purchase of battery replacement is still "in the works", my nicer old camera gave in to its age, my younger point and shoot is with my brother some thousand kilometres away, and all I’m left with is, well, this. I try my best to catch natural light or diffuse artificial so it’s not as harsh, but photographs still turn out either grainy or blurry. Or both. It will stop as soon as I get my hands on a new battery for my poor abandoned dSLR. I can hear it weeping in the drawer, the poor thing.

Now, onto the Lip Monthly.

lip monthly october 2014

As with the previous instalment, the subscription came in a make-up bag. It looks much nicer in person, believe me. I’ve been carrying it to work for the past two weeks. It is sturdy, and both the inside and outside feel easy enough to wash.

Now, the contents. This Lip Monthly bag contained a lipstick, two lip balms – one of them more of a stain, a lip scrub, and an eye pencil.

Let’s get the Noyah balm out of the way for now, because I haven’t opened it yet. I currently have four balms going, not counting the deVine one that I started, and although my lips are perpetually dry and a bit cracked (the advantages of being a chronic lip biter and picker), and I apply many, many coats per day, four balms take time. So Noyah stays closed for now, because contamination begins the moment we open the product, not the moment we apply it.

Starlooks Lip Sugar is a scrub that looks like a tiny pot of brown sugar. Judging by the texture it’s got some liaison added to it as well. A few drops of some oil, maybe? It’s hard to tell, and there’s no list of ingredients anywhere. Regardless, it works well, and I needed a scrub. Seeing as it’s mostly sugar, it’s not harsh at all, which at times means there are some flakes of dead skin left on my lips – but let’s address the above paragraph again and recall that I’m a chronic lip biter. I’d probably have to sandpaper my mouth to achieve a perfectly even texture. The gentle action is better, though, and is great for winter.

JCat Lipstick in FL107 Honeycrisp is a nude lipstick. The texture is creamy enough, but on the lips it looks almost matte, probably because it’s nude. I keep sniffing it, but for the life of me can’t name the scent. It’s a little invasive, though. I’ve used it multiple times already, and it doesn’t seem to dry out my lips. The even texture is a bit hard to achieve, and I like the way it looks when it’s already a touch eaten, as opposed to a fresh coat that is a bit cakey. This could be the issue of my undertones vs. this lipstick’s undertones. Against my skin it looks like it has a fair amount of yellow. The staying power is okay. Keeping the product in rotation for now. This product is cruelty-free.

deVine Lip Shimmer in pinot noir is a balm with a touch of colour to it. I have it on my lips right now, and I really like it. It smells of grapes, and despite having very little colour, it holds on the lips rather well. I notice that a little of this product goes a long way. I’ve been using it daily ever since the Lip Monthly package arrived, and so far I’ve only used up… 3mm of the stuff? Usually balms get used up much quicker. Word of advice, though: Once you roll it out of the tube, you can’t roll it back in. Be careful and pace this.

LA Girl Eye Liner in Brown/Black is a pencil that you will actually have to sharpen periodically. For some reason that made me very happy. I got a little tired of retractor eye and lip pencils, plus it’s hard to get a thinner line with those. The colour of this is exactly how it says on the tin – not quite brown, not quite black. I have dark eyes, so I prefer my liners as black as my soul. It’s not to say that I won’t find use for this. I’ve only tried it once, so I can’t write a decent review yet. It doesn’t hold very well on the waterline, though. This product is cruelty-free.

You can subscribe to Lip Monthly by clicking here. Use the code ‘Fall5′, and get your first bag for $5 only. Shipping is free within the US. International subscriptions are, as you can see :P, possible, and cost about five bucks more – for shipping. If you subscribe now, you can still make it in time for December bag. My November one despatched on 17th of this month.

(This post contains affiliate links.)

Starve a fever, drown a cold, give PMS whatever the hell it wants.

Things get really interesting when you ought to battle all three at the same time.

This is the trifecta of good times, my friends.

If your week’s been as interesting, health-wise, as mine was, here are a few survival tips.

Coffee

Give it up. It’ll worsen symptoms of everything in this particular case. You need to rest if you have a fever, and caffeine will leave you restless. Your blood vessels already got enough going on for them if you have a cold, so don’t add to blood-shot eyes by drowning a mega-latte. And caffeine worsens cramps. So cut it out.

Vitamins

Good all around. While certain studies showed that we shouldn’t overdo it with daily multivitamins, the above trio calls for it quite loudly. It’ll also give you a needed energy boost if you’re giving up coffee for the period. (No pun intended at all.)

Moderate exercise

Unless you’re feverish. If you’re feverish, exercise is a complete no-go. Go back to bed, little one. If your temperature’s normal, do a basic yoga routine or some stretching. Go for a rigorous walk.

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Tea

Especially ginger-honey-lemon green tea. Black one works too. (Because I hate green tea, so certainly black works.)

Lemon, yeah

Lemon, lime, oranges, grapefruits. Add some citrus.

garlic

Garlic

I love garlic and put it in nearly everything I cook. If you don’t like it, then I suggest you slice a clove into tablet-like pieces and swallow them like pills. The stuff is potent, though. You’re gonna smell like garlic. But it does some serious magic to your immune system, it’s true. Garlic is your smelly friend.

A hot shower/ a hot bath

Unless you’re feverish. No hot showers. Quite possibly no mild showers as well. Stop reading, go back to bed, close your eyes. Hot shower/ bath will help with sore muscles, will loosen congestion, and will aid the cramp battle.

Avoid dairy

Dairy helps keep your nose stuffed. Limit it for now.

Water!

It shouldn’t be hot, and it shouldn’t be cold. Room temperature to warm is good, I’d say. Drink a lot, at least ten glasses a day. Occasionally add lemon, cayenne pepper, ACV, or honey to it for added benefit.

Another thing to avoid is comfort food

I’m sorry! Unless your comfort food is a green salad, a rich tomato soup, or a really hearty bean stew, you should steer clear from comfort food. Fats and sugars are acidic. They add to inflammation that’s already going on in your body, and make it really hard for your immune system to keep up with your inordinate ways.

And finally, sage advice from one of my Uni professors

Again, if you’re running a high fever, you should be very careful with this one. There’s just no reprieve for you, is there? Eat an orange, darling, and drink some cranberry juice.

When you feel a cold coming, do the following:

  • don thick warm socks, preferably wool
  • brew a nice cup of tea
  • add to it a generous pinch of red pepper
  • and a juice of half a lemon
  • and a shot of whisky (brandy, vodka, tequila… a distilled beverage) *
  • mix well, drown like a medicine, head straight to bed

Works like magic. You’ll feel much, much better in the morning.

If you’re a wuss, you can go for mulled wine instead, but make it a potent mulled wine.

* Most over the counter cold medicines contain a 350-750mg dosage of paracetamol/ acetaminophen in them. If you have taken any amount of paracetamol/ acetaminophen in the last 24 hours, then please wait until next day to do this. Paracetamol is extremely toxic when mixed with alcohol, and leads to acute liver failure. We don’t want your liver giving in, now do we?

(Image credit: tea; garlic.)