My Makeup Routine!

I didn’t really get into makeup until 2014, but I was never the type to wear it daily. It just really requires way too much effort and time — I’d rather get a little more sleep before work! However, there was a period of time where I was putting on a full face of makeup every Saturday. This was mainly during the time when I was really into making YouTube videos, as that was my filming day and I wanted to look polished. However, in 2018, while I’ve swiped on just a bit of lipstick here or there, I’ve really only done a full makeup three or four times. Two of those times were at Anime Boston, and one of them was for the cosplay I did there.

But it struck me lately, that I’ve had the same profile picture on several of my social media outlets for nearly a year now, and I figured if I was going to haul out my nice camera to take replacements, I might as well try to look decent for it, lol. So last weekend I put on a ton of makeup, and documented each step. I’ll be the first to say that I’m not the greatest at makeup application, but I have fun with it, and that’s what counts! For starters, here is my bare face, clean and layered with skincare — the Before picture, if you will.

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There is a whole range of things going on here, from uneven skintone, to my highly visible pores, to my various large, crater-like chicken pox scars (which I actually quite like). Also, fun fact, I have a dimple.

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I always start my makeup with my eyeshadow, because I have a penchant for getting it all over my undereye area. I had a very hard time taking a picture of it, this is the best I got. I always start with an eye primer, because I have greasy, crease-y eyes. (I’ll be listing all the specific products at the end of the post!) Once my primer is down, I put a shadow that’s close to my skintone all over my lid, up to my browbone. Then I blend whatever dark color I’m using into my crease using a blending brush, and use a flat brush to pat a lighter color onto my lid. Here I’ve used a purpley color and a orangey glittery color from the nerdy indie (and vegan/cruelty free!) makeup brand Shiro Cosmetics, which I’ve been a fan of since they started!

If this looks kind of like a mess, it is. Not only am I not the greatest at blending, but the bristles at the tip of my crease brush somehow became fanned out a bit at the end the lat time I washed it so it’s no longer as precise as I’d like. But whatever, when my eyes were open, it didn’t look like quite as much of a disaster, lol. Often I do winged liner as well (although not so often anymore), but I’m glad I didn’t go for it here because even though I’ve applied it hundreds of times, it still can go very hit or miss (as I’m sure you know if you’ve got any experience with winged liner).

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Next is my face base! I start with a primer, trying to fill in my pores so they don’t show so much once I put on the foundation (which never quite works as well as I want, despite using a product which is supposed to be helpful in that regard). I’ve never found a foundation that I’m 100% satisfied with, but the one I’m wearing here is the closest I’ve got. It’s slightly the wrong shade for me, especially since I’ve got just the sliiiightest bit of summer color, but it doesn’t look nearly as off once I put my blush, etc. on top. There’s a bit of concealer under my eyes. Usually I don’t have dark looking undereye circles, but once I’ve evened everything else out with foundation, they appear, so I smear something over them even though I know it will crease horribly before the day is done, lol. I’ve also got my setting powder on — as a greasy girl, it is required if I want my makeup to look alright for a long period of time.

I apply my foundation with a makeup sponge, usually a Beautyblender, but the Real Techniques ones are nice as well. (I keep trying foundation brushes, but they tend to make the makeup SUPER visible in my pores. Not sure if that’s my skill or just the nature of the tool.) I press my powder into my forehead, undereyes, nose, and chin with the flat part of a Real Techniques sponge and then use a large flat fluffy brush to sweep away any extra and apply powder to the rest of my face.

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Here I’ve added my eyebrows, blush, and highlighter. I’ve never groomed my eyebrows, as I’ve been lucky enough to have brows that grow in a way that doesn’t make me self conscious. When I first got into makeup, I didn’t put makeup on them at all, but I was subscribed to Birchbox at the time, and they sent me a brow pencil, and when I tried it with my makeup I had a moment of “oh. maybe I should be doing this.” My eyebrows are relatively light, so they tend to get a little lost when I do a full makeup, especially if I accidentally get foundation on them. Brow pencil prevents me from looking eyebrow-less. I don’t fill them super thickly like the beauty gurus do, I just lightly shade them and hope for the best (you’re probably noticing this is a theme with my makeup application, lol).

