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· Fashion Notes: Trekking through Etsy
· Fashion Notes: A Mom pendant
· Tech: Improved post thumbnail capture
· Fashion Notes: Labradorite necklace
· Just Notes: What I've been into, lately
· Fashion Notes: Earring synergy
· Culture Notes: Samantha Bee on The Daily Show
· Tech: We now have a label cloud!
· Culture Notes: Election 2008
· Fashion Notes: Something I've been fiddling around with
· Just Notes: It's Sunday--take a survey!
· Beauty Notes: Skincare thoughts

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· March 24, 2008 9:25 PM by Blogger Carol
· March 24, 2008 9:51 PM by Blogger Colleen Shirazi
· March 19, 2008 10:34 PM by Blogger Dain
· March 20, 2008 2:18 AM by Blogger Colleen Shirazi
· March 17, 2008 11:12 PM by Blogger Colleen Shirazi
· March 19, 2008 2:38 PM by Blogger Duygu
· March 19, 2008 6:51 PM by Blogger Colleen Shirazi
· March 14, 2008 10:02 PM by Blogger Dain
· March 14, 2008 11:38 PM by Blogger Colleen Shirazi
· March 15, 2008 7:42 AM by Blogger Dain
· March 15, 2008 7:43 AM by Blogger Dain
· March 15, 2008 1:48 PM by Blogger Colleen Shirazi
· March 15, 2008 2:20 PM by Blogger Dain
· March 15, 2008 8:27 PM by Blogger Colleen Shirazi
· March 15, 2008 9:14 PM by Blogger Dain
· March 16, 2008 11:27 PM by Blogger Dain
· March 17, 2008 11:21 PM by Blogger Colleen Shirazi
· March 12, 2008 6:52 PM by Blogger Dain
· March 12, 2008 9:26 PM by Blogger Colleen Shirazi
· March 14, 2008 1:08 AM by Blogger Colleen Shirazi
· March 13, 2008 11:07 AM by Blogger Dain
· March 13, 2008 11:55 AM by Blogger Colleen Shirazi
· March 13, 2008 12:38 PM by Blogger Dain
· March 14, 2008 12:59 AM by Blogger Colleen Shirazi
· March 5, 2008 4:41 PM by Blogger Dain
· March 5, 2008 8:53 PM by Blogger Colleen Shirazi
· March 5, 2008 9:08 PM by Blogger Dain
· March 5, 2008 9:30 PM by Blogger Colleen Shirazi
· March 2, 2008 5:11 PM by Blogger Dain

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The Lipstick Page Forums Beauty & Fashion Blog: March 2008

Fashion Notes: Trekking through Etsy
Posted by Colleen Shirazi, Monday, March 24, 2008 8:23 PM (Eastern)

Back when I was fiddling around with these:

prehnite and peridot silver earrings wasn't the norm to make earring frames. Standard practice was to buy readymade frames, attach stones and call it a day.

Lately however there's been a bit of innovation in handmade earring frames. I was scrolling through Etsy last night, looking for ideas for spiral earrings, since I had it in mind to make some.

One of the nicest merchants I stumbled across was the Nina Rossi Jewelry site:

Part of the fun here is "How did she do it?" but I'm seeing a lot of square wire, with fine-gauge wire "soldering" the pieces together. Really dig her combination of herringbone weave and beaded bezel techniques to frame the black garnets.

On to the Natural Jewels shop:

These examples have a slightly more rustic flavor (though she has pieces on the site which defy gravity). I love how she used graduated shades of hessonite to produce a vivid, yet also subtle, line of color.

Kelly Lyn Raspa:

Got a bit sidetracked here, but what a killer heart pendant. She has hammered skull earrings breathing fresh air into the skull motif, a ship necklace, and much more.

Finally, the spiral design I was seeking, at Jewelry by Natsuko:

Mind you, I'm not going to duplicate these exactly. But they are the perfect spiral, balanced off by longer "stems."

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2 comment(s)  
March 24, 2008 9:25 PM, Blogger Carol said...

