About Me

I’m a California-based voice & visual artist. I immerse myself in creative adventure by exploring multiple genres, styles, and forms in my writing and art. I also make short films. ❤️robots.

Alonna's 2020 Fav Products During the Pandemic

Time has become a broken clock. Last year was about staying safe from COVID-19…among many other important topics. This year blurs too. So testing out lots of new products has been a low priority. But ingredients sometimes change or a product might get discontinued, so I've tested some. 

Clockwise from left: Thrive mascara, Thrive Infinity Waterproof Eyeliner in Ella, Fragrance-free Organic Shea Lip Balm from Sacred Shea Skincare, Clinique Chubby Stick for Eyes in Ample Amber, Unscented Lip Balm from Hurraw!, Clinique Chubby Stick in Lots o'Latte, Clinique High Impact Waterproof Mascara, Clinique Take The Day Off Cleansing Oil in a pump bottle. Additional links below.

So many online meetings! Sometimes splashing water on my face and running a brush through my hair suffices. Other times some quick basic eye makeup and lip balm make me feel a bit more presentable. Clinique's High Impact Waterproof Mascara and Chubby Sticks for Eyes perform well for a long day. Clinique's Take the Day Off Cleansing Oil removes the mascara easily.

Thrive's Liquid Lash Extensions Mascara is not like any other mascara I've ever used! All you need is warm water on a washcloth to remove this product—allow the wet cloth to rest on lashes for about ten seconds. Little wax tubes coat and enclose each lash and will slip off lashes. Tip: curl lashes before applying Thrive. For sensitive eyes like mine, both mascaras are the least problematic I've found.

There's a scene in Mad Men (Season 4, Episode 4 The Rejected) where Peggy (Elisabeth Moss) talks about the ritual of using Pond's Cold Cream; that removing her makeup becomes a regenerative experience. "Pond's is the only cold cream that allows me to stare at myself in the mirror for twenty minutes and feel good and not vain." The takeaway for me? Take my time removing makeup whether with a cloth or fingertips. Permit the saturated cotton pad or washcloth to linger on the forehead for ten seconds before moving to the eyes for ten seconds, then the cheeks, the nose, the chin. I've noticed how products do have better results when combining Thrive's ten-second linger with Peggy's ritual. When applying products with fingertips, massaging interprets our faces from a deeper layer of the self.

Since many of us are spending so much time at home, we can think a bit more about our household cleaners and indoor air quality. Organic and synthetic fragrances are unnecessary irritants; fragrance-free is better for our skin and lungs. Unfortunately, many brands intentionally formulate household products with extra strong scents that stick around. We pollute our indoor air voluntarily. Airflow helps dissipate cleaner fumes, but the fragrance doesn't just blow away. Often, it cannot be removed. 

Fragrance-free Babyganics Tub & Tile Cleaner is effective and the least problematic shower cleaner I've found. Ecover's Zero Dish Soap is my favorite. Some dish soaps are very drying due to their sudsing agents, degreasers, and fragrance. We're all a little different and have to try and then decide for ourselves—what works best.

Microfiber cloths clean surfaces by trapping dust, dirt, oils, etc. in the fine fibers (explained and how to chose). Remember to rinse often. Consumer Reports offers some myth-busting cleaning tips. If I need to disinfect, Vital Oxide is my first choice, even in the time of COVID-19. 

Our hands are taking a real beating from extra handwashing and alcohol-based hand sanitizers.  When heading into the grocery store, I pull on a pair of latex-free vinyl exam gloves fresh from the box, all the protection I need without damaging my skin. Lately, I've been sleeping in another kind of glove, cotton.

During 2020, I've stuck with familiar brands and branched out to a few new products:

Isolating at home makes me think more about the things I interact with daily and how I might make routine activities feel cozier. I splurged on this adorable Woodland Fairytale linen tea towel from Blue Summer House. Drying dishes feels like a special event. Who knew a dish towel could make a chore enjoyable! I love the ease of linen fabrics. I wash mine in warm water and hang to dry, though it can be tumble dried on low.

A hot cup of coffee brings hygge coziness. I dove into (Swiss Water process) unflavored decaf coffee bean brands and found one I enjoy. Flavorings are much like fragrances for food, which can be allergy (or sensitivity) triggers. Initially, I went for super dark roast beans thinking they might be nearer to full-caffeine beans' taste and body. Even decaffeinated coffee beans contain some caffeine, as little as 3%, but can go up to 12%! Hmm, how many cups to consume per day? I find splitting my daily one cup of caffeinated coffee among my cups of decaf elevates the flavor experience. 

Suppose you're like me and trying to repair some sleep issues. In that case, reducing decaf is something to think about. I've paired the robust yet smooth Stumptown Decaf Trapper Creek with a fancy glass cup received as a Christmas present. As I sip I imagine myself at a Parisian cafe and watch neighbors outside strolling with their dogs.

Markham Heid wrote a great post on Medium about fragrances and the pandemic.

For more of my favorite products: 2018, 2019

And, my fragrance-free living posts

Disclaimer: This blog post is for entertainment and inspirational purposes only. I have not received any compensation from any companies mentioned. I am not endorsing anyone or any products. The opinions expressed are mine alone and should not be considered medical advice.

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