Skin Deco

Sunday, June 27, 2010

SilkyGirl Giveaway Winners

Congratulations to the following participants!

Jean S (Malaysia)
Snow Falling (Malaysia)
aNn (Malaysia)
Daisy Deariesx (Malaysia)

Lara (Spain)
Mint (Australia)

You've won yourself a SilkyGirl Moisture Max Lipgloss!
Please e-mail your mailing and contact details to skindeco.net@gmail.com by June 30th, 2010 to claim your prize.

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I've been pulled away from blogging due to work and I hope to be back by the end of this month. I don't think I'll be accepting any more jobs until I am done with my school work. Clearly, I have trouble juggling both! I can't promise that the post will be as frequent as before but I'll try.

Thanks for sticking around!

I just wanna shout out to the June babies that are dear to me; Tine, Grace, Jenn and my mommy. I've been so caught up with everything that I haven't been able to make your special day as special as it should be. I'll make it up to you! I just want you all to know that I didn't forget *hugs*

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Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Taking a Break

It's hard to describe what I'm feeling right now and the only word that comes to my mind is "lethargic".

It could be this paper that I have to write or the blankness that I'm experiencing overall from school, I don't know. I can't bring myself to do anything that feels like work because when I do, I shut down completely. Blogging just started to feel this way and it's not a great feeling to have when I'm supposed to be doing something I love. Thus, I'm not going to force myself to write a new post or edit pictures or videos because if I do, I'll be dreading it and increasing my frustration.

Just let me get through the rest of this week. If I can spring up after I've done and submitted my paper, I'll put up a new post.

Thanks so much for sticking with me :)


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Thursday, June 10, 2010

Giveaway: Perricone Starter Kit, Including the Advanced Face Firming Activator

Exclusive to US and Canada, here comes another Perricone MD giveaway and this time, it's better than ever!

You will stand a chance to win a Perricone Starter Kit worth $283, which includes four full-sized products:
You may also want to get in on the Perricone Sale to shop for deluxe samples through their Sampling Program.

Get an exclusive discount with a special Perricone MD Promo Code for Cold Plasma, Advanced Face Firming Activator and Face Finishing Moisturizer respectively.

Read on to learn how you can enter this giveaway...

NOTE: This giveaway is for US and Canada residents ONLY
Entries from other countries will be disqualified. If you are not located in the US/Canada but have a US/Canada mailing address, please state in your comment



To qualify for this giveaway, complete the following tasks by July 10th, 2010:

1. Be a subscriber/follower of Skin Deco
2. Read and comply to the contest rules
3. Fill in your details into the Contest Machine below
4. Complete the following sentence in the comment box below:
"I want to win the Perricone Starter Kit because..."

*Only entries that have fulfilled all the above tasks will be eligible





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Review: Lancome UV Expert BB Base

Lancome UV Expert GN-Shield High Potency Active Protection BB Base SPF50 PA+++ High UVA PPD is an obscenely long name for a product! Here forth, we shall just call it the Lancome UV Expert BB Base.

BB cream is the Asian IT thing and it has become this revolutionary product that even Western brands are now emulating. Despite not being an avid BB cream user, this is exciting news to me because Asian BB creams have always been discriminating against atypically darker Asian skin tones, like mine. I feel very strongly about the lack of color options available!

Now that we have Wikipedia to define BB cream, I'm not going to. Read here (don't worry, it's not lengthy)

I've long given up on BB creams because they are almost always too fair for my skin and occasionally, oddly grey. If I do manage to get a close enough color match, the coverage would be too light or formula too drying. You'd think that having over a hundred types of BB creams to choose from, I'd find one that suits me.

Perhaps a Western BB cream could be the one!

I first read about the Lancome UV Expert BB Base on ParisB's blog (MyWomenStuff). Click here to read how this product fares on her fair skin.

A basic tube with a basic nozzle. Nothing much to the packaging. The BB Base comes out quite fluid and the color, ecru (greyish-pale yellow). When blended, the base leaves a slightly grey cast and quite a lot of glow.

