Thursday, June 28, 2018

In Which Jenn Shares Her Preferred IT Band Taping Method

Oh, man, I can't believe it's never occurred to me to tell you guys about this before! Well, I have told you about it before. But obliquely. You need the details.

Q: What the heck am I pattering on about?
A: Taping your IT band!

Your IT (iliotibial) band, for those who are uninitiated (lucky you), runs along the hip and knee and is vital to stability while running. But I'm not a doctor, so I'll just leave this Wikipedia article here. I mean, I assume Wikipedia is a doctor.

You may recall my personal IT band began acting up last fall, riiiiight before the Baltimore Marathon. You know, just the sort of timing we all dream of. I tried taping it with KT Tape a la the approved method, which is this:

It kinda helped, but even with rest I was going into the marathon with trepidation. Enter my hero: the lovely guy who taped me up at the Baltimore Marathon expo's KT Tape booth.

Yes, he was an official KT Tape representative, and you would assume he would perform all his tapings in the official KT Tape manner. I know I expected it. But lo, a miracle - instead he did this:

And OH MY GOD, guys, it helped. It helped SO MUCH. Indeed, so much did it help that by the time I finished the marathon my IT band had stretched itself out with such perfect support it was cured. (My other one was a different story but whatever).

Turns out, he WAS using an official KT Tape method, more or less - just not the most obvious one. While the video above is labeled "IT band pain," this one is more generically "outer knee:"

The funny thing? The original video now links to the outer knee video. But neither video is quite right, because my expo guy inserted a twist. He added an additional piece of half tape at the top, and with 100% stretch to boot (see above photo).

Said the rep when he taped this bit: "This is the only time I ever place tape with 100% stretch. It's so that when the full strip pulls it has something to brace against." Or something like that. The point is: only 100% stretch this piece!

One more thing: last time I got my IT band taped at the KT Tape booth, at the 2018 WDW Marathon, the employee did it in the original, not as good style. I ended up taking it off and putting it back on my way. Don't be afraid to specify the style you want!

Disclaimer: As I said, I am not a doctor. I'm not even a licensed professional of any kind. I'm just a girl regurgitating something I learned once. Follow my lead at your peril!

Don't forget, you can follow FRoA on Twitter @fairestrunofall. If you have any questions, leave a comment or email fairestrunofall@gmail.comSee ya real soon!

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

The Fairest Week In Review: 6/27

Did I say this week would be more interesting than last? Shoot. I can't deliver. Sorry.

Here's a very normal workout log:

Sunday | ran 10.25 miles outside in 1:45

Monday | walked 2.16 miles outside in 35 minutes; 55 minute ballet class

Tuesday | ran 5.32 miles outside in 55 minutes

Wednesday | ran 5.11 miles outside in 50 minutes

Thursday | 2.16 miles outside in 35 minutes; 65 minute ballet class
Ooh. It's always so weird when I match times. *cue Twilight Zone music* *also, brb, off to watch some TZ because one of the Shatner episodes is next in queue*

Friday | ran 5.13 miles on the treadmill in 50 minutes
Speed run! Do you think it's time to up my top mph? I'm scared...

Saturday | rest

Yeah. Sorry So Dull. But! In two weeks I go to the beach and the week after THAT I'm heading to WDW for some Swolphin action. Don't give up on me just yet! P.S. Any Swolphin fans out there? Tips and tricks?


Monday, June 25, 2018

In Which Jenn Has A Counterintuitive FastPass Theory

I've got a theory.


Wrong again!

It's about FastPass+. It may make you uncomfortable. But if you hear me out, you may have an effective new strategy on your hands. Or I'll ruin your whole vacation. Either/or.

So on my last trip to WDW with my mom, I left plans for the final day completely blank, the idea being that I would let my mom decide how she wanted to spend our remaining hours based on what she liked best the previous days. As such, I reserved precisely zero FastPass+ slots. How could I, if I couldn't be sure where we'd be?

