Saturday, September 21, 2019

Pumpkin Spice Biocellulose Face Masks

I am feeling down this weekend – my heart hurts and my eyes are tired from crying because we got bad news in our family this week. 

I’ve decided to take a break from crying to think about something FUNNY – Trader Joe’s Pumpkin Spice Biocellulose Facial Masks.  Let me say that again for you, PUMPKIN SPICE FACE MASKS.

If you shop at Trader Joe’s, you know this is the time of year when the shelves there are flooded with pumpkin crap.  There is pumpkin ravioli.  Pumpkin ice cream.  Pumpkin coffee.  Pumpkin everything.  But pumpkin FACE MASKS???  Now that is just a/ step too far, my friends.  Trader Joe’s, you have officially jumped the shark.

So, of course, I bought them!  I picked up 2, thinking I would force my sisters into being guinea pigs and trying them.  Only one of my sisters was too smart to spend the night on the night I was busting them out, which was BAD NEWS for my nephew, cuz he had to fill her spot!  Lucky for me, Trevor is a really good sport.

Trev has a full beard, and I wasn’t sure how well the mask would work on the facial hair, so for HIM I turned it upside down and put the MOUTH hole up on his bald head, then covered his face down to his beard with the mask.

The brave product testers
As the pretend esthetician for the event – my take on these masks was “Ewwww”.  First off, they are STINKY.  Secondly, they are SLIMY.  And thirdly, you have to peel not 1 but 2 pieces of goo off the sides to get to the actual product.  They are messy to put on.  After touching them a lot they made my fingers STINK.  They smelled like a gross over-powering autumn candle that would be an ugly brown color. 

Even before OPENING these they sounded smelly...
Now let’s hear what the product testers had to say!  First up was my nephew Trevor:  “I do not usually use facial products.  I wash my face every day but never put lotion on it.  To be blunt, I didn’t really enjoy the experience of this mask…  When it got put on it smelled like a mix of Bath and Body Works and fake vomit.  And a little bit of spicy pumpkin.”  After I took his mask off and rubbed in any remaining goo (there was not much, most of it seemed to soak in) I asked Trev how it felt.  “It feels fine I guess.  I mean, I don’t have anything to compare it to.  I have never used these products before.  I probably will not be using this again in the future.  I don’t especially like this.  I don’t like the feeling of my face being greasy.  If I am going to use a facial product I would rather it be CLEANSING.  I would not buy this product.  I hate to give it an awful score because maybe it is good at what it is intended to DO, but I am not the target audience.  To be generous, I will give it a .75.”

Tester #1 - not a fan
Soooo, Trevor was not a fan.  Maybe my sister, who actually LIKES beauty products, will like it!!  I didn’t tell her the scent before I put it on.  Let’s see what she thought.

Sherry: “I use face products, but I only use face masks when my sisters are all together.  I did not like the SMELL of this face mask at all.  I thought it smelled like a funeral home.  Like, the overpowering smell of flowers or something trying to disguise a smell.   Once you told me it was Pumpkin Spice scented I could tell – I mean – it was spicy.  But it doesn’t at all smell like pumpkin, just spice.  It smells like a spice cake or something.  I didn’t like the smell of it at all.  And I didn’t like the feel of it on.  And I didn’t like the feel when it got taken off.  I have had other face masks before and this wasn’t that different, but it made me feel SLIMY.  I want to go wash my face and I am afraid I will have zits tomorrow.  I wouldn’t buy it again, unless I was buying it for someone’s Christmas stocking…  (Note:  our family makes funny gag stockings, and now I fear I know what might be in mine…)  I am not a huge fan of masks.  People who buy it are probably people who like pumpkin spice and face masks.  I don’t like this.  I will give this a 2.”

Tester #2, also not going to stock up on this product
There you have it folks.  I as the applier and both testers thought this one was a big F-A-I-L.  If you like pumpkin and you like spice, there are pleeeenty of other things to spend your money on at Trader Joe’s this fall.  Leave this one on the shelf!

Price:  $2.99 (so not worth it)
Score:  1.5

But don't buy it
Here's what to look for

Saturday, September 14, 2019

Creamy Pink Primavera Pasta Sauce

In 2015, I had this crazy idea to write a review of one Trader Joe’s product every.  Single.  Day.  Like, EVERY DAY.  and I did it!  I went to Trader Joe’s stores all across the country and I tried 365 products (actually, more than that, but that is the number I REVIEWED that first year).  It was super fun and I loved doing it.