While I was initially apprehensive about putting something grey on my already dull and ashy skin, it didn't turn out too bad at all. After giving the base a couple of minutes to settle, the effect is actually quite nice. You can clearly see that the base has helped to even out discoloration, reduce redness, conceal minor spots and make my skin look a whole lot smoother. It comes with a high broad spectrum sun protection of SPF50 PA+++, which classifies this BB Base as a tinted sunscreen rather than a foundation substitute in my books.

Worn alone, the BB Base does not offer enough coverage for my preference and it can look quite oily, even on my dry skin. To add coverage and blot of the excess shine, I'd apply a layer of powder foundation (Shown in pic: MAC Studio Fix Powder in NC35) over the BB Base. What I love about this base is that it grabs powder extremely well, never allowing that cakey powdery look. Since my foundation lasts the whole day with this base, I don't need to touch up but I do find myself having to blot with a tissue. If you have oily skin, you may want to be light-handed with the BB Base.

So, the Lancome UV Expert BB Base is not quite like the classic BB cream but it is a fairly decent product on its own.

Retails at Lancome counters and outlets for RM165/30ml. This product is Asia exclusive. I guess it's not that Western after all.

Perhaps I'll have better luck with MAC or Estee Lauder? (Source: Makeup For Life)

Google "MAC BB Cream" and you'll get this. LOL

But it's true. MAC has released their version of the BB Cream, which they call Prep + Prime Beauty Balm UVA/UVB SPF35 PA++ (USD$30). It's only available in travel retail and duty free locations.

Also only available in travel retail and duty free, Estee Lauder has released CyberWhite EX Extra Intensive BB Creme Multi-Action Formula SPF 35.


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Monday, June 7, 2010

Giveaway: SilkyGirl Moisture Max Lip Gloss -- CLOSED

It's only appropriate that I give away products that I love, right?
If only I can do that with all of my favorite products!

I have with me 4+2 SilkyGirl Moisture Max Lip Gloss up for grabs!

There will be 6 winners:

4 from Malaysia
2 from everywhere else

Respond to this question in the comment section below:

"Out of the 8 features of the SilkyGirl Moisture Max Lip Gloss stated in the review post, which ONE is most appealing to you?"

Read on for the nitty gritty (PLEASE READ GIVEAWAY RULES!)

Giveaway Rules:
  1. Must be a follower/subscriber of Skin Deco
  2. Please state your country in your comment entry
  3. Only entries that include an answer to the given question will be accepted. The feature selected MUST be from the review post ie. must contain the exact words. Eg. "The most appealing feature to me is that it has no distinct scent" or "I love that the lipgloss has a classy and compact packaging" etc.
  4. Please choose ONE feature only
  5. Winners will be announced on Skin Deco. Please e-mail me within the given time frame to claim your prize or I will have to pick another winner
  6. Giveaway ends 13th of June 2010, 11:59pm GMT +08:00



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Update: US Haul + Upcoming Tutorial

*laughs nervously*
My box came?

Yeah...

Read on for details.

This haul is probably not very interesting to most of you. I understand that not many Asians/Malaysians are into tanning but it's sort of my current obsession.

What I bought this time:
  • Lime'n da Coconut Tan Defining Formula (for outdoor and indoor tanning -- just in time for my Cherating trip this weekend!)
  • Banana Boat Summer Color Self-tanning Lotion
  • Bain de Soleil Mega Tan Sunscreen Lotion with Self-tanner
  • Ben Nye Bronzing Body Tint
  • Graftobian Hi-def Glamour Creme Foundation in Enchantress
  • Graftobian HD Creme Corrector in Soft Orange
  • Ben Nye Creme Shadow in Medium Brown (for contouring)
  • OCC Lip Tar in Conquest
  • Italian Badger Round Crease Brush from Crown Brushes
  • Make Up For Ever Aqua Smoky Lash
  • Stila #9 Brush
  • Physicians Formula Shimmer Strips Gel Cream Eyeliner Trio for Green Eyes
  • Maybelline Mineral Power Natural Perfecting Concealer in Sand
  • ecoTools Bamboo Bronzer Brush
  • Make Up For Ever HD Microfinish Blush in #8 PDA
  • Urban Decay Pocket Rocket Lipgloss in Max
  • St. Ives Timeless Skin Daily Microdermabrasion Scrub
  • Ben Nye Banana Visage Luxury Powder
  • Wisdom of the Elders by Peter Knudtson and David Suzuki (book -- not shown)

Grace truly spoils me. She included HEAPS of goodies in my box. Love you lots!! *hugs*

I also did a little swap with the lovely B of Clumps of Mascara and she got me two mascaras that she thought I should try -- Cover Girl Lash Blast Volume and Almay Intense i-Color. Btw, she's having a giveaway on her blog that has just turned 3!

