I don't think it's any secret at this point that I'm a big fan of the Palette by Pak High Fiver reusable palette. If you're unfamiliar, it's a nifty little five well palette made of silicone and plastic, designed to replace travel minis. I wrote a pretty detailed pros and cons list on Instagram last June, my only reservation being the $45 price tag: was it worth it for the average consumer?

Palette by Pak High Fiver Spatty x Palette ($45)

I reached out to the company about the price point, and they explained to me they use medical grade silicone for the wells (higher cost) and 30% recycled plastics for the base (also higher cost). They also pointed out that while the upfront costs of the product might seem high, purchasing travel minis can add up fast and create a LOT of unnecessary packaging waste. Theoretically, this all makes a lot of sense. It would definitely reduce my packaging waste in the long run, but could this $45 palette actually save me money?


This last month I decided to do a bit of cosmetic price tag forensics. I wanted to investigate if using Palette by Pak High Fiver with five full-sized products--that I would actually take traveling with me--could save me money in the long-run. More importantly, I wanted to make sure to investigate products that have identical minis available for purchase, so price comparisons between the full and mini sizes were as accurate and honest as possible.

Next, for all my bargain-hunting nerds out there, I did a little math. Okay, turns out it's a lot of math. But I did it for you! I figured that if the price per ounce of the full sized products was LESS than the price per ounce of the mini size, we should be saving money each time we use the Palette by Pak High Fiver with our full sized product. For each product in my set of five, I divided the retail price by the number of ounces for each full-sized and mini product. And surprise surprise, the full-sized products were significantly cheaper across the board:



What REALLY surprised me is how much you're actually paying for packaging when purchasing minis: you get a lot less product for a much higher per ounce price tag. Maybe I missed that announcement, but the actual numbers kind of blew my mind. So yes, as claimed, using full-sized products when traveling will in fact save you a good chunk of money in the long run.


Adding up the cost savings for the set of five products I chose, I would save about $24.50/oz choosing to use full-sized product rather than minis. Palette by Pak High Fiver holds .85 ounces of product overall, meaning my per ounce savings each time I use the palette would be approximately $20.83. What does all that actually mean?

Use it three times and the palette pays for itself.


Palette by Pak High Fiver is a bit of an investment, but in my mind a no-brainer. By taking away the need for expensive minis it reduces waste, saves space in my purse or suitcase, and with continued use pays for itself with the savings. Don't tell my friends but they're probably getting one these for their birthday soon. If you've got the pocket change, it's worth every penny.


*This review is Sponsored by Palette by Pak High Fiver, but all opinions and statements are my own. Products shown were gifted to me in exchange for this review. Products shown in the images above were selected by me in the process of creating this review.

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  • Kai

When I started on my Project Pan journey six months ago I started seeing "repressed" powders everywhere. I, of course, wanted to get in on the action, but I couldn't find a cohesive tutorial on how to repress my pressed powders. I would see snippets of the process on people's posts, ask questions in the comments, but eventually I just had to figure it out. SO, I wanted to make a comprehensive tutorial that I wish I had six months ago! Please note this is only for pressed powder formulas. You can also see a quick video tutorial on my Instagram here: https://www.instagram.com/p/B_VJwAaB7sO/

Step 1

Supplies:

-A pressed powder you want to repress

-A tool to crush and mix your powder

-High percentage rubbing alcohol

-A paper towel


Step 1

Crush your powder finely with your crushing tool. You want to make sure you have no large chunks that will make mixing difficult! I like to use a metal cuticle pusher like this one because I can crush AND press with it, but you can use whatever you have on hand.

Step 2

Step 2

Now it's time to add your rubbing alcohol! This is where I made a lot of mistakes when I was figuring out the process. Start with a very small amount of rubbing alcohol (less than you think you need) and mix together until it becomes homogenous. I like to keep mine to a paste consistency (think toothpaste) so it dries out faster. I added way too much alcohol the first few times I tried this, and it discolored and sometimes completely destroyed the formula of the product. So be a little light-handed! You can always add more, but you can't take it out.

Step 3

Step 3

Now it's time to mix it up! You want to make sure you mix really thoroughly so you don't have any chunks that will make your new repress fragile. You'll notice your mixture will lose a bit of moisture as you go, so if you need you can add more rubbing alcohol, but I like to keep mine on the drier side. Once the mixture seems completely homogenous all throughout, it's time to move on to the next step.


Step 4

Step 4

Now you're going to form your mixture into the general shape you'd like for your final product. I personally like to use my Spatty (a small silicone spatula) to do this, but your original tool will also work just fine. I find that the spatula rescues the most product from the pan, whereas a hard tool that "scrapes" leaves a lot behind.