I’ve tried to learn contouring, but I just can’t get the hang of it, so I stick to blush and highlight, both of which get applied in accidental abundance.

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My final steps are finishing/setting spray, mascara, and lipstick. The finishing spray helps my makeup survive the oil factory that is my face for just a little longer. I wait until after that to do my mascara, as I had a number of incidents where the spray would re-wet the mascara, and then I’d wind up with smudges under my eyes. Very annoying! I do my lipstick very slowly and carefully, and I prefer drier formulas because I don’t understand lipliner. Even if I use it, I still have wound up with feathering and smudging, so I’ve decided that super creamy lipsticks just aren’t for me.IMG_2284.JPG

So that’s the finished look! I took a whole bunch of photos in a couple of different tops, but I’m not actually sure if I’m going to use them for my Twitter or anything. This is not my best, most successful makeup application, and I’m a little afraid someone might zoom in and notice that, lol. I know I shouldn’t give a damn, but if I’m creating “promotional” photos, I want to put my best foot forward.

Despite my mixed feelings about this makeup, however, I still wanted to share these photos to show that even if things come out wonky, as long as you have fun doing your makeup, it’s fine! The great thing about makeup is that it washes off, and you can always try again!

flatlayfinal.jpgI think this is my first proper flatlay? Anyway, here’s the massive list of everything I put on my face, with comments where I feel one is needed. (As usual, none of this is #spon, I just wanna let y’all know where to get the good stuff!)

  1. NARS Blush in the shade Orgasm
  2. Anastasia Beverly Hills Perfect Brow Pencil in Medium BrownI use the spoolie end to brush product out of my brows before lightly coloring them in.
  3. Shiro Cosmetics Highlighter in Siren SongAs of this post, it’s on sale because it’s being discontinued, so scoop it up quick if you want it!
  4. BeautyblenderThis is the Nude one, I got it in a gift set but they sell it individually as well. I cut it in half because a beauty YouTuber suggested it, and it’s kind of old anyway, but I find it doesn’t help my application much and actually makes it harder to hold.
  5. Real Techniques Miracle Complexion SpongeI actually don’t like this for foundation as much as the BB, but I like the flat end for pressing powder in really well.
  6. Tarte Rainforest of the Sea sprayUsed this as a setting spray here because I looked a little powdery, and this one helps relax that a little. Smells nice, somewhat citrusy!
  7. Rimmel Stay Matte Pressed Powder in TransparentMy current favorite setting powder, in case you couldn’t tell from the fact I’m hitting pan. I use this translucent one so I don’t have to worry about it clashing with my foundation. Nice applied with sponge or brush.
  8. Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Concealer in BrighteningThis can go on hit or miss for me. I actually experimented with mixing it with #14 in this look and it turned out kind of well!
  9. e.l.f. Powder BrushUsed for translucent powder. The flat top lets me press things in, but it’s still big/fluffy enough to sweep stuff around.
  10. I’m not sure I’ve found the exact brush because it’s got no name printed on it, but the e.l.f. Complexion Brush looks pretty close to it. I use it for blush!
  11. e.l.f. Blush BrushI actually use this for highlighter. It’s a relatively flat brush, so I put the product one of the sides and sweep it over my cheekbones. 
  12. From left to right: e.l.f. Blending Eye Brush, Eyeshadow “C” Brush, and Eyeshadow Brush. The blender is self-explanatory, the “C” was used to put my neutral base on over my eye primer, the plain eyeshadow brush was used for the glitter shadow, to keep the other flat one clean for mattes in the future.
  13. Bite Beauty Matte Creme Lip Crayon in the shade Liquorice:  I -love- this shade, and the formula wears well. They also have this shade in their Amuse Bouche lipsticks, which is where I discovered it first, but god those lipsticks are SO smudgy!
  14. This concealer is from Target’s Sonia Kashuk line, but when I tried to find a link I discovered that the brand is no longer selling cosmetics and is only selling brushes now. So I can’t provide a link, sorry!
  15. Loreal Voluminous Waterproof Mascara in BlackThis is an old favorite of mine that I recently returned to when I realized the mascara I’d been using was probably well past expired and also discontinued. It’s still a good product. I buy waterproof because otherwise I get under eye smudges through the day because of my greasy face.
  16. This is a tiny little sampler palette I got in a Smashbox Try It Kit a long time ago — so long in fact that they no longer sell that particular kit. I haven’t tried other shadows from their brand, but these three are quality, and in this look I used the lightest one as the neutral base over my eye primer. 
  17. Shiro Cosmetics Eyeshadow in Yzma’s Essence of LlamaShiro shadows can be tricky to work with because they’re all loose pigments, but they’re definitely worth getting used to. This one has a nice shift — it’s purpley if you blend it like I did here, but if you pat it on it has a bronze cast. 
  18. Shiro Cosmetics Eyeshadow in Wizard WheezesThis one from Shiro’s Potter themed collection can be quite messy to work with because it is largely just glitter. If you sweep it on it’s quite sheer, but if you really work and pat a few layers on a nice orange/copper color develops.
  19. Dr. Brandt Pores No More primerA favorite primer of mine, because when I get it right it fills in my pores so the makeup sits nicely on top instead of revealing all of them. Also supposed to be good for oil control, but I’m not so sold on that.
  20. Loreal Infallible Total Cover foundation in the shade 301 Classic IvoryThe only foundation that I’ve found consistently gives me a look I’m happy about. There’s probably a foundation out there that’ll give me a look I’m even happier about, but I’m too lazy to look for it. This can cling to dry spots rather badly, so make sure you exfoliate and moisturize first!
  21. Smashbox 24 Hour Photo Finish eye primer: I forgot to include this in the flatlay because I wanted you to know I’m a human being. My favorite eye primer, and I’ve tried a lot of them in my quest for eyeshadow that goes a long time without creasing!