Well, unsurprisingly, we wound up in beautiful, majestic, Disney's Animal Kingdom. Inevitably we started our day in grudgingly accepted Pandora, in the early-bird line for Flight of Passage.

To pass the time, I pulled up the My Disney Experience app on my phone and began fiddling around with the FastPass+ screen. Because I had made no previous selections, all rides were open to me - regardless of tier

That is important. It is important because through some dedicated refreshing of the available FP+ screen, I was able to snag two slots for Na'vi River Journey. By the time we finished with Flight of Passage, River Journey was showing something like an hour posted wait, but thanks to my last minute grab we were able to waltz right on.

And it got me thinking. Through heated, determined refreshing of the FP+ portion of MDE, I have made some miraculous eleventh hour reservations, up to and including Frozen Ever After and, yes, even Flight of Passage. Mind you, this has always been for parties of one or two, so my theory may only apply to smaller groups.

Still, I wonder: if you go to make your FP+ selections in advance and can't get the popular ride you want, might it be more advantageous to simply forego making FP+ decisions in advance and instead winging it on the day?

I know this sounds crazy, but listen. If you want Seven Dwarfs Mine Train but can't get it, and instead make three selections for other rides, you're now blocked from attempting to grab new FP+s until you use up those three - and depending on what times you accepted, that might not be for hours. In the meantime, someone could drop their SDMT FP+ slot and you'll be powerless to pick it up.

If you don't have any FP+s at all, you can start madly refreshing from the moment you wake up in the morning in the hopes of getting what you want. It occurs to me that you can start trying earlier, too - a week out, say - but then I also understand that Disney will sometimes release FP+ slots the day of. Your odds increase!

So what do you think? I admit it's the classic case of forgetting about the bird in hand while going after one in the bush, but the risk has paid off for me before. For those who are willing to be flexible, I think it could work nicely.

One a scale of 1 to 10 where 1 is I WILL HAVE A PANIC ATTACK and 10 is chill, baby, how comfortable are you with winging your FastPass+ plan?

Don't forget, you can follow FRoA on Twitter @fairestrunofall. If you have any questions, leave a comment or email fairestrunofall@gmail.comSee ya real soon!

Thursday, June 21, 2018

In Which Jenn Has A Boardwalk Running Suggestion

It's officially summer, and that means beach trips are just around the corner. And beach runs, of course. 

Personally, I love running on Ocean City's boardwalk. Probably just about any boardwalk, really. The sights! The energy! The ocean breeze! The flatness! The occasional water fountain!

But even I have had some tough-ish runs in this wonderful setting, and it's not hard to figure out why: sometimes, during a summer vacation at the ocean, it's hot.

I try to confine my summer outdoor runs to the morning, but once in awhile I've been forced by circumstance to knock it out in the late afternoon. This unfortunately means, among other things, dodging crowds and surviving in the hot sun. Makes those water fountains look extra good, right?

One solution here is to run intervals to conserve energy, but sometimes it's so hard to start running again once you've stopped, amirite? Well, if you find yourself on Ocean City, Maryland's boardwalk, I can help you out. Feast your eyes on the Candy Kitchen:

No, I'm not suggesting you duck in for some restorative fudge and a milkshake to go. (Although don't let me stop you.) The secret here lies in the fact that there are, oh, I don't know, 87 Candy Kitchens on the boardwalk alone. YES THAT'S THE ACTUAL NUMBER. (No, but seriously, there are at least four or five over the span of less than 2.5 miles.)

So, all you have to do is: run to the next Candy Kitchen. Then walk to it. Repeat. Or walk 30 seconds every time you get to a Candy Kitchen. Whatever. There's no perfect formula but you'll never run or walk tooooo crazy far and I promise you your run will get done. I can always promise you this. You can do it!

Or, like, just get some fudge and call it a day. It's vacation!

Don't forget, you can follow FRoA on Twitter @fairestrunofall. If you have any questions or thoughts, leave a comment or email fairestrunofall@gmail.comSee ya real soon!