How do you wear those last ones?
'Cause those are pretty sweet looking!

March 24, 2008 9:51 PM, Blogger Colleen Shirazi said...

Hey, how are ya?

I just made a pair based on this spiral, though they're quite different from Natsuko's. I didn't oxidize them, so they don't have that blackened look (it's not hard to oxidize silver, you can use a hard-boiled egg to darken it, then you can use silver polish to brighten the areas you want to highlight).

Mine are hammered but not chased, so they're flat and shiny in places, and hard (hammering hardens wire) but not textured.

You just take the straight side and put it in your ear lobe. The stem balances the spiral so the earrings hang straight rather than leaning forward.

I put three little moonstones on daughter did some of the wrapped wire on a couple of them. I had to laugh when she did it, because it took me years to do a good wrapped loop.

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Fashion Notes: A Mom pendant
Posted by Colleen Shirazi, Wednesday, March 19, 2008 7:32 PM (Eastern)

mom pendant

This is difficult to photograph. It won't stay still when it's on, which is the point of it (lots of movement, catches the light).

This is one of the few odd sentimental pieces I've made; each stone has a meaning. I have my kids' birthstones on top, and small stones to signify the years I've spent with them. The tiny sapphire heart is for the blue sky, the smooth citrine coin is for the sun, the moonstone is for cloudy days (I have some with blue flash but didn't use it here), and the aquamarine is for the sea. These are all symbols of my happiest memories with them.

It actually has two tiny chains at the end, not one. I'm sort of debating about the chains; one is old, from a shop I no longer go to, and one is new. It seemed a bit trite to cut the chain off altogether from the end, so I cut it and reattached it, and added the small piece of old chain.

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2 comment(s)  
March 19, 2008 10:34 PM, Blogger Dain said...

What if you made a chain with the significant stones, that way you could have something close and sentimental with you always, and just switch the pendant around for fun?

March 20, 2008 2:18 AM, Blogger Colleen Shirazi said...

That would be very interesting, since the stones don't really "match." I'll have to give it some thought. I had the idea first to make one of those small hoop pendants with the stuff hanging from it, but there's no reason why the elements can't be on the chain itself.

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Tech: Improved post thumbnail capture
Posted by Colleen Shirazi, Monday, March 17, 2008 8:29 PM (Eastern)

screenshot of thumbnail capture

It looks as if our friends at artViper have improved their screenshot script. In exchange for a modicum of branding, they now capture screenshots of posts with videos in them.

At least I hope that's what's going on. I manually recaptured the thumbnails that would recapture, and queued the rest, so it's going to be a while (likely a few days) before I'll be able to see if the new script works consistently, but it looks promising.


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Fashion Notes: Labradorite necklace
Posted by Colleen Shirazi, 7:52 PM (Eastern)

handmade labradorite necklace

I had to lean at a funny angle to take this pic, because I wanted to capture the "schiller," or "flash" in the stones (which did sort of work). Otherwise the stones do hang properly. This is more accurate:

handmade labradorite necklace, different angle

I'm still fiddling around with this, though I like it on this chain.

It's occurred to me I gravitate toward Indian stones. Not just the stones, but the Indian cut. There are several different types of cuts; most of them more precise than Indian, but that's why I like it.

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3 comment(s)  
March 17, 2008 11:12 PM, Blogger Colleen Shirazi said...

This isn't something I'd wear every day, it's for something rather specific. IRL it does have a lot of flash.

March 19, 2008 2:38 PM, Blogger Duygu said...

I make jewelry..This seems pretty easy to make and looks so cute.

March 19, 2008 6:51 PM, Blogger Colleen Shirazi said...

Thanks! You do? Do you have a site?

Yeah, it's pretty straightforward. I saw a similar one on Etsy for $400+...they did theirs on silver with some ruby rondelles. Still I like mine better. :) The stones were so nice, I didn't want to detract from them too much.