I apologize for the lack of tutorials. My weird class schedule and no-blogging weekends prohibited me from wearing much makeup what more film tutorials. I did manage to get one done and it's for the Summer Tutorials series. This look was inspired by Malaysia's National Park, Taman Negara. I'm in the process of editing the video. Bear with me!


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Saturday, June 5, 2010

Review: SilkyGirl Moisture Max Lip Gloss

In a previous post, I asked you to guess what lipgloss I was wearing and got some interesting answers. However, two of you managed to guess correctly. It's the new SilkyGirl Moisture Max Lip Gloss! Aishah Noordin and Vina, please e-mail me to claim your prize!*

Another shocker from SilkyGirl! Come on, does that classy tube look anything like SilkyGirl to you? It almost doesn't look drugstore! No tacky pictures or writings or weird screwy designs. The best part about this lipgloss is on the inside.

Read on for the full review, swatches and color descriptions!

*Please e-mail me by 06/06/10 or the prize will be offered to someone else



Smooth, non-sticky texture
Sticky lipglosses put me off completely. SilkyGirl says Moisture Max contains Jelly Base and that's actually how the gloss feels on the lips; like a lightweight layer of jelly. The staying power is comparable to any other lipgloss.

Fine, non-gritty shimmer
I usually hate drugstore glitter lipglosses because the glitter will be chunky, low quality glitter that collects into the line. The glitter in this gloss, however, is finely milled and the density varies from color to color. You won't be able to feel grittiness from the glitter.

Oh-so-shiny
While the gloss doesn't give a mirror-like shine, it's still pretty shiny and you can tell that the shine is from the gloss and not so much from excessive glitter, which is what most cheap lipglosses have to appear shiny.

Classy and compact packaging
I'm not going to be redundant. You can obviously tell that the packaging is not typical for a drugstore lipgloss. It's slightly smaller than a standard lipgloss, though. Comes with a doe-foot applicator.

No distinct scent
Most of us would still have to put up with the horrid orange/cherry/cough medicine scent of drugstore lipglosses despite how good of a lipgloss they are. I'm very happy to announce that Moisture Max smells like nothing! I'm serious, it has no scent at all!

Locally and easily available
In Malaysia, SilkyGirl is everywhere. You can easily get a hold of Moisture Max at any major healthcare stores in Malaysia as well as the SilkyGirl outlets. SilkyGirl is also available in selected healthcare stores in Singapore and Brunei.

Inexpensive
RM15.90 and often on sale. I got mine for RM12.90

Available in 8 shades
Decent array of shades but they're all quite sheer so some colors can look somewhat similar


01 Amber: Milky coral with gold glitter

The color is slightly more pigmented so it can qualify as a nude-ish gloss. This is a great color for Summer and should go with any kind of makeup. I especially like wearing this gloss with green eyeshadow and peach cheeks.

03 Nude: Sheer cool brown with silver glitter

It's like a clear gloss but better. It'll give the lips a tiny hint of color and loads of shine. This will make a great gloss to top over lipsticks.


Other colors available in the range:
  • 02 Fuchsia: Mid-tone pink with fine gold and silver glitter
  • 04 Cranberry: Brownish pink with dense and fine bronze and silver glitter
  • 05 Raspberry: Bright cool pink with sparse pink and gold glitter
  • 06 Rose: Bright warm pink with dense and chunkier gold glitter
  • 07 Hazelnut: Bronze with dense and fine bronze and gold glitter
  • 08 Wine: Cool mauve with blue and gold glitter



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Friday, June 4, 2010

Brushes I Frequently Use + How I Wash My Brushes

It took me years (and many many brushes) to discover some of my favorites and I think I can finally share with you some brushes that I use almost every time I put makeup on.