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

The Fairest Week In Review: 6/20

It's been a quiet week in Lake Wobegon, guys. Workout log, roll tape:

Sunday | ran 10.34 miles outside in 1:45

Monday | walked 2.31 miles in 40 minutes
No ballet this week between spring and summer semesters.

Tuesday | ran 5.28 miles outside in 55 minutes

Wednesday | ran 5.22 miles outside in 55 minutes

Thursday | walked 2.41 miles outside in 40 minutes

Friday | ran 5.19 miles outside in 55 minutes; walked 2.37 miles outside in 40 minutes
It was quiet around the office, so I took a bonus walk.

Saturday | rest
Elizabeth and I went to a singalong screening of The Sound of Music at Wolf Trap, which, if you're not familiar, is an outdoor arts center with a lawn section for picnics and stuff. We brought sandwiches and a bottle of wine and sang along to all the songs because of COURSE we know all the words. Can we just talk about how Max and Elsa are the best characters? They have so many great lines!

Sorry this week is so boring. Things are going to heat up soon, I promise!

In the meantime, here's the roundup.

Kait Around The Kingdom celebrates Mulan, aka the BEST Disney movie. (Fight me!)

Don't forget, you can follow FRoA on Twitter @fairestrunofall. If you have any questions, leave a comment or email fairestrunofall@gmail.comSee ya real soon!

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

In Which Jenn Is Venturing Beyond The Parks

Not to make you jealous or anything, but I have three Walt Disney World trips on the docket within the next seven months. No, honest, I'm not trying to make you jealous! 'Cause, listen: I don't plan to spend much time in the parks.

Which is sort of silly - isn't this exactly the sort of thing Annual Pass dreams are made of? But the first trip is during a conference, so I won't have a ton of time to kill; and anyway the wrap party gets me into Epcot for some limited experiences. The second trip is during the Wine & Dine Half Marathon, which gets me into Epcot for the after-party sans ticket media. And the last trip, for the marathon, is only three days long, with one day largely taken up by the race.

Instead of throwing money at an AP I might not be able to fully get my money's worth from, I've decided to save that money for an AP the year after, in the hopes that Pat and I will be able to take a much longer trip in November 2019. This isn't definite, but I feel optimistic enough that I want to try to keep costs down for the interim. Blowing $850 on an AP doesn't exactly fall in with that plan. :/

Of course this means I'm going to miss out on experiencing new attractions, like the new Pixar area of the Studios or the revamped Hall of Presidents. But as yet nothing I've seen announced is setting me on fire. I can bear the deprivation in the name of an epic trip for later. I can learn about deferred gratification.

am pondering buying a 1- or 2-day pass for my upcoming November trip, since I'll be there 4 days. I could potentially cover it with Disney Visa points... I'm still debating. But honestly, the more I think about it, the more amazing, comparatively low-cost non-park ideas I come up with...

I could go to the pool for once! And I could watch a poolside movie! I could go horseback riding at Fort Wilderness! I could barhop on the Boardwalk or at Disney Springs! I could explore the AKL savannas and try one of the free resort tours! I could get a post-race massage! I could watch the fireworks from the California Grill bar! I could try a fancy restaurant without worrying about wasting time!

Indeed, the more I ponder it, the more I think there are more no-park activities than I have time for. Okay, maybe you should be jealous after all. ^_^

What's your favorite thing to do on resort property that doesn't require park admission?

Don't forget, you can follow FRoA on Twitter @fairestrunofall. If you have any questions, leave a comment or email fairestrunofall@gmail.comSee ya real soon!

Friday, June 15, 2018

Thursday, June 14, 2018

In Which Jenn Goes DVC...ish

Like I said a couple weeks ago: it's gotten hard to book a room at Disney, let alone find one at a discount rate. This was making me antsy for marathon weekend. Generally I would stay at Pop Century as per usual, but what would Disney charge this time around? Wine & Dine weekend room costs are definitely not rock bottom. Would I be able to get a room for only two nights? 