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Just Notes: What I've been into, lately
Posted by Colleen Shirazi, Friday, March 14, 2008 4:54 PM (Eastern)

norfolk, virginia skyline
Norfolk, Virginia1

Once in a while I'll get sentimental, and start googling for pictures of my home town. I haven't actually been there since the mid-1980's, and can't for the life of me recognize it anymore, save for this:

waterside, norfolk, virginia

...which is genuinely nice; they built it right before I left. There's a long walkway in front of the Elizabeth River, and lots of little shops and restaurants in the blue-roofed structure facing it.

But this is what caught my eye: it's divine!

uss wisconsin, norfolk, virginia
The U.S.S. Wisconsin3

The Nauticus Museum didn't exist until I'd already gone, and I'm drawing a blank as to what was there before (I want to say ships and tugboats, the kind of tugboats those bad kids used to jump on and explore coughs). Now they have this, and the battleship U.S.S. Wisconsin. Now I feel like buying a ticket. I'd love to see the inside of that ship.

Oh well...further hoop development:

blue-green sapphire hoop earrings

These are a rougher grade of sapphires. You'll note the double loop at the top; it's much better that way. Compare this earlier incarnation of the same hoop:

blue sapphire hoop earrings

With the single loop, I had to hammer the wrap. Though it's not an area of great stress, the thought of the short wire popping out...ugh.

1. Norfolk skyline by Thestearninator.

2. The Waterside, a small shopping and entertainment facility in Norfolk, Virginia. Photo taken March 11, 2003 by Ben Schumin.

3. Although there are no active battleships in any navy as of 1992, the United States Navy still maintained for a decade and a half two mothballed battleships--Iowa and Wisconsin--(berthed at Nauticus National Maritime Center in Norfolk, VA) and could recommission one or both of them if needed. Since the 1950s the United States battle doctrine has called for air superiority, which clearly favors the aircraft carrier, but other weapons such as guided missile ships and destroyers also play a significant role. In May, 2006, Wisconsin and Iowa were stricken from the Naval Vessels Registar and placed on donation hold for use as museum ships.

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10 comment(s)  
March 14, 2008 10:02 PM, Blogger Dain said...

Those are great! I think the lower grade stones can still be very useful. Sometimes the translucence has a hard time "showing up" without a setting, and the slight inclusions perhaps suit the handmade look better.

March 14, 2008 11:38 PM, Blogger Colleen Shirazi said...

Yeah, after trying out A grade tiny stones, and B grade bigger stones, I'll have to say it can be better to buy B grade. It depends on the stone...for less expensive stones, A grade can be noticeably better.

I think I'll redo the blue sapphire hoops...for one thing, it's not a good idea to use tiny beads on the ends. They tend to migrate up the sides of the hoop. I might also try the center loop idea and hang something there (probably a "big tiny" sapphire).

Here is another gem site: Beads of Cambay Someone posted it on a beading forum I go to. I believe she had bought from them at shows rather than online, but it's still a rec.

I haven't looked at it closely yet, the prices look higher than the Earth Bazaar sale prices but sometimes it's a matter of selection.

I'm dying to see the inside of that ship now! I really can't recognize the skyline anymore, except the Waterside building. Even when I was there, they were knocking down the old buildings. It looks as if they redid the entire waterfront. It's too bad in a way, I liked it the way it was.

March 15, 2008 7:42 AM, Blogger Dain said...

This post has been removed by the author.

March 15, 2008 7:43 AM, Blogger Dain said...

Hehehe... I forgot the closing tag on the last one. Found . It's a variation of the wrap design but they took advantage of the homemade look.

March 15, 2008 1:48 PM, Blogger Colleen Shirazi said...

Thanks...I will have to study it more closely. What they did was bring both ends of the wire up and twist them...and I think the rest of the wrap is the same, the two wires twisted.

March 15, 2008 2:20 PM, Blogger Dain said...

Wah... fucked it again.

March 15, 2008 8:27 PM, Blogger Colleen Shirazi said...


March 15, 2008 9:14 PM, Blogger Dain said...

I think it's just me. I should get regular sleep.

March 16, 2008 11:27 PM, Blogger Dain said...