 

My Face Scrubs and Masks!

Welcome to the face scrubs and masks follow up I promised in my skincare routine post from the end of November! My whole skin history doesn’t really need to be explained here. If you want that, take a look at my previous post.

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I’m really bad at remembering to use physical exfoliators on my face, but when I do, I pick from one of these as the mood strikes. The Simple Smoothing Facial Scrub is nice, but it’s not got as many gritty bits in it as I’d like, so I won’t be repurchasing it. It could be nice for someone who likes more of a gentle scrubbing. The St. Ives Apricot Scrub is an old favorite of mine, and this blemish control version is definitely more helpful for my oily, acne-prone skin than the regular version. It definitely scrubs very strongly. My skin feels very soft and nice once I rinse if off. The apricot makes it smell quite nice too! Sometimes I’ll use this as a body scrub as well, and it’s fairly good at that.

However, my favorite texture for a scrub is what I’ve seen called a “microdermabrasion” scrub. The texture is not supposed to be as damaging as a scrub with big chunky bits, but the thick texture has so many teeny tiny bits in it that I feel like my skin feels even softer and more exfoliated than using a scrub that’s technically more exfoliating / has bigger chunkier bits. These little samples here (from Lancer and Kate Somerville) that I got in a couple of Sephora Play boxes are ones that I’ve been carefully rationing out in between using other scrubs because they’re pricey. A more budget option that I really like is the Pink Lemon & Mandarin scrub from St. Ives, and I’ll probably purchase that one once I use up all of the scrubs I already have.

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And now, a personal favorite thing of mine, face masks!

The Neutrogena Clear Pore Cleanser/Mask is one of my favorite things, for a few reasons. Firstly, it feels tingly and cooling and wonderful — definitely a nice mask to use on a hot summer night. Secondly, it only has to sit on your face for five minutes to get the job done. There’s been plenty of times I’ve used this in a rushed panic right before a date when I’ve felt like my skin isn’t exactly up to par, lol. Thirdly, it’s loaded with benzoyl peroxide, a known acne killer. However, benzoyl does stain/bleach fabrics (I’ve damaged a couple of pillowcases using a benzoyl-based spot treatment), so I’ll only use it before I take a shower, or in the shower if I’m using it as a face wash instead. It’s good stuff.

