I spent the last three weeks traveling, seeing family and friends, and spending a little bit more money than I intended. I stress little. Didn’t bankrupt me or anything.

What did I learn? I really like cosmetics. One of the first things I did before the South Carolina leg of my journey was head down the street from the house of my parents to CVS. And bought some mascara and eye shadow. Incidentally, the stuff I got was from Maybelline and was far better than the other stuff I’d been using. Lovely.

Amusing? I wore it every day I was gone, and family didn’t say a word about it. I don’t know if they noticed or not, but if they did, they didn’t say anything. I was, how to say it, less than subtle at times, too.

During the Michigan leg of my trip, I was far more open about clothes shopping, too. The ex and I went to Penney’s, and I was all over a couple of great tops and some very sexy undies. And I didn’t care. It was a neat feeling: the place was home for a decade, and it was still familiar, but I didn’t have to care what anyone thought of me. Liberating.

I also saw former girlfriend/very good friend, and she gave me a makeup bag and a few odds and ends she never used. I got a nice lip balm in there, one that is a kind of berry/purple colour. Me like. I’ve never worn anything coloured on my lips before, and this is a whole new world for me. I love it.

The funny part of that? On my last day of the final part of my trip (the second Chicago swing), I was out to eat with my parents and wiped away some crumbs from my yummy bagel with cream cheese. The napkin came away fuchsia. That one earned a look. But still, no comments.

Oh, and in between was an Ulta stop in Appleton, Wisconsin. That’s the first of their locations I ever went into, and I like it there. Not because of great service, but the service I want: they leave me alone but are friendly at the front counter. They had a hairbrush I wanted, one I have named Brushzilla as it is enormous, and I wanted to try coloured mascara and some more lip products. I can be much more colourful now. Want to get just a bit more lip balms and sticks next time, as well as pumping up the eyeliner collection.

It turns out I really like cosmetics from Nyx. Thanks, Nyx!

So now I’m back, I picked up my order from a ridiculous Penney’s online sale at the beginning of the month, and I’m much more comfortable in my own skin in town these days. Maybe I’m just more confident. I dunno. But I like it.

Though you should have seen the looks I got in the ranch supply store today. Priceless.