I was looking at a pair of earrings today, and they had the large hoop have two little loops at the end, to connect to the main hoop, and had the main drop attached similar-wise. Er, if that makes sense.

March 17, 2008 11:21 PM, Blogger Colleen Shirazi said...

Sort of. :D

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Fashion Notes: Earring synergy
Posted by Colleen Shirazi, Wednesday, March 12, 2008 2:51 PM (Eastern)

citrine and labradorite earrings

A venture into one of Dain's ideas of combining two contrasting stones. Here is citrine and labradorite, utilizing Eni Oken's herringbone weave (based on "french beaded flower techniques" and basketry).

I didn't have soft wire in this gauge on hand, and didn't feel like waiting to get some (with six or more gauges, two commonly-used tempers and two or three metals involved, I feel fortunate if I do have the exact wire on hand), so went ahead using "half hard." Hence the appearance is less basket-y--the soft temper would enable more exact placement of the wire--and more like the sloppy bun I happened to be wearing in the pic. :D

These, and some previous earring endeavors:

madeira citrine earrings
green amethyst and emerald earrings

...mark my first conscious attempts to make earrings that work with a specific hair color.

Earrings are generally regarded as a "facial accessory," and often the advice is to choose pieces which work with your face shape, and possibly your hair style and length...but the cosmetic aspect, the idea of earrings as a form of makeup, is a bit underplayed in my opinion. It's well to try earrings on in front of a full-length mirror, in the same way you would model a jacket, as well as using a customary hand mirror; it's as much about what the composition can do for you, as it is about the composition itself.

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3 comment(s)  
March 12, 2008 6:52 PM, Blogger Dain said...

Hm, that citrine looks a bit too watery, but it may be the light.

I was thinking about why I automatically thought, "Colleen might like this" when I sniffed Bellodgia. I think it's because it really smells like the flower. Sure, there are other notes, but the flower really shines through, which is the case for the Montales and Joy. I'm gonna have to mail you this one. I have Normandie coming, and that's my carnation.

March 12, 2008 9:26 PM, Blogger Colleen Shirazi said...

I tried it out with a deeper citrine...the thing is, the hair. The deeper citrine imo competed with my hair color, where this gives a sort of silvery pale golden look. For a pendant, a more golden citrine would be more striking, that's for sure.

Then there's a bead show I'm hoping to hit this weekend...I'll see what they have.

I dunno, carnation? I don't think I've ever smelled a carnation perfume.

March 14, 2008 1:08 AM, Blogger Colleen Shirazi said...

My daughter wants to go to the bead show...that decides it! I'll see what they have.

I'm also going to try the weave out with soft wire...but that will have to wait until I can buy wire (it's much cheaper to buy it in bulk).

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Culture Notes: Samantha Bee on The Daily Show
Posted by Colleen Shirazi, 2:28 PM (Eastern)

Canada's Samantha Bee has been the top comic on The Daily Show for quite some time. In fact, if I think about it, she's easily as funny as Stephen Colbert, with her unique blend of squeaky cleanliness and depravity (where Colbert is funny almost by default, in the usual Southern paper-cut style).

If this doesn't make you spew your tea, nothing will.

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4 comment(s)  
March 13, 2008 11:07 AM, Blogger Dain said...

Lol, "mostly as a friend".

About the issue... I gotta roll my eyes. Wow, fascinating, people fuck. WOW. Sometimes, I wish I were as ignorant as dirt.

March 13, 2008 11:55 AM, Blogger Colleen Shirazi said...

Uh-uh, no one cared what this guy was up to, except he was breaking the law. He was doing the same thing he spent his daytime hours putting other people away for.

It's not the most important issue for the others mentioned, but you really have to ask yourself, what these public servants are doing on their taxpayer-paid-for time. If anyone else was screwing around on the clock, they'd be thrown out on their butts the same day.

March 13, 2008 12:38 PM, Blogger Dain said...

Ah, I forgot about that bit. I haven't slept... : /

March 14, 2008 12:59 AM, Blogger Colleen Shirazi said...