Step 5

Step 5

Pull out your paper towel. This is also a step I had to make a few mistakes to master. You're going to want to fold your paper towel in quarters so its a little thicker, and you can use the edges to your advantages. A single sheet of paper towel CAN work, but it may also absorb too much and pull the wet product up with it. Place the paper towel on top of the wet product and firmly but gently down. You should see/feel some alcohol seep into the paper towel. Make sure you apply pressure evenly across the surface so the product is evenly pressed.


Step 6

And now, we wait! I leave my represses to dry overnight to make sure all alcohol/liquid has evaporated (this is why you want to use a high percentage alcohol). If you're repressing a powder from a palette, make sure you leave it open and expose the repress to the air. It won't dry out very well if sealed!


Step 7

Enjoy! Once you've figured out repressing, a world of possibilities opens up in your makeup collection. Cracked or broken shadows are no longer catastrophic, and you can even start mixing colors and formulas to see what you come up with! I would suggest starting with cheaper or older products you're not so attached to, so that if you make mistakes it's not such a big deal. Good luck, and welcome to the wondrous world of DIY makeup!


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Updated: Apr 23, 2020

Last week I sung the praises of my Oui the People Safety Razor, and I was really surprised at how many of you were interested in the topic! Quite a few people said they wanted to make the switch once they used up the razors they already owned, but were extremely intimidated by them. Honestly, I was terrified of them as well. Most safety razors look much more "industrial" and hard core than the curvaceous scented ones I've been getting from the drugstore for over a decade. Marketing has been screaming "THE MORE BLADES THE BETTER" for even longer. But that 2 billion plastic razors in the landfill statistic kept ringing in my head, and I made the jump.


Three months in and I'm absolutely in love with mine, but there was quite a long learning curve to get there. So, I'd like to share what I've learned to make the process less intimidating. If this idiot can figure it out, so can you.


1) DON'T. APPLY. PRESSURE.

Real talk, I cut my ankles A LOT at first. I do with traditional razors already because I'm a living

disaster, but it definitely increased when I started with the Safety Razor. I had read the directions that came with my razor, I was being "careful", holding it at a 30 degree angle, so why was it not working? Answer: I was applying too much pressure. I was applying ANY pressure. I was so used to "pushing" my razor against my skin, and that just does NOT work with a safety razor. A good safety razor has a weighted head that's designed to apply the pressure for you. Add more pressure and you're cruising' for a bruisin' (well, cuttin'). Once I figured that out the top of my legs worked perfectly. The next thing to figure out was how to not apply pressure on the underside of my legs, which takes a bit of practice. For me, the trick is to graze the razor across the skin, rather than drag (I hope that makes sense). Armpits: easy as pie. I don't know if it's the angle of armpits or what, but it's still the easiest area for me to shave.


2) Use a Shower Oil

I would highly recommend using a shower oil with your safety razor: I've had the best results/closest shave with it as opposed to soap or body wash. I absolutely love the L'Occitane Almond Shower Oil for the heavenly scent and moisturizing properties (I'm terrible at remembering to moisturize my body). It's on the pricey side at $25 for 8.4 ounces ($2.97/oz), but it works so well and I need so little the bottle usually lasts me 6-8 months of constant use (not CF). There's also a few drugstore priced options I haven't tried myself, but the most promising/Cruelty Free option I could find online was the Rituals Happy Buddha Shower Oil, at $9.50 for 6.76 ounces ($1.40/oz). Your skin will thank you.


3) Change Your Blade Regularly

I'm not going to give you a magic number for how many shaves you should do before you change your blade, because I just don't think that's realistic. I think it really depends on the frequency of your shaves and the thickness of your hair. I have medium-thick blonde hairs on my legs and I shave about three times a week, which means 12 shaves per month. I personally seem to be able to get 1.5 months before I need a change. Also, remember your safety razor is double sided!! So try switching to the other side before a change. If you notice tugging, it's time to switch.


What I'm Still Working On

Overall, I love that I'm creating less waste, spending a ton less on razor refills, and I've seriously noticed a reduction of the ingrown hairs on my legs (I used to get them constantly). I am still ABSOLUTELY TERRIFIED of using my safety razor on my bikini line. I can get it to work, but I am soooo careful and slow I don't get a very close shave. But honestly, until summer comes around I'm not too worried about it. I've got a few months to practice!


I hope this was helpful! If you have any more questions about using a Safety Razor please feel free to leave a comment here or on my corresponding Instagram post :) SHAVE ON BABYYYY


Relevant Links/Things That Made Me Think Things:

https://www.ouithepeople.com/blogs/news/safety-razor-for-women

https://zenethically.com/is-rituals-cruelty-free/

https://www.crueltyfreekitty.com/brands/loccitane/

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