Out of sheer boredom and the notion that, really, I should pamper myself in these times of isolation, I have taken to ordering all sorts of personal care products on-line. My Facebook page is lousy with pop-up ads for this stuff, and if you click on an ad, just once and by mistake, you will be inundated with them, too.

This clickbait is subversive and perhaps even a little bit evil, but I succumb on a regular basis. I ordered, on purpose, a subscription box from FabFitFun, because Leanne Morgan told me to. You know Leanne, the comedienne from Knoxville, with her hysterical video clips. She said it would be nice to treat ourselves during COVID, and yes, I thought. It would. Here came my winter box — they are curated by season — and in it I found the following.

A Vera Bradley cosmetic bag, small, but cute, and a really nice Pottery Barn diffuser set that is supposed to smell like the Solstice. Then all sorts of make-up and skin care products, all full size, and my favorite, a set of WEI “purify and glow” masks.

They arrived in a pretty little box with what looks like K-cups inside, each containing a dab of facial mask, applied with a soft brush (included) so I can, you know, purify and glow. The presentation is so nice I can’t bring myself to get into it, and I have so few people around I want to glow for, I have decided to save it for “good.”

You get to choose some of the things in the box they send you, but I didn’t, and so now I own Kate Spade workout socks. I don’t know what a workout sock is, still don’t, even after looking at them. They appear to be inferior no-shows, I will never wear them and I would be too embarrassed to re-gift them.

I stumbled across the Smallflower Modern Apothecary online shop, and this one was a keeper. They had me at “German formula Nivea.” You know Nivea, old-fashioned, granny-like, in the nice blue tin. Our US Nivea is not the same as their Nivea. The European formula is so much nicer, and I ordered some, just to have something to look forward to.

I ordered a few bars of Fa soap, too, an inexpensive brand I use in Olomouc. It isn’t particularly good soap, but I like smelling it and getting all nostalgic. The website is full of unusual and interesting products, and if nothing else, perusing it is a nice ten minute diversion.

When my Nivea arrived, I had already read comments on the webpage suggesting mixing it with organic almond oil to soften your skin to a luxurious degree. I tried it, and really, it was so very effective, but, you all, what a glopped up mess you are until it soaks in.

Which it does, and quickly, but be prepared.

As an alternative to all that slathering, I then found — and you know I purchased — Kate McLeod’s Sleep Stone. It is an all-natural puck of cocoa butter, almond oil and other good things, that you warm gently in your hands or rub all over yourself, and then you are moisturized and fragrant and off you go to bed. It comes with its own little muslin bag, and I am sucker for little muslin bags. I don’t know why.

My niece was glowing, just glowing at Thanksgiving, and I commented on it. She proceeded to give me the deets on her skincare regimen, which included both an exfoliant and moisturizer you can’t get in town. So I tracked them down elsewhere, and they have now arrived, sitting in their boxes, looking like they mean business—because the expensive stuff is always packaged like products that might require a prescription.

I haven’t used them yet, because I am setting up the particulars for a clinical trial, to see if I can tell a difference between them and my normal routine of rose hip oil and a plain white wash cloth.

But I draw the line at this… lip mask. Yes, a mask to use, it is recommended, for one week straight in the beginning, to moisturize and condition your lips. Full of Japanese peach extract, rose and camellia oil, to “protect and moisturize your pout.”

Honestly, I thought that was what greasy fried chicken was for.

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