Many of the other brushes that I own, I still like, but I can probably live without them. I guess the fact is, you really don't need that many brushes. Doesn't stop me from searching for more favorites though!

I've also put together a long overdue tutorial on how I wash my brushes.

Jump!

Face (left to right):

Etude House Duo Fiber Cheek Brush
(RM39.90 -- up to 40% off during sale)
  • Who needs to fork out over a hundred Ringgit for a MAC 188 or 187 when you have this awesome brush? It's firm, dense enough and doesn't shed or bleed excessively. The size is in between a 188 and a 187 so it'll work great to stipple on liquid foundation, apply powder, blush, bronzer and everything else a duo fiber stippling brush can do. I mainly use this brush for blush and glow powders (eg. MAC Mineralize Skin Finish, Benefit Sugarbomb).
MAC 109 Small Contour Brush
(RM125? I don't know. Someone please help!)
  • I hate this brush for CONSTANTLY shedding. Come on, it's been a year! Stop shedding already! And it's not the softest brush in the world or my table. If I can chuck this appalling brush out, I would but it would mean giving up on a perfectly shaped and sized brush. You can apply practically any type of foundation with this brush. Liquid, cream, loose powder, pressed powder, mousse, cream-to-powder -- you name it. If you can ignore the mustache left behind by the brush, you'll get a streak-free finish. It's also great for contouring and buffing. *sighs* Damn this brush. Review here.
La Mei La Kabuki Brush
(RM39.90 -- bought from Blink on the first floor of Sungei Wang Plaza at 50% off but I don't think it's available anymore)
  • One of my most unexpected and yet best purchases ever. This is a synthetic kabuki brush and there's nothing I don't like about it except for the fact that I can't buy it anymore. Not that I need to because it's still in pristine condition but it also means that you can't, which is not good. It's soft, dense, doesn't shed, doesn't bleed and I love the handle. It's much easier to grip than regular kabuki brushes. I use this for loose powder, pressed powder and powder foundation (light coverage) as well as glow powder. Also awesome for buffing out over-applied blush.

Eyes (top to bottom):

Italian Badger Round Contour Brush
(I got this in the travel set. The long handled (~USD$3) one can be purchased from Coastal Scents or Crown Brushes)
  • One of the first brushes I've ever owned and still a favorite to this day. This is great for applying dark color into the outer corner and crease. It's soft and dense, doesn't shed and doesn't bleed.
Deluxe Eyeshadow Brush
(~USD$3. Can be purchased from Coastal Scents or Crown Brushes)
  • I use this strictly for applying highlight on the brow bone. This dense and slightly tapered brush blends as it applies the highlight color. I bought this because it was supposedly a dupe for MAC 227 brush but when I compared both brushes, I actually like this one better because it's a lot softer and I like that it's tapered. Review here.
Stila #30 Brush
(Bought this during the Stila close out sale. No longer available in Malaysia. USD$32 from StilaCosmetics.com)
  • If I had discovered this brush earlier I wouldn't have to buy so many other eyeshadow brushes. The flat side is a medium sized eyeshadow brush that packs on color very well onto the lid and because the tip is slightly tapered, I can use this to apply color into the crease. The other side is a slim fluffy crease blending brush to blend eyeshadow on the outer corner and also the crease. It's a great fit for my Asian eyes. I'd probably go insane if I ever lose this brush. It's the perfect eyeshadow brush for me and I can create a complete look with eyeshadow using this brush and this brush alone. Review here.
Small Round Contour Brush
(USD$1.71. Can be purchased from Crown Brushes)
  • I love applying eyeshadow along my lower lash line because it really makes my eyes pop. This firm brush gets the job done. The size is perfect but it's quite scratchy. Still, a brush that I use very often. Review here.
elf Studio Small Smudge Brush
(USD$3 from elf)
  • Gel eyeliner brushes need not be expensive because they fray in no time. After years of making do with "on-pack" brushes, I finally found an inexpensive brush that I like for gel eyeliners. It's small and tapered so I can either apply my liner thinly or thickly. It also doesn't fray as easily as other brushes that I've used.
Bobbi Brown Eye Definer Brush
  • For my eyebrows I use both pencil and eyebrow powder frequently. If I'm using a pencil, this brush will be used to blend so that my brows won't look harsh. When using powder, I'll create the shape as well as fill in and blend with this brush. It's stiff without being hard and it has a pointed tip to help shape my brows precisely.
Brushes need to be washed frequently. The makeup build-up on the brushes attracts bacteria growth and may cause irritation to the skin when you use it. Also, the existing color of product on the brush may compromise the actual color that you're applying. For instance, you apply yellow eyeshadow with an uncleaned brush that previously applied blue eyeshadow and you'll get green. Well maintained brushes will have a longer life span too.