Say, that guy is her real-life husband...Jason Jones, who's also a comic on the show (which is why Stewart is laughing so much at his expense).

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Tech: We now have a label cloud!
Posted by Colleen Shirazi, Monday, March 10, 2008 8:42 PM (Eastern)

tag cloud screenshot

It's on the front page: The Lipstick Page Forums


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Culture Notes: Election 2008
Posted by Colleen Shirazi, Wednesday, March 05, 2008 4:30 PM (Eastern)

rotfl! You've got to love New York.

I signed us up for a RedLasso account. It isn't the veritable Youtube I thought it would be, but it's not bad. You get feeds from some of the bigger news stations, plus Comedy Central and, of all things, E!. You may then make your own clips.

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4 comment(s)  
March 5, 2008 4:41 PM, Blogger Dain said...

Eh, the major networks trawl Youtube. You can't find a stitch of anything from Comedy Central on there for long.

Hm, I hate to point this out, but it strikes me that Clinton has gotten more plastic surgery done. I wonder if the sniping commentaries about her looks got to her? That would be a shame, though I can't blame her, I blame how vicious people still are about women's looks. Even after all this time, it is still the most important aspect to a woman, isn't it? She's skilled/talented/intelligent/qualified is a secondary compliment still.

What we need is for beautiful women to tell all the men to fuck off, but women are hardly notorious for solidarity, as this election bears out so eloquently.

March 5, 2008 8:53 PM, Blogger Colleen Shirazi said...

Eh...well I don't know, I suppose she could have "had some work done." It's become quite common, to the point I don't notice as much.

You will observe Mrs. Clinton won all of the big states--California, Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey, Florida, Ohio, Texas, and so forth. She is getting more female support than it would appear, based on our media coverage. Recall we gave up our Fairness Doctrine some time ago; now there is no "equal time" requirement for the media. They cover whoever owns the media wants to cover.

March 5, 2008 9:08 PM, Blogger Dain said...


We grow so desensitized. I'm not one of those people to deplore violence in the media, etc., better it be the make believe of Hollywood than watching slaves being torn apart by lions in a stadium, right? But I suppose it's never been done on such a scale. That changes things a little.

March 5, 2008 9:30 PM, Blogger Colleen Shirazi said...

Weeellll...Hollywood. In Northern Cal, it's not as prevalent, but I'd say getting procedures done is pretty common in Southern Cal.

I've thought about it myself. Not seriously, but I have thought about it. Okay I really haven't thought about it. lol But it must be difficult if you're running for office. I'll bet even John McCain has a few procedures going on.

I like Hillary's necklace? It looks like rough-grade rubies. Sometimes if you wear something red or pink near your face, it makes you look better in pictures.

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Fashion Notes: Something I've been fiddling around with
Posted by Colleen Shirazi, Tuesday, March 04, 2008 1:08 AM (Eastern)

handmade london blue topaz necklace

So I bought three smooth London Blue topaz "pears." And a sample of oxidized sterling silver chain.

(London Blue is just a loose classification for "deep" blue topaz. Swiss Blue is lighter, Sky Blue the lightest of the three. These colors typically are produced by heat-treating topaz. Oxidized silver uses chemicals to darken "bright" silver; usually areas of the piece are then polished to highlight them, though it's trendy now to leave more of the piece dark.)

The block of four photos:

Upper left: The first version involved cutting the chain into four pieces and joining them by passing a sterling wire through each pear and wrapping it to the section of chain. I've seen this done many times and somehow thought it would be a snap. Not so; one of the pears proved to have a very small drill-hole. Though it is possible to ream out the hole to make it bigger, I don't own a bead reamer (and there are several kinds of these), and I'm not sure of the risks of reaming out such a stone to begin with. What if you chipped the hole?

Hence, the wire I used for that stone was quite thin. Wrapping the stone directly to the chain...the link needs to be reasonably strong. Plus, there was a level of stress on the wire where it joined the stone. Bend it back and forth a few times and the wire would break.