But it was also really time consuming.  And more than that, it was LIFE CONSUMING.  So much of my focus and energy was put into that project that I didn’t have a lot of “fuel” left for other creative outlets.

And then life happened.  I started a NEW (time consuming) project about Kindness ( ).  I travelled.  I enjoyed myself.

And then, as sometimes happens, life got messy.  My sweetheart broke his collarbone.  My sister got diagnosed with brain cancer (glioblastoma (GBM) ),  And in the midst of her treatment, our dad suddenly had a heart attack, and after surgery, surprised everyone by dying in the hospital.

So yeah, life has sort of sucked the last 13 months.

But that doesn’t mean I stopped shopping at Trader Joe’s.  It just means I stopped being anal about reviewing my purchases. 

But now I think it is TIME to review something new!!!  It’s fall, which means the shelves are filling up with new seasonal products.  My Trader Joe’s review blog (insert link) has almost 800,000 views (isn’t that wild??), and it is time to refresh it a bit!  So here we go – let’s talk about this new (to us) product that we had for dinner:  Creamy Pink Primavera Pasta Sauce.

David was skeptical from the get-go
First off, I bought it because it is PRETTY.  That is the same philosophy I apply to wine shopping when I don’t have a specific bottle in mind:  which one has a beautiful or funny label?  Buy that one!  So, I picked this sauce because of its’ very pretty dark pink color.

There is not a lot of PINK food in the world.  Think about it – cotton candy…  Gum balls… 

So yeah, I thought the world needed more PINK FOOD.  My partner David wasn’t so sure from the get-go.  But I figured he could be easily convinced if it was as tasty as I hoped it would be!!

It wasn’t. 

He was right.

This stuff is yucky!!  The label says this sauce has tomato, beet, cauliflower, chickpea, and a touch of citrus.  We served it over TJ’s linguine with a side of TJ’s baby bok choy. 

Starting to look a bit like blood on pasta...
Here is what we thought of it:

David:  I think it is a stretch…  I don’t think…  It doesn’t taste BAD…  But, I mean, for me it’s not a PASTA SAUCE…  I mean, it’s a little citrus-y, which is interesting.  But the rest of it is kinda a hell of a lot of BEET.  So…  Good luck to ya! 
I give it a 2.

Susan:  Pretty – yes.  Tasty – no.  I agree with David.  I don’t know – but the LINGUINE itself tastes better than the sauce that is on it.  It is very BEETY, and I love beets.  I like to eat TJ’s baby beets from the produce section.  I put them on my salads and they are delicious. 

But for some reason, in this format, the beets didn’t work.  Maybe this sauce should be served cold (which David suggested and I poo pooed)?   The sauce eerily has a look of BLOOD on the pasta, which is obviously a bit off putting (but might work well for a Halloween dinner).  In the JAR the color was great, but on the pasta it is not as pretty. 

It doesn't look as PINK here as it does in real life
Maybe shredded cheese on top would help.  I LOVE most of the ingredients in it:  tomatoes, beets, chickpeas.  And I LIKE the other ingredient: cauliflower.  But when they put these things together as a pasta sauce it was a fail.  In fact, it was so much a fail that for the first time in history (that I can remember) David literally RINSED HIS PASTA OFF and tried to “clean it”, then added pesto to cover the yucky remaining Creamy Pink Primavera Sauce.
I will give this a 2.25.

Don't waste your $3.69.  But, as always, if you TRY it and DON'T LIKE IT, don't be afraid to take it back! 
Trader Joe's is awesome about returns!
I assume this is a fall seasonal item.  David (a bit sarcastically but with a bit of sincerity)  says, “Why must we suffer at Trader Joe’s every fall?  Damn "autumn this" and "pumpkin that"…” 

Price:  $3.69
Rating: 2 (I lowered my score to match David’s for the final rating, because let’s face it, he RINSED THE PRODUCT OFF his dinner it was so bad.)

In loving memory of my dad John, who thought many of the things I do with my life are nutty, but was behind me all the way.  He showed me how to enjoy life and I miss him every day.  Love you, Dad.