Next in line is Innisfree’s Super Volcanic Pure Clay Mask, which I bought after YouTuber heyitsfeii recommended it. It’s almost like a poor man’s version of the famous Glamglow Supermud mask, which I bought as a birthday gift for myself earlier this year and loved, but can’t justify re-purchasing because of the price. The Innisfree mask is just about as good as the Glamglow was at clearing my pores. I really like it a lot! Sometimes it can be a little overly drying for my skin, but I just moisturize extra afterwards if my skin is feeling tight.

I don’t know why I included that Sephora Play sample of Boscia’s Pore Pudding in this picture, except that it looks kind of cool. It’s alright, but I like other masks better. And it’s got that same herbal scent that a lot of Boscia’s products do, that I’m not too crazy about. Another mask that I’ve got here that I think is just okay is that Birth of Venus jelly mask from Lush. It smells nice, and makes my skin feel nice, but using the jelly mask has turned out to be a huge fucking pain in the ass. It’s so fussy to apply, and difficult to get an even coat on my face.

Peter Thomas Roth’s Irish Moor Mud is an all time favorite mask of mine. It’s pricey, but it takes me a year or more to go through a tub of it, so I can justify it (unlike the Glamglow, which is pricey, but disappears seemingly instantly, lol). The Irish Moor Mud has lots of good clearing stuff in it, like clay and charcoal, but the mask is a super soft whipped sort of texture and doesn’t dry down completely, so it’s not too drying for the skin.

And finally, this Suction Black Mask I found on Amazon. It’s sort of like one of those Biore strips for your nose that pulls out all the gunk, but you can easily apply it anywhere on your face. My big gross pores are not just on my nose, but stretch across most of the upper part of my cheeks, and pore strips don’t cover all that real estate, and also just don’t always fit my nose very well in general. I’ll put this on after a shower, so that my pores are extra open from all the steam. It’s kind of grossly satisfying to peel this mask of and check out all the gunk that comes out of your pores. I’ve tried a few different masks like this, but this one is my favorite so far, and the first one of its type that I’d actually buy again.

So that’s it! I hope you’ve found all this skincare babble interesting. What face masks and scrubs do you guys like? My general daily skincare is pretty pinned down, but I’m always looking for new things to try when it comes to scrubs and masks!

–Krys

My Skincare Routine

A few weeks ago my buddy Sam over at the blog Pretty Thoughtful posted her skincare routine and I was shocked. Somehow she really only uses 4 or 5 products to keep her skin nice! But I’m sure it could go both ways, and she’ll wind up shocked by the extensive list I’m about to detail below. But first, let’s have a little chat about my skin and its history.

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This is my skin, plain and clean. It’s not perfect (check out that red mark on my cheek from where I picked at a zit!) but lately I’ve honestly been having the best skin I’ve had since I hit puberty. Ever since my lovely female hormones first kicked into gear when I was in middle school, I’ve struggled with oily skin and breakouts. For contrast/reference, here’s a photo of me from summer 2009, just after graduating high school. It’s pretty representative of my most common acne locations over my life, although now the breakouts mostly just hangout around my chin.

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At this point in my life I had at least some vague concept of skincare — I do recall using an actual acne facewash from the drugstore and not just plain soap, but I didn’t moisturize yet, and when I did start doing that, I just used body lotion, which surely did not help either the acne or oil situations. But even once I started to get my head on straight when it came to my skin, it was still often a battle (although I know there are people with waaay bigger acne struggles than me).

However, this past year my skin has been SO well behaved (although still oilier than I’d like). I know this is partly because of some good habits I’ve developed, like drinking more water or washing my pillowcase when I wash clothes every week since I only change my sheets about once a month. But I know those two little things probably can’t have done it on their own, so I have a few other ideas how this might have happened:

  1. I’ll be 27 in January so maybe I’m finally aging out? (Please, please, please.)
  2. I take a hormonal birth control pill, and this spring I switched to a new one because the one I was on had been giving me problems. After my doctor put me on Apri, I looked up reviews, and saw people saying it had really helped their skin, so maybe that’s happened here?
  3. Or have I finally put together a skincare routine that actually works?