Upper right: Back to the drawing board. Decided to join the chain using heavy gauge sterling wire, which is very strong. My daughter decreed this design to resemble "three people with garnet hair and blue faces" or "vases with flowers in them." Interesting, but a bit too much frou-frou here.

Lower left: Elected to try constructing a long drop in front with the garnets. Not bad, kind of eccentric really, but ultimately I felt the garnets were too much.

Lower right: Tried shortening the drop.

Top center pic: Finally, it occurred to me to revisit the original concept of three blue stones. What's satisfying here is the sheer strength of the construction; even with the thin wire, the wrap is pretty sturdy (the new style with two loops at the top).

Is this the final design? Only time will tell. It's rather like eyeshadow in the sense, what looks great in the pan is not always the shadow you end up wearing day by day, and the shadow which strikes you as ordinary, or hard to wear, can end up a staple. It takes months sometimes to determine the usefulness of something you make. It's quite different from making something to sell, where the priority is the sale.

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Just Notes: It's Sunday--take a survey!
Posted by Colleen Shirazi, Sunday, March 02, 2008 6:31 PM (Eastern)


Admit're goofing around today. You did the laundry, read your usual beauty & fashion blogs and boards, listened to your playlist (how did I ever live without this?) and now you're contemplating whether to clean the bathroom or try to find something more fun to do.

Why not take a survey?

There's no money involved with this survey, or a prize, but I have taken it myself. It's actually a lot of fun. It's for this guy's dissertation, so, in an odd fashion, it is a way of being heard. The irony would be if only the people already obsessed with politics took the survey, as:

The purpose of this survey is to examine how people think and feel about the political issues, parties, and candidates in the upcoming election. In the survey, you will be asked a series of questions about two political candidates, John McCain and Hillary Clinton. We are very interested in how individuals that find information on the web think about politics, and your participation would be greatly appreciated. In total, the survey should take about 15 minutes to complete. The survey is completely anonymous and you can skip any questions you do not wish to answer.

Click here to take the survey:

Please feel free to contact Chris Weber ( at Stony Brook University with any questions or concerns. Thanks for your help!

Okay ladies...and we are not to comment about the survey, in order to not bias the responses of other participants.


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Beauty Notes: Skincare thoughts
Posted by Colleen Shirazi, 12:37 AM (Eastern)


Oh well, I broke down and bought Dr. Hauschka's Cleansing Milk today. My local health food store now carries this brand, thus negating the need to travel to Berkeley. I experienced a small pain in the wallet as I bought my Milk, and wondered if an earlier casual remark--that a dollar spent on good skincare meant saving at least five dollars on everything else--held much water. And decided there was something to it.

I'd run out of my usual evening facial cleanser, the (in)famous beauty-board darling, Johnson & Johnson Head to Toe Baby Wash, a while back. That's when I started using a sample of the Hauschka Cleansing Milk, and realized its odd, almost greasy whitish lotion was good for my skin. Less acne, fewer flakes, softer texture, all-around expensive skincare goodness.

When I'd squeezed the last drops from the sample tube, I was left with nothing, and started washing my face with some tea-tree oil soap. Now this was not good for my skin. Makes a great hand wash, but, face-wise, I was beginning to see pimples. Pimples are depressing enough in their own right, but are particularly disturbing to those who have been to acne hell. Signs of returning to good.

But, five dollars on everything else? What would I be spending $169.75 on? How long is this cleanser going to last? My Hauschka Cleansing Cream, purchased mid-January, is less than half-way used up. Let's be optimistic and say it will endure three months (I use it only once per day in a pea-sized blob). If the Cleansing Milk can do the same, that's $169.75 over three months, or $56.58 per month. It is conceivable I'd be tempted to spend $56.58 in a month, depressed over having lousy skin. Hermmm...

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March 2, 2008 5:11 PM, Blogger Dain said...

I found the Cleansing Milk lasted for a surprisingly long time. I used it sporadically, so I can't be accurate, but three months is probably a conservative estimate, I'd guess a bottle'd last twice as much.

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