The Fairest Week In Review: 8/08

Hmmm. I know I mentioned this on Twitter, but I can’t remember if I told the blogosphere – have I told you yet that a lot of that Mickey Mouse for Target collection of which I reviewed a bit is at least partially on serious clearance right now? I picked up a bunch of the Mickey face masks at 50% off, as well as a Mickey-themed nail file set for less than a dollar. My Target also had scads and scads of Mickey head-shaped bath sponges if that sounds like something you’d be into.


After all, it’s important to keep yourself clean after a workout, like these ones I did last week:

Sunday | ran 10.24 miles in 1:45

Monday | walked 2.35 miles outside; 45 minute ballet class

Tuesday | ran 5.3 miles outside in 55 minutes

Wednesday | walked 2.33 miles outside in 40 minutes; 50 minute hip hop workout class

Thursday | ran 5.11 miles outside in 50 minutes
Are my new Under Armour sneakers magic? Stay tuned to find out! And by that I mean, we’ll find out together, because it’s too soon to tell. Lord knows I could use some magic sneakers.

Friday | ran 5.14 miles on the treadmill in 50 minutes
Ah, summer speed runs on the treadmill.

Saturday | 20 minute arms and abs workout with Pat
In case you’re wondering where my arms are on the fitness spectrum, I have to use a chair to do pull-ups.

… I did already tell you guys I signed up for the 2019 WDW Marathon, right? I mean, it’s not like anyone’s surprised. I did say I’d never miss it again. But it’s certainly relevant.


Dang, forget my own head next. Or even forget the roundup! Oh, wait, here it is:


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!

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!

In Which Jenn Reviews Cruelty-Free Products

I alluded to this in my last round of random product reviews, but to make it official: a couple years ago I went strictly cruelty-free when it comes to makeup. Medical testing, in my opinion, is a separate ethical debate, but I see absolutely no reason why we should make animals suffer purely for the purposes making select portions of my face a different color. I just don’t need it.

Mind you, I do sometimes want it, and luckily there are plenty of cruelty-free companies out there who can help me out. My personal code is that if a company is cruelty-free but its parent company isn’t, I will still consider it cruelty-free since I’m still voting with my dollar. I’m also not as concerned with veganism in my products, just that no one is mean to them during any part of the process. Your own standards may be more strict or more lax than mine. It’s up to you!

If you are interested in making some part of your cosmetics consumption cruelty-free, here’s an important thing to know: companies can be pretty tricky about it. Even if the company itself never tests its products on animals, that can be rendered moot in two ways: they can get components of their products from companies that aren’t cruelty-free, or they can sell in China.

That’s right, ANY cosmetics brand that sells in China is NOT cruelty-free. China has a post-market animal testing policy, wherein any product on a shelf in a store in China can be pulled and tested on animals. Yes, even though it’s already been approved for sale. No, I don’t get it either.

There are a couple loopholes as I understand it – I think maybe airports don’t have the same requirements? – but generally speaking, if a brand sells in China it’s not cruelty-free and that’s all.

Why am I telling you all this? Because cruelty-free beauty is the theme of this round of random product reviews! Every one of the below items is kind to animals and it makes me happy. So let’s start off with

HAIRCARE
Maple Holistics Argan Oil Shampoo. DISCLAIMER! I received a bottle of this shampoo for free, but with no obligation to give a good review. I can assure you I strive to be fair and balanced when I review anything, regardless of how I got it.

Now, on to the argan oil shampoo! Despite being sulfate-free, this shampoo lathers easily, with a pleasantly robust texture and no scent worth noticing. It made my hair soft soft sooooft – I’d consider a great dupe of the classic Morrocanoil shampoo, only Moroccanoil isn’t cruelty-free so eff ’em.

Here’s the thing, though: my hair is fine, and by consequence already pretty soft. Softening it further kinda sucks the life out of it, and certainly deflates my naturally wavy texture. If you have something similar going on, I’d recommend the tea tree oil shampoo instead (I like how it gets rid of scalp buildup that can weigh down hair). If you have a coarser texture that could use some softening up, or if you like to add your volume products post-shower, go for it.

Not sure? No worries! Maple Holistics offers an impressive sampling program that’ll let you try just about anything as far as I can tell. Have at it.