I began to ponder an option that's been on my mind a lot lately: renting DVC points. As much as I'd love to actually join the Disney Vacation Club, the... entry fees? ...down payments? ...initiation fees or whatever you call them are just too high for me. Points via rental, however, are potentially within my reach, and as Pat and I have discussed trying to stay at the Polynesian sometime point rental has been on my mind.

I did a little research, checked out some potential pricing, agonized and obsessed for a requisite period... and decided to try an experiment. I put in a request through a dedicated DVC points broker for a studio at either Animal Kingdom or the Boardwalk (two of the cheapest available considering I didn't want OKW or Saratoga) for Wine & Dine Half Marathon weekend.

Annnd got rejected. Not only got rejected, but was told that there were no DVC rooms available whatsoever for that time frame.

Daaaaaamn. See what I mean about snagging rooms nowadays? Good thing I already have a room at Pop!

That was apparently that. But I couldn't shake the feeling that DVC points rental was a good fit for me. While there are risks involved - the broker I worked with does not allow for cancellations (unless you want to buy outside insurance) and payment is required up front. But the pricing is better than what you can get directly through Disney and after a decade of staying in values with the occasional moderate thrown in for fun I am itching to try out some deluxe resorts, y'know?

So I took a leap: I requested the same AKL or BW studios for marathon weekend. Once again, no dice - BUT there was a Kidani Village studio available. It was more expensive by about $100 but still - a deluxe resort, Sanaa and Jiko and the savanna all there for the taking, the amazing ambiance an extension of DAK, my favorite park... A couple hours of pondering and a very necessary Twitter poll, and I took the room.

In truth, this doesn't really "save" my money, per se - if I waited patiently for Pop's rates to come out they'd probably be $100 - $150 cheaper total. But... for Pop. And I love Pop, but I have a feeling Kidani Village is going to compare favorably. I can't wait to find out!

Save me some naan from Sanaa!

Have you ever rented DVC points? Would you like to loan me $17,000 so I can join?

Don't forget, you can follow FRoA on Twitter @fairestrunofall. If you have any questions, leave a comment or email fairestrunofall@gmail.comSee ya real soon!

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

The Fairest Week In Review: 6/13

Hello, humans! Coming off last week's awesome WDW news, I have no worthy followup. But I can tell you that I quite unexpectedly have a 5K, an 8K, and a potential half marathon on the books for July. Whatever happened to the off-season? I guess we got rid of it and decided to build character instead. Hot, sweaty character. Or we're all just race addicts. I don't know.

But it's good to have races to look forward to when you're slogging your way through another summer training run. Observe:

Sunday | ran 5.07 miles outside in 50 minutes
So rainy, guys. SO RAINY.

Monday | walked 2.5 miles outside in 40 minutes; 60 minute ballet class

Tuesday | ran 5.42 miles outside in 55 minutes

Wednesday | ran 5.26 miles outside in 55 minutes

Thursday | walked 2.39 miles outside in 40 minutes; 60 minute ballet class

Friday | ran 5.09 miles on the treadmill in 50 minutes
Speed run!

Saturday | rest
I went to see Hereditary, which was mostly just super weird, and while downtown caught some of the DC Pride parade, which was mostly just hot and sweaty. 

Okay! Roundup time!

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

In Which Jenn Runs But Might As Well Be Swimming

As noted, the Wayfarer's Half was cancelled for potential storms... and then no storms appeared whatsoever. That was Saturday. 

Sunday was another story entirely - great buckets dumped from the sky allllllll day, legit rain to which words like "shower" and "sprinkle" did not apply. And this was bad news for me because, having wound up running only a 10k, I wanted to get another run in.

I waffled about my options. 

  1. I could skip the run, of course. I did just run a race, even if it was a much shorter one than I had expected.
  2. I could pack up all my stuff, drive to the gym, use the treadmill, and drive back.
  3. I could suck it up and let the rain have at me.

At Pat's encouragement, I decided to take a shot on a rainy run. I slapped on a ball cap to keep the droplets out of my eyes, stuck my phone in a sandwich bag, walked outside... and promptly came back inside for my weather resistant jacket, because in addition to being rainy it was chilly to boot.