So now after that very long preamble, let’s actually get into the nitty gritty of what I’ve been doing for my skin!

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Let’s start with washing! I wash my face twice a day — once when I first get up, and again at some point in the evening. If I’ve been wearing makeup, I do a two step cleanse, first with the Dissolve Gel to Oil Cleanser from Sonia Kashuk. It comes out of the tube as a gel,  then when you rub it onto your skin it turns into an oil, and then when you add water, it emulsifies and washes everything away. I can hear you all now saying, “But Krys, you just said you have oily skin? And yet you put an oil on it?” Yes, but I also put a lot of waterproof makeup on my eyes, and heavy powder to keep my makeup matte, and this stuff breaks it down way more gently than makeup wipes do. Although try not to open your eyes if you’re using it, because it will sting a bit. (Clinique’s Take the Day Off Balm is also just as nice for makeup removal, and doesn’t sting the eyes, but it’s twice as expensive as this Sonia Kashuk gel. So.)

My general cleanser is the Noxzema Classic Clean (and this is also the second step of my two step makeup removal cleanse). Whenever I’d complained about my acne over the years my aunt said, “Well have you tried Noxzema?” and I kind of brushed her off. But finally last October I said fuck it, and gave it a try, and I quite like it! It doesn’t make my skin feel tight afterwards like other cleansers I’ve tried, and it’s got menthol so it feels refreshing and tingly. I like that you can apply it to a wet or dry face — I’ll usually start rubbing it into my face while I’m waiting for the sink water to get warm. And it’s kind of solid, so it’s easy to put into a little travel pot and bring on a trip without worrying about it spilling everywhere. I found out this summer that it does kind of break down and get more liquid-y in the heat, but it doesn’t ruin the cleansing power.

Garnier’s Micellar Water is my “lazy” cleanser (and also great on a q-tip for fixing little makeup mistakes). I most frequently use this if I come home very late on a no makeup day, and know that I should wash my face before going to bed, but don’t have the energy. I’ll put some on a cotton pad and apply it to my face. It’s amazing how much stuff it picks up off of a bare face! Also, make sure you shake this before you use it or only the oil on top will come out. When I first bought it, I didn’t like it because I thought it was more oily than the only other micellar water I’d tried, but it grew on me once I realized it needed to be shaken.

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Behold! My morning skincare! First up, we have toner — I’m not actually using Lush’s Tea Tree Toner right now (although I do like it a lot). That bottle’s actually filled with Thayer’s Witch Hazel toner in the Rose variety. I don’t have the actual bottle for it anymore, because I like using it better with this spray bottle. I just spray it on a cotton pad and swipe it over my skin. I haven’t tried too many toners, because the ones I had tried were really drying and I just assumed that’s how they all were (but it’s probably because I’d somehow only tried ones with alcohol in them, which is a big no-no for happy skin). But years ago Joseph Birdsong did a video about his skincare routine, and Thayer’s toner was in it. Joe has killer skin, so I figured it was worth a try, and even though I keep trying other things, I always come back to this. Witch Hazel is good for keeping skin clear, and Rose is soothing, so it’s a no brainer why this works. I definitely find my skin isn’t as good if I stop using toner.

Next we have my one single nod to the overly elaborate Korean skincare trend: Origins’ Original Skin Essence Lotion with Dual Ferment Complex. I’m pretty sure the whole essence lotion thing started with K-beauty and then migrated to Western brands. This product from Origins is supposed to hydrate the skin and help with pores and uneven texture. I think that this is one of the things that’s behind my acne clearing up faster than it used to once it’s appears. I’m not sure how much it’s actually doing all of the things it says it should be, but I like the way my skin is when I use this, versus when I use something else, or use nothing for this step, so you know, that’s good enough for me.

And then for my moisturizer — Garnier’s Moisture Bomb from their SkinActive range. I tend to stick to gel cream / water based moisturizers because using an oil based facial moisturizer is just asking for trouble with my oily skin. My go-to is the Ginzing moisturizer from Origins, but the last time I ran low, I picked this up because YouTuber Laura Lee suggested it. I’ve only been using it for a few weeks, but I’m not sure I’d repurchase it once I finish it because yes, it does make my skin feel nice and soft and isn’t overly moisturizing, but it’s got a fragrance I’m not too crazy about.