**All other products listed below were NOT sponsored or gifted in any capacity and I have no relationship with any of their parent companies. I bought this stuff of my own accord, kids.**

Not Your Mother’s Dry Shampoo. Hooray! A cheap, easily accessible cruelty-free dry shampoo! NYM’s version comes both unscented and in a “warm sugar” smell that makes me think of vanilla with a hint of chalk. You need a pretty thorough spray down to get the full effect and your hair is gonna have a white cast to start. Don’t panic! By the time you brush it all through it’ll be invisible. Trust me; I dye my hair as close to black as brown can reasonably get and I’ve had no troubles after a good brush-out.

SKINCARE
Sheet masks. Who doesn’t love a good sheet mask? They’re extra great for when you’re traveling solo and want to schedule a brief relaxation period. I believe these originated in Korea, and many would argue that the Koreans have perfected the genre. Thing is, a LOT of Korean brands sell in China. One that doesn’t? Creme Shop! I recently found this brand in CVS, tried their egg white sheet mask, and loved it. I need to try more!

More readily accessible: the Miss Spa face masks I see at Target seem to be cruelty-free. I wasn’t impressed with the bee venom one but the hydrate version is always good. A little research suggests the whimsical Animalz face masks are cruelty-free too, but I haven’t tried any yet. Maybe for next time?

MAKEUP
Foundation with SPF. I’ve been playing around with some drugstore SPF foundation options, because I find them extremely useful when touring Walt Disney World (or any outdoor activity, for that matter). No one wants their vacation ruined by a painfully sunburnt face!

This has been a somewhat more challenging adventure, as a lot of the BB creams with SPF I’ve used in the pass are owned by companies that test on animals. (Looking at you, Maybelline Dream BB Cream. D:)

I found the e.l.f. BB cream with SPF 15 to be entirely too dark for my complexion, and Sonia Kashuk’s version felt too thick. I briefly landed upon a Physician’s Formula cushion compact with SPF 50 (!!!!), and while I like it for its high protection powers it’s so sheer it’s barely worth wearing. Also, it seems to be on clearance everywhere so we may never be able to buy it again.

Right now what’s working for me is e.l.f.’s Beautifully Bare Foundation Serum with SPF 25. The fair shade works on my skin, and although it’s sheer it’s also buildable up to a low-medium coverage as needed. I love how it sinks into my skin weightlessly and makes my skin soft with vitamin E and goji berry among other things. It’s a little price-y for e.l.f. but at $8 it’s still not an investment.

All that being said – I’m open to more SPF foundation suggestions? Cheap, cruelty-free suggestions, naturally. I see Wet ‘n Wild has a cushion compact with SPF too…

It is a truth universally acknowledged that if Ruffian becomes aware of
anything ever she will assume it’s for her.

As always, if you’d like me to expand any of these reviews or product topics into a full post, let me know! I’m thinking I might do cheap running gear next…

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

In Which Jenn Has Lots Of Opinions

I have two modes: I don’t know you that well so I’m not gonna talk much and HERE ARE MY OPINIONS ABOUT EVERYTHING. Since you’re reading this, my blog, presumably of your own free will and with at least a passing interest in my inner workings, allow me to present: a bunch of opinions.

A couple notes. First, the below items are included because I feel that a mini-review might be of some assistance to like-minded folk. I am not going into any great depth, but if you’d like a more exhaustive report, leave a comment and I’ll either expand the topic into a full blog post or respond with additional information.

Second, no one is paying me to mention any of these products. All opinions are 100% my own. I only got one thing free, so for simplicity’s sake let’s start with

HAIR CAREMaple Holistics Tea Tree Shampoo. LEGALESE!!! I was sent a bottle free to try, but with no pressure to give a good review.

Maple Holistics Tea Tree Shampoo is a natural, sulfate-free, cruelty-free formulation. These are all good things! Natural for avoiding weird chemicals, sulfate-free for not stripping your hair of good oils, and cruelty-free for being nice to animals.

Here I am pretending Oswald threw it to me.
Thanks, Oz!

I detected little to no smell, and it didn’t really cause any tingling or similar when used.