Enjoy this photo shot through a plastic bag and distorted by a water droplet!

Okay. I was finally ready to brave the elements. I walked toward the usual corner where I start my runs AND IMMEDIATELY GOT 100% DRENCHED BY A PASSING CAR.

It couldn't have been a more perfect shot if the driver had done it on purpose: the gutter was overflowing, and due to the narrowness of the lane the wheel got all up in there. The resulting spray hit me in the face and chest and completely soaked my tights. I may as well have jumped right into the pool.

I doubt anyone would've blamed me if I'd turned on my heel and marched right back into my apartment for a 45 minute hot shower. But you know, it's funny - after the initial shock and annoyance, my ill-fated hosing put me in just the right mindset for my wet, froggy run. After all, there's nothing beyond drenched. As Tom Stoppard says, things have gone about as far as they can go when things have gotten about as bad as they can reasonably get. And short of fording an actual river, I wasn't going to get any wetter.

And so I ran five miles in a downpour, sloshing my way through enormous puddles cheerfully because my socks and sneakers were already waterlogged, so what difference did it make? My rainy run had secretly been an aquatic adventure all along!

But I still followed the whole thing up with a long hot shower. Even brave girls have needs.

What's the worst weather you'll run in? Has an errant vehicle ever tried to take you down?

Don't forget, you can follow FRoA on Twitter @fairestrunofall. If you have any questions, leave a comment or email fairestrunofall@gmail.comSee ya real soon!

Thursday, June 7, 2018

In Which Jenn Lets Mickey Do Her Makeup

I'm such a sucker for Target's Disney collections. I'm there every week to buy my groceries, and they always seem to have something new! Usually I'm pretty strong about not buying extras unless there's a good sale, but in the case of the cheapity-cheap skin and makeup items they just released, I allowed myself to succumb a bit. Hence last week's review of the sheet masks - and today's review of an eyeshadow palette!

Quick note: usually I try spread out similar content so that you have more variety to read, but since I'm not sure how long this collection will be available I wanted to get a review out sooner rather than later so you can decide if you want to buy it while there's still time. If there's something else in the collection you'd particularly like reviewed, hit me up in the comments. Okay, onward!

Eight bucks will snag you a palette in one of two color schemes, a smokey neutral that bottoms out in black or the one I picked up, which is warmer with reds and browns. Both feature a mix of matte and metallic shades.

The most important thing to note is that, whether because of quality, handling, or some combination thereof, these shadows crumble easily. I didn't see a single one that didn't suffer some errant powder along the edges, and a couple even had completely shattered segments. Definitely open them up to check for breakage before you buy! And maybe think twice before having it sent through the mail, at least at full price.

The packaging, besides featuring a plainly shellshocked Mickey Mouse, is cardboard, but the finish is smooth and it doesn't feel flimsy. The palette features a mirror, which is a nice touch, and comes with a double-sided brush, one side haired and one side sponge. Personally I prefer to use my own, larger brushes but this is handy in a pinch.

Unsurprisingly (at these prices), the color payoff is pretty sheer. Below I swatched each color with one sweep using the spongy side of the included brush. (None of the colors are named; I just went left to right out of the packaging.)

In brighter light.

Most apply to your lids pretty sheer, too, but they aren't unworkable. The palest tan and the metallic reds were particularly malleable. I do think you'd be hard pressed to build up any truly vibrant color, but you can bring about a very pretty wash if natural is your thing. Some eyeshadow primer should help.

So there you have it! For an $8 palette, this one performs like... an $8 palette. You can probably pick up something better from your favorite drugstore brand if you're not super into Mickey. But I just can't get over the inherent cuteness of doing my makeup in my Disney resort room under Mickey's heraldry. If you feel the same, it's not a bad purchase.

Don't forget, you can follow FRoA on Twitter @fairestrunofall. If you have any questions, leave a comment or email fairestrunofall@gmail.comSee ya real soon!