Also, if I apply too much by accident or rub too hard when I put it on, it kind of pills up like some silicone based makeup primers I’ve tried (Dr. Brandt’s Pores No More or Benefit’s Porefessional, for instance). I’ve just looked it up, because I was curious and had a hunch, and dimethicone (which is in the silicone family) is the third ingredient in it! So that explains why it does almost feel like I’ve applied one of those primers when I put it on, and why it acts like them. (Although for the record, I did just check on the ingredients of the Ginzing as well, and it’s got one of those pesky “-cone”s in it, but it doesn’t feel like it when I use it, and that’s what matters to me.)

At this point I can hear the record scratch to a halt in your head — “Again, I thought you had oily skin? Why are you going on about all this moisturizing stuff?” Well, there’s this weird thing with skin where if it thinks it’s not receiving enough moisture, it will produce more oil to kind of compensate for its dryness. So even if you have oily skin, you still have to moisturize! Very important thing to know and do!

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And finally for this post, my evening skincare. At night instead of the rose toner, I use one of these Nip + Fab Glycolic Fix Night Pads. I just swipe one of these bad boys over my face after I wash it at night. I’m awful at remembering to use physical exfoliators, so using a chemical/acidic one like this is very helpful to my skin. These pads have Alpha and Beta Hydroxy Acids in them (and salicylic, lactic, hyaluronic, and glycolic acids as well [Or are those the AHAs and BHAs? Not fully sure.]). Basically the acids weaken the bonds between your skin cells to speed up the natural exfoliation / renewal of the skin. I’m pretty sure these bad boys have been instrumental in my acne not sticking around as long as it used to, and also for the marks clearing up more quickly after I pick at them (which I know you shouldn’t do, but I often can’t help myself).

Since the pads are pretty well-saturated with product, when I use one I also swipe it over my upper chest area (aka, the decolletage) and also the backs of my arms (because I’ve got those pesky little bumps known as keratosis pilaris) to get the same benefits there. I’m not sure I should be using these every night, but nothing really bad has happened and I’ve been using them for months. So. These are kind of a pain for me to get my hands on — in my area I basically have to go out of my way to stop CVS or Ulta, neither of which are stores I go to often. So if I’m running low, and I’m making my weekly-ish trip to Target I’ll pick up a bottle of the Pixi Glow Tonic to use instead. But I don’t like it as much, mainly because of the scent. (I’m very particular about scents).

Anyway, so after I use a Nip + Fab pad, I use the Origins Essence Lotion from my morning routine. And then instead of my moisturizer, we have the pièce de résistance, my one item of truly luxury skincare, the Glow Recipe Watermelon Glow Sleeping Mask. I spotted this one day in the K-beauty section of Sephora, and what drew me to it at first was the scent — it straight up smells like watermelon candy. And the gel texture was kind of cool and fun. But it’s $45 so instead of buying it right off the bat, I went home and did research and when I still wanted it, I splurged. I knew I’d made a good pick / felt super validated in my life choices when one of the Sephora employees spotted me picking it off the shelf to buy it and told me how much she loved it.

Its main ingredients are watermelon extract, hyaluronic acid, and AHAs, so it gently chemically exfoliates the skin while you sleep and also provide hydration. And yes, it is a little pricey, but they give you a tiny little spoon in the box it comes in, and you’re only supposed to use one or two scoops at a time, so one jar really lasts quite awhile. I bought my first jar sometime in late spring and only bought my second jar in October. This is another one that I’m not sure I’m meant to be using every night but that, again, hasn’t hurt me yet.

So that’s the end of this post! Thanks for sticking along to the end! I was going to include face scrubs as well, but then this post got quite out of control because I felt the need to explain each item in such detail, so I’ll do another post of scrubs (and also masks!) at some point in the future.

Tell me about your skincare routines in the comments! I always get super curious and nosy about that kind of stuff. I’d love to hear what you do.

–Krys