There are many types of washing agents that you can use to wash brushes but after experimenting with several types, I find that I prefer using a facial bar soap because it lets me control the amount of soap that I use and a soap lasts a lot longer.

Synthetic Brushes

I wet the brush then swipe it over the bar soap, lather, rinse and squeeze out the excess water.

Natural Hair Brushes

I pretty much do the same thing as with synthetic brushes except I lather more to really get the soap between the bristles and if I remember to, I will apply hair conditioner prior to rinsing.

Eyeshadow Brushes

Same thing, really. I'd draw on the soap until it doesn't produce any colored suds.

Sponges

I massage in and soak my sponges with a tiny bit of dish washing detergent and some shampoo for about 15 to 20 minutes. After that, I lather the sponges up then rinse and squeeze dry.


Eyeliner Brushes

To remove the eyeliner residue, I squirt some cleansing oil onto a paper towel then draw on it until there's no more eyeliner on the brush. Then, I double cleanse with soap to remove any traces of oil. If you don't do this, the oil may affect the performance of your eyeliner.


I lay all of brushes on plain paper (printed on one side) to allow them to bleed (for some) and dry.


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Thursday, June 3, 2010

Review: SilkyGirl Double Intense Waterproof Mascara

You’ll notice the funky packaging of this mascara within seconds but it’ll take you at least a minute to process that it’s by SilkyGirl. Uh-huh. SilkyGirl. It’s no doubt that SilkyGirl is a popular brand in Malaysia and Singapore but you can’t deny the flimsy and childish packaging that SilkyGirl products often sport that's enough to put one off their products completely.

Quite the contrary, everything about the SilkyGirl Double Intense Waterproof Mascara had lured me in -- packaging, brush, claims and price . It’s been awhile since I last laid eyes on SilkyGirl so I popped a tube into my basket.

Read on for the review...


The packaging and the wand get two thumbs –up from me. I need not say much about the packaging. It’s sturdy, doesn’t look cheap and certainly more attractive than most drugstore mascaras (though we all know that Majolica Majorca is unbeatable when it comes to kick-ass packaging for drugstore makeup).

More interesting than the packaging is the silica gel brush which is a favorite of short Asian lashes. The side with shorter bristles is for adding volume and coating every single lash while the longer bristles are meant to separate and lengthen as well as curl. The formula claims to contain collagen and protein nutrients to condition and strengthen lashes.

Double Intense is not my go-to mascara but it doesn't get banished to my "unused" drawer either. It's actually a pretty decent mascara so if you don't have absurd expectations like I do, I think you may like it.

To start coating every lash, the side with short bristles is used first. It coats every single lash including hard-to-reach lashes and bottom lashes. Adding volume, not so much. I'd say it lengthens better. Unlike most lengthening mascaras, Double Intense does not contain fibers. Instead, it gradually lengthens the lashes with "tubes" making your lashes look naturally lengthened and not furry. I especially hate it when the fibers fall all over my face and get into my eyes thus, this is a much better option for me. This mascara fairly holds up a curl.

While the tube says waterproof, it's not very much so as it flakes when exposed to water and excessive sweat. Nevertheless, it's relatively smudge-proof and easy to remove so that's good enough for me.

To sum it up, Double Intense could've been packaged in a Lancome tube and you wouldn't have imagined that it was SilkyGirl.