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

The Fairest Week In Review: 6/06

(Happy D-Day! Rangers lead the way!)

I have exciting news!!! I've mentioned this in passing before, but it's official: I'm going to a conference in Orlando next month! AND! It's at the Swan & Dolphin! AND!!! The conference wrap party will be in - wait for it - EPCOT! AND!!!!!!!!!! We'll see IllumiNations!!!!!! AND!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! THREE ATTRACTIONS WILL BE OPEN FOR US!

The two named are just what I would've guessed - Soarin' and Test Track. I want the third to be Frozen Ever After but probably it's Spaceship Earth. But I freakin' love Spaceship Earth so no worries there. (Figment or Nemo wouldn't surprise me either but SE makes the most sense logistically and is a better ride, no?)

I am going to make SO. MANY. RIDICULOUS. CARS.

Needless to say, I'm hella jazzed - and my head is already swirling with ideas for my downtime. We could almost just stop here because I can't top it that! But here's the workout log anyway. Special for you!

Sunday | ran 7.08 miles outside in 1:10
The beginning of tapering for what I thought was going to be half marathon...

Monday | ran 7.07 miles outside in 1:10

Tuesday | walked 2.17 miles outside in 35 minutes; 60 minute ballet class

Wednesday | ran 5.13 miles outside in 55 minutes

Thursday | walked 2.09 miles outside in 35 minutes; 60 minute ballet class

Friday | walked 2.04 miles outside in 35 minutes
Bonus walk since I had the time.

Saturday | Wayfarer's 10k, 6.2 miles outside in 55:19
Ended up running a 10k rather than a half. Confused? I can explain.

Now here's the roundup, for kicks:

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

In Which Jenn Runs The Wayfarer's 10K AGAINST HER WILL*

*This may be a slight exaggeration.

The ominous weather forecast was poor all week: potential lightning and storms on Saturday morning. And the day before the race, the Wayfarer Half organizers caved: they called off the Wayfarer's Half Marathon.

What they did not cancel was the Wayfarer's 10k, set to start at the same time but expected to finish before the storms hit. All half marathoners were automatically transferred to the 10k, and while deferment was offered, the halfers who ran the 10k were promised a 50% off code for the next year's race.

Race buddy Sarah and I debated our options and, while we were disappointed in the slashed mileage, we ultimately decided to take our chances on the 10k. 

And so we arrived to the Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium in Annapolis in the early hours of the morning, one on the weather predictions and the other on the course ahead. 

The race began with little fanfare, and before we knew it we were off on the 10k course. This caused me to get a little cocky to start - after all, I had prepared for a half marathon and, met with scarcely more than six miles, why bother holding back?

So my first mile was rather quicker than it should've been, but probably not as fast as it could've been, as for the first half mile or so the course was pretty packed. There was no corral system in place, self-seeded or otherwise, and people weren't respected the underwritten fast-in-front-slow-in-back rule. Indeed, at the onset of the race I had to dodge around a pair of walkers running side by side. Blarg!

Luckily after a bit of snaking and ducking I was able to break out into a clearer area. After a brief stint on some fringe roads, we found ourselves in historic downtown Annapolis - always a highlight. For some reason I get a kick out of running down the same streets and past the same bars and restaurants I've seen and eaten in before.

Our next landmark from there was St. John's College, after which we passed the entrance to the US Naval Academy and headed back toward the stadium. The final stretch was basically identical to the Zooma Half, which leads me to believe that had the Wayfarer's Half gone on as planned the course would've been at the very least nearly the same. Hey, at least that saved us some hill work - while the 10k did feature some inclines it wasn't at all what I'd call hilly.

Course support was pretty solid. I don't recall a ton of spectators, but there were plenty of volunteers handing out water and Gatorade at decently spaced intervals. 

As for my personal performance, I wound up having a darned good race. My too-fast opening miles precluded me from those coveted negative splits, but I didn't drop off as much as I could've and ultimately wound up with a PR of over 2.5 minutes. I guess that's what happens when you actually taper for a "mere" 10k!