This shampoo promises to improve scalp clarity and banish blemishes. I don’t suffer from a ton of scalp issues myself, but I was coincidentally suffering from a few small – zits? Ingrown hairs? Something like that – on the side of my neck next to my hairline. After a few uses those bumps disappeared! Nice! I seem to have less dead skin on my scalp, too.

As for what it did to my hair – it successfully kept it clean. My hair is very difficult – fine but long and wavy – and I didn’t notice anything extraordinary about its condition while using the tea tree shampoo. But it didn’t get worse either, so, score.

I would recommend this shampoo to anyone suffering from scalp problems or hairline acne. The great news is you can try it yourself risk-free, because Maple Organics offers a sample program. As far as I can tell you can try just about anything that tickles your fancy. Check it out!

Now, with that out of the way, I am in no way affiliated with any of the below:

SKIN CARE
Differin. The only physical change I have noticed so far in my 30s is a fresh new fight with acne. Rock on. After going through the usual frenzy of trying and rejecting anti-acne products, I tried the flavor of the month: Differin. And, as the ads promise, it pretty much worked. But the claim that you may see improvement in 2 weeks? HA. It took three months to get through the purge period, with my skin throwing up flare after flare. If you suffer from moderate adult acne and no regular solution has worked, you should still try it – but be prepared.

Burt’s Bees Cleansing Oil. My savior in this trying Differin times, this soothing cleansing oil improved texture and dryness enormously. I’ve tried some other brands but this is my favorite.

Vaseline. Top notch eye cream. Look, just try it, okay?

MAKEUP IN THE PARKS
My parks makeup philosophy. I’ve kinda already covered it here, but I personally find I’m much more likely to enjoy looking at my park photos if I’m wearing makeup. Vanity, thy name is me, but there it is. I’m constantly curating a park makeup strategy that’s cheap and long-wearing, with the added stipulation that everything should be cruelty-free. We can debate the merits of medical testing on animals some other time, but I don’t see any argument for why a bunny should suffer so that I might enjoy the privilege of changing the colors on my face.

Anyway, here are some recommended products:

Milani Prime Shield. Matte primer with a nice texture. Nyx Shine Killer is good too but I like the slip on this one just a touch more.

ELF Gel Eyeliner Pot. Surprisingly long-wearing! Don’t forget primer.

Wet ‘n Wild Balm Stain. These lip crayons have staying power, but when they do fade, they do so very naturally. No pressure to reapply until you’re ready.

FOOD & BEVERAGE
Quest Bars. These are not the holy grail many claim from a taste perspective. But from a ratio of calories to protein perspective, they’re pretty great. I detect a hint of fake sugar in every flavor, but not as bad as some protein bars I’ve tried. The S’mores flavor is probably my favorite.

Halo Top Ice Cream. As Ted Danson so wisely says on The Good Place


And that, I think, is a perfect descriptor for Halo Top. It’s no Ben & Jerry’s but if you’re looking to eat a pint of ice cream at once without feeling terrible afterward it’s surprisingly tasty and satisfying. I recommend Mint Chip, Oatmeal Cookie, S’mores, and Pumpkin Pie (while you can get it).

PB2. You’re never gonna mistake it for real peanut butter, but it’ll successfully scratch your PB itch without risking eating half a jar at once. Also a good mix-in for smoothies.

Sparkling water. I have always been obsessed with seltzer water, so believe me when I tell you that Target’s Simply Balanced cans are the BEST. They have awesome flavors like cucumber mint and tropical cherry and the price is good. Dasani is also enjoyable, but Aquafina gets a pass; it’s not bubbly enough.

RUNNING GEAR
Running fuel. They may laugh, but I swear by Watermelon Sour Patch Kids. Get ’em in one of those single-serve theater boxes. I like to eat them both before and during a race. Simple sugars and carbs and easy on the digestive system. And much cheaper than the fancy stuff that never did much for me anyway!

Kinesio Tape. People rave about Rock Tape but I didn’t find it to be anything special. Plain ol’ KT Tape has been fine for me for years. BUT. When on a KT Tape run at CVS the other day I discovered CVS makes their own knockoff kinesio tape for like half the price. I’ve been trying it out and so far it seems to work fine!

Running clothes. C9 by Champion has always been fine for me, but I’ve been really into Under Armour lately. Down for recommendations!

Hit me with your opinions in the comments!

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