Retails for RM21.90 (if I'm not mistaken). I got mine for RM19 after discount. Available at major healthcare stores (Watsons, Guardian, etc.) and SilkyGirl outlets (there's one in Mid Valley). SilkyGirl is also available in Singapore and Brunei at selected healthcare stores.



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Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Mini Review + Giveaway: Madara Sun Flower Tinting Fluid + 30% Discount Coupon

Madara’s Moon Flower Tinting Fluid is my favorite tinted moisturizer thus far. To shrug off the nagging feeling that Sun Flower might be better suited for my skin tone, I tested it and found that it was a tad different from Moon Flower. Not bad different, depending on how you look at it.

Read on for the differences. There’s a giveaway and discount coupon offer after the jump!

The color match is near perfect to my current skin tone, which is more tanned than usual. I don’t think it’ll necessarily darken slightly lighter skin tones. It’s just that the golden/yellow undertones are distinct in Sun Flower while Moon Flower is pink-toned.

Sun Flower dries to a semi-matte finish, giving me less glow compared to the more hydrating Moon Flower. Regardless, it does not dry out my skin while feeling ultra lightweight. These are major plus points for oilier skin types and those who can do without the heavy feeling of foundation.

To my despair, the coverage that Sun Flower gives is also lighter but still sufficient to make my skin look naturally better. Instead of wearing it as a tinted moisturizer, I use it as a makeup base and it works well as one. The powder foundation that I apply over it grabs on better and I get the coverage that I want without piling on the product.

Available for RM128/50ml from Body Bar outlets located at Sunway Pyramid, Tropicana City Mall, and Pavilion as well as their online store.

Good News!!

Since the exchange rate has gone down for Euros, Body Bar has lowered the prices of all Madara products that they carry except for the Tinting Fluids.

Better News!!

Print this coupon out to redeem a 10ml Madara Tinting Fluid in the color of your choice. On top of that, this voucher is valid for an exclusive 30% discount on all normal-priced Madara products at Body Bar! Join the Body Bar Facebook group for updates on promotions and new products.

Click on picture for full size

I also love the Madara Deep Comfort Toner (gonna get me a back-up with this coupon!) and the Madara Regenerating Night Cream.


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Update: Rounding Up May '10

Back to back, all of my weekends in May were eventful. Before I go on to tell you about them, let’s take a look at some good reads from May:


Week 1

Okay, I worked so it’s not exactly eventful but I get paid :D


Week 2

Ah… weddings. What’s not to like? An excuse to look better than usual, awesome food in large quantities, wedding favors, free-flow wine, a chance to shout as loud as possible, spending quality time with friends and of course, admiring the gorgeous bride that is PrettyB. Congrats, babe! Make babies soon, k?


Week 2 – New York

It was the week of Makeup Show NYC! The insane bargains were not to be missed and you’d think that being halfway across the world from New York I wouldn’t be a part of this spectacular event. You'd be wrong. Grace, representing Skin Deco, got in on the action and hauled back enough stuff to fill up a store. My portion of the haul is sitting in a post office this very moment. I can't wait to get my hands on my package tomorrow!!! Grace even got to hang out with some other beauty bloggers at the show *waves hello*. I hope I'll get to see you ladies one day!


Week 3

In my teenage years, I was quite active as I’d go for jungle trekking every week. After 8 years of slacking, I took on Broga Hill and almost died. The trail wasn’t difficult at all. Heck, there were people who went up in jeans and sandals carrying a handbag -- maybe they got lost trying to find the mall. But because I haven’t been exercising, I had little to no stamina. Ugh. I was completely drained of color when I finally reached the first peak. I was very close to passing out. Was the view worth the climb? Eh, it could be better without the hundreds of people on the hill. The entire hill was so congested that to get down, we had to queue as if waiting in line for an amusement park ride.

Week 4

The last week of May was a long one for us in Malaysia and based on calculations, there was going to be a full moon. Off we went to a kelong near Pulau Ketam to fish and basically chill. Eventually the full moon got blocked by the heavy clouds but there was a beautiful sunrise the next morning. Apparently fishing when there’s a full moon isn’t recommended for beginners so my fishing only yielded 3 tiny fishies. Thank goodness we brought chicken wings for the barbecue.


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