Rather than medals, finishers received a patch and, for some reason, a keychair carbine instead of a medal? Go figure. More interestingly, the post-race area included places to get a free beer or food truck snacks, but as Sarah and I finished before 9am we opted to go back to Elizabeth's place and get coffee and pastries instead. (Water bottles, sports drinks, granola bars, and bananas were also available before and after the race.)

I don't envy the Wayfarer's organizers their decision to cancel the half. I can only imagine it's rough to try and keep everyone safe in the face of the always-fickle weather report, especially in a race's very first year. Their offer of discounts and deferments was sporting; I'm sure the fine print at registration didn't require they make any concessions at all.

But darned if the kicker isn't that it never did storm at all. >D

(Now, it rained BUCKETS the next day, but that's a story for next week...)

Have you every found yourself unexpectedly in a different race than you expected?

Don't forget, you can follow FRoA on Twitter @fairestrunofall. If you have any questions, leave a comment or email fairestrunofall@gmail.comSee ya real soon!

Friday, June 1, 2018

In Which Jenn Tries Out Those New Mickey Mouse Sheet Masks

Target's always had a smattering of Disney items available, but the launch that dropped a couple week ago is big - just check out all this loot:

Mugs! Cosmetic bags! Makeup! Skincare! Hand creams and bubble bath and, yeah, some t-shirts and stuff too, but the latter is pretty average, if you ask me. Standard Mickey Mouse prints.

I was immediately drawn to the skincare and makeup, with this romantic notion: how adorably apropos would it be to come back to your WDW resort hotel after a long day in the parks, slap on a Mickey sheet mask, and chill?

With that happy vision dancing before me, I snapped up one of each of the offered masks at $3 a pop (which is to say I purchased these myself for review). Should you do the same? LET'S FIND OUT.

The sheet masks are manufactured in Korea, where skincare is king, so that's a good sign. The options are hydrating with hyaluronic acid, calming with green tea, and detoxifying with charcoal. Each mask can be left on for 20-30 minutes, with strict instructions to not go over that time.

Let's start with the most disappointing item: these masks do not make you look like Mickey Mouse. No hilariously weird, Insta-worthy prints here. Just a standard sheet mask. Not gonna lie; I was a little disappointed.

I started with the green tea mask, which I left on for just shy of 30 minutes. The mask comes straight out of the package folded up. There are multiple notches on the edges for a more custom fit. (Theoretically; I'm not great at it.)

Once on, the mask offers a very standard experience, with no tingling or irritation. Upon removal, I noticed no particular redness. My face had the slick sheen of moisture on it, but I don't know if my skin was particularly calmed. My Cheek Zit(tm) wasn't noticeably less red - but then I guess it wasn't any worse either. Overall an underwhelming but perfectly serviceable experience.

What up, last week's cheek zit? #fbf

A couple days later I took a shot at the charcoal mask. I will not be featuring a picture of this because the mask is black, and, well, it's darned hard to take a picture of without looking like you're trying to channel an unflattering caricature, ya feel me? It looked exactly the same as the green tea one, only black.

And this one I did NOT like. It wasn't as saturated as the green tea version, and edges kept peeling off, especially around my forehead. I ripped it off as soon as the 20 minute mark hit because constantly smoothing it back was driving me nuts. The ultimate result was no different than with the green tea mask, only less moisturizing. Do not recommend.

I haven't tried the hyaluronic acid version but I'd imagine the experience is extremely similar to that of the green tea. If, when I use it, I find I have strong opinions after all, I'll definitely keep you updated!

Ultimately I still think it's fun to have a few of the green tea masks on hand for Disney trips. But if you already have a go-to mask and aren't charmed by the Mickey packaging, you can probably skip these. Either way, find 'em here.

Come back next week for a review of one of the Mickey eyeshadow palettes! (I did say it was the FAIREST Run of All.)

Don't forget, you can follow FRoA on Twitter @fairestrunofall. If you have any questions, leave a comment or email fairestrunofall@gmail.comSee ya real soon!